tv State Department and African Development Bank Nominations CSPAN September 12, 2017 8:00pm-10:22pm EDT
foreign relations committee will come to order. in keeping in the great way senator lindsey runs his meeting, we start here on time too. and we'll defer our opening comments out of respect to you so you can make your introduction and go on about your business. but you honor us by being here. we thank you for that. and the floor is yours to introduce one of our nominees. >> thank you, chairman corker and ranking member. thank you for the opportunity tew peer before the committee on behalf of the president's nominee to serve as the undersecretary of state for management. he's been my budget director, he's an excellent manager. he has tremendous historical knowledge and coordinate many efficiently. he was born and raised portland, oregon and attended college in
san francisco. he remains loyal to his west coast roots. after graduating college, he considered teaching diplomatic history. while he never had a chance to pursue that interest, the opportunity to pursue the role in foreign policy will be a great privilege. he began work in the legislative branch in 1989 and served in a variety of puzishzs, including running the office of the senate majority leader and serving the senate assistant majority leader as well as now over seeing the senate budget committee for the past four years. he is careful in that work, precise in his analysis, thoughtful with others and dogged on behalf of his bosses and their goals. he's worked for and with republicans and democrats, senators and congressman, and democratic and republican administrations. he's comfortable working across the partisan divide and building
coligdss to bring ledge slasgis across the finish line. as a successful staffer going to a significant department position, he will be an ased not just for the department but for congress as well. his understanding of how we work, the appreciation for the challenges we face and his ability to dive in with us as a partnership to fisolutions for r shared responsibility on behalf of america's foreign policy. all of that will put us in good stead. he very carefully learning how a law or process works. examples include his facility with senate rules and precedence. our budget enforcement regime and the reconciliation process. i've also mentioned his historical knowledge. he's also welcome to new information and learning and reflecting it accordingly. i know we'll have that same
aability and talent as he enters the executive branch, learning the operation of the department, the rules under which it works, how it partners across the executive branch and how to best and appropriately carry out its responsibilities on behalf of the secretary and the administration. we all know the makeup of the senate requires senators cooperate with each other and provides many opportunities to learn that lesson and put it into a. i believe that experience will inform erick's ability to work with various stake holders including partners across the federal government and internationally and members and staff that committee and in congress. erick is also a careful manager who's had responsibility in the senate, several offices with budget formulation and execution, personnel recruitment and retention and supporting professional deinvestments of
his staff. the challenges it faces might be larger than managing a personnel office or leadership office or committee office, but i believe erick's management style will be applicable at the state department too. he can safely handle the new challenges and tooropportunitie will face and confident he will be a confident for our diplomats around the world. so i urge his favorable consideration. thank you. >> well, thank you for being here and as you know you're welcome to go and continue your other duties. i know you have an important meeting this afternoon at 2:30. and again thank you so much for being here. and i think what the it ranking member and i have decided. we'll give opening comments for both panels now. does that suit you? so thank you so much for being
here. and we'll see you later today. yes, sir. thank you. now the position senator lindsey was just mentioning is vitally important to the functioning of the department. 14 bureaus and offices report, including diplomatic security, consler affairs and overseas building operations. the undersecretary is responsible for the allocation of state department positions, funtds and any other resources required to implement foreign policies of the united states senate. in addition to making the trains run on time at the department, the undersecretary has a critical task of securing our people and families abroad. this is never an easy undertaking but it is particularly challenging given the complexity of our current threat environment. also in the middle of an extensive reorganization process which will require heavy involvement and leadership from the undersecretary. this department has been
concerned from the recent management challenges. i hope our nominee shares our goal of a stronger and more agal state department and i look forward to your cooperation on the authorization bill should you be confirmed. on the next panel of nominees, the ambassador to afghanistan. ambassador to bahrain and the u.s. ambassador to the african development bank. a more concerted effort is for u.s. interests in afghanistan through a more focussed and formedses diplomacy with afghanistan's neighbors and others. the team in kabul must be properly prepared, equipped and led to make the most of the u.s. efrlt to create better outcomes
that serve our national security interests. i believe ambassador bass has that experience and i look forward to hearing how he utilizes oo -- he plans fooutilize our resources. they host a critical military base for our forces in the region. sadly the country is also facing unrest amongst its majority shia population among the sunni led monarchy. i look forward to hearing from mr. sib rel about his goals and division for u.s. engagement in bahrain in this complicated political environment. the african development bank provides resources to developing countries that help them grow their economies, improve their standards of living. if confirmed mr. dowd would play an important role in
representing united states' interest at a operational level, helping insure money is spent wisely. with that i'd like to recognize our ranking member. >> thank you for scheduling this hearing. i want to welcome all four of our nominees. and thank each of them for their willingness to serve our country in critically important positions. it is a great sacrifice for public service and we thank you for that. we know the family has to be supportive of thet effort. so we thank the members of the family for being willing to share your family member with our country. it's good to see you, member of the senate family. it's always nice to have a member. you get certain privileges, not all, by your assoc yasiation wi the united states senate. the
undersecretary of management, it is not a job that often generates flashy headlines. and a quiet way for the prop ee fungszing of our foreign policy. i have been struggling over the past several months to understand the management philosophy of the current leadership. i'm struggling to understand -- there's a significant obligation on you as we consider your nomination to help this committee better understand how the administration is thinking about in approaching these issues and helping us work through our concerns as we move forward. i remain deeply concerned that the administration's approach to reorganization of the state department is a search and
solution of a problem. it has the appearance of a precooked exercise. both this committee and the appropriations committee have expressed our concerns and made the clear that the road to reorganization runtz through congress. and i want to flag a couple of issues including the way the department handled the rangering and pickling fellows. and the population refugee bureau be moved to the department of homeland security and the parent lack of filling positions such as secretary for diplomatic security. i do not to suggest that real pressing needs for proper management guidance at the department. when we see things liking the department seeking to reduce its work force through atrition where critical fungctions and expertise are lost, it suggests
not using proper management tools to steer that process. i have concerns about the management of the department. i'm hopeful you will be able to reassure this committee on how you intend to bring to bear your experience on functional management and processes for the department. my overriding concern is that without proper management or leadership the united states is at risks of effectively leaving the stage as a global leader. the department of state plays a vital role at the heart of the foreign policy by insuring the security of our citizens and supporting our allies and partners around the globe that share the ideals and values of what makes america a unique and exceptional nation. if the department does not function properly, our national security is at risk. your job, if confirmed, will be to see that does not happen.
so i look forward to the discussion we'll have during this hearing. i also want to welcome the three nominees that will be on the second panel. ambassador bass, thank you for being willing to come back for a second hearing before this committee. usually one is all people can tolerate. so thank you for your willingness to continue to serve our country. i think the president has selected a very well qualified person for this difficult posting. i must express my concern over the long awaited announcement of a southeastern strategy that has raised many questions on what implementation will entail. i devrj from the president on his proposed troop increase and think this ignores the complexity of the situation in afghanist afghanistan. our approach must be centered around a renewed effort, working
with the afghan and regional actors. we also must spur progress for human rights abuses and an end to corruption which undermine's the afghan's ability to suitable peace. these are the best known ball works that afghan territory could again be used as a base against us or our allies. i'll be announcing -- the problematic engagements on peace, justice and reconciliation in afghanistan. i hope the committee will have a can comm-- on afghanistan. our ambassador will be on the front lines and i welcome the opportunity to hear from you today about your priorities and perspects on how best to approach this task. i believe sustained diplomatic
engagement is needed now more than ev. we won't solve this conflict through military engagement alone. and they're intertwine would political, economic and social issuess. our most senior diplomat in kabul must move regularly on peace, justice and reconciliation. they have a long standing partnership as well as reversing the spread of isis, counterterrorist financing. i listen on the chairman as he expressed his concerns about bahrain. that's a key partner the united states. we have counterterrorism interests, military interests and yet there's significant human rights concerns we have of how bahrain treats the shiite
population. our ambassador must take the lead and make it clear we have partners that have important strategic interests but they must advance on the way they handle freedoms such as of speech and assembly. this undermines bahrain's ability and be a security partner and run contrary to u.s. interests. finally i'm pleased to welcome joseph doubt, africa is a continent of great promise but today it is presenting us with great challenges. i notice you have deal making experience in the area of food, infrastructure and transportation that are key priorities for africa today. i believe that will suit you will to the puzishz you've been
nominated today. >> we thank you all four for being here and listening to long opening comments by both of us but we got it all out of the way and now we're ready for you. so erick, if you would, take about five minutes to make your comments, any additional materials without objection will be entered into the record and with that present your testimony and thank you for being here. >> thank you very much. good morning. thank you for the privilege of appearing before the committee. with me this morning are my wife, kathleen and daughters bridget and charlotte. my public service as you mentioned earlier as senator for many years on the ledgislative branch and we've all seen congress up close. we thank you very much for that privilege and the privilege extended to us from many different predecessors.
i'm humbled this morning as serving our nation as undersecretary of state for management. i'm pleased in their confidence in me and for nominating me to serve in this capacity. our nation is engaged on how to confront the challenges we face thp department served to express the voice of vision through the secretary. if confirmed i look forward to taking responsibility for the management family at the department. the 16 bureaus and offices for which the undersecretary is responsible provide the platform for our nation's security including human resources, budget and finance, training and many other critical fungszs. our foreign policy must be carried out around the world at 275 embassies, consults and other missions on a platform that supports the president's
foreign policy. while the president does much very well, i know it also faces continued challenges in several areas. for example the staff overseas remains an issue. they continue a strong construction program new, secure embassies and consults with 133 new diplomatic facilities completed since 1999. ultimately a facility is under construction to offer all officers hands on training every five years. both of these efforts have and will save lives overseas. i expect be to particularly focussed on staff and facility security during my tenure if confirmed by the senate. skuber security is a major concern, especially with the department's world wide presence and extensive data systems.
i'll work to insure the department supports our diplomatic e diplomatic oefrts and protects the data. i've faced the challenges of working to harmonize specific department and agent budgets as well as priorities inside an integrated budget framework. i an tish pate the need for harmony, collaboration and cooperation and this job too, including with congress. the formulation of negotiation for and implementation of department spending rest in the office for undersecretary of management. i look forward to partners inside the executive branch to bring the state department 's brujets into law and see that they're faithfully executed. given the past challenges congress has faced, i hope also we can work together to write and enact a durable and long
lasting statute for shared priorities of congress and the executive branch. although the executive branch will be a new environment for me, i'm confident the lessons i've learned in the senate will serve me well in my new role. during my decades in the enist i've recruited, and assembled staff, identified partnerships and built coalitions and worked strongly on behalf of other staff and other members. i'm excited to now work on behalf of the president and the secretary in the department. i look forward to finding new opportunities for public service there. if confirmed i will be committed to a continued partnership with the committee and congress in support of a strong and capable department that efkt vlied a vlk vkts for the united states'
interests around the world. thank you for the privilege of appearing before you. i'm happy to take your questions. >> thank you. i'll probably ask a few and retain the rest for later. but thank you for that testimony. obviously we've begun the process of state department authorizations. we feel that it's important for us to do that and complete an entire state department authorization. just wondering what your thoughts are after spending decades on the hill relative to that process. >> thank you very much for that question. and yes, over the years here i know this committee has worked repeatedly on bringing state department authorizations if the to existence, republican majorities, republican administrations. i think in my previous roles on the hill, always worked hard to be supportive of the committee
to authorize the full scope and am bt of department programs and i expect if i have the opportunity to serve following conformation that it will be robustly engaged with this committee as it works to bring a state department authorization through congress and ultimately to signature to the president. >> you and i have had a good deal of interaction and just on that note sometimes staffers who have been up here for many, many years can take on an a attitude that senators work for them. and i've seen that happen, even in some of our encounters. so i think it's important for you to talk a little bit about that. the culture at the department is not good right now. there is not a lot of teamwork
felt there right now. and having someone who takes on a temperament of being very effective but sort of running over people in the process could be detrimental to the organization and i wonder if you might talk a little bit about that here. >> thank you very much for that question and i very much appreciate the reality that transitioning from the legislative branch that executive branch. as i said in my prepared testimony will be a new environment for me. i do know that i have a lot to learn and i do know that some of the most capable teachers for the education process are going to be the very talented staff at the department. there are 16 offices and bureaus for which the undersecretary of management is responsible and expect i'll be going through an
accelerated prostees understand crisply and clearly their needs as well as their day to day responsibilities for creating and sustaining this very strong platform and prosecution of america's foreign policy around the world. as i said i have a lot to learn and i'm not coming in with a presumption that i not only know it all but i've learned it all as a result of the education process. so i'm going to enter this job if i have the privilege of being confirmed with big ears wide open with an objective to learn as much as i can as quickly as i can. on behalf of the personnel in our foreign service, civil service and certainly our locally employed employees around the world to carry out the objective of prosecuting america's foreign policy round
the world. >> yeah. one of the things though that we all count on. we actually engage a great deal with the person in this position. it's very important that we have a good relationship with this person because there are congressional noetifications that took place, backgrounds we want to do on a timely basis and i guess i'd like to have you not just speak to the stat underneath you but just your interactions with people here on the hill relative to those kinds of issues that are important to us and once people are confirmed they take on a different attitude to how they deal with folks. i wonder if you might address that. >> thank you very much for that as well. and i agree. i've had had colleagues and friends over the years who have been confirmed and sometimes
forget from where they came. because of those experiences over the years i think that as i mentioned in my prepared opening statement, the emasis of partnership with congress is omni present to me. this has a significant continued interaction with the this committee, the counterpart in the house and thuproep reations committee and i expect the assistant secretary for legislative affairs to be spending a fair amount of time engaged with the thiel explain operations and ways we rr recommending moving forward on anything from our budget and spending priorities to your point required notifications and appropriate interactions. as well as seeking input, not just letting you know what's going on but seeking counsel,
advice, potential opportunities for direction and information to feedback into not just the execution of this role but as appropriate, back to the secretary as well. so i don't think i'm going to lose sight, having been a congressional staffer for many years, of the need and value of robust partnership with this committee if i have the privilege of being confirmed. >> thank you. i have additional questions unless they're asked by others. >> i really appreciate your testimony, particularly your encouragement on the congress passing a state department authorization in a routine manner, which i think would strengthen the unity on foreign policy in this country. so i think that's a very important point and under
chairman corker's leadership we have been making significant progress on that in the last three years. we passed ourt, this committee, a state authorization this year we hope will move forward and i want to concentrate on one part of that which deals with reorganization of the state department. and as i said in my opening comment, it's critically important that be done in conjunction with the congress. both our committee and the appropriations committee have spoken to our expectations. secretary tillerson has testified before this committee indicating his commitment to work with this committee in a close manner and one of the more visible in soos of reorgani reorganization is how special envoys are handled. there's been correspondence back and forth.
we have that also in our state department authorization bill and we're consulting as hoto how the special envoy's being handled. doesn't mean we'll always be in agreement but it will exist between you, if confirmed, and this committee on input as to how reorganization takes place so congress is part of the process. >> absolutely, senator. to your point, both secretary and deputy secretary have express said their interest and willingness to interact with the committee as they go through the process with the employees of thinking through ways to more effectively prosecute america's diplomacy in the 21st century and i certainly expect that, to your point, if i have the privilege of being confirmed, that in addition to the
responsibility the bowureaus ha to be part of not just the reorganization effort but again to be working very cooperatively, conversationally, providing input, feedback, providing explanations and rationales for the thought process we're engaged in and potential recommendations about ways to continue to strengthen the ability of the department to execute foreign policy around the world. >> there will be times as the ranking democrat around this committee that i'll be requesting information from you in order to carry out responsibilities on the committee. will you respond promptly and fully to those requests? >>ct i'll be responding promptly and fully to all requests during the pendency of my tenure unless i'm told by higher authority not to or
modify the response but my instinct, again having been a senate staffer for many years, is to provide as much information as possible as quickly as possible to the committee upon request but as well continue a very extensive conversation with this committee, the house committee and our appropriations committee as part of the portfolio of what i'm responsible for and questions of reorganization. >> the subcommittee on foreign office has made its recommendations on the state department budget. the president submitted his budget. the comments as to the president's budget as it related to the state department was pretty consistent, a pretty different view. do you have an opinion as to the resources that your need and
whether the congress is doing the right thing in providing more resources than the administration has asked for? >> thank you for that question. legislation was reported on thursday and i have not had a chance to sit down and review the reported proposals from the subcommittee from last week. until, unless i have the privilege of being confirmed i don't have fully formed -- i have read what was provided earlier this year. obviously how a statute is enacted is a cooperative process between the executive branch and the legislative branch -- yes, sir. >> if congress passes the resources and it's signed into law, will you carry out the congressional mandate and intent through the funds that we
appropriate for the purpose in which congress has appropriated those funds? >> senator, if congress has passed and the president signed legislation calling for expenditure of resources in particular areas absolutely -- when i said earlier that i've really believe in the need that laws be faithfully executed, that covers this question i believe and is one of the important responsibilities of the undersecretary if i'm confirmed. >> thank you. appr appreciate that. >> thank you, chairman and thank you for being here because hat means you're stepping up to take on a new task that's really important, management of the state department. he said we've got some morale issues right now. and it's important you've been a
staffer and i got to work with you when you were budget of the -- you were effective and not just your command of the budget numbers but managing a team that focussed on the chairman's priorities that time. you know us. this committee is inkredsably important in the process of the management side as we've seen with the authorization bill. we got through the committee with the chairman's help, so this relationship, understanding how we operate is very import t important. on the management issues and beyond. i noticed in your testimony you've talked about your interest in protecting staff and facilities. and sadly we live in a world of increasing danger to our foreign service staff and those in country, nationals and
americans. in recent testimony secretary tillerson has noted the impact on embassy security issues beyond 2016. so my question to you is very simple. how do you intend to insure that the bureau diplomatic security is insured in the context of budget cuts to the state department's budget that have been proposed? >> thank you very much for that question. what i expect if i have the privilege of being confirmed is to every day be reviewing our security posture and the support we provide for security across all fronts at all our posts around the world, including seeking in conversations with congress that there be an appropriate amount of resources
dedicated to security and then expended properly for security on behalf of our personnel. security and safety will be one of my constant responsibilities that i will expend significant time focussed on and advocating for appropriate resources to insure that our personnel deployed around the world are in facilities that there safe, able to safely execute their duties and have security for themselves and as appropriate for their family and loved ones is a critical calling that i'll work to follow through on. >> that's important. again the morale question came up earlier and i think that's one of the things people are concerned about is their physical security and knowing they're behind them i think will be very important. we talked a lot about the global engagement center when we met and i told you my concern about
that inseeking the funding to effectively push back against authoritarian regimes around the world, medaling in our own country and fledgeling democracies around the world. you gave me your focus on those issues as well. i was really pleased that and appreciate secretary sullivan reaching out to me about this issue and assuring to me more than a commitment to getting the gec stood up properly. can you make a commitment today to us thatd you will indeed continue that focus of making sure that the global engagement certainty works effectively, push back and provide adequate resources?
>> to your point we did have a good conversation on this. i believe the mission of the global engagement center is kritdically important to abdicating the united states' point of view against our way of life and the values that we represent. so no question that if i have the privilege to be confirmed, be working to seek in any way that my portfolio interacts or supports the global engagement center and insuring we're probustly acting as well as cross a wide variety of platforms on behalf of the expressions of our values and pointing out some of the challenges that these other values being advocated for truly present to the world. >> well, thank you. my time's expired. senator murphy and i didn't have this legislation in law. every day there's a headline
about another aspect of this information. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you mr. uelong for considering this post and taking time to meet with me and other members of the committee. i want to follow up on your last line of discussion. i'm a member of the sfops subcommittee of appropriations and i voted for the 51.2 billion for the state department which is significantly more than the proposal submitted by the president and the administration and i understood you to say that if you're confirmed that you will work to protect this budget
and make sure the expenditures are made as congress directed. did i understand that correctly? >> senator in relation to the question, again thank you very much for your time and our conversation. if statute is signed by the president, my responsibility, our budget office responsibility is to insure those moneys do flow as called for by statute. so to the extent that legislative branch have agreed upon appropriate funding both at an over ald level as wrell as subaccounts and the money shall flow, the money shall flow. >> there have been some suggestions and concerns raised about the administration using impoundment to not spend monies
appropriated. i know we've heard from several departments money that had had been appropriated and not been spent and in order to urge that spending. but again you are putting to rest concerns that when you're at the state department that you will not use impoundment as a way to prevent the spending that's been directed by congress from getting done. do i understand you correctly? >> thank you for that question as well. during the appropriation process for this entire conformation and explanation of the responsibilities of the undersecretary of state and management, no one has ever raised with me anything in relation to impoundment. there's a statutory construct
about impoundment in the budget act which talks about two different ways moneys can be looked at by an executive branch as it goes about evaliatinging how best to move funded resources forward. as well every year as you know as a member of the appropati appropriations committee, they figure out ways at times move resources around, pull moneys back, reprioritize as it goes through the spending conversation and joinltly agree as to how mun.y should be spent. so i'm not aware of any calling -- >> thank you. >> -- that i'm going to be impounding money. last point if you may. that sort of question, implementation of my fall. again i have not been told any of that, but the interpretation of the constitution, that's not
in the undersecretary for state of management responsibilities. >> it's my understanding that department of state is the owing agency now within the federal government that has a self-imposed hiring freeze. after the freeze was rescinded. is that your understanding and do you think that's a sound personnel and management decision given the number of crisis we have around the world and the continued concern about morale within the department? >> senator, thank you for that question. i'm not aware of the unfolding of the freeze policy in relation to other departments and agencies. in relation to the department of state, yes, the freeze does continue. the secretary has a variety of powers to address the issue while this reorganization conversation continues internally and the conversation for resources will continue with the congress, my understanding
is he has exercised that power in relation to a vuvariety of circumstances that have been presented to him and in terms of staffing appointments, nominations and all that i believe that the secretary and the department continues to work through recommendations for potential nominees. ultimately to the senate and to this committee. just sent a number of nominees to congress last week, to the senate last week. the deputy secretary of state addressed this issue at his town haul saying prktsly 60% of confirmable puzishzs either have a nominee, would have a nominee or individuals under consideration for them. so the department, as i understand it, its leadership, is focusing on working through the system and providing nominees to the senate for advice and consent and review.
um, thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> congradilations and great confidence in your ability to do this job. terrific. >> thank you, senator. in wyoming we have a veteran memorial. it honors 48 u.s. soldiers that were massacred in the philippines during the philippine-american war. this memorial displays the bells that the filipino insurgeants used to signal the attack on our u.s. troops. recently the u.s. ambassador to the philippines publicly pledged to move the bells to the philippines. during the conformation process with secretary tillerson "these are an important war memorial that holds real significance to
many of our veterans." he assured me he would support an inclusive process to insure that congress is fully informed and the views of local communities and veterans are fully respected when evaluating the management of war memorials. i sent a letter to the president to cheney and tillerson as well. i ask that this letter to the president be included without objection. so we sent a letter raising concerns about the u.s. ambassador the philippines pledging to dismantthal wyoming war memorial. we have a strong tradition of never forgetting the sacrifice of our brave men and women. so they direct them to cease any efforts to deconstruct existing war and veterans memorials.
my question is will you raise this issue with our diplomatic core and share with him the importance of protecting our veteran's memorials. >> thank you for the question and this story is incredibly inspiring in a very significant aspect to your point of our world war ii history. i do pledge that if i have the opportunity to serve as undersecretary management if confirmed that i will do everything i'm capable of do bring this information forward. i associate myself with the secretary and provide all had the information that the undersecretary state of management can provide in relation to this because it is an important issue not just for you but for veterans across our country. >> thank you very much. >> senator, cane.
>> thank you, mr. chair and congradilations on the nomination. want to ask you a couple of questions. you talked about it as a key priority should you be confirmed. you mentioned the construction of the facility in virginia that's underway and look forward to working with you on that. there was an account review board that was done in a aftermath of the loss of life at benghazi. there were 29 recommendations that the state department should file to reduce the chance of it happening. three recommendations that are not yet closed out. 26 have been closed out and implemented. the three that haven't been are all dealing with embassy security issues. actual improvements, full training of the additional marine security guards called for. this will be a responsibility as
you indicate you'll tackleal. one, i'm concerned about the budgetary issues should there be a significant reduction in budgetary resources. what president's budget, what that would do to the ability to deal with the embassy security questions. second, there's an assistant secretary -- assistant secretary for security. as far as i know, there's not been a nomination forwarded to the senate on that position. i'm wondering if you could address both the budgetary issues on your commitment to make sure we're spending appropriately on these security issues and, second, do you have any idea or information about when the state department is intending -- sorry, when the administration is intending to forward us a nomination on the embassy security position? >> senator, thank you for the question and i appreciate you raising it very much. to your point, as i testified and in previous answers
indicated i will be focusing a significant amount of time on security matters. as for resources discussed earlier i expect i will be spending a significant amount of time understanding the need and advocating behalf of significant resource levels on behalf of diplomatic security efforts on the posts around the world. we have 33 of those posts high risk, high threat. we have an internal validation process for our presence in reviewing where we are and our security needs as we go through regular look at where we are deployed and decisions about security are very important, flow through a variety of decision making methodologies all part of the responsibility of the undersecretary for management. in addition to resources and insuring the processes are followed aggressively are part
of my work. the acting undersecretary has been there since 1987, that he served as the assistant to the assistant secretary of state prior as well as running the hr/ht operation in the past, so i believe, based on what i've read i'm very confident in the assistant secretary, acting assistant secretary right now. i do know that if i have the privilege to be confirmed i will be diving in to examine the leadership but i have no administration where the administration stands in terms of a potential nominee. i expect if confirmed i will learn quite a bit very quickly. >> i would want to have a follow-up conversation. >> absolutely. >> i appreciate what you said about the acting. i'm glad you mentioned that. sometimes we act as if there hasn't been a nomination nobody is doing the job.
we have plenty of acting and they do very well, however, there is a degree of uncertainty about an acting, sends a message if you don't fill a position. we had acting administrators for the centers for medicare service for 6 1/2 years only the largest line item biggest. that sends a signal medicaid and medicare is not that important and similarly if there's not a nominee for this important security position it sends a signal in addition the person doing the acting job might be but not a priority and it should be. i'd love to follow up on that. >> yes, sir. s. >> this is for later. when i tour as a member of this committee and go to embassies, i always sit down and have coffee with first and second tour msos and i don't let the ambassador come. i ask them this question, you have been picked for this wonderful opportunity very very hard to get. what will make you decide
whether to make it a career or depart early? i'm always struck by how often the decision points are management issues, like, i had to be intensely vetted for the security to get this job but then to requisition a pencil they treat me like i'm a potential fellow in order to get an office supply. i may want to come and offer insights on some management issues that affect the more -- morale of people doing great jobs around the world. >> i'd welcome that and the june report points to constantly antidotally along those lines and look forward to a partnership going forward. >> senator murphy. >> thank you, mr. chairman, congratulations on your nomination. the chairman referenced the morale issue at the department today. i think it's difficult to overestimate a morale crisis at the department of state today.
i think we're at the lowest point in the modern history of state department. we've had scores of senior diplomats leave over the last six months, people that come back from visiting our embassy is in the field to tell me there are even more mid-level and junior staffers planning on leaving. it's not hard to understand why. they perceive this administration and this secretary of state to be openly advocating for a fairly dramatic win knowing of authorities at the department of state, lack of interest in democracy promotion and human rights advancement. it's also because of some very specific personnel policies that have been applied to the department of state with an enthusiasm that does not exist in other departments. the higher freeze, for instance, which at fiers applied to almost all government agency, now still specifically targets the state department, the freeze on promotions and freeze on lateral
moves within the department is sending a pretty clear signal to people who are there that they maybe should look other places rather than make that long term career decision senator kaine referenced. you will be inheriting a responsibility for staff management at a time when lots of your most important and most valuable staff are getting a signal they should maybe find a career somewhere else. in your preparation for this job and this hearing, can you tell us what you've learned about the plans to continue the higher freeze, freeze problem motions and freeze on lateral moves? can you give us any idea for when those practices will end? because if they don't end soon i fear you will have a real vacuum of experienced personnel on your hands. sooner rather than later. >> senator, thank you very much for that question.
in my preparation for the confirmation process, my nomination and preparation for this hearing, i have been given no explanation or has there been any conversation about a plan in relation to personnel. if i have the privilege to be confirmed, learning what if any plan is might be in relation to personnel will be part of the core calling clearly in the undersecretary of state management's portfolio, human resources a significant aspect of the work i have and work we engage in. as i understand things more generally, senator, from the secretary and deputy secretary they worked through this reorganization process and one of the things they emphasized repeatedly, there are no predetermined outcomes. i think they've been true to that, as they go about evaluating what employees point out to them for potential opportunities for successfully implementing our foreign policy around the world on behalf of the united states. as i understand it they have been very clear repeatedly.
they have an open mind about how better to do the job of representing our values and our democracy around the world. i take that declaration at its word. if i'm confirmed i expect to learn not only more about the reorganization and participation plan but robustly engage with congress about the thinking of the department's leadership, its goals and directives and interact with this committee and the house about the reauthorizing bill and appropriations bill working through the process. i expect there will be a very engaged back and forth with the department. >> you explain it to us and more important i think you should explain it to those who work for you who seem mystified why this department is targeted by policies almost no other agency are targeted by. you're the third senior level nominee to tell this committee
the state department is going to consult with congress on the reorganization. we have gotten plenty of promises on consultation and no consultation. we just passed a state department appropriations bill in which we simply guessed what the state department would look like. the deputy secretary has still not submitted written answers to questions to this committee relative to his confirmation hearing. put a little more flesh on the bones when you say you're going to consult with congress, you're saying the same thing everybody else has yet no one has consulted with us. what do you mean by that? what is the form of the consultation going to take? when can we expect it? will we see plan before it's announced or not see plan before it's announced? give us a little more detail. >> thank you very much, senator. at least as i interpreter my obligation for consultation in
relation to your question i would be expending a fair amount of shoe leather and time coming to the hill to explain as i mentioned earlier the rationale, ideas, potensioniality, objectives and goals whatever the reorganizations the secretaries and deputy secretaries as a result of this feedback ultimately provide. in any way i am able to at the direction of the secretary and the couple of the assistant secretary of legislative affairs coming to the hill to explain where matters stand and where the leadership is intending to go and what role, if any, i play on that, that's the flesh on the bones of my commitment. >> will we see it before it is implemented? >> senator, i haven't been told much if any of that. i will be happy to provide that to you. thank you, senator. >> thank you.
senator markley. >> thank you, mr. chairman and for bringing up cybersecurity in your remarks and we're concerned about commercial and governmental hacking occurred by on for nations and foreign forces and even the nsa has been hacked and north korea. i was surprised the representative of cybersecurity was on the list to be eliminated. why would that be eliminated? and when you say you are concerned about cybersecurity and how does that translate to the initiative? >> thank you very much for the question, senator. in relation to cybersecurity, i've not been briefed on any of that but i'm happy again through this process to elicit what information i can in relation to that. for the responsibilities that the undersecretary state for management has including information technology there are a variety of issues under way in
our technology area to address questions of cybersecurity including a risk officer being identified and more resources being put towards the question of cybersecurity both as nominal dollars as well as a percentage of our it spent. i expect if i have the opportunity to be confirmed working with the cio to enforce those efforts to harden and defend the department that suffers millions of efforts every year on the cyber front to attack and penetrate our defenses in an effort to enhance the stability and protection of the it platform for all the employees. we have a little over 100,000 points of contact, i guess is the best way to put it. the computers hooked up to our network. insuring all our employees are able to interact with each other
on a platform that's stable and secure is going to be something, as i mentioned in my current statement i want to spend a fair amount of time on. finally, senator, there's the potentionality partnering with the private sector to elicit best practices and work with them that might benefit the department of state and across the government throughout all our platforms. hopefully there's the ability to seek out and work in cooperation with the private sector to assist in this effort. i look forward to, if i'm confirmed diving into this as well in the department of state. >> i encourage that. 100,000 points of contact is 100,000 points of vulnerability. privacy and confidentiality is so important to diplomatic conversations. my colleague mentioned the freeze on personnel. you and i talked about higher of eligible family members,
educational fellowships and civil service promotions. as you answered him i didn't hear your opinion. what opinion are you bringing to this? is it time to end this freeze in the state department. >> senator, thank you very much for that question as well. in terms of my opinion i don't have a fully formed view on the issue. i am aware of a lot of feedback from employees to your point expressed by members through a variety of private meetings and feedback i've read and media reports in relation to this. if i have the opportunity to be confirmed i expect i will be learning more about why matters stand as they currently do and potential plans for addressing this in the future. again, to my earlier conversation with you, the secretary does have ability to work through specific issues on personnel even in relation to the freeze, has done so, i expect would continue to.
but if i am confirmed, i'd be diving into this to where matters stand to see if i have an independent opinion twhaent opinion of the department is ultimately in a conversation with you working through this matter with the committee. >> these kinds of basic pieces have a huge impact on the retention of talent and morale and the capability of the department. moving on to two specific questions i have left. do you support transferring counselor functions out of the state department to homeland security and do you support transferring bureau of refuges and migration to homeland security? >> i do not, sir. i'm not aware during the preparation of this process of any plan is a long those lines. i've read a lot of media reports and speculation. nobody has told me that's the plan going forward. >> you say due not?
you would like to see those stay in the state department? >> yes, sir, i think they're essential aspects of our foreign policy and diplomacy. those are some of the most significant interaction foreign nationals have with our united states government. it seems to me as an undereducated amateur from the outside that is a natural marriage that they reside in the department of state and that our counselor officers and bureau of counselor affairs conduct this work in conjunction with the department of homeland security, department of justice and intelligence community and law enforcement because these decisions are national security decisions on behalf of the american people. the department of state, to me, seems to be the right place for these sorts of conversations to occur. >> i'm glad to hear that. i certainly support keeping them in the state department. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, chairman corker and ranking member, thank you,
mr. ueland on your service. congratulations on your nomination. i regret my schedule didn't allow us to meet individually before this but hope we get a chance to work more closely together in the event you're confirmed. i'm appreciative someone with your service here in the senate will be in a fairly high role in the state department. you've heard there's concern about communication with congress about the redesign. if confirmed you'll have a firm control of the role in the state department. i want to drawdown on a number of questions i have about consultation and community and morale have been asked by my colleagues. i agree, i recently visited four embassies in south africa and heard many of the same themes and in south asia and heard many of the same themes. in meetings with foreign service officers, i heard repeatedly about problems created by the
freeze and eligible family members being hired. often foreign service officers have spouses with advanced degrees or deep experience in business or management, op rehabilitations or in state who could be assisting our efforts overseas, but the state department chose to freeze the program as part of this broader freeze senator murphy was referencing. if confirmed will you work with this committee to explore ways to lift the freeze on hiring family members and understand the value family members have to our life/work families and not only for the value but the effectiveness of the foreign post. >> senator, thank you for that question. to your point. the emp program seems to be an extremely valuable addition to all the work our foreign service officers do around the world. to the earlier conversation with
other senators in relation to the secretary's discretion in reacting to the freeze when it comes to the efm program, many waivers have been granted because of the value and importance of this program. i do expect if i have the opportunity to serve after confirmation, to be engaged in a very good effort to fully understand both the efm as well as the hiring freeze, potential plans, if any, that will be briefed to me if i have the privilege of serving. coming and discussing with congress the plan and approach in relation to the efm program. >> thank you. let me ask one other in the same vein about management fellows. some of our most talented staff came from the ranks of former management fellows and i understand the state department suspended hiring from the finalist pool to the extend of freezing the onboarding process
for 35 fell wloes already received appointments for the positions within the department. do you think the department should be honoring its agreements with these highly skilled distinguished fellows and if confirmed, would you do so? finally, more importantly will you work with this committee to be sure the state department is as aligned as successfully as possible to recruiting an retaining a high skilled high performance staff. >> thank you for that question as well. in relation to pmfs, if confirmed the portfolio of the undersecretary of management does have interaction with this program. i expect i will have the opportunity to understand fully matters as they stand. in relation to the earlier question as well, what if any plans for the future are to your point, more broadly aboutry crew outing talent. the secretary -- about
recruiting talent. the secretary spoke to this issue more broadly last month where he observed the need for the department to look far and wide for extremely talented and highly capable individuals to come to the department of state and serve on behalf of our foreign policy. my portfolio will work hard to support that goal and objective and expect as well the department under the secretary will be working with congress for ways, to find ways, i should say, to support that work he set out for all of us to do inside the department of state. >> thank you, mr. ueland. i would close by imparting to you as my colleague, chris murphy did, i think there are five members of this committee also on the appropriations subcommittee for state and foreign ops. it is september and i understand there is a very full menu of foreign policy challenges and crisis around the world that engage the senior ranks of the state department.
i was extremely frustrated. we concluded our state process without having a sense of this design. i hope you will convey a sense of urgency about the consultation and forward progress. i hope to be a good partner pursuing a balanced appropriate responsible effort at trimming some of the costs but retaining the vast majority of personnel and programs of the state department at a time we need effective diplomacy more than ever. i was struck how long it has taken to get this process under way and my hunch is that your confirmation might contribute to advancing communications with the senate. thank you, mr. chairman for your patience. thank you, mr. ueland. >> thank you, senator. >> with that we will move to the second panel. the record will remain open for questions until the close of business on thursday, if you could promptly respond to those, it would be greatly appreciated. thank you for your willingness
to serve in this capacity. >> mr. chairman, if i could for the record, diversity in the department is extremely important for many many reasons, if not the effectiveness of globally. will be asking you about the pickering and wrangle fellows and diversity in the department. >> thank you. i look forward to answering any and all questions. >> the second panel, if you would come up, we would appreciate it.
today, on the second panel we have the honorable john bass to the ambassador of afghanistan. mr. bass is a career member of the senior foreign service, a class of minister counselor, has served as an american diplomat since 1988. he's currently ambassador to the republic of turkey, the position he's held since 2014. he's also served as ambassador to the republic of georgia from 2009 to 2012. we thank you for your willingness, as we discussed yesterday, to serve in this prospective capacity and thank you for being here today. next, we have mr. justin siberel? is that pronounced correctly? to be ambassador to iran, part of the foreign service and served as an american diplomat since 1993 and served as the
acting coordinator up and counter coordinator for the state department and served six postings in the middle east and speaks arabic and spanish. thank you for your willingness to serve. next, we have mr. steven dowd to be director of african development night. he co-foundeding a source llc, logistics transportation and finance company. his prior experience fllced overseeing food aid, operations and leading port infrastructure projects in africa. thank you for doing that. thank you for your willingness to serve and any nominees keep your opening remarks to five minutes and anything we can have entered into the record. >> thank you. members of congress and the
committee. it's an honor to be before you today to be the next ambassador to this islamic republic of afghanistan. it would again be an honor to represent our nation overseas and i want to thank the president and secretary tillerson for the opportunity to do so. i look forward, if confirmed to doing so and working closely with all of you in our interests for afghanistan and i welcome the opportunity as i have in my past two ambassadorships. and i bring my wife, holly who will also work in kabul and my sister. christen bass. and i have scolleagues, some wh are here and absent and have become family serving in challenging locations. i spent most of the past decade cushing threats terrorists post to our country and allies and had the privilege of supporting
my colleagues in kabul through diplomacy to broaden coalition and sustain colation there. if confirmed i will focus on achieving the results we all seek in afghanistan, a political settlement and sufficient government capacity to prevent its use anew as platform from which terrorists can strike the homeland. many of you and our fellow americans are questioning why the united states must continue to devote so many resources to this problem and this country. i understand why they ask how it is we can afford this when we have such pressing needs at home. i believe, however, that we cannot afford not to sustain our efforts in afghanistan. we don't have to questions at the consequences of choosing otherwise. we experienced them 16 years ago and over the past three years after isis set up shop in under or ungoverned spaces in syria
and iraq we've experienced the consequences there as well. as the president has made clear, we can't afford to shy away from tackling the challenges that these terrorist organizations pose to us head on. i'm not naive, obviously, 16 years into this about the scale and complexity of the challenges we face. fortunately, we have a bit more to work with than in the past. we have a government that wants our help. increasingly listens to our advice and is making some progress building a government that can provide security to most afghans. that sounds like a low bar. but if you think about where afghan started 16 years ago, they've made some important strayeds forward, in some key -- important strides forward in some key areas and the president
of afghani is making progress curbing -- and made progress this year than in the previous 15 years combined. i will follow the strategy set by my president. the goal an outcome that prevents terrorists from using afghanny from using it as a safe haven and that they can't outlast us on the battlefield and the only path forward for them is a negotiated settlement. as the president emphasized our strategy is government effort. focused efforts will be instrumental to our success and focuses beyond afghanistan's borders. i can assure you if confirmed i will work closely with my colleague ambassador heal in
islamabad to improve their bilateral relationship that fuels some of the challenges we face in afghanistan. obviously, success cannot and will not be driven primarily by the efforts and sacrifices of americans. we will sustain the support of our allies and partners. in some cases we'll be asking them to do more as we go forward. i think it's important to remember and acknowledge our approach should not be misunderstood as desire to remain and occupy afghanistan against the will of its people. we respect afghan's fierce independence and don't seek a military base or permanent presence there that would threaten its neighbors. that's an important piece of the calculation as we continue to reinforce the diplomatic efforts with other neighbors. it's clear us to the afghan government has other large
obligations to fulfill. we can't build afghanistan for afghan, they have to do it themselves. we will certainly work with them and encourage reforms that enables afghanistan to be more self-sufficient over time. the government welcomes this approach. we saw after the strategy was announced the chief executive abdullah declared nation building is our job and i'll be working closely if confirmed with him with president ghani, to help them undertake that important work. making progress has been hard. it will undoubtedly continue to be hard, but i believe it's worth the effort and the investments because the alternatives all lead to worst outcomes for the united states. i would just note in closing one of the first priorities of every u.s. ambassador today is to think first of the safety and security of people who work for them, who serve beside them, determining how best to achieve
our key objectives while also protecting our people will be foremost in my mind everyday. if confirmed i will insure i do everything possible to spend whatever level of funding we have for afghanistan wisely. in closing i want to thank this committee for its support to the vital work of the u.s. mission in afghanistan. as i noted at the outset, if confirmed i would welcome a candid ongoing dialogue with you about the challenges and opportunities we face. thank you very much again for the opportunity to appear before you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. mr. siperell. >> mr. chairman and members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to be president trump's nominee to be the ambassador to bahrain.
if confirmed i look forward to working closely with the congress and this committee to advance our nation's interests in bahrain. i'm proud to be here with my wife and two children and our son benjamin is in school today and ours is a true foreign policy all three born in a foreign country. mr. chairman, the united states and bahrain share a long standing partnership based on common interests and regional security and the friendship of our two peoples. since the 1940s, bahrain has hosted the united states navy currently home to thousands attached to the u.s. navy central command and fifth fleet. the logistical support is important to success against isis and lead an international colation that counters piracy, drug trafficking and terrorism of 2 1/2 square miles of ocean
and seas. the united states works closely with the bahrain defense force to make sure they have tools to defend against external aggression in strength and cooperation with other u.s. and allied militaries. you are aware the administration recently notified the congress of a number of possible defense sales that will address critical needs in bahrain defense forces, air, land and naval capabilities upgrades to previously purchased 316s. they will provide them with reliable capability and increased opper ability with u.s. forces. i look forward to continue to support bahrain's arms forces for shared threats. we are committed to working together with bahrain to be sure it is able to counter threats from iran and lethal aid targeting groups and the security of bahrain. success in confronting shared
threats in the gulf region rests large part in the commitment to work together in inclusive mutually supportive security arrangements. for this reason we continue a rapid resolution among the gcc states. if confirmed i will support the efforts of secretary tillerson to assist the parties resolving their differences. enhancing the security cooperation does not diminish the emphasis on human rights issues. our terrorists communication with bahrain is with a clear understanding bahrain's long term stability is dependent on achieving stablization and commitment to human rights. we continue to be concerned with non-political human rights actors and continue to urge bahrain to take steps to include inclusive elections in 2018 and introduce reform efforts for the benefit of long term stability and regional stability.
if confirmed i will make sure we continue to have an open and honest dialogue on the full range of issues affecting our bilateral relationships including human rights. the united states and bahrain enjoy a strong economic partisanship by the bahrain free-trade agreement. since that agreement entered into force in 2006, bilateral bahrain trade doubled annually. more than 180 u.s. companies do business in bahrain a number i'm committed to grow if given the opportunity. bahrain deserves some praise for efforts to end human trafficking by a national referral mechanism and national anti-trafficking strategy and investigating anti-trafficking cases and taking steps to amend elements of the sponsorship to increase workers debt bondage. is there more to be done as indicated in the state trafficking missing persons report and potential forced
labor victims and increased prosecution of forced labor crimes. this is important to me and this administration as i know it is to this committee. advancing our interests in bahrain will be facilitated by the close bonds of friendship developed over many decades with the people beginning more than 100 years ago with the founding of the mission hospital which continues to serve patients in bahrain today. hundreds of bahraini students come united states each year to attend u.s. colleges and universities providing bahrainis with a deeper understanding of american society and american people. more than 2,500 bahrainis participate in official changes. the people who serve at the um bassey and american citizen community will be my foremost concern as a resident of bahrain. i have serve aid cross the
middle east including high threat posts under terrorist attack. i understand the important of high security measures to protect our personnel and to insure the american citizen community to insure their safety and community. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. it is a singular honor to serve as ambassador to bahrain. i look forward to any questions. >> thank you for your testimony. mr. dowd. >> chairman corker, ranking member and the on for relations committee. it is an honor to come before you to today to serve as the developer inferior african bank. for years i have worked in developing countries, if confirmed i will marshall all my experiencing to developing the african bank and interests. i would like to introduce my wife lillian, my life inspiration and our three
children. lillian is an attorney who previously served as deputy attorney general in delaware. lillian is profoundly committed to combatting human trafficking and child stunting and malnutrition, a commitment i share. if confirmed i will search for ways to make the bank a forceful check on these twin scourges. >> my first encounter with development economics was as a teenage merchant crewman, developing food for peace and grain cargos to hungry missions. i watched as the desperately poor struggled to survive and made the most of the grain we dlifld to them. later, postgraduate studies at the georgetown school of public service and global issues. since then i have worked on logistics and projects on private development project is around the world. therefore i believe i am well equipped to face the challenges
facing the african development bank. if confirmed i would lead the effort to leverage the u.s. constitution to the bank in order to insure its finance efforts are used for the best benefit for africa and quantity u.s. policy interests there and american taxpayers get a good return for their money. i will strive to open africa to american investment and know how and facilitate u.s. companies doing business in africa and i will advocate for additional efforts to curb corruption and abuses of power that inhibit africans to live longer, healthier, better lives. finally, if confirmed as executive director of the african development bank i will work closely with the members of this committee and its staff and other members of congress to perform my responsibilities as effectively as possible. mr. chairman, i thank you for this opportunity to appear before you and the other members of the committee and i look
forward to your questions. >> i'm deferring to senator carr. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for all three nominees and your public service and thank your families. i would like to start with bahrain. secretary tillerson said in bahrain the government continued to question, detain arrest shiite clerics, community members, politics, members of theite community and required to report and the justice system must stop discriminating against the shiite communities. secretary tillerson, are you prepared as ambassador as mission in bahrain will be open to the shiite community to have an advocate on behalf of their concerns against the bahrain government? >> senator, thank you very much for the question and your
interest in this particular issue. those remarks are from the secretary's release of the international religious freedom report recently. my mission would be open to all voices in the bahrainian political and civil society and i look forward to continuing that and open to all voices. >> i want it to be open to all voices but the shiite population has a particular urgent need. >> understand, yes, sir. >> you will keep this committee informed in regards to that. >> i look forward to that opportunity. >> mr. dowd, could you share with us your commitment in regards to operation at the bank or member countries fighting corruption, which is a major problem in that region? >> thank you for the question, senator. absolutely. you are correct that corruption is a scourge of the continent. it's pervasive.
although i ham not on site yet and i don't really know what the bank is currently doing in this regard i will certainly advocate forcefully for the maximum control of corruption and malfeasance. >> i would be asking all three of you, if confirmed of your missions to keep my staff informed on anti-corruption and shiite rights, and we can plail a role. we talked about the fact you won't have a lasting peace in afghanistan unless the governments respected the lasting rights of all people in afghanistan. i want to ask you a particular question. i agree with your statement we do not seek any permanent military bases in their country referring to afghanistan. now, we've been there since 2001. 16 years might not be permed but it's starting to look like a
permanent presence of american troops in afghanistan. what is it going to take for us to be able to get our troops home? do you really envision during your term of ambassador, assuming you are confirmed we will be able to bring our troops home? >> senator, thank you for articulating one of the key questions that we're all asking. and have been for a number of years. >> it's out of my lane offering an assessment on the military side where a tipping point will come. i don't think it's realistic to expect whether two years from now or three years from now, we'll have a much smaller military footprint. >> i agree with that assessment. it's a very honest response. how do you have credibility with this statement we're not seeking a permanent military base in afghanistan when upon your
arrival there'll be more american troops arriving with you? >> i think the key aspect of that is what we are doing and will be doing, which is primarily to support the afghan security forces to get better over time, taking care of their own security needs. if we're successful in doing that over time, there's less of a requirement for u.s. forces to be there. easier said than done. as i said, this is going to be hard and it's complicated. i think that is our road to a smaller footprint over time. hopefully through a negotiated political settlement. it's through that settlement i think we ensure we don't have to have a permanent military presence there. >> i think credibility is very important. as you said a smaller footprint over time still gives me less comfort we don't have a permanent presence in afghanistan of american troops something i strongly believe is
critically important for afghan's future there is a light at the end of the tunnel that we will be bringing our troops home from afghanistan. quite frankly, i don't see that in the game plan that has been presented. it looks like a permanent u.s. presence. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator barroso. >> they're view much, mr. chairman. ambassador bass i appreciate you making the mention of corruption because afghanistan continues to experience corruption at all levels. systemic corruption, a major threat to u.s. objectives in that country to the point the special inspector general for afghanistan has uncovered terrible examples, as you know, waste, corruption and fraud in the way that reconstruction funds have been spent in afghanistan. we talked about it here previously in this committee. last year, the special inspector general found quote the united states contributed to the growth of corruption, the united states contributed to the growth of
corruption by injecting tens of billions of dollars into the afghan economy using flawed oversight and contracting practices and flawed power brokers. what can afghanistan absorb. these are bipartisan concerns in the hearing with the inspector's findings, these are not partisan issues, american issues. >> thank you, senator, another key piece of the challenge set and what we need to be focused on. >> i did note an emphasis on my tenure, if confirmed we focus a great deal of efforts helping the afghan government address this problem set and insuring we're spending wisely, whether we have a lot of resources to work with or not very many.
for me, the key variable is making sure we get an impact and result for spending the taxpayers' dollars. i think the key is we now have a government that is taking this problem seriously in afghanistan. just released a new set of measures under a term called the kabul compact, which fllcinclud lot of key efforts and they asked us to hold them accountable for results. if i'm confirmed i can assure you that will be a top priority for me. >> i appreciate it. accountability is a key part for all of us and as you said, hold them accountable. can you talk about what you can do to approve the ability of our government to oversee and monitor this assistance? >> i think we will continue and need to be creative and
thoughtful and imaginative about how we do that given some of the security challenges. i don't want to put people in harm's way undully but at the same time i also want to make sure we're getting results for our funding. my understanding is we've got some pretty thorough third party monitoring efforts in place, utilizing a lot of afghans, sometimes at risk to themselves, but i certainly will want to take a fresh look at it to see if there are ways to improve that. >> you hit the key word, what about the security? how has the security situation of violence impacted the effectiveness of our civilian mission? >> it's definitely made doing our work more challenging. it's harder for people to be out and about in society. i think my colleagues have done a good job finding ways to
continue to interact with afghans, whether them coming to see us more regularly, working through intermediateries in some cases. as the security environment continues to change we have to adapt and change with it whether it's getting worse or getting better. that's a key piece of what we're responsible for to make sure we can do that. >> you have broad experience, wonderful career. you've been a lot of places. how does the government then properly value and moderate programs across the world where there are restrictions of freedom of movement and deteriorating security environment? >> we have to be creative and thoughtful and we have to adapt to conditions as they exist. we have to learn as we go. my sense is we are doing that. we need to continue to do that.
i think most importantly we need to make sure that we continue to have some degree of visibility on individual programs, individual projects, so that we're constantly evaluating whether we're getting the results we should. >> thank you. thank you very much for your willingness to serve and congratulations to all of you and your families as well. my time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all very much for your willingness to serve the country and congratulations on your nominations. ambassador bass, as we again increase troops in afghanistan and look at the military conflict there, one of the significant pieces of success is the importance of our local partners on the ground. one of the promises we have made
is that for those afghans that help us in our mission there, if they're threatened we will try and allow home to come to the united states out of harm's way. i wonder if you would -- if you can commit this morning to publicly continue to support the afghan special immigrant visa program, whether you agree it's important we keep this program in place. >> thank you, senator. i think we have a solemn obligation to support local colleagues who often work for us, serve the interests of the united states at great risk to themselves and their families. my colleague, mr. siberell and i both worked with iraqis who would tell us stories of a two hour commute in each direction with five or six changes of transportation to make sure it wasn't visible. i'm sure you heard many of those
kinds of stories. within the construct of resources larger administration policies, certainly i'll be continuing to advocate we do the right thing by those people in afghanistan who have been serving us. >> thank you very much. on monday, the pakistani foreign minister went to iran and the news out of his meetings with mr. rouhani were that they discussed the importance of a political solution in afghanistan. can you talk about the role of the region in afghanistan and in our potential to reach a political settlement there? how important the role of pakistan and other countries are in doing that? >> thank you. we will not succeed if we do not have the support and cooperation
of pakistan's neighbors and the wider circumference of significant countries in the wider region who also have an enormous stake in the stability and relatively security of afghanistan. i think one of the things working in our favor, as we pick our way through this complicated landscape, is that generally speaking, everyone wants to see the same result in afghanistan. it's not in anyone's interests for afghanistan to remain a sinkhole of violence and a safe haven for extreme terrorism. the challenge we have is to ensure we have got a common approach among all these countries how we achieve that result we all want to see and insuring that the neighbors and this wider set of countries continue to support the afghan
government in its efforts, not simply to deal with violence and terrorism inside the country but also build that government capacity so that if we do get to a political settlement, there's a capable government that can negotiate with the taliban and then perform the basic functions of government on the other side of that. obviously, pakistan has a key role to play. they've been, as we know, a source of some of the significant challenges in afghanistan, in enabling the taliban to rest and refit, plan, coordinate attacks, so we have a lot of work to do. as i noted, i will be working very closely, if i'm confirmed with ambassador hale and many colleagues in the department to try to change the pakistani
government's approach towards this problem and how they best see a resolution. >> thank you. mr. siberell, you mentioned in your opening statement the fact we have just approved a sale of f-16s to bahrain. you also pointed out the concerns about human rights there and how we address those. during the previous administration, the sale of f-16s had been held up. as i understand there was a linkage to human rights violations as part of that sale. do you think we should continue to try and be -- look at tying what's happening on the human rights front to other military assistance to bahrain or other aid that we give them? >> senator, thank you very much for the question. i think it's absolutely vital that we pursue the broad range
of our interests with the government of bahrain, both strengthening their own capability to defend the country with real threats from iran and the region and terrorist threats at the same time never step away from our obligations to continue to hold a very open and serious government of bahrain about conditions inside the country to include the promotion and protection of human rights. there are some cases we have not been willing to sell the bahraini government certain items particularly with regard to crowd control and security, those remain in place. with regard to the military sales that get to the key element of our partnership to defend theirselves and the key military processes, to the human rights issue those just need to be brought together in our kfrgts, broad-based conversation
with the government in my view. >> thank you. >> if i could on that note, very good question. i think saturday cardin had a conversation with them. it's my belief we should not tie human rights directly to armed sales but we certainly should work at it side by side. these sales, by the way, are ones that were approved prior to the hold that was placed on sales to all gcc members, as it relates to the conflict that exists right now between these countries and qatar. this was a prevaleniously appro sale and there was some misinformation on that. >> thank you and congratulations to each of you. you have a good fortune of being on a panel whose billets are pretty controversial.
that means they get most of the questions. let me ask mr. siberell on the bahrainny question, i was there only once and it was many years ago, obviously with the fifth fleet there, the situation is very important to us. they are facing a real challenge of iranian supported efforts to destabilize the government but also have a citizenry 70% shia and wide perception in and outside the country the shia population is not being treated well. you will have a lot of instability if you don't treat 77% of your population very well and if you try to blame it on somebody else that will not go very far. my perception has been whether it threatened arms sales or not the human rights situation in bahrain and the sincere effort to deal with and make progress on concerns 70% of the
population, there's not really been much progress. i'd love to be wrong about that assumption. am i wrong about that? >> senator, thank you very much for your question. i think hand bahrain faces very rel credible threats from i iran. those have been voiced. that have threatened bahrain. we know of training and equipping of individuals and troops that threatening bahrain. >> efforts to ship arms. >> that's right. earlier this year the state department designated two individuals. one is resident in iran who had been involved in attacks against the bahrainny state and the government. there's a serious threat there's a real threat there. at the same time channels and effective channels for political discourse for involvement in the fairs of the country are critical essential stability.
ultimately for the stability and strength of bahrainny state and its relationship with its people. when i was previously in my previous position in the counter terrorism bureau we frequently emphasize there need be no contradiction between human rights. and effective security practices. which protect the population. in tha a point i will continue to emphasis if given the opportunity and confirmed as ambassador to bahrain. to bring these two together to con flat security and terrorism with or to con flat legitimate political speech with terrorism. is to potentially cut off channels for a healthy and stable society. >> it's important. again it's important in and of itself. with the fifth fleet presence being so important, and it's
continued viability long term in bahrain being connected certainly to the stability and the country. it really each and every achieves a huge importance. thank you for that. ambassador bass you will do as good as job as in human in this position. when you are ambassador from turkey. one thing we'll need from you is candor. an area i find perplexing is when it comes to afghan tan. whether i'm talking to state, dod, or intel agencies i get very different very, very different pictures of what might happen. we'll really need candor from you. once one of our lead military officers in afghanistan said something candid. i appreciate your candor. i said i will be candid what are they going to do send me to afghanistan? we need your candor.
there's a lot of confusion about the future mission. but also what are the likelihood of success. we really need to hear from the administration on this. the president made a speech that i think at the top level was fine. but there weren't a lot of details. we got a good briefing in classified session. like the briefs we got about the isis plan it was classified. we haven't had public briefings. this is something the public needs to hear. we can't operate on just on the basis of classified briefings about what the plan is. we have to bring the public into this. let me ask one question quickly. what is your perception as somebody who's really a skilled in this area, what's your perception about the ark of progress in pakistan in fighting extremist terrorist elements on the afghanistan pakistan border?
are we going in the right direction or wrong direction? >> thank you very much, senator. i think we're going in the right direction, but as with all of the challenges it's not necessarily always going to be a linear process. we have to make adjustments. they adapt again. i have seen this happen per sintly through the last three years of from turkey working with our cloolleagues in unifor on the problem set in north iraq and syria. >> so you believe -- i'll be quick. you believe we're going in the right direction it's not linnier. we might wish the pace would be faster. adversaries adapt. to the degree of which we're not going fast enough, you view it as more the adaptation of
adversaries rather than any commitment on behalf of the pakistan government and military? >> i wouldn't make that stark assessment. we need both. we need to continue to adapt our tactics, obviously outside many i lane. in my lane we have to continue to mobilize diplomatic persuasion. and some pressure on the government of pakistan to make sure we kbet the right performance on the safe haven challenges. >> thank you for letting me go. >> i'm going to go ahead and call on senator mark will and coops. i have to step out for a moment. i know you will work cooperatively with each other. >> thank you for your willingness to serve the united states. ambassador bass, which is more complicated. turkey or afghanistan? >> senator i think it depends on the day. >> well.
two extraordinarily difficult situations. the president said we will not dictate to the afghan people how to live or govern their society. we're not going to be engaged in mags building. does this mean the investment in health centers is ending? >> thank you, very much for identifying that aspect of our ongoing efforts. as i noted in the out set, we are going to continue to need on the civilian side to ensure that we have a government that is capable of governing on the other side of a political settlement if we're successful in creating the conditions that bring the taliban to the table. for my perspective a government that's capable as a government that is responsive to the needs that are identified by its citizens. and to the extent that
improvements in health are important to afghans -- >> just trying to get clarity on this point. are we investing in health centers are not? or you don't know? >> my understanding is in the short term we certainly are. >> let's turn to our investment in road infrastructure. >> i believe for out years that's under consideration by aid. they reevaluate priorities and the -- >> what projects are we cancelling in terms of of the president's dictates to no longer engage in nation building? >> my understanding based on any initial consultation is they're now reviewing their current portfolio. and planning to put recommendations forward. i don't have specifics. >> there's no answer. at this point it's policy idea out in the air. no concrete plan.
okay. we have responded to a few things within afghan sta that are offensive to americans. wild spread child rain. and societal discrimination against women and girls. when the president says we're not going to dictate how to govern, will we not weigh in on the issues anymore? >> i believe we'll continue to express strong concern about practices and activities in afghanistan that are outside of commitments afghans have made to thechl thech themselves and. >> pressure on corruption which we have been doing for. there's show trials to make us happy. international organizations say it's as bad as it's been. or worse. with strength of the war lords. we pressured pakistan before. to the point they shut down the pass and had to air lift and turn to central asia to import things into the supply chain into afghanistan. we say our new strategy is
support the afghan forces. that's the old strategy. we say we're working to set the stage for political settlement. that's our old policy. so on these five fundamental principles this sounds like a continuing of the existing policy. >> what am i missing? >> well i think you're going to see a renewed focus on the broader regional challenge. my understanding from my colleagues at the pentagon is that they believe that not with standing the challenges of the past few years fighting seasons. the after fan defense forces are becoming more capable and taking on more of the fight themselves. so i think it's a different fight if you will. from five years ago. and i think importantly on the civilian side, we have a government now that wants our
help. is willing to listen to us. is asking us to hold them to commitments making to themselves. and my understanding is that's a bit different from some of the past dynamics. >> i note that in term of pressuring pakistan on the safe haven, we apply enormous pressure before. not only they shut down the movement of goods into afghanistan. they noted they are 50,000 civilian deaths or 5,000 security force deaths taking on extremist within pakistan. that's a higher price than anyone else has paid. and our failure to recognize that is profoundly offensive to them. and they're very concerned about the drone strikes that have killed many civilians within pakistan as well. at least in the opinion of the pakistan government. the argue is always been we're not going to let afghanistan be a haven for terrorist. al qaeda essentially long gone down to less than a hundred years ago. the taliban obviously control a
significant share of the country. they can hold meetings all over the country. those occur with far less support than related terrorist can have in somalia. in yemen where there's commune kigs, more access to ports. the long and short of it is, afghanistan today a planning can be held in anyone of thousands of buildings. they control more territory. doesn't effect whether or not they can hold meetings. isn't there something kind of missing in our basic theory that we're denying somehow the current president is denying planning meetings from occurring inside afghanistan? >> senator, always hard to prove hypothetical, what i would offer is different context. but what i have watched over the last three years is what happens
when you have ungoverned space that is violent, unstable, and creates new opportunities for even more extreme terrorist groups to take route. and i think one of the most disturbing trend lines of the last couple years is the creation of isis affiliate in afghanistan. that potentially could inject a sectari sectarian dimension into the conflict. if we think we have have a big problem now, it could get worse. so my answer would be we have to continue this effort because i think all the alternatives are worse for us. >> you would acknowledge there's a lot of ungoverned space that fits that definition right now within afghanistan? >> yes. >> thank you. >> thank you with the concurrence of my wonderful colleague senator young i'll
proceed. >> dually concurred. >> thank you. many of us have competing hearings. so forgive me for having departed and return. it leads to this uneven timing. thank you all three of you. mr. doud, and ambassador bass for the willingness to serve the country in the important posts and regions. when i realize your wife served in delaware. i had to come back. there was no way i could miss an opportunity to highlight both your passionate engagement issues in africa and your wives dedicated service to law enforcement. and to the important work against trafficking. let me begin with ambassador bass. it's great to see you again. i respect your service in turkey. taking on now the challenge in afghanistan is one that dwarves the challenge in turkey. not to put too fine a point on it, but one of the things that i found striking about the
president's address, about our path forward in afghanistan. and was in some ways repeated in your opening stalt. i quote you. we have to make clear to the taliban they can't out last us on the battlefield. that is clearly our new conditions based as it were frame work. how long do you think the taliban can last on the battlefield? 25 years? 50 years? 100 years? >> senator, thank you for that question. >> it's a question i think we should be wrestling. it's not a got you question. it's something i wrestle with. >> it's one of the reasons i welcome the exchanges. these are the right questions for us to be wrestling with. bit difficult for me to answer it as this stage of my preparation. given how much of it is informed by detailed assessments of
analysts and military colleagues. >> in the interest of time. let me say as we work together, to clarify and refine our natio nations strategy with regard to afghan. one of my core concerns. people in caves and deeply dedicated to their work against us, i think we would be wise to assume a longer rather than a shorter time line of their determined unwillingness to negotiate. and commit want to the fight. and i just wish the president's call to arms for a longer term engagement has been clear about that. all of us wrestle with that. 16 years is a long time to be at war in afghanistan. if we are moving to a conditions based strategy. we might be facing a generational commitment. now decades after the korean conflict ended. we have a significant military asset on the peninsula. we still have military units on the ground in germany.
many decades after the end of the second world war. it's not impossible we would choose to make a generational commitment to afghanistan. we need to be more cleared about the consequences. let me ask you how you think we might deal with expanding russian and iranen. >> so i think we have to do two things. we have to make sure we're in constant dialogue with them. not with standing some of the other challenges with the relationship with russia. and potentially through russia with the iran government or others talking with them. to make sure we have as close to common assessment of what's happening on the ground as we can. and we have to continue to work to ensure they're putting the wait of effort behind supporting the aft began government in the effort. because to the extent they start
to hedge or intensify hedging, by supporting the taliban, that doesn't lead to a good out come. >> i am frankly gravely concerned given the role that vladimir putin russia played in the north korea challenge. in ukraine. in our recent election, that he will choose this moment to actively engage in opposition. to our interests and our security. in afghanistan particularly given he's a leader motivated by grievance over the fall of the soviet union. it was our role that accelerated the departure. i urge you to be tentative and communicate with us about it. if i migtd briefly, i am grateful for bahrains support and partnership with us in military matters and counter terrorism. as a cochair of the i'm concerned about the poor human rights conditions of which you reference in the opening
statement. they imprisoned the country's leading human rights leader for tweets. banned the largest opposition party. how will you encourage bahrain rulers and leaders to respect human rights? >> senator, thank you very much for the question. this will be very high priority for me in my discussions with the bahrain government. we raise concerns with regard to the specific issues in cases you addressed. and maintain a ongoing dialogue with the government of bahrain about the importance of protecting fundamental human rights. these are critical principles that we raise in many relationships. with regard to bahrain in particular given the strength of security partnership, given the importance of a strong and stable partnership, that must rest also upon stability fundamentally within bahrain. this takes on an important role
in the dialogue. i'm committed today advancing that dialogue as i engage in the senior leadership. >> thank you. mr. doud i was moved to read your characterization of your first engagement in africa as a merchant crew man. it's rare we hear that. chairman corker and i worked to understand and have a positive impact on u.s. food relief programs. both to sustain food for peace in my appropriations role. and provide efficient alternatives. this is a electronic benefits card that's being used. i was in a camp in nigeria a week ago. there are other models other than direct commodity relief. commodity relief is more appropriate. other relief is appropriate in other settings. any exposure to thought? thoughts about that on how the
african government bank might accelerate transparent, accountable ameri accountable mechanisms for the assistance and aid? >> that's a terrific question. not being there i can't speak to it. i would make a comment if i may. i read i was very moved by your trip and the chairman's trip last spring. when you wentd to the camps. i'm sure that was a profound experience for you. i share it. and anyway that i can encourage or lead the african development bank to assist in the matters, i'm there. and i would certainly welcome your input and those of the staff. >> thank you. i had a great meeting with bank president. and we had a long conversation about this high five agenda. the five priority items. i welcome a chance fo follow up with you about that and other matters of concern. i know i'm impinging. thank you to you to your wife,
for your passion for fighting human trafficking. and mall now trigs. and we can work together to find ways to do that that are cost effective and efficient. thank you all three of you gentlemen. to you and your families for your service and the service you're about to under take. >> i thank all the panelist and nominees for your careers. and for your willingness to continue serving. am bas dor bass i enjoyed our visit yesterday. i look forward to supporting your confirmation. the u.s. military presence in afghanistan should be based on national security interest on the advice of commanders, and on the facts on the ground. we observed of course the 9/11 anniversary yesterday. and remembered our fellow citizens who were killed. every year, we're reminded we can never again allow the terrorist to use afghanistan as
a training ground and launching pad for attacks against our homeland or allies. for that reason, i applaud the trump administration rejection of withdraw time lines that are disconnected from reality on the ground. at the same time, we have to be honest. that the progress isn't what it should be in afghanistan. and the american people are right to demand better to ask tough questions, and insist on more detail and more accountable moving forward. so i will continue to scrutinize the strategy in afghanistan. i look toward to staying in touch with you as i make efforts to do that. to ensure this administration has established clear and obtainable metrics. milestones, objectives and so forth. and also to ensure that our diplomats, our development experts, and our troops on the ground have the resources they need to accomplish the mission. so i look forward to working with you in that regard.
i'm going to turn to the african development bank. mr. doud. according to to the un between 2017 and 2050, the populations of 26 african countries are projected to expand to at least double the current size. to state it differently during the same period 1.3 billion of the globes additional 2.2 billion working age people will be in africa. if there is isn't a corresponding increase in job and economic opportunity to accompany the increase in population, we're in trouble. we're going to have a hard time making sustainable progress with the respect to development goals. and we're going to see grinding poverty that causes human suffering. promotes instability. sp serves as a push factor for immigration crisis. how do you believe the african development bank with work with the private sector to create the
sustainable jobs we need. and lessen the predict job crisis that would otherwise accompany the population growth in africa? >> thank you, senator. certainly this is a profound question. the focus of the bank of course is on infrastructure. the notion is of course that led by proper and effective infrastructure private investment would follow. and from that hopefully employment to begin to deal with this surging population that you eluded to. not being in the bank currently, i really can't speak to the effectiveness of the programs. but i can tell you, that i will be committed to cost benefit analysis a rigorous cost ben nit analysis to hopefully a gain control of the infrastructure projects. so they really work.
and they're not the road to nowhere. >> is there a model you're looking to as you engage in cost benefit analysis to determine which programs are working, which are not. perhaps you could mimic another model for another development bank for example. >> i don't have a lot of experience or knowledge of other development banks. but i know from private development projects what i look for. there are triggers and effective yardsticks that can be brought to bare. that i think might apply here. i can't speak a heck of a lot further about that. at this point. not being on the ground. >> your private sector experience maybe more valuable frankly. than having worked in or spent time immersed in development banks. >> i hope so, sir. >> i attended a briefing on
multi-lateral banks. more than one of the individuals made the point that we have to make it easier for u.s. companies to compete for contracts with development banks including the african development bank. according to to our congressional research service, despite the countries contribution to the bank, u.s. firms accounted for only 0.4% of adp procurement in 2016. in contrast chinese firms accounted for over 22% procurement in the same year. mr. doud do you believe there should be efforts to increase participation by u.s. firms in the african gomt bank? if so how do you believe we can make it ease your for u.s. companies to compete? >> i would think this would be a good application for value for money bidding. that is to say it's not always the lowest bid that is the best bid. but the way things operate that
way. the chinese that's their forte. low quality, cheap bidding. and so perhaps, i hope, we can impose value bidding. to help u.s. companies. in addition to helping -- >> that's the entire life cycle of the project, right? >> indeed. another element that you elude to there is perhaps even contingency payments for the longer term loans to make sure they're not wandering off into who knows where. so there be regular monitoring and accounting and auditing of ongoing project funding. as far as encouraging u.s. companies to invest in and operate in africa, you are right. the percentage is appalling. i will do what i can to be a cheer leader for africa. and meet with hopefully and facility american businesses trying to do business in africa.
>> thank you much, chairman. >> thank you all three of you for your willingness to serve. your families willingness to be a part of that. the record will remain open until the close of business on thursday. as you heard from the close of the first panel. to the extent you can answer the questions quickly. we'd appreciate it. i know you're anxious to get to the post you have been assigned and jobs you have been assigned. again i think for us it's heartwarming to have people like you willing to serve in these capacities. we thank you for that and we thank you for your testimony today. and the preparation. i look forward to you being confirmed. thank you very much. >> the meeting is adjourned.
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daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> now. former deputy cia director david cohen talk abouts the use of sanctions against russia, north korea and venezuela. other topics include china's role in north korea and the current state of the iran nuclear agreement. hosted by georgetown university law center. this is just over an hour. all right. okay, wonderful. hello, everyone. my name i