tv Defense Department Nominees Testify on Capitol Hill CSPAN May 19, 2017 4:29am-5:36am EDT
sharing, cyber security, the iran nuclear agreement, and russian military actions. this is just over an hour. an h. gn morning. the senate armed services committee m well, good morning. the senate armed services committee meets today to consider the nominations of carrie bingham to be principal secretary of defense under intelligence, robert karen for international security affairs, and kenneth raparano for global security. i note the presence of several of our -- a couple of our colleagues here, including our distinguished majority leader who is here as well as representative barbara comstock. and so if it's agreeable to my colleagues, we would like senator mcconnell to make an introduction. i know he has a very heavy, busy schedule. welcome, senator mcconnell.
>> i note the presence of several of our -- a couple of our colleagues here, including our distinguished majority leader who is here as well as represented by ra comstock and so if it's akrieg to my colleagues, we'd like senator mcconnell to make an introduction. >> i know he has a very heavy, busy schedule. welcome, senator mcconnell. >> thank you, chairman mccain. senator reed, members of the committee. exceedingly proud to be here today to introduce robert story care recommend and a very qualified person to be here for this position. through hearing you will find and individual who has worked to address some of the major challenges confronting our country. because of his dill grens, robert a native of lexington,
kentucky, rapidly moved up in my office from legislative correspondent and to be my legislative assistant for foreign affairs. he proved to be a quick study and i learned not to doubt his advice or his judgment. robert also worked in my office in in wh our nation kperchsed one of the most harrowing days. he was hard at work on september 11, 2001 when we were hit by the koo al qaeda terrorists attacks. working from this close vantage point i know left a profound imprint on robert and heightened his keen appreciation of the seriousness of the threats confronting our nation. robert was a stellar legislative staffer and he advise dollars me on a wide array of foreign policy issues. for instance, he played an important role in assisting me on matters related to burma, something chairman mccain and i
have both been involved in over the years. the bipartisan sanctions effort which led ultimately to the adoption of much-needed reforms. berm has been and remains a bipartisan issue on capitol hill and robert played a significant role in our efforts in this regard in the early 2000s. he also provided vital assistance and staffing of congressional delegation that i led to afghanistan and iraq back in 2003. eventually he left my office to work in the bush administration as a special adviser for national security affairs and milled east policy to vice president cheney where robert would work for a number of years. the vice president evidently thought enough of his skills that avenue left office he asked him to assist him in researching and editing his memoirs. following his tenure with the vice president, robert's abilities drew the attention of house majority leaders eric cantor and kevin mccarthy, both of whom robert advised on national security matters.
he later was the lead foreign policy staffer on the jeb bush campaign. today, we face numerous security threats from around the globe. president trump made an outstanding choice by nominate a man with both experience and ability to serve as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy. i'm looking forward to this committee's consideration of the nomination and to report's confirmation. the president simply could not have picked a better person for this office. >> i thank you, senator mcconnell from taking the time from your busy schedule to be here on behalf of this nominee and i guess your message is that we need to confirm him or hire someone to start our car in the morning, is that -- thank you. representative comstock, welcome. punch the -- >> thank you, mr. chairman.
chairman mccain, senator reed and members of the armed services committee thank you for having had he here this morning for the great honor of introducing my fellow virginian and friend of over 30 years, mr. kenneth rapuano to be assistant secretary of defense, homeland defense, and global security. he is sur rounded here today by his family, his wife dixie as well as his son scott a recent west point graduate, not a recent newly wed but here with his wife. also his daughter clair who's joining the peace corps shortly, another daughter taylor and son will. his proud mother is also here along with his brothers richard and dave as well as sister-in-law sara. mr. chairman, this is truly a family of public service. ken has my strong support based on my personal knowledge of his abilities as well as his significant and stellar expertise in the areas covered by the assistant secretary of defense position. ken, a marine, volunteered for
two combat towers in iraq and afghanistan. his previous service in the pentagon in key areas, and then he's had more recent service in positions of ever-increasing areas of responsibility as the department of energy as under deputy secretary of terrorism focussed on unconventional nuclear threats. then he went on to serve at the chous white house as deputy homeland security adviser of president bush where he chaired the inner agency process developing and overseeing homeland security and counterterrorism policies. he has also worked in industry in these primary fields with vent service in two key federally funded research and development centers at miter and answer supporting our government in the core area of the position he's been nominated to. mr. chairman, ken is fully prepared to be the assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and global security, he has a lifetime of service and experience, his vast knowledge and his hands-on experience in the field as well
as in government agencies and of course across the groeb. he's a diligent public servant who goes beyond the call of duty with great skill to defend our homeland and i particularly appreciate his stepping up again. and i know it's always a family sacrifice too so we really appreciate him stepping up in this new role and i look forward to seeing him and his success again. thank you so much. >> thank you very much congresswoman for coming over and appreciate your introduction. thank you. it's my understanding that chairman thorn burry wanted to be here but he has another obligation to join us but he wanted to join us this morning to introduce miss bingen in person, so i'll insert his statement of support into the record. simply note for the members of the committee that chairman thornberry rights that ms. bingen's commitment to public service will serve the department of defense and the nation well. so, welcome the witnesses this
morning. we thank you for joining us. we also welcome your family and friends who are with us here today. as is our tradition, at the beginning of your testimony we invite you to introduce those that are joining you today. it's a standard for this committee to ask certain questions in order to exercises its legislative and oversight responsibilities. it's important that this committee and other appropriate committees of the congress be able to receive testimony, briefings, and other communications of information. so if you'll answer the following questions. have you adhered to applicable laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> will you ensure that your staff complies with deadlines established by requested communications including questions for the record and hearings? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> will you cooperate in providing wilts and briefers in response to congressional requests? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> will those witnesses be protected from reprisal from
their testimony or briefings? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> do you agree if confirmed to appear and testify upon request before this committee? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> do you agree to provide documents including electronic forms of communication in a timely manner when requested by a duality constituted committee or to consult with a committee regarding the basis for any good faith, delay, or denial in providing such documents? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> have you assumed any duties or nund cakenny actions which would appear to presume the outcome of the confirmation process? >> no. >> no. >> no. >> ms. bingen the united states faces a complex global threat environment where terrorist organizations are metastasizing and exercising state-like capabilities and nation stated adversaries are increasingly asserting power through irregular means. every component of our defense department must have timely intelligence to understand the very threats we face.
to prepare for potential conflict and to respond swiftly, accurately and did he sooif siessively when necessary. with consistent budget restraints, accurate and timely intelligence bmz becomes all the more vital. we look forward to hearing from you as to how you'll address this important mission if confirmed. mr. karem, the assistant seskt defense for international security affairs is charged with a wide breadth of responsibilities from security cooperation and foreign military sales to u.s. defense policy in europe, the middle east, and africa. we will be interested in hear from you on a number of issues, u.s. strategy for countering russian aggression, what u.s. force posture in europe should look like over the long term, u.s. strategy for defeating isis and what the united states should be doing to create space for political solutions in iraq and syria and much more. mr. rapuano, the assistant swekt of defense for homeland defense
and global security is responsible for a wide range of policy portfolios ranging from homeland defense, defense support of civil authorities, counterwmdr cyber policy and space policy. have you an extensive background in a variety of homeland security issues both in government and in the private sector. i look forward to hearing you discuss how your prefs experiences would inform your approach to these complex issues, especially the need for a u.s. policy and strategy in cyber space. senator reed. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> i want to join new welcoming the nominees this morning. thank you for your willingness to serve our nation and also let me express my gratitude to your family members who are here today and who support you throughout your careers that's been so important. the nominees before the committee today have extended experience and are well qualified to the positions for which they have been nominated. ms. kari bingen the nominated
under secretary of defense for intelligence is well known to this committee from her work as a senior staffer as the house. they support the under secretary of defense for intelligence who serve as the principal intelligence adviser to the under secretary of defense. they oversee all security operations within the department of defense, the national gio special intelligence agency, the national reconnaissance office and the intelligence components and combatant commands and military services. throughout her work both on the hill and private sector she has spacial expertise in defense policies, strategic forces and space policy. the nominated assist secretary defense for foreign affairs mr. karem brings significant experience on defense and foreign policy issues including a foreign policy adviser to the lead. assistant secretary of defense serve as principal adviser to
the under secretary defense of policy and the secretary of defense regarding defense policy and strategy to europe, russia, middle east, africa and the western health sphere. it involves managing critical defense and relationships of some of our closest allies and partners. mr. rapuano has an inimpreg pressive career in private sector work. he has previously served as senior adviser on issues of homeland security and counterterrorism in the president george w. bush white house, department of energy, and department of defense. mr. rapuano has also served in the marine corps and as a marine corps reservist serves in an iraq service group. he has been nominated for homeland defense and security, a position which he would be charged of overseeing policy and encountering weapons of mass destruction, cyber spice, mission definition, dispense support of the civil authorities and the homeland defense activities of the department of defense. if confirmed, all three of these
nominees will be instrumental on a number of cross-cutting issues within the department including various aspects of the strategy to defeat the isis threat encountering the russian maligned threat of our political institutions. the committee looks forward to hearing your views on these and other complex issues and thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> mr. cameron, we will begin with you. come. >> thank you, or mr. chairman, senator read, members of the committee of arms services it is an honor to appear before you this morning as a nominee to be assistant secretary of defense if the leader mcconnell, thank you for your generous introduction. i'm tremendously grateful for the confidence you showed in me 17 years ago. the experiences, opportunities and lessons provided by my tenure in your office played an kpeshl role in inspiring a career in public service that has led to my appearing before this committee today. i would like to thank the
president of the united states and the secretary of defense for my nomination. if confirmed it would be a tremendous and hum lk honor to serve our country at the department of defense. let me also thank my friends, mentors and former bosses, colleagues and counterparts without whose support i would likely not be here today. i'm particularly grateful that some of my family could join me this morning. my parents, fred and suzanne of lchl lchl, kentucky, and my proerj dpred of chapel hill, north korea, are joined by my girlfriend. my sister rebecca hughes of birmingham, alabama, could not be here today but i'm immensely proud of the amazing mother my little sister has become to her four children. the responsibilities of the office of the assistant secretary. >> we welcome your family members. welcome. >> thank you. the response alkts of the office of the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs cover the vast majority of the globe and stretch across five combatant commands. if is impossible these days to
open a newspaper without confronting bold-faced headlines about some conflict, crisis, or challenge with which the dedicated government servants and military personnel who work in isa are already ably grappling. the national security challenges, the quiet professionals confront every day are real and they are sobering. if confirmed, it would be a great privilege to serve alongside these american patriots to help rebuild america's military capabilities and readiness, bolster and modernize critical anal lisz such as nato. strength inningen u.s. credibility and influence in key strategic interests, defeat isis and other terrorists groups, confront russian and iranian aggression, and create the conditions favorable for safeguarding our national security and promoting america's economic prosperity. if confirmed, i look forward to working closely with this committee and the congress as a
whole to address these and other national security challenges facing our nation. i'm grateful for your consideration of my nomination and i look forward to your questions. thank you. >> thank you. ms. bingen. >> thank you. chairman mccain, ranking member reed and distinguished senators of this committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and for your consideration of my nomination to be principal department under secretary of defense for intelligence. first, i would not be here without the strong support of my family, my husband sean, our two young sons, henry and harrison, and my parents john and rebecca. my father enlisted in the army at 18 and both my grandfather served in the army during world war ii. my time in the house armed services and if confirmed, my role in the department is my opportunity to continue our family's tradition of service and ton give back to our country. >> welcome to your family members. >> thank you. i wish to thank the president and secretary mattis for placing their trust and confidence in
me. i am also grateful to several mentors who have helped shape my career including chairman thornberry, congressman mike turner and terry everett as well as to the vast team and the staff behind you who i've learned from and have had the privilege to collaborate with. henry kissinger's statement before this committee in 2015 has stuck with me. that, quote, united states is not faced a more diverse and complex array of crises since the ebd end of the second world war, end quote. while threats increase, military structure has decreased. thus as secretary mattis stated we have less of a military shock absorber than we once did. this makes intelligence and a highly effective intelligence enterprise all the more critical to buy our leaders the time and space necessary to develop policy, posture accordingly and resource capabilities. keeping america safe and supporting armed forces in harm's way say hum lk and solemn
responsibility. if confirmed my first priority to be to support the war fighter. we have troops today in iraq and afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. they deserve the best intelligence our nation can provide, protect them and to support or i missions. we must improve our defense intelligence posture and capabilities to better address the full spectrum of security challenge, particularly from near peer challengers that range from high-end nuclear and advanced conventional threats to gray-zone tactics in the cyber and informational domain. the battlefield is more dynamic and the defense enterprise must be more agile and adaptive. furthermore, i am reminded of the reason why the usdi was established in the first place, in the wake of 9/11 to improve the integration and allocation of resources across a stove piped enterprise. integration and unity of effort across the defense intelligence
enterprise is the value that this position brings to the secretary, the director of the national intelligence, and the congress. >> i also recognize that collaborative relationships and motivated people focused on a clear mission are the foundation to implementing these priorities. it's been an honor working for the house committee starting with the strategic forces and the intelligence portfolio and now as its policy director. >> i believe my time on capitol hill coupled with my private background working in the private sector have uniquely prepared me for this position. if confirmed, i'm confirmed to, woulding with this committee and other committees of injured tic. >> i hope to earn your trust and confidence and i'm committed to providing you with the information you need to do your oversight. if confirmed, i also look forward to working closely with the new undersecretary once nominated and hopefully confirmed and the great team in the usdi office and across the department. thank you again for your time today and for your consideration of my nomination. >> thank you. mr. rapuano. push the button that lights you
up there. >> morning, mr. chairman, ranking member reed and members of the committee. thank you very much for the privilege of appearing before you today. i'd like to start by thanking my family, first of all my wife dixie who has been my best friend and partner for 28 years. and our four kids who are all with us here today. taylor, our oldest who's currently studying at north park university in chicago to become a counselor, scott a west point class of 2015, and currently in infantry platoon director with the third infantry division and his wife katy brand new daughter in law and a very welcomed addition to our family. and clair who last month graduated phi beta kappa from james madison university and is leaving next month for two years service in africa as a peace korpgz service engineer. and finally will who will be a third year at university of virginia this fall who's on track to become a business major
and aspires to become a captain of industry someday. >> welcome. >> thank you. dixie and i are extremely proud of our kids. raising them has been the most important and rewarding role of our lives. i'd also like to thank my parents, al and kathy. if it wasn't for their love, hard work and persevere reince i'm quite certain i would not be sitting before you today. mr. chairman, i've been working national security issues my entire career and i believe that the threats that we face today are complex, unpredictable, and dangerous as any time in our history. the u.s. homeland is no longer a sancti sanctuary. the growing threats such as cyber, space, ballistic and cruise missile,s emeen demmic diseases and unmanned towing toelgs combined with the growing number of nations an nonstate actors with access to them
continue to increase risk to the homeland and defense mission assurance. i see no more important role in national security than serving in the position of assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and global security and focusing on ensuring the continuing ability to defend our nation against dynamic and evolving threats. if confirmed, i look forward to work with you and your staffs and i appreciate the opportunity to answer your questions today. thank you very much. >> well thank you and thank the witnesses. mr. rapuano, what do you think should be the key elements of our national cyber policy? >> senator, there's been a lot of focus on our cyber policy of late for very understandable reasons. the 17 ndaa as you well know, has very specific directives with regard to development of a deterrence framework and policy.
there was the recent defense cyber deterrence study that really got at the importance of tailored deterrence campaigns and the whole approach to a declaratory policy. i believe that we have got to have both what is perceived to be and what is actually effective cyber capabilities that will introduce such an element of doubt in the mind of our adversaries that the cyber attacks they would be outoutweighed by the high likelihood of our response. >> in bingen, as you know we just had a very serious cyberattack worldwide. how well equipped are we intelligencewise to anticipate or even adequately respond to this kind of really
unprecedented activity? >> mr. chairman, i believe this continues to be a challenge within the intelligence community tie at large but also particularly in the defense intelligence enterprise. we continue to need the capabilities to detect and attribute where these attacks are coming from, to understand the totality of them, but also to think more strategically about where is this headed. we look at each individual event as a more tactical event but the challenge for the defense intelligence enterprise is putting it altogether and as we look to stand up u.s. cyber command, our challenge is also from an intelligence perspective how do we support that command's responsibilities military plans and operational capabilities and i believe that that's a very important area that we need to do a better job in, sir. >> mr. karem, what lesson do you think that putin's learning since there seems to be a
significant lack of an international response to his actions in ukraine and syria? obviously other cyber activities that emanate from russia. what kind of a lesson do you think he's learning from what seems to be rather successful activities from his standpoint? >> senator, i believe that russia's interference, invasion and continue to legal occupation of ukraine poses significant threat to international security and our own. and his actions in syria have also contributed to that problem. >> i do not believe he is sufficiently deterred from perpetuating similar and continuing malign activities. >> well, i believe that all three of our nominees are highly
qualified and much needed, very frankly. i regret that secretary mattis does not have the team around him that he needs to do his job in the most efficient fashion and we will expedite your nominations following a vote of the committee as quickly as -- to get you to work as quickly as possible. i view that all three as highly qualified. senator reed. >> not only experience but their discussions in the office so thank you all very much. mr. karem, we have seen since last year russian in fact years before that russian's involvement in elections, particularly our own election. do you agree with the assessment that russian activity interfered with the 2016 presidential
elections by our intelligence community? >> sir, i have read the unclassified assessment from the intelligence community and i agree with it. >> and do you feel that this is an ongoing threat, not just historical incident, but an ongoing threat that you'll have to deal with? >> senator, i believe the russians like the soviets have a long history of engaging in active measures against their adversaries and i understand that the director of national intelligence has testified recently that these activities continue. >> and mr. rapuano, the same question about the -- your sense of the russian involvement in our elections and other election, is it credible and growing threat? >> senator, yes, i believe it is. i believe that they're going to continue doing it as long as they feel it's in their interest and the consequences are less than the benefits that are occurring. >> and how do you believe we're
post tured to counteract these operations that they're conducting in a larger sense to participating in the type of information campaign and in some occasions disinformation campaigns that we see are add volunteers? are we in a similar position at least having the capability if necessary to do it? >> senator, i think that our information operations capability have attrited since the cold war and i think that of late there has been growing recognition of how important it is. i think that recognition is understood in the pentagon and there are focused review groups looking at our cyber policy and then that's nexus with information operations. >> let me address this question again to mr. rapuano, mr. karem, and then i'll ask the question to ms. bingen. some of this i suspect, and i think you suspect too, is the stove pipe organizations that seem to be rampant within the
department than among the departments, homeland security, department of energy, et cetera, and as a result i don't think we've come up with an integrated plan. we have pieces, but they're very discrete and fragmented. is that fair and more importantly, how are you going to deal with that and make it coherent? >> senator, i believe it is fair and i believe that that has been recognized. there's a lot of work that needs to be done in terms of understanding all the players and stakeholders, their respective roles, responsibilities, authorities and resources. and then what are the threats, how we prioritize them and how do we weave them together to make for a good set of policies and actions. >> where do you think that level of coordination has to be? because, again, it's not just dod, it's the department of energy, it's the department of homeland security. >> i think ultimately the white
house has a very important marshaling role in the national security council staff. >> and they should be coordinating, leading an effort to come up with doctrine as well as organizational changes and personnel augmentations or movements some is that fair? >> i believe they should be setting those expectations. i leif that the expectative order issued by the president last week goes a long way to identifying the challenges an setting in motion the steps to start to identify the issues that need to be addressed. >> mr. karem, quickly any comments in this regard? >> yeah, senator, i agree with mr. rapuano's assessment with respect to the u.s. government. i would only add that the problem is magnified when you look at the threat that these activities pose to our allies and so there would need to be coordination not just among the u.s. government but with our allies, nato cyber center of skplens a step in the right
direction but there's more work that needs to be done. >> ms. bingen we had a chance to talk on this topic in the office and that is particularly after the opm database breach there was a huge list i shift back to dod but now we have a backlog of 600,000 people in terms of just getting cleared so we can have the people to do these jobs we've been talking about. first, you agree that this is a significant problem that dod faces and that it's essential that we deal with this very quickly and very effectively? >> senator, i absolutely agree with that and of that 600,000 most of those are dod personnel awaiting a background investigation or update. >> now, we've mandated a dod provides a plan to transfer completely the mission back from opm and i would assume that you are going to be one of the chief architects to this plan and i also assume you're going to hit the ground running. are those fair assumptions?
>> absolutely, senator. ndaa last year as you fully know, sir, requires a plan by august 1st on that transfer. and so that is something that i absolutely, if confirmed were with wo have to hit the ground running and focus on meeting that deadline and providing you the information that you need, sir. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator xi hahn. >> thank you, mr. chairman and to all three of you congratulations on your nominationans thank you for your willingness to serve the country, continue to serve the country at this critical time. mr. karem, i want to start with you because i very much preeshlt that you have been a supporter of the special immigrant visa program that has helped those who helped us in iraq and afghanistan and as i'm sure you're aware, while the iraq program is almost to completion, the program in afghanistan continues. there are many people in the queue who helped us who would like to come to the united states. you can talk about why you think this is important? >> senator, thank you.
i first want to recognize your leadership on this issue and that of the chairman and the ranking member when i served in house leadership i was proud to get to work with your staffs on both the iraq and afghanistan special immigrant visa programs to make sure they were extended. and i believe very strongly that the united states should be no better friend -- there should be no better friend and no worse enemy. if confirmed, however, the portfolio for isa would not include afghanistan but fortunate toe component. so this program would not fall under my jurisdiction but, as you know i've been a long-time believer that we need to stand by those of who risked their lives alongside our soldiers. >> thank you and i vooe very pruch u much appreciate secretary mattis's support for the program as well. let me follow up on the questioning that senator reed started around nato and you were
answering that you think the cyber -- the center of cybersecurity center of excellence at nato is important as we look at how we can better with nato address the cyber threats to ourselves and the allies, the nato allies. can you expand a little more on what you would like to see nato do with respect to cyber threats? >> yes. i think there are a couple pieces and there are obviously things that the united states can do to increase its deterrence. but with respect to nato, all of our allies have an obligation under article three to increase their national resil yens. some nations in the cyber realm have done more than others, the astone ians are real leaders in this regard. and it's no surprise that the center of excellence is located in thigh land. >> i've had a hance to vis tlit. it's very impressive. >> it is.
so their investments in cybersecurity technologies, there is making budgetary decisions and really changing the culture so that we prioritize this. if confirmed, i really want to get a little more deeply into this subject and work with our nato partners on it. >> great. ms. bingen, you're going to be responsible for or have intelligence gathering as part of your portfolio, as i understand what you will be doing. how important is the intelligence sharing that we do to our allies in helping us to yet the information that we need to actions? >> senator, i believe it's incredibly important. nearly every military operation that we undertake today is done in a coalition and so it is incredibly important that we be able to provide our coalition partners intelligence information but also they be able to provide us information as well. at the end of the day for the
same mission to protect our collective national security. >> and how important to that effort is it that people believe that when they share that intelligence it will continue to be confidential in the united states with those people who are going to act on it? >> senator, if confirmed, it is as principal deputy it is my responsibility to safeguard classified information and safeguard our sources and methods including those from our allies and partners. >> and it's important to our allies that that be the case, is that correct? >> yes, senator. >> mr. rapuano, in thinking about cyber, what we've seen with some of the breaches within dod have been with respect to the contractors that we work with. do you have thoughts about what more we can do to ensure that our contractors are doing everything possible to make sure that they are not susceptible to
cyber threats and that they maintain secure networks? >> yes, senator, the contractors are a very important component of the total force. and if they have vulnerabilities and ability for adversaries to access their systems, it really weakens the entire system. so looking at their i.t., the level of modern din knitty, patches and security measures is critical and that's an area that if confirmed would be a higher focus for me. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the discussion of cyber policy, i -- i don't want to say i laughed, but i felt a sense of irony because we probably spent more time on cyber policy and cyber issues in this committee than any other single issue in the last year or so. but there is no cyber policy. and i realize that you all are
not at the level where you will be setting that policy, but i hope you will be a continued irritant within the administration, and this spans the last -- this administration and the prior administration, we've got to get to the point where we have a doctrine and a policy and a clear deterrent strategy. we don't have that be now, and i hope that this is something that, for example, in your list, mr. karem, you're looking at international security. the most like lei tack say cyberattack. and we are -- we have so many warnings that keep coming, it's the longest windup for a punch in world history and we're still not ready. so i hope that each of you will take very seriously the necessity of a consistent overall government and nongovernment strategy and doctrine for dealing with this issue. i just hope you'll take that on.
mr. karem, more specific question. what's your recommendation for our long-term military posture in iraq after the defeat of isis? >> senator, i believe there are ongoing discussions between the united states and iraq about a longer term u.s. presence after the defeat of isis. i think our object tifsz in iraq should be to make sure that iraq remains a long-term strategic partner in the fight against terrorism and that iraq remains free from iranian malign interference. the precise mechanics of what that relationship looks like and the authorities under which it occurs i think are under negotiation and, if confirmed, i would want to work with counterparts throughout the inner agency and with the congress on what those mechanics should. >> but i take it it would be your recommendation that some
kind of total disengage meant would not be good policy. >> yes, sir, i believe history would caution against walking away from our partners. >> thank you. ms. bingen, do you -- you're part of a much larger intelligence community in your position. do you see areas of redundancy and opportunities for better coordination, cooperation, and perhaps even efficiency in terms of the 17 agencies that are involved in the united states government and intelligence matters? >> yes, senator. right off the bat i think that there is an opportunity for greater airspace integration and i know we've had -- we continue to have these discussions, but it's an area that we have not made as much progress on as i would have expected. so airspace integration, more integration on the ground in terms of their processing exploitation capabilities and bringing in whether it's commercial technologies or other technologies kout there, there
is a lot of data right now out there and whether it's full-motion video or other that our analysts are frankly spending more time serving for that data than they are doing the analysis. so i think there are some opportunities to integrate not only better across the defense intelligence enterprise but also in support of that national intelligence community enterprise as well. >> will you participate in your position as a member of the intelligence community or is that general stewart? how does the structure work? >> yes, senator, one of the jobs of the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and as principal deputy if confirmed i would support that is it is dual hat as the director of defense intelligence and principal adviser to the dna for military intelligence matters. >> so you be engaged in those discussions? >> absolutely, sir, if confirmed. >> mr. rapuano, what are do we need to do to ensure defense of
the homeland from the growing threat of missile attack from north korea? >> how do you feel about the state of our -- of our missile defense? this is a key area, it seems to me, is becoming more important every day, literally every day. >> senator, missile attack is not directly in my portfolio, but clearly it's a growing threat, specifically with regard to north korea. there are a number of systems that we have in place, both in terms of our capability to detect and track these systems as well as to engage and defeat them. i think it would be difficult without going into a closed hearing to get into some of those details and i haven't been fully briefed on them, but i certainly recognize your concern and that would be an area of focus should i be confirmed. >> thank you. and my time has expired, but another area i think that it's important to pay attention to in this -- in a changing environment which is the arctic, in the absence of senator
sullivan this morning, i'll carry the water for him. it's an incredibly important area. the opening up of the arctic ocean is the equivalent of the discovery of the mediterranean sea. it's a new body of water that's never been available for human activity in our -- in human history. and the implications in terms of national security ever very serious. so i hope each of you in your respective areas will be thinking about that as a -- as an important part of the development of american doctrine and strategy. thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator kot. >> i share senator concern about the arctic, we all do with you can we develop a policy that only senator sullivan gets to bring that up hearing after hearing? you're a proxy since he's absent for the time being. thank you all for being here thanks for your willingness to serve your country again and
thanks to the family members i see behind you as well for the support you've given them. mr. karem, is your sense that our nato and u.s. posture in europe is adequate today to meet the threat from russia? >> senator, i believe that vladimir putin remains undeterred from conducting activities that are harmful to the interests of the united states and its nato allies. so i would, if confirmed were would want to look at what additional steps the united states and its partners could do to bolster our deterrence to defend against such activities. >> we're currently undertaking something called the reassurance initiative. but if vladimir putin remains undeterred, what are some of the broad steps you think, i understand you haven't been confirmed and not in office, you haven't seen the most recent intelligence, but the broad steps necessary to reach a point where vladimir putin is
deterred? >> senator, i would look at it a couple different ways. there are investments that the united states could make in technologies to offset the advantages the russians have acquired after 15, 20 years of military modernization. there are steps we could take to reinforce our position on the continent. but as importantly, there are steps that our nato allies could take to meet the 2% pledge of wales and to invest in technologies that allow them to -- to play a larger role within the alliance in defending and deterring against russian aggression. >> investing in technologies, pension and healthcare? >> correct. and the wales pledge speaks to this. >> yes, it does. and, i mean, the 2% goal is n important goal but is only a goal. some countries, you know, might want to spend more than that, they might want to coordinate the technologies that they acquire given their positions
within europe and the threat that europe poses to them. and they should all try to reecht 2% goal by increasing the num ratetor not decreasing the denominator the way some european countries have done so. ms. bingen, could you please speak to the importance of isr in europe, especially as it relates to the threat from russia that we've deny discussion? >> absolutely, senator. and i would start by saying i think that the defense intelligence community needs to go to school on what russia's doing in ukraine and syria right now, particularly in ukraine. based on what i've seen in my current position, when you look at how they've integrated drones, electronic warfare, cyber, the little green men, they are presenting a sophisticated challenge. and when i look at the whole of europe and our national security interests, this is a very different operational challenge than what we've experienced the last 15 years in the counterterrorism fight. we cannot assume that we have air super yort in the future and there are some tremendous i
think foundational intelligence requirements that need to be undertaken that have atrophied over the last 15, 20 years from better target, foundational targeting information, order of battle information, and a better ability to do an indications and warning. >> you speak about air superiority. on my subcommittee, we've heard from numerous genz generals over the last four years continue to clued h.r. mcmaster in his previous role at the cic about the threat that we're being outranged and outgunned by our adversaries in particular, russia and china. could you speak a little bit about the threat that that poses to our forces in europe? >> senator, i think it's an incredible threat and in my current position with the hask this san area that we focused on quite significantly on what our
posture should be but also the rtdness challenges in our forces everything from equipment to end strength to the training that's required in this contested environment that frankly we have not had to do and we have a whole generation of leaders coming up through the system that have not had to go -- that have largely been focus on the counterterrorism fight rightly so but they have not had to do that high-end training that would be required in that zbliernlt so in layman's terms our adversaries could hit our troops with bullets and bombs at a distance that we couldn't reach them, or as you say, their aircraft could fly over our troops and attack our troops in a way that gives them a greater advantage that we've enjoyed for 15 years in iraq and afghanistan? >> yes, senator. >> thank you all. >> senator warren. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you to all our witnesses for being here. mr. karem, if confirmed, you'll be responsible for advising the secretary of defense on defense policy toward iran.
and there's no doubt that iran remains a dangerous influence in the region. but i would like to ask you specifically about the nuclear deal, which imposed limits on iran's program and placed it under rigorous monitoring and inspections. at his nomination hearing before this committee, secretary mattis referred to the iran nuclear deal as, and i'll quote, an imperfect arms control agreement, but stated, when america gives her word, we have to live up to it and work with our allies. do you agree with that statement by secretary mattis? >> i do, senator. >> good. and donald trump once threatened to rip up the iran deal. instead, last month, the trump administration certified that iran is complying with the nuclear deal, which was required for iran to get sanctions relief and to keep the agreement intact. so, mr. karem, again, setting aside your views on the iran deal itself, do you agree with the administration's decision to
certify that iran is complying with its commitments under the agreement? >> senator, i agree with the determination. >> good. >> i believe it's based on the assessment of the intelligence community. >> good. do you think that the nuclear deal makes it harder or easier to counter iran's other destabilizing actions in the region? >> senator, i'm concerned that the nuclear deal has in some ways limited our ability to confront iran's malign activities. some of the sanctions relief has been lessened that pertains to its missile proliferation, for example. >> all right. but that's about sanctions in a different area, but iran's behavior. the iran nuclear deal isn't perfect, but i think it is easier to counter the ambitions of an iran that has no nuclear weapons than it is to counter an iran that can threaten the world
with a nuclear bomb. if the united states tears up this deal, we isolate ourselves instead of iran, and potentially embolden the iranians to revive their nuclear program and to escalate their dangerous activities in the region. i want to also have a chance to ask you about russia. donald trump has flip-flopped on many foreign policy issues, including the nato alliance. now, candidate trump said that nato was obsolete and suggested that the u.s. would meet its article 5 commitments to defend our allies only if the country being attacked spend 2% of gdp on defense. but recently, after meeting with german chancellor merkel and the nato secretary general, he announced that nato was suddenly no longer obsolete. so mr. karem, what changed to cause nato to go from obsolete
to not obsolete in the matter of a few weeks? >> senator, i can't speak to any internal deliberations within the administration that may have led to a change in the opinions of those in the white house. >> so do you believe now that nato is obsolete or not obsolete? >> senator, i believe nato is an essential alliance. >> i'm sorry. does that mean you believe it is obsolete or not obsolete? >> i believe it is not obsolete. >> you believe it is not o obsolete. do you believe it used to be obsolete? >> senator, my view is that nato is and remains an important institution for the united states. >> okay. i'll take that as not obsolete. should the united states refuse to defend our nato allies if they don't spend as much as we want them to spend on defense? >> senator, i think it's important that our nato allies do be -- are full contributors to the alliance. >> that's not my question. i want them to be contributors to our alliance.
the question i'm asking is should we refuse to defend them if they don't meet spending targets that we set that they should spend on their own defense? >> senator, i believe the united states commitment to article 5 of nato is sacrosanct. >> which means we commit no matter how much, right? >> correct. but our allies should understand that they weaken the alliance by not meeting their commitment. >> i understand that, but you're saying we're still committed. we've also increased our own spending in the region through the european resistance initiative, eri. >> that's reassurance. >> sorry, reassurance. you're right. sorry, mr. chairman. deploying equipment and rotating
ground forces back into europe is but this conventional display of force -- i'll stop here because i'm out of time but i want to submit a question for the record about working with our nato allies to counter russian aggression in the region. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i thank you, senator warren. mr. karem, would you have judged iranian behavior to have increased or decreased their aggressive behavior in the region since the agreement was made with the iranians concerning nuclear -- >> senator, i believe the iranian behavior has not decreased, it has probably increased and it poses a significant threat to the united states and allies. >> we cannot allow the hearing to end without questions about the arctic. mr. sullivan? >> i'm so glad you're interested the arctic. i'd like to follow up on iran.
you know, a number of us have been following the issue for some time, even well before we started negotiations with the iranians, and there's some serious doubts, i think, both in unclassified and classified venues on whether and to what degree the iranians are actually complying with the nuclear agreement. and i know that the iaea recently confirmed that they believe that they were in compliance, but a number of us who follow this closely have a lot of skepticism with regard to that issue. i think it's an incredibly important issue. if confirmed, will you commit to looking at that outside of what the iaea has stated and give us -- give this committee your own view based on both classified and unclassified
information on whether or not the iranians or, for that matter, the russians are in compliance with this agreement which many of us thought was an ill-fated idea to begin with. >> senator, i believe the administration is very focused on making sure the iranians are living up to their side of the agreement. and if confirmed i would commit to can coming back to you on this. >> but not just parroting what the iaea has stated but coming back to us with your own and the department of defense's own independent evaluation of whether or not you as an organization believe that they're in compliance? >> yes, sir. >> thank you.
you know, in the last few days there's been a -- not few days, last several weeks, growing, growing concern about the capability of the north koreans with regard to their intercontinental ballistic nuclear capabilities. it's been stated in this committee several times that it's not a matter of if anymore but when they're going to have that capability, not just the range of states like alaska and hawaii but the lower 48 states. and my view has been that if we know that day is coming that they're going to have that capability, whether in a year or five years, that we need to do much more with regard to our nation's missile defense to a layered missile defense system that tries to integrate thad, aegis, the missile defense based in the u.s. what's your view on missile
defense capabilities right now and what we should be doing with regard to our missile defense given that perhaps during your watch kim jong-un's going to be able to announce, and probably with good reason, that he has the capability to send a nuclear missile to hit chicago or l.a. or new york? >> senator, ballistic missile defense is not in the portfolio of global defense and homeland security, cruise missiles and air space defense does. but there is a concern from companies like dprk. the capabilities associated with detecting, tracking, acquiring and defeating these systems, as you know we do have some of them deployed. we have areas that require improvement and that is a growing focus of concern in the department.
>> thank you, i'd like to get a commitment that you work with other member within the administration on that important issue if confirmed. >> if confirmed, absolutely, senator. >> and not to disappoint the chairman with my 30 seconds left, but mr. karem, give me your sense -- you know, when secretary mattis, general mattis testified, he did say the arctic is increasingly important area of strategic interest for the united states because of natural resources, the environment, opening shipping lanes and sea routes, vladimir putin has called it the new suez canal which the russians want to dominate. they're massively building up their military capabilities in the arctic. it's a new arctic military command, 40 ice breakers, building 13 more and we've been
slow to the game up there. the department of defense has put out a revised arctic strategy which was mandated by this committee that the secretary of defense put forward. if confirmed, will you give that strategic area of the united states sufficient focus and interest the way secretary mattis stated he would during his confirmation hearing? >> senator, i will, and if confirmed i look forward to working with our allies who share a significant stake in the arctic. >> we just had the arctic ministerial led by secretary tillerson in the great city of fairbanks, alaska, last week where all the arctic ministers, including the foreign minister of russia and nato and canada, convened to talk about cooperation. but the tensions underlying that ministerial were apparent because of the russian aggressive actions, including
five bear bomber runs at sovereign airspace in the united states in alaska where we've had to intercept those russian bombers from coming into american airspace. so we want to work with you on that, it's an important area of the world, and increasingly being militarized by the russians. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the russians asserted their sovereignty over alaska again? >> putin is just upset that we got such a good deal 150 years ago when we bought alaska. >> some of us question that. [ laughter ] i want to thank the witnesses for their willingness to serve, for their past service and we will move forward as quickly as possible so you can get to work. i thank you for your service to the country and your continued