tv U.S. Senate CSPAN November 19, 2010 9:00am-12:00pm EST
would advocate for that. >> the air force has been working on requirements to identify requirements on the office of the secretary, the need for a manned next generation long-range strike platform. what do you foresee as your role in advocating that type of system? >> if confirmed one of the things commanders do is establish requirements and if confirmed, i would be responsible for setting requirements for such a platform. i know the air force is studying some preliminary ways forward and i would look forward to participating if confirmed. >> there are 25 studies that have been done with regard to next generation long-range strike aircraft yet there hasn't been any significant progress made to date. as a follow-up to my previous
question, what can you see yourself doing differently from your predecessors when it comes to successfully advocating for this capability? >> i don't know if there's anything different that needs to be done right now. i know from my air force hat that this is getting a lot of attention. it is a difficult set of issues to grapple with to make sure they have the requirements correctly stated and outlined and a way forward that matches those requirements. i don't know that there's one thing i could do that would be different but i would restate that if confirmed my belief is modernization of -- sustainment and modernization of the entire deterrent force elements and the sustaining stockpile that goes behind it, the command and control that supports it and the
i s r that contributes are all important and i would advocate for all of those. >> and follow on the next generation long-range strike. >> in the meantime there's sustainment effort underway so we shouldn't ignore that. >> another question having to do with the start treaty which you responded to already. the new start treaty includes a ceiling on operationally deployed nuclear warheads. 450 warheads and 750 strategic delivery systems. what do you foresee as possible implications of reducing our number of delivery vehicles? >> if you mean get down to the treaty limits, i haven't been part of the analysis or the negotiation activity. what i would say at this point
is what i understand from my current seat. from my current seat i understand at those levels, 1550 operationally deployed warheads. 700 delivery vehicles. up to 800 deployed and non deployed that we can achieve our deterrent objective. >> to comply with the treaty would reduce a number of nuclear capable bombers to a maximum of 60 and if my math is right, we have 20 v 2s that would be nuclear capable. and would require us to reduce phone-number of nuclear capable b-52s by half. somewhere around 40 to stay under what we expect to be the 60 number of bomber delivery vehicles. what would be the impact of nuclear deterrence strategy and at what level of the reduction
of bombers do you become nervous about the viability of the bomber of the triad? >> first of all, we have decided to retain a triad which is the foundational step we have taken. the exact mixture of that triad has yet to be determined and there are some numbers stated but we have entry into force plus seven years to get to the appropriate mixture of weapons. i would like to take the opportunity if i am confirmed to come back with a more full some discussion about what i think about the mixture of each individual links. >> if the u.s. develops in probable strike weapon these systems will further reduce the number of bombers in our
inventory. what is your position on development of local strike? is this a must have tight capability and is it important enough that we further reduce the underlying to try it. >> if i understand the treaty, a prompt global strike weapon could count. depends on its characteristics. whether it actually made it to an intercontinental ballistic missile, it wouldn't have to kill but it could depended on how we went forward and my view is we should go forward on continuing to develop long-range strike, conventional strike of some type. again, if confirmed, i would like to have a further discussion. >> it would be important in terms of the treaty to determine what the strike would consist
of, all under those caps and impact the other considerations with regard to try and. i see my time is expired. thank you very much for your service. >> thank you, senator thune. senator web? >> i would like to congratulate both of you for being selected for these responsibilities. i have no doubt that both of these commands will be in excellent hands. general keller's interesting review yesterday as we discussed, my father send a good bit of his air force career in vandenberg and it brought back a lot of memories of really amazing work that his generational cohort did in terms
of pioneering these programs that have matured into the discussion we are having today and a lot of people don't realize the jeopardy this country was in in the 1950s after the soviet union had gotten ahead of us with the sputnik program. the discussions we are having and the issues we're facing a are a direct impact from the quality of work that generation put into this. having grown a good part of my life on those two bases i wish you the best. general -- general ham, have had a discussion here about the dot study on the don't ask don't tell issue and i asked the chairman of the subcommittee how much i appreciate the cooperation that you and counsel jay johnson gave us in terms of designing this study and i think
it is important if i may to quote from what senator lieberman just said. he said this study should inform the decision that the congress makes in voting. we tend to forget that in our political haste. this is an important study not just to receive but examine and discuss. your background as a former enlisted and infantry officer is very important to the credibility of whatever comes out of that study. having spent five years in the pentagon i can't remember a study on this type of issue that has been done with this sort of care. not having seen or knowing the results i know the preparation that went into it. it will be an important study to look at and examine. i told both of you yesterday, i
regretfully put a hold on civilian and military nominations based on an issue that i believe was non cooperation from the department of defense. more than three months ago i asked for a series of comparable historical data that goes into our analysis of all of these commands and the efficiency that secretary gates is attempting to put in to the department of defense and efficiencies that i fully support. this should not have taken this amount of time. this is basic providing this data so we can participate in discussions. it is not a political ploy. if you don't have the information you don't have the tools, you can do the analysis to have a discussion about where these reductions might be going in our commands. i would be happy to point out that last night at close of business we did receive the
first cut. i am happily going to release any of these holds that we were forced to put in place in order to do this. we will examine this data and have follow on questions but it is an important part of bringing efficiency into that. you are free at last. i have a question. general ham, on africom command. where do you think the headquarters will go? >> the headquarters is in germany. i had a discussion with secretary gates about the possibility of him recommending me to the president for this job. one of the things we talked about was the necessity to conduct an assessment of the headquarters location. if confirmed by will certainly do that and will consider a wide variety of locations.
to include the current location, other sites in europe, we should consider locations on the continent of africa and in the continental united states that asked to be considered as well. we have confirmed -- i will do just that. >> i suggest you examine or f l fall. >> i understand. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you senator web, en thank you for your action on the foundation. senator lemieux. >> i want to thank both of you for your service and these appointments. general ham, if i may ask some questions about africom and terms i have about that region.
would appreciate your evaluation of florida as well. [talking over each other] >> we don't have any -- we are entitled to one. can't speak for illinois. about time we had a command. senator lemieux, thank you. >> i had an opportunity to visit yemen and djibouti and to see firsthand what our forces are trying to do to combat aqap. and concerned about somalia and the tie between al qaeda and the arabian peninsula as well as the ties with al shabob. i would like you to tell me what your view is of the area, and your plan for this country in
coming years to combat terrorism and the links between yemen and other african countries and radical islamic groups and what we can do to combat those threats. >> i believe the extremist threat emerging from east africa is probably the greatest concern that africa command will face in the near future and if confirmed it becomes a very high priority. consistent with what i believe to be the command's highest priority which is to defeat frets that would emerge from the continent toward the u.s. homeland or u.s. interests. one of the challenges for us would be as you correctly point out, senator, area sits astride two geographic combat command
areas of responsibility. one of the things i learned as director for operations, it is in those boundary areas where we must pay great attention to ensure extremist organizations and others find no safe haven and no opportunity to transition unimpeded between geographic commands. >> if confirmed by look forward to working with u.s. central command and general madison and his crew to counter that threat appropriately. >> i appreciate that. i believe outside the pakistan region and the purple the most dangerous place in the world is yemen and its ties to sylvia. these and government territories and the presence of people like anwar al-laaki who grew up in the united states, understand how to use social media to
attract recruits. it is dangerous as it could be. there's a lot of concern and not something for an open hearing but a lot of concern about communication and connection between aqab and al-shabaab and training them in somalia. being focused on that is high importance. >> let's talk about your responsibilities at strategic command and concerns about cyberconcerns and cyberwarfare. we are looking at a cybercommand but tell me how that will play into your new responsibility. >> when the secretary of defense decided in consultation with the
president to stand up for someunified command what he essentially did was consolidated if you will a number of disparate activities that were going on in the department of defense related to cyberspace into one place with a force bark much like the relationship between specific command and u.s. forces in korea whether they subunified command and it operates with some degree of autonomy to take care of the mission. that is the same relationship we have here. strategic command, as i have reread the commission recently still has responsibilities to advocate and integrate, to be part of the command relationships with the other combat commands. so there is still quite a bit of
work both direct and indirect that goes on at strategic command level. but the day in and day out activities and command and control of that work activities, those types of things are going done in u.s. cyber, >> it won't be your specific day-to-day operations. it is a command within the command. >> it is command within a command. >> can i talk about space policy? that is within your responsibility. with the degrading of our plans for nasa although we were able to make some accomplishments before we went out for our recess in trying to continue the space program, tell me about your views of where we will be on the military side of our space program and whether or not you feel we are doing all the weekend to make sure we command
space for military purposes. there's always the view we have to maintain the high ground. at one time aviation was the high ground but we know space is the ultimate high ground and we don't want to be in a position where a future competitor for the united states has command over a space. tell me what your view is where we are strategically in terms of the command of space. >> the nature of space has changed pretty dramatically in the last five to ten years. you will hear these words used in the department of defense. space is now congested, competitive, and complex. you will also hear the word contested used sometimes. what has happened was that from 1957 when there was one man-made
object on orbit to today when there are 20,000 that are soft ball sized and larger and now over 50 nations involved in some way in space, the fact that those nations that are space fairing with their own capabilities to get there and stay there are growing, given that china and others are emerging in space in a significant way with a very ambitious programs, things are different. the result of that, international space policy was just issued. it says essentially that we need to still maintain the competitive advantage that it gives us in terms of our war fighting capabilities and to go about that, we will need to be more collaborative and cooperative with allies, friends and partners and with commercial. from a military side, leveraging those kinds of space capabilities has become the way we think we need to go to the
future. we have turned the corner in many cases in acquisition difficulties. that is not to say we don't have any but we have turned the corner in many of our acquisition difficulties and finally, in terms of our relationship with nasa those are two separate and distinct organizations with two separate and distinct missions but we do collaborate and partner since the beginning of the space age. we're looking for ways folic -- we can leverage nasa, the department of defense and national reconnaissance office to make sure we are all working together to be more efficient while becoming more effective. >> thank you for those comments. my time is a. fiber in your position the two themes keeping me up at night would be cyber and space as two priorities where we have to keep our advantage. appreciate your focus and attention. >> you can rest assured those two will be at the top of my list. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
>> i have senator burris next. i think that is correct. >> thank you. this is likely my last appearance before your great committee and i want to commend you for your wonderful work and opportunity to serve on the part services committee. >> it is a real pleasure and a real advantage for us to have you here. >> thank you to both the generals. i am pleased to meet both of you today. more of a statement than a question but if i have enough time after my statement i would like to ask a couple questions. after reviewing both of your resumes i am confident you will both serve commendably in africom and stratcom. i have visited africom and stratcom in the past year and been able to see the
capabilities in which you will serve and the challenges which you face and there are some challenges. and jennifer kehler, i saw the stratcom facilities in july and was debt impressed with the dedication shown by the entire staff. i hope you look at those individuals and hold onto them. you play an important role in defending a nation from ballistics threats. i am confident you are the right man for the job. should i be here to vote rest assured you would have my vote. but i will be following your success. to general ham, your predecessor has laid groundwork to take this
unified command to the next level of efficiency and interagency cooperation. as you know the united states african command, there is so much more than training african troops in these operations. they represent the united states and our military throughout the entire continent of africa. general ham, what we find in america, most americans speak of africana as a country. they have no idea as the size of the continent's complexity, a continent of 53 different entities and countries on this continent. i stressed that point clearly as it has potential to be both your greatest challenge and your greatest success. men and women that you command
through usaid, the state of operations throughout the continent, and as the president of men and women, uniform, africans you remember the most. this is a new and highly engage command post. i'm excited to see its progress as i continue to follow your career. i would like to thank both of you for sitting before this committee today and for your service to our country. you have put a lot of years of service in and i take my hat off to all of you who made it to the status that you made it because of the contributions that you made and the confidence people placing you. you have taken that responsibility with these two commands so i am proud to support your nomination and should i be here i will be voting for you. general ham, i have a couple
points on africom. the african union, i've visited them in addis ababa, first united states senator, congressman to feed to the a you. the deputy minister told me i was the first senator to visit the headquarters. please encourage my colleagues through your contacts to check out the a you. i will also be at the eastern -- let me get the correct title. east africa standby brigade. really have all these different countries in and try to bring peace and security in to those east african nations and they
are concerned too about our participation. general ward stood up his command and did his best. resources are a problem. the other agencies down there are really seeking to do what their responsibilities are but a lot of it is depending on the military. they are a little concerned about what standing up in africa command was and communicate properly. they still have a pr job to continue to do which general ward has tried to do and what is our purpose? general ham also wanted to compete with china as they move into these various countries with their assistance. africa has -- the future for all our existing countries. the resources that they have. we have to look at how we can fill our relationship with those african countries in spite of
the terrorism and conflict that exists. we need to have a better presence on the continent. as far as the headquarters is concerned i wouldn't mind chicago. but i was -- my second language is german. i visited the headquarters and have a great time with staff and went on to djibouti to visit and to nairobi. it turned into my chairman, report of my experience that i received and hoping, general ham, we can step up our presence in the african countries, understand that we are there to assist them, we are not there --
they are concerned we are there to take them over. you will have that to deal with. you must also work with those different factions. all those different countries. i have a great deal of sympathy for you as you undertake that. you answered my question. what do you think? where is it going to go? do you have any idea? >> i don't. i should approach this if confirmed essentially with a blank piece of paper. what is the requirement? and come up with the best recommendation for the headquarters location. >> every african country wants to headquarters so you will have a problem if you select an african country. continue your service and continue to do good for the american people and take our message abroad to the other
countries. let them know we are here not as conquers people and we are here to help move civilization forward for the betterment of all mankind. god bless you and your families and keep up the good work. .. >> i might start with you. i think you're familiar with a joint op-ed that secretary gates and secretary clinton wrote this week where they said, quote, a more stable predictable -- and
this is on s.t.a.r.t. and this is on the overview. the ratified treaty creates a, quote, more stable, predictable and cooperative relationship between the world's two leading nuclear powers, end of quote. russia -- i think they comprise 90% of the supply of nuclear weapons. is a strong regional power, russian has a great deal of influence in dealing with iran and its nuclear weapons program. i believe that new s.t.a.r.t. will help to bolster our relationship with russians and in turn our ability to leverage russian support to put pressure on iran. would you agree -- what are your thoughts on that particular situation? >> senator, i would agree that an arms control agreement contributes as a piece of a broader relationship in many ways and i would agree that my personal opinion is that a treaty will, in fact, be helpful
in the ways that you suggest. >> thanks for that insight. i am on the record strongly supporting new s.t.a.r.t. as a step forward. there's more work to do. we discussed the other day the tactical weapon arsenal that the russians have. but i think by passing new s.t.a.r.t. we could continue to have those negotiations further about tactical nuclear weapons. but if we -- if we believe iran is the center of our efforts in the middle east, i think we have to ratify the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty. thank you for your comments. let me move to cybersecurity if i might. i recently spent some time with secretary napolitano. i know dhs and dod have signed a security memorandum of agreement. i'm really encouraged by the progress that both departments are making in leveraging their capabilities to keep our nations networks safe. can you talk a little bit more of your involvement and the importance of this effort?
>> sir, again, if confirmed, as i mentioned before strategic command, i think, has an important role to play, strategic command sits at the confluence of a lot of activity in the department of defense. strategic command, i think, has a strong advocacy role certainly an integration role and my intent, if confirmed would be to try to continue to make strategic command a better and better and better partner both inside the department of defense and then as necessary with dhs and others. >> i know you're passionate about this and i know we've talked about the very interesting similarities between outer space and inner space, inner space including this area of cyber and cybersecurity. so i look forward to working with you when you're confirmed. i know that's certainly my intent.
general ham, if i might move to you and then i may have a moment -- well, actually one final comment for general kehler. could you tell me about the status of the final space posture review? can you provide any insights in when we would see it and any additional thoughts you might have. >> i'm not sure i can. i'll have to get that for the record. but what i do know, of course, the space posture review in large part contributed to two important documents. one is the new national space policy that the president signed some months ago. the other is a strategy -- now a national security space strategy document that is being prepared as a follow-on to the policy. and so i'm not sure if there will be a separate space posture review document released or whether that is now rolled into the national security space strategy.
that national security space strategy is in coordination. and should be available soon. i can't specify exactly when and i will get that information for the record for you. >> i would appreciate that. i think we both agree that we're increasingly reliant for space and our national security and we know increasingly that it's space congested and tested environment and we need to stay on the front end of this. and i'm looking forward to your continued advice and counsel in your new position given your past experience and expertise. general ham, i might like to turn to you. as i understand it, one of africom's missions is to enhance the kinetic capabilities of africa's military through assistance programs. another part of your mission would be to conduct or support actions in programs in conjunction with u.s. government agencies and other partners to
reduce the potential for intra, and there's plenty of intrastate conflict but there's interstate conflict in africa by enhancing the governance and stability and economic development of the countries that are in the africom atmosphere of responsibility. of those two basic missions, do you see either as more important than the other? and in particular, in the context of short, mid, and long-term concerns? that's a big question. but it's an important question. have you considered it. >> in my view, they are indeed complementary efforts. i think the role of the command is through a wide variety of programs and authorities to help build the capacity that african nations need at their national level and then importantly also to build regional capacity. and if confirmed i think this becomes an important requirement or important task for the
command to see how we can best leverage the authorities and the resources that are available to achieve the best effect. so those two basic missions you don't elevate them one over the other. you see it important and training and operating in that civilian military space to build governing capacity? >> senator, i think they do go hand-in-hand. if confirmed i would have to take a look at that as i would other requirements of the command and see if a prioritization was necessary particularly in the application of resources. so certainly if confirmed i would take a look at that. >> i see my time is about to expire. let me make one final short remark and then ask you for a commitment. i think you'll be able to meet. the defense sport has been in the commander with the assessing
the security implications of climate change on africa and the potential role for africom in addressing these impacts. i'd like to ask you to commit to providing the committee to get your feet on the ground with your personal view on the findings and recommendations of that task force at an appropriate time next year. could you do that? >> sir, if i'm concerned, i will. >> thank you, thank you, general. thank you again for both of you for being here. >> thank you, senator udall. senator begich. >> i will also just state for the record that i am looking forward to supporting both of you in these new positions. i think you're very qualified, highly qualified for these new challenges that you're taking on. i also thank you for you and your families for the commitment they have to make in this new venture and stress that will be added to your household. so thank you both very much for that willingness. i want to -- general ham, i'm not going to really -- most of
my questions have been answered which i would put in my pitch that alaskans be happy to take the command when you look for location. we would tell you that we're 90% by air to any place in the western world. we can access those places through our airport technology and we don't know our airports under any conditions and i'll just leave it there. i know general kehler and the uniqueness there and i have to get my pitch in there. general kehler, my are going to get a little parochial. i did hear some comments as usual in this committee from some that are -- somewhat worked up over the s.t.a.r.t. treaty. i'm not. i think it's a good treaty. i'm looking forward hopefully to vote on this at some point. but let me be a little bit parochial but really clarify and i think you will -- i anticipate your answer on this. so it's more of a setup because i want to make it clear one more
time that the s.t.a.r.t. treaty -- and i know there's some discussion of missile defense and how it interacts with it. my understanding is that the s.t.a.r.t. treaty does not restrict the missile defense system in any way. and let me ask you in a formal way if i can. if confirmed, will the s.t.a.r.t. treaty hinder your ability to advocate for ballistic missile defense arraignments for this country? -- requirements for this country. >> i don't believe it will. >> it seems like we have to do this in every hearing when there seems to be a discussion to put it in the air and let people, you know, spin out there a little bit and let the press carry it as maybe it will. but what i hear over and over and especially when we have secretary clinton here and secretary gates that it was very clear that it does not hinder or capacity. i want to say thank you once again from the military putting it on the record so it's clear and hopefully we'll end that part of this debate or on the s.t.a.r.t. treaty.
but now let me kind of hone in, if i can, on the missile defense system especially in fort greeley, alaska. as you know, that's the majority of the ground base intercepters are deployed there and i'm interested to know how you will in your -- assuming you're confirmed in your position to help advocate and the requirements of the capability of what's up there. can you give me kind of your sense and your feeling or your understanding of the need of how you will advocate for basically our last line of defense when it comes to missile defense for this country. >> sir, as you well know, the current policy of our government is that we will deploy a limited defensive system against long-range threat from regional powers that could reach out and strike the united states of america. and that is the basis on which the sensor network and, of course, the ground based
midcourse intercepters in alaska and the handful at vannenburg were postured. and so my responsibility, i believe, is to help advocate for that capability. certainly as long as that's our country's view of what we need to do. >> very good. let me take you -- i don't know if you've ever been to fort greeley? >> sir, i have not. >> we'll invite you. we would love to have you up there. i know the director of the space missile defense command has been -- he always picks january and that gives him extra credit points when you come to alaska in january. we would love to have you up there and it's a very unique situation but there's also some deficits, the nearest town has one doctor and there's no clinic on base. to give you a sense of what they have to work in, and the conditions they work in. so we would love to have you up there at some point at your convenience because i think once you're on the ground there --
first, you'll find a very committed community within range of the base that is very supportive and helping any way they can but i think it's also important to see. so if you're confirmed we would love to participate in any way we can to help make that happen. >> yes, sir. just for a finer point. i've been to alaska a number of times but i haven't been to greeley. >> i have questions on clear but i'm glad you brought it up because at some point, i'll want to have some conversation about the long-term plan. i know there is one. of rehabilitation and renovation of the facility and just to make sure we're on track of the dollar requirements. i know in these tight budget times, everyone is looking to push where they can. but, obviously, we think it's pretty clear long term and the investment that's being considered over the next several years will hopefully be continued. i don't have to have a conversation on that right now.
let me just ask you kind of a general question on the support and development on the two-stage ground base intercepter as a hedge in the event of the proposed development and deployment of a long-range phase and phased adaptive approach if it's not achieved by 2020. in other words, if we can't get to our schedule, do you see the two-stage ground base intercepter as a hedge to make sure we're covered? i guess your thoughts on that. >> well, sir, i don't know enough about this. i would like to take that one for the record if i could. >> i would like that. that would be great. not that i would say that the military is not always on schedule. but there are times where planning of development especially of new technology gets delayed. and if we don't have something that backs against it to protect ourselves as we develop our technology, as things change, i want to make sure we have kind of a cohesive plan in that arena and not just say we're done here 'cause we have this new plan down the road and we missed some
time tables. so if you could take that for the record, that would be very good. >> i will, sir. i apologize but i'm just not familiar enough with the details of general reilly's laydown to render a comment. >> for problem. i know when i talked to general reilly he lives and breathes it and you're just getting into the details so i would appreciate it if i could. and some of the questions we gave you in policy questions you made a comment, it's robust access in space as is the national complex. this is a very flexible, efficient and does commercial as well as military launch capacity. the space development and test wing currently have, i think, two missions schedules in kodiak this year. it has a very unique capability and i don't know if you're familiar with it but i would love again the same thing if you're not -- i would kind of
encourage you to look at that and then help our office understand -- help me understand what you see is the potential if at all potential of long-term relationship from your office and your operation with the kodiak launch facility. there's a lot of federal dollars in there to build that facility. it has great facility. as i said, there are already two missions this year from one component of the military. so if you could just -- brief comment and my time has expired but any comment at this point? >> sir, i think the mission is tomorrow. i think one of them is tomorrow. >> i think you're right. >> and, yes, sir, if confirmed i would be more than happy to get involved with you and have discussions about kodiak. >> excellent, thank you very much. mr. chairman, that's all the questions i have and i just appreciate the time and again, and congratulations for your willingness to take on additional responsibility and commitments to this country. thank you both. >> thank you, senator begich. senator bill nelson. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
gentlemen, congratulations on your appointment to these positions. thank you both for your public service, your long service to our country. general kehler, as we have discussed many times the nation's space program now you just -- you're taking it to a different level. and in the strategic command you are going to have to be concerned with the nuclear program. i would encourage you to -- as one of your first things that you do which i encourage general chilton to do the same thing. and i think he would reaffirm that this is good advice. go visit the three national labs. that's my suggestion.
i think -- have you -- have you visited the three before? >> sir, i have not visited all three. i've been through pieces of them in the past. you had mentioned this to me several days ago. i will do this if i'm confirmed because there's some deficiencies that i have in getting eyes on to some of the aspects of what needs to happen and i will go visit there. plus, the rest of the weapons complex i will go and put eyes on early on. >> also, with regard to the triad, and the nuclear posture review states that, quote, each leg of the triad has advantages that warrant retaining all three legs. and that, quote, strategic
nuclear submarines represent the most survivable leg of the u.s. nuclear triad. do you think that we should retain all three legs of the triad? >> yes, sir, i do. >> you want to discuss the significance of the next generation of the ballistic missile submarine? >> sir, i think it's important that as we look to the future -- i think it's important that two things happen. number one, i think it's important that we sustain the legs that we have today. and i know that the services have invested in sustaining those legs. i think it's important that we sustain the command and control that makes sure that the president is always linked to those forces. and i think it's important for us to sustain the isr capabilities that support all of those activities. and then i think it's important that we put in place the
modernization efforts to make sure we can get to the next versions of each of these. it looks like -- my understanding of the programmics of this, it looks like the first to come up for modernization investment will be the replacement to the ohio class ballistic missile submarine. and i'm looking forward, if i'm confirmed, to working with the department of the navy to make sure that we understand and have clarified requirements, and that they are actively moving forward. the other legs are underway studies at various levels. i think it's important also to have a replacement long-range strike aircraft and i also think it's important for us to begin the process to modernize the nation's land-base strategic deterrent. i would mention one other thing clearly survivoribility is a key aspect that the triad brings to bear. no doubt about it. on a day in and day out basis.
the submarine ballistic missile forces is the most survivorable but if generated, the bombers are equally survivorable. >> general ham, we've got a problem of drugs going in to west africa. and then it just goes right on in to europe. you want to come in on that -- of course, a lot of those drugs are coming out of, unfortunately -- even though they are coming out of colombia they go into venezuela and then from venezuela they are either going straight to -- straight to west africa or they're going to the island of hispaniola, and haiti they get dispersed out of there. and they are coming into west africa and they are using that as a transshipment point to get
it into other places, primarily europe. do you want to comment about that? >> senator, it's a very real concern. not -- certainly not exclusively military or even primarily military challenge but i think africa command in its uniquely interagency composition in a position of that. and other illicit trafficking destabilizing nations and regions all of which are unhelpful in trying to provide security. so i think this is -- this is a challenge for the whole of government and i will, if confirmed, look at africom's appropriate role in that regard. >> have you had any thoughts about what should we do about that as commander of africom? >> senator, i think the way in which africom could probably
bring military assets to bear are in maritime domain awareness. in this regard, if i'm confirmed, i would -- i would very much like to ponder with u.s. southern command who participate in these types of efforts in a routine basis, i suspect but don't know that africa command has already done so to learn from the experience of southern command and define how we might leverage that experience in west africa. >> mr. chairman, this is a great example -- general ham just mentioned the southern command, it's the southern command and the african command is just a great example where all the agencies of government are coming together to address a particular problem. it has certainly been true with regard to drugs in south america, but it's also being
true with regard to drugs with regard to western africa and through that command and so it's the dea, it's the fbi, it's the cia as well as the military components that are all working together. so often we are giving deference and kudos to our young men and women in uniform which is most appropriate and they are held in such high esteem. often, we don't realize the changing nature of projecting the interest of the united states and the free world is a combine of all of these agencies. sometimes led by the u.s. military but other times working just directly in a partnership. and i think it's fascinating and west africa is clearly a place
where we have that going on right now as well as the u.s. southern. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you for that comment. it's something that's important to make and it's not made often enough. and i'm glad, senator nelson, that you had pointed out and made that point. i just want to ask one question about the s.t.a.r.t. treaty and then these other questions we can adjourn the hearing. you have pointed out when you were asked about the russian unilaterally statement that it's not part of the treaty. it's not binding on us. it's their point of view that we made our own unilaterally statement at the same time that we're going to proceed with missile defense. and our statement and our unilateral statement made at the same time theirs was made, april 7th, says that u.s. military defense systems would be
deployed to defend the united states against limited missile launches and the deployed allies and forces against regional threats. and they noted its intent to continue improving and deploying its missile defense systems in order to defend itself against limited attack as part of our collaborative approach to strengthening stability in key regions. i think you pointed that out, general kehler, that our unilateral statement was made at the same time as their unilateral statement. their unilateral statement is not binding on us or part of the treaty. but what is not pointed out enough it seems to me is that the exact thing happened at the time of s.t.a.r.t. 1. there were unilateral statements made by the russians. that had to do with the abm. as we pulled out of the abm treaty and what they said was that this is the unilateral
statement at that time on the soviet side as to when there was a soviet union. this treaty may be effective and viable only under conditions of compliance with the treaty between the u.s. and the ussr and the limitation of abm systems signed on may 26th, 1972. that's the statement they made. and we made a unilateral statement at the time saying, sorry, we're not bound by that statement. and we could make changes in the treaty or pull out of it treat. -- treaty. it's in our supreme national interest to do so and as a matter of fact we did pull out of the abm treaty. as a matter of fact, they did not as a result terminate the s.t.a.r.t. treaty despite their unilateral statement. is that correct, general? are you with me so far? >> yes, sir, that's the way i understand it. >> and what i don't understand is why when our witnesses are
asked about the unilateral statement and why after they point out it's not binding on us that russian unilateral statement -- we made our own unilateral statement saying it's not binding on us and we intend to proceed and it's not going to threaten you in any way -- why our witnesses don't point out, hey, we've been there before. we just went through that exact same unilateral versus unilateral back in 1991. and i'm just curious. you're aware of the history, i gather, but why is that not something which is used to address this constant refrain we hear about a unilateral russian statement on this particular treaty? why isn't that part of the response, the history? >> it's probably a deficiency on my part. >> no, it's not a deficiency on your part. most witnesses don't get there. i'm just curious -- is it not as
important as i think it is that they've been there, done that, listened to that before and it had no effect? i'm not critical of you. i'm just curious. >> because the witnesses the don't seem to focus on what it seems to me not only obvious that their unilateral statement is not binding on us but we make you're own unilateral statement saying by the way, we intend to proceed with our missile defense services. we proceed with the same unilateral before. and it didn't have any impact, rightly or wrongly, we pulled out of the abm treaty. i thought that was a mistake but that's not my point. my point is we pulled out of the abm treaty and they did not pull out of the s.t.a.r.t. one treaty and they made a unilateral statement saying they are unrelated. i'm critical because you're not making reference to that history is fairly typical of our witnesses. so is it not as important as i think it is? you can be totally blunt or -- >> no, sir.
>> or diplomatic you wish. either one. >> no, sir. i just think in -- certainly to describe the full context of the debate, you've captured it better than i did, for sure. and i don't know why i didn't capture it that way. >> no, it's just -- it's kind of a pattern frankly. maybe, you know, people don't want to sound defensive. maybe that's it. it's not defensive. it's not defensive to make reference to this unilateral history in my judgment so that's -- that's my opinion. and i want to thank both of you. you've served our country well. our family support. we know how critical that is. we thank your families again. and appreciate your making reference to your families the way you do. and unless there's further questions, and there's none and there's nobody else here to add
any, we will again stand adjourned. i want to again thank -- well, thank you both, but i also want to thank senator webb for the step he's now taken to allow our nominations to proceed. he had a legitimate interest in getting information. he has obtained that information now and has indicated the release of the hold on nominations and hopefully that not only will facilitate a number of other nominations which have been pending but also will help speed up your nominations and confirmation is well. we're going to try to get a quorum as quickly as we can of this committee so that we can address your nominations. i don't know if there's any other -- [inaudible]
>> find out what earmarks are online at the c-span video library. search and watch programs explaining earmarks and the arguments for and against them. it's washington your way. >> c-span2, one of c-span's public affairs offerings weekdays live coverage of the u.s. senate and weekends booktv 48 hours of the latest nonfiction authors and books. connect with us on twitter, facebook, and youtube and sign up for schedule alert emails at c-span.org. >> yesterday was roland burris' last day in the senate he was appointed senator two years ago by illinois governor rod blagojevich. here's are some of his final remarks on the senate floor. this is 25 minutes.
>> madam president, as you know, one of the first duties dell indicated to freshmen senators is the high honor of presiding over the united states senate. i remember the very first time i sat where you are sitting now. madam president. and throughout my time as a member of this august body, i've had the opportunity to spend more than 200 hours in the presiding officer's chair and have earned two golden gavels. i also had the honor of delivering our first president, president george washington's farewell address on his first day of this year to this august body. from the chair, i had the opportunity to listen to the words of my colleagues and
reflect upon the great debate that unfolds each and every day as it has always done throughout our nation's history. in this the greatest deliberative body in the world. and we come to this chamber from every state in the union, democrats, republicans, independents and the like. each of us carry the solemn responsibility of giving voice to the concerned of those we represent. and although we do not always agree, madam president, as the debate on this floor will often show, i'm always struck by the passion that drives each and every senator to stand in this singular place in the world and to speak their mind. it is this passion that will always define this chamber for me.
all the weight of history or all the great and eloquent sentiments that have been expressed here by our forefathers on a fundamental level, this remains a very human place. we stand today as the member of the body that we have done frequently throughout our great republic's history at a critical moment. partisanship and obstructionism threaten to somewhat paralyze this great institution. but it's a testament to the inherent wisdom and durability of the senate of the rules and the tradition that govern this institution that even in the face of great disorder we have had the high privilege of serving in the greatest congress in generations. despite our many differences, i believe the men and women who make up this senate remain its
greatest strength. and madam president, it has been my honor of a lifetime to once again represent the people of illinois. and to do so here in the united states senate, first as a cabinet member for our governor, as the illinois state comptroller and the state placed in me a sacred trust and one that throughout my 30 years in public service i made into my life's work. to serve the people of the united states to my ability. in younger years, shortly after graduating from law school at howard university, not far from here where we stand today, madam president, i was turned off by a city with far too much government.
i heard -- i headed to chicago convinced that i would not return to this city unless i could be an effective and meaningful part of the solution to the many challenges we face. dreaming of a time i might come back to washington as a united states senator or as vice president of the united states. that dream took longer to chief than i could have imagined that day. but in a towering testament to -- to the american dream, that day came. and after decades of experience in the executive branch of the illinois government, i was sworn in as the united states senator for illinois and this became my first introduction to serving as a legislator.
it was the learning curve and with the warm assistance of my senate colleagues, the steady support of my loving family and the dedication of my tireless staff. i would not be more proud of what we have been able to accomplish together. so my family and my friends and my staff, i owe the deepest thanks. my wife has always been by my side and i always be grateful beyond words for her constant support. my son, roland ii and his wife, marty and my daughter rolanda the pride and joys of my life and, of course, they were just here yesterday, my two grandchildren, roland theodore and ian alexander.
to whom i dedicate my service and to whom i have the greatest hopes and even greater expectations. to my friends and supporters from chicago through centralia, i will never forget your smiles and your kind words during even the most difficult of times. and to my staff here in dc and those in chicago, springfield, moline and carbindale you have been some of the most professional individuals that i have ever had the privilege to serve with. from the front office, staff assistants and interns answering the endless ringing telephones to my circle of senior advisors who gave me wise and thoughtful counsel throughout, my team has been indispensable to me and they all served the people of illinois with distinction. i'm deeply grateful for their service.
and i ask unanimous consent, madam president, that the complete list of my staff be entered into the record following my remarks. >> without objection. i would like to extend a special word of gratitude to my old friend sitting right there, the sergeant of arms, terry gaynor. the secretary of the senate, nancy ericson. the secretary of the majority, where did she go, lula davis. for their many kindness and to thank the senate chaplain dr. barry black for his counsel and prayers during my time here. and i also want to acknowledge my fellow freshmen senators. senator begich, bennett, frankin, hagan, merkley, shaheen, mark udall, tom udall,
mark warner, and senator kaufman from delaware. they are tremendous individuals possessing incredible talent and have been a very, very supportive -- supportive group for me. thank you, my freshmen colleagues. in a broader sense, i would also like to thank all of those who serve under this dome with dignity and duty. the senate floor staff, you all do a heck of a job. the maintenance crews, the elevator operators, the capitol police, the senate train drivers, the dining room servers and the sorts of others whose hard and important work ensures the smooth and constant operation of the business that take place in our nation's capital. madam president, as i stand to
address this chamber for the last time, i cannot help but reflect on the unlikely path that led me to this point and up on the challenges we continue to face. when i first came to the senate nearly two years ago, our nation was only days away from inaugurating an african-american man from chicago as the 44th president of the united states of america. it was a nation's milestone i never thought i would live to see. an incredible moment that speaks volumes about the progress our country has made even in my lifetime. as a child, i knew the injustice of segregation. and i was only about 15 years old i helped intergrate the swimming pool in my hometown of
illinois and although that pursued me for a life of public service dedicating myself of the goals as a lawyer and a statewide elected official, there was never any guarantee that such a path would be offered to me. there were no people of color in high elective office in those days especially not in illinois and not in centralia and there were no path to follow. so i knew from the start that i would have to blaze a trail despite the lack of established role models, my parents provided nothing but support and encouragement. they nurtured my dreams and helped me develop the skills to achieve them. and in the end, they and my older brother earl who's now deceased, and my sister doris, god bless her she's still living, were the only role models i needed. the values they instill in me of
the hard work, determination an unwavering dedication to principle guided me throughout my life. and the same values that have driven me to take an interest in the next generation. it is that focus on the future that drives all of our legislative energy to constantly improve the quality of life for the generations to come. not too many generations ago, my family roots told a different story. i stand in this chamber as the great grandson who was born into slavery. in an era in this senate when he and others like him were worthy of freedom and equal treatment under the law. and yet today, madam president, i stand among my colleagues on the senate floor, a member of the highest body of lawmakers in this land. in some ways, madam president, this is a remarkable testament
to our nation's ability to correct the wrongs of generations past. to move -- to move always toward that -- and i quote more perfect union, end of quote. but in other ways, is a solemn reminder of how far we still yet have to go. the country as progressive and diverse as any on this planet, i am today the only black american member of this senate. i can count the number of blacks who have served in this body on the fingers of a single hand. blanch kelso bruce, hiran rebel,
edward brooke and last from illinois carol mosley braun and our president barack obama. throughout 22 years of our history and 111 congresses, only six black americans have been able to serve. this is troubling in its own way, madam president. but when the 112th congress is sworn in this coming january, there will not be a single black american take the oath of office in this chamber. this is simply unacceptable. we can and we will and we must do better. in this regard and in any other, our political progress has proven less accessible and less representative than it ought to be. and although i've never allowed my race to define me in a sense, it has meant that my
constituencies as a united states senator has stretched far beyond the boundaries of illinois. letters, emails, telephone calls have poured into my office from black americans from all across the country and at times as i've tried to bring their voice to this chamber, i have accurately felt the influence of any black person to represent them. our government hardly resembles a diverse country it is -- it was elected to represent. partisan bickering has driven moderates out of both parties. and made principled compromise more difficult for have for those who remain. too often our policies seems to have become a zero-sum game. it's easy for people to feel that the best argument or the truth won't necessarily win the
day anymore. and such a destructive political environment people are often left wondering who will speak up for them. the media certainly isn't blameless. news outlets would come to play a critical role in educating the american public but facts too often bow to ratings or quick sales and in the process end up choosing to pursue the entertainment value of conflict over thoughtful analysis. this is the harsh reality we face, madam president. america just cannot afford this any longer. we should check these notions at the cloakroom door. this is a critical moment. so i believe it's the responsibility of everyone in this chamber to take ownership of this process once again to
demonstrate leadership and pledge to a more responsible rhetoric and more responsible -- responsive government. what we face is a test. not only of our willingness to meet the challenges that we face but of the democratic institutions designed to cope with these challenges. here in the united states senate, this question is paramount. have our destructive politics left this great body locked in a stalemate? unable to move forward because of partisan obstructionism that has taken route? or can this chamber be made to address these problems once again? can it be redeemed? by the good people who serve here. madam president, i have confidence that it can. it will require the concerted
effort of all 100 senators to overcome the partisan citizenship that has overcome its chamber and the tactics that have come to rule rather than the exception. colleagues, this is a moment to summon the strength of our convictions and fight for what we believe in. this is the hour for principle leadership originated right here in the united states senate. but even as we look to the future and debate the agenda for the upcoming year, madam president, i must note with regret that my time here is nearly at an end. serving as a member of this body alongside many fine colleagues, you know, who have become good friends has been an honor of a lifetime. together we have achieved passage of the most ambitious legislative agenda since the great depression.
and a great deal of credit for our success is owed to none other then our leader harry reid. and i'm proud of every vote i cast in the name of the people of illinois. and i'm proud of the more than 60 bills i sponsored and more than 300 i have cosponsored. in the 22 months i've been a member of the senate, i have and here is some of the list. advocated for comprehensive health care reform designed to meet the goals of a public option and fought to address health care disparities that separate minority communities from the population as a whole. pushed for a redirection of subsidized funds that made $68 billion available for new pell grants and extended new opportunities for minority students to attend historically black colleges and universities and predominantly black institutions.
stood up for minority-owned businesses and made sure they will have equal opportunity to share in america's renewed prosperity as our economy continues to recover. i worked hard to extend unemployment insurance and improved access to cobra benefits and to create jobs with the people of illinois and across the country. and voted for the sweeping stimulus package that brought this country back from the brink of disaster and started us on the road to recovery. introduced legislation that would improve transparency and accountability as stimulus dollars are spent. so the american people can keep their elected officials honest. i cosponsored legislation to repeal the discriminatory don't ask, don't tell policy so all of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines can serve openly and we just had a press conference on that, madam president, and i'm
asking my colleagues don't filibuster that issue. we need all of our individuals to have the opportunity to serve in the military service regardless of their sexual orientation. and i had an opportunity to vote on that, don't be surprise if i don't come back and i come from chicago and i'll vote twice. i've supported major credit reform, credit card reforms through cd companies from abusing their customers. i fought for equal pay and benefits for women. to cut down on workplace discrimination. i fought for additional impact aid funding to shore up federal support for school districts that served military communities and other federal activities. i honored the accomplishments of pioneers like vice admiral sam gravely, the first african-american to serve as a flag officer in the navy. and the the marine division
which is in north carolina, madam president. and i supported the matthew shepherd act which will help make sure those who target people based on sexual orientation and all the factors are brought to justice. raised my voice on behalf of main street and all those who may have been left behind in the continuing economic recovery so that everyone can share in the benefits. introduce legislation calling for the department of interior to study a historic site called new philadelphia illinois the first settlement founded by freed african-american slaves for its preservation as part of the national park system. and i hope there's a legacy that some day that that legislation will pass. raise awareness of youth violence which threaten our children and tears into inner city -- that tears our inner
cities apart, which this must stop. i fought for veterans benefits including implementation of the new gi bill so that we can honor the service of those who defended our freedom. and now as we are ready to close the books on the 111th congress and the long significant chapter of legislative accomplishments, it is time for a new class of senators to join the fight. i'm deeply grateful to my friends on both sides of the aisle for the passion they bring to their work every day. i witnessed it from the presiding officer's chair and i had the privilege of not only to watch the debate but to take part. but now it's time for me to find new ways to serve. this is the arena where great ideas are put to the test on a national stage.
this is where identity is forced anew every day and where our principles are challenged. it is the heart of our democratic process. and although we will be -- there will be few easy solutions on the problems we face, i will never forget the courage and patriotism that i've seen from the countless citizens of illinois and americans over the course of my time here. this is a trying time for our nation. but as long as the american people have the wisdom to elect leaders like the ones i've come to know in this chamber, as long as this senate remains true to the people we serve, i will never lose faith in our ability
to overcome these challenges together. madam president, i treat this as my parting remarks from this body. i treat this as an opportunity of a lifetime. and i treat this with great respect and dignity for all of those who i worked with and come to know in this body. with that, madam president, i thank you. i thank all of my colleagues and i yield the floor for the final time. god bless you all. thank you.
>> this year's studentcam video documentary competition is in full swing. make a five to eight-minute video on this year's theme. washington, d.c. through my lens. your documentary should include more than one point of view along with c-span programming. upload your video before the deadline of january 20th for your chance to win the grand prize of $5,000. there's $50,000 in total prizes. the competition is open to middle and high school students grades sixth through twelve. for all the rules and how to upload your video, go online to studentcam.org. >> the u.s. senate is about to
gavel in to start the day. general speeches today with no votes scheduled. earlier this week lawmakers approved jacob lew to head up the office of management and budget. they also passed a bill for temporary payments to doctors who treat medicare payments. the last session before the thanksgiving break. we'll take you live to the floor of the u.s. senate. our live coverage here on c-span2.
the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal lord god, teach us this day, through all our employments, to see you working for the good of those who love you. deliver our lawmakers from all dejection and free their hearts to give you zealous, active, and cheerful service. may they vigorously perform whatever you command, thankfully enduring whatever you have chosen for them to experience.
guard their desires so that they will not deviate from the path of integrity. lord, strengthen them with your almighty arms to do your will on earth, even as it is done in heaven. we pray in your liberating name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the
clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c, november 19, 2010. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable mark r. warner, a senator from the commonwealth of virginia, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. reid mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i'm told that s. 3975 is at the desk and due for its second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will reade read title fore second time. the clerk: a bill to permanently extend the 2001 and 2003 tax relief provisions and to permanently repeal the estate tax and to provide permanent alternative minimum tax relief and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president, i would object to any further proceedings with respect to this piece of legislation. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. reid: mr. president -- the presiding officer: it will be placed on the calendar. mr. reid: following any leader
remarks, the senate will turning to a period of morning business, senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. my colleagues last night were able to reach agreement to limit action on the food modernization act. the cloture vote will occur at 6:30 p.m. monday, november 29. we should expect to complete action on that bill on that monday. what we have is the bill, and we have a number of amendments offered by senator coburn. and, as i recall, there's only one side-by-side, the work that we've done. so we should be able to complete that very, very important bill, which will be such a relief to the people of our country. it will be the first modernization of our food safety programs in more than 1 radio gleers our country, something -- in more than 100 years in our
country, something that's long overdue. there will be no roll call votes today. we have a number of matters we are working on to have cleared today. we will have to work to see what the outcome of the day is. i appreciate the cooperation late yesterday. we the jack lew nomination was a problem. we had to get that cleared because statutorily the budget hato be submitted to us. so we got that done. and we were able to arrive at an agreement on the food safety bill so we wouldn't have had to have multiple votes over the weekend. so i think we accomplished a lot this week. for me personally, i had three caucuses, which were all extremely important for me. i think the caucus was about 10 or 11 hours over the last few days, discussing the lame-duck
and what we have next congress. so, mr. president, we have -- the floor is open now. i'd ask the chair to announce morning business. the presiding officer: under the previous order, leadership time is reserved. there will now be a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each. mr. reid: i note the absence of a quorum, mr. president. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
ed ared are mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from did, mr. reed: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: i would ask unanimous consent to dispense with the calling of the quorum. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reed: thank you very much. i rise this morning to talk about a wonderful opportunity we had on october 20 in the united states senate to host heroes, five young west point graduates who are currently recuperating at walter reed army medical center. they came for a tour of the capitol and for a lesson in history, and i want to thank the senate historian who came to the floor.
they had the opportunity to be in the chamber and to see where the laws are created, which they, through their service and sacrifice, give us the chance to improve and defend and preserve the constitution and make the laws of the this country. we were able, more importantly, to thank them, thank them for their service to the nation, and i am particularly pleased and proud because they carry on a tradition of selfless service to the nation exemplified in the best moments of the graduates of the united states military academy. each one was wounded while leading his troops out front, exposed to the dangers and hardships of warfare. we had previously host add group of soldiers from the 82nd airborne division. again, a very proud association as a former commander in that division. we hope periodically to host other wounded warriors from
walter reed. but among our guests were capital dan prezinsky, graduate from the class of 2507. he hails from peach tree city, georgia. he was with the 52 striker brigade combat team in afghanistan. operating around agandab river valley near kandahar and he was on patrol, dismounted when he was hit by an i.e.d. and subsequently lost both of his legs. but not the diminution of his spirit or commitment of service to the nation. we're also joined by first lieutenant chris nickles, class of 2008. he was from meyersville, maryland, he was with the first of the third infantry division. he was injured in iraq, north eeflt of baghdad, and -- northeast of bag dads, an
explosive i.e.d., injured both his legs. he was joined by his friend stacey alexei juwes, and stacey and chris were -- we were pleased that they were here. chris is hopefully going to return to active duty. we were also joined by first lieutenant raoul rafajani. he is from illinois, with the 4th brigade combat team of the 4th infantry division, wounded in conar province in afghanistan. an i.e.d. exploded against the vehicle he was driving, both legs were injured. and we hope again that he will be recuperating. we were also joined by first lieutenant josh lindbul, from wayne, pennsylvania. he was with the third of the 2nd striker cavalry regiment. he stepped on a land mine
injuring his right leg. we were joined also by first lieutenant zach osborne, class of 2008, from roanoke, virginia. he was with the 52 striker combat brigade team. an i.e.d. hit the vehicle he was riding in, both of his legs were injured, and we're pleased that he was joined by his nonmedical attendant dan cevment ye. t these young men have served, but their families have served also. and we want to thank them also. they too have sacrificed. in fact, all of us have been out to walter reed. as we've gone through the corridors, we've seen mothers and fathers in the room with their sons and wives and husbands and children and grandparents and uncles and aunts because the sacrifice of these young men and women have
been borne by their families as well as themselves. i also want to thank colonel jim wetsky. jim is the class of 1982. he is a mobilized reservist. he and fred lawson are the director of care and services transformation. these two men escorted the wounded warriors. responsible for the patientcentric care, continued involvement with these young men and women not only while they are in acute care, but also as they recuperate and rehabilitate. that is an improvement that has been made and is so necessary. these young men -- in this case all young combat officers, men -- but young men and women
who are serving and who are sacrificing and who are sustaining wounds and in some cases giving their lives to this nation, are the fabric of our defense. they are what has sustained us through not just this moment but throughout our history. they continue to inspire us with their service and they continue to represent the world, the continued promise that wherever we were challenged, we will meet that challenge. we cannot repay them enough. we cannot thank them enough. the last month this senate had the opportunity to say to five of these warriors thank you very much. come here. see the senate of the united states where great debates have taken place, where the rights and the responsibilities have been fashioned over more than 200 years. this is what you defend. but more importantly, you give
us the opportunity and the obligation to ensure that your sacrifice is not in vain, that we work here as you do, as committed americans to improve the lives of our fellow americans, to defend their security, but also to provide them opportunity, to do difficult things and sometimes unpopular things that are necessary for the success of freedom and the success of the families of this country. at moments in this body we have, i think, a sense of frustration, a sense of -- let me stop at frustration. at those moments when we are divided by political issues, by policy debates, i just ask us all to think of a moment of
these young men and women. i think that will help immensely in our response to the challenges that we face as a senate and we face as a nation. i also want to say something else too because just this week in rhode island, we had to bury a warrior, sergeant michael parazino of the tenth mountain tkweufplgts michael left his -- mountain division. michael left his wife twaorbgs small children, parents, friends and the whole community of rhode island. he was an extraordinary young man. the cost of this great experiment in democracy is high indeed, and we have to recognize that cost not just in speeches on the floor of the senate, but going forward, how we conduct ourselves as senators, what we do to make this country stronger
and better, and what we do to make it more a place of opportunity for all of our citizens, and particularly what we will do not in the next two months, in the next ten months, but in the next 20 years to ensure that the veterans we honor on this floor today will still be honored 20 years hence not just with an annual parade and flag waving, but with the care, the support, the assistance to the d.a., the department of defense, in their communities; not just these individuals, but their families. and i would hope years from now, and pray that others will stand up and say they paid the price, and we have kept our promise to them. with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. and i would also note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the