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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 13, 2015 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT

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britain to recover its full independence. she also took the view that the avement of europe toward common defense policy was a threat to nato and an undesirable development insofar that she thought moving toward being a federal state would mean a breach in the long run with her,nited states, and for remaining friends and allies of leastericans was the second -- first principle of foreign policy. i like to bring him back into the discussion with regard to margaret thatcher's time at oxford. thatmportant do you think
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her years at oxford were in shaping her later views in life? why is it that oxford university has seen that seemed so significant -- successful in terms of producing british prime minister's. a far more impressive record than cambridge. [laughter] time thatt about her fashioned one of the truly great leaders of our time? say just to i would supplement what i heard from theyvan is that i think take -- a quality of her leadership that we are lacking was clarity.
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although we do know from her biographers, including this splendid dagger fee, the second volume of which has just appeared by charles moore, that she did change your mind frequently and could -- she did change her mind frequently. -- inver made that public, she came forward with absolute clarity. you did not get any sense of hesitation which is what you guys have been saying. that is a personality trait of margaret thatcher's and i think it would be wrong to say her oxford education was responsible for it. it is interesting that she was trained in chemistry. taught her, and the toil system gets you very close
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and sustained exposure to a dialogue with somebody high up in their profession already because they are -- you are one of only one or two people talking to that person. wasthy hodgkin investigating the structure of thecillin, the structure of one, the structure of insulin, and coming up with one answer that was going to be provably right. from that, margaret thatcher must have taken an understanding that there was going to be one right answer, and that is what supported her in the sort of clarity that i just spoke about. asked why so many political
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leaders in britain come from oxford. it goes back a long time, so we got a bit of an advantage. oxford has always taken a close interest in government. economics has been a particular playing ground for the present prime minister. also, it is what i just mentioned in connection with margaret thatcher, it is this exposure to the real system of teaching. you and i both know now that it can be pretty terrifying. if you come through the other end, you have been through the fiery furnace of being challenged.
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it is you and the teacher or you and one other student and the tutor being critiqued on what you've done in the past week on a particular subject. in the end, i think that produces a capacity to stand up and aurself in argument certain confidence which is different from arrogance. self-confidence is a terribly important quality in politics, as in so many other aspects of life. the nature of the oxford education, whether it's in politics or history or chemistry , it gives you that edge. network, all those things obviously worked as well. >> thank you very much for that. for three guests to
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give some concluding remarks. i have -- will like to invite some questions from the audience. if you could identify yourself and -- first question from this gentleman with the scottish time -- with the scottish tie. >> i've seen some writings as -- that indicated that -- as well as reagan and the -- thatcher, the hope and the polish industrial group, this quadratic group who ended the cold war. could you comment? >> joan is the expert on that. -- john is the expert on that. >> i did write a book arguing that reagan -- the pope. we talked about reagan and
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thatcher a bit. the moment he was selected as pope, the pope -- the alarm balls went -- the alarm bells went off all across the communist party headquarters in central europe. in 1917 --o poland 1979, a month after this thatcher was elected, was an nrs event. roughly a third of the polish people attended his masses and sermons. anyone who went new right away -- they turned to the right and saw a person who was joining them in rejecting the communist regime as the same as they turned to the left. hugeexposed this attendance and emotional surf -- surge of support that exposed the pretense of the communist party and was a facade that did not represent the people and every but he knew it and that
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lesson was transmitted throughout the whole of the communist world by newspapers and radio. this was an enormous event. i did a lot of talking about when -- my book when it came out. invariably, i was asked the same question, at the end of the talk. people said, we have this trio which should -- but should it not be a quartet? what was interesting was in poland, everybody nominated windsor, as you said. there was justification for that, more than any other of the popular leaders of central and eastern europe, and he had really significant impacts on events. everywhere else, particularly in the west, people picked gorbachev -- gorbachev.
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credit fory deserves helping to wind up the end of the soviet union peacefully. we should do not -- we should not deny that. we should accept that gorbachev was more effect than cause. if the soviet union was not in such severe crisis, he would've not -- he would not have made the decisions he did. i think he made the right choices, but they were painful choices, there was no good future in keeping the system going. margaret thatcher was one of the first people to realize the role he could play and after the installation of missiles, they worked together to bring about the peaceful end. everyone deserves credit here, but the real credit goes principally to my three heroes -- two -- two heroes, one
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harrowing -- heroine. >> both ronald reagan and margaret thatcher realized this was not just a military or it or -- or economic or diplomatic issue as far as coming as it was concerned. they thought there was a moral dimension to the whole thing. the pope being a part of that celebrated the concept of the morality of freedom versus communism. i think his participation, for that reason, was very important. john knows the speeches, but it was proper from the position that he held -- he was not doing things that tried to be a secular leader, if you will, but he properly represented the theological view of things and the moral view of things in a very important but at the same
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time proper way. the fact that he handled it he understood, psychology very well. he was a very important part of the whole thing and he did it in a very careful way. told that after the first meeting between the pope, and president reagan, the pope came out of the meeting and said to the two cardinals, reagan is a man of peace. founded -- it made it easy for him to pursue a whole range of policies -- he never made a political speech. when he was in poland, he gave religious sermon. society,cially if you the religious sermons -- servant
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has political -- and calls for religious liberty are calls for liberty. >> i will take one more question from the audience. james rice, i work on capitol hill. the discussion of the oxford oil system, reminded me of the way margaret thatcher ran her cabinet meetings. i wonder if there are parallels there where she acted as the tutor and expected her cabinet members to come prepared. do you think there was a connection there? >> i think you may be right about that. very fierce with her cabinet members and colleagues. she had a difficult reputation very often.
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[inaudible] quite contrary was the case -- [inaudible]
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she had a rather angelic countenance. in the end, i would like to think that margaret thatcher's oxford education shaped her in many ways. there is such thing as personality and her growing up with a father who was very stern and would have challenged her. >> thank you. i would like to ask our guests .o make some concluding remarks
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what were the key leadership qualities that made margaret thatcher such a great, affective prime minister? we will start with john. .> i think she was brave i think she knew her own mind. into important meetings without doing all of her homework. ronald reagan could wing it any way that she could not. when you add those three things thether, the preparation, confidence, the clarity, you have a recipe for strong leadership. >> i think all of those things
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are correct and i certainly would agree. reagan didy, ronald prepare very carefully, but the thing was, he never let on that he had. [laughter] he was amazing in the matter of time that he put into things that look that he had been overly busy. in terms of margaret thatcher, i think she had all of those qualities. the principal quality i would add to that was her steadfastness. you could depend on her, and that was something that ronald reagan really prized because they were in an important enterprise together. if your partner in that kind of enterprise would fall to read all or not be definite about their position, it could be disastrous so i think her steadfastness and the other qualities made her the great leader she was. >> i agree with all of those things.
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highlight one thing in her career before she was prime minister, and that was when the wasbombed -- where she preparing her speech for the party conference the next day. [inaudible] colleagues and close friends day, onled and the next -- they stood for
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urningmoments in mo the people who are gone, then she gave her speech. he said we did not give in to terrorism and she demonstrated the extraordinary inner strength she possessed which was equality of hers that -- they said that very few others to demonstrate. she had that, and she stood up and she showed it and i think -- [inaudible] she was not going to give in to it.
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i think it's one of the most extraordinary qualities. >> mets a tremendous and fitting end to the discussion tonight. thank you so much to our three distinguished guests for our fascinating and extremely insightful discussion. thank you everybody for joining us. we do have a reception following the event if you like to join us. [applause] >> just a reminder that david cameron is back before the house of commons tomorrow.
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>> this monday, on c-span's new series, landmark cases, by 1830, the mississippi river around new orleans had become a breeding ground for cholera and yellow partially due to slaughterhouses in the area to bring byproducts into the river. louisiana allowed only one government run slaughterhouse, crescent city, to operate in the district and the other houses took them to court. follow-up the slaughterhouse cases of 1873. we are joined by paul clement, former solicitor -- solicitor and michael ross, author of the book justice of shredder dreams to help tell the history of the self, the personal stories of the butchers, and the state of new orleans. be sure to join the conversation as we take your calls, tweak and facebook comments using the
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, live monday on c-span, c-span3, and c-span radio. for background on each case while you watch, order your copy of the landmark cases companion book, and available for $8.95. the new day for america's super pac has reserved $6.5 billion in new hampshire television airtime, ohio governor john kasich residential tv ads wille means run from now until the states primary expected on february 9. incovered governor kasich new hampshire today and that airs in :00 p.m. eastern on c-span. former florida governor and republican president candidate jeb bush was also a new hampshire today speaking in manchester about his plan to repeal the health care law and replace it with one that would
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increase tax credits for individuals, allowing them to buy coverage protection against high-cost medical events. we will show you jeb bush in our primetime lineup here on c-span at 9:00 p.m. eastern. later at 9:30, at on surveillance programs and privacy from georgetown university professor laura donohue. here is a preview. >> webcam images and chat sessions appear to be collected under executive order 1233. the government to medication headquarters counterpart and the united kingdom 2008 2010, gchq files referenced a program called optic nerve in which yahoo! webcam chats were elected in both regards of whether the individual user was a foreign intelligence target. program, gchq, with the help of the nsa, collected visible data from 1.8 million you hot -- abu users.
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turns out nudity is a real problem and they are trying to figure out how to keep their images -- a different looking all the -- agents from looking at all the new images -- nude images. the nsa collected almost 200 million text messages per day globally, using them to ascertain travel plans, social networks and credit card details. let me be clear, this information is being collected on individuals who are not themselves suspected of any illegal activity. laura can watch all of donohue's remarks and a national security conference in missouri at 9:30 eastern tonight on c-span. securityhomeland chickering -- secretary jeh johnson talks about national security related issues at the association of the united date army national meeting -- annual meeting. this is about 45 minutes. [applause]
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>> thank you. good morning everybody. -- that was good pretty good. it's good to be here. as general swan pointed out, this is my second address to the ausa. someone may get the impression that i actually like the army. [laughter] i have taken my prepared address even to me by my speechwriter, i have read it then prepared my own remarks. i will tell you what i really think within limits. week, whatstaff last should i say to the ausa? there is simple sir, just tell them how great the army is.
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you love the army, well i am here to tell you, you are great. the army is great. i love the army. why did i think -- say that? a real -- for real. when i left the department of thense at the end of 2012, senior lawyer of the department of defense, i was back in private law practice. perhaps the thing i miss the most about public service was the character and quality of the people that i worked with in the department of defense, the pentagon, the united states military. the character and quality of the people with whom i worked. whether it wasn't oh 10 or in 04 10, orhether it was a o- e-6. or a
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these are people i worked with almost on a daily basis. for two years, someone from the joint staff down to the basement two, an armyon, j major who i will not name good -- because he would be embarrassed if i did. he would come to me what i was general counsel about counterterrorism matters. he did his job, he was modest. he did it well. after he was reassigned, someone told me about this army major. , who would never
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say these things himself, had been on, according to what i heard, 16 deployments. he had broken his back when his parachute failed to open. rpg,part of his life to an was shot in the back and had been the victim of three ied attacks in afghanistan. after service in the pentagon, went on to run triathlons and 50 mile races. that is the quality and character of people in today's noted states army -- united states army, which i find remarkable and is the thing i miss the most about public mevice, which is why part of is pleased to be back in public service. i have the job of secretary of homeland security.
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perhaps the army general officer i got to know best was prettier general mark martin's -- was brigadier general mark martins. he is our chief prosecutor at guantanamo bay and the military commission system. i got to know him as an advisor. i spent time with him in afghanistan when he was dealing with the tame it matters in afghanistan. 2011,ted a base in greeted by mark. he showed me around the base, nighttime fell. we were about to hit the sack after a long day. brigadier general mark martins , finished first in his class at betterint, i am told
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grades than the president of united states at the harvard law review, he asked me what i thought was a very profound and deep question. he said sir, look up toward the sky. the night sky, what occurs to you? stars above.at the it was a clear night. wondered what general martins was thinking of so i search for a deeper meeting to his question. i thought about the brave men and women of the u.s. army and i thought about the inspirational churchill.nston i answered with the quote from
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winston churchill -- we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets. we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender. general martin replied look up at the sky again and what really occurs to you. i gave it a second try and i thought of fdr's inspirational words on d-day. army, theted states so-called pride of our nation remarks. not for the lust of conquest, they like to end conquest. they fight to liberate and let justice arise and tolerance and goodwill among all people.
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they returned to the haven of home. i said to general martins, how about that? he said look up again -- what are you thinking and what really occurs to you? i thought of john f. kennedy's inspirational words at american the inherentout nature of armed conflict and international tension. kennedy, in june 1963 -- these words i gave in the hope that is going to answer his profound question -- our most basic of found link is that we all inhabit planet and breathe the same air and chair is our children's future, and we are are all mortal. general margins says what really
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occurs to you when you look at the afghan sky. i said i give up, what are you thinking? someone stole our tent. [laughter] the army is great. the army's family to me. some of you may be interested to know that my grandfather was a sergeant major and combat veteran in world war i. sergeant was an army during the korean war two uncles in the army air corps who were teske year men. when i say the army is great, i love the army. my words are matched by these -- i'm stealing people from the united states army. , myssistant secretary acting assistant secretary for
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combat veterans from afghanistan, dr. jennifer , i'm sure many of you know pete. my cyber security experts. army and case that the department of homeland security work together closely on a number of matters. the army corps of engineers, the army guard when it comes to disaster response. i saw this in person in south carolina last week. comes to the department of homeland security, i am in a -- i am a native new yorker. manhattan on that day,
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before my service for the department of defense. i witnessed the tragedy of nine/11, that devastating terrorist attack. 9/11 that the department of homeland security was born and my commitment to homeland security was born. as many of you know, the department of homeland security departmentd largest of our government. we have about 240,000 people, 22 components we are responsible for among other things, counterterrorism, border security,port aviation security, maritime security, enforcement and administration of our response tolaws
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disasters, natural and man-made. ourthe protection of national leaders. we include customs and border protection's which is the largest law enforcement agency. immigrationand services, tsa, secret service, the coast guard and fema. to take a moment to highlight the extraordinary work other secret service and elements of the department of homeland security just a few weeks ago. just a few weeks ago, we had what many would consider the perfect storm in terms of the protection of visiting heads of government. we had in lakes of timber, 170 world leaders and their spouses in this country, in new york city all at the same time.
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and the lead responsibility for protecting them all was the united states secret service. we had the president of china, we have leaders from afghanistan, iraq, israel, the united kingdom, russia, and the pope, all in this country at the same time. no other agency of our government except the secret service, no other protection service in the world could have. what the secret service did -- probably the largest the mystic security operation in the history of this country. flawlessly and perfectly with other components of the department of homeland security. fema, the coast guard. i'm awfully proud of what our folks have done.
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told the topic here is to win in a complex world. that thatt agree more is what we in the department of homeland security find is our challenge -- winning in a complex world. about spoken many times the new reality of the evolving global terrorist threat now. reality to the threats, to the homeland, which you and i are responsible for guarding. there is a new reality -- the global terrorist threat has evolved from terrorist directed to terrorist inspired attacks. when i say terrorist directed
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attacks, i mean attacks or attempted attacks conducted by the old who were recruited, trained and it went overseas and directed by a terrorist organization and exported to our homeland. the most prominent example of a terrorist directed attack is is of course -- 9/11. they were trained and directed overseas and exported to our homeland. then the attempted underwear farming over detroit -- underwear bombing over detroit, the attempted times square bombing in may of 2010, the attempted package bomb plot, these are examples of what our -- what were likely terrorist directed attacks by those overseas. today, we see in addition to
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, the threat of terrorist inspired attacks. those who are homegrown or even home born, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula no longer build bombs in secret. it will than instruction manual and urges the public to do the same thing. we see the potential lone wolf act or and the foreign fighter. the foreign fighter who leaves their own country and goes to syria and returns home with an extremist purpose that we have to be diligent about. attacks andwave of , conducted bycks those who may be home grown, the boston marathon calming in april of 2013, the attack in ottawa on
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-- parliament holding parliament building. the attack on the charlie hebdo headquarters, the garland, texas attack in 2014 and of course, chattanooga in july of 2015. this is the new reality of what we have faced. terrorist inspired, more complex and has led to a more complex respects, in many harder to detect. our government has become pretty good at detecting overseas plots at the earliest stages. the homegrown actor could strike at any moment and is inspired by something he sees. this threat is in many respects more complicated and harder to
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detect. it involves a whole of government response. so what are we doing? first, we continue to, as we have in the past, taken the fight militarily to terrorist organizations overseas and, through our efforts and through the efforts of the united states have takenhers, we out of the fight by killing or capturing many of the leaders of terrorist organizations and those who have been plotting directly to attack the homeland. dead, killeden is on may 1, 2011. if 9/11 was my worst day as american being president in new york, perhaps my best day was the day we got osama bin laden. other terrorist leaders had been taken off the battlefield.
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khalid shaikh mohammed awaits trial in a military commission. others have been killed or captured. a very large degree, been successful in degrading the terrorist threat to our homeland from overseas. but there is much more we need to do given how this terrorist threat has evolved. law enforcement, the of the eye has a key role in this. the fbi almost on a daily basis has become very good at detecting, investigating, and interdicting terrorist plots to our homeland here at home. it has become all the more important that the department of homeland security and of the eye , given how this threat has evolved work closely with and share intelligence with state and local law enforcement, which
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we do on a daily basis through joint intelligence bulletins and the like in response to the attack last year in ottawa, i directed we and hands our protection of federal government buildings in major cities around the country and that enhanced protection continues to exist today. threat ase terrorist it has evolved continues to center around aviation security. we are building what i refer to as preclearance capability where , on the front end of a flight from overseas to the united states, you will see our customs personnel, screening passengers before a flight to the homeland. any opportunity i have to push out our homeland -- our homeland
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security, i want to take it. we are establishing preclearance capability. we have done this in 15 airports overseas. of preclearance, including some who have been in our databases. so wet to build more, have engaged in discussions with a number of authorities around the country and this is something we will continue to build. newr the leadership of the tsa administrator, we are implementing reforms to our aviation security, both in response to the inspector general's report the summer and other things. when it comes to aviation security, there is a new emphasis on security that the administrator and i have
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directly in the field, frankly less managed inclusion. what does that mean? less instances when you go to the airport and you are not a member of tsa project, you can put in line anyway. an emphasis onw security, so we're stepping up and effort and hopefully it will not sacrifice wait times. there's a renewed effort on security. in response to the concern about foreign fighters, we have done a number of things. a number of foreign fighters come from countries from which we do not require a visa, are in ouruntries visa waiver program. we do not require a visa.
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security, wen for have added information request. never anyone travels to this country, they are required to fill out additional information. announcedr, i security measures to our waiver program to wire countries in our program to make or use of passenger name recognition data and advanced passenger information. we are requiring countries in the visa waiver program make or use of interpol to make better use of our federal air marshals on flights from overseas to the united states. as the new reality has emerged and the global terrorist threat has evolved, we are asking the public for help. if you see something, say
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something has to be more than a slogan. we are asking the public for help, public awareness, and public vigilance. i will tell you that we are considering revising our systems , the national threat advisory system, which we have never used. bars tothe color-coded a system which we have never used. i have asked our folks to consider whether we should revise it system to accommodate how the terrorist threat has evolved. that review is underway now. thertantly, given how terrorist threat has evolved, we have embarked on aggressive asorts at what we refer to counter environment extremism.
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that means members of my department, the of the i and other departments literally go out into communities, muslim communities in this country to talk to them about countering violent extremism. i personally traveled to boston, new york city, suburban maryland, l.a., houston, columbus, ohio and elsewhere to meet with leaders of the muslim community. our conversations are almost always three-pronged. first, to listen to them about airports,y face at with our immigration system, and trust with this community. i hear repeatedly from muslim leaders in this country the hatred that they feel for the islamic state.
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me, say over and over to mr. secretary, they are trying to hijack my religion. my message to them is help us help you when it comes to public safety. hope us protect your communities. headingee someone toward violence, let us know. help us to help you. in my view, with we must enhance our effort where we are now even how the threat to our homeland security has involved. two weeks ago, i announced the creation of an office for community partnerships to spearhead and lead our efforts within the department of homeland security. take efforts to a new level and encourage the artistic nation of the tech sector.
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leadersto help muslim to counter the isis message and develop our own grantmaking programs to provide resources and support to communities engaged. just a few more words on cyber security. i have directed an aggressive plan to enhance our federal civilian cyber security. it is not where it needs to be. directed an aggressive timetable for the civilian system in terms of monitoring, detecting, and blocking suspicious and unwanted intrusions our system. acrossstem is deployed half of our civilian and has blocked hundreds of thousands of data. to infiltrate
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we are urging the passage of cyber security legislation in this congress. the house has passed a good bill and the senate is considering a good will. my hope is that the senate bill comes to the floor for debate and passage this month. help is an urgent need for from congress when it comes to our cyber security efforts. we want to encourage the private sector to share cyber threat indicators with the department of homeland security. sophisticatedost of private cyber security actors among you in the defense and industrial base, benefits from information sharing. we want to encourage that.
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the pending legislation is a good way to do that. we hope for the passage of that legislation so that it becomes law. when the president of china was here, we reached an agreement with the chinese government on some cyber security norms and an agreement to combating cybercrime. ofagreement that the theft commercial property for commercial purposes by a state actor is in proper. time will tell whether the chinese will in up to these agreements. we have created a ministerial level dialogue on my side and our side, represented by the secretary of homeland security.
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greater partnership and our cyber security efforts. in terms of border security, chief fisher and his fisher saw only about 332,000 apprehensions on our southern border this past fiscal year. are an indicator of total illegal attempts to cross the border. the misperception in this country is that illegal crossings on our southern border , on our southern border is that they are going up. the reality is they have been going down dramatically. 2000,gh was fiscal year where there were 1.6 million apprehensions on our southern order. in recent years, it has gone down to about 450,000 stop this past fiscal year, the apprehension number on the southern order was 479,000.
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this past year, 15, the number will come in at a proximately 331,000. which, 1972, is the lowest number of apprehensions we have seen with the exception of one is the result of a number of our border security efforts, including the investment our government has made, more personnel, more surveillance, more technology. that must also be the future, to strengthen even more our border security efforts. i have directed our immigration enforcement arsenal goa are the criminals, invest the time in the interior to go after threats to public safety so there are
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fewer undocumented criminals on our streets. our effortsed in for the department of homeland security which has involved more ,entralized decision-making fewer stove pipes, fewer components don't pipes, more centralized decision-making when it comes to budget and acquisition decisions. i have directed our new under , a former johnson & johnson executive to warm our act decision process. a homelandding security industrial base, reforming our acquisition process for our 12-year-old department. we are just about helping people, like the united
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states army. a reminder of that for me was carolina,y in south inspecting the cleanup efforts from the floods. every time i do this, i'm reminded of the basic mission of the department of homeland security to help the people all of this country. carolina and other hit,s where disaster has the governor, senators, congressmen and myself, the president of red cross, to basically help people devastated i floods. the loss of their homes. that is what we are all about, helping people. than political ideology, we are public servants. three thoughts i want to be with
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in my prepared remarks. the eking for the department of homeland security, we need the congress to repeal sequestration. the person my job as responsible with a decapitated budget. i cannot do all the things congress and the american old need us to do for border security, response to national disasters, cyber security, maritime security with a sequestered budget. are urging congress to repeal seek restoration. homeland security is the front line to national security. homeland security is the frontline to our national defense.
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homeland security is the department of government that interacts with the american public more than any other. 1.8 million people will a day interact with tsa. but he cannot do our job with a set western budget. it is time to repeal sequestration. next, i want to repeat something i said last month in missouri at westminster college as part of the green foundation lecture series. the most famous lecture there was given by winston churchill himself in 1946 where he gave his iron curtain speech. president harry truman gave a green lecture entitled what hysteria does to us. remarks. to go those i said all of us in public office, those who aspire to
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public office and command a microphone oh the public calm and responsible decision-making, not overheated proposal of superficial appeal. in a democracy, the former leads to smart and sustainable policy and the latter can lead to fear, hate, mission, precious, and government overreach. this is especially true in matters of national security and homeland security. is something that is consistent with the soldiers creed. quote that is consistent with my mission -- "i am a guardian of freedom and the american way of life."
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that matches almost word for word what i tell audiences at almost the end of every speech i give. is not just the guardian of our safety, but the guardian of freedom and the american way of life. in homeland security, we must achieve a balance between basic visible security on the one hand and preserving our laws and values in a free society. homeland security means striking that alan's. am a guardian of one as the other. hold you with all of our homeland security resources a fairly safe city, but it would resemble a prison. i can build you a perfectly safe commercial air flight, but
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nobody would be wearing any close, no one would the allowed to get up, no one would have eat, and no one would have carry-on luggage i can build you a perfectly safe e-mail system, but you would be limited to a conversation with 10 people without access to the internet. build more walls, we can interrogate more people, we can make everybody suspicious of each other, but, if we did, we would risk things that are most voluble to this nation. we are a nation where we cherish the freedom to associate, the freedom to travel, we cherish privacy, we cherish our laws, we cherish diversity. freedomsh these a sick and in the final analysis, those are the things that constitute our greatest strengths.
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exelon. -- thanks a lot. [applause] i think i am available to take a few questions. if anybody here is not shy. >> i'm with cms news. could you address the syrian refugee crisis and how bringing them into this country affects homeland security? sec. johnson: yes. we have committed to resettling 10,000 syrian refugees in fiscal year 16. more foroking at fiscal year 17. by the end of 15, we will have resettled approximately 2000, so we want to do more.
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that anditted to doing ensuring those who are resettled are vetted properly and receive the appropriate security review. dedicating the resources to the increased number of refugees and making sure they are vetted against the right databases we have. we've gotten better over the last couple of years, but it is a time-consuming process and one of the challenges we will have is that we are not going to know a whole lot about the individual refugees who come forward from the u.n. high commission for resettlement and vetting, so it will be a challenge, but we are committed to doing it. it's meeting our international commitment for the sake of our
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homeland security, ensuring they get the right security review and i am committed to both. >> i'm bob baron, national defense reserve. as you may know, at one time, we had an active executive reserve comprised of senior members of military and industry. for approximately the last 10 years, none of us have unable to get any answers from our parent , who is in charge, where do we go and what do we do? we carry all the expenses. the only saying we utilize the
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seating atr was open certain military training sessions. me whatu please tell happened to the national executive reserve? sec. johnson: the short answer is i don't know. i can tell you that outreach to the private sector to her to industry is a minority of mine for the sake of improving the manner in which we conduct business. and of our acquisition reform efforts is to establish a council of experts to advise us on the acquisition process. i don't know the answer to your question, but i will certainly look into that. remarks you for your
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today. what is being done at the enterprise level to solve the cross agency challenges we have faced for decades? sec. johnson: the communications challenges and meeting them is part of a unity of effort and initiative. the ability to communicate across components is pretty basic. effort,of our unity of less stove typing, more centralized decision-making, improving our ability to communicate is a priority. thank you. i have time for one more. >> good morning. i'm staff sergeant campbell. i'm curious where you are based right now? sec. johnson: i'm at the
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pentagon. >> the pentagon? i'm sorry. that was a great joke -- i'm sure that does not reflect upon you. a cab driver driving with a fair and the cab driver says that the awfully big holding. how many people work in that building? he said about half. [laughter] >> no comment. i'm curious if there is an estimated cost bringing allotted number of syrian refugees over? access an interesting question. i don't know the estimated cost, within dhs, the principal responsibility of vetting belongs to uscis, citizenship and immigration services which is a fee-based agency. e-verify,xception of
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cif does not get an appropriation for conducting its is this. for itsds on fees services. as no applicant to be a refugee. so they must pay for the vetting , sough the fee collections it is not an appropriate amount for congress. it is an agency of government that pays for itself through fees. imagine that. much and havevery a successful conference. i see a number of friends out here. they've gotten a little grayer, but i recognize them for thank you for all of your efforts, your continued efforts to help secure our nation and work with the army, to work with the
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department of homeland security. appreciate it. [applause] >> c-span's road to the white house coverage continues at 8:00 eastern with ohio governor john kasich. the presidential candidate held a town hall meeting in new hampshire today. then former florida governor jeb -- in new hampshire speaking in manchester about his plan to repeal the health care law. we will have his remarks about 9:00 eastern. the associated press reports that after months of skirmishes and hundreds of airstrikes, conditions are right for iraqi to launch a decisive assault on ramadi and reclaim the provincial capital from islamic state fighters. a spokesman in baghdad for the
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u.s. led coalition briefed reporters today for about one -- for one hour. >> we don't have anything on the screen yet. byare pleased to be joined colonel steve war and from operation inherent resolve. signal me if you would like to get on the western list. if you speak of loud enough, i think you can hear us. try to speak loud enough. >> you look younger. >> you look very's any. lookcan hear you -- you skinny. >> i can hear you.
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>> good morning members of the pentagon press corps. good to see for our second briefing from baghdad. i want to mention a few things before we get to westerns. let me get you up eight on current events. as of 12:00 today, the u.s. led coalition has conducted a total of 7440 airstrikes with 4798 in iraq, 2642 in syria. , they continue to move toward enemy forces occupying and bar province. we have conducted 292 strikes against isil. we have conducted 52 strikes in the last 10 days.
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these strikes have killed hundreds of fighters, destroyed mortar positions, vehicle borne facilities,sive even sniper positions. aided by our strikes, iraqi ground forces have advanced 15 last sevenover the days and we have seen some encouraging developments for top last week, for the first time, iraqi f-16s provided direct support to maneuvering iraqi ground forces. over the past week, the counterterrorist service has stood out in very tough fighting along the western approaches to ramadi. iraqi ground forces recently trained and equipped by the coalition have been deployed in time for the decisive phase of we noweration for top
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believe battlefield conditions are set for the isf to push into the city. in northern iraq, a recent operation returned more than 400 square kilometers of territory to government control and liberated 23 villages which would allow thousands of iraqis to return. in syria, where our air operations continue and we recently conducted an aerial resupply, friendly forces have liberated hundreds of square off from the them border with turkey. approximately 80 strikes have been conducted from the caspian sea, these strikes have been clustered around homes and only
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a fraction of these strikes have then against isil or in isil dominated areas. coalition airstrikes have continued to inflict casualties well minimizing civilian casualties. before we move to questions, i want to highlight some of the effect of our operations. to enabling local forces to fight isil, coalition forces are killing the leaders isil relies on for command and control, logistics, and propaganda. theairstrikes are forcing enemy to change the way they communicate, the way they move, reinforce, and resupply. leader,strike and enemy we call it an hv i strike. that sense were high-value individual. coalition strikes are the pleading isil's bench. recent strikes have eliminated
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key enemy leaders, including one on august 18 and one on august 24. one of them was isil's second-in-command, responsible for operations in iraq and syria. the other was a top recruiter. we have eliminated a number of social media-savvy members. we use social media as a weapon coordinate attacks. strikes have killed approximately 70 senior and the leaders may, according to one of them killed every two days. strikes near modal have killed eight of their top leaders in that city. think this pressure creates paranoia, causes the enemy to continually reevaluate their security. in the days following the leadership strike, we have seen
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isil can acting searchers -- searches of their own officials and known to execute spies and those known to execute for security. they have been forced to employ second and third tier leaders. in july, we killed the leader in he was replaced by his deputy, who we killed in september. the isiles make leaders reluctant to communicate and afraid to move around the battlefield for one simple reason -- they fear set death. with that, i will take your questions. >> you have given us a lot to chew on there. let me get back to ramadi. u.s.ieve you said the believes the battlefield
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conditions are set for the iraqis to move into the city. arehaven't they done so and there indications that it is an imminent move by the iraqis? what is holding them up? >> what we have seen is good progress over the last week to 10 days, maybe two weeks. fighting has slowed down substantially over the summer for several reasons, environmental, the extreme heat social, including the religious holidays that came up during the late part of the summer and other factors. all of those factors are beginning to fade away and we are starting to see progress.
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tightened their ring around ramadi and are approaching on several axes and kilometers, or 15 so we are seeing movement. iraqi f-16sg providing direct support to maneuvering forces, we are seeing iraqi forces approach these hardened obstacles isil has placed around ramadi. so i don't know that anything is holding them up. i think they are moving and we would like to see them move as rapidly as possible. we believe the combination of the recent successes they have increased with the airpower and increased isr we have allocated to the fight, we believe that now is the time for a final push.
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encouragetinuing to the iraqis and they are encouraged by the own 6 -- by their own success that they have had recently. >> we saw you two weeks ago and you said we are urging the iraqis to take ramadi and you are saying we believe they can do it. a couple of people i have talked to in the building said they are not even sure the iraqis can take ramadi. also if you can talk about beside the iraqi security forces, what are the roles of the sunni tribal fighters and the shia militias here? >> thank you. my three questions there -- can they take it?
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we believe that they can. they have the combat power and the training and they have the isr and the airpower we are providing. believes ago, i said we they are beginning to move and in the last two weeks, they have eaten up 15 kilometers. i think that is a sign there is progress. conditionsmental have lessened so that they are able to maneuver. few maneuvers a so that those on the line have withdrawn and have been replaced by fresh troops, many trained by coalition forces. freshly equipped, freshly trained and in possession of some of the newer it women we have given them designed to breach these assets. i don't want to overstate it.
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this is going to be a tough fight. the conditions are set. the role of the sunni volunteers? that's a good question. will participate in some of the fighting but we see them as alongf the whole force with the federal police. we see the tribal volunteers that we have then training. i believe we have trained about 5000 so far, so we will get them into the fight. i'm trying to number what your third question was. >> the shia militias. shia militias. is a pretty broad group.
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working with the iraqi security forces, whether they are sunni or shia. about whether or not they have commanded control of the iraqi security forces. shia ine some of the the battlefield around ramadi and falluja. isf site.ally an there are elements of the pmf on the battlefield, but this is really a more conventional iraqi security force. they have really distinguished themselves.
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>> good to see you again. a couple of follow-ups from ramadi. can you give us a sense of how far away the iss troops are from ramadi? what is the distance from the city that gives you confidence that this title is approaching closer? and switching topics to syria -- just a clarifier -- will the new program have the same kind of restrictions the old program did, that the people receiving this a women shouldn't the able to use it against the assad regime? col. warren: thank you. where are the iraqi forces positioned? they have essentially encircled
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the city. into are four approaches the city with iraqi security forces. are kind of squeezing in. i don't know the exact distance from the city center to the front line of the security forces, but it is at the point now where distance is less of an issue. it is dense, urban terrain and a time-distance factor is going to be much different. to put it in more colloquial terms, i would say they are probably around falls church if werewas washington, d c we talking about, maybe coming into arlington. they have not entered the city center proper but they are in the outer suburbs, if you like. i hope that answers your question.
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i will start off with events over the weekend. i think it has been fairly accurately reported that there was a c-17 airdrop over the 50 tons approximately of ammunition were dropped into thea, specifically for syrian-arab coalition. this is a team of teams, a group of smaller syrian and arab fighters who have on their own joined together to form a coalition may be in the 5000 range. this group asut part of our ongoing operations in syria, got to know the leader, that it leader, and dave
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that leader some specific on some of our specialized equipment. now, we have provided that peter and forces with the ammunition. restrictions -- what we have done here -- and there are a couple of points i want to make here. shift in how we have been in our operations in syria. airdrop-- we did in almost a year ago of ammunition, 23 bundles if i recall. this drop was over 100 and. this is part of our program to who ared equip forces fighting i sold.
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case, the syrian arab coalition fighters have been fighting isil in the vicinity of -- they have been fighting isil now for months. they are not anywhere near regime forces. while these forces -- we want them to fight isil. i'm not prepared to talk about we aretions or pledges, .ooking for four forces will this continue? the answer is yes. it has an ongoing.
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headlines, $500 million fail and i think those headlines are misleading. have spent a lot of money on the train and equip program and a large portion of that money brought equipment. this equipment we dropped into syria the other night is ammunition we purchased, so we 300 million on that, maybe a little bit more and the equipment we purchased is still going to get used to it syria. >> any other clarifications? the department was clear in the previous iteration that those
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forces would not be targeting the assad regime. i don't get the same idea that this's any restrictions on area. case, then: in this syrian-arab coalition is nowhere near the assad regime. it's kind of a moot point. i'm with nbc. you opened your remarks by ticking off the number of isis targets killed by coalition airstrikes. in the past, that proposition has been a risky one because they are so easily replaced by others and there are also figures out there that some 20,000 isis fighters have in killed by coalition airstrikes. those have been
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replaced? there any indication the overall force or overall leadership of isis has been sufficiently degraded by these airstrikes? col. warren: there are indications. sufficiently is a subjective term. what i will tell you is, we are drying up their bench. by killing this many of their leaders, have to go to second and third tier leaders. we give that example where they had a local leader, killed him. the deputy came up and became leader. we killed him. we have not found the third guy yet, but when we do we will kill him. this has a great impact on the enemy's ability to fight. it has an impact on their
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ability to command and control their own forces. sufficient? it certainly had an impact. it has degraded their ability to conduct operations. had -- they have not gained an inch of territory in iraq since ramadi. all they have done is hunkered down and watch their friends get killed from the air or the ground. i think we are having an impact. we picked this up from the chatter that we hear. we have recently seen a number isilo-sliders -- fighters fleet mosul. not all is well in the caliphate. thee getting pounded from air, under pressure on the ground in iraq and syria. the vice is beginning to tighten. optimistic,d sound
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but i don't want to overplay that. we estimate there are still between 20,000-30,000 enemy fighters on the battlefield. we try to stay away from body counts. i will not argue with the numbers that you cited. we try not to get into that. what i will tell you is, we have eliminated isil fighters as fast as they have been able to recruit them. as fast as they recruit them, we are able to eliminate them. you had to the fact that we have been bringing in second tier leaders, a lot of novice fighters, and you begin to see the edges fray. what else did you have? i think that was it. steve. you mentioned in your opening remarks that russia has conducted over 80 airstrikes in
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syria, and we have heard repeatedly that the purpose of russia's airstrikes is to bolster the assad regime. do you have any indication that the assad regime has been able to gain any territory in light of those strikes? any warren: i haven't seen indications that the assad regime has been able to make progress based on the russian airstrikes. what we have seen, we have seen isil make progress based on russian airstrikes. in the northwestern corner of syria. we have seen russian airstrikes. , in this oneisil area, able to take advantage. the other thing we have seen as
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the result of russian airstrikes, the u.n. recently announced they had to cease you military and operations in syria because of the danger posed by the russian airstrikes. i find these airstrikes to be reckless and indiscriminate. they are having exactly the opposite effect of what russia has claimed they wanted it. they have claimed obloquy that they want to fight isi -- publicly that they want to fight isil. they have had the effect and will have the effect of prolonging the suffering of syrian people. to answer your question specifically, i have not seen any regime progress based on russian airstrikes, but we have seen other things, none of which are good. back to what you mentioned about the pmf. can you tell us what is the syme of the dmf military a long --
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what is the size of the pmf military among the iraqi military? is it fair to say they share 75%, may be more, of iraqi ground forces? col. warren: i don't have those numbers. they are not numbers for me to put out anyway. those are the type of numbers that the iraqis would have. i will ask if they are willing to put something out that what is important to note is that the pmf, who are working with the pmf weovernment, our will work with. us on theou update type of ammunitions provided to the syrian armed coalition forces?
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that is an easy one. 50 tons of ammunition. it was bullets primarily. ammunition.ne gun assault rifle ammunition. hand grenades. mortar rounds. rounds for rpg's. griffin, fox news. the ammunition that you dropped, are there any restrictions on it being used against russians? when was theus, last time that a russian pilot flew up next to a u.s. coalition plane? how often is that happening and how dangerous is it? thanks, jen, those are excellent points.
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want the moderate syrian opposition, we are supporting the moderate syrian opposition fighting isil. it is difficult to put a restriction on a bullet, but we have supplied this ammunition and this equipment to forces who we are satisfied are focused on fighting isil. i forgot the rest of your question, i'm sorry. >> there are no restrictions on used againstg russians if they happen to be on the other end of the moderate syrian opposition. when was the last time that a pilot, a russian pilot, approached a u.s. warplane? how often is it happening and how dangerous is it? to be very clear,
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there are no russians where that ammunition landed. there are none there. pilots and safety. i don't know the last exact time. probably saturday. where a couple russian aircraft came within visual recognition distance of a couple coalition aircraft. visual identification took place, all pilots conducted themselves appropriately, and everyone went about their business. but it is dangerous. it is dangerous if two sets of aircraft come to the same airspace without clearly laid out protocols for safety for all involved. which is why we sat down with the russians to establish safety
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protocols. as you know we have had two meetings with the russians on this matter. there are future meetings scheduled. although, i don't have those details. there is always going to be some risk, if they are uncoordinated actors in the battle space. no question about it. what is important to note is, u.s. and coalition pilots have extraordinary situational awareness based on our capabilities as flyers and our capabilities for information. we have terrific situational awareness, everyone knows where everyone is for the most part. that said it is still important to have safety protocols. that is why we want the russians
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to establish such protocols. >> that incident on saturday, was that after one of the meetings, and was it a breach of protocol? meetings havehe not concluded, souther has not been a final agreement. cannot -- so there has not been a final agreement. cannot call it a breach of article. my understand -- protocol. my understanding is everyone conducted themselves appropriately. to indicatenothing there was any relationship between the meeting and this approaching. two sets of aircraft entered the same battle space. heightened risk when there are two sets of combat craft in the same airspace, but in this case,
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all aviators conducted themselves appropriately without incident. >> a couple questions, one on ramadi. of you tell us the strength isil forces in that city? you talked about how well defended it is, but how many are inside the city? the second one, you mentioned $300 million for equipment. how much was spent training the few dozen fighters that graduated the course, for lack of a better term? col. warren: we estimate the enemy strength to be somewhere between 600 and 1000. that is a good ballpark. it's important to note that this is an enemy that had time to dig a very hardlish
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defensive position. there are trenches, obstacles. minefieldsount to created by placement of ied's. it is a strong offense. it is a strong offense and it will take a very determined effort to break it. we think accommodation of air power -- they have the combat power to do just that. equip, off train and the half $1 million allocated, $500 million allocated, $300 million have been spent. a lot of that money -- some of the money went to improving the training grounds ahead of the x filtration, some of it was a startup cost but a lot of it was
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to purchase ammunition and equipment. we still have that ammunition and equipment. isil.l use it against we know you numbers, i don't have those numbers. i'm not sure who has them so give me a couple days to work on that for you. we will try to get you some numbers if they are releasable. what is important to note, this is a key thing, and i have seen these headlines. all this money wasted. it is too soon for that. so much has been spent on equipment and ammunition and weapons. weapons, equipment and ammunition is in our position. we just airdropped 50 tons of that are just with syrian funds, and drop 50 tons of that to friendly coalition members who
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will use that ammunition to fight isil. the train and equip program has changed, but it has not gone away. moderateill equipping syrian opposition fighters. this is important and i'm glad you brought it up. we have heard general austin talk about this. we have seen him say it is a complex battlefield. identify,program, next tax rate fighters -- exfiltrate fighters, that didn't work. for whatever reason, that program was not coming together the way that we wanted. organization, we have made an adjustment. approach tosted our what we believe is a fundamental
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requirement, which is to place ground pressure on our enemy. we know the combination of air and ground can put pressure on isil. have -- one way, so we realized it was not going to wait we wanted, so we have dynamically adjusted the approach. wewe find other situations, will continue to adjust this program. sorry that i got excited. >> phil stewart from reuters. i follow up on the air incident between the russian and u.s. pilots. are we talking hundreds of feet between the planes or miles? intelcomment on the iraq center with a syria and the russians. it was miles.
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nt reportstwo differe whether it was 10 or 20 miles, but it was miles apart. said today, that it has started bombing islamic state targets with help from the new intelligence center that included representatives from iran and syria. do you believe that comment is they are and if it is, carrying out strikes from the mass center, and you are in contact with that center, does that mean there is a parallel campaign independent of the u.s.-led coalition? think what is most important is the iraqis are fighting isil.
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i have not seen that report that you just cited so i don't know the answer. what i do know is with one year of them assisting the coalition forces, what everyone would have to admit -- think where we were a year ago. dropping supplies to beleaguered and cut off forces in beijing. think where we were a year ago when it appeared that even baghdad would be threatened by an isil advance. almost 16,000d iraqi security forces. we have taken back 30% of the territory that isil once had. we killed thousands of enemy fighters, hundreds of enemy .eaders
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anyone would have to agree that this coalition is here, and is providing some very solid support to the iraqi forces fighting isil. >> one question about how much money has been spent on equipment? clarification, one of the things the secretary said that is challenging about the program is that u.s. law is so strict when it comes to vetting who gets trained and equipped. i want to find out, given there were so many challenges getting fighters through the first program to be vetted to get the training and equipment, can you clarify how that works?
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we can just move equipment to a new group that you came into contact with and did not necessarily train? col. warren: a couple of things there. first off, the vetting is the same. we are going to the same vetting process. with the original process we were vetting every single person . hundreds. the vetting does take a long time. it is weeks or months to get through the vetting process. we are getting all of them out -- train train them to them. we don't want to ask filtrate --
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exfiltrate someone who could be a threat to the coalition forces. so now we are just vetting the leaders. aerialcase of the recent resupply, we vetted the leaders of the syrian-arab coalition. met the standards that we want met, and our own standards. those few people, much smaller in number, will then give a very brief training in a couple of days, where we introduce them to warfare, show them how to use certain pieces of equipment that they may and updating contact with, and generally solidify the relationship. i think that is what is able to speed the process up. i want to be clear on how we
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came in contact with these, and other groups. this has been a year-long ties with building syrians. syrian arabs in this case who want to defeat isolate -- isil. it's not that we just doubled across them, it is a process of the contacts we have been working with. that is how we come in contact with some of these other players on the battlefield. some like we just randomly met someone on the street. these are fighters who have demonstrated to us that they are willing to go after and fight and push back on isil. as we observe them and come to decisions about their capabilities and veracity and --
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voracity and ability to fight, that is only give them a couple days to get back into training and like just two days ago, supply them with 50 tons of ammunition. >> how many phone calls have there been between russian aircraft, u.s. coalition aircraft, and what city were they near by, or where was the incident on saturday? great questions to which i do not have answers. i do not know. we should know that so let me try to run that one down for you. it has happened several times. it is not really a daily thing, but the russians have only been flying for not even two weeks. it has happened more with our drones, our unmanned aerial vehicles.
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i think they want to take a look at the uav's. we seen instances where they are flying a combat air patrol, and one of our uav's will come nearby and the russians will break pattern and come take a look. i think there has been much more of that, that has happened several times. aircraft,the manned it has been very small. there may have been two or three more. >> so he doesn't know where the incident took place? ok, thank you. arabis rebel syrian opposition leader that was vetted, was he trying to call in airstrikes? did the coalition tell this leader and others you have been training that the coalition will
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provide air support against any threat that they come in to encounter with in the fight against isil? and i have one follow-up all on the turkish border. col. warren: calling in airstrikes -- there was some instruction on how to contact us if you identify the target. so we can come and assist if possible. , under what conditions we will assist -- right now, these forces are only in contact with us so we will help them. as far as other forces, the policy on that still needs development. aret stands, these forces in contact with isil. so we will provide them support.
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they are not near any other forces, they are in an area near the battlefield. there is isil and moderate syrian opposition. we will help them as they are fighting isil. you said you had a follow-up? >> on the turkish border you mentioned the syrian opposition had taken all the border except for about 69 miles, i think that is positive because the last i heard it was in the 90's. but 69 miles is still significant space, what is the biggest holdup to that last 69 miles? how is turkey helping with this fight to close the border? col. warren: 69 miles out of 600. it is very significant. there's not much left.
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the problem is it has become a hard fight. you heard me say this today before what we are seeing their is reminiscent of early 20th century warfare. static lines, trench lines, berms, very difficult combat to maneuver in. the problem is the determined enemy that doug in deep. difficult fighting conditions. the turks have been great fighters and our thoughts and prayers go out to them in the recent tragedy, a terror attack right in their own country. the turks have been a terrific help to us in this. they have been participating as an active member of the coalition since the beginning and continue to be appreciative of their efforts. >> you may have partially answer
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just one question, the u.s. has previously said that it would defend the u.s. trained rebels from attack, including from assad's forces. does that apply to the syrian-arab coalition or does that no longer apply to any of the rebels we are working with? my second question, on saturday's incident, with the russian air forces, did u.s. air forces change course as in previous incidents? col. warren: christina, i don't want to give you bad information on the collective self-defense piece. will -- our whole purpose of flying over syria is to strike isolate targets. -- isil targets.
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if those forces as we have already demonstrated were fighting al nusra, we supported their. assad regime forces -- i don't want to give you bad information. so i have to say that i don't know. i don't know what the policy is there. on the saturday incident, my understanding is nobody had to change course in that case. substantially. i think they just acknowledged visuals, called back. to my knowledge there has only ,een one incident, or one case or the coalition pilots changed course and decided to approach a bombing run from a different direction, simply because there were russian aircraft operating nearby.
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i think we do owe you an answer on the assad defense, so i will run that answer down here with the lawyers and try to get back to you on that one. >> [inaudible] a quick question on the russian cruise missiles last week. did you have any advance warning of the missile launch? if there was no formal notification from the russians, did you communicate to them the risk that may have been posed by the missiles? col. warren: we had no prior warning here. we did not communicate anything to the russians. i cannot speak for what happened in washington, only here. we here in a joint task force and baghdad did not have any
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indication with the russians. nor did we have any prior notification. i believe that the government of did has also indicated they not have prior indication. i have seen some reporting in the iraqi press that they were not notified either. of reckless and indiscriminate conduct by the russians. kurdish militia, the ypg, have announced they are forming a coalition with syrian arab groups. i would like to know if the group to which you sent ammunition as part of that coalition with of the ypg, and i would like to know if that

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