tv Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction CSPAN March 26, 2018 10:35am-11:31am EDT
our website has resources for background in each case including the landmark cases companion book, link of national constitution center's interactive constitution and you can download the landmark cases podcast at c-span.org or from your podcast subscriber. >> now a a look at efforts to counter weapons of mass destruction in light of north korea's nuclear program. at this house armed services subcommittee hearing defense department officials testify on series continued use of chemical weapons against their people. and russia's recent involvement in a lethal nerve agent attack against a former spy living in the uk. this is just under one hour.
>> the subcommittee will come to order. thank you for your patience. welcome to today's hearing on the department defense policy and programs for counter weapons of mass destruction for fiscal year 2019. almost one year ago we met to discuss this same topic amidst news of syria's repeated use of chemical agents and north korea's advance that the nuclear weapons as well as their asymmetric use of nerve agent for political assassination. in the year between, , reports that service of north koreas biological weapons program and the regular transfer of chemical weapons technology to syria. we have seen russia's attended use of military grade nerve agent in support of their ongoing clinical assassination campaigns. needless to say, a lot has
happened in just a year. the pursuit and potential use of weapons of masss distraction consequencegh threat to our national security. thankfully we have not seen any used domestically, but we must not take this for granted. as the past years has shown, the use of wmd has in force of becoming more and more commonplace, low barriers and in some cases no barriers to entry should force us to continually review and evaluate our program, policies and activities designed to counter and mitigate these threats across the wmd spectrum from state and nonstate actors alike. from an adversarial standpoint i am particularly concerned about advancements being made in the areas of synthetic technology and biotechnology. china and russia pursued gene editing and unique approaches to buy a technology that should give us all tremendous boss. with respect and nonstate threats some analysts say the potential for single undetected terrorist group to develop and
deploy first scene engineered pathogens has never been higher. as the subcommittee has discussed before, synthetic biology and gene editing when combined with computing and access to large-scale genetic data sets has the potential to redefine biological threats as we know them today. with all of this in mind we can understand importance of today's hearing. we have before us for distinguish witnesses. my left mr. ken rapuano us it's a secretary of defense romance offense in global security, mr. guy roberts, assistant secretary for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs. mr. vayl oxford director of the defense threat reduction agency, and lieutenant general joseph osterman deputy commander you special operations command. i would now like to take a month to recognize ranking member for his opening remarks. >> thank you, chairmanan to phoc and thanks for witnesses for being here. to provide testimony on policy programs and preparedness for
and counting weapons of mass is such a fiscal year 2019 considering wmd. in 2014 the department released its strategy for cwnd which outline three in states. that none actors possessed wmd, that there be no wmd use and that should wmdmd be used that e be a minimum donation of their effects with associated objectives and lines of evidence the strategy note that fiscal year, fiscal constraints who are dod make strategic choices and accept some wrister however, increasingly boldy rogue actora technological advances are challenging the strategies the goal of ensuring that the u.s. and its allies and partners are not attacked or coerced by adversaries possessing wmd. for example, earlier this month we've witnessed a peacetime chemical weapons attack in the united kingdom and an assassination attempt on one of
russia's former military intelligence officers. this attack on one of our closest allies perpetrated by vladimir putin demands a strong and unequivocal response, which is why i introduced bipartisan house resolution 786 last week in condemnation of this attack in support of our allies. in syria,, pro-regime forces and isil consider the use of chemical weapons on civilian populations as advantageous to achieving tactical and strategie objectives. technological advancements especially in biotech as chairwoman stefanik hasec referd allow individuals with nefarious intentin or simply by chance to produce biological agents and a scope and scale not yet encountered. since the strategy was released, the department has taken some initial steps to strengthen cwnd efforts. in 2017 special operations command was designated as
according authority to cwnd. today we'll hear from lieutenant general osterman and deputy commander of socom about how the command is leveraging best practices from its traditional missions and the lessons learned in its role as ca for counting extremist for reinvigorating awareness planning and capacity incapable across the dod and interagency. the witnesses also include assistant secretary of defense ken rapuano, and guy roberts as well as director about oxford. together these individuals hold positions that comprise the bulk of assigned roles and responsibilities associateof wih aligning cwmd policy, , stretchg programs, executing cwmd programs and delivering current and future personal protective equipment and other cwmd capabilities to our war
fighters.r since the last thing week on ts topic the department has reorganizedun the split of the undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics into two entities and serves as both an opportunity and also potential areas of risk to cwmd efforts. there must continue to be coordination within all elements of the office a secretary of defense on this fronteg includig with the undersecretary of defense of research and engineering. there must also be continued focus and prioritization of cwmd by all those with assigned roles and responsibilities. in closing, there is much work to be done to strengthen the cwmd policy programs in preparedness picked this includes understanding 2014 synergy in the context of today's threat landscape, the budget request alignment, the current strategy and understand how dod strategy and in-state are consistent with the national
level strategy in whole of government efforts. with ottawa to think of witnesses again for appearing before us today. i look forward to your testimony, and with that i just back. >> just reminder to our members today and witnesses, immediately following this open and we will next door to a closed classified roundtable. thank thank you again for witnes for being here. assistant secretary rapp ten, we will start with you for your opening remarks. >> thank you, chairwoman stefanik, ranking member langevin and members of the subcommittee. i'm pleased to be here today to testify with three of my esteemed colleagues about the department of defense efforts to can weapons of mass destruction. the honorable guy roberts has been seconded to transfer nuclear nuclearar chemical defee and biological defense programs. deputy commander you specialie operations command and mr. vayl oxford the director of the defense threat reduction agency. the four of us, the joint staff, the combatant commands and other dod components were closer together to ensure the
department prioritizes its efforts and fully leverages the ods unique authorities, resources and capabilities to protect the nation. as this is a secretary of defense for homeland defense and global security i undersecretaries primary advisor on cwmd strategy and policies. the united states faces a range of complex multidimensional wmd challenges your chief among these are north korea's dangerous and provocative testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, the continued use of chemical weapons by the syrianby regime d isis, china's expansion of a strategic nuclear force, russia's recent provocative statements regarding nuclear strike capabilities, and the like responsible for the attempted assassination of a former russian spy in britain using highly lethal nerve agent. and technological advances lowering barriers to entry for a range of adversaries around the
world. weto maintain unique capabilitis to address these and other wmd threats and achieve the national defense charge objective to dissuade, prevent and deter adversaries from acquiring, proliferating or using weapons of mass destruction. we enable a more lethal and resilient force by degrading wmd threats, modernizing key cwmd capabilities, and ensuring the departments policies and plans comprehensively account for wmd threats. dod is strategic approach to the county wmd mission focuses on three lines of effort. preventing acquisition, containing and reducing threats, and when necessary responding to crises. dod seeks to prevent acquisition of wmd to the departments cooperative threat reduction program by working in over 30 countries to build capacity to
detect, secure or eliminate wmd and pathogens of security concern. in addition to prevent the transfer of wmd or dual use materials that department works closely with interagency partners to build particle fashion spread an understanding of international norms and obligations through the proliferation security initiative. to contain and reduce threats already developed the department maintains specialized plans and capabilities to isolate, identify, neutralize and dispose of wmd threats before they can reach our borders. dod also continues to support state department led efforts to work with international allies and partners told the assad regime accountable for using chemical weapons -- to hold -- and to ensure the president has all the options available to respond as necessary. the u.s. and our coalition partners continue exploit opportunities on the ground to
better understand and disrupt isis cw networks. ultimately, should deterrent our efforts to contain and reduce threats failed, and an adversary attacks us, the department of defense military priority isit o respond and prevent future attacks. dod safeguards the force and a church personnel and sustain effectiveof operations in contaminated environments to guarantee the dod's were fighting capabilities. using the unique section 333 authority granted last year, duty and proves partnerships and alliances by training and equipping partner nations to conduct cwmd operations. dod has a wide range of domestic response elements and continues it trains in exercises to deploy these capabilities which can be used to support civil authority of safe and sustain lives in the aftermath of a domestic incident.
the complexity of this mission requires a whole of government approach and strong hint of effort. in alignment with the secretaries prioritization of defense reform, we cooperate closely with other u.s. departments and agencies and her allies and partners. we rigorouslyit prioritize the application of our roles responsibilities and capabilities to focus on countering the most operationally significant wmd risks to achieve the most acute impacts from thehe nation. we are bringing together dod cwmd stakeholders to ensure a common prioritization of threats and objectives. as wmd related challenges continue to emerge your continued support for the department and efforts described today are critical to our ability tod understand, anticipate, and mitigate these threats. >> thankti you. we'll have to take the rest for the record. time has expired. assistant secretary roberts, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you chairwoman
stefanik, ranking member langevin, and distinguished members of the subcommittee. i appreciate this opportunity to testify on the department's efforts to counter threats posed by weapons of mass destruction and in the instant of time i provide a written statement for the record. simply aim to highlight a few key aspects about the organization uncharged to lead. the challenges our forces face and what the department is doing to address them. as the assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical, and biologicalns defense progras i'm responsible advising the secretary of defense nuclear weapons, nuclear energy and chemical and biological defense matters. on behalf ofeh the undersecretay of defense for acquisition and sustainment, our office also oversees the modernization of our nuclear forces and the of the departments keep those to counter weapons of mass destruction threats. we are comprised of a workforce that includes the office of nuclear matters, chemical and biologicalde defense programs ad threat reduction and arms control as well as the defense
agency. together we ensure our nuclear deterrent safe secure and effective if we take proactive steps to reduce and eliminate known wmd threats and we develop capabilities to protect the locality of our forces against the nude of threats they may face should deterrence fail. state efforts to modernize, develop are required to be to be in the in the delivery systems constitute a major threat to the security of the united states, are deployed troops and allies. in recent years both state and nonstate actors and use chemical weapons against civilians such as in iraq and syria by isis in the assad regime. further, russia's recent report use of the military great nerve agent in the uk constitutes the first offensive use of a a nere agent in europe since world war ii. biological and chemical materials and technologies almost always dual use move easily in the globalized economy as do personal with the scientific expertise to design and use them. both legitimate and illegitimato
purposes. we are beginning to grasp the implications of accelerating diffusion of these technologies and materials. perhaps we'll specifically china and russia are et cetera in the modernization and expansion of the nuclear forces among other things in an effort to reduce the influence of the united states, gain veto authority over other nations, economic, diplomatic and security decisions and ultimately shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model to gain advantage. our top objective is in line with the national defense strategy is to dissuade, prevent or deter state adversaries and violent extremist organizations from acquiring proliferating or using the bmd. our nuclear forces make essential contributions to the deterrence of nuclear and nonnuclear aggression as well as nonproliferation. i hope you are forces not only deter a nuclear attack of any scale but by extending nuclear guarantees to our allies we lessened their incentive to develop nuclear weapons on their own. r thereby supporting u.s.
nonproliferation goals. w 90 threat reduction programs like you to buy -- and you do reduce the threat of wmd around the world by detecting and preventing wmd proliferation and consolidating, secretly eliminating dangerous pathogens and materials of concern. to counter current and emerging threats those enabled by synthetic biology and nontraditional agents the chemical biological defense program is developing protective equipment and detection systems for our war fighters as with wes developing new strategies to anticipate prepare and respond to chemical dialogical radiological and nuclear threats. especially in the area of medical countermeasures. consistent with the u.s. commitment center we are diligently continue our work to safely eliminate the remaining justst chemical weapons stockpie located in colorado kentucky. this investment highlights the u.s. commitment and a force of strengthening international norms against for the thracian and use of chemical weapons.
wmd threats continue to pose a clear and present danger to our way of life for our adversaries person because they believe doing so will give them significant leverage our job is to reduce and eliminate any advantage they may seek to gain by either making the threats or convincing them of our ability and will to impose cost to allow any benefits they may receive to gain by using wmd. given our prosperity and global stability are at stake imports of modernizing our nuclear deterrent cannot be overstated nor the value of our investment in developing protective equipment and medical countermeasures for forces who are the legal backstop in our diplomacy. your leadership and oversight on these issues as well as the authorities and resources you provide us to perform these responsible on behalf of our nation are vital to our collective success. so thank you again for this opportunity to testify at a look for it to questions. >> thank you. mr. oxford. >> good morning, chairwoman stefanik, ranking member
langevin, members of the committee it's an honorit to appear before you today to address the progress and direction. it's a privilege to appear with my colleagues at the table. i'm proud to represent the 2200 federal-state and military members we count on everyday. our nation states with the most complex global threat environment we've ever faced in our history and our mission within to combat weapons of mass distraction and provide threats and to ensure a safe and nuclear effective nuclear deterrent is at the nexus of our country's response to this threat as outlined in a national security strategy, the national defense strategy in the nuclear posture review. as an agency must adapt to be more agile to meet our mission come obligations within the context of this threat environment. on this date can much of sworn in as the director of the agency and set for priorities. restore our focus on combat support them strengthen and expand our interagency and
international partnerships and develop capabilities to address gaps emanations the building to prevent proliferation, deter its use and defeat threats if necessary. finally and most important i empowered by his leadership and staff to meet their obligations within these nation responsibilities. after taking office and met with secretary mattis and to emphasize the need for us to restore our focus on combat support. my first priority was to establish a strong relationship with u.s. special operations command and both the courtney affordable and as a a combat support agency responsible for these threats address -- addressing the threats. we collectively et cetera the progress against this threat across dod with her in agency partners o and the international communities and we are not bound by geographical distinction so we can look across the seams and gaps to address those gaps
accordingly. dtra has made strides in shifting its focus to ensure alignment with strategic direction and to this time we solicited and received operational needs for many of our combatant commanders. with established operationally specific theater support teams to accelerate progress to counter russian, iran and north korea threats. we've extended our outreach to interagency at international community to after the address of networks. in summary we've accomplished a lot much remains to be done. i look forward to keeping congress informed of our progress. happy to answer any questions you may have. thank you. >> thank you. lieutenant general ulsterman. >> good morning, chairwoman stuff on it, ranking member langevin that opportunity to address you t today. it's an honorub to be a today.
our close partner and the defense threat reduction agency with whom our efforts are embedded and with whom we work on a daily basis. two months ago general thomas testified to the house armed services committee emerging threats and capabilities ssubcommittee. during that address he discussed you special operations command responsibilities and our new rome with deities according to authority for countering weapons of mass destruction. i'm proud to say we've made tremendous strides in and enhag the counter wmd community of action. we've heighten the operational coordination within and between entitiesth and develop a center dedicated to coordinate information flow and executing planning efforts thus furthering our initial goals. the role of courtney authority broadens our scope of responsibility from traditional soft specific roles to a more strategic view of overall planning of duty countering wds efforts in support of other
combatant commands.er department priorities that has directed of the u.s. government agencies. we were proud to be part of that mission. in the time since transfer trat counted the bmd coordinating authority responsibility from u.s. strategic command we focus on developing a campaign plan in coordination with the geographic combatant commands that emphasizes active prevention of new wmd development in preclusion of aspiring actress from attaining wmd. we have contacted a baseline assessment to determine geographic combatant command capacity and capability shortfalls in order to establish mitigation plans. lastly, we have built a fusion center which provides a nexus forhe active planning, intelligence integration and assessment ofgr progress. continue to work still remains as we finalize and continue to revise anti active campaign pla. this will be accomplished by expanding and refreshing efforts to assess and understand the evolving operating environment
and regular measure our capabilities meant to these assessment. the reality is that the counter wmd nation is highly dynamic and constantly evolving requiring unity of effort and constant vigilance. we look forward to continued close work with osd as well as the joint staff, dtra and the rest of the counter wmd community. the foundation of expertise they provide and the value they place on collaboration is integral to national success in countering wmd. thank you again for the opportunity to address the committee this morning and look forward to your questions. >> thank you to our witnesses for your opening statements. my first question will focus on innovation. as a reference emmettt opening statement we've seen rapid advancements in synthetic biology, gene editing and biotechnology. how is the cwmd mission leveraging these advances in technology. i like too start with secretary rapuano for the policy peace and
recognize mr. oxford at dtra for your piece of how we're tackling this. >> congresswoman, thank you for that question. as you are well aware advanced development biotechnology, genetic engineering, other capabilities such as artificial intelligence very much present double-edged swords when it comes to how we look at how threat actors and want one of e threat actors can leverage the knowledge and the ability of these capabilities to develop certain types of threats, particularly in the bio realm in terms of when you look at the degree of dual use allergy of the skills and technologies but as well as the advanced information or artificial intelligence sequencing. .. areas, and i know my colleagues, in particular mr. oxford and mr.
roberts, tends >> basis of the details. thank you. mr. oxford. >> thank you. i think it thank you. i think it's important to understand what he said and what's good and bad about all these technologies we talked about. i believe we are being outpaced on ai and we have strong indications from the secretary that we need to up our game in machine learning and ai. we are working closely with the guidance we get from mr. robert's office on bio. h we have been part of a community looking at the pros and cons of the technology. there are very positive things that could come out of that. at the same time there are nefarious ways we need to address it. there is a lot of generalized fear and uncertainty in terms
of where the good and bad are. we need to get the top ten things we really think is the best use and tackle that. >> given the importance of s and t efforts, do you think are budget is adequate for s and t? >> the most important element protectudget is ability for us. the one thing i would ask is ensuring that we get our 19 budget and therefore we can plan and operate based on a known set of resources which will then prioritize. avidly, in the recent budget, the department has more resources than we've had in quite some time and i'm confident we will be able to focus them on the priorities as we just laid out. >> shifting gears, this
question is for you, the work of the cooperative threat reduction program has evolved significantly since it began. can you talk specifically about how this program can be used to address current and future threats? >> absolutely. it has evolved considerably since the initial focus on former soviet union states and wmd capabilities that were legacy from the soviet union. as we look toward the future and this is something that mr. oxford can go into in great detail, we are really looking at left of boom. the focus of our efforts is working with and developing new partnerships with nations to help inform to counter wmd as well as the technology and know-how that can lead to new capabilities. >> thank you. i wanted to give mr. roberts an opportunity to answer my previous question on the policy side.
>> i support the budget and i think it is adequate. >> mr. oxford, did you want to comment on the threat reduction in terms of the left of boom moving toward that direction as we modernize. >> thank you for that. on the ctr program, one of the first things i struggle to do was get with the commanders and find out what they thought the best programs we could operate in that in consultation with the planning guidance office for ctr's work to collaborative collaboratively make sure we are getting the best bang for the buck. >> thank you. the chemical weapons attack provides a tragic test case of sorts for 2014 strategy.
how are policies developed with respect to the strategic line of effort and to cooperate with and support partners foundational activity and dictate the departments response. what specific activities is the department engaging in to assisthe our allies and how are they working with interagency to reduce incentives by responding to russian aggression? >> i will take the first shot at that. think of the question. we are, as a whole of government, working very closely with the uk as well as other partners and allies developing a response to this event as you may be tracking the advanced forensics, it's currently being conducted byin the uk, that said, it appears highly likely with the information at hand that the russians are responsible for
the use of an advanced chemical agent against this individual. as you know, we need to develop an approach that imposes high-cost on this type of behavior in order to deter future types of behavior from the russians or others. paid if i could add to that, i was privileged to be at the commission for chemical weapons in which several nations had come up and it was uniformly condemnation of russia for what happened and both the eu and nato organizations made statements about affect and as far as the support that the u.s. provided , we made it very clear we were willing to help them in any waye we could as far as trying to track down and
chemically analyze what was happening. there was a lot of supportse overseas for the efforts that we were undertaking. >> thank you. >> i wish the president was more vocal on this front as well. as i mentioned in the opening statement, the department of defense reorganization provides opportunity and potential risk including policies, plans and programs across the department. historically see wmd has been treated as specialized issue with somewhat segregated policies. the secretary, can you please describe how the office of acquisition and sustainment and the under secretary for policy will require coronation to establish policies and coronation to support goals and enforce preparedness. >> thank you congressman. i'll take the first shot at that policy piece of the
equation. as i noted in my opening remarks, i am the lead for the development of strategy and policy on see wmd for the secretary, and as you know, there are many other critical functions within the department including a-t and dell that are necessary and critical to supporting our efforts. the secretary has made very clear that we have got to achieve a higher unity of effort in terms of how the threat has been increased and the myriad capabilities and functions within the department. we have engaged from the get-go, really since i came into my position, working with mr. roberts as well as so come in the grenadian authority on how we are prioritizing and focusing and synthesizing our efforts to make sure we are getting at the most significant threats in the most effective manner possible. >> i concern the echo what he
said. combating policy and capability development requires our offices according very closely and i'm happy to report to today that i think our cooperation and coordination is outstanding. my office serves as the principal point of contact in the office of undersecretary for acquisition sustainment, for the issues and we develop policies and provide advice and make recommendations among other things. the crn, medical and nonmedical defense, safety and security. [inaudible]
i think that relationship will grow stronger over time as we continue to look to other agencies within dod that also have a role to play in this area. thank you. >> thank you. i will have additional questions in the second round. thank you for your testimony. >> missed cheney. >> thank you very much to all of our witnesses for being here today. lieutenant general, my question is for you. in your testimony, you talked about the need for exquisite access and you began to discuss the extent to which we are trying to get information very difficult and challenging areas. some of the most difficult in which we operate in the most opaque, could you, to the extent that you can in open setting, talk about why you think what we are doing is going to be more effective in that regard, in particular in
areas connected to nonproliferation. i understand there's other responsibilities and other offices for that, but as you look at things like the north korea threat, and i'm not talking about whether or not we have to take military action, but looking at nonproliferation issues, how you feel we are in a better position today to ensure we actually know what's happening with those nuclear materials and others. >> thank you for the question.ue i think fundamental to that, we are tied very closely to the national defense strategy. the clear articulation in terms of privatization and how our national defense strategy is constructed has been a great utility for us in that regard. in terms of the assets, mostly as you refer to the capabilities regarding intelligence apparatus to have the intelligence we need to conduct missions in planning
and tactical context. i would say i do believe there has been a significant change with the emphasis in those hard problems that and. competitor range that allow us to open up that planning beyond the toner mission we had focused on with our previous mission sets and open that aperture to allow us to look at some of the harder ones. it will allow a whole government approach and continue with our interagency approach to achieve that. >> you also talked about in a precrisis scenario, the extent to which other agencies have responsibilities. could you define what would constitute crisis? how would we determine that you all have been caring the responsibility and it's shifted from other agencies.
>> congressman, i guess i would define that as precrisis being short of conflict, active in open conflict which is where as the department of defense, and i really refer this more toward the policy folks but it's where we would, dod would then look to take on primacy rather than a supporting effort. our counter effort is a court needing authority to help orchestrate department of defense activities in the precrisis phase to support the other interagency and intelligence community organizations associated with looking at theza problems that and working with it from a deterrence perspective. that shift being once it crosses the line into active and open conflict. >> thank you. i will have additional questions and i will yield back. >> thank you.
mr. oxford, we will again have a question about the turnaround time they have when you get a request and you prototype and develop and produce. are you using a separate process outside acquisition or not and is there anything you need to change or we need to consider changing within this process that you used to increase the turnaround or short not turnaround time. >> thank you for the question. clearly it depends on the complexity of the problem we've been asked to resolve we can talk about this more in the closed session. we get a quick operational requirement and we been known to turn back in 12 days. that's to provide limited numbers of capabilities but in many cases we are looking at that two or three year time period. we have a lot of requirements
from undersecretary to make sure we are looking at every contracting vehicle possible as opposed to what had become the traditional contracting vehicles people have used so we are setting up and innovation office within the agency to look at various levels of complexity of the problem and what the appropriate contracting vehicle is to get after that problem. the turn cycle will be predicated and the vehicle we can used to do that. as an agency, we became too traditionale with our contracting and we are opening the lens to this innovation d,board, bringing in new officers to look at the problem in a more holistic way. >> we are going to go out and hire new people. the undersecretary told us to make sure all of our officers are trained.
we have people who are using ota's at this point in time but it will be a bigger part of our future as we look at consortiums i have been established elsewhere to make use of what they already have in place. >> you said you could cover some of those in closed sessions as well? >> yes. >> it's about the initiative, would that be a question for you? is a psi still helping to prevent proliferation or other he changes their pursuing toon it were improve upon any i changes you think are necessary. >> absolutely it is. really, driving purpose is to shape the environment in terms of partners allies, the
international community with regard to the importance. obviously very active in that process inilding supporting the maximum pressure campaign. >> are our partners still willing to utilize their own, are you hearing any reluctance from partners to utilize their own laws or rules in order to implement psi. >> the actual coordination of activities really falls into categories beyond psi. it's more about the engagement, the education of the consensusbuilding, but in termsui of actions, those are handled in a variety of different ways they can speak to a new detail.
>> this might be for mr. oxford as well. but there appears to be some overlap in our capabilities of measures and manufacturing capabilities. is it necessarily have countermeasures. >> there's always interagency strife. we actually follow suit as a performer through mr. robert's office so they handle the hired private station of what we are tasked to do. >> if i could comment on that, we have a countermeasure platform in which we've established as the advanced development and manufacturing center in florida and this is a facility thatfl is contract
owns but we provided equipment that helps us in different circumstances rapidly develop vaccines for the war fighter. also, over agents that would not be normally profitable for big pharma or pharmaceuticals. this is a new innovative thing. it's up and running. it provides us a capability ithat isn't in the civilian community. >> time has expired. we will move to brown to of questionss. i want to direct first at so calm. given the increased threat of chemical and biological agents, what is our ability to operate in and through as contaminated environment? do we have equipment or readiness concerns? and when asked that question broadly a minute when asked that question specifically with the north korea threat.
>> we do have the ability to operate in the environments and we've continued and are enhancing training throughout dod in the sense of being able to operate in this environment giving the emergent and more prevalent threats than what we've had perhaps in the past. we've always had that capabilit capability. for b example, in the syria mission sets we've been able to respond to those veryy adequately with the proper protection, proper forces in order to be able to work with them from a dod perspective. some of the specifics associated with north korea, i the closedait for session and i will be prepared to answer them. >> thank you. again, more details in the closed session if we could, but i will say that after 17 years of counterterrorism fight, we are finding a lot of things we used to do with the big general-purpose force is under stress so as we look at a north korean or other
engagements against those threats that are identified in the national defense strategy, we need to rebalance the force and i think sector in mattersyo would say getting back to preparedness and modernization would be his top two priorities. >> thank you. mr. roberts. your office oversees the chemical denuclearization program. can you update us on how this work is progressing? we understand there have been some contract issues. >> yes. we have two facilities, one in pueblo colorado and another in bluegrass kentucky. our biggest challenge right now, the bluegrass facility is not up and running. it won't be until next year. the pueblo facility, there we have had some problems with the throughput, if you will, of the neutralization and hydraulic treatment process. as a result, we haven't actually been dismantling or
destroying the munitions since last august. we are hoping that facility would be up and running by july. as it stands right now, given all the other things that we are doing, working very closely with the contractor, we still believe we will be able to meet the december 31, 23 deadline. >> thank you. my last question is for mr. oxford which has to do with the rapid development and fielding. what have they learned from the rapid delivery capability? >> think the biggest issue is that they really understand the operational requirements and we created one of the imperatives within the agency when i took over and we call it a type of network and it gets to one of the questions that congress woman asked as well eliminating the entire network in identifying through intel analysis how to get the solution space and allow this
to more rapidly turn within some of the questions that mr. larson was a also asking to take the ability to taylor the response and identify commercial capabilities as to opposed to developing them within the department which has been the traditional approach but then having the adequate test and evaluation process tied to the problem as opposed. [inaudible] and that's too actually tailor it to the rapid response. based on the complexity and what they tell us the capability needs to be. >> tethank you. >> thank you madam chair. thank you to all of our witnesses. to follow up and continue this line of questioning, how is this coordinating r&d with the undersecretary of research and engineering which includes darpa and the labs? >> a couple things, especially in the latter part of that. have a working agreement with the director of darpa.
he said his senior staff is now a transition partner for many the capabilities that he gets to a certain phase and we take them on and get them matured and into the field. we actually show the undersecretary some of those yesterday. regarding the national labs, i hosted ten national labs at the agency recently talked about a path forward where we will now meet with the labs and identify capabilities and match priorities to figure out, working with the doe leadership how to gain accesso to those laboratories in a way that meets thosebo solution space. my head of research and development is actuallyy a member of the executive committee under mr. griffin so he meets with his seniors on a quarterly basis as well. even though he's only been in office for a short while, we have a direct conductivity into his chain. >> thank you. >> so i believe that a wholenn of government effort is required to support strategy and policy. can you please describe your
work with other agencies to achieve u.s. strategic objectives and how is under resourcing and marginalizingen of other federal agencies such as the permanent state affecting this effort. >> to your point congressman, it truly is a whole of government effort when you look at particularly in the acquisition capability development on the part of adversaries or potential adversaries, many of those introductions, many of those interventions and efforts to get at the pathways in terms of ther routes for individuals were nonstate actors are getting at the diplomatic piece of it, the arms control and compliance piece of it, the economic sanctions, we
have the treasury, department of commerce, dhs in terms ofex all the export control issues involved, we meet on a constant basis with them routinely, weekly in terms of at the white house and at other interagency constructs that we can speak in more detail in closed session. it truly is a very well integrated effort in terms of all the different players. >> and on here just good news but i want to know how the under resourcing and marginalizing of other agencies such as the department of state is effective to these effort. >> i can't speak to the budget circumstances of other agencies. simply note that the cooperation is ongoing and very strong. >> if i can address that, the general and i had a chance to meet in two consecutive weeks and an interagency meeting to talk about specific threats and we can talk about that the closed session. the challenge for department
as the general said is illuminating the network so we can get the interagency involved in getting after the threats within their authorities as opposed to becoming a dod only problem. we met in a week later under general thomas' leadership where once again we reemphasize the need for the interagency to be involved and what the burden is on many of those other partners is lack of analytical capabilities and lack of information that dod often has but we haven't shared. getting to better information sharingha further enables small analytical capabilities they have in some of the agencies he mentioned. >> thank you. >> as lieutenant general noted in his testimony, there is a lack of clear task for cw m.d. how are each of you working to bring clarity to the roles and
responsibilities task as well as policies and programs so that the efforts are well understood across the dod and combat and command. >> i will take it first. the first thing we are focused on doing his privatization. all wmd is not equal and all wmd is not equally interdicted bowl in the sense of when we look at the different pathways and means of acquisition of different actors, we need to be and are prioritizing who the actors are that represent the biggest risk and threat and therefore, what pathways and activities we will focus on, and then identifying those agencies with the information authorities and capabilities necessary to work independently or intend them with others to most effectively get at that acquisition and deny it.
>> if i could add, we continue to work with the services and the joint requirements office to align resources to address any of the capability gaps, joint staff identifies future operational capability needs with input from the services, c and we arrive at what would be called a joint priority list which identifies and prioritizes capabilities. then we can continue to be in close collaboration with the end-users. i think that process and overarching allows us to effectively identify the prairies that need to be addressed in order of priority. >> thank you. >> two very quick things, one is developing a functional campaign plan which so calm has done and which harmonizes and coordinates activities and identifies problems in the process. the other is the fusion center that allows for integration of
planning and resources, threat analysis, and even operational activity. >> thank you. i know my time has expired. i yield back. >> thank you. this concludes our open session. we will now transition to the closed portion of this hearing. : : : the senate will read 00 communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., march 26, 2018. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable pat roberts, a senator from the state of kansas, to perform the duties of the chair.