tv General Dunford No Decision Yet on Additional Forces in Afghanistan CSPAN June 19, 2017 12:00pm-1:04pm EDT
d and put into prison. each case had an average costs associated with it -- murder, burglary, and breaking and entering. they have been convicted of since the rape they convicted of. our first 93 defendants have caused $440 million in economic harm to the state of harm. -- state of ohio. >> please submit questions, you can also those of you who are viewing, you can submit them via
twitter @press club dc #npc live live. upcoming events. chicago mayor and former clinton senior official rahm emanuel will be here for headlineer luncheon. another headline news major same day at 11:00 a.m. with greek minister of economy. my good colleague peter baker will be here june 29th on his latest book "obama and call of
john donnelly. he is many things to us. john is the president of the military reporters editors association, chair of the national press club freedom team and one of the fighter for press freedom in the club. thank you for your service to the club, john. [applause] now the good part. as the tensions between the u.s. and russia seem to be serious all at the same time seem to be heating up over the shooting
down of a syrian jet over the weekend. entered the chairman of joint chiefs of staff. general joseph f. dunford junior. who is the 19th person occupied this post. nation's highest ranking military officer and principle military officer to the president and secretary of defense and national security counsel. prior to becoming chairman october 1, 2015, general dunford served as 36th marine corps. he served as assistant commandant marine corps from 2010 town 2012. was commander security force and the united states forces afghanistan from february 2013 to august 2014. that will come in handy in the questions sir. native of boston, massachusetts general dunford graduated from st. mile's -- st. michael's college.
there are many more accolades but since time is of the essence, we're going to get right to the q&a. we'll conduct a conversation fire style chat style. we have a lovely stack of questions here. some of have come in through the internet and the president's office now has an ipad. so many you have taken advantage of that and we'll be following along and hopefully keep up with current doings. we do have a special request of the chairman and i. i think we can accommodate that. that is to have a moment of silence for those who are lost and injuried on the uss fitzgerald.
>> mr. chairman, the floor is yours. >> thanks. ladies and gentlemen thank you very much. i appreciate the flexibility of the club and rescheduling. i canceled at the last minute in april. as you can understand, sometimes that's required and had to do that. i'm actually glad that it was relatively slow news weekend. i come in on a monday. there's probably not many questions and not much you'red you're interested and something nothing controversial i can address today. i feel very comfortable. with that, i turn it over to you. >> well, take us -- we'll go right into the questions. >> i can actually --
>> no. >> i'm happy to do that. i didn't think you were looking for a filibuster >> not at all. clearly we had very tense shoot down of the syrian jet. u.s. sources. we had a very statement from russia that play into the whole deconflictions agreement between the countries essentially saying west of euphraetes we're shooting down. what's the latest? >> we worked really hard on deconfliction. for the last months, we worked on deconfliction with the russian federation proregime forces. the purpose was to make sure our crews were safe. make sure the personnel on the
ground were safe and make sure we can defeat isis campaign in syria. which is the reason we're in syria. that has worked very well over the past eight months. we have worked through a number of issues with the russian federation. we have an effective link between our operation center in qatar. that link is still ongoing here this morning. when i left the building this morning, we're still communicating over the last few hours. i like you, saw in the opening source some reporting from moscow, which i want to address now. i will tell you that we work diplomatically to reestablish the deconfliction. their purpose in syria is to defeat isis. we'll see if that's true here. all of our operations around iraqi and southern syria designed specifically to get after isis and we have agreed in the past that as we and the
russian federation forces that operations at the coalition which conducting in syria were effectively degrading isis's capability. we'll work to restore. >> are you confident that u.s. forces won't be shot down? >> i'm confident that we are still communicating between our operation center and the russian federation operation center. i'm also confident that our forces have the capability to take care of themselves. >> some people have been writing some of the early questions russia effectively declared world war iii. it's not that bad. >> i honestly, the worst thing any of us can do would be address this anything with hyperbole. an incident occurred. it's going to require engagement in the next few hours to restore the deconfliction we had in place. it's in mutual interest. it allows us to address what at
least proreregime forces indicated. >> have you been in touch with russia? >> i have not. this morning. i have met with my russian counterpart twice this year. we've communicated maybe another five or six times. >> which also leads to -- what's the situation in iraq going to be when it's all said and done? who's going to control it? you got a number of questions about how that recast the situation. >> we're supporting the syrian democratic forces in seizing raqqa. that's a force of about 50,000, which about 20 thousands or 25 thousands are arab. even as we support their efforts to seize raqqa there's ongoing effort to put together a governance body so as soon as iraq is seized, there's a effective local government. that government will leverage
arab leader who are from raqqa. we'll work on establishing security force made of up local personnel. so there's stabilization. >> let's move around the region a bit. raqq curds have announced they will hold independence. what would that mean for u.s. interest in the middle east. should the u.s. support it? >> our stated objective at this point is a stable secure insovereign iraq. we supporting iraqi security forces. the issue of the kurdish referendum is one that have to be worked out. >> going back to the question also becomes in the early things about russia and syria. whether or not you have to relocate or strengthen the security even more to training
base to be prepared. they keep saying defensive strikes only against regime. >> it's important to point out that the incident that took place this weekend followed combined arms movement proregime forces subsequent aircraft flew into the area. we made every effort to warn those individuals not to come any closer. the commander made judgment there was a threat to the forces that we were supporting and took action. the only action that we have taken against proregime forces in syria have been two specific incidents have been in self-defense. we've communicated that clearly. >> afghanistan, you foresee adding 4000 troops, there's a lot of discussion about whether or not additional forces ilindicated to -- allocated to
afghanistan. has that decision been made. how many are going and when are they going? >> let me see if i can probably answer that question in a few others. first of all, no decision has been made with regard to deployment of additional forces in afghanistan. one decision that was made by the president was to delegate that decision to secretary mattis. but also, this is of additional forces what's important and probably has been under reported, secretary mattis's decision about additional forces in afghanistan will be made in the context of a broader strategy review for south asia. when secretary mattis makes a decision about force level which he will communicate to the president, secretary of state and the guidance direction that he received is to do that in conjunction with the secretary of state. when secretary mattis makes that decision about force levels you can you can expect he'll communicate that in a broader
context. specifically context with that strategy review. it won't be just about afghanistan. there are a number of interindependent variables. we'll be prepared to talk about those as well when we talk about force management levels in the reason the number of 4000 raised there's a request by the commander to shift in afghanistan. he believe additional forces can make the effort in afghanistan more effective. there's also an outstanding requirement for forces that the commander ask for from nato last year. that's what you also heard him talk about publicly. we're short about 3000 from the stated nato requirement for forces in afghanistan. that's where the numbers come from. any decision on numbers is going to be done in that part of context. >> speak of strategy, senator
mccain came out swinging this morning. he's going to both democratic and republican presidents about whether or not there's a strategy for afghanistan. he's asking where is it? when is it going to be delivered, where is it going to be where is it headed? >> secretary and mattis had an opportunity to appear before mccain. when he raised that question, secretary mattis said we agreed afghanistan is not where we want it tob. we spent last couple of months discussing where it might go in the future. he indicated to chairman mccain, some final in the middle -- time in middle of july we'll have that strategic review complete. when the secretary makes a decision about resourcing to the military dimension, realizing
that broader issue nas have to be addressed in a diplomatic and economic areas. >> which raises the question of the authorization of use of military force again. how much lobbying, if you will, has happened between you and the congress? how is the dialogue unfolding in term of -- >> i've been asked several times in testimony what my thoughts were on the authorization use of military force. we rely now on the 2001 authorization of use of military force that was after 9/11. it was modified in 2002. what i have said is that, we have all of the legal authority that we need right now to prosecute al qaeda isis, other affiliated groups. my recommendation for the congress was that they pass an
authorization use of military force. i thought one of the more important things is a our men and women in are in harms way we see clear unmistakable support for the american people through their congress. that's what i believe right now would be very positive if congress would pass an authorization use of military force. i haven't lobbied for that effort. i'm precluded from lobbying. when i'm asked in testimony as i have been now several times certainly able to answer that question. what i have focused on is the message we'll be sending to those people who making the sacrifice what message will be sent. >> what do you say to an american voter who's deciding whether or not they're going to voice an opinion to member of congress. who might be skeptical that thousands of more u.s. troops could be deployed and slightly
strategy might break stalemate in afghanistan or other parts of the region. after billions of dollars that have been spent, everything that's been done, is there sort of a fatigue that's out there? how going to convince the american people that this is going to be a necessary thing? if it is, you decide to deploy thousands of troops to the region for afghanistan and if you have to escalate your involvement in syria. >> i think it's important that the conversation about afghanistan take place in the context of our interest in south asia as a whole. there are two very simply that i would talk about in public. one is the remaining threats from terrorist organizations in south asia who expressed desire to have another 9/11 in united states. there's about 17 different groups, 20 that we've globally
identify as terrorist organization. it continue to put pressure on those groups i believe is critical and vital to our national interest. the pressure that those groups have been under for the last 15 years has been what is prevented in the 9/11. the other interest that we have in the region is preventing a regional conflict in south asia. when the strategy comes in, it's less about what happened over the past 16 years, it is what national interest in south asia, what's the diplomatic and military campaign plan that's necessary for us to protect and advance our national interest in south asia. i don't believe it's useful to have a conversation about where we've been, how much money we've spent or how long we've been in afghanistan. what's most important arctic little lathe -- articulating to the american people. we should be able to articulate that and roll out a strategy.
what is it that we're doing. not just militarily. but diplomatically and economically. that's the conversation we'll be prepared to have. >> what's the end game in afghanistan? what's your prediction for new cost and u.s. lives? >> what i would say from a military dimension to be clear about what is it we trying to do, we trying to support our partners on the ground and driving level of violence down to where local security forces can deal with security challenges with a minimal amount of international support. we trying to do that from west africa to southeast asia. what we're dealing with is a transregional threat. one of the manifestations is in afghanistan. it extends from west africa to southeast asia. that's the broad design of a strategy is to support local forces and addressing security challenges. some need more support than others. the methodology is consistent
across that transregional threat. >> what degree does that involve pressuring pakistan? >> pakistan is a key to afghanistan and its security. ensuring that economy does not have sanctuary in south asia. making sure secure border between afghanistan and pakistan is critical. that's one of the interdependent variables. >> to talk about going back to syria. can you talk about the role in iran is playing in syria? is it increasing, in particular the hezbollah >> iran is playing unhelpful role in syria and middle east. some of you may have heard me describe it this way.
again, iran, unlike the united states and coalition, is not focused on isised isised in of syria. iran is focused on propping up the regime committed atrocities in the civil war. addressing the grievances of the save war and syria will be necessary for us to have peace and stability and have a sanctuary for violent extremism. >> staying in the region, are you concerned about any long term implications of the current gulf crisis on regional security and has the crisis affected u.s. military operations in the region? you said something last week on capitol hill that your operations relatively unaffected. with turkey sending troops in and u.s. army bringing troops around qatar, what's happening in terms of operations sent there in the middle of the country? >> i think
country? >> i think most people know. the reason why we watch qatar, that's where urbaned operation center is located. that's where aircraft support our current campaign against isis is located. it's pretty significant. that's also the location of the command post for the united states central command. what i will tell you, has there been friction associate what's going on between the gcc and qatar? absolutely. what i said last week remains true. we have continued to be able operate even through that friction. >> what are you playing diplomatic role? >> we obviously worked the military to military line. we continue to do that. you answered the question well. this is primarily secretary tillerson's lane to resolve the issue between gcc and qatar and
come up with a negotiated solution to the challenge. >> with al qaeda isil and popping up all over the world with world war ii still strategy of defeating this enemy with our allies, various part of world? >> i'll speculate what that individual means. it's probably important. let me explain our strategy for dealing with transregional violent extremism. which isis is one manifestation. what connects the group in west africa and southeast asia. it's flow of resources and the narrative, the message. strategically the idea is to be able to cut -- i describe those things as connective tissues. we trying to cut that tissue. how we doing that? by establishing a broadwell
litigation with a good exchange of information and intelligence so we can get after the flow of money and deal with the narrative. we have 16 members in the coalition in iraq and syria. i met with about 45 of my counterparts around the world to improve our information and intelligence sharing. we have interagency intelligence and information sharing location in the middle east where we have about 20 countries represented both militarily and intelligence organizations. the organizations like homeland security. the idea is like united nations sharing intelligence information that allow not just for effective military operations, which is one dimension of the problem, but also in effective legal frame work in countries where foreign fighters came from or return to. also effective way of sharing information so we can anticipate the flow of foreign fighters and resources. with regard to the combat operations those come operations are designed to
enable local forces to deal with specific regional challenges. number of regional efforts but there's a strategic framework that connects those regional efforts. it's getting after those three elements that connect these organizations. in the long term instate of a strategy is to drive the level of violence down in each of the country where is it exist and region where it exist, drive the level of violence down, increase the capacity of local forces. that's where we're going. that's very muff-- much unlike world war ii strategy. the majority of fighting, you can look at the majority of casualcities, being experienced by local forces fighting their their own countries. if somebody wants to ask another question about that strategy understanding that is very important. by the way, my assessment, my assumption is that we're going
to be dealing violent extremism for a long time. some people describe it as a generational problem. whatever it is, it's a long period of time. one critically. critical element it must be critically sustainable. we're conducting a campaign against violent extremism in the context all the challenges that face our country now to include north korea, china, iran and russia. when i taube about sustainability it's sustainability in the context of making sure we can address -- we don't have the luxury dealing with one thing at a time. we dealing with all of those simultaneously. to deal all of those simultaneously, you need to have a strategy that's sustainable in case of violent extremism.
>> speaking of the list you just -- north korea. north korea has been increasingly active in its missile test. how are the u.s. forces positioning themselves to deal with this particular threat? if you're seeing it as a threat. how are you trying to deescalate what is an increasing tension in the region and specifically how new south korean president helping in this regard? >> first of all, to the question do i view it as a threat. i do. it's clear to me that kim jong-un, the regime is on a path of attempting to develop a missile matching that with a nuclear warhead that can reach the united states.
dealing with that is diplomatic and economic process. campaign led by secretary tillerson. military di mention is in support of secretary tillerson. we have a very open dialogue aggressive dialogue with the state department to make sure everything that we're doing, in terms of our military posture, is supportive of secretary tillerson's primarily economic and diplomatic campaign. many of you have watch closely what's happened in the u.n. two unprecedented sanctions regimes passed this year. that's primary way that secretary tillerson hopes to do that. in the the meantime, we have responsibility, we the department of defense, number one to deter any provocation by kim jong-un and to provide the president with a list of options in the event hostilities occur. what i want to emphasize the military dimension today is in support of the diplomatic and
economic effort led by the state department. we have effective posture in the region to deter kim jong-un. >> speaking of north korea and china, it steams the president -- it seems the president trying to utilize newfound relationship with his counterpart in china. how is that impacting what you just said? is there anything that you're doing in the region that might have an adverse effect? for example, what you doing with that the south china sea? >> the president met with the president of china at mar-a-lago. it was end of april. they discussrd two issues. one of them was this issue of north korea and the commitment to denuclearizing the peninsula. secretary tillerson a key
element will be coops of china -- cooperation of china. it's a bit early to judge how far we've come. in the meantime, to talk about other things that we are doing that might be counterproductive to gaining china support in north korea, we view that issues separate from other issues. to that point, we will this weekhave a meeting at the secretary of state secretary of defend level with their counterparts. i'll join that and follow up with a day with my covenant part pentagon. we will discuss a wide range of issues. >> sorry to jump back to syria good colleague -- what's the legal justification for targeting syrian government forces >> we have prosecuted a campaign against isis and al qaeda and
syria. >> cyberattacks. cyberattacks threaten our complex weapon and defense systems. how the military doing in recruiting the talent needed to defend and defeat cyberattack? >> whoever asked that question i think it's a great question. it's something i don't take for granted. one thing i would have said if i did filibuster up front and talked about our people, we have effectively recruited volunteer force even after 16 years of war. there's certain skill sets where we have a growth industry inside the department. there's a lot of competition in the same industry to join the u.s. military or serve as a civilian. we are as you know, looking across the department it was different ways to modernize our personnel system to recruit people to include cyber. we have grown the cyber force. we have a plan for 133 cyber
mission teams. we outlined that plan about three years ago. 70% are reached full operation capability. they're owl there doing what they get paid to do everyday. we have met the current requirement. as we look forward, i imagine that our requirements will grow. we've identified requirement to grow cyber capability. we'll need more high quality motivated people. we get a find a way to incentivize what. >> how do you create ration military strategy with impulsive president? >> i don't think someone really expects me to answer a question like that. i mean that sincerely. one thing that i'm proud of, i am proud of freedom of the press, i'm proud of what you do
everyday. i said that in private to the folks i work with closely at pentagon. i hope you're equally proud that the united states military remained a political during a difficult political season. i'm certainly proud of our men and women in uniform. i can't think a single case where active duty member has violated is our ethnos. making sure that record maintains in the future as senior u.s. military officer in the country, i think our men and women look to me as an example. i would never answer a question like that. so thanks. [applause] >> just reminder, those who maybe watching. not everybody in the room is a journalist. we asked for a bit of decorum
from colleagues and hole your applause. united states is providing thousands of weapons and heavy weapons to kurdish groups which have been regarded as terrorist organizations by turkey. how do you guarantee these weapons will not be turned against your 65-year-old nato ally fighting against iceland? >> we are very focused on maintaining the relationship a we have as you pointed out jeff. our nato ally in turkey. to that point, i made nine trips to turkey in the past 12 months. i met with my turkish counterpart no less than 15 times in the last year to make sure we maintain a effective relationship with a nato ally. we've told them at the end of the day, key element is making sure we accomplish a mission with our relationship with
turkey. we sat down with the turks. we have a tight frame work. we have transparency in reporting. we providing them routine reports what we're doing. we provide them transparency and type of weapons that we have. we have put in mechanisms in place to make sure the weapons we're providing to the syrian democratic forces are intended for raqqa and raqqa only. whoever asked that question, it's very important question. it's a strategic question. it affects relationship with important ally. we're mindful that. secretary mattis next week will meet with his turkish counterpart in europe and go through this. last thursday we wrote a detailed letter to his turkish counterpart providing routine update. both i speak routinely to the general who's become a good friend. he's a turkish chief of defense. and our european commander speaks at least once a week. we have a very robust presence
both united states central command and united states european command in a joint operation center with our turkish counterparts to mitigate the concerns. >> thank you. jumping around a bit. senate house passed a broad sanctions package last week against iran and russia. how are the details of that impacting u.s. military strategy in those are the countries? >> there's been no impact on the military dimension of our relationship with either country at this point. >> budget question. there's a lot of them. are you comfortable -- >> after 17 hours really looking forward to these. >> are you comfortable with how
u.s. defense addressed to military capability of near competitor states? >> the short answer is no. let me walk back. i think it's fair to say that turn of century, 2000, we had a decisive competitive advantage and our ability to project power to advance our interest and meet our alliance commitments. we can do that. just for those who don't track what we do routinely, i believe there are two sources of strength in our country. the strategic level, it's the network of allies that we built up since 2002. operational level it's been ability to project power from united states to meet our alliance commitments. our peer competitors have studied the united states since desert storm. they studied the development they studied our ability to project power and almost every case, you look at china russia,
iran in particular what they have done over the last few years, started to develop what has been called in the trade journals the ni access, area of denial. what that means is, develop a wide range of capabilities that keep the united states from moving into europe in the case of russia. moving into the pacific. meet alliance commitment. then operating freely within europe or within the pacific. my greatest concern, emphasis that i placed on it last week in testimony i think highlights that, united states of america has to maintain a competitive advantage in the ability to project power when and when necessary to meet our commitments our advance a -- and advance our interests. a wide other range of maritime offensive there are areas of concern. one of the things that we're
doing that classified level communicating with congress. to talk about the areas of competitive advantage. we've identified a number of those. we can talk about where are we today relative to where we need to be to mine to maintain a competitive advantage. where will e, in favorite years. what specific capabilities must be filled to ensure that the chairman in 2022 can be as confident of our ability to project power then as i am today. again, as a result of unstable budgets and operational tempo we have been focused on violent extremism, we have delayed modernization programs. our potential adveradversaries haven't had to suffer through that same experience. as americans we should be concerned about that. our ability to project power is a critical element of
conventional deterrence. i believe right now that our competitive advantage conventionally has in fact mitigated the risk of conflict. in the loss of that competitive advantage conventionally would be a risk. obviously the loss of a safe,fection and reliable nuclear deterrent is a concern. that's the primary thrust of our budget recommendations. >> between the budget control action, continuing resolutions countless hours of testimony has congress and the white house essentially failed the military by not coming to an agreement and getting the military the ability it needs in its funding to increase its personnel strengthen modernization. i was reading through your hours of testimony, how senate committee by committee same
things kept coming up over and over again. that you were being effectively shortchanged. >> the one that i said in testimony, i routinely say i fundamentally don't believe we should be sending our young men and women into a fair fight. we shouldn't be doing that. we will send them some place we should send them with the wherewithal to accomplish the mission. we're got going to be able to do that with the budget control act. we will not do that with more continued resolutioners. wewe are where we are now back in 2012 with the exception of one assignment i've been involved where we've been since 2012 with regard to a budget. as a result of continuing resolutionser year as a result of the budge control act. we haven't been able to allocate the resources that american people give us for the nation's defense. if we didn't lift the budget gap and get back to regular order that is passing a budget every
year, we will not get out the trap that we found ourselves in. it's going take us some time to get out of that trough. only way we'll get out of that trough is to have regular order and budget process. [applause] >> speaking of regular order. there are several things you can pluck out of that. you've got decades old icbm's. you got all of this military vehicles that are not equivalent to their peer counterparts and competitive nations. where do you start? there seem to be a long laundry list of what you have to fit in order to be competitive. >> it starts with the nuclear enterprise. we've made that, we believe that's the department number one responsibility deter nuclear
war. it would be nice if we didn't have to invest in nuclear enterprise. it would be nice if nuclear weapons weren't part of the national defense strategy. the enemy gets a vote and russia has increased the role of nuclear weapons in their defense strategy and maintaining effective deterrence is important. that's job one. i spoke about our ability to project power. again, what we have done, we've taken a look at each of the four state actors and none state actor. i don't use that four plus one as a predictive model. here's an important assumption you can test, we build a u.s. military with the right inventory and capabilities and capacity and right size that can deal with russia, china iran, north korea or violent extremism, that we'll have the right force in the future to maintain a competitive advantage. deal with what we deal with as
unexpected. as i tell people, if there's anything i learned in 40 years of active duty it's to be humble about our ability to predict the future. just like any industry, you have to benchmark yourself against something. what we have done, benchmark ourselves against those four plus one. in the way we will inform our priority nas we provide to congress by looking at where we are today relative to where we'll be five years from now. that will be where the priorities outside the nuclear enterprise are established. there's other things about training the force. i'm speaking about it from a joint inventory perspective. >> let's go global again. you mentioned briefly nato. the president was on overseas trip, he had pretty tough words for nato. how did those words have an effect on your dealings with your counterparts and the allies that we have dealt for so long? >> this is some my find this
hard to believe. i was in nato probably ten days ago. i'm there at least every quarter. met with all now 29 members of nato. witnessed this afternoon, about 4:00 -- i'm speaking to or meeting with one of the nato counterparts. every week. there's not a week doesn't go by where i'm not meeting with one or more of them. the military to military relationship to include our combined operations in afghanistan. to include our combined operations in syria and iraq. to include the partnership we have to french and west africa. include the partnership we have the french and united kingdom and united states and east africa. massachusetts not suffered ahas not suffered a bit. i find it hard pressed to find a time when more than 30 nations stayed together in a fate for
over a decade like we have in afghanistan. we've been able to put together coalitioncoalition of 60 countries. what i would ask you to do when you think about what impact where we are with regard to our allies it's look what we're doing. who we're seeing what we're doing across the world, i believe from coalition and alliance it's look what we're perspective pretty effective. >> you were the to oppose integration of women and units. chose not to appear at the secretary of defense press conference. what's your current views on the issue. are you now if favor of military jobs to include qualified women? >> i hope appreciate that when you provide military advice, do you so in good faith. at the end of the day, when you're in uniform, you're inside the department of defense you
provide military advice and then civilian leadership makes a decision. the day secretary carter made a decision i had one task which was with full commitment implement the decision that secretary carter made. i also want told you when i made the recommendation to secretary carter, it wasn't a i don't recommend women be integrated. even as a marine corps, i opened up all but two percent of the occupational fields. with those fields that i did not recommend, i outlined the specific conditions that i thought should be said before we move forward with full integration. it was a question mr. secretary we done some careful analytic work. we done some experimentation.
here's the issues issues that should be considered. in a conversation, he said that's fine. i i believe that we can address the issues. i accept the issues that you raised. by the way if you look at the memo that secretary carter signed out to implement the decision every single issue that is in the letter that i sent to him is reflected in secretary carter's implementation memo. i believe the issues that you raised can be addressed in implementation. this process doesn't have to be sequential. i got it, yes, sir. i haven't thought about anything other than executing the secretary's decision since that. >> along those lines, there are thousands of transgender service members serving in the him tear -- military today. secretary carter allowed transgender individuals to openly serve and allow new
transgender groups to join. why is the pentagon considering changing this policy? >> first of all, let's be clear. the transgender personnel are serving right now. there's no review ongoing that would affect the ability of those currently serving to continue serving. provided they can meet the physical qualifications in the same standards that other marine meets. the issue now is, the challenges of obsession individuals in criteria for obsession. there have been some issues raised with regard to challenges of obsessions transgender individuals. that's what the secretary is reviewing. this is not a reversal of the policy that was implemented before. this is the next phase of implementation with sessions. there have been issues identified that service chief
believe need to be resolved before we move forward. that's where we are now. >> the joint strike fighters entering service with cost and delays, will it continue as a program? is it too expensive to maintain? >> that's a pretty loaded question. someone has an agenda the way they phrased that question. the f35 is operationally deployed today. it will remain as a program. the initial operating capability in the marine corps was made before i changed jobs in july of 2015. i had sufficient confidence in the f35 to declare it initially operational capable and capable of worldwide deployment. you will see in the budget, they have significant f35's in the bunt -- bunch this -- -- budget.
the challenge to f35's -- the cost overruns a bit of that is history. over the past 18 to 24 months, most people would argue congress certainly supports this perspective that the program manager has done a great job of getting lot of those cost over runs back in check. the cost of the aircraft and the operation sustainment cost also in check. the short answer is f35 is a critical program. i believe it's not a better f18 or better bomb truck but it's a transformational capability. both its ability to deliver ordinance to serve literally. it transform the way we fight. we fully haven't appreciated all the things it will do. >> proliferation, lone wolf actors of terror, what steps are
being taken by the u.s. military to prevent some of the osama bin laden sons from perpetuating terrorism in the u.s.? >> those are two separate issues. lone wolf in the united states and then osama bin laden son. we have a common understanding with all the nations a are affected by extremism is a critical part to keep those individuals from being able to plan and conduct and external operations, which is job number one for us in the counterterrorism fight is to prevent attacks on the united states or allies and partners. with regard to lone wolf attacks, we are in support of local and federal law enforcement officials. if you talk about lone wolf
u.s. citizens inspire by propaganda it's battlefield success that undermind the credibility narrative. dealing with individual u.s. citizens who maybe inspired. >> we're running short on time. i'm going to one more substance question. then i'm going to give you our traditional mug. what can be done to stem the flow of refugees in the mediterranean sea and human suffering? should refugee centers be built in north africa to provide south haven and what roles should groups like the vatican play? >> let me answer that question in my way. i would argue, lot of times when we look at violent extremism, we focus on the risk of attacks. we should. the tragic loss of life shows violent extremism is a big issue. if you think about it, probably
the most significant effect of violent extremism has been the throw of refugees. certainly the impact it had in europe and the sheer human suffering that's taking place as a result of 10 million people in the case of syria that have been dislocated or become refugees. it's a tragic outcome of violent extremism. the military dimension that particular problem is, working with local partners to create the conditions where people can be safe at home and don't have a need to be refugees. we worked very closely with u.s. aid in places like mosul and raqqa. when we sit down and develop a campaign plan for raqqa and mosul, sitting at the table is
usaid to making sure we can go into stabilization and set conditions as quickly as possible. >> before i ask the last question i'm going to present our traditional national press club mug. mr. chairman, your picture will go on the wall outside with the rest of the historic speakers that have been coming here since we started speakers program in 1920. last question. goes back to -- >> wait a minute. >> can you expand upon your plans after isil is defeated? that's an optimistic question, you say that the -- does it become a safe zone or are you prepared to protect it from aerial attack. if there's no fly zone are you
listening to expand that zone? >> aisle answer the -- i'll answer the raqqa piece. we're working now with the state department to making sure there's local forces that are recruited to provide security inside. of raqqa. that's our plan for raqqa. what i will tell you that, violent extremism is not over with isis. that's one of the reasons why i'm running now, we have all of our commanders and service chiefs together here in about 30 minutes for quarterly review of where we are in dealing with violent extremism. very much looking towards framework. i talked earlier about sustainable which assumption this is a long term fight. making sure we review our organization construct making sure we constantly review our intelligence sharing.
making sure we constantly review the success of partners in the ground. it's all part what we trying to do. this is a long term fight. raqqa is tactical. mosul is tactical. i believe it will have strategic effects on overall messaging. it undermines the credibility there's a physical caliphate that exist in the middle east. we ought not to confuse success inraqqa and mosul. it's not about just the united states. it's about the 120 plus countries from which foreign fighters have come just to iraq and syria. to degree we can get all 120 countries to cooperate and intelligence sharing information, and effective action, limit the freedom of
movement of foreign fighters, limit their ability to share resources and erode the effectiviveness and narrative. we're prepared for long term fight and review of how we're addressing it. if there's one thing i will leave you with don't ever think that those of us in uniform are complacent about any of the issues that we spoken about today. i tell people that when i was second lieutenant, my level of experience was way down here. my level of confidence that i had was way up here. as i speak to you today, my level of experience is arguably way up here and my level of confidence on issues that we're dealing with that i have all the answers is way down here. these are extraordinarily complex wicked problems. bewear of those -- beware of those with too much confidences like they have all the answers. thank you. [applause] >> stay in your seat as the chairman leaves the hall.
for more information on the program, you can log into www.press.org. we are adjourned. thank you. [applause] >> if you missed general's remarks you can watch the discussion online any time at c-span.org. look at some of the challenges that's republicans and congress continue efforts to pass healthcare law replacement. republican senator bill cassidy of louisiana and democratic senator tom carper of delaware will focus on areas of compromise and time frame for
passage. that's at 2:00 eastern live here on c-span. coming up wednesday former department of homeland security secretary jay johnson will be on capitol hill testifying on russian interference in the 2016 u.s. election. we'll have live coverage of the house intelligence committee at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. you can stream it live online at c-span.org or listen live on c-span radio app. next a conversation about race in america. with new orleans mayor mitch landrieu.