Skip to main content

tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  November 18, 2010 11:00pm-2:00am EST

11:00 pm
and sure you are aware, requires a comprehensive audit plan. are you aware of that, general fields, that the law requires a comprehensive audit plan? .. what we would pursue. and i'm pleased to say at the top of that list is in fact
11:01 pm
contracting. that was followed up with the hiring of mr. john brennan as my principal auditor. >> wended that higher occur? >> that hiring actually occurred the first week of january of 2009. that is when mr. brandon actually came aboard. we commence the process of bringing him to avoid much earlier that. to make you abandon the agency held on when he joined the agency? >> i had been at the agency -- >> since july 2008, correct? >> that's when i was sworn in, correct. >> now, the audit plan the love requires and i'm sure, i hope the person you did was to look at public law 110 and 181, 122, statute to 35 and look at the statutory requirements of the job. the plan that was required to lease out that it must be consistent with the requirements
11:02 pm
of subsection h. which are the audit requirements that the congress placed on sigar. are you familiar with the audit requirements in subsection h., general? >> in general, yes i am. >> could you tell us what those requirements are? >> that we would conduct a thorough audit of the spending associated with our contribution to reconstruction in afghanistan . >> i'm not trying to play.thank you or, general, that there are several requirements in section h. i'm going to lay them out for the record. after i do each one, i would like to tell you if that has been completed and if so, when? >> yes, ma'am. >> the first one is, these are the thing at a minimum to required to examine a special inspector general.
11:03 pm
the first one is the man which contract requirements were developed in contracts for task and delivery of orders were awarded. has that been done by sigar? have you examined contract requirements in afghanistan and contracts are task and delivery orders, how they were awarded. has your agency done that at this stage? >> we have conduct that several contract audits. each of those audits has not addressed associated with how contracts can about. >> how many contract audits have you completed? >> we have completed about four contract audit. >> anytime for contract audits. but isn't it true that all of those have occurred essentially in the last 12 months? >> that is correct. >> numbers to come in the manner in which the federal agency exercise control over the performance of contract various,
11:04 pm
have you done that work? >> we have examined in each of our audit, the extent to which controls have been in place to guard against waste, fraud and abuse of the american taxpayer's dollar. and in so doing, yes, ma'am, we have looked at those matters as they relate to contracts, specifically in those areas in which we have conducted focus contract audits of specific initiatives for which funding has been available. >> already. so the first requirement dealt with contract requirements and task and delivery orders. the second requirement, the model of control over contractors of the federal government. number three, the extent to which operational field commanders were able to coordinate or direct the performance of contractors in the area of contract obligation. has that been done?
11:05 pm
>> senator, the very first auto reconnect it wasn't audit -- a contract being supervised by cystic or, which is responsible for the oversight of training and equipping the afghanistan security forces. that contract is with $404 million to the american taxpayer. >> how many artists have you done that address the oversight of contract first by field commanders? >> 40%, senator, of our audits have either been direct order of focus contract audits or contract related audit. >> i thought you said you done for audits on contracts? >> i said for audits because i was referencing for focus contract audits, which were of multimillion dollars infrastructure initiatives,
11:06 pm
specifically associated with the standout of the afghanistan security forces. but i am also saying that we have looked to contracts, not so much focus contract that is not necessarily addressed a specific infrastructure initiatives, but those audits address contracts in general they relate to the standards of the afghan security forces and other initiatives in afghanistan. >> number four, the degree to which contractor employees are properly screened, selected, trained and equipped for functions to be performed. is there report you can point me to oregon give reassurance that we are doing adequate selection training, equipping and screening of contract personnel in afghanistan? >> senator, first audit that we published, the $404 million contract, we found him not audit that first the supervision of
11:07 pm
that particular contract was inadequate, whereby the actual entity, the export and contract was really living in maryland and not physically located on a permanent basis in afghanistan. >> how many contracts are operational in afghanistan right now? >> i don't know, senator. >> can you give me a ballpark? >> i know based on our most recent audit between 2007 and 2009 of all contracts for which we could find information at that point in time, 6900 contracts, among which i'm confident are a number of the type you just mentioned. >> okay, so i've asked several questions in each one you refer to the same audit of one contract. so of the 6000 -- would you say the number was?
11:08 pm
>> 6900, senator. >> with almost 7000 operational contracts and there have been for audits completed of those contracts? >> the 6900 is a wallop of contracts in general regarding afghanistan between the years 2007 in 2009. how many of those may be defined as operational contracts, i don't know. >> you don't have any reason to believe that's gone down, do you? in fact, it's probably gone up. >> absolutely. >> absolutely. the nature and extent of any incident of on conduct by contractor employees. how many audits have you done that would reassure the american people that you have in fact looked for, found or are confident there is no unlawful act to duty by contractor employee? >> senator, i would say in each of the 30 for audits that we have conducted, but those
11:09 pm
matters have been of concern. but each of those 30 for audits may not necessarily have been directly related to a contract. >> company findings have you issued dealing with misconduct or unlawful activity by contractor employees, how many findings in these audit? >> i don't think we have identified misconduct per se. we have identified issues that we have given to our investigation for further follow-up. >> i'm sorry, excuse me. >> i'm sorry, senator. i can specifically tell you at a specific audit we conduct did, which started out as a general audit of the kabul power plant, an item worth $300 million for the american taxpayer. and during the course of that audit, we found anomalies that
11:10 pm
we felt were investigatory in nature, so we tailored and shortened the scope of our audit and the rest of those founders were turned over to our investigators and they are still being pursued. >> the remaining two requirements in terms of audit that must be performed, the nature and extent of any duty by contractor employee that was inconsistent with the objections of operational field commanders. and finally number seven, the extent to which an incident of misconduct on the tbd recorded, documented, investigated and prosecuted. to what extent have you been able to produce the report as to how much i'm off like tbd has actually been investigated and prosecuted? >> i don't have an answer to that question at this time. but i will assure the senator, that as we conduct our audit work and as we conduct our
11:11 pm
investigation, all of those matters are in fact taken into consideration. >> thank you, general. senator brown. >> thank you, madam chair. emir general mccaskill -- senator mccaskill's kind words about your service as someone who is still serving. i greatly appreciate the service and i noticed in your testimony with great concern for the afghan children enemies of the people of afghanistan. and i understand that. i also have however great concern about our soldiers and the men and women who are fighting and also the taxpayers who are providing that $56 billion. it doesn't grow on trees. and happy inside, i know you've know you've been in that position since july of 08 and alaska now that you've heard noted serious deficiencies and management deficiencies during that review.
11:12 pm
now that she's held the office for over two years, what major course corrections are you currently taking to rectify these serious deficiencies? [inaudible] >> -- that was the month during which i was privileged to be sworn into this position. but funding for sigar did not really come until much later. that is why i point out that we did not get and receive full funding for this organization until june of 2009. >> so noted and that's a good point. but in reference to course collections, one of the reasons i ask for the sigar to come in early, about two years in advance of the comment it would normally have which we anticipated was to help me set the course correctly for this
11:13 pm
organization. and i am using the result of both the audit, the investigations and the so-called capstone review of the sigar to help chart the course. so i have put in place, as at the 30th of september of this year, the recommendations and suggestions made by the review team. >> cowdrey ..? was specifically is the biggest thing right think senator mccaskill and i are concerned about, which is the money. i know you've done some good reports and investigations on other things that you commented on, which is policy issues relating to the ability to the afghan people to live and grow. but in terms of the things that many taxpayers right now are concerned about is the dollars, the growing weary. they want to know what the
11:14 pm
money's gone. but actions based on the recommendations do you have in place? >> thank you, senator. i'm a taxpayer as well. i've as much interest if not more in my particular case as the individual american taxpayer. we are doing a better job of risk assessment. we found that to be a weakness to which earlier your attention and a much more pointed way should have been turned. so we are improving the means by which we determine where it is that we should focus our effort. >> and where is that leading you now? >> well, it is leading us to a greater focus on contracts because that isn't packed with the the money is. but as the initial questioning by madam chairman, we have to also address the front end of this reconstruction effort to
11:15 pm
what extent are the policies being put in place by those who are implementing this $56 billion? >> no, and i understand and respect that approach. tonight he been put on notice by everybody that hey, we understand the policies and all that stuff. but what specifically are you doing now based on the recommendations you've been given? what do you specifically doing so i can tell the people back home in massachusetts and all of our viewers we have, where are you focusing? give me specific examples like an advocate and say hey, he's kind of learning. you know, he is serving a growing. he's gotten the funding after european sworn in. he's now been given an independent requested audit. to give me some specific examples. i do want to beat a dead horse here, but i need to know where
11:16 pm
exactly are you focusing? refocusing for example on how the taliban is allegedly getting money from us taxpayers? are you focusing on that? are you focusing on the bright and payouts? refocusing on the fact that the afghan army is not after this six plus billion we've spent is still not up and running. i mean, where are you focusing exactly? >> sir, we are focusing on several broad areas. but at the top of that list abends to be contracting. >> was specifically contracting? what area are you doing? bridges, roads, what specifically? i know contracting is so big. with 7000 contracts or more. have you actually initiated some investigations already? >> sir, with 89 investigative underlings. >> they are focused on fraud and
11:17 pm
theft. >> and based on not, what types of things are you investigating? what examples could you give to me and the american taxpayers of what your initial -- what made you go to that particular area versus another area? >> because that's where we feel the vulnerability is for the american taxpayer's dollar. >> a somewhat? some tip off, some prior contracts? why do you specifically want to go for that area? >> a sum all of the above commissary. >> okay. can you share your thoughts about how we can strategically deal with this very complex challenge did not in your testimony you stated your concern about the role and cost of private security contracts, specifically as it relates to fueling, corruption and finance surgeons that are strengthening criminal networks. what tangible actions are required to try to do for this
11:18 pm
corruption? what do you think -- what can you tell me about that? >> sir, i believe that the fight against corruption must take place on several levels and many dimensions. the first of which we need to give consideration to what it is that we are doing in support of the reconstruction effort in the government of afghanistan. we -- we are conducting a reconstruction effort in three broad areas: security, governance and development. and each of those we feel needs to be addressed. we are developing and have devoted $29 billion to security in afghanistan itself. stand up of the afghan security forces, the police and the army. we have devoted $16 billion to governance and development. and therein lies the vulnerability of the american taxpayer's dollar.
11:19 pm
so we are pursuing audits and investigations that will help mitigate the potential for the american taxpayer dollar to be wasted, fronted or abused. >> i know you've got $46 million to complete her mission. that's a lot of money. i noted here in the chart that senator coburn reference to basically identified in terms of fraud, waste and abuse of about $8 million. so 46 have been given $8 million in the time frame. can you tell me and asked why there hasn't been more of the, kind of a collection on the fraud waste and abuse up to this point? >> sir, a contributing your is the slow start this organization had been standing up, a part of which i am inclined to attribute to the lack of funding. >> listen, i'm going to give you that one because that something you sworn in, got the funding,
11:20 pm
getting it up and running. i think the last nine months. have you had a success want to share with us? >> we have had some success. we have $6 million we reported on her most recent report. we have an ongoing forensic audit of $37 billion, looking at over 73,000 transactions for which we intend to be vector towards crime, potential crime. and were moving in that direction. the were using forensics as a means by which to fairly quickly identify vulnerabilities and then we are structuring audit accordingly. >> one final and then i'll turn it back. in your latest sigar quarterly reports on page six, imagine afghan private security contractor, a thing as it's wartime risk management has been suspended and debarred after was found funneling large amounts of
11:21 pm
money to insurgents. i met with general petraeus on many occasions concerning afghan policy and a crew much better buyers and buy from better people. what oversight actions are you taking for your audits and investigations to prioritize general petraeus is objective that those funds will be given to better people and not our enemies? >> first, i applaud general petraeus and the initiatives that he is taken to address this issue of corruption. the standup on task force 21 is one of those very significant initiatives. we are working very closely with task force 2010. we are also working with the international contract corruption task force in order to harness the investigatory initiatives of the federal
11:22 pm
agencies so that we can bring our wherewithal very quickly to bear on the finding folks who were milking the american taxpayer out of money. >> thank you, madam chair. >> general fields come in your testimony to me a minute ago, you refer to is the sticky audit, this is sticky, the first audit you did? >> yes, ma'am. >> is that correct? >> that is correct. >> and of that -- do you recall how long the audit was, how many pages? >> i don't recall how many pages, but i'm pretty sure wasn't a very large audit, senator. >> does 12 pages sunray? >> that may be about right. the summary of that audit, ma'am. >> how many pages not audit actually contains the audit work? >> i would have to route that
11:23 pm
audit. >> with four pages are correct? >> may be, senator. the other audit you refer to in the testimony was on the kabul power plant. >> that is correct. >> had a similar audit been done by usaid exactly one year prior to the time he do that audit? >> that is correct. >> let's talk about the funding. usaid did a similar audit one year prior on the kabul power plant. do you know what the funding for usaid had done in terms of their general inspector work in afghanistan over the last five, six years? do you know what their total funding has been? >> funding for usaid in terms of its operations in afghanistan, i do not know. >> $10 million. do you see what they've are covered for $10 million taxpayer investment?
11:24 pm
149 million. and you have received $46 million, is that correct, general? >> 46.2 million. >> and you'll have recovered a $.2 million? >> at this point in time, yes. >> can you understand as a matter of select those numbers is hard for me to reconcile the notion that a lack of funding has been your problem? >> senator, the recoveries that we invest our experienced our small. but the full measure of the outcome of audits and investigations that are under way are -- that full measure has not thus far been determined. at our forthcoming numbers will be much larger and the numbers we submitted to the city and there will up of work that the federal community in general, federal ids in general had done for 2009.
11:25 pm
>> let's talk about contract team. you know, one of the things that is very important is how audit agency's contract because your job is to oversee contracts. and your job is to determine if there are contracts that are not needed, put to better use. and out of the $46 million that should have received, how much money are used ending to deloitte & touche, just to prepare your reports for congress? >> that contract, senator, started out at 3.7 million, at a time when we had a paucity of people to do the very specific type of work for which we have contracted, to lock in touche to help us with.
11:26 pm
that arrangement was to facilitate the gaps in their own personnel and the skill sets that were needed at that point in time. and over a period of time we would commensurately reduce the contract as we were able to bring that particular level of talent aboard and sigar and we are doing that, senator. >> use that 2.72.7 million this year for deloitte & touche. and there'll a function is to produce reports to congress, correct? >> deloitte provides also assistance to us and database management. that's one aspect of it. but they principally assist cigar and putting together the reports that we do submit to congress, which is a very detailed report, a very important report. and we feel that the extent to which we have gone to insure that report is put together correctly and it's presentable to this congress is commensurate with the money that we have
11:27 pm
invested into deloitte & touche to do so. >> i want to clarify this. because i will tell you candidly candidly -- i do want to layout my fellow members of congress here, but an investment of that kind of money and report to congress, when there was the kind of out of work that needs to be done and when he is an lack of funding is one of the rationale because of wide war on a work has not been done and why it's taken so long for audits to really be performed or produced in a manner commensurate with the size of your agency. let's compare here. the contract total of deloitte church to $6.6 million. and the total amount of funding to aig is 10 million. and for that telling dollars, with a $149 million back. meanwhile, the 6.6 million at deloitte & touche, always have a shiny report and pretty pictures for members of congress, most of which will never see it.
11:28 pm
could you understand why that causes one path about why that is a strong leadership physician, general fields? >> senator, we've been told the members of the congress that they appreciate the report we provide for them. similarly, federal community elsewhere have told us that they appreciate the detail in the correctness of the reports that we produce. >> let's talk about the contract with joseph schmitz. now come you haven't audit and it's completed your peer review and it's not good. and in fact, for only the second time in 50 peer review is coming you have been recommended to lose your law enforcement capability in an arena for desperately needed law-enforcement capabilities absolutely essential. you've have decided and after the audit is done, you hire someone -- it's my understanding, to help you monitor compliance with the audit recommendations. is that a fair carrot or station
11:29 pm
of which are contract with joseph schmitz was supposed to represent? >> is a fairly fair carrot or station, senator. but we hired this independent monitor, commensurate with a plan of action and milestones that i put in place and response to the result of this cd, in order to remove sigar quickly along to putting in place the corrective action that then identified for us. i set that date at 30 september of this year. and we are a better organization, sender, because we have this external agency to come in and provide us, this particular expertise during this period. >> and this is a no-bid contract. >> it was a source contract for which we made requests. >> that is a no-bid contract,
11:30 pm
sole source. >> that is correct. >> what she said as he meet the immediate establishment of an independent monitor to independently à la fight agency actions and compliance in response to issues contained in the city letter july 15, 2010, it to the attorney general of the united states. that's the document that -- the information in the document for the justification and approval of a no-bid contract. >> senator, we wanted to quickly correct the areas of concern pointed out by that. out. we did not wish to lose or put in jeopardy any further the authorities for criminal investigations that have been provided to me by way of the department of justice. and we felt that this entity would provide that independent look at us.
11:31 pm
and we felt that would help mitigate any concerns that this congress and the overseers on capitol hill sigar might have as well as to reassure anyone else who might be interested in the outcome of that purity vow. >> well, is that feedback to an independent monitor on whether you complied with the monitor now? >> repeat the question. >> is meant seeking now to see if you complied? aren't independent body are looking for in terms of theme if you have in fact looked at the deficiencies? >> it is now looking at the audit piece, but the investigation piece has yet to get underway. nonetheless i have made requests as they come back in. >> okay. >> and so, army contracting command awarded the contract on behalf of sigar said it was sole-source because there is only one person, mr. schmitz was available and qualified. did you reach out to any other retired ig is if you're going to
11:32 pm
hire someone else to come in and tell you whether or not you are complying with the audit? >> not at that time. >> is your aqua suggestions with mr. rymer are more important, mr. moore? >> no, we did not. >> did you talk to mr. moore and his team, the group of independent peer review auditors that looked at your process and quality control in criminal investigations, did you discuss mr. schmidt with them? about hiring mr. schmidt? >> no, i did not appear to someone they've done so on my behalf, but i do not personally. >> what my status spoke with her staff in september, your staff said they had expected mr. schmidt be entered into a subcontract with lewis freeh, former director of the fbi who also works with mr. schmitz on the independent monitor team for don chrysler. sigar officials say they believe
11:33 pm
he would be quote intimately involved in the quote in the outreach to attorney general holder. was that your understanding? >> that is not necessarily my understanding and i cannot account for what folks may have communicated to your staff or to anyone else. my intent, senator, was to bring aboard an independent entity to provide the oversight of the plan of action that we were putting in place to move the software quickly along so that we could come in compliance with the department of justice regulations. >> did you expect that mr. freeh would be working on this contract, mr. fields? >> i did at the onset, man. >> was mr. freeze function as it related to what you expected them to do? reach out to general holger?
11:34 pm
>> no, ma'am. i did not expect anyone to reach out per se. i expected the oversight been provided by this entity to help sigar in the inspector general correct the issues that a good point about. >> well, your staff said to us that mr. freeh would be intimately involved in an outreach to general holger. you understand what this looks like, don't you? >> i would ask that the senator explained what you're referring to. >> it looks that you all went out and found somebody who could get to lewis freeh who could get to attorney general holder and make sure you didn't lose your ability to exercise law-enforcement function. that looks like you are trying to hire someone to help influence the attorney general of the united states as opposed to fixing the problem and then having the same independent audit group come back and certify that should fix the
11:35 pm
problem. >> senator, i is the inspector general had confidence in mr. freeh because he is a former director of the fbi, because he is a former judge and because, as i learned along the way, mr. schmidt was associated with this firm. and in which way i had been confident of mr. freeze contribution to the government and also mr. smith's contribution to the government in a world that i was playing at that time. that was my line of thinking. it had nothing to do, senator, with any other potential influence in reference to the attorney general. i wanted to correct the issues that have been pointed out to me by the purity vow and that was my only objective.
11:36 pm
>> is my understanding that mr. moore's team, this contract is worth $100,000, correct, to mr. schmidt? he got 100 grand? >> no, senator, the contract is worth 95,000. >> excuse me, contract was worth $95,000. and how many days did mr. schmitz work on this for $95,000? >> he was with said 10 for approximately two months. >> so 60 days and they got 95,000? >> that is correct. >> about $45,000 a month? >> senator, we follow the rules in engaging in this contract. we utilized the contract center of excellence in washington that many other entities use. and the $95,000 was the fair market value for the specific work we were requesting.
11:37 pm
>> with all due respect, general, i got to tell you the truth. you were supposed to be finding ways to save the american taxpayers dollars. and please, i don't think it's a good idea to say that it was fair market value to pay somebody $45,000 a month to try to fix the problem in your investigations unit to the satisfaction of the attorney general. isn't it true that mr. moore is going to complete the work in just a few days and isn't going to cost anything? in terms of determining whether or not you now have proper procedures in place to do law enforcement work as the special inspector general of afghanistan? >> senator, i believe that the decision i made at that point in time was a good decision. i did not anticipate all of the
11:38 pm
scrutiny that this particular initiative has received since that decision had i had an opportunity -- if i had an opportunity to do it all over again, i probably would've made a different decision. >> that's good news. that's good news, general. senator brown. >> thank you. i just have a couple of questions. in fy 11, general, you stated again $16.2 billion. if approved, with the money be tracked and how will it be measured? somewhat expected return would you expect the taxpayer to get? >> senator, we would expect that the full measure of the 16.2 billion, which is primarily designed for printing and equipping of the afghanistan security force. we expect the full measure of the taxpayer's investment in terms of a return will be achieved. to that end, we have asked
11:39 pm
additional funding for cigars that we can increase the number center staff so we can provide the coverage and all the oversight necessary to ensure the american taxpayer that money as completely as for the purposes of which made available. >> when you say full measure, what does that in exactly four layman's terms, full measure? >> well, there's the military in there, i get it. just when do you expect to get the full measure, what does that mean exactly? >> full measure means, sir, that the 16.2 billion was requested for specific initiatives associated with the standup of the afghanistan security forces. so the full measure means that 16.2 would be exclusively used for that purpose without waste, fraud and abuse. that's what i'm referring to, senator. >> if i'm reading this
11:40 pm
correctly, i much do you -- are you going to spend in personal compensation? do you have any idea? >> personal compensation not unlike the rest of the federal community is tied. and our personal compensation is, i believe, commiserate with my secure counterpart. our staff who work in afghanistan by way of a compensation package approved by this congress, received 70% in addition to their regular pay for danger pay and location page. we have to pay that, senator. sigar is an independent agency. i must pay, as we go for everything we receive, personal and otherwise. and the cost is very high. but we are also a temporary organization, senator. so when we bring people to work,
11:41 pm
they know that. we bring people board for 13 months. it's not like this been deemed an statutory federal agency and the inspector general thereof. we also are competing in a market worth 70 other inspector general is in the city are looking for auditors and investigators. and we have to compete in that regard with their compensation in order to bring aboard the level of talent we need. i wish it were cheaper, senator, i certainly do. >> let me finish with them time on the font that will go on to the next panel. i point you to focus -- i just want you to follow the money. i want you to find out where the money is going and zero in on the television issue, why and how they're getting any of our monies, number one. i want to know if there's any bribes and payoffs and criminal at to be going on with the money should be going, if there are people doing it, but what were going to do to stop it and plug
11:42 pm
the leak, you know, and i understand, but not for you telling me, i would've overlooked the fact that she got appointed and there's a transitional period. so i get that. but now that you've done all the elections in poly status and the focus, the measure for me and senator mccaskill and the folks at future independent, i commend you for reaching out and doing that. either it was a cya situation for you seriously wanted to get there and get some guidance because maybe it was new or maybe it was any guidance. we're giving you some guidance. protect our money, find a way to bring that number up so we can feel confident that the millions we are giving you, we're getting millions in return. at least make it a wash. that is my only message i have nothing further. thank you. >> let me clean up a couple of things. i don't have a lot of other
11:43 pm
questions. in fact, lewis freeh never was engaged or decline to participate in any way in this contract, correct, general fields? >> that is correct. senator, as far as i know, with assistance mr. freeman is given, mr. schmidt at which i'm not aware that i'm not able to comment on that, senator. >> i have not gone into any of the issues surrounding mr. schmidt in his previous tenure at the department of defense, but were you aware at the time you hired him. then some controversy concerning his previous tenure as department of defense inspector general? >> senator, i was completely unaware. >> that is what you might've done basically a google search for his name that would've revealed that there was in fact some questions ask him if he would have had a chance to ask him before you hired him and be clear that there weren't any problems associated with them? 's >> senator, our initial
11:44 pm
initiative was to engage the lewis freeh group of which mr. smith, to our understanding, was a part. >> so now you've said that the reason for hiring him was to get to lewis freeh? 's >> not necessarily, senator. the reason for hiring these entities was to help ring that talent and expertise that we needed at that point in time to address the issues in sigar. >> yeah, i just said whether to back him and he said because we were hired him to get to lewis freeh. he just said that. >> i did not say i was hiding anybody. >> why did you not that mr. schmidt's before you hired him? >> i personally had no cause to do so. these matters, senator, were being handled by way of my contracting officer and by way of cce. i did not have any reason to
11:45 pm
doubt the integrity and so forth of mr. smit. and as i understand it, the issues of which he may have been accused during his tenure as inspector general aired and this is information i found out subsequent to the senator of having raised questions about my decision in hiring this particular contract. as i understand that, the issues are brought up concerning mr. smit were not cooperated in the final analysis. >> you understand that the reason this is even common up is in preparation for the investigatory work, that sigar should be doing. but we do investigate tory work and we can't senator grassley had a lot of questions about mr. schmitz when he was inspector general at dod. i'm not saying whether senator grassley was right or wrong. i'm saying it is very troubling that you would not be aware of those questions before paying
11:46 pm
someone the amount of $450,000 a year to do work for the federal government, general fields, that's what i'm getting at. this audit agency is careful about who they hired and whether or not there is any appearance or problem. i'm not saying there's a problem, but the fact you do know there might be one is what i'm trying to bring to your attention. did mr. schmitz ever go to afghanistan? >> not under the contract involving sigar to my knowledge. >> so it is to pay for and that you claim his market value, $45,000 a month did not involve any high risk for mr. schmitz part other than calling lewis freeh's office? >> potentially, correct as far as i know, senator. >> already. >> let me also say, senator, that mr. schmidt is a registered government contract your -- is
11:47 pm
registered to contract with the government of the united states as far as i understand. >> i see, general, but i think the point i'm trying to make your is your job is to oversee contract. your job is to set the gold standard on contracting. so you do a sole source contract, no-bid good you immediately hire someone. clearly there wasn't even at that time apart part to your attention that there were questions you need to ask him about his previous services as inspector general. that's the point i'm making, general fields. that is the point i'm making. ask -- did you ever done her work of an audit agency before you're given this job? have you ever done any out of work or been around any auditors before you're given this job? >> yes, senator, i have been. >> okay, tell me what capacity you would work with auditors prior to taking this job. >> i worked with auditors in
11:48 pm
conjunction with my support with the iraq management and reconstruction office worker mel. this is a direct to the work associated with reconstruction and support of iraq. >> what audit agencies did you work with? 's >> i did not specifically work with another agency per se, but in chief of staff of our mall, my work covered multiple dimensions of reconstruction in iraq. prior to that, senator, i served as inspector general for united states central command. i did that work for two years. and that work involved some degree of oversight, involving audit type work, but not necessarily the professional
11:49 pm
audit caused by which sigar is characterized. >> in fact, this is something the public is not aware of, but there's a vast difference between inspector general's with an active military and inspector general for the federal government? >> i would say that is correct. >> said report to the commander and they are the eyes and ears of the commander. they had no duty whatsoever to report to the public courts as the congress or to perform an independent function in terms of monitoring taxpayer dollars, correct? >> those inspectors general are traded by the basic intent to last of the inspector general act of 1978 by which i another federal inspector general's are guarded as well. >> i understand. i was shocked when i direct my first contract oversight trip and i'm sitting with inspector general said i didn't really speak to her 80s that were vastly different to the federal government. in fact, i wish they were called the same thing. i wanted to rename the military specter general's and they
11:50 pm
informed me they had a name first a little tricky. these are not the same function they don't do the same work. the reason i ask this question, general, is the first venue to come if you had an audit agency, is to figure or the risk is no risk assessment injury. analysis as to what tier is the top tier of work that you should do for the highest risk. then, you go down and you do your audit plan, determining how much resources you have and how you can get to the most risk. at what point in time with a risk assessment completed as sigar? >> i will go back, senator, to what i said earlier. we conducted the risk assessment , which was published in our 2008 report to congress. that risk assessment was made up of several elements. it may not look like a risk
11:51 pm
assessment as the senator -- >> is on the yellow -- it's not a yellow book risk assessment? >> it would not be a yellow book assessment per se, but would certainly contain the elements relevant to any risk assessment when it comes to oversight of money. >> to the auditors working for you at the time tell you that with sufficient in terms of a yellow book risk assessment? >> i've no auditors at that time because we completed that assessment in conjunction with their october report to congress before his privilege to higher papers auditor. >> so you were saying that you performed what you would consider a professional risk assessment of a major responsibility in terms of audit function without any auditors? >> i performed that assessment, senator, with intelligent folks.
11:52 pm
and i feel that this is not -- i don't feel that this is necessarily rocket science in order to determine what needs to be done, senator. >> i've got to tell you the truth. once again, i do not mean to be cruel. i do not mean to -- this is not fun for me either. it's very uncomfortable to say that i don't think you're the right person for this job, general fields. but i don't think you're the right person for this job, please, no, that's very appropriate. please leave the room. [inaudible] >> please, please. please. [inaudible] >> the risk assessment -- the reason that you had the findings from peer review was because he fell short of the professional standards that are demanded in the world of auditing.
11:53 pm
and i'm not saying the people that worked for you weren't intelligent. i'm not saying you weren't intelligent. i'm not saying you're not a hero, sir. i'm saying this is too important a government function to not have the very highest level of experienced qualifications and expertise they been this kind of agency. and i have no other questions for you. we will keep this record open if there's anything i've said in this hearing you believe is unfair, if there's any information you want to bring to our attention, we will keep the race hearing of the record open and i will assure you i will look at all of it with the auditor and examine it and make sure that our final record in this hearing is fair and balanced and we are happy to include anything else you would like to include. and i thank you very much volunteer services to america. >> on a chair, may, thank you,
11:54 pm
general. i want to thank you for your service as well and appreciate your forthright answers. thank you. >> thank you, senators. >> and we will now take the third panel. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
11:55 pm
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> thank you all for being here. let me introduce this panel. gordon heddell ancestors for inspector general since july of 2009. he was acting inspector general from 2008 until 2009. prior to joining the dod ig, mr. heddell served as inspector general for department player. harold geisel, and i seem to [inaudible] >> okay, herald geisel served as deputy inspector general for the state department says june 2008. he is more than 25 years
11:56 pm
experience for the state department improves a certified teen inspector general since 1994. michael g train to a served as deputy inspector general for the u.s. agency for international development, u.s.a. ig since february 2006. mr. carroll is a member of the executive service with 126 years government service. prior to his appointment, mr. carroll served as director administration for the bureau of industry and security in the department of commerce. stuart bowen, enter standard that feeling today, mr. bowen. try not to breathe on mr. carroll. last back last night mr. bowen is served for iraq reconstruction since october 2004. mr. bowen cert is a george w. bush as deputy assistant to the president. deputy staff secretary, special assistant to the president and associate counsel. mr. bowen spent four years on active duty as intelligence officer in u.s. workers achieving rank of captain. thank you all for your service to our government and we
11:57 pm
obviously this is a full panel. it is our third panel. i'll stay here all night. you know this is what i enjoyed and this is the stuff i enjoy, but i don't want to prolong the hearing for any view any longer than necessary. so feel free to make any testimony you bike as long as it's less than five minutes. if you want to do a semi, that's fine. if you want to just answer questions, that's fine, too. but i'm anxious to hear from all of you. mr. heddell. >> thank you, chairman casco. ranking member brown and distinguished members of the subcommittee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you this afternoon to discuss our oversight efforts in afghanistan and throughout the region. effective, meaningful and timely oversight of u.s. contingency operations in southwest asia is critical to our success in afghanistan. i would like to focus on one of
11:58 pm
the fundamental reasons behind our success, the effective and efficient coordination of the audit, inspection and investigative assets of the many agencies in the region. this cooperation has not only maximize the ability to complete our mission, but is reduce the amount of impact our presence has had on the commands in theater to complete their mission. due to the complexity of contingency operations, and the involvement of votes for federal agencies, interagency coordination is essential to identifying whether critical gaps exist in oversight effort in recommending actions to address those gaps. i appointed mickey mcdermott of the special deputy inspector general for southwest asia in november 2009. his role is to ensure effective cordon nation within the defense and federal oversight community. mr. mcdermott reports directly
11:59 pm
to me and courtney occurs within the southwest asia. it was forward deployed on a two-year assignment and over the past year has worked with the oversight community, department of defense leadership and the supporting commands to improve communications and identify oversight requirements. mr. thurmond also serves as the chairperson of the southwest asia joint planning group, which developed a comprehensive oversight plan for southwest asia. the joint planning group is developing a comprehensive strategy for the oversight of the training, equipping and mentoring of the afghanistan national security forces and have plans to develop a comprehensive strategy for the oversight of contingency contract team in afghanistan. ..
12:00 am
a member of taskforce 2010. we have learned from our experience in iraq that maintaining the presence is essential to providing effective oversight and overseas contingency indictment. additionally, one of the most important lessons we have learned is the value of having
12:01 am
the special deputy inspector general as our single point of contact in the region for knorr domingo oversight efforts and to ensure effective communication with senior leaders in the theater. this is key for minimizing the impact on the daily operation of the activities we visit and provides those activities a single point of contact. another important lesson for and is contacting in a contingency environment presents many challenges. in may 2010 we summarized experiences in the report, and i have it here in title contingency contacting a framework for reform. this report identifies key system a contingency contracting issues as well as actions that need to be taken to correct these issues for future contract. by compiling the data and summarizing our findings, we were able to provide a useful tool for operators on the ground
12:02 am
to improve their operations by avoiding past mistakes. in closing i would like to thank the subcommittee for the opportunity to discuss the work in afghanistan, and i look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with the congress, the department and all agencies and southwest asia, thank you. >> now i can't remember which we to say it, geisel? geisel. >> thank you, chairman mccaskill and ranking member brown for the opportunity to appear. i have prepared remarks but ask my written statement also be made part of the record. our oversight in afghanistan includes reforming off its, evaluations, inspections and investigations with respect to activities funded and managed by the department of state. these managed programs include activities and of such as worldwide protective services
12:03 am
for diplomats, embassy security, counternarcotics and police training programs as well as construction and maintenance of u.s. embassies. our middle east office has an office in kabul with the boots on the ground to provide quick and timely evaluations of high-risk, high dollar programs. in addition our office's investigations provide on the ground investigative support in afghanistan and our offices of audits and inspections also perform work there. we have provided the committee with a list of all bits, evaluations and inspections related to the department of state operations in afghanistan that have been issued by our office since 2004. we have used congressional increases since 2009 with supplemental and the appropriations peace to greatly increase the number of plant of its evaluations and inspections in afghanistan during 2,009 and 2010. approximately 25% of our ongoing
12:04 am
or planned oversight for the middle east and south asia regions which include 33 countries will take place in or otherwise related to afghanistan. madam chairman, coordination occurs at several levels within the oversight community to reinforce efforts. in washington, d.c. coordination occurs to the southwest asia planning group which meets quarterly to plan on going activities to ensure minimum duplication of oversight and maximum collaboration. there's also a separate group which meets to address oversight work in pakistan and afghanistan. this working group is where the i.t. coordination inflection and agreement ochre. oig personal from the part of state, usaid, gao and sigar members are part of the group. and for all coordination regarding oversight work in afghanistan and elsewhere in the
12:05 am
region also takes place between the same organizations as well as other oig. these groups continue to play a vital role and serve as a model for new and flexible groups formed in response to future contingency operations regardless where they occur in the world. in afghanistan there are additional coordination groups. the ig is facilitated in country by u.s. forces, afghanistan and the dod ig. participants meet monthly and include all oig offices working in afghanistan. madam chairman, senator brown, the concept of creating a permanent inspector general, that is one of the questions we were asked in alpheus, to oversee contingency operations merits serious consideration. however, existing departmental oigs have proven walter were together with special igs to provide effective coordinated
12:06 am
oversight in contingency operations. the existing process these, organizational structures and institutional knowledge of the programs within their departments that facilitate the efficient oversight of those programs and eliminate the learning curve required of contingency ig. moreover, in an era of fiscal constraint reading a permanent ig to oversee contingency operations might not be prudent. many start dollars would be required to sustain a new bureaucracy. current organizations already in existence such as the southwest asia joint planning group and the international contract corruption taskforce could be used for in regency coordination or as models for the fast creation of other coordination groups for new contingencies around the world has the need arises. these groups have the means, methodology and practices in place to facilitate the efficient, cost-effective oversight, and through planning,
12:07 am
coordination and the complexion. once again, thank you, try mccaskill and senator brown for the opportunity to appear today, and i am ready to answer any questions. >> could thank you, sherman mccaskill and senator brown for having me here to brief the subcommittee on our oversight activities and afghanistan, working relationship with sigar and finally our views on the feasibility of the special ig for contingency operations. i want to start by saying that from its inception almost 30 years ago the usaid has operated in an overseas environment with service auditors come investors and management analysts providing audit investigative coverage of u.s. aid programs and we think that gives a unique advantage in providing oversight and contingency operations.
12:08 am
oversight afghanistan has devolved over the past, well, since we had boots on the ground in november, 2002. we started out as a covering as a country portfolio in the philippines and we are all the largest country office we have over our overseas offices with 14 auditors and investigators. our relationship with the sigar special ig for afghan reconstruction i have to draw a distinction between audits and investigations as i describe the relationship. on the audit site characterize relationship as productive, cooperative and productive. it's taken time to get to that point because obviously we have duplicative authorities and we have the authority to look at the same programs. so it's taken some time and effort, but i can say now that
12:09 am
taha for planning and conviction we will not have overlaps and audits. i can't characterize relationship with sigar investigations in the same way. we seem to not be able to come to terms with jurisdictions, the of jurisdictions over programs and so do we but we feel as the statutory ig for the need we should have primary law enforcement jurisdiction over any allegations of the corruption and to aid programs against the aid employees and we should leave any investigation that has to do with the programs and employees and we are still trying to work with that with the sigar folks. i also if i could share my views as mr. geisel to date about the practicality and feasibility of
12:10 am
statutory ig for contingency operations. i can't imagine an entity that has a better vantage than the statutory igs for doing oversight work. when you talk about contingency operations i think we would all agree that the two best examples over the past ten years are iraq and afghanistan, and you have before you today the three statutory igs, the department of defense, the part of state and a ied. and i think with our collective experience, our in-depth knowledge and understanding of our programs, people, systems, policies, i think that properly, of brough data to the unfunded i think we can as a collective group provided the same comprehensive oversight and
12:11 am
reporting a statutory ig for contingency operations could. thank you for your time and i look forward to any questions you might have. >> thank you. simic's before ms. mccaskill to appear before your subcommittee. and to testify on the critical issue of oversight and contingency operations. it's an issue that has been with us for the last eight years in iraq and indeed almost seven years ago the congress created an office the special the inspector general for iraq reconstruction because the weakness regarding oversight by the department been in iraq and significant ways that ochre. i carry out my organization on four critical principles. one, real time auditing. we get our of that out quickly of averaging six per quarter
12:12 am
because the operators need to get answers fast. if you wait the typical nine to 15 months for an audit of the world's changed. it's not a useful audit. second, country engagement. we are at 22 now and that is the largest single contingent oversight operators and country in iraq and investigators, audits, evaluators, and that is given the capacity, the special capacity with no focused mission to be highly productive. third unprecedented transparency. we offer a fairly unique that we meet every week with the subjects of oversight to inform them what we are doing, the progress we are making and what we are finding. so to bareboat improvement in the overall reconstruction program has the component which is a fourth mandate that i give my auditors and inspectors to be consulting. just a week ago i was in iraq at
12:13 am
cannes victory meeting with general austin, the commander in iraq on critical audit we have that's going to produce tough findings in january but he needed to know them today because they affect an enormous contractor for him. that's the kind of work we are able to do by being engaged on the ground with leadership. we have produced 27 reports five less purge reports to strengthen performance and they've been focused on accounting for taxpayer dollars, the four major funds that comprise about 46 billion of the money. the question you asked me to address particularly is this the specialist after general for overseas contingency operation makes sense? and different from my fellow panel members i say yes absolutely. because of several reasons. one, the crosscutting jurisdiction. i have a card i can go to any
12:14 am
door of any department with any funds and a lot of these projects and programs are multi funded from different sources. police ran for example and i can get answers from any department, and i don't have to operate in a stovepipe. second, a singularly focused mission. i have a staff that's focused on one thing, protecting taxpayer interest and improving the mission performance in a contingency. buffaloes aggressive oversight and its quick reported. we focused on coordination and talk about that a lot today. the iraq inspector general's council was something i formed within a couple of months of starting at seven years ago and we've met every quarter and now this quarter we are going to fold it into the southwest asia program but it has facilitated strong interaction with my fellow inspector general of a terse. the table in iraq and on this side of the world.
12:15 am
next come flexibility in hiring practices. we have unique authority and have been able to maintain high-quality staff throughout the life of our organization. we are highly independent and report quarterly, not semiannually, so you get a comprehensive detailed analysis and factual data what's going on in iraq every three months. a permanent special ig would eliminate the challenges that arise when starting up the ig in a contingency. oversight has to be present from the beginning you know he would add that if you had one in existence. he wouldn't have to have a department will to formulate to draw their own resources the capacity to deploy and execute that kind of oversight. a feasible operation standing probably have a staff of 25 and cost about 5 million per year. such an organization had existed at the beginning of the iraq
12:16 am
reconstruction program the amount of waste it would have averted would pay for it through our lifetime. there's no doubt it would be cost-effective. the return on investment and cost for sigir has been financed-1. nada there will be other contingencies and we will have significant operations. how do we avoid the kind of waste we've seen in iraq and afghanistan? significant, unacceptable, high levels of waste in the future. one would be as we heard to fund more the department told igs to give more audit and inspectors but to ensure it would have the capacity capable and ready to deploy it is a good answer. thank you, madame chair. i look forward to your questions. >> how many people do you have on the ground in afghanistan
12:17 am
right now? >> right now i have 15 auditors, eight criminal investigators, to administrative staff and in addition to that a compliment that with forces that enter and exit on a regular basis. that's just in afghanistan. >> mr. geisel how about in afghanistan? >> we have five auditors and analysts in kabul and that will increase to eight by january. our investigators are always on tdy status and i think we have two investigators in the country. >> mr. carroll? >> we have not and auditors, and hopefully very shortly we will have five investigators. >> what do you have currently in
12:18 am
iraq? >> just last week with 21 personnel there were 14 auditors, three investigators, 3e evaluators and chief of staff and support staff. islamic what was the high market iraq in terms of how many auditors you had on the ground? >> total number of auditors? notte inspectors just auditors we were up to 29. >> how many times of the four of you been in the room with general fields? >> i would reckon at least five times. >> i mean all of you together. have you ever been in the room with all four of you and general fields at the same time? >> i think there may be times at the monthly meetings and a
12:19 am
general fields frequently attended those. >> i'm not talking about at the cigie meeting and of course the cigie is where the inspector general's come together, i don't want to see its like a rotary club, but it's your association where you come and network -- [laughter] and talk to one another and that is the people the peer review comes out of, correct? i'm talking about how many times have the four of you sat down with general fields and talked about contingency operation audits at large? >> not as a group, but frequently individually. >> okay. islamic senator mccaskill if i could add to that i think the point you're getting at is how much we talk to each other and share information, and assess risks, and that's one of the reasons that the department of defense inspector general created a special inspector
12:20 am
general also chairs the joint group where all of our offices are representing, in fact almost 25 agencies submitted, so that does happen. it's just not the same personalities. as amihai understand. i'm not implying the fact that five of you haven't been in the same room together toward agencies are not talking to one another and not trying to coordinate. how many independent contractors have you hired relating to the work of afghanistan? or relating to reports or anything you need to produce for congress? can anyone think of any independent contractors? >> as part of our audit work we hire both ourselves and help the agency how your independent financial firms to conduct financial audits in afghanistan and also since it's difficult to get out to do our field work in
12:21 am
some of the more dangerous places we've also why your to local firms to go out and do visits on performance. >> okay. what about you, mr. bowen, yours is not depend what commodores is a book on lessons learned which time a battle in their list i have to memory was a contractor hired for that effort? >> for hard lessons? know this was done by government staff. >> the and printed baiji psp we estimate i don't want to put to what is in an awkward position for professional auditor but i have a lot of concerns that someone would think it is appropriate to do a risk
12:22 am
assessment and call it a risk assessment without an audit her on staff. does that cause you concern? >> without an audit her on staff yes it would cause me concern. >> does it cause you concern mr. geisel? >> definitely. >> mr. carroll? mr. bowen? >> yes. >> i'm curious, has there been a sense of that the leadership of sigar was not up to the professional standards you know are required for this kind of very difficult and very important audit work? >> are we the only ones that have an oversight capacity? do you all as auditors that are in a unique position to know whether or not the agency is standing up in a way that would
12:23 am
reflect the standards and let me say for the record the yellow book, i keep seeing yellow book for the record i should explain the velo book is called that because it's yellow but it is the book of standards for government auditors and the silver book is the book of standards for government investigators. if you are working with another agency and i don't know the ethics are candidly if you're working with another audit agency and have said that the standards are not being complied with to you have a duty to report it to anyone? >> allegedly the diplomat here i will try to answer. [laughter] the simple answer is yes. let me give you two examples where it worked very well. we did a joint audit with the dod ig with the presence in afghanistan and that this police
12:24 am
training. that activity was carried out was funded under state department of 40 to high -- of doherty and is going over to dod and from a lot of problems. >> was it your audit that found out they were not citing the rifle's? >> is as a matter of fact that was another audit but that was our audit. >> that's fairly important to know how to cite the rifles. >> it's also important when we found that the dogs supposed to sniff for explosives were not trained to sniff the explosives. but in our work with the dod ig there were slight differences of opinion but we work them out immediately, and i can tell you without exception there was mutual respect. i knew some of the auditors and i thought the will of them.
12:25 am
>> i guess when asking is if you work with an audit agency you don't think professional standards are being met -- >> i would pull out, pure and simply wasn't hesitate i would try to do it nicely but i would say we seem to have different objectives and perhaps different standards and can't work together. i would do that in a heartbeat. >> anyone else? >> i would say as sigir is standing by can't think of a case we were not together with them we have worked together with them on some investigations and they have assisted us on some investigations but we never work with them together on and on it like state and dod ig did on the police training, so we may have missed the boat but we
12:26 am
were completely focused on our work and not necessarily what was having at speed sigar. >> office never worked sigar. we have worked with sigar on the law enforcement task force. >> before i turn over to senator brown you have a comment? >> we work very closely with a variety of permanent inspector general's and other law enforcement agencies and have done joint audits as well. >> with sigar? >> no, with state. >> have you done any work with sigar? >> our jurisdictions don't overlap. >> i just want to be sure to read >> we were very closely supportive of them in their first year in their stand-up as evidence in my submission.
12:27 am
>> thank you, madame chair, i just have a couple of questions i know we may be voting in a minute, but as you heard from my previous line of questioning i am greatly concerned as i know the chairwoman is on the allegation that there is money going to the insurgents, taliban in particular. what role do you collectively have to determine whether in fact that's the case and how we can stop that russia took -- booze responsible -- >> one of our primary responsibilities and concerns isn't just money is the life and safety of our men and women in afghanistan during the fighting for us we look at things broader than money in a of
12:28 am
the determining the success we are having with weapons accountability for instance. >> the whole thing. and that's something we do focus on. our weapons and getting to where they are supposed to get in the hands of people we want them to be placed in and we did a tremendous amount of work in iraq and that is for continuing to increase focus and afghanistan on those kind areas. so we are concerned about money and the amount of money that remains $14.2 billion for instance the it's going to going to ask them national army and police training and getting them to the capability levels that will enable the united states to
12:29 am
achieve its goal in afghanistan so we are very involved in those kind of issues. >> having been there i am gravely concerned as well that a lot of the folks supposed to doing the training fulfilling obligations with coalition forces and that is a whole different story but when i say funds i should say weapons and supplies in communications and the whole 9 yards. madame chair, i focused on where wanted to go i want to stress to say thank you for collecting the money and finding where the waste fraud and abuse is, and i think it helps for to justify were those funds are going and i have nothing further. thank you. >> thank you, center.
12:30 am
i have great respect for all of you here that work for state and dod the of and a understand it feels like someone is permanently going to be on your turf and i'm not discounting your opinions. what we've heard today in the testimony about sigar is in many ways to me depressing. standing at an organization in contingency is difficult and that is the one organization where speed is incredibly important. you will understand your product as a short shelf life in a contingency operation. it is easy to waste a lot of money on an audit in the
12:31 am
contingency operation if you can't get it to the decision makers quickly enough. so when you establish an inspector for afghanistan and it takes 18 months to produce the first of it on a contract and the audit portion of that report is for pages that makes me weep. something is terribly wrong there. now, was there appropriate expertise and please? clearly not. it didn't take too long to get appropriate expertise in place? obviously. and if we had a permanent inspector general on overseas contingency operation we wouldn't have had that lag time. can't you a little which $5 million a year is a pretty good investment if we can to the
12:32 am
contingency operations inspector general office if we can stand one of and sustain one for the long haul because i've got to tell you the irony is, and some of you may have told you this before that in speaking with somebody in the army who is involved in bosnia, the lessons learned in bosnia on contacting they were not learned. we went back to the drawing board in iraq and by the time mr. bowen arrived we had an hour of control contract with no oversight whatsoever. nobody had any idea why it was over the estimate in its first year of operation, and it took awhile. and i think that cunningham is doing a much better job of us can stand in a lot of the folks were doing in afghanistan, i mean in iraq, and i think we have made improvement, but i'm
12:33 am
just worried. i don't have confidence in this agency after this hearing today. and i have a sense that if we had a permanent office i wouldn't have this sensation we don't have the right leadership and we've missed a lot of its that should have been done. comments? >> i will, senator mccaskill, i certainly of a great respect for my colleagues and inspector general bowen and i never discount anything he says but i am not totally convinced and this isn't a turf issue for me. i've got more than enough work, quite frankly i take any help would can get but i am not convinced it's the solicitor general for contingency operations is the most effective efficient way to was a difference between the way we set up sigir, mr. bowen's operation and the way we set up sigar. when we set up sigir, the
12:34 am
department inspector general provided 144 investigators some full-time, part-time for a lengthy period of time. i'm not saying that's why bowen was so successful, but it got sigir off on the right foot. on the other side of the claim, that wasn't done with sigar. i'm not saying it would have been better or suggesting their women have been hiring and performance problems. what we heard today goes far beyond that. >> the problems we heard today go far beyond the ability to stand up quickly. >> that is correct. but what we are talking about the right this moment is what is best for the future, and i think that for instance the response by the inspector general to katrina which was a contingency operation by and large was
12:35 am
relatively effective. i think we have the floor and for some expertise in our community at large to respond to the contingency operations very effectively. i think it is a tossup as to whether you go the special ig routt but the aspect is that if you do that two things happen. you don't have enough people in a special inspector general contingency operation on a full-time basis to be able to respond quickly, and number two, the cost of maintaining force waiting for the contingency to occur, so until we sit down and figure it all out, to me it's not an efficient proposal. >> i know all of you probably want to comment on that and i've got to vote that's been called
12:36 am
in by not going to me to sit here while i vote and come back as much as i am tempted to because i could go on a will and i know inspector general bowen and i have discussed this one on one before and i am a little biased towards his opinion on this and i certainly will go out of my way to have one-on-one conversations with you mr. geisel and to mr. carroll. but you intimated that and referred to problems working with the law enforcement end of sigar. i find that fascinating since they have had a cigie review of their law enforcement, and it was as somebody who's a former prosecutor, as i read the review of the law enforcement problems
12:37 am
could i was surprised basics hadn't been done. are they trying to assert primary jurisdiction even after cigie said that they are so far out of compliance with government standards of investigations? >> yes. >> that is outrageous, and i will follow-up. i think our office needs to follow and have significant questions. it takes a lot of nerve for an investigative agency to a surge primary jurisdiction over a aid after the independent review determined they are not in compliance with the government investigative standards and so i would be irritated if i were you if they were trying to step on you i would be here to this they are trying to stick with you after they are only one of 51 agencies looked at, 52 agencies
12:38 am
looked at that were not in compliance with government standards of investigation. so i am glad that you've indicated that to me. i have to make a vote by 6:15. please, if there is anything i haven't asked that i should have i implore you to give us the information as we look at this issue. you all are the front line of probably the most challenging environment that exists in the world in afghanistan right now. the enemy we are fighting is yes taliban, yes al qaeda, but make no mistake about it is a culture of corruption, and the american people have no idea how much money is probably walking away from its intended purpose in afghanistan so please convey to the men and women who work for all of you and we will probably
12:39 am
have another opportunity, mr. bowen, for the end of the line in iraq but please convey to all the people that have worked in iraq. we've spent a lot of time praising the men and women of uniform as we should and i don't think enough people realize there are men and women putting their life in danger with a very difficult work in a very challenging environment so please convey to your staff the appreciation of the american people for the work they are doing. it's essential to the safety and security of the nations of thank you for your attendance today at the hearing is adjourned. >> thank you, madame chair
12:40 am
12:41 am
the of her topics at today's defense briefing include the u.s. russia arms treaty the military don't ask don't tell policy, operations in afghanistan and the joint strike fighter program. pentagon spokesman geoff morrell to questions from reporters about 25 minutes. >> good to see you all. but me give you a quick rundown of secretary gates schedule the rest of the weekend and get to questions. right now he's in the middle of what we call the large group loss.
12:42 am
this is a meeting of the military and civilian leadership upstairs to run the pentagon that includes service chiefs, combatant commanders and senior dod civilians. today's session more than six hours in length is this latest news series of gatherings focused on the department wide budget deficiencies initiative and developing the 2012 budget request. this is, as always, an inclusive process in keeping with the secretaries commitment to ensure that those responsible for executing changes and reforms are involved in developing both options and recommendations. i would also note the key role played by the leaders of over operational military reflecting the secretaries desire that they be able to weigh in and shape all aspects of these initiatives all the department's leadership has been working hard to implement the specific measures we have announced and develop plans to produce overhead and
12:43 am
transfer savings into military to police with respect to the initiative a number of the reviews the secretary announced in august or near completion and the secretary and other senior leaders will face a number of important decisions in the weeks and months ahead. tomorrow morning, the secretary leaves on afford a trip to south america. the second to the continent this year. he will first flight to santiago, chile, for a bilateral meetings with the chili in minister defense, ravinet, who the psychiatry goes to the pentagon in september. chile is among our closest partners in the hemisphere, and we have, among other shared interests, a mutual desire to develop regional my cousins to support disaster relief, the police that chile has developed in this area, part in this arena, or on full display to the world this year for its remarkable response to the earthquake and the tsunami that stricken to do worry to the extraordinary rescue of the 33 miners trapped underground for
12:44 am
70 days. the need for a hemisphere wide mechanism to more effectively channel disaster relief will be key agenda items of the conference of defense ministers of the americas which the secretary will attend this weekend in santa cruz bolivia. this will be the secretary's second cdma and he believes the forum can and should play a vital role in fostering cooperation with other governments and of the trees in the western hemisphere. finally, on the sidelines of the ministerial the secretary will meet with his counterparts from bolivia, colombia, brazil, and el salvador. >> what is the secretory doing about the two potential was asleep is the agenda items here in the lame duck s.t.a.r.t. treaty and senator reid consideration of bringing up the don't ask don't tell legislation. is he making any direct lobbying
12:45 am
or arm-twisting calls to senators? what is he going to decide supporting the president's agenda on s.t.a.r.t.? >> why did we talked last week were earlier this week about the fact the secretary had placed a call to senator kyl i believe friday morning last week. and if the had a lengthy conversation and shortly thereafter, senator kafeel met with a high level briefing team that was sent out from the pentagon and the department of energy. i think the three hour meeting that involved deputy undersecretary defense for policy, jim miller, who's spending the department's efforts on the new s.t.a.r.t. as well as general chilton, the of guinn stratcom commander. and i think a high-level representative from the department of energy. so there was a three hour meeting that took place. and then you obviously saw the
12:46 am
joint op-ed penned by secretaries gates and clinton that appeared in monday's washington post. so he is a part of the administrative -- the administration's team this making it clear to the senate that we need to see action on this matter this year. it is of vital importance to our nation's national security and we can't afford a delay in the next congress. so i think, you know, his position on this has been well known for some time. it's been underscored in the op-ed. it's been underscored in the conversation with senator kafeel. i don't think anybody is at a loss for how strongly we feel about this. >> but his only direct call was center, elon friday? >> he hasn't called him back since senator kyl said tuesday he doesn't -- he doesn't want to come? >> have not spoken since the call last week.
12:47 am
>> and senator reid saying he would consider taking of the don't ask don't tell legislation? >> historic with this department has not been one to told a senate how to do its business. that said, you know, it is -- we are a member of this administration and the president has made a call as early in the stand to senator levin this weekend senator reid i believe as well making clear that he wants to see the repeal of don't ask don't tell attached to the national defense authorization act. and that's what was an administration we are pushing for. and we certainly see the merit in using that as a legislative vehicle to ultimately get to repeal. what we are usually reluctant, especially from this podium, to be telling the senate how to do its business. there are many people here who bristle when they tell us how to do ours, so we try to -- we try to respect each other's
12:48 am
responsibilities. >> my question is about -- >> did you have anything else? >> well, i mean, just on that last point -- this has gone around a double times. i mean this wasn't your original preferred strategy to have this done legislatively now and then you backend -- back it. is this sort of the -- is this the last chance? ayman commesso you see the merit in this strategy, the legislative strategy, but if you get to that next congress, there would be presumably by fewer votes and you'd have to start all over again. is that sort of what your -- >> well, listen, i'm not going to be a political prognosticator and try to sort of evaluate -- you know, chances in this congress versus chances in the next congress. he referred in your opening part of your question there to how
12:49 am
we've historically been opposed to this. i don't think that's true. i think what we've always been -- you know, the secretary cannot in february with the chairman of the joint chiefs three strongly in support of the president's desire to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." he is held to that position ever since. he has not wavered. that is his view. that said, he was very clear that as well there is a preferred order in doing things. and the preferred order then was, and now, is let's get this study done. the study is very, very near completion. we are, you know, days away from december the first, at which time it will be provided to the congress, it will be provided to you, so everyone can see the mine -- nine month effort that's been underway to try to give out the implications of a repeal and what needs to be done internally to prepare for that change. we're almost there. sali -- that's what our focus is on internally.
12:50 am
we are right now in the midst -- dimond -- i know there have been these calls to move this all up and release the report sooner than december the first. i would just remind you that the original plan here was for us to work towards december the first as the date by which the report would be due, and in the internal work would begin in terms of working with the service is, getting feedback from the service secretaries, from the service chiefs, having the jeeves meet among themselves on having the sick to reconsider their input and ultimately charting a course for word for the department. we have compress that time when such that we are now operating on parallel tracks. not only is the draft report still being finalized, but we are also giving the internal work that would have taken place after december 1st simultaneously so that we can on
12:51 am
december 1st not just released the report, but the secretary can state where he wants to take us with regards to this measure. so that's what we are focused on right now frankly and there is a lot of work to do between now and then because we have compressed this sensitive to the fact that there is a real desire for direction on this. >> what i was trying to get out not very well this is the secretary really, really want this to happen in the samet, yes after the study comes out sometime between december 2nd and the end of the session to a halt to -- and is he actively working to ask the senate to do that? >> with regard to the second part of the question he is actively working to get this on on an expedited timely because
12:52 am
december 1st is expedited for us because we are doing all the work that was supposed to follow on simultaneously. savitt is the focus of his efforts in addition that we are building a 2012 budget and by the way, we are preparing for an af-pak afghan and pakistan strategy evaluation so we are advocating you know, passage and ratification of the new s.t.a.r.t.. so there are a number of balls that we are troubling simultaneously. just because we are doing multiple things at once doesn't mean he believes any less strongly on any of these things. i would take you through the history again. he has stated emphatically for months of he's a supporter of repeal. you've also heard him very strongly with one of his concerns with regards to court action being the mechanism that ultimately leads to a change in this law and policy. the future there is that it would result -- it would be a very precipitous change and force us to sort of change on a
12:53 am
dime what, you know, with the flick of a light switch if you will. so we are right now finishing the report working with the chiefs, working with the service secretaries, getting their input, finalizing the report, and at the same time, you know, formulating the way ahead for this department to proceed come december 1st. all that work -- all that hard work is being done simultaneously. >> i believe in a statement you issued on friday and again to the you mentioned that the report is going to be released in full, the 370 pages or however long it is? and when did that determination come about? because of entel last week it sounded like there was no indication that any of it was going to be a public other than potentially, at best, an executive summary. >> i don't know where you were getting the indication from. i mean, i think it's always been the secretaries intention -- i
12:54 am
think he views this as a very important work product. i think what he has seen of it this far and he has had a draft report he has reviewed and read the draft report is he is impressed by its professionalism and i think it has always been his intention for this to become a public document. i mean, we are also not naive even if we want to keep this a private document which we do not it would not remain a private document and that is why you also saw my statement on friday the fact that he was very disappointed and concerned about a leak about the draft report, and i can just update you with regards to that he has asked the ins apartment to the good part of inspector general to conduct an investigation that hopefully will identify the source behind the "washington post" report and
12:55 am
hopefully then take appropriate action but it is always our intention at the appropriate time to make this public -- not before december 1st to anyone. spec will be simultaneously delivered to congress? >> not before december 1st. >> don't go camping out on the hill, we come it's not going to be worth your while. >> [inaudible] >> yeah. >> is there an agreement now with turkey on their support and participation in the missile defense shield system for europe and turkey than hosts possibly radars for the system? >> you know, i can't tell you anything definitively. obviously we've been working with the turks for some time. the secretary met with his counterpart from turkey when we were in brussels a month or so ago. this was a subject then and it's
12:56 am
a subject to follow on conversations with other members of the administration certainly our ambassador. from what i've seen frankly in the press it looks as though we've been making progress and have seen that the primm and mr. mr. erdogan has expressed willingness to host this. i don't know if that is some ultimate resolution. the goal is come the nato summit in lisbon friday, saturday, i don't know which day this is being taken up, that the alliance will embrace the missile defense for nato and that turkey will obviously be a part of our unanimous support of that new initiative. >> you don't have -- so you're optimistic that turkey will -- >> everything i've seen come everything i've heard suggests there is cause for optimism. i just don't have a sense of whether there has been any conclusive agreement reached on this. there may have been, in which case i would be -- who would be
12:57 am
most up-to-date on where we stand with our conversations with the turks would be my friends of the state department. >> i have one unrelated separate question. on private security companies in afghanistan -- is there some movement? are you having dialogue now with the afghan government that shows -- >> i think that when we have come to a resolution on. i think we've been working closely with the afghan government of president karzai and his team for several weeks now, and i think we have, you know, for this collaborative process arrived at what -- at a resolution like we all think is very responsible and reasonable. and so i'd either point to two isaf or the afghan government in terms of articulating the specifics of it. but i would say that i think it is also one that probably the ngos who are so vital to the deferral limit side of our efforts in afghanistan, that they can be comfortable with,
12:58 am
that it provides for security of major development projects, so that they don't have to fear anymore that they already do for their well-being or that of their project as we move forward. but i think we have, you know, i arrived at a good conclusion there. >> you mentioned that at the department mr. gates has got a number of important decisions in the weeks and months ahead. the defense acquisition board is meeting monday, are scheduled to come on the joint strike fighter. can you give some insight into what they will be reviewing and will that include this technical baseline review for the admiral venlet? >> the dab -- i love these terms, the dab is meeting monday as you said but i would underscore to you this was a meeting that was scheduled back in june. so there's nothing sort of -- there is no development that is
12:59 am
necessitated this meeting. it was put on the books in june. it's scheduled to take place monday. it will focus on a guest on the jsf and specifically on the work that the admiral venlet has been doing with his technical baseline review, which is near completion, not final, but considerable work has been done. they will review that. they will discuss some jsf management issues for the coming year. but i would emphasize, tony, that you should not expect any decisions to come out of this meeting on monday. any decisions with regard to this program, as important as it is, would likely be made -- or at least the major decisions, of course, will be made by the secretary himself quite likely as part of the 2012 budget review. ..
1:00 am
don't give me your version of the world. i want to see your version of the world, and i think as a result we feel as though we have a much better understanding including some new issues, up where we stand with this program and what might you be done as a result of that. >> roughly is going to recommend additional dollars in the development program. >> i'm not going to say what is fair to say at this point. as i said, it is not done yet
1:01 am
and it will be, any recommendations that come out of it will be dealt with as part of the budget review which is the particulars of which we don't discuss publicly so you just have to hold your horses on that >> a layperson watching this program would say to him or herself. >> this program or the jss program. >> it resulted in a lot of change to the program. there was a nunn-mccurdy breach in washington parlance in june. now there is another review of this program, three and one year. is this a troubled program that meets all these reviews? what is going on here a prudent person would ask. >> you sort of absurd the question yourself with how you stipulated things. clearly if it is a nunn-mccurdy breach it is having trouble, right? >> that was jindal, were in november now.
1:02 am
>> but definition we have hit nunn-mccurdy. there have been issues with this program. there have been troubles with this program. we have acknowledged that frankly for the last couple of years. and the secretary in february and it took a major restructuring of this program and we can talk at length about the measures he took, but the money he withheld, but the people he let go, but the people he hired and promoted, and then but one of the key components of this was tasking the new program manager to take a deeper dive than we have ever taken in this before, so as to avoid future surprises about this program. that is what admiral venlet has been doing. that is what he has nearly completed, and as i said last time i saw you in just a few moments ago he has discovered additional issues that are of concern. those issues may be discussed in the dab, but there will be no
1:03 am
actions taken at the dab as a result of those. those kinds of actions would be reserved for the 2012 budget process. >> but can you give a sense of some of these issues, whether they are cost or technical related? >> i mean, tony just to give you one example, we had a belief at one point that we had x number of lines of code left to be written. >> software. >> yes. and what we found is we have more software code to be written than we had originally thought. so that is just an example of having you know, gone under the hood yourself and taken a look at the engine first-hand, that we have discovered additional things that need to be done to get ultimately to where we want to be. >> your 10 years into this program now and you are telling me this year is when you are taking the deepest i've ever. you wonder why this wasn't done before -- the deepest dive.
1:04 am
>> well tony, obviously there have been reviews at this program previously. i think at the time, and franklo say the secretary is frustrated by the fact that they have not been, they have not fully illuminated the issues of this program. and he made it clear when he undertook the restructuring in february, when he hired admiral venlet, that he did not want future surprises. so, let's get to a baseline now. let's figure out where autumn is. and then come to me, so we can make decisions fully informed by all the problems that we face. but, let me just also make clear, and i know this bore some in our audience, but i know it is a great interest to you, tony. you are absolutely right and that is why i want to underscore this point. don't mistake any of this as any sort of wavering on this program
1:05 am
this program, this will be the backbone of our tacair for decades to come, so it is of vital importance to this department and the secretary has believed that for some time and he continues to believe that. and, you know we fully expected that there would be development issues in a program as sophisticated as this one. frankly, every time we have met them we have overcome them. but we want to have as full an appreciation as possible upfront for what more still needs to be done so we can plan accordingly and that is what were in the midst of right now. >> geoff, what does the date, the year 2014 mean for the war in afghanistan? is this an aspirational goal for the withdrawal of most combat forces or is this a deadline for withdrawal? >> i think you have it right, just in. you have heard the lines clearly before.
1:06 am
i mean yes, it is the end of 2014 which is a goal that frankly was first set up by president karzai during his inauguration, what, more than a year ago, and was further reiterated when he went to london for a donors' conference, then again at the kabul conference. and i think you will see this formally embraced by nato this weekend. so, 2014 has been out there for quite some time as an aspirational role for us to meet the in terms of ultimately putting the afghan security forces in the lead, having primary responsibility for the security of their country. i would emphasize two things
1:07 am
here. number one, it is the end of 2014, so effectively it is by 2015, and that although the hope is -- the goal is to have afghan security forces in the lead over the preponderance of the country by then, it does not necessarily mean a, that everywhere in the country they will necessarily be in the lead, although clearly that would be the goal and would be the hope that we would shoot for and b, that it does not mean that all u.s. or coalition forces would necessarily be gone by that date. there may very well be the need for forces to remain in country, albeit hopefully in smaller numbers, to assist the afghans that they assume lead responsibility for the security of their country. i have seen some of the stories that have sort of suggested that there is an inherent contradiction between july 2011
1:08 am
and the end of 2014, and i think we have always seen these as very much linked and consistent that you would, as the president articulated nearly a year ago, began the gradual withdrawal of u.s. forces come july 20 -- 2011 based upon conditions on the ground, and then hopefully, moved the afghans into increasing responsibility for their security. we are already seeing it, frankly. you know we talked last week, or two weeks ago, about how at the time i think there were six out of 10 security forces in the hamkari operations in kandahar were afghans. i think that number has since risen to seven out of 10. so afghan forces, which it grown
1:09 am
by roughly a hundred thousand over the past year are increasingly taking responsibility for the safety and security of their people. and we envision that by the end of 2014 they will be able to do that over the preponderance of their country. >> if that works according to plan and they had security at most of the country how many u.s. and nato forces would you see in any country at the end of 2014 and at the start of 2015 roughly, could you say? >> i think it is entirely unknowable at this point. i don't think anybody could tell you with any credence what the force posture will be four years from now. it is just impossible to know. it just depends. like, we don't know for example here we are nine months out, less than that, eight months, seven months out from the july 2011 date and the
1:10 am
conditions on the ground are not known to us now about -- you know, for july 2011. so we can't even tell you for example how many forces we estimate will be coming out or reinvested come july 2011, let alone you know, four years from now. speech of? >> yeah. >> after what we have seen this week, president karzai's comments, how do you describe the relation. >> let me just underscore. as the talk about the growth of the ansf it was brought to my attention today also because i think it's overlooked and although it doesn't deal with the specific you think it is an interesting statistic that you may want to pursue. the ansf has grown by a hundred thousand over the past year. similarly afghan civil servants. we have trained 11,000 afghan civil servants since february.
1:11 am
so, much focus has been placed on the growth of the ansf and it is important, it is clearly the long pole in our tents in terms of you know, the surge was meant for two things. it was meant to reverse the momentum of the taliban and it was meant to buy time to develop the site in the capability of the ansf. we have had great success on that front but we are also simultaneously clearly trying to develop a civilian capacity of the afghan government. and i think that is a telling figure, that 11,000 afghans have been trained this year as well. sorry, joe. >> after what you have seen this week, president karzai's comments, how do you describe the relation with kabul right now? do you think the pentagon and president karzai are on the same page regarding the special operations of the military, the airstrikes in the south? >> i do. and i think it was useful for all of us to have the secretary of defense get this question
1:12 am
itself. i would direct you to those comments which essentially say that, you know, president karzai is our partner. we certainly understand what he was trying to express in that "washington post" article. and, i think you know, what secretary gates said is that he thinks that what you saw there was the leader of a country, whose people have been at war for the last 30 years, is frustrated by that reality. and that is perfectly reasonable and understandable. and he longs for the days and hopefully the days to come, the days in the past and the days to come when our role in afghanistan will be one primarily in the development phase, when we are back to building roads and aqueducts and reservoirs and camp canals and
1:13 am
things of that nature as we did in the 50s and so on. but, we can't get there from here quickly. it is going to take some time until we are solely in that role in afghanistan. there is still much more work to be done on the security front and i think secretary gates is confident. i think you heard from secretary clinton as well, that we can get there with president karzai as our partner. he is the elected leader of that country. he will be the leader of that country for the next four years. and i think we both share an understanding of where we are and where we need to get to. i would also note, as i -- as you saw i think in an ap story today that president karzai met with general petraeus yesterday. they had a lengthy meeting. it was an entirely one-on-one. i think people joined it later, but as i understand that they had a very good discussion about
1:14 am
the issues that president karzai raise concerns about in the "washington post." and i think general petraeus went through each of those issues, whether it be night operations, private security contractors, force levels, things of that nature, and explained our mutual understanding of these things. and i think, at the end of it, there was a solid understanding between those two gentlemen about the campaign and as it has been described to me there was absolutely no daylight between them on this front are going to think you will likely see that from president karzai himself when he speaks in lisbon at the nato summit later this week. but, i mean, i am sure you have talked to joke and to our colleagues in kabul who have gone to great lengths to explain to you all, as we have done so
1:15 am
with the afghan leadership, precisely how night operations work. we have made extraordinary adjustments in how we conduct these things, mindful of the fact that although they are militarily necessary and i think clearly president karzai and everybody else in his administration understands that. they are politically sensitive. and we understand that. this does put the afghan leadership and a really difficult position with its people. they are a sovereign country, but they have real security needs that have have to be attended to, and night operations are one of the most effective ways of doing so. that nothing we undertake at night is done without full consultation with the afghan government, with the afghan military. they have officers in our operation center. they are involved in the planning from the very beginning. it goes up through their chain
1:16 am
of command for approval. and on each and every one of our operations at night, 80% of which i would remind you, resulted no shots being fired as we are apprehending suspects -- in each of these operations there is a minimum of seven specially trained afghan special operations forces along, who are in the lead when it comes to announcing, taking to the bullhorn and asking families to leave their homes peacefully so that we can conduct searches for suspected individuals and you are in the beat in terms of dealing with sensitive situations, particularly dealing with afghan women and children. so they are vital partners in this from the beginning of the planning process to the execution of these missions. >> yeah, let's finish up.
1:17 am
>> gordon. >> a lot of focus on the 900 training years and i'm just curious secretary secretary general rasmussen said that we get the trainer sometime even by the end of this next year. how important are these trainers and i know there is a game of poker here at some level, but how willing with the usb be to kick in some of those trainers if need be quick or? >> the trainers are vitally important. as much success as we have had over the past year and growing and developing the afghan national security forces there is a lot more work to be done, and the way the system is developed, we are going to need more, many more trainers, hundreds more trainers very same. so, i would really in this respect point you to portugal and lisbon this weekend, and let's hopefully see some
1:18 am
development there. but, they are vitally necessary. there is no way around it. and as for whether or not -- we stepped into the breach already with what was supposed to be a temporary assignment. i don't know, i think it ended up eating 600 or so army personnel who went over to perform a training function. and, you know, listen, for example this week, not directly related to training but the secretary approved the deployment of the battalion, an army infantry battalion which will go over to augment the special forces village stability operations which ultimately is what is developing the afghan local police, which everybody has great faith will ultimately be a game-changer in afghanistan. so, we clearly have, when necessary, pony up.
1:19 am
but, we also, and our allies have been very supportive as well over the past year, specially the past couple of years especially but we need more help from them with regards to trainers. if we are to continue on the glide path that we have been enjoying with regards to the ansf growth. >> the battalion like that, does that fall in that 10%? >> it does. i believe this is coming out of the flex of the secretary has. this is why all of these silly stories you see me from time to time about there being a cap. i mean our commanders still very much have the ability to raise their hand and say, i need x. and i think every time general petraeus has ever said i need x the secretary has given him x. and so this is another case where he has said, we believe the afghan local police are very
1:20 am
important. we think they are having a big difference in where they have been deployed so far. i think right now we have 20 districts certified. and we have got i think -- the desired now is to grow that to perhaps -- we have got 10,000 afghan local police approved. i think the desire ultimately with the afghans and our command in afghanistan is to double that so you potentially have 20,000 afghan local police. that is going to require more of our forces to help the special forces that are so key to developing these local police forces, which are roughly -- each district i think would have about 300 of these guys. hold on, i will come back to you. >> can i just clarify on that? so you you have used about 2000 of the flex if i remember
1:21 am
correctly and this would be how many more? >> we would have to get you a precise number but it could be a thousand more. we will get you the precise number. but remember these are fluctuating numbers. i wouldn't get so caught up on you views 2000, coming, he abused two-thirds. our numbers are constantly fluctuating based on guys rotating and, guys rotating out, guys needed for certain period of time and then not needed. but this was an identified need that will be met so that we can continue the development of this afghan local police program. >> geoff, can i just clarify another thing on gordo's question? so you have 10,000 local police? >> we don't have 10,000 now but the program has been approved to ultimately develop 10,000 afghan local police. i think it is the desire of both the afghans and general petraeus to ultimately double that number. we are now looking at possibly a
1:22 am
20,000 person afghan local police force. >> is it concentrated in an area like rc east? >> no. date have looked for -- it is done in a very calculated and strategic way based upon, are there areas where we have a high concentration of troops but there are -- but we can't get them, for example we have got a lot of focus obviously right now in the kandahar area. there are as we described rat lines, supply lines into the taliban and around calabar, kandahar, that travel through areas that we don't have the resources to focus on now, but where we see a willingness among the local population to stand up and guard against them being used as a supply route to resupply the taliban. so what we are doing is putting
1:23 am
this afghan local police in areas that we think could have an impact, not just on those communities, but also ultimately on the supply and movement of the taliban. okay, as we go one more hands are going up, which is problematic. is supposed to work the other way. so i will go for four more minutes. we will go to 50 and we will go into the speed round. ufr diaz. let's go to jayhawk here. what if you got? >> there are some reports of a possible nuclear test by north korea. can you comment on that? >> i have seen a the press reports you speak of. you know, i have actually mostly seen press reports frankly due to this sort of notion of building a light water reactor and other things where they are undertaking construction here are there. and obviously all i can really say to you there is the watch the north very closely.
1:24 am
we monitored developments there very closely. we are trying, as we always do, to cipher real intent in this otherwise very secretive country if it is true that they are pursuing any one of these things, it obviously is of concern to us and we would call the north not to take any additional provocative or destabilizing actions and rather to engage constructively with its neighbors, particularly the south and ultimately and diplomacy, so that we can get to what we hope all of our goal is, which is a denuclearize financial, that is lasting and verifiable and so forth. so, anyway. yes, go ahead. >> the china commission put out a rep port which showed some stark u.s. vulnerabilities in the pacific. i think it was four out of five bases, excluding hawaii but they were vulnerable to chinese attack. are you aware of this?
1:25 am
>> i have not read the entirety of the report so if you want to chat after we can speak about the specifics are we certainly have experts who deal with these matters day in and day out who can also edify you about any specifics. >> given tensions in the pacific region, just this --. >> say it again. >> it is a pretty shocking report given the tensions in the region. it seems to point out quite a vulnerability on the west side. >> i don't know what the vulnerability is you speak of. if he felt like we were vulnerable and there was a real threat that was potentially, that we were exposed to i am sure we would be taking requisite action, so let me look at the report. i haven't seen it or talk to our experts who have seen the report but my sense is i want to take issue with your question but i'm not armed with the ability to do so at this moment. so anyway, gas -- young young
1:26 am
lady. >> any update on secretary gates trip to china? >> we are working it. hopefully for early next year. we are still working it. i don't have anything new to announce there. >> and u.s. china military to military exchanges, any update on that? >> i don't know if we have any developments there. obviously that is a goal we are working towards. we want increased interaction, engagement and conversation across the board. i don't know that i have anything to announce since the last time we spoke. yeah, let's go. we have got one minute here. louis, you are not getting one. >> just on iraq for a minute. the secretary said a week ago that he was open to the idea of extending troop presence in iraq and since then they form the government over there. has the department had any of the communications with the iraqi government? d. i think the iraqi government right now is focused on trying
1:27 am
to actually fill out the government. they have a lot of work to do over the next 30 days to form the rest of the key ministries. so i do not believe we have had any communication along those grounds. and i wouldn't expect it in the near term, as they have considerable work to do in terms of finishing the formation of their government. i think what the secretary said that probably the last time, i can't remember the last time he said this but he said it frankly for months and months, is that we will of course, we are opening to having such a conversation with the iraqi government at the appropriate time but i think they have other priorities at this very moment. let's do these two and then we are done. >> geoff, can you tell us why it is that the secretary is going to south america and not to the nato summit? doesn't the summit deal with matters that take up much more of his time? >> i think the summit will be
1:28 am
well represented. the united states will be well and adequately represented at the summit. this is a head of state gathering. the president of the united states will be there. the secretary of defense -- pardon me, the secretary of state will be there. so i think we are in more than good hands and particularly for defense related issues to be represented by those two. two. we will have assistant secretary of defense sandy vershbow -- vershbow will be there. he has a small team with him. but no, i think there is, there are more than enough high-level u.s. representatives in lisbon to do the job but i think this speaks to the fact frankly that we can do multiple things at once. even though you are right, the preponderance of our efforts militarily have and in the middle east and then partnered closely with europeans in that effort. as you saw from our trip to australia and malaysia last
1:29 am
weekend by our trip tomorrow to south america, we remain actively engaged elsewhere in the world as well. you know we clearly have increased our engagement, at least with regards to high-level visits and so forth and conversations in asia over the last cup live years. and we continue our each and south america as well and elsewhere, africa and elsewhere. but we can do multiple things at once. we can deploy high-level officials simultaneously in multiple places around the world and still get the job done. yes, go ahead. >> two quick questions. one, as far as afghanistan is concerned, so much going on and taliban leaders are saying now, officially that as long as one u.s. troop remains there, that terrorism or terror activities will continue. my question is what role do you think the neighboring countries like india, pakistan or even russia will play after 2011 or
1:30 am
14? >> who is saying this as long as one remains there? >> taliban leaders there. >> is this the mullah omar eid statement? if you want to decide for the mullah omar eid statement that clearly shows that they are having enormous issues with vis-à-vis our operations in afghanistan. there is a clarion call to sympathetic supporters around the world for additional funding, clearly suggesting they are having trouble financing their operations. there are a call also for fighters not to come back to the safe havens but to remain in countries, duking it out as best as they can't even though they are not adequately supplied. so i think, and there are also complaints frankly about you all come about the media. they feel as though you have been co-opted is, which i think you guys would obviously take exception to but, so to me there's a suggestion that they have issues that the operational
1:31 am
tempo, that the additional forces, that they sustained, consistent aggressive engagements that we have undertaken militarily -- they are having an impact and they are feeling the effects of it right now. with regard to the region, yes, india, pakistan, iran, all of afghanistan's neighbors are ultimately very important to the stabilization of that region. they all need to be playing a positive, productive, construction influence on afghanistan. justin. i think you have had two or three. >> how important are the plans and agreements that russia plans to sign in lisbon about opening up trade routes and possibly supplying more helicopters? >> russia has played a very constructive role with regards to our operations in afghanistan.
1:32 am
we have, as you you know, developed a whole alternate supply line network to keep our forces supplied and they were instrumental in us being able to bring in routes from the north so that we were not solely reliant on what are also very important routes to pakistan, so they played a very constructive role there. they played a constructive role in terms of counternarcotics. they played a constructive role in terms of supplying soviet, or russian built helicopters to the afghan air force, who are used to in most comfortable dealing with those aircraft. so, i would point you to lisbon later this week. i think we are going to have our first meeting of the nato russia council since the georgian invasion, and hopefully we will get more, more movement out of that. >> my question was, are any of these plans threatened by a potential failure of the stark
1:33 am
agreement? >> well, yes, in the sense that we have been working over the past couple of years to restart or reset our relationship with russia. we have made real progress and a number of areas, particularly as i just mentioned, cooperation in afghanistan, cooperation also in sanctions against iran, the latter of which could not have been done without russian support. and, in addition to all the reasons why it is important for verification reasons and important for our credibility on non-proliferation issues worldwide, it is also fundamentally important in terms of our credibility as a partner with the russians on this issue that we be able to get this ratified this year.
1:34 am
and that is why we are pushing so hard to get this done in the remaining weeks that we have with this congress. alright, louis, come see me later. see you. >> up next on c-span2, state department officials give an update on the colorado break in haiti.
1:35 am
>> my goal, even though they may give it up for principled reasons,. >> in the final volume of its award-winning trilogy on theodore roosevelt edmund morris examines the final years of t.r.'s life sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's q&a. >> an outbreak of cholera has killed about 1100 haitians in the past month. the state department special coordinator for haiti, thomas adams and officials from the centers for disease control and the u.s. agency for international development briefed reporters on current conditions in haiti. this is just under an hour.
1:36 am
>> yes. we will make some very brief opening remarks and then take your questions. after the earthquake in haiti, we knew that the island would be particularly susceptible to waterborne diseases and other medical threats and we, along with the ministry of health and the international community set up a robust surveillance system which did indeed detect the outbreak of cholera, which was confirmed on october 20. the reason this cholera is spreading, which also was predicted, are they poor sanitation in haiti, which those of you who have been there certainly have seen. also, the fact that for at least 50 years and perhaps as long as 100 years haiti has not had any cholera so there are no immunities amongst the population. also, this strain of cholera seems to be more feral and then
1:37 am
normal strains, and the cbc can talk more about that and they are doing some investigations to try to get a better picture of that. because haiti had such a poor health infrastructure, we the united states as part of our broad assistance there, has made this one of our pillars. we are going to invest a lot of money and health system over the next five years ago we have already started on several parts of it. but, the challenge as we go forward on cholera are many, and we are meeting them in trying to overcome them, but that this occupies us every day and our great team of people down there as well who has spent a lot of time on this. so, with that introduction i'm going to ask mark ward from the
1:38 am
office of foreign assistance act usa to allow the initial work in responding to this to say a few words. >> hello again. i think i was here last to talk about tomas. i was in haiti last week to take a look at the power situation. let me begin by expressing a lot of confidence in the efforts that the government of haiti has undertaken in treating the disease from what we have seen so far. i was impressed by the professionalism that i saw when i was there last week among their medical professionals. i think you know the numbers. the cases reported are going up, over 18,000 now, and unfortunately the death toll is also going up, over 1100 now. o. fda has provided about $9 million, committed about $9 million so far.
1:39 am
that number is going up every day and you will hear why. our strategy right now is to focus very much on prevention. cholera is not very hard to prevent or treat if you get it early, but we have got to provide the tools to treat it and make sure the people know how to use those tools and take better care of themselves. if we are successful, the number of severe cases will decline. we wants, they won't overtax the government's treatment facilities and the death rate will drop. we have got an aggressive plan on prevention and it has got four parts. number one, clean drinking water a subject we talk about a lot. we talked about certainly during the pakistan floods. clean drinking water is critical chlorinated, clean drinking water is even more critical to stop cholera, because the
1:40 am
chlorine kills -- and tell us what it is, the nasty thing inside of the water that calls calls -- causes the cholera. many haitians get their water, particularly in urban areas, from government sources, from public sources. when i was in port-au-prince on friday we saw people gathering and filling water containers from public pipes and we tested that water on the spot. good news. it was chlorinated. but we have got to ensure that there are plenty of chlorine coming into the country over the next couple of months of that they don't run out, and we will do that. then for the rural areas where they do not have access to the public source of water, the government source of water, we are providing elias of aqua tabs that families can use to clean the water themselves. second, oral rehydration therapy. cholera causes as you know,
1:41 am
severe and dehydration, and this is what kills. it is easily treated with oral rehydration therapy, which is a simple mixture of sugar and salt and very important clean water. usaid is pretty proud of the fact that about 50 years ago we developed this therapy in south asia, and all of us in the foreign service know it very well from our service overseas. we'll keep a a couple of sachets in our desks at work. it is easy to make. it is easy to administer. you don't need to go to a hospital or clinic to use or. s. so is critical to our prevention efforts in haiti, and we, the u.s. government alone, among many donors will be sending 2 million sachets to haiti over the next month. about a third of it will be distributed through usaid's networks throughout the country
1:42 am
and the rest through the united nations. there are 400 points in the country now where people can go to get it and we will be adding more because we want to be sure is available in all departments of the country, even those where the disease has not yet shown up. education and messaging. the third part of our new strategy. cholera as you will hear and as you heard from tom, is new to haiti, at least this generation and we have to redouble our efforts to make sure that a haitians not to care for themselves and prevent its spread in more severe cases. the messages are pretty simple. drink clean water. we are giving them aqua tabs and chlorine to do that. wash her hands with clean water and soap. we are distributing as many hygiene kits as we can as best as we can. currently we have got enough hygiene kits in the country to provide to 80,000 people for
1:43 am
three weeks. use ors if you or someone in her your family develops. and when we give it to people we show them how to make it, in case they have trouble reading the directions on the sachet. and we have got a network of ngo partners, community health workers across the country and 4000 different locations where we can be spreading this message as well as through text messaging, as well as to the local media. and then finally, we know the fourth part of our approach, we know there will be some severe cases still developing. to prevention efforts won't entirely succeed. and, people need to have a place to go if they develop and it is not going away, so we will be adding additional money to expand the facilities that are available either cholera treatment units are cholera
1:44 am
treatment centers in and places where the disease is showing up so that if the diarrhea present in people need to get additional help, and that additional help is generally just an i.v. drip or a while and somebody to monitor your vital signs but need to get there quickly once the diarrhea develops. so we need to be sure that these treatment facilities are available to people without too long a journey. so we will be working with ngo partners that we are working with particularly in the camps to be sure people at a place to get to quickly and with the government to expand the bed space that they have got for people outside of the camps so that again, if the diarrhea shows that people can get to a treatment facility as quickly as possible. just finally, we are not doing this alone. there are a number of other countries around the world that are also really stepping up and helping out with the cholera effort. just to name a few, brazil, european union, spain and japan.
1:45 am
this prevention campaign i talked about is going to talk -- take more money. but we have to act now. to keep those numbers as low as possible, so i don't think money will slow us down. thanks very much. >> good afternoon. as was said, both mark and tom, cholera is preventable and treatable disease. sometimes a situation gets a little more severe based on the conditions on the ground and we know there are certain receptors for cholera outbreaks. those include lack of assets to safe drinking water, contaminated food, inadequate sanitation and large numbers of either refugees or internally displaced people. the earthquake on january 12 of this year worsens these conditions by damaging drinking water treatment facilities, piped water distribution centers and displaced over 2.3 million
1:46 am
haitians. further increasing the risk of cholera and other waterborne diseases. what the earthquake also did what does that heighten surveillance. the laboratory capacity by the ministry of health and the national lab in conjunction with partners including the u.s. government and the centers for disease control have about for a heightened surveillance. when the first case of cholera or the first suspect case of patients with acute watery diarrhea who are now on october 19, those were reported to the ministry of health and within four days the national public health laboratory confirmed the diagnosis of cholera. it is a rigorous effort to restore surveillance and flat capacity that really allowed for the effort we are working on now to have commenced. it was declared a full account of emergency and the government worked closely again with international and non-governmental and governmental organizations to
1:47 am
raise awareness of cholera and treatment measures. the cdc has a long history working on cholera outbreaks in asia, africa and in latin america. and it is really five areas that we would want to focus on and it continued to focus on while in haiti. one is we want to focus on patients who make it to the hospital, to reduce the fatality rate. in order to do that we are working with clinicians to educate them through training the trainer program. clinicians in haiti as was mentioned, used to seeing what patients with cholera. is not reported to have been there in this generation, likely in past generations as well so the education of training on how to diagnose and manage a patient with cholera is not present, so we have a training system which will reach both the departmental hospitals and reach its way to the community as well. to community health workers. two, work with patients in the
1:48 am
community who are sick and require all are as -- ors advising them as mark mentioned on the proper use of oral rehydration salts and importantly advising patients once they have acute watery diarrhea to seek health care. three is prevention. again, it was mentioned via improved access to safe drinking water and education on improved hygiene, sanitation and food preparation practices. four, working on surveillance, both laboratory surveillance and epidemiological surveillance to monitor the spread of disease and timely detail information about infection, death and the fatality rate. this information can be used to direct public resources and support to the areas where it is most needed. and five, to continue to work on the science to adjust intervention as necessary. each cholera outbreak, the vehicle of transmission, the knowledge and attitude and practices of the local population may be slightly different. in haiti were cholera was
1:49 am
present again, the knowledge of cholera and the way it is transmitted, the way to use oral hydration salts may not be the same as it is in other parts of the world where the disease is endemic. we are working on these five aspects. we feel like we can help support haiti and work on reducing the burden of disease. thank you. >> we will open up to questions. >> this question is for any and all of you. is, after the earthquake, you knew that this was likely to be a problem, how did this spread so quickly and how did it get so bad so fast? and if it was inevitable, and knowing what you know that the haiti hasn't had a case of cholera in however long that is, vibrant people being trained and in recognizing this earlier? the four-day diagnosis seems to
1:50 am
be a bit long to me. and i'm not suggesting this is anyone to blame here. the u.s. or anyone else but it seems if the international community was aware this was going to be a problem, steps could have been taken to at least contain this before it got out of hand. >> i hope i didn't say it was inevitable. we didn't waste this on anybody, or we hope haiti would dodge this bullet but they haven't dodged many bullets, as you know. we knew they were susceptible to water worn diseases, not necessarily cholera. it might be another disease, but we have prepared supplies for that and set up a surveillance system. frankly i think people thought if there broke out it would be in crowded port-au-prince and wouldn't start in the already. so the disease fooled us. but, i think the point there is
1:51 am
that there were preparations made debt allowed us to get an early start on tackling this problem. that said, it is a serious major problem and it is going to present challenges as we go forward. >> i would just like to add, and nearly 90s when there was a latin american outbreak of cholera, again cases spread throughout the continent of south america and throughout the country. we saw a case in the united states as well. surveillances-both there and the caribbean and since that time we have never seen a case of cholera in the caribbean despite heightened. there were two factors required to have a cholera outbreak. one, the presence of the organism and two to preach in the water hygiene infrastructure. currently, both of those factors are met. but deviously we had no reason
1:52 am
to think the organism with there. >> what was the breach than? >> as was mentioned, there are a couple of aspects. one, after the earthquake was displacing over 2.3 million people, it created a population that was internally displaced which was a factor for cholera. >> do you mean cholera can disappear magically? it is not to be introduced by anything? >> no, i'm not saying that. i'm saying that the displaced people contributes to the spread we are seeing out. >> but as you have said all along, haiti has had one disaster after another in the last how many years? this hasn't happened before. so i mean there have been populations moved around haiti and living in crowded unsanitary conditions for 100 years. so, something had to introduce it. >> that is absolute correct. but two things. one, we don't know how the
1:53 am
surveillance system prior to the earthquake would would would han detected in this case. laboratory capacity and the epidemiological survey has titan now. i will just answer your question now. specifically how the organism introduced, we don't know and it is very difficult due to the spread of infectious diseases, where the string of this organism came from and how it got there, what the origin was. we will never know that answer. >> i will stop after this, but well, i will let someone else go. >> i will add to the point. this was something i saw on friday, just to dispel the notion that we were not taking steps to prevent the spread of some kind of infectious disease by water. i visited a very large camp in port-au-prince on friday, 26,000 residents, and they have set up a cholera treatment center. very impressive. all the steps that you go
1:54 am
through. i walked through so many puddles of chlorine, think my shoes were going to dissolve. they had followed the protocols and they were ready. they hadn't had one patient yet, because in that camp, there were the ingredients to avoid cholera. clean drinking water, clean latrines and families being taught every day how to keep their children and their families clean. i wish services like that were available and all the camps and part of our new strategy is to make more services like that available in the camps where we haven't had this dig of a presence. >> go ahead. >> i would like to follow-up on the question about the sources of this strain. i see there is no indication of where it came from yet. can you rule anything out? there has been a lot of political backlash against the u.n. for troops who are there
1:55 am
providing services. can you rule any of that out? there was also some suggestion that perhaps there was the cause of mismanagement of latrines in that kind of thing eating dumped into streams. >> we can't rule in or rule out either scenario. the cdc in conjunction with the lavatory and haiti are conducting a variety of laboratory tests to further characterize the strain of cholera, but again the global trade, with global movement of population we will never know how the strain arrived in haiti. >> what was the timeline on the analysis you are talking about? >> there are a host of different types of laboratory announces we are doing. we have them already dna fingerprinting and we have culture the organism and now we have made available to the scientific community that the whole genome of the organism so that is available to the scientific community to assess as well and they can compare to other eye slits of cholera. the problem is they are not that
1:56 am
many eye slits to compare according to the genome sequencing. [inaudible] >> we will likely never know where this came from. >> i just have one other question. there was a political side, one of you mentioned that big government is responsible. there was some suggestion out there that resident preval had even during this election period at some point suggested that people avoid even bottled water due to the matter it is branded in that kind of thing. i was wondered if you could speak a little bit about how the government has tried to. >> i, the government response has been very good. very strong. the ministry of health responded immediately. they asked us to set up treatment centers in port-au-prince and identified the sites rapidly. they have worked on their messaging. there a lot of messages going out.
1:57 am
president preval has gone around the country, telling people to take steps to treat -- tape seek treatment. help via i international partners and other countries in on this. so i guess your question is, is there some other agenda here being pushed? >> there was some reporting on president preval suggesting to people that they avoid all matters of water. and dinges bradley about how this is in the election campaign. have you seen a lot of that going on? >> some opposition candidates are using the anti-minister sentiment a bit but it is not getting very far. frankly, i think most candidates have been you know, responsible on this. so, and the other question related to the elections is, so far the government has given no
1:58 am
indication that this will postpone the elections. >> i have a question just about, in the current state of state of the african interventions that you have underway i'm wondering if you can tell us what model you may have about where we are in the epidemic. i mean is this something we are going to continue to see rising, rising fast or is this peaking? how does that work? >> thank you. it is very difficult as you can imagine, to project a number of cases are the number we are going to see. and out or give any infectious disease including cholera. we do have some figures in terms of comparing the scope of this outbreak in terms of the number of cases we are seeing now compared to previous outbreaks and that helps us guide for planning purposes, for the provision of the different preventive measures we have discussed, the establishment of cholera treatment centers but to give a number of where we are with the outbreak is very difficult as you can imagine.
1:59 am
>> is it possible to raise the outbreak and its severity compared to other outbreaks? >> one of the things they did after the latin american the latin american epidemic is they looked at what factors can internal to the country allowed to a value weight for the transmission of cholera. and they found a couple of things, the most important being infant mortality. the higher the infant mortality, the increased spread of cholera. it seems quite intuitive but they are modeling suggested that, so we in haiti have a relatively high infant mortality and so we expect, using that model, that haiti is going to have sustained transmission for a number of years. we hope that given the current preventative and treatment measures we have, transmission, the biggest burden will be early on in the epidemic and that is what we are seeing now, but we expect the cases will continue

93 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on