tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 18, 2015 3:00am-5:01am EDT
whose capability is less clear. some of that includes budget certainty so we can build a military to deal with those threats and be a adaptive when we get it wrong. the key to that is leader development. no one does that better than we do. committee member: i wish you the best of luck. mr. franks: thank you. i want to add my personal gratitude on behalf of my children for your noble and lifelong commitment to the cause of human freedom and its future. secretary carter, it has been highlighted in several mediums recently that the kurdish strategy seems to be the one that is working. it seems to be very effective. yesterday, i had the privilege of hosting the president of
kurdistan, national assembly of syria. he was very honest about the strength of the kurdish people. 40 million or 50 million rep turkey, iran iraq, and syria. the estimated 40,000 fighters could be ready once called. but he emphasized their greatest limitation is not the number of fighters, but ammunition equipment, things they need in terms of hard support. if the reports are true that the administration lobbied against a effort in the senate to directly are the peshmerga why, and what is the defense department doing to ensure that the and weapons we have to send will make it into the committed and capable hands of the peshmerga? sec. carter: thank you congressman. you are right.
committed, capable. the kurdish forces are what we aspire to with respect to their iraqi security forces. in general, they show the will to fight. i pointed earlier to their seizing, in past days, a critical lifeline of supplies to isil. they are effective in protecting and defending their region and in the larger campaign to defeat isil. so we are supporting them from the air. we are supporting them with equipment, to get to your point. i met with mr. barzani we went through the various categories of weapons we are providing. i should note we are not the only one. the system the kurds have gotten
that they value the most come from european allies. that shows everybody is in the fight. but we are committed to supporting kurdish forces. the reason for the angle shot, so to speak, is if the government gets back to supporting a multi-sectarian iraq. that is the policy. we have turned to baghdad and said, you cannot slow this down. in the earlier days, they were slowing it down. now it is getting directly to our stuff and from europe and elsewhere. committee member: i appreciate that and i understand the policy. i hope we will continue to work in that direction. the deadline for the nuclear
negotiations is weeks away. the perception is that the u.s. is entering into a deal with iran that is, in my judgment, already had a great effect on russia and china. as they watch us, in their minds, capitulate to a lesser power. i am worried saudi arabia is consolidating a nuclear future and that the u.s. appears weaker with every step isis takes. i knows the -- i know these are decisions on the administrative level, but these could have much greater implications across the middle east, as you know. how is the administration and of the department ensuring that we balance near-term isis threat with a long-term iranian threat? and what effects on the ground do you see this injection of the
iranian economy with billions of dollars that they may continue sponsorship of terrorism? what effect will that have? gen. dempsey: that is not a 10 second question. i will give you a six second answer. we have state threats and nonstate actors. isil's strategy is the subset of a global strategy. i would be happy to lay it out for you. mr. thornberry: time is expired. we have to try to hold to the five-minute rule. committee member: congratulations, general dempsey, on your upcoming retirement. i want to address the fact i continue to have reservations about a mission to equip syrian
opposition forces. our ability to differentiate between numerous factions, properly oversee the mission and know whether those we are training are working in support of u.s. goals long-term. i understand that training has officially begun. my reservations remain. namely, our ability to identify those who can be counted on. now that the training is underway, i am concerned about a range of issues. what happens to the rebels when they come under attack from isis fighters? could you please elaborate on the process for supplying the rebels and what support they will receive? also, what is our long-term commitment if they are armed with u.s. caliber weapons? have we committed to long-term supply of nato caliber bullets?
they are not using ak-47's. were providing the nato rounds? i want to make sure we know how a group of rebels -- what their objectives will be, how we measure success. sec. carter: an excellent question. the syrian train and equip program is more challenging than the iraq train and equip program for the reasons you cited. we are trying to recruit and identify people that can be counted on. that is, to fight, to have the right mindset and ideology, not be aligned with groups like isil
, and work towards our goal, for them to fight isil. it turns out to be hard to identify people who need those criteria. the general is trying hard to identify such people. you raised another question, when we equip them and set them loose. what responsibility do we have for them thereafter? i believe we have obligation to support them, including supply them. there will be questions raised, including by this committee, did any of the stuff we get them get diverted? we are dealing with government security forces and have a little more experience keeping control over it equipment. these people we are trying to recruit in syria, it is trickier.
the constraints we put on ourselves, which are understandable, do progressively limit the number of inductees into the program. it limits the growth of the program. we have enough training sites but not enough trainees. gen. dempsey: thank you congresswoman. whenever i talk to veterans, they consider the -- themselves fortunate to have you here. i share your reservations. this is challenging. more challenging than iraq. but it is a necessary step. we have experience supporting the ypg around the syrian-turkish border. what is under consideration is command and control, close air support. no decisions made. we have not reached a point to deploy them.
we have had challenges recruiting and retaining. we are trying to work through those. as i said, we have a template we have applied that we think is applicable. those decisions will be made sometime in the next couple of months. committee member: at what point is there diminished returns? if you have so few recruits that can meet the criteria, is it worth it to continue this policy of training and equipping syrian rebels? gen. dempsey: for now, we are just at the first iteration of this. it is too soon to give up on it. the alternative is to try to find groups within syria, which is in itself a challenge, to partner with. mr. wittman: thank you so much for your service.
i want to go to your comments that you made about the lack of overall success with iraqi forces against isis. you talk about shortcomings whether it is command-and-control, capability, will to fight. there have been suggestions that there are more things we can do with our forces from an operational perspective additional enablers, flying more air cover, special operations in targeted areas. better intelligence surveillance-reconnaissance. trailing at the battalion level. even the assertion it may be better to put more troops on the ground arab nations that have interest countries like jordan, saudi arabia, egypt. we have heard from you about the shortcomings of the iraqi
forces. is there more we can do from an operational aspect with our efforts? sec. carter: thank you. how has the isf performed? it is mixed. counterterrorism forces have fought admirably and relentlessly, almost to the point of exhaustion, over the past month. others have dissolved and collapsed. furthermore, iraqi forces had increasingly become a shia force. rather than a sunni force, which is why the sunni people felt they needed to come back.
to get to your question, when we have capable iraqi ground forces , like the ones we are trying to build, your question is, what kind of support will we provide? we are committed to providing intelligence advice support. with respect to introducing more forces on the ground that is something we will need to revisit as the forces are produced. once we have a capable force what can we do to enable it? i like your idea of not just involving us in that. our goal is to be an enabler, motivator. not a substitute for a capable ground force. that is where we would like to get to.
gen. dempsey: the words to keep in mind, beside the strategy matching complexity, is trans regional. isis has tentacles in other places. that is the point to carry with you. we have almost 50% of the global resource in isr committed to iraq and syria. that is a heavy lift. the rest of it is reacting to european security, issues related to iranian aggressiveness yemen, issues with the pacific. and afghanistan, where we still have 10,000 troops committed. we are trying to make this a sustainable effort.
we are trying to provide unique capabilities. meaning that which no one else can provide. but we are, of course, looking at moments for limited objectives, offense of operations where we might provide a boost. but i would be reluctant -- my military judgment would be that introduction of those resources should not be on a habitual basis. we want them to understand this is their fight. rather for moments it would be strategically significant. for example, an assault on mosul. mr. wittman: i yield back. committee member: mr. secretary in the nine lines of effort that comprise our strategy, the first
one you cited is political. you said every other line of effort follows from the. we must be successful politically. if we are going to achieve our goals in the region. you gave an example of building governments. can you tell us where we have built governments in a region successfully? follow-up question, how long will that take? since everything follows the success of that first line of effort. sec. carter: that is a very complicated task. in iraq, it will mean helping the iraqis when they recover territory from isil to build a system of governance that the people are willing to support and defend long-term. where have we had success?
my view is we have had considerable success in afghanistan. speaking to president ghani yesterday morning, reporting the results of the campaign. afghan security is, which we trained and are enabling, the national unity government of president ghani and of the love tule -- abdullah abdullah, is a government holding together. this in afghanistan of -- an unlikely place for that to be done. we are not at that stage in iraq. but when we get to that stage, i think we will participate in an international effort to help these places that are tragically demolished to rebuild themselves
and govern themselves. mr. o'rourke: 15 years in afghanistan to get to a successful example, including the fact we have been in iraq 2003, invested tens of billions of dollars, trained and army that melted in the face of the enemy. i have serious resignation about the potential to achieve success. the third line of effort you mentioned is helping to produce a capable committed, local ground force. you admitted we had budgeted to equip 24,000 and have only recruited 7000. you add that the only ground forces, apart from the iraqi army, or the shia militias funded and armed by iran. is this a serious proposal? is this a serious line of effort we can expect to succeed, given
the recent failures, in your admission, that the iraq he army lacks the will to fight? sec. carter: it is a serious effort, but it hinges upon sunni fighters coming into the iraqi security forces. being trained and equipped by us and the coalition, enabled by us, but fighting for their homeland. that is the essential ingredient. that was absent starting last summer. quite clearly absent. not everywhere. earlier, we talked about the peshmerga. i mentioned the cts and other units of iraqi security forces that did fight. as you indicated, there are shia militias which we do not support. we only support those that fall under the government of iraq as
part of our overall strategy of supporting a multi-sectarian government. it is difficult. the gap between 24,000 and 7000, the whole point of takada is trying to close that gap. i think we will get on track to close the gap. mr. o'rourke: one of my colleagues and you agreed that one of my -- our primary missions is to support soldiers. i can think of no greater way of supporting them then ensuring we have a strategy that will succeed when we place them in harm's way, and acknowledge that many of them will lose their lives. i hope there is a plan b. sec. carter: amen to that.
that is another reason they deserve a clear asked the nation. -- explanation. committee member: thank you gentlemen, for your service. secretary carter and general dempsey, thank you for your service to our beloved nation. i do have some questions about what is happening in iraq. your nine points or nine lines you talk about, secretary carter , most of them are non-kinetic. messaging and counter messaging and that sort of thing. general dempsey, you said the other day, with regard to ramadi , that the city itself is not symbolic in any way. what factors on the ground would
change? this is a question for both of you. what would change on the ground in iraq that would change our strategy, particularly in a more kinetic way? sec. carter: there is, in one's thinking, the question, what if a multi-sectarian iraq turns out not to be possible? i think the chairman undressed that. i agreed with what he said in response to congressman smith. that is an important part of our strategy on the ground. if that fails, if the government cannot do what it is supposed to
do, we will try to enable local forces if they are willing to partner with us, to keep stability. but there will not be a single state of iraq. at the same time, i think the other nine lines of effort signify that, while we are working on this challenging situation on the ground in iraq, we are trying to protect ourselves and contain the threat. mr. fleming: to be more specific, let's say baghdad is in danger of falling. the entire government could be toppled. would that change our on the ground strategy? change the extent to which we use kinetic activity? sec. carter: i will ask the chairman to comment as well. i do not see that particular
scenario as very likely. prime minister abadai has surrounded baghdad with much of the remaining iraqi security forces. many of them, as i have noted are shia in orientation and therefore, likely to fight fiercely. i will ask the chairman for his judgment. gen. dempsey: that is why we are there right now. the threat was what drew us into the kinetic portion of the fight. as well as into baghdad. and the fact we have a diplomatic presence in the form of the embassy. look, we will always protect national interests unilaterally. in fact, some of the recent special operation strikes and kinetic strikes you have seen is conduct -- let's not forget,
these 1650 pilots know how dangerous it is sure they find themselves with engine failure or a shot from a air defense weapon. we are active kinetically. would something causes to be more kinetic? obviously, it would be credible intel of a threat to a -- the homeland or facilities and person. for the day-to-day isil fight we rely on coalition partners. mr. fleming: what if the homeland is hit, such as 9/11? with that change the strategy in iraq? in what way? gen. dempsey: i suspect so.
but the fundamental strategy today is to prevent that from happening and to have an enduring outcome. if you are suggesting that we could do a better job, absolutely. but we would be back there to years from now. committee member: thank you, mr. chairman, general dempsey secretary carter, for your service. i believe we must have a full and open debate on ongoing operations in the middle east. given the ever-changing situation, has there been any thought on updating changes to the aumf measures since they were submitted? any thoughts on extensive ground operation? sec. carter: i will answer that. the question the chairman and i
asked ourselves about the aumf several months ago, we asked two questions. one, did this give us the needed flexibility and of authority to conduct a campaign that is necessary? second, would its passage clearly signify to our people meaning our men and women in uniform and members of the department of defense, that the country is behind them in the fight? those of the two things that are important to me. the first question is affirmative for me in the version the president submitted. because it was flexible in its definition of isil and the enemy, so to speak, because it
was not geographically limited. we know isil is geographically limited. it had the three-year peace which is not anything to do with a military campaign. i cannot tell you in three years, the campaign will be over. it is a recognition of our constitutional system, that there could be a new president and the idea of their revisiting the strategy seems reasonable to me. the only restriction within it is about long-term large-scale offensive combat operations, which we judge are not part of our strategy. and we do not think will be needed to combat isil. therefore, i am ok with that provision in the draft the president has submitted. those are questions we asked
ourselves. i hope it will pass. i cannot say if it is legally necessary, but i think it would show support for the troops, which is a good thing. committee member: secretary carter, 450 troops were deployed in support of operation in harwich result. you have said we can do -- nothing we can substitute for iraqi forces will suffice. following the fall of ramadi, you made similar comments. i think many of us are concerned that the administration is considering committing a substantial ground force to the ongoing effort to combat isis. in 10 months, we have solely seen a ramp up. our options being considered to
redeployed a ground force to the region? if not, at what number will the line be drawn? we want to know how it ends and where we draw the line on american involvement. sec. carter: the essence of the strategy is not to have u.s. forces substitute for capable and motivated local forces, but to have u.s. and coalition forces enable those forces. the reason for that is that is the only way to get a lasting result. american forces, outside forces, can combat. but when it comes time for them to sustain a victory, that can only be done by local forces.
that is why our strategy is not to put in thousands of american troops. it is to put in smaller and carefully selected groups that can have unusual leverage. that is the point. not about the number of people. it is the leverage they will have in the middle of sunni recruiting territories. it is right in the middle of the anbar operation center. committee member: general dempsey, thank you for your decades of dedicated service to this country. although i feel you have earned retirement, we will miss you. this country will miss your service. there is a position in this
government of no boots on the ground. i want to boil down what that means. i agree that we should not have u.s. military personnel in iraq as a ground component, taking the fight away from indigenous forces iraqi security forces. i also have a concern about the definition. i do feel there ought to be some u.s. military personnel with iraqi forces, forward air controllers, to make sure we have effective air support advisors. not simply behind the wire, but with iraqi units. i served in iraq with the marine corps. what i noticed on patrols was that it emboldened the confidence of the iraqi soldiers. what is the position of the
administration right now? i have heard critics complain about the effectiveness of close air support in terms of the number of missions and the effectiveness of those missions. general dempsey? gen. dempsey: thanks, congressman. on the boots on the ground issue , i do not know what the administration's position is long-term. by military judgment is that i would not recommend we put u.s. forces in harm's way to stiffen the spine of local forces. if there spine is not stiffened by the threat of isil, nothing we do will stiffen there spine. on the other hand, when they become offensive, and you
understand the distinction between defense and offense, if there is a strategic target, and we want to make sure they succeed, it could be a major city, oil refinery, i would certainly take the general's advice and go to the secretary of defense and have a conversation about how we could make the chances of success better. not just stiffen there spine. in terms of success of air power, the limitation is not about forward air controllers were u.s. serviceman. it is about the intermingling of a significant number of groups. let's take ramadi. you have the intermingling of iraqi security forces. maybe counterterror forces. some elements of the shia militia, some of which working on behalf of iraq, some of which we are concerned about, and tribes.
so we are very precise and deliver it about the use of air power so we do not undermine our campaign. sec. carter: just because you asked about the administration, i agree with everything the chairman has said. we are open to that judgment in the future. what we need is an iraqi ground force. then we can provide leverage. not to substitute, but leverage them. the last thing i will say is that there are on the ground -- boots on the ground in iraq. they are not just in baghdad. they are around the country. the job they are doing is building a capable and motivated ground force that we can leverage. and we will revisit that
question when we have a ground force to enable. committee member: let me make sure i understand your position. if forward iraqi forces are in contact with isis or enemy elements and close air support would be effective in terms of influencing that battle, shaping the battlefield, then you would support u.s. military personnel in the form of forward air control? gen. dempsey: we will take that one for the record congressman. mr. moulton: gentlemen: thank you for your service. general dempsey, when i walked into your office in baghdad as a lieutenant you proved to me
that you are not only a great national leader but that you are a very good boss. i am grateful for being able to serve with you as well as have you lead our country in important ways. thank you very much. when you say that putting combat troops on the ground is no substitute for local forces, because only they can produce enduring results, my concern is that the plan does not look materially different from what we were doing some time ago. just a smaller scale. i think the missing component is an enduring political plan to ensure the iraqi government can hold itself together. ultimately, it is a political failure in iraq. i think we all agree on that.
talking about how important this first line of effort is, building a more effective multi-sectarian government in iraq, i am concerned by my experience on the ground when i visited in february. i did not see a single american commander on the military side who knew anything about a political plan. when i talked to the ambassador in baghdad, his position was that it is up to the iraqis. it is not about us influencing a sovereign iraq. it is about us influencing iraqi politics or iran influencing iraqi politics. it concerns me frankly, mr. chairman, when you say you do not know what the administration's long-term plan is. if we do not know what the plan is, i'm not sure it is worth putting troops at risk in iraq. on a personal level, the most
frustrating part of going back to iraq was seeing so much of what we achieved gone away. i want to make sure we have a long-term, enduring political plan so that whatever effort is made by the 450 on the ground today does not go to waste and we find ourselves sending troops again five years from now. gen. dempsey: i did not intend to imply that i do not know what the administration's plan is. i try to lay that out. what i meant to suggest was that , as the campaign evolved, when we approach to the administration for additional resources within the context of strategy, they have taken our advice in every case. i have not gone forward with further recommendations. sec. carter: i want to second that.
with respect to your excellent question, that reinforces the first line of effort is it essential. the first line of effort being and iraqi government that will not be handled the way maliki's government was. that is something we can influence, not directly control. that is why the first second, and third line of efforts are important to align. mr. moulton: what are we doing to counter iranian influence on the ground in iraq today? sec. carter: we made it clear to prime minister abadi and all the parties, that we are not going to support militias or
shia forces supported by iran or otherwise constituted that are not under the control of the iraqi government. the ones we are going to support and enable, the ones we intend to be successful, will be under the control of the government of iraq. mr. moulton: are they responding to that leverage? i spoke to the iraqi ambassador and he says when the house is on fire, america comes with conditions and fire insurance. iran shows up with a fire extinguisher. sec. carter: we have spoken to prime minister abadi about this point. he is asking for our help. this he speak for everybody in baghdad? no.
but he is asking for our help, our support. mr. hunter: general and mr. secretary, thank you for being here. you have been asked about isis hot and heavy, so we will keep it in the middle east. two years ago, i asked secretary hagel to institute a hostage policy review, asked him to recruit a point person for dod. and secretary hagel did that. the white house instituted a hostage policy review. all of this came about because things were brought to my attention by colonel amory a special forces soldier in afghanistan, working on half his policy and recovery. he is being investigated. he is being drummed out of the army.
he would not have a hostage policy review unless secretary hagel started it. i would not have requested it. few would not have a point person in mike liumpkin. senator johnson wrote a letter a few days ago, asking you to look into secretary mchugh, his investigatory policies within the army. possible abuse by cid and the case of lieutenant colonel amory. i would just like >> i would like your commitment that you would look into this, because none of this would have happened if it weren't for this claim of whistleblower status because he helped the u.s. fix it botched hostage recovery
policy. of which we had none. you had at dei state dod, and other intelligence communities all in their own lanes doing their own thing for hostages. that is going to change. you will have your own hostage policy now that that is going to pass the senate, you will have that now. that would not have come about without the guy under investigation, who made it all possible. right? secretary carter: i am familiar with the case. it is under investigation. i am familiar with the case, you have my commitment that i will keep in touch with that investigation as appropriate. and also you will have, i can't speak for the history of cores
but you have my commitment with respect to a reasonable conclusion of the hostage policy review. and since the chairman may have them present at the creation of the review, if you'd like to, chairman -- comment chairman? general martin dempsey: we are both aware of it, we are enthusiastic to move ahead with this issue and make it more coherent across the government. mr. hunter: i understand that you cannot comment on it, that has happened in the past. i just ask that this is bigger than one particular service. when you look at this case in particular and jason and what he has done. he was in service to the entire country and the constitution and he was doing his duty. if you do not conduct some oversight on the investigation
the investigation will not have the outcome that it should have, it he will not be cleared and not exonerated as someone who actually got someone done within the system. i would hope that every single one of those gentlemen sitting behind you in uniform knows that they -- if they cannot work within the system, they can come to congress, that is what we are here for. when you are in the box, you can always fix yourself, i yield back mr. chairman. mac thornberry: thank you. representative. >> thank you. miss gabbard: i think it is important as we look at the strategy to defeat isis, it is
important we operate in the world that exists, not the one that we hope could exist or would exists in the future. it is important to recognize that these ideals are good to have, but we are operating in a world that exists today. so even as we look at this administrations policy, the previous administrations policy, the previous administration and the billions of dollars spent on holding onto this unified central government policy, even as we hear rhetoric from prime minister abadi, even as we hear from experts who wear the uniform and those who have studied the middle east for a long time, this is a fractured country. the kurds and the shia territories to the west. when you look at this question and you look at mr. secretary your answer to mr. works -- mr.
o'rourke's question about if there is a plan in place to allow for this the sunni tribes to secure themselves and he talked about how this would happen in the future. help the iraqi government put a plan in place for government, territories recovered. but my question goes to the great -- tikrit. i questioned this before it occurred, there was no plan for it at that time. and we saw the result. as soon as this city was taken homes were burned down, businesses were looted, and as a result, you can continue to see why these sunni people have no motivation to go and fight for this so-called iraqi security
force, this iraqi government that shut down bridges when they were trying to run away from isis. so i think we all recognize it at the sunni people need to be empowered, but this is why there is no faith in -- faced by many in congress and the sunni tribes more importantly, that there is a plan to empower them. secretary carter: i respect your expertise on this. one of my favorite sayings is hope is not a strategy. this is a strategy, the tickler part of the strategy which has to do with the integrity of the iraqi state is a challenging one. no question about it. for all of the reasons you described. it is, if they can be achieved better than sectarian is him -- sectarianism for the iraqi
people and for what we want, which is isil's defeat. is it difficult to achieve -- yes. does it even all caps and essentially gradient empowering this anything giving them the will to participate -- dissipate? absolutely. that is a good example. there was aftermath that incentivizes us to be trying to get cities to fight. if you put she is into the sunni fight, you know how that ends. that is not lasting defeat. that is why we are trying to get the sunnis into the fight. i think that you are asking exactly the right question. i think it is more the and hope -- and hope. we are determined to do this.
there are plenty of iraqis that say they will support that strategy and we can make it to the. -- make it succeed. this gabbard -- miss gabbard: i wouldn't say that this allows further oxygen for this to continue to grow in exist in sunni territory. thank you. mr. chairman: mr. brydon stein. mr. bridennstine: general,
you mentioned earlier about general mcchrystal and you have to defeat a network with a network and his commitment to that. certainly he was also very committed to the counterinsurgency strategy deployed in afghanistan. you were the deputy commander of centcom when we employed counter insurgency in iraq and i think you eventually became the acting commander of centcom under the counterinsurgency policy. my understanding is we employ that kind of strategies of that we can come to the diplomatic and political solution that she was just talking about. at idea is that we have space to maneuver so parties can come together and come to a governing solution that is reasonable for all involved. can you share with us your time there, why was it successful?
why was the counterinsurgency strategy in iraq successful? general martin dempsey: i think that the counterinsurgency is effective when the lines outlined in the beginning are applied, not just as a military instrument. there was not much else going on in the world. we invested resources into that effort. i don't think that you are suggesting, i guess i should probably ask if you are digesting that we should make that commitment again. rather it seems to me that we are trying to accomplish the objectives of a counterinsurgency, but adapting based on what we have learned, to make sure that most of that lifting is done by regional partners and the government of iraq itself. i'm not so jesting that we return to counter insurgency in iraq, but what does concern me is that we have heard from this administration that we have to
in -- and -- end the gains of the counterinsurgency, because we didn't have the status of forces agreement. and the reason we didn't have the status of forces agreement, according to the a administration, is that they could not get it ratified. all of a sudden we are putting thousands of troops that -- back. do we have that agreement? we have a 3000 servicemen and women on the ground. >> so it originally, t we didn't have a status of forces agreement? general martin dempsey: i don't know the answer to that. you are talking back in 2011?
>> my point is, if we can sustain the gains we have from a counterinsurgency, i think it was mr. moulton who talked about the gains, this was difficult for us as a nation. if we can do that with the exchange of the mimetic letters why would we do that with the exchange of divided -- of diplomatic letters? everything we fought to achieve it seems to all be for not. this is a lesson that we cannot go back and unwind, but we must be aware of this as we go forward, because these conflicts will happen again. the commander in chief need to make a decision that he does not do to change the policy that became -- that came before him. we inherit the policy from our predecessor and have to make decisions in the best interest of our country.
whether or not it was his word to begin with. general martin dempsey: you would have to concede that we have a much different partner in prime minister abadi. >> that is correct and had it we had an opportunity to do it with an exchange of diplomatic letters, that is something that prime minister maliki wanted to do. we rejected that. i yield back. mr. chairman: miss bordello. miss bordallo: i thank you for your service, gentlemen. as we have announced, the additional deployment of service members to the middle east, i've become troubled about the effects it will have on the readiness of our total force.
instead of sending complete units, we are deploying piecemeal opponents and it is portion and contingent of senior personnel. i am concerned that the portion of the unit that remains at home station or in training will be relegated to preparing only for small unit operations, instead of being able to train for full operations. now how will we mitigate this and ensure our reconstituting units will get the training they need to recover their readiness? that is the first part of the question. secondly, will we consider changing the model for how we generate forces for small-scale operations? secretary carter: excellent questions. i will start and ask the chairman to pitch in.
you are absolutely right, when we send in such a force, we tend to take certain elements, including the command element out of a larger unit, a brigade or division. it we deploy it forward, because it is the only part of the worst that we need. the rest stays behind. that is a readiness dilemma for this case, the army. and i know that the army works very hard on that. but it is, as you say, so the second part of your question, is are we thinking of ways, i forget how you put it, but systematizing and in dealing with the readiness issues. absolutely we are. secretary mchugh and general linear no art.
chairman was also the chief of staff of the army and perhaps you will comment as well. general martin dempsey: we are adapting our global force management process to account for the fact that as i mentioned earlier, for the first time in a long time, we have the issue of dealing with potential threats from state actors and nonstate actors. it's always our instinct to apply coherent units, that is to say units that have been organized, trained and equipped and had a long relationship with each other. it we are going to find ways to account for our global challenges with a hybrid solution to global force management. frankly, we are a much different army i will be happy to describe for you how we will approach that. >> thank you. mr. chairman: mr. one-stroke --
wenstrup. mr. wenstrup: thank you. as i say here and we go through all this, i can't help but reflect on thousands who served. it makes my stomach turn on i think of friends killed in certain areas that are now under control of isil. it is difficult to sit and watch what is taking place today. today we have a possibility of a resolution being brought forward that asks for the removal of u.s. troops from iraq and syria. what do you think the middle east will look like if we did that? general martin dempsey: our
withdrawal from this issue would challenge and the s in greater risk of overtime. no question about it. mr. one-stwenstrup: thank you. is it helping -- i would agree with you on that note, i think those are key components to whatever military operation we are engaged and. is it helping with recruitment on the local level? for our allies in this fight? general martin dempsey: at the moment are counter messaging is the truth, we do not have
particular ways of getting on social media and propaganda in -- i don't think you are suggesting we do that. mr. went strup: -- secretary carter: i will start with leadership, we step up and indicate that we are in the game, we are not substituting for the game, but we are in the game, whether it be here or anywhere else, i was just in southeast asia last week. there is a hunger for american leadership, we haven't played that role for decades in many parts of the world. same is true in europe. i think the best message we can give against all of these threats to our friends and allies is one of resolve and
steadiness. you made an earlier reference to continuity over time, that is important as well. the steadiness of american leadership, it goes back to all the things we had a conversation on, about the budget, we need steadiness there as well. that is the best kind -- that is for helping friends and getting them to do more. mr. wenstrup: how about the humanitarian side? i thought people of iraq again to trust us more than their own government, because of the way that we lived with them and we entered what they endured, we provided medical relief and things like that, are we doing things like that? the humanitarian effort that wins the hearts and minds of those we need to be successful? secretary carter: i don't think
we have had the full opportunity to do that. when we take back territories, we need to help the iraqis to do that, to restore services, make sure people are getting food power, all of these things that make up normal life. i have to be the sequel to a military defeat of isil otherwise the tide will turn back again. that is intentional. we want not try to do that by ourselves about i think -- that i think that we needed to enable the aftermath. many of the partners we haven't are willing to do that and they have experience in doing that, including in afghanistan. it is not like the u.s. has to bear the only bird in there. mr. wenstrup: thank you, i yield back. mr. chairman: mr. ashford.
mr. ashford: thank you. on-topic probably it has been asked and answered a couple of times, but when i was in iraq and -- past a question, a compelling question. when one of the -- there was quite a bit of optimism when we are there in february, and it had to do with the fact that in june there would be in operation and muzzle -- mosul, but much has changed and then, but obviously you are just that. one thing for me, and i reported back to the nebraskans, was that i saw the emergence of countries
trying to unify these groups in a less sectarian manner and king abdullah of jordan was one of those. and it was very to me, at least to someone who was new to this it was very optimistic and he talked about his idea of ringing sunni leaders -- bringing sunni leaders together. and and to, ever since that time, the jordanians have been challenged by significant things, not at least for which the refugees and some of the al qaeda issues. number one, i guess my question would be, how are things going with jordan and do you see that that sort of exceptional list kind of approach that he was
taking being able to move forward? secretary carter: it is a key question that was alluded to but you hit the nail on the head. which is where are the other particularly sunni aligned powers in the region in this fight which is essentially for a big swaths of sunni territory by a group where religion is the center of their political ideology? in the case of jordan, there is no question about that. it is the level of insight by the king and the tremendous support he has in jordan, and part because of the tragic burning, he is all in and a committed partner, and we are
doing everything we can to work with him. the refugees are a challenge to a small country like jordan, so definitely a worry. when we had the gcc countries here in washington a about a month ago and they were raising issues and other region, including iran, which they are concerned about, but we are saying it is not just iran there is isil. and you are uniquely positioned to play a greater role in this campaign. and they indicated some willingness to do so and at the moment we are trying to help them build the capacity to do so, because some of them don't have the ground forces that could help them participate in the campaign against iraq.
mr. ashford: and the training mission, i know that you talked about that, but to me it seemed then and now, that you can obviously there is a military objective and that the follow-through with. but it isn't, maybe i'm wrong, but it isn't so much that we have to wait until the military objective is absolutely done. that there is also a parallel course of bringing these other leaders together to try to find a more political solution. it seems to me when i left that it is parallel, it has to be a parallel thing. secretary carter: i completely agree with that. all the lines of effort of strategy need to be synchronized , the political and military need to be secret eyes. mr. chairman: mrs. maccsally.
miss mcsally: thank you. thank you gentlemen. i have a concerns about what appears to be an incoherent -- income parents and our regional strategy related to iran specifically where we are marching toward a nuclear agreement with them. we have incoherent there. i want to say on the record that i think the incoherent strategy that is impacting some of the lack of commitment of our allies any political nature specifically in iraq. i want to focus my questions on the targeting in the area of campaign -- arab campaign in iraq.
just a met with the air component commander and jdf leadership. they felt isis was on the defensive. i am concerned and i know that you mentioned we are hitting targets, except when collateral damage is a factor. i want to quote in general, this is from the washington post, this is from a couple weeks ago, the fastest way to end the inhumanity of war is to eliminate is source, which is in the islamic state. the current approach is worsening the suffering and increasing the loss of innocent life. while unintended casualties of war are regrettable, they pale in comparison to the savage acts being carried out by the iranian state. what is the logic of a policy that restricts -- while allowing
this urgency of crimes against humanity? i think it is a valid line of argument. if we are trying to avoid casualties of war, but increasing the loss of innocent life, how do we balance that? you may need to answer this in a classified manner, but what percentage of -- and how many targets have we identified? we have not struck them because of the collateral damage or maybe because the approval process takes so long -- how many are we not hitting, because of this extreme constraint we
are putting on for collateral damage? general martin dempsey: i could not disagree more with that general. i would >> at would like to answer you in a classified version. >> let's get it indication of this is a thing that is really allowing us -- >> this is not a limiting factor, in my judgment. >> we talked about it earlier.
over 600 pilots flying every -- 1600 pilots flying every day. are those visiting the theater they remain outside iraq, primarily because of limitations on boots on the ground. we are allowing more advisors to go in, but not allowing rescue forces to go in. have you advised the administration to move than their? or are you comfortable with them being that far away. >> that is a great question. they are operating from outside of iraq. they're not taking any more risk. if we go into the point where we would accompany the iraqi security forces, -- that is why it is important, this is not just about putting, it is about
putting a medevac forward and eight q rf. >> one f-16 pilot creates that same responsiveness. >> we have pr in hand. if we expand this, we will have to answer that. >> , mr. chairman. -- thank you, mr. chairman. i just want to follow-up, we had king abdullah right where you are sitting the day after they released a video of his pilot being burned to death. you can imagine his attitude. he made a couple of points that resonated with me. one is that this is our fight indicating that is not judeo christian.
it is called whack a mall, you had them here, -- whack a mole you had them here, they pop up here. those lines are simple lines on a map. this is about the middle east. what do you see as a win -- is it geographically based? and is it short-term? what is a win when we discussed the middle east? >> i think, this gets back to the previous question about how
complex and varied are the problems of the middle east. the way we ground ourselves, and our strategy, is an american national interests. in the circumstances, we are trying to pursue our interests. our interests in that particular fight our to stop this movement from becoming something that endangers friends and allies. or that is capable of striking the homeland. success in the campaign would be eliminating not every mole, to use a metaphor, but every mole hole, and make it such that there is no safe haven for the kind of savagery that isil represents. it can continue to destabilize
regions like jordan. i think that is what we are trying to accomplish. it is difficult, and it may take some time. this is a varied region. there are other problems as well. this is one, but not the only one. >> a follow-up on that. from a strategic perspective we can take up a whole, as you mentioned. don't the applicant is long-term. we want to major you have the tools and needed. if we defeat them in one area, it will wreak havoc from another area. this is a 1400 year fight. do you see this as ongoing? general dempsey we need to put
ourselves on a sustainable footing -- general dempsey: we need to put ourselves on a sustainable footing to keep pressure on the network, and to bake regional stakeholders who have a lot more to gain, or lose than we do in our league. >> so picked ability from america. general dempsey: absolutely. pretty debility and a budget would help us accomplish that. -- predict ability from a budget standpoint would help accomplish that. >> it is the single most a blessing force, would you agree with that? general dempsey: predictability, and perseverance.
>> the thing i wrote down that i kept thinking about throughout the day was that hope is not a strategy. i hope we have thousands of sunnis who flood into the training that we will do, that get energized to go fight title -- isil. but, we have concerns about whether we can entrust the central government. we have a provision in our bill that says unless you can certify that iraq is an inclusive government, that we can directly arm the sunni tribes. again, hope is not a strategy. hoping for an inclusive iraq with sunnis joining the fight, i hope it happens, but if it does not happen quick, we can't have isis continue to grow.
i would hope we would have the defense budgets grow every year for the next 10 years, the industrial base could plan on that, and it would be a much better, efficient system. on the other hand, we are not in that world right now. if the president chooses to veto two defense bill was to provide exactly much money as he wants because he doesn't like the label on the money, or because he wants to put more money for the irs. that will have serious consequences for our military. that means we are at a cr for the rest of the year. i hope the note only you, who have the deal with the real world, will use hope not as a strategy, but look at the real world consequences of some of
these decisions. as we have affirmed several times, this is a very complex long historical background of problems. we have to deal with it as we find it. you don't have to comment, but those are my parting thoughts. let me ask -- secretary carter: i think this, as in every other part of the world, we need to be practical. that turns hope into reality. that is the meaning of that slogan. i think i am echoing what you just said. >> it is a great point. how do you get to hope -- from
hope to strategy? that is called strategy. it looks like a long winding difficult road. let me ask all of our guests to remain seated to the secretary and their party can make their way out. we have held you longer than we intended. if everyone will stay seated for just a moment while our witnesses depart, thank you for being here. we look forward to other engagements.
>> as i mentioned at the end our hope is the purpose of this is but not a logic that this is going to achieve that. we are opening a new facility in a different part of iraq, and we hope they come flooding in. then, we will see if we can support it. >> what you want to do? putting graduates in? -- ground
troops in? >> not necessarily. on the air, advisers be able in to go into the field. i would like to try. we have got -- if the rock cannot -- iraq cannot be an inclusive government, we have problems. >> arming the kurds could push the government closer to iran. >> can they get closer? i don't mean to disparage the intentions of what seem to be
the intentions. yet, iran seems very much in the drivers seat here. that is part of the reason i insisted to ask about iran's activities in the region. you cannot just separate iraq. you have to take into account what iran is doing, and their influence in the region. and, by the way, i do not think they had any sort of answer to what -- how do you deal with iran. it is hard. these guys are trying to do their best. i don't have a lot of confidence. >> where are you with this resolution?
>> it was filed, it is coming to the floor today. there is a privileged status under the war powers solution. that is what we filed. we could get into a parliamentary debate about whether it is truly privileged or not, but just bring it up vote on it. >> why is it august 14? >> he just the timeframe to get it out i think. >> there was a time, 60 days -- >> that is when it gets out. if you file -- if something is not authorize, you can file this under the war powers act. that would then force withdrawal within 60 days. i don't think it would.
i continue to have the opinion that we could vote on these of military force. this is just a straight up or down. i'm not sure i understand your question. i do not think so. i think we ought to have a real debate, but this is not it. this is withdrawn now, regardless of the consequences. regardless of one's opinion on whether or not you think to have a strategy,. where are we with that larger debate? >> a lot of discussions. my opinion is we should have that debate, we have two
concerns. one is we don't have a strategy. you are expecting me to vote to authorize the use of military force when they don't have a strategy to be successful? what if we try to bring this up, and it fails? what does that say to our allies? that is a difficult question to answer. that is some of the back and forth among committees. we will taken it a step at a time. i am hoping that the senate will pass it tomorrow, and i am hoping the president will sign it. if any of those things don't work out the way hope, -- just
to emphasize he's going to veto a defense bill that provides them exactly as much money as he asks for? how does any of that makes sense. >> is that appropriated at all? >> it would be operation maintenance that would move it. there would be some transportation costs. those would be out of all and am costs -- o & m costs.
it is part of the contingencies of a dangerous world. as you saw, a lot of what we have in the overseas contingency account is o&m funds. that is also for the far east, and in eastern europe. >> carter said there weren't enough people entering the program to send the force in to fight isil. is that news to you? >> hope is not a strategy. isn't that the theme of the day? he is not the first person who has said iraq is easy compared to syria. i see little prospect of having a ground force that we train that can push back against isil in the near term. the kurds have made some gains
in the north. i appreciate their willingness to fight. but the kurds will not remove isil from syria. they're doing good work, but cannot do it on their own. have a good rest of your day. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption contents and accuracy. visit ncicap.org
this is 20 minutes. that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: mr. president i come to the floor again to speak about iran. as we count down to the deadline for an agreement about iran's illusiveness when it comes to the military dimensions of their program and how they will respond to that in any agreement. and the truth as it has always been is illusive and it remains so. yesterday secretary of state kerry said in response to a question about whether or not iran's atomic work by the military by the iranian military would have to be resolved before sanctions would be lifted, the secretary said that we're not fixated on iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point or
another. what we're concerned about is going forward. well mr. president given iran's history of deception, i am very concerned about what they did at one point or another. in an iran task force memo on verification it says that -- quote -- "until iran provides a full accounting of its past and present possible military dimension activities, the international community cannot have confidence that it knows either how far iran is along the path to nuclear weapons or that iran's nuclear weapons activities have effectively ceased." david albright, who i've called many times when i was a chairman and still has come before the senate foreign relations committee, the founder of the institute for science and international security, said the secretary's remarks were -- quote -- "very worrisome.
he said they reflect the administration's long-standing practice of offering concessions to iran. and he said -- and i quote -- " whenever confronted with iranian intransigence they fold. it's going to be hard for a lot of people to support this deal if they give in on past military dimensions." he has always said addressing the international atomic energy administration's concerns about the military dimensions of iran's nuclear programs is fundamental fundamental to any long-term agreement. an agreement that side steps the military issues would risk being unverifiable. moreover the world would not be so concerned if iran had never conducted weaponization activities aimed at building a nuclear weapon.
the former deputy director general of the international atomic energy administration has said -- quote -- "without addressing those questions speaking of the possible military dimensions of iran's program, the iaea secretary will not be able to come to a conclusion that all nuclear material in iran is for peaceful use, which is essential in building confidence of the international community over iran's nuclear program. a comprehensive deal that would include uranium enrichment can only be reached if uncertainties over iran's military capability are addressed. that should be an unambiguous condition to achieving a final accord that is meaningful in safeguard terms. now, this is the former deputy general of the international atomic energy administration who overwhelmingly under the
proposed agreements saying this is the entity that will be responsible for the verification of any potential agreement. well his experience says that without understanding the weaponization elements of iran's program, you can't fully be able to do that. he also warned that outsiders really can have no idea where and how fast the mullahs could build a nuclear weapon unless they know what iranian engineers have done in the past. and as to secretary kerry's assertion yesterday that we know what their program was and he said it, as i read it, almost as unequivocal, we know what their program was. well i get concerned when i read the former director of the c.i.a. general michael maden who has said -- quote -- "not addressing the possible military dimensions creates an increased burden on verification. if i don't have high confidence
in where the iranians actually are, not such as emphasis i'll material -- fissile development program as in the program. we do have intelligence estimates but they remain estimates. they remain estimates. for a country that says that is not our objective they refuse to come clean on their pasts. how can we know their intent, how can we we know their capacity for breakout or sneakout with high confidence with where it is -- without knowing where it is they are right now? he also said with reference to secretary kerry's remarks i'd like to see the d.n.i. or any intelligence office repeat that for me. they won't. what he is saying is that we don't care how far they've gotten with weaponization. we're betting the farm on our ability to limit the production of fissile material.
he's pretending we have perfect knowledge about smog that was an incredibly tough intelligence target when i was director and i see nothing that has made it any easier. this is the former director of the c.i.a., supposedly where we have all this knowledge. this is his expression of what we have or don't have. and clearly basically what he's saying is we have estimates but they are just that, estimates. so mr. president i'm concerned, very concerned when the secretary of state says we are prepared to ease sanctions on iran without fully understanding how far iran progressed on its secret nuclear weapons program. it has been a fundamental question from the very beginning of these negotiations, it was made very clear in testimony before the senate foreign relations committee and other venues where members asked about would iran have to come clean on
its possible dimensions of its militarization of its weapons program, and would that have to be up front. and that was always an understanding, almost like a red line. now, that seems to be erased. it has been a fundamental question to which we need, not just want, a full and verifiable answer. and this is not just about iran making some admission. that's beyond us. i think the world pretty much has acted the way it has acted in the sanctions of the security council and elsewhere because it knows that iran was pursuing weaponization of its nuclear program. it's just that we don't know how far they got in that process and how far they got of that process is important to know as you are determining the other elements of any agreement particularly with breakout. and that has been the case as long as i have been working to
prevent iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state. now the secretary of state says that we are prepared to ease economic sanctions without a full and comprehensive answer to that question. he says that iran's past suspected nuclear activities need to be addressed. that's all simply addressed not specifically answered, but only addressed. now, according to the "new york times" article that i read, he made it clear that sanctions could be lifted, they could be lifted before definitively resolving concerns about the international atomic energy agency about iran's past nuclear research and the extent of the military dimensions of that research. that mr. president is simply unacceptable. in my view, and it should be unacceptable to everyone in this chamber. you know, "the new york times" article goes on to say and i
quote -- "those favoring full disclosure of what diplomats have delicately called the possible military dimensions of iran's nuclear research say that the west will never know exactly how long it would take iran to manufacture a weapon if it ever developed or obtained bomb-grade uranium or plutonium unless there is a full picture of its success and suspected experiments to design the detonation systems for a weapon and learn how to shrink it to fit atop a missile." that's exactly what i believe mr. president, and i came to the floor and had a map that described where the possible reach of iran's present missile technology exists, and it's most of the gulf into parts of eastern europe, turkey, egypt and of course our ally, the state of israel.
so it's reached today under missile capacity, and something that they continue to perfect is incredibly significant. for a decade since obtaining data from an iran scientist on a laptop that was spirited out of the country the c.i.a. and israel have given enormous energy to understanding the scope of the program. failing to require disclosure would also undercut the atomic agency a quiet signal to other countries that they, too, could be given a path. that's further from the "times" article. well those are exactly my continuing concerns, and i think they are concerns of a very large universe who have been following theeg developments. i need to know the answer to those questions before i can support any lifting of sanctions against iran that i have fought for, authored and that the senate has unanimously supported.
so mr. president, i am going to conclude but i will be back to point out the unfolding problems dealing with the mullahs in tehran what it means to the national security of the united states and to our allies in the middle east and to the stability of the region and to what i am increasingly concerned is the moving of goal posts that move increasingly in the direction of iran. i remember when we started off this conversation, these negotiations iraq, the plutonium reactor. we were told they will dismantle it or we will destroy it. well this agreement allows iraq to continue, reconfigured somewhat but it can be reconfigured back. the president himself has said that there was no need for fordo. deeply built under a mountain
facility. if you want a peaceful nuclear facility program you don't go deeply into a mountain to ultimately do enrichment, but that's what the iranians did. the president himself said that was an unnecessary facility. we were told it was going to be closed. well it's going to stay open. reconfigured to produce less uranium and supposedly with safeguards but it's going to stay open. the point is the weaponization elements, that was -- iran has for a decade, a decade worked against the u.n. security council resolutions that said it had to come clean on this question and so if for a decade they haven't done it, when you have the leverage, why wouldn't you seek to achieve it now so you know and can calculate the rest of your agreement? that too seems to be being lost in the shifting sands of these negotiations. this is of deep concern to me, and i can only hope that we will end up at a better deal than
that which is being unfolded as we speak. every time i listen to another element of what i thought was a critical element of any deal, that critical element seems to largely be moving in the direction of what iran wants to see and not what we in the international community should want to see and that's my concern, mr. president and i'll continue to come forward and voice it. and with that, i observe the we're in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. graham: thank you mr. president. i just want to inform the body that i had a very good conversation with secretary kerry just a few minutes ago. as many of you may have been following the news, there was a statement attributed to secretary kerry that the possible military dimensions of the ire rainan nuclear program -- iranian nuclear program was no longer a priority in terms of reconciling what they had been doing in a military fashion with their nuclear program. some of the words were to the
effect there will be no mea culpa required. i got off the phone with him and he indicated to me that possible military dimensions of the program in terms of iranian past behavior is very much on the table. april 8 it, 2015, here's what secretary kerry said: when asked in april if iran slowed its nuclear activities, as part of the agreement secretary kerry said they have to do it. it will be done. if there's going to be a deal, it will be done. secretary kerry reaffirmed to me that statement. i appreciate him calling me. i want the body to understand a good deal with iran will be a blessing. a bad deal will be a nightmare. the iaea has knot had access -- has not had access to the sites they need, have not allowed to go and suspect high explosive debt nation was being tested as
part of their nuclear weapons ambition. there are three things the iaea wants to look at before they can pass judgment over how far the nuclear military program has gone down the road and i can't imagine any deal that doesn't fully and completely answer every question about possible military dimensions of the iranian nuclear program. because if you don't understand what they've done in the past, you don't know where you are in terms of going forward. you can't have a meaningful inspection regime until you understand what they tried to do in terms of a military dimension. so i really do appreciate secretary kerry calling me. the one thing we learned about the iranians and their nuclear program, they cannot be trusted. they have lied, they have cheated at every turn. there can be no wiggle room. any time, anywhere inspections is absolutely a must. understanding their possible military dimensions is an absolute ingredient along with others. so i'm glad i received this phone call from secretary kerry
but all of us need to be aware of who we're dealing with when it comes to the iranians and get every i dotted and t crossed before you entertain a deal with the iranians. mr. mccain: would the senator yield for a question? mr. graham: absolutely. mr. mccain: is it my understanding from the senator's statement that secretary kerry is now saying that that was not an accurate quote of his? mr. graham: yes. mr. mccain: that it was not urgent that the previous activities concerning development of nuclear weapons would be absolutely required? mr. graham: yes. he indicated that the statement that was attributed to him was taken out of context and reaffirmed to me on the phone that possible military dimensions are an essential part of the deal, as he indicated on april 8 2015. i think he's issuing a statement, or his office is right now. i think this is important for the body to understand that secretary kerry wants to clear up the record. i applaud him for that. i hope we can get a deal we all can live with.
but at the end of the day you've got to remember who we're dealing with in terms of iranians. they have lied, they have cheated. and when it comes to their military dimensions of their program, it is essential we know every detail before we can move forward with confidence. mr. mccain: could i ask additionally did the senator from south carolina have an opportunity to ask secretary kerry about the latest information concerning iranians who are now supplying weapons to the taliban the same taliban that has killed many hundreds of americans and wounded thousands of others? in other words, did you have a chance to ask the secretary why we are pursuing this agreement while the iranians latest being supplying arms to the taliban to kill americans? the support of the shia militias
in iraq, the support of the houthis in other countries including yemen the support of the iranians for hezbollah in lebanon that are in syria killing off the free syrian army forces that we are supporting and the continued development by iran of a nuclear warhead and the vehicle with which to deliver it. i wonder if the senator from south carolina had the chance to ask the secretary of state about those events and situations that exist in the middle east today? mr. graham: no, i did not. we talked specifically about his statements. but i understand the senator from arizona's concern about the idea of doing an agreement with the iranians that would give them money to fund what i think
has been a very destructive war machine. from my point of view we need to look at the iranian behavior holistically and understand the consequences of flooding this administration with cash, the iranian administration with cash given the fact that what they're doing today is using whatever resources they have under sanctions to destabilize the mideast. i doubt if any additional funds if sanctions were relieved, would go to build hospitals or roads. i think they would go into the activity you just described. but this conversation was limited to the statement attributed to him yesterday. i think all of us should be very attuned to what's going on with these negotiations as the most important decision any administration will make probably in modern history. the consequences of a bad deal are enormous. you could start a nuclear arms race in the mideast and at the end of the day the behavior of the iranians apart from their nuclear ambitions is at best disturbing and should be, in my view part of any negotiating package.
>> yesterday the house debated a resolution that would have required a full withdrawn. the measure was defeated. congressman jim mcgovern said it was necessary to force the government to do its job. i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker i rise in opposition to house
concurrent resolution 55. but while i am opposed to the resolution, i do want to commend its author, mr. mcgovern, for his constant and principled attention to the issue of military engagement in iraq and syria and the role of congress in making this decision and these are some of the most important and challenging issues that we face. that we struggle with as an institution. and i know the gentleman from massachusetts is frustrated. i have listened to him on the floor of the house. in many ways i share his frustrations. isis is making too many gains, critical cities have fallen, but this resolution i believe will take us in the opposite direction of where u.s. policy should be. if the united states were to remove all of our forces from the theater as this resolution calls for isis would surely
grow stronger. isis would surely continue on a process -- accelerate on a process of decimating all in its path. placing women under brutal oppression. and i have no doubt further strengthening our -- their position and further threatening our european allies. and even the u.s. homeland. more battlefield victories would support isis propaganda, which would support its recruitment, which would make it more deadly by the day. mr. speaker no one is eager for this commitment. but isis is on the march and this radical jihadist group is taking more territory more weapons and more resources threatening the government in baghdad and indeed threatening to destabilize this entire
critical region. now this house concurrent resolution would call for the unilateral withdrawal of u.s. forces from the fight against isis halting all u.s. strikes against the terrorist group in iraq and syria. it would also leave isis unchecked. not only unchecked by u.s. air power, but it would allow this brutal terrorist group, as i say, to gain strength, to destabilize a critical region, to create a safe haven from which isis can plot attacks against the united states. house concurrent resolution 55 has nothing to do with authorizing the use of military force against isis, but would unilaterally withdraw u.s. forces from the fight. last year debating another iraq measure offered by mr. mcgovern i said never has a terrorist organization itself controlled
such a large resource-rich safe haven as isis dozen today. never has aist -- dozen -- does today. never have they had the cash which they do today which includes thousands of western passport holders. unfortunately it is worse today and just weeks ago ramadi, a city only 75 miles from iraq's capital was overrun by isis and by its suicide bombers who led that first wave. . isis' goals are very clear. wreck every person opposing it, establish a caliphate and then fight to expand it. isis has unleashed a campaign of brutal and depraved violence, not only against shiia muslims and fellow sunnis who do not share their radical beliefs, but against vulnerable