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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 24, 2015 6:58pm-8:01pm EDT

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rebuilt. i think it is reasonable to ask that we have a flood protection system that is going to work. when you see this, and we -- just a few blocks up the road, there is holy cross, with all of that vacant housing, you would things first.irst maybe get people to higher ground, because that house cannot be rebuilt. it is not possible. that.u can still smell you will notice it later when somebody tells you you smell bad, because you end up smelling bad after you have been here.
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still finding people, because they cannot go in there until they demolish it, and when they tear down a house like that, they bring the dogs first. this is like a typical house where we did find a body still. announcer: hurricane katrina hit the gulf coast region 10 years ago this week. the c-span tour one year after the hurricane, that will be followed by a 2005 house hearing, featuring testimony from new orleans residents who left the city or were trapped by the floodwaters begin that begins tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. then coming up wednesday night, scenes from st. bernard parish, louisiana, one year after this form as c-span continues its tour of hurricane damage and speaks with those on the ground. that will be followed by a town hall meeting in new orleans moderated by then mayor ray nagin. announcer: tonight on "the communicators," this summer marks the anniversary of digital television. an author talks about the developing of the medium in the early 1990's.
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>> and then in june of 1990, almost exactly 25 years ago, ebs convinced us we should submit it convinced us we should submit it to the fcc. we were not sure we want to do that because we were satellite and cable guys who do not have a whole lot to in june of 1990, we were blown in our cover. at first people said it was impossible what we were claiming, but a year or so later, all of our competitors said he became a real race. announcer: tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2.
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>> thank you, i want to thank clark for having us here. i also want to think mr. olson for stopping in. our other guests only got as far as denver last night, so he could not join us today. we have with us dr. mike vickers, former of special operations in the pentagon. kathleen hicks, who has held many senior roles in the pentagon. so i want to open on questions that have touched your careers. you have all spent time fighting extremist militants in your different roles. with that experience, looking at al qaeda and other groups, is isis or isil the threat that
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national security is making it out to be to the u.s. public? and is al qaeda on the back foot for good, or are you just prepping for the next battle? since you are in the private sector now, feel free to share anything with us at all. [laughter] mr. vickers: the threat of a terrorist attack remains our number one national security threat, clear and present danger along with cyber attack. they occupied policymakers' minds every day. isil is a bigger threat because of its ability to inspire
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radicalization attacks across the world. but al qaeda is more sophisticated. so if an airliner blew up over the u.s., it would far more likely be al qaeda today than isil. al qaeda has suffered losses is still in the game. they can come back in various ways. ms. hicks: i do think the isil threat has been appropriately described as a significant threat. i do not think it has been blown up. there is an area, and territorial region, that they have occupied and operated from. and they do operate worldwide.
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al qaeda is not permanently on its heels, but we can try to keep them there. it has been degraded because of a lot of worldwide attention, not least of all, the two gentlemen to my left and right. that is what it takes going forwards, either al qaeda, al-shabaab, you name it, it takes a long-term effort with all the tools that we have. ms. dozier: admiral, did you expect we would still be a nation in this fight now? mr. vickers: let me say it is great to be back, and i apologize for not being michael lumpkin, but i am pleased to be on this stage. i spent most of my time in
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uniform avoiding kim dozier, but not for lack of respect for her tenacity. it is good to be with you. i left military service for four years ago. isil was not on our scope. i cannot talk about them from my historical perspective. i do agree with mike and kathleen. isil is a real threat. the persecution and of violence are scary. sil as the next generation of al qaeda, we under
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credit them as an army. like an armying with military structure, with military equipment, they seize a hold territory like al qaeda can do. it makes it not an apples to apples comparison. >> and yet there are other threats out there, the threat posed by russia, iran's support of assad nuclear, north korea's threat. are our national security efforts skewed by the fear of isis and al qaeda when they have not caused nearly that much damage in this country recently, as compared to some of these other actors and their effect overseas? panetta always like to
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say we could walk and chew him at the same time. i do not think we spent a disproportionate or unreasonable amount of time focused on the isis threat or that has taken away from our ability to focus on longer-term challenges. having said that, resources are -- are severely limited. that is obviously money. sequestration makes it much harder. you will always have challenges with money. and the toolset we have. the toolset that the united states has is essentially a cold war toolset -- it is usually dissatisfying to the public because it is hard to figure out sometimes why interceded there and not there.
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why is received there and not there. mr. olson: so we are in a period of unprecedented instability and we are recruiting national security threats. east asia is the most -- is really probably the locust of economic competition. we have three challenges to the world order right now. china and east asia, russia, and sunni jihadists and many others in the middle east. but the capabilities you need to defer conflict with china are not the same that you need for
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counterterrorism and stability in the middle east and vice versa. so you have to have a portfolio of capabilities and strategies to deal with a range of threats. i certainly have never seen such a wide range of threats from the very high-end actors. ms. dozier: the thing is, do you have the tools you need to do the job? to have enough forces to do it and are you getting a chance to do it on the ground? for instance, what is being done in ukraine to fight russian influence there? i hear pentagon officials talking about russian interference, but i'm not hearing what u.s. special operations is doing about it. and the head of special operations command speaks very openly about russia's asymmetric warfare there.
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that they have put their troops inside ukraine to direct rebel forces against the ukrainian government. what is the u.s. doing or can it do in return? mr. olson: so, he will be here on friday and i think that would be a good question for him. as you pointed out, i have been in the private sector, but the first word in private sector is private. and they had gone to school on special operations sort of concepts in executing that. but what specifically special
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operation forces might be doing is something that i won't talk about. ms. hicks: i will jump in. it is no surprise that russians are good at unconventional warfare. we have long known that that is something they have continued to invest in and be good at. we have certainly seen them operate in chechnya and elsewhere. the surprise of course is that they chose politically to do this invasion. definitely not something i would have foreseen. so what is and can and should the u.s. be doing about it? ukraine is obviously much harder. moldova, georgia, ukraine, these
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are are not nato territories. these are not covered by article five and it is much trickier. the u.s. and nato put forward of view that we would spend more time and attention on those partner states coming out of the summit. i think that is important i think it is important personally, i think it is important to provide that to forces and some special operations training should be a part of that. but by and large, our efforts should be focused on sticking to that article five. ms. dozier: but that is working by, through, and with another organization. mr. vickers: well, russia is doing a proxy warfare. and then shift back to proxy
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work, but this proxy war is not just in ukraine and the territories -- but also that is in the middle east as well, and that is the conflict we are in. there is actually a command within the nato structure. there are people from a thrust the nato countries going to work every day that are in training. there is classroom training and field training that takes place. so i do want to make sure that
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there is a recognition of the level of cooperation across the special operations. >> could you be saying that while we don't to u.s. boots on the ground in terms of special forces, teams, treating the locals, there might be european local special forces teams doing the same thing? >> the equipment, the knowledge of each other's capabilities limitations is a very high level. >> but as you said, kim, part of the challenge is both in working with partners such as ukraine. is building robust institutions that can protect themselves from a counterintelligence perspective against the russians.
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i just want to start there, until they started to losing, and the u.s. would step in? i would think what we did in afghanistan in 2001 was remarkable. but i would not equate that in the same way as what putin has done in ukraine. i think that is the marriage of modern conventional precision warfare with unconventional
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warfare. you could apply that to iraq and syria. forwards -- are u.s. efforts arresting the enough, orsis fast do you need to ramp up the number of advisors on the ground , joint air controllers, things that would make the iraqi forces, kurdish forces more effective in the battlefields today? >> i think there is room to grow , the u.s. contribution to include special operators on the train and advise side. before you grow that out, there is an absurd option of a capacity issue which is the ground forces that are there to work with. that is where i think there is rightfully a lot of attention in trying to make sure we can get
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-- put aely the iraqis lot of pressure on the political situation to get forces in that allegiance to some to the baghdad government, and then are capable of working with the u.s. and other trainers. where we have done that, the kurdish forces would be the example where they have been pretty aggressive. that has worked very well in terms of the u.s. ability to and the firepower, training aspect. and i do think that has to be sustained. you cannot do that lightly and limited lely. before we jump in with a whole lot more, we need those ground
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forces become together. >> those ground forces can take years to go, and it seems like isis is doing plots against the u.s. homeland. so do we have the luxury of this time it will take to bring these forces up to speed, mike? mike: one model is you train aires, you may give them support, but they will do the fighting. you are a traitor. that takes longer to get them ready that if you are ready to advise and assist. when you combine airpower with the ground force, you referenced you cantan in 2001 -- get very germanic effects in a
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short time. it is a policy choice. the reason is you have a ground force -- and it does not have to be the world's greatest ground force that can exploit the airpower. if you don't have something that can exploit the airpower, it is oweressional, and air pan alone takes time. possibly the ovaries of special operations for every national security problem that this country faces. white housegue this uses them like the ultimate swiss army knife of the pentagon to throw at a problem. do you have the numbers you need to meet the mission set you face? i know you are a few years out, but it is something i can watch. you can go out and protect
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intelligence forces or engage. mr. vickers: since 9/11, we had tripled the budget, we have quadrupled the use of these forces 9/11. that is dramatic growth. they are plenty big, and they are in great demand and what you do with them. mr. olsen: the manpower constitutes maybe 3% of the overall manpower. the definition of special operation is in operation conducted by forces or with other forces are not organized or trained or equipped to conduct. it is a negative definition.
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it makes them until elite infielders with guns. and so the question is not should special operations forces be bigger, because growth management has been a challenge, it is whether or not other forces should be equipped to do things that have fallen on special operations over the last few years. because special operations were already there and agile and responsive, but there is no reason that other forces could not do much of what special operations does. ms. hicks: to make it clear, the issue is maintaining a high level of quality that is in special operations forces. doing a vast expansion of them makes the challenge greater, which is why it is time to look at the regular forces to see how that mission about training the regular forces.
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mr. vickers: but our intelligence community has grown. in 2006, at the height of the iraq war, we had six of these unmanned vehicles, people call them drones, they have 60-some today. there is plenty of capacity. ms. dozier: on that subject, can you give us an update on the move to grow it and how you plan to grow to several thousand people to do the same kind of intelligence election that is different then cia operatives do? there were growth that planned growth had been curtailed. mr. vickers: it is growing.
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it is an important initiative in terms of human intelligence. and the department of defense and our military have something to contribute to the overall national effort. it is a partner in that effort, it is a complement. it is a junior partner, not rivaling the side of the cia. we have had strong support from the dni. ms. dozier: and it is still growing? mr. vickers: yes. ms. dozier: so that brings us to another subject. the tools by which special operations carried out its trade. sometimes guns, sometimes drones. the targeted end usually gets
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most headlines, but it could also give those in the white resolution to the problem. so is targeting overused? we had 13 years in the middle east of some of the most sophistacated targeting, and yet we have the growth of a second militant that has now surpassed al qaeda, according to the fbi director. so is targeting overused? mr. vickers: in the past decade, the operation -- of our partners and that has made a different. counterterrorism operations -- where these operations are really intelligence driven and
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the analyst is really at the center of it. back to strategic effects, al qaeda on its heels in the pakistan border region. only one of the senior leaders who was there for the 9/11 attacks is left. it is a shadow of what it was maybe 5, 6 years ago. so it has been an effective campaign over many years. ms. dozier: but did it pushed the balloon to yemen, because of now al qaeda in the arabian peninsula has a sophisticated bomb making machine and they are relatively unchallenged. mr. vickers: it did open up new fronts in syria and yemen. we knocked down al qaeda 90% in syria.
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they are back as well. was theust turgor's, it entire might of the united states for several years, and they still survive. you had a civil war in syria that gave been a new lease on life. ms. dozier: you can't help fight pot of the problem, but it was not your job to bring ability to the middle east? mr. vickers: we are still working on that. ms. olsen: there are some nails out there that need to be hammered. i think that part of it is tactical removal of confident leaders of isil from their positions.
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reminding everyone that isil is vulnerable, that they have weaknesses. and i think it damages their recruiting efforts to be able to reach in and with precision take out key leaders. ms. hicks: i think it is important in this conversation to remember that we are operating under authorities. these are authorities given in time of conflicts that include the ability to use targeted approaches for capture, for intelligence gathering, and in some cases for targeting killing. i want to start there. because i do think that the drone debate has become unhelpful, to say the least. does it have a strategic effect? absolutely. as policy makers, we have to be mindful of that reality. but if you look at the
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progression of warfare over time, we do not raze villages. we by and large do not strategically bomb anymore. the fact that we have a tool set now that allows us to really reduce the number of civilian casualties involved in a conflict, that, i think, is the story that's important to tell. are there civilian casualties? yes. are there questions about transparency of the u.s. process for targeting? yes. and i think we need to address both of those, but i think it has been a good tool in the toolkit, used well, and something we should look at. mr. vickers: back to the earlier point, isis is different than al qaeda in that it is like an army.
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you need a different strategy than you do against al qaeda. and you got defeat an army that's an army. ms. dozier: and yet, isn't every drone strike a potential recruiting bonanza for the opposition? mr. vickers: well, there is that theory. we have done a lot of surveys in pakistan. the closer you are to the strike, if you are local, the more in favor of it you generally are. the more you are removed from the fight, the more you complain about your sovereignty being violated and lots of other things. but it has been very effective tool, supported by the governments. we could not do it without the support of governments. kathleen talked about important cases and the consent of the host nations.
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i don't buy that argument. yes, it is a tough business, but it is a very effective one. mr. olseon: a drone is an option, but when you consider a drone versus artillery, or dropping a bomb, or putting a force on the ground, it is not that bad of an option. for one thing, it can linger. it provides the ability to be patient. it can be recalled without any effect at all. a drone is a far more disciplined way of delivering a precision strike than some others might be. ms. hicks: i want to say what i think this issue gets to, fundamentally, is an information campaign, which we are not great at. ms. dozier: what do you mean by an information campaign?
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ms. hicks: when a strike occurs, you point out that it is a recruiting tool. whether it is a recruiting tool or not can be debated. something happens and then information is generated regarding recruiting. isis has incredible recruiting and a low-tech way. twitter is extremely simple. my children follow taylor swift. i think we are safe. but we in the united states, we really have -- this is back to the tool set issue. this is not a challenge that is best met first and fundamentally by a government organization in the light of day trying to tweet
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out u.s. government positions. it has to be more organic than that, and there is a big intelligence support piece of that, and it has to be regional. mr. vickers: and the best recruiting tool for these groups is success, successful attacks on the united states, successful conquest of territory. you look at why people are flocking to isil. they have established a caliphate, and they are successful. ms. dozier: that brings me to transparency piece. we, full disclosure, discussed this beforehand and it turns out we don't agree on this one. i believe when special operations forces are used so frequently and often become exposed in social media, such as the benghazi ringleader in
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libya, that all broke on social media. should there be a disclosure plan for every operation so that if it does become exposed, you can take part in that information campaign, instead of, what i often encounter, a spokesman or official saying, i have to check to see how much we can declassify or how much i can tell you on that? mr. vickers: well, that's because we live in a fairly open world. as you you mentioned two ways of media. there are plans to adapt rather rapidly to that, but there are also things we want to keep secret because we want to do these raids again. we don't want to tell exactly how we did it, who the forces were, or put them or their families at risk or anything else. ms. dozier: but there's a difference between saying this
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unit carried out this raid by helicopters, etc., versus saying -- some of the news releases we are seeing from actions out of syria right now, for instance. the pentagon announced that there was a drone strike the other day, or a strike the other day that took out the korasan group. there it is, for all the reporters who would like to get the exclusive, it's the press release. why not have a plan like that for every operation? mr. vickers: i think they do. mr. olsen: it's not always helpful to announce even your successes. the kind of operation itself,
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when revealed, can disadvantage, so it's always carefully considered what is said and when you say it. ms. dozier: what about sharing things you know with the press? this administration has had hot times and cold times in terms of when it will bring groups of reporters in to give us briefings on what they are seeing. why not release the satellite images or the drone images that show the movement of russian forces into ukraine? why not release that study say that most pakistanis support the strike? mr. vickers: that was done by ngo's and others. ms. dozier: i thought you are quoting dod. mr. vickers: no, there is a lot of information out there.
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we did share satellite information with forces in ukraine. those are tools of foreign policy. we have done throughout history, cuban missile crisis, grenada, a lot that i can think of, but we don't want to give our high-end capabilities that will show an adversary exactly what we can do in certain cases. you have to think about what you are going to release and how. ms. dozier: i don't see it happen very often. it is a tool the pentagon has employed in the past, such as when georgia was invaded and the press was being told one thing by the russian side. we had intelligence agencies show us here are the satellite images we are seeing. we could go to commercial satellite image groups and get independent verification. so that gave me as a reporter a way to see what you all were seeing rather than just having to take it on faith.
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mr. vickers: i think we did that with ukraine. i think we showed forces coming across the border. ms. dozier: why not more with isis? mr. olsen: i will take the easy out. as special operations commander, i refer all queries to the pentagon. [laughter] it wasn't up to us to decide the policy in revealing operational information. so we stayed out of that. ms. dozier: just a couple more questions before i open it up to the audience. "the new york times" had an article out recently about navy seals and the joint special operations command. one of the officials quoted in the article, anonymously, as i recall, said jsoc investigates jsoc, and there was an
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accusation that special operations does not hold themselves to the same accountability standards as other armed forces. i found out that in an alleged drone strike allegedly hit a wedding party in yemen, i found out that to general had ordered an investigation into that, even ordered two investigations into that. and as a reporter trying to report to the american public, that showed me that jsoc was trying to investigate itself. why not publish more of this? mr. vickers: number one, in that particular case, the investigation was actually done by centcom. i think that disproves the thesis that our special operations forces are grading
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their own homework. mr. olsen: i don't give much credibility to an anonymous source. many of the other sources in that article had not served anytime lately. i can say that most of the time, almost all of the time, special operations forces are a support team force for some bigger operation. special operations is almost always in support, always operating with the approval of an ambassador under the command of the combatant commander. in almost every special operation, runways have to be provided, airspace has to be cleared, medical support, intelligence analysts. this is not a secret society or a sect that operates independently. it operates with full transparency within the military. ms. dozier: not to me.
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mr. lumpkin: no, not to you, but intentionally not to you, but for transparency within the chain of command and within the structure provided to do that. and i will say that as a matter of policy, a chain of command cannot investigate within its own chain. it takes an outsider to do an investigation. so it may be that within the special operations community. we appoint an air force component leader to investigate something that happens in the navy component, but to think that that is some sort of secret, coverup thing, there has never, to my knowledge, been any sort of revelation of some type of cover-up within a special operation investigation. ms. dozier: what is the track record of investigations within the force?
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mr. olsen: there are multiple investigations. speaking historically, there were multiple investigations under way every day looking at things that did not seem right to commanders or other leaders or in response to allegations that had been made in some way against the force. they are all adjudicated, and there are many actions that have taken place. as you don't know about the investigations, you also don't know about the actions that have taken place, sometimes to protect the individual or some other aspect of force capability. it has all been quite well disciplined. ms. dozier: i don't see secrecy is necessary to protect an individual who might have committed a crime. mr. olsen: well, those things become a matter of record.
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ms. dozier: but not an openly available record. mr. olsen: if it's a military record, it is. ms. dozier: last question, iran. if the deal goes through and iran is allowed to ramp up its energy-only nuclear enterprise, will the u.s. intelligence community know if they cheat? mr. vickers: i have high confidence in the ability of the u.s. intelligence community to monitor lots of things in iran. there are always challenges with
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verification, but that is the structure of the deal -- we know a lot about iran. ms. dozier: one of the generals from special operations who is serving on the ground right now, at a conference recently in tampa, said that the head of the force inside iraq right now honestly believes that the u.s. is supporting isis and they learned this through intercepted communications, etc. can this deal with iran in anyway foster some sort of understanding between u.s. forces and the iranian forces inside iraq such that those kind of misunderstandings go away? ms. hicks: i think you can look with some hope to the fact that we have been able to sit down in negotiation with the iranians, not just u.s., obviously, but with our european partners and others. you can look with some hope to improvements in understanding, but i think it is an extremely long road. conspiracy theories in the middle east run every which way.
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if you were to have that conversation with somebody in the uae, they would probably tell you they think the u.s. and iran have struck a deal together to divide up the middle east. the reality is, we are in for a very long era of instability in the middle east with cross currents running every which way and the u.s. will have to be able to talk to parties in the region and reassure them as best they can about u.s. interests. mr. vickers: look, there are a lot of conflict points between the united states and iran that haven't changed because of this deal. they are supporting assad, who we want the removal of power in syria. we are supporting the houthi in yemen.
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there is a whole range of activity that is unlikely to be made whole anytime soon. ms. dozier: one last follow-up. how quickly will we know if they have cheated -- weeks, months, days? mr. vickers: it depends what they are doing. it just depends. some could be hours. others things could be a week. you cannot just cheat like that. i mean, whole scale, large-scale cheating takes some time. some might literally be hours. others a week, others something else. the question is then, what do you do about it? ms. dozier: does the opening
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with iran mean that either the u.s. or other intelligence services could have greater visibility in what's going on? mr. vickers: the deal structure is to give us greater access. access is generally, a good thing, but we are not fully dependent on it. ms. dozier: to be continued. with that, i'd like to open it up to the audience. >> i have a question about sequestration. two weeks ago, we saw a large announcement by the army coming down, 40,000 troops. sequestration could take that down another 30,000. that doesn't include cuts to the army national guard and the reserve. given that our special ops depend so much on military forces for enablers in recruiting, what kind of impact is that going to have given that we are doing more with our special ops forces?
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ms. hicks: thank you for that softball. i had the pleasure of being in fort hood the day the cuts were announced. it is definitely going to have an effect on special operations forces. it is going to have an effect overall. the united states has made a decision to reduce the amount it will spend on defense, at least in the base budget, and that's a national-level decision. that's a political decision that has to do with what we spend, how we tax, what we spend on our entitlements, what we spend on domestic programs, and the national security piece. defenses the tail on the dog. those of us who live in the defense community, it boggles our minds. we are the fleas in the tail, if i keep going with the analogy, but the rest of the public are
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not focused on that. whether it is the army drawdown, readiness decline, the up tempo that forces are feeling in several key areas, whatever it is going to be, that is going to be lagging, unfortunately, and that is what we have to live with. the telltale signs that we have underinvested in our military will come too late to fix some of the problems, and then we will be back in our usual mode of trying to catch up. we do have this release valve, if you will. much of socom is funded that way. that will not happen with sequestration. we will continue to live year by year for socom without an
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ability to plan long-term. when it comes to the threats of the high-end where we are trying to do high-tech buildouts, it is extremely challenging to do that in a world in which we don't know from year to year what the budget is going to look like. so just predictability, even if it is a low level of funding, just predictability will help us plan for the kind of defense we need for the challenges we face. mr. vickers: sequestration is also particularly mindless. it cuts your least effective program by the same amount it cuts your most effective. it is an abdication of responsibility. mr. olsen: i would say it depends on how the service is prioritized. i think i have used a biological analogy before. organisms shrink to protect the
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core. special operations forces are not at the core of any big service capabilities, so the services, and they have the luxury of doing it, provide the kinds of things in the budget special operations need. but most of the special operations community in the last decade has not been in the core fighting forces of the community. it has been intelligence analyst, technical controls, these kinds of things. i think what sequestration will do is put more pressure on each of the services to find room in their reduced budget to invest in the kinds of things special operations depends on. >> it is well publicized that there is communication between
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al qaeda iraq and al qaeda central about the brutality of isis. what is your assessment of what i would term at an impotent international response to this? has there been anything concrete, in your mind, directed toward isil to deincentivize that kind of brutality? mr. vickers: we are certainly trying to deincentivize it by killing as many of them as we can. [laughter] mr. vickers: right now we are
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focused on the west. he didn't pay attention to that. isil makes war on anything. its brutality backfired on r. zarkawi. at some point, it is going to backfire on them as well. in the sunni areas of iraq -- if you try to look at it in straight military terms and say how did 2000 guys and vehicles defeat an army of 50,000 that we had spent billions of dollars training, it was because of politics, frustration to the state, loyalty to the central state, etc., and that will turn at some point on isil as well. ms. dozier: jennifer?
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>> jennifer griffin, fox news. i have a question for admiral olsen. do you see a time when women can serve in special operations forces, delta force, rangers, navy seals, and if you think you would be asking for an extension later this year? for the panel as a whole, do you think the u.s. created isis by invading iraq in 2003? mr. vickers: i will answer the first question and let the panel get the rest of it. [laughter] mr. vickers: there have been female operators in the special operations community for a long time. they have lived under the same conditions as the men. they have served in our military information support roles, civil affairs roles, have performed
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with great distinction, sometimes quite heroically. and there is much more opportunity, i think, for women to serve across the special operations community. i do see increased roles for women across special operations. that does not mean i am a proponent of all specialties being open to all women all the time, but i do think there is much more women can do in very important roles in combat environments. and i will -- ms. dozier: i just wanted to follow. if a woman had the physical attributes to join a seal team, what do you think it would do to unit cohesion to have her in a team?
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mr. olsen: there are women who have served as attachments to seal platoons and marine corps teams at very small levels. a dozen people, two of them might be women. ms. dozier: but that is different than everyone in that team relying on that woman to drag them out of a firefight risking getting shot. mr. olsen: yes, if it is a question of what it will do to unit cohesion, i don't think that is the right question. it is, what will it do to tactically in the field? the question is how tactical leaders will respond to put women being the first to take a bullet on a target. there have been great success
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but i will just remind you that their role on target was to be women, not to be combat soldiers, and the first thing they did was take their helmet off, let their hair down, corral the women and children and have a very important mission on the target that only women could do. i think expanding that kind of role that women can perform that men cannot is something we have to seek every opportunity to do. ms. dozier: but you would be more comfortable with that than having them be first through the door in a combat role. mr. olsen: if you're asking me as an american male, yes, but i don't want to sound like an old white guy. [applause] mr. olsen: i think we are only
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having part of the discussion about women in combat, and this wasn't supposed to be about that. but since you asked, but if we are willing to put women on the front line to take the first bullet, are we willing to cause every 18-year-old girl to serve an infantry units against their will, as we do men? about 30% of infantrymen did not volunteer for combat. it's an entirely different discussion. if we are going to have equal opportunity, we also have to have equal obligation to serve in those very dangerous roles. if we are willing to stop saying women and children first, instead of every man for himself on a sinking ship, it affects how we think about women in very
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dangerous roles. that is kind of my sense of it at this point. i am not in a position to do anything about it, but i know the decisions will be made during january of 2016 regarding what roles women will have. lastozier: and the question, did the invasion of iraq create isis? create, technically no. zarkawi left afghanistan and made his way into iraq. did it intensify the growth of al qaeda in iraq, is is'predecessor organization in 2003, you bet it did. to the you move forward isil after al qaeda in
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iraq was largely defeated, it is a creation of the syrian civil war and the sanctuary and a lot of them operated from there during the iraq war. al qaeda in iraq is not just jihadists that are former iraq military officers and others. or at leastated by allowed to expand by iraqi government actions and how they managed their state. icks: completely agree. er: on that note, thank you very much conversation to be continued. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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announcer: here is what is ahead tonight on c-span. first, jeb is the traveled to the u.s.-mexican border to talk about immigration, and then our special, weeklong coverage of hurricane katrina 10 years later, and ted cruz holds a rally for religious liberty. presidential candidate jeb bush went to the u.s.-mexico border today to talk about immigration. the former florida governor says his solution to fix the is serious system and conservative, in contrast to the planned donald trump


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