tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 23, 2015 4:00am-6:01am EDT
revenues from iraq proper, which power and that the united means really need to southern states used to be a counter to provinces that produce the most. looking ow we may be but there is no oil or gas revenue going to be provided for the sunni areas. at accommodating them. there is no production in those areas. can you tell me what you feel so one of the really serious would be the challenges and if problems is how would they survive. there are any opportunities to the second is who draws the both of those positions if we boundaries, where the borders? the state of politics is so being -- ves as fractious that you have a population that is alienated. being there just to accommodate how in the world are you going to have an amicable divorce? a run? general petraeus: what i said this will be a very fractious divorce and it will be another civil war perhaps along the is that there are concerns in lines of syria. the region that we might concern about accommodate iran, that we might work with them and now russia that. anybody wants to pursue and bashar. inclusive politics but i don't senator fischer: they think people have picked up that there are huge to mistress and going on in the cities of iraq challenged our credibility with in the southern part of the our secretary of state in syria country because of citizens who for example as well. are outraged by insufficient so it goes into the credibility of the area. general petraeus: and credibility matters.
i was in asia and australia. it's all about u.s. credibility services, particularly electricity, during and what does that mean for the extraordinarily hot weather. and then corruption. they are flat out outraged. south china sea. does what happen in syria a few the ayatollah seeing this, years ago have implications for through his clerics, issued that? the answer is yes, it does. statements that really encouraged the kinds of reforms at the end of the day if iran's that premise or a body has pursued. foreign policy is continued to be dictated by the and now they are moving each week. he knows that the only way to revolutionary guards cuts force get -- to combat isil nd enables approximatelies sustainably is to get to the people in the area where isis is like hezbollah, hamas another one, hoothies with what they're located in the same way that we did with did with the andy barr doing and murdering shiah militia and iraq then obviously awakening and the sons of iraq program. we have to counter that malign activity. if on the other hand iran turn against a barbaric force unless they have a sense that is going to be secured. changes spots -- whatever changes its approach and so to do that, you have to have forth, by all means if the sunni arab iraqis who will not conditions change then we should be always alert for only clear but then be able to
opportunities to work with what hold his forces with considerable assistance from us. used to be a former enemy. we've done this throughout our history. i think the chances of that are me make sure it not particularly high but it's not something one can rule out understand. this sort of divorce you talk if something happens as a about is something to be avoided in iraq. result of perhaps iran being reintegrated into the global and u have a different view about syria where you seem to economy in deciding that it wants to be a responsible world suggest it would not be the end citizen instead of trying to of the world if syria as we have known it does split up into decide regional hegemony. three or 4 -- gen. petraeus: because they have had this perfect situation. >> thank you. >> general pe tremendouses you, syria has gone through thank you for your many decades considerable sectarian of distinguished service. cleansing. you have horrific sectarian general petraeus: thanks for your own service. displacement. the u've broken down we are where we are with syria and you see enormous displacement of different sects. section on iran where you sen. wicker: but we can avoid emphasize the nuclear deal whatever its short term that in iraq and we should make implications cannot be seen as
every effort. gen. petraeus: no guarantee we ushering in a new age of can at all. accommodation or conciliation this is going to be a very close-run affair. but we should try to avoid it, i of iran's interest in the think. region. given what's happened in syria over the last month with russia there will be greater devolution of power. entering the picture, how do there's going to have to be a you think that our arab and different political bargain, if you will, between baghdad and the sunni arab provinces during israeli partners view our and by the way, one of the current posture towards iran's challenges on the sunni arab influence in syria? side is that the muslim ways do >> well, i think they're not agree with the quarries who do not vote -- who do not agree waiting to see frankly. that's why i inserted the point with the others. and i talked to a number of those individuals on a quite among the various sunni leaders regular basis and they've who come through here or see you expressed concerns on a regular somewhere out on the region. basis. and they want to see us continue to counter malign that is going to be difficult as well. there nothing easy about the situation right now you're in activity by iran, if that cons. but i don't think we should just say, ok, let it go further here and we have to be very, very clear about that. beyond that, i think the very because there are still mixed areas in baghdad. clear, ironclad statement about what would happen if iran moves there are still mixed areas in the baghdad belts. towards weapons grain uranium efforts tobeen enrismment after the 15-year reduce that amount of mixing.
there have been sectarian mark has to be clear. displacement. in some cases perhaps worse than that. that has to speak volumes. >> you recommend a few concrete prevent thatway to suggestions for policy kind of her thick civil war direction for each. breaking out, which is what the result will be if there is a there's one related to iran that says additional actions to demonstrate that the theater determination to break it into sunni, shia and kurdish stan, remain set with respect to our own capabilities to carry out you have to have inclusive military operations against politics. iran's nuclear program if you have to give the sunnis a sense of the have a stake in the success in the future of iraq necessary." would you elaborate what you mean by that? rather than a stake in its failure. and that is what they came to feel back in 2006 before the general petraeus: back when i surge, and it is what they have was with central command we come to feel in the last couple developed a plan that would of years as well. sen. wicker: your answers are attack iran's nuclear program. it was quite -- quite very thorough and we are way out thoroughly developed, rehearsed of time. let me ask you something on the record. . and the theater was set. i would hope that, on the logistician s as a record, you can give us your insight as to what lessons we might apply in afghanistan that as senator erns would appreciate. we had munitions, positions, we have learned from our experience in iraq. the fuel, everything is there
so that if you need to conduct can i make two an attack like that on relatively short notice, you quick points on afghanistan can do it. possibly? the theater has remained set by there have been reports recently and large ever since. there is a policy or an i think there's the possibility acceptance of what clearly is absolutely reprehensible, of adjustments now because some of the countries in the region unacceptable behavior by certain would be more accommodating to using essentially basing than they were at that time in saudi arabia foremost among them. male sex slaves. so again, i think it's time to i was pleased to see general very publicly lay out how we campbell issue a statement have posture our forces, again, today, the current commander in not giving away major secrets afghanistan, who was a two-star in afghanistan with the 108 air here or something like that, but insuring that the region force division when i was the commander of the international knows and iran knows that if community assistance force. he stated very clearly that has need be, we can do what is necessary with our military never been a policy. it is not a policy now. forces. it's really wasn't something >> what message does the that was acceptable or even absence of a united states navy discussed when i was a commander carrier send to iran, syria and of the international security russia on one hand and the assistance force. sunni gulf states on the other very first line of hand? counterinsurgency guidance that >> it says that there are limbs
i put out is that we have to be to u.s. military power. seen to be helping secure and what i don't know is whether that means that there's none in serve the people and we have to help the afghan forces do the ot only the arabian gulf but same. there is no way that that kind of behavior would be seen as nals the arabian sea. helping to serve the afghan in the past we've actually had two out there or at least a people here and it is absolutely minimum of one although that unacceptable. second, look, i do think we have one might sit off the coast sort of south of pakistan to take a very hard look at our flying the aircraft into future plans for the footprint that we have in afghanistan, afghanistan every day. that's a statement that there recognizing that now there is an are distinct limits to what it islamic state presence being is we're capable of doing and therefore there are limits to established there, recognizing what we can do to help the there is still work to be done forces in the region. to continue the disruption, the >> moving north war you write" further disruption of al qaeda we could for example tell assad senior leadership in the that the use of barrel bombs federally administered tribal must end and if they continue areas of pakistan. we will stop the syrian air that campaign has had force from flying. considerable progress, success i suspect that he will not listen to us if we tell him indeed. that that we must stop them if not only osama bin laden, but we want them to stop." three number twos in about an did you propose this policy to 18-month period. president obama while you were
diminishedry much in government? >> when syria started i was the capabilities in central had director of the c.i.a. orders. but it has to continue to be not in uniform and didn't have any responsibility with military acts with respect to disrupted because we don't on the ground and nor does pakistan fully. syria. >> did you support that policy that others recommended? beyond that, we are in a situation where, with a >> i don't remember a recommendation of that. i don't remember barrel bombs of u.s.ly modest number frankly. this was the early stage where here was no isis, hezbollah, forces providing assistance to our afghan partners, we are able to continue to accomplish the mission that we went to afghanistan to achieve. warason group and maybe limited fighters on the ground. and we cannot forget why we went >> and now russia with their there and why we stayed. fighter aircraft, could you it was because afghanistan is where al qaeda planned the 9/11 explain what exactly it would attacks and conducted the look like if we would stop initial training for those attacks. assad to top using these barrel and our mission was to ensure that never again would bombs giving the number of afghanistan be a sanctuary for russia? all cater or other transnational >> i think russia would get an extremists to do that again. advanced warning once certain assets are in the air. that mission has been does doesn't mean that you have accomplished so far. it is noww, senator, to penetrate in the integrated being done with a relatively
modest number of u.s. forces. air defense of what might be left in the integrated air there are still casualties but way less for us. defense in syria. you can do that with cruise in the meantime, afghan forces missiles coming off of ships, are very much fighting and dying subs and planes. for their country to help >> thank you. my time has expired. achieve the mission that is so >> thank you, senator, cotton. important to us and to them, to i want to recognize senator cain. not allow the force retake their senator cain: this testimony country, the tele-band, that did has been quite helpful. so i'm going to go into areas allow al qaeda to camp out on its soil and plan those attacks. where i'm confused and i'm thank you very much. interested in your opinion. we've had a lot of testimony before this committee really over the last year and a half most recently general austin's postured hearing in march of this year that talks about the : we have had the instability we're seing in the region as kind of a speaking of a long standing sunni-shiah divide which is relatively calm and at other points it's pretty significant. and yet i've heard others say that that might be overstated. authority to cut off these shipments tiered where the it could be the persian or the challenges and what are your recommendations to help finish job on this area gen. petraeus: revolutionary guard monarchy or
all of them together. the challenges have been that but i would like to ask your opinion on this. there have been very devious and do you think the sunni-shiah divide kind of a sectarian security operational divide is widening? carried out by iran when it has provided weapons to different and is that a contributing factor to the challenges that forces, whether it is hamas, we're seeing? >> i think there has been a hezbollah, who tease, whatever. widening of the sectarian unique situation divide. i think what you see in syria is very much a secretary yarne with hamas now that is quite extremely. egypt for the first time is yain ar -- second tar cutting the tunnels and absolutely obliterating the civil war. tunnels that used to enable the ou have a syrian kurdish basic free movement of goods, including weapons and rolvement that achieved a greater autonomy. ammunitions from the sinai into gaza during that -- gaza. and you have the same thing in iraq. and in some other countries you that is no longer a reality. have something more of a tribal that is a major development in that regard and a big help to war, islamist versus us. nonislamist. the on that come i do think we made gains in a variety of largely between sunni arabs and different technologies and forms tunisia which has been a of intelligence, whether it is so-called maritime big data or a political contest where
thankfully the two leaders of variety of other advances that the major parties actually ,an help us interdict that flow agree with each other or at least not to be opposed to the bitter end but actually reached maritime flow first, as it has some compromise. >> to the extend that some to some degree limited the flow to the who sees -- to the multiple factors and that's my sense too from my limited experience but to the extent that some of the divide -- some of the instability is caused by houthis. they are engaged in rolling back a widening secretary divide, the iranians of hoarded houthis would you agree that it is pretty important that the united states not unwittingly who are tried to get at the -- of a gun that sort of plant our feet on one side or the other of a sectarian divide. they could not get at the sunni vs. shiah is not the negotiation table. u.s.'s issue. sen. hirono: you are talking we need to be careful and mindful ott november giving an about the promise and the impression that we're taking a guarantee that would push back side in the sectarian divide. from corner to corner. one of the areas is lebanon as well and hezbollah. >> i think that is accurate. if people say you're on the how do you feel we can be most effective in interdicting side of the country or material and missiles going to sunni-arab we would merely
hezbollah? gen. petraeus: i think what we point out that we of course can most effectively do is have supported the shiah in assist our israeli allies with iraq. if it were in the for our would still rabs the provision of intelligence from a variety of different sources. be running the country. and they have certainly not >> indeed. shrunk from taking action when there have been meaningful another specific challenge, it seems like the area where is we've done best in the battle of military keep against aisle are the areas where we work -- isil are the abilities going from syria to lebanon, for example. areas where we work closely concerns that president with the kurds. netanyahu discussed with president putin yesterday was and then some of the activities undoubtedly included in a of the u.s. and northern syria discussion, israel saying that have been working together. northern syria have had some we will continue to take action success. if hardware that matters moves it doesn't create some of its own challenges. on the syrian side it struck me from, say, damascus into the becca valley and into lebanese as odd trying to get turkey hezbollah. sen. hirono: i wanted to more engaged in the battle against isil. it was when we started to do follow-up with a question of has work with the kurds and achieve below where you say so much as to be determined. some success. turkey then decide, ok. when we were in iraq not too now it's time we want to really long ago, it was pretty clear participate in this.
that the shia leadership in and obviously there's been tension between turkey and some baghdad was not creating any of the very elements that the confidence with the sunni kurdish elements an northern .eaders in the travel back syria are having some success against isil. i would be interested in your had we change that makes? isnow supporting abadi thoughts on the turkish role and how we maintain that nato alliance and get them involved critical. but how do we change the mix of with isil without cutting the legs off from under the so many of the seal leaders who curtains to be effective are tied to iran so closely and partners. >> turkey has been a very, very getting some understanding in them that it's not going to work important country in the dedefense first against the against isis unless we have our sunni tribal leaders with us. warsaw pact and the soviet and they are not going to be with us on this they start to union. i think it's very significant feel that the shia leaders in that general allen and others baghdad understand that, give did great work to get pledges them a piece -- give them, in by turkey to certainly to make effect, a piece of ownership in the movement of isil through the country? their country into syria. much more difficult. gen. petraeus: the elected prime minister of the country but clearly there are historic recognizes the criticality of tensions between turkey and their kurdish population, very inclusive politics. that is hugely important. sadly, very tragically there is it's also important to recognize that the people right now are quite supportive of the actions now much greater violence as
of the prime -- actions the the cease fire and there are prime minister has taken because people are outraged at the lack various explanations as to why of basic services. this has happened and whether sen. donnelly: he has a real the blame lies in the capital window now. gen. petraeus: he has a window. of turkey or out with the kurds this is a very tenuous situation. themselves. but this is another opposing hammer the very forces complicating factor without that arguably saved baghdad when question. nd i think we saw that the the islamic state was threatening it on the belts. kurdish regional government of iraq was starting to think that these are the forces that some turkey would be very, very supportive as they were exporting oil through turkey people are allied with. and so forth when they tried to at least a couple of these forces are led by individuals inforce cobainy pesh merga who were in detention during my time as a commander of the from iraq found it very difficult to do that until the multinational force because of u.s. offered its convenient their involvement in the killing of our soldiers. they are now leading not only authority and brought people militias, but parties in the together and helped push that through. parliament, to give you some so again, i mean, the bottom sense of how challenging this is line is you're very, very area so we will have to brightly identified. patiently, painstakingly, day a gauge, using are there are sectarian divides that are very, very important, arguably the most important
unless you're caught in the convening authority, our support middle of an ethnic divide for the establishment of iraqi security forces, not beholden to a particular part -- to a between say kurd arab or particular lyrical party with iranian support and so forth. persian. this is going to be a close-run that's the most important. there's a tribal overlay and affair. make no mistake about it. abadi --nister islamist vs. nonislamist in countries like libya, tunisia and frankly in egypt for that matter. >> general, thank you. on behalf of the chairman let me recognize senator brown. senator brown: thank you, sir. general petraeus thank you very iese are considerable figures much for your service to our country. over the last year or so, the think it was the right move, a prime minister of israel has strong move third but i think he come before us and explained is going to have to be shored up and expressed his concern with in every way that is possible, regard to the -- what i would not just by the united states, call a nuclear concession the by the coalition and more agreement which our importantly by forces in iraq administration has proposed. that want to see their country king abdullah of jordan has move forward again as an been before us and has inclusive country rather than one that practices exclusive requested as he said first of all on the day that it was announced that one of his objects that are carried out in
pilots had been incinerated he many cases at the force of a gun. said thank you for the f-16's but it would be very keep in mind the outrageous activities that are taking place in baghdad, were one of these appropriate if we could receive militias recently basically system of armments which we had kidnapped -- i think it was 18 been waiting for literally 24 or so turkish workers. move them from baghdad to boss months. and then in the spring of this or without being stopped and was year, in saudi arabia along holding them ran some. ith the coalition of harang, clear objective e -- sudan, egypt and u.a.e. other than turkey stopping the flow of isis into iraq. when they began their attempt there have been very public threats by some of the militias against serving leaders, to make headway, we found out including the prime minister. about it as a nation after it so this is a moment of real consequence, a moment of occurred. seems to me that that does not considerable drama in baghdad. suggest in any one of those occasions a deep degree of i think we have missed how cooperation an trust with those significant it is to see this number of iraqi citizens in the traditional partners that we streets expressing their outrage have. you mentioned the need for at what is going on in baghdad. coalition maintenance. could you give us your assessment on what needs to be a prime minister who is moving to take action in response to done right now to perhaps begin that. but very powerful elements that the process of building and are going to oppose him.
thank you again maintaining that coalition that we've been relying on in the for your service to the country. middle east for years? >> sure. and some of the elements, of course, were in my opening statement where i talked about sen. mccain: visited sure that again, first and foremost the major influential force in reassuring them that ron will never been allowed to switch to baghdad is iranian? gen. petraeus: it is possible. weapon's grade. an approving request for various weapon systems that iraq has never have taken a long time to be wanted to be the 51st state of iran. approved and wouldn't seem to threaten any of the balances support like a about which we are concerned. crutch when it is required. that's particularly interesting now that there is a convergence the problem is, when that support its tentacles into parties and so forth, it is very of interest between israel and the golf states as an example. hard to get it back out. you general thank the integration of sircht military capables of the for your service to this country countries themselves take but also for being here today so that you can provide us with plistic missile defense, early some very important insights. warning systems and so forts. again, this is something we iraqpproach in syria and have been pushing. seems to be that we are going to secretary carter has encouraged this. central command there's more we be relying on local partners to can do in those areas as well. be the boots on the ground.
again, this is really -- it just how far do you think these local partners are going to be really comes down to a question able to take us? gen. petraeus: again, they will of whether we'll be there when they need us most. go as far as is in their there's no question there had been strains. interest to do so. there's no question that some of the episodes in recent years we just have to be realistic about that. that is reality. have generated some concern. this is why mentioned earlier we we have to be careful not to should not think that the there's an ause kurdish peshmerga for example can be pushed much further below where is it they are in iraq right now or frankly the syrian insatiable desire to do that. we do have to lay out some ways peshmerga. you might get them a bit of how we should go about that. farther. you might employ them for some >> i'd like to go back to one specific operations. of those thoughts. they will play a role including you indicated we should make it crystal clear that we would not parts of moses, one would think you but they cannot ultimately allow uranium enrichment to hold those areas if they are occur. predominantly sunni arab. so in that case, we have to be two weapons grade. do you think that's missing -- one of the items that was realistic. they have a stake, however, in that generally what it is missing in the arrangement or the proposal that the administration has brought we want done, which is to defeat forward? >> i think we can make it more
the most extreme of extremists, clear and frankly if congress the islamic state. and the white house were to do and then also, of course, it together. if this was, you know, seen as ultimately to create a context within bashar al-assad will be ushered from the scene in syria. iron glad. 's not members of this although it is difficult to tell what ultimate shape syria will have at that point. sen. fischer: congress. it will be their successor's >> general dempsey speaks about risks and weighing the patience successor. but establishing a u.s. policy that becomes very, very needed against how much risk foundational i think would be a we're looking at. very important move. how much patience should we be he did in a letter to one of exhibiting towards our local your house of representatives partners in iraq and syria. laid this out. how long should we stick with the again, this is the time just to be absolutely clear them before we reach a point straightforward. and i think that that where we've assumed too much opportunity is there. risk and there may be no options >> i agree with you. i wish i would have been left that the united states can included in the proposal that we saw. look at. finally with regard to reconciliation, i talked about when do we reach that point and trying to find those coalitions an so forth.
as a tactical stalemate where i wanted a clarification and we want to be? that is with regard to isis. do you see any reconciliation general petraeus: we are not where we should be. and it's a fairly dynamic ever available who we now term stalemate. this is not a stalemate that isis? >> certainly not with they're has world war trenches and so leaders and probably the bulk of the rank-and-file. forth. there's a lot of movement. we are rolling back isis in this is an extreme organization that it is probably beyond certain places inflicting very redemption. heavily casualties on them. i wouldn't rule out the i would not want to be a leader possibilities of a few in the islamic state in iraq or misguided souls that wanted to come back to the pole. syria because i think it would a fair amount was made saying be very hard to get a life that we should deal with that, insurance policy if you were in those shoes. i really didn't say anything having said that, there's a lot because what i did say is we should try to strip away from of reinforcements flowing in within -- jumping on nas ra has and yes, we have pushed them had a number of groups that out of this area and that area. probably would have been and then hay go into ramadi. in syria they sustained di -- classified. because it had resources and they did not -- and because defeats in sulmani and this is probably more importantly is still a lot of movement. ctually fighting against and isis is on the defensive in
certain areas without question. and many areas still have the freedom of action to exercise lawson. and i do think that there's a initiatives certainly in some ability that there might be places. the key with our partners is, some sub elements and certainly of course, we should be some fighters that could be impatient. we should push it as hard as we can. whoaed back. this is one of those where you we did this. can't rush to failure. >> you know, it was not popular and that's unfortunately what throughout the ranks in iraq in can happen if we push it just too hard. february 27 when i said that we're going to have sit with senator fischer: i believe in people who are their blood in your opening you said in the future what will be our our hands. that does not mean that we the iranian to would sit down with the leaders of iraq. we try to kill or capture them. it did mean that there are a number of individuals though below that. with whom we did deal. and did bring them in and ultimately you know, there were so were 0 those or arab. they were cheetah arabs. once that wanted to shed their
ties with the militia particularly after the militia were defeated. >> thank you, sir. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, plch, thank you general for being here today. the middle east is an area that is very complicated and there's a lot of instability there to say the least. so how would you rank the most destabilizing forces in the middle east if i were to look maligned activity alaska. >> reely again, problems that extend beyond the region. >> to be able to rank -- i don't think i can. on a given day we might be more oncerned with the plot by this islamic state which might actually do enormous damage in europe to one of our allies or
provides something in the united states. providing legal munitions from hamas. in the 10 years that you were -- that you served in the ease it has all been the entities who created a tremendous instability in that area. has it always been that way in the middle east? >> i think the instability was much greater when i was the commander for central command 2008 through 2010. for one thing we've had the arab spring. so it's not just a result of extremist elements. he said that it is the throwing over of long time dictators who did achieve a degree of stability in their countries
but obviously at such great expense that i any the people rejected them. that's probably the single biggest cause of the instability. and what you see then are groups like the islamic state and to some degree iran and others are taking advantage of ungoverned or inadequately govern spaces. i think one of the lessons of the post arab spring is that if area is ungoverned or inl adequately governed extremists might seem opportunity in those locations. >> hence your question about hassan. if you were able to topple him, who would come in and take his play. there are some who support the par in additionening so the kurds, the shiah, the sunnis would have their area. i believe you said today that
that would be a bad idea. did you say that? >> i did. do you see any kind of scenario where partitioning and that would lead to some level of instinct and allowing that done there to go forward. never had anyone explain adequately to me those how you get to particularly the sunni stand and the shiah stand. who is it that draws the boundaries. what happens in terms of oil revenue for sunni stand which has no oil production in the food print. so again, this is -- there's very serious practs cal issue here which did not resolve and you'll have syria par 2. except in iraq.
so intellectually, academicically. tell me how you're going to get there. in a country where the politics e so fractious that the they alien nated from mag dad. this is no going to be an amicable divorce. will be a civil war. there has been displacement. in the 2005, 20080 of time frame. but there's certainly by no means divided and the con cement for -- concept with how they survive. all all of this would work i think are quite problematic. >> i said any kind of movement towards that kind of auditioning should come within tchen. >> very, very good point. they have not had much luck doing things that way. >> the boundries were draw by
outsiders and you see them obliterated. you have no -- i think you've railed a very, very important point and that is that whatever the future is, it's going to have to be agreed upon or it's going to be fought over. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i did have one more question. i'm running out of time. but would you mind? you ran out of completely. >> over the weekend the u.s. began military to military talks including tanks and fighters already in aircraft. and syria. i just wondered what would it be if you were holding these talks with russia. make sure that there's nothing that goes bump in the night. that there's not an operation that is miscon sbrued by the other and ends up shooting where there doesn't need to be
shooting. >> thank you. thank you mr. chairman. >> we actually have ship to ship conversation with iranians. we had with iranian some help in the counter piracy mission. us, ieral betray apologize are having to step out. i didn't want to go back, and i apologize them will go back to the record, when you were talking about proposing enclaves and safe havens within syria, could you give me an idea of what that would look like?
what a reasonable timeframe could we do it, to what extent could that have a positive impact on the refugee situation in the region? can you give me a better idea how that would play out? gen. petraeus: i don't think i can give you timeline, that will start with us making a declaration and we will defend -- >> what positions are we taking? what precisely with the u.s. military and coalition partners be doing to make sure that ceases? gen. petraeus: you have a policy decision and a policy statement and if not,y stop our air force starts flying. they can figure out how to stop them from flying. enclave, it is hugely important when it comes to refugees. the refugees are just giving up, so they are very much -- they
want to go back still now if there was any hope. without that, you will just see a continued exodus and it is already overwhelming. enclave, iteate an can be a safe haven and a huge target. then, how do we -- we attempted army -- the free syrian the original thought was not for an offensive posture but some sort of defensive posture so they can create enclaves across the area. they would be perceived as a safe haven in the region versus the mass exhibits we are seeing right now. there is a policy
decision that says we will protect you from all enemies, not just the islamic state. if they understand that, you can do a reasonably good job and equip them with some radios and other communication devices so that we can be alerted if they are experiencing pressure. again, i don't want to make light of this. this is very complicated military activities. it is doable. at a certain point, i am not at all against having our forces in an enclave. shifting to a different thection, the last week -- on edition not to allow petroleum experts into the united states. some estimates after the sanctions were lifted as many of
a million barrels a day. they need a price point of about $130 to start balancing their books. gen. petraeus: i don't think so at all, senator. >> you think it is lower? gen. petraeus: a good deal lower than that. they would not sell the extra barrels -- >> let me finish. gen. petraeus: i think that ok. their thoughtsh process. based on military and intelligence experience, do you believe the united states, being able to participate in the global market, and being able to export oil to other nations -- at the same time iran is benefiting from that. should we be looking at that? gen. petraeus: this is not just my military intelligence.
i am a partner in one of the global investment firms in our country. all, the analysis on crude oil exports would not only the price of wti go up slightly, it would impact brent crude prices. the price at the pump would go down. i think it is the cbo that did the analysis. one of our organizations here on capitol hill has looked at this. it is a very interesting dynamic. i don't think we should get into those markets unless you want to use sanctions. otherwise, you have to be careful about intervention on a
global market. >> it was the kind of profit to fix fiscal problems -- gen. petraeus: or may be investment in the field in the future. >> i guess finally, i want to ma ou sure i understand -- do y beinge the united states, able to extract more energy from the regions under our jurisdiction, and provide that energy, is part of a strategic iran's hedge against ability to fund more maligned activity. gen. petraeus: we ought to produce all the oil and gas we can if we are making a profit. their --iraq, it funds
by the way, they are running a fiscal deficit now. this is about market forces, the fact is the energy markets right now because of the u.s. -- shell gale, the next big disruption will be in the liquefied natural gas markets. they will be -- that will be a huge challenge for president putin. his hand is getting weaker, he is carrying out costly adventures, and has a limited amount of foreign reserves left to fund this and doesn't have access to the global markets
because of the sanctions on him and his many major banks. you our lng hits europe, will see a compression of natural gas prices even though he is selling it off the pipeline. >> thank you for being here today, and your insight. i know last week general austin was here and was questioned by a number of members of this committee about the training mission. unfortunately, what he had to say suggests to me and others that it has not accomplished what it was supposed to. my recollection is that you advocated for a similar kind of mission early, before it started. i wonder if you have thoughts
about what can be done at this point. as it has been operating, it has not been successful. is there any way to right it? gen. petraeus: you cannot abandon it, because anything you want to accomplish in syria has the air forceby on the ground. whether the defeat of the islamic state, or creating a the regimewhich might be able to go to the negotiating table. or for stemming the flow and exit is a refugees from syria that is overflowing european countries. the central issue is that we have to pledge and then take action to support these fighters against anyone who comes at
them. whether it is isis, which we want them to fight, or other elements. we have to support them against all of these. we have to enable them to fight them in a local way without creating the conditions where bashar goes before we have a sense of what will follow him. establishing about enclaves in syria that would be protected. as what ised that normally described as safe zones , with that what you are suggesting? gen. petraeus: safe havens, i think. by the way, they can be the
south as well as the north. there is a reasonable one in the south, continuous to jordan. >> last week, we heard from michael powers from mercy corps which is done a lot of humanitarian work in syria. he expressed grave concern about establishing safe zones. he suggested that it would be difficult to keep them actually ofe without a lot investment and additional airpower. he thought they could become a target for extremists, and they can be used by some countries as an excuse to reject refugees. how does your proposal suggest we address those issues? gen. petraeus: we will defend it. you can't just declare something a safe zone. we would have to -- this is the
key. are notes we support going to stay supportable. they won't even stay alive, as takeve seen, if we don't very active measures. we need a credible campaign for them to pursue. part of that campaign should be establishing enclaves. i don't like the word save zones, there is nothing safe about them unless you will defend it. people on the ground will judge whether or not you are doing that, and they will vote with their feet. they will stay, or come back, or depart with others. we would have to invest in supporting that zone. thinkoesn't mean i don't we have to have our boots on the ground, but at some point if security is adequate, i would be comfortable doing that. one of thelly, things that i think we have not
done as sucessfully is to counter the isil propaganda. these have thoughts about how we could be better responding? gen. petraeus: this is a really, difficult problem because of the magnitude of it. to way machines are used amplify and magnify, we have to get smarter about that. i've talked to people with google at ideas that can be used on our side iin the same way they are used on their side. we had a program during part of the time i was the commander where we had credible voices -- these were native speakers with academic training in various religious disciplines. they were quite effective, the
problem is -- it is very costly. i think we do have to partner more effectively with those that really understand the technology, then we activate those willing to engage in this. i don't know it can buy -- be by any means all government. i don't think can generate the critical mass necessary for this task. >> who should it be spearheaded by? the problem with state department can be best explained by an episode when i was the commander and the under secretary of state came to twocom and asked for one or million dollars to help them with the program. the state department has never
been adequately funded, i don't know if senator graham is here, here is the subcommittee chair of the key committee. statee always called for and aid to do more, yet we hvave not given them the authorization to do that. >> thank you. >> thank you, admiral mccain. --eral petronius you conceivably attendance at this committee today, your opinions and your thoughts are very highly valued. thank you for sharing your thoughts. i would like to go back to the k urds a little bit. questions,s asked but maybe not in all manners. they have been a great ally to
us. i heard that for many of the men and women who have served in that region. they have been a great partner for 25 years or so, and a healthy respect for the rule of law. they have been very helpful with a number of minorities, and religious minorities, and what can we do to better provide support for the kurdish regional government? i believe we need to double down in this effort, regardless of whether they may push beyond the regional boundaries. they do provide an area where we can engage them in shaping operations -- whether it is to provide an area for us to -- can you give us some thoughts? gen. petraeus: we are based in there, if headquarters and operations and very close we are verys
closely linked. i think the single biggest issues are the provision of weapons and other supplies to streamline that -- i have said we have to support prime --abaddi.body we need to figure out how to get ideally it does not have a touchdown in baghdad. some coalition members are doing that, with our tacit approval if not applause. le biggeste sing step to take. in then to be there earlier part of this year and had a lot of people come and plead that case. theother is to determine if
kurdish regional government -- it is in difficult financial times because of the price of oil going down by 55%. it has reduced the amount with which the 17% they get from the .entral government they are having a difficult time, they are supporting hundreds of thousands of refugees. anyone who flies over this will see a camp every few kilometers. and they are fighting a war. if we can provide additional assistance to them, that would be very valuable. we have very much enabled them, we helped them -- had it not been for decisive action at a critical moment last year, it is very possible the islamic state might've gotten closer to the capital. that held that off, and has retaken most of the area around the kurdish regional
government. there are no more internally disputed governments within iraq. appreciate those thoughts very much. i would tend to agree and would love to see more assistance going to the krg in consultation with the iraqi government. if we could turn to turkey briefly, we talked about the fact that they have mobilized. through their mobilization of resources, whether political, military, instead of really pushing back against isis we see that has been a turn to mobilize against pkk. what do you see the impact is to those coalition forces? what are the greater
implications of that? gen. petraeus: i don't know this has a huge effect on u.s. or coalition forces. they are not being diverted to assist. we have provided intelligence assistance that i don't imagine has changed a great deal. what is very significant is what is happening inside turkey. the sheer escalation of the violence, the situation is relatively calm and seems to be heading towards one where there was greater reconciliation between the government and the sizable part of the population kurdish. that is certaine meeting desires of that kurdish population, then all of a sudden
the wheels have come off of the bus. it is very distressing to see, because the violence on both sides has escalated very rapidly. >> thank you, my time has expired. >> general, first, courage is an element of character. courage to admit mistakes, in an open forum such as you did during the beginning of her testimony, is a huge indicator of character. i want to copyright and acknowledge that you did something that was not easy this morning. it is very meaningful. about russia, and syria, the recent buildup of russian troops is very worrisome. on the other hand, russia was an ally when it came to getting rid
of chemical weapons. is there a geopolitical opportunity where russia may recognize the danger of isis to them? could ther ebe c -- there be common cause with them? itad would be moved aside, is isis's evil twin. it is a magnetic attraction. talk to me about talks with the russians -- i believe countries act in their interest. in this case, they have an interest in not seeing isis turned into terrorism in their country. is there an opportunity for working in concert with the russians to move aside aside -- assad aside? this is nots:
something i would rule out at all, there is no question they have an interest. they are worried about the effect of the caucuses. there are chechnya and's down there fighting, without question. it will go back and be more effective. the problem is, if they wanted to do this, and that was their goal, they could have contacted the coalition entered how can you integrate us into the air tasking order. it would like to drop bombs on isis just like you guys. >> it appears these recent moves will -- israeli, this it is about national interests. their national interest is to preserve the naval base that they have in tartu's down on the coast. perhaps there is a way to
ensure that without guaranteeing the presence of assad. be, petraeus: there could at some point, if there are serious negotiations. it is not the kind of thing you would just rule out unequivocally. this is a real complication right now. if they enter the fight on the side of assad rather than just protecting this coastal enclave, realwe will see complication. you don't want to be in direct conflict. power, itan important has carried out very provocative actions. that doesn't mean we need to be provocative in return. we do need to be firm in return, and establish what is acceptable. ukraine, that is one example. we have to see this develop a bit further, recognizing that
that is a very clear way for them to attack isis, and that would be to join the coalition. you talk about barrel bombs, is there an alternative? the problems,e of but an alternative of providing closely vetted syrian opposition with man pans, or similar weapons that could neutralize the air force without mobilizing a major air war and coordinated essentially escalating the conflict. this has been an issue in any of these kinds of endeavors. >> since afghanistan. gen. petraeus: exactly. the concern is that one gets out of hand interests somewhere else and takes down a civil airliner -- the risk in this has to be very carefully measured. and mitigated, there are some
techniques and technologies that can be employed. i am not sure that we have not done that, or that other countries have not done that. it is a very risky proposition, in we have to do exercise norma's caution to do that. >> final question, do people wake up in iraq and think of themselves as iraqis? gen. petraeus: sadly, in recent sectarian, orore ethnic identity rather than iraqi. said that, i remember when the soccer team won the asia cup, that night there where cheers all over. so there can be unifying features, and let's never forget the most important centrifugal
force is the distribution of the oil revenues by the central government to the provinces, ministries, and so forth. >> thank you, general. > thank you, mr. chairman. general, good to see you again. agree with what senator king said a budget comments earlier. i wanted to talk a little bit -- there is been a lot written on the surge and what you did and what the chairman and others did with regard to that important strategy. to me, it is an example of when you know a strategy and rhetoric. by that, i mean that it was announced and then they took action. one of the broad strategic failures right now that certainly we are seeing with all the chaos in the world is that
we in many ways as a country -- whether the president, the secretary of defense, were talking about things rather -- redlines, syria, even secretary carter gave what i thought was a very powerful speech. none of these statements have been followed up by action, unlike what you did with the surge. what happens when as a country we talk a lot but don't act? think weaeus: well, i have taken action. >> where? gen. petraeus: we killed osama bin laden. >> i gave three examples. was merelyus: i going to say, this is not a
record of unmitigated lack of action. in my statement, i said that in action in some cases has consequences. that is the case with what we are dealing with in syria, without question. >> so what do you think happens? gen. petraeus: if you do not act others may. question, the art of this is to figure out when to take action, and what action to take. you should not take action all the time. , whatuld you take action i'm talking that is not random, but action to implement stated policies you already announced as a country. are you hearing that the united states is losing credibility in securityour national
and foreign policy? gen. petraeus: there are some questions out there, what i was going to do was point out where there have been actions. this is not a record of no action, there have been very courageous actions. i took very tough issues to this president, and he took action. there have been some way there was not action. if those in which there is not action taken really matter, then there are consequences that accumulate. i do think that the syrian redline that was not a redline that had a decent outcome in the end, 90% of the chemical weapons were gone. the way we got to that was quite a circuitous path unveiled by a verynt putin and was interesting outcome. that is not the kind of case, i instills a, that
great sense of confidence in the united states. >> let me ask another in terms of action. we are seeing a lot of strategic interests from the russians and other nations for reasons of natural resources, transportation, and you have seen a pretty dramatic move by the russians in terms of an arctic military command. there, newt's icebreakers, and heated rhetoric. weterms of u.s. action, if were to remove our substantial arctic forces -- that the only what with that do in terms of additional russian reaction? i have expertise in a reasonable number of
places, but i will defer to you on the arctic, i'm afraid. >> there is a bit of a strategic irony going on where some of us think that we are withdrawing and parts of the world, but when you look at it and in schmitz of american power, things like -- in terms of american power, things like energy, the resurgence of manufacturing, the best universities in the world, the list -- agriculture -- the list is very strong. we have so many advantages over other countries -- china, how do weatever -- utilize those in a way that shows that we are still the country holding all the cards? on so many different instruments of power that countries measure power by. all petraeus: we don't own
rumors of but america's demise seven greatly exaggerated, to quote mark twain. did a monograph at harvard as a fellow on the great new emerging economy -- north america. when i was asked a year or so ago after the american century of what? the expected me to say the asian century or the chinese century. the north american decades. the bottom line, our economy is fundamentally -- it has a lot of challenges, some the we have to thatve -- all notwithstanding, at a time when the number two economy is slowing down significantly, we don't yet see the rise of india. the euro zone has a very differentiator recovery, the u.s. has continued, we may be in
the longest recovery in our history. it is not achieved escape velocity, there are aspects that are not great, but when you look at the rest of the world and the fundamentals of the united states -- whether it is democracy, the values we share with our two neighbors, you don't see mexico asking china to pivot in north america to help against the united states. the way every country with china is doing to aust. there are enormous strengths in this country. elsewhere, them out there are a number of actions they can take to address this issues. we can capitalize on this i.t.tunity because of the revolution. the manufacturing revolution is now beginning to gather steam,
and the life science revolution. we are among the leaders in every one of these areas, and we have a number of really great fundamentals that are going to keep this country, and north america written large, and a very enviable position. i would not want to be in any other economy than this one, right here. i now get paid to analyze those kinds of factors and elements. >> thank you, general. >> general, thank you very much for a lifetime of extraordinary service under difficult circumstances. gen. petraeus: thank you to you for yours as i noted in a response to a local newspaper. you served at nine stints under andommand in iraq afghanistan. each of those as a week or a bit
longer. i was skeptical before the first one, i did not appreciate the great opportunity -- >> i can understand that. gen. petraeus: i accepted kernel lindsey graham as the judge advocate general of the u.s. air force reserve. after every single one of those visits, you provided a real nugget that helped us come to seriousth one of the issues we were confronting, starting with issues we had at camp, all the way through various legal conundrums. >> you certainly made my day, and it was a very small contribution. gen. petraeus: and i am bipartisan, by the way. >> bottom line, i enjoyed the heck out of it. let's try to see if we can make sense out of the world.
a fight for the heart and soul of islam, and a demand for social justice. gen. petraeus: certainly, among the biggest issues. i might put some economic issues that might be in the social justice category -- toi want the american people understand that young people will not live in dictatorships for our convenient any longer, do you agree with that? gen. petraeus: they are not doing and for our convenience to begin with, but the real point is the age of the dictators is certainly under a certain degree of strain. the of cnet boil over and libya -- we have seen that boil over and libya, tunisia, egypt, and others. >> should be side with them and say you are right to demand a larger voice?
want moreght to economic opportunities. we should embrace what they are asking for. gen. petraeus: i would have that the back of my mind. will do it as a universal declaration, that is just me. on the other side, islam. do you agree that most muslims reject radical islam. gen. petraeus: yes. suggest otherwise, you don't understand the region. the biggest victim of radical islam is other people in the faith. you have been there more than anyone else i know, don't you agree that the good news for all of us is that we can partner with people within the faith are willing to partner with us to destroy this radical ideology. gen. petraeus: correct, we have socked to do that -- sought to
do that. knowl the same, they don't what they're talking about. i don't think all presbyterians are the same. ,ut i'm trying to make everybody is the same, everybody is radical, that misses the boat. most fathers and mothers don't want to give their children to isis. that is something we need to build upon. , the presidentq says the goal is to destroy isil . gen. petraeus: that is a very high bar, and it has been lowered slightly to defeat, think it's adequate. we did destroy al qaeda in iraq, and sadly they resurrected themselves in the form of isis and then gained strength in syria. are.w, we are where we
do you believe more americans would help lead to the defeat of isil in iraq? gen. petraeus: what i have laid out here today is a requirement for additional forces, not additionalat forces, advisers, brigade headquarters, probably augmentation. what will happen is you will get a critical mass at some point of and it will set off a chain reaction. we did that with the awakening, and rippled up and down the euphrates river. ultimately, it goes up the tigris. we have to be prepared, and we will have more training locations and more advisers. >> but, would a couple a visa battalions help? -- aviation battalions help?
gen. petraeus: it would help, but you will inter greater risk. we have attack helicopters which we have employed, now we are starting to add numbers quite considerably. i would be concerned about possible ramifications. to talk about syria. is there anyone left to train in syria that could both destroy isil and push assad out? gen. petraeus: i think there are forces that if we pledge to support them against everybody, not just by the islamic state, and start off by allowing them to solidify, control, and enclave, before we push them into an offensive. >> what about a regional force? would you support the creation of a regional force with two goals in mind? gen. petraeus: i would have concerns about that. you have neighbors going into
one of the countries in this region, again, every country is different. to go into the country that is already has fractured as is syria, i think there are some complications with that. >> finally, assad must ago. gen. petraeus: he has to go ultimately, that is the keyword, until we have a sense of what would replace him, we need to be very careful monday push him out because what comes after could be even worse. >> how many people are left that would be willing to fight both isil and aassad? how long would it take to train this force? i would them in the ground first in turkey, and the jordan. i would be willing to put them into when enclave and you would not put people in jeopardy. >> how long do you think --
gen. petraeus: i don't know, senator, there is a host of assumptions that we would have to make before we can get any precision. >> thank you very much. >> general, on behalf of chairman kane, thank you for your extraordinary testimony. it was thought-provoking, as always, and for your great service to the country. one thing that always impressed me was your dedication to the men and women you lead was unshakable. thank you, sir. gen. petraeus: thank you, senator. >> the hearing is adjourned. >> on the next "washington e continue our
coverage of the pope's visit to the u.s. our guess is former u.s. .mbassador to the holy see a look ahead to the pope's visit to the white house. "washington journal" is live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. join the conversation with calls and comments on facebook and twitter. >> the pope's visit to the u.s.. c-span has live coverage from washington, d.c.. today on c-span, c-span radio the welcoming, ceremony as the obamas welcome him to the white house. live coverage begins at 8:45. canonizationss and of junipero sero. pope francis becomes the first
pope to address congress. from new york, the pope addresses the general assembly. the pontiff will hold a service .t a 9/11 museum follow coverage of the trip to the u.s. live on tv or online at c-span.org. a senate subcommittee examines whether the labor and education departments improperly issued regulatory guidance. that's live at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 2. republican presidential candidate donald trump is in columbia, south carolina today for a town hall event hosted by senator tim scott. to the white house coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. here's the help.com's headline.
gop takes lead to prevent government shutdown. shabad focuses on funding issues. tell us what issues will come up thursday. >> mitch mcconnell filed cloture on a bill that would defund parenthood until december. the bille a knowledged that would fail in the senate because democrats would filibuster. even if it made it to president obama's desk he would veto it. the next step most people are expecting as on thursday after
pope francis addresses both houses of congress that morning, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell will again file another government funding bill, a so-called clean funding bill which would continue funding to planned parenthood and last until mid-december. this entire strategy is a way to try and prevent the government shutdown next thursday. both the house and senate on the have about five legislative days left in session until they funding deadline. >> looks like the majority leader is getting support from within his congress. you retweeted your colleague, saying "wow, kelly ayotte says mcconnell should not waste time with a show vote." dealruz wrapped the iran into a funding five. sounds like some republican leaders would like to bring other issues in. >> ted cruz and other conservatives have suggested
they should tie something regarding the iranian nuclear deal to a government spending bill. democrats, most of whom have supported obama's nuclear deal, they say it should not be attached to any government spending bill because it could risk a government shutdown. cruz is considered the architect of the 2013 government shutdown when it closed for 16 days two years ago. see aot sure we will repeat of that but it will depend on what happens in the senate and if the house can take up whatever the senate passes. oron the cr, clean otherwise, the continuing resolution, how much does it fund and how long would it last? >> it funds the government at the sequestration level for the next fiscal year which begins next week. $1.017 trillion dollars.
to adhere to the so-called sequester level spending caps. democrats and president obama want to lift those. the idea of having the government spending bill expire in mid-december as so that both republicans and democrats on the 2.5 monthhave a window to negotiate a larger budget deal. that would raise those spending caps. >> let's talk about the debate window in the house. you tweeted that house republicans will hold a weekly meeting on friday morning. government funding expected to be discussed. they're in after the pope. what are we hearing on the cr? >> where expecting house gop leaders to meet behind closed doors after the pope's visit thursday. as you mentioned, the gop conference on the -- will gain friday morning.
it will likely be one of the last meetings before the house has to take a vote next week. we might see one more meeting before that time. as far as timing it is a little unclear if the senate is going to pitch the government spending bill to the house and have the house passed that. if, that is the case we might see a final vote on a clean bill next week. it could come down to the wire, as it always does. the house may vote on that bill wednesday. if it is a clean spending bill, where expecting speaker boehner to reach out to democrats to help pass the bill. >> is it possible that neither body -- in either body there will be weekend work? >> it is.
if mitch mcconnell decides to file the clean spending bill that continues funding for planned parenthood either thursday or friday that could set up procedural votes to move forward on that deliver the weekend. that could require most members and members of the media to come to the capitol. >> rebecca shabad, read more at thehill.com and follow her on twitter. pope francis arrived in washington yesterday. president obama and the first family were joined by vice president biden and dr. jill biden to greet the pontiff at joint base andrews in maryland. we will show the arrival ceremony ahead of this morning's white house welcome ceremony. this is 30 minutes. [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause] >> i'm going to go ahead and