tv Deborah Lee James Discusses the U.S. Air Force and NATO CSPAN December 20, 2016 3:11am-4:29am EST
oh, he is taking his coffee break. he is my guy and he is not here. but he is your air force fellow this year at the atlantic council and he told us on the way in just what a fantastic experience this has been for him. if i might say, it is a fantastic experience for me to come back to the atlantic council. i was on the board here. as well as having the opportunity to come back, i think it was january of 2015, if i am not mistaken, when i had the opportunity to come here as secretary of the air force. it feels like a homecoming. and frankly, i cannot imagine a better place to come to on a morning like this when we are about to have what i hope is going to be an important conversation about the role of the united states generally, but i will zero in on the role of the united states air force specifically in the transatlantic security picture.
it is an area that i certainly care a great deal about and it is one i think has become even more relevant during my tenure as secretary of the air force, which has been for about three years now. i would submit to all of you that the transatlantic security community, the group of like-minded countries who are committed to nato's vision of a europe whole, free and at peace, is facing greater challenges today than during the end of the cold war. there are a frew trends occurring simultaneously that make me feel this way and are contributing to this scenario. first, by invading occupying and attempting to and nnex crimea, russia has demonstrated it is trying to overturn the norms. estoniawhen i was in
and ukraine, heard all about russia's use of cyber attacks and the way they flood the news media with fake news. and now at the very recent announcement that the u.s. intelligence community that russia acted to interfere in our elections, involving, i might add, at the highest levels of the russian government. that marks an extremely troubling development and oen we will deal with for years to come, the reverberations. third, russia is among the countries that are investing in anti-access denial strategies, like integrated air defenses, that could allow a hostile act or to create a bubble around a certain territory, in which they could dictate special rules to the detriment of others. moreover, russia has been conducting numerous acts of unsafe airman ship and showing disrespect to the territorial integrity of others and i will come back to this later.
finally, fourth, but not least, our violent extremist groups, most notably daesh. they are spreading messages of violence in many countries, even as they and other groups, like the syrian government, are causing a humanitarian catastrophe that is pushing large numbers of migrants and refugees into europe. our southern european partners, including turkey and greece, italy and a few others, are extremely focused on the threats to their societies posed by the influx of migrants and refugees along the so-called southern flank of europe. just as the allies along the eastern and northern flank are very focused on russia. but this is precisely where the importance of the entirety of nato comes to the forefront. he says rather than being a tale of two europe's, which is good like, this could sound
this is the case of the entire region being united as a single defensive alliance focused on safeguarding the freedom of all of its members against any threats. since i became secretary of the air force in december of 2013i have had the opportunity to visit and meet with my counterparts. in addition, i met with enhanced opportunity partners sweden and finland. i heard one consistent message on all of these trips. that message was that our allies and partners want more u.s. air force. they were more training, more exchanges, more presence, more equipment. in recent years, we have expanded our presence and toorts inn europe demonstrate the unique capabilities our air force brings to the combined operation, the combined fight. our relationships with nato
members and partners are among our closest. but today we need to double down in the face of the threats that i mentioned just a few moments ago. in addition, i believe we need to open up the aperture on how we collaborate. need to develop innovative solutions, at least about the air force in our three domains of focus. those are in the air, and space, and cyberspace. we need to do this to create the most effective 21st-century security partnership possible and i think we are in the process of doing just that. in recent years, many of our nato ally partners have noticed a major increase in the number of airspace violations and other irresponsible acts of airman ship on the part of russian aircraft. i mentioned this a few moments ago. fortunately, the transatlantic community is coming together in response. the most visible of these efforts is the baltic air policing mission.
since latvia, lithuania and estonia became members of nato in 2004, 16 nato nations have participated in this mission. it protects the national airspace of our baltic allies 24/7, 365. the german air force contingent is flying the baltic air policing mission in estonia as we speak reported conducting more than 30 scrambles between the end of august and the beginning of november this year. they intercepted russian aircraft that were flying near civilian air routes with their transponders turned off. october finland back in just after, within days, of the russian aircrafts committing two violations. this is one of many such instances the finish have seen. and our own united states airforce has witnessed similar conduct. among the most notable was back in april when a russian fighter
made an aggressive and unsafe intercept of an airship reconnaissance plane over the baltic sea. to me, if you add up these different incidents, this suggests that presence, joint training, and political resolve are extremely important. this is a point in time where there is a great deal of push and push and test and has going on. indeed, that is precisely what the european reassurance initiative is all about. through eri, the united states air force is beefing up our multilateral and bilateral training calendar. we are increasing the amount of pre-positioned equipment in the region, plus fuel, ammunition, and other supplies that would our troops to deploy quickly. we have many options for planes and other assets, further enhancing our responsiveness.
we are intensifying efforts to build partnership capacity with partners they can fully participate in their own collective security. we are demonstrating that we can deploy air dominance capabilities at great distances. just like we did last spring when we sent the fifth-generation f-22 raptors's to romania, and just like we will do this spring when we will send f-15's from louisiana and the national guard to deploy as a security package to various locations. this year we renamed the eri, the european deterrence initiative to reflect our presence in europe does more than reassured. our forces are there as part of an alliance packageour forces af an alliance package to deter aggression. in the national defense authorization act for 2017, congress reiterated its support for this initiative and for the president's budget request of about $3.4 billion, which was a
tripling as compared to the 2016 amount. since we are talking about increasing our financial commitment to our allies, i have to mention that a big part of participating in collective security is is ensuring every nato member has the equipment and well-trained personnel that they need. that is why in all of my conversations with my counterpart in the region i have stressed the importance of every country in the alliance putting in place a plan to meet that targeted spending of 2% of gdp for defense. and we do see positive trends in this direction, but there is much more that needs to happen, particularly in the case of a number of countries. one area in particular where there is good news and progress has been made is an acquisitions of an operable equipment. and i'm thinking specifically of the f-35. we are very proud to be hosting pilots from norway, italy, the netherlands, and others for training.
has beenthe f-35 declared combat capable, we will deploy our latest spider to europe. if i were a betting woman, i would not be surprised if the f-35 did not make an appearance next summer. they are unique conversation of stealth, awareness and a centrifuge and will play an important role in providing deterrents. many of our partners have already begun to ask is the ways they expect the f-35 to transform the battlefield, even in the anti-access area denial environment, and may quarter nation easier through the use of full interoperable equipment so, all of this is important, but nato is more than just deterrence and the threat emanating from russia. and the united states air force has rolled it plays in these other threat environments as well. for example, collectively we have the heavy airlift wing
managed by nato and operating out of hungry. and operates strategic transport aircraft built to the same specifications as the c-17's built by the u.s. the members of this program share the operating responsibilities and expenses for the aircraft. the aircraft have been deployed abilitytant inability miss missions, including conducting humanitarian assistance missions in haiti and securing international peacekeeping operations in africa. the capability allows the community to respond quickly. it also draws heavily upon the expertise developed by the airports as part of our global
reach mission. we would expect the trend toward share nasa, this trend will likely continue in the future. and i think another fine area where it could work is air refueling, another mission our mobility forces have a long history and. we fully support nato and our allies acquiring these capabilities because it enhances our collective ability to operate together and to respond to all types of global challenges. by the way, i don't want to be remiss in failing to recognize the important role of nato in afghanistan. we that united states are very .ppreciative of nato and of many of the nato members that have gathered with us in iraq and syria. nd i relationships with allies and partners in the transatlantic security community
, we are also making strides to bring our mechanisms for cooperation well into the 21st century. nato has now established 24 centers to assist in developing doctrine, improved capabilities, interoperability, and experiment. these centers cover topics from analysis and simulations of their operations. that one is in leon, france. we have a cooperative cyber defense and joint airpower confidence in germany. these are just a few. there are 24 centers of excellence. these centers benefit the entirety of the alliance because they advance shared knowledge and they allow for the pooling allow alsos and they for the importance of duplication of effort. moreover, nato is acquiring global hawk, the remotely piloted aircraft for isr mission through what is called the
alliance ground surveillance system. these will be based in italy and they will give nato enhanced capabilities for protection of ground troops and civilian populations in conflict environments, as well as border control and maritime security, which is a particular concern among allies who are dealing with this large influx of immigrants and refugees. this capability is important, on the ability to rapidly collect and use the information into actionable intelligence that can support the war fighter. that is why nato has stood up a combined air operation center in spain and eight affordable air command and control center based in italy. i had the opportunity to visit both of these facilities and i was very impressed with all the work that i saw being conducted their, as well as with the personnel involved with these key missions. finally, on space issues once
again, we are moving together forward as well. this domain is becoming more contested each and every day. all of these examples demonstrate how nato and the atlantic community has become more vibrant in our relationships in recent years, which does not really come as a surprise at all to me. we in the u.s. air force know that we operate best when we train and collaborate with our allies and partners. the coalition fight is central to the way the u.s. conducts operations at all levels. so, the bottom line, we work hard to deepen our relationship so we can fly, fight, and when
together. the twitter hashtag for this #strongerwithallies, and the u.s. air force agrees. by the way, as you see some of our u.s. airmen over the next weeks and months, wish them a happy 70th birthday. which is just around the corner marks our 70th anniversary, 70 years since we became a separate service, , theate from the u.s. army u.s. air force breaking barriers since 1947. thank you very much again for inviting me to speak with you today and i very much look forward to the conversation to come. thank you. [applause] can everyone hear me? my name is missy ryan. i cover military issues for the
washington post and it's my great honor to be here today with secretary james. what we are going to do today is have a conversation between the two of us for about 30 minutes and then i will open it up to questions and i know everyone in the audience is eager to get their question to secretary james about the transatlantic partnership, russia and a bunch of other issues. we will just go ahead with that and get you all out of here right at noon. as planned. sec. james, i want to start with russia. you mentioned russia in your remarks as a significant threat. you painted a pretty gloomy picture of the threat emanating from russia. now we know that the russian government has allegedly hacked the u.s. elections. there have been constant violations of airspace in europe.
just to set the stage, can you tell us about the russian air and raise capability and how it stacks up against the united states and its allies? what are the areas where we continue to outpace them comfortably, what are the areas that are catching up? >> first i would say the u.s. military is the strongest military in the world. i want to begin with that statement and certainly that is my belief about the united states air force. but, we have reduced ourselves in size over time and so capacity is now an issue, particularly if there are multiple things going on in different theaters across the world. you can only be in one place at one time. capacity is an issue. we are the most technologically advanced, but what we have seen over the past 25 years is that more countries have been watching us. it began with the persian gulf war one site and they saw how precision and stealth and the enablement subspace came together to produce that revolution in military affairs
and so many have been catching up in ways that are somewhat worrisome to the united states. of course we want to always be one or two or three steps ahead. we do not want to allow ourselves to fall one or two or three steps behind. we are still the best today, but we are concerned and we want to make sure we are investing in moving in the right direction to make sure that we remain the best in the world. as you mentioned, we are not looking to pick a fight with anyone, certainly not with russia or anyone else. we do look to defend our interests in the transatlantic partnership has been a bedrock of how we defend our interest for decades and it will remain so in the future. >> are there particular things that we have seen in russia's activities, in places like georgia and syria and ukraine that have given you particular cause for concern in terms of their capabilities or their intention?
other than the fact that they are bombing civilian targets in syria. >> other than that, certainly everything you said is extremely worrisome. the advent of what some have termed hybrid warfare is also a worrisome development. this is the advent of more cyber attacks, it's the advent of the so-called little green men that we saw in ukraine, it's creating uncertainty and chaos and then denying what it was all about or that they were really there in the first place. of course, we in the west, particularly i will i will speak for my own government, we care about attribution. we don't just throw down on somebody without having proof so in a chaotic, uncertain situation sometimes it's difficult to get that truth. i think that's an area that russia has capitalized on which makes it very notable to me that in this case our intelligence
community has called them out and said yes, they were involved at a high level of confidence. that takes a lot in our government for the totality of our community to come to that so to me that's quite remarkable.>> >> at the same time they seem to be indications of continued problems in their air operations. we've seen that with their aircraft carrier operations targeting syria, they seem to be using dumb bombs rather than precision bombs. what does that tell you? >> first of all the aircraft carrier, to me that was not a decisive factor in the syria operation, it was more of a signaling engine signaling or a messaging. it did give them some training but as you pointed out it didn't go all that well. they didn't launch that many aircraft and there weren't that many aircraft involved in they did have notable crashes which,
thankfully the pilots survived. it was more of the on the ground in the aircraft that took off from the ground in syria that has made the difference. i think there's also a different approach to warfare that you've seen unfold with the russian government, the syrian government, they do not make huge efforts to protect innocent loss of life where we, the coalition, the united states and our allies and partners go to great lengths. we watch and we wait and we extend a great deal of thought and a great deal of effort into the isr, the intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, and we strike when we are ready with a very high level of confidence that we know what we are striking. you do not see that level of care taken on the part of the russian government or am part of the syrian government. >> let's talk about the deterrence initiative. you talk about what they've been able to support in the past and all of those are positive for
the u.s. european relationship. at the same time, my question is has it succeeded in deterring russia from some of the activities that have been apparent. is it succeeding as a deterrent? >> i think it is. what we have not seen as another repeat of what happened in crimea. so, i think that is very important. i did have an opportunity to visit the baltic state and those who are directly on the board, as you would expect feel the most vulnerable. so, i will repeat what they told me. they certainly view these actions as a major deterrence and also, as i mentioned, as a general proposition, the allies would like to see more presence, more training, more exercises. this was the general theme
throughout my visits. >> do you think there is a risk of escalating tensions? think there is a risk of escalating tensions, you said the united states is not seeking a conflict with russia, but is there a risk of escalating the tensions that could potentially lead to a conflict by placing additional assets there and doing some of these things that are associated with the desire to bolster the u.s. military presence in that area? >> of course, managing risk is something that policymakers and military professionals do day in and day out. there are risks in all that we do, but i would submit the greater risk is if we did not have a greater presence at this point in time, if we were to pull back or too do less of the types of activities. to to me that will be a greater risk because i believe a lot of what's going on here is poking in testing and pushing and seeing what the response will be and that's why i think we have
to have resolve and we have to have an active response. >> going back to something you said a little bit earlier. how the baltic states, for example, are asking for more air force. what specifically are they asking for? what are their major desires. >> well, they want more u.s. military in general. the most immediate, very important upcoming activity is that we will be having a permanent presence in the baltic , it will be some us, the u.s. will actually have the command in poland but there will be nato allies in a combined fashion, multiple forces from different countries will come together to have a presence in the baltics and it will be a rotational situation. that is something they are very much looking forward to having on the ground. they want to have continual presence in the baltic air policing, which may have. the united states participate so other countries participate as well. i mentioned germany has the
mission right now. it rotates. they certainly want to see that ongoing and they want closer cooperation in a number of other areas as well. >> do you believe a more muscular response is required to deal with the russian provocative action? would that risk escalate the conflict unnecessarily? >> these sorts of questions are asked daily and people are making these judgment call that a highest level of government. based on everything i know, it's about right for now. tomorrow something could happen and this could change but i can assure you, these matters are monitored at the highest level of government daily. >> you mentioned your communications with european and native allies. following the november 8 election, have you had to reject to those allies and
reassure them based on 's issues-elect trump with nato. >> i have not since the november 8 election. i haven't had an overseas trip , nor have i had the telephone communication since that time. what i always respond is, the american people, the system will figure this out and regardless of who is elected president there are checks and balances . nato has been a bedrock for decades and europe has been a bedrock for decades and decades to come. >> it is remarkable. at a time of increased anxiety in europe because of the brexit, and then because of some of those comments i just mentioned regarding nato in particular, questioning the security pigments that have been fundamental to nato.
do you sense that in your conversations, either prior to the election or subsequent when you have partners who visit. do you sense that in conversation prior to the election or subsequent that you have had with partners when they did about what they have of the trajectory of the alliance? >> they had questions is the way i would put it which of course allowed me to go back on a message that i regularly deliver and that is the importance of everybody doing their part. everybody, i don't know of a single country in and nato that isn't experiencing some sort of economic difficulties, even those those countries that are doing relatively well by our standards. there are many tugs and pulls on society and our government spending. we all share in this and it is tough politics for everybody. but everybody has to do their part in their part by the presen2%.s to
if not this year, it is important for everybody to get on a trajectory to get there any reasonable amount of time, back in the 1980's, one of my assignment back then was the nato burden sharing panel. i think it was an old issue back in the 1980's. this has been around for a topic for a long time, but certainly it is top of my now with the election. and it is my hope, as far as it might get me, because government spending is that a high everywhere. russiave two more questions for you. if you could just comment a little bit on the situation in syria where the united states and russia are operating in the .ame air place what do you see us the potential risks there? what we have done so far as we have had the confliction
procedures, phone calls to be able to deconflict airspace, not to put any, but have saved flight in the air. so far this has worked quite well. we have been operating largely in different parts of syria. i say largely, not exclusively. , it has been troubling to us will speak for the u.s. air force, is that there is quite a gap with russia. they say one thing and do the other. they said they entered the fray in syria to help fight isil and terrorism, but they have propped up the government. there has been very little action against isil. that is a major safety gap.
they say they are using precision guided munitions to take care and not to hurt innocent humans. in fact, 80% to 90% are the dumb blonds. there is a lack of trust between the russian and the u.s. most obviously, aleppo has fallen, but within days of that isil over rand paul miral the united states when is the bombing around palm era. the russians and syrians, upon fleeing palm era as they were about to be overrun, left behind equipment. artillery tracks, tanks. and we are going in it now and destroying that with a variety mq-1's,aft to include in a number of other of
aircrafts as well. the makeup of the battlefield does shift daily. >> what was your perspective on the proposal for increased military coordination between andunited states and russia syria. there was a proposal that sits on the wayside, prepared not to join targeting. we were prepared to execute had that agreement reached the election. but there was concern precisely because of the lack of trust. course it did not reach fruition and we are who we are. >> what would be a successor,ion to the regarding how to deal with the russian threat? >> based on everything that i have read and understand of russia, russia is a country that does understand force.
and so, to present a strong front at a time like this, at a time when i believe they are pushing and poking and testing, toelieve the hawaiian needs demonstrate that resolve and show force. what i would suggest to my success for his continued to support to the maxim extent possible the role of the united states air force in the baltic policing, in the air dominance actions i talked about. ongoing rotations, like we did on the f-22. i'm thinking in the not-too-distant future the f-35. these are the types of approaches that demonstrate that resolve and they are our also great training opportunities. they provide experience with inoperable equipment. airmen to airmen it works well when we get to work with our counterparts. >> i want to turn to a couple
other issues. you mentioned the threat of migration and coming into europe . they are providing for refugees and thinking about security threats that could come along with that. what is the air force's role in that. when one of their ways specifically contributes to manage me christmas. from time tome time. it could be helpful if people came from point a to point b. wartimemore of a environment. there can be airdropped in a humanitarian type environment. this is much more extreme than what is going on in the european states at this point. the airport also has certain intelligence associations. we have intelligence office, as do the other military forces.
the sharing of intelligence is something we are trying to more of. >> there has been a lot of discussion in the last year, plots within europe with the attacks in paris and brussels. what is the air force's role in that, in addition to intelligence sharing? >> other than sharing information whenever possible, that is our top role for that .ort of the threat >> let's talk about the air force itself and the trajectory of where they are. you know, one of the things people talk about is how the fleet is aging, that the readiness has really been under of continuousse
appointment, because of the budgetary issues. had he you recommend dealing with this in the next five years ? what is the best way to cope strain. readiness and whenever we talk about readiness i think it is really important that we step back a moment and say, ready to do what. u.s.eard me say the military is still the strongest and best in the world and i absolutely believe that. if you were to say, is the u.s. air force ready to do its mission, thousands of bombing missions, even more, unitarian and all these missions, we are ready to do all of that. your answer is, we have been doing it for the better part of 25 years. but where we have our readiness concerns is, are we ready to do a triple and fight. if you would get into an wouldxis aerial legal, it
be a very context by against a foe or foes that could shoot us down, interfere with us since days, or make it a more complex environment. there is where we are concerned that we do not have sufficiently high levels of readiness. >> like a russia or a china. what to do. the greatest thing we could do in the near term is increase the size of the air force. smallest active sinceorce we have been 1947. you can't do too many things at once if you are that small because capacity matters. ,o increase the size modestly that would allow us to plug the holes and also build up certain isr,ilities, particularly moments.d some other
the second thing is, continue to fund some of these high-end capabilities, particularly in the training environment to get ready. it means we need to upgrade our ranges so we can practice against the simulated high and threats. -- what yourer mother told you, practice makes perfect, there is a lot of truth to that. so, beef up certain things like that and the readiness accounts, another key recommendation i would make. >> what about new technologies .nd acquisitions >> the budgetary constraints are there have been discussions about increasing defense spending. certainly, we have got to once r all see that
sequestration. i am hopeful, maybe this spring, it will become because that is the first thing. it has to come off. and some additional funding was the very welcome and we are no tore have an impairment to modernize our nuclear forces. what would be a reasonable increase. >> we ended our fiscal year at about $317,000. i would like to see growth over the next several years to the mid-three 20's. i am sure we could use more people than that. but i would say at least to the mid-three 20's. >> if there were to be a budget increase in the next administration, what are your priorities.
if there is one thing you could choose to spend that money on, who would it be? >> personnel. >> i want to ask you a little bit about the election and we have just about five minutes. without getting into the politics of the election, what do you think the change in administration will mean for the air force. >> first let me say the transition team has been, and the pentagon now, for weeks, they have been meeting regularly. so, i had the opportunity to meet with them, and the chief of staff has been conducting listeningn a very way. these girls have welcomed, written notes ingestion about if you know if you had some more money where would you put it? so, i said people. that is the number one place i would put it. all of that is being conducted
at pace. once again, there is a lot of anticipation that there will be additional money to go spend. the question is how quickly and where will it go? i just hope that the people issues will come out on top because i want to reiterate, i think that is the greatest way to alleviate some of the readiness concerns in the near , as well as alleviate some of the frequent deployment and family concerns. >> what about donald trump's comments related to the f-35 and air force one? is that damaging to the industry, or something that will not really amount to much? >> well, i think any incoming president or later is going to be asking questions, right? this was a way of throwing a
question out there through heseter about the cost of t systems, which, let's face it, this is a lot of money we are talking about are both the f-35 and air force one. but with time and as additional materials present it, the complexity of both of these quite as easy as it might seem. there are ways of doing it. in the case of air force one, the complexity is it is more than a 747. if you look at the cost of a 747 and look at the projected cost of air force one, it appears asked hi astronomical. has ultimate levels of security and communications and defensive measures built in. it is nothing like you have ever experienced before. that is what involves the cost. moreover, we made a judgment to
go full force on that. , maybewere to compete it you can get the cost down. the u.s. air force did not develop the requirements for air force one. the professional communicators and security people in the white house deliver those requirements. if you are to strip away some of those requirements, you could see the man. the new team will get a chance to explore that and determine. f-35 it has had a history of cost overruns and problems. but if you look at the recent years, the content and coming down. it will still be approaching the per plane cost. we will soon be approaching a fourth generation again, the past as the past and it was the
difficult part of my past. we are focused on the future and once again, as all of these facts are presented, the new president can make up his mind. >> do you think they will get in there and see the details and think about it differently. >> i think the more details you are exposed to, it opens up the aperture to see what the possibilities and constraints might be. one more final question, what is next for you? i don't know, is the "washington post" hiring? i'm going to be unemployed pretty soon. yeah, i think beach is going to be in my immediate future. i am looking forward to some time off and my children live in new york. i might crash in on their pad for a little while until i don't want us there anymore because i don't have immediate plans. melissa, let's open it up to the audience. should we just go ahead and do
questions? maybe start in the front. yourself andfy make sure your question is a question. freberg, i'm sydni question mark. you defended the program and mentioned in passing it is important versus x-ray denials, some of these high-end issues. what is the case you would make to the transition team right before he made the transition team for this program? what is a game changing value of it for the u.s., for the allies that makes the price tag admittedly high in your opinion. well, the case is the threat. if you look at the various scenarios where we might have to go into combat around the world, and i'm not talking about against isil in the middle east. i am talking about the types of .ious threats
the threats are much to me, sell this capabilities, so the program. that is .1. and of course, the new team is in the process -- not everybody has their clearances yet, but some of those who have theirs can get in on some of these meetings. and then, the other piece of it is we don't just look at the past, but look at the recent past. but at the last few years of experience on the program, where there have been great strides and great accomplishments made in bringing down the price. so, to get a fifth-generation capability, which all of those have experienced it, agree it is a cut above any other aircraft because of those capabilities and to be able to get that at a fourth generation price. something you might pay for an f-16 for example, the is
beginning to them are reasonable. now, can the cost be driven down more. isnow the current leadership focused on this everyday. i know industry has made concessions to try to bring down the price. can more of this be accomplished? i would say, probably yes and the pressure should remain on to do just that. >> the gentleman in the second row with the turtleneck. >> thank you for a professional and informative briefing. space did not allow you to talk enough about two issues. matrixter said a planning, which the united states military has needed to deter and defeated necessary, russia or china. second, he did not talk about the of that strategy. would you comment about air force thinking?
how do we go about deterring or defeating russia and china. what is the thinking in that regard? also, can you please give this to your son. of course, there are joint war plans that are written against a variety of different scenarios that could happen around the world and for each of these war plans, the united states air force is front and center. one thing i will tell you about the u.s. air force is not only are we front and center in each scenario, but we are front and center on day one and day two, not a 30 or day 40. we are those that would kick down the door, so to speak. we would be that front line of defense, but we are heavily involved in all of that. and as i have mentioned, if there is a worrisome as for this
-- worrisome aspect to this, we have become sufficiently small. those in number of people and aircraft. that if there were multiple things happening simultaneously around the world, there is where the capacity they suggest we couldn't do all of it. we may have to swing and let one area go, and nobody wants to do that. that's a key concern. in terms of the third offset, this is simply a way that we are looking for what would be the next big advantage that the united states and our allies could acquire for a future conflict. so just as the nuclear, having nuclear weapons back in the 1940's and 1950's was quite an advantage. that was what we called the first offset of the 20th century because no one else in the world for a while had that capability. others acquired it in a didn't have the same value. still very valuable but not the same value. the second offset is frequently weaponry, precision
stealth and all of which is enabled by our states assets. we saw that in the persian gulf war. that was shock and awe to many in the world to witness that in the early hours of that conflict, but for 25 years people have been watching how this works and have an catching up. the question is what the next offset going to become the next big thing? we think it's some combination of technologies, all of which are designed to make that humans have greater endurance, greater speed, greater ability to make decisions quickly, make sense of many, many sources of data. what's the important data amongst all of that clutter and then push out decisions in a very fast way. so we are investing in a variety of technologies that would give us some element of what i just said. so technology is certainly part of that, but so is tactics, techniques and procedures, so
how do you put all of these technologies together into a process and procedure way when you're going to be executing a a -- executing a plan. the third element is people. you have to make sure we are an all-volunteer force, make sure we have the very best people that can think actually, who can problem solve, who can be creative, who can take those tactics, techniques and procedures and those technologies and put it all to our best advantage. >> right here in the front row. >> damon wilson. thank you very much, madam secretary, for your service. thank you for coming back for this conversation and thank you for your service on our board before you assumed this role. you underscore the importance of the aptly renamed european deterrence initiative and use presence, particularly in the baltic state poland, romania and bulgaria. that's a question about the timeline in terms of how long the u.s. forces need to be present in those places. how do you think about the planning of functions for our presence on the eastern flank,
and the funding that supports them? as i understand actually in the operations budget. shouldn't this be something that over time put in the base budget to recognize the fact that it isn't a one-year deployment? we're likely to be there for quite a while? >> so yes, it should go into the base budget, all of this or most of this should go into the base budget but, of course, the folks who were here living in washington know that the budget doesn't count for purposes of counting money that we spent in the federal government. so how crazy is that? it's kind of an accounting situation. but if we can lick lift sequestration, if we can clean up some of these accounting situations that we have back into in the last however many years, then it would certainly
make for a more clean situation. but for now that's the way we find it because that's the way we can find it and get it done. the most important thing is to get it done. i consider it to be a perpetual mission. in other words, any mission can stop but there is no plan to stop it. so to me it's a perpetual mission. it will be reviewed on an annual basis. unless the world changes fundamentally i don't see any seetary. i wanted to ask a little bit more about president-elect trump's tweets. the air force one tweet and the f-35 tweet rattled the defense industry a little bit. so do you think that he has a point? i guess without being too political about it? is it good to put this kind of pressure on the defense industry ? or do you think it's better to do this kind of negotiating the hind closed doors as opposed to on twitter? >> time will tell. time will tell. what is good is it's good to have a focus on cost-saving
measures. as i mentioned, that focus has been very much in place. if you look back over the last several years the cost has been brought down. i give the credit on that to the team who has been negotiating that, in the jpo. i give credit to industry as well because as i said they've made certain concessions in this as well. but you've heard me speak a lot of times. you know i have three primaries, -- i have three priorities, taking care of people, getting the balance between readiness and modernization right because we need both in our u.s. air force, and make every dollar count which is my way of saying cost consciousness. we've got to be the most efficient team possible. so i'm all for that focus. twitter is a different way of doing it. time will tell. i hope those costs will continue to come down. >> in the back, the woman in the black shirt.
>> hi, secretary james. again, another f35 question. i'm wondering how you continue pitching the f35 to any new customers overseas when the president-elect has his comments that it's out of control? on top of that your rehab foreign governments like canada that are already skeptical of the price tag associated with this program. >> well, the good news about the f-35 in this regard is we don't even have to to pitch it. there are other countries. was just delivered to israel, italy got the f-35 now coming. it was just developed or produced i should say in italy. so in a way it is selling itself, you might say. of course we still do talk about it. i certainly have talked about it , but i'm not the only one, and the u.s. government is not the only one because other allies now are acquiring it at the -- acquiring it and they want
it. in the case of candida, candida has decided of course to bridge with the f-18 but they have it shut the door on the f-35 down the line. the time will tell and, of course, that will be their judgments. they do remain as part of the program. they are contributing to be a part of the program, albeit they have not decided to actually purchase it at this point in time but again that remains an open question for the future. >> take another one from back and then go to tony. the gentleman in the white shirt shirt. >> we haven't talked at all about north korea and some -- and so i am interested in your views on the current threat and the role the air force in responding to that, and just moving forward where we go from here. >> so north korea is a major threat. >> we talked about the four plus one. north korea as one of the four, let's put it that way. north korea, iran, china, russia and then terrorism, particularly isil but other forms of terrorism. so that's the four plus one.
the u.s. air force is very involved in deterring, countering that threat so in what we call the continuous bomber presence that takes place on guam. we have had the one, b-52's and deployed to-2's guam that do periodic patrols in the pacific. they are there. they are available at a moments notice to do whatever we would need them to do. similarly in south korea we have forces stationed there along with the army, along with the rest of the u.s. military. we have a very, very close relationship with our south korean counterparts. and then finally i will tell you as north korea has been testing nuclear weapons, testing launch capabilities of late, the reason why we know a lot of this is because the u.s. air force has been monitoring and the
detection systems to know exactly what went on. was it a nuclear weapon or was it something else, and what was with the possible use of it? -- the possible yield of it. go -- the possible yield of it? we've all of the systems to be able to then explain to our leaders, our allies, partners, partners and in some cases the world what has happened. it goes back to the importance of attribution. >> want to follow up on that question. because the air force is so close to this, do you think the north korean threat is getting the attention it deserved from within the u.s. national security community? they have had made strides in the program in recent years, but often we're focused on isis, on russia, not in the same way we are north korea. >> i will tell you we are very focused on north korea and i -- and there are things we talk about and things we don't talk about, but we are very focused on north korea. >> tony?
>> bloomberg news. among the trump comments lately was implications that the revolving door on washington has led to some of the out-of-control cost of the f-35, his words. does he have a point in terms of the revolving door? are postemployment regulation s tough enough from where you sit? he did say last week in a speech he wanted to impose lifetime ban on those who issued the major contracts and even the smaller contracts. what is your view on that? >> my view is the totality of the restrictions that are placed on people coming into government, serving these high-level positions, are pretty strong. i've lived this so i mean, when i came into government out of industry i had to do best stock,
-- i had to divest stock. you make your whole life public. i think it's not an overstatement to say people who are coming into these senior cabinet level or even subcabinet level jobs have much stronger legal requirements upon them than the president has upon him, if you see what i mean. i think they are pretty strong. i haven't seen his proposal exactly. there are already lifetime bans on people that that particular matters, worked on particular matters. what i understand of it is it's quite strong but obviously he will have the opportunity to do his own review of that spirit -- review of that. >> you are talking coming into the government. postemployment also. >> right. so the postemployment, there already is a lifetime ban for certain individuals who have worked and it's a definition in the law called a particular
matter. so that's already a lifetime ban. for me, for example, i will have a two-year ban on being able to represent back for a a company to the government, a two-year ban on that. i'm not a procurement official. obviously there are people who are procurement officials and/or others who are policy overseers and whatnot, so that the rules are different for different types of people. what i'm saying is the totality of all this is quite strong. the proof is if you look at the number of positions that people from industry actually occupy, it's not as high as perhaps you would like. because they are that stringent to come in and you know when you come in what the restrictions will be on the way out. >> the woman in the blue in the back. >> courtney with inside the air force. i just want to go back with quick to comments about some
recent i guess cost successes on f-35 over the last several years. for the contract there was a unilateral contract action that was utilized and i just wonder , are we going to see more of that? if so what concerns do you have about what that says to industry? >> well, i think the unilateral action came as a result of what had become a very, very prolonged period of negotiation . it was a feeling weather just wasn't going to be any more progress to be made. so the unilateral action was imposed. back to this question of are we being sufficiently good stewards of the taxpayer money, there is with the gpo has a choice to make with the contracting officer who was charged with making this decision.
the choice was do we continue to negotiate? given to perhaps what would've been a higher cost to the taxpayer in order to conclude negotiations? at the end of the day this contracting official decided to impose a unilateral solution. so that's a fairly unusual thing. it's not done all that much. so i wouldn't say that it might be more less in the future. i think it really depends, and it was the unique set of circumstances in this particular case and the length of the negotiation, and the belief that there just wasn't going to be any more progress made. >> we are going to go to the third row here. >> thank you. federal computer week. you mentioned in one of your remarks cyber being one of the key domains for the air force at this point and, obviously, part of the whole partnership concern. can you talk about working stand -- talk about where things stand with the air force cyber campaign plan at this point, which is supposed to be doing with everything from workforce to hardening systems to interoperability, things like that?
and is of this plan something that is established enough that it's going to likely survive transition? so what would be the concerns that you would highlight going forward for cyber in terms of immediate priorities to deal with? >> i think we've made very good progress in terms of the common security environment, for networks and the protection of networks for the air force, and really i am think across the military in recent years. there's been a lot of strides there. we are now as you point out, we are shifting to the other part of the equation, which is the cyber protection of many of our weapon systems. nowadays think about it. even legacy system that were -- legacy systems that were built years and years ago before software was a key component, those have all been upgraded. so even the old systems depend heavily on cyber and certainly the new systems very, very
heavily on software. that is what we to take great care. we have laid in additional monies for red teams and ways of testing and making sure that there are no vulnerabilities. if there are, we hop on a common -- we hop on it and adjusted, -- and address it right off the bat. so this is going to be an ongoing situation. because cyber is continually changing and adversaries and people who are attempting to break in our very clever and they can change their tactics, techniques. new tools become available. this is something we'll have to remain vigilant on for probably decades to come. >> maybe the gentleman with the glasses right there. >> thank you. i'm retired army. you mentioned very briefly a fighter pilot shortage, and i'd like you to elaborate on that a little bit.
what is the cause? what are you doing to increase the recruitment of fighter pilots? and what do the trendlines look like? >> first of all we are monitoring all of our pilot ranks and we are monitoring with concern. we have current shortages in the most important one or the one that is most worrisome at present is the fighter pilot, but we're watching the other pilot categories as well. so what's going on? there's a number of factors at play here number one, the the airlines are once again hiring. airline hiring is quite cyclical but we're up against again where there is an upward trend in hiring and, of course, what better pilots for them to hire and the trained pilots of the u.s. military, particularly the air force but not the air force exclusively. so that's one factor. another factor is, and, of course, when you go to the airlines, you actually take a pay cut as i understand it for a
year or two, but after about two years you make it up and then you begin to make more than what we currently can pay. but that it's more stability schedule, more family time, but perhaps less interesting work. so there becomes the trade-off for our pilot. so the airline hiring is one important thing. another thing that is driving our pilots to leave us is just the pace of operations, and family separation and family concerns and the stresses that come with that. so the old saying you recruit an individual but you retain a family is really true. after 25 years of near constant combat operations, this is taking its toll on some of our families. so that's another thing. the third thing is we haven't ramped up the production of pilots. we have retention issues but then we also need to ramp up the production of pilots we need to -- production of pilots.
we need to take steps to do that, produced or pilots, that will help the shortage situation. and finally there's a factor we know from exit surveys that pilots and others who leave us for that matter are, they get discouraged by additional duties. so pilots love to fly and maintainers love to maintain, but they don't like to do like -- lots of extra paperwork and duties that are not inspiring to them,them, i'll say. so anyway what are we doing about it. we have asked for an increase in bonus authority to help stem the tide going to the civilian airlines, at least where the pay is a draw. we did make some progress with congress, not as much as we would've liked but we are getting an increase bonus authority. we have attacked the additional duties and some of these additional training that are --his satisfy her dissatisfier or more to follow on that but we've taken a good first whack at it that that's a technical term by the way, shellac. and more to follow on that. the third thing is we will be
setting up some new training unit so that we produce or pilots from the get-go so we're going to announce over the next few months a couple of locations where we will have more training of more pilots. that's another element. so there's a variety of factors at play. and one last thing, very important. when the pilots and the units come home, we need to manage their time at home station better. so what has happened is sometimes pilots and units will come home from a deployment overseas, they will be home for two days and then we will send them off to you why for three weeks to do something. that's not so good. you have to manage the types of -- manage the time so that people have time at home. so how to manage that differently and not send them on a td why or some other location. that goes to the quality of the family experience. >> we have time for just a
couple more questions. they vary back row and then maybe we should take a couple. i think we can take three questions and you can enter them altogether. the gentleman right there, and then right there in the second to the last row. >> u.s. news and world report. last week, the chinese navy picked up a u.s. underwater drone. the conventional thinking is that was an unprecedented act and in direct response to some of mr. trump's comments about china. more specifically his phone call with the taiwanese president. i'd be interested to act, does not comport with your understanding without the chinese note operates? what do you think this says about the reality of the rhetoric transitioning into direct action when it comes to military events? >> the gentleman right there in the checkered shirt. >> scott with federal news radio. you have changed a number of personnel things which you mentioned just recently about
cutting additional duties, cutting down some training time. that's in order to hire better people. do you see its emergency to get those people coming in to the next administration? continuing that kind of work? >> and then the gentleman in the uniform right there. >> thank you. german air attache. madam secretary, you elaborate d on the f-35 transferring the air war to come. you spend together with the f a nations, anf-35 awful lot of work and fourth or fifth generation air life integration. my question, how can we make sure that nations that do not procure the f-35 but pitching -- but pitch in quite good capabilities in the first and maybe even on the third-generation part are still
part of the air war to come? so how can we handle this integration also on the non-f-35 nation? >> three questions in the three minutes. >> all right. the chinese drone. i think it was unprecedented. i don't know of another situation quite like this. does it comport with what i understand the chinese government operates? what i understand about the chinese is they act upon orders. they do not mix stuff up at the lowest level on their own. so that sounds like maybe i was a coordinated action from the top but, of course, i don't know. i'm speculating but that's based on my understanding of the way chinese personnel are trained in their armed forces. and was it in response to something that mr. trump said? i just have literally no idea. it might have just been an opportunity to send a signal of some sort. i will say this drone was
operated by the military sealift command, so it is not exactly a front and fighting part of the force. it is about six feet long, so it is pretty small, and it travels just under the water so you can see it when you are above the water, and it was doing scientific types of collections like the degree of salt in the water and things of this nature. so it was not a surveillance drone. my understanding of it, and i further understand that we are hopeful it will be returned within the next couple of days. i believe the second question -- at least i wrote down, the landing keep that in the pentagon, are they as focused as we've been focused on some of the people issues? like additional duties and during the force? and the answer is i believe so. certainly we have hit those things strongly with them,
particularly the growing of the force. and we did set up an ongoing body that is going to be continually reviewing matters like the additional duties. and that is a body that will be chaired by military and civil servants, people who will remain. so it is certainly my hope that that focus will continue because it is very important. as i said i know it from my travels. we know it from her exit interviews. and then lastly, how to ensure that the non-f-35 nations are still very much a part of any future air campaign. i think the key is crucial to keep training together, keep having these exchange programs that we have. the more that we work together, that will facilitate any future operations. certainly it will facilitate any future combat operation. and let's remember that it's going to be many, many years before the u.s. has a fleet that no longer has fourth-generation aircraft in it.
so we ourselves had to make sure that we can interoperate, and we want to continue to make sure that we can be interoperable with countries around the world who have fourth-generation and other capabilities that are not quite the f-35. >> i want to think thank secretary james are being here in a very informative session, and best of luck. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> next, a look at u.s. military
cooperation with japan. that is followed but how i look by china is using science and its military strategy. monday, the electoral college vote. ♪ live everyon journal day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up, usa today investigative reporter laura unger will discuss the investigation into drinking water systems of small communities. we found many people were taking untested or lead tainted tap water. booksohn talks about his and exterminate time, the end of the postwar boom in the return of the regular economy. the prosperity and growth experienced in the years after world war ii were an aberration and we are now coming back to
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