tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 1, 2015 9:00pm-12:01am EST
russia is going to recognize the threat that isil sold poses to its people. themselves with those of us who are fighting isil. reporter: to follow on that did you calculation, receive assurances from president putin or president , as far as targeting that that will be the focus of russia's military campaign going forward? change, the outstanding issue seems to be whether republicans will voice
opposition to your agenda. i'm wondering how you prevent that. specifically in the appropriations process. president obama: i don't expect you are going to see a 180 turn on russian strategy. they have invested years in keeping a sovereign power. assad in power. it is going to take some time for them to change how they think about the issue. as long as they are aligned with the regime, a lot of russian
resources are still going to be targeting those opposition groups. but they ultimately will be ending up in an inclusive government. those that are fighting the regime and fighting isolate the same time. shouldn't have the illusion that russia will only hit isil targets. what can happen is if the , as john kerryss has so meticulously stitched if that works indiana, it is possible given the existing accord that we start seeing pockets of cease-fires.
that may mean that certain opposition groups no longer find themselves subject to syrian or russian bombing. they are then a conversation about politics. slowly we are then able to get everyone's attention diverted to where it needs to be. in ais going after isil systematic way. climate, i don't want to get ahead of ourselves. we still need a paris agreement. i want to make sure that unites states is a leader in bringing a successful agreement home. there are a number of components.
it is an ambitious target that a low carbon global economy over the course of this century. that means the countries of put andard specific targets that there is a mechanism by which they are presenting confirmation that they are working on those targets. they should be legally binding. reviews.t be periodic
thehe science changes, targets can change. and that we have a climate fund that helps developing countries to not only adapted mitigate but also leapfrogged over the dirty phase of power generation. in favor of clean energy. we had those targets, we will have been successful. alonecause the pledges would meet the necessary targets. because we will have built the architecture that is needed.
we'll have established a global consensus of how we're going to approach the problem. asn we can turn up the dials new sources of energy become available. and the unit costs for something like solar energy make it easier for us to meet even higher targets. we can drive down carbon emissions. in some of the reporting, if you add up all the pledges, we would be at an estimated 2.7 centigrade increase in temperature. that is too high. at two centigrade or even lower.
if we have those periodic we will startin, hitting these targets faster than we expected and we can be even more ambitious. when you look at the cumulative now, they years from may well be within the two degrees centigrade level. that's such as foolish optimism. i came into office and i prioritized clean energy. i said we're going to double our clean energy production. weough the recovery act recognize that making these big investments would help us get
out of recession. we made a big investment. it turned out that we met the goals a lot quicker than we if you had asked my , i would say we but theke some progress solar energy would still require substantial subsidies. hascost of solar energy gone down much faster than any of us were predicted. the key is to set up the structure so that we can make this happen around the world. there is no turning back.
the thing about human ingenuity is that it responds when gets a strong signal of what needs to be done. necessities the mother of invention. this is necessary. a strong highit ambition agreement in place. even if it doesn't meet all the goals that we need to meet, it sends a signal that this is necessary. innovation is the going to meet these goals. confident thatou
you can hold the u.s. to its commitment under existing treaties? on planned parenthood, could you share your thoughts on that shooting. obama: on the climate already engage in assistance to countries sharing technology that can help them meet their energy needs. it is not just one slug of funding that happens in one year.
it is already embedded in a whole range of programs. we will be able to meet our commitments. this is part of american leadership. this is part of the debate that we have to have in the united states more frequently. washington american leadership is defined by whether or not we sending troops somewhere. that is not the sole definition of leadership. what i've been trying to describe during the course of my presidency is that where we make and where wect
when we are helping to organize a coalition around a singular problem. because we're the largest country, we should welcome the that we're going to do more and we are to do it first. other countries could not respond until we had set up the infrastructure. we had to show that we were going to make that investment. the same was true of making sure that iran did not get a nuclear weapon. because we reached out and brought our allies and partners together,
when i made the announcement, i was able to do so in part because we have led domestically. look at the tough political decisions we are making, now what are you going to do. involved, thatna gave confidence to other countries that we are in a position to make a difference as well. whether it is organizing the coalition that is fighting -- isil, or on climate
essentialr role is but is not going to be sufficient. not we wanted to sustain itself. we have got to have partners. that is part of leadership. parenthood, my heart goes out to the families of those affected. this just doesn't happen in other countries. we are rightly determined to prevent terrorist attacks wherever they occur. states or the united
in friends and allies like france. we devote enormous resources and properly so to rooting out debilitating organizations like isil. maintaining the intelligence and improving information to identify those who would try to kill innocent people. in the united states, we have the power to do more to prevent of just a regular process gun homicides. it is unequaled by multiples of five or 10. i think the american people understand that.
again, thishat once spurs a conversation and action. those continue to present things that i can do administratively but the end of states andgress and local governments need to act. to prevent people who are deranged or have violent tendencies from getting these weapons. with respect to planned clear.ood, it is they provide health services to women all across the country. it is the only organization that provides these health services to impoverished women.
it is legitimate to have an honest debate about abortion. this is a serious and legitimate issue. how do we talk about it? factually about it and accurately. without demonizing organizations like planned parenthood. reporter: do you believe that turkey is doing enough to strengthen its northwest border with syria. how can a nato country with a large military have not sealed his border. can the leaders gathered here
trust that we will keep our commitment if a republican succeeds you in the white house? obama: i'm anticipating a democrats exceedingly. i'm confident in the wisdom of the american people on that front. even if someone from a different party to succeed in may, one of the things you find is that you think about the job differently when you have it. involves notership just playing to a narrow .onstituency you are at the center of what
happens around the world. credibility depends on taking seriously what other countries care about. there is a reason why you have the largest gathering of world leaders probably in human history here in paris. else is taking climate change really seriously. they think is a really big problem. it spans political parties. you travel around europe and you talk to leaders of government , they are nottion
arguing about the science of climate change. is, if next president they come in and they suggest somehow that that global , not just the experts but 99 percent of world leaders think that this is really .mportant i think the president will have to take it seriously. let's not project was being said on the campaign trail. people, two thirds of them said that america should be a signatory to any agreement
that addresses climate change. people should be confident that we will meet our commitments on this. turkey, i have had conversations with the president about turkey and syria. we have seen some serious progress on that front but there are still some gaps. about 98 fathers that are still used as a transit point for fighters.
it puts enormous strains on their infrastructure and their housing. turkey has continued to keep those borders open for people in real need. the eu is looking to do more to help turkey. to manage those refugee flows. eu rightly wants to see the kind of orderly process along the turkish border that is to be ableor europe
to regulate the amount of refugees they gets absorbed. human traffickers are now operating in the same way that you see drug traffickers operating. we talked about today -- it today. this is an essential part of our anti-isil strategy. we have to choke off how they make money. and their ability to bring in new fighters. we have taken tens of thousands of their fighters off the battlefield.
that is also part of the great danger for europe and also the united states as well. if you have foreign fighters getting ideologically hardened but battle hardened and then they returned to their home area. they can engage in the kind of terrorist attacks that we just saw in paris. this is an ongoing concern. we will push hard among all our allies. cut off the financing. improve our intelligence gathering.
a lot of the discussion over the last weeks was about the pace of .irstrikes that is not constrained by the thent of planes going on question is how many effective targets you have. the better we get it that the better we will be going after them. reporter: you see any political path toward putting a price on obama: i haveent
long believed that the best way to drive innovation is to put a price on. this is a classic market failure. up in economics 101 say that thewill market is very good at determining prices and allocating capital towards most productive use except there are certain that your nowadays, there are certain things that the market doesn't count, it doesn't price, at least not on its own. clean air is an example. clean water as well. the carbons that are being sent out, originally we didn't have the science to understand. now we do. if that is the case, if you put
a price on, the entire market will respond. the best investments and the begintechnologies would isubbing effectively difficult. as the science around climate change is more today you can put a price on the damage that climate change is doing. when miami's flooding at high tide and sunny day in the fishes swimming through the middle of the streets, there is a cost of that. insurance companies are already beginning to realize that.
in terms of how they price risk. the more the market on its own response to this, it may be that the politics of it, a cap and example, it may change. i'm not under any illusion that this congress will vote for something like that. it was conservatives and that figured out this is a smarter way to deal with pollution in a command-and-control system. bush ande george h.w. his epa that marshall this approach to deal with acid rain. we round up solving that problem
a lot faster and a lot cheaper than most people had anticipated. climate change is a massive problem. it is a generational problem. by definition, it is just about the hardest thing for any political system to observe -- absorb. people feel immediately and so there's not a lot of constituency pressure on politicians. it creeps up on you.
is harder to come up with a tougher problem and climate change. the message i got here is that we are action going to solve this thing. if you would send people as recently as two years ago that we would have a hundred 80 countries-- 180 coming to paris with specific targets for carbon reduction, most people would say you are crazy. that is a pipe dream. but it has already happened. the cost of solar energy is way down.
inputs onively modest technology. imagine if we put more dollars into it. the biggest countries are doubling their r&d. bill gates and other wealthy individuals are putting their money into this. i am optimistic about it. the issue is going to be the case. how much damage is done before we are able to fully apply the brakes. it is akin to the problem of terrorism.
in the immediate aftermath of the terrible attack like the paris attack sometimes it is natural for people to despair. but look at paris. you can't tear down paris because of the demented actions of the handful of individuals. joy and thef the life and the people and the culture. that is going to win out every time. we have to be steady and applying pressure to the problem. we have to push away fear and
have confidence in our values and our judgment. . our solidarity. it will win out. i have not this long enough that i have some cause for confidence. we went for a while where we thought that ebola might kill us all. though he asks me about anymore. nobody asks me about anymore. although we still have some problems in west africa, we have dealt with that problem. we have shown leadership in fighting pandemics. when you are in the midst of it is frightening. but it is solvable. that, i am going to go
home. france! >> on the next washington congresswoman susan dell that may talks about an investigation into planned parenthood. she will discuss policing and criminal justice issues. at the pacific standard cover story on the labor economy. we will talk to editor-in-chief nicholas jackson. washington journal is live with your phone calls and your tweet. tweets.
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chairman: we have defense secretary carter here to discuss america's role. we will look at the questions that are foremost in the minds of the american people. i want to thank secretary carter for being here. it is my view that we are fortunate to have leaders like this. isis presents a clear and present threat to the united states. we are trying to meet that threat. a different approach, a greater effort. this group is certainly not invincible.
hands itwe tie our own aids their cause. wrote,henry kissinger the current inconclusive u.s. military effort risks serving as a recruitment vehicle for isis. ignatius wrote that the halfway measures taken by the united states only help the .ihadists the other consequences it adds to the doubt that allies have about our commitment and our willingness to see the mission through. he wrote that many have lost faith in u.s. leadership. weaknessption of u.s. dissuades allies cooperation.
a greater military effort must be run by the military. al three of your own by your predecessors have complained aides about white house micromanaging military operations. i myself have heard some of these instances from commanders in the field. things that i don't think would've happened at any other time in our history. if we are going to be serious about isis, the president needs to come up with a clear mission and then allow the military to carry it out. there should be a four-star headquarters in the region that is fully empowered to take the steps that are needed to degrade isis now. mike vickers made good sense when he wrote whatever we would to respond to an attack on washington or new york, we
should do it now before the attack occurs. maybe the president has things contained in well in hand but i don't think so. we are looking to you two repeat white to house talking points but to give us your best judgment about how we can defeat this enemy. smith: there is no threat that -- no question that this is a serious threat that we face right now. it is important to say that the threat is not just isis. part of a broader ideology that we need to confront. seen it spread throughout the middle east and north africa and south asia.
we need to figure out how to defeat that threat. isis remains a grave threat to western targets. it --t think the question picture is quite is bleak as the chairman makes it sound. they are beginning to lose supporters as their momentum has been stopped and turned of gathering territory. they were growing at one time in terms of the territory that they held. they have not gained any territory. they have lost a few towns. the bombing campaign that we have committed has rolled back in certain places. it has undermined that confidence of the jihadists that they are just going to roll forward and take everything.
is actually correct. it is not enough to contain isis. seen in paris and beirut and elsewhere. attacks and we must consider our strategy to defeat them. the administration does need to be clearer in saying what that strategy has said that they are actually committed to it. i actually think they have a more comprehensive strategy then at times they have said. we are going to use our military force in combination with as many allies as possible. we could send 50,000 u.s. troops
into iraq and syria and clear out a good portion of what is now isis. isalso know from experience that a western force the came in and tried to pacify or mollify , another of the world terrorist organization would grow up in a heartbeat. it would reconstitute itself and present itself as the new alternative. i hope we don't overreact. only way we win is if we find the allies in the region who are willing to lead that fight. that is what we have to do.
this notion that u.s. military might is that we going to show up and fix the problem has been disproven. what gives them the greatest force is that they can stand up and say we are defending islam against western aggression. if all we have is western aggression, we will never win. after work with our allies in the region at the end of the day sunni allies to carry this fight. the governments of iraq have been run as a sectarian, shia government.
yes we need to have a strategy. i hope we don't fall into the trap of thinking that military might is what is going to solve this problem is a far more props public a problem than that. i look forward to the testimony. chairman thornberry: thank you for the service you are providing to this nation. mr. secretary you are recognized. carter: i thank you for inviting me to discuss our counter military strategy and execution. we do need greater effort and we are applying greater effort.
i will try to describe some of .he ways i will try to provide that clarity. icicles attacks in paris were barbaric. they were in assault on the civilization that we defend. a lasting defeat. we will describe those new actions today. we are urging others to do the same. those attacks further highlighted the stakes that the world is facing. the u.s. strategy requires .everaging
we are defending the homeland and acting to defeat isolate its syria and iraq. action anywhere in the world that is evil metastasizes. checking the homeland is among we aren'tt priorities acting to it assure the security of defense department personnel. we're discussing efforts to cut off the flow of foreign
fighters. we had the defense department are also centrally responsible for the military campaign, which will be the focus of my statement to this committee. through our own actions, the military campaign to destroy as isil's leadership, all the while we seek to identify and enable motivated forces on the ground to expel isil from the territory and make sure that the victory sticks. that is the right approach. it emphasizes the necessity of capable and motivated local forces as the only force that can assure a lasting victory. such forces are hard to find but they do exist.
we are constantly looking for and finding effective ways of doing so. we cannot substitute for such forces. the strategic approach sets the conditions for a political solution to the civil war in syria and the crippling sectarianism in iraq which is the only way to prevent terrorist organizations from emerging. kerry is working on that. the first and that's truly critical line of effort in our strategy. we are gathering momentum on the battlefield in syria and iraq. we are to accelerate the and we arempaign asking more of our global partners. i can't describe everything in this unclassified setting but i
will give as much detail as possible. we are at war. using the might of the finest fighting force the world is a known. tens of thousands of u.s. personnel are operating in the broader middle east region. more are on the way. advising onare ground operations. they are engaging isil in the last remaining pockets of access into turkey. a coalition of syrian arabs that are fightingip
alongside kurdish forces that have recaptured important terrain. at least 900 square kilometers of the surrounding territory. they are now focused on moving --th to isolate icicles isil's nominal capital. we've seen increased coalition airstrikes. we deployed additional strike aircraft to the air base in turkey. we have significantly increased our airstrikes against isil. , weuild on that momentum are sending, on president
obama's orders, special forces personnel to syria to support the fighting against isil. is a unique range of capabilities that make them force multipliers. they will help us garner and above alld enable local forces to regain and then hold territory occupied by isil. where we find further opportunity, we are prepared to expand it. syria, we aref taking advantage of opportunities to open the southern front against isil.
in northern iraq, units have cuttingtown of sinjar, the main line of communication between that area and most old. i sold must now rely on back roads where we locate and destroy them. iraq, we have about 3500 troops at six locations in .raq we are appeared to do more to resolve the political divisions. the progress in the sunni , as the of iraq
campaign to recapture ramadi slow. has been much to our frustration. sectarian politics and iranian influence has made building a multi-sectarian iraqi security force difficult. they must enroll and pay sunni arab fighters. to hold territory recaptured for my soul. have shrunkforts the isil controlled territory significantly. we now have the chance to divide icicles presence in iraq from that in syria. while both countries are played has different
political pathologies that provide the opportunities for extremism to exist. they need different kinds of political progress to ensure lasting victory. we are deploying a specialized expeditionary targeting force. to put even more pressure on .sil they will be able to free hostages and capture isil leaders. they will also be able to conduct unilateral operations in syria. more raids and more momentum. the rates will be done at the invitation of the iraqi government.
we're also significantly expanding the u.s. attacks on isil infrastructure. securely the oil revenue. because of improved intelligence and understanding, we have intensified the air campaign against the oil enterprises. of the isilolor infrastructure. 400 of destroyed nearly icicles oil tanker trucks, reducing a major source of its daily revenues. there is more come. come.e to conducting raids using those expeditionary forces that i mentioned. since i last appeared before
this committee, we have removed some key isil figures from the battlefield including its second-in-command. a key external operative who was actively plotting against our servicemembers. , and isiln executioner. actions, these strikes served notice to isil that no target is beyond our reach. even as we worked to defeat isil iraq, we know that it has moved elsewhere. regions fromn span our own combatant commands. that is why the defense department has leveraged new efforts in afghanistan and the labonte and southern africa in a
new effort to combat trends regional threats. that strike shows there is a lot of potential here. to do more, need to be creative and consider changes to have the defense department works and is structured. i know this committee particularly the chairman is exploring. i welcome this timely review and look forward to working you on it as we complete our own ongoing reform initiatives. areas -- justt thet -- we have made over past six weeks to accelerate this campaign and the fc momentum built. -- and we have seen momentum build.
the chairman has been a tremendous source of actionable ideas. we've also seen real ingenuity form -- from many of the combat commands. president obama is committed to doing what it takes as opportunities arise as we see what works come as the enemy adapts and until i still is defeated in a lasting way. as i just explained, we are constantly looking to do more in this fight but the world must do the same. the international community has to step up before another attack like paris. france has been galvanized by the attacks on its capital. the french have intensified their role. britain's is debating expanded airstrikes. italy has made important contributions and germany is making additional contributions.
allwe all -- let me repeat, -- must do more. turkey must do more to control its often forest border. saudi arabia and the gulf states join the air campaign in the early days but have since been preoccupied by the conflict in yemen. meanwhile, russia, which is publicly committed to defeating isil, has instead largely attacked position of forces. them to focus on the right side of the site. american -- fight. the more contributions we receive from other nations, the greatest combat power we can achieve. importantly, we need to leverage our allies and partners relationships and abilities to effectively work with syrians and iraqis who in the end must expel isil and restore effective governments. the president, secretary kerry,
and i have spoken to many of our counterparts and the chairman has as well. we are encouraging them to provide additional strike and support aircraft, special operations personnel, deeper and more effective intelligence ,haring, additional training combat search and rescue capabilities, combat support and service support, based security forces, and additional economic aid and humanitarian assistance. as i conclude, i want to commend this committee on last month's budget deal, which is the kind of deal i called for in march. agreementonsequential for the nation's security and we are grateful. thank you. chairman, the sting wish
members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to address the military dimension. secretary carter provided a brief campaign update and an of our strategic approach. before taking our questions, i'd like to share my perspectives on our counter-isil campaign and what i think you should expect. sources are its narrative and manpower. to be successful, the coalition's military campaign must reduce their territorial destroy its war fighting capability. there are two critical elements of military campaigns to achieve those. the first is to conduct strikes against isil parties. the strikes are intended to kill leadership and fighters come in today to their lines of communication, and deny sources of revenue. the second critical element is to develop a support underground, seize and secure
terrain. the basic framework is the same for iraq and syria that the conditions on the ground present unique challenges. without a partner on the ground, syria has promoted the most difficult challenge. in iraq, we have a partner in supporting development of security forces and enabling their operations with intelligence, advisers, armed support. outline what we must do in the military campaign, let me provide my initial assessment of how we are doing. there continuously examining ways to enhance the effectiv
eness of our operations. many weeks ago, the leadership recognized we need to increase pressure on isil by improving the effectiveness of our strikes and accelerating our efforts to develop support on the ground. we are not satisfied we are doing everything possible to defeat the enemy. while recognizing isolate is a trans regional threat requiring a broader strategy, immediate focus was to bury down on core isil. after a lot of hard work by commanders and staff, we went to the president in early october with a number of recommendations designed to generate momentum. the president approved our initial recommendations and we are in the process of implementing them. secretary carter provided the details of the initiative and described where we are starting tuesday some positive developments -- starting to see some positive developments. we are mindful of the challenges we face in this campaign.
we are encouraged by the recent developments. to make, those operations indicate what's possible. we also believe we have a greater affect on our strikes against isil leadership. in the days ahead, we are aggressive in looking for success. we will seize every opportunity to increase the effectiveness . the secretary and president made clear they expect me to deliver all the options and may contribute to our winning the fight.. i made a commitment to them i would do that and i will reaffirm that commitment. thank you again for the opportunity to join you. i look forward to your questions. need to make the most of the
limited time we have. just as a warning, we will have to be strict on the time. if you want to make a four-minute speech, you will not get an answer. i want to go back to the point mike vickers made in the article. you worked with him a lot in the obama administration and he was in previous administrations. we would is what ever do if they really were successful, we should do now before the attack occurs, which makes sense to me. why were we doing that before?
>> the first is starting with ground forces. and forces in the south of syria that are willing to fight isil. they have been hard to find. we have an looking for them. we are looking for more and we hope the coalition as it rolls south is like a snowball that continues to gather people who ruleired of their womb -- and have them join with us, enabling and accompanying them as appropriate. the other ingredient is our intelligence, which was not so great at the beginning of this because we were surprised again
and again, has improved tremendously. result ofat as a secretary baker's own work. that has given us opportunities in airstrikes and ground operations. i want to repeat something the chairman just said which is we are looking for and finding new opportunities for actionable effort every day. i thinkcore point, that's right. we're doing everything we possibly can to defeat this enemy. i described our strategy, those efforts. we are doing everything that and i think tove
answer your question, we should do everything we can. the chairman is also right. i have asked him to continue to provide them with opportunities and he in addition to the other factors i named has been a great source of actionable ideas. >> it gives some additional opportunities and says basically if you find the government of iraq is not conclusive that arms can be provided directly to the others.unni tribes, is that an option you would consider recommending? >> we are sending arms directly to the kurds. the mechanism by which that works is there is customs
approval by the iraqi government. i will come back to why we stipulate that but there is no delay and a large number of arms and other equipment have reached the iraqi kurds from us. and by more than 12 other countries. way throughn this the government of iraq and likewise much more slowly and frustratingly. we have considered the alternatives. i know there are others who have considered it but it's a considered judgment to try to pursue these through the government of prime minister a baddi. ast is particularly the case
presented of smith indicated in the matter of arming, training, equipping sunnis. >> thank you. >> just telling up on that. dr. following up on that. -- following up on that. what do we do to find a legitimate fighting force to counter isil? it's not really coming out of baghdad. what we are doing during the sunniwas to get the tribes to turn on al qaeda at the time. it seems to me that's the kind of thing we will need to do again is to reach out to those tribes and take advantage of over actions by isis groups. i'm not getting a clear picture here other than what we've heard over and over which is we'll get some point the baghdad government stops persecuting sunnis and starts including them. that doesn't seem to be a
possibility. hope is not a strategy. what is our strategy for getting sunnis in iraq to be willing to fight isis? what is the concrete plan? >> the concrete plan has four streams by which we are trying to get sunnis included in the fight there. the first is through the iraqi security forces themselves, which are now in secretary in terms of 20%. at our training sites, we have forces iraqi security including sunnis and they are joining the fight notably in the area of ramadi. we would like more. our training sites are turning them out every month. the tribalstream is fighters. they are first of all the
popular mobilization force. militia-typed of force not independent of the iraqi government and the iraqis -- this is where we have a problem -- have authorized many a then sunni. we need to authorize more sunni pmf. the iraqi counterterrorism service, which we have trained and is the most effective force in the fight. peshmerga in the north. we are also working with sunni police. is important. i so it's not going to work for -- so it's not going
to work for shia forces. we are working on them too. the piece can be kept there by people who are local and recognize the local personnel. in syria, the big challenge their -- we are fighting both isis and bashar al-assad. we don't really succeed against isis until we move bashar al-assad. becauses a huge problem despite what they say, their plan is simple. they will try to keep bashar al-assad no matter what. not just perpetuate the fight. what is the hope in the plan for getting isis? the he's to get russia and iran to realize bashar al-assad is not going to protect their interests. you can't write now because he can't control his country.
had we get to the point where we get a replacement for him so we can take that went out of the isis sales and get a more representative coalition government? >> a political transition in syria is essential of ultimately resolving the civil war there and it is a civil war that fuels isil. it feels all this extremism. all this extremism. it is a position in which moderate opposition and some of the structures of the syrian constitute a new government of syria that can restore some decency and governance to the territory. that is a transition we are looking for. the russians have a lot of influence with bashar al-assad and are using it in the wrong way. the russians are wrongheaded in their strategy. they're going at it backwards.
they said they were going to go into fight isil and promote a political transition. al-assad backed bashar and targeted people who are part of the opposition that needs to be part of syria's future. they are off on the wrong foot and for us to associate with their doing, they need to get on the right foot. >> thank you. >> chairman, thank you. thank you so much for being here today. testimony andyour i read it in the papers. unbelievable complex task on behalf of the american people and certainly our military. thank you. back when mr. weiner was speaker asked for a debate -- mr. john boehner was speaker
asked for a debate on the opposition of military force. presidentlated to the -- he relate to the president we needed a new amf. since becoming the new speaker, 22 republicans and democrats wrote to mr. ryan. i just want to read one sentence and i will get to my question. we wrote this november 6. taken altogether these represent a significant escalation of the u.s. military operations in the region and place u.s. military personnel on the front lines of combat operation. we hear it from the senate that they say we need to put boots on the ground. meet ourue to not constitutional responsibility. before i get the question, i want to remind the american
people what james madison said. the power to declare war including the power of judging the causes of war is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature, not the executive branch. i would like to ask you and general dunford in this undertaking of trying to defeat this people group, would it help your cause if the congress met its constitutional responsibility of debating a new aumf. what give strength to what you're trying to do especially with our allies? would it help you in this fight to defeat isil if the congress were to meet its constitutional responsibilities? i would appreciate a statement from each one of you. >> the president has submitted an amf.
this was a month ago. i testified about it and i asked myself two questions. the first was whether the amf would give us the authority to conduct the campaign necessary to defeat isil. my answer to that was yes. the one he submitted did not -- theeryone -- he second thing i asked myself was would this show to our troops that their country is the hind them? i think they know we are behind them. would this show the country was behind them in their effort? for that reason, it's desirable to have an amf. the lawyers tell me we don't technically need one. i will add that. we can conduct what we need to do within the law. i think it will be helpful principally because you cannot
do enough to show the troops we are behind them and this is a big deal and it's serious. >> i have a similar answer. it's my understanding we currently have all the authorities we need to prosecute the campaign against isil but i believe a clear statement of support for the men and women prosecuting our campaign and our allies will be helpful. >> since i took all of my time, i want you to know i can do it another five minutes. i yield. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you gentlemen for being before us. i have several questions. let me see what you are thinking. you said we are now arming the kurds. -- hest time i talked to
suggested they needed heavier duty weapons versus light arms. my first question would be what are we arming them with? is it really for the battlefield? secondly, i would like you to address this whole issue with respect to the iraqi army and the inability of us to get integrated. i remember under the constitution and under the thee of having a vote on kurd area being an independent entity, that was something i continued to ask our military leaders at the time who were overseeing a rock -- a rock -- iraq and they said we never got to it and we left. now we see the fruits of that in the sense we still are not able
to have a military or police force very integrated. what do we do about that? we have been taking back territory in iraq and when the -- we we had -- it always need to leave somebody there in order to hold onto us, otherwise we end up losing that territory. what is our strategy? efforts -- oft above to get a brief on how we are countering the recruitment isis. with respect to
lastly, diplomacy intelligence know,ry economics -- you it's not just military we need here. acretary, if you could speak little too what are some of the other efforts we are doing to counteract was really something we need to eliminate, which is isis. thank you. >> i will touch on a few of the points. generally, the iraqi security forces. essential. the center of are the campaign. there must be a military defeat of isil. syria,believe iraq and
since it's the heart of ice for, we have to defeat it to their -- for isil, we have to defeat it there. it is a multi-dimension fight. it is in the security sphere, the law enforcement sphere. have begun to convene with , all of therry agencies and going through what we're all doing end making sure the right hand knows what the left is. i'm happy to give you a classified briefing. fbi, homeland security, the intelligence community, and our dod people. you ask if we thought about a hold force. -- necessity for
a hold force is at the root of our strategy. our strategy is to find, identify, enable forces that cannot only take territory but hold territory. we know from the last 14 years that's the tricky part. the hard part about getting to findto stick is people who can hold territory and govern indecently so the likes of isil don't come back. they are hard to find. they do exist but for hard to find and we will try to make a snowball and get more. >> with regard to the kurds, the kurds have a full range of heavy weapons, vehicles. our assessment is they have the capability to take the fight to isil. their recent success demonstrates that. the president there. he identified additional support
he wanted and specific ammunition types he felt we didn't -- he didn't have in sufficient quantity. they have the military capability to do what must be done and we are providing aviation support. if you'd like to amplify, please feel free but had to keep us close to on time. you heard the chairman's acknowledgment of staying within five minutes so i will hav ask you to have your answers as a sink. -- succinct. who declared that were? -- war? >> what the secretary is saying is we the the fight against isil as a threat to the u.s. and are mobilizing all military capabilities necessary. >> who would have actually made
the declaration? >> it would be the congress. >> has that been made? >> it has not. >> had as a secretary say we are at war? i only have five minutes. if you want to elaborate, you can do it in writing. >> we're technically not at war. how we currently contained isil? >> we had not contained isil. >> have they been contained at any time since 2010? >> tactically in areas they have been. strategically, they have spread since 2010. judgment, thet strategy we have implemented, do we have a strategy that will
defeat and destroy isil? >> i think the right components are in place. >> is that the strategy recommend the joint chiefs? >> the current strategy is the strategy recommended by the joint chiefs. >> do you have any knowledge of what your predecessor was ever consulted from 2010 until he >> were the strategies implemented it in 2010 these same? how long were you on the joint chiefs? during the 11 months, where
those the strategies recommended by the joint chiefs? >> we did not make a recommendation during those months. in your best judgment, do you believe our strategies since 2010 were the appropriate military strategies to defeat i so? >> i believe who have the right elements in place today. >> did we have them in 2010? >> i do not believe we had them in place since 2010. >> feel free to elaborate on anything in writing. >> if there's something you want to say, please go ahead. >> i am not using this and some technical sense, this is serious business. that is what i mean. by war. it feels like that to our people who are engaged in it and it has that kind of gravity.
so, it is not a technical thing, it is a descriptive. >> in all due respect to the war" is notthe word " just some light term. it is a technical term and needs to be used very, very carefully whether in this committee or elsewhere. with that, i yield back. >> misstatements. miss davis. >> i want to go back to the aumf. example, wean for had some inability to act preemptively. would that be the case in any way? since general dunford was our commander there, i don't have a
that.nswer to >> councilman davis, afghanistan a lot ofared area of responsibilities. i did not have any restriction to act when there was a threat to u.s. forces or to the mission. was not aively that problem? >> if we had actionable intelligence there was a threat to the force or the mission, or a threat to afghan security forces, we were authorized to act against individuals or as hostile.nated >> thank you. i appreciate that. i also wanted to go back. you talked about the infrastructure campaign. i wonder if there was some decision not to act as quickly in that regard as perhaps we could have. while there was what could be considered a long way to do
that, and what the impacts are in terms of impact on the pocket back, of course, of iso-, the impact on the iso-,book, of course, of and the oil trade. and the oil trade. a study was done to identify the critical nodes to see what would have the greatest impact on the revenue stream of l.o-fort -- of isi subsequent to that study being completed, you have seen a significant increase in the tempo of our strikes.
here in washington. the chairman and i, and of course, the president in recent weeks. we do press them up on the need to fight terrorists and to recognize that terrorism is a threat to pakistan as well as to its neighbors, and to united --tes forces in the reason region. we urge them to recognize what we think is true, which is that that is the principal threat to the pakistani state today, from terrorist organizations within. we arecilman davis, never satisfied with the level of support from pakistan, but we do have open lines of communication. we recently had the pakistanis here. i met with my counterpart. i do believe over the past 18-20
four months, the pakistanis realize violent extremism presents an axis den shall threat to the state of pakistan. the level of cooperation has approved over the last two years. it is not what it needs to be to be effective. we will work with our daily partners to make sure gets better. weis: are there any tools should be using to gain more support? >> if you would submit those in written form, i would appreciate it. mr. secretary, who does it feel like we are at war with? isil and its accompanying -- by the way, i was not speaking of myself. i do not use his word lightly. i was talking about the troops involved with it. i think that is who feels they
are at war. >> who is the enemy? andhe enemy is isil associated groups, extreme is. >> have you ever heard the government say we are at war with muslims? what deep accident last week on foreign soil, say gop's rhetoric has become the most total for the militant group? when the president was on foreign soil last week, why would he say the gop's rhetoric the biggest fodder for the militant group? >> it is not islam per se that itnds by a militant state, is a particular group of radical extremists. that is an important distinction
to make. i have already said the president make that distinction. i do not even think he uses the word radical extremists. disingenuous when he makes this into a political football using language on foreign soil that has never been said for political purposes. this committee tries not to do that in guide think the president should do the exact same thing. he also said, and you did as well, that we're gaining background that isis has taken. theming it is harder for to recruit fighters. my question is, is it a bigger recruiting tool for attacks like or expanding their territory? because the president has said, and others have implied, that as the area shrinks it is harder for them to recruit and they are losing fighters. start and the chairman
can -- >> i will start and the chairman can pitch in. i do feel like at tax like in recruiting people worldwide who observe that. the young radicals. we've had some in our own country who of nazi television, then on the internet. within syria and iraq recruiting for fighters on the ground, we are trying to dry up that supply of recruits by making it harder to get into syria and by destroying them when they are there, as well as the ultimate, local forcesreate and the a local system of government that is more attractive to people the in joining these of violent extremists. >> i believe would isolate is advance ado is
narrative of the inevitable success and invincibility. i believe they will continue to try to grab territory and expand the caliphate and incentivize others to join and try to attract resources to the movement. >> which do you think it will focus on or will they do it simultaneously? regaining territory or increasing brought her a taxi or into other places? >> they are the ultimate opportunists, they would take advantage of all of the above. >> thank you. your back. >> -- yield back. >> thank you for your testimony. to turn mye attention to your statement on page three when you talked about in targeting force and
particular, it says the special operators over time would be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence, capture isolate leaders. cycle which a generates momentum. was in the statement, but she did not mention in your oral testimony was that this force would also be in a position to conduct unilateral operations into syria. i thought that was significant and wanted to explore it. exactly what does that mean and how extensive will those rates paid? >> that is true. that is in the interstate. is in the statement. we have already conducted such rates, one that led to a killing and capture. and the release of a young woman who was being held as a slave. wereeed 70 prisoners who
going to be executed. american serviceman her locally in that exercise. it takes advantage of what we are good at. intelligence, mobility, surprise. we have the log which know when i'll says. it puts everyone on notice in serious. you do not know at night to will be coming in the window. that is the sensation we want all of these souls leadership -- that is the sensation we want l's leadership to have. >> i think the intelligence is the most important. our effectiveness is linked to the quality of intelligence we thisand our assessment is force will provide us additional intelligence to make our operations more effective. that is what the secretary, when he talks about the virtuous
cycle, meant. >> so, do expect this use of special force into syria will increase exponentially oil will be within iraq itself? >> the enemy does not respect boundaries. neither did we. we are conducting a camp in against iraq and syria and will go with a most effectively degrade the capabilities of the enemy. how are they vulnerable to introduction and to what extent are we disrupting those flows? i was -- >> we spoke of the infrastructure previously. as we learn more, we are better able to target that part of
critical infrastructure like oil. the chairman mentioned cement, a big source of revenue for result. isil.enue for to strike that bird of the infrastructure fueling the revenues. theo not wish to destroy entire infrastructure of syria or iraq, but we do hope to destroy that of isil. we are developing insight, and that is what has allowed us to take this next step in and i think it will be pretty effective. we're looking to do more. >> a follow-up, we do assess today that the majority of revenue that isil has is industry by the oil
and other industries like cement. it went, taxes on local paper. some of those are taxes on resources paid by the government syria. and over the past couple weeks we have had a significant impact on the revenue sources of core eyesore. -- core isil. going back, the sunni states in the area, how do we get them priority with this, for example, their first priority is a win and expansion -- iran and expansion. at is an important question, we will get back to you in writing. dunford, i know
firsthand how in working with young people, you transform them into extraordinary people with the highest level of transformant. i commend both of you for making recommendations on how to protect american families from further attack. a washington post editorial "heted out courageously, went through all u.s. troops from iraq when it was advised a would help keep pace. he opposed a small nato training force that might have stabilize the new government. " not acceptingdent your recommendations, mr. secretary, there are plans for
deployment of soldiers to syria to assist fighters fighting isis for -- or daesh. assess supposed to help ground fighting and logistics. given the complicated divide between the kurds and the local forces, do you believe this will theuccessful and what are decision points for the strategy? we believe it has every chance of being successful, but this is a transactional relationship with these forces. support,e them some some in equipment, and we see how they do. that is what we are doing all over. so far, they have shown a willingness to take over territory in to make use of our equipment. that is why we are prepared to
do more for them. i hope it will be like a snowball. if they do well, we will do more and that will gather more fighters into their movement. we would like them to reclaim the so-called the capital of the so-called caliphate. transactional because we have to see how they are doing and what their level of motivation and effectiveness is. >> and of course, it is bipartisan, will you be successful. the basis of this hearing is to determine the suitable strategy to deal with isis in iraq and syria. it has been stated on a number of occasions that isis is contained. the ranking member of the senate intelligence committee has urgency. a sense of recently she said, we have to be prepared for an attack on the homeland. have never been more concerned.
senator feinstein's said, i read the intelligence painfully. she said, isolate is not contained. isolate is expanding. isil is not contained. expanding. to contain dod doing the isis? a our strategy is to destroy soul. in syria and iraq and anywhere else it arises. in and, with respect to the we do not have any eminent threads i can relate to homeland, but we take
security very seriously and we particularly take the protection personnel very seriously, for among other reasons, the fact that to work, many of them were, singled out by these guys. those who are trying to recruit americans. i want to chat on a sunday afternoon where there was a ceremony for six of our service members gunned down by somebody who had been radicalized online. born and raised in chattanooga, tennessee. this is serious business. violent extremist tendencies. and while they need to get it's he meantyria and iraq, to recognize this missteps assizes elsewhere and protect ourselves. heart is in syria and
recognizewe need to elsewhere.es and in and this is a personal observation, with the idea that we have to step up or accelerate our strategies with the assistance of our allies. seapower, boots on the ground. one thing that was brought out was the sharing of intelligence information. it is not too far. wiki and accelerate with all of this power, with our allies, i think it would be one way to grouput this barbarian
one sand for all. the entire world is on alert. the american people are on edge. cells in ourl states here in america. i am wondering what your ideas are on accelerating the mission to whiteout isil. what about this information sharing? >> i will come to the information peace first. your observation is exactly right on the market and is a fact. in the wake of ours, that is one of the things that has been identified. we have reasonably good information-sharing in the united states. not perfect, but we work at it ready hard every day. as you saw on the wake of us, other nations have a challenge sharing information with other countries and sharing information with other agencies within the same country. that is recognized as an issue.
certainly a sec. carter: i work on the foreign fighter issue, that is the single biggest thing that inhibits our ability to stop the flow of foreign fighters. information and intelligence sharing. i think there is at least maybe 120 countries that have gone to syria and iraq to fight and presumably will return home at some point. there is a strong up that of to do that. accelerating the campaign, sec. carter: i have talked about what we're doing inside iraq and syria. this requires a global strategy. strategies,nducting we're trying to do the same thing in other locations where i exists. there are certainly a number of branches sanctioned by a soul and other groups and others striving to become part of by isil and others
striving to become part of isil. think this is going beyond what we ever expected. e're up in the -- >> i think this is going beyond what we ever expected. we have been with our allies now for a long time. many of them training their troops. we are ready to step up and once and for wipe out this barbarian group. i yelled back, mr. chairman. >> mr. turner. turner: mr. secretary, no you are aware of the fact there have been allegations that intelligence officials at centcom and centcom have the isisfindings on
washington.se i am holding up an article about a cover-up. it says the inspector general is looking into cooking the intelligence to make the picture more rosy than what is occurring. it goes on to have a concern that e-mails and documents may have been diluted before they were turned over to investigators concerning the centcom doctoring. the chairman of the intelligence committee has said to the -- sent to theal inspector general of letter about documents being deleted. i also talked about declassified portions of briefings of this committee, and you said you can only go in so far in this
hearing. in your written testimony, i can only tell you what is unclassified. you say we are gathering momentum on the battlefield in syria and iraq. you say all of these efforts have shrunk the isolate-controlled territory -- l-controlled territory and both. while we have information to giving us a rosy picture, i personally believe as many do that not only do we not really have a strategy, but you cannot have a strategy unless it is placed on a current of what is happening and the threat that we have. mr. secretary, how do you respond to the allegations at the department of defense, centcom, perhaps even your own
testimony is a much rosy up to and what we are facing? >> first of all, i insist upon , candid advice from the intelligence community and i cannot rely just upon once was. >> i appreciate that commitment, but the question is about isil, syria, and iraq. you say we are gathering momentum. i know everybody that has been in the classified briefings here, no one has ever said that to us before. when you put that in the same context as centcom having allegations they have doctored the circumstances are, thank you have a high bar to us to sit in front of us and tell us that the battlefield is turning in our direction. howdy justify that?
: let me be clear. the territory has shrunk. -- that is a fact. -- secretary carter: let me be clear. these territory has shrunk. >> who decides if it has shrunk? sec. carter: cards. >> in iraq? kurds.ry carter: will be candid with you. i expect intelligence officials to be candid with me. i cannot comment on an inspector general investigation. but i will tell you -- testimony that the kurds have advanced because we
have momentum and because isil is shrinking. sec. carter: we are gathering momentum and it is a fact that the territory under isis has shrunk. that is not a declaration of a victory. crabs are ripening, mr. secretary? sec. carter: we're going to win. winning, mr. secretary? sec. carter: we are going to win. >> i think your testimony here today show is a disconnect the information we are receiving end what is being placed into the united states effort. i your back. bothwant to thank witnesses for their testimony today. particularly the very powerful statement you articulated. if we want to do something on
our side of the table, we need to act. we need to move forward. frankly, i hope people will take heart. the finger point and chest thumping that goes on appears sometimes, with been sitting since february when the president sent over language for the authorization of use of force and have done nothing. it is an excusable. i want to focus or a moment on the fact that we did, actually, in 2014, move forward on title x authorization, which is incorporated into the nda and gave a authority for trimming operations. you alluded to it in terms of that program. seemut-of-country training to have fizzled out. the question i want to ask is, is that a dead letter now? are you using it in other ways
sil?ake the fight to i train andontinuing to equip forces. we're doing it in different ways as we learn more. are now, particularly in syria, we have found groups that already exist and are fighting and in which we can an able with and trainpabilities people especially to a company them or send americans to accompany them. preferable to trying to create an entirely new units by taking individuals out of the country and trying to put them together. we're going to try everything that works. we're having some success at doing that.
to look atcontinuing and find force willing to fight isil. -- and we're trying to give them the equipment they need to do that. we're doing that all over, and that is the key to getting continued momentum. >> congressman, i think the thing that is important to is that we're going to need indigenous and regional ground forces to be successful. it is a question, as the secretary mentioned, the in-state has changed -- as stated be same. as an example, they were training individuals, we brought them into turkey and charges on the back to syria. we did not think that was going to get as to where we needed to be as fast as we needed to get
there. we decided to go with vetted groups. how success that is and now is moving down to where il resides. that authority is what we are using to support those forces right now. i appreciate you mentioning that scenario. it shows there are tangible results when we move as a congress on a bipartisan basis to give you the tools you need to succeed. there as well value -- they are israel value in terms of accomplishing the goal in listening to the military needs a hand moving forward into giving because they need to succeed. there is no intelligence
question about whether or not your example happened, it has been reported in every international media out there. it succeeded in and we should be looking at those opportunities on their side of the table to give you what you need. >> thank you. we'll take a few seconds to weigh in on the are we at war question which was so busily discussed on the top rope. going back to the 9/11 commission report, they clearly stated we are at war. enemy. an islamic terrorists. they are continuing to wage war against us whether we like it or not, we're in a war. it would be very useful if we a newdebate for authorization for use of military force to clear up this kind of esoteric discussion. ineral dunford, when i was
baghdad a few months ago, i was talking to american troops and even though we theoretically do not have troops on the ground, there were 3500 american troops on the ground. but, i was told we could not have anymore the and that. there is a limit. so my question is, is that true? are they limited in what we do by a number? whether it is 3500, maybe now it if we are sending special forces over there? i were limited to a number? for asking. i do not believe we are limited by the number 35 hundred. we're managing 3500 because that is the number of troops the president has up to-date. feel assure you i do not at all inhibited about making recommendations that would cause us to grow greater than 3500 and that i believe it helped to defeat isil. -- --
i have told my commander not to fornhibited about asking more on the ground, and that i would do in those options to the secretary and the senate. >> i am only somewhat relieved to hear that because i hate to having toe down to ask the senate to go to 3700, 3800. i hate toded to, think you are not able to learn what you needed and baghdad. including about afghanistan, i think it is a terrible and petition on the military camp to i,plete a strategy which like others, am not at all convinced we have right now, but presumably you have a strategy
to fight and win. if you need the force us to do it, it seems to me you should be able to move this process without having to go to the snow in 10 say, i need another 25 people. -- without having to go to the accident and say, -- without resident, go to the p and say i need another 25. working a campaign based on a ?ap of numbers in a country you say you feel comfortable going to the president and saying we need more numbers, but general cannot send in a battalion, a company, if he feels he needs it in baghdad. as a correct? >> i view my responsibility to president thee capabilities the commanders need
to accomplish the mission. i can assure you i will not be at all inhibited and bringing those recommendations forward to the president and the secretary regardless of what the numbers have been articulated in the past. i do not feel at all constrained about bringing about recommendations for additional forces if that's what it takes enemy.at the ask that is exactly what you said, the capabilities. not the numbers. if you need a certain amount in a. of time, to me it is not a reasonable time if you need to go rescue a pilot. it seems to me, that needs to be recommended. if you do not think so, i am surprised. because from what i hear, from talking there, there is a sense on the ground they need more capability. please,e, please, please, do not hesitate to make
a recommendation to get the capability we need, whether it is in afghanistan, iraq, syria. let's get out of managing by the dad burn numbers. i yield. >> thank you for being here. general dunford, i am not sure if this is not the first time since you became chairman, and as a son of massachusetts i want to root welcome you. we're proud you are where you are today. thank you for being here. i think the discussion with had today does enforce the complexity of the challenge we face. we heard a number of those here today saying it underscores the idea that we really need to have that involvese all of congress. not just the committees that need to focus on this. it is a complex situation.
i would really like to underscore those who called for a new authorization of use of force. the administration often talks about the 65 countries dissipating in the coalition against isil. but roughly 50 of them have never been active in the campaign. and some have ceased their involvement. what is behind this hesitation? in particular, when we're focusing on what we should send to the fight, whether there is a need for more combat ops builds on the ground, what is the willingness of this coalition, particularly our suge knight allies, -- particularly our sunni allies, to lend their
forces to this fight. >> we need to do more. they need to do more. the attacks in paris have galvanized the french. the french are coming in very strongly in syria, which they had not done before and now are very willing to do. the british are debating it. -- appears of your capable. they want them to do more. europe,characterize for i hope, that deep address as attacks galvanize all of europe to do more. because they need to do more. in syria and iraq, and elsewhere around the world, indian their own homelands or, to get back to an earlier point, the share intelligence on security.
people visit from europe to the united states and so forth, for our own security. you mentioned the gulf states as well. >> that is really where my question is important. tags this is something we began to discuss with the gulf states back at camp david in the spring. the president did. the natural -- a natural force particularly the sunni areas of syria and iraq would be sunni arabs. effective and insightful kind of force. they have been unwilling to field such forces. your ideas on confronting that unwillingness? >> i will be candid. air of the gulf states
force capabilities over ground forces and special operations forces. i think that if they want to, and enforce them to, and more influence in the middle east into more to secure this part of the world in which they live, too, they are going to need to do more of that on the ground. airplanes is fine. provide them. but when it comes to ground forces and special operations forces, there's no question they need to build this process and in them. they frequently complained to me about how capable of the opinions. and i say, yes. you are not in the same game. game on the ground. >> the statement that in the end the sunnis part of the muslim
world has to take this on an order for it to be long-term effective, general dunford. i'm running out of time. five seconds a. general dunford: not only would not be successful without our coalition partners come i do not see any way we can be successful without our coalition partners. >> thank you. >> thank you for being here. year, chairman thornberry held a nuclear deterrence oversight week. we had a series of hearings and briefings. in one of those hearings, we had deputy secretary bob and vice joint chairman testify. inh of them emphasized that their opinion, nuclear deterrence is highest ability of dod.
sec. carter: you know how that job. do you share secretary hagel's view as bell is bob works'? and if so, why? sec. carter: i sure do. one of the folks i called was someone who was spending his christmas in a silo in north dakota. i told him exactly that, what you are doing is the single most important thing in the united states military. it is not in the news every day. and god help us if it is. but it is the bedrock of our security and in the final analysis, that is the ultimate undergird are. isodern, safe deterrent critical. >> i appreciate you doing that
and i appreciate the fact that secretary james is putting a renewed effort in that area. i hope that you will do your own and be as clear on that as your predecessor was. secretary work as well as the and admiral haney, secretary kindle, they have all made the statement they believe this long-range standoff weapon that should be pursued to launch the current air cruise missiles. do you share that view en to you see that progressing at a pace you find acceptable? do except it. >> i do as well. we talked a minute ago about threats to our nation. i think that capability reflects an important option we ought to
have wanted to being engaged in a high intensity conflict. progress see the towards that slipping and funding in anyway? >> i would like to take that for the record. i'm not tracking the file at this time. >> do you believe it should be allowed to be slipped or canceled? >> i know there is a timeline along which it needs to be met because of the obsolescence of the weapons system it is replacing. i do not know what that is right now. >> to have anything else to say? good bacteria in more detail. there is a schedule to complete it. like a lot of our modern nuclear modernization programs, and needs funding. it is a department of energy matter is a. watching closely. it is an important system and we need to manage it with our colleagues really. we'll get back to with more
detail. and yes we supported. >> thank you very much. >> mr. johnson? mr. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you gentlemen for your service. this committee has responsibility to conduct oversight of the administration strategy for prosecuting the u.s. counter-isil campaign. it is quite a good for members of this committee to express their disagreement and disapproval of the administration's strategy. however, the tone of the and disapproval is impotent. politicians know that relentless personal attacks on the aesident himself provoke visceral reaction by the people against the
president, and that is part of our campaign process. what effect does the unprecedented level of attack on our commander-in-chief have on our relationships with our allies, for instance? what if that is it have on our ability to galvanize our nation supporters the strategye in we are leading? what impact does it have on the enemies of america we are leading the fight against? if i may ask that question of you, secretary carter and general dunford? >> you can ask the question but i'm not going to respond in and i will tell you why. i serve at the pleasure of
knowing obama into obviously support his policies. we're coming into an electoral season now in the united states, which i respect very much. i also very much expected -- and be out of the girl squirrel. i intend -- to be i especially considered to be one of my responsibilities to shield my military from that. no matter what the baltic say, we conducted the nation operations to protect our people. with great respect, i understand where you're coming from but i would far prefer not to answer because of its connection with the electoral cycle. >> thank you. i respect that answer.
general dunford? >> i think it is even more important for me, in uniform, to have the same position. i assume it probably -- >> thank you. i assume it does have some impact on our relationship with our allies and all of the components we have to work with to successfully implement this mission. i have another question, how isil forces are there in iraq and syria? >> the estimates are in the neighborhood -- i want to areasize the arts -- these estimates. estimates are in the neighborhood of 30,000. i hesitate to give numbers like dot for the reason that i
not think our intelligence information is perfect in that regard. they may involve people with varying levels of responsibility or actual adherence to a soul. let me see if the chairman wants adherence to isil. theok caution upon estimates. are consistently beat and 20,000-30,000. but i have the same caution in sharing those numbers. in confirming the veracity of those numbers. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you both for being here.
remember youter, i and i had a conversation many months ago related to the kurds to your credit, i think you strongly agreed they stood out as an effective force >> >> it is clear they have done a marvelous job in before isis another attackor to the united states, i think it is very important to get on the ball. as you know, this administration with the a lot
amendment this committee passed. tremendous amount of back and assistance. i quite honestly cannot fathom the basin. i guess my question to you is, page?rybody on the same is there support for the amendment? is there support to try to wayate the amendment in a to make it to most effective? talking about the amendment to support the kurds. >> we want to support the kurds and sunni tribes as. the question is, will we continued to do that with, by, and through the government in baghdad. our preference is to do that because our preference is to sectarian, itti-
decentralized government of iraq. sectarianismve is and we know what lies that way. therefore, when we arm the kurds, as i indicated in my testimony, the baghdad government gets to look at the ship's. it is not a problem. is it help the credits directly? >> i am sorry. i do not recognize the acronym -- i recognize acronym, but it is from -- >> i understand that the kurds have been burned directly by i hear you saying
that two different things. i hear you saying we should support the amendment we had here that called for arming the kurds directly, but that we are still letting the government of iraq pay sort of the referee of it all. to make sure that we do not to upset them. >> what i am saying that you do from the kurds. other countries are arming the kurds also. with -- through this nominal manner, the government of baghdad for the larger reason that we support sectarian governance in iraq. that is why we do that. the point, butor
this there is consensus the administration is on benefit the patient had to step up our sub. -- the ndaa had to step up our support. >> and do not need any additional authority, but i hear what you're saying that if the kurds are an effective fighting force it is important to back them up. >> if we had had this kind of support, the landscape might look different. i do not like to do the i told you thing at all, but i am astonished at this administration's lackadaisical approach to a dangerous enemy. i have unfortunately been out of time. >> thank you both for your leadership and service. monday morning quarterbacking is always a whole lot easier.
, you know, you are very committed to eradicating basis. i would like to know how many troops you are intending to add syria.special ops in you mentioned you were intending to. how many more are you intending to offer? >> there are two ways of answering that question. one is the particular operations that we are going to conduct now. 'm sorry -- in syria with our special operations forces are intended to enable capable local ground forces. i really cannot go into what their operations are. you have indicated a number
around 50. the second the governor to say is, that is for starters. if we find more forces we can and able in this way, we are prepared to do more. said that.eatedly i believe the president will allow us to do more and authorize us to do more when we have more entities. we are looking for more opportunities and are eager to do more because that will accelerate the defeat of isis. localoking for more sources we can and able in his belly and every time you find them we will and able them. and we will- he can finde them every time you them. the more we find them, the more we will do. >> one more question, you mentioned earlier that isis is m
estastasizing. a good word. they know they have become somewhat entrenched in libya. toresume, without wanting signal to ice is that we are recognizing that into taking steps to address that, that you have a plan you are putting in place to deal with that. any secret tot be isil because job there later in libya a few weeks ago. as anyhould not come surprise. " i missed us to size is a good word because these are these radical cells. multiplying,d fueled by the internet. this is the first
we have to strike everywhere that we find it. >> you mentioned social media and their effectiveness on social media has left us somewhat flat-footed. there is some effort to grant wouldthorization that like to conduct offensive cyberspace operations at the speed in which i sulfate -- threats are coming in. is that going to make a huge difference in our approach to attack them in cyberspace? >> we're looking at, along with law enforcement and homeland security ways of countering them on the internet. and let law enforcement communities speak for themselves. there is a very strong effort on the part of the fbi to identify self radicalizing individuals in the u.s..
they do exist as we know from chattanooga. way,ht want to add, by the just by way of clarification, earlier you were asking about special operations forces in syria. i was speaking of those that accompany and enable ground forces. i want to say in addition to forming the expeditionary targeted force. that is a force that would not be on the grounds, all the time in syria, it would go in, conduct raids, and go out. i want to emphasize that. >> how many troops are included in that number? sec. carter: a larger number. i would rather give that in a classified setting. >> finally, the executive order that is required in order for you -- i yield back. >> mr. conway. >> we are having a difficult
time getting to the scope of what needs to get done in syria and iraq. i know that you use anecdotes that we are making progress and we are gaining momentum, but i'm trying to climb everest, i can walk 5-6 feet up and tell you that i making progress and if i run the next 15 feet i can say that i'm getting momentum, can you tell me not specifics, if they have a game plan to say this is how many local forces that we need and everything that we have to go so that you can share with the committee so that we can see the scope of what have to get done. is that laid out? sec. carter: not for public dissemination, but for our point. what needs to get done in the scope of this issue? the outlines of that are very clear.
that is what the strategy is about. >> i got the strategy. how much? how many local forces? do you guys know that yet? >> we do. we have the specific numbers that we think need to be trained in order to have successful iraqi security forces. we have a number. in syria as well. >> the military campaign in syria is made to the pressure on isil. there is not a military solution in syria. >> it be helpful if we had a sense of what this beast look like. he also mentioned that we spent some. of time studying the infrastructure and i know you are not there. that is not how you do it. taking out the tankers and having the move, why is it that
we just got to doing that last week as opposed to why were they the first? the production facilities in all of that stuff, but the movement itself, why did we wait so long to do that? i don't know what the thought process was previously, but we have a much better appreciation for the revenue sources of isil. in august, i went around to all of the region as i was in transition to try to get a better sense of isil. at that time, there was not a clear understanding of how isil is generating revenue. the week subsequent august, we started to have a much better appreciation for the source of isil revenue. they went after oil infrastructure and the tankers because we appreciate how much of an impact that would have. >> a look like the first french targets that they had seemed to be targets that we should hit right off the bat. has all of that change now?
forward, when we see things hits, are we in a position now to hit everything that makes sense from a military standpoint? >> the simple answer is yes. >> the russians are purported to introduce significant upgraded air defense capabilities. that have onill our operations and our abilities to do we want to do? development very carefully and that is a very capable air defense system that has been brought in. we have a memorandum of of understanding to ensure safety with the russians. i spoke to my counterpart in russia to ensure that they would be compliant with the memorandum of understanding. they have been over the past 30-45 days. iss today that we have the capability to browse a kate -- prosecute the campaign. >> do have the right role of engagement if they are engaged? >> they do.
>> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for being here today. i know you are no stranger to the committee, but welcoming a new capacity as chairman of the joint chiefs great my support for my colleagues earlier discussion on the need for congress to do our job to actually take some action on a new -- i understand the president submitted a draft earlier this year. we had several hearings on it. vitalthink that it is that we get this right. and this is part of that. the men and women who are deployed into harms way, some of the may not come back as is the deservethat gentleman to know that they have them world support and the legal backing of our nation. i would hope that we in congress would devote equal effort to having this debate and talking about the true cost in terms of resources and sacrifices
required. as we get into the deeper discussion of one strategy over another. chairman, what i'm concerned with in my line of questioning is are we going to focus on the global strategy against isil, and i think that we have not really discussed in this committee so far other regions were isil is established outside of the middle east. i believe pose just a much of a threat even more, in particular libya. dia top counterterrorism official was recently quoted as saying that about isil that libya is the affiliate we are most worried about and it is the hub from which they project across all of north africa. while we have a clear and present danger in syria and iraq, mr. secretary, please explain what the larger military strategy is to confront a global threat and how we are leveraging the different elements of american power, not just on the specifically, and
an unclassified setting, about her efforts to combat isil in libya? a, as it must be, a global strategy. it has to be in all media to go back to the earlier question about messaging and cyber. while i believe we play a central and essential role, it is not purely a military campaign. it involves all of the other instruments, but we are absolutely necessary, we are not by ourselves. with respect to libya, we have taken action there in recognition of the fact that because of the continuing political discord in libya, which has not been resolved, obviously, we are in favor of a political resolution in libya which would lead to decent
governments and not a fertile ground for the growth of isil. that political settlement has not occurred and therefore it is for talk around for the spread of isa. therefore, we are having to take military action there. i give you an indication of that already, striking their leadership there, so there is a focus of ours. where else other than libya do you see a real threat from isil and their forces? there is thisthat training where there are failed states where i still is using as a staging base. egypt is one of the areas where we are concerned. that is where the russian aircraft was taken down. the bow boko haram group has sworn allegiance and been accepted as part of the isa movement in nigeria. we have seen isil in the afghanistan pakistan region. we have seen it in yemen.
we have seen elements of it in lebanon and jordan. it is absolutely a global dynamic. >> thank you. i would like to return to the discussion earlier about the whole force in iraq. looking at our vision for the future of iraq, what political outcomes iraq do you envision of what is your assessment the gentlemen and whether he is making necessary reforms and whether those will be and not? it is hard to find these folks. if they are not buying into what they need, politically, and they're not getting that, they will abandon that role. what is the political consequences that we need to happen iraq in order to maintain the forces and to gain more -- >> the political future that we are supporting iraq and that no
one -- i believe that he supports, but it is difficult to accomplish is a multi-sectarian but decentralized iraqi state. in which the kurds and shia and sunni's can live together under one state and have a reasonable amount of self-governance, not by isil, but by people who can do a civilized job of governance . shia all living together under one state, reasonable decentralization and self-governance as appropriate, but under one state. that is a we are seeking. the alternative to that is a sectarian does integration of iraq. we know that looks like. we are hoping that the prime minister can pursue that road and that he is enough support to do it.
we're trying to help him do that, but baghdad politics are complicated. his predecessor was not on that road. >> i'm out of time, thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you for being here. the person i want to ask is how can you reassure this body that the same administration that left in 2010, no one had the forethought to see ice is coming, nobody thought it was important that we stay on the iraqi-syria border. what has changed? why should we think that you guys and the administration is on the right path now? they have changed. they understand the significance of this region. whereas they did not before. you said yourself that one reason you're building momentum now is you lack the intelligence sincelity and otherwise 2010.
you are now regaining, but it would not have been lost in the first place as a demonstration did not squander the infrastructure that we had set up in 2010. why should we trust you? >> one of the reasons that i changed the structure of our command in iraq over the last wanted us tose i have the strength and the insight and the presence of a single, senior american military officer in baghdad. that is accomplished. connected each and every day to the front, literally to the front in ramadi to our various areas where we are training iraqi security forces.
he can talk to record to pry mr. a body any contact rectally to anybody else in baghdad. that has complete command over all of our forces in the fight. in iraq and syria. >> the answers that you have changed. >> the ability to have people on the ground in iraq is essential to effectiveness there. and you have unity of command. we now have that again. that is a good thing. it does hearken back to another era. as general dunford had in afghanistan. it is really critical. we now have that. >> second question, if you were to declare war roughly had an authorization of use of military force, would be against an autonomous state or terror worldwide?
i like filling wish that was committed by president obama and i will tell you why. my first question when i was asked review that was does it give us what we need to defeat -- >> militarily. tactically. are you fighting a state? are you attacking a state or you are attacking war -- terrorism? >> we are fighting extremists who have used violence to advance their political goals in the form of terrorism. >> what is difference between that and al qaeda? >> in terms of the basic nature of isil and al qaeda there is not a difference in my perspective. >> the fact that they hold territories and that there are battlelines in this war against linesand iraq, there are
of departure that you cross if you were go to fight them. that is different than al qaeda. >> when i was referring to was the nature of the movement. isil and al qaeda, in terms of where they are right now, they do hold ground and have declared a caliphate. that was an aspirational goal of al qaeda and something that isil has actually done today. that makes it different in the fact that there currently holding ground and declared a caliphate. terms of them actually having and holding ground, does that make it harder or easier in that area in iraq and syria where they actually hold ground? in this particular case, it is difficult because they're using humans as shields in places like rock and will result in ramadi. >> which is no different than al qaeda. -- theect, but i still isa location.
they blended into the country in a much different way than isil. >> with my last few seconds, still trying to get the jordanians drowns, been able to do so because the state department has stopped us another using israeli equivalent instead of ours. i think we ought to fix that. thank you mr. chairman. thank you. thank you mr. secretary. before.sked this i was in the middle east in february and we were briefed on these various topics and the intelligence missions. the gentleman got efforts to form sunni forces and some of the internet issues.
i'm near omaha. it has a significant role in this effort. i support the issue. i think you're right. you mentioned that before. it is clear that congress needs to act as quickly as possible. here's my question. because i was there and able to talk to the king. he talked about putting the flag in the ground and getting isis out of the cities and all of that stuff. he talked about the intelligence collaborative efforts. it was impressive to hear this efforts. would you say that now, nine is there ar, significant change today from where we were nine months ago in our readiness to achieve these goals? sec. carter: we are constantly
looking for opportunities to do more. we are doing more than we were doing that months ago. i hope we're doing more nine months from now. we are looking for opportunities. you mentioned jordan. king and hishe people. working, once again to identify and we have found some people in southern syria who want to recapture their territory from isil. and we are supporting and enabling them. we are looking to do more. we are looking for proposals. the president looks to me and general done for four proposals for how we can do more. i have given you a number of indications of ways that we have accelerated the campaign over the last few months. and will continue to do that. >> i don't believe that nine months ago anybody was talking
about being at work in a sense. i don't think those words were used. they are now being used. at least to me and maybe to my constituents back in nebraska. would you agree with that? use the words in the simple sense as a reflection of the necessity and seriousness of his business. i think most everyone has said here today, but this seems to be the right way to go. thank you. thank you gentlemen for your service. one question i have. maybe we are slow to initiate
it, but i'm glad that we are focused on the infrastructure of the country. the oil and cement industries were mentioned. those revenue sources that support the regime. one of the things talked about was that we do not want to do this catastrophic destruction of the oil industry because it would be difficult to reconstitute in the future. when isis is gone. however, as the gulf war veteran, i member what saddam hussein did to the oil industry in kuwait. and yet, they were able to reconstitute that after the war. did you address to me why we simply don't do that sort of catastrophic destruction of the oil industry typically cut off their revenue? sec. carter: sure. there is a balance to be struck their, but the critical thing is
intelligence. there, we have had gain the insight that allows us to distinguish to a very large of the energyrt infrastructure which is being directly exploited for my soul -- from a isil. distinction that is based upon intelligence and underlies are striking. you may remember an early time where we were striking parts of the energy infrastructure which were largely a small scale. we thought isil operated refinery facilities. that proved not to be very effective. in the course of continuing to study his infrastructure, we have learned which parts
directly affect them and we are striking them we think that will have an effect on the revenue streams. >> i think we can have it both ways. we can conduct destruction that will deny isil the use of his infrastructure and yet leave it a condition that at some point in the future it can be regenerated. >> i would suggest to you that part of the strength of isis is the ability to govern these territories and part of that is their ability to sustain the economy and so a collapse of the hurts theirhink, ability to govern and further degrades them. let me ask a question about the syrian refugee issue. the u.s., turkey and agreed in general terms on a plan that would provide a safe zone along a 60 mile strip of northern syria along the turkish border.
the u.s. a provide the airpower component of that. insurgent forces would work together in terms of ground security. where are we at with this? it would seem to me that a lot of the refugees would like to stay in syria and if we could create safe sense for them, that would obviously give them the ability to do that mr. secretary? sec. carter: the idea of sounds,rian zones, say are concepts that we have studied over time. with some of the considerations that have gone into that and why we have judged the costs of doing so greater than the benefits. let me start with the benefits of a safe stone. wished where people who
to move there could move there and be protected. about who be careful might wish to move there, because people might want to wee where they live and also would not want to create a situation in which people were expelled from countries to which they had moved into a safe zone. by countries that did not want them. that is an undesirable outcome. from a military point of view and i will let the general when we needthis, to anticipate that if such as zone would be contested, it would certainly be contested by isil would want to present it is not safe. elements of the regime who would want to prove that it is not safe. it ends up being a substantial military operation. , we have discussed
things like that with the turks and they have not offered a force of this size that would do that. let me stop there. does the general want to elaborate on that? >> if you have a brief, additional comment. >> no. >> mr. chairman -- >> it is a complex subject that would take more time. >> thank you mr. chairman. gentleman i want to thank you for your service and patriotism and your wisdom. i appreciate all that you do for us. i feel confident to have a leader at the helm with the new chairman. as a recent iraq veteran, and concerned about the fact that five years after we left we now have to go back. in my new role in this committee, i want to make sure that we get it right this time. after we do militarily defeat
isis, we do not find yourself dangers talking to iraq again. us secretary, can you tell what is the mission statement right now for the operation in iraq? sec. carter: you're getting to the heart of our strategy. part thatt only the is essential, but also the part that makes it difficult to achieve. that is that we want a victory over isil that sticks. thatmeans forces participate in the recapture of so we don't have a new wave of isil. that is necessary in iraq and syria.
that is why we are trying to find a political solution to the syrian civil war. it is important to defeat isil, but it is important to do so in a lasting way and that is a critical part of the strategy and the reason we are so intent upon identifying and enabling capable and motivated local forces. >> can you answer the question? what is general mcfarlane's mission statement? >> to defeat isil. >> my concern is we don't have a political plant that underlies what our military mission is. we have heard the need for that from the people on the left and right who have testified before the committee and written about this problem. can you speak a bit to that coordination, that planning and your confidence that general mcfarlane and the others on the ground