tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 4, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm EST
is that correct? >> congressman let me quickly respond. i view my responsibility to identify to the president and the secretary the capabilities that the commanders need and i can assure you that i will not be -- and bringing those recommendations forward to the president secretary regardless of what the force management levels or the numbers may have been articulated in the past that i will not feel at all constrained to bring forward recommendations for additional capabilities that that's what it takes to beat the enemy. >> the way but that is exactly correct, capabilities, not numbers but if you need the capability to conduct combat search-and-rescue -- rescuing a reasonable amount of time and fly to kuwait in western iraq to me is not a reasonable amount of time to rescue your own pilot. you need that capability. it seems to me chairman of joint chiefs that needs to be recommended. if you don't think so i'm a little bit surprised because
from what i hear in visits there and talk to others is there is a sense on the ground that they need more capabilities, so please, please, please do not hesitate to make the recommendations to get the capability we need whether it's in afghanistan or whether it's in iraq and syria and let's get out by the numbers. i yelled back. >> ms. tsongas. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you both for being here. general dunford i'm not sure this is the first time since you have become chairman and the senator of massachusetts i particularly want to welcome you. it's proud for all of us that you are in the position he rented a so thank you for being here and i think the discussion we have had today really does reinforce the complexity of the challenge we face and we have heard a number of military today saying really i think underscores the idea that they really need to have a robust
debate that involves all of congress, not just the committees that really need to focus on this because it is a complex situation. we need to better understand the role of our allies, both sunni and otherwise. what the costs are going to be overtime and whether it's going to require those serving on our behalf so i would really like to underscore those who have called for the need to have the dual authorizations for the use of military force but given the complexities i just wanted to get to a couple of them. administration often talks about the 65 countries that are participating in the coalition against isil, but roughly 50 of them have never been directly involved in the air campaign and while many who were participating at the beginning it sees their military involvement. can you tell me more about what is the country's hesitation in particular as we are focusing on what we should be sending to the fight whether or not there is the need for more combat troops,
but but it's on the ground? what is the willingness of this coalition particularly our sunni allies to lend their forces to the fight so i will start with you secretary carter. >> well you are right. we do need them to do more. in europe as i said the attacks in paris have galvanized the french. the french are coming in very strongly in syria which they hadn't done before and now are very willing to do so. the british are defeating as i said. the chairman appear, they are certainly capable of doing more and we want them to do more and so i would characterize for europe, i hope that they paris attacks galvanize all of europe to do more because they need to do more. it and syria and iraq, elsewhere
around the world and of course in our own homeland, to get back to the earlier point made we share security and we depend in some respects upon their security when people visit from europe to the united states and so forth for our own security and then you mentioned the gulf states as well. >> that's really where my question comes from. >> this is something we began to discuss with the gulf states and camp david in the spring. the president did. the natural, a natural force and particularly the sunni areas of syria and iraq with the sunni arabs and a more effective and insightful kind of force. they have been unwilling to
field such forces. >> and what are your challenges and explaining that unwillingness? >> i will be very candid with you and i said this before many of the gulf states away to air capabilities, air force and so forth over ground forces and special operations forces. and, i think that if they want to, as we would wish them to feel more influence in the middle east and do more to secure this part of the world in which they live too they are going to need to do more of that on the ground. we provide them both when it comes to ground forces and special operations forces, there is no question that they need to build those forces and wield them. they are frequently complained to me for example about how capable the iranians are, which
i say yes and you are not in the same game and effective game on the ground. >> the statement that in and the sunni part of the muslim world had to take this on in order for it to be long-term effective. general dunford am running out of time, five seconds worth. >> norway not only will we not be successful without her coalition forces, i don't see any way we can be successful without her coalition partners. >> mr. rogers. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you both for being here and for your service to our country. in june of this year the chairman hell-bent oversight weekend we had a series of hearings and briefings on one of those hearings we had deputy secretary bob work and vice chairman of the joint chiefs
sandy winfield testify and they both did a great job. both of them emphasized that in their opinion nuclear deterrence was the highest priority of the dod and they reflected on secretary hagel's 2014 statement secretary carter you now have the job. do you share secretary hagel's view as well as andy wynnefield that nuclear deterrence is the highest priority? >> i sure do and i actually on thanksgiving was calling servicemembers around the world and one of the folks i called was spending his christmas in north dakota. i told him exactly that. i said what you are doing is the single most important thing in the u.s. military. it's not in the news everyday and god help us if it is that it is the bedrock of our security and in the final analysis it is the ultimate undergird of
american security. that's why having an effect if safe and secure nuclear deterrence is absolutely critical. >> i appreciate you doing that because i share that view and i appreciate the fact that secretary james is putting in a renewed emphasis on that area. it's my hope that you will also do your own statement to the force and be as clear on that issue as your predecessor was. either one of you, secretary as well is vice chair wynnefield and admiral cheney, secretary kendall have all made the statement they believe the long-range standoff should be pursued to replace the current air launch cruise missiles. do you all share that view and do you see that progressing at a pace that you find acceptable?
>> i do definitely supported chairman. >> i do as well congressman. i think it's important and we talked a minute ago about the restoration i think it's about flexibility and options and i think that capability reflects an important option that they have were we to engage in high intensity conflict paid. >> do you see the progress toward that goal slipping in funding in any way? >> i would have to take that for the record. i'm not tracking the profile at this time. >> do you believe that should be allowed to slip or be counseled? >> i know there's a timeline along which it needs to be met as the obsolescence of the weapon systems it's replacing so we ought to meet the operational requirement that i don't know what that is right now. >> secretary do you have anything else to say wax. >> i would echo that we will get back to more detail. if like a lot of our nuclear modernization programs needs adequate funding. that's not entirely a defense
department manner -- matter but it's an important system and we need to manage it with our colleagues in the department of energy properly and we will get back to you with more dtl. thank you both very much and that's all i have mr. chairman. >> mr. johnson. >> thank you mr. chairman. and thank you gentlemen for your service. this committee has a responsibility to conduct oversight of the administration strategy for prosecuting the u.s. can't drive for campaign and is quite appropriate for members of this committee to express their disagreement and disapproval of the administration strategy, however the tone of the disagreement and disapproval is important. politicians know that relentless personal attacks on the
president himself provoke a visceral reaction by the american people against the president and it is a part of our campaign process but what effect does the unprecedented level of attack on our commander in chief have on our relationships with our allies for instance and what impact does that have on our ability to galvanize our regional and national supporters to participate in the strategy that we are leading? what impact does it have on the enemies of america who we are leading the strategy against and if i might start by asking that
question a few secretary carter and next if you general dunford. >> i'm not going to respond to them i will tell you why. i served at the pleasure president obama and obviously support his policies but we are coming into an electoral season now in the united states which i respect very much however i very much respect the tradition and necessity of defense to be out of the political swirl and i intend to conduct myself in that manner over the next year and a quarter or so of my service as secretary of defense. i especially considered one of my responsibilities to share with our military from that swirl. their job is to give their professional military advice in a candid manner no matter what the politics say and to conduct the nation's operations to protect our people so with great
respect i understand where you are coming from with your question but i would never prefer not to answer because of its connection with the electoral cycle. >> thank you. i respect that and general dunford? >> sir i think it's more important for me in uniform to have the same position. >> thank you and i assume it probably does have some impact on our relationship with our allies and all of the other components that we have to work with to successfully prosecute this mission and i have another question, how many isil forces are there in iraq and syria? >> the estimates are -- i want
to emphasize these are estimates so the chairman and i are conferring on estimates in the neighborhood of 30,000. i hesitate to get numbers like that for the reason that i don't think our intelligence information is perfect in that regard and because they may involve people add varying levels of responsibility and actual appearance to isil. let me see if the chair wants to add anything? i would ask everyone to take with a grain of salt numbers like that because we do our best in the intelligence community does their very best to be accurate but i look with caution upon those estimates. >> i think that's exactly right mr. secretary and the estimates have been consistently between 20 and 30,000 congressmen but i have the same caution and sharing those numbers or
actually confirming the voracity of those numbers. >> thank you my yield that. >> mr. franks. >> thank you mr. chairman and i think both of you for being here. mr. carter or secretary carter i remember that you and i had a conversation here many months ago related to the and the peshmerga efforts and to your credit i think he strongly agreed that they had stood out as an effective force against isis paid one of the peshmerga peshmerga -- voiced a hopeful view and the fighting -- defeating isis. he said for the last 15 months as i have been fighting dyess i have never seen them so weak they are literally running way and that as you know is probably the general's efforts to improve the morale of the soldiers and keep going but it is clear that they have done a marvelous job and therefore isis brings a
paris or in ankara or beirut like a tax united states i think it's very important that we really get on the ball here -- you know this administration, ambassadors and secretaries, they pushed back quite a lot related to the amendment this committee passed to directly arm and support the and there's a tremendous amount of pushback and assistance to that. i quite honestly can't fathom a reason for that. now i guess my question to you is, is everybody on the same page now? is there support for the senate amendment and is there support to try to animate that amendment and away they would make it the most effective? talking about the amendments to support the. >> we definitely want to support the and we want to support the sunni tribes as well. i think the gist of your question is will we continue to
do that with, by and through the government in baghdad? our preference is to do that because our preference is to support a multisite. albeit decentralized government of iraq because the alternative is sectarianism and down that road we know what lies there so we continue to support baghdad in that regard. therefore when we arm the as i indicated in my testimony the baghdad government gets to look at those shipments and it doesn't delay the materially and it's not a problem. >> i don't want to interview but is now to this cjcs has been arming and helping them directly? >> i don't recognize the acronym. i recognize the acronym but it's for the chairman.
>> i understand that the have been armed directly by this group so i'm just wondering, i hear you saying two different things. i hear you saying that we should support the amendment that be had that would call for arming the directly but we are still letting the government iraq be the referee about all to make sure that we don't upset them. >> what i'm saying is that we do arm the and by the way others do as well. i don't know the organization you are referring to but other entities are arming the also. we do that through in this nominal manner the government of baghdad for the larger reason
that we support multi-sectarian governments in iraq. that is simply the reason why we do it. >> at this point not to delay per year point but there is a consensus that the administration is now on board with the amendments we had were the provisions we have in this ndaa to step up our support. >> i don't think it's necessary for us to have language that allows us to directly support the because we are able to support the and we are doing it now but we don't need additional authority. your basic theme which is that the are fighting force is important to back them up. >> the point is six months ago we had this kind of support the landscape might look a lot different. i don't like to do the i told you so thing that i have to stop sometimes that this administration's lackadaisical
approach to a dangerous enemy and i have unfortunately ran out of time. >> ms. speier. >> mr. chairman and thank you both for your leadership and service. monday morning quarterback is always a whole lot easier and i know that you are very committed to eradicating isis. i would like to know how many troops you are intending to add to the special ops in syria? you mentioned secretary you are intending to and how many more are you intending to offer? >> two ways of answering that question. one is a particular operations that we are preparing to conduct now, i'm sorry in syria but our special operations forces intended to enable capable local
ground forces. i would rather, i really can't go into what their operations are. >> understand. we have about 50 now. >> they have indicated number around 50 and the second thing i want to say is that for starters if we find more forces that we can enable in this way we are prepared to do more. i think the chairman and i repeatedly have said we are prepared to do more and i have every reason to believe the president will allow us to do more and authorize us to do more when we have more opportunities. we are looking for those opportunities to do more so we are actually eager to do more because that will accelerate isil but it -- defeat of fisa but it hinges the local forces that we can enable in this way and that is what we are looking for. every fine -- every time a fundamental enable them so i would hope and expect in this gets back to the whole question of numbers, the point isn't
numbers. the point is capabilities in the ability to motivate local forces. the more refined than the more we will do. >> one other question. you referenced earlier that isis is metastasizing. i thought that was a very appropriate word and also frightening word. we know based on "the new york times" article certainly that they have become somewhat entrenched in libya. at the same without wanting to signal to isis that we are recognizing that in and taking steps to address that, that you have a plan that you are putting in place to deal with that? >> we killed their leader in libya a few weeks ago so it shouldn't come as any surprise that we are determined to get them wherever they arise. metastasis is a good word because these radical cells pop
up and multiply, fueled by the internet. this is the first internet terrorist organization, i mean social media i guess fueled, terrorist organization so serious in that kind of thing and doesn't spring up everywhere and we have to strike everywhere that we find it including libya and the rb have. >> you mention social media and social media has left us somewhat flat-footed i would suggest. there is some effort to grant you authorization that would allow you to conduct defensive cyberspace operations in which isil threats are coming in. is that going to make a huge difference and our approach to attack them in cyberspace? >> we are looking at along with law enforcement and homeland security ways of countering them on the internet.
and i will let the law enforcement community speak for itself but there's a very strong effort on the part of the fbi to identify self radicalizing individuals in the united states they do exist as we know from chattanooga and i might want it bad by the way just by way of verification earlier on you are asking about special operations forces in syria. i was speaking of those that accompany and enable ground forces. i want to say in addition to that we are forming the expeditionary targeting force. that's a force that would be on the ground all the time in syria. it would go in, conduct raids and go out. i just want to emphasize that. >> how many troops are included in that number?
>> a larger number and i'd rather give you that in a classified setting. >> finally the executive order that is required in order for you -- i yield back. >> i thank the gentlelady. mr. conaway. >> thank you mr. chairman. i'm having a difficult time getting to the scope of what needs to get done in syria and iraq. i know you used and those that we were making progress in gaining momentum but i'm trying to -- i can walk five or 6 feet up and look you in the eye with a straight face and tell you i'm making progress and if i run the next 15 feet i can tell you i'm gaining momentum. can you tell me out in specific spots if the department has a game plan to say this is how many motivated forces we need and everything we have got to go so you can share the committee so we can see the scope of what has to get done in this effort. is that laid out, not for public
dissemination but for us to be old to see what not needs to get done in the scope of this issue? >> well i think the outlines of that are very clear that is what the strategy is about. >> i got the strategy but how many local forces and how many xyz do you guys know yet? >> go ahead general dunford. >> we have got the specific numbers that need to be trained in order to have successful iraqi security forces so we have a number of objectives. >> i'm talking about syria as well. >> in syria to be honest but military campaign in syria is designed to put pressure on core isil while the political reconciliation process takes place. there is no military solution in syria. >> it would be helpful clear the
sound of what this beast looks like. you also mentioned that we spend some period of time studying the oil infrastructure. i know hugh were there and that's not how you'd do it necessarily by taking out the tankers and moving them from point a a 2. b why is it that we just got to doing that last week's why weren't they the first? the movement itself why did we wait so long to do that? >> congressman i don't know what the thought process was six or eight months ago. i know we have a much better appreciation for the revenue sources of isil. i will share this with you. in august i went around to all the regions in transition to the try to get a better sense of isil. at that time there was no clear understanding of how isil was generating revenue. even in the weeks subsequent to august we started up a much better appreciation for the source of isil revenue so starting with the oil of the structure and the tankers because we appreciated how much
of an impact it would have. >> it looked like the french targets, the first targets they had seemed to be targeted we should have hit right off the bat. are we in a new paradigm? i get them monday morning quarterbacking nonsense but are we in a position not to get everything that makes sense from military standpoint? >> the simple answer is i can assure the answer that question is yes. >> the russians are purported to introduce significant upgraded air defense capability. when -- what impact will that have on our operations? >> we watch the developments carefully. that's a capable air defense system has been brought in. we have a memorandum of understanding to ensure safety of flight with the russians. i have recently spoken with the russian chief of defense to ensure they would be compliant with the memorandum of understanding. they have done over the past 30
to 45 days. we have the capability to prosecute the campaign against isil campaign that we envisioned with russia's presence. >> to our pilots have the right rules of engagement? >> they do congressmen. >> i yield back. thank you. >> ms. duckworth. >> thank you mr. chairman. gentlemen thank you for being here and general dunford you are no stranger to the committee for welcome in any capacity as chairman of the giant cheese. before guitar line of questioning i just want to point out my support for my colleague bost earlier discussion on the need for congress to do our job to actually take action on in new aumf. we did submit a draft amendment earlier draft amendment earlier this year and general carter you mentioned that also but i think that it is vital that we get this right and aumf is a part of that. the men and women to deploy in harm's way some of whom may not come back as is the case of
sergeant wheeler deserves to know that not only do they have the moral support but the legal backing of our nation. so i would hope we hear in congress would devote equal effort to having this debate in talking about the true cost in terms of the resources and sacrifices required as we get into the deeper discussion of one strategy over another. chairman what i'm concerned with is are we going to focus on the global strategy against isil and i think we have not really discussed in this committee so far other regions were isil is established outside of the middle east. isil poses just a big as a threat and then begin morning digging particularly libya. the top counterterrorism official was recently quoted as saying that about isil that libya is whether the most worried that in the hub which
project all of north africa. what we have a clear and present danger in syria and iraq mr. secretary please explain what the larger military strategy is to confront the global threat and how we are leveraging the different element of american power not just in military and specifically as much as as a canon unclassified setting our efforts efforts to combat iceland lipeah. >> well it is, as it must be a global strategy. has to be in all media to go back to the earlier question about cyber and while i believe we play a central and essential role it's not purely a military campaign. involves all the other instruments but we are absolutely necessary and we are not by her self-sufficient. with respect to libya we have taken action they are in
recognition of the fact that because of the continuing political discord in libya which has not been resolved. obviously we are in favor of a political resolution in libya which would lead to decent government there and therefore not a fertile ground to the growth of isil. that political settlement has not occurred and therefore it is -- for the spread of iceland we are having to take military action as i gave an indication of that already striking their leadership there is a focus of ours. >> where else other than libya do you see a real threat from isil and their forces and i'm concerned that i see the general nodding, iams concerned that they are training these areas were isil is using it as a staging base. >> some areas immediately come
to mind is obviously each of the scenario where we are concerned with the russian aircraft is taken down. the boko haram group has been accepted as a part of isil movement in nigeria. we have seen the isil in afghanistan and pakistan region. we have seen isil in yemen. we have seen elements of iceland lebanon and jordan so it is absolutely a global dynamic. >> thank you. i would like to return to the discussion about faith force in iraq. looking at her our position for the future of iraq and syria were political outcomes in iraq do you envision and what is your assessment of prime minister abbadi and whether those reforms are going to be enough? you have to be able to try to keep them at their station but they are not buying into it politically. so what is the political
consequences that would need to happen in iraq in order to maintain and gain more books to become --. >> the political future that we are supporting in iraq and prime minister abbadi says he supports, and i've spoken to him and i believe he supports it is difficult to accomplish is a multi-sectarian but decentralized iraqi state in which, shia and sunni can live together under one state, have a reasonable amount of self-governance, not by isil to these territories but by people who can do a civilized job of governing sunni territory and the and shia all living together under one state, decentralization and self-governance as appropriate but under one state.
that's what we are seeking. the alternative to that is a sectarian disintegration of iraq we know what that looks like and we are hoping that prime minister abbadi can pursue that and that he has enough support to do it. we are trying to help them do that but bag that politics no question about it are complicated and is predecessor was not. >> i'm out of town. thank you mr. chairman. >> esther hunter. >> settlement thank you for being here. the first thing i want to ask is how can you reassure the spotty at the same administration that that -- this body no one had the forefront to see that it was happening. general dunford when he was a colonel working with general mattis on the syrian border in 2003 what has changed? why should we think that you guys, the mistress was on the
right path now packs they had it come to jesus moment and they have changed and now they understand the significance of the region when they did not before and you said yourself one reason you are building momentum now is because you lack the intelligence capability since 2010 which you are now beginning but it wouldn't have been lost in the first place if this administration didn't squander the infrastructure we have set up in 2010. why should we trust you i guess is the question? >> congressman one of the reasons i changed the structure of our command in iraq over the last year is because i wanted precisely, because i wanted us to have the strength and the inside and the presence of a single senior american military officer in baghdad. that as general sean mcfarland
and he is now connected each and every day to the front, literally to the front in ramadi to our various areas where we are training iraqi security forces. he can talk direct way to prime minister abbadi and talk directly to everybody else who's in baghdad. and has complete command over all of our forces in the fight and by the way iraq and syria. >> i have a bunch of questions and i'm about out of time. >> so the answers you have changed enough for dynamic that is change? >> the ability to have people on the ground in iraq is essential to effectiveness and to have unity of command. we now have that and i think that's a good thing and it does hearken back to where we once again had it as general dunford
had it in afghanistan. it's really critical. >> the second question if you were to declare war not to declare war but we have had an authorization military force would be against an autonomous state or terrorism worldwide? >> i kind of like the language in the aumf that president obama submitted and i will tell you why. i told you my first question when i was asked to review the out was give us what we need. >> let me ask in a different way. militarily and tactically are you fighting estate? i don't really care -- general dunford are you attacking the states or are you attacking terrorism? >> we are fighting extremists who use violence to advance their political goals in the form of terrorism. >> what is different between that and a qaeda?
>> in terms of the basic nature of isil and i'll qaeda there is not a difference from my perspective. >> the fact that they hold territory and there are battle lines in this war and syria and iraq there is a behind enemy lines area and their lines if you were to go fight them. that's different than a qaeda. >> what i was referring to us the nature of iceland a qaeda. in terms of grycel is right now they do hold ground and they have been declared a caliphate. think that was an aspirational goal with al qaeda and something that isil has done today so that does make it a bit difference in the fact that they are currently holding ground and declared a caliphate. >> in terms of them actually having been holding ground does that make it harder or easier in that area in iraq and syria to hold ground classes that make it easier or harder? >> isil is difficult because
they are using humans as shields in places like raqqa ramadi in mosul. >> which is no different than a qaeda. >> isil's location, we now were isil is. in the case of al-qaeda they blended into the country in a much different way. >> my last six seconds still trying to get the jordanians drones end up in am able to do so. the state department stopped and now they are using chinese reaper -- and i think we have to fix that mr. secretary. thank you mr. chairman to. >> thank you esther secretary and thank you general dunford. i have asked this before and i was in the middle east in february and we were briefed on these very topics in the intelligence mission.
some of the internet issues and the forming up of an internet combative force there in baghdad i believe at that time and i am home of the 55th air wing is an omaha and has a significant role in this effort. i too support the aumf. i think you are absolutely right and he mentioned that before. it's clear that congress needs to act as quickly as possible this effort. here's my question, because i was there and was able to talk to king abdul and he talked about putting a flag in the ground to keep isis out of the cities and all that sort of thing. we talked about the intelligence collaborative efforts and it was impressive to hear those efforts would you say that now nine months later, aides to put it, to summarize it but is there a
significant change to where we were nine months ago in a readiness to achieve these goals that were enunciated nine months ago? with that phrase be accurate mr. secretary? >> we are constantly looking for opportunities to do more and doing more. we are doing more than we were nine months ago. i hope nine months from now we are doing it more because we are looking for opportunities. you mentioned jordan. we are with king abdulah and his people, working once again to identify and we have found some people in southern syria who want to recapture their territory from iceland we are supporting and enabling them. so we are looking to do more and we are looking for proposals. i've looked at general dunford for them meant a person looks at me and general dunford for proposals for how we can do more
and we found them in a given you a number of indications of ways that we have accelerated the campaign over the last few months and will continue today that. >> thank you. i don't believe, at least nine months ago and i'm off the question was ask of our group but i don't believe anybody was talking about being at war and a sense that we are in a war footing. i don't think those words were used and they are not now been used at least to me and maybe my constituents back in nebraska. being in the wars more significant effort than not and i guess that would be my -- and would you agree with that? >> i use the word in the simple sense is the reflection of the seriousness. >> i would again and i think most everyone is said here today but the aumf does seem to be the right way to go so thank you very much. >> mr. kaufman.
>> thank you mr. chairman. thank you gentlemen for your service to our country. one question i had and maybe we are slow to initiate it but i'm very glad right now that we are focused on the infrastructure of the country whether the oil industry, the cement industry was mentioned. those sources of revenue that support the regime. but one of the things that was talked about was that we don't want to do that catastrophic destruction. the oil industry because it would be difficult to reconstitute in the future when isis is gone. however as a gulf war veteran i remember what saddam hussein did to the oil industry in kuwait and yet they were able to reconstitute that after the war.
could you address to me why we simply don't do that catastrophic destruction of the oil industry to cut off the revenue, that revenue source mr. secretary? >> i will start in the chairman can -- there's a balance to be struck there. but the critical thing is intelligence and there we have had -- gain the insight that allows us to distinguish to a very large extent that part of the energy infrastructure which is being directly exploited by isil which is benefiting the population at large. that's a distinction that is based upon intelligence and underlies our -- you may room for an early period and this when chairman dunford took over but we were striking parts of the energy infrastructure which
were largely a small scale isil operated refining facility. that proved not to be very effective but in continuing to study this infrastructure we have learned which parts directly affect them and we are striking them and we think that will have an affect on their revenue stream. >> congressman with the right intelligence and precision we can conduct destruction that will deny isil the use of these infrastructures and even the condition that at some point in the future can be regenerated. >> i want to suggest to you that part of the strength of isis is your ability to govern these territories and part of that is your ability to sustain the economy. a lapse in the economy i think hurt the ability to govern and further degrades it. let me ask a question that the
syrian refugee issue and last july as turkey and united states agreed in general terms on a plan that would provide safe zone along a 60-mile strip of northern syria along the turkish border. the united states would provide the airpower component of that in terms of syrian forces. we work together in terms of ground security. where are we with this because it would seem to me a lot of the syrian refugees would like to stay in syria and if we could create safe zones for them that would obviously give them the ability to do that. mr. secretary. >> thank you congressman. the idea of humanitarian zones, safe zones and by the way no-fly zones are concepts that we have studied over time and i will
start with some of the considerations that have gone into why we have judged the cost of doing so. let me start with the benefits. it would be a place for people who wished to move their good move there and be protected now, one has to be careful about whom i wish to move there because people might want to live where they live. also we wouldn't want to create a situation which people were expelled from countries to which they have moved into a safe zone by countries that did not want them. that is an undesirable outcome. from a military point i will let general dunford elaborate on this. one would need to anticipate that such a zone in syria would be contested. i would certainly be contested by isil who would want to prove
that it wasn't safe. possibly elements of the regime would prove it's not safe on syrian territory sewed into gain substantial military operation. the turks we have discussed things like that with the turks. they have not offered a port the size that would do that. so let me stop there and ask general dunford to elaborate on that. >> general if you have a brief additional comment. >> mr. chairman i would like to add that for the record. >> it's a complex subject that will take more time. mr. moulton. >> thank you mr. chairman and i want to thank you for your service and your wisdom and appreciate all that you do for us. i feel confident in the having a
leader of the marines -- at a recent -- as a recent iraq veteran i'm concerned about the fact that five years after we left we now have to go back into my new role in on this committee want to make sure we get it right this time. athletes are we to military defeat eyes as we don't find yourself putting to check into iraq again for a third or fourth time. mr. secretary can you tell us what is the mission statement right now for the operation in iraq? >> congressman you are getting to the heart of our strategy and this is not only the part that is essential but also the part that makes it difficult to achieve and that is that we want victory over isil that sticks. and that means forces that purchase a paid in the recapture of territory and thereafter govern it in a decent manner so
that we don't have a new wave of isil are isil coming back. that's necessary in iraq in syria. that's two different cases but that's why we pursue only set terry and governance in the state of iraq and why we are trying to find a political solution to the syrian civil war because while it's important to beat isil is important to do it in a lasting way. that is a critical part of the strategy and the reason why we are so intent upon identifying and enabling capable and motivated forces. >> chairman don -- chairman dunford what did general mcfarland plan to do. >> to disrupt, degrade and if you'd isil. >> we don't have a political plan that underlies what our military mission is. we have heard that from general petraeus and general
mcchrystal and ambassador carter people on the left in the right have come before the committee and written about this problem. can you speak a bit to that coordination and that planning and your confidence that general mcfarland and others on the ground and see if what akel entity that will stick and make all their military efforts worthwhile? >> congressman is a great question and frankly what you said a minute ago about not wanting to go back five years is something we all feel strongly about which is why right now as difficult as it would be i do support the objective of a multi-sectarian unified baghdadi because i see that as a the best process for stable secure iraq that would not be a sanctuary for violent extremism in the future. as difficult as it is i think that's a fair objective. clearly there are many difficulties in pursuing that now polices which iranian influence. to enable the abbadi government to stand up on the sun to
provide the support it needs to be independent independent of influence from outside actors. the overall objective to me is clear that the path to getting their is difficult to us. again i don't personally have a better idea to enable the current government of iraq to be successful to provide the kind of stability and security in which we won't see organizations like isil. if any point in the future i believe that assumption that we can get there no longer obtains and we would recommend a completely different campaign strategy or campaign plan. ..
leadership and i will be moving in a direction with a strategy the administration is under fire to some degree because they claim a the strategy is the same although the end the be similar i hope i have a clarification of ways and means. i don't see how it is the end result to be any different. with that culminating one of the edge jihadists with the political military challenges in a rack. i associate myself that i
could attest to their needs to be more soon the inclusion in a period when iraq was unraveling idle believe we use that leverage that i did the premier used in the political military sphere. with the interagency process i recognize you are a part of but i have three different areas. iraq first. what is different for to shape the relationship with that testimony coming to fruition.
to concur that transition is necessary. so what vehicles will be used to create on that score? because the long-term issue cuts off the ability to recruit a and fund-raiser. to with vance the causes of muslims and no one kills more than the islamic state. >> think fee-for-service. and to your point of reconstituting their leverage and iraq that is the point of the loss-making earlier.
it is important to have the insight into real the our political military leverage into baghdad. and as opposed to the prime minister maliki gives us more opportunities to be in military ways and political international assistance so we do have leverage in baghdad. >> i appreciate the comment but are we using metrics to sit side-by-side in clear with our communication and then to show project -- progress. >> that is what i am talking about the answer is ye