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tv   Defense Department Briefing with Secretary Ashton Carter and General...  CSPAN  February 29, 2016 7:28pm-8:02pm EST

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it is a different phase because we have moved from retail campaigning, the one-on-one and now we are campaigning in 12 states12 states where the candidates are literally going from airport to airport trying to appeal to as many voters as possible. advertising is key, organization is key, but it has moved to aa different level of the campaign with a candidates hope the voters know who they are and so with the candidates have to do is convince those voters that is the person they should vote for. since this network began one of the hallmarks has been the ability for people to call in, ask questions, provide opinions, a lot of polls out there. especially if you talk to voters in the states were primaries or caucuses were held. what with allies like? how solid is your support? you really get a sense of the pulse of america.
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the other networks abundance and analysts, and we have the ability to question leading reporters on super tuesday, but the best pundits our viewers, listeners. >> defense secretary ashton carter and joint chiefs of staff chairman joseph dunford today briefed reporters on the us strategy up next, about 30 minutes of that briefing. ..
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their legacy stands as a reminder of the true price of freedom for us all, and this was an important signature my-ification of the end today of black history month. i also want to note that this week marks the -- as you remember the contributions of our fighting men and women in that war our thoughts are also always with our service members of today, who serve in the same theater. last month, i outliered our strategy to deliver isil a lasting defeat in a speech to some of those service members.
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when i spoke to soldiers from the 101st airborne in kentucky. i described to troopers the three key objectives of the campaign, which is first to destroy isil, and its parent tumor in iraq and syria and collapse its two power centers in raqqa and mosul. second, to combat the metastasize of the isil tumor worldwide and, third to protect the homeland. many of the troop is smoked to at fort campbell are now rotating into iraq. to assume the train, advise and assist mission which soldiers from the 82nd airborne have been fulfilling so effectively. because of our strategy, and our determination to accelerate our campaign, momentum is now on our side, and not on isil's. our partners on the ground in iraq have retaken ramadi and-making games in anbar, while statement we are making
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operationally significant strides in our campaign to dismantle ice until syria. in the last few days, capable local forces supported by the united states have reclaimed shadadi, a critical node for isil training training and logis well as the oil enterprise. as our partners take control of shadadi i believe we'll learn a great deal more about isil's criminal networks, criminal enterprise, and what it does sustain them. by encircling and taking this town, we're also working to sever the last major artery between raqqa and mosul, and operation critical to dissect isil's parent tumor into two parts in iraq and syria. at the same time, we're bombing isil's banks as well as oil wells they've taken over, or coerced others into operating on their behalf. we're also using cyber tools to disrupt isil's ability to operate and communicate over the
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virtual battlefield. as we continue to pursue isil's lasting defeat, secretary kerry has shown great determination in pursuing the diplomatic and political track in syria which included the signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement last week. if properly implemented and adhered to, we believe this cessation can lead to an overall decline in violence and hasten the delivery of humanitarian aid. it could be a first step towards an end of the civil war and the suffering of the syrian people. we're constantly monitoring the situation on the ground, and will see in coming days if all parties back commitments they made in words with their actions. let me also make it crystal clear, there's no cessation of hostilities in the isil campaign. these operations continue unabated. and as i mentioned earlier
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they're being accelerated across both syria and iraq. when jeremy dunford and i testified before congress last week, we described how we intend to back up our accelerated operations against isil with increased funding in our 2017 budget submission. requesting $7.5 billion, which is 50% more than last year. and as i described in my budget testimony, isil is one of five challenges that we must address as part of the department's mission to defend this country. two of the other four challenges reflect a return to great power of competition. one challenge is in europe, where we're taking a strong and balanced approach to deter russian aggression. the other challenge is in the asia-pacific, where china is rising, which is fine, but behaving aggressively, which is not. meanwhile, two other long standing challenges pose threats in specific regions. north korea is one.
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that's why our forces on the korean peninsula remain ready, as they say, to fight tonight. the other is iran, because while the nuclear accord is a good deal for preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon, we must still deter iranian aggression and counter their aggression sense our allieser especially israel. we now have the luxury of choosing which threat we may face next but we have the ability to set the course how best to prepare for the future. common theme across our budget is that we in the pentagon have to innovate and think outside our five-sided box. that's why i'm continuing my effort to rebuild bridges between the department of defense and some of our nation's most innovative industries, enhancing ties that will strengthen this depth and the nation's security. this is my key theme of my trip to the west coast that begins this evening. i'll be discussing new
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technologies, cyber security initiatives and a lot more, with some of the top minds in the tech world. i'll also be meeting with some of our troops, who are using advanced technologies to keep us safe and prepare for every challenge on the horizon. one command thatp2ál helps me ad the chairman think through each of the five challenges we face is our special operations command, and i want to congratulate lieutenant general raymond, tony thomas, on his nomination by president obama to assume command as special operations command. is a mentioned in tampa, the current commander, general joe votel will soon take commend at centcom. general thomas has big boots to fill but he has proven himself as a soldier, special operator, and leader, time and time again, over the course of his illustrious career. the president, chairman dunford
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and i have complete confidence in his capability to assume the vital worldwide responsibilities of socom. so i want to thank general thomas, general votel and their families for their continuing service and i hope the senate will act quickly on their nominations. i also want to express my deep thanks to general lloyd austin for his inspired leadership as commander of centcom during an extraordinary time and throughout his remarkable career. and finally, want to note that later today, president obama will present the medal of honor to senior chief petty officer edward byers, who visited my office last week, with his wonderful family, and by the way i hope you'll take the time watch the ceremony later today. in fact later this morning. it was a remarkable honor for me to speak to such an understated guy, a seal who willingly used himself as a shield for the
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hostage he was rescuing, exhibiting a tenacity to disarm an assailant but the composure to sales the situation and ask about the hostage's condition during the whole fight. for the rest of his life, ed byers will be justifiably looked up to by every special operator who goes out on another mission, but most of the world will never know about, but whose valor allows all of to us dream our dreams and build better lives for our children. he and his fellow warriors are the reason the chairman and i get up each and every day. and with that, i turn it over to the general. >> thank you, mr. secretary. good morning, ladies and gentlemen good to be with you this morning. let me begin by echoing the secretary's comments about the soldier, sailors, airmen and marines who served in desert shield and desert storm, this being the 25th anniversary, and recognize tony thomas' leadership congratulate him as he is nominated for special
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operations command and recognize the courage of senior chief byers, who as the sect -- secretary said will receive his award in a minute. there's one other individual i'd like to recognize, soldier who served for 37 years. this week john campbell will turn over the support mission. i'll have an opportunity to recognize him in person here later this week, but just want to recognize his 18 months in leadership position at resolution fort in afghanistan, and it's very difficult conditions and i just tell you we are fortunate to have had him during this critical period of transition and also recognize the sacrifice that his family as well who have been without him for the last 18 months. so with that i'm prepared with the secretary to take questions. >> and i'll amen to that and we'll have a chance to recognize jc here. >> mr. secretary, i have a question for each of you. mr. secretary, you mentioned with regard to the counter-isil campaign that momentum is now on
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our side. one of the big challenges looming ahead is mosul. there has there been some movement by the iraqis to move troops up closer to mosul. i wonder what your current thinking is whether the u.s. role will have to be something closer to the fight when it gets time to take mosul in terms of beyond what they did or is ramadi more the model of what the u.s. continues with its current approach? >> well, i'll start and then ask the chairman to pitch in. we do and are working with the iraqi forces to prepare forces for the envelopement and ultimately the seizure of mosul, absolutely. we expect to be like ramadi in the sense that the iraqi security forces under the control of the government of iraq, prime minister abadi, will be in the lead but we will be
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enabling them, and to just get you specific question, will we do more to enable them as they go north? yes. we fully expect to do that. and when we have the opportunities, the time, the place, and the strategic effect that only the -- yes, that only the united states can do, we indicated a willingness to do more and i expect we'll have opportunities to do that as we move north. >> just very quickly, bob. where we are in the process, the iraqis have developed their plan and so they're provided that to general mcfarland and others and there's a process where the general is looking at the iraqi plan, work with the centcom to maim recommendations what we can do. the secretary's called before the capability enhancements, things that accelerate the campaign. i like the secretary think we probably would do more in mosul than ramada because of the magnitude of the operation in mosul, would indicate to me we'd have more u.s. support in mosul than we need ramadi and i'm prepared to make those
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recommendations to the secretary sometime in the near future. i also just on mosul say that the operations against mosul have already started. in other words, we're isolating mosul as we speak. the same thing with raqqa. so, it isn't something that's going to happen in the deep, deep future. people have confused maybe when would mosul be secure with when will operations start. i would tell you both in terms of the cyber capabilities the secretary spoke about, as well aspirations to cut the line of communications and begin to go after some of the targets in and around mosul, those operations have already started. >> a question for general dunford on that. a different topic, which is afghanistan. given the taliban's resurgent activity in helmund and kabul and the kunar province, are you considering the possibility that toward the end of this year, going to need to keep more americançnoñ troops there doinge
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than currently planned? >> what i would say is in many ways what happened this summer wasn't that surprising when you think about the difficulty and the political transition of the last two years. when we looked at this in 2013, we assumed a certain progression of ministerial capacity, core level capabilities, intelligence enterprise, special operations and aviation, and many assumptions from 2013 didn't obtain. the aviation cape ability ex-not developing fast as we want it to and many of the afghanistan forths were tied up, focused on supporting two major elects. so i would say that this summer probably we have some lessons learned. one of is, the afghan forces are resilient but still have the capability gaps that have been identified in we're certainly looking at that and i'll be prepared to make recommendations to the secretary how we can incorporate the lessons learned from 2015 into more effective operations in 2016, but it certainly would be premature now to talk about force levels or capabilities and those kinds of
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things. the key thing is we'll benchmark the recommendations on the lessons learned of 2015 and whai we assess to be the environment of 2016. >> david? >> i'd like to see if i could pin you down a little bit on your statement that you're prepared to do more in mosul. are you talking about more of the same, in other words, greater numbers of advisers, or are you talking bat qualitative change and specifically are you talking about putting advisers both into the front line and are you talking about using forward air control to call in strikes? and also, if could i ask you to be more specific on the cyber attacks that you're working against isis. >> let me start with the first one ask then ask that the chairman on both of them. with respect to the first one, i think we're talking about both. we're talking about more of the things that we did in ramadi but we're talking about additional
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things of the kind that we have offered previously. but that weren't necessary in the case of ramadi. but might be helpful. might well be helpful as iraqi forces move north, and that includes in addition to directly enabling iraqi forces, some things like logistics and bridging and a whole lot of capabilities. so we fully expect to be doing more and differing in both scale and the kinds of things we're doing. with respect to cyber, i think you're referring to our use of cyber, which we have talked about generally, in the counter-isil campaign, particularly in syria, to
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interrupt, disrupt, isil's command and control, to cause them to lose confidence in their networks, to overload their networks so they can't function, and do all of these things that will interrupt their ability to command and control forces there , control the population and the economy. so, this is something that is new in this war, not something that you would have seen back in the gulf war, but it's an important new capability and it is an important use of our cyber command, and the reason cyber command was established in the first place. >> mr. secretary said we had both an increase in quantity and quality. on the quantity side, the operation at mosul much bigger than ramadi and the training of the forces going to conduct operations in mosul has already started. so, we're already working with
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them. i think back to the theme of lessons learned, like afghanistan. we look at ramadi. we worked with the iraqis very closely to take a look at the lessons learn. there's a couple thing wisdom want to do. we want to position ourselves to most effectively support combined arms for the iraqis as they conduct operations. in the second piece you want to make sure we have entered the flow of logistics support. when i make a recommendation to the secretary, that's where the qualitative changes would be made. he take a really hard look at the lessons learned in ramadi and say how do we best foster u.s. forces to enable what is an iraqi operation, but how do we best posture our forces to make sure combined arms are effectively delivered when and where the iraqis need them to maintain momentum go bees mousesel and make sure they have logistics support necessary to continue operations without what we describe as an operational -- i think that's where both kuwait tailtive and quantitative discussion comes into place. it isn't fundmentally different we do in ram -- ramadi.
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it's provide logistic support, the functions will be much the same, this still is an iraqi operation but how we provide enabling support i think will be informed by the lessons learned and i suspect there will be some changes. i certainly have seen some things we can do better. >> can i follow up? we have a list of airstrikes which you have conducted against isis. can we add to that now a list of cyber attacks? >> probably not i think we can describe some of the effects there but because the methods we're using are new, some of them will be surprising, and some of them are applicable to other challenges that i described, other than isil that we have around the world. david will probably be as usual, we'll tell you what we can tell
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you but not in a way that compromises operational security. i think we can describe the effects we're seeking and some of the effects we achieve. >> we have. we have. and -- but we're learning more and we're accelerating this just as we're accelerating everything else. we're doing both in syria and iraq, whether it be the air war-the ground war, the cyber war, we're looking to accelerate as well. david, secretary has talked a lot about physically isolating isil. in other words, isolating raqqa, isolating mosul, keeping the lines of communication between they severed, dividing iraq and syria up, making life difficult for the -- for isil. i think conceptually that's exactly the same thing we're trying to do in the cyber war. trying to both physically and virtually isolate isil, limit their ability to conduct command and control and the ability to communicate and to conduct
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operations locally and tactically, but i'll be one of the first ones arguing that's all we should talk about. most importantly, we don't want the enemy to know when, where and how we're conducting cyber operations. we don't want them to have information to allow them to adapt over time wimp want them to be surprised when we conduct cyber operations and they'll experience some friction associated with us and some friction just associated if with the normal course of events in dealing in the information age, and frankly we don't want them to know the difference. so, i think it's to our advantage to maintain the element of surprise with regard to conducting cyber operations. >> i want to ask you a quick question on syria. is the cease fire does not hold, is there any point at which syria's civil war affects your strategy combating isil? a series of attempts to distinguish the two things, but at what point -- in point at which was happens in the syrian
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civil war affects what you're doing there? >> what we're hoping obviously with the cessation of hostilities ills that humanitarian assistance can be provided. that's the principle objective here, and it may -- that may -- and i certainly hope we all do -- hope that leads to a furthering of the political resolution of the syrian civil war. the syrian civil war was one over the causes of ice until the first place so it is important that be resolved, but in the meantime, we're -- it's not going to get in the way of our accelerating the counter-isil campaign. so it has not -- the event atlantis are have nothing effect on our counter-isil campaign, certainly no cessation of hostilities there, but it would be very desirable if this i, which is just a cessation of hoss estimates, to lead to the conditions for resolution of the
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syrian civil war. >> the political process in our operations against isil come together in the future anyway. the theory of the case is, we can dismantle, meaning reduce the capabilities of isil, and all the things i spoke bat minute ago. but the end of the day a lasting peace in syria is going to require addressing the grievances associated with the war. so from my perspective what wore doing on the ground against isil, dismantling capability and the facts on the ground are in support of the overall critical process which is the solution in syria. >> what this current status of any efforts by the u.s. and coalition nations to confront isis in libya? does that call for asia airstrikes non there were recent photos of u.s. special operations forces on the ground in libya. were they assessing the possible allied forces they could find on the ground, and does it require for any kind of sustained air
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campaign against isis to have a viable government in place in tripoli before they u.s. and the coalition would launch -- >> let me start with the last part first because that is the key, which is -- tried to get a government in tripoli that can win the support of all of the many factions in libya, so that libya isn't the kind of disordered state that provides fertileground for isil to spread. one thing that the libyans -- they disagree among themselves a lot. the one thing that is very true is that they don't like foreigners being there they don't like foreigners who come into their territory elm that's what isil is. don't like foreign who take their oil. foreigners who come in and try to dominate their people. so, we fully expect that when -- which we hope is soon -- a
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government is formed in libya, it will welcome not just the united states but the coalition, and i should say here that italy in particular being so close, has offered to take the lead there, but we have already promised that we'll strongly support them, and so i hope that's part of the future there. but in the meantime, to get the toe the other part of your question, we're going protect ourselves against isil. in libya as everywhere else, and as you probably know, we have taken some strikes there, and we'll continue to do that. but the important objective here is to put libya back on the path to having a government that can give the people decent governance and hold the country together and they're not going to want isil hanging around. libyans are proud people. dough want foreigners marod -- mayrodding around their country.
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>> what i would say is the recommendations we have made for the military campaigns -- your question about what are we doing -- very much informed by the priority of the government and not doing anything on the
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the war and you have to start off what winning the peace means. >> on the cyber issue, this is clearly
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>> and this tool of of war to be efficient. so yes all of the other commanders and beneficiaries of this have the same kinds of capabilities. >> i think what we are building as an inventory of tools. they have great capabilities, you can't replicate what we are
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doing against isil, iraq and syria and elsewhere in the world. what you can do is leverage the tools of what this particular operation could do. [inaudible] coming up tonight on c-span two, the communicators examine the conflict between the fbi and apple over iphone encryption. the white house medal of honor society navy seal sheep edward byers, and larry reed and judiciary charles grassley debate taking action on the supreme court opening. >> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tomorrow morning, david drucker from the
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washington examiner will talk about super tuesday voting, the states involved, the, the candidate somewhat the results commute for the election. irs taxpayer advocate or will take your calls and question about filing option and this year tax topics. watch "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern tomorrow morning. join the discussion. c-span, created by merck's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service public service about your local cable or satellite provider. >> and this week on the communicators, discussion about encryption, the iphone and the fbi. joining us, josh us, josh who is with the fbi agents association and chris with the
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center for democracy and technology and vice president for policy. we we also have a working reporter joining our roundtable today. mr. calibri's let's begin with you. is this issue we are currently discussing about the iphone and terrorism, is that a classic case of security versus privacy? >> actually it's a more of a case of security versus dashmac's early apple is concerned a we are all concerned about the privacy on the device. we we are also very much worried that building any tool that allows you to break the security on a devices really a privacy harm, one that is going to come back and bite apple users around the world. >> the same question to. >> we see it fundamentally is a challenge to that proper balance. that is because there is a tool in play and the tool is a device that was intentionally designed to be impenetrable. as a result, we believe it threatens


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