tv Today in Washington CSPAN June 10, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EDT
from various missions and many places around the united states have inadequate housing supply. i hope you can address that in an aggressive way. thank you very much for your testimony. >> thank you. senator collins. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. director, you certainly deserve the widespread accolades and expressions of gratitude that you are receiving from virtually every member of this committee today. i want to add my own thanks for your willingness to continue to serve our country during such a difficult time, but like my colleagues -- now the hard questions start. i want to start with libya.
you have repeated today the administration's goal that colonel gaddafi must go. what then? if there's any painful lesson we have learned from our experience in iraq, is that if we do not have a plan in place after we have been posed a high rent, that chaos and violence in seuss -- have deposed a tant, that chaos and violence ensues. you have a plan for dealing with libya post-gaddafi? do we really know who we are dealing with in the opposition? >> i know that secretary clinton is spending a great deal of her time working with our allies to respond to that concern to try to work with those in the
opposition who have come together. to try to work with them, so that if they do have to take control of the country, they will have that capability. what you have raised is a legitimate conrn and its an area we have a lot more work to do in order to ensure that gaddafi does step down, we can enre that libya will be a stable country. >> it really concerns me particularly when you look at the leadershipf al-qaeda and but libyan president -- and the libyan presence there and the numb of foreign fighters from iraq. i do not feel we havany confidence that we know what comes next. >> the opposition, obviously, has been made up of various tribal groups that have come
together. there are concerns about some of the othernfluences that are now trying to impact on e opposition. it is something we ar watching very closely. stepe caget gaddafi to sto down, i'm confident that there are enough leaders in the opposition who can provide, hopefully, that continuity. >> let mehen turn to afghanistan. no one wants to lose afghanistan. all of us are so mindful of the enormous sacrifices that are military men and women have made in afghanistan and the enormous amount of taxpayer dollars that have been spent. senator brown ask you a question today about what our mission is.
you talked about the goal of having afghanistan be a stable state. that is certainly something that i want also. to me, that seems to be a never ending mission. i do not see how we get to a stable state in ahanistan. let me give you an example. a key to our transition in afghanistan, a key to our troops being able to come home is the development of a confident, aggressive afghan security force. we have made a lot of progress in that area. i look at the cost of maintaining the afghan security force.
in this year's presidential budget request, is $12.8 billion. the total afghanistan gross domestic product is about $30 billion and 97% of afghanistan's gdp is derived from spending related to international military and donor communy presence. when i look at that, i do not see how afghanistan is ever going to be able to afford its own security forces. that says, to me, thate are going to have to continue to be a major contributor to paying for those security forces forever virtually. tell me how it ends. i just do not see how it ends.
>> i am understand the concerns you have raised, senator, and i think we all share those concerns. i can only say that having served on the rocks -- served on the iraq study group, there was a moment in time i had a lot of and whetherout iraq it would ever be stable enough to draw down our forces. afghanistan is a very different country with a very different history. the fact is that i have seen progress made with regards to governancen some of the key areas, with regards to security, with regards of the role of the afghans in participating. they have gotten better. whether or not in the end they will be able to develop resources, develop revenue, develop the governance that needs to be done, those are
major questions. i think, if we stick with it, if we continue to provide help and assistance to them, i think there is going to be a pot where afghanistan can control its own future. we have to operate on that hope. >> finally, let me echo the concerns my colleagues have raised about whether t budget constraints, which are very real, are going to drive our military requirements rather than vis versa. this year, when the independent panel looked at the qdr, concluded that the qdr had been molded by the budget, rather than what it is supposed to be, whh is an unvarnished assessment of what our military requirements are.
i am particularly concerned about the gap when i look at the navy shipbuilding budget. the cno has testified before our committee that we need, at a minimum, a 313 ship navy. we know that the 313 ship goal is much smaller than the actual requirement our mmanders have. there was a recent report just two months ago from the navy on the ballistic missile defense force structure requirements. they said the navy currently does not have the capaty to meet the demands of our contended -- of our commanders for capable ships. i'm very worried about that gap in this te of budget
constraints. i am worried that the navy has yet to complete the contracts on the tdg 1000, the second and third ships. what actions do you think need to be taken to help close the gap between the 285-ship navy today and the, at a minimum, 313-ship requirement? >> i strongly believe the navy needs to project our force throughout the world. the navy is obviously crucial to that mission. i agree with thehip numbers that have to be developed for the navy in order to do that. the key will be something that has happened in your own state, which is shipbuilding operations have to develop greater efficiency. yours is a great example of having developed those type of
efficiencies that help us on the cost control side and at the same time allows us to continue our shipbuilding capability. i think that a greater competition, a greater presence of an industrial base here that deals with those issues, will provide the type of cost savings that we need. >> thank you. i look forward to working with you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator collins. >> i do not know if you are going to take a break -- >> yes, it sounds to me like we're going to take a break. this will not be a lunch break. th will be a brief five-minute break. >> great. >> a very quick break, we will finish the question is, and then you have a lunch break.
[no audio] [gavel] >> senator blumenthal? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for answering all our questions, for your extraordinary service, and for your very powerful and eloquent testimony today and your very responsive answers to all of the issues that have been raised. i want to second the sentiment that has been expressed by senator gramm, which is, i
cannot wait to vote for your confirmation and i appreciate your willingness and patriotism to take on this very tough assignment. and also to second his views, and i think they are widely shared, that we need fundamental and far-reaching reform in our methods of acquiring and terminating weapons programs. would you agree with that? >> senator blumenthal, i think director panetta would probably also agreed that secretary gates forot wait for us to gvote director panetta's confirmation. [laughter] >> thank you, mr. chairman. and speaking of secretary gates, i hope and assume you would agree with him that the second engine for the f-35 is
unnecessary and should be terminated. >> i support that. >> and that we need to continue the sub building program at the rate of two per year, which is fairly noncontroversial. >> that's correct. >> would you also agree with that theill wmullen greatest threat to our security today is the national deficit? >> there's no question in my mind that the size of the threat we are confronting. >> and we need to address that problem without excessive cost cutting in the defense budget. >> obviously, defense needs to play a role. when you are facing that size deficit, everything has got to play a role. >> i want to talk for a moment
about one of the causes of those costs in both our defense budget and our veterans programs. they are a cost that is not necessarily in the headlines or even reported. those costs have to do with tobacco use, tobacco addiction, and the cost of tobacco-related diseases. i know the defense department is very aware of this costs. as a matter of fact, it asked all military personnel and next year to make their 2011 new year's resolution to quit smoking. in fact, about $1.6 billion per year in department of defense costs are related to medical care that is provided for tobacco-related diseases and among the retirees from our military for veterans, about 80%
of the $5 billion in annual cost of treating pulmonary disease are directly attributable to smoking. the cost of smoking simply in dollar terms, medical treatment, is about at least $5 billion per year, not to mention the impact on readiness, which are, in effect, less fit, less physically able military personnel. more likely to sustain industries. more likely to be stressed out. more likely to be dependent and addicted to nicotine. the stark fact is that military personnel, 50% more likely smoke and use tobacco products than their civilian peers.
my question to you is both immediate and a longer reach one. first, do you have any suggestions as to what can be done immediately? second, would you be willing to commit the resources and the interest of the department of defense to addressing the problems of nicotine addiction and tobacco use and the related medical impacts? >> senator, if i am confirmed, obviously, one of the areas i have to focus on is the health cost. i think the area that you have just to find is one area that we do have to pay attention to in terms of its implications on health and costs. i will look forward to working with you to try to develop an approach that would allow us to , again, deal not only with smoking, but deal with other
threats to health care that impact not only our soldiers, but frankly, the impact americans. >> and the families of our soldiers and veterans because of not only the immediate effect of smoking or other kinds of health problems, but also the related impacts on families. >> that's right. smoking, good nutrition, good exercise, and a number of areas i think need to be focused on as part of the solution to dealing with health care costs. >> i would welcome the opportunity to work with you on those issues. >> thank you. >> let me say, while we're talking about veterans, i have offered a measure and a number other senators have to broaden and deepen the commitment of our country to caring for issues related to employment, homelessness, health care of our
veterans and would hope that the department of defense would also increase its commitment in that area and hold under the leadership, it would, given your very moving and powerful remarks about the need to take better care of our military personnel. >> senator, i really do feel an obligation to those that served. i do not treat this like a situation where once you have completed your service and to become a veteran that somehow you are somebody else's responsibility. i think we have an obligation to make sure people are treated right once they serve this country, not only now, but in the future. >> finally, because my time is close to expiring, one last question. the ammonium nitrate fertilizers that are the cause of probably
the vast majority of the ied, very tragic and unfortunate injuries to our troops are transported from pakistan. i wonder what can be done to stop that flow of fertilizer, the ammonium nitrate substances that are the basis of those explosive devices. >> senator, that is a continuing concern for us. it is not so much the transfer of the material, but it is actually the development of ied's, the explosives themselves, that we see taking place in pakistan that make their way into afghanistan. we have to take a number of steps, not only with the pakistanis, but also trying to
check at the border to make sure we do everything possible to stop the flow. it is a very real threat. a lot of that is coming across the border. >> thank you very much and i look forward to working with you. thank you, once again, for your service to our nation. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator blumenthal. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's a pleasure to have you before the committee. we had a chance to speak, leon panetta. i'm delighted to see that a former omb director can make something of himself. you have done a great job as director. i know you've had the opportunity today to answer tough questions, but the tone has been appreciative and respectful. i am most concerned, as you know, on the budget front, particularly with regard to our major programs and the cost of growth, the time delays have
been troubling to me on this committee. over the last four or five months, we've heard a lot of testimony. this is at the same time, of course, we are talking about not just restraining spending, but putting everything on the table to deal with our historic deficits, the debt overhang that is affecting our economy so directly and affecting our future. i also think, for natural -- for national security to our men and women need the best equipment and a need it in a timely matter. the cost overruns annually are over $300 billion per year. this is compared to a decade ago when it was average $40 billion per year. the average delay is almost two years of delivering initial capabilities for these programs. the reasons are varied. sometimes it is internal department of defense process
these, i think. sometimes it is the contractor processes. they have been subject to a lot of reports, directives, and public and private studies. the chairman has done some good work on it. we still have a long way to go. this would be one of my major concerns. given your background experience, you are well qualified to address that. senator gramm cost about -- talked about joint agreements. we heard testimony that we are 80% over costs from the original estimates. and 30% more than the current base line. for 15 years of development and two years of operational production, we still do not have a stable design. i think that impacts our war fighters, as well.
i realize department of defense is working on implementing the actem's acquisition reform and is ongoing, but frankly, there's a lot more that needs to be done. could you talk more about this and the benefits of competition, as we talk about privately, and finding efficiencies? >> senator, because we share a common background, i think we understand the costs involved in this area. we are dealing with a culture that has developed that we have got to somehow change. i know during the period from 9/11, of thwe have lost a lot of money that has been put into the department of defense, equipment that has been developed during that period. a lot of it has been important
to our national defense. a lot of bad habits have developed during that period. there is an assumption that outehow this thing can play a and the cost can increase as dramatically as you have pointed out in some of these areas and somehow, somebody will still pay the bill. i think but we have got to do is to -- i think that what we have got to do is make clear that those who are involved -- they're great companies and good people. a lot of them do a good job. they have a responsibility to be able to work with us to develop better competition, to do some of the things that senator graham mentioned. the work that they are doing is not just money in their pocket. what they are working on it is important to the national
security of this country. i think we have to work with them, work with contractors, work with others to try to develop approaches that can shave the costs that are involved and the delays that are involved. i know that this is tough. some of this military technology is extremely intricate and involves a lot of complicated worked. i'm absolutely convinced there is thought to be a better way to achieve greater cost savings. i hope to work with you and others to do that. >> i am encouraged from our conversations and this testimony today that you are prioritizing that. if we do not fix it, we will be robbing from some of the fundamental responsibilities you would have as secretary of defense to protect our country. looking at some of these projections over the next decade or two decades, if we do not figure out how to deal with these overruns on the acquisition programs, it will
take the entire current department of defense budget. we need to make sure our men and women in uniform are getting what they need. and the healthcare issue that you addressed today is the other one. if you look at the huge cost increases, it has to be handled in a way that ensures the focus is on our national security concerns. quickly, on trade agreements, as you are aware, we are reviewing export agreements with the republic of korea, panama, and colombia. this has been increasingly clear that all elements must be used to provide for our security and build effective allies. these three countries are great allies, as you know. in response to prepared questions, you know that the republic of korea remains one of the strategies in the pacific. you plan to stay in close contact with your counterparts there and build on relationships built by secretary gates.
it also noted the importance of government efforts to support department of defense activities providing training and equipment to panama, given the importance of the canal, and also with regard to colombia. in testimony earlier this year, the commander described the trade agreement as open put a positive, beneficial -- as " positive and beneficial." how the uss the value from a security -- how do you assess the value from a security standpoint? you believe this is one way to combat the threats? >> senator, i think that when it
comes to protecting our security, there are a number of areas that have to be addressed. one of those, obviously, is not just the military responsibility, but there is an economic side of this that plays an important role in terms of providing better security. the ability of these other countries to develop trade with us, to develop their economies, create greater stability within those countries. i think that is a fact. to the extent that we can help promote that kind of trade, that we can promote that kind of economic development, i think it assists these nations in their ability to achieve stability. a good example is colombia. they have done a great job going after narco-track being -- narco-trafficking. that could become another added
factor in providing british security in the region. the same thing is also true for korea. >> you think it will be positive for our national security interest? >> yes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator webb. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate you coming by my office to have detailed conversations on a number of areas. having had the honor and privilege of meeting with weinberger when he was secretary of defense for four years, i'm well aware of the challenges of your job. i honestly believe that other than the presidency itself, this is probably the most difficult and complicated job in our federal government. i wish you the best. i also appreciate -- was gratified to hear your response to senator collins with respect
to the need to rebuild our navy and get the navy's numbers up. the situation in afghanistan and iraq, as it allows us more leeway on how we shape the department of defense budget, we really need to do that. the size of the navy right now is about 282 ships. the ground floor goal of 313 and all of the vital national interests that we have with respect to the stability of east and southeast asia will be very important for us to look at. in that regard, i would like to raise two points with respect to the situation in east asia and i would also like to ask you about the situation in libya. first, when we are looking at the tempo in east asia, we see clearly that the chinese
military activities have dramatically increased in the past 15 or 16 months. the most glaring examples of that were the situation with japan about one year ago and most recently, the chinese naval vessels cutting the table of a vietnamese ship that was exploring the possibilities of oil in the south china sea. these are basically related to sovereignty issues. they are not only national security issues, they also have downstream economic consequences. to me, they clearly talk to the commitments that we have for stability in this region. we have made these commitments. i think we are the key to the strategic balance in that
region. i am wondering if you are of the same mind as secretary clinton was and gates was last year when they pretty strongly stated that we are not going to be deterred from protecting the interests of countries in international waters in that part of the world. >> very much. that's an and screaming important region. we have to have a presence there -- that is an extremely important region to have to protect our presence there. we have to have respect for international law. there has to be freedom of the seas, so that we can do our job. i think it is important to have a relationship with china, but they also have to understand that by trying to advance in the china sea, they can interfere with our ability to navigate and that part of the world. >> or to unilaterally address
sovereignty issues with respect to other countries? >> that is correct. >> thank you. that also gets to the very important question in this part of the world. the chairman address this and i heard your response to that. i think the timing of addressing these issues, particularly with respect to japanese, is vital. we have been kicking the can down the road. we are not going to have stability in asia if we do not have it in northeast asia of. the only place in the world where the direct interest of russia, china, japan, the united states intersect. it was right in the middle of all of that. i hope we can work with you on the suggestions chairman levin, senator mccain, and i
brought forward. >> i appreciate the conversation we had in your office. i know this is not an easy issue. that is why the can has been kicked down the road all these years, because of the cost, the politics, and the diplomatic problems with each of these decisions. absolutely has to be addressed. we have to establish a stable situation. we cannot have a situation where we are playing this year to year. we need a long-term solution. i want to work with you, the chairman, and others. >> thank you. i do believe this is fixable. i've spent many years thinking about this. what we were able to come up with is at least the right approach and it could be done in a timely way, if we could get people to work with us on. doing. -- on doing that. with respect to the situation in libya, i take your point during your exchange with senator mccain that it is the
president's responsibility to ensure national security. at the same time, we have the situation where when the president unilaterally decides to begin military operation and then continues it, where, clearly, as a former member of congress, i think you would agree that the congress needs to be involved in shaping and downstream when something like that occurs. let me say this in another way. no one would disagree with the president's authority to unilaterally order military -- under eminent threats or invoking the right of self- defense, which i think is what we're doing in places like yemen -- we are coming to the aid of an allied based on treaty commitments. we are defending americans, protecting americans.
we have a situation in this case for the justification is a humanitarian. you can see the potential for a very broad definition of what a humanitarian crisis is. once that decision is made unilaterally by the president, it needs to be subject to the review and direction of the congress in my view. >> senator, it has been my experience as a member of congress and a member of administrations that while, obviously, the constitutional power rests with the president, once those decisions are made, in order for those decisions to be sustained, it's important to work with the congress to seek best advice and counsel of the congress and hopefully to get the congress to support those actions. >> i did hear you agree with
senator mccain -- his, that nobody is thinking about putting american ground forces in libya. i assume that also means after the fall of the gaddafi regime. >> as far as i know, no one is discussing any boots on the ground at any time. >> as you know, the house passed a provision to that effect with 416 votes and i have introduced a provision. i just think we have our hands full and it is not something we should be doing in the future in that part of the world. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we are almost done. i was listening to senator nelson's litany of the challenges ahead of you and i certainly think you will get confirmed and i will vote for that. i thought, why does he want to
do that? like everyone on this committee, i'm very grateful that you are willing to do that and appreciate your patriotism and commitment to the country. thank you very much for that. i also very much appreciated the opportunity to sit down with you and your willingness to listen to some of our particular concerns in new hampshire. i was very pleased to hear you are familiar with the men and women at the portsmouth naval shipyard. i was pleased to hear your comments to senator collins about your commitment to address the backlog that both the shipyard and other shipyards around the country are facing. i was also very pleased that you were willing to listen to the good work that has been done by new hampshire's national guard deployed support program. listening to your commitment
today to better serve men and women after they get out of the military -- i hope you will look at programs like new hampshire is and some of the other states that have been so successful. not only are our national guard and reserves going to continue to play a greater role in defense, there is some very good data that shows how successful these programs have been. i think they serve as a good model for the rest of the military services to look at. i hope you will do that. >> thank you, senator. >> one of the reasons that we have been so successful in developing the technology for our national security and have given us our superiority in terms of our military might around the world is because of
our national defense technology sector. new england and new hampshire have been a knowledge center for that defense technology sector. i wonder if you could speak to how d.o.d. or what d.o.d. is currently doing to ensure there is a sustained commitment to that defense technology sector so they will continue to be there as we need them in the future. >> senator, i have not been fully briefed on all of the efforts to try to deal with preserving that kind of technology. if i am confirmed, i just want you to know that i am a very strong believer that if we are going to have a strong defense in this country, that we have to have industries here that our american. we have got to have technology
capabilities that are american. we have got to be able to have a base of support in this country in order to maintain our defense systems. it does not mean we do not deal with our allies. it does not mean we do not try to negotiate agreements with them in certain areas. if we are going to protect our national defense, we have got to protect our industrial base, our technology base, and we have to be able to protect the capabilities that we need here in order to make that happen. >> thank you very much for that commitment. as you know, a piece of that is the research and development needs and, obviously, the d.o.d. has been a very important part of ensuring that r &d gets done. given the budget constraints we are facing, are you -- how do you see that affecting our
ability to continue to ensure that the r &d that we need is done? >> again, i do not think we can do this job without investing in research and development. as part of the process of making sure -- we're at the cutting edge for the future. i recognize that as part of the effort to look at the entire budget in order to achieve savings -- all those areas will be looked at. my view is that if we want to protect the weapons systems, if we want to protect our capabilities for the future, we have to have good research and development at the same time. >> thank you. in talking to some of those new hampshire and new england companies that are part of our national defense manufacturing base, one of the concerns that i often hear from them, because there often doing commercial work as well as work for the
military, is their frustration with our export control system. as i know you know, the restrictions are onerous. in many cases, they are out of date. they were really designed for a cold war system that no longer exist. i know that secretary gates has been a real proponent of addressing that system. i hope that you will be as committed. i would ask how you see moving forward an agenda that update our export control system in a way that both protect our national security, but also recognizes that we need to be competitive globally? >> i want you to know, senator, that i share secretary gates' attitude. i think we have got to be able to develop 21st century approaches to this kind of exchange in order for us to be
able to make sure that the technologies we have are in fact technologies that we're working with others to have. >> thank you. i know you were asked earlier about iraq and whether we would continue to stay in iraq, if we are asked. like others, i have been concerned about increasing, violence increasing, -- about increasing violence and recent casualties. we just lost somebody from new hampshire in the attack over the weekend. i wonder if you can talk to what we need to do to keep our focus on the efforts in iraq, assuming that we are not asked to stay,
how we will deal with drawing down the remaining troops that are there? >> at the present time, we are on track to withdrawing our forces by the end of 2011. i think that it is clear to me that iraq is considering the possibility of making a request for some kind of presence to remain there. it really is dependent on the prime minister and on the government of iraq to present to us what is it that they need and over what period of time in order to make sure that the gains we have made in iraq are sustained. i have every confidence that a request like that is something that i think will be forthcoming at some point. >> my time is expired.
i would like to explore that more later. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, mr. director. i was going to say good morning. i realize it is afternoon. i also want to end knowledge your tremendous leadership, your personal friendship, and your willingness to take on another assignment -- perhaps one of the biggest and most important in the federal government. i think we share a concern about the country's fiscal trajectory. secretary gates has pointed out this is a key threat to our national security, as has admiral mullen. i know we will not support any cuts that will harm our troops. a broke country is a weak country.
you have had to deal with this at the agency. that is, how do you balance the needs and the resources? also, everything has to be on the table. i'm curious what your thoughts are about what the right size is of our military and how do we determine what our mission will be? i have two easy questions for you. what role do you believe the american military should play in the world? as a senior military adviser to the president when you are confirmed, what would be a set of guidelines that you would use to recommend to the president where the military action is justified? >> obviously, i think the united states exercises a unique role in the world by virtue of our leadership in the diplomatic
arena, but also because of our military power we are able to back that up. i think it is extremely important in today's world where there are so many challenges and threats we are confronting that we maintain a strong military in order to deal with those kinds of threats. this is, you know, not only the fact that we are involved in facingut we're clearly increasing turmoil, terrorism, and other challenges. in my view, the united states plays a very unique role in the world as far as providing the kind of leadership that tries to advance universal rights, a peaceful approach to dealing with the world, that tries to advance. good economic and political. that is a unique role for the
united states. i think we need to continue to send that message and to continue to exert that leadership. for that reason, i think having a strong military is essential to the longer -- to the larger role the united states plays in today's world. we work with our allies. we work with nato to work with other nations. there's no question in my mind that the united states is the fundamental leader right now in the world in a number of ways. having the military strength to back up that kind of strength is important. with regards to how we approach the use of force, i think there are several important guidelines. one, what is the threat to our national interests? what is our capability to be able to respond -- our military capability to be able to respond to that kind of a threat? have we exhausted all other
options to the use of force? lastly, what are the prospects to the support of not only the congress but the american people in that effort. i think all of those things are important considerations. >> thank you for those thoughts, director panetta. i think this will be a topic of ongoing conversations, obviously, as we work to consider how, if we need to reconfigure the department of defense in a world of insurgencies and cyber security needs, satellite systems that are very important to all of us -- there's a real change under way. i also hope that we will continue to strengthen our relationship with china as it becomes more of an economic power. hopefully, it will shoulder some of the responsibility, because of its own self-interest, quite
frankly. let me turn to energy. i think this has been an area of your interest, as well. it is one of the concern, but i also think great opportunity for us. admiral mullen has said saving energy saves lives. he recently pointed out that before we buy another airplane or ship, we ought to look at what we can do to save the lives of our soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors through our dependence on oil and other energy technologies. what are your thoughts on what the d.o.d. can do to reduce our dependence on foreign oil? >> senator,>> this is an area io learn a lot more about in terms of the area of how the defense department is approaching this. the defense department really is a leader in trying to develop
better energy efficiency, and we need to be, because we use an awful lot of fuel. my hope is to continue those efforts and to work with you and others to try to determine what additional steps we can take both in developing weapons -- the development of weapons, the development of technologies, how we can better use clean energy, how we can better use some of the new forms of energy in order to reduce fuel costs at the pentagon, but more importantly, to contribute to hopefully a cleaner environment. >> i just introduced a bill along with congresswoman difference -- giffords that would provide more direction to the department of defense. that has widespread support from particularly retired officers and others. i look forward to working with
you. the chairman has been moved to authorize defense department activities for 2012. it is about $13 billion a year, and the d.o.t. uses more energy than most countries -- dod uses more energy than most countries. my time has expired, but for the record, maybe i could ask one question and you could give a brief response. i know 2014 is our date for afghanistan, the full handoff. you know all too well about the safe havens in the sanctuary they provide for the taliban. if we cannot reduce the safe havens or at best eliminate them, what are your thoughts about what that means for hopes for a resolution of the situation in afghanistan? >> we can only win in
afghanistan if we can win in pakistan by reducing those safe havens. the two go hand in hand. the ability to achieve stability in afghanistan is dependent on whether or not we can limit and hopefully stop the transfer of terrorism across the border. >> thank you, mr. director. you and the chairman are both my heroes because you have been sitting here for some four hours. with great patience and particulate answers. thank you. articulate answers. >> before we break for lunch, let me try to clarify a couple of things. first, would you agree that security transition to afghan
security forces is to be completed by 2014, but that the process of transferring provinces and districts to an afghan security force league begins in july? >> that is correct. >> president karzai in march tontified diffthe first areas begin transition, and that has already been presented and approved by nato? >> that is correct. >> next, my staff tells me that they have not been able to find any statement of secretary gates in which he specifies the number of u.s. troops that he believes should be withdrawn from afghanistan starting in july. are you aware of any statement by secretary gates identifying such a number, whether it is 3000-5000, or any other number? >> i have discussed this with staff at dod.
and they're not aware of any statement that has indicated a number that would be involved at this point. >> at this point? >> at this point. >> thank you. it looks like about one a 5:00 p.m., is that right? -- [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
a couple of and we are covering to tell you about. at two o'clock eastern, a discussion on the financial state of medicare and social security. the two public trustees for the social security and medicare programs are scheduled to speak. george mason university hosts discussion with live coverage on cspan 3. also this afternoon on c-span 2, the american arab anti- discrimination committee is holding its national convention. panels include political unrest in the arab world, relations between islam and other religions, and a forum on civil rights for its live coverage is at 1:30 p.m. eastern. >> this cspan networks, we provide coverage of politics, public affairs, nonfiction books, and american history available to you on television,
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