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tv   Public Affairs Events  CSPAN  December 19, 2016 10:28am-12:29pm EST

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[inaudible conversations] >> went astray to regulations to do so, which can be done. we have a much more if that did an efficient agency and more opportunity for providers to serve numerous. -- consumers.
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>> there's a lot of concern about cybersecurity right now and there has been for a while to any particular amount of attention which is what is happening last few months of a campaign. does the fcc have a role? the >> it's an issue of when congress has been aggressive modifying the right solution. other agencies as well. the sec's role is limited by the statute that governs it. and while i do think they have a role to provide additional axis of no-space, they are authorized by the law.
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>> live now to washington d.c. are remarks by deborah lee james talking about the u.s. air force presence in europe, nato alliance and security threats posed by russia. ..
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[inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] good morning everyone. i'm steve gutman, here at the atlantic council. i am your host and my single duty is too welcome and orient you to what we are up to today. the purpose of today's event in
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our commander series is to hear from the sector of the air force. deborah james will talk about capabilities, reassurance and presence in the u.s. air force in transatlantic security practices in an initiative to mind which is part of the center on international security. in addition to the sector eight, a couple other folks will come on the stage, michael anderson who is the president and chief executive officer of saab north america, i will invite him to come up to the stage and formally in traduce the secretary. after her remarks she will be joined by a correspondent from the washington post who will pose questions and moderate questions from the audience. this is a commander series. it's a long-standing series in which we most typically hear from four-star general officers
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of one sort or another but rest assured, modern secretary, you will be the first to take the commander stance. it's fitting that we do that. we are grateful for saab north america for being a sponsor, not just this year but in many years running. >> that is much as i wanted to take time to say and i want to welcome the ceo of saab north america will make a proper introduction of the secretary. michael. >> thank you steve. good morning everyone. my name is michael anderson, i'm the president and ceo of saab north america. for almost 80 years years we have been on the forefront of technology and innovation developing products to increase the safety and security of the
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public. during that time we have grown from a small company dedicated to building airplanes for the swedish government to a global provider of defense security solutions. here in the u.s. we have been active for more than 40 years supplying the government with our products and technology. we have also been actively promoting a close and robust bilateral relationship and also transatlantic relations between canada and europe in general. at the global security company, responsibility and commitment to people in society are fundamental to us. we strongly believe that continuing to build the pond already strong relationships establish between our respective nations is essential in order to ensure our ability to promote peace and security in the future. in looking at the global security situation today, that
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is more valid than ever before. it is also why our support to the united council in our sponsor ship of the commander series, now on on this eighth year are so valuable and important to us. therefore, we are very pleased to see so many of you here today and also, it's a great honor for me to introduce our special guest today, the honorable deborah lee james, secretary of the united states air force. as the secretary of the air force, she oversees an annual budget of approximately $140 billion. she is responsible for the affairs of the development of the air force including organizing, training, equipping and providing the welfare for the nearly 660,000 active duty, guard, reserve and civilian airmen and their family spread she was confirmed and appointed at the 23rd secretary of the air force in december 2013 and has more than 30 years in national security experience in the federal government and
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private sector. prior to her current position, ms. james served as the technical engineering sector president. in the years preceding she held positions including the senior vice president and director of homeland security. in early 2000, she was executive vice president of national security and then she was vice president of international operations in marketing. during the clinton administration from 93 until 98 she served she served in the pentagon as the assistant secretary of defense. she had roles of this as the assistant secretary of defense and legislative affairs and the house foreign services committee. these are just a few highlights
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of your very distinguished service to the united states. madam sec., we are honored and happy to have you here today. please join me in welcoming secretary james to the stage. [applause] >> thank you very much to steve and the atlantic council and michael, thank you for that lovely introduction. anytime people go through the various highlights of my career, it reminds me how long i have been around. it makes me feel a little bit old. before i go further, i want to give a couple shutouts to ian fairchild, he is our air force fellow. oh, he's taking a coffee break. that's nice. he's my guy and he is not here. anyway he's your air force fellow at the atlantic council and he was telling me just what a fantastic experience this has
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been for him. if i might say, it is always a fantastic experience for me to come back to the atlantic council because you see, during part of the time i was on the board here as well as having the opportunity to come back at time resort so, i think was january 2015 when i have the opportunity to come here as secretary of the air force. it does feel does feel a little bit like homecoming every time i get to come to atlanta council. frankly, i can't can't imagine a better place to come too on a morning like this when we are about to have, what i hope is going to be an important conversation about the role of the united states generally, but i will zero in on the role of the united states air force specifically in the transatlantic security picture. it's an area that i certainly care a great deal about and is one that i think has become even more relevant during my tenure as secretary of the air force which has been for about three years now. i would submit to all of you that the trans atlantic security
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community, that is to say, the group of like-minded countries who are committed to nato's vision of a europe hole, free and at peace is facing greater challenges today than at any time since the end of the cold war. there are a few trends that are occurring simultaneously that make me feel this way and that are contributing to this scenario. first, by invading occupying and attempting to annex crimea, russia has demonstrated it is trying to overturn the norms that have kept the peace in the region for decades. second, when i was in estonia and ukraine, i heard all about russia's use of cyber attacks and the way they flood the news media with information and fake news. now with the very recent announcement by the u.s. intelligence community that russia acted to interfere in our election, involving they say at
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the highest level of the russian government. that marks an extremely troubling development and one that i am afraid we are going to be dealing with for years to come, the reverberations from that development. third, russia is among the countries that are investing in anti- access area denial strategy like integrated air defense which could allow a hostile actor to create a bubble around a certain territory in which they could then dictate special rules to the detriment of others. moreover, russia has been conducting numerous acts of unsafe chairmanship and showing disrespect to the territorial integrity of others. i will come back to this more later. finally, fourth but certainly not least, our bile and violent extremist groups, most notably -- who the a sh who causing a humanitarian catastrophe pushing large number
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of migrants into europe. our southern european partners, including turkey and greece, italy and a few others are extremely focused on the threats to their societies proposed by the influx of migrants and refugees among the southern flank of europe just as the allies along the eastern and northern flank are very focused on russia. this is precisely where the importance of the integrity of nato comes to the forefront because you see, rather than being a tale of two europe's, which this could sound like a tale of two europe's, you have the southern versus the eastern and northern interest, but to the contrary, this is a case of the entire region a case of the entire region being united as a single defensive alliance focused on safeguarding the freedom and security of all of its members against any threats. since i became secretary of the air force and december 2013, i
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have had the opportunity to visit and meet with my counterparts in 19 of the 28 members of the nato alliance, and in addition, i met with enhanced opportunity partners, sweden and finland. i heard one consistent message on all of these trips in that message was that our allies and partners want more u.s. air force. they want more training and more exchanges, more present, more interoperable equipment. in recent years, we have expanded our presence in efforts in europe as a way to reassure allies in the deter aggression and demonstrate the unique capabilities that our air force brings to the combined operation, the combined fight. our relationship with nato members and partners are among our closest, but today we need to double down in the face of the threats that i mentioned just a few moments ago. in addition, i believe we need to open up the aperture on how the collaborate and we need to develop innovative solutions, at least for the air force in our
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three domains of focus and those are in the air, in space and in cyberspace. the reason we need to do this is to create the most effective 21st security partnership as possible and i think were in the process of doing just that. in recent years, many of our allies and partners have noticed a major increase in the number of airspace violations and other irresponsible acts of airmen ship on the part of russian aircraft. i mentioned this a few moments ago and i want to come back to it now. fortunately, the transatlantic community is coming together in response to these actions. the most visible of these efforts is the baltic air policing mission. since they became members of nato in 2004, 16 nato nations have participated in this mission which protects the national airspace of our baltic allies 247, 365. the german air force contingent
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in estonia, as we speak reported conducting more than 30 scrambles between the end of august in the beginning of november this year, intercepting russian aircraft that were flying near civilian air routes with their transponders transponders turned off. i was in finland in october just after days of russian aircraft committing to violations, one of such they have seen in recent months. indeed, our own united states air force has also witnessed similar conduct. among the most notable was back in april when a russian fighter made an aggressive and on safe intercepts of an air force reconnaissance plane during a routine flight in airspace over the baltic sea. to me, if you add up all of these different incidents, all of this suggests that joint
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training and political resolve are extremely important at this point in time because this is the point in time where there is a great deal of push and push and test and test going on. indeed, that is precisely what the european reassurance initiative is all about. through eri, the united states air force is beefing up our bilateral and multilateral training calendar with european allies and partners. we are increasing the amount of equipment in the region plus fuel, ammunition and other supplies that would allow forces to respond rapidly in a crisis crisis. we are improving infrastructure in the region so we have many flexible options for planes and other assets further enhancing our responsiveness. we are intensifying efforts to build partner capacity with newer nato members and partners so they can fully participate in their own collective security. we are demonstrating that we can deploy air dominance capabilities at great distances, just like we did last spring when we sent fifth-generation f-22 raptors to romania and just
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like we will do once again the spring when we send f-15s from louisiana and the florida national guard to deploy as a security package to various locations in europe. this year we renamed the eri the european deterrence initiative to reflect that our presence in europe does more than reassure. our forces are there as part of an alliance package to deter aggression. in the national defense authorization act for 2017, congress reiterated its support for this initiative and for the president's budget request of about $3.4 billion which, by the way, was a tripling as by the way, was a tripling as compared to the 2016th amount. since we are talking about increasing our financial commitment to our allies, i have to mention a big part of participating in collective security is ensuring that every nato member has the equipment
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and well-trained personnel that they need and that's why certainly, in all of my conversations with my counterpart in the region, i have stressed the importance of every country in the alliance putting in place a plan to meet that targeted spending of 2% of gdp for defense. we are are seeing some positive trends in this direction, but there is certainly much more that needs to happen particularly in the case of a number of countries. one area in particular where there is good news and progress has been made is in acquisitions of interoperable equipment, and here i'm thinking specifically of the f85. we are very proud to already be hosting pilots and maintainers from norway, italy, the net of netherlands for training at luke air force base. now that the f35 has been declared combat capable, we will deploy our newest fighter in the not-too-distant future. as a matter of fact, if i were a betting woman i wouldn't be surprised if the f35 didn't make an appearance next summer.
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the unique combination of stealth situational awareness and central fusion will play an important role in reassuring allies and providing deterrence. many of our partners have already begun to express ways they expect the f35 to transform the battlefield. even in the 82, a.d., the, a.d., the anti- access area of denial environment, and make coordination easier through interoperable eqpment. all of this is important but nato is about more than just deterrence and the threat emanating from russia. by the way, the air force, united states air force has roles that it plays in the other threat environments as thread environments as well. for example, collectively, we have the heavy airlift wing managed and operating out of the airbase in hungary. it operates 317 strategic aircraft that are built to the same specifications as the c-17's operated by the u.s. air
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u.s. air force. there are 12 nations that are involved with this. the united states +9 other nato members plus sweden and finland. they are all members of this program and they share the operating responsibilities for the aircraft. these aircraft have been deployed on important air mobility missions including supplies to afghanistan and iraq to support combat operations, conducting humanitarian assistance missions in haiti and supporting international peacekeeping operations in africa. the capability allows the community to respond quickly to emerging crises that do not fit squarely into combat operations and also draws heavily upon the expertise developed by the air force as part of our global reach mission. we would expect the trend toward shared assets, like the example i just gave you. this trend will likely continue in the future and i think another primary aware it may well work is air refueling which is another mission that our mobility forces have a long history in.
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we fully support nato and our allies acquiring these capabilities because it enhances our collective ability to operate together and too respond to all types of global challenges. by the way, i don't want to be remiss in failing to recognize the important role of nato in afghanistan, certainly certainly we the united states are very appreciative of nato in support and many of the members who have gathered with us in the anti- isis coalition in iraq and syria as we deepen our relationships with our allies and partners in the transatlantic security community, we are also making strides to bring our mechanisms for cooperation well into the 21st century. nato, for example has established 24 centuries of excellence to assist in developing doctrine, improved capability and interoperability
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and experiment on an experiment on evolving concepts. these centers cover topics from analysis and simulations of air operations, that one is placed in france. we have cooperative cyber defense based in estonia and joint airpower confidence in germany. these are just a few, there are 24 centers of excellence in all. these centers benefit the entirety of the alliance because they advance shared knowledge and they allow for the pooling of resources and may allow also for the avoidance of duplication of effort. moreover, nato as a whole is acquiring global hawk, remotely piloted aircraft or isr missions through what is called the alliance ground surveillance system. these will be based in italy and they will give nato enhance capability to support protection
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of ground troops and civilian population in conflict environments as well as border control and maritime security which of course is a particular concern among allies who are dealing with this large influx of immigrants and refugees. this capability is important but isr relies heavily on the ability to rapidly collect and fuse the information collected by platforms into actual intelligence that can support the war fighter. that's why nato has stood up a combined air operations center in spain and a deployable center based in italy. i had the opportunity a few months back to visit both facilities and i was very impressed with all the work i saw being conducted there as well as with the personnel involved with these key missions. finally, on space issues, once, once again, we are moving together forward as well. all of us need the best space situation awareness as possible and we have begun conducting tabletop exercises to facilitate closer relationships in this domain, which, after all, is
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becoming much more contested and congested each and every day. all of these examples demonstrate how nato and the euro atlantic immunity have become more vibrant, more vibrant in our relationships in recent years which does not really come as a surprise at all to me. you see, we in in the u.s. air force know that we operate best when we train and collaborate with our allies and partners. the coalition fight is central to the way the u.s. conducts operations at all levels. the bottom line, we work hard to deepen our relationship so that we can fly, fight and win together. the twitter hashtag for this event is stronger with allies. i am here to tell you the u.s. air force agrees wholeheartedly and by the way, as you see some of our u.s. airmen over the next weeks and months, be sure and wish them a happy 70th birthday. the year 2017, which is just
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around the corner marks our 70th anniversary, 70 years since we became a separate service, separate from the u.s. army. u.s. air force breaking barriers since 1947. thank you very much again for inviting me to speak with you today and i very much look forward to the conversation to come. thank you. [applause] >> can everyone hear me? my name is missy ryan. i cover military issues for the washington post and it's my great honor to be here today with secretary james. what we are going to do today is have a conversation between the two of us for about 30 minutes and then i will open it up to questions and i know everyone in the audience is eager to get their question to secretary james about the transatlantic
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partnership, russia and a bunch of other issues. we will just go ahead with that and get you all out of here right at noon. sec. james, i want to start with russia. you mentioned russia in your remarks as a significant threat. you painted a pretty gloomy picture of the threat emanating from russia. now we know that the russian government has allegedly hacked the u.s. a elections and there's been violations of airspeed airspace in europe and their bombing targets in syria. just to set the stage, can you tell us about the russian air and space capability and how it stacks up against the united states and its allies in europe? what are the areas where we continue to outpace them comfortably, what are the areas that are catching up? >> first i would say the u.s.
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military is the strongest military in the world. i want to begin with that statement and certainly that is my belief about the united states air force. but, we have reduced ourselves in size over time and so capacity is now an issue, particularly if there are multiple things going on in different theaters across the world. you can only be in one place at one time, not to places and two times. capacity is an issue. we are the most technologically advanced, but what we have seen over the past 25 years is that more countries have been watching us. it began with the persian gulf war one site and they saw how precision and stealth and the enablement subspace came together to produce that revolution in military affairs and so many have been catching up in ways that are somewhat worrisome to the united states. of course we want to always be one or two or three steps ahead. we do not want to allow ourselves to fall one or two or three steps behind. we are still the best today, but
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we are concerned and we want to make sure we are investing in moving in the right direction to make sure that we remain the best in the world. as you mentioned, we are not looking to pick a fight with anyone, certainly not with russia or anyone else. we do look to defend our interests in the transatlantic partnership has been a bedrock of how we defend our interest for decades and it will remain so in the future. >> are there particular things that we have seen in russia's activities, in places like georgia and syria and ukraine that have given you particular cause for concern in terms of their capabilities or their intention? other than the fact that they are bombing civilian targets in syria. >> other than that, certainly everything you said is extremely worry some. the advent of what some have termed hybrid warfare is also a worrisome development that this
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is the advent of more cyber attacks, it's the advent of the so-called little green men that we saw in ukraine, it's creating uncertainty and chaos and then denying what it was all about or that they were really there in the first place. of course, we in the west, particularly i will i will speak for my own government, we care about attribution, we don't just throw down on somebody without having proof so in a chaotic, uncertain situation sometimes it's difficult to get that proof and i think that's an area that russia has capitalized on which makes it very notable to me that in this case our intelligence community has called them out and said yes, they were involved at a high level of confidence. that takes a lot in our government for the totality of our community to come to that so to me that's quite remarkable. >> at the same time they seem to
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be indications of continued problems in their air operations. we've seen that with their aircraft carrier operations targeting syria, they seem to be using dumb bombs rather than precision bombs. what does that tell you. >> first of all the aircraft carrier, to me that was not a decisive factor in the syria operation, it was more of a signaling engine signaling or a messaging, it did give them some training but as you pointed out it didn't go all that well. they didn't launch that many aircraft and there weren't that many aircraft involved in they did have notable crashes which, thankfully the pilots survived. it was more of the on the ground in the aircraft that took off from the ground in syria that has made the difference. i think there's also a different approach to warfare that you've seen unfold with the russian government, the syrian government, they do not make huge efforts to protect innocent
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loss of life where we, the coalition, the united states and our allies and partners go to great lengths. we watch and we wait and we extend a great deal of thought and a great deal of effort into the isr, the intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, and we strike when we are ready with a very high level of confidence that we know what we are striking. you do not see that level of care taken on the part of the russian government or am part of the syrian government. >> let's talk about the deterrent deterrence initiative. you talk about what they've been able to support in the past and all of those are positive for the u.s. european relationship. at the same time, my question is hasn't succeeded in deterring russia, is it succeeding as a
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deterrent? >> i think it is, what we haven't seen is we haven't seen another repeat of what happened in crimea so i think that is very important. i did have an opportunity, as i mentioned in my opening remarks, to visit the baltic states, and those who are directly on border, as you would expect, feel the most vulnerable. i believe, i will just repeat what they told me, they certainly view these actions as a major deterrence and also, as i mentioned, as a general proposition, our allies, our allies would like to see more presence, more training, more exercises and this was a general theme throughout all of my visits. >> do you think there is a risk of escalating tensions, you said the united states is not seeking a conflict with russia, but is there a risk of escalating the tensions that could potentially lead to a conflict by placing additional assets there and doing some of these things that
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are associated with the desire to bolster the u.s. military presence in that area? >> of course, managing risk is something that policymakers and military professionals do day in and day out. there are risks in all that we do, but i would submit the greater risk is if we did not have a greater presence at this point in time, if we were to pull back or too do less of the types of activities, to to me that will be a greater risk because i believe a lot of what's going on here is poking in testing and pushing and seeing what the response will be and that's why i think we have to have resolve and we have to have an active response. >> just going back to something you said earlier, the allies and the baltic state for example are asking for more air force, what specifically are they asking for? one of their major desires? >> well, they want more u.s.
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military in general. the most immediate, very important upcoming activity is that we will be having a permanent presence in the baltic , it will be some us, the u.s. will actually have the command in poland but there will be nato allies in a combined fashion, multiple forces from different countries will come together to have a presence in the baltics and it will be a rotational situation so that is something they are very much looking forward to having on the ground. they want to have continual presence in the baltic air policing which they have, the united states participate so other countries participate as well. i mention germany has the mission right now. the rotates. they certainly want to see that ongoing and they want closer cooperation in a number of other areas as well. >> do you believe any sort of more muscular response is required to deal with the provocative action or does that
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risk escalate conflict unnecessarily? >> these sorts of questions are asked daily and people are making these judgment call that a highest level of government. based on everything i know, it's about right for now. tomorrow something could happen and this could change but i can assure you, these matters are monitored at the highest level of government daily. >> you mentioned your communications with european and nato allies, following the november 8 election, have you had to reach out to those allies and reassure them based on president elect trump's comments regarding nato? how has that been an issue. >> i have not not since the november 8 election because i haven't had an overseas trip nor have i had the telephone communication since that time, but certainly before that time we talked a great deal about it
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and what i always would respond is, the american people, people, the system will figure this out and regardless who is elected president there are checks and balances in our system and nato has been a bedrock, the united states has been a bedrock for decades and decades and although there could be some tweaks are changes on the margin, i don't believe there would be a fundamental shift that would be worrisome to them. >> it is remarkable that at a time of increased anxiety both in europe, because of of an event like bricks it and then because of the comments i just mentioned regarding nato and questioning some of the security commitments that are fundamental to nato, do you sense that in conversation prior to the election or subsequent that you have had with partners when they did about what they have of the trajectory of the alliance? >> they had questions is the way
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i would put it which of course allowed me to go back on a message that i regularly deliver and that is the importance of everybody doing their part. everybody, i don't know of a single country in and nato that isn't experiencing some sort of economic difficulties, even those those countries that are doing relatively well by our standards. there are many tugs impose on society and government spending so we all share on this and it's tough politics for everybody, but everybody has to do their part, and their part by the document is 2%. if not 2% this year, this year, it's important for everybody to get on a trajectory to get there and some reasonable amount of time. back in the 1980s when i was on the house armed services staff, one of my assignments back then was the nato burden sharing panel and i think it was an old issue back then but this has been around as a topic for a
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long time, but certainly it's top of my now with the election, and it's my hope that the allies that aren't at 2% can get get themselves on a trajectory to reach that point. >> okay, i have have two more russia questions for you. how do you see, if you could just comment a little bit on the situation in syria where the united states and russia are operating in the same airspace, what has that experience been like, thinking about that at the pentagon, and what you see as essential risks or can this be managed as a has been so far. >> what we have done so far is we've had the confliction procedures, phone calls to d conflict airspace, not to coordinate but the conflict and have safety in the air. so far this has worked quite well. we have been operating largely in different parts of syria. i say largely ,-comma what has
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been troubling to us, i will speak to the u.s. air force is that there's quite a safety gap with russia. they say one thing but then they do another thing. they said they entered in syria to help fight isil and terrorism, but what they have done is they have chopped up the government and the interest of ashad, the government of syria. there has been very little action against isil, rather they are going against the groups that are going against ashad and threatening his direct territory that he is concerned with. they say they are using precision ammunitions to take care not to kill it on innocent humans, but in fact, 80 or 90% are the dumb bomb so there's a lack of trust between the russians in the u.s. as a result of not just that, but many, many other things.
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most recently, aleppo has fallen, but within days of that isil overran another area. the united states has begun bombing around paul mira. the russians and the syrians, upon fleeing that area as they were about to be overrun left behind equipment, artillery, trucks, tanks and we are going in now and destroying them with aircraft including a tens and a number of other aircraft as well the battlefield, the makeup of the battlefield can shift and does shift daily. >> what was your perspective on the proposal for increased military coordination between the united states and russia. there is a proposal that fell by the wayside to not do joint targeting but to share
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information. >> we were prepared to execute had that agreement reached fruition but there was concern in the pentagon, precisely because of a lack of trust so of course it did not reach for ration and we are where we are. >> last? russia ,-comma what would be your recommendation to your successor regarding how to deal with the russian threat? >> i do think, based on everything that i have read and understand of russia, russia is a country that does understand force and so to present a strong front at a time like this, at a time when i believe they are pushing and poking and testing, i think the alliance needs to demonstrate that resolve and show force and so what i would suggest to my successor is
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continue to support, to the maximum extent possible, the role of the united states air force in the baltic policing, in the in the air dominance actions that i talked about. ongoing rotations, like we did on the f-22, like we are about to do with the f-15 in the spring, like him thinking in the not-too-distant future, these are the type of approaches which not only demonstrate that resolve but also our great training opportunities, they provide experience with interoperable equipment and airmen to airmen, it works well when we get to work with our counterparts. >> i want to turn to a couple other issues. you mentioned the threat of migration coming into europe and the burden that places on european nations having to provide for refugees and others
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things that could come along with that. what is the air force role in that? in what other ways can the air force specifically contribute to helping manage that? >> probably the isr is the greatest one, airlift can, from time to time be helpful if people have to go from point a - - . be. in an airtime environment this is much more extreme than what is going on in the european states at this time, but the air force also has certain intelligence associations so we have intelligence assets as do the other services so the sharing of intelligence is something we are trying to do more of. >> there's been a lot of discussion, obviously in the past year or year end a half about the threat of islamic state. within europe and with the
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attacks in paris and brussels ,-comma what is the air force role in that in terms of, in addition to intelligence sharing, what can they contribute to that? >> so other than the intelligence sharing information whenever possible, that is our top role for that sort of a threat. >> that's much more of a law-enforcement. >> let's talk a little bit about the air force itself and the trajectory of where the u.s. air force is headed. >> one of the things that people talk about is how the fleet is aging and readiness has been under pressure because of continuous deployments in the budgetary issues. how would you recommend dealing with this in the next five years? what is the best way to cope with the readiness and the strain that the force has been facing. >> whenever we talk about readiness, i think it's important to step back and say ready to do what because you
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heard me say the u.s. military is still the strongest and the best in the world, and i absolutely believe that. if you were to say, is the u.s. air force ready to do its mission which has been continual, thousands of bombing missions, humanitarian and all these missions, are we ready to do all of that? the answer is, you're damn right we are and we've been doing it for the better part of 25 years. where we have a readiness concerns is are we ready to do a high-end fight. there is where, if we get into an anti- access denial situation , they could shoot us down, interfere with us in space or make it a more complex environment. that is where we are concerned that we don't have sufficiently high levels of readiness. >> like a russia or china. >> correct.
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so what to do, the answer is it severalfold. the greatest thing we can do in the near term is increase the size of the air force. i mentioned we've been downsizing for 25 years. we are now the smallest active duty force that we been since 1947 when we became an air force you can't do too many things at once if you are that small. capacity matters. to increase the size, modestly, i'm not talking of hundreds of thousands of people, but that would allow us to plug some holes and build up certain capabilities to keep the isr, cyber and a few other areas, fighter pilots fighter pilots are short. these are areas we want to build up, so grow the air force is the first thing i would recommend. the second thing is continue to fund these high-end capabilities, particularly in the training environment. upgrade upgrade arranges for example so we can practice again simulated high-end threats.
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what your mother told you, practice makes perfect, there is there is truth to that. when are pilot see these environments in a simulated world, 100% of the time they are going to do better in the real world if they've had that ability to practice. beef up certain things like that in the readiness which is another key recommendation. keep modernizing. >> what about new technologies and acquisitions? to what extent can the air force do that in the way that it would like to because of budgetary constraints? >> the budgetary constraints are real and there's been discussions about increasing defense spending, certainly we have got to, once and for all and sequestration, there there is talk of doing that, we been talking about that for two or three years and it hasn't happened, i'm certainly hopeful that maybe the spring it will because that is the first thing. that has to come off and some additional funding would
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certainly be very welcome so we can, by the way, but also modernizing our conventional forces but we have an imperative to modernize other areas. >> what would be a reasonable increase if you're talking about growing the size of the air force. >> we ended our fiscal year at about 317,000 so i would like to see growth over the next several years in the mid- 320s, i am sure we could use more people than that, but i would say say at least to the mid- 320s. >> if there were to be a budget increase for the air force in the next administration, what would be your priorities? would it be the personnel, or if there's one thing you could choose to spend the money on what would it be. >> personnel. >> okay, i would ask about the election and we have just about five minutes before i open it up to the audience. without getting into politics of
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the election, what do you think the change in the administration and the change of the parties will mean for the air force? >> first let me say, we've had a transition team at the pentagon for weeks and they have been meeting regularly so i had the opportunity to meet with them and they been conducted in a very professional way. they have come up for the most part been in a listening mode so asking questions and receiving briefings. they have listened. they have welcomed and written down suggestions about, if you had more money where would you put it so they ask us the same question. i said people, that's number one place i would put it. all of that is being conducted at pace. once again, there is a lot of anticipation that there will be additional money coming to defense and so the question is how quickly and where will it go. these will be questions for that team and i just hope that the
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people issues will come out on topic as i want to reiterate, i think that's the greatest way to alleviate some of the readiness concerns in the near-term as well as alleviate some of the frequent deployment and family concerns that we have been seeing. >> what about the president-elect select comments about eliminating air force one. is that the imaging for the industry relationships or is that something that won't amount to much? >> i think any incoming president or any incoming leader is going to be asking questions so this was in effect a way of throwing a question out there through twitter about the cost of these systems which, let's face it, this, this is a lot of money were talking about, but, with time and as additional material is presented and
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briefings are ahead, the complexity of both of these programs come to the light so it's not quite as easy as it might seem to get these cost down. there are ways of doing it so for example in the case of air force one, the complexity is it's more than a 747. if seven. if you just look at the cost of the 747 and then you look at the projected cost of air force one, it appears astronomical, but air force one is in fact a fine white house with ultra high levels of security and communication and protection measures built-in. it is nothing like you have ever experienced before and that is what involves the cost. moreover, we made a judgment to go full force on that so if you were to compete it, maybe to get the cost down or change some of these requirements, maybe you maybe you could get the cost down, the u.s. air force in this case didn't develop the requirements for air force one, the professional professional communicators and security in
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the white house developed those requirements. if you were to strip away those requirements you could get the cost down. there's a variety of approaches but the new team will get a full chance to score that and determine. the f35, it certainly has had a history of cost overrun and problems and there's no doubt about that, but if you look at recent years, the f35 cost have been coming down. it's going to soon be approaching the. plane cost will be approaching a fourth-generation plane cost so that's a pretty good deal. , this generation at fourth-generation prices. but again, the past is the past. we are focused on the future. as all of the facts are presented, the new president can make up his mind. >> to think they might get in there and see the details and maybe think about it differently? >> i think the more details you are exposed to, it certainly
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opens up the aperture to see what the possibilities might be of what the constraints might be. >> one final question, what's next for you? >> i don't know, is the washington post hiring? >> i'm going to be unemployed pretty soon. >> i don't know, i think the beach is going to be in my immediate future. i'm looking forward to some time off and my children live in new york and i might crash in on their pad for a little while until they don't want me there anymore. i don't really have any immediate plans, but i'm sure something will come up. >> let's open it up to the audience. i think, can we go ahead and do questions? please identify yourself to make sure question is a question. :
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>> the case is the threats. if you look at the various scenarios where we may have to go in combat around the world, and i'm not talking about against isil in the middle east. i'm talking about the types of high and threats. it's the anti-axis, denial environments. the threats are what keep me sell this capability, sell the program. so that's point one. and, of course, the new team is in the process, not everybody has their clearances yet but those who have their clearances are able to get some of these briefings.
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so that is happening. and then the other piece of it is, don't just look at the past look at the recent past, look at the last few years of experience on the program where there have been great strides and i think great accomplishments made in bringing down the price. so to get a fifth generation capability, which all those who have experienced it agree it is just a cat about in at aircraft because of those capabilities and to be able to get that at a fourth-generation price, something like you might pay for an f-16, that's beginning to sound much more reasonable. can the cost be driven and more? perhaps. i know the current leadership, that jpl and so on are focused on the speech and everyday. i know industry has make concessions to try to bring down the price. get more of this be accomplished? i would say probably yes and the pressure should remain on to do
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just that. >> that gentleman in the second row with the turtleneck. >> i'm with the atlantic council. thanks for a really professional and informative briefing. space did not allow you to talk enough about two issues. one, as you know as carter has set a four plus one matrix planning which united states military is needed to deter and defeat if necessary russia or china whenever. second, you didn't talk about the offset strategy though you inferred to it. could you comment about air force thinking about how do we go about determining and defeating russia or china? what's the thinking in that regard? could also relate this pact with the air force is doing to follow bob works third offset strategy that is made the centerpiece of his administration? >> of course there are joint war plans that are written against a variety of different scenarios that could happen around the
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world and for each of these war plans the net states air force is front and center. one thing i will tell you about the u.s. air force is not only are we front and center in each of the snares but we're front and center on day one and day two. it's not a 30 or day forwarding. it's right off the bat. those who would kick down the door so to speak. so we would be that front line of defense. where heavily involved in all of that. as i mentioned if there's a worrisome aspect to this, we have become sufficiently small. those in number of people and aircraft. that if there were multiple things happening simultaneously around the world, there is where the capacity they suggest we couldn't do all of it. we may have to swing and let one area go, and nobody wants to do that. that's a key concern. in terms of the third offset, this is simply a way that we are looking for what would be the
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next big advantage that the united states and our allies could acquire for a future conflict. so just as the nuclear, having nuclear weapons pact in the '40s and \50{l1}s{l0}\'50{l1}s{l0} was quite an advantage. that was what we called the first offset of the 20th century because no one else in the world for a while had that capability. others acquired it in a didn't have the same value. still very valuable but not the same value. the second offset is frequently termed the combination of precision weaponry, stealth and all of which is enabled by our states assets. we saw that in the persian gulf war. that was shock and awe to many in the world to witness that in the early hours of that conflict, but for 25 years people have been watching how this works and even catching up. the question is what the next offset going to become the next big thing. we think it's some combination
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of technologies, all of which are designed to make that humans have greater endurance, greater speed, greater ability to make decisions quickly, make sense of many, many sources of data. what's the important data amongst all of that clutter and then push out decisions in a very fast way. so we are investing in a variety of technologies that would give us some element of what i just said. so technology is certainly part of that, but so is tactics, techniques and procedures, so how do you put all of these technologies together into a process and procedure way when you're going to be executing a a plan. the third element is people. you have to make sure we are an all-volunteer force, make sure we have the very best people that can think actually, who can problem solve, who can be creative, who can take those tactics, techniques and procedures and those technologies and put it all to
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our best advantage spirit right here in the front row. >> damon wilson. thank you very much, madam secretary, for your service. thank you coming back for this conversation and thank you for your service on our board before you serve in the full. you underscore the importance of the aptly renamed european deterrence initiative and use presence, particularly in the baltic state poland, romania and bulgaria. that's a question about the timeline in terms of how long the u.s. forces need to be present in those places. how do you think about the planning of functions for our presence on the eastern flank, and the funding that supports those? as i understand actually in the operations budget. shouldn't this be something that over time put in the base budget to recognize the fact that it isn't a one-year deployment? we're likely to be there for quite a while? >> so yes, it should go into the
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base budget, all of this or most of this should go into the base budget but, of course, the folks who were here living in washington know that the uncle budget doesn't count for purposes of counting money that we spent in the federal government. so how crazy is that? it's kind of an accounting situation. but if we can lick lift sequestration, if we can clean up some of these accounting situations that we are back into in the last however many years it's been, 10, 15 years. then it would certainly make for a more clean situation. but for now that's the way we find it because that's the way we can find it and get it done. the most important thing is to get it done. i consider it to be a perpetual mission. in other words, any mission can stop but there is no plan to stop it. so to me it's a perpetual mission picked it will be reviewed on an annual basis. unless the world changes fundamentally i don't see any reason why that would change in
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the near term. >> in the second row and then i promise we will get to the back. >> good to see you, secretary. i wanted to ask a little bit more about president-elect trump's tweets. the air force one tweet and the f 35 tweet up with the rattled the defense industry a little bit. so do you think that he has a point i guess without being too political about it? is it good to put this kind of pressure on the defense industry or do you think it's better to do this kind of negotiating the hind closed doors as opposed to on twitter? >> time will tell. time will tell. what is good is it's good to have a focus on cost-saving measures. as i mentioned, that focus has been very much in place. if you look back over the last
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several years the cost has been brought down. i give the credit on that to the team has been negotiating that, in the jpo. i give credit to industry as well because as i said they've made certain concessions in this as well. but you've heard me speak a lot of times. you know i have three primaries, taking care of people, getting the balance between readiness and modernization right because when you both in our u.s. air force, and make every dollar count which is my way of saying cost consciousness. we've got to be the most efficient team possible. so i'm all for that focus. twitter is a different way of doing it. time will tell. i hope those costs will continue to come down. >> in the back, the woman in the black shirt. >> high, secretary james. again, another f35 question. i'm wondering how you continue pitching the f35 to any new
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customers overseas when the president-elect has his comments that it's out of control? on top of that your rehab foreign governments like canada that are already skeptical of the price tag associated with this program. >> well, the good news about the f-35 in this regard is we don't even have two picture. there are other countries. was just delivered to israel, italy got the f-35 now coming. it was just developed or produced i should say in italy. so in a way it is selling itself, you might say. of course we still do talk about it. i certainly have talked about it but i'm not the only one, and the u.s. government is not the only one because other allies now are acquiring it at the wanted. in the case of candida, candida has decided of course to bridge with the f-18 but they have it shut the door on the f-35 down the line. the time will tell and, of course, that will be their judgments. they do remain as part of the program.
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they are contributing to be a part of the program, but then i decided to actually purchase it at this point in time but again that remains an open question for the future. spirit take another one from back and then go to tony. the gentleman in the white shi shirt. >> we haven't talked at all about north korea and some interested in sort of your views on the current threat and the role the air force in responding to that, and just moving forward where we go from here. >> so north korea is a major threat. we talked, we talked about the four plus one. north korea as one of the four, let's put it that way. north korea, iran, china, russia and then terrorism, particularly isil but other forms of terrorism. so that's the four plus one. the u.s. air force is very involved in deterring, countering that threat so in
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what we call the continuous bomber presence that takes place on guam. we have had the one, b-52's and beaches deployed to guam that do periodic patrols in the pacific. they are there. they are available at a moments notice to do whatever we would need them to do. similarly in south korea we have forces stationed there along with the army, along with the rest of use military. we have a very, very close relationship with our south korean counterparts. and then finally i will tell you as north korea has been testing nuclear weapons, testing launch capabilities of late, the reason why we know a lot of this is because the u.s. air force has been monitoring and the detection systems to know exactly what went on. was it a nuclear weapon or was it something else, and what was with the possible use of it?
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we've all of the systems to be able to then explain to our leaders, our allies, partners, partners and in some cases the world what has happened. it goes back to the importance of attribution. >> want to follow up on that question. because the air force is so close to this, do you think the north korean threat is getting the attention it deserved from within the u.s. national security community? they hav had made strides in the program in recent years, but often we're focused on isis, on russia, not in the same way we are north korea. >> i will tell you we are very focused on north korea and i think the talk about and there are things we don't talk about but we are very focused on north korea. >> tony? >> bloomberg news. among the trump comments lately
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was implications that the revolving door on washington has led to some of the out-of-control cost of the f-35, his words. does he have a point in terms of the revolving door? are postemployment regulation stuff enough from where you sit? he did say last week in a speech he wanted to impose lifetime ban on those who issued the major contracts and even the smaller contracts. what is your view on that? >> my view is the totality of the restrictions that are placed on people coming into government, serving these high-level positions, are pretty strong. i've lived this so i mean, when i came into government out of industry i had to do best stock, i had to make all sorts of declarations. -- divest stock. you make your whole life public. i think it's not an overstatement to say people who are coming into these senior
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cabinet level or even subcabinet level jobs have much stronger legal requirements upon them than the president has upon him, if you see what i mean. i think they are pretty strong. i haven't seen his proposal exactly. there are already lifetime bans on people that that particular matters, worked on particular matters. what i understand of it is it's quite strong but obviously he will have the opportunity to do his own review of that spirit you are talking coming into the government. postemployment also. >> right. so the postemployment, there already is a lifetime ban for certain individuals who have worked and it's a definition in the law called a particular matter. so that's already a lifetime ban. for me, for example, i will have a two-year ban on being able to represent back for a company to the government, a two-year ban
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on that. i'm not a procurement official. obviously there are people who are procurement officials and/or others who are policy overseers and whatnot, so that the rules are different for different types of people. what i'm saying is the totality of all this is quite strong. the proof is if you look at the number of positions that people from industry actually occupy, it's not as high as perhaps you would like. because they are that stringent to come in and you know when you come in what the restrictions will be on the way out. >> the woman in the blue in the back. >> courtney was inside the air force. i just want to go back with quick to comments about some recent i guess cost successes on f-35 over the last several years. for the contract there was a unilateral contract action that was utilized and i just wonder
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are we going to see more of that do you think as way to reduce the cost? if so what concerns do you have about what that says to industry? >> well, i think the unilateral action came as a result of what had become a very, very prolonged period of negotiation and it was a feeling weather just wasn't going to be any more progress to be made. so the unilateral action was imposed. back to this question of are we being sufficiently good stewards of the taxpayer money, there is with the gpo has a choice to make with the contracting officer who was charged with making this decision. the choice was do we continue to negotiate, d given to perhaps what would've been a higher cost to the taxpayer in order to conclude negotiations? at the end of the day this contracting official decided to impose a unilateral solution. so that's a fairly unusual thing.
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thing. it's not done all that much. so i wouldn't say that it might be more less in the future. i think it really depends, and it was the unique set of circumstances in this particular case and the length of the negotiation, and the belief that there just wasn't going to be any more progress made. >> we are going to go to the third row here. >> thank you. federal commuter with their jamaican or in your remarks cyber being one of the key domains for the air force at this point and, obviously, part of the whole partnership concern. can you talk about working stand with the air force cyber campaign plan at this point, which is supposed to be doing with everything from workforce to hardening systems to interoperability, things like that? and is of this plan something that is established enough that it's going to likely survive transition?
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and so would be the concerns that you would highlight going forward for cyber in terms of immediate priorities to deal with? >> i think we've made very good progress in terms of the common security environment, for networks and the protection of networks for the air force, and really i am think across the military in recent years. there's been a lot of strides there. we are now as you point out, we are shifting to the other part of the equation, which is the cyber protection of many of our weapon systems. nowadays think about it. even legacy system that were built years and years ago before software was a key component, those have all been upgraded. so even the old systems depend heavily on cyber and certainly the new systems very, very heavily on software. that is what we to take great care. we have laid in additional monies for red teams and ways of
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testing and making sure that there are no vulnerabilities. if there are, we hop on a common address it right off the bat. so this is going to be an ongoing situation. because cyber is continually changing and adversaries and people who are attempting to break in our very clever and they can change their tactics, techniques. new tools become available. this is something we'll have to remain vigilant on for probably decades to,. >> mamaybe the gentleman with te glasses right there. >> thank you. i'm retired army. you mentioned very briefly a fighter pilot shortage shortaged like you to elaborate on that a little bit. what is the cause, what are you doing to increase the recruitment of fighter pilots and what do the trendlines look like? >> first of all we are
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monitoring all of our pilot ranks and we are monitoring with concern. we have current shortages in the most important one or the one that is most worrisome at present is the fighter pilot, but we're watching the other pilot categories as well. so what's going on? there's a number of factors at play here number one, the the airlines are once again hiring. airline hiring is quite cyclical but we're up against again whether the an upward trend in hiring and, of course, what better pilots for them to hire and the trained pilots of the u.s. military, particularly the air force but not the air force exclusively. so that's one factor. another factor is, and, of course, when you go to the airlines you actually take a pay cut as i understand it for a year or two, but after about two years you make it up and then you begin to make more than what we currently can pay. but that it's more stability schedule, more family time, but
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perhaps less interesting work. so there becomes the trade-off for our pilot. so the airline hiring is one important thing. another thing that is driving our pilots to leave us is just the pace of operations, and family separation and family concerns and the stresses that come with that. so the old saying you recruit an individual but you retain a family is really true. after 25 years of near constant combat operations, this is taking its toll on some of our families. so that's another thing. the third thing is we haven't ramped up the production of pilots. we have retention issues but then we also need to ramp up the production of pilots we need to take steps to do that, produced or pilots, that will help the shortage situation. and finally there's a factor we know from exit surveys that pilots and others who leave us for that matter are, they get discouraged by additional
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duties. duties. so pilots love to fly and maintain his love to maintain but they don't like to do like -- lots of extra paperwork and duties that are not inspiring to themthem, i'll say. so anyway what are we doing about it. we have asked for an increase in bonus authority to help stem the tide going to the civilian airlines, a lease for the event as a draw. we did make some progress with congress, not as much as we would've liked but we are getting an increase bonus authority. we have attacked the additional duties and some of these additional training that are dissatisfied or more to follow on that but we've taken a good first whack at it that that's a technical term by the way, shellac. and more to follow on that. the third thing is we will be setting up some new training unit so that we produce or pilots from the get-go so we're going to announce over the next few months a couple of locations where we will have more training of more pilots.
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that's another element. so there's a variety of factors at play. and one last thing, very important. when the pilots and the units come home we need to manage their time at home station better. so what has happened is sometimes pilots and units will come home from a deployment overseas, they will be home for two days and then we will send them off to you why for three weeks to do something. that's not so good. you have to manage the types of people have time at home. so how to manage that differently and not a medially sent them on a tdy or some other location. that goes to the quality of the family experience spirit we have time for just a couple more questions. they vary back row and then maybe we should take a couple. i think we can take three questions and you can enter them altogether. the gentleman right there, and then right there in the second to the last row. >> u.s. news and world report.
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last week the u.s. -- the chinese navy picked up a u.s. under watertown. the conventional thinking is that was an unprecedented act and in direct response to some of mr. trumps, it's about china to more specifically his phone call with the taiwanese president. i'd be interested to act, does not comport with your understanding without the chinese note operates? what do you think this says about the reality of the rhetoric transitioning into direct action when it comes to military events? >> the gentleman right there in the checkered shirt. >> got with federal news radio. you have changed a number of personnel things which you mentioned just recently about cutting additional duties, cutting down some training time. that's an order to hire better people.
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do you see its emergency to get those people coming in to the next administration? and contending that kind of work. >> and then the gentleman in the uniform right there. >> thank you. german air attaché. madam secretary, you elaborate on the f-35 transferring the air war to come. you spend together with the f a 35 nations an awful lot of work and fourth or fifth generation air life integration. my question, how can we make sure that nations that do not procure the f-35 but pitching quite good capabilities in the first and maybe even on the third-generation part are still part of the air war two? so how can we handle this integration also on the non-f-35 nation? >> three questions in the three minutes. >> all right.
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the chinese drone. i think it was unprecedented. i don't know of another situation quite like this. does it comport with what i understand the chinese government operates? what i understand about the chinese is the act upon orders. they do not soar to make stuff up at the lowest level on their own. so that sounds like maybe i was a coordinated action from the top but, of course, i don't know. i'm speculating but that's based on my understanding of the way chinese personnel are trained in their armed forces. and what is it in response to something that mr. thomas said rex i just have literally no idea. it might have just been an opportunity to send a signal of some sort. i will say this drone was operated by the military sealift command, but not exactly a front and fighting part of the force.
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it is about six feet long, so it is pretty small, and it travels just under the water so you can see it when you are above the water, and it was doing scientific types of collections like the degree of salt in the water and things of this nature. so it was not a surveillance drone. my understanding of it, and i further understand that we are hopeful it will be returned within the next couple of days. i believe the second question release i vote down the landing keep that in the pentagon, are they as focused as we've been focused on some of the people issues, like additional duties and during the force? and the answer is i believe so. certainly we have hit those things strongly with them, particularly the growing of the force. and we did set up an ongoing body that is going to be continually reviewing matters like the additional duties. and that is a body that will be
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chaired by military and civil servants, people who will remain. so it is certainly my hope that that focus will continue because it is very important. as i said i know it from my travels. we know it from her exit interviews. and then lastly, how to ensure that the non-f-35 nations are still very much a part of any future air campaign. i think the key is crucial to keep training together, keep having these exchange programs that we have. the more that we work together, that will facilitate any future operations. certainly it will facilitate any future combat operation. and let's remember that it's going to be many, many years before the u.s. has a fleet that no longer has fourth-generation aircraft in it. so we ourselves had to make sure that we can interoperate, and we want to continue to make sure that we can be interoperable
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with countries around the world who have fourth-generation and other capabilities that are not quite the f-35. >> i want to thin thank secretay james are being here in a very informative session, and best of luck. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> tonight on "the
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communicators" spirit if we had to strike to regulation to do so which can be done, we have a lot of regulations that can go, we would have a much more effectie and efficient agency and more opportunity for providers to serve consumers spirit michael o'reilly, fcc commissioner talks about how the sec may change under the trump administration. spirit there's a lot of concern about cybersecurity and has been for a while and it's getting a particular matter of attention right now with what happens in the last few months during the campaign. does the fcc have a role in that and was is it? >> i think it's a very important mission one congress have been very aggressive on in trying to find the right solutions. i think other agencies are as well doing so. the fcc's role is rather limited by the statute that governs us, thank you medications act of 1934. while i do believe the government has a role to monitor
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and potentially provide additional fixes in this space, they are not authorized for the law for us to do it. >> watch tonight at the eastern on c-span2. >> tonight on c-span2 we will have the booktv in prime time with a look at the nonfiction finalists for the 2016 national book award. >> former secretaries of state henry kissinger and madeleine albright sat down to discuss the u.s.-china relationship and how it might change when donald trump becomes president. the national committee on u.s.-china relations hosted the conversation to market organizations 50th
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anniversary. >> if anybody didn't hear that introduction, i'm stephen orlins, present of the national committee on u.s.-china relations, and it's a pleasure to welcome you all to our fourth leaders speak, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the national committee on u.s.-china relations. for 50 years, at the national committee we have been educating americans about china, and chinese about america. from ping pong diplomacy to today, we have sought to strengthen the bilateral relationship by fostering exchanges and informed discussions this year we have gathered secretaries of defense, secretaries of commerce and u.s.
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trade representatives, as well as national security advisers. next you we will gather u.s. treasury secretaries, pay, commanders, and finally we will hold a similar program like we're doing tonight in china where i will interview chinese leaders, many of whom are alumni of our programs. today, i'm truly honored, it's one of the great honors of my life to be joined by two former secretaries of state, both are living legends for what they accomplished during their 10 years. dr. kissinger was national ticket advisor and second estate in the nixon and ford administrations, and was instrumental in the reestablishment of relations with china. he has spent 45 years helping leaders on both sides navigate
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this important bilateral relationship. we especially appreciate your being here today, because on friday we all saw you on television was pregnant she jumping and we know you have to be slightly -- we also know you're easily visited trump tower. we hope to hear more about that. [laughter] spirit the national committee has been fortunate to have you served on our board of directors now for more than 12 years. today, is the 20th anniversary of secretary albright nomination to be secretary of state under president clinton. having served four years -- [applause] >> having served four years as u.s. ambassador to the u.n., she became the first woman to serve as secretary of state, and at that time the highest ranking
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woman ever in the united states government. a heroine to my three daughters, secretary albright played a leading role in the negotiation for china's succession to the debbie to, represented the united states in 1997 transfer of sovereignty over hong kong we have been fortunate to have secretary albright serve on the board of directors on the national committee for seven years. before beginning i want to thank our sponsors, the china center, new york, mastercard, for funding this program. i'd like to especially thank the china center for providing this incredible venue. for those not with us in person today, who are watching on the internet or on television, this morning in new york was overcast and drizzling. we worried we wouldn't have this
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spectacular view. but the day turned into a bright blue, sunny day. and we watched this incredible sunset. and my hope, as corny as it may sound, was that with u.s.-china relations in the future, may be cloudy but it is going to clear up and be bright and sunny in the coming years. [applause] >> last but certainly not least i want to thank both secretary kissinger and secretary albright for joining us today. you have both contributed to world peace in ways to numerous to enumerate. if i started to list all your accomplishments, we wouldn't have time for any questions. so i should thank you for being here, and maybe start with the question for secretary kissinger. >> can i just interrupt? >> yes, you may. >> how happy i am to be here with you and my good friend, henry kissinger.
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you mentioned today was a 20th anniversary. dr. kissinger was the first person to call me when i was named secretary of state, and he said, madeleine, congratulations, you will do great in the job at just taken away my one unique characteristic, of being an immigrant secretary of state. and i said no, henry, i, i don't have an accent. [laughter] [applause] spirit so we will go back even further than that, to 1971. and there had been no contact at the point between the united states and china for 22 years. what kind of made you go to china? what did you seek to accomplish, and what lessons from that visit can we apply to today's u.s.-china relationship? i know you would write a book on that. you probably have written a
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book, you have have written a book on this but we will try to keep this to five minutes. >> first, let me say that madeleine and i go in different parties, have been close friends, and have never looked at policies as partisan policies. one of the strong elements of u.s.-china relations is that a success of american presidents and chinese leaders have followed a fundamentally similar course. that is a great achievement. now, in 1971 1971, well, what me go of course was president nixon asked me to go. but we had entered office with the attitude that we would want
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to improve relations with china, specifically that we would try to bring china into the international system. because the thing of it, international order without china, was a contradiction of history. but each country had its own set of problems. we had to be -- china had of the cultural revolution, so it was, took a while to establish contact, took about three years to establish contact in very complicated ways. one of the major decisions that were made was that there were constant clashes between the chinese and the soviets, and the
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chinese -- and we looked at the map and we came to the conclusion that russia probably was the attacker in most of these circumstances. and so we had the problem of deciding, if these two countries get into conflict, where should the united states be? and very early, even before we had been in china, we decided that it was not in the american interest for china to be treated in such a conflict. so out of this group a series of moves, which culminated in 1971 in my visit to china.
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and in my first meeting with the prime minister, i was reading aa statement to him and i said, so now here we are in this, to us, mysterious country. and he put up his hand and he said that i interrupt you for a moment? what is so mysterious about china cracks and i said something, i forget what it was, and he said think about it. there are 800 million of us, and we are not mysterious to each other. so maybe the lesson was that we ought to learn of each other's thinking, and motivations. and i think this was an advice
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that it was important to take and which is still valid today. >> that more understanding, und, understanding their motivations and their understanding hours. >> i think the chinese culture background is different from ours. and, therefore, the way it is important to understand the way china looks at problems. >> secretary albright, similar question. obviously yo you are secretary f state just as china was joining the wto. talk about the relationship at that time and kind of what lessons you learned from that experience that are applicable today. >> i also, let me just say, i was in the carter administration working for dr. brzezinski and the nationa national security c, so i wasn't there for the normalization. and watched what had, in fact,
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been a very organized way to follow up on what dr. kissinger had done, and proceed with normalizing the relationship. and i was sitting outside the situation room and constantly seeing different people going in, and then all of a sudden this wonderful moment came where the normalization and deng xiaoping coming to the united states. i think that what was a very important wise we were determined to kind of pursue this story of bringing china into the system. i think i was a very important part. when i was at the united nations, i sat there with my chinese counterpart. part of the issue was that we could never get the chinese to participate in discussions and less to do something do with interference and internal affairs. so you see the same people all the time.
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we got to be very good friends pics i finally gave him a little blue ball so he could practice getting strong and putting his hand up in order to be part of the discussion. and then i establish a very good relationship with the foreign minister in terms of talking about more than just our talking points always. wanted to have a strategic discussion. so i do think that one of the issues that was so important was how to bring china into a normal trading relationship. the clinton administration had worked very hard on that by having permanent pdr pdr, really because whatever we were doing the renewal of the mfn was basically pull it up the plan to see if it was growing. and a great source of irritation. irritation. so the first step was to do it and bring them into a normal system.
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and then ringing them into the debbie tl was part of really this idea of putting it into the international system. one, we thought it was fair. and two, frankly, it made it possible for some of the rules of trade to be in force internationally. not just in a bilateral way. so i think it's all part of the same story of trying to make sure that china was respected and was a part of a functioning international system. and that i think certainly was the view that president carter had, president clinton had, president obama has had. and i think it is something that we have to consider, that they are the number two economy and they need to be part of a functioning international system. >> did it work? did china's secession to the wto work for america? >> i think mostly, though there are questions i think.
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partially the thing that our always has interesting about china -- by the way way, any ofs who follow dell together, we know any diplomat has a set of phrases that we have. the chinese do. it's a consistent and persistent position. everything was a consistent and persistent position. but the bottom line is that i think that there were times that there were issues. they also want to be seen as the world largest developing country. it's a little hard to be the number two economy in the world and still talk about being the largest developing country. so those of an element of the arguments. and then there been specific cases obviously. >> dr. kissinger, do you think succession to the wto by china worked for america? >> yes, i do.
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i think the fundamental issue has been to see whether china and the united states could pursue parallel objectives. it was never going to happen that we would have identical views on all issues. the problem has been whether we could achieve parallel objectives. are there situations in which the chinese had got the better of some negotiation? undoubtedly. and it may even equally be true the other way. but having china as part of the international economic system, it's better than having a trade
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war between the united states and china. within that general proposition, i would hope that improvements can be found, and improvement should be found. and maybe even systemic discussions could be held. but the fundamental objective, which was to treat china as a member of the international system was very crucial. when we first opened to china, chairman mao did not really want economic relations with any foreign country. in 1976, the trait between china and the united states was less than the trade between the united states and honduras. someone has to see this with the contrast of a rapidly expanding,
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almost exploding, economic relationship. there's room for improvement, but it was a good thing that these decisions were made. >> i will come back to that in a moment, but i think because because we are saving at one world trade, you know, where we are at the epicenter of the 9/11 tragedy, and i think we're actually today kind of celebrating the rebirth of this area, that we can come here and hold this event is i think terrific. what's the role of fighting terrorism in the u.s.-china relationship? what is it and what should it be? >> well, i think we clearly are threatened by terrorism in a number of different ways, and we have similar issues in terms of,
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that there are those who feel that there' their something abot we are doing that is wrong. what i think the role is, frankly, to share information. the question is that with more and more today, what is information and how is it gathered? but it do think that there are ways we can cooperate. and while we don't think of piracy so much as terrorism, there have been, has been cooperation on that. the chinese have been very helpful on that. they also have been very helpful in terms -- for me, the term terrorism is not how you deal with the end i had to prevent it in the first place. and i think that those are the issues that we can work on together, trying to figure what the roots of it are. and then also you may think this is kind of pushing it, but i think the fact that the chinese are not participants in u.n. peacekeeping operations also helps in terms of looking at areas, because we think, i think
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on the issue of stability generally. so i do think that there is help while the only problem problem,, is that we might define certain groups that we think are terrorists, they don't think so, people that they think are terrorists, we don't think so. but they are not the only country that we have some disagreement with on that. but i do think ultimately whatever the right word is, civilized countries of the world have to figure out how to share information and try to rid ourselves of it. >> dr. kissinger. >> various levels of terrorists. there are terrorist attacks within countries, and there are terrorist attacks that are based on an attack on the whole international system.
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now, the underlying tendency of terrorism has been to destroy the state system and to create a universal caliphate to which all believers within the subjected. that is, that has been the manifestation that we have been most exposed to. the chinese do not have the same sort of issues that we have had in some of the countries. although they are part of china where that issue has been very important. so we and china have at least two common objectives. one, prevent the spread of terrorists throughout the world,
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within various countries. and secondly, to try to create an international system which makes it more and more difficult for terrorists, particularly do we have a common interest in preventing terrorists from acquiring geographic territory so that they could link their activities with acting like sovereign states, it fits the isis problem is very important. that's why the evolution of some parts of afghanistan can be of great consequence for china. matalin mentioned the issue of
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dashing matalin mentioned the issue of terms in general objectives. we and china have parallel objectives. how to apply those in specific circumstances. that's a subject that has to be explored and discussed. i think there has perhaps been considerable progress made in recent years in those discussions. >> is there any evidence, and would it make any sense for china to work with north korea and iran to support isis? do we have any evidence that's the case? have you ever heard anything like this? >> what? >> that china working with north korea and iran to support isis? >> inconceivable to me. [laughter] >> that's what i thought also. >> and i don't believe there is
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the slightest evidence of this. >> i'm sorry? >> iran actually does not support isis. >> in the world of fake news, this is being, this is being talked about. the elephant in the room, secretary kissinger. what did president xi safety on friday? what message did you convey to him and what message did he convey to us next it's a secret only those of us in the room and those watching on tv will no. [laughter] >> a complete memo and i will read from it, but the security people took it from me. [laughter] when i came in. i obviously, my general view has been frequently published, the
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united states and china are the two countries whose tensions could spread around the whole world, whose conflicts would make many solutions very difficult and huge cooperation is needed for peace. so it is important for the united states and china to be transparent with each other about their objectives and about their general strategy. in the world. we are both major countries and we are both step on each other's toes, because of the magnitude of our efforts. but we must not let a situation arise like the one that led to the first world wa

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