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tv   Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Women in Combat Roles  CSPAN  December 6, 2015 1:20pm-1:57pm EST

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unless we negotiate with them. look at it this way: if you add up all the countries that we do not have a trade agreement with, we have a big trade deficit in manufacturing. but here at of other countries that we do have a treaty agreement with, we have a surplus. before we sign up with any trade agreement, we have to make sure it is a fair deal. i am thinking of the transpacific partnership in particular. we have to engage, we have to lead. only an active forward leaving america can tear down barriers for our jobs. this is more than a negotiating strategy. it goes to the core of our philosophy. we believe in free enterprise. we believe that if you have a good idea, you should have a fair chance to make it happen. that means that americans should not have to wait to pay unnecessary costs or to wait just to get a permit.
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they should compete on a level playing field just like everybody out. when we do that, we will win. i don't know why we would not fight for every job that is out there. i don't know why we would accept or adopt other country's corporate welfare when we know that our system is better. there will not be a level playing field. there will not be free or fair trade unless we work for. china is out there everyday pushing for crony capitalism. their own version of corporate welfare. so it all comes down to this question: are we going to write the rules of the global economy, or is china? i would also say that uniting our friends behind the trade agreements will enhance our national security. but, of course, the biggest danger to our national security is much more straightforward. our adversaries are not respecting us. , too many people
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think a warning from the united states is a hollow protest of a has been. that has to change. you need to build a 21st-century military. [applause] we have to reform the pentagon so it can adapt to new threats. whether it is advanced missile defense or directed energy weapons. and there is no person better to lead that effort than the chairman of the house armed services committee. [applause] a strong america does not
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threaten the peace. a strong america is what protects the piece. and we need to act like it. isis is a threat. we need a strategy to defeat it. our friends are in battle. we need to give them our support. we need to strengthen both our economy and our military to show the world that freedom works. and when we do, the world will see a confident america once again. this is how i see the choice. now the country needs to see it. today, what i have done here is to lay out our principles. now, we, together, collaboratively, we need to turn them into policies. we are not going to solve all the country's problems next year. we need a new president. it is just that simple. but even if we cannot move mountains, we can make moves in the right direction.
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the cautious may wait for the opportunity, but the prudent will make their opportunity. issuesmake progress on where there is bipartisan agreement, like rebuilding our roads and bridges or bringing some certainty to the tax code. we don't have to compromise our principles to work with the other side. even a blind squirrel can find a nut every now and then. what it all comes down to is whether we conservatives have confidence in ourselves. do we really believe that our philosophy is true? we had the best ideas? if so, then i see absolutely no reason why we should not hold back. the left wants to make this a debate about personalities. they want to paint does as irresponsible. -- paint us as irresponsible. we all know what another progressive presidency will mean. just more of the same.
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so don't take the bait. don't play that game. don't give them a win by default. put together a positive agenda and take it to the american people. give the people of this country the choice that they have been yearning for. house cant year this say that we have done that, then we will have done our job. then the people will know that we stand for a more prosperous, a more secure, and, yes, a more confident america. and the rest? the rest -- the rest will be up to the people. as it should be. thank you very much. god bless you. thank you. [applause]
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[applause] [indistinct chatter] announcer: president obama speaks to the nation tonight about the ongoing investigation into last week's deadly shootings in san bernardino, california and the steps the u.s. is taking to counter terrorist threats.
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this will be the third oval office address of his presidency, and his first in more than five years. several presidential candidates spoke about some of the issues the president is likely to speak about on the sunday talk shows this morning. i would be very tough on families -- >> i would be very tough on families. i see everybody knew, so many people knew. they thought that this man and this woman, whether he was radicalized or how he became, they thought something was going on. why don't these people reported to the police? they said it was profiling. can you believe this? >> his sister said she didn't know what was going on. >> i probably don't believe this. >> so you would go after her? >> i would go after a lot of people and find out whether or not they knew. i would be able to find out.
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>> do you worry about creating more terrorists? >> know, we have to stop terrorists. the only way we are going to stop them, in my opinion, is that way. i can tell you this. they want their families left alone. we have to stop terrorism. >> you don't think there is a worry if you go too far that you and upgrading more terrorists? >> what is too far. they are killing people. whether it is what we just saw in california or paris, there are killing people, innocent people. get paris, no guns -- you look at paris, no guns, nothing. if i'm in there and i have a gun, we are going down shooting. >> can you say today we are winning the fight against isis? >> i can say today we have a new set of threats. if you go back and look where we were with al qaeda and 9/11, there is no doubt bin laden and his lieutenants were planning to carry out additional attacks if
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they possibly could. and they did in places like madrid, london, etc. so we have dealt with that threat. it doesn't go away. but we have dealt with it. now we have to turn our attention to the very sophisticated propagation of this new threat from isis. >> so we are not winning that battle yet? winning, but it is too soon to say we are doing everything we need to do. and i have outlined very clearly we have to fight them in the air , we had to fight them on the ground, and we have to fight them on the internet. and we had to do everything we can to protect ourselves. >> would you be announcing a new strategy? >> i think that is what we will hear from the president. an intensification of the existing strategy. if you look at the story about this woman, and maybe the man, too, who got radicalized, we are going to need help from facebook and from youtube and from twitter. they cannot permit the
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recruitment and the actual direction of attacks or the celebration of violence by this sophisticated internet user. they are going to help -- how to help us take down these announcements and these appeals. >> we have all of the capabilities to monitor people that are in our country trying to attack us trade i'm not suggesting -- that already exist. the director of the fbi has made it clear that there are hundreds of cases they are monitoring. and we should redouble our efforts in that regard. we don't have to target the religion, we have to target the ones who co-opted the religion. >> how about this issue of the no-fly list? should they be allowed to buy guns? >> you mean cat stevens and the journalist? this is not a listed can be certain of.
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what the first impulse in my mind is, let's have a strategy to take out isis there so we don't have to deal with it here. >> the fbi says terrorist suspects pledge allegiance to isis can still buy guns in america could is that ok -- in america. is that ok? >> if the fbi know someone is in our country and they are tracking them, they should not be able to get guns for sure. you can watch the president's address to the nation live tonight at 8:00 eastern right here on c-span. we will follow that with your calls and your reaction on facebook and twitter. announcer: monday night, terrorism and the use of social media. we will examine how social media is used by various terrorism
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groups to radicalize and recruit new members from around the world. we are joined by alberto fernandez, vice president of the middle east research institute, and mark wallace, ceo of the counterterrorism extremism progress -- project. world, if you the look at the production of media worldwide, if you look at hollywood, if you look at madison avenue, there is no doubt there is more of us than there is them, but if you look at the narrow space where people are searching for this type of stuff in this sub world, this theylture, in this niche radically outnumber everybody else. >> i think we are to have a robust discussion that these onpanies are now really
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platforms that are being abused. limit and denied the ability of terrorists to use these platforms. we need to have a discussion that at some point, do these platforms become material support for the terrorists? >> monday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. announcer: defense secretary ashton carter announced this past week that the military will open all combat positions to women. he told reporters the military will make no exceptions and that it will have the next 30 days to submit plans for the historic change. from the pentagon, this is 35 minutes.
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>> good afternoon. i would first like to offer my condolences to the families of in victims who were killed san bernardino, california. course,est priority, of is the protection of our people. areenforcement communities taking the lead on this, and they were able -- they will be able to provide more information on this as a becomes available to let me now turn to my statement. when i became secretary of defense, i made a commitment to building america's force of the future. the all volunteer military that will defend our nation for generations to come. like our outstanding force of today, our force of the future
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must continue to benefit from the best people america has to offer. in the 21st century, that requires drying strength from the broadest possible pool of talent. this includes women because they make over 50% of the american population. to succeed in our mission of national defense, we cannot afford to cut ourselves off from half the country's talent and skills. we have to take full advantage of every individual who can meet our standards. the defense department has increasingly done this in recent decades. example, opening up the military service academies to women. and in 1993, allowing women to fly fighter jets and serve on combat ships at sea. about the same time, though, dod also issued the direct ground combat definition and assignment role.
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which still prohibited women from being assigned to units whose primary mission was engaging and direct ground combat. that's rule was in turn rescinded in january 2013. when then secretary panetta directed all positions be opened to qualified women by january 1, 2016. that is, less than one month from today. while also giving the secretary of the army, the secretary of the navy, the secretary of the air force, and the commander of u.s. special operations command three years to request any exceptions. which would have to be reviewed first by the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and then approved by the secretary of defense. as many of you know, i was deputy secretary of defense at the time. that decision reflected, among other things, the fact that by
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that time the issue of women in combat per se was no longer a question. it was a reality. because women had seen combat throughout the wars in iraq and afghanistan. serving, fighting, and in some cases making the ultimate sacrifice alongside their fellow comrades in arms. we have made important strides over the last three years since then. we have seen women soldiers graduate from the army's ranger school, have women serving on submarines, and we have opened up over 111,000 positions to women across the services. while that represents real progress, it also means that approximately 10% of positions in the military, that is nearly 220,000, currently remain closed to women. including infantry, armor, reconnaissance, and some special operations units. the the last three years,
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senior of civilian and military leaders across the army, navy, air force, marine corps, and special operations command have been studying the integration of women into these positions. i received the recommendations. as well as the data, studies, and surveys on which they were based. regarding whether any of those remaining positions warned the continued exemption from being opened to women. i reviewed these inputs carefully, and today i am announcing my decision not to make continued exceptions. that is, to proceed with opening all these remaining occupations in positions to women. this will be no exceptions means that as long as they qualify -- there will be no exceptions. this means that as long as they qualify, women will be able to contribute to our mission.
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in ways they have not been able to do before. they will be able to serve as army rangers and green berets, navy seals, marine corps infantry, air force or jumpers, and everything else that was previously only open to men. and even more importantly, our military will be better able to harness the skills and perspectives that talented women have to offer. no exceptions was the recommendation of the secretary of the army, the secretary of the air force, and the secretary of the navy, as well as the chief of staff of the army, chief of staff of the air force, chief of naval operations, and the commander of the u.s. special operations command. while the marine corps asked for a partial exception in some areas, such as infantry, machine gunner, fire support, reconnaissance, and others, we are a joint force and i have decided to make a decision which applies to the entire force. let me explain how i came to
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this decision. first, i have been mindful of several key principles throughout this process. one is the mission effectiveness is most important. defending this country is our primary responsibility, and it cannot be copper mice. that means everyone who serves in uniform, men and women alike, has to be able to meet the high standards for whatever job they are in. to be sure, fairness is also important because everyone who is able and willing to serve their country who can meet those standards should have the full and equal opportunity to do so, but the important factor in making my decision was to have access to every american who could add strength to the joint force. now, more than ever, we cannot afford to have barriers limiting our access to talent. the past three years of extensive studies and reviews leading up to this decision, all of which we are going to post
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online, by the way, had led to genuine insight and real progress. were we found that some standards previously were either outdated or didn't reflect the tasks actually required in combat, important work has been done to ensure each position now has standards that are grounded in real-world operational requirements. both physical and otherwise. so we are positioned to be better at fighting not only finding not only the most qualified -- finding not only the most qualified women, that the most qualified man. and also, that any decision to integrate or not would have to be based on rigorous analysis of factual data. and that is exactly how we have conducted this review. it has been evidence-based. i am confident the defense department can implement it
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successfully because throughout our history we have consistently proven ourselves to be a learning organization. just look at the last decade and a half. we have seen this in war, where we adopted two counterinsurgency and counterterrorism missions in the wake of men 11. and in the wars in iraq and afghanistan. we have seen it technically, as new capabilities like unmanned systems and cyber capabilities have entered our inventory. and we also have seen it institutionally when we repealed don't ask don't tell. in every case, our people have mastered change exit lindsley. and have been able to do so because they leaders have taken care to implement change thoughtfully, always putting our mission and our people first. we will do the same today. as we integrate women into the remaining combat positions, we must keep in mind the welfare and total readiness of our entire force.
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and as we focus on the individual contributions that each service member makes, we also have to remember that the again, how we implement this is key. as chairman then for has noted -- dunford has noted, simply declaring all fields open is not successful integration. we must not only continue to implement change thoughtfully, but track and monitor our progress to ensure we are doing it right, leveraging the skills and strengths of our entire population. all of us have a role to play.
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as we proceed with full integration of women into combat roles in a deliberate and methodical manner, i am directing that seven guidelines be used to steer this implementation. first, implementation must be pursued with a clear objective of improved force effectiveness. leaders must emphasize that objective to all service members, men and women alike. second, leaders must assign tasks and jobs throughout the forest based on ability, not gender. advancement must be based on objectives and validated standards. socom example of this is selection processes. vegas physical standards. -- rigorous physical standards, also strong moral character, problem-solving skills,
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selflessness, maturity, and humility. the third guideline is for a variety of reasons equal opportunity likely will not mean equal participation. be no quotas or perception thereof. so we will work as a joint force to expertly manage the impacts of what studies -- the studies that have been done suggest may be small in numbers of women in these fields of fields that were previously closed. fourth, the studies conducted by the services indicate that there are physical and other differences on average between men and women. while this cannot be applied to every man or woman, it is real and must be taken into account in implementation. thus far, we have only seen small numbers of women qualified
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to meet our high physical standards and some of our -- in some of our most a manic specialties. and going forward, we should not be surprised at the small numbers are also reflected in areas like recruitment, voluntary assignment, retention, and advancement in some of the specific specialties. fifth, we will have to address the fact that some surveys suggest that some service members, both men and women, have a perception that integration would be pursued at the cost of combat effectiveness. survey data also suggests that women survey -- service members do not want integration to be based on any considerations other than the ability to perform and combat effectiveness. in both cases, based on the surveys, leaders have to be clear that mission effectiveness comes first. and i'm confident that given the strengths of our leaders throughout the ranks, over time these concerns will no longer be
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an issue. sixth, as i noted, both survey data and the judges of the leadership strongly indicates that particularly in the specialties that will be opened, the performance of small teams is important, even as individual performance is important. the seventh guideline has to do with international realities. while we know the united states is committed to using our entire population to the fullest, as are some of our closest friends and allies, we also know that not all nations share this perspective. our military has long covered this reality, notably over the last 15 years in iraq and also afghanistan. and will need to be prepared to do so going forward as it bears on the specialties that will be opened by this decision. with all these factors in mind, chairman dunford recommended
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that if we were to integrate women into combat positions, then implementation should be done in a combined matter by all the services working together. and i agree. and that will be my direction. accordingly, i'm directing all the military services to proceed to open all military occupational specialties two women 30 days -- to women 30 days from today. that is after a 30 day waiting period required by law, and to provide their updated limitation plans for implementing women into these positions are that date. deputy secretary of defense and the vice chairman of the chief of staff's will work with the services to oversee the short-term implementation of this decision, ensure there are no unintended consequences, and periodically update me and chairman dunford. conclude, it is important to keep this all in perspective. implementation will not happen overnight. and at the end of the day, this
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will make us a better and stronger force. they're still looking problems to fix and challenges to overcome. -- there will still be problems to fix and challenges to overcome. we should also remember the military has long prided itself where those who served are judged not based on who they are or where they come from, but whether what they have to offer to help defend this country. that is why we have the finest fighting force the world has ever known. and it is one other way we will strive to ensure that the force of the future remain so. long into the future. today, we take another step toward that continued excellence. thank you. now i will take your questions. >> mr. secretary, you mention the marine corps asked for a partial exception. the marine corps made a very vigorous and detailed case for keeping some combat positions open to men only paid in what
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ways -- open to men only. in what ways did you find that persuasive? find -- that did certain marine corps specialties remain closed to women. i reviewed that information and i looked at it carefully. i also heard from other leaders of other services who had studied similar issues in their own force. the recommendations of the other service secretaries and service chiefs. and i came to a different conclusion in respect to the specialties in the marine corps. where are strongly agreed with is twochairman dunford very important points. i noted them in here.
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the first is that the key here is going to be implementation. and i viewed the issues that were raised by all the services, by the way, in varying degrees and, obviously, by the marine corps, that we needed to take the seriously and address them. i believe that the issues raised, including by the marine corps, could be addressed successfully in implementation. and second, that there was great value in having a joint, or combined, approach to implementation. that is why i have decided to have no exceptions in any service. and to have them all working together on implementation. >> just a quick follow-up. you said it came to a different conclusion, obviously. i was asking what about the argument you found lacking. mr. carter: because i believe that we could, in implementation, address the issues that were raised. >> two things, sir.
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since you opened up -- referencing san bernardino and you said you are monitoring it closely, could you share with the american people and with troops your concerns? what are you monitoring? what concerns you about this incident? what is your assessment of the potential growing issue of seeing acts of potentially terrorist inspired violence in this country? what does that raise for you? and on this issue that you are discussing here today, can you tell us why general dunford is not here? mr. carter: sure. on the question of san bernardino, barbara, the law enforcement community is investigating what happened. i am not going to speculate on what happened. to your general question, protecting our people is our most important mission. but we don't know what the causes are of the san bernardino
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strategy -- tragedy. and law enforcement will get to the bottom of that. >> the broader issue we have seen so many times, though, you the other day on capitol hill referenced chattanooga and you have raised this issue in the past. so i'm wondering what your latest assessment is of how much it worries you. mr. carter: again, we don't know the reasons behind this particular shooting, but the protection of our people, including our service people, and concern about radicalization, including of american citizens living in america in the manner that we saw in chattanooga is an enormous concern and yet another reason why isil needs to be fought and defeated in its heartland of syria and iraq. but it is a global campaign, including one that involves law
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enforcement, homeland security, intelligence, and other elements right here at home. we need to protect our people in that world. >> and why is general dunford not here? mr. carter: well, i'm announcing my decision. i was the one who took this decision. i'm announcing my decision. i should say -- you are going to have an opportunity to talk to general dunford. i have talked to him extensively about the subject. he is very knowledgeable about it. he will be with me as we proceed with implementation. theave taken parts of his -- conclusions huge room. others drew different conclusions, including myself. and that is the direction we have taken. >> mr. secretary, does this decision now lead to a greater debate about whether women need to register for selective service? mr. carter: it may do that, fill.
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-- phil. that is a matter of legal dispute right now, so i cannot -- i don't know how that will turn out. the -- the, the -- legal -- that legal determination want to affect what i announced today, that is our timetable for the implementation have announced today. unfortunately, it is subject to -- to litigation. jennifer? >> the three women who made it through the rangers school, will they now be welcomed into the ranger regiment? will they become a part of the regiment? mr. carter: those positions will now be available to women. once again, just to remind you, people have to qualify for positions. positions have to be open. so there is a lot that goes into it. but those positions will now be
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open to them, yes. >> and secondly, can we assume you found the marine corps study, which concluded that mixed gender units are not as capable as male units, to be flawed? mr. carter: it just is not definitive. not determinative. there are other issues other thosethe -- those -- studies are reflective of something nice. -- of something i spoke of, which is teams do matter, and we need to take that into account. at the same time, the andviduals' capabilities the capabilities of the individual to contribute are extremely important. on average -- and i said this very directly -- many women will have different physical capabilities. the data show that clearly. and that is on average. so there will be women who can meet the physical


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