tv General John Campbell Testimony on U.S. Military Operations in Afghanistan CSPAN October 11, 2015 10:32am-1:12pm EDT
hart on his new book. >> the founders used the language of the ancient republic, greece and rome. and warned against corruption. their definition of corruption was not bribery or quid pro quo money under the table. it was putting special interests ahead of the common good and by that definition, washington today is a massively corrupt place. eastern onat 8:00 c-span's q&a. our road to the white house coverage of the presidential candidates continues in new hampshire. monday morning, live coverage from the no labels problem solver convention in manchester. speakers include eight republicans and democratic presidential candidates talking on the issues of uniting the country, jobs creation, helen
singh the budget, social security -- balancing the budget, social security and medicare. then we are live with john kasich. and on wednesday at 7:00 p.m., jeb bush will speak at a town hall meeting in concord. on tuesday, tuesday, general john campbell testified before the senate armed services committee. he answered questions about the accidental strike. and issues dealing with the afghan security forces. the taliban, and isis. this is two hours and 30 minutes.
>> good morning. as the committee convenes i want to make it clear that i will not tolerate a disruption of the workings of this committee. i will say that anyone who does will be arrested. not ejected, but arrested. i want to make that very clear. we will not tolerate disruption of the workings of this committee. they are too important. the senate armed services committee meets this morning to receive information on the situation in afghanistan. we thank you for appearing and grateful for your many years of distinguished services and your leadership of the united states
and coalition forces in afghanistan at this critical time. we ask that you convey the gratitude and appreciation to all the brave men and women in uniform under your command. under the sanctuary under the taliban regime al qaeda planned and conducted initial training for the 9/11 attacks that killed 3000 innocent civilians on american soil. our mission was to ensure afghanistan would never again be a safe haven for al qaeda or other radical islamist terrorists. that mission has been successful for 14 years. american troops and civilians have made steady progress in supporting our afghan partners to secure their country and dealt blows to al qaeda and other terrorist attacks, other terrorist groups who want to attack the united states and our
allies. we have seen a remarkable progress in afghanistan society. more schools, more teachers, greater opportunities for women and girls, and positions of leadership, higher literacy, better roads, and wider use of cell phones. life expectancy in afghanistan has increased by 22 years in less than a generation. a feat unparalleled in modern history. it is precisely because we are fighting for progress and our values that it has been so disturbing to read reports alleging that some of our coalition partners may be engaged in sexual abuse and other activities that contradict our values. this committee treats allegations with the utmost seriousness and we look forward to hearing from you about what actions have been taken and what processes put in place to address this situation.
we have made significant and steady progress in afghanistan but as u.s. military officials and diplomats have warned for years, these games are still reversible and adaptive u.s. troop presence based on conditions on the ground, not on a calendar is essential to ensuring these gains endure. these experts have warned it would invite the same tragedy that has unfolded in iraq since 2011. if we have learned anything from that nightmare, wars do not end just because politicians say so. the evidence is clear in afghanistan. since president obama hailed the end of combat operations in afghanistan last year, isil has arrived on the battlefield and the taliban have launched a major offensive to take territory across the country as we saw most recently in the key
city of kunduz. the afghan national security forces are still developing key capabilities. the shortfalls are familiar, intelligence, logistics, airlift, close air support, special forces and institutional development. and yet the white house remains committed to its politically driven withdrawal of nearly all u.s. forces from afghanistan. it is not too late for president obama to abandon this dangerous course. time is of the essence and continued delays by the white house are hurting our national security interests. the government and people of afghanistan are waiting to see what kind of support and
commitment the united states will make. afghan security forces, whose morale has been tested by heavy casualties against the taliban are waiting to find out whether the american partners will remain at their side. our nato partners are waiting to determine their course of action in afghanistan and need to generate forces for an extended commitment. pakistan is waiting for a u.s. decision while hedging its bets with individuals and groups that are hostile to our interests. the taliban is waiting to seeing if it merely needs to wait until the united states draws down to an end this eccentric presence to have the battlefield to themselves. then there are the thousands upon thousands of american troops and families who have served and are serving in afghanistan waiting to see if their sacrifices will be put at greater risk because we have abandoned afghanistan by blindly
following an inflexible timetable for withdrawal. the consequences of the indecision and their own decision are beginning to emerge. growing instability, terrorist safe havens, an increase in direct threats to the united states. we cannot turn back the clock on decisions made four years ago in iraq. the decisions made now will determine the nature and scope of the future challenges we face in afghanistan. the world walked away from afghanistan once before. it descended into chaos that contributed to the worst terrorist attack ever against our homeland. we cannot afford to repeat that mistake. the threats we face are real and the stakes are high for the lives of the afghan people. especially women and girls for the stability of the region. and for the national security of the united states. general campbell, we thank you for being with us this morning. we look forward to your testimony.
senator reid: thank you, please pass along our deep appreciation to the men and women under your command for their service. you have been command for over a year of the 20 missions in afghanistan training and advising the afghan security force and counterterrorism operations. your purpose and mission is to ensure afghanistan does not once again become a safe haven for terrorists aiming to attack the united states or its interests. your testimony comes at a critical time. the administration considers the size of the military presence. i believe going forward should be shaped in resource to enable you to achieve your missions objective based on conditions on
the ground. we should take into account our regional counterterrorism requirements, including against al qaeda and a growing presence of isil. the news reports regarding security conditions in afghanistan indicate a worsening situation. taliban forces continue to be formidable despite the announcement of --'s death. this year, casualties have reached their highest level since the start of the conflict. the taliban have spent a their control, closing schools, reducing access to services, re-imposing restrictions on women and girls, and reversing progress in these areas. the attacks have increased and they conduct a major operation to seize capital to the north. this situation raises significant concerns.
in 2015 security forces have repeatedly regrouped and retaken territory from the taliban. in the past few days afghan forces have retaken central kunduz for the taliban. security in afghanistan depends not only on our training and advising afghan security forces but whether those forces believe there is an afghan government they are willing to support and defend. in iraq we saw training efforts undermined when prime minister maliki replaced competent leaders with his own loyalists. in afghanistan we have partners and abdullah abdullah. there are reports of serious
divisions at lower levels. we would be interested in your views on his commitment to ensuring non-corrupt leadership and insights you may have on how to promote unity of the afghan government. our counterterrorism operation has had a number of significant successes this year due in part to an increased level cooperation, and active military operations that have driven al qaeda and other militants across and into afghanistan creating opportunities for targeting these extremists. i'm concerned that our ability to execute successfully these critical operations will be reduced as a result of resources being redirected to support our campaign against isis in iraq and syria and is part of the presidents decision of the u.s'' size of forces.
i would be interested in your thoughts on what to do going forward and use afghanistan as a safe haven. our efforts to promote security will be severely damaged if we don't have the highest standards for the u.s. forces and afghan forces we train. a policy of nonintervention when u.s. troops were aware of sexual abuse by afghan commanders. is deeply disturbing. general campbell, i hope you can help this committee get to the truth and that the u.s. forces will not accept the abuse of any civilians. additionally, u.s. forces must have a high standard for protection of civilians.
the united states must do all it can like the incident where doctors and staff were wounded. the defense department announced your department will be conducting an investigation and we will look into the investigation. i'm interesting in hearing what additional steps are being done to make sure our rules of engagement reinforce civilians are away from harm and stopping this from the future. i look forward to your testimony. mr. campbell: good morning, chairman mccain, senator reid and ranking members of the committee. i've been honored to lead and represent the united states forces in afghanistan for the last 14 months. i want to thank the committee for your steadfast support of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and civilians. through your leadership and
commitment, they are the best trained our nation has ever deployed. the backing of the american people. thank you very much. i would like to pay tribute to our american families, the unsung heroes of the last 14 years of conflict. in many ways, our frequent absences from home are harder on them than us. without their love and support, we could not succeed. i would like to honor the over 2200 servicemen and women who have been killed in afghanistan and the over 20,000 who have been wounded. tragically, we lost 14 personnel last friday in an aircraft mishap. we always remember the afghan and our own fallen. we honor the memories by assisting the afghans to build a stable and secure country and protecting our homeland.
over 14 years have passed since the 9/11 attacks and we have not forgotten why we first came to afghanistan and why we remain. since 2001, exceptional efforts of our forces ensured another terrorist attack from afghanistan has not occurred. eight months have passed since i appeared before this committee, and much has changed since then. afghanistan, this government and its security forces, the enemy, our own coalition have undergone tremendous transitions. these changes have ensured that this fighting season has been fundamentally different. they cannot be compared to previous years. i would like to emphasize political, military, economic transitions are affecting the operational environment in order to place our campaign in context. afghanistan is at a critical juncture and so is our campaign.
before i further explain the formidable challenges and the opportunities before us, i would like to address a few topics that have been in the headlines. first, i would like to discuss the tragic loss of lives in the strike of the hospital in kunduz. u.s. special operations forces have been providing training and assistance to afghan national defense forces who have been engaged in the tenacious fight with the taliban. on saturday morning, our forces provided air support at their request. to be clear, the decision to provide aerial fire was a u.s. decision made within the u.s. chain of command. the hospital was mistakenly struck. we would never intentionally target a protected medical facility. i must allow the investigation to take its course. therefore, i'm not at liberty to discuss further specifics. however, i assure you the investigation will be thorough, objective and transparent.
i would also like to remind the committee and the american people that we continue to make extraordinary efforts to protect civilians. no military in history has done more to avoid harming innocents. we assume greater risks to our own forces in order to protect noncombatants. to prevent any future incidents of this nature, i've directed the entire force to undergo in-depth training in order to review all of our operational authorities and rules of engagement. our record stands in stark contrast to the actions of the taliban. they repeatedly violated laws of war by targeting civilians. the united nations attributes more than 70% of noncombatants killed and wounded to the taliban. second, i would like to discuss the sexual exploitation of children by afghan security forces. all of us consider this reprehensible. this criminal practice is unacceptable and to the afghans as well.
president ghani and the chief executive have reiterated their policies and laws within the afghan security forces. we will do everything in our power to defend and protect you human rights. that is our moral obligation to you, the american people and ourselves. i have ordered 100% training of the forces understand our human rights policies which have been in place since at least 2011. this requires our personnel report any suspected human rights violations committed by the afghan security forces. this includes any sexual abuse of children. whenever and wherever our personnel observes human rights abuses, they will be conveyed to the chain of command and in turn to the afghan government. perpetrators must be held accountable. with so many weeks left in the
season, intense combat continues in many parts of the country. the afghan security forces have been tested this year, but they continue to fight hard. in the wake of the redeployment, the afghan security forces have accepted this fighting season would be decisive. there was no winter lull. since february, the fighting has been continuous. casualties on both sides have risen and the violence has moved beyond traditional insurgent strongholds. pakistan military operations this year have displaced foreign fighters in the eastern and northern afghanistan. the emergence of the islamic state has further complicated the landscape and potentially expanded the conflict. most recently, the taliban increased the tempo of their operations upon the announced death of their spiritual leader. we are seeing how our
redeployment and shift from combat operations to an advisory role have changed battlefield dynamics. only a few years ago, our coalition numbered over 140,000 military personnel. the forces comprise the fewer than 14,000 in which 10,000 are u.s. servicemen and women. in years past, our aircraft provided responsive and often decisive close air support to coalition and afghan troops in combat. this is no longer the norm, but the exception. collectively, the afghan security forces are adapting to these changes. in some places, they are struggling. within this context, the fluidity of the current security situation is not surprising. this fighting season started well for the afghan security forces as they execute a successful multi-corps operation. in april, they fought back significant taliban pressure in the north. in august and september, they reversed almost all the taliban gains in the northern area after considerable effort.
yet there have been setbacks. most recently, the taliban overran kunduz. still, the afghan security forces rallied and have regained control of most of the city. just as they have successfully retaken other ground throughout this fighting season. the afghan security forces in consistent performance in kunduz underscore several of their shortcomings. they must improve their intelligence, command and control, they don't possess the necessary combat power and numbers to protect every part of the country. this makes it very difficult for the afghan security forces to counter the taliban's ability to temporarily mask objectives and blend back into the population. the afghan security leaders need to discern better when to fight,
when to hold and where to assume risk. despite these shortcomings, the afghan security forces have displayed courage and resilience. they are still holding. the afghan government retains control of kabul, highway one, its capitals and nearly all the district centers. the afghan security forces are effectively protecting the population centers. it is also apparent that our advisory support and financial backing are strengthening the resolve and building their systems and processes. the afghan security forces have repeatedly shown that without key enablers and confident operational level commanders, they cannot handle the fight alone in this stage of their development. ultimately, i'm convinced improved leadership and accountability will address most of the deficiencies. but it will take time for them to build human capital. the afghan security forces also underscores their shortfalls will persist well beyond this year.
capability gaps still exist in the aviation, combined arms, intelligence and maintenance. one of the greatest tactical challenges for the afghan security forces have been overcoming the afghan air force's still extremely limited organic close air support capability. despite the myriad of challenges, the fundamental partnership between the coalition and the afghan government remains durable. the difference between the ghani administration and the previous is like night and day. the afghan government, civil leaders demonstrate a growing appreciation to the coalition's efforts. the president has asked nato and the u.s. to provide flexibility in the planning to account for the fact his government remains in transition while the threats he is facing are changing. he's asserted a sustained
coalition and u.s. presence provides stability for the country as the new government solidifies. he recognizes his new administration must invest considerable time and effort to address the challenges of systemic corruption. he has also acknowledged while the afghan security forces are better equipped, much more remains to build their systems and improve development. i've offered my chain of command several options for a future lay down in 2016 and beyond. it was envisioned in may 2014 that we would transition to a normalized embassy presence by january 2014. since that time, much has changed. we have seen the rise of isis, the increased presence of taliban and that we have strong
partners in president ghani and chief executive abdullah. as a result, i have put recommendations to adjust this environment while adjusting our core measurements -- train, advise and assist the afghan security forces and conduct counterterrorism operations to protect the homeland. as the surge of violence shows, afghanistan is again at a decisive point. the president is well aware of the tenuous security situations. . i also appreciate he has many other global issues to weigh as he considers my recommendations. my role is to provide him my best military advice based upon my assessment of the conditions on the ground. weighed against the risks to the force and the mission. i'm unable to discuss further details on the options as i have provided to the president. in the past, when flexibility has been requested, he took it under serious consideration and made his decision. he provided flexibility this year.
the same decision process is being worked through now for 2016 and beyond. in closing, the challenges before us are still significant. an extremely tough fight, the afghan security forces continue to hold. they have remained resilient and have not fractured. fully supported and led by an engaged commander-in-chief, embraced by the afghan people, and backed up by our military advisers, resources and enablers, the afghan security if we fail in this worthwhile mission, afghanistan will once again become a sanctuary for al qaeda and and other terrorists attacking our home. if a security vacuum arose, other extremist networks would also rapidly expand and instill unrest in central and southeast
asia and potentially target our homeland. the hard work and sacrifices of countless coalition military personnel and civilians over the last 14 years have created the conditions in which the afghan can and are now taking responsibility for their own security and governance. the afghans welcomed the opportunity to shape their destiny, but they still desire, need and deserve our assistance. our support cannot and should not be indefinite or unconditional. the afghans must continue to do their part. if they do, we should continue to exercise repeated patience and sustain our commitment to them. working together, we can be successful. a proactive, cooperative administration and a committed afghan security forces offer us a unique opportunity to further develop a meaningful strategic
relationship in a volatile but vital area of the world. our continued efforts to destabilize -- stabilize afghanistan will benefit the entire region. in turn, offer greater security for the u.s. homeland and americans abroad and at home. again, thank you for your steadfast support of our campaign. i look forward to your questions. i also request the committee except my written statement for the record. thank you. mr. mccain: thank you, general campbell, and your continued leadership in the very difficult situation. we are proud of your great leadership. on the hospital issue -- i know i speak for all members of the committee. there is sympathy for those killed and injured in this tragedy. it is heartfelt and deep.
is it true that the strike was requested by afghan forces on the ground that struck the hospital? mr. campbell: sir, as i said yesterday, yes, sir. the afghan forces on the ground requested air support from our forces. like i said, even know the afghans requested the support, it still has to go through a rigorous u.s. procedure to enable fires. mr. mccain: there were no american controllers on the ground? mr. campbell: we had a special operations unit that was in close vicinity, that was talking to the aircraft to deliver the fires. mr. mccain: thank you. general campbell, the president in may 2014 made a long statement -- by the end of 2016, our military will draw down to a normal embassy presence in kabul
with a security assistance component. i'm not making this up. he said just as we have done in iraq. general, in your opinion, do the conditions on the ground warrant a change to the current plan for the drawdown of u.s. troops in afghanistan? mr. campbell: thank you for the question. as i mentioned in my opening statement, that decision was made in 2014. a lot has happened since then. the growth of isis. we did not have a government in 2014. the fight by pakistan to push additional insurgents inside of afghanistan. underneath that construct, it does not enable us to provide that component. i've provided several options to the chain of command and him
will continue to work with them to provide them my best military advice. the pros and cons as we move forward. mr. mccain: well, could i respectfully ask again, to the conditions on the ground warrant a change to the current plan that calls for by the end of 2016, an embassy-centric force. mr. campbell: based on conditions on the ground, based on the transitions i have talked about, i do believe we have to provide our senior leadership options different than the current plan we are going with. absolutely. the current plan as envisioned right now, as you know and as you have talked about, is embassy-based presence. as i take a look at conditions on the ground, as we have to continue to provide to our
afghan partners, when the president made that decision, it did not take into account the change into the past two years. the course of action i have provided to my senior leadership provides options to adjust that. mr. mccain: did the attack surprise -- maybe the word is not surprise -- is it an indication that the taliban have significant strength, included in the area to the north where they generally did not have very much capability thanks to the makeup there in northern afghanistan? mr. campbell: the afghans, and quite friendly coalition, were surprised when the taliban were able to take over the city. a lot of reasons i think why the afghans are taking a hard look to make sure they understand and do an after action on this. they do not have many key leaders in place. the city had police. the afghan army was on the
outskirts. they did not reinforce. the taliban were able to attack from within the city and surprised the police forces which enabled the taliban to get a great victory. i don't think the taliban intended to stay there very long. as soon as the afghan forces were able to bring additional forces in, logistically resupply, the taliban melted away and left the city. that are small isolated pockets they fight from. mr. mccain: from a pr standpoint, it was a rather significant victory for the taliban. mr. campbell: absolutely, yes. mr. mccain: finally, you said in your testimony, we need to help the afghans address the capability gaps in aviation, intelligence and special operations. i'd add logistics to that list. shouldn't it be that you should be recommending not numbers of people to the white house, but
capabilities and then fill in the numbers after that? is that the process you are using or you are just giving them numbers? mr. campbell: i look at the requirement or needs assessment the afghans would have and try to base the course of action based on those requirements. mr. mccain: the needs are intelligence, special operations, aviation, according to your testimony? mr. campbell: the aviation piece, we started late on building the air force capabilities. logistics sustainment is hard for any army. for the u.s. army, it has been around for 240 years. compare that to the afghan army which is only about eight to nine years old. mr. mccain: aviation is one of the areas of most critical, i would argue. i think they have two helicopters?
mr. campbell: they have two functioning mi-25 helicopters. they have the mbi-30. that is a key gap. it takes two were three years to grow a pilot. two or three years to grow maintainers. we are doing that as fast as we can. they started out with five, but now they have two on flyability. mr. mccain: i would like to express my appreciation on the outstanding job you are doing under extremely difficult constraints. senator reed? mr. reed: thank you, general, for your testimony and service. it has been a long struggle. every leader in this country has seen the effects. a soldier was killed in kabul. this is not just academic or
hypothetical, this is very real for our country and the men and women in our armed services. you have two major missions -- train and equip, counterterrorism operations. do you need a physical presence outside of kabul to do that effectively? mr. campbell: to conduct counterterrorism operations effectively, we have to be outside, yes. mr. reed: that would argue the capabilities beyond the simple environment of kabul. mr. campbell: yes. mr. reed: there is new leadership in the taliban. monsor is taking control. his deputies include one principle of the network which is located on both sides of the border of afghanistan and pakistan.
all of this raises the issue of the role of pakistan which is a constant issue that comes up. just a few months ago, they were trying to broker peace talks. can you give us insight into the current position of the pakistan government with respect to what is going on? mr. campbell: again, as far as reconciliation and pakistan's role, afghanistan has said many times it must be afghan led. pakistan understands that. the leadership in pakistan have talked several times with the afghan president about reconciliation. i think the president and pakistan understand the needs to be some sort of political resolution to this fight. so, reconciliation is one of those ways.
right now, with the taliban being fractured, with monsor claiming he is the head. with other folks, other senior taliban members are actually still trying to struggle to fight against that and do not believe monsor should be the head. i think that will work itself out. there are opportunities for afghanistan to take advantage. as everybody has mentioned, i think there was one peace talk. there was a second one on the table that was moving forward before the death was announced. i do believe and have the opportunity to talk to general sharif, the pakistan chief of the army. i talked to him about once a week. i did not talk to him last monday. you trying to move the peace process back. i know him and the president
will continue to try to work through that. i think that will take time and a lot of effort by a lot of people. i don't think we should expect that will happen in the near future. mr. reed: as you indicated in your testimony, both the afghan president and abdullah remain committed to a relationship with the united states, but to create a military force. is that your consensus? unlike iraq, that is not appear to be any major sectarian divisions within the security force? mr. campbell: you are right. i think the afghan security forces continue to be resilient. the president has taken on the role of commander in chief. he visits training, talks to his commanders frequently in person, video teleconferences. he takes on that role. i have seen the afghan security forces under very tough situations continue to come
together. i do not see, and i spent about 19 months in iraq, i don't see the same decisive ethnic infighting i saw in iraq. they have had some setbacks. we knew this would be a very tough season. they knew this would be a decisive fighting season. over time, they continue to get better. in the north where they had issues, it took a little bit of time, by the afghan forces -- although, some have retreated -- the majority got back together and resupplied and move the right forces to take it over. the did the same thing in other cities. it is hard to move forces logistically and plan that quickly. if you try to compare iraq and afghanistan, see them as night and day. mr. reed: so, in your perspective, operationally and politically, the afghans are
making a commitment that justifies continued support by the united states and nato? mr. campbell: absolutely. mr. reed: thank you. mr. mccain: the chart there. is that an accurate chart in your view? mr. campbell: i got one right here. if the red areas are active areas of taliban -- i think that is on target. mr. mccain: thank you. senator inhofe. mr. inhofe: thank you, mr. chairman. let me ask for clarification. last january and then last week, it was reemphasized we may want to re-examine the withdrawal plan. you have a list of options.
is that what you are referring to? gen. campbell: the president has asked on different occasions to continue to have coalition forces. i have provided my recommendations for force posture. have provided my recommendations for force posture. >> you are not in a position to share that with this committee at this time? gen. campbell: i provided those to the leadership. i have to give
my leadership the opportunity to make decisions. >> you outlined six criteria, expectations. i wouldn't expect you to have those in front of you. can you recall any of the six that have not met your expectations? for the record, you outlined each one of them. how they are coming on the score sheet. senator inhofe: how has your estimate changed? or has it? gen. campbell: this fighting season, we knew it was going to be tough. i believe the taliban cannot overthrow the government. they will continue to challenge the security forces as the security forces grow. they stretch the security forces. those areas in the north, the far northeast, we had not seen as much insurgent activity.
but all the enemy has to do is cause terror and fear. they may not try to occupy or control but they are trying to stretch the afghan security forces. their main goal is kandahar. the heartland of the tele-band. as they pull forces, it could make the security forces vulnerable. they have a campaign plan for the fighting season. what they want to do in the winter. i think they understand and will continue to try to improve it. senator ibnhofe: senator reid and his opening statement said something about the will to
fight. has there been a deterioration in the will to fight? gen. campbell: we have seen on two occasions, some people took that's lost the will. we are trying to figure out why. poor leadership. whether they had been in the fight too long. two battalions out of 100 plus battalions. for the most part, i see the afghans continuing to have the will to fight. a lot of the places have been untrained police. they have been put out very hastily on the checkpoints. not supported by other forces. they felt they may not have been supported. they continue to learn from that.
senator inhofe: you did address the abusive behavior, the accusations over there. the press reports, they said they are happening in our basis. you did say to think about that? the accuracy of that? gen. campbell: the thing that started this piece was a media article, citing pieces from 2010, 2011, 2012. i have reiterated my policy in writing. >> i want to dig into a piece of writing. you said, talk about -- this fighting season would be tough. talk about why this season was challenging.
gen. campbell: this is the first year the afghans are going to be totally on their own. >> patella van would want to test that. -- the taliban would want to test that. >> they knew if there was going to be reconciliation, they want to operate from a position of strength. to have a position of strength, they have to fight. the afghans knew this was going to be tough. they try to get out in front of this by trying to conduct a -- there is usually about an april-october fighting season people talked about. this year, there was no low. mr. king: they would love to not only be militarily successful
but to stabilize the civilian government if possible. gen. campbell: the taliban, absolutely. senator king: we talked about this in my office yesterday. internal divisions and factions. we claimed -- have heard about claimed isil affiliations. that may be talabanis who are unhappy. gen. campbell: the taliban had a spiritual leader under mullah omar. they did not see him for many years. for the past 2.5 years, there was a lie that he had been passing on guidance. me taliban feel they trust someone who was not there.
they are disenfranchised. they are fighting back because they knew he was the guy who had something to do with this. there are factions within the taliban. many others. they are trying to take control the taliban are decentralized. they do operations that are decentralized. he has named, as senator mccain talked about, a deputy. there seems to be an attempt to coalesce and get a group. they have their own issues with funding. being able to work together. up in the east, as we have seen, it has been reported in
different providences -- provinces, where they have predominantly been. that is where they want to set up and use jalalabad as the capital. recruit and expand. this year, they continue to fight each other. they are going at it inside there. a lot of them continue to be disenfranchised tele-band that see them as a way to gain more media and resources. a lot of pakistani taliban that have gone to that site as well. we look at that. in february, i called it nascent. the president looks at that and i look at it every day.
>> you were vice chief of the staff of the army. one of your responsibilities was readiness. we were having an intense budgetary discussion. how many military strategies are limited because of readiness deficits? gen. campbell: all the forces in afghanistan have the requisite training. i have not suffer that in afghanistan. i do know with all the services, they continue to have issues as they look toward the sequestration. over time, they have been able to balance that with the right training. but as the budget continues to have issues, hopefully that will not impact afghanistan but it could. senator king: i will hope we
will have a budget that is conditions based, not calendar-based. we should be making budgetary decisions based on the needs of today. >> thank you. general campbell, thank you very much for the service to our country and the service you represent for the men and women in the theater. i want to start with the kunduz hospital bombing. i understand and aircraft and ground troops were involved in calling for fire that hit that hospital. gen. campbell: we have u.s. special forces on the ground, doing train and advise with our afghan partners. the afghan partners called for fire and we delivered them.
there is a nato investigation. the afghans are doing in investigation. the afghans are doing in investigation. i have talked to the investigating officers, -- he is in kunduz. folksreaching out to the that are involved and doctors with borders to make sure we have everything on the investigation. conductou investigations like this anytime there is a similar incident? gen. campbell: yes, sir. i think everybody wants to make sure we find out what happened t. as you know, every soldier, sailor, marine if they are involved in something like this, that hurts. >> is there anybody to blame
other than the taliban for going to a civilian area and fighting amongst civilian targets? gen. campbell: the investigation will to me. as you mentioned, the taliban did going to the city. they knew they were going to cause a fight inside a built-up area. 70%,aliban causes over they target civilians. taliban, like hezbollah and hamas, intentionally target civilians and use them as shields. is that correct? gen. campbell: yes, sir. ofi want to talk about some the stories of abuse of children among certain afghan leaders. four-star general, the highest level of command in afghanistan. i served there are years as a captain. there is a big gap between those two liberals -- levels.
i received training as did my soldiers. in afghanistan, i received training and provided training that said such a heave unacceptable, nor did i see it. trainingtill the case, for the soldiers, sailors, and marines? gen. campbell: the afghans have also incorporated this into their training. human rights training. the officer training. they have also trained their lawyers to be able to perform what we call mobile training teams. areas andto the reinforce this. the president has reinforced he will prosecute anybody accused of sexual assault on children. we have looked at this hard. since 2011, there has been a policy that says we will
report violations in human right. i reiterated that. personal days, all complete additional training with human rights abuse training. know -- the training clearly indicate sexual abuse is a human rights issue. >> in 2011, in my neck of the it went back to at least 2008. cited the rise of the islamic state, pakistan military operations in eastern and northern afghanistan. there is also the difference in our presence. your testimony says, our aircraft provided sponsored and support.
this is no longer the norm but exception. our force reduction has created and they have -- understandably struggled to adjust. it sounds to me, general, like our drawdown over the last couple of years has contributed as much to the difficulty this year as anything we have seen from enemy activity. gen. campbell: what i would say is we knew we would have to continue to do train and advise. is the one iport get asked about every single day. it is an area we started too late. andontinue to work on that, we are surging on building pilots and maintainers. as i put in my statement, it has been slow. them toworked with enable to work through this,
using their -- every indirect fire means they have. it is a balance, making sure they can work through that. the taliban don't have close support helicopters. a lot of the sophisticated technical equipment we have provided to the afghans. i go back to leadership. leadership makes a difference. areas they have had problems, leadership has been the key. we have to be at provide the afghans with the ability to provide their own close air support. that is going to take several more years to get there. if they had had their own close air support at levels they wanted, maybe something like that would not have happened. they are committed to working through this. they have made many adjustments. you deal andaid capabilities, not personnel numbers. >> thank you mr. chairman and
general campbell. thank you for being here and for your service. thank you also for your forthrightness, talking about what happened with the bombing of the hospital. i know all of us looked at that accident and want to know how that could happen. your talking about the efforts to investigate on our part what happened there. objecthave any reason to to having this done by the u.n. or another body? of what happened? gen. campbell: i have truste and confidence in our partners. i have all the confidence he will get answers to all those questions and
continue to work that hard. will continue to be transparent. provide that to this committee and the american people as we move forward. >> as i understand, you would not object and would cooperate with an independent body? nato for our department of defense doing that kind of investigation? gen. campbell: i would let my make thatsonal decision. we are reaching out to doctors without borders, making sure we get all sides of the story. i talked to the investigating officer. he has done that. he will continue to get out to locations where he can talk to doctors, nurses, survivors of that to make sure he gets the story. we will share all of that. >> there was a very interesting recent news article about the afghan trained special
horses units played in regaining the control of the city and the female soldiers play. i wonder if you could share what you know about how those women are faring? the successes they are seen on the ground? i do believe the ability to have the ability to have females provides them with a unique objectives to talk to people there. they use those frequently, female engagement teams. that his been hopeful to the national mission force, the equivalent of our rangers. they have some of these females inside of their commando units. this is quite good. the ministry of interior
continues to do better recruiting females. as police. operatece come in and in their own hometowns. it is more difficult for the army to recruit females because most them would have to come in and deploy someplace. we continue to work it very hard. the committee has earmarked money that we work toward recruiting methods. integrationder advisor that reports directly to me and works with all the folks in afghanistan to continue to look at how we can do better, building this capacity. it has been slow, culturally it is hard. but the president was to get after this. senator shaheen: we have talked about the importance of ensuring women have a place in afghan society that gives them
opportunities. this is one of the ways that we can see women advance that i think will have a trickle down effect. i appreciate the effort you have undertaken. you forant to thank supporting the special immigrant visa program for those in afghanistan who have helped our troops. aware, the defense authorization act includes an additional 3000 afghan fivs. maybe you can speak briefly to helen close and that -- how mportant that is. gen. campbell: we have been dependent on some great afghans to provide interpreter translation skills. they have put their life on the line with tactical units. they had done it for many years over and over.
risk andthemselves at their families at a risk. anything we can do to help mitigate the impact on them, the safety, is appreciated. i get asked about that all the time. our embassy has a great program to work through that. thank you for your service to the country and the leadership. i wanted to ask you about the stated policy in afghanistan. -- visited,nt we will be drawing down to a normal security presence. by the end of 2016. inthat remains our policy light of the capability gaps you beenidentified, and have
identified many times before the committee, what would be the consequences in afghanistan? if we go to a normal embassy presents as you stated, we have very limited train and advise capability. >> what do you think will happen to afghanistan if we do that? it will take: longer to train in some of those critical areas. it would be very difficult to do >> train and advise assistance. >>-- to do train advise assist. i think the security forces, where they are today, where they will be another year and a half, they continue to improve. i do not believe the taliban can take over the government. they can stretch ausesecurity forces, cow
casualties. >> without getting into numbers of troops or anything like that, do you think based on your military advice, the commander in afghanistan, we should revert to an embassy presents alone by the end of 2016? is that what you need to do to make sure afghanistan does not become a haven for al qaeda? i have provided my chain of command options because there have been transitions over the last couple of years since the decision has been made. if you go to embassy only, our ability to do ta is limited. recommendations for presence beyond the
embassy? gen. campbell: the different options through the chain of command provides our senior leadership with options above and beyond a normal embassy presents based on changes that have happened. >> i want to make sure the american people understand this. why this matters. that we it matter continue to work with the afghan security forces to ensure that afghanistan does not go back to a place where it is a haven for a group like al qaeda? gen. campbell: afghanistan continues to be a dangerous area. all the neighbors do not play by rules. areas there continue to have rusher on them. senator ayotte: does it
matter to our security? gen. campbell: we have not had another 9/11 because we have forward deployed forces. they have the capability to take that on for themselves. that will take some time. e: can you tell us what iran if anything is doing right now? in afghanistan, in terms of supporting the taliban or other groups? we have some: reports that they have provided weapons. taliban. the senator ayotte: so they are supporting the taliban right now?
gen. campbell: i don't have numbers of how much money. but there have been reports, yes, ma'am. they continue to be a big threat . not only against the coalition but the afghan people. they have traditionally been responsible for the high-profile attacks. .uicide vests they attack innocent civilians. at all levels of our government, from the dod to the white house. express that they should do more not to provide sanctuary inside pakistan. we have to continue to keep the pressure on.
make sure pakistan understands there is a common enemy. shouldstan and pakistan work together. terrorism knows no boundaries. the iranian assistance to the taliban increased or decreased or stayed the same? gen. campbell: i would tell you we sought a few months ago as there was increased fighting, but i could not tell you if that was more or less than before. workank you for your hard in a difficult place. when the most expensive things has always been to have to take the same ground twice. we want to look at things as they are. not as we hope. when the main concerns i have is
it makes it more difficult for american and coalition troops who are in afghanistan, more dangerous for them if we are not able to fulfill each of the roles that the afghan government should in terms of security. air, intelligence. women inour men and greater danger. are we really in a south korean type situation, for we have to put significant numbers and for long-term to create the stability that needs to be there? from year-to-year, we bounce along or it gets worse. is it not more applicable to a south korean type situation? gen. campbell: i would not compare it to south korea. what we have been able to do over the past 14 years, we have been able to would tell you whae inn able to do -- remember
2001, they did not have an afghan army. they do not have an afghan police. they did not have an afghan air force. because of the great work of men and women, many of whom have paid the ultimate sacrifice, they have the capability now. they want to be a partner in the region. they want their own ct capability. everyone is working hard to do that. force protection for the coalition, u.s. forces, nato forces, that is my number one parts, to make sure i do everything i can to mitigate today and the locations would be resources i have, i am comfortable i can provide the right force protection for those forces. wehave -- senator donnelly:
have come in immensely long way. the worry is if we do simply does not takework into consideration what is going on in the field. one of the proposals i would hope and assume is you have given to the administration your or the bestnario afghan government stabilization scenario. here, if i am not getting determinations on we want less people or this or that, here is the best plan for success. is that going to be one of the things but forward? general campbell: sir, the course of action i provided to senior leadership is based on requirements, based on capabilities as we talked about, and of course every military person, any military personal the ground was to make sure the and state outcome is success. we will not put something forward that would not lead to that. senator donnelly: when you look at where we are, in terms of the village and tribal elders, what
are the things we need to do to get them long-term confidence that they should be betting on our side, as opposed to the taliban and? if -- as opposed to the taliban? if you are in those outlying areas and you see something happen like what just happened in kundhz what are the things, they are looking for we need to be providing? general campbell: sir, they are looking for the afghan government to provide them governance. if you are a tribal elder on the outskirts, you're not thinking in terms of what can the coalition provide? you're thinking in terms of what can the afghans provide? they want governance at that level. president ghani, the senior leadership in the, y, mod -- senior leadership in the moi, mod, continually engage with the
elderly worship. they immediately brought in local elder leaders. they also try to engage local elders to build afghan local police so villages can build their own security. asy will do that in kundhz well. they will build the local leadership to make sure they understand what the security forces can provide them what the afghan government can provide. senator donnelly: what was missed by the afghans in kundhz in terms of the infiltration of the taliban and and then coming in? what did we miss or did we know and were not able to stop it? what happened? we have askedll: that question. the afghans have asked that question. president ghani has established a commission, for a lot of of a better term, to get up into read on whoive a
was responsible. he has a commission doing that -- senator donnelly: the reason i asked, not to interrupt you, and there oneou wonder is brewing somewhere else and are we picking up on the signals or are the afghans picking up on these signals? general campbell: sir, that's exactly the same question aesident ghani asked at meeting of the national security council when he activated this commission. he said the exact same thing. i want to understand what happened, why it happened, and make sure it cannot happen again. if you have people that gave up and walked off the job, they need to be disciplined. if you have general officers who did not fight, they should not be in those positions. so, he was asking all of those tough questions. senator donnelly: thank you, general. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you for your
service. in may 2014, president obama said afghanistan america's longest war to a responsible end," and announced calendar dates for the withdrawal. "by the end of 2015 we will have reduced that presents by roughly half and we will have consolidated our troops in kabul and bagram airfield. one year later, our it is the staff will draw down to normal levels, just as we have done in iraq." looking at that number -- have we drawn down in a manner consistent with following that goal to its end as indicated in -- on 27 may? general campbell: no, or.
because what happened in the february, march timeframe we asked for flexibility, so president obama provided me flexibility on the timing and the number. -- if iemember, 9800 had to get down to the 5500 number by the end of this year, i would have had to start ,losing bases like kandahar even bagram. so, i asked, president ghani asked for life's ability. currently that 9800 number i still have and we are not going to get down below that, required to get down below that into probably may of 2016 timeframe as we move toward the current projection of this embassy base. i have gone forward with different courses of action that outline pros and cons of different locations and force levels based on the capabilities
we need to continue to provide to the afghans. senator rounds: based on that it is fair to assume bagram is not in the position of being close down at this time? general campbell: sir, the current plan would have bagram the end of 2016. senator rounds: have you made any movements toward that end yet? general campbell: over the last couple of years we have had to close hundreds and hundreds of bases. e, get ridwe de-scop of buildings, turn them over to partners. even in kabul, we continue to de-scope. bagram.at at we do that at kandahar. i'm doing them every day. but i have not reached at a the decision to keep bagram is irreversible. senator rounds: if you look at
taliban funding, could you list where the funding for the taliban is currently coming from in afghanistan? oferal campbell: sir, a lot the funding comes from narcotics and drug smuggling. it comes from kidnapping. it comes from other countries that support the taliban. there's a whole list. senator rounds: local unit by local units? are they doing it on their own, separate or is there a grand plan in terms of all of them working together in a concerted effort? sir, i thinkell: the taliban is organized where they have committees. they have a political committee, and operations committee, that sort of thing. but they are decentralized as they conduct operations in afghanistan. senator rounds: thank you. general kim's report, the one he would be working on as we speak, is there a timeframe for a release of that report? haveal campbell: sir, i
not determined that timeframe. i want to make sure he has the time required to talk to everybody he needs to talk to. for theeen up in kundhz last several days. i have been able to talk to them each morning here. he is getting more and more people to talk to, but each person leads to two more people to talk to. i think this is going to take some time. as soon as i get a preliminary assessment, i will go back to my senior leadership. we want to make sure we can be transparent, open, very candid about what happened, learn from that, a sure something like this never happens again. senator rounds: should we expect a preliminary report within at least 30 days? general campbell: sir, i think so, yes, sir. senator rounds: thank you. .> thank you, mr. chairman just to be very clear, general, in your professional military judgment conditions on the ground would require some revision of the withdrawal plan
ric 1000 persons by 2016. is that correct? general campbell: i will stop my foot. the options have provided pros and cons of different levels of beyond thes the -- 10,000. isil.alk about daish, all of those are factors as i work on different courses of action. senator mccaskill: i am not asking -- senator king: i am not i am not asking for your recommendations. i am asking your judgment. general campbell: yes, sir. i understand there are minister is not appointed.
they are in different buildings. they do not seem to be communicating effectively. this war is not going to be possible without a unified government in kabul. how are the politics of the national unity government developing, and is there some role we have to play to move that along? general campbell: sir, thanks for the question. day,i think every single both myself and the vice ambassador mckinley, we understand and i think the afghans understand this as well -- to think that there are people who do not want the national government, what i would call spoilers out there, to not think they are there would be foolish. they know they have to do better to sync up where they are going. i think on major policy issues, and dr.sident ghani abdullah, there is no daylight
between the. they agree on what is good for future.tan and its where they have the issues, who is going to be this minister, who is going to be the police chief, that kind of thing is they deal with their constituencies. but they understand they have to make those tough decisions and september 29, they had a year. a little over a year and they understand now is the time to do that. i have seen an increase over the last couple of weeks, increased dialogue to make sure that happens. but that is a continual issue, and i think the ambassador works that, i work that, all of the community ambassadors work that. we worked very hard to make sure that president ghani and dr. abdullah realized -- the only one appointed is the acting minister of defense, who i think is very, very capable and would be a big mistake and a tragedy if the parliament was to do
something in afghanistan to make sure he was not the minister. but he is absolutely the right, the real deal for afghanistan as they move forward. senator king: so, finalizing that appointment would be a step forward? general campbell: it sure would. and right now president ghani has absolute trust and confidence in him. i think he is making decisions as acting minister just as he would as minister -- anator king: we have substantial role there. i hope we can use that influence to move this along. i was disappointed, for example, spoke toident ghani the congress, dr. abdullah was sitting in the front row. there was a wonderful round of applause. that would have been a wonderful dr. abdulla up. it was rather a symbolic gesture. i hope you will continue to encourage president ghani to loosen up a little bit. he won. he can afford to be magnanimous. that is free political advice to
the president of another country. general campbell: sir, thank you. as you know, dr. abdullah represented afghanistan in new york city this last week. i know that he and president ghani talk every day. this is a step in the right direction as well. senator king: thank you. another political question. what is the feeling of the population of afghanistan about the taliban? is the taliban gaining adherents, losing? do you not approve of the taliban -- what would the results the? general campbell: sir, the people of afghanistan understand the taliban attacks civilians. the taliban kills innocent women and children. the support of the taliban have from the average afghan is not favorable. in fact, the percentage over the years has continued to go down and down. have greatpeople
confidence in the number one institution in afghanistan, in their army. they have issues with the government. when they see terror, when they see something happen, it frightens them. they will blame that on the government. and on the afghan security forces. we put them side by side. you can pick the government, you can pick the taliban. taliban again, going too many remote places, some places they may provide some sort of governance, but in the end, people understand the wave of the future is the ational government having very professional army and place. so, they do not support the taliban. senator king: thank you. i am out of time. perhaps for the record you could give us your thoughts on whose side pakistan is on in the struggle and what role they are playing? just for the record. thank you. thank you, general.
--ator mccain: thank you senator graham. are you keeping mccarthy in check there? general campbell: i will take that for the record. senator graham: can you explain what winning would look like from the american point of view and what losing would look like? general campbell: i think winning would be a stable afghanistan, stable government, .rofessionalized army of police people could go to school. people could work. and i think the opposite of that, unstable afghanistan, ford provide opportunity insurgents to use government spaces to go after something like our homeland in the future. we have theam: if right configuration in january 2017, what is the likelihood of winning over time? general campbell: sir, i think
we have a great opportunity if we continue to support the afghan government and continue to work with afghan security forces. at this is our best opportunity. we have never had a government like this that reached out -- not only to the u.s., but the international community. we have notnly -- had a government that andrstands what the army police are going through. so, this is our best opportunity. the afghanham: do people want us to stay, by and large? general campbell: sir, the afghan people i talk to and deal with -- and i do bring in an advisory committee that is made up of the different facets of afghan life to talk to every month. at a do have a women's advisory committee to make sure issues.stand gender overwhelmingly the afghans support the coalition and want that continued support. senator graham: do you agree
with me that if you go down to 1000 forces, 1000 people, embassy-centric, like a 90% chance the country falls apart? general campbell: sir, i don't know if i would put a percentage on it, sir. i would say our ability to train, advise, assist and continue to grow the afghan forces would be very limited. senator graham: what about the counterterrorism mission? general campbell: sir, just from kabul, i could not do a counterterrorism mission. senator graham: ok, tell the american people why it is in their interest for you to have a counterterrorism footprint in afghanistan. i thinkcampbell: sir, two reasons. first off, we need to continue to build the afghan capacity for their ct element, and that takes our men and women to continue to
work with them. the special operating forces, the ctp's are the best in the region. they will continue to get better. if we continue to build their capacity -- they want to be a regional partner. they want to handle the issues and that region. we have to keep pressure on the ungoverned spaces. we do have people that continue to want to do bad things -- senator graham: let's dig into that of it. a better trained afghan counterterrorism force is good for the stability of afghanistan. do you agree? general campbell: i agree, sir. they are noam: but substitute for american counterterrorism forces. does that make sense? general campbell: sir, our counterterrorism forces are the best in the world. senator graham: they would have a focus that the afghans would not have. general campbell: we want to
continue to build the afghan forces -- senator graham: i'm just trying to make the case as well as i know how that we would be not to not have a counterterrorism force inside afghanistan, u.s. presence counterterrorism folks making sure we never get attacked again like 9/11. does that make sense to you? thinkl campbell: sir, i general dempsey has laid out a regional ct these -- senator graham: but afghanistan would be the centerpiece of that? general campbell: i would concur, yes, sir. senator graham: and they would welcome this? general campbell: yes, sir. the only reasons we will not have a counterterrorism force is we decided not to ourselves. the afghans would welcome us? general campbell: yes, sir. senator graham: do you think it use --
this president will take high value targets, put them in jail so they cannot buy their way out? is that correct? general campbell: again it is the gold standard. they have had issues with other prisons lately. senator graham: my last question -- do you see a commitment by president ghani and abdullah abdullah to do things differently than karzai that gives you optimism in terms of the future of afghanistan if we continue to partner? general campbell: sir, without a doubt. senator mccain: senator mccaskill. thank you,askill: mr. chairman. thank you, general campbell. thank you to all of those who serve under you for the really hard stuff they do every day. i will be looking forward to the investigation into the tragedy, daish -- doctors without borders hit.
it continues to be a major, major challenge. made thissident ghani a focus of his campaign. when he ran to leave the government in afghanistan. but i notice "the new york times" reporting last week that corruption played a role in the taliban's recent success in kundhz, saying the local security forces were extorting money from the locals, which raised sympathy for the taliban. they were being, in fact, hit up by the folks we have been hundreds of millions of dollars to train. that's unacceptable. could you talk about that question mark and what is your assessment of the risk of corruption as it relates to the work where trying to do with afghan national security forces question mark general campbell: --with the afghan national security forces?
general campbell: yes, ma'am, think you for the question. president ghani and dr. abdullah tried to get at this from a couple different levels. contracting has caused corruption type issues. he has instituted an agency that looks at every single contract to make sure those are valid, that they can get those corruption out of the contracting. the other areas they have focused very hard is on leadership, trying to pick the right leaders based on their experience, based on their skill sets, and so, like something you refer to back in kundhz, where people are taking money, extorting money. it will take time to get to the that levels to make sure the corruption is not good and if you are correct you will be
removed. you'll be held accountable. i have seen instances over the last several months where they have a different cases where interiorhe ministry of and the ministry of defense they are prosecuted folks they are found to be correct. it will take time, ma'am. i know they are both committed to it. they both worked very hard with their inspector general counterparts in both the moi and get after the corruption. they are committed -- senator mccaskill: you are confident in their sincerity? general campbell: yes, ma'am. senator mccaskill: obviously this is a problem we are seeing, the taliban turning -- i mean, all of the different factions are a challenge for us, but in a way, they are also an advantage, because it is fractional is a and that keeps everyone from uniting in terms of effective forces. i am worried about the conversion of some of the taliban to an isis or isil
loyalty situation. i would like your take on that. i noticed in your previous testimony you are seeing this switch of allegiance in pakistan to isil. if that is the case, i certainly would like you to speak to that briefly, because obviously that is a whole another bag of worries. general campbell: thank you, ma'am, if i could hit the pakistan peace first -- general sharif and i have talked about this as late as last week. he has emphasized that isil, place in pakistan. he absolutely believes that will be a threat as he moves forward. he was to make sure that has no place. i do not see pakistan aligning with isil if that is what you were saying. senator mccaskill: you see their government committed to doing
what is necessary without us having to prod, push, and pay for that effort? general campbell: i have talked to him several times and i believe he is pushing his army to fight isis, ma'am. as far as i select daish, -- as , we haveil and daish seen -- i would have called them nason's several months ago. we put them in the category of emergent as they continue to or dominantly in afghanistan. they are fighting other taliban because their philosophy is a little different. we have not seen them reach outside of afghanistan, but i would think that is a gold they have if they have the ability to continue to grow. president ghani has said that if al qaeda was windows 1.0, daish is windows 7 .0 and their ability to recruit with social
media. he has made it a priority. i continue to look at that very hard. all of talked through the intelligence agencies inside afghanistan. we are trying to partner afghanistan and pakistan to look at isil and daish to make sure we have a calming -- a common operating picture of what they're trying to do. senator mccaskill: are they helping us with intelligence on the ground, general? are they embedding effectively in afghanistan and pakistan? general campbell: the afghanistan forces, ma'am? more effective human, then i have -- senator mccaskill: obviously. veryal campbell: they work well with the other pillars of police and army. i think what they have developed over the last few months is a national joint fusion intelligence center where they try to take intelligence at the
national level. senator mccain: senator fischer. thank you,cher: general, for being here today. foreign flow of fighters into afghanistan, are we seeing more of a regional draw with isil? in february you mentioned some of the taliban seem to be flagging under the isis banner there. are we seeing that regional draw ? or are they drawing from outside the region, in north africa, say, and how does that compare to the taliban? are we going to have local versus foreign fighters? that going to continue to grow in afghanistan and will be said -- whatat we we see in i sold it takes place in syria?
general campbell: thank you, ma'am. , weink with isil or daish have seen mostly internal taliban that want to rebrand, tpp that want to rebrand. there are reports of people, foreign fighters coming from afghan -- from outside of afghanistan. i could give you -- i cannot give you a number or percentage, but we have seen increased numbers trying to bring in some sort of funding stream to build a base. but i think there are -- they are a ways from that. the afghan forces, our forces continue to look at that. the taliban, if they have foreign fighters, whether they are uzbek, chechen -- we have seen pieces and parts of that. up in the north. we have seen reports that they have seen a lot more foreign and othern the kundhz
areas. as far as numbers, the increase on foreign fighters, i don't think i could give that to you, ma'am. what numberser: are we looking out for isil and the taliban? do you have any hard numbers on that? i know you said it was difficult to determine the number of recruits, but where are we? ma'am, thepbell: numbers i would give you would be based on different reports i am seeing. i think an open press that i 3000 on theuld be daish and three years and years -- the number of taliban inside afghanistan have gone from 20,000 to 80,000. i think it is hard to distinguish which people just sympathize with the taliban and which ones are actually
hard-core taliban. the intelligence community continues to look at that. what i would say, the afghan security forces have really impacted the taliban this year based on the number of casualties they have caused the taliban. with the afghan national police and local police officers, we visited about that a little yesterday in my office. what you think are the biggest challenges, the reduced weaknesses they have, and will they be able to become the biggest -- weaknesses they have, and will they be able to become professional as we assess what our position is going to be an afghanistan? general campbell: for the police, the number one issue i stress with them is getting the right leadership. the police have several thousand that are untrained, eventual police chiefs.
they are doing that to get them out on a checkpoint, get them into the fight. but they've got to get them into the right training to make sure they have that. i think the afghan local police have taken a lot of casualties because they have beard outside what they were designed to do. designed -- they were not equipped, they were not trained for that. but they have miss utilized them by putting them on those checkpoints. again, i believe training is the key for the afghan police. at i think what we need to say here cases areice in many doing the same thing as the army. they are fighting very, very tough like the army. they are not manned. they are not equipped. senator fischer: if the
president were to decide to keep our forces in afghanistan longer, what do you believe and the the reaction partners. to our nato would they be able to continue? there are 41ell: countries tight end now. the ones i having gauged and for the most part are very supportive. it for the most part, they want to provide financial support or troops. states, theynited will see nato come into that. senator fischer: so they believe that they would continue to
stabilize the country? general campbell: yes, ma'am. senator mccain: senator gillibrand. i would likebrand: to continue the line of questioning about young boys being abused by afghan commanders and also young girls. what is the military policy when a service member becomes aware of abuse. senator donnelly: --general campbell: what our policy has said since 2011 is even have to report instances of sexual abuse of your chain of command. them towhat i expect do. senator gillibrand: so those who have reported up the chain of command, have you reported those
instances? these are froml: 2010, 11, 2012. i did not have anything to do with those cases. any reports that would come to me, we would make sure we provided that to the afghan government as well. president ghani has made it clear he does not tolerate that and he will prosecute that. the cases you referred to are four or five or six years ago. senator gillibrand: have you followed up to see if those cases were handled properly? general campbell: no, ma'am. senator gillibrand: if the policy changes in 2011, and i believe that they were handled incorrectly, who is doing that investigation? general campbell: ma'am, i will take that for the record.
i don't know. ok, pleaselibrand: report who is doing the investigation. if those individuals did not report this and obviously there commanders were not following the policy in 2011 and 2012. what was the policy before 2011? general campbell: ma'am, i think as senator cotton talked about -- i was in 2003, 2004, myself. seen one who did not report it. it has always been the policy if you see this he reported. policy toays been our treat people with respect. i can't imagine someone not doing that. senator gillibrand: why do you think the various troops to the reported this were told it was their culture? why do you think there is an understanding you do not intervene when it is their culture?
are they poorly trained, or just a knowledgeable or do you think commanders are getting it wrong in the field? general campbell: ma'am, i cannot speak for those and those arees, either completed or ongoing. i would tell you all of the forces i have been involved in absolutely understand what the requirement is. that all of the people currently in the theater go back and train again. what willllibrand: so we do today? if you hear screaming from children, what would the soldiers do? reported upbell: the chain of command. senator gillibrand: what does the chain of command do with that information?
reported tobell: the senior afghan leadership. senator gillibrand: if the thean culture says -- if afghan leadership says it's our culture, what do they do? general campbell: the afghan leadership i have dealt with, i do not think they would say that. they understand this is not conduct -- this is criminal conduct. they want to hold people accountable. are there going to be people that disregard that, just like you have and maybe any other country, yes. but again -- aretor gillibrand: but you saying then that our policy is still not to intervene. what our policy is based on what you just said is reported to the afghan authorities. if they choose to do nothing, we do nothing. general campbell: no, i did not say that, ma'am. senator gillibrand: what do we do if they do nothing? general campbell: in the 14 months i've been there i have not had a case where i had to go back to the afghan authorities since they you have to do
something on this and i think that is a result of the afghan -- of the afghans understanding they need to improve in this area. if something is brought through my chain of command to me and this is abuse of children i would make sure i go to the afghans and say here is the report. you need to check out this report and i would expect them to do that. we worked through our central function three and i have folks i had to continue to train, advise, assist in this syria. we would absolutely expect them to go do something. if they did not do something and evidence thatible something happened, i would president.to the blaming it on culture is not the goneur forces would have
-- you wouldllibrand: so take it to president obama and try to make him engaged -- general campbell: i would raise it to president ghani. again, as soon as this news article came out i called president ghani and said, hey, we've got to make sure -- and before i could even finish the sentence, president ghani said that is absolutely criminal behavior. -- we talked to the very next day, the president was there. all of the senior cabinet members were there, and before he started his agenda of things to get through, he raised this issue, and he made sure they understood that this behavior would not be tolerated. so, i have no doubt that the afghans get this and i have no doubt that our military
personnel understand what is expected of them. senator mccain: senator tillis. senator tillis: thank you, mr. chair. general, welcome. i think we have to go back and talk about a number of positive as as that have occurred result of our presence in afghanistan. you did a great job of summarizing that back in february. life expectancy, children in protecting women and children. it is a great story. for america's presents, i do not think it would be a story you didn't tell back in february. i want to go back to this drawdown. you just don't wake-up monday morning and say i've got to bring down 1000 troops and all of the material that go with them by the end of the month.
it takes a lot of planning. i know you have a proposal that the president is giving you a lot of flexibility which led you to keep the 9800 there now, but at what point do you have to start taking actions for the therial drawdown to hit 2016 and of your target? we have to be weeks or months away from you putting those plans in place. general campbell: yes, sir. sir, it becomes a matter of physics. how quickly do you have to start? if the president does not make any decision, how soon do we see our troops drawdown to an embassy presence in kabul? general campbell: every day de-sscope -- every day we cope our theater. senator tillis: so -- i
apologize for being short. of got a couple questions. you are already taking steps to than 9800.r less we just know know what the number is? yes, butampbell: sir, the course of action i recommended, if we get a decision -- senator tillis: i think the administration needs to be crystal on this. this is not something that should take long and anyone who situationed this knows the president is going down a perilous path. you mention some things i have not heard you talk about. , the other funding streams that are at risk that are also an important part of the gains we made in protecting those gains, can you tell me about any progress or concerns you have with that? sir, this is al: critical year for 2016. they will meet at the warsaw
conference and that will for 2018, 2019, 2024 afghanistan -- senator tillis: but that is still an open switch if we continue to build on our games there? is that correct? general campbell: yes, it is important we do not lose -- senator tillis: thank you. something else i want to reinforce that senator graham touched on, and he was trying to make the point that there is tonterterrorism resources help us do our job in the region. what i think many of the american people do not understand is the value of the ct effort with respect to threats and other regions of the -- areas of the region and threats to the homeland.
this is the birthplace of the 9/11 attacks. there are people lauding terrorist actions against americans, whether it is american installations abroad or in the homeland. presenceo an embassy only, we have produced say we would lose all of our counterterrorism presence in that region. did i hear you correctly? general campbell: sir, we would not have the ability to conduct counterterrorism as i do today if we were just based in kabul. thetor tillis: so, based on current plan, a plan the current administration is considering -- we know it is going to be diminished, but it could almost all go away by next year based on the current plans as you understand them today? glidel campbell: sir, the slope i am on is to go to about 1000 at the end of 2016. isator tillis: i think it irresponsible and dangerous and i appreciate the work you are doing because i know you probably have a different view. i respect the fact you are going
through your chain of command, but this president needs to understand he needs to be decisive and take different action or he is putting american interest at risk. thank you all for your service. senator mccain: senator manchin. senator manchin: think you very much, mr. chairman. thank you, general. i think what we're trying to get our hands around as far as should we stay question mark if we do stay, how many will stay? what effect will that have? a goes back to the training, the money we have spent, the effort and time we've spent on the training, how many people we have to adequately carry out the training? how much money with that cost? it just goes on and on and on, as you know. do you thinks, afghanistan is more stable and better prepared to take care of itself and with our help or not our helpelp or
than iraq was? the leadership in afghanistan is a much more different mindset and determine today than when iraq was -- when we made our decision to leave. if you could give me just a little -- i just heard you say about 1000 is what you intend to recommend? is that wrong? no, sir.ampbell: 1000 is the current position we are on. senator manchin: we are on a glide path to 1000 by 2016? sir.al campbell: yes, that is to go to a normal in busy presence that president obama discussed back in 2014. senator manchin: basically that would be the same glide path we were on -- may be no difference with barak and we saw the results in iraq? general campbell: sir,
afghanistan is not iraq. you have a government that want to there. that wantsgovernment the counterterrorism capability. you have a fighting force that is very resilient or it i think there are some between iraq and afghanistan. senator manchin: do you think they will change the recommendation on the 1000, that will be up? sir, i havebell: provided courses of action to my leadership that provides senior leadership with options based on changes in the last deed of years. senator manchin: the money we have spent right now, the youning for the afghans, do expect that to continue, i was pouring money into train their people? sir, we arebell: working very hard to continue to bring that number down. senator manchin: do they have any economy at all other than the war effort? is there economy sucking off at u.s. taxpayers? to they have any
ability to carry their own load? general campbell: each year, we try to up the commitment to the national security. there economy is very, very tough. president ghani based on his background in the world bank is working very hard on a successful regional economic conference. there was just the dubai conference where they had investors come to take a look at the different airfields we would leave. but it's going to take a long time to build their economy. theywould not be able -- will be dependent on the international community for that money for years to come. lostor manchin: we soldiers and one of those was from west virginia. sergeant brian hamm.
c-130 -- we fly a lot in our guard, as you know. they are very capable aircraft. information you could share with me i could share with the parents? general campbell: sir, my thoughts and prayers are with all the families. i talked to the cruise just to gather the men and talk to them that very morning. the investigation is ongoing -- senator manchin: did the accident happen on take off? general campbell: yes, sir. i can talk to you one-on-one. senator manchin: if you could, i would appreciate it, just to give this family some relief and closure. yourank you general, for testimony. i know it is not easy to testify . i think all of us appreciate your testimony. i am going to follow up with a number of the previous questions
you up and asked. first senator shaheen had asked about a you win investigation -- investigation into the hospital accident. does the u.n. usually investigate deliberate attacks on civilians when there --when they are by the taliban? general campbell: sir, i have to pass -- senator sullivan: i do not think they do. does it seem fair and balanced that the u.n. conduct an investigation on something that is clearly accidental, when they do not investigate deliberate taliban killing of civilians? do you think that would be viewed as fair, balanced, something the command needs? general campbell: -- general campbell: i cannot comment on the u.n.. i have complete confidence in the team that we have your they
will be thorough and transparent. if there were mistakes made, we will make sure they come out. if people are to be held accountable, we will make sure we will. senator sullivan: i think most of us here do as well -- i certainly do not think an additional investigation by the u.n. would be warranted or welcomed by this committee. let me ask you the issue again -- this is senator graham, senator tillis sprawl questions. you are very focused on managing risk. if we go forward with the plan, does it increase the risk we taliban could take over the government in two or three or four years out? sir, again, ill: think we have another year and a have to continue to grow the afghan security forces if we went down to 1000 around kabul. we would not have the ability to train -- senator sullivan: how about what it increase the risk the
homeland would be attacked? senator tillis asked to be very good and direct question that rct capability would basically end. with that increase the risk -- i am talking incrementally increase the risk the united states of america would be attacked? sir, when thell: decision was made by president obama and 2014, ct was not one of the variables tied into that decision. i was asullivan: lieutenant colonel in the marines a couple years ago, i was assigned to a pt in afghanistan. when they were looking at the first posture, we were looking at the first posture that would mission tom the oes the rescue support mission. it was frustrating to be working on that because we had not gotten guidance in terms of numbers from the senior military -- actually senior civilians.
so, you of said you cannot talk about options, but have you actually been given a timeline by which the white house is --ng to respond to your senator tillis mentioned the clock is ticking. have you received information you are going to be given guidance by a certain date or have you requested a certain date by which to be given guidance, given that the clock is ticking on this very important issue? sir, as we layl: out from a planning perspective, as we lay out different courses of action, we havedp's -- we have dp's were decision points. are we sullivan: approaching one pretty soon? general campbell: everybody in the dod is looking very hard at these different courses of action. as we talk about the retrograde
and the time it takes, i think the senior leadership understands windows decision points are and when they have to get those out. yes, sir. let me ask avan: final question. having spent time in afghanistan and pakistan, i know you would probably agree with this. there is a narrative in the region that in the 1980's we were very active there because of the soviet invasion and we were very helpful in terms of our assistance to people in those two different countries. and then there is the sense that in the 1990's, we "abandoned" the region. i think that's a very powerful narrative. i do not know if you have seen it. i have certainly seen it when i part of then that world. i think it's really important testimony. we are overwhelmingly welcomed, as you mention, by the civilian population, by the afghan leadership. do you think if we drive down to just the embassy for us, which
is kind of what we have in the we would oncerld, again resurrect this idea of ofndoning the region, abandoning the people there, the government there. and if that were the case, how do you think that would impact america's national security if any part of the world that is the heart of the battle against al qaeda, the part of the world that brought us 9/11, that we were viewed once again is unreliable and having abandoned the region, which is a narrative that is very powerful still in that region? do you think -- do you think that narrative would be resurrected question mark how do you think that would impact of national security? haveal campbell: sir, i been tied up with afghanistan for many years. anybody in the thetary will tell you
ability to continue to train and advise and assist our afghan partners to improve on their capability is what any military person will tell you -- again, i said the afghan people continue to want to have a coalition presence. the understand the impact that has for them. so, that's what they want. continue to want to a must we do something that dissuades them from that. we have come a long way from their. -- from there. a lot of asked to do with this new national government. they understand, different from president karzai was, we provide a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. a lot of our minimum in a paid be ultimate sector price. -- a lot of our men and women have paid the ultimate sacrifice. senator sullivan: thank you, general. you to general campbell
for being here. thank you for your outstanding service. as do myeciate it, constituents. i am going to go back to a couple points we have talked about many times already, general. but going back to the sexual assaults, the sexual abuses by the afghan national security afghans, again, the particularly the young boys, it seems many of the folks i have talked to who have served in that region, it was common knowledge this was happening and i do not believe there was a dod that we turn a blind eye. in fact, since 2011 there has ,een a policy in place educational materials, classes, so forth. there may have been kind of an unofficial do-nothing policy.
we are starting to see that corrected as it comes to light. but it does affect the minimum women that serve with us -- the men and women that serve with us -- how they operates within that is an issue. a trust issue. there was a 2011 report by dr. jeffrey bourdon. he was a military behavioral scientist. commented -- and i am quoting "several u.s. soldiers reported they had served and alienated them from the civilian populace and they were numerous accounts of canadian troops complaining about the rampant sexual abuse of children they witnessed personnel commit, including the practice and raping of sodomizing of little boys." has any service member or
civilian on the your command now or during your previous command of rce reported up the chain an allegation of a sexual assault against afghan children? gen. campbell: on this current tour, i have had not any reports. i don't remember anything specifically from 2010, 2011. i can go back and look at records. i cannot stress enough that this is about discipline, discipline of our men and women understanding what right and wrong is. about treating people with dignity and respect. as i said, even the afghans, president ghani all the way down, understand how important this is. they have reiterated to me that this is serious. the people that conduct this criminal activity will be prosecuted. we have reiterated to our men and women that if you see this,
you have to report this. so, what you are referring to is 2010-2011, maybe 2012 reports. i think a lot has happened in that time. i cannot comment on any particular company level, unit, withinel, that unit that the members of the unit felt it was ok to do something like that. i cannot comment. sen. ernst: do you know of any instances where an afghan soldier was held within that unit that the members of the unit felt it was ok to do something accountable or afghan leader and any disciplinary actions on their behalf? gen. campbell: i have seen some disciplinary actions over the last year in gross violations of human rights when it comes to abusing soldiers, abusing of other members of the command. i have not seen it with sexual assault of children in the last 14 months. sen. ernst: thank you.
i think it is important that we stress that not only is it unacceptable in our own ranks, but also those we are serving with. thank you for that. going back also to capabilities and conditions, rather than the timeframe, if we look at keeping 10,000 troops on ground in afghanistan, if there is a decision point where we keep 5000 or zero, is there anyway you can broadly describe the conditions thaon the ground before we get to those points? do we leave it the same? at what point can we get to 5000 and so forth? just very broadly. thank you. gen. campbell: i think based on what has happened since the president made his decision in 2014 to go down to 1000 around the embassy, we have taken a
look at all the conditions. based on those, i have provided options to take a look at the mission sense we want to do in the future. we still have to train, advise on different levels. i believe we have to have a counterterrorism capability. you need a certain amount of forces to be able to do that. those are based on what is happening in the last couple of years and as we look in the future. conditions on the ground have changed since 2014. the senior leadership, the joint staff and the white house i looking at these options, -- are looking at these options, understanding conditions on the ground have changed. we have a look at the pros and cons and go forward. sen. ernst: thank you. my time is expired. i thank you for your valuable, no bs assessment of what is going on. thank you, general. sen. mccain: senator blumenthal.
sen. blumenthal: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, general, for your extraordinary service to our nation and your present role. -- as a question about interacting with the taliban and other factional parts of our opponents there. do youl a threat regarded compared to the taliban the to elements involved -- the taliban involve any other factors with da'ish. gen. campbell: they have different names for it. everybody is looking at this to make sure they cannot grow, they
cannot build to a level to do something like you have seen in iraq and syria. daesh and taliban have different philosophies. they are fighting each other. within the ranks of the taliban, there are reconcilable's that understand the only way to end this is a political solution and they want to be a part of it. inside of the taliban, there are 20% or 30% that are irrecon cilable. i do not believe that daesh are in the reconcilable branch. they will be irreconcilable at this point in time. sen. blumenthal: are you satisfied with the efforts that have been made towards reconciliation and negotiation so far? gen. campbell: not satisfied because we have not got to it. i think there is a lot more that can be done by both afghanistan and pakistan and the taliban
quite frankly. we have to continue to move towards a peace process. the first day president ghani took office, he talked about bringing in the taliban. that you have to be a part of this peace process. you cannot continue to kill fellow afghans, fellow muslims. ess.art of the priesteace proc i think he genuinely wants that to happen and he is doing everything he can, including spending a lot of political capital on pakistan to help them reduce the violence inside of afghanistan to drive towards reconciliation. sen. blumenthal: is that goal of reconciliation one of the factors you consider in your recommendation as to what size and scope the american presence should be an over what -- and over what period of time? ist your answers suggest
there is some different kind of picture that it would look like. gen. campbell: i think there is a lot of different audiences out there that understanding a continued presence of the coalition would have an impact on president ghani, the afghan security forces, the afghan people, the taliban, pakistan and on nato. i think all of those audiences have aering levels would decision to continue to have a larger number of coalition forces, not only the u.s., but the coalition would have a huge impact. sen. blumenthal: you make reference in your testimony to two other trends that i think
are concerning. the brain drain and loss of economic resources, the drain on capital. has that increased in seriousness? gen. campbell: there has been a lot of reports of afghans trying to leave the country. a lot of the countries in that area -- the refugee issue in europe. a lot of that are afghans trying to leave. president ghani has reached out to the younger generation for them to stay in afghanistan. that has been, for lack of better term, a drain on human capital. the future of afghanistan is two things -- the afghan security forces and this younger generation of afghans that are tired of 35, 40 years of war. sen. blumenthal: one can hardly blame them given the impact on their futures, economic, social
and family. is afghanistanis as a country that is really dependent on the political factors and social and economic factors that are hopefully supported and promoted by the americans as well. thank you, mr, general. this is a very serious time for us. sen. reed: it is also the sen. sessions: it will not impact the outcome. is that correct? gen. campbell: you are talking about the afghan security forces? sen. sessions: there are some battles to be fought.
military conflict is involved and will continue to be involved for some time, is it not? gen. campbell: afghanistan will continue to be a very dangerous place and the kurdish forces will continue to be challenged. sen. sessions: the president has said he would like to negotiate with the taliban and that has been attempted for a number of years to date. is it harder or easier to negotiate with the taliban. a reasonable solution, a peaceful solution if we made it irrevocablee an commitment to leave at a certain date? gen. campbell: the reconciliation piece will be led by the afghan government. you absolutely want to operate from a position of strength. i know it is a
difficult question. i would translate it to say you needed to have a military strength, and if it is not there, we can give confidence in the taliban that if they can be successful militarily, even of the people of afghanistan do not prefer taliban domination. we are setting that up to allow that to happen and that is a very dicey things. in terms of going to 1000 troops, this is really not a military presence, is it? this is simply an embassy security force essentially. gen. campbell: sir, the goal right now were the intent is to have a security cooperation office. that would be more than embassy force protection. it would also be the ability to have oversight for military sales, the money that would go into afghanistan as well. sen. sessions: it is essentially
it a fighting force and signals we are completely out of the fight militarily, i would suggest. i think that is a dangerous signal to be sending. you talk about -- we need to train, assist and advise more. is it your recommendation that that capability extend beyond the end of 2016? gen. campbell: i have said the afghans will continue to support the many areas we have identified that they will need continued help -- aviation, logistics, intelligence. areas, it would require more time. to what extent do they have rotary aircraft helicopter capability for evacuation of wounded or resupplying remote forces or
otherwise taking the battle to the end? does that remain a problem? air campbell: the close force capability is just starting to grow. they have relied on the mi-35. they are down to two. 7's that allow them to move wounded, provide resupplys. they have hatried to put in machine guns. we have put in a little attack bird that can give them a little better close air support capability. fixed-wing capability will start in 2017, 2018. sen. sessions: i'm worried about it. in your best military judgment, what additional risks are we undertaking if our goal is to create a stable environment in iraq where people can go to school and have a chance for
wesperity -- what risk are incurring by setting a firm date of ending by the end of 2016? gen. campbell: as i mentioned many times before, whenever you put a time on something that always give somebody the ability to manipulate that, whether that is the enemy or friendly forces. i think the options we have provided to the senior leadership, weighing both -- is looking at different outcomes-based on what has changed over the last few years. sen. sessions: the president of the united states has made some very unwise decisions in this regard. complicating the life of people in afghanistan and making
difficult, lot more in my opinion. i don't want to make a partisan argument. we had a deep commitment to afghanistan. an entire international coalition on that part. bipartisan, this was a good war. i think it is possible to achieve the goal you stated. do you believe it is possible? gen. campbell: i would not be there if i did not think it was possible. sen. sessions: i agree. outink to completely move and radically reduce our presence difficult, in my opinion. riskst want risks, incredibly the gains men and women have fought so hard for and allies around the world that have helped us. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your leadership. i think we would do well to listen to your device. we should've listened in iraq and we should listen in afghanistan. sen. mccain: thank you, senator.
general, as i understand the present plan is there will be increased reductions beginning in january. is that correct? gen. campbell: sir, to get down to -- sen. mccain: the embassy centric, you begin those withdrawals in january. gen. campbell: i would have to look back at the exact numbers. sen. mccain: roughly. we are in october and the plan now is in 2017 we are down to an embassy-centric f orce. that is the plan? gen. campbell: yes. sen. mccain: we are sitting here in october and you don't know whether to begin three months from now a rather significant withdrawal of troops which
requires a lot of planning, a lot of logistics, a lot of assets. and here we are sitting in october and you have been asked to provide the white house with a series of options. is that right? gen. campbell: i have provided options and in those options i the slope ied for have to take to get down to the required numbers. we -- inin: so, addition, you have been asked for the best option, the one option that would secure iraq succeed in a mission in the most effective and efficient fashion. instead, you will ask for "options." most of us were top to believe there is only one option for victory and success. you have been asked for options.
dare i ask how many? i'm not sure i have been asked for options. i have taken a look, since i have been on the ground the last 14 months, seen where the afghan security forces are at in different metrics we take a look at. in order to ensure they have the right capability -- sen. mccain: is there only one option to achieve the most efficient, most effective, least in danger of further casualties? i don't understand this. study of usually my warfare is you develop a strategy and you implement the strategy with a plan. you don't say, hey, we will have five or six plans, options. most commander in chiefs i have known of calder military people together -- call their military
whate t together and say are the best strategies and how do we get there? in my getting something wrong? gen. campbell: i could not comment if you are getting something wrong. i have provided -- sen. mccain: options. gen. campbell: train and assist capabilities in afghanistan post-2016. sen. mccain: you have given them "options" plural. most commander in chief will say give me the plan that it takes so we can succeed in the best and most efficient way to accomplish our goal. we all know the goal is a free, stable, democratic afghanistan. ofl, it's curious times, but course, those of us that make
any criticism apparently don't know a lot of the things that the president of the united states knows. i thank you, general. you are doing as you are ordered observed firsthand your leadership in afghanistan on several occasions. i think it is outstanding. obviously, i'm not complaining at you because you are playing the hand you are dealt. i just don't understand why this administration does not understand that if we do what is presently planned beginning three months from now that we will see the iraq movie again. there is no doubt in anybody's mind about that. now we see a burgeoning, or embryonic isis. we see the iranians providing weapons naand more for the taliban. we just saw an attack on one of
the major cities in a part of afghanistan that we, up until now, we believe was the most secure. someems to me this lends urgency to action which would reverse what is clearly a deteriorating trend. finally, general, we look forward to the results of your investigation of this terrible tragedy of the attack on the hospital. i want to emphasize -- i know i speak for all of my colleagues that we are deeply regretting this tragedy. we do point out from time to time about the fog of war. this hearing is adjourned. gen. campbell: thank you, sir. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
congress were waiting to see if congressman paul ryan would agree to be a candidate. today, 2 house republicans were asked whether they support paul ryan for speaker on "meet the press." >> if he wins a conference, we support his agenda. >> we have a constitution as a country. >> not a hard question. would you support paul ryan? >> i have five policies on my webpage, if he goes with that, you are going to give him a strong look. >> the answer is, yes, i will support paul ryan. but paul ryan is a very smart man. the underlying dynamics of the house have to not changed. he will have to make accommodations and collaborate with the democrats to pass the debt ceiling, to pass a budget agreement. he willes those things, have his legs taken out by some
of his own members. we all know that. if he choses -- chooses to do the status quo, the house will be continue to be mired and the institution will be weaker, the speaker will be weaker. he will have the same problem that john boehner had. announcer: it could be sometime before we see the next steps. congress has begun their weeklong columbus day break. members back in their home district or on travel until october 19, when the senate returns. the house apples and one day later. -- gavels in one day later.