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tv   Hearing on Africa Southern Command Operations  CSPAN  February 15, 2019 6:04pm-8:01pm EST

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been involved including serving three terms on the new hampshire executive council which is an elected body that advises the governor and two terms in the statehouse. the congressman is co-owner of peerage and backroom, a restaurant, often visited by presidential candidates. he's the first openly gay person selected to congress . >> dehaana haze came into public eye after president obama introduced her. gary franks of republican who represents the with the district in the 1990s. new congress, new leaders, watch it all on c-span .
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next, the heads of uf africa command give updates on military operations in the areas of the world. they were asked by members of the senate armed services committee about chinese and russian activities in africa and central and south america. good morning. on the half of chairman in half, he has indicated that he like to start these on time and asked if we would begin with opening statements. he should be here shortly. the committee meets today to receive testimony on the united states africa command and southern command. i welcome eyewitnesses and thanked them for our service.
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this is likely the last urine for this general with this committee, i want to thank you for your nearly 40 years of dedicated service to this nation. it's fitting to note that 12 years ago yesterday, february 6, 2007, president george w. bush directed the creation of u.s./africa command. it was the right decision and africa continues to play a vital role in the nation. the committee's top priority is to assure the effective implementation of the national defense strategy which identifies competition with china and the central challenge to prosperity and security. both should be viewed as key fronts in our global campaign to compete with china and russia. both of your areas of
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responsibility, china and russia are increasingly active with military means to challenge u.s. interests. while on behalf of the chairman we agree with the need to prioritize the effort against china and russia, we cannot take pressure off terrorist groups like isis and al qaeda. despite setbacks these groups continue to control areas in africa and pose a threat to u.s. interests and our partners. lastly, while the challenges in your areas of responsibility are on the rise, both of your commands have long suffered from shortfalls. we look forward for you to explain how the shortfalls increase risk to your forces and impact your ability to execute the national defense strategy. we want to remind our members that admiral faller and general waldhauser will be available immediately feeling -- following the hearing were in today to discuss classified
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matters that may come up today. with that, ranking member . >> thank you very much senator rounds, that me thank you to provide an update for u.s. military act cavity. both of you are leading commands during very challenging times and we thank you for your continued service, please extend our gratitude to the men and women under your command for outstanding service and dedication. thank you for your distinguished service to the nation and the u.s. marine corps. i'm concerned about chinese and russian influence in latin america and africa. jen is leveraging his economic might to gain access to ports and loaning large sums of money to infrastructure for projects, many of which are not economically viable and will
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lead the country's holding to beijing. russia is engaging in massive campaigns undermining u.s. influence in popping up authoritarian regimes in both regions. both of you are tasked to counter russian and chinese influence with limited funds, equipment and people. as many of the resources are diverted to pay, and aor's. i would like to hear how this implementation of the national strategy has affected the resources you have to counter russia and chinese influence in critical regions as well as any a different school resources she may have. we are working with local and international partners to advance our shared security goals. the complex of interlocking challenges will not be solved by military means alone. indeed, many significant issues including rapid population growth, demographic changes, famine, migration, our long- term and multidimensional in
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nature and require role of government policies that take equally long-term views of investment and engagement in the region. in december, the administration announced a new u.s. strategy for africa that highlighted the importance of the u.s. economic interest in growing competition with china and russia throughout the continent. however, the administration has repeatedly slashed budgets and reduced engagement overall. general waldhauser i hope you discussed the importance of long-term engagement in africa and the types of investment we should prioritize, the best way to position ourselves for strategic competition. you also have a difficult problem set the narco trafficking has flooded central and south america with illicit funds that exacerbate rampant corruption, especially among police forces. poor economic conditions and lack of security has led to a
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humanitarian crisis that forces families to flee to look for better living conditions. authoritarian governments propped up with russian and chinese order undermining democratic values and destabilizing the region. despite all these problems, i want to note that there are some bright spots, we have several capable partner such as columbia, peru and argentina who are willing to work with us and are now net exporters of peace and security. on a final note, venezuela is an unfolding crisis. i'm hopeful there will be a peaceful and democratic transition in venezuela for the venezuelan people and supported by the international community. it's been terrible to watch the starvation of the venezuelan people and the economy by maduro and his regime. congress must be consulted if there is any military planning action beyond the current planning and the evacuation of u.s. citizens and personnel.
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i know the events on the ground are changing day by day and it's impossible to tell what set of events will treat the departure. i like to hear updates you may have and what you expect to come. thank you to witnesses and senator rounds, thank you . >> would you care to begin with your opening statement, the full statement will be part of the record? >> thank you very much, senator rounds i appreciate it. senator rounds and ranking member read and distinguish members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to update you on the efforts of the united states africa command. i am honored to be here this morning admiral faller to discuss many of the similar challenges we face in both africom and south, areas of responsibility. i'd like to begin this morning by remembering the soldier we lost on the continent during operations in somalia this past
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year. i offer sincere condolences to the family of alexander comrade united states army. we honor his dedication to our country and commitment. we also honor the sacrifice of our african partner who bring security stability and prosperity to africa. additionally, would like to thank our families, servicemembers and civilian workforce, especially those who serve on the continent often times in remote locations i thought it was a commitment to the mission. 2019 marks the beginning of africom second decade as a combat command as we enter this period we've adapt to the strategy for africa based on updated national guidance which includes the president's 2017 national security strategy and the 2018 secretary of defense national defense strategy. these documents are shaped the
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focus of the armed services outlining broad guidance to enhance readiness for high-end combat and combatant commands among other things to strengthen alliances and attract new partners. the recently released u.s. strategy towards africa, the department of defense strategy for africa and the national strategy for counterterrorism refocused our whole government approach in the era of great power competition to advance united states influence and maintain strategic access not only in africa but around the globe. taken comprehensively, the overall u.s. strategic interests in africa are very clear. prevent the undermining of our alliances or destabilization of african nations, counter violent extremist organizations, increase the potential for africa to become a failed continent to protect u.s. citizens in the homeland and advance american influence
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including economic opportunities and transactions. to underscore the strategy, we remain committed to synchronizing our connecticut authorities, persistent pressure on al cheval, isis and al qaeda associated groups remains necessary to prevent the destabilization of african nations. the u.s. strategic interests on the continent cannot be silly advanced with the use of military force alone. as such, africom utilizes the military tooling concert with diplomacy and development efforts to help negate the drivers of conflict and create opportunity. in somalia, we work closely with the ambassador, now permanently stationed in mogadishu, alongside the u.s. mission director to help the somalis assume responsibility for their own security in their own prosperity.
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in libya, our counterterrorism commitment supports the u.s. shar as a who works closely with the international community to prevent civil conflict and facilitate political reconciliation process. additionally, our engagement exercises and act divvies throughout africa are designed to increase u.s. influence to strengthen local security and ensure our status as the preferred security partner. for example, in east africa, our programs continue to modernize partner security forces as in ethiopia, kenya and uganda who also export security and contribute forces to the african union mission in somalia. in north africa, we have seen significant return on investment with tunisia and morocco are demonstrating the capacity to absorb advanced u.s. programs and to lead security-related exercises and operations. in the lake chad
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region, africom provides training, advice and assistance to the western african nations which make up the g5 shell organization as well as those who make up the multinationals joint task force working to contain extremism of the lake chad basin countries. our network ensures u.s. access for forces in times of crisis to protect our personnel facilities on the continent, such as in djibouti, a location that has strategic influence to multiple commands. in conclusion, the most important use of the military tool on the african continent is where i engagements emphasize relationships and capacity building. i'm proud to lead a team of professionals who built a strong and trusting relationship with african partners, u.s. interagency and
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the international community to foster security, stability and prosperity in africa. on behalf of the servicemembers , employees and families of the united states africa command, thank you for your support and thank you for the opportunity to be with you this morning, i look forward to your questions . >> chairman and ranking member read, thank you for the opportunity to testify with you today. thank you for the steadfast support you provide our men and women every day. i'm joined today by my wife martha who is passionately committed to serving our military families and ensuring their readiness and welfare, also with me are south montcalm's command marge or my eyes and ears representing the backbone of our military for noncommissioned officers. the master chief stacy, are gender divisor. the human rights team works together to build professionalism within our self calm team and partners.
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professional forces, professional forces build trust. the western hemispheres are shared home, our neighborhood and we are connected to the nations by history, culture and geography. my headquarters in florida take me longer to travel to dc than it does to many countries in our area of responsibility that we are connected in every domain, sea, air, space and cyberman land. our security and prosperity are inextricably linked. when our neighbor succeed we succeeded when our neighbors are threatened we are threatened . partnerships in this region are critical to the layer defense of our homeland and to our collective ability to meet complex global challenges. ultimately, we want enemies to fers, friends to partner with us and the western hemisphere to shine as a beacon of peace, prosperity and potential.
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to ensure the security of the host land, self calm works closely with interagency teammates, the department of state, us 80, department of homeland security and the department of justice. teamwork within the defense department with northern command and the u.s. coast guard is also critical to mission accomplishment. over the past two months, i traveled to columbia, trinidad and tobago, guatemala, and el salvador to get a first-hand view of the opportunities and challenges that directly impact the security of the hemisphere. as a leading state sponsor of terrorism grant activities in the hemisphere these are
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concerning. venezuela, the situation in venezuela is dire, the government uses food as a weapon while corrupt generals are awarded with money and illegal drug trafficking, oil profits and businesses. all at the expense of the population and the other rank- and-file military, migration out of venezuela is now over 300 million creating a crisis for our friends in columbia, brazil, ecuador and peru. the remainder of the world is united and south, supporting diplomatic efforts and we are prepared to protect personnel if necessary. i saw firsthand the impact of the humanitarian crisis when i visited the united states naval ship, the compassion displayed by comforts international medical team made a lasting difference in the lives of thousands of the united states
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of america provided comfort as part of our enduring promise to the hemisphere while russia flew nuclear capable bombers, who would you want is your friend and who would you trust? strong partnerships are the best way to counter threats and determine the challenges to our hemisphere and opportunities. a little goes a long way, we need the right focus consistent military education and presence that we cannot achieve positive results and influence outcomes without being on the playing field. mister chairman, thank you and thank you again for the opportunity to testify today. the self calm team and the military members and families appreciate the support congress has provided us, we continue to honor the trust you and our fellow citizens have placed in us and we look forward to your questions. >> first of all, let me apologize for being late, i had a small part to play in the national prayer breakfast so i had to choose jesus over you guys, but that's behind us now.
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[ laughter ] >> were ready to get back to work. first let me go ahead with the areas you are working so hard in i've been concerned about china for a long time because we saw it coming. in fact into beauty -- in djibouti it was the first time china devoted attention to actually starting a function in a country outside the city limits. now, as far south in africa as tanzania they are making things happen and everywhere you go the same thing, america tells us what we need and then china gives them what they need and they have also we've committed to the program and as we discussed in the office, for the first time that they've
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invited 50 l that showed up in china out of 52 nations for talking about how close they want to be with them and what they are trying to do is expand the program that we've been so successful in, into china. so anyway, that's their own you may be feeling the effects and i asked both of you because it's also happening in south calm, what are the effects right now that you are seeing from china that were not there until recently. starting with you . >> thank you senator in half. this is the first base, people are not aware of that but this is the first base they established outside the city limits. we have a chinese base several
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miles from the front base in djibouti, so we have interesting engagements with safety flights. china has been there for some time and have worked through the relationship but what we try to do from the dod perspective is show that we are the best partner, the type of training we give them and try to make sure that our influence remains, it's a difficult task. you mentioned the issue of all the security chiefs in beijing. i have no way to prove this but in a 2017 we invited all the chiefs of defense for a conference and we had about 40 or so turn up i believe after this engagement they sought and
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wanted to make sure they were on the same level playing field that we were. moreover, in addition to the chinese defense group, in september this year, china had a form for operation between china and africa were over 50 of the heads of state of africa wanted beijing and where they will.60 million -- $60 billion of loans and grants and programs. the chinese work at the relationship and that is one of the things we try to combat in africom by being good partners . >> it's been my experience in that if china ever comes in, they only gain from it, they use their own labor but nonetheless they have resources i can figure out where it all comes from but much more than we seem to and the same thing, you don't hear so much about the activity of china briefly what are your thoughts on that? >> they are invested in 56 ports.
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. the entire hotel floor of my trip was completely booked by chinese. they were offering all expense paid 13 days of school with no strings attached and cash for the countries to do what they want. so they are there and they are there in force with the long- term vision economically and militarily. the best counter his education and being there. the program is huge for our partners and they want to come to the united states, they want to go to our schools and our schools remain the world's best and is something to emulate . >> it's my own opinion but i think some agree with this, of all the coms we have, africom and south calm are the most under resourced, like to have you be very blunt, briefly do you agree with that? what do we need to do to correct it? >> we are under resourced but we do make the best of what we
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have. >> i know that . >> we per form or isr code you agree with that admiral? >> i agree with that we could also use some naval assets, we need a bigger navy . >> i understand you do great work . >> thank you very much and gentlemen, thank you for your service. as far as venezuela, your views would be very much appreciated but there's presumption that the military at this point is the key powerbase and that as long as they stay with him, he will be incentivized to stay in
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venezuela. is that accurate from your perspective and what are we doing to try and water the venezuelans got a legitimate president, was he trying to do to pull the military away? >> venezuela has about 2000 generals, more than all of nato combined in the majority of them are on the payroll of the illicit drug trafficking and corrupt businesses, that's what he's using to buy loyalty and protection. in addition, cuba, pretty much owns the security around madero and is deep in intelligence, we can go into more detail in closed session so that remains the center of gravity. the legitimate government has offered amnesty and a place for the military forces, most of which we think would be loyal to the constitution and not to a dictator, a place to go and i think the diplomacy path is the
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exact path we are trying to support. >> over many years i have had complaints about human rights abuses in honduras and guatemala and there is a report recently that provided by the sisters of mercy that a former member of the honduran congress has been imprisoned for suggesting he may have been involved in the killing who was a prominent environmentalist and this is just one example so how are we conditioning our security assistance and human rights training in these countries to promote the rule of law? >> during my recent trips, answers were professionalism, a big part of that is human rights, it's like blood running through your veins, if you're not legitimate you will have a force that will ultimately
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secure the population. we have the discussions with all the leaders of the countries , the chiefs of their defense and we have a human rights team that goes in to perform workshops. part of the steps taken include certification, they're going to go to vetted forces and forces that have complied and it's important to our efforts. i think there's an issue that both share, it's under resourcing and also on the civilian side, a id, state department etc., and you talk about these being very eloquent and focused i traveled through accra, chino and in somalia are
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one of the reasons that shabbat is so influential is that they were able to collect taxes, administer justice, provide basic public services civilian capacity, so the question now is even with all the military effort we put in, if we don't have civilian capacity i don't think the mission will succeed. so you have similar problems also . >> to just provide some context, today, the first time since 1991 we have a usaid mission director in this and this is an important step. in december 2017, the usaid signed an over $300 million compact with the country of djibouti. this is significant, issues of education, government business and so forth, it's very important we have an ambassador in the country alongside a senior a id representative who can oversee and synchronize
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efforts to return the investment that's well spent . >> that's a good example of how it's working, but there are many more examples where we don't have the resources or ambassadors. the ambassador arrived a few months ago after years, so, there is a complementary civilian capacity issue that if we don't get right, you can do your job very well but they will not succeed . >> there are many of the same situations inside south america and latin america expect the military needs to be in support of the big diplomacy and i see that where it's working, an example would be el salvador with significant progress in the reduction of violence by targeting bad neighborhoods, 50 locations where they come in
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with public and private partnerships and partnerships with the government took with aaron small precedents to connect to vetted police force with the military expect thank you . >> thank you, gentlemen . >> i think were all aware were going to have a closed session after this, you can pass that on . >> thank you, mister chairman. >> i'm curious, in your opening statement for the record regarding djibouti, you know that continued access is critical to logistical efforts in and around east africa. given china's increased presence , do you have any concerns that access and usage could be at risk short or long-term?
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>> last year when i testified, djibouti had just taken the poor over there were international court issues i won't get into that today but they have run the port now for over a year. based on data we get from the agency, they've done a better job of been more efficient and have better input than when the varieties ran the port. have spent time with the president and talked with the ambassador and spoke with him about our concern that we need unimpeded access that roughly 98% of the logistic support for djibouti and somalia and east africa .com through the port. that port is one of five entities in the education port. the access there is necessary and required. . we have no intention of selling out to china and the actions thus far have back this
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up. i have no reason not to believe it but the bottom line is i remain concerned about the access there because it for denied access we have a significant impact on activities and east africa. >> i'm curious i want to change this a little bit. you made a comment in your statement complaining to algeria, you note that u.s. relations continue to foster cooperation for regional stability. can you give us an example of what africom can do to foster the security relationships in your thoughts with regard to the security implications of the refugee camps for algeria. the refugee camp is been there for 40 years and there clearly is an issue there but i've been there once and i plan on being there again and i'm just curious, what are your thoughts about the situation, how big of an issue is that for security
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who are allowing folks to be there and providing humanitarian aid and i presume we are offering assistance as well? >> let me start by talking a little about our relationship with algeria. first i will say the russian weapons sales is one of their number one customers. they sell high and weapons to them, ships, submarines, the russians who sell the majority of equipment on the continent algeria remains a big partner of theirs. i've personally visited algeria and met with senior officials and the relationship is one that is in a crawl, walk, run stage. there are limited engagements that we work issues with repairs and visits and we participated in some of these activities so, although it's an arm's-length relationship, we do all we can to continue to foster that. with regards to the refugee camps, 12.3 million displaced
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people are all over the continent, this has a lot to do with conflict and famine, drought and the like. all of these camps require a lot of care and the ability for our nongovernmental organizations to work there freely. this is been a significant issue because some of the terrorist groups don't adhere to the rules of war and laws of war with regard to ngos. these camps are perpetua and all over the continent and the one in algeria i'm not directly familiar with . >> this has to do with relationships between algeria and morocco in challenges for the group of people that have literally been out of what they consider to be their homeland for nearly 40 years now it seems to me that at some stage of the game some additional attention to that would be appropriate.
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i'm not sure whether this starts with you or the state department but i think it should be of interest. admiral faller, you mentioned that most certainly the u.s. navy could use additional assets , on your wish list, if you were to request additional resources, specifically, what would be the resource that would be number one on your list of requested items or equipment? >> senator, the additional isr maritime patrol aircraft, coupled with ships, we look forward with the navy plans to deploy a combat ship later this year, that's the kind of missions we have down there that imbibe partnering with nations, training, humanitarian assistance possibly but also drug interdiction, that's number one at the top of my list, sir . >> thank you. thank you mister chairman . >> thank you . >> thank you mister chairman and thank you both very much for your many years of service,
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general waldhauser we will miss you. i am sure you won't necessarily miss coming before this committee, however. you reference in your written statement, the women peace and security initiative and, the 2019 defense budget we included $4 million for full-time advisors i was pleased that you introduced your advisor, but africom has been commended as a leader in implementing the women peace and security initiative. talk and you talk about what you seen and the success of the initiative and seen it be helpful in africa ? >> the strategy we've applied over the next three years is take little things and keep moving forward. we run a program every year will we bring about 15 to 20 females from the african continent and take them across
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the united states to talk to the military leaders to give them a leadership seminar and we've also seen growth off western africa, the number of females that have come to these engagement have increased significantly we also have a flintlock operation which is a main exercise that we will start later this month, last year in this year, the usaid was able to bring together women leaders to bring a discussion with military members about women and what they can contribute. the bottom line is we kept chipping away at small programs and we think they have an impact and were proud of what we do . >> i agree and i think you are to be commended, can you talk about what impact you see and why does this make a difference . >> first it's exposure, to see
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a mixed gender military is a better military and with various different cultures and countries, it exposes them to our leadership and the african military male leaders to what a female can bring, if you will to the military, so from that perspective it's a bottoms up approach. >> i want to switch topics. we are still struggling with the opioid epidemic. much of what we see his hair one produced in mexico and also and a number of central american countries coming in by boat and by air into the united states. at one point, before you became the head of southcom, we had a briefing with that then ahead
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of southcom that said we interject a small percentage, about 20% by recollection of that we see that we can interdict because we are lacking in resources. can you update us on whether you see an improvement and what you need to have in order for us to do a better job with interdicting the drugs coming into the country? >> senator, it's a national security crisis, over 70,000 deaths, as you are aware from your home state. while we've made progress, we have a lot of work to do, we are not there. we are focused on our partners and el salvador stepped up, what a mullah, panama, other partners need to do more and we need additional assets i'm glad
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you mentioned el salvador . >> and you talk about the difference that those partnerships programs make in a country like el salvador? >> it's one of our main efforts, they bring a lasting, long relationship. before i went to el salvador i had a video conference with your general and he shared more with me that i was able to share with him and i sent my trip report. it helps us build capacity, they go and work on the engagement and on civil projects where they go out and build a school and dig a well and other things we need to help stabilize the conditions for the citizens and it's very important, thank you for the support . >> i'm out of time but general waldhauser, the last time you
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were here i asked about the girls who'd been kidnapped and what we are doing in africom to help nigerians in particular addressed the issue do you have an update forest? >> i have no update, i would tell you of the 276 girls kidnapped in april 2014, i think the number of 163 have been recovered. there are 113 or thereabouts that are still unaccounted for. i can talk in more detail in session but the bottom line is there has not been much progress from what i can see in terms of getting any of the remainder back . >> thank you . >> thank you mister chairman. thank you gentlemen for your leadership. general waldhauser, about 12 years ago i was part of the africom team to stand up to your command, there was a handful of us, no resources, no facilities, no asset and at the
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time we were going to be the kinder and gentler command without a whole lot of operational focus. i was a jay 33 chief of operations who quickly realized that africa continues to be a potential hotspot for terrorist activity, both on the east coast and west coast and ungoverned spaces. we had to ramp up fast to take on this task. however, i've seen the test the phony -- testimony about also bob, at the time we watched , literally watched hundreds and hundreds of osha bob trained militants in the middle of nowhere with concerns being trained at training camps and release because at the time because the country didn't feel we needed to do anything about it like a cancer growing in metastasizing we continued to
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see the strength grow but do you have the authority that you need to addressed the terror threat now unlike when i was there, i have bad memories about that and also, how does that fit within our vital national interest and the national the strengths of√£ defense strategy . >> there's a lot there and i hope were living up to your expectations of how africom is performing, it's a little better than when you were there starting off . >> i'll try to be brief but it's important for contacts, and april 2017 were given a national security apparatus authority to initiate to have abilities inside of somalia. that combined with the legitimacy of the federal government there, our strikes are tied to their strategy and our legitimacy comes from our
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authorities as well as a federal government we are tied in with. we had strikes for seven months in 2017, 35 strikes. last year in 2018 we had 47 strike for the overall 12 month period. thus far this year we've had 12 so far but the point i want to make is that the strikes are tied to the transition strategy that the federal government of somalia trying to execute. we are trying to support their plan. the president has indicated that his main effort for this afferent is a transitional strategy that keeps this in mind. at the end of the day the strikes will not defeat al- shabaab but they provide government opportunity to grow and assume the security of the country. this points to the strikes want defeat, we know they are causing problems, we know they are deterring this is an open
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question as to how much but we know it causes al-shabaab problems giving this opportunity for the government. needs to step up and take responsibility for their own security, not only with our strikes but the overall community tied there, we are talking about the european union and the united nations and we all have pieces of the puzzle in one of our pieces is the strike aspect but the bottom line is the national army needs to grow one step up and we made the point very clear with the new ambassador and myself on numerous occasions they know this, they've got to step up and it's up to them to take advantage of the opportunity they have right now . >> i want to get back under the drug flow with my little time left. i know you are short of resources, what are you seeing as part of the trends of the
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cartel over water and land, submarines, their nimble and innovative, what are the trends, over land for mexico? what do you see and what do we need to combat it? as a launch point, cross-border traffic if you will, that as well as a current state, a launch point, and remote airfields throughout central america. so, as they adapt, we adapt. but they adapt faster. and they had a more flexible resource, we are trying to get after it.
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it is a challenge. >> thank you for your time, i appreciated. >> senator peters. >> thank you mr. chairman, thank you gentlemen for your testimony today. and her distinguished service over many years. last year i asked the admiral about the situation in venezuela including the role of in ministry advisors, certainly a lot of changes since that meeting, i want to follow up on a question senator reid has, related to the military and your response was that there are more generals in venezuela that nato? so my question is if majora is going to be relying on this military to prop them up, what is the extent to every day soldiers, discipline the military to the generals really have command over the military? >> senator, the leaders,
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including the cuban guard that completely surrounds the guard of madura, what we read at this level, we talked about more in a classified section, rank and file are starving, just like the population. i had the opportunity to go to the columbia venezuela border, to one of our medical camps that was operating off and seeing some of these kids who have lost 25-30 pounds a year, thin, never had medical attention, we think the condition affects large swaths of the population and we think the population is ready for new leaders, senator. >> you also mentioned additional things you need, ships and isr and how it
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contributed to the fulfillment of your mission, can you give us the sense of status and timing and how you see that being fully developed in the months and years ahead? >> senator, we expect to have that this year and that will be a benefit for the exercise programs engaging with partners and because of the flexibility it brings for counter narcotics interdiction, it will be its first mission. we look forward to continuous presence moving forward, working with the navy. they have the greatest challenges, they do not have enough ships. that was discussed well before this committee. we have the support and we look forward to the assets. >> in addition to those assets come i know your predecessors have talked about the fact that the navy and the southern command has the u.s. coast guard performing brilliantly. in the counter-narcotics missions as well as other missions related to your task. i visited coast guard units in michigan who are incredibly stressed as a result of the government shutdown. concerned about their families, particularly those enlisted
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living on the edge. you have men and women in the coast guard being deployed away from home, worrying about their families. can you talk a little bit about the impact of the shutdown on morale and the ability to execute the mission? >> monday morning, i had the opportunity to stand on the deck of the coast guard cutter ford with admiral schultz to comment on the coast guard, the crew of 110 of america's finest deployed over christmas, a record number of seizures, 17 metric tons of cocaine, hundreds of lives saved, they did that deployment with out pay in large part and without adequate parts, that was affected by contracting. it was difficult for admiral schultz and i to address some of the questions. they had remarkable resiliency and a remarkable attitude and they are the main battery, during that period, nine coast guard cutters, counter- narcotics missions, some 1600 coast guard men and women working for the united states southern command. it did have an impact, we are thankfully shut on his over. >> we cannot have any more
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shutdowns, for that very reason, to make sure men and women of the coast guard are getting paid like every other member of the military out there defending us. i appreciate those comments. general, we have talked with this committee quite a bit about china's influence in africa as it continues to increase. you mentioned in your opening comments, rush is also increasing their involvement. can you please elaborate on that involvement of the committee and why we should be concerned about rest involvement of the constant? >> senator i think the issue with russia has to do with influence. i think in recent months over the past year they perhaps got more involved in mineral extraction but to a law degree it's a matter of influence. especially in areas where they can say the united states or the uk or western partners or perhaps backing away from africa. it is, i think clear that their strategy along the northern part of africa, southern part of nato if you will and the mediterranean, to have influence inside libya for
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example, the relationships across that country, they want to have across the continent, they want to have influence on the constant. >> i point to the republic right now where a group has about 175 trainers, where the individuals are in the presence cabinet and influencing training as well as the same time having access to minerals in that part of the country. so we are concerned that the model might be looked at or if you positively have other countries in terms of their ability to train and their ability to influence the government at the presidential level, as well as getting involved in extraction minerals. >> thank you. >> thank you senator peters, senator scott. >> thank you mr. chairman. let's talk about cuba's intelligent security military influence in latin america, what they're doing, and how we can combat it.
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>> you cannot talk about cuba without talking about russia, rush is entrenched in cuba weapons systems, and support, looking across latin america, we see cuba inexorably intertwined in all elements of venezuela, in fact, national security advisors calling a characterization i would agree with. we see that in nicaragua as well. it is not helpful to democracy and an autocratic way of life, running countered really to the principles of the hemisphere, a democratic hemisphere. so -- >> the sanctions we have imposed on nationals in both cuba and venezuela, have you seen in have any impact? anybody change their action as a result of them? >> we are watching that closely, watching intelligence, there is a discussion of the impact, we have seen impacts,
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we have not seen the desired results, which is a peaceful democratic transition, a legitimate government at the epicenter. >> as individuals in cuba, we have done over a period of time, have you seen anything happen? >> it doesn't seem to have affected the overall calculus of the cuban regime other than pardoning it, solidifying it and tying it more closely to russia. but, i think it is him is like the turn, you do not know what happens if you do not have it, senator. has an impact, we do not see it. i would recommend, full court pressure works. >> in the venezuelan military, have you, is there, have you seen any cracking from your standpoint, what we have been doing, especially the last two weeks? has anything changed? >> certainly readiness aspects of their military we watch very closely. a degraded force but still a force that remains loyal to
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maduro which makes it dangerous, we are looking for signs of those cracking and we will talk in the closed session on more details and trends we are seeing. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman. general, i would like to ask you about a question, first of all, thank you both, not only today but your service, and all you do for this country. general, i will like to ask about, an article yesterday about reuters, concerning the cutoff of assistance to cameroon because of human rights and decency by the cameroon government including c- 130 aircraft, a number of different things. that report indicated there was a 2017 report by the u.s. state department listing a number of significant human rights
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violations and abuses observed in the cameroon government, can you tell us what we are doing their? are we making progress on if the government will stem the tide of the human rights violations? but i will start by while we are in government and what we're doing there. >> we talked about the things a couple years ago. but around is the issue >> there the number one terrorist group in the plant. depending what you read, they have killed over 20,000 people, some estimates quite fire quite higher over this time frame, all kinds of atrocities, they're extremely volatile group, that needs to be dealt with. in that region, our mission is to train counterterrorism forces that deal with the boko haram, a top shelf
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counterterrorism unit inside cameroon. they performed well, they have, trained by the way, were in battlefield efforts, that is why we are there, the issue i won't go into detail, i think the article plus the video this morning did a very good job of explaining the history of how it got to the point where we are today. >> in october 2017, when it came to a head, they states we want to form our own state there have been issues there with atrocities, issues with allegations of law of war issues, this is some that brings us to ahead., over the last several months or so, the state department has put on hold, security force assistance programs, right before the election in october, i and the ambassador went to make a visit with president diaz with regard to the investigation into
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atrocities, and appropriate battlefield behavior. since that time, the state department has made the decision not to allocate money but at the same time, they have released money on hold for things like eagle and cessna aircrafts assisting in the boko haram fight in the north. we still have programs we continue with them, all kinds of small engagements as well as exercises, we did talk about the state partnership program with nebraska, we put that on hold, in conjunction with the ambassador, we decided not to pursue that, a good place for that particular place to be, the bottom line in cameroon, a partner with us counterterrorism wise, you cannot neglect the fact there are alleged atrocities in what is going on there. we continue to take cues from the state department and the ambassador. our level of engagement will
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continue but not get out ahead of the state department if we have to take other actions. we were emphatic with president diaz that the behavior of the troops and our impacts to work with them. >> thank you very much. admiral, i was struck by several things in your testimony. number one, i was struck by the charts you provided. i think people are not paying as much attention, the war of the influence of russia, the chinese influence, in our backyard. just incredible to me. i was struck by your initial comments about shared responsibilities, shared security with neighbors and how we share so many things together. i am new to this committee i've been reading a lot. i'm seeing there are initiatives for the pacific, and europe. would some similar initiative to that be appropriate for
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central america or southcom? >> senator, i think a big idea, they should recognize the appointments and portions of the neighborhood, recognize that what goes on right here in areas connected by see, land, air, cyber, it's important to the shared security and will be of great benefit, i worry senator we will be present on the field and enough numbers to play the game, we have to be there to influence the outcome and the result. >> thank you sir, we will send you more mobile built lcs >> else yes. >> thank you, for all those that serve underneath you and the seven commands. admiral faller, i want to turn to your comments about the presence of cuba and russia and venezuela. you said earlier, cuban guards
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police around the maduro government, does that mean maduro is dependent on the human security and intelligence forces for his continuation in office? >> senator, i think it is a good sense of where the loyalty of the venezuelan people, security forces made up of cubans. >> the men that surround maduro, secret service. are cubans, not venezuelans? >> that is my understanding and assessment of the situation. >> that as well as intelligent security services are so corrupt, incompetent, disloyal, sporadic, maduro cannot even count on his own personal safety in his bed at night. on his own people? >> that is a fair assessment as i understand, center. >> how far to go throughout the venezuelan security and intelligence services? does nicolas maduro have to depend on cubans and russians on the street to beat his own
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people beat his own people to keep it in line? senator beyond what i characterize, i am not aware of the details, we watch that closely, we see reporting of russian security forces being flown in, we are looking for evidence of how that will play out and certainly, this is an area that has our focus as well as all of our partners at the interagency. >> that was another thing you mention come you can't speak of the cuba president and venezuela, let me sum as a. can you estimate in this setting how many human security and intelligence officers there aren't venezuela? >> sir, i don't have that number. i take that for the record. is fair to say a lot? but i would say there are many, sir. >> it also mentioned, the president of china, has not been helpful and diplomatic, i will leave it to the diplomats. china is in there, they are involved in cyber in ways that are absolutely not helpful to the democratic outcome.
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>> you talk about russians, traveling into the country. have we seen an increase in the russian presence and venezuela the last two months as the national assembly began to take interim president and some of the other states the nation have recognize the legitimacy? >> senator it is hard with russia, to figure out what they're really up to. >> you don't say? but reports last week by russian officials, a task news agency, i was officially on the columbia venezuela border, they rolled that would be real footage of helicopter assaults. i was actually walking out with senator rubio is office at the time. i don't the truth goes very far when it comes to the media, sir. >> okay, thank you. for those comments admiral faller about that as well. you mentioned china's activity and venezuela with the cyber
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domain, there honestly very active as well. what you might call the road initiative, secretary of state pompeo questioning the nation, all nations and participants in china's initiative, what it could mean for their sovereignty, honestly china has foreclosed, colombo, sri lanka, leaving initially because of china throwing its weight around, what has been the results of secretary pompeo is visiting the region what feedback are you getting from some of these initiative members? >> senator, the states in the region, they want to continue to cover us, i have cautioned the leaders i met with, why you might want to do that, if you leverage your ports and many of your businesses, including the infrastructure to chinese companies, with no strings attached, and limited understanding of what the internal workings are that you put yourself in jeopardy with
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having a meaningful security relationship, it gets to the point, i won't be allowed or authorized to share information because i just do not know where the information is going. so i have been very emphatic about that, to determine how it would affect as being partners with choice. this is my concern to other questions that have been asked about what this hemisphere looks like, 10-15, 25 years from now. and to the partner of choice is. we have to be present, senator. >> thank you. one question for africa. a little bit outside of the work fighting domain, around the world, especially in your area of operations, nigeria had its election next weekend, the seventh largest country in the world. way larger than russia or mexico or japan. an important ally of ours. what are the prospects for the election? does it appear will be free and fair for either party should
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they win, to continue to be partners with the united states? but we are very much aware of the elections every 60. the military perspective, we watch that from the standpoint of actions leading up to and what will happen afterwards. we are, with the intelligent reports, we hope it will be a peaceful election but i think our sights are set on forward, not the rearview mirror. whoever would win, now, okay, let's talk about where we are and how we can best help, whether it be the displaced people and issues with humanitarian issues and northern nigeria, whether it is their army and their word against boko haram and west africa, the answer to that question is let's get the election over, there watching us today by the way, my comments are going to be watched in nigeria and it is very important i don't sway either way. the bottom line, whoever wins, we want to sit with them and how do we move forward for the situation? >> i appreciate the answer. of course, the election is the choice for nigerian people, we want to have a good stable relationship with whoever wins. tell continue that partnership.
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thank you, general. >> thank you, senator. thank you for being here today, we have a good idea of how complex your missions are both of your areas of operation. with extremists, with competition and all the changes you face. has a look at recent reporting, dictators and clinging to power, violent extremists, are these guys really symptoms of a larger systemic problem in both regions? what in your assessment of the prime drivers of instability in southcom and effort, and how to deal with the root causes? it is one thing to do with the symptoms, where we doing to get to the root causes in both of the regions. >> i will go first, center.
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a population of 19 million, about 50% of those are under the age of 15, they are certainly in a very difficult area of africa, they have pressing from all sides, isis, west africa, a queue coming down through the algerian nigerian border on the way to molly, isis, west africa on the eastern flank, their and he tough situation. what goes unnoticed sometimes, the government approach using the regime. they have about $150 million a year use for things like education, especially for young girls, government and infrastructure and so forth, we are over the challenge corporation, the second year of a five-year contract down there which has to do with agriculture, watering crops and so forth, if you look at the security systems we are providing, you had to that the
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millennium challenge combats that is added example of how we are trying to do with the country with very significant security challenges >> we have right spots. i would like to point out brazil has been an exporter of security in security, same with columbia, the trajectory, very positive the current venezuela situation, we are looking at original solution. july, commanded the largest around the region, weak governance, lack of jobs, these are things in effect, where the military is part of the government solution. i saw this in honduras, in an outreach center run by the u.s. by a partner police station, we
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had a few armies, civil affairs people there, meeting with young men and women that supplied job, i asked the woman individually, all the way to the us-mexico border and turned around and came on way back, walked as part of the program, he came back and i said why did you come back? he said it was pretty scary for me, i felt i should come home. >> why did you go? >> the family was starving. we were starving. the family next to that was starving. across the street they had food because her father had minutes to the united states it was sending remittance back. at the heart of this, the want of a better life and economy and you have your kids go to school. all citizens over the world deserve the. >> thank you, with the government approach, how easy has it been, for you to work with other executive branch agencies to provide a coordinated government approach, is this happening, for example, maybe happening in
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nigeria need your niger what can we do to help you to be part of the team to get at the root causes? >> senator, i would say the afrikaans staff has agencies that work very closely with us on a daily basis. as dollars become tight, the return on investment need to be demonstrated, as a consequence, we need to be better stewards of our efforts in terms of where we want to place our emphasis. we need to coordinate that and secret is that with these agencies. because, really, it gets i think to the larger issue of influence and the china influence as well, we need to demonstrate we can compete with them, we may not be building soccer stadiums or a government building, but at the same time, we are teaching them how to be better farmers, showing them what education can do for them.
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so the bottom line for us is we need to continue to work with our partners, which we have good relationships with by the way, this development diplomacy and defense efforts in the africa, the state department with african, is very positive >> we have representatives from every interagency at my headquarters and they said at every meeting, we are working this problem hard and working in congestions with countries in the embassy. it is important and recognizing the problem it will take years to solve not months or days. >> thank you mr. chairman, thank you for being here today. of course for the men and women in your command, thank them for what they do for all of us. for family members here, thank you so much for the support you give to your loved ones. so, thank you. admiral faller, i will start with you, we talked about a lot of different groups engaged in southcom. i would like to do is dive in a
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little bit to hezbollah, they do have a notable presence in south america. as we saw last year, argentina and brazil, they both took action against hezbollah in their respective country, we heard from regional authorities there a well of the presence of the tri-border area of brazil, argentina, paraguay. so, can you go a bit further into the threats that hezbollah presents in southcom and what our interest in making sure they're not affecting us? the national security interest for us and our partners? >> hezbollah is present, we watch them closely. it puts the importance of partnerships, relationships that we are keen to develop and strengthen even further. because a lot of what is required to monitor them is human intelligence. those nations know the terrain best. has both connection to a rack
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be understand, is the largest sponsor state terrorists in the world, we watch that working in partnership with the other combatant command and central intelligence agency very close to, we look for trends, indications and warnings, a terror threat anywhere around the world, it could be a threat to the homeless. >> i appreciate you highlighting how i ran is interconnected here, we talk about some of those near threats, china and russia in the southcom alr or something if you're making a connection. do we have sufficient information sharing authorities in place? you mentioned we need to communicate with friends and allies, dewey have the right authorities available? >> senator, we have to work on a country by country basis, that is the key thing we look at what we do our country engagement. the answer is, we never have enough.
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we have countries where he wants to signed additional agreements, to get assurances with them about what they sharon who they will share it with. it goes back to my concern about who owns the it infrastructure. we are constantly looking at this, i fly sunday to brazil for my meeting with her new military leadership, this will be one of the top areas of discussion. i would say this is a very healthy intel relationship, growing and maybe we really will work with partners, sharing information builds trust friendly, building trust is what is going to ensure our long-term interest in this hemisphere, of state government. spoke very good. we also talked about the role of special operations playing in your objectives in southcom, back in hezbollah and others, what are some of the big challenges you will face with regard to resources or authorities when it comes to our special operations when we employ them with southcom.
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>> we have small numbers of special operation teams that engage with partners building security forces and building a very effectively. does need to be habitual relationships based off of what partners need, good for our training as well, as our partners train in jungles and tough terrain. i would say challenges are maintaining that's, soft forces under pressure worldwide, as we look at what the deployment ratio is, the amount of time they spend away from home to the time they spend at home, making certain we get the balance right, making sure if we break training and stability of the partner nation and security forces. >> we need to work in the. >> before i move on to the general, guantanamo bay, right now, we have the islands national guard soldiers deployed there is a security
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force. what can we do to ensure the troops we have stations or the retention of force at gitmo, they are being cared for, they are safe, not only do we want to make sure they're held there and are held in a safe environment but also the troops what more can we be doing, can you explain some of the challenges we have? at one time obey right now? >> severe i will guard, prisoner guard, last weekend, they're doing feta this work, thank you. >> the facilities were built with about a five year lifespan 15-20 years ago. our responsibility is the safety and treatment of the detainees but also the safety of the guard forces. beyond the ability to repair the roof, where the alarm systems are questionable based on the water intrusion, when
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the budget is released i expected to include money that would be put into long-term facility upgrades and developments, we need that for the safety of the guard force and the future of safe detainees. >> thank you, i appreciate it. >> the few seconds i have remaining general, as well, special operations forces in africa, do we need to maintain our special operators in africa? and the work they are doing? but we certainly need to maintain them, and to take a close look at how we employ and deploy them and what their schedules are and continually reevaluate that all the time, the bottom line is yes. i would say, we really need are predictable general-purpose forces doing things with regular armies on a somewhat episodic but predictable basis. spoke very good, thank you general, i appreciate.
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i appreciate it. >> senator kane. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you two witnesses, the ranking indicated fire to regions under resourced, i think another unifier in both of the regions come across disciplinary silo focused, the spectrum of what the u.s. can do, i think it is something about southcom and effort, i really appreciate, let me start with you, about venezuela, really important, if the world wants to see a democracy versus dictatorship challenge, then as well as the perfect case for circa 2019. what do democracies care for and what do dictatorships care for. the venezuelan government of majuro was by russia, cuba, and iran. they are enabling him to do all kinds of horrible things economically in violation of
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human rights, etc., the interim government which has a constitutional claim and vacancy of the present, the speaker of the legislator assembly becomes an interim president supported by the united states and the eu. you really can see what the difference between democracy and the aspirations of the governments and dictatorships and what they care about very clearly in the venezuelan incidents, here's the reality. we are dealing with regional institutions like the oas for example, every nation has one vote, the u.s. has a hard time getting the oas to from the come out against the majuro government. because many caribbean nations still support the majuro government, they have been bribed to do so with low-price oil. but, it is very hard for us to do so they like this on our own, and a principal regional institution like the oas is not completely with us, it's hard
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to put the appropriate pressure of, the point i want to make as it is hard to beat something with nothing. the chinese and russians have been investing so heavily in venezuela. billions, tens of billions of dollars. over and over and over again, these caribbean nations, they might feel culturally closer to the united states but they're getting, they're getting something from venezuela they need. and your point about we need to be on the field is really, really important. as i talked to leaders in the region, they say, we would so much more like to do work with you guys, where we are culturally connected, we are all americans, you know. but, the other guys are there and even if we have suspicions, they are there with resources and you are not, so, i think that is an important lesson. i asked about the northern triangle, a resource question as well. the alliance for progress has been an initiative to invest money and security in the three nations in the northern triangle.
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would be a recommendation so long as we can make those investments smart, would it be a recommendation that if we can improve the security and economic development of the three countries that that would help us deal with some of the challenges that southcom has to deal with ? >> senator, the week before last i visited projects in all three countries that were direct results of the investments you just cited, those projects were usaid, i am now inl, bringing security with local policing and jobs and post nation investment in a way that stabilizes some of the worst neighborhoods. and showed hope, we talked to citizens that live there, we saw the results and i think consistent investments with our laws is a good thing, a dollar there will save lives.
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it will result in better security here at home. >> that is really important. the funds for those initiatives have been pretty dramatically slashing the last year, we don't know what the business will be at the end of the month, i think it would be kind of foolish to cut development and security assistance then complain about people coming to our border. me to help build and support economies their insecurity there if we want people to not leave their own country. i mean, quickly generate, you think five of your submitted statements, the fight against boko haram and isis, west africa, we operate with partners in the african union and multinational task force, the fiscal year included a provision in 1264, and required the administration to provide an initial report and subsequent updates on the legal policy frameworks from policy for scott it was submitted march 2018, i would like to put in the record if i could. it makes no mention of vices, west africa, or boko haram as a force, as far as i know there's
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not updated reports of the committee as would be required if any new determination were made, hezbollah or ices, determined to be an associated force with either the 2001 and 2002? >> senator, first of all, we do not have capabilities or authorities to enter those countries. so we cannot strike, we can strike in somalia, and olivia, but not in nigeria cameroon, chad, we don't have authority there. isis, west africa, they go by different names, every once in a while. they have grown in number. they're probably in the neighborhood of -4000 is the best estimate we have. they have been very aggressive over the summer this year, they have taken large pieces of real estate in northern nigeria and i think two right now, they're the ones we have the most concerned about, we are not sure what their intentions would be with regard to outside the region. boko haram probably around 1000. bottom line, senator i cannot say for sure whether they have been designated or not, i know we don't strike. >> when you say you do not
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strike, you also include you don't strike under a collective self-defense doctrine? >> no. if we are a company, accompanying. collective self-defense. if we are not accompanying. which we have not done it all in nigeria places for quite some time. we do not have collective self- defense because i have not designated it and we do not use it. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you senator. center? >> thank you jennifer being here and thank you for your service and all of those under your command. general, let me start with you. the national defense strategy of course reemphasizes great power, competition and we talked a lot about that today. you mentioned to a great degree in your testimony, i want to ask you about china in particular. what can you tell us, to what degree and in what ways are we continuing to shift focus and resources to engage in this great power competition to
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counter chinese influence? in your area in particular with china's growing influence based in djibouti, as many as 25 mina 25, 27, what can you tell us what we are doing to counter this influence there? >> well, thank you senator. me try to take it from the 50,000 foot level, just to emphasize, china has won overseas in djibouti, they participate in peacekeeping operations, places like mali, the sudan, but they do not have other bases. is that in the future? perhaps. what i would say is from the african perspective is china has been there quite some time. they're in the process of building over 3000 miles of railroad, railroads tied primarily to areas of mineral extraction which again takes it to a port summer, heavily invested in heavily involved. the african perspective, they, the africans, do not want to be
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in the middle of this. they do not view it as we choose the lesser which is china. they don't want to be in the middle of that particular engagement. i think one of the things we do from the dod perspective is show and be good partners, when the secretary was there a year or so ago, whenever his visit, he or so ago, he talked about, we need to work with the government of those countries to make sure the arrangements they make are in their best interest. you have leaders from the african union, another one, the african governments will make their decision based on their best interest, they're capable of doing a. on the other hand, chinese efforts in terms of selling equipment and some of the arrangements made, there has been blowback from various countries, terry love for example walking away from the airport agreement about the chinese. problems with the chinese equipment sense to them. so, again, the bottom line,
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china is there any effort, alr this issue of influence, the chinese work hard at developing and maintaining the relationship with the senior officials of the governments inside the african continent we are very grateful for the team had the visits they make but i have an article the other day with the last decade, we're talking ministering above, including the president of china visiting the african continent, that is a lot, since 1990, the first trip as every year in january, a country in africa, just to see how they're doing. but i want to say the whole government approach, we want to maintain influence, we have to develop and work at the relationship part of this. >> you take the vote i think last march, the house committee, you expect china would, we should expect increasing numbers of bases out right in the military, to think
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that is still your assessment? >> first of all, the belt road initiative is what is driving all this. i think what the chinese are doing is taking a lot of lessons learned and learning a lot from their first overseas base they have in djibouti. >> this is not an easy thing to do, the united states is very good at it, they watch we do, their learners. they have their eyes on other facilities, books are key to what facilitates their, not only mineral extraction, but markets for their goods to come into the continent as well, large you've, the population, demographics which we have not talked about today, testimony, they view a large consumer class is a place where they can sell goods sometime in the future. although, djibouti is the only base, they are certainly looking at other options. >> let me just ask you, more generally, about european allies and their help or lack thereof in your alr your aor.
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what are you doing with european allies in his power competition to help with our strategic objectives in the area under your command? back in the african perspective, the european union does a lot of the continent with regards to training. they have european union training missions in mali, missions in somalia, those are just two examples, we work closely with them because we are one, for example, i indicated somalia, we are one of a group of organizations and countries trying to come you know, make things right there. the european union is a big player. we courtney with them, i talked with her leadership all the time. we, again, our efforts to courtney the training activities in a place like somalia, european union is a big place. they do a lot. they, by the way, pay stipends for this multinational army, they put a lot of money into somalia, no doubt about it.
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thank you con mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. senator blumenthal, and senator reid residing. >> thank you mr. chairman, thank you both for your service and being here today in critical commands that are perhaps less in the spotlight, but no less important. than any of the others that we oversee, both of them absolutely critical to our national security, so, thank you and the men and women who serve, with you for your service. to our nation. i want to begin on the topic of military partnership programs. also perhaps less visible to the public. but very important and both of you i think have endorsed the state partnership programs, the international military education training programs, as
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the general testified tuesday, he said dollar for dollar, the most effective funding they receive from a strategic perspective and the national guard is an active participant in the state partnership program and currently partners with uruguay. next year is the 20th anniversary of this partnership and today the connecticut national guard has conducted over 110 mutually beneficial exchanges with uruguay partners in april and the national guard. they will send 40 soldiers on a connecticut air national guard see 138 to uruguay, marking the last contingents to uruguay today. this is enormously educational, a beneficial experience.
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is repeated again and again and again all around the world. this kind of relationship is extremely important to both countries and around the world, thank you for your support. the tag was here this morning, we had a chance to meet with him. i want to ask you, i was searching for this exact statement you made about a year before the niger tragedy , if i may put it that way. about the lack of sufficient intelligent resources. devoted to your command, particularly to that area of your command, i know you say over a three-year period, it
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increased, nigerian ied capability as well as reconnaissance, maintenance and operations, your estimate as to the dearth and deficit of intelligence in that part of the world was striking to me before the niger incident. how much improvement has there been in the investment in intelligence and that part of the world? >> to answer the question, our mission really is to work with partners, unless year, our relationship with the front, to include intelligence sharing has really gone to as good as i have seen it the front have the lead, and that particular case, the area of northern mali, they have the lead, it's our job to support them, we kind of use the phrase, african led, french
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knit assisted, u.s. supported. i would say our intelligence professionals as a synchronized, what they bring, what we bring, something as we head to are ability to understand the situation of the last year. >> you think now it is, satisfactory? adequate? excellent? how would you characterize it? you said is good as you have seen, but that was not very good. in the year before the niger incident. >> i would use the words as you said, satisfactory and adequate. we will never have the isr to include the human intelligence and places like that. for our support, it is as we utilize, how we train the nigerian forces as well would you say that is true in your command as well, you are
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satisfied there are sufficient isr intelligence surveillance reconnaissance, we are constantly looking at this? we do have gaps, we mitigate those gaps with different sources of intelligence? we are deficient in her isr, our isr. >> back room please? >> close section, i want to come back to something, each of you have mentioned, we really did not tell much about it. is the telecom issues, and each of your aor. our relationship with the russians.
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the chairman mentioned earlier, his concern about how china is putting her finger into every area when it comes to not only the isr. but the communication, building out these networks, you mentioned, he did not know where the money came from and general, i would be interested to hear from you, can you talk about china and how they are advancing? how much of the bankrolling of this comes from russia? or do you all know? >> the best way to answer that is i think that when the chinese come to a country with a plan, whether it is to build railroad infrastructure, bridges and the like, they come with a full plan, they come with the charts to do it, they come with the money to do it, they bring the workers to do it, and it's just kind of a one- stop. spot does the money come from russia primarily? but the chinese. in fact, i would answer that is kind of, not to be, anecdotal
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but recently in the elections, in the democratic republic of the congo, joseph kabila went out of office, one of his opponents said the chinese bring the money and the russians bring the muscle. that's a good way to illustrate where these two different countries are when it comes to engagement. >> okay. let me ask you this, when we look at what has happened with with the chinese and with their access into the telecom area, and as we look at artificial intelligence and 5g. how do you see their participation and how is that going to affect the buildout? and you're a a wireless and your aor? if you want to go first, then the general. >> it is concerning.
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the extent to which china would own the it infrastructure, the intelligence or fusion centers would affect our relationship and our ability to -- but to they understand you will not share information with them if it is going over -- >> we have had frank discussions. >> very okay. >> center, the way but after that, we honestly have unique challenges in djibouti. the chinese basis several miles away from where we are located. the djibouti-based services, not only africa, it does others as well. they testify the other day. we would be naove to think that the counterintelligence and communication issues and the fact that they have built the system inside djibouti, they're not trying to get out of the way it. >> how do you make certain, what is your best effort in making certain, we remained the partner of choice? >> well, again, as i said
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several times this morning, from our military perspective, we want to be sincere in her efforts, we do not want to deliver what we say we can do, we want to be role models when our troops train african troops, we want equipment to be quality equipment, and we just essentially want to be good partners. i think that when you bring in the agencies we talked about, millennium challenge corporations, so forth, the projects, i mean, we have to make sure we elevate those, because in places like, like senegal for example, the chinese build a wrestling stadium, but the same time, we speak with all kind of context, loosely, what some of these things do. bottom line, we have to make sure we are really doing a government approach. and we are synchronized in the efforts and make sure that we take credit for some of these programs that may negative visibility that other infrastructure would. >> thank you for the comments. and we have the government approach we hope the government approach continues to make certain we are paying attention
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to those telecom and wireless networks. >> thank you, senator. let me just announce, it looks like we are down to the most important person, last. we are going to have to say for the staff not here a closed session medially following this in the visitor center. 217 for those who would like to ask some of the questions that were not appropriate to be asked in an open session. senator king? >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral faller, you are not going to be surprised by this question. the question is, interdiction of governments, i understand it has already been discussed to some extent, what you need, if you were given a blank sheet of paper, what is the coast guard need, what you need? what do we need to do a better job of interdicting those shipments we know about?
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i just, just, just, it is so frustrating that we are only getting about 25% of what we know about. we need 18 more cutters? 12? more zodiac? what, what, what, what is on your list of assets? >> it is all of our responsibility. we have got to start the source, i'm very encouraged by the colombian government getting back into, seriously back into, the eradication game. they met goals for 2018 and we are seeing progress in 2019. record cocaine means record drug flow, we have to stop along the way, that requires isr, intelligence and surveillance assets, air aircraft, i'm asking you for specifics, do you need eight more? 14 more cutters? what do we need? >> we need more navy ships.
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>> of what nature? it is fit for purpose for this type of mission center. we need multiple packages, a coast guard presence, stepped up in a big way, 5-8, cutters over the holiday, then, we need the partners in the game. improvements and some of the partners, i will credit el salvador, guatemala, we need others to step up and that requires pressure from our government and myself to get that to happen. so, a lot of work to be done, senator. >> you feel we are moving the needle? are we moving forward on these multiple fronts? >> we had record interdiction and 2017, 2018, but it is insufficient, we are nudging, but not moving the needle enough, center. one of the areas you asked me to look at previously, i need to get back to on it, the authority piece. whether we have artificial seams between the air landing
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boundary and how we can better utilize and work across the boundary. we stepped up a partnership within the last year with drug enforcement agencies and fusion centers here in the united states. again, more needs to be done to stay ahead of the threats. >> i hope there are assets in terms of either budget resources, authorities, and you will let us know, because, this is, these drugs are killing our people. and what a day too many. this seems to be, a high return opportunity here, given the fact that we know of the shipments that we cannot interdict. >> senator, i agree 100%. killing our citizens, it is killing citizens of our partner nations as well. any money from this is feeling those drug and criminal organizations driving instability, contributing to the other factors we have seen like the illegal migrations, it
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is important for many reasons to get after those. stay with us on this. thank you. on the issue of as you mentioned in your testimony, i think i asked senator kane about progress you are seeing there was a huge refugee problem in 1945, about 10 million refugees after world war ii one of the responses was the marshall plan which was designed to stabilize the economies of the region. it was very controversial but i think all would agree now it was immensely successful. we need a similar kind of approach to stabilizing those countries so people don't have to flee. the best way to stop somebody coming to our border is that they never start on the journey. that means, i believe you agree that that means work, a.i.d.,
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agriculture, all the programs in those countries dealing with corruption but to try to do that effectively, do you think that should be a priority? >> i agree it should be a priority expect thank you . >> by the way, these graphics are terrific on chinese and russian influence in latin america. i complement your staff. the very dramatic and sobering. general, in africa china is doing similar kinds of things, investing lending developing infrastructure. is there a concern this is a precursor to a military presence? is djibouti the beginning of a militarization process that presents a kind of global threat or expansion of the threat from china? >> at this point in time it's too early to make that leap. one of the reasons for their
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engagement as they have 2000 or so peacekeepers, 300,000 or so civilians and want to be able to protect the interest in their projects they are working on. so whether that leads to a militarization of the continent it's too early to tell but i would say that one of the areas of concern is in djibouti, where the red sea comes down where we've had really open access for some time, that is an area of concern because not only the chinese but the russians, saudis, they're all interested in the red sea on the african side . >> they use an interesting technique of lending money and then calling it, it's a debt colonialism . >> they have leverage, in many situations. as i said. these are decisions that governments have to make but
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djibouti is a classic example where the chinese own over 80% of their overseas debt and it's a concern . >> thank you . >> before senator purdue is recognized, i want a repeat of the staff that there will be a closed session. there will be the opportunity . >> thank you for being here today and for your careers. i don't want to beat a dead horse but i don't think we've gotten to in issue yet. will all concerned about what china is doing. we have the same about this initiative and harbors like sri lanka and pakistan, we've just seen the first foreclosure but what russia is also doing.
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americans have project did power based on our navy and allies to allow us the service of the military through their geography. they are both now because it seems to me, we have to deal with what we naturally have to assume that is an economic and military involvement that's beyond anyone expectation. when i look at what's being done in latin american cities i'm concerned. i love you both to address the questions specifically, in africa we know that there are 56 poor investments in south america. in africa, do we have a similar
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estimate, debt trap diplomacy loans is not unique that you have a chinese company got what we saw in the south china sea is where they had nonmilitary interest that now have evidence they've converted those to military bases. i have no doubt they will have some of the interest. the question i have is i don't think the nds addresses growing potential because we haven't confirmed it. three guys sit in the middle of what china and russia are both
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doing and were worried because of the effort and focus we have on the current crisis around the world , what are we doing now to preclude the potential that we won't show up, could you do that as it relates to the nds? >> i don't have a crystal ball to predict with the chinese will do but i know they made a conscious decision to put their military on the world stage in an area where the united states is not necessarily engaged to a large degree. they don't really have competition how are not in countries where they are and places where reports and on the western side will not really located there. so there's no doubt about the fact that they have a long term vision and by 2049 the 100 year
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anniversary, part of the initiative, djibouti is not the first and it won't be the last port. the growth of the military, we don't know what it will turn out to be but i do know that the chinese made a conscious decision to start their and they are not going to get smaller . >> other than djibouti do we have other access ports in africa ? >> i would say senegal, places we've talked about before, these are good locations for the chinese , they want a government that's relatively stable that they don't have to deal with problems. they look where the military geography deep water ports are there. they certainly want other ports and there's all kinds of speculation about what the other ports might be but we do know they're looking on the western side and that's a concern for us because they could be in the atlantic ocean rather quickly . >> they warned last august about what the chinese military is planning to do in the
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commercial port where they have a proprietary loan, can you speak to how the nds will affect this? >> the nds rightly shined a light on this as the biggest challenge that will confront us . >> we haven't resourced it yet. we need the consistent level of resourcing and in addition to the ports you mentioned i would also point out the space stations that the chinese are investing in and partnering in and again, back to the education, basic military building blocks, they are taking a page from our playbook. the peace arch deployed this past year, they're trying to replicate our playbook to win access and influence in our counter has to be to remain present. we have the ability to have the
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winning hand based on values and democratic principles and the shared interest we have in this hemisphere . >> thank you. spell it seems this is come to a conclusion and we appreciate your attention . it's been very significant and we appreciate the time you both spent with me and other members of the committee. if it's not inconvenient, we will now go to number 217 to see how many people want to conclude this with questions that may not have been appropriate for open session. with that, we are adjourned..
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