tv Russia Security Challenges in Europe CSPAN March 21, 2018 7:25am-9:31am EDT
>> i think -- if i can respond to this in a written form in more detail. but, generally, nato has taken a look at the countries. there's a grouping of five to seven given their financial plan at present, and in some cases if they are in the eu, the standards that they have to meet with respect to data, et cetera, they will have a very difficult time meeting the 2024 2% if they adhere to the nato and eu requirements. there's a group of countries with analysis will have a more difficult time. >> one of the issues that came up is how we can address some of our issues with them and with their ability to impact citizens in other countries. you mentioned something we have an advantage because of people's
representation of us as having a truthful media. and here internally in the united states we have this ongoing division over the media here. how do we let people know over there that we are truthful when within our own country we're having this struggle on the truthfulness of the media? >> that's a difficult question to answer. i would say the issue of truth in media is not just the united states, it's a global issue now. with the development of our social media and the internet, et cetera, we've lost what we once had where we had print editors that had editorial standards, et cetera. much of this has no discipline within it. i think that's something that internationally we need to come to grips with, and determine how we're going to begin to discipline that. it's particularly important for
democracies because of the role that, you know, truthful media in journalism plays in a vibrant democracy. >> thank you, general. i yield. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, general for being here. i have a general question concerning eastern europe, if you will and i don't expect a deep dive answer, but you mentioned a team approach to nations in europe. and from your perspective, what are thor and europe nations, for example, wanting and needing from say if we go down the list, what they want diplomatically, militarily, economically, information sharing. what are they wanting, what can we provide? that's a pretty broad question. >> yes. frankly, i need to probably focus most on the military aspect of that. >> sure. >> the first thing is they want
a close partnership. i'm speaking as a commander. they want a close partnership with the united states because they recognize our capabilities. they recognize our leadership. they want to have a close partnership so they can also develop their capabilities. >> militarily? >> diplomatically. et cetera. those nations are, are great allies. they are small. but they are working very hard. you'll note they are above 2% very quickly. so they are also investing in capabilities that they believe they need to nest with ours. that's what we need to continue to do. we need to continue to help them in that regard. i think also our presence there reinforces their populations confidence in the west, and their decision to be nato members in some cases or to
align with the west generally. >> obviously all those things intertwine with our success there and when i talk about economics and things like that, and i've always had a concern the dependency upon russia for say natural gas, et cetera. and the stronger their economy is, the better our military relationship can be, et cetera, et cetera. are there things from where you sit that you feel you're hampered if we only did more economically like try to alleviate that dependency on russia in some way? >> i think we're work towards relieving some of the dependency on russia. those countries are as well. particularly in liquified natural gas, facilities are being built that will allow us to transport that and frankly i think we should continue to do that because as you know russia uses energy to coerce and compel at times. thank you. >> thank you. i appreciate it. i yield back.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you for your service. in discussing ukraine, i think it's important to look at some of the historical content. when secretary baker met with gorbachev there's a discussion about expansion of nato. our country made no formal commitments to gosha chof as putin claims but gorbachev recent leadership did say the spirit of the conversations very much suggested that we wouldn't expand nato. then when the next one came to power in the ukraine and wanted to do business with the european union, the russians asked the united states whether we would be okay with a tri-patriot economic agreement, where europe would do business with the ukraine and russia. european union rejected that. then when the russian president was ousted he came to united states and said why don't we
call early elections and call a coalition. it's unclear whether we worked diplomatically for that. we then supported the regime change. i guess my first question in sort of three parts is do you think we made a strategic mistake by insisting that ukraine join nato, you believe we made a mistake by recognizing the coup, and do you think we made a mistake by not having tri-patriot agreement. >> i haven't looked at that in enough detail and the specific instance you pointed out to give you an answer. if you like i'll give you one in a written statement after the hearing here. >> i would appreciate that. more broadly and this goes to your expertise. one of the things that has served us really well in this nation is the monroe doctrine made by john quincy adams. we believe no one should interfere in our region. assume for a second that russia is acting in a similar strategic
interest. do you really believe even if we have arms going to ukraine of 50 million, 200 million like the president wants that we could ever outcompete the russians in ukraine? won't they just increase their arms? don't they have for more strategic interest to fight us than we do in ukraine? >> if one looks at proximity, et cetera, that's one advantage for russia and advantage militarily as you suggest. but what i go back to is what we believe as a fundamental principle is that people have a right to determine their own government and how that government is led, whether it's a democracy or what type of democracy it might be. i think that's the principle that we fundamentally support here. >> general, i agree with you. john quincy adams had a very famous passage the united states support the self-determination of people around the world and we should extend our prayers and
hopes but not going out to monsters to destroy because that's not in the united states's strategic interest. what do you think is our national security strategic interest? what is being served by putting more weapons in ukraine? how does that make the united states more secure? how does it make constituents in my district more secure? >> the united states has come to the assistance of people and a nation that seeks to establish themselves with the west in a democratic way and make reforms to do that. we've committed to that. i think it's important that the united states be seen as a good ally in that and, of course, where that takes us here in the future will be set against, you know, our vital, our vital interest in this as countries move forward. i think it's important that we support those who seek
democratic values and ways and in the world as well. otherwise we forfeit that movement to others like russia who would like to undermine and establish a world order that is counter to our interests and as we've seen in past history typically leads to conflict. >> no one disagrees we shouldn't recognize human right but is that in our national interest. my final question is do you think being bogged down there, is russia our most strategic competitor or is it china? and does putting resources here hurt our ability against china or against fighting the war on terrorism? >> i don't know that we're bogged down there and i would remind you we're also not fighting they are fighting for their own sovereignty.
we're providing capability to pass reform to their government. russia and china are both competitors. i particularly believe in the shorter term here russia is an immediate threat at this point. they are more consistent threat. maybe in a longer term maybe china. that's a debate many will have. i think we need to pay attention to both. >> mr. banks. >> thank you, general for being here. i wonder if first of all you have any thoughts or if you can explain at all why macedonia is having a hard time in hopes of being admitted to nato. if they are admitted to nato they could be a somewhat important ally to the united states in our efforts? >> yeah. i would probably refer you to state on this in terms of the details on this. they would like to seek a means to enter nato.
i've talked to their minister of defense about that. it's a matter foremost of being able to establish the ability to meet the map or the accession principles you have within nato to do that. you know, being confident and showing that there's a confident means to do that. >> i appreciate that. my next question, as you know, the threat reduction program has been a nonproliferation program of the world for over 25 years. as part of your overall security cooperation efforts, ctr has been fundamental to greatly reducing the threat of wmd proliferation. however, we continue to see wmd proliferation threat grow through terrorism. recent efforts in moldova and the ukraine highlight the security gray zone nations face. can you comment at all on the
success of ctr and maybe any ctr efforts that have been effective in your aor or ways we can change the program to confront the threats we face in the future? >> i'd like to take that for a response as well, to get into detail. we address this and we work within nato or within ucom with nato, with our partners, to counter proliferation and transnational threats. that cell i noted before, the transnational threat cell, has that as one of its fundamental tasks. i think we are having effect. i think it is positive. but i think today more so than ever, we probably need to be more focused on this because we have nonstate actors today that now have the funding and capability to attain some of these weapons systems, whereas before it was fundamentally a nation state capability that was passing those. so terrorists, violent extremist organizations.
so it's important we maintain this focus and work again, you know, with our partners and as an alliance to do this. >> my last question, in your written testimony, you talked about the growing maritime threat in your aor. i wonder if you could maybe comment more extensively about that with a resurgent russia, maybe comment specifically related to the anti-submarine capabilities under your review. >> yes, if you want a detail on that, i prefer to do that in a classified document as well. just generally, the activity level of their maritime forces is up in europe. they're active now, coming out of the high northern and the northern fleet, into the mediterranean, for instance. that has not been -- while not alarming, it's not necessarily something they couldn't do. it's just not something they've normally done in, say, recent history. they're deploying more, and they're deploying at a higher
rate. the forces that they're deploying are being modernized, primarily with weapons systems. so you know, most of their ships now, you know, have a caliber system on them. it is both conventional and can be nuclear if they choose to do so. it's a very good system, provides reach and precision. of course, wherever they have a ship, whether it's under sea or on the surface, many of their ships now have the caliber system on them. >> appreciate that. thanks for your leadership. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you very much for holding the line for us in europe. appreciate your service. i served under general jim mattis, current secretary of defense, and our division motto at the time was no better friend, no worse enemy. i found it was the first half of that, that was sometimes harder to maintain. people understood the marines
were a tough enemy but weren't always sure they could trust us. how do you make our eastern european allies trust us in the fight against russia when we're not really willing to stand up to russia right here at home. this is a consistent theme i've heard as i've traveled around the globe. a lot of our allies right now are not sure whether they can trust america. give us a window into how you fight this fight on the day to day in europe. >> first of all, i'll tell you, i don't see that issue particularly in the east within nato, in terms of any distrust. the first way i do it is look at what we're doing. we're rotating -- >> so you don't think when the president comes out against nato and says maybe we shouldn't be a part of nato, that doesn't contribute -- >> the president has stated support for article 5 and full support for nato. in this time, we've deployed a lot of force in this past year
to europe on behalf of nato. so what i'm trying to say is what i point to is what are we doing. edi, which congress has budgeted, for instance, is a substantial investment, and our allies recognize that. >> general, let's talk about for a second. the edi -- and i've witnessed this in eastern europe myself -- seems to be very heavily focused on conventional forces, which is not the way that russia's attacking us. russia is attacking our eastern european allies through the internet, through partisans, but undermining their political process, by sowing disinformation, as you earlier described. it doesn't seem like our effort is calibrated to really meet that threat at all. it certainly wasn't when i visited there in 2015. i know that we on the committee have tried to make some modifications. i'm not sure we've gone far enough. what could we do to improve our
ability to stand up to the type of warfare that russia is actually exercising today? >> first of all, sir, i'd say we need to have all of that. so we do need that conventional capability in place as a deterrent. it's an absolute signal to them of our commitment to article 5 and our commitment to nato and partners. many of the things we are doing is what we need to continue to do. we're providing those nations, particularly in the east, with direct military information support coupled with our embassies working with them as well. the nations themselves work with us closely in terms of their public affairs messages, et cetera. that's all a part of this. edi does fund some of the information operations that i do in ucom as well. >> what parsage of the budget for edi goes to those types of activities? >> a very small part of that. i can give it to you if i sit down and figure it out, but it's
a small part of that. i would first say, though, that information operations is not that expensive. >> what percentage of the attacks that you see whether they be hybrid type attacks, the disinformation campaigns, the attacks from russia, what percentage are these hybrid type attacks versus conventional attacks? >> in terms of attacks within nato, most of this activity is below the level of conflict. >> pretty much all, right? they're not rolling any tanks into eastern europe. >> well, no. but they did annex, you know, portions of the ukraine, for instance, and georgia in 2008. but you're correct. today's activity is purposely below the level of conflict. >> are there other things we should be doing on the committee to better meet this threat? it sounds to me like we could better apportion the budget. are there other things we should reinforce or ways we could give more confidence to our allies
that we will help them stand up to this serious threat? >> well, you know, i would applaud members of congress for their trips to europe, for instance, and to see our allies, like the one you took in 2015. those visits and open discussion with them is very important. it's a direct demonstration of the united states' interest in their security. so i would encourage those as well. secondly, continue to do what you're doing today. that is to have a good assessment of our security needs. what should be funded and how you fund them. this budget has been very important to enabling me to do what i do with our allies and the security of the euro-atlantic. you need to continue that. towards the budgeting, i would say this. again, information operations is not overly expensive when compared to, for instance, conventional force structure, rotational forces, et cetera.
and from my part, my request through edi is structured in what i believe we most need for deterrence today. so i take into account, at least my portion of this, as i put it forward to d.o.d., the percentages of what's required and best used for a coherent defense. i take that deliberately as i present this, my portion of that budget to the department of defense. >> thank you, general. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> general, thank you very much for yesterday's discussion as well as today's. my apologies for not being here. there's another general at the army corps of engineers to whom i had to give some attention this morning. the edi fund, should that be part of the base or continue to be -- >> i've said i think eventually it should go to the base.
in order to get us into the base as a fundamental part of our security. and as i stated earlier, i would just like to ensure it's protected. congress has set this aside as edi specifically for specific objectives to be attained. as we go into the budget, to protect that clarity. >> so either way, you need edi specifically for the work you're doing in eastern europe. >> we do, absolutely. i need it because i don't have the force posture i need, that i believe i need. it's going to take edi to build that or that funding within the budget to do so. >> i just want to make it clear, we're going to be dealing with this in the next couple months, and we talked about it a little yesterday. it seems to me that we want to keep it separate, at least that word you used, eventually, and i'll just let that hang out there. at least for the near term, i
would think we need edi separate and available to carry out, which incidentally in a tour of the eastern european countries in the summer, you and your troops are doing an extraordinary job. the heel to toe makes a lot of sense, i think, in the near term, as you've said in your testimony. a couple of other things. lng, which was mentioned. gas is a tool used by russia for economic/political purposes. we are exporting gas here in the united states. it seems to me something we ought to consider is the strategic tool to deter russia. and it would be in our interest to subsidize natural gas, lng, to europe as a way of deterring russia and pushing back in the most meaningful of ways, that is their economy. i suspect we ought to do a little economic equation here and see what it would cost to
provide lng to europe at a cost similar to what russia is providing gas. could give us significant leverage. with one final question, do you need a new low-yield nuclear weapon to deter russia? >> sir, in regards to nuclear posture review, the supplemental weapons systems part of that are required. what it does is ensures that we can be confident in response across any scenario that might be -- that might be projected. so i do believe we need those systems. >> thank you. i'll yield back. thank you very much. >> general, you've answered lots of questions about hybrid information, political warfare. part of the reason is i think we all are challenged by thinking of warfare in nontraditional
ways, and the role of the military and doing that. you've answered a number of questions about edi, and i think that conversation is very interesting. i just want to ask, to the last question on nuclear deterrent, can you step back from particular weapon systems and talk more generally about the value of having a credible nuclear deterrent with an adversary who openly talks about using nuclear to counter conventional, about escalating to de-escalate, in a region where a lot of allies depend on our nuclear deterrent for their security. one of my concerns is most -- many of us thought that we didn't have to worry about that stuff anymore. a lot of not only the weapons and delivery systems, but the
thinking atrophied after the '''''' fall of the soviet union. about '' we have to pay more attention to '''''' it now. 'about '''''' so can you just, in a broader ''' sense, talk about the role that a credible nuclear deterrent plays in what you're trying to do every day. >> well, if i could, i'll just focus on -- you know, as you step back and look at a credible deterrent and the importance of having one, a credible deterrent that they understand is responsive across the spectrum. when you look at escalation management, you talked about, you know, the russian comment that they'll escalate the de-escalator, escalate to dominate. it's a cognitive exercise. it's an influence on the decision maker on putin on the other side. a credible nuclear capacity, a credible one, and our will to use it if necessary for the
extreme case. known by the adversary is paramount here. and then across the spectrum. i think their escalate to de-escalate comments were centered on a capability at a low end to perhaps gain leverage. what we're saying through the mpr is you won't have that leverage. we're going to drive this back to a higher threshold. and he can be confident in that as we enter -- if we would enter any kind of an escalation at all. so that's why it's important. because it's the mental approach to this to begin with. >> well, i'll just say for my standpoint, we talked yesterday, i guess, about deterrence when it comes to space. we talk about deterrence when it comes to cyber. one of the challenges, i think, for all of us is to reinvigorate our deterrence, thinking, and intellectual preparation.
as you said, deterrence is in the mind of the adversary. whatever domain we're talking about, and i think we've got some making up to do maybe there. unless you have something else. >> i'm good. >> thank you, sir, for answering our questions, and the hearing stands adjourned. >> thank you, chairman. >> archtsd we're live on capitol hill this morning for a hearing on elections security. witnesses include homeland security secretary kirsten kneelson and the former head of dhs jake johnson ahead of the 2016 general election russian agents tarnged election systems in 21 states in the u.s. the chair of the central intelligence committee is richard burr, the advice chair mark warner of virginia. we expect had to start in just a
security secretary kirsten neilson and former head of dhsr johnson. members of the kmoout committee of both parties that the government attempts to stop russian cyberattacks have ghont far enough. they plan to press secretary kneelson on the department's efforts to secure state department efforts as they launch an effort to safeguard against foreign meddling in this year's elections. should start here in just a moment, live coverage on c-span