Skip to main content

tv   Hearing on Afghan Security Forces  CSPAN  February 15, 2016 4:03am-5:19am EST

4:03 am
frenchman out of every five. to ears ago, 75 years ago be precise, millions of refugees were streaming not into europe, but out of europe. seeking refuge from a confrontation with fascism that would climb max in unprecedented savagery and the holocaust. 50 years ago, half of europe lived behind the iron curtain. a quarter of a century ago, europe was witness to a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing that would rage for years. my friends, we cannot come to munich to a security conference and ignore the underlying message of this history. this moment is not as overwhelming as people think it is. we know what needs to be done and most importantly we have the power to do it. the transatlantic community is not strong because we have somehow been exempt from
4:04 am
tragedy or strife. we're strong because we are resilient. because in a decade after decade we have stood together to defend our security, our prosperity, our values. and because we have resisted attempt after attempt to divide and make us turn on one another, and above all we are strong because of the core beliefs that hold us together. we need to heed the advice of president kennedy on his trip to berlin, the year of this munich security conference began. lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, he said, to the hopes of tomorrow. and if we do that, if we remember the values at the heart of our partnership, if we take the lessons of history that we have been able to accomplish and what this incredible alliance means, i have absolutely no doubt whatsoever we're going to get this right, we're going to get through this moment, and we're
4:05 am
going to build the prosperity and the security and the stability that every single one of us wants. we are going to do just fine. thank you. [applause]
4:06 am
it was incredible to me that we had forgotten this bitter lesson so soon that we were on the verge of making that same tragic error. well, general, as far as you know, are the conditions in indo china any different today than they were at that time? >> we'll also hear from special consultant to the president. for the complete schedule go to -span.org. >> on friday pentagon officials gave congress an update at a house hearing. veral defense officials gave
4:07 am
status report. this is an hour and 45 minutes. . >> welcome. . i am delighted to convene this hearing. this is a very important topic and one i know ranking member speier finds concern. i know the gentlemen from north carolina, mr. jones, is attending the hearing with us today and i unanimous consent mr. jones and any other members not assigned to the committee be allowed to participate with the understanding that all members sitting on the subcommittee will ask questions first. without objection so ordered. the oversight began last week with the foundational testimony that general campbell laid out testifying about the evolving security situation in afghanistan and the policy,
4:08 am
strategy, and posture required from our nation in order to develop, sustain, and support the people and unity government of afghanistan well into the future. the goal of our hearing is to learn about and assess the department's efforts to train, advise and assist the afghanistan security forces as we strive to build a capable and lethal force. they need to maintain soverei sovereignty and keep their populati population. it must also deny terrorist safehavens. the subcommittee understand the afghanistan security forces are still in the nation stages of becoming a professionalized, self sustaining and capable institution. but there are shortfalls in
4:09 am
functions hendering the goals. the afghanistan forces don't have enough airplanes or helicopters. there has been improvement but the ability to collect and dissiminate ample intelligence is lacking as is the ability to maintain and count for equipment. even the bread and butter issues like pay, leave and medical services for afghanistan forces need attention. according to last week's testimonys these challenges are com pounded by the fact that 70 of the problems facing security forces result within poor leadership within the defense and interior. the taliban are embolded and other networks sponsor terrorist attacks and there is a growing islamic state presence in afghanistan. thus it is essential that we ensure the afghanistan security forcess are properly positioned on the path to success. however i am concerned the
4:10 am
president's current budget request is $200 million less than last year's amount and the administration plans to withdraw forces down to 5, 500 beginning as soon as april this year. we must not prematurely back out of the commitment of assistance. all we have to do is look at iraq and how that turned out. the material and support is something the american people can assist with, having the heart and willingness to fight is something the afghan people must offer. it was suggested the u.s. should institute a five-year planning cycle for at a region instead of the one year at a time approach that fosters insecurity and unstableness. the sustained engagement in
4:11 am
afghanistan will continue through 2024. the partnership agreement signed by the government of afghanistan and the united states. we must insure there are appropriate mechanisms and structures in place that provide for effective insight in order to oversee, account for and safeguard the security assistance the u.s. and our international partners are contributing to the afghan. we need to limit as much as possible opportunities and operations that would encourage or enable individuals to exploit or conduct any fraud, waste or abuse activities. activities of this nature can undercut the trust of the american people, impede moral of the troops and fuel the sceptism we don't have use of our resources. i look forward to hearing from
4:12 am
those who conducted their own services. i turn to the subcommittee ranking member before we turn to our guest for any remarks she wishes to make. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you for joining me for this hearing. i want to thank our witnesses for appearing today. our troops are in afghanistan for performing an important mission which includes training, advising and equip the afghanistan forces so they can sustain themselves against groups such as the taliban. i am concerned our strategy has not yield the positive results that would inspire confidence that the afghan security forces can go it alone any time in the foreseeable future which leads to the obvious question: will we ever leave? can we ever leave?
4:13 am
i am not convinced our existing plan is one we can take to the american people and insure them our presence is worth the cost in money and in lives. by many accounts, 2015 was the worst year for security and stability in afghanistan. 2015 was the first year the afghan forces took the lead meaning some level of instability was expected but it was alarming none the less. i am not convinced that 2016 will be any better. is there a clear strategy to support our troops or accomplish our goals? are we just moving chess pieces around the board because we are forced to make a move? underpinning these concerns i don't feel we have addressing the fundamental challenges. corruption, weak afghan leadership, and a tenacious insurgency that seems to only be
4:14 am
getting stronger. undermining our efforts there i would like to know how these issues get resolved in a way that would lead us to a timely manner without creating a security vacuum. the question is do we ever leave? the american public has a right to know. congress needs high quality information to understand the situation we are confronting and effective oversight is essential to our ability to understand these issues. some might argue this is one of the world's greatest producers of sheep. i want to make sure we are not getting the wool pulled over our eyes. we need to make sure the information we are receiving reliable. we are asking the right questions, and able to travel the country to assess the conditions. here are some bedrock issues that require more clarity. we need to know how the afghan progress is being measured, what
4:15 am
we learned from the challenges of the last year, and how daft capabilities will be addressed going forward? are the afghan forces on a positive trajectory for meeting and sustaining their capability objective? it is apparent our assistance is needed to build and sustain institutions and they need an airforce and sound operational planning. it was reported that military advisors are being sent to southern afghanistan to give additional support to the avgins in that region. in sort the afghans are not ready to secure their own country without assistance from the u.s. and our coalition partners. if recent experience is any indication it could be years until they are. we need to be clear eyed and better if formed about the
4:16 am
afghan security capabilities to prevent extremist from using afghanistan as a safe haven to threaten the united states. we need clear for inviting be t
4:17 am
discuss the department of defense efforts to develop the andsf. i am honored to update you from the joint chief staff, the office of the dod inspector
4:18 am
general and the special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction. all of the witnesses before you today take very seriously our responsibility to insure that u.s. personal in afghanistan have the resources, authorities, and guidance they need to accomplish their mission. i would also like to acknowledge the 20,236 u.s. service members who lost their lives serving in afghanistan, the 20, 115 military personal who have been wounded in that country and the thousands of families who have also sacrificed for this important mission. their efforts represent a strategically significant contribution to the security of our homeland. within the department of defense my office provides policy guidance for and oversight of the mission in afghanistan including dod-funded security assistance. we have daily contacts with key personal in theater at the
4:19 am
combined security transition assistance command afghanistan which has primary responsibility for the execution of the dod-security mission. we also work closely within other offices within the dod, the intelligence community, and there department of state has we continually assess our status in afghanistan. my office supports the efforts of the dod ig and those of cigar to make sure they the requirements to secure the requirements. our priority is to prevent afghanistan from becoming a safe haven where attacks against the homeland can be planned. in pursuit of this objective we are conducting two complimentary missions. the counter terrorism mission against the remnants of al-qaeda and other extremist groups such as the islamic state. and the nato-led trained advise
4:20 am
and assistance program known as resolute support. president obama announced we would retain up to 9800 afghanistan personal throughout most of 2016 drawing down to the 5500 personal by january of 2017. importantly this presence will thought just be based in kabul but other locations. this decision provides u.s. forces with sufficient capabilities to develop the afghan capacity and key capabilities in aviation, intelligence, special operations, logistics, and maintenance. this presence will allow the united states to pursue counterterrorism targets and assist us in further developing
4:21 am
the counter terrorism capabilities that are crucial. the international community is critical to sustaining our efforts. congressional appropriations fund have been to the development of the afghan security forces responsible for developing afghanistan. our focus is on making sure they can counter and degrade the taliban and establish a baseline level of security that benefits the afghan people but also the international community. for more than a year, the mission of providing security for all of afghanistan has been the sole responsibility of the afghan government. while the security situation is fragile and forces will require u.s. coalition and assistance for many years we have witnessed important progress in their development over the years. as general campbell noted last
4:22 am
week, they dem stran -- demonstrated wide scale attack and when insurgeants tried to take areas they were able to rally and recapture the areas. our mission is focused on helping the afghans overcome the significant challenges left. even in the midst of fighting the war, we continue to develop our capacity to manage complex task such as budgeting, personal management and key gaps in aviation and intelligence. u.s. taxpayers have been generous and patient with the andsf development and it is our responsible to review how best and most efficiently we can assist our afghanistan partners. fighting the balance of effectiveness and affordability
4:23 am
is the key effort of this department. i would like to highlight a few areas why think progress is being made. first we continue to focus on the development of the aviation capabilities including by addressing their critical support means as well as their long term lift requirements. this is very complex and represents a significant proportion of our assessment going forward. in 2016, the afghan airial fire capable doubles. we are spending a significant amount on ground equipment and we feel significant numbers of vehicles will improve combat survivability. third, afghan security ministry pay and personal expenses are a major cost driver. about 20% of the roughly $5
4:24 am
billion total cost are the majority of the cost for the afghan government. we have been working with their security ministries to develop an integrated pay and personal system that will insure we can verify we are paying the right people for the right job. and finally corruption is a critical issue. procurement reform has been made. after we helped him identify corruption in fuel contracting processes he fired those responsible and now new contracts are in place. he also pulled up responsibility for precurement for a national level of authority demonstrating the seriousness he takes these issues. in each of these areas, did, ig and others have helped preserve taxpayers money and insure our goals. in closing, i want to thank the
4:25 am
subcommittee for the opportunity to discuss the efforts of developing this project and doing it so financially. the afghanistan government will continue to rely on funds from the taxpayers. we are in the process of working with allies and international partners to fund international commitment through 2020 and look forward to working with congress to insure effective oversight to achieve our objectives in afghanistan. thank you. >> thank you. colonel michael? >> chair hartzler, ranking member speier, i am grateful for this opportunity to talk to yourselves in this subcommittee and provide you with information on the andsf. i would ask you to submit my full speech to the record and i will focus on key points. the first bit is talking about the chairman's perspective.
4:26 am
as the chairman looks at afghanistan he looks through a couple lens. afghanistan is important because it intersects our interest and nothing that iminates in afghanistan threatens the home is one of his primary views of the chairman. the second, anderssf and its efficiency. do they want this more than we do? do they understand they serve the people? they serve the government? they understand that you cannot harm the people whom you have trying to protect? do they understand how to lead, you know, how to lead in a force? so the resilience and the ability to fight back in
4:27 am
adversity and the ability to lead at the appropriate level, the ability to make the right decisions, those are all critical. he assesses whether he should be committed to afghanistan or not. those are the questions consistently asked of us. the second bid the chairman looks at is the viability of the government. the military mission sensed the conditions for everything else. all we do is show the conditions for the whole government pieces to work. from the chairman's perspective, understanding whether the government is viable or not, or are they corrupt, is this a government the people believe in, those are all of the questions he consistently asks himself to inform his best military advise. his current assessment is the andsf is resilient and this is a
4:28 am
force we should partner with. as we look at afghanistan and the region the cham chairman's assessment is a stable afghanistan meets and supports our interest and a stable afghanistan lends stability in the region. as you look at the andsf development, beginning in 2013. our australian is focus on the tactical fight. we are focused on the thinks that are guaranteeing long-term stability and long-term viability to force. do they have the ability to man, train, equip and field a professional force? do they have the ability to
4:29 am
sutain that force? direct that force in the counter insurgency fight? if tactical fights, they own it. this has been a contested year. the biggest difference is they are operating in areas that the coalition have been operating in. they are fighting all across the country. across the board they are doing well. they are getting their nose bloody but doing a great job securing afghanistan. as we look at it across the border we can say most of the major population centers are controlled and secured by the andsf and some rural areas are controlled by the taliban and insurgeon insurgeoncy -- insurgency. of the 8-12 districts we can say are under our control. and 18 of those are 4% under the influence of the taliban.
4:30 am
this year has also seen an increased month of casualities in the andsf. as we look at the numbers it is probably about a 26% increase. much of that is felt by the police. and also if you look at numbers, most of the increases came and some of their directed, multi core operations, much of it down in the south, their operations in hemlin, and multi cooperation further to the north and then in the east and also centrally in support of securing the capital in kabul. the impact of the operations is there is an increased amount of deaths.
4:31 am
the taliban has sustained their highest deaths since 2011 and at a rate two times of the andsf. our assessment is they own the tactical fight. our job is to support and enable them for the tactical fight. we have to focus on the pieces that will sutain us along-term: their leadership, their ability to man, field, equip and direct the force, the gaps you highlighted, isr, and things that are essential to keeping this force viable in the long term. as we look at the fighting season, disregard that. we have a dual focus. train, advise and assist. and our countertrim mission.
4:32 am
both of those are tied to our interest. trimming the force and making sure it can secure afghanistan is critical to securing our interest. and secondly the counterterrorism mission gives us the ability to do things that the afghanistan force doesn't have the capability or the resources to do or things we see that directly impact our interest. as we look at the long-term and you know, president made the decision about 5000 footprint going forward and that decision was informed, you know, by the best military advise of the military of the cent com commander in the field. that mission, and the critical thing about that mission is one of the first times the decision was made to where it was really not necessarily tied to a time frame. it is an enduring mission and
4:33 am
tied for an enduring partnership with afghanistan and covers and addresses our strategic in the in the region. additionally, we are going through a transition in afghanistan. general nickelson was confirmed by the senate and over the next period of months we will transition into the afghanistan. as he said in his testimony as he comes in he will do an assessment and based on his assessment we will recommend his best military advise. and the outgoing chairman, general dempsey, has access and influence and his ability to present his best military advise to the secretary of defense and the president. the transition leadership, if general nicholson has ad monopoly -- adjustments to be
4:34 am
made he's got the latitude to bring it forward. >> thank you. mr. breedlove? >> my comments this morning will be brief and build upon my written statements and the previous opening statements from my colleagues. afghanistan continues to face a diverse collective of threats from insurgeant groups to extremist networks and terrorist groups to narco criminals. this includes familiars we are familiar with as well as the emergence of groups like the iks and al-qaeda in the indian subc subcontenent. they pose a threat to afghanistan positive stability and jgeneral stability in the
4:35 am
region. they range from drug trafficking to attacks in high traffic areas of road network that result in high afghanistan deaths. rural areas of afghanistan and the afghanistan-pakistan border regions are a sanctuary for the groups. in the first fighting season an against afghanistan-led encounter insurgency the taliban leaders are resilient. fighter has been continuous since last february resulting in increase deaths among afghanistan security forces and insurgeants themselves. they continue to conduct attacked. the high profile attacks achieve
4:36 am
one of the taliban's objectives of garnering media attention and creating insecurity in the afghanistan government ability to provide security. following pakistani operations last year many added fighters to include the ones displaced. they focus on survival, regeneration and planning future attacks. the organization has a sustained presence in afghanistan primarily focused in the east and northeast of the country. of the groups involved in taliban-led insurgency the con is the greatest threat particular with the demonstrated capacity and intent to launch the widescale attacks across the country. the leader of the network said elevation is a new deputy for the taliban leader has further
4:37 am
strengthened the network's role in the insurgency. over the past year, the taliban-led in surgency retained determined. these attacks range from small checkpoint overruns to the capture of a city. their efforts forced afghan security forcess into a reactive rather than proactive response. the announcement of former leader omar's death last july and the secession of the new leader led to the emergence of a taliban opposition faction in late 2015. supporters and the opposition are ongoing and the taliban
4:38 am
faced competition from the emergence of the isk. while the insurgency mounted larger attacks they were outmatched when engaged with afghan security forces. they could not capture or defend key targets they may have captured and unable to hold the areas of terrain for a significant period of time. they also suffered higher levels of reported casualties. we expect they will attempt to surround and exploit vulnerabilities with massive attacks at checkpoints and district centers primary in rural areas. and halt ground communication
4:39 am
ahead of the attacks. they will seek to continue high profile attacks against government and civilian targets in key populated areas like kabul. >> thank you, mr. breedlove. >> chairman hartzler, ranging member speier, and the members of the subcommittee. i am pleased to discuss andsf. we have produced a substantial body of work over the past eight years and have more work in progress. in addition to audits, investigation and special reports we report a quarterly report that is the most comprehensive detailed source of information on andsf
4:40 am
specifically and afghanistan reconstruction in general. to conduct this work, enjoys direct oversight with the afghanistan government and the personal support of the president and ceo who i meet with on a regular bases. afghanistan is one of the most difficult places to work in the world and do business. the dangers there are very real. our military, civilians and contractors, we cannot forget the contractors, have accomplished so much over the past 14 plus years that it is impossible not to be proud and humbled by their efforts and great sacrifice. nevertheless, based on our work,
4:41 am
we see five major challenges that could have a significant affect on whether the united states is able to achieve its strategic objectives in afghanistan. we believe that have five questions provoked by these challenges should be at the center of yours and other policymakers' discussions. the first challenge is the draw down of troops has imperiled the u.s. ability to monitor and mentor the andsf. u.s. military advisors and coalition partners now have little or no direct contact with andsf units below the army core and regional police head quarters level. this provokes the obvious question: is the current level of u.s. military personal in afghanistan adequate to insure
4:42 am
that the andsf do not fail in their mission? the second question: the reported strength of the andsf is questionable. the u.s. now has no option but to reply on the afghans to report on the number of troops and police in the field. yet sigar audits show record keeping by the afghans in the field is poor or non-existent. we continue to see repeated reports of ghost soldiers, ghost police, as well as ghost teachers, ghost schools, and ghost clinics throughout afghanistan. these are even reported by the afghanistan leadership. this leads to the next question: does the united states have an adequate understanding of the number of andsf troops and police? thirdly, assessments of the andsf capability and
4:43 am
effectiveness have never been reliable and appear to be getting worse. sigar audits show that over time u.s.-capabilities ratings of afghan military units have become progressively less demanding and more vague. for example, only a few years ago the top rating was fully capable and was later changed to quote effective with ambassadors. it has now declined to quote independent with advisors. the latter being something of a head scratching oxymoron. this leads to the third question: does the u.s. have a realistic understanding of the andsf's real capabilities? forthly, the afghan ministries of defense and interior obviously lack there capability to count for onbudg pbudget
4:44 am
assistance and this is important because since 20 10 our government and our allies increased the level of direct on budget funding. sigar's work uncovered several cases where the moi were incapable of managing on budget assistance. there question therefore is if mod and moi lack the capability to manage on budget assistance do they need to resume more control or more a assistance to the andsf. lastly, a year after the coalition draw down the andsf is still far from being sustainable. that is our goal; sustainability. the afghan government simply
4:45 am
doesn't generate enough revenue to sustain the andsf or the rest of their government. now or at any time in the foreseeable future. at the same time, sigar's work reveals the accountability for funding is lacking in many areas. this leads us to the last question: is the u.s. government conducting adequate oversight and management of the billons promised in the future to fond the andsf? in recent testimony just this week before the u.s. senate the director of the national intelligence predicted that quote fighting in 2016 will be more intense than 2015. continuing a decade long trend of deterioting security. he went on to say that the andsf
4:46 am
will quote proper maintain control of major population centers however it will cede control of various rural areas. he ended by saying without international funding, the andsf will probably not remain a cohesive or viable force unquote. now i think his statement highlights the importance of honestly answering these five questions and taking realistic action accordingingly. thank you very much. i look forward to answer your questions >> votes are being carried out right now. we have 11 minutes left. i am feeling like we probably ought to suspend the hearing at this point and go vote. supposed to take about 40 minutes. and then come back and reconvene
4:47 am
for your testimony and question mr. child. i apologize for the delay but look forward to hearing from you and thank you for understanding. >> thank you very much for your patience and waiting for us to get done with the vote. mr. child, let's hear your testimony. >> thank you. chair woman hartzler, ranking member speier, distinguished members of the subcommittee,
4:48 am
thank you for the opportunity to discuss capability gaps in the afghan national security forces. as the deputy inspector general for overseas contingency operations i manage the dod oversight for operation freedom sentinel in afghanistan. as the chair of the interagency southwest asia joint planning group i helped coordinate oversight over the several inspector generals in afghanistan. i serve a similar role for operation inherent resolve. the iraq-syria counter isil mission. i describe my role in more detail in my written state. regarding afghanistan security forces my observations are based on oversight and recent published reports. we view this as two fold. balancing the requirements to provide near term fighting capability against a longer term
4:49 am
need to build the afghan's capacity to sustain their fighting forces. in building effective national institutions shortcomings in afghan sustaining capacity are a recurrent them into the oversight work and i would like to highlight three examples. supply and maintenance, property accou accountability and key commodities. for many years, u.s. and nato partners emphcized growing the operation and pushed supplies to the afghanistan units rather than requiring units to pull supplies based on need and validated requirements. the result is the afghans have little experience are demand-driven support system. a recent asis -- assessment found the afghanistan forces
4:50 am
were unable to properly forecast their requirements. we reported in 2015 that the ministry of defense and interior didn't have the ability to control the vehicles secured by the u.s. and coalition partners. the long-term solution should be the implementation of a strategy to place officials to maintain equipment and train afghans to conduct their own maintenance with a goal of achieving full afghanistan responsibility for maintenance in 2021. in april of 2015, we found a lack of adequate internal controls to manage fuel and ammunition. we reported deficiency in control regarding fuel for the inte interior ministry. we found there was no reasonable
4:51 am
assistance that all u.s. funded fuel valued at $38 million was used for its intended purpose. future dod ig work in 2016 will include assessments of u.s. efforts to build an independent afghanistan security forcess and intelligence capabilities. we will soon evaluate the progress of u.s. special operation forces in training, advising, and assisting the afghan security forces. we will send a team of intelligence specialist to assess progress this month in developing effective afghan intelligence operations. looking forward my office is engaged in a review of current programs and operations to identify future oversight work as lead inspector general for operation freedom sentinel. as you recall congress created
4:52 am
the call for overseas operations in the 2015 national defense authorization act. the ig's of the department of defense, department of state, and united states state agency for international development execute the lead ig plan mandate which was enacted to improve all of government oversight and contingency operations. we appreciate the support of this committee, subcommittee, as we discharge our oversight responsibilities and i look forward to your questions. thank you. >> thank you, mr. child. to start the questions, mr. abizaid, i was wondering what is the rational for beginning to draw down before the upcoming summer fighting season and before a new u.s. administration has an opportunity to conduct its own assessment of the mission and needed troop levels? >> so my understanding of the draw down timeline is not that it will begin in the summer of
4:53 am
2016. the president has directed that general campbell try to keep at the 9800 level through as much of 2016 as possible so we can do in the train, advise and assist commission and the ct commission to get the most out of what week. the rational for the draw down to the 5500 is about how we set ourselves up for a future sustainable presence in the country at key locations outside of kabul. the fact we will maintain facilities in other areas are key differences between the plan that was originally approved and the one that president obama revised and i think that provide us the kind of flexibility we need to adjust the mission accordingly. >> very good. thank you, colonel michael,
4:54 am
afghanistan security forces have capability gaps and these include the essential foundational activities that professional millitaries need in order to be efficient, effective and lethal. what limiting factors are precluding the andsf from sufficiently and effectively establishing these capabilities? >> ma'am, i would say there is not anything specifically -- i would not say there is anything specifically that is limiting them. this capability just takes time. first there is time and depth of the material and time and training. as we look specifically at the past, we are feeling the a-29. there is four platforms in the country and four more will there by april. there is a total of eight more that will show up after that. so part of it is securing the
4:55 am
equipment on time and the other part is training that capability, developing pilots is something that takes, you know, it takes a lot of specificity and time. >> how will the development of these capabilities be affected by the upcoming draw down to 5500 u.s. troops? >> ma'am, the 5500 also has the capacity to maintain, train, advise and assist the afghanistan air force and in addition we are focused on train, advise and assistance to the security forces. >> mr. breedlove, in your professional opinion, how did you believe the afghan taliban would react if the forces were able to target the afghan taliban directly as part of the
4:56 am
counterterrorism mission and outside of the current policy in only extremist type situations? >> i think the best way i would rephrase is it we have seen how the insurge and particularly the talibans react when we had u.s. coalition agents in the fight backed up by their own air support and we saw adjustments with how they approach their tactics. with your specific question, i don't think we would see much change as far as the fight on the ground. i think the fighters on the ground will adjust. they are an adaptable enemy. they will adjust to their environment. as we saw this year and same as we saw them adjust when u.s. combat forces were more
4:57 am
aggressive than previous years. it doesn't stop them from fighting. at best we may see hesitation among some operations. we may see changes in how they maneuver but i think at a tactical level that would bow the most we were expecting to see. at a senior level, i don't think it would have much impact. most of the senior leaders are not in the country anyway. >> would direct targeting bring them to the table quicker and provide additional breathing room to the andsf and the afghan government? >> in my opinion, that could be a factor, one of many tools that could be applied. but in and of itself i don't think that is enough. it would have to be one of many tools to help change their belief that they still have the time to win this fight. >> thank you.
4:58 am
and has the department of defense made adequate progress in establishing oversight and accountability mechanisms within its command governance to minimize opportunities or identify quickly if they occur fraud, waste and abuse activities that have plagued certain aspects of the departme department's execution over the years? >> very briefly, no. partly because they don't have the resources for doing so. i think i note in my longer statement, which i offered to be made part of the record, that we have even noted some of the task forces set-up to fight corruption have had to be abolished because there are no resources so i would say no. >> mr. child?
4:59 am
>> i believe from our oversight is they have established systems but the problem is implementing fully the systems. i would offer three examples. they have begun the process of moving the afghans to electronic pay and information system. they have, the department, improved the process for identifying, training the proper both military and civilian advisors to conduct the train, advise and assist. and they have increased the enforcement of the commitment lede letters. but again i would not say that they have adequately progressed in that. this is part of a process. i think there are also co complicating factors that are important to consider.
5:00 am
you have illiteracy and general campbell said 70% of the problems he saw was based on leadership, both selecting and relieving commanders and senior leaders is based on these factors rather than compensation. and i don't think we have the stability of the advisors because the tours are nine months to a year. the contractor force is the institutional memory in afghanistan and that is a challenge. and finally as mr. sop pointed out the insecurity of afghanistan to have both the department and oversight agencies checked, kicked the tires, beat down the range properly, at the proper level to check, we really are dependent
5:01 am
on the afghans and their reporting. without i without implementing those systems where we can better defect where the money is used there is not adequate progress. but i do believe systems have been identified and probably put in place and will provide that progress. >> thank you. ranking member speier, questions? >> thank you. i want to apologize to all of the witnesses. many of the members who were here earlier wanted to be able to stay but because this is a get away day people schedule for such they have to make planes. i think this hearing is so important it should be held as a full committee hearing. we are spending so much money in afghanistan. from the testimony we have heard today, there is virtually no accountability. but let's get through a couple of the points that you have
5:02 am
made. colonel michael, you said in your statement significant long-term capability gaps remain in the areas of andsf leadership. rotary wing aviation, intelligence collection and dissimination, closed air. that is a significant indictment. if it is not improved in 2016 what are you going to do differently or recommend be done differently? >> the key thing to highlight is that it is a process. we talk about there is capability gaps in leadership. but it is something that is being developed over time both at the tactical level and the co level. the main thing to reinforce is we have been building this force since 2009. when we started this, this was
5:03 am
the american fight. we were in the lead. pulling -- >> i know all of that. the question is we have been there for a very long time now. at some point, if we don't put conditions on money coming in the spigot always being turned off, and never being turned off, then we are not going to get the kind of results we are looking for. if you don't develop a plan, and specific expectations that will take place in 2016, we will be there indefinitely with no success and with the american people literally pulling out their hair saying what are we doing here. >> i don't think your answer frankly is adequate. let me and all of there others of you. if 2016 is as bad as 2015 what
5:04 am
would you recommend be done differently? >> i would start with saying the capability gap you identified are the capability gaps that are among the most sophisticated aspect of the force we are still trying to build. ...
5:05 am
>> >> which is part of how we got to the drawdown and we are planning now the 38,000 - - 3,000 but they assume full responsibility for the security environment in 2015 and despite very real challenges that we anticipated as expected. the drawdown at 5500 does anticipate those gaps will read that we can make up those gaps over time. i do not they did is indefinite investment. >> what should we do differently?
5:06 am
>> i think 2016 will be as bad and i support the a judgment ahead of the national intelligence. >> i have four suggestions. number one fully support to ensure that general nicholson has the resources to combat that very day assessment. and what his needs are to bring him back and explain to this committee for what those needs are. for an end to see what is going on. this congress should require the department of state for
5:07 am
those that iraq and stack their programs for what succeeded in what has and. inquiry paying for those programs? they have never really done that. with the state department in secretary of defense. is to ask them to raki and stacked all programs at a minimum just give me some of the success stories and why and they cannot do it. all i got back was balloons and kites is happy talk. we're happy -- helping the military. great. what program? if your budget -- budget is so limited you can find everything beloved type and security which is the most important?
5:08 am
i with the status of the congress needs to do. they have to come up with real measurements of success. to spend that appropriation amassing real measurements of success. with a radiance state that is something they should hold their feet to the fire. >> i cannot argue especially in terms of agencies but that is beyond my expertise of the oversight organization to address the achsah policy with a policy is decided and objectives are declared to see how that is implemented.
5:09 am
to provide the general the opportunity after his assessment to be clear what he thinks to do his job in likewise it is important to discharge responsibilities. then they may change the policy in when they do is my job to see how that is implemented. >> there were two issues brought up this morning. that i would take we should get a handle. money being spent on fuel to afghanistan to testify there is no accountability.
5:10 am
to be sold on the black market is that effective? >> to be precise there is a reasonable assurance that it was used for the proper purpose. we could not pin down more precisely to have direct funding is that will address some portion of the concern paying for troops that are not there. >> so those that are in provinces that we don't time the ability to send personnel to audit would suggest we have no way of knowing. is it if they are found shooting as members of the ascii and armed services?
5:11 am
>> it is certainly the fact there are troops because it has been a tough year in they were able to hold their own. but how all the others are we paying for? is we have established as a mechanism to redress. >> i feed my colleague mentioned we have a program now there're but it hasn't been implemented. to mention in the statement that is supposed to have all
5:12 am
the great data and could not give a said the users. so we are relying on the afghans who have the incentive to lie because they can collect the money to fill in in the data we don't have the people of the ground. with fellow lovell of the core from the brigade is we have no visibility. so at the core level at looks good to go over to the pentagon to understated what is going space in afghanistan. that is the parent problem. the matter how the mighty systems it is garbage did in
5:13 am
in the garbage out. particularly in the country where there is no incentive but my concern is we saw were there are paper divisions and apparently if you listen to the afghan officials to explain the problem. and how many of those are just paper? >> we pay for the salaries of each and every afghan soldier. correct? >> we and our allies. we pay the bulk of that. >> i have many questions i will yield back. >>.
5:14 am
>> we are in discussing a forget decision today but little whole region of the world with the situation of the trans regional threat hallowed do you assess that region as a whole right now? >> el level is very high. so has the president's forces with the breeze above assessment indicated target
5:15 am
them. to be sure we akkad that ability wherever they show up. >> today we talk about the individual country but it is a regional issue looking at the spectrum from what i understand libya is worse than syria but there isn't as much as reporting because the press cannot get there. it cannot be over exaggerated. with the potential all out war that is very concerning to me.
5:16 am
we need to make sure we keep our friends as strong as day qb to bring about stability. and talk about those individual thing this not just a of a process then seems to be broken bader procure assistant. and as they are trade with the air force base in if the nets have gone as planned so where we sit today to the three years from now. >> the rest is that 2018. >> but they should all be
5:17 am
there right now. >> it will take three years from now because of those delays to get the pilots trained so they can help carry out the fight. silicate as a result of the lawsuit is that correct? >> with a written statement in the footnotes. it's possible to do calculate how much that costas by delaying the program three years? >> i assume there are some costs involved?
5:18 am
we could take ill luck. >> but the situation along the ground if you can get the equipment that our soldiers in friends need to carry out the fight situations all across where contractors are salinas in preventing us from getting men and women the equipment that they need. would that change the fight? >> is a possible lead happen in september 28 may have had a different outcome? >> but that maneuver operations is much

11 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on