tv Joint Chiefs Gen. Dunford at Atlantic Council CSPAN March 23, 2019 12:55pm-1:49pm EDT
c-span is your unfiltered view of government. you can make up your own mind. this coming sunday, new york senator kirsten gillibrand will host a presidential campaign kickoff rally in front of trump international hotel in new york city. live coverage begins at 12:30 eastern on c-span. you can also listen for free with the c-span radio app. threats from russia and china, cyber security, north korea's nuclear program, and u.s. turkey relations. this is 50 minutes. [applause] one quick general dunford
story. when you are a pentagon correspondent, and you walk 17 at a half miles in corridors, every once in a while, he run into general dunford unexpectedly. , andt want to go home there he is. one time it was 5:00 and i was walking in some part of the pentagon, and there he is, barbara, what are you working on? i had no idea what i was working on. never again will i be caught. if i run into general dunford, i have to have something i'm working on just in case. this is an informed audience. you guys know about the notion of the return of great power competition. so i don't want to be the one to talk about that. i want to get right to it. we will talk for conversation about 30 minutes or so and then turned to conversation. general dunford, let's start
with the why. why the return to great power competition? >> i was going to make a couple of comments. i think fred framed the idea pretty well. let me share a quick story. off ther, i started september addressing the national war college. it was 1998 when i started as a student, so it was exactly 20 years. i went back and read the national security strategy from 1998. just to put it in perspective, he did not say anything about china. it was not mentioned. to the extent it spoke about russia, it spoke about the dialogue ongoing with nato. there was a lot in there about failed and failing states. to the extent to talk about violent extremism, and talked about the nexus of violent
extremism and weapons of mass destruction. 1990's, webout the did not have a competitor economically, diplomatically, or militarily. we did not in 1998. you compare that today, we have two states trying to establish preeminence if not hegemony in their respective geographical areas and trying to assert greater influence on the world stage. from a military perspective, what this means is the path of capability development china and russia have been on challenges us in a number of areas. our national military strategy, the first thing you do is look at yourself. there are two things that make the u.s. military strong, our network of allies and partners, and the ability to project power when and where necessary to advance our national interests.
what has been going on with china and russia? they both recognize those strengths. they recognize the strengths of our allies and partners and have carefully studied the ability of and to project power recognize the competitive advantage we have had historically. what they are seeking to do is undermine the credibility of our alliance structure in europe and the pacific. from a military perspective, they have been on a specific development to make it more difficult for us to move in an area to meet our alliance commitments or operate freely once we are there. , we took for granted our ability to project power when and where necessary to advance our interests. in the 1990's, we took advantage of the access our alliance structure gave us. neither of those things can be taken for granted today.
a military perspective, when we think about great power competition, we take a look at the competition for allies and the credibility for allies and the >> let's drill down on the russians just a little bit. you talked about adversaries' intentions and capabilities. you mentioned their intention appears to make it more difficult for the u.s. to project power. do you see an intention or a capability there? what is their military intention? do you anticipate the russians are trying to develop a capability to attack the united states? >> barbara, what they are developing is a capability to deny the united states to meet its commitments specifically in europe. many people are familiar with
access denial. that means to make it difficult in this case for us to get to europe and for us to operate freely once we get there. russia over the past 10 or 12 years in particular has made significant investments in ballistic missiles, electronic warfare and anti-space and maritime capabilities. all of it focused on what they to be our vulnerabilities and our ability to project power. >> on the capabilities' side, how soon? two years, three years, today? could they deny us the ability to get to europe? >> let me address both the intention and the capability. there is no doubt that their capability is specifically tailored to prevent our
commitment to europe. they see it as a threat. with regard to can they deny us the ability today? the answer is no, they cannot. can they contest us in a way they could not 15 years ago? there is no question. it would be more difficult to project power in europe today than it would have been 15 years ago. as we were focused on dealing with violent extremism, going back and studying what we did in the 1990's, they developed a range of capabilities to make it more difficult to do what they have seen us do in the past. >> if i understand you correctly, if there was a contingency, it would be more difficult for the u.s. military to deploy to europe, to defend nato and other allies in europe than in the past? >> first, let me make one thing clear. before we try to isolate one variable, when i look at nato
and i look at the 29 nations of nato, economically, politically, militarily, i have no doubt that with will, we have a competitive advantage over russia and we can meet our alliance commitments as an alliance. it would be more difficult to project power to europe today than it would have been 15 years ago. we are more contested then we would have been 15 years ago. no, russia is not in a position to deny us the ability to meet our objectives. it would take more time. it would be more costly. but we could do it. my evidence of that is i believe today, russia is deterred from conventional action. i think what we see them doing is largely driven by the fact we have conventional deterrence in europe right now. >> that gets to the question, i suppose, of putin's military intentions and capabilities.
he does have an expertise in that sort of gray zone. the line below conflict. do you see him having any intention of military conflicts with the u.s., or if he happy to stay below that line and aggravate things? >> you described a gray zone , i call it adversarial competition below the level of full on conflict. but it has a military dimension. about putting together cyber operations, economic coercion, political influence, unconventional military operations to advance his objectives and places like -- in places like georgia, the ukraine and so forth. , that is what he's doing. there is a military dimension to that. i do not believe that putin has an intent of attacking a nato ally in the conventional sense because i think it is very clear that the price, the cost imposed
on putin of doing that will exceed what he could hope to gain. >> but as you pointed out, after crimea, georgia, eastern ukraine, do you think he has given up on that type of action, or do you think he has further intentions to engage in that strategy again, somewhere in eastern europe. give us your assessment on where you are watching for this. >> putin did things in the elections to try to undermine our democracy, and is conducting information and cyber operations every day in europe. it is notses attributable, but it is ongoing. there is no indication that putin will back off the types of actions he has embarked upon 2015, in georgia, in the
cma zone. >> in crimea, many analysts have said there was no ally military , solution to that? not a lot of ways to get men out of there. >> there has to be a political decision, but i will not speculate of what we might not have been able to do in crimea. you are talking nato, article five, and a coherent response. that is not the case in crimea. the military dimension of our support for the ukraine as a whole is to help its defensive capabilities and assist so it can stand on its own. we don't have an alliance commitment to the ukraine. we do not have an alliance commitment in the case of crimea. >> you have mentioned cyber several times.
cyber, when you look at the russians, and we will get to the chinese as well, but cyber is a full military domain. you spend a lot of time thinking about that. >> we do. we recognize that as a domain -- i have to look at the path of capability development we had been on and i can remember having discussions about how we would move ahead to develop capabilities. we have now developed in the last four or five years 133 cyber mission teams that are out there every day doing what must be done. our own cyber capabilities have developed quite a bit, but putin has recognize that as one of the areas. earlier when i talked about perceived vulnerabilities, he believes in investments in cyber. >> what can he do in the cyber world? to the u.s.? >> number one, he can attempt to undermine democracy.
we ought not to think about cyber in isolation. it is one of the tools as a part of a broader campaign. certainly, cyber was an element in putin's efforts to undermine our efforts in 2016 and it can inhibit our weapons capability, and so forth. there are a lot of things that can be done. it can be used to steal technology. there is an espionage perspective as well as a destructive capability. and clearly, we know the vulnerabilities to our civilian infrastructure, the cyber attacks and the united states. >> you have specifically twice said, putin, cyber, the elections, and attributed it to him. we know there have been sanctions against russian entities and russian entities were identified as being potentially involved in the activity regarding the u.s.
but you have now twice said specifically that it has been putin. you are not someone who says anything casually. so in your mind, putin was involved? >> look at the intelligence community, i'm not making news barbara, they came out some time ago and said there was no question that russia attempted to interfere with our democratic process in 2016. >> but? respectfully, that is russia. you have said putin. gen. dunford: russia is an autocratic form of government. there is very little that russia does that putin isn't aware of. particularly something as significant as trying to undermine democracy and the -- in the united states of america. >> ok. now, great power competition, the russians. what is your assessment? do you now view them, in your world in the u.s. military, aren't they an adversary? >> no, they are a competitor is
how i would characterize them. >> you speak many times with the general. i know you're not able to talk about your private conversations, but, can you shed any light -- why would he want to talk to you? >> let me start with military to military relationships. even when countries are having difficulty, military to military relationships are important to mitigate the risk and to manage a crisis if a crisis occurs. we understand that we need to communicate in the event of a crisis to keep it from escalating, and and we think the relationship is important.
even in the cold war, we had direct linkages to moscow, given the consequences of the war between the united states with moscow. in the case of my relationship with the general, we are both conducting operations in syria and de-conflicting our operations in syria has been important to advance the campaign. we have used the dialogue and it -- and we have met four or five times and spoken many more , times. by the way, have not shared the details of those conversations because we have successfully kept our relationship from being politicized because we both know the consequences of not having effective communications. we try to protect this communication link for the reasons i spoke about. syria has also been one of the incidents. because of the path of russian capability development i spoke
about, the pattern of russian operations is as close as it has been to the 1980's in a long time. in other words, how many ships they have, how many planes they have, we find ourselves in close proximity to russian ships and airplanes. we make sure we have a framework in which to manage our interactions in the air and at sea in a safe and professional manner. about 18 or 19 months ago, we had a spike of unsafe and unprofessional incidents. we had good conversations followed up by making sure we managed our interactions in the air and at sea in a safe, professional way. summarizing, the relationship between two states like russia and the united states is important to mitigate the risk of miscalculation. it has been important to ensure we don't have a miscalculation
just in our day-to-day interactions with our airmen and sailors out there everyday. >> are the russians trying to get you to pull back u.s. presence in russia? -- in europe. we have six b-52's in the u.k. and equipment moving into poland for a series of exercises with missile defense and they are always unhappy about u.s. presence. are they trying to get you to pull back? >> i'm not going to talk about the conversation i had, but it wouldn't be a bold statement for me to say that the russians would be more comfortable if we were not physically present in europe and had not enhanced over the past three or four years our posture in europe in a significant way, which we have, a physical manifestation of our commitment to the nato alliance. it's fair to say that given the russian political objectives and what we opened up with here, in terms of influence in europe, they would be much happier if there was not a physical manifestation of our commitment to nato because the message was
that we were not willing to meet our alliances was much easier for them to sell. it's hard for them in the information space to talk about the physical manifestation or commitment to our soldiers, sailors, and marines. >> moving to china, if we can for a few minutes, go down the same path for us. china, great power competition in the military arena. what do you see the chinese doing? what is their intention, capability, and what concerns you? what do you take the most seriously from them at this time? >> sure. look, very different countries, clearly, and this would highlight some of those differences. the broad framework of what they are trying to do, in the case of china, they established preeminence, if not had gemini
in thegemini -- hegemony pacific, and having it be a global influence with a global attempt to modify the world order as we know it, both economically and from a security perspective being advantageous to them. that is broadly what they are trying to do. in the case of china, the cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, a significant investment in missiles over the years. maritime capability, aircraft carriers, undersea capability, trying to compete with our submarine space capabilities. modernization of the military, something that we embarked upon in the 1980's. when i visited last year, one of the most common questions i received was -- talk to us about unified command, to which i responded, it seemed to me i could learn from you since you made so much progress, so please help me understand unified command. the point being they are trying to develop a military capability again that would make it more more difficult, to push us away, if you will, from our ability to project power in the pacific.
similar to russia, capabilities over all domains are designed to contest us in all domains. >> do they have an intention beyond pushing the u.s. back in the pacific? >> i'm not sure what you mean. number one, they want preeminence in the pacific. number two, they want access to the global markets beyond the pacific. with those aspirations for global markets, we have seen the establishment of a military base in djibouti and negotiations in several other countries where military instruction is following economic initiatives. they do have clear aspirations that go well beyond the pacific. >> do they have intentions someday to challenge the united states militarily? >> i think they have intentions
today to challenge our ability to project power into the pacific and meet our alliance commitments. we have five in the pacific. >> so the question i have then, when it comes to russia and china, your assessment, and i mean this sincerely, do they take the u.s. military seriously? they are not going to attack? neither of them appear to have the intention of attacking the u.s. military. do they take this deterrence, this forward presence? do they take this great power competition? what is your assessment? do either of these countries take the u.s. effort seriously? >> look, i don't think you can isolate the military dimension or the broader issue of ensuring a free and open indo pacific. while there is a military dimension, and it differs --
, ifrs conventional attacks we are talking about establishing a free and open indo pacific, there has to be coherent and open action coherently, politically, and in the security sphere. if you are asking me if the u.s. military alone can establish a free and open indo pacific, the answer is no. if you are asking me if the military dimension strategy in the pacific constitutes an important element of our ability to be free and open, i would say yes. barbara: you made a lot of news the other day when you were talking about china and google. i wanted to give you the opportunity to lay that out one more time. i think you spoke on capitol hill when you were talking about the chinese, google, and other companies being aware when they deal with the chinese that they are essentially dealing with the
china's military in the commercial arena. can you go back and lay out with your specificity the concerns about google, first, and your deeper concerns about american companies understanding what their involvement can be with the chinese military? simply by doing business with them. >> i'm going to answer it a different way. putting google aside for a moment, then coming back to it. when i look at the united states itinerary, and i talk about competitive advantage, why have we historically had a competitive advantage? you go back certainly from world war ii to today. the partnership that the united states military has with industry in the united states, our ability to tap into the intellectual capital and human capital, if you will, of the american people, innovative ideas and our production capacity has been what made the u.s. military strong. that relationship is very important. xi jinping understands it as well. he calls it civil military
fusion, breaking down the barriers between the military and industry in china. here is my concern with u.s. industry, particularly high-tech u.s. industry, business in china. if a company does business in china, they are automatically going to be required to have a cell of the communist party in that company. that will lead to intellectual property finding its way to the chinese military. there is a distinction without a difference between the chinese communist party, the government, and the military. so, my concern when you think about things like artificial intelligence, ventures to help develop artificial intelligence in china are going to do two things. they will help an authoritarian government to assert control its own population. again, our country exists for the individual. china exists for the chinese communist party.
the second thing it is going to do is enable china's military to take advantage of the technology that is developed in the united states, why is it developed in the united states? why silicon valley in the united states? because of our system of government. advancing the world, whether it is medically, education, artificial intelligence, you name it. it is a debate we have to have. because if we do want what we describe as the good guys, the united states of america, to be leading an effort, putting forward an effort for what we have enjoyed since world war ii. it seems to me that the united states military is an important part of the global order remaining as it has been. it is not in our interest. in my judgment, in the case of google, their venture in china, i think it is a reasonable
assertion, even in an open venue like this to assert the benefit of that venture for artificial intelligence in china to one of many ventures that have indirectly benefited the chinese military and created a challenge for us to maintaining a competitive advantage. i think we need to have a debate about that. we ought not to think that it is just business in china. >> i'm just curious, has google reached out to you at all? >> i think i have a meeting next week. and i think i might have one at lunch here today, someone might be here from google. [laughter] >> this is not a debate, it's -- i'm happy to have that debate, it's not about me and google. it's about looking at the second and third effects of chinese government and the ability it would -- it's about our chinese
former government and all that goes with it. >> the people that i talked to know nothing compared to people you talk to. you talked about china being deemed the state, devoting a lot to internal security in china. this may not be just about china's external military programs, but about what they can do to maintain internal security increasingly. do you see the chinese devoting resources to internal security? worried? >> 6% of the people in china belong to the chinese communist party. 6%. i think that is an important statistic. almost every aspect of chinese life now is -- the thing i was trip toith in a recent is nog is that everything
cash. you want to rent a bicycle? a bicycle, starbucks, the store, what china is able to do is identify patterns of behavior, watch people, determine who is reliable and not reliable. we have seen this manifest. there is no question in my mind that china will leverage technology to assist the 6% of the population that controls the other 94%. >> including the other 94%. >> including the other 94%. >> we are going to start in with some questions. it's washington, as everyone in this room knows, make it a question, please. to the best of your ability. general dunford, bear with us. we are looking from bright lights into a dark room. can someone point out to me where the microphones are, please? ok, the other one is on the other side? back there. ok, great.
so, if you could call on this gentleman right here? if you would identify yourself? >> thank you for doing this, general. because alliances are such a huge part of the national defense strategy, i wanted to ask if you supported at this time halting f 35 deliveries to turkey or under what circumstances you would recommend doing that? >> i'm going to be careful in my answer because number one, turkey is an ally. a very important ally. and we have many more areas of convergence than divergence. looking five or 10 years down the road, i want to make sure that our turkish allies are close to us and we want to work that relationship very hard. i have made 12 visits to turkey. i am not sure have gone anyplace else close to that many times. this issue is a tough issue and
we are having a tough time. i would just say this. i don't make decisions. the executive branch and the legislative branch are going to have a hard time reconciling the presence of the most advanced fighter aircraft that we have, the f-35. our position has been made very clear to turkey and we are hopeful that we can find a way through this, but it's a tough issue. >> let me go to this lady in front. she has had her hands up for several minutes. >> my name is angelita. i have a question for -- actually, for you, sir. [laughter] >> my question is, that, um, the reality of nonpartisan independence of the military, because right now i think the u.s. military is getting a wake-up call because russia and china have both pushed their
elbows in asia. starting from regional supremacy, they are starting to limit our space, which is what i was hearing from you. my second question is that the leverage of vladimir putin and xi jinping is that they are sort of visionaries and they have long-term strategies that they can implement. i mean, that is actually related to the nonpartisan independence of the u.s. military. what is your vision actually for the u.s. military? >> a vision for the u.s. military? >> for the defense strategy. >> when we talk about domestic political conditions, with nonpartisanship? >> geopolitics. >> first of all at home, because you give me a chance to address it, i have spoken quite a bit about the importance of the u.s.
military being apolitical. we have emphasized that quite a bit. we have a history of that, it goes back to george washington, marshall, those are probably the greatest examples. for me they are true north in how they managed the political space. we should all thing quite a bit about making sure we are trusted by the american people. although i am never complacent or taken for granted, the gallup polls routinely say that 78% of the american people trust the u.s. military, and we wouldn't want it to be otherwise. with regard to my vision of the u.s. military dealing with china and russia, the advice that i provide is to make sure that from a capability perspective, we demonstrate the ability to maintain this competitive advantage, meet our commitments and deter russia from provocation and aggression, deterring china from
provocation. importantly, the military dimension of a broader enforcement in the pacific and in the broader world order that we have all enjoyed is to make sure that we are prepared, small m, if you will, large diplomatic effort to maintain the rules, but there is a military dimension to it to make sure that from a capability perspective and a concept perspective we are prepared to support. is that the question you are asking, i hope? >> let's stay on this side of the room first. there are two gentlemen. the gentleman i think who is in the blue blazer and behind him after he is done, a gentleman in a white shirt. we will have that microphone stay there for a minute. >> brian carl, cadet, georgetown rotc. you have mentioned a lot the u.s. lagging in our technological capabilities when it comes to ai.
but my question is concerning manpower capability. currently, i believe only 35% of america's youth are capable of serving in the u.s. military given the standards and i just was wondering how the pentagon is working to bridge the gap and keep our soldiers and manpower on the ground? thank you. >> it's an excellent question. it's an excellent question. i actually think the number is closer to 29%, 30%, of the american youth are capable of meeting the standards for the u.s. military. it is very much a concern. although, i can tell you from my direct observation that we are recruiting and retaining a high-quality force today, as i get a chance to look at the services around the world, i never come back from a trip not incredibly impressed. there are certain areas where we are falling short of the mark. we have fallen short in
recruiting in at least one service in recent years and we have been for some time. we are short literally a couple of thousand pilots across the services. the number of maintainers, it's a stiff competition for some individuals in our intelligence and high-tech fields and so forth. so, the reduced pool from which we can draw for the u.s. military and an all volunteer force is a concern of mine and there have been a number of initiatives to address that. in terms of the health of our youth and so forth. i certainly in a future life might be interested in trying to help in that regard. i do think it is a national issue. i hesitate at this point to call it a crisis, but it is certainly a national issue that should be addressed with some sense of urgency, to think that 70% of the youth of america cannot meet the standard, that ought to concern us. a great question, thanks.
>> let's go to the gentleman in the back with his hand up. please? if you would identify yourself. >> my name is eric, and i have a question around china and its regional influence. the diss is the chinese -- that china has the ability to and china has the ability to reach regional hegemony and i'm wondering if the general would support increasing support for taiwan in defense of alliances in the region. and he could he comment on security commitments? thank you. >> that is an excellent question, but it really is a policy question and i'm not going to be evasive, but the decision about what level of support we should provide to taiwan really is at the end of the day a political decision to make. so, we have helped taiwan to defend itself.
our policy is clear about a peaceful resolution to the situation in taiwan and china. and so, i really probably wouldn't address whether or not we ought to do more. if directed to do more, the u.s. military would do more, but that's an issue that's more about policy and politics than it is about a military dimension. there is a military dimension to deterrence, but i wouldn't talk much more about that than that. >> general jones? >> thank you. in october of 1957, the soviet union launched sputnik one. some people are saying we are approaching another sputnik moment with china on the issue of 5g and more specifically, secure 5g. would you care to comment on how important that race is? and i think it is a two country race.
what do you think about that as an important issue? >> general jones, inside the pentagon we certainly look at that as a critical national security issue in the internet of things beyond the 5g and the vulnerabilities of our systems, our combat systems. but as importantly, something i have talked recently about to my counterparts is, you know, our relationships rely on trust. that trust in part is the assurance that the data that we exchange, the intelligence and information that we share can be done in a way where it's not compromised. the issue of 5g addresses both potential vulnerabilities in the systems due to how reliant we will be on 5g for the internet of things, our combat systems, but also exchanging information with our allies and partners. we very much believe that any future capability along the lines of 5g has to be trusted, and we are concerned that we are
moving in a direction where if we don't get out in front in that regard, we will not be able to trust 5g and we will be at a competitive disadvantage. >> does that mean that you would withdraw cooperation if you will with a country that is embracing that system? a military? >> to answer the question, let's put 5g aside. when we share information and intelligence, it is done in accordance with strict protocols to protect the information. so, before we exchange information with an ally or they have to meet certain standards in the classified realm. sorry if i did not make that clear. that's what i'm talking about. so, whether it is 5g or not, today and in the future, our ability and willingness to exchange information and intelligence with a partner will be based on their ability to protect that information and the
information assurance of the systems we are using. >> do you think that 5g can be protected? >> this is the nature of general jones's question. it is why the american industry needs to step up and dominate 5g. it will be in our national interest to do so. >> this gentleman in front, if you wouldn't mind, he has had his hand up for quite a bit. could you identify yourself, sir? >> i'm a member of the press. i am from the russian service, voice of america. i have two questions. what worries you most in russian military capabilities now? what is your main concern? in how they have progressed in the last 12 years, as you mentioned. and second, how much do you know about the activity of russian military intelligence in the united states, which came to some maturity last year with the
poisoning in british salisbury. what they do with military intelligence of russia doing now in the united states. >> the second one is tougher to answer than the first one in terms of what concerns me most. let's put the nuclear peace aside for a minute and talk about capabilities. i could highlight what i spoke earlier about, the proliferation of missiles. we could talk about, you know, increasing competence undersea. we could talk about the electromagnetic spectrum and anti-space capabilities. all of those things would be a concern. but, it's really the impact of those systems collectively that is really the issue. and it gets at them being able to put together in a way that challenges our ability to meet our alliance commitment in europe or operate freely across what i described earlier as all the lanes when we get there.
i would be hesitant to highlight one capability in isolation and say it's the one that concerns me the most. it's the ability to integrate those capabilities to predict outcome, that is the issue and that is what our focus is in terms of a competitive advantage when i talk about a competitive , advantage. what i'm talking about at the operational level is the ability to project power when necessary to advance our interests and operate freely across all domains. and when i say freely i mean the ability to establish superiority to do what must be done in any time and place. with regard to salisbury, i'm not sure how you want me to comment. i think it's very clear that russian intelligence was involved in salisbury. i think it's clear that the international community can conclude that the u.s. held russia accountable for what took place in salisbury. help me out if i'm not answering your question.
[indiscernible] i really think i would be out of my lane of expertise of i spoke about inside the united states. i certainly have an awareness about it, but the director of the fbi would be the best individual to talk to about the nature of the threat and what we are doing to disrupt that threat. i guess i can say that there certainly is a threat in the united states. >> from russian intelligence? >> sure. that shouldn't be news either, barbara. [laughter] >> no, just wondering one last time if you would like to expand a little bit, maybe. >> no, i think the director is the right individual to talk to about it. >> we are going to come up on the last question. >> i am a reporter from radio free asia. i have a question about the north korea issue. two days ago, the pentagon and the south korean governments
declared suspension to the military exercises. do you think this will lead to militaryon to readiness of those forces? and second, my question is about counter operations in south korea around illicit ship to ship transport in north korea. >> with regards to the first question, i'm glad you asked it. so, the first question had to do with the re-scoping of traditional exercises that we do on the korean peninsula. those exercises historically have been done for two reasons. one is deterrence, and the second is to develop the capability of our forces on the korean peninsula to do what they describe as fight with high-level readiness. i am absolutely confident, absolutely confident, having received a message from general abrams on the peninsula yesterday, as the exercise is
ongoing in the peninsula, that what we have done with the exercises will allow him to maintain readiness. there is two aspects to that. number one, the squadron level and below with combined exercises and so forth, there has been no impact. the training of our units hasn't changed at all in the peninsula and number two, in most cases, what we have done is leverage command post exercises and so forth to make sure the normal staff orientation takes place. we have high personnel turnover in the summertime in the u.s. and in the republic of korea -- the january, february timeframe has always been designed to make sure that we quickly bring the new people up to speed and maintain a high level of readiness, and i think that the exercises that we have put in place right now are focused not so much on using the exercise as a way to determine if we are ready, but rather a series of training events focused on
making sure we are proficient in the mission essential task at the various levels of command on the peninsula. with regard to ship to ship transfers, that is one of the more important elements of the u.s. military support for the broader diplomatic effort to peacefully denuclearize the peninsula. we have been after that now for many months. clearly, you know, the north koreans have found ways to work around our enforcement efforts, and we are in fact in the process of a constant cycle of adaptation to make sure that, we are staying in front of that adaptation, and we do the best we can to enforce the united nations security council resolutions as they pertain to refined petroleum products. that is where we are. >> i'm going to grant myself the last question, i wanted to ask about north korea. before we wrap up, what is your current assessment about north
, and weigh inions on their missile launch satellite launch, and warhead test programs. what is your assessment about what you think they are looking at doing? >> i won't make news in this regard. i don't have any unique insights to share with you about whether or not north korea will test a missile in the future or whether they will continue the path of nuclear development. we all know what kim jong-un promised president trump most recently in vietnam, that they would not do those things. when we talk about what that from to me, our mission, february 2017, has really involve several things. supporting the diplomatic efforts to denuclearize the peninsula and the traditional
mission of deterring provocation from north korea in south korea in accordance with our alliance structure and preparing ourselves to respond in the event that the deterrence fail. those missions remain the same. do you have a question about north korea and intend my hasssment has how -- anything to do with how we execute the elements of those -- of that mission. ready to believe kim -- kim jong-un's promise, or do you believe them. my job is to be the glass half-empty guy when it comes to north korean capabilities. that is the operative word. capabilities. i see that kim jong-un still has ballistic missile capability. he still has nuclear
capabilities. i still see a potential although yet and demonstrated to match a nuclear weapon. i think it is incumbent upon the united states military to be repaired to defend our homeland and allies from that eventuality. that's where we are focused. .ost: thank you fascinating as always. i think everyone in this room is improved -- is appreciative of you spending time here. theill let the general go, atlantic council asks that everyone remains seated for a few minutes so the general can make his way out of the room. thank you so much for your thoughts. [applause] ♪
>> this sunday, kirsten gillibrand will hold a presidential campaign kickoff rally in front of trump international hotel in new york city. live coverage begins at 12: 30 eastern on c-span, also online at c-span.org. you can listen with the free radio app. sunday night on q hyundai, two time pulitzer prize two -- on, robert -- pulitzer prizeme biographer talks about his book. cottage, so itis was all one big picture. he sat in the center of this
black leather chair. he looked to the left out the window and it was the robert moses bridge, the causeway to island.land -- to fire and on the other cited robert moses state park. by hise he is, framed monuments. intimidating. i will never forget, he got up, he had this wonderful smile. a tough guy. still mighty, at the height of his power, 78. and he said you are the young fella who thinks he's going to write a book about me. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> congress is in recess this week. nancy pelosi has announced that next week the house will vote on the override of president
trump's veto of the congressional resolution that would terminate his national emergency declaration on border security. it is scheduled for tuesday. on thursday the house will vote on a measure rejecting the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. when the house is in session you can watch live coverage here on c-span. when the senate returns to session next week, lawmakers will continue to debate on judicial nominations. later they will take out the support for the green new deal. when the senate is back in session, you can watch the chamber live on c-span two. patrick shanahan and join chief of chest airmen, general dunford, testified in front of the armed services committee in regards to the 2020 defense budget request. the pentagon is seeking a 5% increase in its budget.