Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 21, 2014 8:00pm-10:01pm EST

8:00 pm
made the news. that was a lesson i had to learn. >> watch our program on first ush at ourra b website or see it saturday on c- span at 7:00 p.m. eastern. on monday, our series continues with first lady hillary clinton. a couple of pictures of the lack would've terror so's >> -- a couple of pictures of the black widow suspects. up next, a look at potential
8:01 pm
threats to the olympics posted by the center for strategic international studies. this is a little more than an hour. >> good morning and welcome. we will confine all questions about richard sherman until after the briefing. thank you for being here this morning. we have some weather coming into washington so it is good to have such an excellent turnout. a very timelysly briefing and we will get to it. i'm joined by my colleagues dr. andrew kutchins and jeff minkoff. the deputy security advisor in the bush
8:02 pm
administration, a key arson on counterterrorism and many other issues. -- a key person on counterterrorism and many other issues. we will open it up to your questions. thank you for coming. >> good morning, everybody. said, you braved the rumor of a snowflake in washington, d.c. later today coming in this morning. it is always wonderful during a press briefing to just check the news. so i checked "the moscow times was good and the title of the story was potential suicide armor in sochi. you globally have already heard this story. there is video that was produced by [indiscernible] the caucasusrt of
8:03 pm
the maybe-aded by alive or maybe-dead [indiscernible] supposedly, this is video of the two suicide bombers who took out -- who conducted the acts in vol gograd. maybe. i don't know. guys,ou look at these they look a little bit like "saturdaygarth in a night live" skit. i wonder if some of this is a hoax conducted by folks. imagine yourself in a dorm room in a university. i don't want to take this lightly at all. but when i look at this, this is the first far ahead. and then the story of the , ruzannaomber
8:04 pm
ibragimova, who has been spotted , how serious this is is hard to say. but when you read the story, you kind of scratch her head. it says it is unclear whether anygimova was carrying explosives with her. and it is unclear how any terrorists could get into russia's olympic capital in height and security. -- in heightened security.
8:05 pm
the letter describes ibragimova as somebody who "lips slightly. .er elbow does not bend and she has a scratch on her left cheek. oh is this really true or could this be a hoax? if it is not a hoax, how could someone who obviously looks like couldremist shaheed kia get through security. it doesn't give one great confidence. anyway, we can talk more about that later. -- these unusual things are unusual. many times has csus held -- has
8:06 pm
csis held a press conference before an olympic event? never. this is a rather you unusual me start by saying that these games are very personal for vladimir putin. gamesyone to role of the -- has any winter olympic games been attached to a national leader as these games are to mr. newton -- to mr. putin? in 2010, was anybody talking about mr. harper much in vancouver? games, if they were politicized for anybody, they were a base for mitt romney. who was running the games at the time. but this is really unusual. you probably have to go back to the 1936 summer games in berlin,
8:07 pm
hitler's games, the not see gains, to have games that are attached -- that are so politicized anyway. mean in any respect to compare vladimir putin to adolf current rush with not see germany. seeurrent russia with not with nazi russia germany. for putin, he has said this
8:08 pm
said this on numerous occasions. to host the olympic games, you have to be a country, to put it in layman's terms, that has its act together. you have to be a major country. this is not a small undertaking to put on an olympic games. so this represents. this is not rush of the 1990s that was the wild, wild east. where we had the images of the russian mafia running the country to the extent that it could be run. -- or as i refer to it, disorganized crime. this is where he has restored a sense of order and stability to the country and the country finds itself much more wealthy than it was. the timing, now, in 2007, this is after russia became
8:09 pm
financially solvent. in 2009, russia pays off its debt to the imf. in 2006, it pays off its debt to the paris club. so russia is financially sovereign, which means russia is politically solvent. we are actually a real independent country again. so the timing that he can go down to guatemala city and do this is significant. remember, it was 2006 that russia held for the first time the g-eight meeting in saint petersburg. , probably if russia's hosting the sochi games, that should have been a big and that vladimir putin would be running russia in 2014. didn't quite put that together at the time but i should have. so thinking into the future, well, russia has also won the 2018 world cup, fee for world world cup.
8:10 pm
that will be after the 2014 national election. so my guess is that vladimir putin will also be presiding over the world cup in 2018, assuming that everything goes well in 2014. he spent a lot of time down and so cheap. of the discussion club, a group that jeff and i have met annually with mr. putin and other leaders, we have gone down to sochi two meet. it is a nice spread down there, shall we say. it is kind of like a rush in california. you can swim in the sea in the morning and then you can go to are onlyains, and they 45 mins away -- you don't have to drive three hours or four hours or five hours or eight
8:11 pm
hours if you go to tahoe -- and you can see. -- and you can ski. the really significant thing itst sochi geography is progeny to the northern caucasus. the us is also a very personal issue for vladimir putin. lyrical stardom in russia, to the national caliber, took place when he was initially premised her in the the second9, when chechen war started. the first chechen war was a representation of the humiliation of russia, where russia lost the civil war on their own territory. in the second war, particularly in the beginning, russian military forces, the security forces performed better than
8:12 pm
they had and the perceived success of those early strikes on the terrorists in opposition 'sechen war was to boost putin popularity. it is where putin also bonded with the russian people, which is his much away being. i'm going tosly wipe them out in the outhouse is. you know what? well, guess what, russia, get what russiaar of was saying. russian is a very rich language. it is a rich language of four letter words. what he said is basically i'm going to f them up in the blank houses.
8:13 pm
i mean, really, that is what he was saying. yeah, i am going to miss these dudes up. and he saw this as part of his mission, that he was going to deal with the separatists and in theerrorist groups caucuses. literally a mortal threat to the russian nation. is that he brought stability and hopefully on olympic games for the first time in history can be held in such close proximity to a conflict zone. low levellatively insurgency going on in much of the northern caucasus today during again, these are totally unique aspects about these olympic teams. that is why we are having this press conference here. if you can successfully hold these games next to this area, which putin saw as his mission
8:14 pm
as russia's leader to bring he hasty to, then, yes, been successful. so he has a lot riding on it. about theck word controversy over the lgbt legislation, which has attracted so much controversy. the long and proper diet -- the law on propaganda and the files and homosexuality. -- the law on up again and pedophiles and homosexuality. ofimplement this he said legislation on these of this big international event when they ofw it will attract a lot negative attention and press, you know what, the legislation in my view is really not addressed to the international community. putin doesn't really care friendly what the international community things about this.
8:15 pm
also, he will defend it in comparative terms. look, legislation is quite liberal when you compare it with most of the rest of the world i'm etc., etc. it is aimed at a domestic audience. let me say a quick word finally about the terrorists. threat is very real. regardless of what is true or andtrue about this video etc. a ibragimova, the terrorist attacks in vogo that.d attest to talking about establishing a separate islamic state in the caucuses, that is not really the
8:16 pm
ideology that motivates these people at this point. motivated by ae global jihadist ideology, comments by al qaeda and others in the world. this is what motivated the tsarnaev brothers in boston who were also from the northern caucasus. he may have been a chechen but helist 30 years ago, is is a global jihadist ideology. this is what you will see in his -- it goes back to july 13, threatening the games and with other subgroups kind of affiliated loosely with the emirates, this loose network. jputin --l that,
8:17 pm
putin has a lot riding on the games. sochi is the holy grail for a separatist, jihadist group to go after. so no way, we have the ultimate showdown. it.n has a lot riding on this is a very juicy target. this is sort of an american vernacular high noon at the ok corral. in russian terms, it is [indiscernible] you know, who is going to get whom? in spanish terms, it is mano a mano. it is richard sherman versus michael crabtree last sunday. who is going to prevail? the question though, and this is where i leave it to juan who these groupsabout and individuals, is one of operational and -- operational give abilities. -- operational capabilities.
8:18 pm
you don't necessarily have to hit sochi to spoil the games. ons is my concern when iris -- us is my concern in my lgograde to the vo bombings. finally just a word about imarov . is he dead? i'm skeptical about that. reports have been many in the past. one would think in particular that, if you were taken out by the russian authorities, they would want to show the video of his dead body to bring greater sense of calm about the games themselves. , you know, whether he is dead or not, i'm not sure how much that actually would make a
8:19 pm
difference. in that i don't and think -- i don't think that umarov as much as capacity 10 years ago. the network is so loose itself that may be the absence of his leadership would lead -- with the mothers, ok, -- would leave claim, ok, competing to this possibility for carrying out the act, which would gather all the attention. but let's all pray that that doesn't happen. thank you very much. for any difficult questions, my colleague jeff man cough will address them. will addressff them. d.c. schools are closed. maryland schools are closed. her children, when they are switching back and forth from spongebob this morning, will
8:20 pm
learn to curse in russian. so that's great. >> it is a real pleasure to be here. great to be here. art of the reason you get great attendance is csis has great expertise. what i wanted to address more specifically the terrorist threats and give you some perspective. in particular from my vantage wind when we word about security olympic games since 9/11. whether they are in the united states or in london or athens or sochi, they become a principal concern for policymakers around the world because the olympic becomes such a target-rich environment for terrorist groups, including those have designed notches globally but designs not just
8:21 pm
globally but perhaps locally and regionally. the terrorist groups led by the caucuses emirates but not solely asianeir affiliates and affiliates have the clear intent to try to disrupt the sochi olympics or at least to try to embarrass the russians, in particular vladimir putin. the intent has been declared. past summer has been very clear about the desire to have major attacks on the olympics or at least major disruptions. significantly, in july, he lifted the punitive ban on the attack on civilians, which in many ways opens up the target set on terrorist groups and civilian sites. and they clearly have a desire to engage in these attacks.
8:22 pm
as seen through their video postings, blogs and communications. the intent is clear and it would have been obvious even absent there opened up a ration. but the open declaration has made it very clear for authorities. capability.ve the we have seen that in three sinces in volgograd september. we have seen that in past sinces directed by umarov 2009. the high-speed attack the twin moscow and st. petersburg. the airport and other attacks that have rebated. what is interesting and important is the caucuses emirates and their various groups ann arbor -- and demonstrated multiple modalities in their attack record. that is to say they can use a variety of means to attack, not just a variety of targets to focus on. bombersve used suicide
8:23 pm
to include the now famed lack windows. they have used teams of operatives. they have used assault teams. nes, have vectored pla metros and hospital sites. so the modalities and capability sort of match year. they have a target-rich environment and they have demonstrated the ability to organize different types of attacks based on the opportunities available to them. that's why the reports of a singular black widow getting into sochi becomes concerning. in part because you have the potential that she is a singular actor intended to disrupt. but it also could be that she is part of a broader series of suicide bombers who been -- who have been dispatched to attack different sites. no doubt, the russians are following reports of not just a singular actor, but also multiple threats and individuals that they are concerned with.
8:24 pm
olympics, as we all know, centerstage. the world media will be trained on the olympics. the activities, the social activities around it. in addition, you have the proximity. rather brazen on the part of putin to lace the olympics so close to the caucuses and to who the terrorist actors are used to operating in this environment the opportunity to plan attacks, not just in sochi, but in the immediate environment here in -- environment. and as andy riley said, -- as don'tightfully said, you have to get into the rings of sochi to declare terrorist attacks. the only need to create a sense of terrorist -- a sense of terror to create a sense of
8:25 pm
instability. if you sawesay that a successful attack significant enough, even in the far abroad from sochi, you would begin to see debates in delegation circles as to whether or not to withdraw athletes and stop it is a patient in the olympics. and that would be disastrous for the success of the olympics. a final point in terms of why this threat is so unique at this time and i think it has gone relatively unreported, but i think it is critically important as an accelerant to the threat. that is the fact, as andy said, we are talking about a movement, a set of actors who view themselves as part of a global jihad movement. this in many ways is born out of the session conflict in the 1990s and early 2000's. at these groups have been
8:26 pm
populated by global jihad he actors, many of whom have have interacted with the leadership of the caucuses emirates, many of whom have gone on to fight, even now like in places in syria. i think it is critically important to keep in mind that the russians have kept an open and active role supporting assad , which has brought russia back into the center as a far enemy for the global jihad he movement. and you began to see that narrative layout in some of the .errorist discourse i think that becomes important as an accelerant. insia is not just an actor the insurgency or five, but also a global actor in the context of the globe jihadi narrative. and syria is a real accelerant
8:27 pm
to that in key terms and ideological terms. you start to hear more and more about this from u.s. lawmakers and the security officials to they are three hold -- sacred officials. they are threefold. this is a real threat here. one are not just imagining off threats that need to be chased down as often as they use has had to do. , threat that exposes athletes sponsors, u.s. citizens who will attend the event. two, you always have the question of event security. a very goodsed question about how secure is the rings of security around the sochi venues and sites. but how well are they secure secure? you can secure the venue, but can you secure well enough where the athletes and sponsors are staying? the transportation in and out?
8:28 pm
the raw security question emerges -- the raw security question murder is very important questions -- the raw veryity questions merge important questions. you start to hear, including from chairman rogers, concerns cooperation from the russians. as i was mentioning to jill before, we started the remarks, usually when you have in the olympics, most countries very prideful wanting to secure the olympics, manage it themselves, to succeed for national pride and other reasons. for the u.s. offering support in a variety of ways. most countries don't except of the support initially because they can do it themselves. the dayou get closer to of the event, most countries begin to accept more and more the assistance because the
8:29 pm
reality of the daunting task of and the the olympics threat to athletes and sponsors becomes more real. that isn't happening in the russian context. the reverse is happening. the russians have grown more and more concerned over the threat and are concerned over the perception of insecurity and therefore have not wanted to allow the united states and other security services in on the ground to assist. asan olympics like london, you can imagine, u.s. work very closely with british officials to create very cohesive command centers, respond plans, etc. that, in my estimation, is not happening in the context of sochi and that is very concerning. that is why you're hearing u.s. officials speak openly about those concerns. in addition, that's why you see reports today in the press about
8:30 pm
contingency plans the u.s. is making for potential worst-case scenario. transport aircraft, positioning enabled resources -- positioning naval resources offshore. in the worst-case scenario, if, for example, you had wounded athletes are citizens you need to get them out. so you are going to see a lot more than that. the u.s. is try to vector and take the fact that we don't have on the ground cooperation and resources as we have in the past. for the russian and for the international community, any olympics is an international event despite the fact that it has been so personalized by putin and the russians. but the russians have to not only secure the sites as they're trying to do with physical security and intelligence and vetting of individuals, but
8:31 pm
they will want to disrupt as much as possible any terrorist activity abroad. this is why you have seen the reports of the death of umarov. it's an attempt to demonstrate that the russians are trying to do something to disrupt these activities. with agree with andy that, respect to the individual, it matters much less as to whether or not he is alive now with respect to the security of the old picks because all the terrorists groups who want to attack the sochi olympics will try to do so. they obviously need to secure the site and they need to worry about the perception of security. i think this is key because, again, you could have a relatively minor terrorist attack during the opening ceremony and the general environs and he begins to affect the sense of security for the olympics. in many ways, the terrorists begin to win that perception.
8:32 pm
a quick note, we often forget that it is squarely in the minds of security officials, you have not just the winter olympics in february, but you have the paralympics in march. so you have two sets of events that are critical internationally. toy require the russians engage in security, not just in the month of february, but february through march. and i would dare say that the terrorists probably would prefer to us tack -- prefer to attack the sochi olympics in february could attack the olympics in march, they would view that as successful. these are real threats in real concerns for the russians, the u.s., and others who have olympians at the site. like tothat, we would open it up to your questions. questions, please. jil.
8:33 pm
>> thank you. i'd like to follow up on that u.s. side of it. dot does the united states -- to your knowledge, what is the state of play in terms of any type of cooperation in potentially coming in and getting americans out of their? -- out of there? it are people who are competing or officials. if what does the u.s. do they do not have permission on the ground? how do they work that out in advance? you are mentioning that. >> yes. >> what is the next up for the united states? what is happening right now? >> in the olympics, you would have state department nomadic security officials, fbi, and other u.s. security officials who are cleared into the various venues or cleared into a command
8:34 pm
center or integrated into the on the ground security. i am no longer in government so i don't know what the status of that is. but i would dare say, given the public commons we have seen, that the u.s. government probably is not getting a lot of fromances for individuals the state department, from the fbi and others to be on the ground at particular sites. that is different from security for individual teams and such. i would venture to say that we are doing the best of what we can on the ground. and what you've seen and have started to see publicly is contingency planning, which would be led by the state department, to try to determine what happens in the worst-case scenario. that is why you have seen reports of movement of u.s. military assets and personnel in this regard. so you would have the state department leading that planning, trying to determine how to best get citizens in and out in case of an emergency. and you would hopefully have
8:35 pm
forleared plans, clearances ingress and egress in the case of an attack in russia. but i would assume that the russians will want to control any of that. any security service in any country will want to have full capability and control over what happens after an attack or a worst-case scenario. u.s.'s likely the case the doesn't have preclearance to move choppers in or assets in in the event of an emergency. that will probably have to happen as events unfold. >> this gentleman right here. if you could identify yourself come of that would be great. >> tell us a bit about what you an civil war.e syri
8:36 pm
there are reportedly groups fighting. there?y being killed i they being lumped with other jihadist groups from other countries? that is a significant situation around the olympics. foreignnk the syrian fighter problem, in particular the flow of caucasus-based fighters in and out of syria amplifies the concern. is, again, thes ideological and narrative dimensions of what this does to animate the threat. but also populates sort of the environment with other actors who are trained, tested, and perhaps willing to attack. you can mind that the syrian
8:37 pm
conflict has now attracted more foreign fighters than we saw in and more thanict what we saw during the afghan mujahedin days and this is a very serious threat. you have seen a lot of a lot of reporting. very concerned about the flow of fighters in and out of syria. one thing i would say is, concerned that officials should have is that the survival rate appears to be much higher in the syrian foreign fighter context. in the past, foreign fighters would flow in but they would not flow out. that is not necessarily the case havein syrian where you foreign fighters already starting to flow back. and what that means for russian services being able to monitor who is moving in and out of syria, i don't know, but certainly something that should be concerned about. foreignts about
8:38 pm
fighters from the north caucuses in syria itself. are actually there is impossible to say. but there are many there. this is one really big reason, and i think it has been underestimated in the two plus years of her why putin has held his position on syria as he has. when he looks at who are the most effective fighters in syria , he sees the same kinds of --ividuals in groups sometimes literally the same individuals in groups -- that he has been dealing with in the north caucuses or that he and his central asian colleagues were dealing with back in the late-19 90s. in particular coming out of afghanistan. that is in particular why this is an issue that is deeply personal for him.
8:39 pm
and there is some -- i think, if recededan conflict had and foreign fighters were leaving syria, i think there's no doubt in my mind that that that increase the danger those from the north caucuses or others who are not from the north caucuses would return there and increase the threat there. a friend of mine was a month or two ago at the airport in istanbul transferring. he heard russian spoken by people who clearly looked like you imagined a foreign fighter in syria to look like and it was rather unnerving since he himself at the time was
8:40 pm
transiting into -- not the northern caucuses, but the south caucasus. >> bill douglas. curious -- a lot of people don't know [indiscernible] counterterrorism or handling something of this magnitude. can you all speak about their large-ities of handling scale events like this, whether they have had experience handling large events like this before? [laughter] >> well, putin, in his press conference just the other day, noted that, no, russia has not had the experience of securing an event of the magnitude of the sochi own picks. -- the sochi olympics.
8:41 pm
so the answer is no. you would have to go back to the moscow olympics in 1980. for an international event of this magnitude, which "russians clip quote -- "russians" had to deal with. course, that is after having invaded afghanistan, which, of course, led to the essentially the creation of the muhajir dean -- of the mujahedin and much of the problems we have today. so the answer is no. can -- juan can speak to this more effectively. we never know the number of successes in preventing terrorist attacks. we only know about the failures
8:42 pm
by simply the fact that we saw significant failures in at the endhree times of last year, one in october and two december. -- two in december. the daily bombings and problems that there are in the north caucuses, it's not the frequency that we are seeing in iraq right now. we listening -- we're listening to the radio and there are 25 car bombings a day, approximately. so magnitude, for sure, is a no. the capacity of the fsb is very, very hard to say. 's pointack to juan earlier, you know, the fact that the russians have been reluctant
8:43 pm
to embrace support from the united states, i think partly out of reasons intelligence operation is a very, very delicate matter in the best of times. pretty effective intelligence cooperation with the russians after 9/11. i think at that time the russians were providing us more high-quality operational intelligence than we were able to provide them. thewe know that relationship and the level of trust between the two countries has deteriorated significantly since then. and that is a problem for sure. of --en there is the sort the nature of the russian psychology -- it's not just the russian psychology, but maybe more so we can do this on our own and we don't need your help. , this is suchutin
8:44 pm
a source but because we did not recognize, in his view, soon enough -- and i think he has a legitimate effect out this -- that the nature of the threat, even in the mid-1990s, in the first chechen war, when it was mostly a movement of national liberation, there was a significant foreign element there. fighters, also sources of financing, and training for them. that factor was much more significant in the second chechen war. it really rankles him deeply, deeply that this was not adequately recognized. this is a harping on the double standards. some of thentuates chip on the shoulder, so to speak, about this for him. the state department did a very smart thing a few years ago in
8:45 pm
umaris onputting dok the list of terrorist threat individuals. some would say in russia that is too late. too little and too late. finally, we have to look at what happened with the tsarnaev brothers. that there was inadequate communication between u.s. and russian intelligence services, tracking and following the elder, and when brother had gone to doug us down stan, which is really now the heart of the islamic threat region in the north caucuses for six or seven months.
8:46 pm
how attract -- how effectively were they tracking him? we don't know. and not knowing leads to increasing -- >> [indiscernible] >> my suspicion is that it is both. >> i would just add two things on this topic area you have heard a lot of discussion about this in the russian press recently, in terms of the capacity of security services. they are essentially structured it from a from the way that security services in the west are structured. their main goal is regime security rather than public security, let's say. with a high-, profile, very politically significant even like the olympics, those two things are connected. but nevertheless, the goal of -- security state that putin
8:47 pm
security state that putin provides over and from which he came, pressures coming from outside rather than toward securing the public in general. challenges of the that apparatus faces is trying to pivot to do more of a public security role because of the locals -- because of the political role. emphasize here, and this is something we haven't talked about, but i think it is very important and a lot of context related to the olympics is corruption. , it incussion in russia the lead up to the games, is hassed on this, money that been misappropriated, misplaced, gone into dodgy contacts -- dodgy contracts and offshore bank accounts. by all accounts, these will be the most extensive olympic games
8:48 pm
ever, upwards of $50 billion. as much of a third of that may have been embezzled or stolen. what does all this have to do with security? operationally, security services can be supremely effective. but they are only in the macro sense as effective as their we guess link. in a lot of cases, the weakest link is corruption. if you think about some of the successful attacks that have been carried out in russia over the last decade or so, one that really-- that is striking, i guess, is when two female chechen suicide bombers blow up a russian aircraft in essentially, what women bribedthese their way through security checkpoints. they bribed the guards at the
8:49 pm
airport to let them onto the plane even though they hadn't gone through the proper procedures. they weren't searched. and then they detonated suicide bombs when they were on board. system can be set up in a way that is designed to focus on these kinds of threats. ,ut it only takes one person one corrupt guard to look the other way in exchange for a bribe of one kind or another to have the entire thing, part and for a successful -- entire thing come part and for successful attack to come about. of -- that is a very important point. just know that one of the planes that was targeted in the 2004 tec was headed to sochi. -- 2004 attack was headed to sochi. security services are ruthless and effective when they want to be. if you look at the history of
8:50 pm
u.s. designations of individuals , terrorists from the caucuses region or otherwise, most of those individuals and up and -- and up dead -- most of those individuals end up dead because the russians kill them. they are ruthless. and i think they will be challenged here. >> my question is to anybody who takes it to -- takes it. took responsibility for volgo grad. connection in your opinion?
8:51 pm
thank you. >> part of this is building the perception of security. one'sve to modulate reaction to anything that terrorist groups in decay. but you have to take it seriously. one of the concerns that russian and u.s. officials have had for a long time is the ability of groups in the caucuses to get , whether iton wmds is nuclear components. that has been a source of great concern for a number of years. is aact that syria cauldron of conflict and you have weapons available to the actors there, that certainly heightens the concern. but i have not seen anything in the open source reporting or otherwise to suggest you have a caravan of chemical weapons moving to sochi for attack.
8:52 pm
but is the kind that -- but it's the kind of thing you had to take mary searcy and something the u.s. authorities are looking at in terms of threat that are -- threat vectors. >> that's an excellent question. it was very striking to me in the diametrically opposed responses of u.s. and russian officials to the august 21st brutal chemical weapons attack in syria. been --est one that had that has been perpetrated by a long shot. lot.zzled me a it, tried tobout think of what can be a plausible
8:53 pm
actuallyw, case where the two sides are not fundamentally disagreeing so much. and the plausible case i suppose the -- youtually that the russian response the assad forces had no incentive to use chemical weapons because they knew that was the only contingency which would awesomely bring upon an american military strike, you know, there is a logic to that for sure. but there is a corollary logic to that as well. somehow couldion gain control of some chemical and make ityria
8:54 pm
appear as though the assad forces had carried out that strike, there would be a huge incentive for them to do that. because, of course, that would bring on not only the american military strike, but american and other international support for them in their fight against the assad government. knowing at the time that, before our agreement on the chemical weapons initiative, the diffusion of chemical weapons sites around syria, there are so seemed that,t just , again, would only take one person or one group to get a one site amongst 40 or even more than 40 that existed for people to have access to the weapons.
8:55 pm
we have to take this very, very seriously. trends -- the the transnational nature of the ,roups in sryia, -- in syria this is the one moment where the u.s.-russia relationship started to turn around and subsequently in our talks about the iranian nuclear weapons program. whether it is true or not what it clearly has, to be taken at the utmost seriousness. good morning. roxanna scott from "usa today." could to they you
8:56 pm
elaborate on the hoax part of this. and what are your expectations for protests for human rights, anti-gay legislation, the kind of thing, particularly in the zone they set up outside the park, far from the park? >> in my opening remarks i was a bit too flippant maybe. when i look at the picture, when i look at the video, it does make you think that this could be a total hoax, you know, someone just having fun. ktvu news inrn at seven cisco who fed the report to the helicopter -- in san francisco who fed the report to the help -- to the teleprompter
8:57 pm
the names of the pilots. someone trying to be funny, but not really funny. i would expect to see more reports like this for the reasons that juan elaborated, simply to enhance or increase the sense of insecurity around the games. for that to really be effective, there has to be some terrorist attack to accompany it. but i would expect to see more of this in the weeks ahead. i am very,say that very relieved, at least at this point, we haven't seen any more attacks of the magnitude we lgograd that we saw
8:58 pm
three weeks ago. because a could be the beginning of a series of attacks that could take place on a weekly basis or even more frequently that would effectively destroy the games, whether or not sochi was attacked itself. on the lgbt issue, you know, of course, putin tried to sort of deflectthat -- sort of that in his press conference. although in doing so, it kind of enraged many in the lgbt community more and their ,upporters more with the way he look, no one is going to get thrown in jail.
8:59 pm
this legislation is more liberal than many other places. and really we are only talking about how began to -- about propaganda about this that is being disseminated. but essentially, lead our children alone. the effect he was trying to the problemdiffuse was not a very effective way, shall we say. all i can say is i hope the russian authorities have learned enough from the response they've seen to the issue over the last few months that they will handle it with the utmost care and do their best not to inflame the issue in responding to any kind demonstration or
9:00 pm
or statements that take place. after following russia for so long, sometimes i feel like you can never underestimate the capacity to cut their no nose of to spite their face. maybe jeff has something more insightful to say on this. on this question of threats that may or may not actually be real. i think this gets back to the point that andy made toward the beginning. these are such an important ,olitical project for putin specifically, and for the russian regime, more broadly. ,hey are trying to get across in the olympics, in order to advance the narrative, about how russia has advanced on its feet.
9:01 pm
it has been a volatile area for the last two decades. insurgents,t that or whatever you want to call them, succeed in changing that area, succeed in getting the discussion not to be that russia is back on its feet, that putin brought stability, but rather there is an instability and insecurity. that is what they are focusing on. they are undercutting be message that the government is trying to get across, regardless of whether they are trying to get -- whether there is a successful attack. if there is a successful attack, that changes the narrative even more. there is this low-level chatter that takes the attention of everybody's notice initiates who are looking at the olympics. it is to bolster the prestige of the regime.
9:02 pm
i would like to add something to that. -- putin hasere is been very successful, in the eyes of many in his party. olympics eccentrics it. it takes the focus off of the issues going on inside russia. some things going on inside russia are quite problematic. -- one oftin the reasons why he is most popular is because russians are experiencing a time of prosperity. level of abouta four percent growth, which is ok, but not where they wanted to be. his economic growth has fallen close to zero. one -- 1.3%.
9:03 pm
then it was close to zero. the sense that he brought prosperity to russia -- if the you are go badly, then disgruntled, and people are looking around, and they are saying, actually, this guy, things are not going so well economically right now in russia. the if there is a dip in oil price, which is so important for the russian economy, then they start another scenario where his leadership is really under much more pressure than one would have imagined. of focusingelement on the successful russia. come to russia, and see with the new russia is like. it is completely different than what the old soviet union was like. this is not your father's buick.
9:04 pm
this is the new russia. it is one reason why they spent so much money. a lot of it has been embezzled or whatnot. and it is as a showcase. >> one point. the question about protest is an interesting and important one. in planning the security of any event, whether it is the olympics or anything else, you have to account for potential disruptions. to the extent that there's been landing, i am assuming that there is planning around everything from low-level criminality all the way to high- level terrorism. areetween there, unanticipated gatherings of individuals that could be disruptive. your question is a good one because we have been focused on the terrorist threat. but any security service looking
9:05 pm
at a major event like this is looking at a whole suite of potential disruptions that have to be taken into account both singular lewdly and then in singularly and then in combination. i am with the hispanic link news service in washington. what, short of any kind of disruption or attack, might cause the united states to withdraw, from your perception, from the olympics. secondly, what do you know about what preparations mexico and latin american countries are safety ofensure the their athletes? ?> that is a question for juan >> do you want to do this in spanish?
9:06 pm
know, specifically, what the latin american countries are doing? usually what happens it that you have a reliance on the host country to provide accurate security communications. usually, most delegations have their own protocols. the u.s. is best in class in that regard and probably the most demanding international player. to answer your first question, i absent an actual attack, what would be disruptive to the u.s. participation -- the only thing i can imagine is that if there were serious credible threats directed at u.s. athletes or venues that u.s. athletes would be attending. combined with the fact that the russians are not sharing the information about what is being done to counter it, and the sense that there is an inability
9:07 pm
to counter it ourselves. if there's a real sense of serious risk to our athletes that is imminent, that is material, and it cannot be countered, then you will start to see discussion in the situation room about what is to be done. that kind of decision is taken incredibly seriously. nobody wants to see the olympics disrupted. pulling american athletes out would be disastrous for everybody i think. and it would give the terrorists a victory. you would want to make that decision very carefully. and you only want to do it in the most serious of situations. thankould like to everybody for coming out. you can follow our twitter feed. we will have a transcript out later, which we will release on twitter and on our home page.
9:08 pm
csis.org. thank you for coming this morning. >> transcript? >> tomorrow? >> perfect. >> thank you. the virginia governor, bob mcdonald, and his wife maureen, were taken in on corruption charges. last summer, the governor apologized and said he had returned more than $120,000 in loans and gets from the ceo of a dietary supplement company. left early this month after four years in office. in a few moments, the former
9:09 pm
chairman of the joint chiefs of debt talks about how the affects national security. then there will be the swearing in of governor chris christie. after that, the discussion of terrorist threats to the olympic games in russia. our live coverage on c-span tomorrow includes the march for life at noon eastern from the national mall in washington. sebelius.m., kathleen is expected to provide an update on the affordable care act to the u.s. conference of mayors. >> i did not see myself as a prophet with a message for my world. i saw myself as someone trying to understand. lectures at some
9:10 pm
the academy in colorado springs. a very well educated broad- professor wasl, supposed to look after me, had chats of may, which i found interesting. he wanted to create in my mind and impression. i might've thought of them is very right wing and fundamentalist. but he told me that he was in favor of immigration. said, when people come to the country, they should learn the native language. said, yes, i quite agree. everybody should learn spanish.
9:11 pm
evolution of the united states from a hispanic perspective. ont is sunday at 9:00 p.m. after words. online, you still have time to weigh in on " the liberty amendment." >> several years ago mike mullen said the biggest threat to national security was the debt. the joint chiefs of staff look to the concerned veterans of america about the debt and spoke about the nsa. this is an hour. >> thank you to the veterans of america for putting on these events.
9:12 pm
i've been to a lot of events, and i think the quality has been very high at the events i have been at. hopefully, we will keep to that this morning. he needs no introduction, he was the chief of naval operations from 2005-2007. and then he was the joint chiefs chairman from 2007-2011, capping a very successful decade. thank you for being here this morning. we'll have a brief discussion,
9:13 pm
talk about the debt, which admiral mullen highlighted himself. >> it was a random question that the reporter asked me. [laughter] >> always a mistake, answering those questions. in 2010 and a random reporter in the pentagon said what is the greatest threat we face in the united states? he said the greatest threat is our national debt. that got a lot of attention. our national debt is a little above her team trillion dollars was a little above $13 trillion, and is now above $17 trillion. what would you say now? >> thank you for doing this. thank you, pete, for your organization. i think what you are doing is critical and i would say it is good you are young because this is a long haul. it is not going to happen quickly, but please persist. this seat affords me an opportunity to watch my car gets
9:14 pm
towed away because it is in the snow emergency route, i am sure. [laughter] i was telling bill earlier, i cannot remember the forum that was there when the reporter asked me that question. but i have given it a lot of thought. from a very strategic level i believe that the military is part of the solution to better outcomes throughout the world. and at a higher level it is about the economy. i focus a lot of my time on relationships with countries who were key economic engines in the world. whether it was brazil, china, or the middle east, or india, i try to spend some of my time in that regard. i believe that you can create stability in a peaceful environment, people's standard of living will improve and the economy will thrive.
9:15 pm
i really did believe that as the debt ticker went up substantially. people were doing handstands as it went down as if it went away, and it has not. we cannot be the country that we are capable of, in a time in the world where we are needed as much as we are, if we send ourselves into oblivion. we will not make the investments, and we will continue to lose what i consider to be credit, if you will, on the international stage. it is something that has to turn around.
9:16 pm
it is something that will take sacrifice on the part of everybody. you could take the whole pentagon budget, pour it into the debt, and it would have a minimum impact. it has to be the entitlement piece that we all know about, and have talked about for years. very specifically, from a retirement standpoint, the whole coal issue right now. i am happy to be means tested for my health care payments, i'm happy to be tested for other entitlements. i do not want to hurt the 20 year staff sergeants who are just bumping along. those who can afford and will more need to pay a little more,
9:17 pm
as far as i am concerned. i get asked what keeps me awake at night? number one is still the debt because we have not done much about it. >> when the paul ryan and patty murray budget deal was in reduction, the reaction to that was based on the judgment concerns and partly on misunderstanding of what the actual proposal was. it shows how hard it is to reform entitlements. >> i would like to see them means tested. i'm very conflicted about that, because when i was asked these questions on active duty, when we look at retirement for the military, for example, all of the chiefs, myself, and vice- chairman lined up in this position that we supported that long-term, but we wanted to grandfather it to anyone who had come in and had an actual contract for their career.
9:18 pm
those that clearly indicated that they may stay for 20 years we should grandfather any change like that. that does not increase any money into 15, or 2016, or for a significant amount of time. i get back to that we need to means test it, and everyone has to pitch in. we talk about entitlements in so many different -- it has the specific meaning of "you owe me this." i think it has a broad definition at different levels. people who are doing very well at the heart of their envelope
9:19 pm
of their income life, they feel entitled to do this whether they are or not. they need to some degree, for of that i am owed this. >> ever since he made that statement, we have not really had intent but reformed the but spending has leveled off. -- we have not really had entitlement reform, but the spending has leveled off. are you alarmed about the consequences of $17 trillion, and can we finally move on it?
9:20 pm
>> i was delighted with the budget agreement, that it took place. i worry that it sends the signal that this is over, and this short term focus that is out there in so many ways brought the country -- throughout the country. there is so much more work to do. i would hope it is a harbinger of the work to be done. let's hope that both parties are willing to make some sacrifices. >> one is the debt. education system.
9:21 pm
we've been talking about fixing that for a good 20 or 30 years. there've been significant efforts, in terms of particular charter schools. by and large it is still in very bad shape. there is a parallel to the debt issue. you have to have resources to invest for the future. you are not going to have much of a future. we have to have an educational system which is functioning at a very junior, and at the beginning if you will. i think the competitive advantage that america has is right here. if we invest in that it will be ok. if we continue to a road, we will not be competitive. schoolsot scale charter .
9:22 pm
i do not know what the answer is. i am a guy who believes in teachers. they were the most impactful people in my life. i think somehow we have to channel that. year afterr- princeton. i was not one of those graduates that was going to go teach. that does not mean that there are any. i think we need to turn that around. . we will wake up one day and wonder what happened. . i ask friends and historians. some are quick with, well we have been through this before. 1938 or 1939.
9:23 pm
. i asked the question of a number historian. time?d, when was the last he said the civil war. i do not know how he gets broken. somehow the willrship in the country march and figure out a way to get us moving in a much more positive direction. that these concerns me a great deal. i will not talk much about ciber, but ciber scares me to death. i understand how capable it is. i understand how legal the potential is.
9:24 pm
not just from a pentagon perspective, but from a national perspective. it is cable shutting down our grid. i can shut down our financial system. it speaks to the scale of the capability. i talk about it in terms of leaders. leaders need to understand this. they make decisions on people and investments and policies. that is of huge concern. we are not doing very well for our veterans. just because i was chairman in focus heavily,
9:25 pm
but not exclusively on the war. there were tough deployment numbers. was fumbling along and getting better. arer unemployment numbers about twice the national average. half of them are married. they need to put food on the table. i am not convinced you can do it from washington. there are issues associated with that. what i've tried to do is engage leaders. someone is god to lead. they have to customize the support for veterans folks on health education and appointment and remember that they have been extraordinary in the wars. these are two income families. they have huge capabilities they can offer. seo will out there on the part of the american people.
9:26 pm
we've seen some pretty significant progress in certain parts of the country. are leavinghat they the military at about 1000 today, which is normal. and we are setting up at about 100 today. it is better than ed has been in the past in many ways. but we are just beginning. as we come out of afghanistan, these words.g with america doesn't have a stake in the wars. and makingbility sure this young group, and it would be 2 million then and women, it was the best i've ever seen. i did it for a decade. they're going to make a difference in the future. i see them by the thousands. they're going to make a huge difference. investing in them is a great investment. that's where i spend a lot of my
9:27 pm
free time. >> thank you for spending your time on that. there are people who served 20 years, obviously. the people who need the most help are the people who do not have a provider for them. they do not have a college degree. if they have the skills in the business world to help them as well as we can. but i worry. i love my officers, but that is not my focus. bulk. we have seen in our lives, ceos from the korea, for world war
9:28 pm
ii. that is where they started. a stronger but counted individuals. they do not want a handout. we need to just guide them to the opportunities. once they get in, they will not get out of the park. i really believe that. they have to go and they have been surgeons on the battlefield. and they've did a whole recertification process. we are making some progress there. that out of the 100 or so that it getting hired about 17% of those who joined the military stay in. it has been that way for a long time.
9:29 pm
is a significant effort, i hope, that is underway. i applaud that. does not mean i have an answer to take away the 20 year retirement. we did that once. it did not go well. there is a lot of work that needs to be done there. the retirement system is very generous. issue. a bipartisan we are in much better shape than we were back then. there is something weird about a system which values that. and then it assigns no value to this, and that is not quite fair. that is an interesting reform item i think.
9:30 pm
>> you obviously dealt with these matters at the highest level. would you want to reassure americans that the nsa is doing the job? or should they be alarmed by these stories? >> they are an extraordinary group of professionals. that is my understanding. i do not claim to be inside all the time. it.e were two aspects of one is, they were compliant with the law. they had the interests of the united states of america at the top of their list. beneficialry undertaking in terms of figuring out what this was. i said for a long time, i hate with a did. i think snowden is a traitor.
9:31 pm
i think that the debate that has ensued is an important debate. this debate about the balance between privacy and security. it was long coming. i was worried, quite frankly, that we would get there and lose it immediately. and that the pendulum would swing too far. the healthy thing would have been to cycles ago that lieberman and collins were talking about the first homeland security discussions. it did not go far. we need to continue that. there is more life in oxygen and that approach. i think that is a healthy debate in this country. i hope we continue to have that. that is not going away. the danger is out there.
9:32 pm
>> you are chairman during the surge. and you paid close attention to that. you about what happens this year. should we use more force their? -- there? >> i tried to stay out of the policy world. i try to have an appreciation for how hard these jobs are. i said when i was chairman, and , everybodyle at would like afghanistan to go away. i do not think they're going to go away soon. the challenges that exist there
9:33 pm
from a terrorist in point, and from and instability standpoint continues. is, what is the united states position in that, in terms of longer-term outcomes? as important as the security forces have been in afghanistan, the train security forces, the issue, from my perspective, is government fees. there are very few afghan citizens that don't look at us as a corrupt government. look at us from a particular position, even though we are there to help. that is the political piece. that inthat addressing
9:34 pm
a much more aggressive way, i think we have to figure out how to do that. one of the things that the report did teach me is that i think we're going to have to future, howin the do we deal with corrupt governments, different from how we've done it in the past? it is too transparent. there's too much information. we know they are too corrupt. it is pretty chaotic. back on the values that are true to us as a country , sort of that kind of framework where we don't know exactly what make sure that freedom, democracy, human rights, and the lack of corruption -- now, i am not saying that we can go anywhere and totally eliminate corruption. that is not the idea. but how do you address it, from
9:35 pm
a policy standpoint? and how do you lead with that in the long run? bowl issue that is being discussed right now -- that is a smart move. i do not know what the outcome is. i think understanding what is in the president's mind is very challenging. >> you had hoped to leave residual force in iraq. how much of a price do you think we are paying that that was not able to be done? >> i am watching iraq just like
9:36 pm
everybody else. it has been extremely disappointing. i worry a great deal about the politics, obviously he re. i am not shocked. overstatet want to the impact of her residual force. pretty --ll generally pre syria. , and this believe goes back to how does the military fit in? how does force fit in? asould like it to fit in part of an overall strategy. there are political and systematic endeavors to create an outcome, and then you figure out how to use military force.
9:37 pm
the political structure, the diplomatic structure, it needs to be there. it it is not perfect. but it needs to be there. and needs to stop the killing. campsabout getting those and out of those who are in the country, getting people back to their homes. it is too easy to pick up a stick and do something, and then figure out what happens after the case. i feel that way. thought a discussion about giving them help. there is an opportunity to do that. i certainly wouldn't want to see that fall apart. ask, the question i'll pivot to asia.
9:38 pm
i was talking to friendly leaders there. they welcome the idea of this. i am not sure if there was much reality behind it. i was struck by how nervous they were by what they see as the u.s. withdrawal elsewhere. if they say there is a redline and don't do anything, people think, what about our redline here? the east tennessee, the red tennessee. i am just curious. what is your general sense of what is happening there, and what we should be doing their? >> there was ash first of all, the tension was much higher than i expected it to be, particularly between japan and china.
9:39 pm
i didn't hear about anything else except china. what i said earlier about focusing on the economy. that is an economic summit needs the world. in needs to be stable. we have the second-biggest economy in the world. we need to be engaged. i was very supportive of this, and of the rebalance, if you will. that said, i think we are in for here.o 40 year run one of the things that americans don't understand well enough is what it is like to grow up in the middle east, and to think about surviving, whether you are into buildings or in the palace, and what that means. and when you have these leadership changes that occur in ,his country like libya, iraq , that we expect
9:40 pm
leadership to show up. they are not there. the leaders there have killed them all, jill the mall, or they are out of the country. all, or they are out of the country. i think we need to be modest, in terms of what we need by democracy and taking steps toward democracy, in terms of our expectations when changes like this occur. the middle east is not going to go away. the rebalancing, i think that is very important. can do itt think we and not continue to focus on the middle east. that is probably about all the resources we are going to have in this downturn. somell turn around at point. but we are not going to have a lot of ability to focus on that
9:41 pm
in the next few years. we are at about year three of a 10 year cycle. we should stay engaged as best we can. but the impact is really important. particular ins in asia specific -- pacific, our relationship with asia, and can we emerge in the future in a constructive way with china? i just completed a commission with energy security. having an energy security policy with danny blair and mike and
9:42 pm
dennis ross and john hanna. we have an opportunity in the energy world to work with china as they become the biggest consumer in the world. we do not need to get into a fight with china. that does not mean it won't happen. but i think that is a focus. brand new leader in china. brand new leader in south korea. brand new leader or second time around leader in japan. and it's very, very sense. it's a very worrisome -- it's very worrisome and we need to stay engaged. as we isolate out of war which is normal for us as a country, i think we need to be very careful
9:43 pm
about what we isolate ourselves from. there's an expectation out there that the united states lead and whether someone loves us or hates us they have that expectation. if we're not meeting that things are changing and i don't know that we can predict what the outcome will be except generally worse than it's been depending on what region of the world you're talking about. >> i think that's such an important message where we would like it to affect us and not to focus. why don't we just kind of liberate ourselves from that and a friend of ours wrote, we may lose interest in the middle east but the middle east is not losing interest in us. it's a message people don't want to hear because it has implications of doing certain things and but i think it's an important message for the country.
9:44 pm
do you want to repeat a couple of the questions and then we'll take questions? pete's got questions from virtual watchers around the country and then we'll take questions from real people here. >> we promised them they would. only a couple and then we'll open it up for sure. mr. chairman, the first is from robert from texas. he's active military down in texas. he said, we've got an issue when the congress continues to buy army doesn't want or cargo planes that they send to the bone yard. can the armed forces assert themselves on what is needed on spending reforms. >> one of the things that i heard you talk about was
9:45 pm
acquisition reform. i could fill this room with those studies. >> or you could empty this room by talking about for 2 or 3 hours. >> but it's a lot of money and i don't have an answer. i spend a lot of my life in the money and program world. it's incredibly difficult. i think it has to be done in congress. the services have a great and critical part with respect to that as well. my own view is that we make things much more expensive because requirements creep over time. i think just on the faith of it saying let's just detach a congresswoman or man from their constituent is a pipe dream. i have seen it with persistent pressure over time and those would argue it takes too long and it does. i think you have to keep that pressure on in terms of m one tanks or cargo planes or
9:46 pm
c-17's where we had great arguments -- debate about how many do we need. you need to go through all that. if we could accelerate that process, that would be good. i think it would make everybody -- put everybody in a better place. but you can't disregard who we are as a country which that lack of representative represents their people in their district and they'll represent them. >> absolutely. mc cain called it the military congressional complex which it can be. to that point on reform, if that acquisition reform is difficult, the spending reform -- you mentioned entightments and others. you got to please your own backyard before you go to others. what are the most tangible ways could attempt to find the way to
9:47 pm
cut the fat the point isn't cutting the d.o.d. budget but getting rid of inefficiencies. we talked about something like auditing the pentagon. what are tangible groups can take? >> i think the biggest inside the pentagon that they're really two things. one is that the overhead is just grown enormously. on the order of it's about twice what it was 10 or 20 years ago. i can't remember exactly what the date was. we need to reduce that. it's just too easy to cut tooth. so that's where people end up going. we need to be -- getting at the overhead piece is very, very hard. there are twice as many civilians working in the pentagon as there were 10 or 20 years ago. if you can't get at that what happens is we just cut the size of the force. fully 50-60% of the funds are tied up in the people.
9:48 pm
if you're going to make changes you got to go where the money is and the money is there. my view is the force will get a little smaller. i don't know how small. i also hope it isn't just across the board and everybody take the same cut because we need to customize our force for the world we're living in and learn the lessons of these wars and not incorporate them into the future. we have a bad history in this country ignoring the lessons and just moving forward and then starting all over again. so we need to -- what translates to the future and what doesn't? how much technology and how many
9:49 pm
people what are the capabilities, does it have any relevance? we thought it didn't have any relevance in these wars until it went down downtown baghdad and then it was pretty relevant. there is no easy answer here. but i'd start with the overhead. bob gates and i worked on these efficients. the system revolts when you do that. i tell a story, gordon england came in and i was the budget officer for the navy in 2001. he said we'll cut 10,000 civilians out of the navy. i took the money out and three years later we were down one civilian. so because there are senior civilians who have worked there their whole life and they understand the system and they're great people. but it's how do you get at solving that kind of problem. it's very, very tough. >> my question is there's been much written about a coming war against the active force and the
9:50 pm
national guard in the reserves. i seen a statistic about 27% of the d.o.d. budget and 40% roughly of the deployment days. >> good morning. my question is about, there has been much written recently about a coming war between the active force in the national guard and reserves. the national guard reserves spent 27% of the dod budget and 40% of deployment days. what do you think is ahead of this battle between the reserve force and the active-duty with fewer resources? and how do you think they're reserve forces are going to fare? >> one might think i had no preparation for dealing with the national guard and reserve and active forces but actually having handled the marine corps money and aviation, my whole life -- it is all about money in the end. i had some background in this and i worked hard as chairman to bring these groups together and bring the leaders together routinely.
9:51 pm
i was really disturbed in a story that i saw on the 17th of december that was talking about airplanes, not surprisingly. i think leaders in all organizations, active guard and reserve, have to figure out what the future holds. i worry a great deal about hanging onto the past. eventually, you are going to do yourself in. as money gets tighter, i worry a great deal about that fight separating the services. it gets solved in congress -- and back to my navy and marine corps piece, i didn't want congress solving that problem for me. i wanted to solve it and eventually the head of the navy with jim conway who i work for the other thing is when we do that constantly, we are just training our kids. when they grow up, they don't know any other behavior. it perpetuates itself. there is a rich history here. i think the answer that is more
9:52 pm
efficient is overstated. we would be nowhere in these wars without the guard and reserve. they have been incredible. their rotations have been more than they expected. at the same time i think it is going to slow down. the leadership has to focus on this. i worry about spokesmen from the past saying this is the answer. i think everybody has got to be all in to solve these difficult budget issues as opposed to creating great fissures inside a service or between the army and the guard because if you do that, those that actually get to solve the problem, they write a check and nobody wins. >> john? >> thank you admiral for your remarks. going back to your original topic about the budget, my question is twofold. was sequestration a good or bad
9:53 pm
idea? second, with the influx of people on medicaid under the affordable care act, can we say that the affordable care act, obamacare, is actually enhancing the entitlements that you say should be reformed? >> i am not smart enough on the impact of it and actually, one of the areas i stay out of his obamacare. [laughter] one, i am not very smart on it. i have read a lot about it -- secondly, we are just finding out in execution what it really is.
9:54 pm
i think predicting what the impact will be in terms of health care for those men and women in service and those who have retired, i just don't know. that said, back to my experience in the budget world, the numbers as i recall, the amount of money in the dod budget in 2001 for health care was $19 billion. in 2011, i think it was $51 billion. it is going to $65 billion, the last number i had, in 2015. it is not sustainable. i used to say we were going to have a healthy, small force. it just keeps going through the roof. i testified and supported an increase in co-pays for years. in terms of those who could afford it, we could test that but we need to do that. we are just trading off the size of our force. we are trading off the capabilities of our force for billions of dollars of health
9:55 pm
care. it is good health care, i am not arguing that. how that fits into where we are going as a country other than costs continue to rise, i am not sure. as you said that, the silver lining of sequestration was that spending was reduced. i hated it. i know what that does inside a service in terms of the impact. people, the green eye shade men and women start pulling back money far before anybody really knows it. they don't have any kind of certain outcome. they don't know where we are going. so yes, we have a budget now, a budget agreement where there isn't going to be sequestration
9:56 pm
for a year i think, but i can tell you inside the services and the pentagon, nobody knows where this is going. our budget that is over there now was based on the 2014 budget which was based on a continuing resolution from fiscal year 2000 well with no certainty. -- 12 with no certainty. if you are trying to plan more than 12 months in advance, you have nothing to plan against. the downside of that in terms of uncertainty was just incredible. the other thing -- i do worry about this and i would be interested in your view -- after every war, we lose really good people. i worry a great deal about losing our best young sergeants and junior officers after these wars. particularly, as the economy improves, they are going to leave. we can't afford to do that. we need to keep the best that we have in the military, not just numbers but qualities have got to be there.
9:57 pm
sequestration went into execution -- we were halfway through the fiscal year. so half the money is gone. you have to go to where the money is. where do you get it? you take it out of training. you're not flying airplanes, driving ships or running up tank miles in training and these young j.o.'s are saying, i signed up to fly or go to sea, and they can't maintain their systems and that is the easiest place to get money. it has a retention impact that i think we don't really understand.
9:58 pm
i am not a fan of sequestration. i think getting our arms around somehow reducing the spending was important. the worry some thing about this is there were extremes from both parties that met on the other side and found common ground to put that in effect. that isn't the bipartisan approach that i grew up with. it needs to be on this side, the more reason side of the world not the extreme side. >> my sense on that is, the defense department didn't do as good a job. how much damage it was doing operationally -- you could take $20 billion out of the budget but to do it in the incredibly arbitrary way that sequestration did, unless you were an insider, you didn't understand it. i got a little understanding talking to people in the pentagon on that. it is easy to sit there and say, let's just cut some of the fat but that is not how it works.
9:59 pm
>> the mechanisms and how we spend money are arcane. you lose interest. and about the third sentence you're trying to explain this to somebody, they are not interested. the real impact is on people's lives. >> over here? young lady there? >> good morning, i am the executive director of a foundation which is dedicated to bridging civilian-military divides. i have a question for admiral mullen about the balance of philanthropy in government and what some of the challenges are to that. we find in the work that we do to leverage the full spectrum of resources across the country, it typically takes us anywhere between five to 10 organizations to cover one family. you talk a f
10:00 pm
goodwill. i am wondering how you see that balance play out. about america moving away from those who served because the war is over. i do see this sea of goodwill filled with great americans who want organizations in local governments throughout the country that want to figure out how to do this. we have got tens of thousands of these organizations chasing the same dollar. we need to consolidate efforts. that is hard. passionate people about their organization have to figure out how to either incorporate other leaders from other organizations that are focused in the same way so that we can reduce the overall overhead with respect to and have an impact of the dollars that are out there

149 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on