tv Joint Chiefs Gen. Dunford on National Security Threats CSPAN May 30, 2019 3:08am-4:07am EDT
weekend on american history tv on c-span3. jointt, chairman of the chiefs talks about national security threats, military readiness, nato, and u.s. relations with russia, china, and north korea. this runs just under an hour. >> good morning ladies and gentlemen. welcome to the brookings institution. my name is john allen. i am the president of bookings and i'm pleased this morning to look mauer honored guest, the 19 chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and my friend, general joe dunford. been chairford has of the joint chiefs of staff and
prior to that, served as our commandant of the marine corps. they commanded all forces in afghanistan. general dunford and i have known each other for many years since we were captains, in fact. i can say with complete certainty and sincerity that he is one of the finest marines to have been minted in the modern era of the marine corps. in 1996, lieutenant colonel dunford would take command of the second battalion marines at camp lejeune in north carolina. years later in kabul we would repeat that. he would take command of the war effort in afghanistan. his storied career spans more than four decades of brilliant service to our country and to the world. in peace and in crisis and in war. and as the u.s. navigates multiple crises as we sit here this morning, i can think of no one, no one better suited to the burdens of this moment than joe
dunford. general, let me say that you are the very definition and embodiment of an american leader and we're so grateful and so honored that you'd be with us this morning here at brookings. shortly, general dunford will take the stage for a conversation on many of the issues we face as a nation. he'll be joined by brookings senior fellow and director of research for our foreign policy program, michael hanlon. we're joined today by a large number of the world's media. as i always do, ladies and gentlemen of the press, you are most welcome at the brookings institution. thus, we are also on the record. >> [laughter] >> so with that, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the 19th chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general joe dunford and michael hanlon. >> [applause]
>> that was probably less than an unbiassed introduction. thank you. and i'm not sure if you picked up on the subtlety of his comment that i followed him into battalion command. any success i had at either of those two assignments i can attribute to my predecessor. the secret is out. >> well, it's great to have you here, general. i just want to say how much it's been a privilege for me to interact with you over the years at brookings and to learn from you. you've been not only a great military leader but a role model on a personal level to a lot of us. for theom your support patriots, pretty much and unpunished set of ethics and leadership skills. thank you for the chance to speak today. i wanted if i could to begin by taking stock of the four years
that you've been chairman and just asking you to reflect a little bit on how the world has changed, because when you came into the position in 2015, we had had a pretty rough 2014. and a lot of the troubles that you've been coping with manifested themselves acutely that year. everything from russian aggression in crimea, china's ongoing militarization of the south china sea even as president xi promised edd it -- promised it would not happen, but it did. you and secretary carter changed the way we thought about defense priorities. you came up with the four plus one framework for four threats, russia, north korea, china and iran. you and secretary mattis created the national defense strategy focused on great power competition. i guess i want to ask, do you see progress because of all
those changes and do you feel that the world, while still dangerous, clearly, is stabilizing a little bit in 2019 relative to 2015? or do you feel we're in just as tense of a moment as ever? >> one of the quotes that i use a lot -- as i was coming in this assignment i tripped over something that henry kissinger had written. he said this was the most volatile period of history since world war ii. to answer your question, if i think about the problems that you've mentioned since 2015 the russians went into syria. since 2015, their presence has been more overt. since 2015, the gru conducted an operation inside of the united kingdom. since 2015, they attempted to they've been quite open about -- they have attempted to interfere with our elections. since the 15, they've been quite
open about modernizing nuclear enterprise. you mentioned china. north korea probably is the one area of those three that i would say was probably worse in 2015 to 2016, 2016 unprecedented numbers of tests, two nuclear tests. people can be skeptical of the current diplomatic track but obviously it's not what i was in 2016. much remains to be seen in the wake of the summit in vietnam. with regard to iran, i probably don't need to speak much about that right now. i'm sure a question will come up about that later. but certainly the tension with iran is greater. violent extremism with general general alan sitting here, situation in 2015 much worse. isis has been cleared from the ground they held in iraq and syria. iraqi security forces are by and large providing security in our own country. -- in their own country. the partners we have on the ground in syria with a relatively small u.s. foot present are securing that area that has been cleared from isis. i would say we describe extremism as a generational conflict and i wouldn't take
issue with that characterization. so while we have made great progress against isis, that fight remains. and you brought up the four plus one becoming a two plus three. i would argue that we probably have put a better framework to deal with these challenges out there since 2015. but i wouldn't argue that the situation in the world is more stable or that kissinger's words don't ring more true to me today than they did in 2015. let me go a little bit one by one on each of those big threats if i could and start with russia. and you've had an ongoing die dialogue with the -- you have had an ongoing dialogue. that has been the highest level ongoing u.s. russia consultation. i know it's been professional and quiet and discreet. has that helped to create any kind of sense of stability?
as i hear you survey the world, the one thing i would give you more of a pat on the back then you gave yourself would be in regard to russia, where it seems to me that despite all the disinformation campaigns and other serious concerns at that level that the risk of military confrontation to my eyes looks less, because you've built up the european deterrence initiative, because nato is more focused on the task of deterring in the east. i think because of your dialogue -- is there any way in which, even though vladimir putin remains a wildcard and unpredictable that we do have, as you say, a pretty strong framework now in place for deterring at least overt aggression against our allies in europe? >> when i think about military to military relationships, i think about it in terms of mitigating the risk of miscalculation and managing the crisis. in the wake of ukraine, we went about two years with no military to military dialogue with russia. in december of 2015, about two
months after i came into the assignment, we reached out for the first time. i think we've since met three or four times face to face and routinely had conversations. it was in the beginning largely just a focus on managing the conflict in syria and establishing what has been a very effective deconfliction mechanism in syria. that was the initial nature of the dialogue. since then, we've had a conversation on virtually all of the issues that affect the security of our two countries. as you have spoken about, the one thing we agreed to, and he has as a professional maintained confidence in this regard, we said the last thing we can afford to do is politicize our relationship. if we want to mitigate the risk calculation and be in an open dialogue we can agree to , disagree on a whole number of issues, particularly policy issues, but we've got to make sure that we don't politicize
our relationship. each and every conversation we've had we've finished with an agreement on the public affairs guidance. with apologies to those in the back of the room, we've agreed not to share the details of our conversation in public so as to protect the relationship. so as a result, four years now into my tenure, we still have on open dialogue and i have the opportunity to work through some difficult issues that confront our two countries in a professional way. but you said something else that's, i think, important. i talk about nato because you talk about russia. i would argue in 2015 if you think about it the discussion in nato really revolved around assuring allies and partners in the enhanced forward presence initiative really was to give confidence to certain members of nato that the alliance really would be there for them. we made a fundamental shift about 18 months after that to truly enhance deterrence as well as assurance. i would argue the investments we have made as a nation in europe
over the last few years, it's been $4 billion, $6 billion, $8 billion on what was the european reassurance initiative and has become the defense initiative has in fact improved our posture in europe from what it was four years ago, has in fact improved deterrence. i think the cohesion, the alliance for all of the noise we hear, if you look at the results of the summits over the last three years and then you look at the actions that have taken place in following up to those summits that point to the most recent commitment by europe to have 30 battalions, 30 ships, po -- 30 ships, 30 squadrons available in 30 days and in an unprecedented way to expose those units to validation of their level of readiness by the supreme allied commander of europe, something that was never done in the past. we've made a fundamental organizational change in the united states to make sure that
the trans-atlantic link would be secure in event of a conflict. we also supported the reorganization of logistics in nato and worked with the european union to work through mobility issues in europe. much work remains to be done, but we are on the right path. , and theompleted chiefs of defense approved it last week for submission to the minister of defense, the first nato military strategy in decades has been written. it clearly articulates the challenges that confront nato and provides the framework for the various plans that will be in place in the event that deterrence fails. so, i would argue that as an the -- as an alliance nato is , stronger than it was four years ago and i could walk through many other initiatives taken for more capability. do we have more work to do? we certainly do, but when i look
back at the four years, one of the things that stands out to meet is the meaningful changes that happen made to enhance its capability. four years ago, i had my confirmation hearing in july of 2015. i was asked, what are the most significant challenges facing our country? i said if i had to point out someone that could pose a threat, i would have to point to russia. i went on to talk about their nuclear capability, their cyber capability, georgia and crimea and ukraine. 2015 in aewsworthy in way that is not newsworthy today. we are still debating in nato how to deal with russia. it is now fair to say, there is russia consensus that poses a threat to the nato alliance, and therefore, we need to take steps to first deter and , then if deterrence fails , defend the alliance.
>> thank you. on this quick tour of the world -- we're grateful for your willingness to expand to these topics quickly. now i want to shift to asia. i want to ask about your assessment of alliance readiness. there is concerned that in president trump stigmatic efforts to try to break the ice establishong-un and more on that -- i have been supportive of what he is trying to do even though the style is a little different from the norm, but he has spoken of the big u.s. rok military exercise. he has suspended many if not most of the larger ones and their has been some concern from some military officers that alliance readiness has suffered as a result. can you help us analyze how much alliance readiness may have degraded or have we been able to do enough smaller exercises that we of preserved the combat
readiness? asked that you question. we have historically spoke about the need to be able to fight with the u.s. alliance on the peninsula. i can tell you up front that remains a capability that we have. and you talk about some military officers talking about impact to readiness as a result to the changes in exercises. i can also tell you, those military officers include me. they don't include admiral davidson, the the three officers that have responsibility for the readiness on the peninsula. we have historically done exercises on the peninsula for two reasons. one was deterrence. in that regard, the exercises were high-profile from a public affairs perspective. we had a large footprint of command post exercises designed to deter. inside of those exercises were a number of activities designed to enhance readiness.
we have adjusted the former in support of the diplomatic track. we have reduced the profile of exercises on the peninsula. we have reduced the public affairs profile of the exercises. we have in many cases reduced periods of time where there is a large footprint of u.s. forces reinforcing the peninsula and we have gone to what i would describe as a mission essential task. we look at the mission essential task for every development on the pencil a. the other thing i could tell you is at the squadron and battalion level there has been no change to training on the peninsula. of course, that is the fundamental: block of the ability to integrate combined arms and fight on the peninsula. there has been no change in that regard. the big change is to the higher profile headquarters exercises. and we have found reasons to do that twice a year. one is we have high turnover in
the summer and the republic of korea has high turnover in the wintertime. the exercise program is designed to ensure continuity in the ability to execute the campaign. and we still have that. general abrams knows, he is our commander on the peninsula right now. he knows the moment he becomes uncomfortable with the frame work we have in place we needs to come back to us and we will make an adjustment. i would tell you, i'm very confident today that we have not compromised the readiness of the alliance to go to war. >> let me ask now about china, the south in particular, and our freedom of navigation exercises. the overall chinese effort to build up capability in the south china sea. a lot of that happened in the 2013 and the 2015 times.
-- the 2013 to 2015 period. but the recent d.o.d. white paper on china, the annual report said that process appears to be plateauing. if i remember correctly the wording that was used. i know you're still concerned about the south china sea. you're still doing exercises. are things still getting worse, is there a temporary lull? how worried are you about that? >> mike, you mentioned the fall of 2016, president xi jinping promised president obama that they would not militarize the island. what we see now are runways, a munitions storage facilities, missile defense capabilities and so forth. clearly, they walked away from that commitment. the extent they have not been increased in recent months, i assume that is because the islands have been developed to a point where they provide the
military capability the chinese required that you have. i don't know of any change in the last few months. stabilize in terms of activity, perhaps achieved operational capability from a chinese perspective. you and i spoke just before i cannot hear, and it is probably worth repeating how i view the south china sea. the south china sea is, in my judgment, not a pile of rocks as we have talked about before. what is at stake in the south china sea and elsewhere where there are territorial lames is the rule of law. the international laws and norms and standards. in my judgment that is when we , ignore actions that are not in compliance with the national rules, norms, and standards, we just set a new standard and as you and i have spoken about before, the new standard was lower than it was the day before. it really is necessary -- i'm
not suggesting at all it is a military response. what needs to happen in my view to have a free and open pacific, which is the aspiration of the united states and the expressed aspiration aspiration, there needs to be coherent and collective action to those who violate international norms and they need to be held accountable so that future violations are deterred. >> thank you. i want to ask a couple questions now about the state of the u.s. military and then look forward to the broader conservation. when you became chairman in 2015, you succeeded john allen, and you had been assistant commandant -- you have had for four-story jobs and you have have had four four-star jobs. we have been coping with a difficult decade in terms of
military readiness as the chiefs have been saying for a long time first brought upon by the intense the plemons in afghanistan and exacerbated by the budget problems in washington. everything from the budget control act to sequestrations. in the last two or three years, i think there has been headway if i read the d.o.d. ocumentation correctly. -- duty documentation correctly. how would you assess the state of readiness of the u.s. military today as it tries to get on the comeback trail from a pretty rough first 20 years of this century. >> me reinforce your point about how did we get there. in the collective leadership, 2010, and i was part of it, so i'm not having an out of body experience to blame somebody else here. we made two assumptions. we said our operational commitments would reduce and the fiscal environment and stabilize. those are two aassumptions, and the decisions we made are informed by those two
assumptions. as you remember, we had significant commitments, if so what we said was look, our major priority has to be making sure our men and women in harm's way have to have the where with all to do the job. then we will address some of the underlying readyness issues, and at some point they become a distinction without a difference. between the readiness and modernization. but 2015, it was clear to all of us that the operational environment was not going to change and our commitments would not be reduced. in fact, they may actually increase. the fiscal situation was not going to stabilize. we started to achieve was a better balance and i articulated this as what i viewed as one of my most significant challenges when i came into the job, getting the balance between today and tomorrow right.
but 2015, it became clear to all of us that we were not as balanced and we needed to be as attentive as we had been to tomorrow. and then fortunately starting in 2017, i would argue that we levels ofee adequate funding and to be able to address those issues. to put that into context, that was a munition shortfalls, lack of spare parts, and lack of vehicles on flight line or motor pool. it is a distinction with no difference. at some point, if you have only six airplanes in a squadron, it doesn't matter how ready those six airplanes are, you are still at 50% of capability. we were able to address the munition shortfalls, balance our training for those units, because the bill payer had been not the units that were deployed at the units on station. we began to invest in our
aviation enterprise, ground vehicles, to address the shortfalls. what i hope to be four years into stable levels of funding , assuming we get fiscal year 20 at or about what president's budget reflects, and that has made a quantifiable impact on a level of readiness that we have, what i would say is this, though, we have, we describe it as fill the holes. we addressed unit readiness and i think that compared to 2015 is significantly better. the second piece of it is our overall kpet ti advantage to it endedl competitive to project power and that is sea, air, land, and cyber space. in that regard, our competitive advantage has eroded over time. as i look forward and i think about readiness, i think about ensuring that we make the investments necessary to have a competitive advantage in 2024, 2025, as well as today.
i feel confident today saying we can protect the homeland and we have an advantage over any adversary. i feel equally confident saying the president that we have been -- saying that the path we have been on has to continue for several years for us to address that competitive advantage issue. that is separate and distinct from units level readiness. >> one last question and i want to pursue this issue of resources. even though the request ended up being at the higher end of what people expected, and if you get that, you will be fairly happy with your resourcing -- if we look at the five-year plan, the buildup stops, because the projections for the budget are 1% growth. that would be less than the rate of inflation. the reason i noticed that is not because i think $750 billion is
too little for defense, but i wonder if -- people have called the budget proposal a masterpiece -- i wonder if there is a flaw in the masterpiece or an unanswered question which is the air force and navy still have ambitious plans and we heard general goldfein and secretary wilson unveil a plan for the air force to grow by 25%. the navy still wants to grow, and at the same time we're trying to improve quality and innovation, those two services want to improve or augment size. i wonder if there is a quality, quantity dilemma that we're prioritizing both and we don't really have the long-term resource trajectory to afford the modernization you're talking about. and also the force structure growth. to the extent that you leave that for the future, do you guidance for what is more important? >> we view that as capability
and capacity. what we can do and how much of it we can do. i have been clear that we needed sustained, predictable and adequate levels of funding in the future. we have done competitive analysis. we have looked at ourselves through the lens of 14 competitive areas. it is a classified study, but you can imagine what they are. -- we looked at 14 competitive areas. we looked at the trajectory of capability development of our competitors. we made judgments in conjunction in the intelligence community about where they will be in the mid 20s. we have looked at where we are today and where we would need to be to maintain an acceptable competitive advantage in 2020. we have done the math that % growth to% to 5 meet the requirements. if the budget doesn't realize
3% to 5% growth, you have to make real choices. what i would say is it could only be capacity where you have capability. so, i think the lesson that many of us learned in the 1970s and 1980's is you can't have force structure without proper training, property agreement, proper leadership, or proper funding to conduct our exercises and provide maintenance. what i would say to those coming behind me is, make sure that if we grow -- i don't dispute, in many cases the requirement to , increase our capacity, to meet our commitments at an acceptable level of what we call deployment to dwell. how much time are our forces away, how much time are the home? if we going to grow in capacity you need to do it in a way that , is meaningful and balanced capability. and when you to make a choice
between capacity and capability, i go with capability. i make sure every unit that we have has a level of readiness to meet its requirements. i would not grow the force in a way that exceeds that we will predict will be sustainable. that is a tough call. i have seen us get that wrong twice in my career. in my mind the quality over quantity will be the most important thing that i recommend. in fact, if you look at our budgets in '17, '18, and '19 that is the choices that we made. we invested significantly in space, cyber space, electronic warfare. all of those things are designed to enhance our combat readiness even at the cost of not growing to meet our commitments. >> thank you, i think i will bring others into the conversation as well. identify yourself if you could, please. >> thank you. i have two questions for the
general. you mentioned in your speech that we need to do something to who broke the rules in the south china sea accountable. could you elaborate on that? thend question is about u.s. china relationship. with a deteriorating u.s. and china relationship, what is it like? >> two excellent questions. the first one. i want to emphasize what i said when i answered the question the first time. i wasn't suggesting a military response. there are certain the economic steps that can be taken double people accountable. by the way, i don't view that specifically -- that is one specific case where i do believe that there are territorial disputes that should be handled in accordance with the law. that is just my position. what i wasn't suggesting is that
if it is still in dispute, if -- that there are not other tools to deal with it. i visited beijing last year. for over a decade, we tried to get a joint staff dialogue ongoing. we had been unsuccessful. about a year and a half ago, we implemented a full process of engagement between the general staff, if you will in china, and the joint staff here in washington, d.c. in a more routine engagement. in addition to a personal visit to visit my counterpart, we had secure teleconferences since then. it can be stabilizing. both president xi jinping and president trump have characterized the military to military relationship as an aspect that should be stabilizing. we have worked hard to implement the president's intent in that regard. i think we have effective lines
of communication that could some -- i could use some improvement and some maturation. i would tell my successor that that is an area where we have made some progress. >> gentleman in the right. >> thank you. i guess i will ask the iran question. posed by iranreat to the united states and other forces in the region changed in the last year and how do you expect it to change in the future and if you could be as specific as possible. i think we would all appreciate it. >> i would be very specific. in the last week of april, i began to see more clearly things that i had been picking up on over a period of months. what was qualitatively different
to me about the intelligence -- and i remember very clearly, it was the third of may, a friday -- what was different about the threats we had seen was it was multiple threat streams all coming together in time. what is not new are threat streams. what was new is a pattern of threat streams emanating from yemen, the gulf, and iraq. we watched that very carefully on friday evening. we sent a message at that time to iran just to make sure they understood that we would hold them accountable should something take place in the region. there was not an opportunity for them to do things and then claim it was not attributable to iran. we wanted to reduce the risk of miscalculation. there was a question about the will and the capability of the united states to respond.
throughout the weekend i had dialogue with an old mckenzie. we recommended that the abraham lincoln carrier strike group be ordered to central command. we averaged more than two carrier strike groups at a station in 2012 at any given time. we had zero on the weekend of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th of may, we also sent bombers and patriot missile systems. those were designed to address what i saw as a gap in perception. we wanted to make sure that we addressed three things to mitigate the risk of miscalculation. we want to be rainy and still know that if we did anything, it would be a charitable to them. we wanted them to know we had the capability to respond and that was the force elements that we sent in. the last was to make sure those
elements were a manifestation of our will to respond. this was designed to enhance deterrence. what was different as we saw something that looks more like a campaign than an individual threat and it was the geographic span and the perception that the ability would be synchronized in time that caused us to look at that threat differently than 30 years of the activity by iranians. activities were not new, but a more widespread, campaign like perspective is what we were dealing with. in any event, people can question the intelligence. i would say is, since that weekend, there have been ships that have been hit with mines, there have been uab strikes, there have been rocket strikes any proximity of the united states embassy in iraq. that has all happened since the weekend of the third, fourth and
fifth. i view this three military lens. elements thatrce we sent in the wake of that weekend, general mckenzie and i continue to have a dialogue about what might be the proper posture in light of the tensions that exist today, and we can all see that there is a difference in tensions that exist. we had a conversation and focused on, what do we need to ensure that we have a proper level of force protection for people in the region? capabilities, the those were designed to enhance our force protection and they were accompanied by a message that this is not intended to be a provocation. -- this is designed to protect our people, like the previous force elements were designed to enhance deterrence. will go to the fourth row.
>> thank you. retired special agent u.s. customs. my question concerns the potential for false flag terrorism. as background in 1962, your a -- your predecessor prepared operation northwoods. presented to john kennedy, proposing various false lag attacks on u.s. persons to be attributed to cuba and used as a pretext for war with cuba. recently, a doctor of the army war college and a former defense minister of germany have written credibly about aspects of false flag terrorism in the events of 9/11. today, or their allies of the u.s. that would
like to see a conflict of iran and would perpetrate a false flag event to cause that to happen? >> i'm not going to answer the question directly. i don't know what others want. i will just to you this -- i'm very familiar with the consequences of going to war and take the responsibility of providing military advice in that regard very seriously. warow the consequences of from an economic and human perspective. i can assure you that any military advice that i would provide would be carefully measured by checking the intelligence multiple times, ensuring the veracity of intelligence and making a recommendation for a response that is appropriate, whether it is iran or any other conflict. are there people who might like to get the united states to do something? certainly, you can see that even
in the open source where that , speculation is out there. i can guarantee you, that is not going to inform the military andce i am going to provide it is not going to inform my perspective when i make a recommendation. >> thank you. go here in the third row, another gentleman in a red tie. thank you for coming, i'm a japan native, a u.s. citizen. japan is trying to purchase more f-35's trying to beef up their , defense and so forth. can you talk about our alliance with japan a little bit? i can talk about our alliance in japan. a year with times japanese counterpart.
until a week or two ago, it would be hard for me that went by week where i didn't have a conversation. japanese-u.s. relationship as highlighted by the president's recent trip is a cornerstone to our strategy in country that d a shares our view of a free and open pacific. for a capability perspective as suggested, the japanese self-defense force is making significant investments to and enhance their defensive capability and their ability to deter in the region, -35, the b-22 missiles and so forth. that is in my view, one of the right views in my assignment has been the bilateral relationship with the japanese and by wait, the various
arrangements in the pacific that involve both the united states and japan. > i want to stay on that for one quick second if i could, general, throw myself back into japanese are the of g this by spending 1% gdp, a long imposed ceiling on themselves. how do we best measure burden aaring, the 2% goal for nato, lot of people before president trump supported that, it makes sense. the bigger question is how do the money. o you see the nato alliance making good decisions about how to spend the increased money, see nato nations making enough effort to build projectable employable force and get the burden sharing to include metrics of employability and -- an excellent point. burden menting on
sharing, i'll be disappointing. to be seriously, i have never issue about that publicly, nor would my counterparts. i have yet to meet a chief of doesn't want a higher top line in defense. browbeating my counterparts about how much money is being spent in their countries in defense would be itself.ying in so we don't do that. you bring up a really important point about nato. so i mentioned earlier the nato military strategy. have a ystem, we strategy and then we have an usessment process that helps inform what investments from capacity apability or perspective are necessary for that strategy. nato has historically not had that. now have three things that i hink will be the cardinal direction for us to go in this nato. one is a nato military strategy. is an accepted concept for nato operations.
and the third will be an process that helps us understand where we are relative to where we need to be in nato military strategy. that will never be directive in nature, right. every country is going to make its own decisions about defense investments. many, you know, domestic considerations that will always dominate any what you buy or what you don't buy inside of a given country. we can be informed as an lines as to what the best capabilities capacities are. my counterparts can go back informed by that information into the debate that takes place in their own countries. i see that as a positive. the other thing that we have a smaller group with other countries where we have robust intel sharing we have leveraged those intel sharing arrangements to have an assessment process as conduct as the a top secret level to help us all ollectively understand where the best investments would be for our countries to achieve
campaign outcomes, where we to be fighting as part of a coalition. >> thank you. o to the gentleman in the orange shirt in the eighth row. two up there, thanks. the very back row, blue tie. >> thank you, general, tony from defense. i wanted to ask you about something closer to home, about the border. that will be left for your successor. in what ways do you believe it propose for the military's mission at the u.s.-mexico border to expand, if expand, and then also is it right to be concerned to that ources moving area when it was not identified as an unfounded priority by the pentagon, thank you. >> ok, let me start with the framework that i have used to on the border and it's very simple. number one, is the mission number two, do our people have the proper training. number three, do they have the capability and number four, is the direction that we're providing to our men and
unambiguous.nd they know exactly what they're doing. f we're meeting those four criteria and we are filling a shortfall ofpacity home security, it is wholly appropriate and consistent with ultiple presidents who have asked department of defense to address shortfalls. hen you separate the politics and emotion from it, my military advice is benchmarked against four factors. everything that we have done to date is consistent with those factors. everything we're doing today is legal. all of our men and women are equipped rained and and they have clear direction as to what their mission is. with regard to the money, you know, in my view, it's the president's budget, right. so this is a dialogue that takes executive en the branch and the legislative branch about how to fund the president's priorities. i'm not going to comment on the appropriateness from taking department of defense and moving to the border. we're certainly going to take
maintenance money where we're tasked to perform a mission to train those forces to g on the mission and sustain those forces in the execution of that mission. that's what we're doing. that, when it comes to the broader funding of so forth, ure and again, i think that's most appropriately a dialogue that takes place between the president and the congress and we go back and we execute the legal orders that we have been given. to follow up on that question because i think important ant, it's to separate the emotion of the border issue and the challenges the e border from employment of the u.s. military in what is fundamentally a legal and appropriate mission. question that a you touched on but didn't ask directly and that is readiness. me, well, ople say to we're sending forces down to the border. doesn't that make them less ready. is, look, if we send tsunami o respond to a in indonesia or conduct operations in afghanistan or
conduct operations in iraq, that by definition is not performing all of the tasks that of that e design particular unit, how do we accommodate that? rotate units e routinely through different missions to give them experience capability and the full spectrum of missions that we expect them to perform. i don't view the mission on the to readiness gard as any other mission that we have been assigned, which, again, we look at myings in of a mission you have been assigned and a mission for which a you want was designed. seldom do you get an assigned ever, i that, seldom if would say, do you get a mission that would allow to develop efficiency in all of the tasks that that unit was designed for. answers the question. >> general dunford, i want to go iran.to your remarks on how likely you are in favor of iranian hotline with
military just in order to avoid any miss calculation in the region? yeah, look, at the end of the day, our military relationship fundamentally a policy decision. what i would tell you in general i believe that military to military relationships and dialogue can be a stabilizing relationship, but there has to be a clear framework within which that ilitary to military relationship is ongoing and we have a s you know, direct counterpart in iran and so we would have to work our way through that. laste woman in the next to row. >> washington correspondent for korea. in recent interviews, president said that he anted five nuclear sites destroyed to kim jong-un, he
two. one or that's why the whole talk failed. an you tell me specifically what those five sites represent and at the hanoi press conference president trump said does not know when kim jong-un will be coming to the table. that's the case, where is the strategy at the moment? another area is where i'll be a bit disappointing in my answer. i'll talk to you from a military dimension. we look at north korea through the lens of the capability they represent, our job is to make sure we have sufficient forces provocation and respond in the event the deterrence fails. we're also supporting a by disrupting k ship to ship transfers of that are products inconsistent with u.n. security council resolutions. to the framework within which we're negotiating a resolution to adeux nuclearized peninsula, that's in
the president and secretary of state. i have to be in complete support. i don't have any own view in address that. my job is to support the diplomatic track and that's what doing. >> [inaudible] >> i view that as -- i'm not evasive, but i view the specificity that you get as a polish. so if the president spoke about i e and kim had said two, view that as a normal dialogue diplomatic ing in a effort to denuclearize the peninsula. on fivegoing to comment or two or whatever it should be should be addressed. for a couple e more. we got the gentleman in the white shirt. thank you very much. talked about afghanistan. my question is as you know that are going eace talks afghanistan.
he taliban doesn't accept government presence in the talk these talks succeeded, one main demand is the withdrawal of forces from afghanistan. nd u.s. forces, u.s. officials and afghan officials say they tolerant with fghanistan 20 terrorism organizations, how do we deal with others in afghanistan? >> look, no one has suggested hat the united states is going to leave afghanistan without our beingrterrorism interests addressed. i think we're very helpful to the afghan people and those of have served there are proud of that, our fundamental and counterterrorism interests in south asia in a
south asia strategy. that's not negotiable in our counterterrorism interests. quickly identified the position of the taliban which is a complete withdrawal of all u.s. forces. interests are to make sure that our counterterrorism nterests are addressed as well as some other principals that i'm sure that the state department will insist upon in the dialogue. in a very important principal that we have insisted on is an afghan-owned, afghan-led dialogue. initial work of the ambassador, god bless him, he is doing something that hasn't been in 10 or 15 years. and for all the skepticism that have on this diplomatic track, the fact there is a diplomatic track. we do all we can to reinforce that and we are. a need to understand that key part of the current diplomatic framework is to afghan hat the government and people inclusive
fghan people are participants in that process. >> last question to marvin in front row, please. general, first of all, thank you very much for being here today. wo quick questions, the first is, what is your judgment of the what does he really want? second, among of those who russia, when putin has domestic problems, he seeks ome, what, some way of getting out of that by moving externally. 'm wondering if there is any evidence to suggest that? >> i think if you look at the russia, you look at the economics in russia, you at some of the signs of i can't ion in russia, necessarily get inside putin's ind and say that those three
variables have affected how he reacts externally, i think the evidence is pretty clear. of behavior is pretty clear. i don't think it's unique in to create an y external challenge to accommodate a domestic issue. unique to russia to do that. there is any nk doubt that domestic politics president putin's calculus. i don't think i'm too far out of my lane as someone in uniform to assertion. with regard to what i think russia wants as well and i think to be the preeminent eurasia have been my judgment. you look at the path of and what development president putin has said, the taken, you have can't draw any other conclusion than that's what they're trying to do. >> if i could ask a favor, olks, to please have a moment
for us to leave the stage, me in thank general dunford. [applause] >> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, we will discuss robert mueller's statement on the russia probe. afghanistan's special inspector general will be on to talk about
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the chicago council on global affairs hosted four former ambassadors who served for nearly 16 of the past 18 years. this is about an hour and 10 minutes. >> thank you, everybody, for joining us and thank you to the chicago council on global affairs. you to the chicago council on global affairs. we are going to be livestreamed. for those that cannot stay off shtagsr, we have a few ha we can use. with that, i would like to welcome my panel and let's jump into it. we have right now with us close to two