tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN December 13, 2009 1:00pm-6:00pm EST
development of pakistani military forces, commitment to partnership. they have the equipment training to wage and media battle against insurgents in border regions. we are committed to fostering a stable civilian-led government, that can be a partner in regional stability and support regional effortsñi. the commitment has taken the lead in assistance and through the legislation, authorizing $7.5 billion over five years. the islamic possible to support development and provide assistance to the -- this will make it possible to provide support to critical areas of governments. we will help pakistan address
profound infrastructure needs with significant project. repeatedly from pakistanis who want to be involved and under the leadership of paterson, we're working closely to develop a program that reflects their needs and work through pakistani institutions develop programs wherever possible with a goal of abling nongovernmental organizations. organizations. jus as we need strong local rtners for assistance programs to succeed, we need international partners to support pakistan the development and democracy helping pakistan build on its success. we're working closely with pakistan and the international community to meet the needs of the division and military operations early in the year were effective but left considerable need for reconstruction. we're supporting the u.n. special envoy for assistance to
pakistan's efforts to coordinate assistance in vulnerable areas and encouraging other countries to follow through ounlder tokyo donor conference plemps. as we strengthen our partnership, we're forging strength and cooperation on a. >> guest: basis that emphasizes institutions not individuals. in addition to the president prime minister and other ruling party officials, we're reaching out to provincial and local officials and developing strong working relationships with parties and civil society leaders across the spectrum. building on the october trip by secretary of state clinton, diplomacy efforts redefines the u.s. relationship goes beyond security efforts. this expands to people to people contacts and provides alternative to the narrative of fear and hate extreme s rely on and pursuing high-level policy dialogues to encourage the government of pakistan to undertake policy reforms leading to long-term economic growth and development.
sustained diplomacy on energy iri issues, for example, and proving the lives of the pakistani people has reinforced pakistan's resolve to implement critical lech trissy pricing reform. they're essential to meet the demand necessary to support economic growth. our discussions with the president and prime minister finance minister and many others in the pakistani government stressed the importance of moving forward with reforms that will put pakistan on a path to prosperity. creating new opportunities in pakistan and afghanistan is a core component of combating violent extremism. that's why we're continuing to work in congress to create economic opportunities in the region including initiatives such as proposed reconstructive zones a program essential to our national security objectives in the region. providing duty-free treatment to certain goods produced in all afghanistan and parts of pakistan to create much needed employment opportunities. also we're supporting pakistani
and afghan negotiations to findize a transit plate agreement allowing you to move quickly between markets through pakistan's ports or across afghanistan's road to central asia. efforts to build a more stable pakistan are in our national interest and in the interests of pakistan. the most recent series of violent attacks killing hundreds including women and children underscores the importance of counterering the insurgency. there will be ongoing humanitarian needs in pakistan as the government continues to take military action against extremist groups. we're proud of our successful contributions to this humanitarian effort. the responsibilities and interests i've described are shared by governments around the world. our nato allies and other international community partners already made significant contributions of in their own in afghanistan and pakistan. most recently the nato min stairal in brussels, allies pledged to contribute approximately 7,000 difficult troops for fging if and in all
25 countries plemped to do more in terms of troops trainers and trust fund monies. the task we face is as complex as any national security challenge in our lifetime. we will not succeed if this effort is viewed as the responsibility of a single party, agency or country. we owe it to our troops and civilian whose face these dangers to come together at americans and with allies and parter ins to help them accomplish this critical mission. i thank you for the opportunity to testify today. thank you. >> mr. chairman, senator lugar, members the committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss this situation in afghanistan together with deputy secretary le wuchlt and eikenberry. i provide my assessment of the situation in iraq as commander of the multi-national force in iraq and i appreciate this opportunity to discuss the way ahead in afghanistan. let me state up front thapt i fully support the policy
president obama announced at west point last week. success in afghanistan is necessary and afeign abttainable challenges are greats. the united states and its isep partners can defeat and set conditions in afghanistan to prevent reestablishment of the sanctuaries that enjoyed there prior to 9/11 and we can degrade the capabilities of the afghan taliban and other extremist elements while building afghan security forces that can increasingly lead the fight against the taliban allowing international forces to redeploy over time, but none of this will be easy. improving the capacity of the afghan government will also be difficult, as ambassador eikenberry forthrightly observed during the deliberations of the president's national security team. nonetheless, while certainly difficult, or different, and in some ways tougher than iraq,
afghanistan is no more hopeless than iraq was when i took command there in february 2007. indeed, the level of violence and number of violent civilian deaths in iraq were vastly higher than we've seen in afghanistan, but achieving progress in afghanistan will be hard, and the progress there likely will be slower in developing than was the progress achieved in iraq. as president obama observed, success in afghanistan is vital for america's security. reversing the taliban's momentum is essential to the effort to degrade and defeat al qaeda. the taliban we are fighting in afghanistan today is the same organization that sheltered and support osama bin laden and al qaeda as they planned the 9/11 attacks. the relationship between these groups remains strong. as sent gates observed last week, the taliban and al qaeda have become symbiotic, siege benefited from the success and
mythology of the other. the afghan taliban are to the sure distinct from the pakistani taliban and their partner groups which also have close relationships with al qaeda. the pakistani pal btaliban are part of a sindt gated group. carrying out many other groups. that threatens the stability of pakistan and afghanistan and indeed the entire subcontinent. although most taliban fighters confronting our forces are local afghans motivated by local circumstances, the afghan taliban leadership is organized, ideologically motivated and a beacon and symbol for other dangerous extremist elements. as secretary gates noted, defeating al qaeda and enhancing afghan security are mutually reinforcing missions. they cannot be untethered from one another as much as we might
wish that to be the case. achieving our objectives in afghanistan thus will not be easy. the taliban has in recent years been gaining strength and expanding the extent of its control of parts of afghanistan. it is important to remember nevertheless that the taliban commands significantly less support among posh kinns than other sunni or extremist groups in iraq had in their communities in 2007, and commands virtually no support among afghanistan other ethnic groups. beyond the insurgent challenge, corruption with the afghan government particularly the serious abuse of power by some individual leaders and their associates, has eroded the government's legitimacy. flaws in the recent presidential election further undermine confidence's in the government and, of course, taliban sanctuaries in the afghan/pakistan border area
remain a major challenge to security in afghanistan, although we have been making progress in addressing this issue. meanwhile, iran has played a mixed role in afghanistan. helping with the country's development, but also providing some lethal support to the insurgence, albeit on a more limited scale than it provided to militants in iraq. our armed forces and civilians and those of our nato allies and isep partners will therefore physical tremendous challenges in the months ahead. as in iraq, our troopers and their partners in afghanistan will have to fight their way into enemy strongholds and clear enemy-controlled population centers. as in iraq, the situation is likely to get harder before it gets easy per. violence likely will increase initially, particularly in the spring as the weather improves. moreover, as the afghan
first-ever three-star command freeing up general mcchrystal to focus on strategic and coalition aspects of the war. the critically important training command has moved from being a u.s. effort to one augmented by the new nato training mission in afghanistan, and its new commander, lieutenant general bill caldwell, is setting conditions
to accelerate the critically important expansion and improvement of afghan security forces. u.s. combat forces will actively assist in the development of afghan security forces by training and partnering directly with afghan units at all levels. the concept that has been effective in iraq, but that was only recently implemented in afghanistan. furthermore, we're now working not just to secure the afghan population, but also to mobilize and enable local citizens. engaging them in community defense initiatives so they can help defend themselves against extremist elements trying to establish control in various areas. we have also worked to improve coordination between the military and all other agencies of government. wearing his u.s. hat, general mcchrystal worked with ambassador eikenberry in the u.s. embassy in developing a u.s. civil military campaign plan. further, we have established a
joint task. detain the operations and afghan threat finance sale, an information on task force, and a coordination cell to oversee remmen silliation and reintegration efforts and each will partner with embassy, usaid and other inner agency officials as did similar elements in iraq. u.s. forces have also established partnerships between battle space owners and senior civilian representatives that several echelons and regional commands east and south and launched other initiatives to improve unity of effort in north an west as well. general mcchrystal is also transforming the way our forces operate. he has develop add coherent and focused campaign plan for the entire theater. assisted by general rodriguez and his two-star french deputy.
has updated tactical directive and taken a number of other steps to reduce civilian casualties without compromising the ability of our forces to operate. as we focus on the u.s. civil military ever realize we are not fighting this war alone. u.s. forces are part of an international coalition of 43 countries. our partners have recently committed some 7000 additional soldiers. more are likely to be placed in advance of the international conference of london. alliedñi forces have been fightg skillfully and bravely, taking casualties from iraq and to the pakistani border. while there are concerns that some partners have declared candidates for their combat hat some partners have declared end dates for their combat
participation, there is hope they will be able to continue to contribute in other roles. one of the most important developments over the past year has been the impressive determination of pakistan's efforts against extremists that threaten the stability of a pakistani state, and the chairman noted this earlier. pakistani operations have significantly degrated pakistani taliban groups. these are the largest and most successful operations pakistan has conducted against internal extremists. we should acknowledge the losses of pakistani military, frontier corps and police have sustained in the course of these operations. to be sure these operations have not directly engaged the sanction wares of afghan taliban groups and pakistan or those of some of the extremists i described earlier. however, the determination of
pakistan's extremist leaders an important step forward and does facilitate our efforts to degrade the groups in the border region and to defeat al qaeda. in short, success in afghanistan is again of enormous importance, and it is attainable, but achieving our objectives will not be easy. to paraphrase what the great ambassador crocker used to say about everything, everything in afghanistan and it's hard all too time i believe we can make important progress in zefrg tasks. to reverse the taliban momentum, to improve the security of the afghan people. to help improve afghan
governing. and to help combat forces in a way that does not jeopardize that the progress that has been achieved. the american military has been at with war or had forces deployed continuously since saddam hussein invaded kuwait in august of 1990. for the past eight years we have fought terrorists and insurgents in afghanistan and iraq. the forces have been tested during this period as never before. but it has also performed as never before. it is without question the finest fighting force and in particular the fighting counter insurgency force our nation has ever fielded. the determination, skill, initiative and courage of our soldiers, sailers, airmen, marine and coast guardsmen are awe inspiring. so are the sack faces they and
their families make every day. it continues to be the greatest of privileges to serve with them and with our civilian and coalition partners in such important important missions we are taking. i want to thank you and your colleagued for the continuous support you provide for our men and women in uniform and their civilian partners. >> thank you very much, general. >> thank you for the opportunity to present my views on afghanistan today. i would like to ask that my full statement be submitted to the record. >> without objection it will be. >> last week in a speak president obama presented the administration's strategy for afghanistan and pakistan. his decision came after a full review. i'm honored to have been a part
of the process. i believe the course the president outlined offers the best path to stabilize afghanistan and to ensure al qaeda cannot regain a foothold to plan new attacks gns us. i can say that i fully support this approach. i consider myself privileged to serve as ambassador to afghanistan. working with civilian expert who is form the most capable embassy anywhere in the world today. i'm extraordinarily proud of them. i'm also honored to testify against jack lou as well as my old friend, general david petraeus. yes, i also had the honor of testifying with general stan mcchrystal. my professional colleague and friend of many years. general mcchrystal and are
united in a joint effort where civilian and military personnel work together every day side-by-side with our afghan partners and allies. we would to the accomplish our objectives without in cooperation. as you know, mr. chairman, the united states is at a critical juncture in our involvement in afghanistan. on december 1st the president more troops. hastening and improving the training of the afghan national security forces and establishing security in key parts of the country. while improving critical ministries and the economy at the national level. these steps taken together we believe will help remove the insurgents for the battlefield and build support for the afghan
government. we will be clear about what we expect from those who receive our assistance. the afghan government does show signs of recognizing the need to deliver better service, governance and security. we await urgent concrete steps, though, in a number of areas. we would like to briefly discuss the three name pillars of our efforts in afghanistan. security, governance and development. in his testimony yesterday general mcchrystal addressed our plans for improving security and building the afghan national security forces. i've made a point of getting out of kabul to see conditions firsthand. i con cure with general mcchrystal's assessment that the security is critical. it's critical to regaining the
initiative. i'm confident as these troops arrive the situation will stabilize and will turn in our favor. we can work with the afghan army and police to take a larger role in providing for the security of our people. moving on from security, the second pillar of our comp rehence i havive strategy focuses on governance, or overall goal is to improve to afghans see the benefit of supporting the international government and the insurgency loses support. as general mcchrystal has pointed out. the afghan's government's lack
of credibility with its own people. our approach at the national level is on improving key ministries, by increasing the number of civilian technical advisers and providing more development assistance directly through the ministries budgets. by focusing on money ministries that deliver official services and security we can celebrate the building of the afghan government to so social security accountable. we're working jointly with the military. through district development working groups and district support teams which help build afghan capacity, particularlies in the areas of greatest insecurity in southern and eastern afghanistan. underpinning all efforts is the need to combat corruption and promote the rule of law. with our assistance the afghan
government is steadily building law enforcement institutions to fight corruption, organized crime e and drug trafficking. in his inaugural address president karzai encouraged us by his statements. the station of poppy and trafficking of opium also continue o have a very da debilitating effect. effortsly law enforcement agencies and the military to detain traffickers and drug shipments and support for agricultural development. the narcs problem, of course, will never have a solution without economic development. in recent months we've adjusted our approach to focus on building key elements of
afghanistan's private economy. increasing the emphasis on agricultural. enhancing collection and improving the coordination of assistance within the united states government and international community. these steps were taken to improve the lives of ordinary afghans and contribute directly to government and lessen support for tp insurgency. rebuilding the farm sector in particular is essential for the afghan government to reduce the pool of unemployed men who form the recruiting base for extremists groups. we estimate some 80% of the afghan population gets their income directly or indirectly from agriculture. mr. chairman, i want to emphasize, we're concentrating on what is essential and obtainable. the president's strategy is based upon a pragmatic assessment of the security
interest of the united states of america. we do need a viable afghan government so our forces can draw down and the investment of the united states taxpayer dollars can be reduced. in closing i would like to mention two important risks we take in carrying out of strategy. in spite of everything we do afghanistan might take over on a timely basis. the second is our partnership withing pakistan. the effort we're taking in afghanistan likely to fall short of our strategic goals unless there's more progress in eliminating sanction wares used by the afghan, taliban and their associates inside of pakistan. if our afghan partners and their
allies do their part, i'm confident we can achieve our objectives. i say this with conviction. for the first time in my three tours of duty in afghanistan. all support for the president and increasingly of our allies. achieving our goals in afghanistan will not be easy, but i'm optimistic we can succeed tw the support of congress. our mission is now one of the government's highest priorities. we will soon have increased our civilian presence in kabul threefold and in the field six fold just over this past year. we will need more. u.s. assistance ask a fraction of the total spent in afghanistan over the past eight
years. mr. chairman, success is not guaranteed, but it is possible. with the additional troops and the other resources provided by the president and with the help of the united states congress we will work tireless to ensure al qaeda never finds refuge again in afghanistan. >> thank you very much, mr. ambassador. let me just say to my kpleegs and the committee, there's there's a balance as everybody knows. i've always you can develop this train of thought. we have a lot of members and everyone wants to have a chance. so, i have had to cut it down. i hate to do that. i hope that everyone is agreeable. we will go with a six minute
round under the circumstances. general, let me thank you for your comments about troops. every time that we go over there we are struck by how extraordinary that they are with the contributions they are making. this time of year it is hard to be away from home and our thoughts are with them and we are grateful to you and the leadership and all of them. i mentioned pakistan in the opening comments. it seems as if, for the moment at least, this question of hedging of that is very much on the table with respect to pakistani leadership. general, could you quickly share with us -- the recent pakistani military offensives, we have yet
to see their operation directed at afghan taliban or the al qaeda strongholds. operations directed after the afghan, taliban or al qaeda strongholds. the military has continued to work with rival taliban factions, including those led by bahadur, believed to be involved in the afghan surgeonsy and lin. ku could you share with us how to convince them we have a long term commitment to the region, we're not about to leave that, and we need them to focus on these other networks and groups. >> mr. chairman, first of all as
we were discussing the development of the last ten months are really quite significant. the pakistani leadership, the civilian populous, the clerics and the military have all united in recognizing the internal extremists are the most pressing threat to their country. more pressing than the traditional threat to the east. they've taken action in response to that recognition as you noted. did not just clear and leave they're already looking forward to ultimate transition. and as you noted gone after the
group held by the late. that operation is now drawing to a close. they have moved furd north to go after some of those who got away. in these operations they are encountering and conducting some fighting against those that are part of that extremist syndicate that i described that does do fighting in eastern afghanistan. certainly not the afghan taliban. with respect to how do they eventually take those on, i think frankly that the effort to demonstrate a sustained substantial commitment to
pakistan. pakistani counter insurgency fund also very important given the history we have with the country and having left it a couple times before. this is process of building trust. building mutual confidence and building a relationship in which the mutual threats we face are addressed by those on the ground. as i mentioned and as you mentioned we have to recognize the enormous sacrifices that the pakistani military frontier corps and police have made recently. and also the losses their civilians have sustained. but it's about building a partnership that can tran send the issues we have before where we have left after supporting
one operation or the other. >> as you answer, could you also tie into it the question of the political reforms? because as you know in order to sustain stability you have to have reform. fundamentally the pakistani military has been adverse to changing that. they've always historically used the region to promote the perceived interest in afghanistan. and those relate to the perceived interest of india. if you could perhaps share with us about how we establish a long-term relationship there are some linkages to other issues. >> just to pick up where general petraeus ended the relationship between the multiyear commitment, the relationship between maintaining long-term security assistance through the program while we wrap up counter
insurgency training is critical. the action the pakistan military is taking. the question is are we there for the long term relationship? it speaks to the long term in a way that counter insurgency does not. it's critical that we may tanina balance there. it's not just what they do in the military maneuvers that are important. are we there in the post military to help them with the reconstruction? with the rebuilding? that gets to the question you're asking about the local prove provential leadership in the area. there is the capacity to work with local leaders on progress.
to do economic development to support local decision making, local institution, and we've been having conversations with the government of pakistan where it's clear we're going to work with the ministries and the local leadership. i think it's important that we not make it either/or. there's a tendency to hear that we're turning off of this. we're very much working with the national government and the ministries of pakistan. what we vntd done in the past is develop those relationships at a deep level. i think it's critical we do both in the coming months and year. as you know there have been unprecedented steps taken to give rights to those who live in
those areas, rights they've never had before. zb . >> i appreciate you saying that. i agree. >> ambassador, i just have a couple of comments and the time when i'm permitted to respond to this point. as your organizing of the embas embassy, staff has observed their debty ambassadors working in afghanistan they face considerable bureaucratic obstacles. maybe from ourselves. i'm hopeful that you're cognizant of the way they work. like wise they need to be with the regional military commanders.
our impression of these staff is there are some problem there is. they're not beyond working out. but these are our praks. we've had all sorts of estimates of how much members of the army of afghanistan, how many members of the police force are going to be trained. i ask this because press accounts of the army have gone all the way from 200,000 to 400,000, which is quite a difference. now secondly and general petraeus can maybe give us some insight on this. if you could give us a figure of what our goal is and let's say this is obtainable. there are press accounts from president karzai's visit with gates this morning that president karzai said we're going to need a financial
support in afghanistan until 2024. i'm not sure how the president arrives at that time, which is 15 years away. but i am interested in the amount of money. in other words, we pro mote the army for year to year. maybe part of the response is the police force may not always be under the central government. somehow there has to be resources in afghanistan, either at the central or regional levels to pay for this. or sat some point regardless to whether or not our troops begin to leave, somebody will need to be there. namely the afghans that we have trained.
so this is an area i haven't seen out really. will you help us with the numbers and longevity of that? >> senators, i think in previous testimony in the past week or so what has been identified is we have established goals by years for now for the afghan army and the afghan national police. to give you a sense of the that the a&a right now is roughly 96,000 or so. the goal by october of next year is 134,000. the anp is 94,000. goal by the end of next year is 109,000. along with that you have heard
theses s s s aspirational goal. others stated we could envision afghan's security forces numbering as many as 400,000, an army of 240,000 and a police includes border police and a variety of other elements beyond just local police right now we want to reach our annual goals. there have to be programs that run beyond that without yes. but we want to first confirm that we can in fact meet those goals. to do that, by the way, we have to make significant improvements. not just in recruiting but also in retention. >> the pay to these people.
>> the pay had just been increased. there is essentially a benefits package to work out how tow, in fact, recruit and to attain more afghans for those security forces. beyond that a shift in momentum will be the best recruiting tool of all. you want to be the good guy. when you have doubts about that you will lose your bets. there's no question as president karzai was highlighting that afghanistan will require substantial funding for years to come in a whole host of areas, not the least of which is their security forces. i would submit it's easier to maintain a certain number of afghan forces than it is to maintain the number of u.s. coalition forces required to
compensate for their actions. if you get up to the 400,000 range, and again no guarantee that's where we're going. if we end up there that's over $10 billion range per year. that highlights the importance of helping afghanistan gop and exploit the mineral wealth. there is enormous potential in afghanistan to dramatically increase the national revenue but if and only if it can get the security and the the infrastructure that enables them to extract that mineral wealth and get it out to the market. >> thank you very much, senator chairman. let me welcome all three of you here this morning. i know you've been busy testifying and meeting with members of congress. let me underscore the comment made by chairman kerry, again,
general. when you mentioned 1990, it's been that long in time that we've been asking our men and women in uniform@@@@rå2 >> the respect that we have for the men and women in uniform all over the world needs to be conveyed as often as possible. please continue to do that. i think that jack pointed out, this is of utmost importance to our national security. crippling al qaeda, if we can. securing the nuclear arsenal of pakistan. in terms of priorities and dealing with violent extremism, all of us have a lot of questions about this. i respect the desire to have an end the day strategy, but the
problem with that if to have some sort end date strategy here. almost there's an inherent problem as you look at this massive difficulty. i'll ask chairman for a full statement of my opening comments for the record. let me, if i can, and i'll raise this with all three of you and you decide which of the three of you is best able to respond to this. again, the pakistan part of this equation is most troubling to me in the short term. obviouslily if we don't secure the nuclear arsenals all of these efforts, of course, would seem to pale by comparison. president has been under increasing pressures from both the members of the military in his own country as well as those opposed to his close
relationship with us. give us some sense if you will what you think the current political intentions of pakistan. whether or not they imperil civilian rule in the country. how serious are those threats? >> if i could let me turn to it to the ambassador of afghanistan. i'm probably not the best to talk about the situation inside of pakistan. >> let me answer briefly and then on the core security question turn to general petraeus. the difficulties are not new. we've been working with the current government to try to help build the institutions, not just the people, so there's the ability to rely on ongoing
relationships regardless of the leadership. without addressing the kind of day-to-day risks that they deal with. there's still a lot of progress that needs to be made. the tension, contentistant tens between the military concerns and public concerns is debated. the support that we've shown over the last year. in terms of mapping out a five-year strategy of supports for civilian leadership is really central to what we've been trying to do. shore up the idea of the need to invest in lasting civilian institutions. >> let me ask the question. i think you've answered this already with some of this.
my understanding is the success of this program depends on a willing partner in afghanistan. >> i think we do agree with that. because the actions being taken are carried out by the military, it might be helpful to have general petraeus comment on the relationships we've had over the last year as well. >> as one who has been in pakistan four or five times in the last six months, i've had a lot of conversations with military leaders and civilian leadership. i don't think the current challenges imperil civilian rule. again, i don't see the prospect or desire for anyone to change
civilian rule. we've worked very hard to establish relationships of trust and confidence with the pakistani military and especially the pakistani army. again -- we're making up for the lost generation. but i think we have have build those relationships patiently and stronger. chairman mullen has done a great deal of that as well with substantially augmenting the number of individuals in the office of defense representative pakistan pakistan. he was promoted to three stars. what we're trying to do is to build these relationships to where they become a partnership in confronting what clearly are
shared threats, not just to pakistan and the region but our own country. >> thank you. mr. chairman, thank you. and certainly thank each of you for your service and i'm very much appreciate you coming. and being with us today. i know this is somewhat painful, and we appreciate it. general petraeus, when you came unand talked with us about the surge in iraq, there was a sense of a really strong commitment that really encompassed the whole country. i know that in march there was an announcement about what we were doing in afghanistan. while it was spoken that it was narrowed, it was actually pretty expanded from the standpoint of how we looked at what we were going to do in afghanistan. if you looked at all the metrics that general jones presented in september it was an all-out
effort against the country. secretary gates mentioned he realized this was becoming full out. now it's been narrowed some. so we hear sort of a partial effort taking place as it relates to the country itself. and our leaving a country in iraq. you see afghanistan being when we begin to draw down troops, whenever that is. and its ability to actually maintain itself successfully. i know we're talking about pulling away from rural areas in the population centers. what i see in the country that is candidly not unlike, i guess what we're discussing in pakistan, where you've got a lot of areas out there that are not
administered, not really governed, if you will. so if you could describe fully what you see us having there, what the role it would have there when we begin withdrawing, i think this will be helpful. i think it's confusing as to what we're actually doing there. >> thanks senator. and thanks as always for looking after the great 100 first airborne division. >> yes, sir. >> sir, i think it would be worst reviewing. it's a result of the deliberations that took place with president obama and the national security team. they're pretty straight forward. they are to reverse the taliban momentum, to deny the taliban access to and control of population centers and lines of communication.
security forces, increase the size and capability of the security forces and other local security forces to begin transitioning security responsibility to the government within 18 months and selectively build capacity to the afghan government particular any in key ministries. that's tying it to a central government to be seen as serving the government, rather than preying on them. as those conditions appear in other areas, we can then thin out our forces. i want to be very clear that
afghanistan is not iraq. it's also, by the way, not vietnam, it's not a lot of other places. it's afghanistan. it has plenty of its own challenges, but we have to look at that. but the fact is the way we thinned out in iraq as we were able to get iraqi security forces and iraqi officials capable of taking over local responsibilities is somewhat similar to what it is that we want to do in afghanistan. and you keep certain capables there longer than others, again, as in iraq. what we're doing in iraq right now, for example, is working to enable the forces. so they can keep the heat on al qaeda and reduce the frequency of the kind of horrific attacks that we yesterday. the month of november, for example, saw the lowest level of
security incidents and the lowest number of violent deaths in iraq since we got good data post liberation. so that would be the concept. i think that's sort of the vision of how this would go. >> i know we have a briefing later today in a security setting. i know we'll talk through a lot of that at that time. and i know our time is very short today. none of us like being where we are. i know this is all complex. we're glad that we have people of your caliber doing what you're doing. as we look at this whole issue right now and consistents of a brand of type of activity occurring around the world when people are unhappy with what's happening in the country. that's a concern that you've expressed. i know that's been expressed at
the state department. i think the difficulty that we have is envisioning that in each of the countries is have these issues we end up with an all out building of a country. because it's easy to pay somebody to take up weaponry against the government. looking into the future efforts always developing different type of strategy that don't end up being nation billing. >> i think it would be accurate to say we are developing strategies that are appropriate. amounts of nation building depending on the problems that afflict those countries. i think you've raised an important point. that is trying to figure out how we can without, again, conducting complete all-out nation building levels of
assistance, keep countries from becoming failed states. central command has a couple of candidates for that. as you know, within the area of responsible. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you. thank you for all being here today. and for your selfless service to our nation. there is a danger in sending additional troops to afghanistan could push militants into pakistan and further destabilize that nuclear armed nation. do you agree that there's a risk that sending more troops could
just push militants over the border? >> there is indeed a risk that our operations could lead some of these elements to seek sanctuary. that is why we're working very to coordinate operations more effectively with pakistani partners so that they know what our operational campaign is and that they can anticipate and be there with a catcher's mitt for a handle for whenever it might be to greet these individuals. we have actually conducted some operations in the regional command to the east, where that kind of coordination was conducted. before we launched operations with marines we briefed pakistani partners. we have in fact recently begun
in the last several weeks coordinate that with the actions of pakistani elements. >> i appreciate your description of what we are doing, but is it not the case that they are going to have to move against all of the militants in that area? >> they are going to have to move against enough of them so that their capabilities sufficiently grave. again, i do not see any of these kinds of efforts as unconditional surrender, planning the flag on a hilltop and going home to a victory parade. these are long, tough slog, if you will. what we need to do to exert -- to the level manageable by afghan security forces. . levels manageable by the afghan security forces.
i understand that. they do move gns the different pockets that exist. >> over time, no question. they have to again deal with these. these. they present an internal extremist threat. now because we are going to be pushing now. so they need to be able to do this now. >> as they -- as we conduct operations, senator again we have to coordinate what we're going to do with them. i should note we need to also be realistic that there's a limit. they'll say you can only stick so many short sticks into so many hornets nests at one time. they have a very impressive military. but there are limits on their
capacity. that's why the insurgency capability fund that you provided for us and the foreign military financing has been so important to help them with that. >> there's a myth the pakistanis fear we will abandon them. however, the pakistanis do not support military escalation as expressed concern that it will further destabilize the situation on both sides of the border. if we were to reduce our troop levels in afghanistan, by maintaining an ability to counter terrorism operations in the region while providing the pakistan niece robust financial support, wouldn't that communicate our commitment to pakistan and be more responsive to their concerns about the instability caused by our massive military presence in afghanistan? >> senator, i'm not the ambassador, but i will comment
on this. with the reduction of u.s. military support at this juncture, inside afghanistan, the security situation in afghanistan would decline. i think it would decline over time with a lack of u.s. commitment dramatically in the security in afghanistan will breed insecurity within pakistan. >> general, there's no doubt that al qaeda has found safe haven among militants in the region. is it fair to say there are continuing differences between the afghan taliban and al qaeda over their strategic goals that provoke tensions between the two groups? >> there are indeed periodic tensions. then there are tin deed periodic reconciliations, if you will. again as secretary gates explained quite effectively in his testimony, there is a relationship between really all of these groups sometimes the
taliban are up and al qaeda is not quite as much in the forefront. other times it's reversed. >> i understand that. but the description is surprising to me. general mcchrystal in his nomination process told the senate armed services committee that continuing differences over strategic goals could persist and promote tensions between the two groups. it strikes me that it may not really be at a level of symbiosis, but i thank you all. >> thank you mr. chairman. best of holiday season to you. we hope to enjoy it with the families. i'll let you do that, mr. chairman. we'll get there. ambassador, with a twinkle in your eye, acknowledge that we were encouraged by president
karzai's statement about improving the government, reducing corruption, et cetera. but you also said in your nonprinted remarks i think that you were very impressed all elements of the national power was deployed you followed that with a statement we should work to improve the ministries and confidence of the afghan people. are we impressed but not yet certain that his words of corruption, reduction and things like that were a statement and he's committed to it, or do we have to work around karzai to improve the ministries of the government? >> we work in partnership with the government of afghanistan. president karzai is the dual elected legitimate president of the country. he is our partner. we have four areas, senator, that we need to concentrate with
the afghans. the first is in the area of law enforcement. we were making progress in that area. secondly, it's going to be essential to improve the accountability. working with confident ministries. we have a good program that's been under way for over a year now. taking the essential ministries of afghanistan, working with them to improve their procedures, in which they reach a level of -- more effort in trg to train civil administration understandably after the three decades of conflict. low literalsy rates and a disrupted society. with away don't have it. we did not in 2002 begin with a strong base. we're making progress in that area. ae and fourth in the way we deliver our programs.
80% of aid funds don't go through afghanistan. the united states government is the leading element right now in trying to change that. so it really acquires an approach. behind all of that, though, senator, as you're asking in your question, leadership at the top and commitment is absolutely vital. we are encouraged by president karzai's inaugural address. what he has said will be his plan of action. >> you mentioned the high office of oversight. is that an office set up by president karzai? >> it have set up one year ago to deal with corruption. there is, my understanding, that there is a press conference today in kabul. i know their intent is to try to give the high office of
oversight, which is now an administrative organization, trying to give it more teeth. >> so their legislative branch created that, not president karzai? >> i'll have to go back for the record. but at least the manning of the high offices of oversight comes for the executive branch, senator. i don't know what the legislative base of it is. but if president karzai decide to put more emphasis in that we're prepared to work in partnership and offer support. >> from everything i have seen when i've been to afghanistan as well as what some of my georgia soldiers have told me who have been deployed and come back if we revirs the taliban, disrupt the taliban, if we don't improve the government and the image of the government with their people and security, we're still not going to be successful. is that right? >> that's correct. senator. we have two efforts at the
national level. some of those programs are more comprehensive. the lynch pen is going to be at the district level. at the local level. we're working closely with the government of afghanistan to innovate and try to figure out the best combinations of the delivery of very basic government, security, justice, and those essential services like health and education in rural areas, in areas where right now our troops are operating where the insurgency is in the south and the east in order to achieve that end that you've articulated. the need for governance to follow in. >> the success of iraq and the example set by maliki and the government to be able to take over responsibilities once the insurgency was reversed is evidence of the same thing we have to accomplish in afghanistan. although in a much different way because of the history and nature of that country. and i commend you all on what
your effort is. >> it was established by presidential decree. it doesn't have a legislative basis. >> thank you. particularly, general petraeus, i'm one of those who understand that never have so few been asked to bear so much of the sacrifice. we have defined our national security as having stability and
security in afghanistan in our is that correct? >> our overriding objectedive is to ensure they don't reestablish a sanction ware in afghanistan, such as 9/11. >> we want safety and security there. >> the way to ensure the overriding interest is to have a country that is not a failed state and allows that to happen. so if that is the case, then what follows is that why we are aspirational as to whether president karzai will meet the starve standards of eliminating corruption.
i know you wrote sections of his commitment. we will still be in the same national security paradigm. if he fails to have the good governance we want. if he fails to support the creation of afghan level of troops and police and the quality of them to carry out missions, we'll still be in the position that it will be our national security interest security and stable in afghanistan because we don't want another al qaeda. is that fair to say? >> yes. it is. >> so the problem is that part of the question is that dictates that we have a long-term obligation to afghanistan because we hope karzai will do
everything that's right we may prod and poke and maybe try to direct money in different ways. at the end of the day, it depends upon an afghan government that can sustain itself. let me ask you then, do we agree with the comments made by president karzai that it may be as much as five years before his troops can take on insurgents in 2024, before the afghans will be able to pay for their own schurt? is his statement a fair one? >> it's not a light switch. >> is that a reasonable time frame? >> i can't talk about the long term time frame. that depends on how rapidly, obviously, they can generate much greater revenue and depends
on security and infrastructure and so forth. certain it will be years before they can allow the bulk of our troopers to redeploy. our goal is of course to get that process going to create the situations with the capabilities they have of the taliban in those particular areas. >> if i factor out your previous answer assuming that the afghan got to certain levels of both police and troop strength? afterr and if it's true it will be 2024 before they can we would be talking about billions of dollars. at some point, we need to get the price tag to be part of the equation so we understand what we are spending in the security context. that brings me to the questions of -- i think we've spent $30
billion in development assistance to date in afghanistan. is that correct? roughly. all the testimony leads me to believe that after $13 billion, we're basically starting from scratch as it relates to development efforts. that is pretty alarming. i want to get a sense of how we are going to go from clearly overwhelmingly military context to the statements that we need a government that can sustain itself and then billions of dollars later without virtually any success and think about tripling the civilian corps. irtually not any success and think about you're going to triple, you say, your
civilian core which to 900 some odd which means we have 300 some odd and i'm looking at all of this and the time frame and the money that has been spent and we haven't quantified what we're going to be looking on the civilian side. and, you know, i get rather anxious. >> senator, first, i think it is not correct to say that there is nothing to show for the past development program. >> tell me what we show. >> i think that before the development assistance that you're describing there was virtually no access to health care in afghanistan. there is very substantial access to health care in afghanistan, in the 80% range. there were virtually no girls enrolled in schools. there are now a lot of girls enrolled in school and more every day, every week, every month. i think it is fair to say we have an awful lot of work ahead of us, that the institution building, particularly at the governmental level and outside of kabul at the subnational level is a substantial challenge. i don't think it is quite the same as starting from scratch.
if you look at the government that president karzai has, with all the problems that we spend a lot of time discussing, there are a lot of ministries and ministers who have been doing quite a good job. if you look at their agricultural program and where we're coming into to support their agricultural program, there is an agriculture minister who has a five-year plan that is a good plan. he's relight on the international community and usaid to be supporting their plan. that's not to say that it is easy. but the work is building on a foundation that is an afghan-driven agriculture plan, that's true in other ministries as well. not true in every ministry. in terms of the level of u.s. civilian presence, when we started at the beginning of the year, there were roughly 320 civilians on the ground. by the end of january, we're going to be close to 1,000. that's a very big difference in terms of the amount of programming that we have going on, not just in kabul, but in all of the provincial areas, the
district areas, where we'll be teaming up on a day to day basis. i think that you're going to see very substantial change in the progress made and it is all tightly coordinated in a civilian-military plan where the civilians are going in right when the military is created the space for them to work. >> senator wicker? >> thank you very much. gentlemen, senator isakson was pursuing a line of questioning with regard to corruption. let me follow along. president karzai was expected yesterday to release his list of 25 cabinet members. i understand now that decision has been postponed until saturday. this issue has a lot to do with corruption. the president is under pressure to exclude corrupt ministers from his government. at the same time, it is reported that some powerful afghans who feel that they were instrumental in bringing about a tainted
election victory feel they should participate in this government and other members of parliament see this list as karzai's first step, first test to clean up his government. in other news reports i hear that with regard to some afghans, heavy-handed though the taliban may be, and violent and repressive as they may be, some afghans prefer to see their form of order and certainty and decision-making over the endless process of having to grease the palms of official afghan governmental bureaucrats. general petraeus, do your people in the field see this? and mr. ambassador, would you comment about this? we have reports of afghan mines
minister receiving a $30 million bribe from the chinese for making decisions favorable to the chinese. mr. ambassador, would you comment as to the credence of that as part of your answer and then, of course, we know the allegations about the first vice president-elect, mohammad fahim, reportedly being involved in the afghan narcotics trade. i view the corruption issue as a major factor in determining whether the afghan people are going to come around to supporting the government and getting rid of a regime, a taliban regime which admittedly has every reason to be unpopular on the surface. so mr. ambassador and then general, if you'd like to follow up. >> thanks, senator. the report about the naming of
the cabinet, yes, we had anticipated it was going to be announced on tuesday and now we understand it has been postponed several days. i've heard that president karzai is working with the parliament to make a decision whether or not the entire package of minister should be named in one -- in one setting or should part be named and then the parliament will go on recess and the rest will be named afterwards. they do need parliamentary confirmation. i emphasize following on what secretary lew had said, the quality of the afghan ministries and the leadership of the ministries, indeed, senator, it is very impressive in many areas. the minister of education, health, agriculture, rural reconstruction, and development, commerce, finance, interior, defense, the director of the national security director of intelligence is -- these are world class ministers who can do well in europe or north america. they're challenged within their
ministries as of course they would be after three decades of war. such low literacy rates in the country, the absolute destruction of bureaucracy and organizations over the course of three decades. these are difficult tasks to try to run these ministries. but i have confidence that the national level, i don't want to prejudge what ministers will be named, but i think in the main we'll see reinforcement of what is a pretty good list, improvements have to be made, though. second point, about taliban justice, you're absolutely correct. in areas where there is absolute corruption, in the countryside, there is no legitimate government of afghanistan. taliban can deliver a very predictable justice. but it is a feudal, brutal justice that includes the chopping off of heads and hanging of so-called defenders in the market squares. that is not a brand of justice that the afghan people aspire to
see return to their country. every poll that has been taken still since 2002 when afghanistan was liberated by the united states military forces and our allies, every poll still shows the taliban to be deeply unpopular. but when you reach a point in parts of afghanistan where the alternative is an absolutely repatience or brutal government alternative, then, of course, the taliban will find an opening. so our challenge and indeed the government of afghanistan's challenge is to construct legitimate alternatives to what is a very brutal taliban way of life and governance. >> all right. let me ask you then, general. i think i'll ask you to take my question for the record and let me see if i can squeeze in one more. of the 7,000 additional allied
troop that have been promised, my understanding is that approximately 2,000 of them are already there. they were there to help with the elections. really only talking about an additional 5,000 troops. it has been well documented that restrictions placed by many countries on their troops in afghanistan will impact their mission there. so i would like to ask you to comment about that. will they be primarily trainers, will they primarily serve in support functions or will they be combat troops? and if a large portion of our allied of the additional 7,000 allied troops are restricted in their military activities, how will that impact their ability to provide assistance to our mission and to ensure victory in this effort. >> first of all, senator, additional 7,000 or so really are additional because the election forces were supposed to go home and if a country commits to extend them or to replace
them, obviously that is in addition to their projection. they really are a mix across the board of combat forces, trainers, in some cases prt elements, support, so-called omelets, the military transition teams and so forth. and certainly some of those will be restricted by caveats. no question. this is not something new to afghanistan. though candidly when i was in bosnia as chief of operations i had a matrix on my desk that had all the countries down the left, list of tasks across the top and an x mark that filled the box as to whether that country could do that task in a certain location. >> same thing. >> same thing in iraq. and, again, we had to, you know, so general mcchrystal's challenge as was the challenge for the commander in iraq is to understand who can do what,
employ them to the fullest extent possible and then figure out how to complement what it is that they can contribute with the actions of other forces that can truly do everything everywhere. >> what do you mean by -- >> senator, i have to interrupt. >> if the general could clarify whether some means a majority or -- >> clarify it but it would mean you have three minutes more than anybody else. clarify for the record or -- >> i would be happy to do that sir, thanks. >> we can do another round. there is no problem in that. i want to be fair to everybody here if we can. senator cardin. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. first, let me thank secretary lew and ambassador eikenberry and general petraeus for your service. you all are providing extraordinary talent to our nation and we thank you very much. general petraeus, i just really want to concur in your assessment of our military, the men and women who are serving
under extremely difficult circumstances are the best in the history of america. and i appreciate the leadership. just to give you one example, i had a chance to talk to a maryland serviceman who is in afghanistan and he gave testimony to your assessments. and it was a -- just wonderful opportunity to see the spirit, see the commitment, and see the difference that our servicemen are making, our service people are making. so during the holiday time, particularly, we can never express our appreciation enough, sacrifices are tough anytime of the year. during the holidays, they're even more remarkable. and so i just really want to express that at this hearing. amazing how many of our senators have talked about the karzai government and corruption. and it has to do with all three of the objectives. if we're going to be able to achieve security in afghanistan, if we're going to be able to have governance in afghanistan, if we deal with the economic
progress in afghanistan, it all depends upon having a partner that can work with us. we got to transition the security. we got to have governance of a country that respects the rights of its people, and we have to deal with economic development that if there is monies being taken through corruption, it is going to cost american taxpayer and international community and the afghan itself more than it should. so secretary lew, i just really want to challenge a statement you made. you said, we're going to hold them -- first you said we're going to have a policy against corruption and we're going to hold the afghan government accountable. how do you hold them accountable? what do you do if you find corruption? do you pull our soldiers out? do you cut off the money? how do you hold them accountable? >> i think secretary clinton testified last week it going to be a long-term challenge to end corruption in afghanistan. and we have to realistic expectations. and i think when we talk about holding them accountable, it means that we have to see where
our mind is going and if it is not going to the right place, we move our money and put it through other channels. it means we have to have our auditors come in and not after we're done, but while we're implementing the program, be there side by side, so we can catch things early. it means that when -- >> that may work for particular projects and i think that plan needs to be implemented. but you find corruption at the highest levels that are not being dealt with. how do you hold the government accountable? >> i think that the conversations prior to the inaugural and the statements that were made and the actions taken after president karzai's inaugural reflect the kind of influence -- >> but if there is back tracking, if it doesn't work -- >> we have to maintain the pressure. we clearly have an interest in afghanistan that can't be achieved if we don't -- if progress is not made on this corruption issue. the, you know, we have seen promising signs, though there is more progress to be made.
we need to hold them accountable. >> i agree with your statements. i just do not know how you hold president karzai and his top officials accountable if after all the efforts we made, we still find corruption encouraged. >> if there are indictments of the upper level, it will do a lot to change impunity. we have to work with them and hold them accountable. that means driving it towards happening. >> you talked about the objectives we are trying to achieve. i appreciate the way you listed that. then you talked about having a matrix as far as other countries. do we have specific objectives or benchmarks that we will be
using to determine where we are next summer as to whether we are prepared to withdraw and how many soldiers are able to be redeployed? be using to determine where we are next summer as to whether we're prepared to withdraw and how many soldiers are able to be redeployed? do we have specific expectations that are at least well known between the afghans and the americans and our allies? >> we don't have specifics, senator, in terms of we want to do this number of troops by this time or something like that. again, the president was quite clear that this is conditi conditions-based. >> i know that. do we have specifics as to what we're trying to achieve and that triggers the ability to -- >> we have -- >> reduce the numbers. >> we have specifics in what we're trying to achieve. we have an operational campaign plan to give you.
one measure will be the increase of security, something we'll track by district, not just by province. and there is an operational campaign plan and we can track that and you should ask certainly general mcchrystal in the closed session today i think would be a great opportunity to get a layout of what it is, how he's thinking through the operational piece of that. >> i'll tell general mcchrystal that you told us it was okay for him to give us -- >> tell him -- he's a couple of years behind me, i buddied him. he -- then also of course we will have specific goals for the afghan national security force growth over time. that is yet another met ri metr. these will be somewhat similar to the kinds of analysis that we
did in iraq where you look at a host of different factors in a district's area including local governance, including the economic situation, political situation in addition to the security situation because they are all, of course, related. as you know, you're either spiraling upward or spiraling downward. and the spiral is not just all security factors. it is also local markets coming back to life. it might be the traditional less extreme tribal leader returns and is more solidified and that kind of thing. >> thank you. thank you. >> i make this comment, any one of the three of you can comment on it, but i've been rather hoping after the president thought about this for some time that we would have a clearer picture than what we have. and i, with all due respect, i'm just not getting a clear picture. i listen to the president very carefully and he told us we would start leaving in july of
2011. then i asked gates about it the next day and he said it was a target. i don't know where we are. are we in? or are we out? they talk about reviewing at this time or another time. the thing that really bothered me was i listened to karzai yesterday stand alongside gates and he starts talking about 15 years. i don't know whether he wasn't listening to the president or what. the president said we're not going to give an open-ended commitment there. well, probably to karzai 15 years isn't an open-ended commitment. i got to tell you, to the people of the united states, 15 years is an open-ended commitment. i don't know whose job it is to sit down with them and look him in the eye and say, look, you're dreaming this is not going to happen. we need a lot more clarity than what we're getting. i don't -- i have every confidence that our united states military have given a mission, they will go in, will accomplish that mission, but unfortunately it seems like always the military mission gets
mixed with what our overall goals are there. and i'm just not happy about what's come out of the last -- about what's come out of the last week. i was sincerely hoping we would get there. so have at it, whoever wants to comment on it. >> why don't i start, senator, and just to talk about the difference between, you know, july 2011 and the nature of our long-term commitment to afghanistan. the president did not say july 2011 our relationship with afghanistan would end. it would be the beginning of afghanistan taking over areas that would give the military -- our military the ability to begin to draw down. i think that all of us see a long-term relationship with afghanistan, particularly on the civilian side that is going to have to go on for many years. the questions that have been raised about the magnitude of the commitment, those are serious questions, we take them very seriously. we're not in this alone. it is an international effort. we have to work with international partners to take this responsibility, not just on
the united states. i think that the signal that we're sending is very clear that the buildup of troops is headed towards a crescendo and will start to come down. there will be other parts. if you look at iraq, we're building up certain civilian capacities in iraq right now as our military withdraws. so we're taking over certain responsibilities. i think we have to look at the different parts of it separately and it shouldn't be a source of confusion. it is progress when the military is able to leave and civilian programs can step in and have a more normal relationship. >> i couldn't agree with you more. the difficulty is i really question whether you're going to have the same security situation in afghanistan that you have in iraq right now looking forward to july of 2011. i hope i'm wrong. but in addition to that, the financial commitment to stand up their army and police, particularly over the period of time that karzai is talk about it, i don't think the american people are going to accept that.
>> senator, if i could, just talk about what secretary lew had said, our goal is -- we'll agree, is on as rapidly as possible have an afghan government that can provide for the security of their own people and provide sanctuary for al qaeda. the july 2011 date is very important in one regard. the afghan people, they're very insecure people given their history, given the neighborhood they live in. at the same time, 80 years after arrival, there is a growing sense that they want to take charge, want to take control of their sovereignty. there is a desire among the afghans to lead with security, to build their police and their army. president karzai, in his inaugural address, was very clear when he said a goal, five years from now, he wants afghanistan security forces to be in charge throughout the country. that's a good goal that we should be reinforcing. this july 2011 date is in a sense a good forcing function
for the afghans now in partnership with us to stand up and accelerate the development of their army and police. so at that point in time, they're ready to transition, start taking lead for security and certain parts of the country. the final point i would make here, senator, longer term what does this all mean? we don't know how long and what type of security assistance program we're going to need in afghanistan. we know it is going to have to be a long-term program. we don't know the level. as time moves on, we'll see if they have a better understanding of what is their exact requirements, but what we also know as well is that for every one u.s. army soldier or marine that is deployed to afghanistan right now, the cost ratio of that versus afghan police and army on the ground, it must be on the order of 20, 30 or 40 to 1. a pretty good investment. >> again, i come back to the
president talked about july of 2011. kardz karzai is talking about five year before they're ready to take it over. who is going to take it over between july of 2011 and the five years that president karzai is talking about? >> i don't want to -- i think president karzai's inaugural address it said security throughout the country, a very comprehensive control of the security throughout the country. >> i wanted to add to that. i was going to statement the same thing. what was envisioned in july of 2011 is the beginning of transition, what president karzai is talking about, something that is much more comprehensive. and if i could also just say, senator, again, i hope you'll be able to attend the session with general mcchrystal this afternoon. i think you'll get ougt of that some clarity. we know what the campaign is and we know what the plan is to work with our civilian partners from ambassador iceikenberry's embas.
>> thank you for your extraordinary service and sacrifice and i know you must be a proud father as well. your son's commission, we know about that. and secretary lew, we appreciate your service and your availability. i know we tend to call off from over here. we're grateful for that. ambassador eikenberry, want to thank you for your service and also wait you make time for us when we travel to afghanistan. you work pretty hard over there. and i want people to know that. i was going to ask a series of questions about president karzai and governance because we try to think about this challenge in three ways. security, governance and development. that's helpful to help us keep our focus on three major challenges to get this strategy implemented correctly. but i'll leave that for another
day. we'll submit questions about concerns i have about the way he's conducted himself and we talked about this when i was in afghanistan in august. but i wanted to focus on two areas. one is the police and the buildup of the afghan police, and also the militia, the local tribal militias. in particular with regard to the police, and i know this may -- this may be a question for one of your -- all three of you. in washington, numbers get attached to issues. and we keep hearing over and over again, and now i doubt the accuracy of this number, that's why i bring it up, 92,000 afghan police and general mcchrystal hopes we can get that to 160,000. hearing a lot lately about the 92,000 being way, way off in terms of police that are -- will need to -- that are trained now.
by one estimate, only 24,000 have completed formal training and the attrition rate is 25%. if either of those statements are true, it creates all kinds of challenges and big problems. i guess, general, i would ask you, ambassador eikenberry, i would ask you what can you tell us about the accuracy of those numbers, number one. number two, law enforcement in iraq that can be applied here or not, maybe it is a different challenge. >> yeah, just as senator, two points and then i'll turn to general petraeus, i know general mcchrystal will have clarity on those numbers when he talks to you this afternoon, but attrition is a problem with the police. there are problems of discipline with the police. we don't want to understate the challenges that we have ahead of
us right now. against that, though, general mcchrystal does have a very aggressive program for partnering with the police. one of the keys we have seen with the police as we have seen with the army wherever you provide good mentors or partner on the ground, good things start to happen. but they have to sustain that presence. it doesn't happen over a 24-hour period. i have a lot of confidence in the plan that he's laid out where he's going to wherever possible expand out the number of partners we have with the police forces, we'll certainly welcome a lot of help from our nato allies to expand that kind of capability. >> senator, i agree with everything that the ambassador said. beyond that, we're actually conducting a 100% personnel asset inventory and getting biometric data so we can tell ourself, tell our afghan partners what ground truth really is.
beyond that, central command also at general mcchrystal's request hired a team from ran to look at, in fact, the overall effort of afghan security forces and hire some individuals that have had some very good experience in this. speaking of that, a couple of lessons fr in iraq, during an escalation of violence in 2006, there were whole units that were hijacked by sectarian militias. the situation got so bad. the police are the most vulnerable. we have to be very careful. another lesson is that you have to get the organizational construct right. you cannot train police and put
them into an area with active insurgency and expect them to survive. not only are they vulnerable. their families are vulnerable. they live in the neighborhood. their kids have to go to school and to get kidnapped, all of that. we have to get the construct right intellectually. beyond that, the partnering is very important. if you can get the construct right, it the right forces and -- get the right forces in, that may mean you wind up using more of the civil order police units that are a paramilitary force rather than just a local police force. but that is a much more appropriate construct for real conflict zones than the local police. at some point, you have to bring in the army. in a rock, there were some areas where the real security forces left at all. -- in iraq, there some areas where there were no real security forces left at all. iraqi army forces then to get back to the point that you could
get to local police going again. >> i'll ask in the next round or submit for the next record for the local tribal militias. thank you. >> it is an important element of this. making sure the warlords don't come out, we don't need more warlords, but do enable and empower local security forces in what is called the community defense initiative. we won't have something akin to the anbar awakening of all, you know, tribal linking as this reaches critical mass and takes off and rejecting in this case the taliban. but what we can do is help -- it is a village by village, valley by valley effort and we're using some of our best special forces teams right now really to experiment with this, but we think it is something that has good potential. >> thank you. >> senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you to each of you for your commitment and being here
today. thank you, ambassador eikenberry for your hospitality when i visited afghanistan with a number of other senators. you were very new there. we appreciate it very much your hospitality and your direction. a lot of the discussion this morning has focused on what is happening on the governance and development side as well as what is happening with security. there has been discussion about a civilian coordinator for afghanistan, a civilian counterpart to general mcchrystal. can you give us your assessment of how important you think that position and person might be and then why we are in the attempt to find someone to fill that position? >> well, coordination, senator, at the international coordination that the united nations level, that's essential to our success. and as well within nato isaf,
within that command, the civil military coordination aspects are also fundamental in terms of just trying to rationalize our developmental assistance and ensure we're making the most of our resources. some ideas have been -- have been now to develop both for trying to improve the efficiency there and within nato isaf itself and those are being looked at. >> given the urgency of that position, do you have any sense of what the timeline will be for having somebody in that role? >> i know that secretary clinton, at the recent foreign ministers meeting at nato headquarters in brussels, she discussed this with the -- her fellow foreign ministers and i think it is going to be on their agenda for the month of january. >> mr. lew, can you give us any more insight on that? >> i would just make two points. first, there is some natural turnover at unama and it is part of the discussion there as well in terms of choosing a new head
of the u.n. mission. and a point that secretary clinton made last week which is important to remember is that while isaf is a very useful, critical coordinating mechanism at the military level, at the civilian level we have many nonnato countries making significant contributions and we have to make sure that in getting civilian coordination we don't coordinate out some major partners. so just a little bit more complicated and that's the kind of conversation going on right now. >> certainly recognizing the sensitivity of that person and who might fill it, i would urge, given what everyone has testified to about the importance of the civilian efforts that we move as fast as possible in that direction. general petraeus, i want to follow up a little bit on senator casey's questions about what is happening with the local militia and efforts at reconciliation with some of the taliban.
i think i understood you to say that some of those discussions have begun. and or negotiations, i guess, is a better way to put it. i think that's first time i've heard that from anyone and so i just wanted to clarify that that is what you said and how do you envision that going forward? who is going to do those negotiations? what, if you could explain that a little more. >> i was actually talking more about the community defense initiative, which is, again, a local, but i'd be happy to talk about -- >> please. >> it is used -- the term is reintegration of reconcilables in afghanistan as general mcchrystal and others remind me all the time. but recognizing that, again, you can't kill or capture every bad guy out there, you need to take as many of them as you can as we did in iraq and take them from either actively or tacitly
supporting the insurgency, and, in our view right now, at low and midlevel, try to break them away. and that involves, again, isolating them, securing them from the irreconcilables, separating the irreconcilables who make no mistake about it, do have to be killed, captured or run out. and then helping to re-establish local structures, many of them tribally based, the tribal elders, local emoms and so forth. there is an element that has now been formed. it -- one of the individuals helping general mcchrystal to do this is an individual that general mcchrystal and i knew very, very well from iraq. he helped us to the reconciliation piece there, the first deputy i had, sir graham
lam. he is a special adviser to general mcchrystal. they have now established an organization called the force reintegration cell. it has a two-star british officer. there is some diplomatic component to it now as we had in iraq. we still haven't flushed it out as fully as we need to. that is ongoing as is the development of the kind of robust intelligence element that we learned in iraq you have to have dedicated on nothing but figuring out, again, is this -- this is a pretty big question. is this individual reconcilable or not? and if not, again, they have to be killed, captured or run off. but if they can be, then, of course, you can make them part of this solution instead of part of the problem. and then there have to be certain incentives. you all gave us the authority with cerp to use some of that for reintegration purposes, we can do projects. as we have more closely knit the
civilian components together with the military, just one quick note, for example, a great aid official named don laberry, the equivalent of the division commander of the great 82nd airborne division regional command east, and they are partners and we have tried to establish what is not necessarily a civilian chain f command, if you will, but what do you call it? it is a line of -- >> a unity of civilian effort. >> that helps to achieve unity of overall effort. that's the effort in the reintegration arena and then separate from that is this community defense initiative where we put small special forces units literally in the villages and helping to develop conditions that enable the local individuals to defend themselves and be linked to a district or subdistrict, quick reaction force and then on up the line. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to echo everybody else's comments about thanking you for your service. and i've been to iraq and
afghanistan twice this year. and i'm totally inarticulate to express the courage, the intelligence and the motivation of the troops over there. i wish everybody in america could have an opportunity. i mean this, i wish everybody in america could go over there and drop in randomly anywhere in iraq, afghanistan. they would be so proud of our forces over there. i want to thank that we have petraeus and crocker in iraq, we'll have eikenberry and mcchrystal in afghanistan. and i think you can fill those big shoes. mr. ambassador, can you talk about what has happened, how the 18th went deadline has helped motivate the government both on the area of training troops and also in dealing with corruption? >> yeah, let me speak on the first one, senator. we know that after the announcement that president obama made about the importance of july 2011 that the ministry of the interior, the ministry of
defense, with us together, sat down and rolled up their sleeves and said what does this mean, how can we get behind this? so i think it will have a very good galvanizing effect, but that will be in full partnership and with support of us. and i know that secretary gates had very positive talks with president karzai just yesterday in kabul. this was one of the items of discussion. president karzai is showing his commitment as he has publicly for this date and getting behind his role as commander in chief which will be important. his support for this being, of course, important in the development of the army and the police forces. our efforts that we have against trying to improve government accountability, these are long going efforts. senator, as we talked about when you visited me in kabul, president karzai's inaugural address, as i said earlier, we found helpful, we found
encouraging, we do have programs that have been under way for several years. i'll give you one example of the progress that we're making in this area. we have something called a major crimes task force in afghanistan. announced several months ago but a lot of preliminary work has been put into it. this will be hopefully the afghan fbi. we have ten fbi agents on the ground right now, dea agents on the ground, military partners with us, the british working with this element. i could go on. we have a lot of different initiatives that are out there. they aren't seen right now. they're not visible. we tend to spend all of our time talking about one individual or one particular case. but at the end of the day, it is the spade work going on out there steadily, training of civil servants, training of law enforcement agencies, things as simple as trying to improve procedures. minister of finance recently told secretary clinton at
dinner, very proudly, that he had overseen an effort in kabul to reduce the steps required to get a license for a car from 54 steps in one month to three steps in a couple of hours. that's not a headline story in "the new york times" but that probably has more to give us bigger results in a fight against corruption than one middle level criminal put behind bars. so just steady work. >> general petraeus, just help me through this, we talked in the past and secretary gates was here talking about how the taliban reconstituted themselves in ungoverned areas. the strategy we're talking about, we're going to be mainly the populous areas leave large swaths of afghanistan without any real involvement. we have a -- >> but the difference is, of course, in afghanistan we can go into those areas. >> i understand. >> in fact, the taliban really reconstituted as much in remote
areas of pakistan as they did actually in afghanistan. there is a great article, by the way, in "newsweek" a month ago, cover story talked about how the taliban came back and i commend that to you if your folks haven't shown it to you. >> the idea wore concentrate on the populated areas but having force available to go into the less populated area to dismantle and -- >> that's correct, sir. in fact, we actually will be increasing our counterterrorist component of the overall strategy as well and general mcchrystal may want to talk to you a little bit about that during the closed session as well. no question, you got to kill or capture those bad guys that are not reconcilable. and we are intending to do that. and we will have >> had thought an agreement with afghanistan? >> we have an agreement for the
status of forces. we are comfortable with the arrangements we have at this time. >> secretary lew, 388 civilians out of cobble within one year. is that enough considering the amount of military forces we have? >> the civilians are being deployed -- there are two different assignments on the map. the numbers are different. you put one agricultural specialist in a town surrounded by the appropriate afghan support, that is a program. you do not need a battalion of agricultural experts in a town. with the increased coverage we will get with the additional troops, there will likely be an increase in the number of civilians we need. that is why we are referring to
the numbers likely to go up along the order of 30%. the goal is to full resource the civilian requirements so that as we go through the plan, we have the right number of civilians. >> to give you orders of magnitude, in southern afghanistan, we have five agricultural experts. they are creating a network of 500 afghans who are administering our agricultural program that over time will reach up to tens of thousands of farmers. it is not necessarily how many. it is the fact that they are getting. i am certain that over the next several months as we better analyze the implications of general mcchrystal's campaign, that we will have to come back with a request for additional civilians to be deployed. implications of his campaign that we will have to come back with a request for
additional u.s. civilians to be deployed. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we'll leave the record open for just until the end of the week in case there are additional questions. senator wicker did have that last bit of question. do you want to put that on the record now so we can honor his question and -- do you recall it? i saw you writing notes at the time. >> the question on militias? >> yeah. >> i'm sure if it was a national >> i'm sure if it was a national caveat for militias, >> i thought he had one question -- >> we're fine. we're fine. and senator kaufman asked the last question, i wanted to ask you, secretary lew, obviously -- needless to say we scratch the surface of a lot of these questions and a lot remain outstanding. we look forward to meeting with general mcchrystal and follow up
on the military side. so i appreciate that. and i know that secretary lew you're always available to us. we appreciate it. yes, ambassador. >> chairman, i wonder if i could also say one -- make one other point here, if we're getting ready to close out. >> please, yes. >> earlier in the hearings there was concerns raised about bureaucracy within the embassy. i'd be the first to say that we operate in an environment right now with our challenges on the ground, with the government of afghanistan, our allies, the friction of bureaucracy that goes with working with our own headquarters, we have a surface of bureaucracy. i wouldn't say in the embassy we don't create additional impediments out there in terms of bureaucracy. i would highlight over the last 12 months our embassy strength has increased threefold, sixfold out in the field, during the months of august and september, we had a 100% turnover of our embassy personnel.
we as general petraeus said, we reorganized not only ourselves out in the field, but we had a significant reorganization within the embassy, which brings the other agency teams together efficiently and works with our partners in the military in a very comprehensive and indeed unprecedented way. i want to emphasize, chairman, the leadership that we have got in the united states embassy starting with the -- starting with my deputy. it is an absolutely superb leadership, the very best in the world. it goes down to sections, down to the last staff person. so if there are concerns about bureaucracy, i would welcome the opportunity, of course, offline to talk to anybody that has those concerns. >> well, that's fair. and i'm sure -- i think there are some concerns but i think it is important thing to work through. the key here needless to say is going to be the ability of the folk out in the hinterland to do their jobs and that will depend on the local security, local
leadership, politically, partnering so to speak. it is a tall task, which, again, i repeat, will be so positively impacted by getting something going in the western part of pakistan. that will make the job so much easier. so that said, we are very, very grateful to you. thank >> a free-lance journalist was
in bed with the u.s. army in afghanistan in october and november. he followed u.s. troops as they trained the afghan national army and national police. this was in a mostly agricultural region south of kabul. we will see how the u.s. army worked with afghan forces on security checkpoint. with these kinds of check points, you can lock a place down. the taliban can move around and smuggling cannot happen. you can walk down the opium trade and solve a lot of problems by keeping an eye on the traffic.
checkpoints can be terribly boring. forces tend to delegate a lot of check points to afghan forces. that's something they can handle. it's a relatively rudimentary task. so they set of checkpoints 24 hours a day and the americans will go out periodically and check on them. how are things going? have you see it -- heavy seen anything? do you need some stuff to build up a checkpoint? usually when americans go out there, they will gather up afghans into a foot patrol. since you are there, you may as well get practice doing other tasks. >> how long have you been out here? >> probably 2 months. >> but you have not been relieved? >> note. >> i thought we were supposed to be working in one or two week rotations.
how many men do you have on site right now? when we came up, there was no one at the checkpoint. >> today, we received our lunch a little bit later. that is why. >> you should think of may be working in rotation with three guys on the checkpoint and going out to eat when they get relieved and then you eat. that way we don't allow anyone to slip past that may be carrying something. if you develop a pattern of eating, if i was the enemy, i
would pass checkpoint when you guys were eating supper. there was information that there might be an attack here last night? >> we're just waiting for an attack waiting to be attacked. >> have any of the searches turned up anything? >> if the tell them that we have a checkpoint, they would use another way.
>> sometimes we're not able to see around during the night. when there are some cars going to fast, they see there is a guide at the checkpoint, they turned back and when they turn back, we start firing at them. then they turn off their lights. >> i understand it's a huge problem. for the short term, we have the generator and lights coming in to provide elimination of this local area. but in the long term, hopefully they will get night-vision devices for all of your soldiers. >> [unintelligible] >> have you called your commander?
your executive officer? >> we did not call him yet because they have problems and they want to get them defused. >> we are a last resort. we go through their chain of command and they cannot provide it for some reason, we can provide it. we want your logistics systems to work for you and we want to make them work and force them to provide you with a fuel, food, and water that you need to conduct your operations. when they fail, we give you assistance. it's going all right.
always goes well what we're here. it's when we leave. i understand it. there are complaints were issues that are concerns and their definitely warranted. nothing in afghanistan happens in a day or as quick as it would in the west. it's just trying to get them to be patient. i think they get impatient and start building this tower here. it is great that they took initiative to put our there, but we can improve on that. sometimes it's counterproductive. it is their site, so they can do as they wish, but we just try to
bring the standards up a little bit. some people would say it's frustrating, but i don't think it's that frustrating. all we have the time. -- all we have is time. i'm going to take a small patrol out. i'm going to talk to some of the local population to check on some projects that should be going on in the village. if you would like, you can send a couple of soldiers with me. i understand if you cannot.
if it is just us, we scare the children and women. >> we got the report that the enemy is going to attack from this area. we got the report that there are some people coming to enter meters from this area and they will ambush when we move. >> that is the appropriate thing to do. i will not take you from that mission, but we would like to have a face on our patrols.
so they're going to give me a couple of soldiers, four soldiers and to police. we're going to conduct a shore patrol into the bill -- into the village. we will work on some solar power generation projects. they've got the generator, but they have no fuel. they have the means to get fuel and that their own fuel trucks, but there is a lot of -- it's the same in iraq. it's all of corruption because fuel is as good as cash year. if we provide them with fuel, you have to be careful. if we provide them with fuel, it will be here tomorrow. >> sometimes you go to the checkpoints and you check in on
them and they're all asleep. you try to get in the god of my foot patrol and they refused to do it. getting a professional minds at where you are always ready and working, getting afghans to think like that is a big problem. it is a cultural thing and you cannot change culture overnight. in this case, things went fairly well. the americans showed up and the afghans were mostly awake. they were doing their jobs, they have their weapons ready. they needed some help. they wanted more barriers at the checkpoint to protect them from attack. they coordinated how the americans might bring that stuff and and managed to arouse some guys for a foot patrol and they walked around the town for a little while and talked to some of the local elders. all in all, every successful partnership. >> we're going to go west on a
shore patrol and we will be due back before nightfall. >> they do every single patrol we do. when we go out to a village assessment, when we go do engagement in the village, they are always with us. we take the police, we do mentor programs on a daily basis. that's the primary focus of a police mentor team. there singularly focused on that one task and it is their
linchpin. the self protection of afghanistan is the linchpin of everything we do. all of their missions are ones we want to do and we want to take the deadline with us. >> the police have proved be unreliable in some places. how the rate yours? >> i would say they are the least of our problems. it's a fledgling police department. the police chief here does an outstanding job of helping us with everything we asked for.
if he identifies a place they can use the extra support, he works with us to develop checkpoints to develop when he wants to send police there and he will let us know right away where he wants to focus. perhaps in other provinces, i'm sure they have their problems, but here i think he's a very helpful, contributing partner and is a good job on his own 99% of the time. >> this is video from a freelance journalist who was embedded in the u.s. army in afghanistan in october and
we remember that situation again and again. >> it was not our intent -- it's not perfect, but i will bring your concerns up to our commander and we will make sure they are addressed very quickly. if you could do me a favor and anytime something like this happens, don't wait to inform us. you can inform us right away by coming to the checkpoint and talking to police or the army or come in for most directly. if you choose to call, you can call any of our hot line numbers to inform us this has happened.
>> again, i offer my apologies on behalf of the coalition forces. >> some mortar rounds fell on this hilltop here to the west. it killed some sheet -- it kills some sheep. they're scared one is going to land on their house one day and that is a valid complaint. i will make sure we inform the commander and we will do a better job clearing our fires
and where we fire in direct to and from. no one was injured except for some livestock. the sad thing is they wait for a patrol to come through to address those issues when they can come to the visitors' center and address those issues with us directly. but i guess they had and were turned away. they were turned away by the afghan security guards so we will try to make ourselves more available to the population.
>> the freelance journalist was in bed with the u.s. army in afghanistan. to watch the program again or find other programs produced with his videos and interviews, go to our website, c-span.org. in the search box , typeax axe. >> on "newsmakers" representative joe barton discusses the u.s. and climate change conference in copenhagen and other topics. at 6:00 on c-span. >> a political commentator who teaches at george mason university published " the republicans and the black vote" which looks of the historical relationship between republicans and the gop. he is our guest tonight on c- span's "q &a."
n >> "prime minister's questions" is on tonight at 9:00 eastern. >> now available, c-span's " abraham lincoln." a birthday gift for the historian in your life. it's a unique, contemporary perspective on lincoln from 56 scholars and writers from his early years to his life in the white house and its relevance today. "abraham lincoln" is available in hardcover and on digital audio to listen to any time. learn more at c-span.org. >> the number of those needing help with hunger has risen 26%
over the last year. according to a report by the u.s. conference of mayors, it is the largest increase since 1991. more now from a group of mayors and urban development secretary. this is about half an hour. >> the question was what -- whether or not the federal government was responding to the demand the country was having for emergency services for food, under, and homelessness. so it was that the mayor called for the united states conference of mayors to create a task force and to be a watchdog as
well as a group of people that worked with the federal government to reach these goals. that was many presidents ago. some have been with us and some have not been with us. so there has been some turbulence and confusion between the mayors and the federal government on this issue. we are very pleased that today, we have a government working with us. we have the obama administration with us today with people have come here and are working night and day. we have a stimulus program that is out there, unemployment that is like a monster raging in our cities, but we know what have been a helluva lot worse if we had not had the stimulus money. we will talk about that as we go forward. we have good news and bad news,
it could always be worse and it always be better. that is what this organization is all about. that is what the people behind me are all about. 24-7, working on these issues. this year's report will include a new and expanded stimulus program i have mentioned. it's a different twist on this than we have had before. the survey findings will be presented by the co-chair of the hunger and homeless task force. the mayor of sacramento will give the major findings of hunger over what is regarding homelessness in the survey findings. mayor johnson will tell how the survey cities are using stimulus funds to address under and homelessness. the secretary of hud sean donovan, who are -- we are
pleased to have with us today, will respond to the survey and his approach to the issue of homelessness. this is not the first time secretary donovan has been with us since he became -- he even became before he was secretary, alleging he was the housing director of new york city. he has been with us all the way and. the agriculture of carbon is very important. we are so pleased to have the deputy undersecretary for food, and attrition, and consumer services. she was -- she will respond to the findings. this department, although perceived to be much more world when it comes to feeding people that live in a densely populated areas of america, this department is doing more and more to serve urban and suburban america. at this point, i would like to
call our chair and after her, we will go with each person i have mentioned. thank you very much. >> thank you. i appreciate having the opportunity to be here today. i think throughout all the cities that have been surveyed, my city is probably the smallest of 73,000 people. yet, we still deal with the same issues of hunger and homelessness in our area which is the charlotte metropolitan region. we received 25 studies from the cities. the cities were asked and the number for requests for food assistance that has increased or decreased or stayed the same. 23 of 24 of the cities reported an increase in requests for food. this is over a 20% increase nationwide for study. the average reported increased
was 26%, higher than that of 1991. when asked to cite the top three causes of hunger in our cities, the most common responses were unemployment, which was cited by 92% of the respondents. how high is eight -- how hot -- high housing costs, and low wages were 40%. medical costs or the next one rated in that. cities reported a large percent of total pounds of food distributor, although many distributors and have had less to distribute the costs because of cuts. our grocery store chains have been one of the most benevolent in actually delivering food. but as that has cut back, be -- because of the economy, it's more of a critical issue for
cities to receive and distribute food. cities also reported a increase in a number of people requesting assistance. this is one statistic that has concerned me as mayor more than anything else -- specifically because of the recession and a number of job losses, because families are losing their savings accounts and other resources, those families who had once been donors are now recipients. we are looking at the middle class families that have once participated in donating food for under or relief in their communities. they're now in a situation where they are having to ask for assistance. that in itself as a stigma issue for many families that feel like now they are embarrassed by the fact that they have to go out and ask for food assistance. 76% of the cities surveyed reported food pantries and
emergency kitchens have had to make the cutbacks this year. was looking at all that, it falls back to us as mayors consistently to make sure our underserved are served. we are the bottom of the food chain ourselves. so we hear the call of crisis. one unique picture that has happened to the whole hundred issue is a cleaning initiative where there are places where food is not served or left over and now being transferred on to other food shelters or day shelters to be able to feed people. in my local community, a group of high-school students are working with the county schools in order to take the food not serve in their schools and deliver that today shelters so people can be fed. oh realm is a totally different scenario -- the whole realm is a
totally different scenario and out people who were served are not donating being served and we're looking at the cleaning process and we looked at the painting called "decaliters" painted in the 1800's. many people -- called "the clean errors" people had to go and pick up the hall -- has the painting call th "e gleaners" and habib had to go pick up was left over in the fields. every tax credit project built, 10% of the project has to be for disabled people or potentially how was people. they are having to look at being more creative at how we serve are hungry and homeless in our communities. as mayors, we get the telephone calls from those families who say i have paid my bills, i pay
my rent, those things are not negotiable. what comes to feeding my family, that is where we struggle must. we have to look at these statistics and know how we can be creative. fortunately, we have been able to receive federal fundings that have helped 92 families with relief and actually paying the fees for moving into a facility because that's a great cause to move into an apartment or home. through the new funding available through the stimulus funds, we've been able to keep 25-30 families from becoming homeless because we want to prevent homelessness rather than have to intervene. i appreciate the opportunity of having to share the issue on hunger. thank you. >> i'm the mayor of sacramento,
and i'm really excited to be here. i'm helping everybody gets a copy of this study on hunger and homelessness in this country. we looked at the great american cities, 27 of them, and there were a lot of things we have in common. let me share a few of those and i will be more specific about sacramento. 19 cities, 76% of respondents reported increase in family almost as over the past year. primarily it's a result of the recession unemployment. you can see this trend over and over again how the economy is impacting all of us. cities reported the top causes of family home was those were lack of affordable housing. 74%. poverty, which can imagine, is 52%. unemployment is 44% trade 16 of the 23 cities reported homelessness among individuals has decrease or stayed the same. the decrees were leveling was contributed to the long term
policies of permanent supporting housing for the chronically homeless. especially as relates to single adults. this has been going on for four or five years in many cities around country and that has been impact will for all this. 22 cities on the task force, 80%, responded having to make adjustments to accommodate an increase in and out of shelters. so while it may look even, there were waiting lists. one particular shortly sacramento, 300 people are on a waiting list in terms of -- in terms of shelter. there is a significant challenge for all those around the country in terms of this particular problem. let me talk about sacramento and it will dovetail and a second. sacramento has been hit especially hard in terms of the foreclosure rate. we're talking 5.2 for -- 5.2% in sacramento. and the unemployment rate is
13%. california has been hit harder or as hard as any state around the country. as california goes board doesn't go, the rest of the country is impacted accordingly. our county in sacramento, we have a joint jurisdiction between city and county. the county of sacramento cut 84% of their funding for homeless programs this year. not only are we looking at significant challenges short and long term, when you add the economy and the county is coming back, we have the issue with emergency shelters and winter shelters of having no resources to be able to deal with that particular challenges and we found a way to do it. the 10-year plan has worked to end chronic homeless does in our community in a significant way we had a decrease of 31% for individuals. on the flip side, there is a 14% increase, and this mirrors the national trend. 14% increase for families.
the national trend -- 76% of cities around the country reported an increase in family homelessness. my campaign slogan when i ran for mayor was a city that works for everyone. that was what the homeless population in mind. that i felt local government had a responsibility to take care of the least among us and i was the homeless population. we came up with a bold initiative. that is we won 2400 prominent housing units over the next three years. that would not have been possible without the stimulus dollars. 2400 permanent housing units over the next three years. some of you may have seen this. we had a story on for drolly covering 10 cities in sacramento. for -- we had a story unfortunately covering tent cities in sacramento. we wanted a -- we want to do it had on jury it was a dirty little secret. we wanted to deal with the brutal facts in sacramento.
10 other cities also have intensities. -- have the tent cities. we want to talk about the homeless populations that the stigma associated with homelessness is much broader. is no longer a certain profile. it is expanded of your talking about families, women and children, you are talking about stable families who are renters who the landlords have lost their homes and are now on the streets. you have a much broader tent of those who are homeless around the country. our initiative is called sacramento steps forward. that initiative is broadening the 10-year plan to end chronic homeless this. it takes that peace and broadens it because we have a much broader population. the stimulus support we're getting has been very significant. we were able to get dollars for a neighborhood stabilization funds. $6 million of funding for hprp.
i am thankful to the obama administration and secretary donovan treat their transforming in redefining the way you look at homelessness. the continue of care will always be disappointing, but from that housing is where we're going as a country and we will not be able to get their had not been for the obama administration and secretary donovan who are very excited to talk about prevention and rapidly housing in everything we do. i want to close with two simple things -- first, the homeless people in sacramento want to be empowered. they do not want handouts, the one hand up. we found in every other city, people want to be respected. that no one to be stigmatized or tainted. everybody did not choose to be homeless. is our responsibility to fight among the least among us. when i say one to be empowered, they want jobs. the 1 job training to get the skills to be reintegrated back into society.
they want to be taxpayers and to contribute as taxpaying citizens in the community and i think that's significant in terms of all of us. they don't mind the spirit of tough love. they don't want somebody to do things to them. they want to be part of the solution and engage in the conversation. tough love is something we're going to do all of this country. the last thing i want to say for all of us, speaking on behalf of the 27 mayors, i am so thankful to the executive for what he is doing, but we have to share best practices. we have to share what's working in our city or what's not around the country and that's a commitment. sacramento steps forward needs everybody has to be part of the solution, whether the business community, the faith community, non-profits, everybody needs to be part of the solution.
that's what we mean by sacramento steps forward. we were able to provide more winter shelters this year than last year with even less because we had a 5-way split. we had federal dollars, we had counted dollars, city dollars, the business and philanthropic community, and all kinds. will be tremendous challenge but the opportunity is one we're all for. we want to make sure sacramento is a city that works for everyone. thank you. >> i'm pleased to be here to have the opportunity to join the mayors and i want to say thank you to tom cochran has been a tremendous leader on this issue and others. particularly to my colleague, the undersecretary, and i'm happy to give a federal perspective on the findings of the conference of mayors.
i want to say thank you to the more than two dozen cities who are on the frontlines. as you just heard, tackling the difficult issues of homelessness -- we have taken the time to learn what they're doing on the ground and their leadership. while these are difficult times for everyone, it's clear nobody is feeling the force of this economic crisis more powerfully than those who are homeless or facing the prospect of losses. indeed, one of those tragic consequences of our housing and economic crisis is those who fall into homelessness as a result of foreclosures or other financial problems. this study reveals as did the head steady which released in july -- the hud study we released in july, almost families are on the rise. we found an increase of 56% in
the rural and suburban family home with us. we see homelessness is not simply an urban problem, but one of every community is increasingly struggling with in these economic times. as diverse as our homeless population is, there is one thing everybody shares -- a lack of housing they can afford. as this study finds, high housing costs often leave families to cut back other necessities like food. that's why i want to reiterate clearly what i have said before. the federal government is back in the business of affordable rental housing. you need only look at a $14 billion hud is investing through the recovery act to see we are from our $2 billion investment in full funding of project a developments to the funding to stabilize affordable housing developments financed by the low income housing tax credit, the single most sort -- single most important source of funding
today. our fiscal year 2010 budget bill on these investments, increasing funding for the housing choice program at capitalizing for the first time ever the national housing trust fund. when i was the housing commissioner, we implemented the largest local for the housing plan in american history. to create or preserve 165,004 homes for half a million people. that's more than the entire city of atlanta georgia. that's the kind of scale we need nationally and realizing it starts with bad -- with the national housing trust fund. during the 1980's, part our response to the rapid growth in homelessness was to build emergency shelters. today, the challenge is to do everything in our power to make sure families spend as little time as possible in those shelters. we have a lot of new tools to help us do that. from the recently passed back that consolidated the homeless funding streams and an increased emphasis on homelessness
prevention to the $1.5 million we -- $1.5 billion dedicated in the recovery act to the rapid recovery program. i am thrilled that the report is already detailing early successes across the country. with 18 cities reporting the program is fundamentally changing the way their communities provide services to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. in communities like alameda county, calif., it has helped to create the priority helm partnership, with a housing resources centers and providing housing assistance and essential 211 phone lines. we are committed to making these approaches -- taking these approaches to scale across the federal government. developing an interview -- developing a strategy to prevent and and homelessness
that strengthens existing partnerships such as are a doctor program to help homeless veterans, that forges new partnerships between agencies like hud and the veterans administration and hhs. i'm excited we have the new director of the council here today and on board to help lead the way toward our plan for ending homelessness that the federal level. in the last decade, we've made great progress in developing new approaches to tackling product homelessness. by approving services, we have moved the needle on chronic homeless, reducing the number of chronically ill, long term homeless by nearly a third. despite the economic crisis, the data presented represents the number of chronically homeless individuals has remained stable and even declined in many areas. the fact is we have now proven we can house anyone. our job now is to house every one. to prevent and and homelessness.
all homelessness. each of these tools is about the same thing -- building on the remarkable innovations that have been demonstrated at the local and in cities nationwide to provide everyone from the most capable to the most vulnerable the opportunity to reach their full potential. working with the conference of mayors, my colleagues from across the administration and all of our partners on the ground, we could make that disney reality and we will. thank you for inviting me. -- we can make that a reality and we will. >> good morning. i appreciate the opportunity to be here to talk with you today about the critical problems of homelessness and hunger. the usda recently released its 2008 report on food security in the united states. the news was not positive. not surprising, i don't think to many. 14.6% of u.s. households faced
food insecurity in 2008. that's up from 11.1% in 2007. this is the highest increase observed since probably the program was initiated or we took records back in 1995. about 6.7 million households, or 5.7% of the population had very low food insecurity, up from 4.7 million households or 4.1% in 2007. while children are usually shielded from the worst impact of the very low food security, in over 500,000 families with children in 2008, one or more children simply did not get enough to eat. they had to cut the size of their meals, skip meals, or even though old days with no
food at some time during the year. given the economic climate over the past year, there are likely to be more people experiencing food insecurity today. the fundamental cause of domestic food insecurity and under is household poverty. the lack of adequate resources like food, shelter, and health care. the administration has pursued an aggressive program of action to address poverty three broad expansion of economic opportunity. the american rate -- the american recovery and reinvestment act is projected to create or save about 3.5 million jobs while making long-term investments in health-care, education, energy, and infrastructure, providing tax relief for working families, and
improve neighborhoods in communities. our strength and assistance program, with a substantial increase in our supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits, and our funding -- the in the structure investments in all of our major programs have also been increased. most households received an additional $80 a month in their monthly benefits. this has been a great help to those folks at the grass-roots level. in times of economic change, federal assistance programs, the nation's first line of defense against hunger, provides benefits that flow to communities, states, or regions that base poverty. in recent months, these programs
have responded vigorously to the economic downturn. the latest figures show a record high number of americans participate in our supplemental nutrition assistance program. about half of these are children. it grew 26% between august 2008 and august 2009. we are working with states to help them cope with increasing participation and workload management strategies. administrative simplification and demonstration projects. we are having an issue in some states because of the dramatic increase in numbers of folks out there applying and actually being able to get through all the paperwork at the state level. we serve over 9.3 million people
in august 2009. one out of every two, 50% of the births in our country are born to wick mothers. it continues to serve as a gateway to the health care system and the administration is guaranteed to committed -- is guaranteed to ensure every person that applies for the benefits can receive them. the national school lunch program now serves about 31 million children on an average school day. some participating children consume as many as half of their calories at school. some of those -- for some of those, a school meal is the only meal they receive at each day.
the usda provides programs with funding levels to ensure access to benefits for all those expected to apply. as a nation, we will invest about $80 billion in domestic food assistance programs this year. but we know more must be done to meet the challenges of hunger and poor nutrition. the usda looks forward to building on the proven strength of the nutrition assistance program as a safety net that can prevent hunger among the children and low-income people we serve. the upcoming child nutrition and reauthorization offers one of the most important opportunities for this change. addressing the problem of hunger requires the combined efforts of citizens, the private sector, governments at the local, state, and national level.
i certainly look forward to cooperating with you as we work to advance our shared goals of a future without hunger for all our people. thank you. >> to we have questions for anyone at the podium? -- do we have questions for anyone at the podium? thank you very much for being here. host[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
>> these are live pictures from the floor of the u.s. senate where senators are offering general speeches on health care. earlier today, they voted to approve a 1.1 trillion dollar omnibus spending bill for 10 federal departments for fiscal year 2010. if the west 57-35. three democrats voted against the bill. the republicans voted for the bill. all in all, a simple majority prevail and the measure was approved. work on defense spending which is expected to happen during the week. that will be the final spending bill the senate approves for the year. right now, senator white house of rhode island is talking about health care. no vote is expected on health care today, but you can see senators debating the issue now and through the week on c-span2.
>> and now, a senate committee looks at halting the travel of terror suspects. we will look at the effect on the legislation on the issue from five years ago. this is about two hours. >> the hearing will come to order. for the second time dhs witnesses are having a hard time getting through the traffic. we gave secretary of soliton of a very hard time when it happened to her -- secretary janet napolitano a very hard
time when that happened to her. the others are very much on the way. today's hearing is about oversight and responsibility. five years after the intelligence reform and terrorism prevention act was adopted, the so-called line/11 legislation, in this hearing we are going to focus on a very important part of a comprehensive moments in security framework architecture, which is how are we doing at stopping terrorists from entering our country. obviously this is a very important homeland security architecture facing our government in the aftermath of 9/11. we will hear from key government officials on the forefront of
the efforts to achieve this mission. their efforts are daunting, complex, and the consequences of a single mistake is a pressure that i know that they continually live with and that weighs on all of us in the government as we tried to do a better job in protecting our people and in the nature of terrorists that are willing to attack at home. you cannot, after having making -- after having made that statement, why i and others are so concerned about the security breach that was discovered over the past weekend. a highly sensitive screening manual was posted online for months without being properly redacted. this was a serious breach. the manual includes information that could help terrorists
circumvent the gsa inspection process. which is relevant to what we are here to discuss today. in this age of free-flowing information we need adequate steps in place to make sure that terrorists are not being given any advantages. we will wait with the real interest and i say impatience that the review process could have happened and how they are intending to make sure not only that it will not happen again, but to mitigate the potential consequences of this mistake. the 19 hijackers that attack our country on september 11, 2001, came to the u.s. with visas. most of them obtained legally. two of the terrorists were e
legal because they had overstayed their visas. -- were illegal because they had overstayed their visas. a great number of the terrorists, the ones from the united states, our great reminders of the terrorists still coming in and out from living amongst us and plotting to attack us or our allies. this hearing takes seriously our obligation to make sure that the executive branch is challenging -- tackling the challenges posed. as well as fulfilling that responsibility, which certainly begins with doing anything we can to keep terrorists from entering the u.s.. there really have been quite a
remarkable number of additional laws and programs put in place to achieve this goal since 9/11. many of them were the results of legislation that began in this committee, passed by the full congress and signed by the president. the 9/11 legislation was one of those. the 2004 legislation, and the following 2007 legislation. rather than going on at length about all the programs that have been established, like the terrorist screening center and the counter-terrorism center itself, the efforts we are making to establish the programs depending on fingerprints are remarkable as achievements. but i have concerns about some
of the questions that it raises. it is no substitute for a biometric exit system. for an entry system atçó all sos of the nation, which have been a centerpiece of this screening system. we still do not have the exit system in place despite numerous congressional mandates. that is a concern that we will pursue today. bottom line, i think it we are a lot safer than we were on 9/11. the initial point of contact, which is a counselor in our view abroad, where people apply to prop -- to enter, through to all of the various lists and databases that people are screened on, to the biometric entry system and the improvements on the system, of
which we are doing much br. of course, as we see in this error of judgment made by the gsa over the weekend, in some sense what may be an error of judgment in the case from fort hood. the consequences have really been catastrophic. this is the pressure that we live under. this is the time in which we have this responsibility. the people presenting have done a tremendous job to bring us to a position much better than we were at on 9/11. we want to explore with you today how we can help you and how you can do better at improving our system for topping -- stopping terrorists from coming into the country at
a time of multiply changing technologies feria -- technologies. . there have been a run of cases this year of homegrown terrorists. this committee will be vigilant in the months ahead, in the five-year review of post 9/11 legislation, making sure that the federal government's continues to strengthen these systems. today's hearings are expressions of our commitment to doing that. thank you all for being here. i am happy to call on senator collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. five years ago this committee offered significant reform of the intelligence community, the bat -- biggest since the second
world war. today we recognize that this is no time to rest, no reason to stop in our efforts to protect the country from terrorist attacks. earlier this week we received a chilling reminder of how i lapse in security can pose a serious threat to our homeland. as the chairman indicated, a version of the aviation security manual was posted on the internet for anyone to access and reid. as former assistant secretary of the department of homeland security said, the manual will become a textbook for those seeking to penetrate aviation security. he described the leak as serious.
terrorist continually change their strategies and mutate their forms of attack. we know, however, that their aim remains constant, which is to harm our nation and citizens. the 9/11 commission noted that as many as 15 of the 19 hijackers might have been intercepted by border authorities if procedures had been in place to link previously accumulated information to their names. several of the hijackers have been cited in intelligence agency files for terrorist links. existent but untapped data on travel patterns, visa applications, and fraudulent passport information could have focused attention on some of these terrorists. that is why this committee has focused so relentlessly on the
issue of terrorist travel during the past several years. following the attacks on our country, the federal government took initial steps to avoid -- avoid procedures to make sure that terrorists would not again slip undetected across the borders. intelligence reform and terrorist prevention act of 2004, which senator lieberman and i co-authored, it expanded and strengthened the initiatives, implementing other recommendations since the commission. we can look back at a great deal of progress that has been made since that time. one of these successes is the by a metric system for screening foreign nationals. the state department now collects fingerprints of foreign nationals that apply for visas at u.s. embassies and consulates across the world.
they compare them to databases containing fingerprints of potential terrorists and immigration violators. those fingerprints are now checked at u.s. ports of entry to confirm that the individual are arriving into our country is the same individual that was approved for the visa. another important accomplishment has been the creation of a consolidated terrorist watch list based on terrorism related information from all parts of the intelligence community, as well as the fbi. the list allows the names of individuals to be quickly checked to identify terrorism connections. the accountants require that passengers on international flights to the u.s. and flights within the u.s. be checked against the watch list.
the recommendation has been for guidelines for the private sector to screen the employees. these guidelines have yet to be issued. the owners and operators of our critical infrastructure should be committed -- permitted to screen their employees against the terrorist watch list as a voluntary basis as long as opprobrious civil mirror the protections are in place. it is notable that azazi was an airport shuttle driver at the denver airport. meaning that he had access to critical infrastructure. the federal government has yet to establish a mechanism for screening mass-transit workers, such as those that drive subway
trains and buses. this was required in the 2007 homeland security laws. all but 28 months have passed, no regulations have been issued. think about it. every day these employees have in their hands many lives. a simple check against the watch list like that already required for hazardous materials, ferries and airline pilots, like prevent a needless loss of lives. this committee was behind the legislation to strengthen the visa waiver program. i look forward to hearing more about that as well. as senator lieberman has indicated, the federal government has worked hard. federal employees are diligent
in trying to prevent terrorists from coming across our borders to do less harm and prevent them from travelling and working within our country. but as the incident with the gsa reminds us, even what appeared to be an innocent posting to help federal contractors can have serious consequences for security. we need to do more to improve our procedures and guard against security lapses like this one. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you for your opening statement. we gave you a hard time about being laid before you arrived, so i need not repeat it. senator collins and i have filled the time amply. thank you very much for being here. we are taking a heavy look now at all of the things we have done.
the systems we have created to stop terrorists from being able to enter and, in some sense, make sure that those who cause trouble are noted on the way out as well. we are happy to have you back as our first witness as the national programs director at dhs. >> thank you. it is an honor for me. david and the partners in this effort are here to discuss the efforts in the progress we have made. we completely agree with what you have said. terrorists are planning to attack the homeland. it is our responsibility to do everything that we can to deny them access. we are responsible for denying -- identifying the human threats
that our countries. we've played a vital role in helping the government identifying threats before they are admitted to the united states. capabilities have come a long way in a few short years. the state department in customs and border protection, to determine whether or not a visa should be granted for a person should be admitted. today by using biometrics we can travel with the identity to make it impossible to have anonymity, which is the terrorists most valuable asset. we have been able to deny approximately 9000 impostors at our ports of entry, as well as identifying in number of others
required to pass through secondary screening. before u.s. agencies basically lacked coordinated data systems. there was no real way to check the records before making decisions to grant or admit a visa to someone or coming into the united states. the prevention act called upon us to fully integrate the systems, as well as the state department and the justice department, to enable information sharing. today the visit to make information sharing between these agencies possible by providing single sources of information for violators and known terrorists. every day 30,000 authorized known agency users can carry visas and data to get a response to help to determine
and mitigate as well as eliminate security risks. while this system is not perfect, as i am sure that we will discuss today, a u.s. visit does match records with hundreds each week on people that have overstayed their visas. those are for determination on the appropriate actions we might take. making efforts to make terrorist travel more collaborative and effective than ever for. let me give you one example of the power of this system of improved screening and information sharing. in 2007 a man applied for a visa. when the state department checked his fingerprints in the database there was no negative information about this person.
he was granted a visa. three days later the u.s. received information about the criminal history of this individual. this updated data was run against the existing system, identified against the person that had been granted a visa. that visa was subsequently denied as we passed the information along. the point of this example is to show you that this is not a system that is a one time for get kind of system. it is updated on a regular basis and run against the existing data base. this is a dynamic system of new information that runs against the old to make sure that you did not miss someone. that we could identify and make sure that appropriate actions were taken in a timely fashion. so, this individual is but one of the people we have prevented from entering the united states.
as part of the ongoing effort we will continue to integrate and make sure that there is coordination with the the federal government that is effective. we will continue to work abroad to get others to use biometric identification. thank you both. know that we are dedicated to protecting the united states. thank you very much. >> that example and anecdote was interesting and encouraging. next, the assistant deputy secretary of counseling affairs. for those in the room, for those
watching, this is a system that begins way over there. for many people the initial point of contact is a counselor officer. thank you for being here. >> chairman, ranking member, distinguished members of the committee, it is a distinct honor to appear before you today. i appreciate the opportunity to bring before you the efforts of my colleagues and our efforts to strengthen u.s. borders while maintaining america's traditional open this -- open attitude to legitimate travelers. we have distinguished between high risk and low risk travelers, concentrating on those that facilitate legitimate travel, enhancing the economy and exchange of understanding. i can state specifically that in
my career i have not seen a transformation more dramatic than the one that the bureau of the counselor of affairs undertook after september 11, 2001. now as the assistant secretary, i am personally involved in implementing the enormous changes in my testimony. i share the responsibility of open goals with my esteemed colleagues at this table. our close and fruitful cooperation is evidenced through unprecedented interagency coordination. in my written testimony i have outlined how we can stop terrorist traveled. we rely on technological advances, by metric information, data sharing, and training. technological advances rely on comprehensive data bases, such
as the support system and consolidated database off. the database is updated continuously. because of improved data sharing it has grown 400%, with 70% of records coming from other agencies. we allow for department agency and who applicants -- and applicants. we will track consular fraud investigations. new electronic platforms deployed overseas will provide officers the opportunity to analyze data in advance of the interview, enhancing their ability to make decisions. security advisories are processed electronically, eliminating the processing of 2 million requests since 9/11.
fingerprints of more than 6.7 million these applicants were screened against the automated biometric identification system and the fbi integrated automated fingerprinting system basis. our partnership allows customs and border protection officers to verify the identity of travelers by checking against fingerprints btus visa interviews. we also screen applicants against a watch list of photographs obtained from the fbi terror screening center. facial recognition screening has proven to be an effective way to reveal impostors. third we rely very significant change, the real emphasis on the personal interview. the interview is an opportunity for officers to determine the
credibility of an applicant and their travel plans in their stated purpose. this relies increasingly on partners to make a right responsibility decisions when adjudicating visas. for example, the bureau counselor affairs as provided posts overseas with access to our arrival and departure systems, giving officers more information about travel history. finally, the fifth is training. the department of state is committed to providing the highest level to our officers. over the past six years the department has substantially improved the basic accord require of all officers and continuing reviews content for further enhancement. the department continually update the hands on technologies
curriculum. allow me to add a brief note about the safety of u.s. passport. since 2005 we have been issuing state of the art documents with advanced technological feat -- features. we are doing everything in our power to make sure that passport cards are issued only to u.s. citizens that are legitimately entitled. we have enhanced efforts over the past year. coordinating with the bureau, we announced testing for the procedures for passports and adjudication. distinguished members of the committee, we have made distinguished improvements since the attack of september 11, 2001. at the same time we're always looking for ways to do better. please be sure that our department will work closely with partners to find ways to
keep this country safe while keeping borders open to legitimate visitors. we believe that the record shows that we can make advances and we are dedicated to implementing the best possible solutions to further these goals. thank you for the opportunity to be here. i appreciate the committee's interest in our work and have enjoyed the chance to share our many accomplishments over the past several years. i am pleased to take your questions. >> thank you. we will now go to the policy of department homeland security director. >> good morning. thank you, chairman and senator collins. distinguished members, thank you for the opportunity to be here before you today. i would like to echo the commitment to keeping this nation safe and secure.
today i would like to discuss key areas in which the u.s. department of homeland security plays an important role. identification of known and suspected terrorists and other individuals, screening of travelers seeking immigration benefits, and finally securing and verifying travel documents while traveling to the united states. let me start by putting this in context. to begin with, people are not born as terrorists, nor are extremists violent. but there are keypads that include ink -- recruitment, radicalization, and practice. this can occur in safe havens, foreign countries, in even our own borders.
cutting off resources and intercepting, countering efforts over from amongst others. targeting travel is one of the most powerful weapons we have. united states and its allies have made significant progress in frustrating the terrorists abilities to conduct operations. focusing on these areas and allow us multiple opportunities. those that seek to engage in terrorist activity rely on terror networks. terrorists traveled to identify and engage targets, plan their attacks and operations, collecting funds and communicating with other officers. every step represents a
vulnerability to the public and officers at forts of entry here and abroad. we have learned that border security, we have learned is that border security in preventing terrorist travel is more than a line in the sand. it is the exercise of our authority associated with border security and the fact that this can be a powerful resources to identifying terrorists of the out -- earliest opportunity. many of our goals at constrain travel are accomplished before terrorists even get on board the airplane. first we must know who presents a threat. we rely on the border security specialists in international partners. these groups helped to populate the watch lists and they
understand the techniques used to lie high risk travelers. data of known and suspected terrorist is made available through the automated targeting system. throughout the terrorism smuggling trafficking center and the the collaboration efforts of response to potential encounters brings a second expedition of of it -- entry of legitimate travelers while restricting the movements of others. the practices adopted by terrorist travelers have multiple screening across the seas. the first layer begins well before departure. programs like global entry with
travel operation systems. like the adjudication process we are providing the ability to identify potential risks through the planning stage. the second layer is through be advanced passenger manifest information. likely to identify terrorists and criminals. finally, at ports of entry we were able to identify people that might be attempting to use fraudulent documents. each of these steps to reinforce the one before, the nine travel prior to departure and travelers for additional inspection and preventing individuals from remaining if they are not allowed to do so. finally, no amount of list will
help us to identify terrorists if they're able to travel on an assumed identity that is fraudulently obtained. as a result we need to make sure that security documents do it through their visa waiver program. we have developed global generations of passports. through u.s. visits and other for a rams with interval we have worked to promote the increased use of the stolen document database. 20 million invalid records and passports.
every month we identify cases of fraud that would not otherwise be detectable. i have identified known and suspected terrorists as well, denying them entry into the west. we can limit travel, this is a number of tools that we use. in a forward to your questions. >> finally, timothy, the director of the terrorist screening center at the fbi. >> thank-you, chairman. thank you for the opportunity to talk about the terrorist screening center. over the past six years our
tools for fighting terrorism and integrating into communities by consolidating information, we are continuing to move forward by safeguarding civil liberties in the process. screening efforts have matured into a true success. with your continued support we hope to improve upon it initiative today let me begin to tell you about where we are at today and where we want to be in the future. we were established in 2003 connecting law-enforcement with intelligence. we strive to provide the highest quality of data to aid in the investigation process we make
we have completed but are of immense -- bilateral agreements. over the past two years our our reach has coordinated with local centers. we were looking for initiatives at the 2009 conference. based upon four different designs we must make sure that timely dissemination of the efforts the department of state
department of state, the department of defense, i look forward to answering any questions you might have. >> i must say, going back that in the years of federal service you have not seen such a dramatic change of affairs. generally true of across-the- board. quite an impressive upgrade. this establishment of filters, particularly using modern information technology. i think that we have come a long way. as we said, one of the most
important provisions of the 9/11 legislation was the idea that all individuals undergo a personal interview when applying. to catch people of the have reason to suspect, we cannot discover a terrorist who has never come into contact with one of our law enforcement agencies. only a trained and motivated counselor officer will be able to identify the terrorist that has never made themselves known. coming across a wide variety of
travel documents, not always from right country. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we have put in place a very robust anti-fraud training program basically there is fraud prevention detection. one state oversees that will continue their given checkable databases to confirmed the legitimacy of these documents
from other countries. officers in the field are the real experts in determining if a document as fraudulent or not. they can look, touch, feel, document with a ride -- a wide range of documents in the country. online there are entire libraries of samples of documents from other countries of the use. the edison online tool database is used to verify authenticity. i felt comfortable in saying that we have given these officers the training and tools that they need. we also stress interviewing techniques. when you're talking to someone
tracking systems available for tracking fraud cases. what we will deploy in the future is a system available to everyone whereby people will be able to look at the cases being handled at many posts around the world. we will have people going from coast to coast, where they are being told the same thing. it will give us a much better feel for the amount of fraud we are encountering. as i said, an analytical tools to protect the trends that are occurring. we are seeing all kinds of different uses on both sides and we think that this is in place, the ability to protect fraud being enhanced. >> undersecretary, could you
talk about the pluses and minuses of the biometric exit system? do you think that one is needed? what would the benefits be for law enforcement, including dhs? >> thank you for the question. we have been looking at this for some time now. with respect to the systems, the real issue in making a most effective is making sure, in fact, that all people entering the country that are in some kind of immigration status do in fact check out the system, which has a degree of certitude in the system. the auspices we're looking at
all have an element of that. the insurance that people cannot exit the country in that status by air or sea without actually taking -- that will reduce -- rather it will increase our certainty on individuals and whether or not they are in the status with respect to the time frame of their visa being available for entry, allowing them to be in this country. it also allows us, because it is biometric, to also check effectively as to whether or not any activities that occurred after their entry into the country, such as criminal activity, was no and recorded
and whether or not there was criminal action that was in complete with respect to that. we were able to pick up on individuals that wanted in this country. his is an additional degree of security. this is only one portion of the ways that people can exit the country. by and large the people that enter by the hair go out by the air. it will increase our assurance over that period had me add, as a final point, that we truly have a system designed to protect -- the czech overstays. it is not perfect but it is in existence and it refers cases on a regular basis for taking
further action. a number had been arrested as a result. biometrics enhance the system. >> can you give us a broad timeline for deploying this system? >> we are in the prime stages of a recommendation to the secretary of homeland security for the system to be selected from among its the various options that we have tried in the task force efforts. my expectation is that she will be reviewing, in the course of this month or the next month. we will then socialize that with the wall and others. it will not be a free system under any circumstances. cufwe will have to provide you h
an actual amount moving forward. then we will go into rule making. my expectation is that that would probably not begin in this fiscal year, although we will try it is possible, with some test points for doing that. >> that is actually good news. i wish it would have happened earlier, but you are on a time line right now that will take us through deployment, if not in this fiscal year then presumably in the next one. my time is up, i will ask my time along. we are interested in hearing about the challenges to deploying a bio metric system that landed points of veterans -- of exit. >> that is a much longer
conversation. [laughter] why does it is? we will get back to that. >> i have a copy of the security manual that was posted on the internet. every single page of this manual has, at the top of it, sensitive security information. at the bottom of the cover page it says warning -- these records contain sensitive security information that is controlled. no part of this record may be disclosed without a need to know. without the written permission of the head of the secretary of transportation. it goes on to say that unauthorized release might result in civil penalty.
so, how did this happen? >> and david? [laughter] da blacks frankly, we were late because we spent the morning attempting to assemble the answers to the expected questions that you would legitimately pose about this. the first point that i would like to make is that there is no question that this was inappropriately posted on this web site and that the protections that were supposed to have been put in place were not adequate. i think that this represents a breach of all the protocols you noted in indicating the nature of the sensitive security information. all of those, i think, are correct. as a result of this, let me make two other points clear.
the first thing that this document that you are referring to -- this document is a document that was for supervisors. it was not for line screening. the screening procedures that a officer would use at this point are not in that document. second, it is an older document. in is six versions ago. that does not mean that it is not an inappropriate use of the document. >> our use saying that this has substantially changed in the last year and a half? that is not my understanding. let's david and in the secretary all spoke to the administrator of gsa and the document has changed since then.
i am not saying that this is not a significant problem, but honestly the other part of it is that the actual screening procedures are not in the document, the procedures that individual officers actually use. so, that is an important distinction to make >> -- make. >> let me tell you what is in this document-off. i do not believe i am revealing anything that is not already out there. i've addressed this issue to you. there is an entire section on credentials. on the identification's used by the cia, used by the u.s. marshals, i used by the bureau
of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. there are pictures of the actual identifications. i would say to my colleagues that there is a page with a picture of what an identification of or what a u.s. senator looks like. at the airport this weekend and have them look at my identification and check the manual. this is important. if we are talking about making sure the people that would u.s. farm do not have the ability to falsified documents, we have given them a textbook on how to do so because we have shown them exactly what the documents look like for individuals who are likely to receive screening
because they have these documents. because they are law enforcement officials, for example. so, there is a lot of sensitive information in here. my question for you, have you notified the agencies whose credentials are included in this document to tell them that the information is out there? and that now their credentials might be vulnerable to being counterfeited? >> thank you, senator. i should thank the under- secretary for the opportunity to answer this question. let me echo the comments that this is entirely unacceptable. no one at this department has any opinion to the contrary on this. you bring out to what the next
steps are. first of all, a full investigation is underway. in the last 48 hours we have removed information from the website. the practice of posting these documents has been fully suspended upon further review. all standard operating procedures have been designated as ssi in whole the appropriate persons have been put on administrative leave. .
>> we have already put in place interim security measures being deployed enterprise-wide. we have, as you have asked, notified not just those who may be interested stakeholders in the release of this information, but other stakeholders to we work with on a day-to-day basis. >> by last question for this round -- are you conducting a damage assessment such as happened in other parts of the intelligence community when there is a breach like this?
>> yes. there is a review of the actual incidence going on and we're looking what the implications are for security. >> thank you very much. the wire understand therefore you will be considering perhaps re-engineering parts of the systems to inhibit or close any of the vulnerabilities that have been exposed by this breach. >> we will let the review give us an indication of where we should go. >> in particular, there are additional augmented lawyers with respect to those exempted categories to ensure there is a second official or that the acting administrator has put in place a second official who will insure to the extent we can identify fraudulent documentation, and we do spend a lot of time looking at fraudulent documentation,
including official identification, to make sure we're having a second look to make sure those kinds of exposures in fact had a second letter. >> i think i remember that line 9/11 commission -- 9/11 happen because of a failure of imagination. at these moments, we have to, and i'm sure you will, imagine what a terrorist group thinking about getting into the u.s. would do with information that has been released now and what we can do to alter procedures or create second layers to brock -- to block that from happening. does that make sense? >> yes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i don't think i heard a definitive answer to the
question -- or the other agencies notified about the badges in the document? have you made contact with them with reference to those specific badges or identification for these various law-enforcement persons, yes or no? >> yes. >> thank you. let me change the subject because in terms of the whole move of trying to protect our borrowers and to secure the travel to and from our country, we just passed a legislation here called the tourist act to try to encourage tourists to come to the united states because we are losing so much money because no other -- because more americans are going abroad than visitors are coming here. i don't know who can answer this question, maybe the secretary of state or a mine security, but have we noticed any impact on
tourism as a result of are seeking to have this list and the screening and fingerprinting and this process? has anyone done a study as to how it is affecting tourism coming into america? >> thank you. the department of commerce actually does keep track of the number of foreign visitors coming to the u.s. in any given year. there is no question about the fact that immediately after 9/11, for a variety of reasons, not simply because of new screening procedures, there was a drop in the number of people coming to the united states. for our part in consular affairs, after 9/11, we knew that we had to focus on security, but at the same time, we were well aware of the need to continue to allow legitimate visitors into the united states. we set about trying to strike the proper balance between what
we often call secure borders and open doors. we have made a number of efforts to facilitate the travel of students and exchange visitors, for example. i would note that in the most recent report published by the institute of international education that the number of foreign students increased by 8% last year. we have also tried to facilitate business travel because we have heard loud and clear from the u.s. business community that they felt -- >> i understand business travel is down. >> business travel is down this year from last and a lot of people after beat that to the global economy. >> but have there been any studies attributing this to the increase requirements, getting a visa from the consulate or trying to get into the country? two businessmen want to be bothered with fingerprinting and these screening processes have
to go through? have studies been done in that regard? >> i am not sure there have been scientific studies. we have certainly heard anecdotally of people who say they don't want to come because they believe it's too hard. we have done an awful lot about reach overseas and here in the west a 3 >> -- hear -- overseas and here in the west. >> are we having any economic problem with travel? it would be the commerce department that would promote this kind of thing, the cooperation with the state department or which agency? >> we certainly try to get the
word out that our borders are still open and our country is still welcoming of legitimate visitors to the united states. i really do think that is a function of the global economy right now, and that is why we see a drop in the numbers. i think with their recovery is underway, will see the numbers come back. >> let's hope so. you name to several agencies involved in this screening process. i was listening is he gave the various agencies. it appears there is a bureaucratic boondoggle with agencies involved in this whole process. could you give a list of all the agencies that are checked, not when securities, the state department, the fbi, and, and security has -- homeland security has three or four different departments involved. all that is supposed to come in
your database to check this person and get back to whoever is sending the information to you. could you please give me a rundown of how this will work with all of these various agencies involved? >> yes. let me describe how the process works, if i could. there are members of the intelligence agency that would include the fbi, cia, members of law enforcement -- if they identify a known or suspected terrorist, they have a bidding process that they go through. if they identify somebody, they have their normal process and that the name. if it is an international terrorist, it would go to the national counter-terrorism center. the national counter-terrorism center would that the name as well. there is a minimum derogatory information that would go through and i have a more detailed in the written
testimony. so it will be that a second time. after it has been feted a second time, it goes to the screening center where it's better that third time. once it is that it at that time, it is entered into the terrorist screening data base. what we did was, because of hspd6, we looked at what available databases they had. we export to the national crime information center that makes it available to all state and local police officers. we export that to a department of state's system, to the dhs system. when they encounter their system, they do the normal process and then it will pop up that this individual has been watch listed. when they see that, there's a process where they will eventually contact the terraced
screening center to verify whether or not this person is the person. what we've done that, we notify the fbi for the operational response. i know it sounds like a spaghetti soup of different agencies, but it works effectively. we have multiple agencies that work at the terrorist training center from the tsa,, and security -- >> you say all of those agencies are working there -- homeland's security. >> he say all those agencies are there right on site. >> all of these components are the terrorists screening center. so the screen process occurs right there. it comes in and winning counters occur, you have all the subject matter experts to work the process and identify the individual and make sure it gets out to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for the proper response. >> i see that my time has
expired, but i want to know if i could take a couple more minutes. if it is ok. i have a couple friends have been on a list and they cannot get their names off the list. who handles this list? but they give to the airport? the names are on the list and they turn around and take as this process every time they travel. it has not happened in the last few months, but i have talked to one of the leas is a tall, very good-looking blonde. she is american as apple pie, but her name is a name that is not common. i will not call her name for her own protection, but she has trouble every time she goes to an airport to travel as she travels a lot. what is the story with that? >> i think i can try to help you
there. i was in a unique position because when i got to the terrorist screening center, is there during the early stages that we started up and then i left for some time working and having different assignments within the fbi and then came back. one thing i noted when i came back was the redress process. it was the first thing a brief beyond. the redress process during the early stages was a dream. what it allows us to do in cooperation with the department of homeland security is of the individual that feels they have been watch listed an avenue to go through. they go through the traveler redressed inquiry program and submit their name. that component will that it to determine whether the person is on the watch list. the program will work with that innocent traveller to facilitate
their travel. >> does it work off the system? one time she is trying to exit -- tried to exit n.y. in the name was in new york. it was a shock to her that the list is there but the information, because she was supposed to have been cleared to three months ago from some other airport, but the name had not been removed. >> the travel redress process, when is it that it and if there is a connection with the watch list, it will give added to us. i have a redress co. unit that goes through the name. what they do is look and work with the case agent. if they are legitimately watch listed, the agency to see if there's a way to downgrade the person. >> does the name stay on the list? >> the trip program was intended to be a one-stop shop so individuals would not have to go
to all the different agencies doing the security review. it is now available on a website and your friend or colleague can go there. it is adjudicated by all the agencies involved, but you only have to go to one place, and three or information, and will be passed on. >> thank you very much. i do have to leave. i appreciate the extra time. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing. i come from the state of nevada and tourism is very important to my state, but all the people don't realize how important it is to the entire country. if you combine it all together, it's either number one or the number to most important industry from economic standpoint for the united states.
some of the work being done here, as crucial to make sure we have risen taking care of the balance between security and making it easier for people to come here. having said that, what senator collins talking about with the document gets back to tourism as well. if people don't feel safe and they feel the procedures -- we saw after 9/11, so much as psychological. people do not feel safe, they do not travel. this is an incredibly serious matter. while you talk about this is an old document, these particular documents we use our current. these are not old ones. this one says january 2007-2009. this is the one they're using now.
i don't think this is something we should just dismiss. i realize some parts of the document may have been reworked, but a lot is still probably being used. how high up did the opposition have to go before this was leaked? did it go up to political appointees or were these career people who'd did the leaks? >> this was an appropriately put up on the web site. >> who does this? >> this was done in the security office. >> how high up to the authorization have to go before was about? >> i will have to get back to you on that. >> i think that's really important. not only the people who put it on the site, you said people were put on administrative leave. were the people who authorized it also put on administrative leave? you said you don't know who authorized it break >> we would have to get back with you.
we are doing the review right now and i would be happy to get back with you. >people involved with this were put on administrative leave. that is the information we got before we came over here. >> let's make sure we find out the people who were all there -- the people who authorized the were also put on administrative leave. we just don't want a scapegoat out there. people need to be held responsible and i consider this a very serious breach. you mentioned the review is going on, do we have a timeline on the review? >> i don't have that for you? do we know when we'll have a timeline? is it months or weeks? >> they have been moving quickly on this. there are two views on this. >> -- there are two reviews on this. >> if you could get back to us of how long you think it will take to complete process,
they're obviously several aspects to the review, i realize, but at least give us the various time lines when people could be held accountable as well as when the reprocess, what senator lieberman talked about, where some of the policies would be changed and evaluate how many things need to be changed. that's something whether it's in a classified form or whatever, that's something we as members of the senate should certainly be able to have access to. i wanted to make a couple of points on this because i do think it is so serious a matter. it seems to often that people don't think things through with security and i agree that 9/11, people things are not going to happen. we have not had a terrorist
attack and a long time, the people are lax with security. i know that is normal human nature and that cannot be allowed in the world we live in today. this is a very important matter and needs to be looked at very carefully. >> i agree. i appreciate your line of questioning and what you just said. maybe we will do one more round. i wanted to ask questions coming off of this troubling case of the american citizen known as david headley. charged in federal court with six counts of conspiracy to bomb public places in india and had to murder and maim persons in india and denmark. to provide material support to a pakistan-based terrorist group affiliated with al qaeda and six counts of aiding and abetting murder of u.s. citizens in india. he is alleged to have made five
trips from chicago, where he was living, to mumbai from 2006-2008 to conduct planning. and surveillance of many of the targets struck on november of 2008. because, travel based on entry and exit did not raise suspicions, although it may have in other ways. he was able to use the u.s. as a base of operations and in the briefings i have had, without revealing anything classified, it seems he was not involved in many plots related to target in the u.s., although one wonders whether that would have been the case for an extended time. he was using this as a base from which to plan attacks outside the u.s.
it leads me to ask to what extent should a case such as this one lead us to think about broadening the screens we have in an attempt to try to detect and disrupt american citizens or people living here traveling overseas to carry out terrorist attacks and how one might do that? >> these cases are significant. a number of cases recently, and i think we see individuals in these specific citizens, they are in fact said that to al qaeda and its affiliates and the ideology. as such, we can no longer a sam of -- we can no longer assume americans are not involved in
terrorism. as indicated by the recent indictments, we see the nexus of travel in those who may get further indoctrinated as -- further indoctrinated abroad or train or otherwise. we will continue to pursue the programs we have been pursuing to these days and i think they have been effective. that is to say continuing to in gauge with communities and we need to do that. i think we need to continue working with their colleagues in the fbi to identify threats. travel in and of itself is not necessarily an indicator. >> that is the challenge. >> those of the kinds of things we continue to pursue so we can
help law-enforcement identify those who may be participating in those kinds of activities. >> we certainly have a constant review of those procedures going on. they have been changing, -- >> which procedures do you mean? >> the procedures that we come dhs, in our responsibility of monitoring travel in and out of the united states by air -- we have modified six -- modified procedures based on information from the intelligence community in order to stay current with what we have to be the case in terms of trying to think out of the box. the actual information as you well know about possibility of americans or westerners being
trained in pakistan has been out publicly based on the director of national intelligence from two years ago. that information was made available to us, including classified forms. we have looked at ways to try to make sure we are ahead of the curve on this. going beyond that, we did to classified information. >> is there a role to be played here in sharing information on potential terrorist travel with other nations? >> there is a role and we do collaborate and cooperate and share information with partner nations and there are opportunities to do more of that.
the recent arrests in the netherlands with -- that was in close cooperation with the dutch government. >> let me ask two questions that come up for this case -- it has been reported that he changed his name. he was the child -- one parent was from pakistan and one was american. he changed his name allegedly to reduce scrutiny by immigration and customs officials while traveling. this is a test case. what can be done to try to avoid, to block this kind of name change being used as a way to avoid being on a watch list or being picked up by hopes of other terrorist-blocking system. you get my point -- to what
extent can an individual like this make a harder for him to be picked up by changing his name to an american or english sounding name? >> that's difficult because i'm in a difficult position about commenting on a particular case. i find challenges in my particular position because it is truly a balancing act. it's a balancing act between safeguarding civil liberties and protecting the american people. the best we can do is keep driving the intelligence and working intelligence as much as we can to get the information. i don't know how else you could do it. >> does anyone else have a response? >> i agree that this is a challenge. those that are seeking to do harm are constantly hearing what we are giving, watching what we're doing, and adapting to it. said changing names may be one
thing. changing secure documents or attending to change documents, changing biometrics. we have to constantly be working to try to counter that technology through procedures and also through additional layers of we're not just resting on one security solution. >> without making too much of a point of it, even though the case presents challenges to the system or questions about it, the fact is through quite remarkable work across law- enforcement and intelligence, he was identified and stopped and we do have, that we travelled illegally in and out of the country, we do have records of every time he traveled in and out which are part of the case that has now been built against him. with the indulgence of my colleagues, i want to ask that question.
there is a fact case presented as a worry to one of your predecessors in the last administration of the department of homeland security. this is a case that people worry about where it is the dual passport issue. somebody with a pakistan and day getting them passed for travel to pakistan with his documents from pakistan and then comes to the united states with his british passport. we don't have any record that he traveled to pakistan. i don't know of that's a question without an answer, but i give that to you because as a practical fear based on the presence of all the training camps and centers of world terrorism in pakistan and afghanistan -- >> i was last in london in
november and added to our dialogue with a variety of british officials on this particular issue. it is one in which we're looking to work out procedures. i cannot tell you we have worked about, but we are absolutely aware of this and looking get whether there are ways within our systems to be able to catch that because you are right. if the person left the u.k. under 1 passport and came back under another passport, that would be caught by the united kingdom. but to travel under at passport from pakistan is not necessarily under the current system going to raise an alert. but they're looking at that system and i think we ought to be cognizant of that. >> i am encouraged that you are raising the questions. it is not easy to solve, but i appreciate you are on it >> --
you are on it. >> to follow-up on the question that was just raised, i what -- i want to ask you about the status of the implementation of the stronger security requirements for the visa waiver program that was an active part of the 2007 home insecurity law. as you are well aware, the reason we are concerned about the waiver countries have is their citizens are not required to be interviewed by the state department officials overseas and submit to other background checks. so we have been seeking agreements with countries so that they share more information with us on potential terrorist trade that is required in order
to be a member of the beasts of waiver program. it is my answer standing there are 35 countries currently participating in the visa waiver program. could you tell us how many of the 35 are currently providing us with the enhanced information called for under the 2007 law? >> i believe in my written testimony, i referred to a grievance with some 17 countries at this point. -- i referred to agreements with some 17 countries at this point. we could give you a closed briefing on how this process works and how we're going about trying to get countries to sign these agreements. i will say that sometimes it is a challenge because of the different laws countries have, especially regarding privacy. it can be difficult for them to
sign these agreements. but the state department along with tsc and other colleagues are active trying to get these agreements. we were very happy to see the enhanced security measures put in place before -- for the program in the 2007 law. we believe this has increased the security of the program. i think it has also been a good motivating factor for other countries to increase law enforcement cooperation, sharing of data, so i think it's been a good thing overall. >> i think in your statement, you say the state department and the tsc have agreements with 17 countries. but of those, only 13 are visa
waiver program countries. it is my understanding that only 13 of the 35 countries that are visa waiver program countries are participating. that really concerns me. it does not strike me as a very good sign that two years later, we still don't have agreements with any countries. >> we continue working with all of the visa waiver countries, trying to encourage them to sign the agreements. for some of them, it is difficult because of their laws and privacy laws and procedures they have in place. but you can be assured we will continue working with all of these countries and others to try to get this data. i will say they are sharing some data, for example on stolen passports. they are sharing data with
interpol, which is a big step. we have a centralized way of checking for lost and stolen passports. we will continue to work on these data sharing agreements. >> all 35 countries are sharing passport data now. >> i want to follow-up on the questions my colleague from illinois asked about how an individual who should not be on the terrorist screening less and up on the watch list. it is heartening to me to hear that there is now a single point where an individual can appeal. however, in 2007, there was a follow-up audit of the terrorist screening center that was performed by the inspector general of the department justice that found on average that it took the terrorist
screening centers 67 days to close its review of a redress inquiry. if you are on the no-fly list and you need to fly for business, 67 days is a pretty long time to try to get your concerns resolved, if in fact there has been a mistake. is it still that long on average or has progress been made since this audit was issued? >> we have been able to reduce the time frame. we work with our partners on that particular process and we established a secondary process. we took a look at the number of individuals we encountered regularly that more properly watch listed to see if we could help that process as well. we took a look at another process where we look at individuals who were similar in
name but we encountered numerous times or not on the watch list. we proactively reaching out to work that, unknown to the individuals, to make sure we work with dhs in that process so they have no screening issues with that. it is a challenge. when i first got to the tsc, the redress process was a dream. when i got back associated with it 10 months ago, it was a dream that became reality. that was a lot of work and a lot of cooperative effort between us and ourselves and a lot of pro- active work. the american people don't necessarily have to file with dhs if we get a congressional inquiry that automatically started. if we read something in the paper of someone who has a problem, we automatically start the process. i am excited about how works and how we're able to do it, but when it finally gets to us, the
vast majority of people who think they are on the watch list typically are not. when you take a look at a dhs trip, they had 70,000 inquiries of people thought they were on the watch list. of that, just 500 were on the watch list i got to us. so the numbers just don't work out. they are stopped for a number of reasons not having anything to do with a terrorist watch list. so we work proactively to try to satisfy them. we take it seriously. the challenge i have is protecting the american people but safeguarding civil liberties. if i cannot do both, i fail. >> thank you very much. we had a conflict of events for there was an announcement about working on some deficit reduction.
so you represented me there that quite well, as i have attempted to represent you here. anyway, welcome and pries policy -- please proceed. >> thank you. i pointed out in this session that the to of this co-sponsored the bill to create a safe commission and the center conrad and a center greg took the vehicle and tweak it -- center greg took that vehicle and tweak it. i think everybody understands that if we don't get our debt and budget taken care of that our fiscal responsibility, that a lot of things we're trying to do to secure america, we won't have the money to do it. senator conrad said it well. he said next to our national security, the issue of the debt is the second most important thing to deal with now because
people are questioning our credibility and our credit. they're very uneasy out there. i'm really pleased that 27 sponsors, and they have even gone to find others. maybe we will get something done. >> you have been made persistent and principled leader and i appreciate what you've done. my goal is to make sure we get this done before you leave the senate next year. >> that would make my children and grandchildren very happy. when we got involved in the waiver program, i was very much involved in that -- i would like you to comment on how that has resulted in putting pressure on other participants in the program. sector collins made it a point that there are 37 people out there and only 13 have complied.
if we had not gone forward with the visa waiver program, would we be as far as we are with these other countries that are not up to where they ought to be? these new countries have done a great job. they are role models and i understand by the end of this year, greece -- i talked with the prime minister and the greeks have finally done what they're supposed to do and they will come on board. but if it had not been for that legislation, we would not have been in a position to lead on these people. could you comment at all on how that has helped and in terms of the public diplomacy? >> thank you, senator, i know you have been a terrific leader, supporting this program and we thank you for that. these the probe -- a visa waiver program is an important instrument of cooperation with our allies. from a security perspective, it
has helped to introduce, expand, and accelerate a host of improved security measures. we talked about in this morning. we have enhanced passport requirements that are now standard, not just with visa waiver countries. verifiable standards at airports, aviation security, and greater cooperation on an array of law enforcement and security issues. moreover, nearly every country now reports lost and stolen passports to interpol. they do that according to interpol standards. from a security point of view, this has been a step in a very good direction. but it's also beyond that. it is my belief that there is security in the national security sense that we don't talk about in terms of transactions. by facilitating travel to the united states, it plays a vital
role in strengthening ties between nations and people. that's something we were talking about earlier in terms of a decline in travel to america. we certainly think we're doing enhanced security and travel between the stations. >> i was them the idea in july and at what president at some of his folks. -- i was in latvia in july and at what the president and some of his folks. general mullin would have normally been there but it is the same data announced latvia would be participating in the visa waiver program. that was the front-page story and how excited people were never going to be able to take advantage. same thing in lithuanians. you think that because we moved on this we would try to get the
countries to come on board and meet those high standards that have been set there. the question i have and you may not be able to answer today is what kind of sanctions do you have and are you in a position where you can say that we have given you enough time and if you don't do it, we're going to take you off the list? >> that is a tough question. the program has been designed to take a continuous, delivered of assessment and we continue to monitor a threat situations, and migration activity, border security, all their regular basis in these countries as well as compliance. there is a requirement that the department formally review the nation's that as every two years.
these formal reviews value the compliance to the security requirements that whether the country poses a significant risk to u.s. interests. that process is in place that we continue to review not only on a day-to-day basis but also on the biannual formal reviews. >> i might have a suggestion that may be inappropriate, but there are members of congress with good relationships with some of these folks. maybe a telephone call or visit indicating that we understand they're not doing what they're supposed to do and just let them know we are aware of that might be helpful, particularly as those of us on the foreign office or appropriations committee. i understand we're going to hear from you -- you answered the question about how we're going to handle the exit situation.
>> i hope to be able to brief you all the second -- of the secretaries position. as you know from our last conversation, we did complete a pilot study and it was delivered to the appropriations committee. it is an indication of how that worked in the two test cases we ran. we have since then taken that steady, which we began before the formal delivery to the hill because we had the information needed to begin our own recommendation to the secretary. we have had several meetings, said and i think we're at the last page of presenting the secretary with the options. i sell -- i told senator collins the same thing, but you know even better, it's going to cost money. we thank you for the additional funds use of it to add to our
ability to use at least in the initial stage, those funds to get the program started. as i told the center, that would be helpful. we would hopefully both come up here and talk with you about process and funding requirements go through with will making necessary in order to undertake this, and began by the beginning of next fiscal year with the first phase of the program. hopefully we can do it sooner, but i don't want to make a promise i don't think we can keep. but we will keep you and the full committee informed in terms of where we are in that process. >> can i follow up? >> ahead. we had a colleague who took from your time. >> we did put some money in the home and security budget for that and i'm sure it was enough to get you started.
.com but i want to make it clear to you that i need to know how much money you do need. >> you have made that abundantly clear. i have no doubt about that. >> one more shot. that's good. hopefully we can move on that. one of the problems we have is the law is set out says if we don't have that new process, if it's not computerized, no new countries can come in unless they have less than 3% turned out. so there are going to be a lot of countries that are now signed up -- how many are signed up and they're trying to get the new ones cost mark >> we have 35 bs
the waiver program countries. >> but you know -- the croatians and others have filed papers to get qualified. do you know the new ones are waiting to come in? >> there are a number of countries that are interested that are looking to have the program expanded, which we're not expanding at this point. >> i would be interested in knowing how many new ones have come in with papers they have to fill out and you tell what the requirements are. to you have any idea of how many there are? >> i think it is for, but i can get back. >> there are not that many right now. you like to the point where this is not in place because it's going to be a lot of work. if we get a big backlog of these countries that have done a good job then use it can do because
we haven't got this other thing done, it might be something you want to get next year or the year after. hopefully it will be done by then. >> thank you very much. you have one more official shot, but i will always take your phone calls. >> i've heard that before. >> i want to ask two more quick questions. maybe the answers are not quick, but just to bring us up-to-date -- a terrorism watch list is quite a powerful tool for us in detecting terrorists and denying them the ability to travel. it is largely name-based, but i understand in recent times, there has been an attempt to add fingerprints, which of course would greatly increase the utility of the system. tell us a little bit about that
and what more you can do to expedited -- to expedite it. >> we have talked about biometrics and specifically about three types of biometrics. fingerprints, iris, and photos. right now, we're working to implement no. 24 and will be on time and on schedule by the end of this fiscal year. currently, we now receive all three of those, biometrics -- we store them and store them at the department stay. we are working on that and it's a very effective tool. i could give you an example when i talk to terrorists screening center. we had an individual in he was watch listed, actually changed his identity, came into the
country and was applying for citizenship. unfortunately -- fortunately, we have his fingerprints and he was picked up for a been dui, was identified as a known terrorist suspects. so we're working with the department state and a prominent defense, working to get the biometrics and we're looking to meet the deadline, but you are exactly right. when you do have that, especially on the no-flight list, you can identify that individual before they get on a plane and avert that travel. it's a challenge, but we are up to it. >> to the extent you are able to testify in open session, how do you obtain fingerprints of people on a terrorism watch list? >> in consideration that we are in open testimony, i would say we go to the normal process in
terms of the intelligence community to see what they could do in terms of that and work with the department of unsecured -- the department of homeland's security. we would go through the process to enhance the record as much as we possibly can. >> is it fair to say that maybe our troops in iraq and afghanistan, when they can come adding fingerprints to the system? >> guests. that is primarily with the fingerprints are coming, especially on the battlefield. -- yes. that is primarily where the finger prints are coming from. >> the fingerprint matching is an extraordinary achievement in advance. we have heard reports that it take -- that it can take up to 72 hours to end formic customs and border protection officer that a biometric match has been
made with a criminal record. i understand the typical inspection takes seconds or minutes at most. if i'm right about this, what are the reasons for the delay in literature -- in returning matches to be inspecting officer at the point of entry? is there anything being done to ensure this happens in a more timely fashion? the nightmare is somebody passes the initial screen, is out, and there is to discover it a point of entry that the person is in fact on a terrorism watch list or is connected to terrorism more directly than a watch list? >> yes. the issue is the real time compatibility with the fbi database and our u.s. visit database.
the information is shared, but the availability of the bureau to actually perform the matching requirements while in many cases is in enough time to do something about it, there are cases where it is not. the director sitting behind me has been working with his colleagues at the fbi in order to try to move this ball so we can get within the 10-second rule. work is going forward on that and i'm hopeful we will be able to resolve it. we did move successfully from the to fingerprint rule to be 10 vendor print will be implemented on our side to make sure we can -- tend fingerprint rule will be implemented on our side.
this is an ongoing effort and i'm not sure i could give a timeframe when we think it will be resolved. but i can attest because i have participated it is an active issue. >> maybe you have breaking news? >> i was just passed a note -- the people with fingerprints in the database, that we have. >> it comes up right away? >> right. this is more likely to pick up people with a criminal background that terrorist background. >> thank you to all of you. i will keep the record open for another 10 days. i have additional questions i would submit to answer for the record. i appreciate what you are doing. we have come a long way and we're obviously in an open
country that prides itself on a visa going in and out -- thanks to information technology, we have an ability to not inhibit all people coming in for good reasons while figuring out how to stop the people coming in with bad motives. but it is a constant challenge to be ahead of the enemy. i appreciate very much what you have done. i understand based on the exchange that you know some of these programs cost money. but really, we call on you to advocate to less because we pressured constantly to do everything. -- we press you constantly to do everything. you have a right to come back and say this is what's going to cost to make it happen.
this is a fundamental part of what i think continues to be our primary responsibility, the matter what else we're doing, which is to promote the common defense, which includes, in our time, providing the best possible homeland security. do any of you want to say anything in the closing? if not, thank you. the ring is adjourned. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> a political commentator he teaches civil-rights at george
mason university published "republicans and the black vote" which looks at the historical relationship between african- americans and the gop. he is the guest tonight on "q &a." >> see explicit detail of the supreme court to the eyes of the justices, go beyond the bill but robes of public tours in to the rarely seen spaces of the white house -- america's most famous home. export history, art, and architecture of the capital, one of america's most symbolic structures. " the american icons" a three- disc set plus shipping and handling. order online c-span.org/store.