tv Iran Sanctions CSPAN January 29, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EST
i think that maybe as far as getting more women in some of the blue collar job and engineering job where it's lagged the most, a lot of it comes down to stem education, getting little girls interested early. math and science programs for little girls. i used to be at worcester mass and they had a stem program to try to get girls interested in that. i think those important efforts to really build up that piece of the workforce. these are good jobs, good paying jobs. you can support families and we want more girls to be interested in them. at the same time, i'm living proof -- i'm -- we're the parents of a physics teacher. i am not a stem nerd at all. i was a politics major who went
to law school and, look i'm in electricity. there's jobs for people across the spectrum of interest. it's not all about stem. we need people of all the different disciplines. >> how about a round of applause for our speaker. >> thank you so much for being first at the national press club we hope many future ferc chairman follow our lead and come see us at the national press club. i would also like to thank the national press club staff including its journalism institute and the broadcast center for organizing today's event. finally here's a reminder you can find more information not only about today's event but all of our activities at the
national press club at the national press club website. that's press.org. also, if you'd like to get a copy of today's program you can go to that website, press.org. thank you very much. we are adjourned. we're live on capitol hill this morning as the house banking committee is meeting to mark up or finalize a bill introduced by bob kirk and robert menendez that would introduce a new bill if there is a file your to sign iran. this is live coverage on c-span3. >> the free iran act of 2015. i'd like to commend at this time senators kirk and senators
menendez for their tireless efforts and i mean tireless over so many months putting this legislation together. earlier this week we heard testimony from senior administration officials and a panel of experts on the need for iran sanctions. i will note this testimony is in addition to at least 11 other times administration officials have testified before senate committees on iran since 2013. yesterday, members also participated in a classified breeing on iran sanctions which covered many of the same topics of numerous other classified briefings for members of congress and staff on iran. moreover, this topic has been discussed and analyzed with the administration in multiple settings by most of us. both the administration and its critics agree it was the escalating pressures of economic and financial sanctions many of which originated in this committee that brought iran to the negotiating table in 2013.
in resident months, the sting of this pressure seems to be lessening in part because some of the sanctions have been eased. what was supposed to be six months of talks began in late 2013 to address the so-called joint plan of action on iran's nuclear program. since then, there have been two extensions of talks and negotiations today continued.. it appears a third extension is likely to occur. even the president has stated the odds of reaching a final agreement are no better than 50-50. i believe there's bipartisan consensus more needs to be done to compel iran to reach a final agreement. congress, i believe, must act without hesitation in order to show iran further delays will have consequences. the nuclear-free iran act of 2015 we consider today will
impose new sanctions if and only if iran fails to arrive at a final agreement by the negotiating deadline. the legislation would also allow for increased congressional oversight of the nuclear negotiations with iran by requiring the president to submit the submit to techs by any agreement with congress. this legislation is long overdue. time for congress to act. i understand we have a number of amendments today. i will first turn to senator brown for opening remarks and then offer senators kirk and menendez to offer brief opening remarks if they choose to do so. any other member may submit a statement for the record or after the final vote. mr. brown. >> thank you mr. chairman. none of us disagrees with the goal of the legislation before us. we're united in our desire of
preventing iran from securing a nuclear weapon through peaceful diplomacy if possible and otherwise if necessary. the debates are often of little consequence. in this debate, tactics could have an enormous consequence of our international interests. many have talked about how the sanctions have brought iran to the negotiating table. i think that's true. it's been a solid multi lateral regime that has done so. it seems to me those who have the greatest skepticism about reaching an agreement with iran should also have the greatest reluctance to do anything to stiff stiffen sanctions on a multi lateral basis should negotiations fail. that's not the case. the administration and some of our closest alis are telling us the conclusion of the negotiations may in fact -- this is so important -- may in fact make it significantly harder to
keep the coalition, the p 5 plus 1 and our other allies who have been supportive harder to keep the coalition together. my democratic colleagues on the committee includeing senators menendez schumer and donnelly have said they will give the president until after march 24th before agreeing to support new sanction legislation on the floor. this is helpful. even so, four of us have heard from europe ambassadors on tuesday our closest partners on these negotiations turning that soft deadline and fluid negotiations into a hard deadline for legislative action may have consequences for negotiations, our partners and ultimately for us and our national national interests, consequences we can't now foresee. congress should have the collective patience to wait until the end of june to see whether our negotiators can resolve the nuclear issue with iran through diplomacy.
once that's determined and if negotiations fail j congress and the president will, unquestionably will join hands in applying greater pressure. we'll be in a far better position to ask the rest of the world to join us. in the past this committee worked patiently to maximize the this on iran and making it less for our country and allies. we're considering a bill with no legislative hearings no opportunities to thoroughly and responsibly assess the likely consequences of our action. the additional questions for instance for the witnesses from tuesday's hearing are not due until next week after this vote. the answers will be received some time later. these answers should be used to inform our work, not second-guess it after we vote it yet we're marking up this bill
before we even have decided what questions to ask. there are five new committee members. on this committee we have not had a hearing on iran sanctions since december 2013. they for all intents and purposes have had three days of formalized discussions. the hearing, not on legislative language, just the hearing on tuesday, a classified briefing yesterday, mr. chairman, that was a very youthfuluseful briefing unfortunately through no doing of the chairman's that briefs was truncated and lasted only an hour because of senate votes and we're meeting today. no hearing on legislative language whether it's the chairman or whatever language will be in front of us. there are substantive issues to be addressed should negotiations fail and how quickly?
i won't go into detail but they should be resolved before floor consideration. the negotiations would dramatically undermine our negotiations with negotiating partners and eventually jeopardize international support for multi lateral sanctions. he will veto the bill. our negotiating partners expressed similar opposition. we're acting hastily and unwisely. if congress works to force the president's hand in the next few months overriding a veto and our heading down a path towards military confrontation congress, beginning with each of us, will rightly be held responsible. this is the first step in a longer legislative process. i hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and both sides of congress will finally heed the president's warnings and give our negotiates the time
to try to resolve this diplomatically. we have time for all relevant committees in both houses to insure all members are fully informed of the potentially profound and historic consequences of our actions. let's use it. >> saturday kirk. >> thank you. i would like to thank the whole committee working on this. i have been working on this legislation some number of years to thread the ultimate need toll make sure we achieve the noble cause of making sure we avoid a nuclear war in the persian gulf and make sure our kids never ever have to witness such an event. to make sure this war in the persian gulf does not happen. wanted to use the strongest possible non-military means to affect this event. i would say that sanctions do
work that we have seen previous the menendez-kirk sanctions take the value of iran's currency by 76%. the president over and over said those original sanctions are the entire reason why the iranians are even at the table. i say let's back a winning strategy, as we have done, and make sure the nuclear war in the persian gulf never happens. for those that think we're rushing too fast, we're probably acting way too late from what i heard in the classified briefing how close iran is coming on enrichment of uranium. with that i reemphasize my thank you thank you thank yous to bob menendez my partner on this. we've been attempting to make sure we bring the whole senate forward with democrats and republicans in a most unified
way. way. >> senator menendez. >> with that, i would yield to bob. >> i recognize the senator. >> thank you mr. chairman. let me start off by thanking senator kirk working with me over many years to accomplish a mutual goal to have iran never achieve the capacity for a nuclear weapon. i appreciate his work. the essence of this legislation has been well debated over the course of a year and probably had more attention from the senate reforeign relations hearing and banking hearings and classified hearings than most pieces of legislation we ever deal with. i would say that in that context, i support moving forward today, but i want to reiterate my position along with other democrats that have
joined with me i have no intention, while i move to vote in support of the underlying legislation, i have no intention of moving forward and supporting it on the floor if it is brought before the march 24th deadline to understand whether or not an agreement is possible and what an agreement would look like. i would just say, mr. chairman this legislation has been carefully calibrated to achieve our ultimate goal to prevent iran from achieving nuclear capability. the essence of the legislation itself timing may be an issue i think if the essence of the legislation was brought up in time it would have broad bipartisan support i think is essential at the end of the day, to send the world and iran the messages we have sent in the past so as they calibrate their decision making they understand we are very closely unified in
our goal. i will say i respect every member's rights to offer amendments. i have offered them in the past and sometimes have withheld in order to achieve the greater good. i respect every member's rights to offer amendments. while i support some amendments i apologizeoppose others i think at this time would move us in the direction to break the very essence of the strong bipartisan support we need. finally, i am concerned, i must say, when i had been reading and hearing constantly the refrain, if no agreement, what then? because that suggests there has to be an agreement at virtually any cost. now, an agreement that is bad is not good in the national interests and security of the united states or our ally the
state of israel or the effort to stop a nuclear weapons arms race in this tinder box of the world which is this middle east. as i traveled in those countries, many other allies not brought before the committee but would tell you the saudis, emir radys, turkey among others that if in fact iran achieves nuclear weapons capability, they will under the theory of self-destruction seek to do the very same things themselves that being a defensive mechanism against that ultimate possibility. i simply suggest this constant refrain that if no deal, then what? that sort of like indicates to me we are headed for a deal for deal's sake and that is extremely dangerous. there are other alternatives, being prepared to have iran understand it will suffer even
more greatly and maybe create regime change from within the ayatollah does not want may be the mechanism to have them decide to make the deal we would all want. what i don't want to do is be in the process of an appeasement that ultimately left north korea to be a nuclear weapons state. that is not a history that i want to relive once again. that's why many of us are focused on this in that context so that we don't relive that history and challenge we have on the north korean peninsula and that part of the world as a result of the bad choices that were made at that time. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we now have a quorum. we will turn to amendments. the first amendment is the chairman's amendment. very straightforward, technical in nature. it would require the president to deliver to congress an economic sanctions relief assess am report by the secretary of the treasury. in addition to the verification assessment, report by the secretary of state required in
the bill within five days of entering into a long term comprehensive solution or any extension of the joint action plan. plan. >> so moved. >> thank you. with that the question on the chairman's amendment, amendment number one, those in favor. >> mr. chairman, i commend the chairman of this initiative. i know it's intended to insure greater clarity about the direct and indirect value of sanctions relief. at some point it should be balanced by the cost of the amendment. with that i have no objection. >> with that those in favor say aye. all opposed say nay and eyeayes have it. it is agreed to. i understand the other senators wishing to offer amendments.
the floor is open. the committee is open. >> mr. chairman. >> senator toomey. >> if this is an appropriate time, i have filed three amendments. i intend not to ask for a vote on all three. >> the senator is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me address the first of the three amendments. this is an amendment that would pre-cluld uranium enrichment on the part of the iranians. i won't ask for a vote but i think it is very important. >> let me interrupt you, could we ask unanimous consent we dispense with the reading? >> i would ask unanimous consent. >> is 6, 7, 8 to identify -- >> yes. i'm referring to amendment number 6.
>> fundamentally, what this is about is the fact that if the only thing iran truly wants is the ability to generate electricity with uranium, they don't need the ability to enrich uranium. that's, i think an indisputable fact. they are insisting having enrichment capability. that troubles me deeply. the worry is they have some other purpose. the obvious other purpose is to preserve the option to one day enrich to the level that will generate weapons grade uranium. and the distance between having a nuclear fuel enrichment to weapons grade enrichment is not a great distance. leaving that capability in place on any meaningful scale is i think, very dangerous and worrisome. what my amendment would say by the way it is the language of my amendment is drawn entirely from the kirkman-menendez bill
in the 113th congress. this is the language written into that legislation i supported and many of us supported. i think it was appropriate then and appropriate now. for a variety of reasons we wouldn't have the votes to pass it within this committee. it's an issue i intend to address on the floor and think it's a very important one. i would ask unanimous consent to withdraw. >> without objection. i'd like to move to amendment toomey number 8 dispense with the reading. >> it's recognized. >> thanks. let me first start by commending senator corker who has been particularly, i think active advocating congress should have a role in a final resolution of this. i should also certainly give my great respect and congratulations to senators kirk and menendez for all the work they've done to get us to where we are. what this amendment would do very simple.
simply states it's the sense of congress any agreement that the president reaches should be voted on by congress. this is non-binding. this does not specify the form the vote would take, whether be the negation or informative. let me discuss why i think that's important. if an agreement is reached, the calendar is pretty clear, there will only be about 18 months left in this administration if and when such an agreement is reached. obviously our national security interests in ensuring iran not develop a nuclear weapon extends far beyond that. if congress doesn't have any manifested buy-in on this agreement it raises the question how enduring it will be. i don't care we i don't think we should have any question about this. it should have very broad support of congress.
we have voted on many nuclear agreements much of which -- in fact, i can't think of any as important as this one. if we have routinely voted on other matters of lesser import, i think we should have a vote on this. this amendment doesn't bind us on that doesn't specify the form it would take but does underscore a principal a strong enduring agreement needs to have the buy-in of congress. i would urge my colleagues to endorse this simple amendment that establishes the sense of congress we ought to have a debate on any further agreement. >> further debate. roll call vote? >> senator brown i oppose this amendment. it clear -- first of all, it clearly undermines negotiations. we know that. we also know the political climate in this country right now. we know the difficulty on issues that there used to be consensus
on treaties on other issues on the senate floor have been so very very difficult. we know that our negotiating partners know that and we know that's why this will undermine these negotiations. congress it's not like there is not a major role for congress in this. original menendez-kirk sanction a very important part of this a big step getting where we are today. we know that congress will be consulted on any permanent relief and must closely monitor it and oversee the implementation. it's not if there is no congressional vote overall on the agreement, congress won't have significant input making sure it's carried out and properly. >> mr. corker. >> i'm going to say all i'm going to say now so i don't speak to anything else and cause the meeting to be more efficient.
first of all, i do want to thank kirk and menendez for their outstanding work. i don't think there's any question we wouldn't be having the negotiations that are happening right now without their efforts. so thank you. i look to this bill -- if you think about it we are in regular order now. we vote on things on the floor. that come out of committees now. that's the way the senate is going to work. i look at this effort today overall as putting in place a place holder on the senate floor it's a place holder. my guess is, if the negotiations break down many people may want to do something even stronger than what this bill says today. this is a place-holder for us. it's the topic of iran. i think all of us understand it's not going to be voted on
until after march the 24th. that is my understanding today. that is my understanding in supporting this. so i just want to go to the toomey amendment. on 271, 2, 3 agreements where we have a civil nuclear agreement with any country, the president was just in india where we have 1, 2, 3 agreements, one of my first votes here was on a civil 1, 2, 3 agreement. the threshold is low. y'all should look at the way it's set. it's very low. it's not something that a potentially disfunctional senate could even mess up just for what it's worth. sherrod, i've talked to every single -- all but one of our allies. this doesn't in any way impede negotiations.
that is absolutely not true, absolutely not true. each of the countries understands we have processes we do through. each country goes through a process of ratifying whatever happens. the iranian parliament has to go through a process. i would just say to my friends, the fact is that ultimately we are going to vote. think about it. we -- to permanently suspend the sanctions takes congress's vote. so the sense is that shouldn't we vote on the front end before the temporary suspensions begin? actually, he doesn't even specify that. so i'm going to vote against most of the amendments today. the reason i'm going to vote against them is i realize senator kirk and senator menendez have a coalition that's been put together that is bipartisan bipartisan. even though i support some amendments that will be offered, i want to honor the bipartisan
coalition that has been put together here. at senator kirk's request and senator menendez's request i will vote against amendments i actually agree with. i don't know how any here though, on a sense of the senate senate -- sense of the senate -- that we should have a role some kind of approval process in this, i don't know how any senator who came here to deal with the big issues of the day cannot support at least the sense of the senate that at some point we should have a role in ratifying what is going to probably the biggest geopolitical agreement this administration will ever be involved in, that by the way, we were the central force in causing this negotiations to take place in the first place. so it will not hurt negotiations, that is absolutely not true, absolutely not true. we had an outstanding meeting this morning, joe donnelly and the vice president.
it's absolutely not true. i hope at least on something that state ss we should play an appropriate role will pass unanimous lin this body. >> senator menendez. >> let me say i appreciate senator toomey's intent here. in general construct i'm large i in agreement. i appreciate the distinguished chairman of the senate foreign rehabilitations committee i've work with for the last two years in a strong bipartisan effort in a whole host of things and he has put a lot of time and effort on this. here is why i not at this time can support the sense of the senate. this is an issue i have been discussing with senator corker because oversight of disarmament issues come within the jurisdiction of the senate foreign relations committee and the members of that committee have participated in a
multipletude of classified briefings last year in terms of the agreement. if we should decide congress should vote on an agreement i'm inclined to believe we should, we need to come to an agreement how that vote should be taken subject to voting thresholds and the consequence if the disagreement was disapproved. there are potentially consequences and precedents that could be set to other competitiveexecutive agreements and that's also a matter for the foreign relations and its leadership. these are all things we're talking to senator corker about. i'm not inclined to have that issue decided in congress that doesn't consider the mechanisms or implications of such an action.
i appreciate the goal but this is not inconsequential. how that vote takes place what structure, what threshold, what consequences are critically important important. while i know this doesn't dictate what that structure is or not. the pre-accept of saying there should be a vote with no understanding how that vote should take place at this point is not something i'm willing to buy into. >> any further debate? if not want a roll call vote? clerk will call the role on the toomey amendment. >> mr. chairman. >> aye. >> mr. crapo. >> aye. >> mr. corker. >> mr. vitter. >> aye. >> mr. toomey? >> aye. >> mr. kirk? >> aye. >> mr. heller. >> aye.
>> mr. scott. >> aye. >> mr. sasse? >> aye. >> mr. cotton. >> mr. rounds. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. moran. >> aye. >> mr. brown. >> mr. reed. >> no. >> mr. schumer. >> no. >> mr. menendez. >> no. >> mr. tester. >> no. >> mr. warner. >> no. >> mr. merkley. >> no. >> miss warren. >> no. >> miss hi camp. aye? heitkamp? >> aye. >> mr. donnelly? >> aye. mr. chairman the vote is 14 in favor and eight opposed. >> the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. any further amendments? >> mr. chairman, i have two
amendments vitter amendment number 3 and vitter amendment number 2, i'll be happy to take them up when ever you would like. >> you're recognized. you want to dispense with the reading of them. sure. absolutely. i'll explain vitter amendment number 3. >> ask for dispense of reading. >> yes. i move we dispense with reading of amendments. >> without objection, so ordered. >> vitter amendment number 3 inserts into the text a basic statement of israel's right to defend itself. this sentiment and this type of language was in a prior version of this bill, so the concept is not new. certainly the sentiment and text is very straightforward with regard to israel's basic right to defend itself. the reason it's unfortunately necessary is because in the international community and particularly forums like the u.n., that is not a given.
that is a ridiculously controversial topic. i think we should make that statement in this context. again, it was in a prior version of the bill, so i commended everyone. be happy to answer any questions. >> senator brown. >> i agree. israel has a right to defendicityself against all who threaten its borders and ask for support. >> all in favor of the amendment say aye. all opposed nay? >> the ayes have it. amendment is agreed to. >> mr. chairman i move to dispense with reading of vitter amendment number 2. >> so ordered. >> i'll be happy to explain it. this amendment adds language so that the bill's verification assessment report asks -- involves the treasury department in looking into existing
inadequacies in the international monitoring and verification system that we need to work on and improve. it simply beefs up the report that is already in the bill regarding verification. i think we would all agree that we need to trust but verify and we need the verify a lot when we're talking about iran. this is a challenge, the existing system that has certain inadequacies. this will simply improve the report with regard to verification assessment. >> senator brown. >> i thank you mr. chairman. i support the vitter amendment. i think we ought to extend the time period given to the intelligence community for support if we're looking for a serious and thorough piece of work, thick this helps. >> no further debate on the amendment. all for it stayay aye. opposed say nay.
ayes have it. it is agreed to. >> senator cotton. >> i have several amendments at the desk. i ask we dispense with the reading of number 12 as modified. >> without objection. >> thank you. >> you're recognized. >> so, first, i would say i think it was a mistake to ever go down this path. iran is a radical islamist the theocracy whose constitution has called for jihad. its leaders have honored that constitution for 35 years, killing americans in 1983, 1996 having a nasty habit with their proxies killing jews around the world and argentina and bulgaria and israel and most recent lyly controlling or exerting dominant influence over five different capitals in the middle east. tehran, baghdadi damascus beirut and nalsana. i would rather see this negotiations end because i think the administration is committed to a deal at all costs or
committed to dragging out negotiations and letting iran achieve in slow motion what they otherwise could not achieve through a deal. therefore i proposed amendment 11 that would call immediate sanctions upon enactment but given realities that would likely not pass this committee or the floor, i'm calling for a vote on number 12 as modified. this amendment would take the staged sanction starting july 6 and starting one per month from july 2015 and december 2015 and make them all effective july 6th. if it's the decision of this congress to make them all effective and putting perspective sanctions in place. on july 6, surely we can say after 20 months of negotiations what secretary kelly originally proposed would last only six
months all sanctions go into place of july 6, they don't need another six months of staged sanctions. >> senator brown. >> thank you mr. brown. i oppose the amendment. the stair step incremental approach to the bill was designed to ratchet up pressure incrementally on iran's leaders and provide time for implementation of the sanctions by all partners so supportive of sanctions. this would kick in my understanding of the cotton amendment would kick in mid-july and not give our allies time to adjust and make it more difficult if not impossible for the administration to responsibly implement the new sanctions. i apologize the amendment. >> any further debate on the amendment? >> mr. chairman, senator menendez. >> mr. chairman i appreciate senator cotton's strong concerns about iran which i share. however, the reason senator kirk and i created a calibrated
staged effort is to do two critical things. if the agreements could not be achieved an agreement we could collectively support then it would be to consistently have iran understand the consequences of additional sanctions in an effort to get them to -- back to a table where they would agree to an agreement we could collectively support and do it in such a way that would still keep the international coalition that i think is critically important in order to have multi lateral sanctions affect which i think has been a key element of our ability to bring iran to the negotiating table. that's why we structured it in the way that we did. i think that being able to keep it in that context is incredibly important. it has nothing to do with giving the administration more time, it's really focused on how do we create the greatest consequence
on iran the least consequence on us and keep our coalition together? so i will have to oppose the amendment. >> any further debate over here? >> i would simply say iran's leaders have apparently made it clear if you are to believe them i frankly doesn't they believe any new sanctions lead to violation of the opa and lead to end of negotiations. that's illogical. if they want a deal they can reach a deal at any point. if they want a deal after july 6th when all the sanctions take effect they can do exactly what south africa did and libya did, the complete disarmament of their nuclear program. if any sanction will make them walk away or put pressure on our p p5 allies we should put all sanctions on immediately on july 6th to put the most pressure on iran. >> he wants to speak later right, senator toomer.
>> i was not clear what modification you made to the amendment if you explain that? >> as submitted july 16th, technical error, in submission of july 6th. >> clerk will call the role on the cotton amendment as modified. modified. >> mr. chairman. >> aye. >> mr. crapo. >> aye. >> mr. corker. >> no. >> mr. vitter. aye. >> mr. toomey. >> aye. >> mr. kirk? >> no. >> mr. eller. >> aye. >> mr. scott? >> aye. >> mr. sasse? >> aye. >> mr. cotton? >> aye. mr. rounds? >> aye by proxy.
>> mr. moran? >> aye. >> mr. brown? >> no. mr. reed? >> no. >> mr. schumer? >> no. >> mr. menendez? >> no. >> mr. tester. >> no. >> mr. warner? >> no. >> mr. merkley? >> no. >> miss warren? >> no. miss heitkamp? >> no. >> mr. donnelly? >> no. >> mr. chairman the vote on the amendment is 10 in favor and 12 opposed. >> the amendment is not agreed to. any other debate? >> mr. chairman i have another amendment. >> senator cotton. i move we dispense with the reading of amendment 10. >> so ordered. have two amendments related to waiver of section 208. i will not offer amendment number 9 that would entirely eliminate the president's
ability to waive sanctions under this i am however offering amendment number 10 that would limit to it one 30 day waiver period and to indefinitely waive the sanctions of this legislation for 30 day periods certifying little more it's in the national security interests of the united states where iran is not cheating on a deal, i would say the president has overlooked or turned a blind eye to iran's actions over the next 14 months if he's so hell bent getting a deal he will continue waiving sanctions, i think we as congress should only give him power to seek another 30 days and will have been 21 months and certainly enough time to reach a deal senator kerry predicted would take only three to six months. >> senator brown. >> mr. chairman i thank you. with the intent to sponsor the amendment, clearly to oppose this and in good conscience opposes the success of these
negotiations for all intents and purposes this again undermines that and plays to what you say you want to happen. the additional 30 day waivers in the bill are additionally design topped allow the president of the united states to avoid imposing new sanctions during ongoing negotiations to enable him to waive for short periods to maintain pressure on iran if he show chooses and in general in deference to the president's foreign policy powers adequate national security waivers have been provided for president fors both parties for years and years. this undercuts that and erode that policy and raise questions in the minds of our allies about the president's ability to make commitments in negotiations he deems necessary. we have commander in leadership for a reason and we look to him for leadership in this. we don't need to tie his hands and leave him at the end of the first 30 day period with less ability to waive the new
sanctions even in exigent circumstances. >> i think this is a very good amendment amendment. i think one of the things we have learned is that we made some mistakes on the first sanctions that we put in place. i think people are now realizing the president has the ability to suspend forever. and the iranians know that. and and, you know, once you suspend sanctions for a year two years, some long period of time ultimately, the regime, the sanctions regime itself falls apart. that's one of the reasons i think many of us are locking at this legislation knowing it's not going to come up until the 24th, and also looking at some other way for congress to weigh in on the efficacy of the deal
itself. i would say -- i'm going to vote against this amendment because of the arrangement and the work that kirk and menendez have done together, but my sense is when it comes to the floor, if it comes to the floor and a deal has not occurred a deal has not occurred, my sense is there's going to be people on both sides of the aisle that may wish to strengthen the underlying legislation. i would say to the senator i appreciate your efforts -- i'm not going to support this -- my guess is again if we end up without a deal, there's going to be a lot of strengthening in this underlying legislation at that time. i thank you for your effort. >> the check call -- >> i would point out the implications of what the ranking member has said. this waiver authority only applies if sanctions are in effect as of july 6th. he said moments ago "ongoing negotiations." there should be no negotiations
on july 6th. there should either be a final deal that results in the disarmament of iran or the sanctions should be kicking in. the implication of that statement is that the ranking member, and i suspect many people in this institution expect continued extensions of the jpoa. he said in his opening statement that we will not have a vote on the floor until at least "at least march 24th." i suspect that there is a high likelihood we will not be voting on march 25th because the president will ask for just a little bit more time. he said in his opening statement the end of june end quote. that suggests to me when we plan to vote and the fact he's talking about ongoing negotiations after june 30th implies that members foresee a continued extension of the jpoa and i don't know what would be worse, to allow iran to achieve nuclear capabilities in a moment's stroke at a bad deal or simply allow them to achieve it in slow motion for the next 23
months of this administration. >> clerk, call the role. >> may i -- mr. chairman the current waiver authority in the bill is very circumscribed. it's available for only 30 days periods, only if the president can certify the waiver is in the national interests of the security of the united states and such waiver is necessary and likely to result in achieving a long term comprehensive solution with iran and iran is not making further progress with its nuclear weapons program and not complying with the interim agreement. that's a high bar to clear. the waiver stated in this amendment would actually be less than what we circumscribed under the existing bill. the bottom line is that i -- i'm not for an endless continuation of the joint plan of action without getting to pint we make
it clear iran is either going to strike a deal or not. i'm not for that. but for the purposes of this legislation we created an incredibly high bar for the president to meet. but if he can meet it and thinks we're on the verge i certainly want to give that option an opportunity. >> anybody else? >> if not, the clerk will call the role on the cotton amendment. >> mr. chairman? >> aye. >> mr. crapo. >> aye. >> mr. corker. >> mr. vitter. >> aye. >> mr. toomey. >> aye. >> many cook. >> no. >> mr. heller. >> mr. scott. >> aye. >> mr. sasse. >> aye. >> mr. cotton. >> aye. >> mr. rounds. >> aye by prox. i >> mr. moran.
>> aye. >> mr. brown. >> no. mr. reed. >> no. >> mr. schumer. >> no. >> mr. menendez. >> no. >> mr. >> mr. warner. >> no. >> mr. merkley. >> no. >> ms. warren. >> no. >> ms. highcamp. >> no. >> mr. donnelly. >> no. >> 10 in favor, 12 opposed. >> the amendment is not agreed to. any further and he saidmendments? if not, the question is on ordering the bill nuclear weapon act 2015 as amended be reported as an original bill. senator schumer, thank you. >> i appreciate it. i just want to say a brief few words. first, thanks to senators men ma then dez and kirk for
introducing a strong bill take has bipartisan support and i would stress to this committee the need to maintain bipartisan support which has been long a tradition as vital. we ought to be working and taking the extra mile to do that and i appreciate senator corker even though he might have believed in a few of these amendments keeping our bipartisan coalition together. sanctions are what got iran to the table. not unilateral sanctions frankly. as good a job asthma menendez, kirk and all of us did, it was having the family of nations impose those sanctions. so easy for say we should just go off on our own, but the sanctions as we've learned with any nation that has sanctions that is subject to sanctions doesn't work if they can go around our blockages and go with other countries and get money or trade oil or trade products or anything else.
and i have to say as much as i disagreed with the president on some of these things and i publicly disagreed with him on the interim agreement where i never would have loosened sanctions at all, he did a good job getting the nations of the world together. and they may not stick together but that's important. one other point, i have a great deal of sympathy for what mr. vitter's amendment and mr. corker hopefully working with mr. toomey's amendment, to come up with congress having final say on this. that's a very good check. and it makes sense. and so i hope we will pursue that. it has to be done in the right way. it has to be done carefully. but it's important. but making clear that there will be additional sanctions this is
a good step forward. i hope we can keep our bipartisan coalition together. and i hope we can make it clear to the iranians who i do not trust in any way as much as senator cotton doesn't trust them but that if they don't come to a tough strong agreement that prevents a nuclear iran period, there will be further sanctions and further actions by this body. thank you. >> aboutwe can go back to the bill. the question is on ordering the bill, the nuclear weapons free iran acts of 2015 as amdended be reported as an original bill. >> mr. chairman. >> aye. >> mr. crapo. >> aye. >> mr. corker. mr. vitter. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. tomb toomey. >> aye.
>> mr. kirk. sgr aye. >> mr. hiller. >> aye. >> mr. scott. >> aye. >> mr. cotton. >> aye. >> mr. rounds. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. moore ranran. >> aye. >> mr. brown. >> no about. >> mr. reed. >> no. >> willmr. schumer. >> aye. >> mr. madeenendez. mr. tester. >> aye. >> mr. warner. >> aye. >> mr. merkley. >> no. >> ms. warren. >> no. >> ms. highcamp. >> aye. the vote is 18 in favor four opposed. >> ayes have it obviously. nuclear weapon free iran act of 2015 is reported favorably as an original bill. i now ask unanimous concept that the staff be allowed to make technical and conforming changes
>> if you missed any of that markup, it is available to view anytime online. go to cspan.org. c-span has day two of the con sfir nation hearing for loretta lynch to be the next u.s. attorney general although her testimony ended yesterday after seven hours. is it live coverage from the hearing room on capitol hill. today the committee is hearing from law enforcement and other
witnesses. live day long coverage is on our companion network c-span. the senate is working on legislation authorizing construction of the keystone xl oil pipeline. the house is not in session. house democrats convening in philadelphia for a policy retreat you through tomorrow. president obama is heading there today to address the frupgroup and we are planning live coverage of any remarks this evening at about 7:00. one sight a new effort to remove sequestration sequestration. president obama whether tell house democrats that his budget will fully reverse sequester cuts and offer a similar increase in pentagon spending. he will look to ratchet up pressure to pass a clean bill funding at the department of home land security. the president will propose interdiction instruction, health and manufacturing programs that
will be fully paid for with cuts to inefficient spending programs and closing tax loopholes. that's according to a white house official. you can read that entire article in the hilda. and again the president's speech will be one of the final chances for the white house to preview the president's budget before its release on monday. you can see the president tonight as we cover him from the democrats retreat in philadelphia on the c-span networks. up next, the senate armed services ghitsity holds a hearing on national security and here is from former central commanders and former vice chief of staff. senator and i on the in the center chaired tuesday's hearing for john mccain who was attending the saudi king's funeral. >> we're meeting for its second hearing in a series on global
challenges and u.s. national security. chairman mccain was invited to join the american delegation to the fun raflt king of saudi arabia and he asked that i chair this hearing in his absence. i know he regrets not being able to join all of us today. i request unanimous concept that his opening statement be entered. hang you you without objection. i'm pleased to welcome three of america's most englished military leaders. general jim mad dis, general jack keen and admiral william fallon. i welcome each of you today and i thank you for your willingness to testify before us. i thank you you on behalf of this committee and the american people for your decades of brave and honorable service to our country. it is because of leaders like you and the men and women you've commanded and you continue to serve in uniform that americans enjoy unpress contentsed freedom, security and
prosperity. each of you commanded at all levels and ultimately served in positions that required not only a deep knowledge of tactical operational and strategic levels of military operations, but also an understanding of national security decision making at the highest levels. it is that experience at the nexus of military operations that is particularly rely swrant to our hearing today. there is a broad consensus among national security experts that the threats to the united states and our allies confronted that -- that we are confronted are growing both in complexity and severity. in ukraine, we have witnessed blatant russian aggression that that has forced the administration to undertake a belated reassessment of the nature of the putin regime and question long held assumptions regarding the security situation in europe. in iraq and syria, isis has
established a safe haven and training ground in the heart of the middle east that it is using to destabilize the region and threaten the core national security interests of the united states and our allies. meanwhile the are a gaeme in tehran seeks to use negotiations to achieve sanctions relief while avoiding a permanent and say fireable he said to its nuclearfireable he said to its nuclear weapons program. iran continues to threaten key allies and support terrorist groups like hezbollah about a what. across the middle east and into north africa, al qaeda affiliates plot attacks against the united states and our allies. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula usings the horrible security situation in yemen a country the president cited as recently as september as a counterterrorism success story
to plot and carry out terrorist attacks around the world. in the az i can't pacific, china is using historic economic growth to build military power that is too often used to bully its neighbors and test international laws that are essential to the united states and our partners international security and prosperity and the free waters in that region. while each of these are unique, with each of them, there is a consistent and concerning grap between the strategies our national security interests require and the strategies that this administration is pursuing. likewise with defense see questions stregs set to return next year and the threats growing, there is also an increasing gap between the military capabilities we have and the military capabilities that we will need to address these threats. the key question for this panel
and for all of us remain what is is the best path forward to address 2450es security challenges. few if n. our country have as much national security wisdom and real world experience as the members of this panel. between the three of you, you have more than 115 years of military experience, much of it at the most senior levels of our military. we look forward to hearing your best advice on how the federal government can fulfill its most important responsibility to the american people and that is protecting the security of the united states of america. thank you very much and i would like to turn it over to sthor reed. >> thank you very much. let me join you in welcoming our witnesses. extraordinary individuals who have served the nation with great distinction and great courage. never broke faith with the men and women they led which is the
highest tribute anyone can make to a soldier. thank you very much. let me also thank chairman mccain for pulling together this series of hearings and briefings to examine the u.s. global strategy. these discussions will help us inform our consideration of the administration's budget request which will be coming to fuss a few days. last week two of the most prominent positioners discussed a number of issues with the committee. among these was the need to give multilateral negotiation on iran's nuclear program sufficient time to reach a conclusion. they urged this body not to press forward with additional sanctions. this matter is being discussed at this very moment in the banking committee only a few floors above us and indeed i have to leave here and go there because i'm a senior member of that committee, also. and high colleagues will be
taking up the slack particularly senator king. i want to thank him. i will return i hope to ask questions of the panelists. ever of last week's discussion revolved around the administration's strategy in iraq and syria for confronting the regional and global terror threat opposed by the islamic state of iraq or isil. efforts to take on isil require a comprehensive approach. we also received testimony on the administration's program to train and equip the operation in syria. this is just one approach. using economic tools on go after isil's financing and campaign of
air strikes. this morning's hearing provides an opportunity in particular to examine the military aspects of our strategy for addressing the isil threat. all three of you have been thoughtful and outspoken in your recommendations for that strategy. some of the aspects which are reflective the actions of the administration has taken to date 37 as of january u.s. and coalition aircraft have flown 16,000 sawedudis over iraq and syria. president obama has authorized the deployment of over 3,000 military personnel to iraq advise and assist security forces. at the administration's request, the fiscal year 2015 national defense authorization act included $5.6 billion in overseas contingency operations funding for d.o.d. activities including $1.6 billion for the iraq train and equip program. also in the testimony last week,
they emphasizeded the need to work with and through regional partners in the interest national community to address the isil threat so that they end up owning the problem itself. so i hope that our witnesses can bring their perspectives on this very challenging issue, stwraenlgstrategy in syria, iraq and the region. and again, i think it's appropriate to focus on not only military aspects but political and diplomatic initiatives. i want to again thank the witnesses. i particularly want to thank admiral fallon who made a tremendous effort to rearrange his schedule to join us. with that, madame chair woman thank you. >> thank you so much senator reed. i would like to start with general mad dis. he served 42 years in the marine
corps.dis. he served 42 years in the marine corps. thank you so much for being here, general. >> thank you. madame chair woman distinguished members of the committee committee, i have submitted a statement. during my active duty year, i've testified many times before it committee and gained the highest regard for the manner in which you carried out your duties through good times and bad, i remain grateful for the support you you provided our military. i commend the committee for holding these hearings. as former secretary of state gormg shultz has commented the world is a wash in change. the international order so painstakingly put together by the greatest generation coming home from man kind's bloodiest conflict that international order is under increasing stress. it was created with elements we take for granted today. the united nations nato, the
marshall plan and more. the constructed order reflected the wisdom of those world war ii veterans who recognized no nation lived as an island and we needed new ways to deal with challenges that impacted all nation. like it or not, today we're a part of this world and we must carry out our part. we cannot wait if problems to arrive here or it will be too late. the international order is not self sustaining. it demands tending by an america that leads wisely standing unapologetically for the freedoms each of us in this room have enjoyed. the hearing today addresses the nid to adapt the change this circumstances to come out now from our reactive crouch and take a firm strategic stance in defense of our values. while we recognize that we owe future generations the same freedoms that we enjoy, the challenge lies in how to carry
out that responsibility. it come so, america need as refreshed national strategy. congress can play a key role with bipartisan support. doing so requires us to look beyond the events that are currently consuming the executive branch. there is an urgent need to stop reacting to each immediate vexing issue in isolation. such response often creates unanticipated effects and even more problems for us. the senate armed services committee is uniquely placed in our system of government to guide, oversee and ensure that we act extra teemg he cannily and morally. using america's ability to inspire as well as its ability to intimidate to ensure freedom for future generations. i suggest the best way to get to the essence of these issues and to help you you craft america's response to a rapidly changing security environment is simply to ask the right questions.
if i were in your shoes, these are some of the questions i would ask. what are the key threats to our vital interests. intelligence dhunity should delineate and provide an initial prioritization of these threats for your consideration. by rigorously defining the problems we face you will enable a more intelligent and focused use of the he resources allocated for national defense. is our intelligence community fit for the expanding purpose? today we have less military shock an orrer so less ability to take surprise in stride and fewer forward deployed forces overseas to act as sentinels. accordingly, fwheed more early warning. we know that the foreseeable future is not foreseeable. incorporating the broadest
issues in to your assessment, should you consider what we must do if the national debt is as saysed to be the biggest national security threat we face. as prz eisenhower noted the foundation of military strength is our economic strength. in a few short years however, we will be paying interest on our debt and it will be a bigger will than what we paid today for defense. much of that interest money is destined to leave america for overseas. if we refuse to pay done our deficit, what is the impact on the national security for future generations who will inherit this irresponsible debt. no nation in history has maintained its military power if it failed to keep its fiscal house in order how do you halt the damage caused by sequestration. no foe in the field can week such havoc that that mindless sequestration is achieving today. congress passed it because it
was viewed as so injurious that it would force wise choices. it has failed in that regard and today with use arithmetic to run our government despite threats. this committee must lead the effort to repeal sequestration that is costing military readiness and long term capability while zapping our troop's morale. no strategy can be implemented by your military leaders without predict ability. in our approach to the world we must be willing to ask extra teekic questions. in the middle east where our influence is at the lowest point in four decades we see a region erupting in crises. we need sound policy one that permits us to take our own side in this fight. crafting such a policy starts with asking a fundamental question and then the follow-on questions. the fundamental question i
believe is political islam in our best interests. if not what is our policy to authoritatively support the counter veiling forces. violent jihadist terrorists cannot be permitted to take refuge behind false religious garb. we have many potential allies around the world and in the middle east who will rally to us. but we have not been clear about where we stand in defining or dealing with the growing violent jihadist terrorist threat. iran is a special case that must be dealt with as a threat to regional stability nuclear and otherwise. i believe that you should question the value of congress adding new sanctions while international negotiations are ongoing by having them ready should the negotiations for preventing the nuclear weapons capability and implementing stringent monitoring break down. further, question now if we have
the right policies in place when iran creates more mischief in lebanon, iraq, yemen saudi arabia and elsewhere. recognizing that regional counterweights like egypt saudi arabia united arab emirates and the gulf cooperation council can reinforce this if they understand our policy. in afghanistan, we need to consider if we're asking for the same outcome there as we saw last sum fer iraq should we pull out all our troops on the administration's proposed time line. echoing the same military advice about iraq, the gains achieved at great cost against our enemy in afghanistan are reversible. we should recognize that we may not want this fight but the barbarity of an enemy that kills women and children and has refused to break with al qaeda needs to be fought. more broadly u.s. military being developed to fight across
the spectrum of combat. knowing enemies will always move against our perceived weakness, our forces must be capable of mission to counter in-sur againstin-sur against city. while surprise is always a factor, this committee can ensure that we have the fewest big regrets when the next surprise occurs. while we don't want or need a military that is at the same time dominant and irrelevant, you must sort this out and deny funding for bases or capabilities no longer needed. the nuclear stockpile must be tended to and fundamental questions must be asked and answered. we must clearly establish the role of our nuclear weapons. did they serve solely to deter nuclear war. if so we should say so. and the resulting clarity should l. help to determine the number we need. i think you should ask is it time to reduce the triatriad to a
diad.need. i think you should ask is it time to reduce the triad to a diad. was the russian test violating the inf treaty simply a blunder on their part or a change in policy. and what is our appropriate response. the reduced sighze of the military drives different questions. our military is uniquely capable and the envy of the world but are we resourcing it to ensure we have the highest quality troops, best equipment and toughest training. with a smaller military comes the need to troops kept at the top of their game. when we next put them in harm's way, it must be the enemy's longest and worst day, a smaller force must be closely scrutinized to ensure that we aren't merely hollowing out the
military. sustaining as the world's best when it's smaller will need your critical oversight. are the navy and our expeditionary forces receiving the support they need in a world where america's naval role is more pronounced because we have fewer forces posted overseas? with the and he were and air force and fewer forces around the world military aspects of our strategy will inevitably become more naval in character. this will provide the decision time for political leaders considering employment of additional forms million taker power. expeditionary forces will need to take this development into account. today i question if our ship building budget is sufficient. while our efforts in the pacific to keep positive relations with china are well and good, these must be paralleled by a policy
to build the counter balance if china continues to expand its bullying role in the south china sea and elsewhere. that counter balance must deny china veto power over territorial security and economic conditions in the pacific. building support for our dip lowe diplomatic efforts to maintain stability so critical to our economy.ip diplomatic efforts to maintain stability so critical to our economy. diplomatic efforts to maintain stability so critical to our economy.diplomatic efforts to maintain stability so critical to our economy. in light of the worldwide challe challenge challenges, we are nonetheless shrinking our military. are we taking in to account the reduced role. strategy connects ways and means with less military available, we must reduce our appetite for using it. prioritization is needed if we are to remain capable the most critical mission for which we have a military to fight on short notice and defend the country. we have to ask did our strategy and associated military planning as senator reed pointed out take
into account our nation's increased immediate for allies. the need for stronger alliances comes more slarply into focus. no nation on its own can do all that is necessary. history reminds us countries with allies generally defeat those without allies. as churchill intimated, the only thing harder than fighting with allies is fighting without them. this committee should track increased military capability to work with allies. in wrfrns reference to nato we must ask the efforts have adjusted to the unfortunate and dangerous mode the russian leadership has slipped into. with regard to tightening the bond between our smaller military and those other mill taers we may need at our side,
the military sale system needs your challenge. hopefully it can be put in order before we drive more potential partners to equip themselves, a move that makes it harder to achieve and undercuts america's industrial base currently the system fails to reach its potential. as we attempt to restore stability, a critical question is, is america good for its word. when we make clear a position or give our word about something, our friends and even our enemies must recognize that we are good for it, otherwise dangerous mis miscalculations can occur. when the decision is made to employ our forces in combat by the commander in chief the committee should still ask is the military being employed with the proper authority. for example are the political objectives clearly defined and achievable. murky political condemn us to entering wars we don't know how
to end. notifying the enemy this advance of our withdrawal dates are reassuring the enemy that we are not use certain capabilities like our graupdound forces should be avoided. you should ask is the theater of war itself sufficient for effective prosecution. if the defined theater is insufficient, the plan itself needs to be challenged. ask is the authority for detaining prisoners of war appropriate for the enemy and type war we are fighting. we have observed the perplexing lack of teedetainee should not engage in another fight without resolving this issue up front. you have to also ask are
american diplomatic, economic and other assets aligned to the war aims. we have experienced the military alone trying to achieve tasks outside of its expertise. when we take the serious decision to fight, we must bring to bear all our nation's resources and you should question how the can diplomat tick and development efforts will be employed to build momentum for victory and our nation's strategy demands that comprehensive approach. finally the military is designed to bring about success. no matter how laudable in terms of a progressive country's instincts, this commits itee needs to consider carefully any proposed changes to military rules, traditions and standards that bring noncombat emphasis to combat units. there a great difference between military service and dangerous circumstances and serving in a combat unit whose role is to search out, close with and kill the enemy at close quarters.
this committee has a responsibility for imposing reason over impulse when proposed changes could reduce the combat capability of our forces at the point of contact with the enemy. ultimately we need the information sight of this committee acting in its oversight role to draws out of our reactive stance and chart a strategy strategic way ahead. mixing capable people with their good ideas afternoon bad processes wrultsresults in the bad processes defeating good people's ideas nine times out of ten. this is an urgent matter. our country needs to regain its strategic footing. we need to bring charity to our
efforts before we lose the confidence of the american people and the support of potential allies. in committee can play an essential koel in thisrole in this regard. thank you. >> next i'd like to introduce general keane, former vice chief satisfy of the arm. one of the architects of the successful surge in iraq. general keane. >> madame chairman,committee thank you for inviting me to testify. it's always a privilege to be with this committee. it's been 15 plus years in association for me. and whose reputation for tackling tough issues has always been appreciated. i'm on orred to be here with general jim mattis and admiral
fallon. obviously we have something no n. chon. we're all getting wordedolder and four stars retired. but the thing that we also have in common, we're very direct, very straightforward and we sure as hell are opinionated. so i'm usually sitting next to somebody who is circumspect. you won't get that from the three of us today. please accept my written testimony for the record and i will briefly outline the remarks. i put some extra in there because congratulations to the new members who have joined this committee. there is some background information in there that you may feel helpful to you. and i appreciate senator mccain giving us a little extra time this morning on such a complex subject.
the united states is con fronting challenges on a scale not seen since the 10e6soviet union.fronting challenges on a scale not seen since the soviet union. russia and china are capable of employing varying degrees of sophistication. disruptive methods of war that will severely test the military traditional methods abroad. given u.s. defense budget projections, the united states will have to con front these challenges without its long standing decided advantage in the scale of resources it is able to devote to the competition. budget control act or sequestration is not only irresponsible, it is down right reckless reckless. let me briefly outline a major security challenges and what he with can we can do about them.
gee political movements with a major security challenges of the 20th century, radical islam is the major security challenge of our generation. i'm defining it for today consisting of three distinction movements. i provided some maps behind my testimony that you can use and there is also some display maps here in the committee room which you may be challenged to be able to see. first the shia based iranian movement that began in 1979 with the formation of the islamic state of iran. in 1980, iran declared the united states as a strategic enemy and its goal is to drift united states out of the region achieve regional hegemony and destroy the state of israel. it uses proxyies sponsoring terrorism. 30 plus years iran has used
these roxie proxies. to date the result is u.s. troops left while iran has direct influence and some control over beirut lebanon gaza damascus, baghdad yemen as you can see on the map. is there any doubt that iran is on the march and is systemically moving toward their regional help gonic objective. iran has been on a 20 year journey to acquire nuclear weapons.gonic objective. iran has been on a 20 year journey to acquire nuclear weapons. they know it guarantees preservation of the regime and makes them the dominant power in the region, thereby capable of expanding their control and interest. add to this their ballistic missile system and iran is not only a threat to the region, but europe, as well. as they increase missile range empg eventually a threat to the united states. and a nuclear arms race because of their nuclear ambition is on
the horizon for the middle east. second, the al qaeda sunni based movement declared war on the united states in the early '90s. desires to dominant all muslim lands. and eventually wants world dom thags. as you can see on the map, al qaeda and its affiliates exceeds iran in beginning to democrat nature dominate multiple countries. al qaeda has grown four fold in the last five years.democrat dominate multiple countries. al qaeda has grown four fold in the last five years. third isis an outgrowth of al qaeda and iraq. after u.s. troops pulled out of iraq in 2011, isis reemerged as a terrorist organization in iraq, moved in so year in 2012 and began seizing towns and villages from the syria iraq war all the way to the western syria
from allepo to damascus. after many terrorist attacks and assassinations in mosul and anbar province in 2013, to set conditions for follow-on operations, isis launched a conventional attack back into iraq beginning in 2014 with the seizure of fallujah and culminating in the seizure of mosul and many other towns and villages. is it possible to look at that map and claim that the united states policy and strategy is working? or that al qaeda is on the run? it is unmistakable that our policies have failed. and the unegive kabl explanation is that u.s. policy has focused ongageing from the middle east while the stated policy is pivoting to the east. u.s. policymakers choose to ignore the very harsh realities of the rise of radical z lamb. in my view, we became paralyzed by the fear of adverse
consequences in the middle east after fighting two wars. moreover as we sit here this morning, in the face of radical islam, u.s. policymakers refuse to accurately name the movement as radical islam. we further choose not define it, nor explain its ideology. and most critical, we have no comprehensive strategy to stop it or defeat it. we are reduced to a very piece meal effort using drones in yemen and pakistan, a vital tactic but not a strategy, and air power in iraq and syria while insisting an unproven indigenous ground force. our partnering program with other nations is fragmented with no overall strategy. this approach almost certainly guarantees we will be incrementally engaged against one radical group after another with no end in sight. what can we do?
to stop and defeat a global radical islamic movement and iranian regional help then monday any requires a long strategic approach. world leaders understood how formidable the soviet threat was.approach. world leaders understood how formidable the soviet threat was. forming similar alliances today offs the opportunity by member nations to develop a comprehensive strategy to discuss and set goals for necessary political and social reforms and to share intelligence technology, equipment and training. the alliance is mostly about supporting countries in the region to make internal changes and to assist comprehensively encountering radical islam. we should rely on some of the
thoughtful leaders. this is not about major military intervention by the dwrund. it is about assisting alliance members with training their counterterrorism force and their conventional military and counter-insurgency and, yes, conducting counterterrorism operations as required while killing and capturing terrorists is key, so is the stwraenlg to organize strategy for undermine the ideology, to counter its narrative and to target outside financing. a on iraq and syria, the isis advance has stalled due to effective air power. with modest gains in retaking lost territory. however, a successful counter offensive for retake mosul and anbar province is a very real challenge. no one knows for certain how the indigenous force will perform.
the united states should plan now to have u.s. coalition advisers accompany front line troops with the added capability to call in air strikes. direct action special operation forces both ground and air should assist by targeting isaiahisis leaders. u.s. and coalition combat brigades should be designated for deployment. and move to kuwait to be ready for employment if the counter offensive stalls or is defeated. the alternative, we wait another couple years and try again. the syria policy is a failure. isis is continuing to advance throughout syria and is gaining ground taking new territory. you can see that on the other map. and even approaching damascus and attacking south of damascus. the plans for training and assisting the free syrian army
is not robust enough. 5,000 in one year p i know you received a classified briefing on it so you know more about it than i. and permitting hasad to bomb makes no sense. the united states should establish a no-fly zone and shut down assad's air power. on iran, the long term goal for any alliance that is formed should be iran's regime change or at least a collapse of the existing government framework similar to the collapse of the soviet union. and the reason is clear. iran's stated regional hegemonic object sieves are in-con grew he is with the peace and stability of the middle east. iran cannot be a being a dwired to develop a nuclear weapon.
slade, we are already about there. congress should do two things. one, authorize increased sanctions now with automatic implementation if talks are extended or fail. and two, legislate ratification of any deal by the senate. on afghanistan, political situation in afghanistan has improved seriously with the reform leadership but the security situation remains at risk. while the security situation in the south is relatively stable, the situation in the east is not. the problem is the area generally from kabul to the pakistani border is the domain of the a can any oig network. they have not been rooted out of their safe areas in ag. is this a serious problem for the ansf. it follows that the ansf needs the funding support to support its current troop levels of 352,000 and much needed u.s. and
coalition troops to conduct counter terrorism. and to advise train and assist the ansf beyond 2016. with need to target itpakistan. all we accomplished in afghanistan will be at risk as it was in iraq if the troops are pulled out not based on the conditions on the ground. how can we not learn the obvious and painful lesson from iraq. the security challenges posed by revisionist russia and china in europe russia's recent behavior i think suggests that it's 2008 military campaign against georgia was not an aberration. but, rather an initial effort to overturn prevailing regional order. by seizing the crimea and
supporting trumped up forces and gauging in military deployments, moscow has made it clear that it does not accept the political map of post cold war europe. i believe we need to realistically conclude that moscow is also willing to challenge the very existence of nato. what can be done? given the dramatic drop in oil prices russia is beginning to suffer economically and is likely headed toward a recession if not already there. addition tough sanctions should be back on the table to coerce russia to stop the ukraine aggression. it is a disgrace that once again we have refused to assist the people being oppressed when all they ask for is the weapons to fight. we should robustly arm and assist ukraine. additionally nato military
presence from central europe should be significantly shifted to the baltics and eastern europe with plans for permanent bases. a clear signal of article 5 intent must be sent to moscow. these actions will strengthen our diplomatic efforts which to date have failed. china's continuing economic growth has fueled a major conventional build up that is beginning to shift the local balance of you power in its favor. as a result, beijing has been emboldened to act more assert differencely toward its neighbors, especially in expand ing its territorial claims.expanding its territorial claims. china has embarked on a strategy of regional domination at the expense of u.s. interests as a pacific nation and decades of partnership with allied countries in the region. what can be done? develop a regional strategy with
our allies to counter china's desire to dominate control and influence. recognize china's military strategy to defeat u.s. reliance on military information networks which they believe alone may defeat the united states militarily, which is quite interesting bs and their exploding precision strike capability threatens ground and naval forces forward staging bases and air and seaports of tee he bar indication. the united states no longer enjoys the commanding position in the precision strike are a game that it occupied in the two decades following the cold war. we should stress test u.s. regional military defense to counter china's threat and recognize that a change in regional defense strategy and capabilities is likely. lastly sequestration. it must be repealed and reasonable resources restored to meet the emerging security chances. all the services have a need to
capitalize their investment accounts and to maintain readiness this is rap paididly eroding. in conclusion, given the emerging security chances and limited resources, the need for well crafted regional defense stwraenlg in an overall integrated national security and defense strategy posture is clear. more so now than anytime i believe since world war ii. yet this issis not what we did. what we do is a qdr every four years which is largely driven by process and far too focused on the budget. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you so much general keane. admiral fallon, thank you for being here. admiral fallon served 40 years in the navy including as commander of thank you for being here today.
>> thank you, senator. madame chair woman snarenator reed, members of the committee, thank you first of all for your essential and enduring support of our men and women in uniform, certainly for the many years in which i was honored to serve with them. and continuing today. and thank you for the opportunity to address this distinguished ded body and offer my perspectives on current threats to the national security american foreign policy and national defense topics. there are certainly many areas of concern around the world. we see the most spectacularly highlighted regularly by the media and you've heard a long litany of these things mentioned already today. first of all i believe that a coherent national security strategy requires a long term focus with well thought out objectives. we should resist reactive responses and attempts to find near term fixes to pop up issues which will a rise continuously and dom pete for attention with what we should determine by the
highest priority national interests. in surveying the world scape today, i'd suggest we focus on where we as a nation want to be in the future. my vote would be for improving world security and stability with more people around the world enjoying a better life in conditions of their choosing. with responsible elected leaders prying good governance and respect for human dignity. this scenario clearly in our better national interests is not going to happen without lots of hard work, informed and gaded by edguided by an effective national security strategy. the united states government has provided and must continue to provide leadership, good example and active political economic and military security assistance in working towards these desired objects. the fundamental prerequisite for any successful u.s. national security strategy is a sound and strong domestic foundation.
our credibility in the world is based on the example of our actions and how people perceive we might act in current and future situations. it's fair to wonder if people in other parts of the world take us seriously when they observe political bickering on fundamental issues like a national operating budget or cyber policies. and seemingly ever changing policies and priorities. our military capability is an essential element of national power and one of many key tools which include diplomatic development, economic, political and certainly moral leadership. we face tough choices today about if when and where to employ our military forces. we also face some tough choices on what to do how to equip them, and what capabilities ought to be priorities. we can't have everything. 134 people would propose an endless list of things that we could never afford. we have to make the choices.
as we contemplate the myriad of challenges to world's stabts and u.s. security, we should first knowledge the reality that nuclear weapons and aspirations for them continue to proliferate. in this regard it's discouraging to note that after more than two decades of nuclear counter row livere proliferation progress, u.s. cooperation appears to have ground to a halt in the wake of dangerous russian bad behavior. u.s. strategy and dealing with the potential use of these weapons has been here to forever successful with our national strategic force.to forever successful with our national strategic force.forever successful with our national strategic force. but they ever been aging without upgrade upgrade. it should be a top consideration
for us to remain credible. one of our most important strategic interests is our long term relationship with china. mutually beneficial in many respects, it has otherky dimensions notably in the areas of cyber security, military expansion and regional disputes with neighboring countries which are a cause of concern and need to be addressed. a key focal point of this hearing is conflict in the middle east and the spread of violence extremism in the region and from to other places in the world. the middle east is an area of high interest for us for many reasons and continuing to be buffeted buyer challenges which have vexed years of u.s. attempts to improve stability in the area. nonetheless i believe we should continue to engage in this region. using all aspects of national you power. but with the understanding that we are not likely to be successful by mandating u.s.
solutions. people in the region are sooner or later fwhoog to have to step up and address the issues which torment and divide them. we can and should assist but we not going to resolve their problems. some recommendations for addressing the current challenges there the so-called dish dishe include rec nation that in iraq success will rest on the and of the new government to convince the majority of its country men and womennation that in iraq, success will rest on the and of the new government to convince the majority of its country men and women that they will get a fair shake going forward. absent this political foundation, nothing we do is going to be effective in the long term. second, getting islamic leaders the elites of the arab countries if actively counter the extremist id yoleology and to cut funding for dishe and other extremists. i'd highlight the recent marks
of al assaisi. and we should enhance their capabilities, increase their combat effectiveness, and support them with training, air power as required to defeat dishe and reclaim areas that were overrun last summer. pressing to degrade and deny their ability to expand and sustain operations in iraq. no single one of these actions is going to rheeesult in success, but collectively we have a chance to achieve our general objectives. combatting violent extremism will be a long term effort requiring close cooperation with allies and willing nations. especially in areas of intelligence sharing, u.s. military training and assistance for our less capable colleagues. in summary, strategic coherence and foreign policy and national security would benefit from
strong credible and consistent domestic policies and actions to return this great nation to the position of leadership it's earned and kept for many years in the eyes of people people around the world. building on this position of domestic strength, a thoughtful, focused, and collaborative strategy formulation process to agree on a relatively few high priority national security goals and objectives should set us on a fair course. at the international level active engagement using all aspects of national power underpinned with a strong forward presence by u.s. military forces with credible capabilities is our best deterrent and response to security threats worldwide. thank you very much, and i'm pleased to address any specific questions you may have. >> thank you so much, admiral fallon. i want to thank each of the members of this panel. i would like to first of all start with the general keane, a question to you about the fight
we face against radical islam. you had said in your testimony you believed that our policy has failed, that essentially al qaeda has grown four-fold in the last five years. can you help us understand what you think would be the strongest strategy in terms of defeating radical islam and also can you speak to the situation in yemen and what you believe our strategy should be there. >> yes. well, as you noted, radical islam is clearly on the rise. and as i said in my testimony i think our policy of disengagement for the middle east has contributed to that rise. obviously this is a very ambitious move and they would be making moves in that direction regardless of our actions. given the scale of it which i tried to display on the map, which goes from northern and western africa all the way to
south asia, as you look at all of that red on that map al qaeda central does not control all of those affiliates. but what they have in common what their connective tissue is, is that they share a common geopolitical belief driven by a religious ideology to dominate their host country governments, which they are conducts an insurgency at. i indicated in my testimony, al qaeda central has a very ambitious geopolitical objective. that is to dominate muslim lands initially and then world domination. given that and given where they are and the swath of territory and countries they're involved in, there's no way the united states in and of itself can deal with the scale of this problem, nor should it.
so in my judgment, that's why i look to how did we deal with communist ideology which was a very similar movement, world domination, and we dealt with it, i think in a very wise fashion. we brought countries together who shared values who shared political beliefs and formed a political and military alliance. there is no other way i believe you can cope with this scale of a problem without bringing the countries involved together, whether they're in the region or have interests outside of the region, as many do because of the export of terrorism to their countries, and develop a strategy to deal with it. this isn't about the united states driving a strategy. this is about bringing countries together because much of what has to be done in the region where the radical islamists are growing has to do with the countries themselves, has to do
with the conditions that exist in those countries. the issues simply are -- and what the arab spring was about if you recall, it was about seeking political reform, social justice, and economic opportunity. nobody was demonstrating in the streets for radical islam. but the radical islamists saw the arab spring as an opportunity, and it became an accelerant for them because they saw political and social upheaval and they could take advantage of it. so using that as a backdrop t drives you -- those issues are still there. political reform, social injustice, and lack of economic opportunity. we have to bring those countries together to recognize some of those problems. those are long-term answers. then the near-term problems deal with what general mattis was pointing out as well. we have to share intelligence. we have to share technology. we have to share training. we can help a lot. we have been fighting this enemy
for 13 years. we have learned a lot and so has many of our allies. there's much that we can do if we take a comprehensive strategic approach to it as opposed to what i think is a fragmented approach now, and it doesn't get at the long-term problem. you have to see the long-term solution and then start approaching it with near-term and mid-term objectives to accomplish it. that, i think is the only answer that's possible given what we're facing. otherwise, we're just going to protract this thing and take these things on. what after isis? will there be something after isis we have to deal with? you bet you, if we don't take a comprehensive approach to deal with it. in terms of yemen, i mean, it's very frustrating to watch what's happened. we have been working with a host country government in yemen. we've been conducting direct action missions with them against an insurgency in their country. this is aqap as we well know.
this is the organization giving you pressure that the previous administration and this administration put on al qaeda central. they knew they no longer had global reach. al qaeda central always, always wanted to take the jihad to europe and to the united states so they could drive us out of the region and most importantly drive our ideas out of the region, which are democracy and capitalism. the fact is they franchised out to aqap, and they gave them some leaders to do it. and this is a force that's not only conducting an insurgency to overthrow a government but put together capabilities to conduct out-of-region attacks in the united states and most recently in paris, france. i think wree got a big question mark on where we're going forward. this is going to have to play out in front of us. there's serious challenges in
yemen given what's taken place with the iranian-imposed overthrow of the government. they are also opposed to aqap. but they also fundamentally are opposed to america and its interests. so i think it begs the question whether they're going to be able to have the kind of cooperation with the new government in yemen that we had with the old government. >> thank you, general keane. i would call on senator reed right now, thank you. >> thank you very much, madam chairwoman. general mattis, you've made it very very clear that we have capabilities, particularly with respect to the middle east in terms of military solutions, but you've also pointed out that there are very high costs there. and if we choose to use military, we have to you know, as you said, if the americans take ownership of this, regarding to syria, this is going to be a full-throated
very, very serious war with large costs. that's still your view, i assume? >> yes, sir, it is. >> and can you give us an idea of the scale of those costs in terms of forces and just the top line? because, you know, i think your point is very well made, which is basically if we're going to go into something, we've got to go into it with the idea of it's going to be difficult and costly. >> senator what you just quoted was something i'd said in response to a question, as you recall. i think in this case, we have to get to a very detailed level of understanding. what is the political objective we are out to accomplish? frankly, i don't know what it is right now. once we define that i'd say to a jesuit's level of definition, a very strict definition at that point we then allocate the means. those means would be covert diplomatic educational, economic and military. and if we orchestrate this
correctly as has been pointed out by the other members of the panel with allies the clarity and the commitment of the united states can draw in the full commitment of others. we should not think that a tentative or half-hearted commitment on our part or saying we're willing to go in, but we're not really willing to do the fighting, would draw a full commitment from others. they're going to be willing to match us but when you live right next to this terrible threat, they have to assume we're in fully or they're going to have to moderate their response. once we show, i think, that level of commitment, our requirement would actually go down because others would be willing to come in full throated in our support. but it would be a serious operation, no doubt, senator. >> thank you. general keane, do you agree with fallon's point that unless there's a political cohesion in iraq that the government recognizes and integrates the
various sectarian groups that military efforts will be probably ineffectual? >> yeah, absolutely. i think we can be a little bit encouraged by a body. i had some people who just returned from baghdad meeting with government and military officials. abadi is moving in the right direction. that's good news. but let's be honest here. what maliki's malfeasance and nefarious character and the way he undermined political inclusion despite his rhetoric in iraq particularly after we pulled out of there was tragic. the sunni tribes are key as fox pointed out. and right now, while some of them are