tv House Armed Services Hearing on U.S. Military Activities in Indo- Pacific CSPAN March 28, 2019 7:44am-10:01am EDT
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exercises with south korea and strategy for countering threats from china and north korea. congressman adam smith chairs the house armed services committee. this is 2 hours and 15 minutes. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> before we get started, one housekeeping item in terms of how we do the questioning. the gavel drops here, you're on the list. if you are not here for the gavel you are on the back of the list but then the confusing thing is if you leave as a number of people are going to do i should try this out. i wouldn't do that. at that point you're on the list. whenever you come back -- that
creates an inconvenient situation, we are thinking somebody is next and two minutes before it is their turn if you come back in line you get to bump that person so if you're thinking that, suddenly somebody else gets called on and somebody else came back in those couple minutes. that is in the rule. if you're here for the drop of the gavel you are in line and when you come back you are in line you get to jump anybody else who is there. i'm not in love with that rule but i approved it. we will think about that for the future but that's the way it works. we are going to try to stop it soon. i will try to get people who are here but if someone comes creeping in at 11:57 that complicates things. we try to start the classified hearing immediately and it will be between noon and 12:15. i'm sure our witnesses were
fascinated by that. >> to mark up on vote i appreciate you covering for it. >> appreciate the heads up. we have this hearing with the us indo pacific command. our witnesses are randall shriver, assistant secretary of defense, admiral philip davidson, commander of the us indo pacific command and general robert abrams, commander of united nations command, us forces korea. welcome, gentlemen. appreciate your service and look forward to your testimony. the pacific region is a critical region, president obama and donald trump talked about the need for greater emphasis on the indo pacific region and we look forward to hearing about all the
issues, china is the largest issue, working with them and to make sure they are playing by the rules and respecting their neighbors. the number one most important thing is it is crucial to maintain a strong us presence in the indo pacific region. our presence brings stability and makes it more likely to be a peaceful and prosperous place. crucial to that also is building alliances. the president alone doesn't work unless we have friends and allies in the region who want us there who see us being there as an asset to their interests. i believe we can do that and we have done a good job of it. i particularly want to emphasize this is the first year that is the indo pacific command the change in the authorizing the last year to reflect the rising importance of india to our role in the region, improvement of our relationship with the nation of india is one of the most
positive developments in foreign relations of the last several years. i hope we can build on that and improve upon that. the most pressing questions we have today, how do we deal with china? on a wide range of issues? militarily what do we need to do to make sure we have the equipment we need to deter them from doing things we don't want them to do? how are we doing it with other key players in the region, form alliances to canteen that threat. and we have north korea. without question the situation has improved in the last couple years. i had numerous people say detention on the korean peninsula is lower than it has been since the end of the korean war, since the cease-fire that happened in the korean war since it is not actually end at this point. how do we build upon that and how do we increase the stability and hopefully eventually get to the point we have a denuclearize
to korean peninsula? i will turn it over to the ranking member mister thornberry for his opening statement. >> let me add welcome to my witnesses, appreciate you being here today. i think in a lot of ways some of the most important statements were on the first page that admiral davidson submitted. for the last 70 years, liberating hundreds of people lifting billions out of poverty. would help accomplish that provided the foundation for the progress, the commencement of free nations is your engagement come mister chairman as well as credibility of the combat power of indo pacific command and robust as modern nuclear deterrence.
on the next page, us power underpins the post world war ii international system that helped strengthen the essential foundations of rule-based international order for economic growth and prosperity in the region for everyone. that is true in the indo pacific and true in the rest of the world too and what i worry about is we take some of those things for granted and could let them deteriorate with consequences in a darker more dangerous world. we need to remember the basics and one of the basics is strong us literary presence and engagement are the key not only in this region but as an portly is anywhere in this region given what we see from china and other challenges. we go into a lot of detail what
that means for 2020 bill but it is important to remember combat power, nuclear deterrence, engagement have been very successful for 70 years and we should not take those things for granted. i yield back. >> good morning, thank you, ranking member form barry and establish members of the committee, please to be here to talk about our defense work in the indo pacific and particularly honored to be sitting with my colleague admiral davidson in general abrams. our vision for free and open indo pacific will be made possible, can only be made possible with robust military presence and combat credibility. we believe this vision and our aspirations are doable if we achieve those aims because they are founded on important principles that are widely shared and benefited all the countries of the region and beyond. these principles include respect
for sovereignty, peaceful dispute resolution, free fair and reciprocal trade, adherence to international norms and rules. china has benefited as much as any country, perhaps more from this order. china under the current leadership of she jinping seeks a more favorable environment for its authoritarian governments model. china is not alone. we see other challenges, russia is an authoritarian actor seeking to undermine the world-based order. we see north korea and their continuing dangerous behavior, back sliding toward liberal governance in key countries like myanmar and cambodia which challenge norms related to human rights, religious freedom and dignity, persistent and evolving threats by nonstate actors including terrorism and coming enterprise. and the persistent threat from nontraditional transnational threats like those emerging from
natural disasters and changes to our climate. china's ambitions are of pressing concern, the security domain china devote significant resources to eroding our advantages and threaten our interests. there is no better example of this than chinese actions in the south china sea. despite 11 from action jinping's statement in the rose garden china has militarize the south china sea, with surface-to-air missiles and they threaten their interests as a result. we have specific response in the south china sea. admiral davidson and his forces operate where law allows. we encourage other countries to do the same alongside other unilaterally but nonetheless we are concerned with china's drive for different security architecture in the region. this matters. of the authoritarian approach
becomes ascendant we can expect several trends that would be unfavorable to us. we could see a weakening of sovereignty and potential loss of access to global comments. we see any russian of partnerships and an undermining of member states and diminishment of respect for individual and human rights and potentially normalization of the brutal repression underway in places like to bet. our policy response at the department of defense is through implementation of the national defense strategy which outlines how you effectively compete with china. the strategy has major lines of effort, the first is to build a more lethal and resilient joint force and would take into account the pacing mechanism of china and russia's ambition for modernization and the growth in their capabilities.
the second line of every strengthening alliances and partnerships. it enables the present and gives us partners, defending their interests and upholding regional security. a key example of this is the work we are doing with the help of congress to the indo pacific maritime security initiative. our third line of effort is reforming the department for greater performance and affordability. and key technologies and harness the national security innovation base to maintain our advantages. i should note national defense strategy talks about competition, not conflict, with china. competition does not preclude operating with china where our interests align. as we compete with china we will continue to seek a military relationship with china that aims at reducing risk and continues to push china towards compliance with international norms and standards. at the front of defense we support interagency approach to
china including efforts to counter china's global influence and we are supportive of our state department in the build act which was another tremendous example of our work with congress to give us better tools in this competitive environment. to close, we work at the permit of defense with colleagues in uniform to implement the national defense strategy framework, to ensure we are on trajectory to compete, deter, and win the indo pacific. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, admiral davidson. >> good morning, chairman smith, ranking member thornberry and established members of the committee, thank you for providing assistant secretary shriver, general abrams and myself the chance to appear before you today to discuss the indo pacific region. i joined by command sergeant major tony spiro who is with us
today. let me say thank you for the significant support we have received from congress over the last two years, temporarily from the budget control act in fiscal year 2029 budget, help to restore the military readiness necessary to safeguard vital us national interest in the indo pacific but there is more work to do. the defense department's proposed 2020 budget will help the challenges described in the national defense strategy and to remain the most lethal force. the readiness recovery increased joint force lethality. there was a power competition with china and russia. repeating with chairman 4 and barry read from the written statement earlier, the indo pacific is largely peaceful. this was made possible by the willingness and committed to free nations to work together for a free and open indo
pacific. the credibility of the combat power of the in the pacific land working with allies and partners in the credit ability of the nuclear return as well. our nation's vision for free and open into pacific demonstrates continued commitment to safe, secure and prosperous region that benefits all nations large and small. and it continues to play strong alliances and partnerships as the foundation of our approach to the region, and the indo pacific includes the government approach with economic, governance and security dimensions and resonates with our allies and partners across the region. we are seeing a convergence around its importance as japan, australia, france, new zealand and india have put forward similar concepts and visions. indonesia is leading an effort within our the on to elaborate this as well.
as the primary military component of the united states efforts to ensure free and open into pacific, us indo paycom works with allies and partners for the vision. there are five key challenges i believe threaten that vision and our us national interests. first, until the nuclear situation is resolved on the peninsula north korea will remain our most immediate threat. ..ill remain our most immediate threat. the recent summit in vietnam clearly identified the u.s. and dprk northbounding positions narrowed the gap and issues and made clear the united states expects final fully verified denuclear tags of the dprk. the outcome of the summit enforces the need for us to maintain the readiness of combined and joint forces on and off the peninsula. china, however represents the the greatest long-term strategic threat to the united states. and indiode, the region. there through fear and coercion beige something working toed
expand forms of communist socialist ideology to bend, break and replace the existing rules-based international order and prevent a free and open indo-pacific. in its place beijing seeks to create a new international order led by china with chinese characteristicics. an outcome that displays the stability and peace of the indo-pacific that has endured for 70 years. mcis using a variety of thords including per initials lending schemes like the one belt one road and promising loans for grants to extend diplomatic and political reach by gaining leverage against the borrowers sofrpt. this is happening in the pacific islands with the south, south initiative as well as closer to home here in the united states where in just poefr a year 17 -- 17 latin american countries have signed on to one belt one road. the pc military activities expanded last year with the placement of anti-ship cruise missiles.
surface to air missiles and radar jammers on disputed militarized features in the south china sea in 2018. and today they continue testing and developments of fifth generation aircraft. hypersonic. aircraft carriers and counterspace technologies. i'm also concerned about the growing malign influence of russia throughout the range. moscow regularly plays the role of spoiler seeking to undermine u.s. interests and oppose -- and impose additional costs on the united states and our allies whenever and wherever possible. terrorism and other non-state actors pose threats to our vision of a-free and open indo-pacific seeking to impose their views and radicalize people across the region as evidenced in 2017 when isis captured the southern philippines city, a city of more than 200,000 people. lastly, the indo-pacific remains the most disaster prone region in the world. containing 75% of the earth's
volcanoes. 90% of earthquakes around the globe occur oerk in the pacific basin. and many countries cross the region lack sufficient capability and capacity to manage natural and man made disasters. to address all of the challenges i mentioned u.s. indopacom is focused on regaining the competitive military advantage to ensure a free and open indo-pacific over the short and long term. we must field and sustain a joint force that is postured to win before fighting and if necessary ready to fight and win. u.s. indopacom's ability to prevail in armed conflict is the foundation of the combat credible deterrence and our ability to compete. by fielding and maintaining a joint force ready to fight and win, we reduce the likelihood that any adversary will resort to military aggression, challenge or undermine the rules based international order. to meet this demand my top five budget needs are focused on the
followingco increasing critical munitions, advancing our high-end wrfrp capabilities like long range presizing fires. enhancing and improve our persistent air and missile defenses and ee vofrlg the unmanned aerial systems capabilities and continuing to dwechl the tools uniquely provided by the strategic capabilities office. darpa and the research also labs. these deliberate axes will help ensure a free and open indo-pacific and deny those who seek to undermine it in pennsylvania peace below the level of conflict and in war. i must add that our five indo-pacific treaty allies in japan, korea, australia, the philippines, and thailand, have all been steadfast in their support for a froh and open indo-pacific. let me -- let me close by saying our ability to ensure a free and open indo-pacific inspect only possible with your support. so i would again like to thank the committee for continued support to the men and women of
u.s. indo-pacific command. thank you and i look forward to questions. >> thank you. admiral. general abrams. >> good morning, chairman smith. ranking member thornberry and distinguished members of the committee. i've had the privilege to serve in this position a the commander of the united nationss command combines combined forces kpan and u.s. forces korea for 120 days. . in the short time i have assessed the roc military alliance is stronger than ever. our kboind forepersons as a strategic deterrent postured to respond to potential crisis or provocation and if called upon ready to defend the republic of korea and our allies in the region. today in korea we have tremendous opportunities before us as well as some great challenges. ongoing diplomatic engagement between south korea, north korea and the united states has led to a significant reduction in tension compared to the recent past marked by missile launches and nuclear tests. diplomacy is creating the
opportunity for north korea to choose the path much denuclearization, forgery a lasting peace and to build a better future for its people. and while diplomacy is not without challenges, it remains the mechanism underpinning the transformation we have witnessed the past 14 months as we have moved from provocation to detente. the first steps toward creating a better future for all koreans have already begun. we have witnessed multiple presidential summits, inter-korean dialogue and international spoerpt to sanctions. the steps agreed to last april and specified later in the comprehensive military agreement combined with the aforementioned diplomatic efforts have all contributed to a marked reduction in tension on the pens play and created mechanism for the development of cooperation and confidence-building, essential ingredients to the incremental process of making history on the peninsula. still, i remain clear eyed by
the fact that despite a reduction in tensions along the demilitarized zone and cessation of strategic provocations, coupled with public statements of intent to denuclearize, little to no verifiable change has occurred in north korea's military capabilities. for instance, we are watching the ongoing korea people's army winter training cycle, including a slate of full spectrum exercises, progressing along at historic norms. meaning that we have observed no significant change in the size, scope or timing of their ongoing exercises compared to the same time period over the last four years. further, north korea's conventional and asymmetric military capabilities along with the continued equipment of advanced munitions and systems all remains unchecked. these capabilities continue to hold the united states, south korea and our regional allies at
risk. as such, i believe it's necessary to maintain a postured and ready force to deter any possible aggressive actions. fielding our force in korea requires a foundation of support and sustainment to meet war fighter needs. today that foundation is sound. it serves as the bedrock from which we deter aggression and ensure stability, not only on the korean peninsula but in northeast asia. our posture allows our diplomats to speak from a position of unquestioned strepgt working to achieve enduring peace and final, full, verified denuclearization of the dprk. i also want to thank you for the support we have received from the congress over the last two years as we have significantly improved the posture and readiness of our forces on the peninsula from munitions stocks to additional ballistic missile defense capabilities and much more. i cannot underscore enough the importance of the on-time
apprehension in 2019 as it has enabled us for the first time in many years to make smarter investments, improve our planning and provide predict ability to our commanders in the field so they can sustain the hard-earned readiness that is essential for being a fight to night force with the support of congress the recently submitted fy 20 budget continues the work of improving and sustaining our defense posture. the rrdness required to be a credible deterrent is perishable. we must continue to exercise the core dpe li competencies necessary to the planning and execution of joint and combined operations under the strain of crisis. however, we must also strike a balance between the need to train and the requirements to create space for diplomacy to flourish. as such, we have innovated our approach to training and exercises by tuning four dials that modify exercise design and conduct. size, scope, volume and timing.
adjustments to the dials enable to us remain in harmony with diplomatic and political requirements without sacrificing war fighting requirements and war fighting readiness to unacceptable levels. our combined forces, republic of korea and the united states recently completed a significant step in evolution conducting the first of the command post exercising dongmeng 19 dsh 1 backup earlier we exercisesed tactical appear operational appear strategic competencies to be prepared should the call came are come to respond to crisis, defend the republic of korey and prevail against any threat. this training is built upon the relationships lessons learned in staff interactions derived from many combined training exercise events conducted by the components and republic of korea counterparts throughout the
year. the rok u.s. alliance remains iron clad. it's been tested multiple times the last 65 years. and only become stronger. our military partnership continues to deepen and broaden. the longstanding relationships exist at every echelon. on behalf of the civilians members service members contractors and their families on the peninsula we thank you for your unwavering support. i'm proud to be their commander and to work hand in hand with the republic of korea to protect our great nations. mr. chairman i look forward to answering your questions. thank you. >> thank you very much. as you mentioned, as i think all mentioned our presence in the region is very important. and that presence takes on many forms. but certainly in japan and korea we have troops forward stationed there. there's been talk about cost sharing, how much the countries with that we have our troop presence in pay. now, we in my view get an enormous benefit from the presence.
for the record, are you satisfied right now that our partners in the ream are paying their fair share of what the costs should be for the troops being there mr. schriver, if you want to start with that. >> i am. and i think the deals that have been struck to date have been mutually beneficial with our allies and ourselves. of course we are in entering new negotiations shortly with both countries. and i expect the same outcome that we'll get something mutually beneficial. >> and there has been talk about in cost plus 50 quipped. just a rumor. no one has confirmed it. but just for the record i would assume you would think that not a good idea and not a good approach to the negotiations? >> i have seen discussion mostly in the media. it's not anything we have been directed to seek. and it's not part of any formal guidance. against i think our presence view on burden sharing is known. we think there should be burden sharing. but we'll leave that thought negotiation when the time comes. >> would you directly compensate on the idea that cost plus 50 is that a good idea or bad idea?
>> well, we haven't been directed to do it. i think we will try to seek a good deal for the united states obviously. but i think it won't be based on that formula that i'm aware. >> just for the record a number of members of the committee bipartisan have expressed concern that would drive a wedge between us and allies. all you mentioned the importance of alliances. mr. thornberry i think articulated it west on the international treaties. basically countries with democracies working together to promote that greater freedom in the region, reaching the greatest prosperity. one of the greatest steps we can take to shore up the international treaties, organizations in the indo-pacific region, and what countries are most important to expand those relationships? what can we do to enhance that level of cooperation in that rules-based democratic approach to the region?
>> go ahead. >> well, thank you. i think we are not only strengthening traditional alliances and making investments with our traditional ally partners but we are expanding the network. india was mentioned i think in the opening comments as a great example of a partnership that we're investing a lot in. we had our first two plus two. making great strides in the defense relationship. but i would say throughout maritime southeast asia. vietnam for example is a country concerned about their own sovereignty, concerned about freedom of the seas in and skm sea. we expanded our defense relationship with the support of congress there. i think there are a number of emerging partners, the philippines traditional ally we're strengthening that relationship. i see a lot of opportunity. and with my colleagues here we're investing cross the board when we can because we see a strong demand signal. there is concern about the erosion of the fundamental principles.
>> sir, if i could just build on assist secretary schriver's point, our values compete well across the whole of the region. particularly when all that china has to offer is money. our ability to expand those values, protect them absolutely but expand them to others i think is going to be critically important as we seek new partners and the whole of a free and open indo-pacific concept. it's going to require some work. it is at the hart of my engagements. i know whenever consist secretary schriver travels through the region he does that as well. >> it's yorp sense that the authoritiarian approach of mcis rubbing a lot of countries in the region the wrong way and pushing them towards us. >> i think everybody recognize that is a country with a close and authoritiarian internal order would be a threat to a froh and open international one, yes. >> and just final question, are there countries in the region that you see as slipping
toward -- more towards china's influence that we need to work harder to troy to pull back? >> well, two of the countries as mentioned by assist secretary schriver in the opening statement. myanmar and cambodia. these are places in which a whole of government proechl that extends the values is going to be important. we're going to have to find the areas in which we can indeed compete with china there. it's going to be difficult. >> thank you, mr. thornberry. >> admiral, i want to go back to namement for just a second. at the initiative of this committee in previous years we have created an indo-pacific stability initiative. and the idea was you see that the european defense initiative was pretty successful both in funding, needed improvements but also sending a message that we are here and coming with dollars, not just the chinese but we are coming and we are
committed to in that case nato alliance. i understand there are differences in the pacific. but i'm concerned that i don't believe the administration has requested a specific dedicated funding for this initiative, even though it's authorized in law now. can you comment about the benefit if any that you see to having this sort of indo-pacific stability initiative to help make it -- to help training, to help facilitate military kopgs in various ways, again, somewhat on the idea that we have pursued successfully in europe? >> yes, sir, i think the eri model has been very successful for porting resources. and sending capabilities to europe in a place in which there had been some capability and capacity withdrawal in the few years before that.
while there has been no money either appropriated or asked for with the epsi, the fact of the matter is i put down a pretty assertive issue nomination last year for some capability a and capacity needed in the theater. and i think in the fy '20 budget you see a downpayment on that this this year. >> i'll comment, mr. schriver, one of the requirements in i believe last year's bill is we need a plan from osd about how you would fund various elements of the initiative. we haven't gotten it yet. y'all work on that because you intend to pursue it. i wanted to ask general abrams briefly. you talked about north korean military activities that are unchecked. what- what request you say in this format, specifically about their production of missiles and nuclear weapons? has there been a change?
we know they have not tested. but in the production of nuclear weapons and material and missiles, has there been a change? >> sir, we -- their activity that we have observed is inconsistent with denuclearization. and well be happy to go into as much detail as you want this afternoon during the closed session. >> yeah, i just didn't know how far you could go in open session. but i appreciate that. i think that gives us a direction. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you to the witnesses. this morning. admiral davidson, on page 14 of your written testimony again you talked about again some of the challenges for increasing joint force lethality, the undersea warfare provision, again, you -- i think you very clearly stated sort of what's happening in that domain with -- as you put it,
160 of the submarines in the sbo pacific belong to russia, china and north korea and that's happening at the same time as our fleet size is shrinking. finishing that thought, vice c and o admiral murs testified before c power walking through the attack fleet size is 51. with the retirement of the los angeles class it will be at 42. by 2026. so given the fact that again you don't get all of those -- that subforce, right you get about 60% of it with the allocation to the asia region -- indo-pacific region versus other combat and command areas there. that trajectory which admiral harris your predecessor zroibd repeatedly in visits to the committee over the years is a big concern. and obviously it's not getting any better, i assume, based on your written testimony. again i wonder if you could talk
about that a little bit. >> well, sir, the undersea domain, despite the capacity short fall was be the number of submarines is an area we hold a asymmetric advantage over virtually well over all the adversaries. it's a critical advantage that we need to extend. the capacity limit assignings as we go down over the next several years is indeed a threat to the day to day operations that i think we need to have in the theater for presence needs and risk ro plans to a certain extent. i'd be happy to more details as we get to the later session. >> admiral harris in open session testified only about 50% of the stated requirements for subs can be met, given again the fleet size today as opposed to where we're -- i mean, that was open testimony. is that still pretty much the state of play? >> my day to day requirement is met by slightly over 50% of what
i've asked for, yes. >> so this committee tried to change that last year in terms of at least getting some uptick in terms of the build rate which again the administration opposed and it was therefore blocked. the new budget embraces that belatedly. again, just it would help i guess the cause in terms of your choices that you have to make out there if, again, we move forward with a three subbuild rate for this year's budget year which actually will not be executed until 2023. i wonder if you could compensate on that. >> yes, sir, i mean that's doing our best to reverse the trend on the way to force structure of 42 in the 2026 time frame is critical need in the indo-pacific, yes. >> thank you. i'd like to just change the subject for a minute to talk about recently the contest guard actually was part of a deployment in the straits of taiwan.
the coast guard national security bertoff participated in that. i wardson if you could talk about that part of sea service in terms of helping u.s. presence in international waters. >> yes, sir, the berthoff is on diplomate in the western pacific has been for several weeks and will be for a few months to come. they are an very important partner with the u.s. navy on really all things in the region. in fact, the mission they were doing not long before the taiwan strait transit was helping us to enforce u.n. sanctions against north korea and the illegal transfer of oils from -- in ship to ship transfers in the east china sea. the coast guard has corecommendations across the region particularly for the nations that don't have military but they have defense forces or even less and some instances
where it's law enforcement forces. if helps with key challenges that some of the nations have, whether it's illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, narcotic or human trafficking, maritime domain awareness. they're an important contributor across the whole of the region. i've got a good relationship with linda fagan, the coast guard pacific area commandeder. >> real -- i want to thank you for putting the spotlight on that. during the shutdown there was this view that, you know, this was not part of the dod fabric. and obviously what they're doing out there really rebuts that narrative. >> thank you very much. the gentleman's time is expired mr. turner >> thank you, mr. kmarm admiral i'm going to ask a question concerning china's nuclear forces. and i'd like the two prior questioners does the as the chairman said i'm very much aware we have a classified session. but i'm looking for a full non-classified answer in this session.
as you know as you give us information it helps us formulate policies not by just way which know and but ways in unclassified areas we can share the information as we advocate. i'm following on to the theme of ranking member thornberry of using our nature oalliance as a question that comes to us in this area. the united states is backed away from the inf treaty with russia largely viewed more as a european issue than an other theater issue. however that we no he that it also affects the -- our relationship with china and as we look to china's modernization of nuclear forces, the innf is a relevant concern there. and we look at your testimony, page 6, china a undertaking hypersonic glide vehicles being electromagnetic rail guns and modernizing and adding new
capabilities across the nuclear forces. here we have a near peer adversary that's adding new capabilities across the nuclear forces. this is not a sustainment issue, just trying to modernize what we have in our inventory that might be requiring updating. this is actually new capabilities that they are doing. you go on to say that they have nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine which will be armed with jl 3 sea launch plisk necessary a road mobile intermediate range ballistic road map. road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile and you go on. my question relates to the united states is now leaving the inf and poses both an opportunity as we look to our own capabilities but also opportunity to diplomatically. so would you please give us some characterization of the threat that china poses and the intermediate range missile threat, what operational
importance non-inf compliant assets to the united states would represent in this changing environment, and then what would be the benefit as -- of a possible russia/china u.s. deal on -- on an inf treaty that we know that when the united states entered into this there were significant assets dismantled. it's not as if we say we can't reach this because the people have the assets. these treaties at times have resulted in lessening conflict by destroying weapon systems. admiral, could you give us a picture of that? >> thank you for the question, congressman. a long question. china -- let me put it this way. at the operational level, about 93% of china's total inventory, if they were a party to the inf, in violation of that treaty.
these missiles number in the hundreds. and we can talk more specifically about that later today. and present a serious challenge to not just the united states but all of the allies partner's freedom of action in the region. our at the operational level. long range fires are constrained to air and sea assets right now. with a wider set of capabilities with the united states, you really present a problem to the chinese or the russians and you improve our freedom of action by presenting a like dilemma to them. pink that's critically important. i need to add that secretary schriver should talk policy here a little bit. >> with respect to any kind of future arrangement of course it's not under active consideration because we are not quite out of the treaty yet.
but given the significance of china's capability following in this range, certainly it would make sense to -- if we were to go down that path of another agreement to think about china being included. i can't see it being meaningful without china. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. admiral davidson and general abrams- i apologize -- last year i led an effort to ensure that we have a floor on the troops and u.s. forces of korey. what do you think is the appropriate number of u.s. troops to have on the peninsula to maintain deterrence against kim jong un. >> congressman, our current troop levels that we have with both assigned and rotational forces is appropriate and meets our requirements to provide an adequate and credible deterrent to the dprk. >> admiral. >> well, i fully agree with
that. >> okay. and i think this will be -- i think you kind of already answered the next question whether you confirm the force posture in korea and japan is designed to provide the best deterrence versus north korea? >> yes, sir, i think our current force posture does do that. of course it takes other forces off the peninsula as well. and as general abrams mentioned in his opening comments, the committee and the department have done a lot in the last two years to make sure that capability is sound. >> thank you, admiral. so with that in mind let's go through some projects that the pentagon has given us that could be receipt rated to fund the president's border wall. and please tell me if you think each project is more or less than a wall on the southern bored brody. $17.5 million for command and control facility at camp tang o korea. do you want me just to go through the four or -- i have about three or more questions after this. >> i'd appreciate the list, congressman.
>> sure. >> i'm ready. >> 53 million for uav hanger at the the airbus in korea. president 45.1 million for mu niegss storage faults in guam and 23.8 million dlarps for kor on the grounds control for c 130s in yokeda, japen >> are these more or less important. >> i can only speak to the projects in korea. they're certainly important to u.s. forces korea. but it's inappropriate for me to make generally some sort of judgment as we have to take into account all of national security. >> um-hum. >> i'm responsible for providing a credible properly postured force on the korean peninsula. we'd have to defer that to you know -- the acting secretary of defense. >> i understand. i don't want to put nut a tough spot. but you would agree that at least the facilities that you're familiar with in korea are very much necessary to force protection and deterrence on the
peninsula, correct. >> without making a judgment on the wall. >> right. i'm just pausing just for a second. so not necessarily for force protection but principally for command and control and sustain ability. yes. >> excellent. thank you, general. mr. schriver, we often hear about the need for munitions isr platform and sea lift into the region quickly. general owe shaughnessy told us last month there is no military threat at the southern border and in light of that why would a department use money allocated for a real threat like china or north korea to pay for a wall that doesn't help us with a real threat, versus a real threat? >> i think as secretary shanahan said yesterday, we've made arguments based on what we think our defense priorities are. we now have is a lawful order
from the president to execute and we're looking at how to best do that. >> thank you, mr. schriver. what i'm trying to -- and i'm sure, again, i don't want to put you in a difficult spot, the one thing i'm trying to highlight is we have real threats to our alliances, to our country, professionally to the world and when we're choosing to use our military funds that are very limited and resources for something that is an imagined threat i think that is a problem, especially for us on this committee. mr. schriver, and admiral davidson, i understand we are more frequently using freedom of navigation patrols to push back on the illegal chinese claims in the pacific. what can we do to ensure china doesn't -- that they're willing to do? >> i think they have changed some facts on the ground with the militarization of the outposts. our goal is to make sure that doesn't become a tool to
operationalize an expansive illegal sovereignty claim. the freedom of navigation operation are important, we've taken other steps along with admiral davidson's predecessor, we disinvited china from rim pac and pointed to the china sea as reasons for that. our responses in the future may not necessarily be on point. their activities in the south china sea could be met with consequence elsewhere. so we are intent on making sure no one country can change international law per the norms. >> the gentleman has expired. >> thank you. following on that line of questions, xi jinping's statements at any point in time, i don't think could be taken at face value, you mentioned his comments in the rose garden in '15, i can't believe he didn't already know they were going to as you said militarize
those islands. china has a longer term horizon than most of us. we go continuing resolution to continuing resolution or year-to-year budgeting. each step of the way they seem to allow some period of time for a new norm to establish itself, the new norm are these features as admiral davidson referred to. what can you share with us in this arena what you think the chinese steps might be next in terms of trying to gain control, a dust up between them and malaysia on one of their features recently, and are there -- can we see ahead what chinese might do next that we would need to try to counter and not let that become the new norm? >> sir, in the operational space, one of the things we're starting to see is a higher degree of integration with forces that are not actually on
those features. so we're seeing fighter patrols, bomber patrols, the integration of isr aircraft, intelligence surveillance, reconnaissance and asw aircraft operating from those bases and a higher degree of interoperability between some of the base functions and the afloat forces that they have in the area as well. >> so counters to that would be us continuing to operate in the international waterses? >> certainly. mr. schriver mentioned earlier the importance of allies and partners operating with us in the region. that stepped up last fall and i think was a critical factor in the international response there and some of the behavers that we saw out of china in both the battle space and diplomatic space back in the fall. i think that's going to be a critical approach going forward is to have our allies and partners operating with us in the region. >> without telling us what they
are, are our crews, sailors, airmen, are they aware of what their self-protection steps should be should something come up suddenly? >> yes, sir. absolutely. i know the admiral has met with his commanding officers a number of times in the western pacific and on the west coast of the united states and i've talked directly with general brown of pacific air forces as well to make sure everybody understand the authorities that they have and to be sure to ask for the authorities they need going forward. >> general abrams, i suspect i know the answer, but you mentioned in you are testimony that tensions on the peninsula have relaxed, seem reduced dramatically. north korea continues to exercise. is there any sense among our korean allies, south korean allies that they are, you know, less likely to defend themselves or are they becoming too relaxed
or at risk of being unprepared should the north koreans do something? >> congressman, absolutely not. iraq military continues to train intensely at echelon very capable, very highly trained, committed, dedicated professional force. they have not taken their foot off the gas. >> thank you. i yield back. >> recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, gentlemen, for being here this morning. thank you, mr. chairman. i just kind of want to follow up on that question as far as we go with the training. you know in the military drilling exercises, train, train, train, kind of like our piano teachers told us, practice makes perfect, that's what we're striving for. if we're canceling or downgrading some of the exercises we've traditionally done to prepare our forces there
on the korean spence la, how are we making that up? how are we continuing to train and continuing to make sure our prime operation, to make sure that we're ready? >> congressman, thanks for the opportunity. first, let me clear up some misinformation. i assume command on the 8th of november. since november, as of last week, we've conducted 82 combined u.s. military field training exercises at appropriate echelons. training has continued, combined training has continued. in terms of large-scale exercises, everyone's well aware that last fall we -- or last august we postponed one of our two annual exercises. the secretary of defense, secretary mattis, challenged me to be creative and innovative, develop an exercise regime that
meets our war fighting readiness requirements while creating and preserving space for diplomacy to work. work hand in glove with the iraq chairman in december, crafted this new construct, adjusting for dial, size, scope, volume and timing of these exercises. we briefed them up our respective chains of command, had them approved and then we recently executed it. we met all our training objectives, trained our tasks, validated command control communications and plans and validated the alliance decision making process. very rigorous, tough, demanding command post exercise that's driven by simulation. i'm happy to go into more detail in the classified session as to what made it so rigorous and so forth, but we are a trained and capable force ready to meet our
treaty obligations. >> are we continuing joint training operations with our naval forces in the region too and the marines and air force as well? >> sir, absolutely we are. the biggest difference is we just don't talk about it publicly. >> and then just to kind of follow up on that, the president says he's canceling these exercises and we're saving $100 million. that money has already been appropriated for your training and operations. what are we doing with that $100 million that we're saving when he's canceling these operations? >> congressman, i can't speak -- i know what has been executed and planned for and programmed for for u.s. forces korea and we are executing our appropriated budget as we had planned and programmed. >> mr. schriver, do you have any idea what we're doing with the $100 million that we're saving
by canceling these operations? >> we are at the request of congress looking at the cost differential between the previous exercises and our program now. i'm not aware that we have a plan for specifically what to do if there is a significant cost differential and how we would use that money. >> i yield back the remainder of my time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general abrams, i have several questions for you, but thank all three of you for your service to our country in your various capacities. this committee has worked hard to preserve -- excuse me to approve a joint emergent operational need to provide enhanced missile defense capability to our forces on the korean peninsula. over the past year what progress has been made on the specific effort to enhance missile defense? >> congressman, thanks very much for that and we are grateful for the support from the congressman of the united states on that
joint operational need statement. principally three capabilities, all three remain in development. they're all on time right now. they've -- the first and most important capability is slightly ahead of schedule and we hope to have it fielded here in the next 12 to 16 months. >> excellent. thank you. and then what is the status of the revised missile guidelines with our south korean allies and what is their planned path forward on missile development and how do we factor that in to the joint operational planning? >> congressman, i think if i have your question right, that is one of the capabilities that's part of our conditions-based transition plan. in an unclassified setting, their progress continues on track. they have a plan. it's been resourced in their
budget and i'm happy to provide some additional information this afternoon in a closed session if you desire. >> i look forward to that. thank you. now with admiral davidson i have a question, in the issue of readiness, if we have a conflict with a peer competitor in the indo theater, do we have enough ammunition stocks on hand and pre-positioned to fight and win a war along with that, how much supply do we have and what are our risks if we don't have enough on hand prepositioned? >> sir, livi would like to take most of that question down to the closed hearing if we could. i will say that in stocks, in the theater of critical munition supplies, is a challenge and an ongoing challenge and one of my consistent requests of the department, as they pursue and the ability to resupply out
there that remains a need as well. i'm happy to get into more details -- >> thank you. i appreciate the answer and look forward to that as well. general abrams back to you, we've heard concerning rumors about the level of investment the south koreans have made in their own provision of armaments calling into question the viability of our operational plans because they don't have enough precision-guide munitions. where do they stand with pgms and small arms acquisitions to support our joint requirements? >> congressman, i prefer to talk about that in a classified session. those numbers are classified. >> excellent. i look forward to that one as well. i'll try another one maybe we can address here openly. this is a more broad question i'm sure we can take it here in public. it's a sensitive topic but
trilateral cooperation between the south koreans and japan is essential to our common security. what is your assessment of the level of trilateral cooperation, especially between these two very important security partners? >> sir, i think, you know, the most key evidence right now is at the enforcement coordination cell that the u.s. sponsors in japan. we have both japanese and korean partners sitting side by side, helping to enforce the u.n. sanctions regime against north korea and the illicit transfer of oil in ship-to-ship transfers in the east china sea and korea bay. i think that's an important bellwether to keep in mind that we're working in a very collaborative, cooperative and totally transparent manner at sea, in the air, and in the coordination of those forces in a single headquarters.
>> thank you. i'm very encouraged by that and appreciate your answers. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary schriver, thanks, good to see you again. i have a followup on questions with regard to the training on the peninsula. do we have any demonstrable or tangible action from the dprk in response to cessation of readiness exercises on the peninsula? >> on our core area of interest and concern, the issue of denuclearization we have not seen any progress to speak of. >> so would it be fair for me to conclude that we gave up something for nothing as a result? if i said that about -- that was my thought, would you say that would be a reasonable conclusion? >> i certainly understand the concern. i think what we've tried to do is create an environment for a
diplomatic process to unfold. in hanoi we were disappointed that the north koreaens weren't prepared to talk about how to fulfill chairman kim's pledge. our door is still open for diplomacy, but to date we have not seen movement on denuclearization. >> so the next question is, what should we expect from this -- from this diplomacy? >> we expect them to fulfill chairman kim's pledge, made in singapore, to pursue complete denuclearization and we would like them to start by identifying a common shared definition of what denuclearization means and then we can build a road map alongside them on how to achieve that. ultimately it is the full, final, verifiable denuclearization that includes all categories of weapons of mass destruction and missiles and other delivery systems. >> do we have a timeline under consideration when we will restart full readiness
exercises? when will we stop waiting for north korea? >> congressman, we are looking to the president and the secretary of state and their judgment on how the diplomacy will go and they'll give us the signal of how to make adjustments in the future if they so determine. >> thanks for that. is that the pentagon's role in this, is to wait for a signal? are you -- are you, in fact, just waiting for -- as opposed to injecting any information into this discussion in the administration? >> well, i think as general abrams indicated the objective is to do both, give our diplomat space and maintain readiness through the adjustments that have been made. if there are risks associated with a prolonged posture like this, we would certainly make those known and we have made known our interests in all the things we think we need to do to
maintain readiness and i think general abrams is doing a tremendous job on that regard. >> i want to follow up -- not follow up. another set of questions on the actual budget related. we've talked about this a couple weeks ago on the strategic support forces that china has created in the reorganization of their own, of the pla. i'm wondering how the budget proposed to congress reflects perhaps a response or an attempt to get ahead to the reorganization of the pla, specific to the development? >> i think i would priorly point to increased investments in cyber in that regard, both in terms of the resiliency and protection of our own infrastructure and expanding the
competitive space. we can talk about that more in the closed session. given the mission of the special security force, i think that's the area i would point to. >> yeah. i think for my first set of questions, probably understand the general as well, i wanted to ask the policy, it's a policy set of questions about my concern we seem to be giving up -- giving up something big for not anything. for nothing. from dprk. it's something that i think worth exploring for this committee as well, continuing to press on this question, and i expect that to happen. thank you very much and i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. lived to thank our witnesses for joining us. admiral davis, i will begin with you. earlier this month a general spoke about the challenges he faces in the european command saying he was really two destroyers short, he needed a
better presence of both the carrier strike group and amphibious group there to counter russian aggression. i want to ask three yes or no questions and then get you to elaborate. would you say there is a sufficient attack submarine presence in the indo-pacific? >> they are not meeting my requirement, no. >> would you say you have a sufficient carrier strike group presence in the indo-pacific? >> that's below what i've requested. >> would you say you have a sufficient amphibious ready group presence in the indo-pacific? >> that's slightly below what i've requested. >> the map you gave us is very telling. there's lots of blue on here. your aor has a significant amount of area that requires a naval presence. i know that the navy is going through a force structure assessment looking at what the future navy should be, the types of ships. have they consulted with you to look at your needs, to assess the risks that are going to be
there in the future and have they talked to you in the respect of being able to help you reduce your risk to an acceptable level as you manage this aor in the indo-pacific? >> yes, sir. no, the navy staff is completely aware of the existing contingency planning and where we're going in the new global campaign plan construct and it's informing this force for structure assessment they have ongoing right now. >> very good. thank you. secretary schriver, yesterday secretary shanahan spoke before this committee and he was discussing the administration's budgeting and we were talking about those things that were in it, but also those things that were not in it. one of the things that's concerning is, the reduction overall of the number of aircraft carriers to 2027, taking 75 out of the inventory, down to 9 aircraft carriers. i'm curious if you would discuss with us and give us the thought behind the analysis with the ship building projection that going down to 9 carriers between
now and 2027, which is what retiring 75 would bring, do you think that in relation to what admiral indo-pacific vo admiral davidson told us puts us at risk with navy presence around the world? >> well, those decisions and tradeoffs go beyond my purview. >> acceptable or nonacceptable risk? >> yeah. i think i have to defer to the leadership that has to make the global considerations on tradeoff. i am concerned about any shortcomings identified by the war fighters such as admiral davidson. >> very good. admiral davidson, in your best professional military judgment, would you say that reducing the number of carriers with taking out 75 in the inventory, do you think that leaves you and your availabili availability with having carrier 2.0 presence, leaves you with an acceptable level of risk? >> sir, as i think about the
future and the capability of the aircraft carrier, i don't see -- as i constantly revisit our campaign planning and our present needs i don't see the requirement going down. >> okay. very good. >> do you see, too, in the region as you work with your allies there, we had talked earlier about making sure that we are coalescing resources, jointly operating, doing joint operations, do you believe that with potentially having fewer carriers available, do you believe that sends a signal to them as to our commitment in the indo-pacific region as far as our naval presence? >> sir, i would say our allies and partners across the region watch everything we do across all of the joint force, the level of participation we provide and exercises, what our current operations are doing and they take signals from that, absolutely.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. with that i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you to all the witnesses for being here. admiral davidson, economic, military and diplomatic efforts should all be coordinated in order to implement an effective and coherent strategy. when one of these elements of power goes rogue, that impacts our overall strategy. what value do economic sanctions provide to our military strategy on the korean peninsula and two, can you speaks to the north korea elicit sources of funding and what efforts indo-pacific is taking to reduce those sources? >> yes, sir. most importantly, we're supporting the state department's pressure campaign, the regime's ability to sustain its funding or gain funding from outside, really undermines our diplomatic effort, because it fails to bring them to the
table. we work with our law enforcement partners as well as posts across the region on everything that north korea might be doing across the economic and diplomatic spaces as you indicate. we should note that what they're doing comes in the form of outright counterfeiting, comes in the form of cyber theft, really across the globe and not in just the region. we're certainly in coordination with law enforcement and the rest of the government on those issues. but they're actually in the lead there. >> how effective are sanctions right now? >> well, speaking really just to the illicit transfer of oil, their imports of refined oil at sea are about a third less than the sanctions regime began. it's very difficult to figure
out what impact those -- that sanctions enforcement regime is having because it's so opaque inside north korea as to how they actually -- what are they keeping in reserve and how they distribute it around the theater, excuse me around the peninsula. and how it affects decision making overall. >> an area we do not focus enough on are the threats associated with weapons proliferation, specifically in regards to north korea. reports show that north korea has exported conventional arms and ballistic missiles for decades, and proliferated these arms to syria, which poses serious threats to our international security. admiral voidavidson, can you provide us with better situation awareness on this issue? two, are there concerns that north korea is proliferating nuclear materials? and three, how can we do better
to >> it's well-known, i think, across the united states and our allies that north korea has long been a liberator of nuclear ballistic missile capabilities around the globe. that's i think part and parcel, in fact, you know i should really save the basis of why we're going after denuclearizing the peninsula, because they are not a reliable country on the globe. and it causes instability in areas we don't want to see. i think to get two more details on this i do like to rather take that into classified setting, if i could. >> thank you. mr. chair, i give back my time. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen. i wanted to follow-up on on line of question we've had about our discussion of the allies and/or importance of the indo-pacific region. you talk about how in the fall
of last year we really started focusing on that, stepped it up and applaud that. i think that's great. i wanted to just mention that march 13, the b-52 bombers conducted routine training in the south china sea for the second time this month, and i think that's very, very important for the freedom of navigation operations that we have in the region but appears many of our allies in the pacific are reluctant to conduct the same type of freedom of navigation activities. .. i was wondering your thoughts on that and can we expect to see our allies and partners support this effort in the future? >> if i could, ma'am, the bomber patrols that we use really around the whole of the region and not just in the south china sea are to maintain our readiness and to understand how others respond in the region. we don't actually use them for freedom of navigation
operations. >> okay. >> those are training missions and how they're employed. to the point about maritime forces doing freedom of navigation operations, though, we've encouraged all nations really to step up their operations in the south china sea and if the sort of navigation operations we do, we do them for assertively across the globe and always have in the united states to enforce these international rights. if other countries aren't willing to do that, we're perfectly happy to see them operate in an international sea space, the south china sea. it demonstrates it's an international concern to maintain that open, free -- excuse me, open sea and air space, but certainly, and we welcome people to do it unilaterally as well as with us and in other multilateral forms. randy. have you got anything you want to add? >> i would agree with all that and just add, given the expansive nature of china's claim, the entire -- everything
inside the 9 dash line, presence operations are valuable in and of themselves even if it's not a direct 12 nautical mile challenge by china or any other party. so presence, as the admiral says, it important. >> great. as far as the partnerships go, we have several contracts set to expire, the compact, free economic states. economically, diplomatically and militarily. so can you expand on the importance of these agreements and whether we should continue to fund them? or should we let them expire? >> we look forward to working with congress in the hopes of continuing to fund them based on the needs over time. it's our hope that the requirements will be less, given the state of their economic development, but for the forseeable future, we think there will be need and the compact relationship is mutually beneficial.
we do make certain pledges with respect to their defense, but we also gain access, we gain support in international fora that we have that we want to extend. >> admiral. >> if i could add, madam. those compact states are the connective tissue between the united states and the western pacific. we fought and bled in those lands in world war ii and the relationship that we've sustained in this compact, i think, it's important to maintain that going well into the future. >> i want to just mention japan a little bit. had an opportunity to travel there last year, as well as south korea, and you know, there's been a period of heightened tension between south korea and japan, i know it goes back a long ways, so i was wondering, can you kind of give an update on that relationship and the efforts that the department is doing to undertake to try to bridge this divide? >> i commented a little bit
earlier, congresswoman, about the enforcement coordination cell which we're using to enforce u.n. sanctions against north korea and japanese and korean officers are sitting side by side in that headquarters with united states officers. in fact, other officers enlisted from allies and partners from across the region and indeed, across the globe. i think that's a very positive sign because it's providing the transparency and the collaboration and cooperation of what the sea and air forces are doing in that sanctions regime to each party. i can tell you i've talked extensively with both the chief of defense of korea and chief he have defense in japan about at least the military incidents that had occurred earlier this year, and things seem to be calmer right now. >> okay, thank you very much. >> mr. chairman, i like the way you enforce the rules.
thank you very much for calling on me and my colleagues. my apologies to my colleagues for jumping in front of them. mr. schriver, we have had a discussion about the influence of china throughout the pacific, particularly pacific islands. what is the best way for the united states to be present to expand or at least maintain our position? i noted the admiral just talked -- admiral davidson just talked about the history back in world war ii and beyond. if you could elaborate with that, not just with the pacific islands, but beyond, in the entire region. let's leave india aside for just a moment, but the others, thank you. >> well, i think our engagement is very important with respect to the pacific islands. both admiral davidson and i have led interagency delegations there within the
last six months, but it's really providing an alternative that's the whole of government, as was mentioned earlier. some of these countries don't have militaries, they have law enforcement entities so we bring our coast guard in. we bring other agencies in to really create approaches that meet their needs, which are very significant, illegal fishing, criminal activity, et cetera. so we have to fashion approaches that meet their needs and provide an alternative to what china or any other country might provide and i'd also add we have like-minded partners that are looking at oceana. australia has its stepup program and new zealand the reset. we're all looking to do better and with respect to broader approaches in the region, i think it's the same. there is blow back from how china is approaches some of the relationships and the predatory economics and we've got to be there with alternatives and i think a demand signal is there
and we're doing our best to meet that demand signal with quality engagement and meaningful engagement that meets their interests and needs. >> admiral davidson, would you like to add anything to that? >> one more specific thing. we've undertaken an initial to toif-- initiative to look at our atta attaches and expand the network immediately. >> i completely agree with all of mr. schriver's comments. >> i'd like to drill down, but not in the next two minutes, on what specific things we should be doing, and why don't we take another minute or so and then maybe i have a follow-up question, but let's get down to specifics. what is it? it's military attaches, what about the whole of government. mr. schriver, if you'd like to do it or admiral, if you'd like to, jump in. >> i mentioned whole of government, bringing in our coast guard where they aren't
military. they have ship rider agreements in monitoring sovereign territorial waters for the purpose of illegal fishing activities. we have national guard programs in place where they have militaries. we just expanded that to include fiji through the state of nevada. so there are a number of tools that go just beyond the engagement, the presence of attaches and our work has been stepped up in the region. fiji would be an example where we're helping with peacekeeping forces. >> well, i was kind of chumming for you to mention the peace corps and return of the peace corps to the micronesia area. i'll mention it myself. i'll draw my colleagues attention to the whole of government and the fact in the president's budget, the whole of government with exception of
military is reduced and therefore our presence beyond the military is lacking. i'll let it go at that. thank you very much, mr. chairmanmen. >> admiral, i want to thank you for the use of china, and the one belt, one road in our the back yard. and i think it's interesting that vietnam asked or allowed us, asked, whichever way we want to put it, us to park the carl vincent right there. and i think that's -- if you wanted proof that you can't trust communist china, even their neighbors don't trust communist china and their movement into the western hemisphere concerns me, we're not here to talk about that today, but i don't think we, as a united states, paid enough attention to our back yard in the western hemisphere and i'm afraid we'll wake up one day and have a chinese base in the
western hemisphere and i don't think that's something we can afford to allow. with that said, secretary schriver, as communist china continues to grow, but physically and virtually around the world, what impact is this having on the united states' ability to strengthen our partnership in the indo-pacific regions? are we at threat of losing our buy one favor-- >> i think that it's resulted in a backlash because their intent is not benign. they come in with the goal of entrapping countries in many instances. when we go in, we want again, you know, partnership, we want to help countries address their needs. all we really want is country to be sovereign and have the ability to protect that sovereignty and their independence and freedoms from maneuver.
so, i think we're the preferred partner, but we've got to show up and we've got to be a good, reliable partner to them. >> i agree with you, things like trade relations, quite honestly, in many cases, have much if not more to do with peace than military strength and i think it's unfortunate that when the tpp was being discussed it became a political football that got kicked around by both sides, quite honesty, and we need to have the trade relationships from asia and trade relationships with countries other than china in asia. generally general abrams you've stated a persistent need for isr. i know of no commander who thinks they have enough isr. the georapid challenges of the peninsula, the size of it, your first 120 days as commander,
your support with isr to detect as early as possible, with you receiving enough support there? what more do you need with congress as we push forward the national defense act? >> congressman, we're adequately resourced isr during armistice conditions as relates to the current reduction in tensions on the peninsula. so, i want to be clear, i'm not ringing the five-alarm fire bell right now on isr. but as we look to the future, as conditions might change, if they change negatively, then it-- our stance, our posture, is not adequate to provide us an unblinking eye to give us early warning and indicators. and i give you a couple of
examples. during the closed session of exact capability that we would need, but suffice to say we're short to be able to do that if things start to turn bad. >> i'm-- i will tell you the robbins air forts force base, i'm glad we're starting to the depot work at robbins air force base and hopefully we can get more of those planes in the airment i want to leave you with a couple of things. i mentioned this to the secretary of the air force this morning, hurricane michael hit the southeastern united states just under six months ago, we have approximately three legislative days left that are not fly in-fly out days before we leave for the easter break and a bill is not yet passed. if it's not passed before easter, it will delay things for weeks, potentially even another month. i hope that the people at the
dod will help hold our feet to the fire to get that done prior to leaving and i would mention to you, you're about six months from sequester. >> the gentleman's time has expired if he wants to wrap up that thought he's more than welcome to. >> i would just caution you that the calendar's ticking and we need some type of agreement on a caps deal, mr. chairman, i think would agree with me on that, sooner rather than later so we can adapt our national authorization act. >> i would echo that thought. as you mentioned at the outlet, ny 19, october 1, you knew how much money, and good to go the first time in i don't know how long. to get that kwen for again for fy 20 would are enormously important for congress and the white house. i think we need that deal. i think it's there to be mad. obsessing over the budget caps set back in 2011 in a situation
where, mr. turner and i had a robust disagreement what that situation was, but we did it's part of the controversy trying to figure out what to do with the budget, the debt ceiling and how do we get the deficit and debt under control, but to jeopardize the entire discretionary budget over an amount of money that isn't going to have any impact on our long-term debt and deficit is the height of irresponsibility to my mind and we need to get together, certainly for dod ap the discretionary budget. i appreciate the gentleman making that point. ms. hoolahan. >> thank you, i'm going to-- thank you gentlemen for coming today and testifying. i'm going to continue to ask the questions that mr. cisneros were talking about, and i serve on the asia subcommittee and have the opportunity to ask the same questions as mr. victor recently that had to do with the exercises that are conducted overseas that have
been suspended in some cases and i'm just trying to triangulate the answer. you mentioned that you had been asked to be creative about effectively resigning, reimagining the exercises so they could be effective. he mentioned that he was concerned that if there was reimagined exercises continued in the capacity that they were, which was in some cases not actually in the places they ought to be, that by the springtime he would be anxious that we should be returning to actually exercising in the places that we planned to have those scenarios actually unfold. and do you have that same kind of concern, whereas if we continue to sort of exercise off site, for lack of a better descripter, how he was alluding to it, that we're in some ways less ready than we would have been otherwise? >> congresswoman, i -- i did read those comments and i've got the utmost respect for mr. cha, but he's not fully read in on how we conducted
these exercises. i prefer to -- i'm happy it give the members all the details you want on things that we have done with the exercise design, but i want to assure you and all the members, this exercise was probably more rigorous and more challenging and stressed our systems more appropriately than we have in many years past. i prefer to go into how we were able to do that in a closed session, but the department is committed. i know the secretary of defense is committed to us being able to sustain that readiness and continue to train and exercise as we need to to keep it as a fight tonight capability. >> thank you, i'll look forward to that conversation in the next session. >> my next question, it has to do with the bases currently in djibouti.
if you could look at the map of the area that we're talking about today and think about if there are any vulnerable countries that you can think of that are maybe-- will maybe succumb to the lure of china and their money and resources? could you identify what countries those are you may be worried could be co-opted to be a djibouti type situation. >> before naming countries, it's important to note that china is opportunistic wherever they see the conditions and generally, they are weaker, in some cases, authoritarian states where the economics have attraction. i think what we've seen is attempts if places like sri lanka, and the maldese, and malaysia that were robust and somewhat thwarted by the elections in maldives.
mr. adean lost in sri lanka, and replaced temporarily and in malaysia we have one as a second turn as leader and much is a result of china overplaying their hands. certainly in the pacific islands we see some vulnerable states that china is approaching and there's been some press coverage op some of those, i've visited others and the administration have visited to assure them that there are alternatives. and shine a light on what happened in some of these other countries so they don't fall prey to it. >> i thank you and one last question with one last minute which has to do with that. people say that china is more successful in developing check security and security relationships with countries because it doesn't have the same kind of regulatory requirements and restrictions as we do in terms of human rights and vetting and anti-corruption requirements and those sorts of things. you've mentioned that our values compete well in this area. and so i wanted to ask you, do
you believe that countries choose china over us because of these requirements that we have? or do you think that we are able to continue to have our values and also be competitive in the environment that we're in right now? >> i think, as admiral davidson alluded to earlier, our values are key to our ability to compete and there is an attraction to it. i think the countries that are most susceptible often times have weak authoritarian governments that are willing to engage in activities that are quite frankly corrupt. what we offer, even if it's not in the vast sums that china can come to the table with is clean, transparent, open approaches that have long-term benefit to the people, not just the leadership. >> i agree with that. thanks so much for your time. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. burkes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral davidson, intelligence suggests china has made strong progress in the development of
hyp hypersonic weapons that pose challenges to america's missile defense systems. the first question, do you have a judgment whether china is opt to use hypersonic weapons in a regional or strategic scenario? >> sir, they don't have capability that they would use in combat immediately, but their initial capability is in the horizon of just the next few years, yes. >> with respect then to china's expected capabilities, are you planning for them to have conventional tip warheads, nuclear tipped warheads or both? >> i think the nation needs to be prepared for any outcome there, both. >> and what are our current hypersonic defense capabilities. as you indicated in the preface to your question, sir, our ability of our integrated air and missile defense systems to handle hypersonics is short of the capability.
they have a different, you know, flight profile trajectory that makes it hard for current sensing systems to maintain track on those things, that it makes it hard for our current interception systems to actually make the turn and do the intercepts. so continued advancement here by the department, and i think you're going to be see, be pleased with the down payment on the fy 20 budget, continued advancement in sensing, which is going to require an airborne or space layer, as well as continued advancing in our ability to intercept these weapons, defeat them, i think, you're going to see that, the beginnings of that in the 20 budget. >> how long do you anticipate it will be before our defense capabilities are such that we can rely on them? >> sir, i'll have to take that for the record. you know, money is a resource here, that is a factor, but so is time and i think dr. griffin, and as the services
pursue this capability, i think they could give you a more refined answer than i could, but i need to do some coordination with them to get back to you. >> well, that flows into my next question. how much more money do you believe we need in the next fiscal year defense budget in order to adequately accelerate defense capabilities to hypersonic weapons? >> sir, if i could take that question down below, you know, i can begin to address that, but i'm going to have to take that for the record as well. >> all right, thank you. will move from defense now to offense. assistant secretary schriver, the missile defense review opens the aperture, and what for the capability for the indo pac com and follow up on that with in your judgment how long will it be before america has an effective offensive
hypersonic capabilitcapability? >> i can only answer at the very general level, i understand. >> there are parts of the department that deal with both offense and the defense equation. but i do think that you will see this reflected in the 2020 budget, an increase in resources, both on the defense and offense side. i do think time is of the essence, given where china and competitors may be on this. of course, it's not limited to hypersonics, but as was pointed out, all the enabling sensors and capabilities that china is pursuing as well. there are a variety of ways to deal with this capability and it may not only be shooting down a missile, it may be disabling other aspects of their infrastructure, but to get into more detail would probably need to be another setting and i'd probably have to have the support of colleagues who have more of a technical background. >> well, to use a football analogy, sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
do you have anything that you wish to add about our development of offensive capabilities, offensive hypersonic capabilities? . only that i know that it's been identified as a priority and it's being resourced at greater levels in our budget. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you all for being here and for your service. admiral davidson, north korea has a variety of sources of illicit funding and u.s. pacific command, source of resolution sanctions. i know you spoke to mr. carbajal a few minutes ago about enforcement. can you speak to how china and russia are living up to their responsibilities to do the same? >> i think in the diplomatic space, both russia and china try to undermine the sanctions effort by proposing relief to sanctions at the u.n., but that's certainly not helpful in what i think should be the world's objective to get to a
denuclearized north korea. i also believe that russia kind of confound our initiatives across the region by direct diplomatic engagement with other countries to garner the votes that they need to prevent these sanctions. i can tell you that china in the maritime space, using terrestrial sensors, using airborne sensors, they're watching how we do the sanctions enforcement regime. they're offering zero assistance. i can't say that they are preventing our ships and aircraft from doing their mission, but they're certainly not monitoring their own territorial feed very well and not adding to the picture at all. and they continue-- i'm sorry, they continue to undermine the effort at the u.n. as well. >> thank you, so i guess along those same lines. you spoke earlier how russia
plays a spoiler role in the region. can you talk more about the specifics around that and what that entails? >> there's a -- one of the things that they tell other nations in the region is that our sea and our desire to maintain an open sea and air space in the south china sea, for example, should not be our objective, yet they use that same sea and air space themselves and actually use the open seas and airways to fly threatening bomb are profiles on our allies and the united states as well. that's a high form of hypocrisy. they're engaging to either gain access in a commercial fashion or a science fashion that could lend itself to military capabilities. that's been upsetting. the good news some of these other countries have at least called us and notified us of that and they've made it-- they've partnered with china in
a large exercise last fall that was in russia. they just are unhelpful in the whole of the diplomatic informational, military and economic space. >> do you have anything to add on that front? >> well, congresswoman, i will tell you that there is -- we continue to see positive effects on the sanctions admiral davidson briefed earlier. but reiterate what the admiral said. the chinese can and should do much, much more to meet their obligations in accordance with the u.n. security council resolutions. >> so what do you think this all kind of boils down to? what do you think the general effect it's having and what to we need to do about it from your end? >> well, china is attempting to undermine the rules based international order, through
their own benefit or through the benefit of people or entities or regimes frankly that they seek to partner with. it's not helpful. >> and same for russia? . okay. so along those lines then, and you know, we've had-- we've made -- the president made the decision to cancel in key resolve and eagle. and what north korea because of his relationship with kim jong-un, what message does that send to russia and asia and-- >> congresswoman, just to be pre advice and that is in the semantics. key resolve and eagle were not canceled. we concluded that exercise regime in effect for 35 years,
that was probably necessary, designed, optimized, based on the situation on the peninsula, vis-a-vis bellicose and aggressive and provocative behavior from the pdrk. and from the statement, we've concluded that previous exercise regime and they've given us the green light to develop a new set of exercise regimes so we can tan to meet and maintain our readiness requirements. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and i believe it was chairman smith who said during his opening statement that on the korean peninsula we are at a high water mark since secession conflicts during the korean war. i want to -- what do we expect
to see from the trend lines as respects the overall data for conflict on the korean peninsula? >> congressman if you go back two years to 2017 during the height of missile tests, nuclear weapons tests by the dprk, i would describe it -- i was not the commander then, but i was certainly watching closely as the u.s. army's force provider to have forces ready should crisis be required. i would characterize our posture and our stance as we were in a low crouch. we were increasing our stockages, increasing our force posture. we made the decision to deploy a very integrated missile defense system called thad. you know, things were very tense on the peninsula. people were at the low ready. now, compare and contrast, juxtapose that on 2019 and there is a palpable air of calm
on the peninsula. we're able to sustain and we continue to train and maintain our readiness, but simultaneously, along the demilitarized zone. on the west sea,s east sea, along the northern limit line, inside the joint security area for the first time since 1976, the joint security is 100% demilitarized and all are evidence of how i can say confidently that things have-- the tension is reduced significantly. >> admiral davidson, do you have anything to add to that? >> no, sir, but i will add that the readiness of our forces are key in our mind, that coordinate between the united states and republic of korea, all of that training and readiness is sound. as general abrams indicated
earlier, we're keeping a close eye on any changes in the capability set, whether it's in conventional forces in north korea, whether it's in nuclear, the potential for a nuclear test, and missile testing and we'll be ready to respond should those indicators say they're on a different trajectory than what general abrams just described. >> and mr. schriver, it seems to me that this new era of calm has been issued in by an unprecedented level of engagement with the administration on the actors, the players, the chairman in north korea. have you drawn any conclusions to the extent they've contributed to the new sense of calm that general abrams articulated? >> well, i think the unprecedented step of meeting leader to leader has made this environment what it is.
ultimately-- >> and what it is is safer. >> tensions are down and i would describe it as safer in terms of avoidance of immediate and unintended. we need to fulfill chairman kim's pledge to denuclearize. >> shifting gears to hypersonics. are we ahead or behind china in hypersonics. >> i'm not to tell-- but a sense of urgency to make sure our competitive advantage is maintained. >> what are the consequences if we're demonstrably behind china going forward? how does that influence the balance of power globally? >> increased risk and greater vulnerability for our ability to impact our security interests and our broad interests in the indoe pacific.
>> thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to start with general abrams. thank you very much for coming into my office yesterday, i appreciated the discussion. and i just want to start by saying that when your command, our commander-in-chief handed you a deck that meant you could not continue your prime exercises in this theater, i learned yesterday that you innovated remarkably and have improved along the existing, old exercises to modernize them and make them more full spectrum and to adapt to the current situation and you deserve a lot of credit for that. that's not easy to do in the u.s. military and i appreciate that very much. admiral davidson, you stated in your testimony that north korea will remain the most immediate challenge until we find the fully anti-nuclear by chairman
kim in summit of 2018. mr. schriver, we gave up the exercises and what did we gain from the summit? >> i think we gained an opportunity to engage in a way that could be productive if north korea is prepared to take the difficult steps in the direction of denuclearization. >> it's an opportunity that didn't exist before? >> i think that leader to leader engagement did create an unprecedented opportunity, but north korea has not taken the steps to fulfill chairman kim's pledge and we're disappointed they haven't come to the table in a serious manner. >> are you surprised? >> i -- having worked on this in some form or another for almost 30 years, i think i've seen a lot of different approaches, none of which have been successful. i think this is the best opportunity that north korea ever have. whether or not they make the strategic choice, that's difficult to say. >> why would they give up their nuclear weapons, mr. schriver? >> i think there's a better path and a better future for the country, quite frankly and i don't think their weapons are
making them more secure. i think it was only a year and a half ago, two years ago that we were at a period of very high tensions and possible military action. i don't think that these weapons are making them more safe and secure. >> you talked about this, the fact that tensions are down, you said, my colleague just said there's a new level of calm. have tensions ever been higher than they were at the beginning of this administration when north korea's hot-headed leader was exchanging tweets with ours? >> we've had periods of heightened tensions. i think 1994 secretary perry used to say that's the closest he came to war while he was secretary of defense. >> while he was secretary. has it ever been as dangerous as a couple of years ago? my point is it's one thing to talk about tensions being down, but if tensions you created yourself, we are where we were before in terms of negotiations and north korea hasn't given up anything. we now know from public
intelligence reports they're actually continuing their nuclear weapons development so they're farther along than they were at anytime. literally today. they're farther along than they've been at anytime in american history and all we gained after giving up our exercise s is quote, unquote, opportunity. no one is surprised the chairman hasn't taken. where do we go next? >> the choice for north korea is a stark one. they can continue to live in isolation. >> i understand their choice. what leverage do we have? >> well, the maintenance of sanctions i think continues to put pressure on north korea. >> do you think that sanctions are helpful? >> i do. >> why did the president cancel the latest sanctions. >> as i understand none of the sanctions have been removed or changed since the tweet as the white house-- . since the tweet. so would you disagree with the idea of removing sanctions?
that would be unhelpful. >> i think it's helpful to maintain pressure. the decisions on future sanctions are beyond my purview. >> i wanted to shift focus for a second to india. you previously mentioned how important our relationship is with india. how does india's recent purchase of the s-400 and the leasing of russian submarines impact our relationship going forward? >> the purchase s-400's have not gone to contract. we're working with them to provide alternatives. i think it would be unfortunate if they choose to pursue that and we have the legislation hanging over all of that. the legislation is not designed to be an impediment in the growing strategic partnership with india, it's designed to impose costs on russia and consequence for russia.
one way or another, we want to work through it because india is an important strategic partnership, partner. >> before i call mr. banks, we're going to do the classified hearing at 12:15. we're going to be wrapped here before 12:15 no matter how many people are here and go upstairs for the classified at 12:15. mr. banks. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral davidson, in the past you mentioned that indo-pacom has a quarter of the surveillance capabilities to addre address. and included sonic buoys, and fy 20, a portion of the request again appears in the upl. in looking at your command's requirements and the current and forseeable security environment, would you also include assets like sonna buoys as a shortfall especially in light of your aor?
>> yes, given the ongoing expansion of the chinese submarine operations in the pacific and indo-pacific and the capability that russians will be introducing into the theater within the next couple of years, with the cruise missiles capable submarines. sensing like sona buoy is going up in value and need. >> thank you for that. yesterday we had secretary shanahan in the seat you're in today. i'm going to ask you the same question i asked the second yesterday. even if every congress and president agree on the goal of 355 ship fleet for decades to come, we will not reach the desired goal for i said 40 years yesterday, without a firm commitment. the secretary pushed back and said 18 years. i'll give the secretary 18 years on the low end and some experts say 40 years on the high end. in light of that, what do you expect a value of forces between the u.s. and china to
be by the time we achieve a 355 ship fleet and when do you believe it's realistic to achieve this goal. >> to your first question, congressman, i think we're going to lose our quantitative edge in about the 2025 time frame. i think that's going to be a challenge for our equities in the region, absolutely. i can't comment on how much faster or slower the needs to happen here. there are some ship building limits. the capacity in the united states to actually produce the ships, but i think the navy's force structure assessment will take that fully into account when they come in later in the year. >> thank you for that. mr. schriver in your tam, you said, quote, there's an active effort and political division in their execution north korea has turned to the use of illicit ship to ship transfers
off china's coast for caps of refined petroleum and textiles and coal. these were imposed and periodically strengthened to dating back to march 2016. end quote. with that, what is the logic of the trump administration with lessening north korea and not if they don't comply to the sanctions to begin with. >> as i've said i'm not aware the sanctions were removed on changed. i think it's important to keep pressure on and i think a defensible statement we wouldn't be where we are today without the pressure that north korea has felt. your point about, well, quoting my statement about china, we will not be successful unless china does more to enforce sanctions themselves, including the activity in their territorial water period. >> good. on the same note, admiral you've talked in the past about
naming and shaming those entities, sanctions on north korea. have we done that? have we made any efforts at all to sanctions --. >> there have been a number of flag states that the united states has engaged as well as other countries to sideline vessels that have been participating in the illicit transfer of oil to north korea, as well as some of the ownership companies and shippers involved, and i think the key is to disrupting that providing network as we go forward. there has been. and your point naming and shaming these individuals and we've seen robust action from other countries in that regard. >> so you've seen progress or we hope to see progress. >> yes, sir, we have seen progress and it will continue. >> thank you. with that i'll yield back. >> the gentleman, i've heard a
lot of questions and a lot of the ones that i was going to ask. so taking a slightly different direction, if you would. i think congresswoman hoolahan touched on this talking about the persian gulf ports and china's presence in that part of the world. a little outside your ao, but the national security strategy and national defense strategy does talk about reorienting ourselves for near peer competition to think of china. and a lot of us only think of this in military to military engae engagement and you often talked about the economics aspects. we haven't really talked about gafgs. i've been reading about china having a little military to military cooperation with that government. and we know their relationship with pakistan, one belt, one road, and the support that they're developing there and
their ability to drive into afghanistan and get into central asia and the gulf. you know, there's ports in iran off the success of those ports figures largely in that region. insecurity in afghanistan. so, it's kind of the back door to your aor. so i thought i'd give you an opportunity to talk about, as the u.s. talks in negotiations with taliban, talks about withdrawing. what kind of a footprint do you hope to see in afghanistan and what kind of a role. how important it is for your area of responsibility that the u.s. is present and has a strong relationship with the afghan government. >> i think it's critical. we are in afghanistan first and foremost to protect the united states and protect americans. if ambassador kelly assad is successful to promote reconciliation, there would
be-- it is our objection through the negotiations that we have the latitude for sufficient presence -- in a post reconciled environment we expect afghans to deal with the terrorist threat. they certainly don't want that on their territory, at least the government in kabul. so, it will be conditions-based and i think that's being reflected in our negotiations. >> kelly ayotte. >> if i had mentioned earlier, i think our u.s. values compete extraordinarily well and they do in afghanistan very much so, and when you look at china what can be said incarceration of more than what's estimated to be right now, i think a million and a half people in the uighurs, i think that afghanistan would view heavy chinese involvement in their country and chinese interest as
a chilling factor. >> thank you, mr. chairman and i want to-- gentlemen, i want to thank you both, particularly your families for -- it's a team effort to serve and new for your years of service. i want to talk very -- go back to india for a moment. i agree, i think it was ranking member who said that's a seminal or perhaps the chairman, really one of the seminal alliances, i think, moving forward. what more can we do in our engagement with india and what more should we be doing and what more would you like to do and how can this body help? >> sir, the finding of the comcasa and the two meetings that the secretary of state had last september in india i think is a breakthrough.
down on the operational level we're working to -- it's an agreement, it's an i.t. essentially agreement in which underpinning that, we can do some information sharing and other things. there's an opportunity for us to share tactical flyaway kits and operational planning system i think will advance on a military to military level very well. i continue to make the point with them that our interoperatorability and compatibility going forward will be advantaged with the purchase of u.s. systems. that allows us to get to training, doctrine, tactile level coordination that's really powerful. so, while they very much want to protect their nonaligned policy, the tactical and technical capability we get out of light systems will really advance that relationship down
in the military space. >> yeah, thank you. and just so on top of that, switching to space. how does china's growing capability. anti-sat, dazzling, their capabilities that they're essentially putting all over the globe in terms of tracking through one belt, one road and through their debt diplomacy, how is that affecting you operationally leave that to anyone on the panel. >> it's a capability in the battle space that would have an effect on the freedom of action on the entire joint force, not only in the indo-pacific, but around the globe. >> switching to china-- excuse me, switching to japan. do you believe, mr. schriver at the time, i understand this is an internal japanese issues and contentious in terms of article 9, taking a hard look at cost sharing and chinese capability.
the u.s. can't do it alone. we're looking at a quantitative edge in terms of our fleet. as the admiral mentioned by 2025. what can we do about talking to the japanese taking additional steps, taking that hard step internally and making changes to their constitution to be a more effective military partner? >> well, you rightfully acknowledge it's a sovereign decision of the government of japan and people there. i think-- >> but they have a responsibility as an apply, a 70-year, now, construct now and the world's changed. >> i think the step they took to reinterpret article 9 gave us greater flexibility and latitude and we are taking advantage of that. their new national defense program guidelines compared with our national stretch -- nothing, but open space to build this alliance out. i'm not aware of the distinction between
reinterpreting the constitution is an impediment now if there were one, we'd raise that with our japanese friends. >> just in the time remaining, admiral, how does the latin american angle in terms of their -- the 17 nations that you mentioned participating, signing agreements, one belt, one road, how is that affecting your force laydown or force posture? is it significant? where do we-- what do we do going forward? >> all those countries are actually in south com area of responsibility. >> right. >> i actually talked to admiral fowler just last night to make sure that i understood and he wanted to understand my concerns as well. i think you're not seeing profound military action in the south com aor right now. last year, china did run a hospital ship down there with medical capability. >> i would note in my time remaining, i note that they put
a satellite tracking system on land, it's a road, a trend we're seeing. >> and we've seen other requests across the indo-pacific aor, but the net result of which is the potential for more bases, places for china to operate out of base airplanes, fixed ships. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman, the discussion upstairs. >> mr. lora and when she's done we'll reconvene at 22:12. >> thank you for being here, admiral, good to see you again. i spent four years on a destroyer and aid of the 7th fleet. and what is striking, the large distances that have to be covered and i want to focus on our challenges, logistics pace withed on the large distances in the pacific. and our current enterprise is faced on the ability to deliver fuel parts, supplies in an uncontested environment. so i appreciate that you also see this as a vulnerability in your comments that you provided
in preparation for the hearing. while china continues to develop weapons such as df-26 they've called it the guam killer which gives you an idea of the range and what they could intend to use that for, that threaten our ability to deliver logistics, from the fixed bases we've relied on for more than 50 years. we haven't changed our tactics or procedures with record to logistics, and practiced those recently. and in theater for about a decade. do you logistics as an achilles heel in the theater? >> the logistics tax particulars, so to speak, going forward we just concluded the pacific blitz exercise as well which merges essentially what was a tactical exercise and logistics, both navy and marine corps exercises to exercise that capability. clearly, recapitalization of
our sea lift system is going to be critically important as is aging out and really has propulsion plans that are, you know, expire in capability and our ability to maintain them. >> i was going to comment on that as well. i had an opportunity to hear from admiral busby, as well as from u.s. trans com and the sea power committee on the age of sea lift fleet and on any given day, were unavailable. what kind of impact would that have? that was basically unavailable during that snapshot of time. what impact would that have on your plan to carry that out in the theater. >> it's a risk to our troops and all of our people that are forward in the region if there is any delay in our ability to deliver logistics in according with-- >> and going back to the consul
ops and the availability of tankers in the region. currently in our msp program, there are no tankers whatsoever and do you see that as a need in order to execute your plan? >> yes, ma'am, the military sea lift command is also exploiting commercial opportunities to do some of these things as well. >> and lastly, many of our ships in the theater heavily rely on shore structure such in guam, and different areas around the theater. are you taking any actions to harden that shore infrastructure or provide additional defenses for it to make sure that we can maintain the logistics necessary to carry out the two principal plans in the area? >> certainly there are defensive capabilities in guam. i'd like to see improved. we're use ago mobile system right now with sat on the ground as well as ship support from the threats that are exigent. i think we'll need a robust fixed site there so our mobile sites can be employed to use to support our expeditionary
logistics and other areas around the region. >> i'll wrap up, i'll ask the question i've asked all combatants that come forwardses. what note have you received in the theater in the last years. >> about 70%. >> as i'm the last to go, thank you for the time to brief us and help us be more informed on this decision making process throughout the budget process. thank you. >> thank you, gentlemen. appreciate your testimony answering questions, we're adjourned and we'll reconvene at 22:12 as soon as we can get up there. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> the c-span bus is stopping at the schools of our student cam winners. recently in columbia, south carolina, to award the second prize high school east to gabrielle greenley, darius darby, and darius adamson. at richland northeast high school. >> when we saw the topic, what does it mean to be an american,
we immediately thought about the constitution and, of course, the first thing that came to mind was bill of rights. especially freedom of speech because that is something that's just so ingrained in the american identity and it is a topic that has been at the forefront, especially of the past two years in terms of the press and in terms of our increasingly divided political climate. so how could we not approach this subject and apply it to what does it mean to be an american. >> see the top 21 winning entries on c-span in april and you can watch every winning student cam documentary on-line at student cam.org. >> the senate is meeting on this thursday to continue debate on emergency disaster funds. they're expected to voice vote a motion to win official work on the nearly 13 1/2 billion dollar bill and then start on amendments. lawmakers will because that seib at 1:30 eastern to consider the nomination of
former national highway traffic administration head nicole mason to head the federal highway administration. a confirmation vote is expected at 2 eastern. now to live senate coverage here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain of the senate, dr. black, will offer prayer. the chaplain: let us pray.