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tv   Department of Defense Briefing  CSPAN  February 23, 2016 7:18pm-7:50pm EST

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standards of law. >> and there has been reaction to the president's plan to close the guantánamo detention facility. committee chairman john mccain released a statement, congress has waited for seven half years president obama to provide a plan to achieve his goal of closing the detention facility at guantánamo bay. a coherent policy to deal with future terrorist detainees. here is the pentagon briefing outlining the presence plan. >> the department of defense today formally submitted the administration's plan for closing the detention facilities. as theas the president and secretary carter have made
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clear responsibly and securely closing is a national security imperative. enhance our security eliminate a rallying.and strengthening our relationship with allies, key allies and counterterrorism partners and save the american people money. for primary tenants, securely and responsibly transfer detainees of the pres.'s national security team continue to review the threat posed by those detainees were not currently eligible including possible article three for military commission or form
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prosecutions call work with congress to establish a location to securely hold detainees when we cannot transfer to foreign countries. secretary carter remains firmly committed to ending detention operations and strongly supports the administration's plan to do so in a way that is consistent and believes it is important to resolve this issue for the next administration takes over. secretary carter expresses deep gratitude to all of the service members who have contributed to and carried out the difficult mission for so long with professionalism and dedication including those service members who were there even today. with that i am happy to take your questions. >> the pentagon close guantánamo bay if congress does not pass a law?
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>> we are beginning a conversation here, continuing a conversation with congress. try to resolve these issues. detention facilities to close the responsible way and find a location to house those detainees and feels are not appropriate international security review shows are not appropriate to be transferred. >> is the pentagon prepared to follow? >> the pentagon is prepared to work with congress to resolve this issue responding to a request specifically through plan to my request we have honored today and will continue to work collaboratively with congress. move this process forward. this gives congress the path to achieve the responsible closure of these facilities. once again do something that
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will bolster american national security and that the same time save taxpayer money. it is a conversation that congress would like to engage in. >> the majority of congress has rejected the pentagon's plan. >> we look forward to hearing what congress has to say as we begin the process. we believe that our members of congress who share the sec.'s view, the pres.'s view that responsibly closing guantánamo bay is an appropriate thing to do particularly before the next a ministration takes over, and we will begin that. >> is the pentagon prepared to go forward? >> we will be briefing members of congress. we. really forward to engaging with congress going forward.
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>> am going to have to go. >> the focus is on the -- the detention facility. logistics and other purposes. i did not see anything your plan that cover the overall guantánamo bay. >> this plan covers the detention facilities. there is no plan to change the status of the naval base. yes? >> more information about south korea? >> i will take that question for i am not aware of the delay. ongoing conversation between
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the us and south korean allies will have those conversations but will take that question. >> yes. >> turkey's prime minister along with --dash and us backed syrian kurdish fighters attempting to form a terror bill. and so turkey will let it happen. all the forces that were mentioned? >> we talked at length. we will continue to work closely with the turks in the fight and of course their own security situation remains an ongoing adaptive conversation. and again we -- our focus is on the fight against iso.
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that is where our focus remains. we remain engaged about these issues, understand the sensitivities of our focus remains. >> what do you think in light of coming, turkey indicated it will continue going after syrian kurds. think about this in light of working day of hostilities? >> the cessation abilities has nothing to do with our fight. the situation in syria. again, we have expressed our support for groups on the
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ground that are taking the fight which includes kurdish groups in on this issue we will continue to disagree with turkey with regard to that particular issue. our support for this particular groups that are taking the fight. i understand their concern. we will continue to work on this issue and make clear our views. >> attacking in syria and the international community, turkey continues military action. was underlined the efforts? >> again, focusing specifically. that is what is most important to us in terms of the effort. we will continue working closely with our turkish
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partners. we will continue to work with them and never dialogue about these issues. again, we will -- we are confident we can continue to work closely with regard to these issues. >> the united states and russia set up this committee to monitor the cessation of hostilities. do you foresee how this might potentially lead to a broader cooperation between the united states and russia? >> right now military military cooperation playing a supportive role in these ongoing negotiations but i would not anticipate. we are supporting secretary kerry is doing, the effort to try to bring some eased
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to the suffering of the syrian people, butpeople, but we do not anticipate further military to military cooperation with the russians. >> there has been an uptick in violence in ukraine, some of the fiercest hostilities. at the same time the us just graduated from a truce training in western ukraine. tracking an increase in hostilities? >> the secretary continues to closely monitor what is happening. we have concerns, as others do about the level of violence. we have not taken our i off the ball. training being conducted and we will continue to follow this very closely. beyond that it is a
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situation thata situation that remains an area of focus for the department of defense and the secretary. >> watching the border area? any sort of buildup on the other side? >> nothing from this podium. i will convey to you that we are watching the situation closely. >> training ukrainian soldiers and perhaps they are being attacked? >> again, we are doing this working with the ukrainian government. we continue to work closely with the government as to what support we can provide to them in this effort. i cannoteffort. i cannot speak directly that that is the case, these trainees are going into this particular situation. requested by the ukrainian government.
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just continue to partner and provide assistance. >> what is take so long? >> it is a complicated situation. this predates his arrival. they are complicated matters of line cost, restrictions put in place by congress that make this more difficult challenge. this is been an ongoing debate for some time which represents the best opportunity and password forward to try to resolve the issue in a way thata way that maintains us national security, saves taxpayers money, removes propaganda tools for jihadists around the world and also takes a step that we believe will be
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welcomed by our partners around the globe. >> indications that this document will be produced at that time? >> a number of factors. some of them them i just detailed. legal questions, budget questions so in the bigger since we were asked by congress to meet this deadline. again it would have been solved a long time back. we believe this starts a starting. maybe there could be some milligrams solution. >> releasing the names of the facility that were surveyed?
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>> we did not disclose those in the plan. it is possible that could come out. that will be a decision for congress. so the information might be classified and so these are conversations where congress will have to decide on the path forward opening up the number of locations that could be considered. it could be a location beyond 13 that are identified specifically in this plan.plan. we do not anticipate releasing the names publicly. could be something that comes up. >> new satellite imagery showing that there has been construction. what is your view point on that?
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>> i understand adm. harris may have been asked today. it represents another step by the chinese that is only escalating tensions in the region and is not helping stability. we havestability. we have urged all claimants tall reclamation and militarization and would reiterate that now. this is inconsistent with the aspirations for peace and stability. >> given the late arrival of this plan on closing gitmo is there even time to do the necessary construction that would be required to transfer these particular kind of detainees in your facility in the us if you
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got permission to do that? and on south china sea and is reported pentagon's plan to conduct to a quarter, is that enough? >> i'm not going to get into the specifics operational details of the u.s. navy operations in the south china sea or anywhere else. we will continue to fly to assail, sale, or operate. we have demonstrated and will continue to demonstrate. on the other question comeau we think that it is possible that you could this year move this process forward. it will certainly be challenging given the calendar and the situation in congress and the debate over the issue, but we think that it is possible that you could.
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>> moving forward. >> this depends in large measure on congress the folks of the dod will assess the situation think it is possible. doing the debate, but now we have presented a plan that would at least open the door. had this been presented earlier potentially this effort on the part of lobbying congress and get them on board for, potentially change the calculus and allow enough time for the construction. >> we can only present this plan we have a level of
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detail an understanding. we are comfortable with the pres. was comfortable in terms of cost and other issues: presented the plan, the deadline and believe there is no opportunity to sit down and work the issues out and here congresses and put the best location, other aspects. it is important that there are details that matter. we want congress's input on congress is input on issues of whether a remote location, facility like this on an existing property to whether or not there is a preference there. these are things that adjust , decisions on how you house inmates specifically. they do things differently? these are things we want congressional feedback on his affect the price, the design.
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there are still specific questions that we need to try and answer. we want to hear there input. given the limitations put in place as a things we have not been able to get to that we would like to. >> following up command that is a decision that you would expect lawmakers to make. >> congress is going to have to decide ultimately whether this plan moves forward and in what shape. presented a range of options we have given the range. input from members of congress that has prevented us from being able to provide a specific
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recommendation. now allows the department working with congress to advance. congress will have the ultimate say in this and we look forward to that. the secretary feels like this would get a fair shake. >> problematic to leave that decision to congress? >> this is a difficult issue. that has been clear from the start. ultimately this requires congressional setting. the input that we will get is critically important. we look forward to working with congress. >> you laughing came back. >> you say that congress has the ultimate say on this.
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the majority has rejected the pentagon's plan. >> you keep saying that. they vote this afternoon i miss it? >> the number of congressional staffers of said the plan did not get one location. quite awhat event not provide congress with a concrete and specific plan? >> again, there are design criteria that we still need to get detail on. this will present congress with the opportunity to weigh in on critical issues. remote location, existing facilities, critical issues. it's hard for us to present a final recommendation. this will be an ongoing process.
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we've come back with a plan that we think represents a path forward to the next administration which is something both republicans and democrats would support and this gives them a fair shot to be able to do that. the secretary feels confident that they have presented something. >> the chinese foreign minister was supposed to come to the pentagon.
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>> he suggested a piece treaty with the united states and north korea. >> if it is a treaty question i strongly recommend you check with my colleagues. i will do for you to the state department. >> if you can answer that. >> am going to do for that to the state department. >> what is the secretary's level of confidence right now that the russians will comply with the agreement for the cessation of hostilities. the command-and-control center in syria. how we will the us military communicate? starting with the level of confidence.
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>> the sec. is judge russia by their actions, not there words. nothing's changed. he will wait to see whether or not they comply with the agreement. and so i think there is a certain dose of skepticism and again the secretary will be watching like everyone else. i don't think his view on that has changed. >> the secretary skeptical of russian compliance. >> based on past history animal worship said it would do we certainly hope they do.
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>> what is secretary thinking since he is already skeptical realistically about tax that he is considering to further support the opposition in syria is talked about accelerant. suggested bolster the opposition forever. >> looking to accelerate the campaign and we will continue to do that. every opportunity we have to do that. not altered by the cessation.
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>> is there a plan b? is it only nothing? >> this is aa planning institution. always looking at contingencies. we will evaluate the cessation as it plays out. and that is where we are right now. >> what communications capabilities are links you setting up with the russians
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to communicate? what are the mechanisms of coordination and communication? >> ii am not aware of any. this agreement itself falls under the un umbrella. as i understand it spelled out compliance and how it will be monitored. the negotiators in the state department particular to walk you through this. >> in the pentagon come close to withdraw military advisers? >> we support secretary kerry and have in his efforts and will continue to support. >> folks were there at the site, the state department the entire time and will
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continue to support the state department in whatever way we can. trying to resolve this. >> louis: in the back. for the plug at that point. >> the line of questioning from earlier. not name publicly in the report. quoted as saying the chinese menu, 13 possible sites is a recommendation. ..
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>> we think there's people in congress who are willing to have that conversation. with the sense that carrie has gotten today. >> in the back have a question. >> i have a question about the okinawa issue. at the hearing today they came
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out 2025, can you help with him? >> i do not hear all of admiral harris's testimony's testimony today. we continue to believe and support the idea of opening up the facility as quickly as possible. working working closely with the government of japan and that remains our view. >> thank you everyone. [inaudible] [inaudible]
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>> senator pat roberts opposes president obama's plan to close the guantánamo bay prison. he took to twitter today sending a video crumpling up a piece of paper supposed to be the president's plan and throwing it in the trash. kansas republican went to the senate floor. >> as president i rise today to speak about president obama's plan to move guantánamo bay terrorist to the united states. however it is not much of a plan, with all due respect, it is more of a failed attempt at a failed campaign promise. in my view what he believes will secure his legacy. and fortunately for us, those who believe moving dangerous enemy combatants within our communities is dangerous, irresponsible, and an illogical idea. the president's plan contains nothing of substance. in. in fact it fails to recommend an


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