tv Senate Armed Services Hearing on National Defense Strategy CSPAN November 27, 2018 9:43pm-10:46pm EST
services committee. mr. adelman told members of that the u.s. is "on the cusp of a national security emergency, due to declining military advantages and current global threats." this hearing is chaired by senator james in half and a jack reed, the ranking member of. -- the ranking member. [indistinct chatter]
i want to thank the members of the commission. seen anything like this before. as i said to you individually. honesty,e blatant straightforward approach to the problems out there, something that frankly the american people are not aware of. the bipartisan report makes clear that our nation -- it says , -- the united states could face a great crisis of national security and national defense. the primary duty of the federal to protectis
american territory are broad. the strategic landscape is growing certainly more threatening, combined with the fact that americans long-standing military advantages have vanished. we are now in a national therity crisis predicted by review panel in 2010, and the we remember that very well. so it is no surprise, but it is straightforward, honest and timely. the present national security crisis, we have restored america's military security advantage. if we fail to do that, we must be prepared to end your american casualties and even possible defeat in wars that could have been avoided. troubled byr, i am the commission's unequivocal assessment of that our defense strategy is not adequately
resourced to read that we are very near the point of a strategic insolvency. the commission -- that is where we are here today, we do have a crisis. -- itmmission report is says that this crisis should not be solved on the backs of our troops. [indiscernible] inhofe: i will read this out of the report -- the problems we have had is between the two fiscal years of 2010 and 2015, we have had a dramatic reduction in terms of constant spending in -- a 2010,from 794 billion in year86 billion in fiscal 2015. this is according to the u.s.
government statistics. in percentage terms, this constitutes the fastest draw down since the years following the korean war. that is how serious this is. we have ourselves in this mess, we have to get ourselves out of this mess. it is significant -- this is significant. the national defense strategy, which i strongly support, it is a blueprint to address the world as it is now. in the commission's report is a blueprint to implement to the strategy.efense the report points out that the country's strategic margin for victory has become distressingly small. our men and women into harm's way, without training, equipment and resources they need is more of the irresponsible. we know that when we send our and brigade combat teams, of them could actually
be deployed. in no army aviation brigade, only 25% can be employed. so we were not adequately resourcing the equipment and maintaining the equipment and modernizing the equipment that our troops were using. the commission advises that we have a need for extraordinary urgency in addressing the crisis of national defense, and i agree and i am personally very proud of the commission's coverage to identified -- identify the .hreat >> thank you very much, mr. chairman for your comments and for holding this very important hearing. sen. inhofe: i will interrupt the ranking member, because we have a habit we are forming -- have a way of disappearing at awkward times. the president asked the committee to consider a list of
pending military nominations. all of these nominations have been before the committee for the requested amount of time. is there a motion to confirm? is there a second? ?ll the members say aye motion carries. senator reid? sen. reed: thank you. thank you and all of your colleagues for the excelled in a effort you have given to the country. i would note that one of your colleagues got a good job, senator kyle is here with us today. thank you for your efforts, senator kyle. this commission was established by the defense authorization act to provide an independent evaluation of the national defense strategy. congress required the commission strategic andand military risk associated with the strategy. after exhaustive review, the report was released earlier this month. while today's hearing is an
opportunity to hear directly from the commission on what they learned, i would like to highlight a handful of the findings. first, the commission echoes the in finding that the u.s. technological edge has eroded. as the commission notes, maintaining or reestablishing america's competitive edge is not simply a matter of generating resources and capabilities, it is a matter of using those capabilities creatively and focusing them on the right things. the commission makes a series of recommendations. i hope our witnesses will discuss them with us this morning. in addition, one of the main lines of effort of the nds is building a more lethal force. also prioritizes the readiness of our armed forces and recommends a series of actions to rebuild and sustain readiness.
i am pleased with his focus. isdiness of our armed forces a paramount issue for this committee. is the critical finding need for strong international alliances, and the importance of approach. government the national defense strategy puts a premium on bolstering alliances, while pursuing more partners however, in concerned about the president continues to make statements and pursue actions that undercut america's position in the world, which may weaken our influence and ultimately leaves to uncertainty and risk in this guy collation. -- in this calculation. what more can be done to sustain ande critical relationships the importance of elements of national power to our security? the aforementioned issues are important, but i would like to highlight two issues which were not the focus of the nds. the first is the state of civilian and military alliances.
mattis'ssecretary nomination as secretary of defense, this committee held a hearing. control of the military's ash rent our constitution and it dates back to the revolutionary war. this principle has distinguished us from many countries in the world and helped ensure our democracy remains in the hands of the people. the commission states unambiguously that there is a relative imbalance of civilian and military voices on medical issues of strategy development and implementation. the commission went on to state that the civilian voices were relatively muted on issues at the center of u.s. defense and national security policy, undermining the concept of civilian control. i was struck by these observations and the consequences of such an imbalance, could have. on impact it could have
civilian and military personnel serving in the department, and how it could shape the advice provided to the president. i would like to hear from our witnesses today, what they believe is the cause of this trend, and what they can do to reverse it. the other issue is the capability and the defense department. thatommission points out making strategic response requires a foundation of state of the art analytical capabilities. that amission determined detailed, rigorous concepts of solving key operational problems are badly needed, but do not appear to exist. i would ask that witnesses for their thoughts on how to address this shortfall. finally, implementing a defense resources.quires the commission says that an additional and predictable resources will be required. however, the challenges facing our country are complex and multifaceted. as such, the commission notes that comprehensive solutions to these comprehensive challenges
will require the whole of government, even the whole of nation cooperation, extending far beyond the dod. trade policy, science, technology, engineering and math education, diplomatic state graft and other military tools will be critical. best statecraft and other military tools will be critical. it is critical that the resources necessary are available to our servicemen and women. we need to look at our federal budget in a much broader context . as the commission states, we need a holistic approach, otherwise, the u.s. will be at a competitive disadvantage and will remain ill-equipped to preserve its security and its global interest amid intensifying challenges. thank you very much. >> thank you, senator reid. we are proud to walk him our witnesses here. the of had many years of service
to the security of this country. we appreciate the hard work they have put in to this commission. we would like to start with opening statements. ,e will start with you ambassador, and your entire statement will be made a part of the record. we are anxious to hear your statement. >> thank you, chairman in half and senator reed -- thank you, jofe, and senator reed. i am glad you got our statement and i will let that speak for itself. i am looking to make some a brief remarks and invite the admiral, who has been my coach throughout the process, to revise and extend my remarks if i get anything wrong. first, i think we owe you a tremendous debt of thanks.
you, mr. chairman, senator reed and senator mccain when he was chairman, also chairman thornberry and ranking member smith, for nominating to this commission a great group of americans who approach these i wouldn not only -- not say bipartisan way, but in the totally nonpartisan way. we had a great breath of experience on this commission. a lot of best we had hard-working commissioners, some of them are here today, not all of them could make it, but we owe you a debt of thanks. we cannot have done this work without them. we had it terrific support from the u.s. institute of peace, which housed us. but director is sitting behind me. we had a terrific staff. virtues ine are any the report, it comes from all those great folks, who put it together. >> you mentioned in your opening
statement, mr. chatman, the 2010 independent panel, the 2014 a national defense panel that congress appointed. i am sorry to confess that i am a recidivist. i think i might be the only one who may have served on all those three panels. i guess people figured i had to keep doing it until i got it right. i would say that on the 2010 panel, we want, as you noticed, that absent some activity -- and this was before the bca was passed, that we were headed toward a train wreck. in 2014, we quoted them secretary hagel, who was talking about our declining margin of military advantage over our adversaries, and said that the had been a serious and strategic missteps, putting us on a very difficult and dangerous
path. i think with this report, it is clear that we are on the path of an emergency because our waiting military advantages and that injures the current world presents, perhaps the most complex,, but -- security environment that the united states has ever faced. -- this year, it largely moves us in the right direction. it is a nested appropriately under our national security strategy, and stressed the primacy of great power competition, the importance of that competition to the security and prosperity of the united states, as well as the other challenges we continue to face. an emergent nuclear power in north korea, it would be nuclear power in iran, as well as a lot of the study counterterrorism
activity that our military is world. in and around the but while we applaud the direction the strategy moves us in, we did have a number of concerns. some of them have been already addressed in both your opening statement, mr. chairman, and. in senator reed's opening statement in particular, we are concerned about this strategy is not adequately resourced. 19 moved --nd about 2018 and 2019 budgets moved us in the right direction, but as senator reed just noted, we believe strongly that for this strategy to succeed, it needs adequate, predictable and consistent levels of funding. the difficulties we have had funding the department of defense, having periodic two-year budget deals, interspersed with a series of continuing resolutions, is just not going to provide the kind of
predictability that is required to develop the future capabilities, and also meet the readiness challenges and capacity shortfalls that senator reed objectives and missions of the strategy are appropriate that we did not see across the enterprise of the department of defense and equal understanding of what this was required of the department and operational concept of how we would deter and it deterrence fails, bps adversaries. therein lies an important role for the committee and its oversight responsibilities, making the department of defense going forward and show you how they plan to execute this
strategy which moves us in the right direction, but does not get us there. with that, i will await your questions. to add or subtract to my remarks. -- thank youmiss very much mr. chairman. i will ago your marks with respect to the commission. truly a remarkable dozen that came together and i think those who appointed them. .xtremely solid experience i think you would all be heartened by the tone and the approach that the commissioners took. i often said that if i gave someone a piece of paper and asked them to identify who was appointed, you could not tell.
it was a common effort and common focus that we had, so i'm pleased with the conclusions that we reached. we found a national defense strategy to be a great first step, but how does it all come together? one of the things that i think must be kept in mind is that when you find yourselves in a position that did not happen overnight, whether you are talking about readiness or ,odernization, new technology geopolitical, geoeconomic competition has been moving and we are at a significant inflection point. thed nothing to do with midshipmen from the naval academy this evening.
-- this morning. senator reed, it's not part of the strategy for next week. they are really what we're talking about here because they're going to be the ones that will be leading our military into the coming decades. the question i think is, how do we get to where we need to be? i mentioned modernization and readiness and technology. we are operating a force today that was last modernized in the 1980s. we are dealing with significant readiness challenges, and we're having to deal with technology, but deal with it with competitors who are moving very quickly in a very integrated civilian military strategy, investing billions of dollars in things such as artificial inteigence and 5g autonomy, hypersonics and we're moving into a very new phase of warfare that i think has to be addressed and it has to be addressed beyond just the deptment of defense.
i think the newspapers of the last couple days highlight some of the challenges that we have. we talk in the report about the gray zone, that space between peace and war, the sea of azaf, russia and ukraine, new construction in the south china sea, tragically losing some more soldiers in afghanistan in the last 24 hours. then i read a report this morning that deals with readiness. the "uss john s. mccain" that was involved a tragic collision 15 months ago just refloated yesterday. 15 months to restore a major capital asset to the fleet i would submit in today's pace and
speed of conflict is not satisfactory. those are some of the things that we pointed out. we are very mindful that it will take money to do that. we believe that the $733 billion that was identified is a floor, and that we need to continue that growth as we modernize not just our conventional forces but our nuclear forces, all of which 1980's -- camee of age back in the 1980's. we look forward to your
questions and again, i would just like to compliment and thank our fellow commissioners for their tremendous work and service and dedication in putting this report together. thank you very much. >> thank you, admiral. i thank both of you for emphasizing how this is put together. i know in the case you, admiral, were nominated by a democrat, you, ambassador were nominated by a republican, and you wouldn't know it and i think you articulated that very well. i have not seen one like this before, and i think you had both the house and the senate and democrats and republicans in both sides. i want to start off by just covering some of the things that highlighting the problems that were pointed out that the vast majority of the american people are not aware of, those of us up here are. the commission -- and i'm quoting from this right now -- the commission assesses unequivocally that the nds is not adequately resourced.
further quote, america is very near the point of strategic insolvency. further quote, america's military superiority, which underwrites the global influence and national security, that's our united states, has eroded to a dangerous degree. america's combat edge is diminishing or has disappeared in many key technologies that under pin the u.s. military superiority. the united states is at risk of being overwhelmed should its military be forced to fights in two or more fronts simultaneously. you know some of us who have been around a long time can remember, that used to be our standard. we had that.
had to drop ay from that and that was regretful. anyway, ambassador edelman, we are -- your report cites it very clearly that what the -- some of our people have said and they said before this committee in terms of what needs to be done, well, we pointed out in real dollars between 2010 and 2015, the amount of money dropped by $200 billion -- it came down from $794 billion to $586 billion, and then, of course, that 2015, end of 2015, so we knew we had to do something. looking at the challenge that we had, we wanted to get up in 2018 to $700 billion, which we did. in 2019 is, $716 billion. and then in the president's original budget, it's up to $733 billion for the coming -- for
the fiscal year '20. now we've already established and you've stated in your report and elsewhere and we've also heard testimony before this committee just as -- in two different times, that we need to be looking at it in terms of increasing to about 3% to 5% over inflation. now, this is something we think we need. i agree we need it and most of the people up here and you two agree with it because it's in your report. yet, the 733 that they're talking about right now is one that is somewhat in danger.
there's been quotes of people who say we don't need 733, but stop and think about it, this is not a matter of 3% or 5% over inflation. going from 716 to 733 is 2.3% increase which is below inflation. i believe that we're being very jen is russ in terms of interpreting this and saying that this 733 is going to have to be looked at as a -- as a floor and not a ceiling. i would like to have each of you comment on that budget. this is going to be something that we have to deal with. >> chairman inhofe, i agree with the statement of the problem you just made. let me talk for a second if i could about how we came to the ill illustrative finding that 3% to 5% was about the right number and i will tell you that as smooth as the commission workings were and as much unanimity as we had on all of the issues that are in the report, had i asked the commission to tell us what each member thought the top line should be, i doubt we could have
come to a unanimous agreement on that. what we did agree on was that chairman dunford and secretary mattis, when they first testified before you, not about the new nds but in 2017 when they were still operating under the existing defense strategic guidance from the obama administration, testified they believed they needed 3% to 5% annual real growth in order to sustain that strategy. our judgment as a commission was that the nds has a higher level of ambition bseecfts desire to put us in a competitive space with russia and china in particular and that, therefore, it stood to reason that 3% to 5% as an illustrative number was the minimum that would be necessary, possibly more. i think you get a wide range of
views among us on the commission as to how much more, but that that would be the minimum. it's for that reason that we were very troubled when we talked to folks in the administration who said that they were planning in the department, that they were planning on flat budgets after '19. it seemed to us that it would be very difficult to actually execute that strategy under those kinds of fiscal constraints. i certainly agree that 733 ought to be, as my colleague just said, a floor, not a ceiling, as you all go forward in your deliberations. >> i appreciate that and i think it's a longer answer, but a very articulate answer. we know what we're going to have to be doing, and we have to have the right priorities in our own thinking. there's two other areas and i think you will be covering these in responses to other questions, but one having to do with china and russia, what we consider to be our peer competitors, and i think that's significant. i have sometimes -- people are surprised when they find out some of the things that china and russia are doing that are actually ahead of us in many areas, ship building maintenance. hypersonics is something they hadn't even started yet, but they are rapidly passing us up in one respect, electronic
warfare, nuclear triad, modernization. we haven't done any modernization. that's going to be one of the top things we're going to be dealing with in this committee. air france -- air defense, artillery, both china and russia have in the -- out range and out gunned and the experts testify to that, so i'm anxious to get your response to some of those things and response to other people's questions. the last thing being disequilibrium, it's out there, and i think you say there is a disequilibrium between the aging of america's nuclear arsenal and vigorous modernization programs of our adversaries and i hope that during the course of your responses you might articulate some examples of these. this is something that is every distressing. i think we have -- agree the secretary of defense and
democrat and republican administrations identified nuclear deterrent as the department's number one priority. senator reed. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen, for your great work. i was struck as i indicated in my comments, of your comments about civilian voices have been relatively muted on issues at the center of u.s. defense and national security policy, undermining the concepts of civilian control. could you elaborate on that beginning with ambassador edelman? i'm happy to do that, senator reed. i want to make clear this is a problem that all of us unanimously agreed with on the commission and that includes a number of folks who have had recent senior experience in the building and, of course, two
retired four stars. i will let admiral roughhead speak for himself on that score. this was a unanimous finding. second, this is not directed at any individuals, this is not a criticism of secretary mattis or of chairman dunford because these trends have been developing over a long period of time. third, i would say that this is a perennial problem. it's not a problem that, you know, obtains of an easy solution because if, as professor corewin said, the constitution is an invitation to struggle between the legislative and executive branch over control of foreign policy, the national security act of 1947, in my view, is an invitation to struggle between military and civilian leaders in the department of defense over the direction of defense and national security policy, and if one reads the history of the -- the official histories of the office of the secretary of defense, one of the themes that emerges from that is the struggle of a variety of different secretaries to try and develop the tools, the staff, the means to accomplish the
constitutional objective of civilian control. this is a perennial problem. a lot of it is just about maintaining a balance. part of the issue, frankly, has been vacancies on the civilian side. for a long period of time, i know when i was serving in the bush 43 administration, we routinely had about 25% vacancy rate among the civilians. over the years, those vacancy rates have become, you know, more problematic and more pronounced. even today, two years into the current administration, there's still a number of vacancies in osd. i think that's created a kind of imbalance in terms of the voices being heard on national security policy. i don't -- again, i wouldn't want my comments to be misconstrued as saying that the chairman doesn't have an important role to play, including as a global force integrator. i think on the commission all of
us had sympathy for the notion that somebody has to adjudicate requests from combatant commanders about who goes where under what circumstances, but we felt strongly that that needs to be embedded in a healthy military/civilian debate and a management of the natal tensions in a constructive way that we currently see as absent. >> admiral roughhead, any comments? >> yes, i would echo what ambassador edelman said. a lot of the press could have picked up on this and tried to say it's focused on individuals. that is not the issue. in fact, as i think this through and as we discussed it during the course of the commission, this has been a long time in coming. in fact, if someone were to ask me, i would say the genesis is in 1986 with the passage of the
goldwater-nicoles act which since that time, we've seen large increases in military staffs, the combatant commanders have gotten larger, the joint staff has gotten larger. we have invested heavily in professional military education. so, we've really upped the intellectual intellectual heft of those serving in uniform today and so, you have a mass and quality on the military side that can move quickly, generate, you know, great options. i would also say that there has been a deference to those in uniform, both on the executive branch and in the congress, as opposed to holding to account the civilian leadership of the department, my opinion on that. i think it also is reflected, as ambassador edelman said, the vacancies, but it also, i believe, has dissuaded young people from coming into the policy space of defense and
national security. that's the seed corn for the future. this is an issue that has been a long time in coming and i would argue that it's one that really needs to be thought through as to how you want to shape the balance between the military and civilian going forward. as someone who has been in uniform, my civilian leaders that i work for, we had some pretty sporty discussions from time to time, but it was always clear to me where the coin landed. i think that needs to be reinforced. >> thank you. and in a spirit of sportsmanship, let me wish the midshipmen good luck. >> thank you, senator reed. senator fisher. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, i know the commission's report strongly endorses nuclear modernization and also recapitalizing the triad. it's called the critical imperative.
i just want to be absolutely clear on this point, does the commission believe the rationale for the triad exists today? >> senator fisher, i think the rationale continues to exist to have, as president kennedy once said, a nuclear force second to none. this strategy in some ways requires even more reliance on nuclear deterrence than the previous strategy did. in order to have a deterrent that is effective, we always need to remember that what matters is not what we think deters, but what the other side actually finds deterring. for that reason, i think having both an air breathing leg of the triad that can be used for signaling and can be recalled, having one that has a
fast-flying capability to destroy deep and buried targets quickly, and also having one that remains invulnerable to a preemptive strike because it's lodged under the sea makes sense as it ever has. >> thank you. admiral? >> i agree. i would say that increased challenges that we will face are beyond the platforms. the complexities and the security that's going to be required in nuclear command and control systems of the future will be far more demanding than what we've had in the past. the other thing that must be taken into account as well is the investments in the stewardship of this capability that we have. investments in the people, investments in the infrastructure, investments in the labs. when we talk about the triad, absolutely the three legs are
required, but it's important the other dimensions be addressed as well. >> thank you. we're hearing from critics of nuclear modernization. they often advance the argument that we cannot pay for both nuclear and conventional modernization. your report talks about the costs, which it notes will peak at about 6.4% of the department's budget and states that, quote, america can surely afford to pay this price to preserve such critical element of its national defense, end quote. it goes on to argue that, we cannot hollow out nuclear capabilities to pay for conventional capabilities and vice versa. so, is it fair to say that this notion of funding one or the other is a false choice and that the risks going down that path are unacceptable? ambassador? >> senator fisher, i agree with that. one of our concerns was that in
talking to, in particular, the service chiefs of the air force and the navy, which are facing major recapitalization of their respective parts of the nuclear triad are also undered pressure as part of the strategy to develop a more lethal, agile is -- lethal, agile conventional force. this is one of the reasons why we find the resource constrantsz very troubling because the danger, i fear anyway personally, is that we will do a very bad job of both if we don't adequately resource the strategy and we need to have both a strong conventional and strong nuclear deterrent. >> agree completely. >> thank you. the report also mentions that the commission consulted with diplomats and military officials from our allies and our partners. could you talk a little more about this? who was consulted and what were the primary reactions to the national defense strategy?
were there any observations that you found particularly meaningful? >> we spoke with -- and i hope i'm not going to insult any of our allies by leaving anybody out, but we spoke with our british, french, australian, japanese colleagues -- korean colleagues as well. >> were there any themes that seemed to be universal in those conversations that you had? >> i think most of them appreciated the focus on great power dynamics in the strategy. i think many of them had similar questions to those we had. a lot of them were focused more on some issues of defense industrial cooperation among allies, which we address on that not in detail, but in passing in our report. i think that was something that
was of concern. to your question about findings that were interesting, one of the things that the french pointed out to us from their defense review which i found interesting is, they had similar ones we to some of the expressed in our report about the defense industrial base and the role of some of our great power adversaries in our supply chain, as well as with innovation. so, the french have started a fund actually to buy up some of their own french technology startups to preclude them being taken over by foreign nations who might seek to use that technology for purposes that would be competitive with the west and that struck me as an interesting idea. we did not develop it ourselves in the report, but it might be something worth looking at.
>> i would say the -- all of the allies that we talked to live in neighborhoods where bad things are happening, so their interest in where is the u.s. going i think was clarified by the strategy that they read and the need to eliminate some of the dissidents they're hearing with respect to the importance of our allies. i would just add one thing to the comments about the french. it was my understanding also that some of these companies are acquired because they have promising technology, but they're circling the drain and will fail. this is a way for that technology to be advanced and matured and benefit the defense capabilities of france. very inciteful and very worthwhile and that dialog should continue.
>> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator fisher. senator shaheen. >> thank you. and thank you to both of you for the impressive work on the report. i want to -- admiral -- ambassador edelman, i want to pick up on something that i think i heard you say at the end of your remarks. you talked about the operational concepts to win the great power competition being missing across the whole department of defense. did i understand that correctly? if so, can you explain a little more about what you mean by that and what you see being done to address it? >> senator shaheen, i think it manifested itself in a couple of different ways, actually, in our discussions. for instance, the strategy does talk about taking potentially more risks in the middle east, yet when we asked different folks in the department with different sets of responsibilities that touched on
this issue, where exactly are you talking about taking the risk? is it risk with regard to the fight against isis or is it risk with regard to containing iran or is it risk in afghanistan, we got different answers from different people. so, i think we were concerned that there wasn't a complete common understanding across the enterprise of what the strategy really was going to require. second, there were a lot of concepts in the strategy that -- like expanding the competitive space, which upon examination turns out to be what we used to call in the old days of the cold war horizontal escalation, and when we poked at these things we found them very ill defined and it didn't seem that there was a
whole lot there. now, that's not to say that good people aren't working very hard in the department to give those concepts morality, but we're a bit away from having the reality i think. >> so, is that a leadership function? is that an oversight responsibility? how do we fix that? either of you? >> well, i'll let admiral roughhead speak for himself. my view is it's both an oversight function for the committee to demand that the department explain how it's going to do -- how it's going to accomplish these things and it's also a responsibility is of the departments. i know deputy secretary shanahan is working hard to try to make the big changes that are going to be required. i think one of the things we were struck by was that a lot of people didn't seem to understand how big a shift this is for the department to move back into a world of great power competition as opposed to the
counterinsurgency >> to follow up on that, for the last 18 years, we've been focused in one very specific area of very unique type of warfare and we now find ourselves going against potential adversaries who have invested in ways to stymie our efforts in regions that are still of critical importance to the united states. we have taken our eye off what it really will require to get
into thinking our way through it for the foreseeable future. in the near term, we have what we have, so how do we use that? what's the best way to use it? how do we come up with these concepts? where do we go to test them? how do we bring the young thinkers into the game to say well that may work but here's a better idea and let's try that. we used to do that extensively. the other thing that is required is we have to start thinking our way through some of these more technologically challenging environments that we haven't had to worry about. we have operated in the middle east with complete disregard for flying around in contested air space. that is no longer the case. >> i appreciate the technological challenges and i think it's easier maybe to track how we're doing with nuclear weapons development, with technological developments, but you also identified two areas where i think it's much harder to track how we're doing and to not just measure, but to figure out where the lines of the authority and structures are. that's in the cyber area and
also in the gray zone conflict. as we look at where much of the action has been over the last 10 years or so, outside of the counterterrorism issues, it's been in those two arenas. yet we still don't have identified authorities to address cyber and we still don't have ways or at least that seem apparent to me to train for a gray zone conflict and just watching what has happened with ukraine and russia this week. i mean, we have another situation where it doesn't appear that we've got a direct response for how to deal with that. i know i'm out of time, but can you just respond to that? >> like you, senator shaheen, i think a lot of us were troubled that issues like responsibility and authority in some cyber areas still seem to be -- and fundamental definitions still seem to be contested and unresolved and it's one reason
as a recommendation we suggested creating a commission to look at this in more detail and we were able to because we were looking at the whole rather than the part pieces. i would note that in 2010 we recommended a compensation commission which led to the creation of a commission that had a pretty good report. hopefully if you all approve, some of these issues could be at least articulated in a way that yields a path forward if there's a commission. on measuring, you know, how we do in other areas, you know, the example people use always from the cold war is the development of air/land battle as a way of abusing our unique advantages to go against some of the disadvantages the soviet union
had. i think that's what admiral roughhead was saying when he was speaking a minute ago of what we used to do in terms of war gaming and exercising and we need to do more of that. >> thank you, senator shaheen. senator cotton. sen. cotton: thank you, gentlemen, for your service on this commission and many years of service in our military and diplomatic corps. i want to touch on a few issues that have been addressed here in a little more detail. senator fisher talked about nuclear modernization and conventional modernization. if i understand your answers, the point is why we have to have both is what good is conventional modernization if russia or china or russia and china combined have the ability to destroy our way of life with nuclear overmatch, is that correct, ambassador edelman? >> i think that's one part of it, senator cotton. the other part of it is the fact that russia at least has been using nuclear threats in a way
that sees it as part of its suite of tools including from conventional up. it's a question of escalation dominance as well as the danger of crisis and stability and attack on the homeland. >> let's turn to the question of resources that senator inhofe started with and many others have addressed as well. admiral roughead, i'll address this towards you. the point that report makes is that $733 billion for the next fiscal year should be considered a floor and that we probably should be more than that, but what is especially alarming is the reports we've seen that administration may be considering cutting 5% from the department of defense all the way down to $700 billion, is that correct? >> that's correct, yes, sir. >> there's also things you recommend in the report that we ought to do as a government and nation, a lot of those lay in
the hands of the president of the united states, the secretary of defense and the joint and service chiefs. we're congress. the thing we do best is pass budgets and spend the taxpayer dollar. is the simplest thing we could do to help achieve some of the goals that you lay out in your report repealing the budget control act caps for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 and ensure $733 billion next year remains a floor? >> i think that's the most important thing you can do. i would also add that i believe there is a sense that the last two years of growth have fixed the problems and nothing could be further from the truth, whether it's in readiness, whether it's in conventional modernization or nuclear modernization. but i think that that is kind of feeding this idea that it's ok to taper down and now is that we need a consistent strategy going forward to -- >> the last two years have been a down payment.
>> right. >> and that last point you made there, it's not just a matter of the level of funding, but the predictability and smoothness of funding. this is probably something congress should try to address early next year in a budget agreement and in an appropriations bill for the department of defense as we did this year for the first time in many years? >> i agree. i would argue that the failure to pass a predictable budget has done more harm to readiness than any other thing that has happened. >> ambassador edelman, i want to turn to you about cyber and a few of the other high-tech concepts we've discussed here, artificial intelligence, 5g all critical to our defense and prosperity. there is a belief in some quarters those kinds of technologies will obviate the need for more traditional weapons that maybe the navy can mothball some ships and subs and the air force doesn't need as many fighters and bombers and the marines and the army doesn't need as many trigger pullers on
the front lines. is that the case? are things like cyber and artificial intelligence is sufficient to replace good old-fashioned trigger pullers and airplanes and ships? >> not in my view. i think first of all, many of these technologies are -- have great promise, but it's going to take a bit of time first of all to develop the technologies and then as admiral roughhead said, figure out how we're going to use them operationally before you can count on them. i don't think that obviates the need for in the medium term having a strong, robust conventional deter the to dissuade potential adversaries for taking actions that are our strategic situation. >> the time remaining i would like to turn to one final question. on page 69 of your report in readiness, we talk about how our people are the most important asset that we have in our military. yet, the number of people who have required fitness and propensity to serve is in decline and you recommend d.o.d.
and congress take steps to address those aspects of the --- >> we will break away from this hearing and take you live to jackson, mississippi for democrat mike espy speaking at the mississippi civil rights museum. [applause] mr. espy: thank you. >> we like mike. we like mike. mr. espy: thank you. there are a number of precincts outstanding. the polls will close. tablthey will close a lot more. that there areme
just not enough votes outstanding to make up the difference. i wanted to come out here tonight and talk about what is still a historical achievement. [applause] espy: let me first say a minute ago i did call senator cindy hyde-smith -- [crowd booing] mr .. espy: no. i congratulated her on her victory. it is in my prayers that she does her best unite a very divided mississippi. she has my prayers and willingness to help her to do that. while this is not the result we were hoping for, i'm very proud of this historic campaign. [applause] espy: i am so very grateful
of the support we have received across mississippi, in the churches, union halls, corporate board rooms, classrooms. just talking to you, shaking your hand and looking you in the eye. i really appreciate it. grassrootse largest organization our state has ever seen in a generation. [applause] mr. espy: we did that through a coalition of voters, white and black who shared our belief that mississippi's future will be brighter than mississippi's past. mistake, tonight is the beginning. tonight is not the end. [applause] for those of you out there who i met in these universities, who looked at our campaign and maybe decide one day you want to run for office, go for it.
we want this campaign to be your legacy because when this many people show up, when this many people stand up, when this many people speak up, it is not a loss. it is a movement. so, we are not going to stop moving our state forward. i believe it to you and those who come behind to look forward to finding a new way to do that. to move our state forward. i want to thank my family, onstage here. [applause] me,espy: for standing with for putting up with me. this was an eight-month campaign. we did not have two years, six years. we had eight months to do this. i want to thank my wife. [applause] mr. espy: she did a lot.
i want to thank my campaign staff. the best campaign staff in mississippi. [applause] an espy: they built organization that is the envy of mississippi. i want to thank all the volunteers. manned the phones, those who knocked on doors, because you believed. and all the young people that got involved and were energized by this campaign, i want to tell you, continue to believe. so, we'll leave the stage now, but this is a movement. and this movement is not going to end. for a new mississippi, a more united mississippi and a mississippi where everyone,
election with cindy hyde-smith. we will take you across town to jackson, mississippi to the westin hotel where senator elect sydn cindy hyde-smith is giving her remarks. sen. hyde-smith: thank you so much. this has been an unbelievable campaign. got above is the reason we are here and i am going to give him glory every single day for it. no doubt. [applause] sen. hyde-smith: i actually brought notes because this is so important. i don't want to miss anything. i want to cover everybody, everybody out here. first, i want to thank god for this opportunity. my wonderful family. you both deserve a round of applause right now. [applause] governor-smith: the and deborah have been so gracious. he has worked as hard as i have ever seen