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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 9, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EST

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to demonstrate muscle and impress the region. i think that they will have an opposite effect when they align themselves with the syrian regime. they also won themselves with lebanese hezbollah and i will eventually alienate them from any of the states in the region. >> you think that that is his overall goal remap the alienation of those groups and alignment with themselves? has he achieved that? >> i think what they wanted to do was gain a greater understanding. they want influence in the region and they want to increase their influence in the region by doing some of the things that they have done. but i think that at the end of the day they will probably have the opposite effect of what they want to do. >> thank you, sir. >> i agree with everything that
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the general has just said and i would add one additional point which i think that the big lesson that we are learning out of this is the area between normal state competition and open warfare and i think that in my view this is an area in which russia is engaging and area is another example and eastern europe is another example and the ukraine is another example. they are challenging the open warfare, challenging influence and also the interest of many of our allies as well. so for those of us we are paying very close attention and trying to understand how this is going to impact our future operations and how we contribute in that particular area. >> i appreciate that. my time is short, but very quickly if you could just talk
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about this, why is it taking so long to develop a force that would keep that region stable? >> one of the things that i think must be done and i think senator, you probably feel the same way is that the sunnis have to be a part of the solution going forward. and so we have worked with the leadership of the prime minister to enlist and to higher and train the sunni tribal elements that can help us. they have across-the-board enlisted about 15,000 or so of these elements. they have proven that they are very reliable troops. the reason it has taken a long time is because there are hard-liners in the environment that do not want to see a large sunni force armed and equipped because of, you know, that
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experience. but nonetheless the sunnis have to be a part of the solution going forward and we see the prime minister doing some things to enlist their help and we just need to have some more activity here. >> gentlemen, thank you again. we appreciate your service. >> thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, you mentioned in your written testimony that the lack of stability and security threatens our peace and security objective in the middle east. and of course, whatever we do in the middle east is involving all kinds of unintended consequences. so when it was established in 2015 as you noted in your testimony, is an important step, it will take time to establish the authority.
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so can you talk more about what it's is supposed to happen under this agreement and what happens and what is to be expected to happen in libya and what kind of timeframe are we talking about to establish the stability and security in libya? >> thank you, senator. the agreement that the u.n. brokered to build the government of national accord is supposed to bring together the house of representatives in the east east and the general of national congress in the last and build a central government that could then begin to govern libya. this is going to be a long time coming as they work through this and we are continuing to press upon all the diplomatic fronts that the u.s. and international community can get moving and it has continued to move along quite slowly. as far as the second part of your question goes, to build this stability in libya is going
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to take a long time because of the lack of institutions that are there. the fractured society as well as the multiple competing militias and spoilers from all sides of the libyan society. >> what would you say is the one or two most important steps or conditions that must occur for this process to proceed in a way that will result in stability? >> i think that the government has to come together and have enough legitimacy in the eyes of the libyan people that it can function well enough to move forward. >> is that happening? >> it has not happened yet. >> is a beginning to happen? >> yes. >> you have any kind of this sense? tenures or 15 years?
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>> yes, it's going to take 10 or 15 years. >> thank you. general, typically what efforts are we engaging in that we hope to lower this imminent threat and do you think that a peaceful solution is possible at this point? >> thank you, senator. i do not know if a peaceful solution is possible. we are dealing with those types of weapons and the venues in which we are asking to deal with them, which are fairly peculiar. so we do maintain that capability as one of our no fail missions. that being said, the other thing that we have done over the last 18 months is increase our presence as well as our partnership with our south korean partners and i'm pretty proud to say that we are
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continuing to maintain a robust presence with all of our capability including air and maritime and grounds off forces as well. >> even as we speak are we engaging in some exercises with south korea. >> there are major exercises that occur at various times of the year. there is one going on right now. we are extraordinarily well integrated into that and through our special operations command korea we are supporting the gentleman and his objectives. >> thank you. regarding the key strategic goal and particularly as we see what is going on with north korea and china, with what you can say in this unclassified setting, can you comment on the asia pacific
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region and do you have a special operations force structure to meet the growing demands of this region and as this year's budget provide the resources necessary to meet the demand. >> for the last part of your question we absolutely do have a structure that is formed around special operations command pacific under my combatant command and we are sourcing them. they are a fairly robust headquarters and they have the ability to exercise coordination and integration with admiral harris and his staff. with regard to other things that we are doing i would like to say that most of our activities are bilateral. we certainly have had some success in the philippines in the past and in support of many of the admiral's objectives out there we are working very close
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as we tell them that we are very committed to the area. >> thank you very much and i think everyone here today. >> thank you. >> thank you all for your many years of great service. >> sir, sir, are you responsible for training the syrian democratic voices? >> we are providing forces. >> what percentage occurred? >> probably about 80%. [inaudible] >> we have seen some of the
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situations. >> is there a plan? >> we have a strategy to get this going. >> is there a plan? >> there is currently not a plan. >> is there a plan once it's taken? >> no, i would say there is not a plan to hold it. >> general, is it fair to say that one russia and ron came in they changed the balance militarily. >> yes, it is, senator. if i could make a comment or western. >> sure. >> as you know, as we continue to work with the forces, our goal is to recruit.
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>> will he confirm isis and not bashar al-assad? >> we will train and equip them to focus on isis. >> part of it is we're not going to support you when it comes to this. 2 that is correct, we only support those elements that are final. >> what happens when he bombs the people returning? would we do? >> we will defend the folks that we are supporting. >> have we defended them against the russians and others? >> in terms of forces that i have trained we have not had that issue. >> there are forces at the agency that has talked about this as well. is that correct? >> i would not want to address that at this time. >> i think that it's pretty common knowledge that people have been hit by the russians and the sheer max. is it fair to say that going into any negotiations that bashar al-assad is in pretty good shape because russia and
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iran are behind him militarily and we are not behind the opposition militarily? >> i would certainly say, senator, that russia's support and iran's support has really emboldened him and empowered him to a degree. >> thank you so much for your years of service. june 24, 2010, we are changing over from the general. i think that you indicated we are probably on the 10 yard-line when it comes to this. i think we are on the 10 yard-line and i think that the next 18 months will determine whether we get to the goal line or really are able to get to the goal line by 2011. did you recommend a residual force? >> yes, i did, sir. >> if we are on the 10 yard-line
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in june 24, 2010 using football analogies, what is the reaction? >> clearly we are in a completely different situation with respect to where we were and nobody knows us better than you because you have spent so much time over there. >> you see a possibility? what is the strongest proponent in iraq? it is a situation of capability. who has the most capability. >> the militia of shiites have a lot of situations. >> is it fair to say that they cannot liberate? >> i would say we go down that path we won't make a significant
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mistake. >> i cannot agree with you more and i am glad that you said that. we are relying on this and i think it's a long way away. general rodriguez, thank you for your service. what percentage of libya would you say is under the de facto control of extremists groups like isis? >> they control the area in and around their. i cannot give you an exact percentage or anything. the other places are either contested or a transitory effects. >> would you consider them a failed state reign. >> yes, sir. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you to the witnesses. general, i want to ask a couple
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questions as we touch upon each of the training that we do. i know that the u.s. military is a preferred training partner and i were kind of like to have you talk about success of those training efforts over the course of your three years in the position and what other nations do significant training of african militaries. and i would like to hear your thoughts on it. >> yes, sir. we are by far the largest training of african peacekeepers in africa. we have a tremendous amount of successes. just to give you a benchmark, the u.n. missions are 47% provided by african soldiers which is a significant increase over the last several years and
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almost 180 degrees turnaround for the decade. and then we have a great program that is led by state department with all of the soldiers that are trained by the state department as well as the other nations in molly. as we do a tremendous job of training all of the u.n. mission who are headed out there and i think that they have done extremely well overall as they are continue to be challenged in certain areas. we have had problems with discipline and some of the units but overall it has been successful. everyone of units has been trained as a comeback and has increased the forces. the u.n. also do some training as well.
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>> the training that we do is not only training around dealing with security challenges but some of these nations the military has been a force for stability and oppression or rule of law and human rights issues and so i assume that one of the sets of expertise that we provide is doing it in a way that respects the rule of law and human rights. >> it is, sir. it's about this in every aspect but also the rule of law and supporting the government in a democratic nation. >> would you talk about the same thing in regards to special forces operations? and training work that we do with other organizations?
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let's talk abo training componenabout the training component. >> thank you, senator. this is a good example of many of the ways in which we are working on this, particularly through soft elements. i think one of the best authorities as those that allow us to work closely with our partners here is developing capabilities and i think that that has been a very successful program. what we try to do is leverage the relationships that many of our countries have talked about. we have some great partners in north africa. we have inroads and a lot of organizations and we're trying to organize that as well.
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we are also trying to develop capacity and skill. so when you look at a country like this, it's a good example and they have actually been somebody who can deploy and support our activities. and so i think that we are leveraging it very well. >> we are looking at line items and expenditures in my opinion is that one of the best things that we did is as you look at the pentagon budget was either in their real estate were bringing leaders over here. it is just a fraction of the budget but it might be one of the best investments that we make interns of building capacity and building relationships that can be important. so we thank you for your
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service. >> general rodriguez, last year he said that the libya-based threats are growing. if left unchecked they have the highest potential among security challenges on the continent to increased risks to u.s. and strategic interests in the next two years and beyond. what is your assessment of the current situation? do you see these threats continuing to impact not just the united states? >> yes, senator, it has continued to grow in the last year as i have mentioned and it is also because of the space in libya. and i think that i agree with all of this.
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>> as we look at libya with how unstable this area of the world has become. ..
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government? what do you see? >> the first course is to press on some kind of government that can function in the eyes of people that think it can function properly. on the military side it's all about working with our partners in libya. they have a mission going on in
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the north to help with nato in the mediterranean sea. as well of shoring up all the partners around tunisia which we've done a good job. then somehow at some point in time the international community will have to figure out the expansion so this government has a chance to move forward. >> you do believe the formation from the outside helps in order to stabilize this? >> yes i do. >> do you have any idea who our partners? >> do we have partners outside? >> they have a mission in the mediterranean sea. the real critical partners who have continued to work in this effort are the u.k., france,
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italy as well as spain and germany. >> do we have a plan moving forward on that? >> yes we do ma'am. >> okay, general are you concerned about political reconciliation and libya? >> i am. that is a long-term proposition. i think we do have to be concerned about that. >> general austin, have you seen cooperation between syrian groups and russia? >> we have seen some cooperation between the northwestern part of the country with the russians. >> is it frequent cooperation? >> i would characterize it as
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infrequent but they are going to turn to the folks they think can provide them the most. >> have the attacked syrian rebels that have been supported by us? >> there has been evidence of that. i don't see it growing. we don't see much activity at all. >> thank you mr. chair. >> thank you all for your distinguished service to our nation. i noticed in your testimony general, reference to enhancing our relationships to special operators, the interactivity with ours. what can we do to support it?
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>> it is something i see as a priority. in fact we haven't incorporated into our headquarters from about 17 or 18 foreign soft forces who are integrated with our headquarters. that's a demonstration as to how important we think it is. i think what you can do is continue to support our efforts in that regard. frankly, the biggest challenges we have is information sharing arrangements that we have with them. i feel that as a friction point that we continue to work through. i think anything we can do in those regards would be very, very positive. >> is information sharing also an issue when it comes to other united states agencies such as the dea, the fbi? i notice the
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reference in your testimony to those agents as well. >> in general, i think that has improved a lot so i don't see those as significant obstacles. most of those agencies have representatives that my headquarters and may help smooth any potential conflicts we have. i think our interchange of information sharing with them is quite good. >> over the years, we have heard testimony both in secure settings and public settings such as this one about the opportunities and the feelings to heroin, opium, which not only undermines our activities but also threatens our national security at home. in fact we are debating now in
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florida senate a measure called the comprehension addiction and recovery act, which aims to prevent as well as treat addiction to substances in our country. i wonder if you could comment on both the opportunities and the potential feelings of our nations in addressing those problems, the interdicting and stopping the flow of heroin and other substances to this country and the growing of it in other countries. >> we've had a long-term planning countries like colombia with u.s. special operations forces for a while but have had some success to it. we do conduct a number of activities in southern regions to support some of our partners in those particular efforts and in most cases, we begin to see
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some successful we do that. i think they look for our leadership, they look for our partnership and they look for our expertise in helping them with that. i think what we generally see with those countries that we partner with, we do see some success. certainly the problem is extensive. i think our focus on interdiction is extraordinarily important. in my view, in my experience, the same routes over which drugs travel, humans travel, foreign terrorist fighters could travel, so i think these are multipurpose threats to us that have to be addressed very, very seriously. >> in some ways the flow of heroin is along the same routes of terrorists travel, as other kinds of threats to our nation,
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they come to this nation. >> in our experience, i think that is true. >> thank you very much. thank you for your excellent testimony today. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. thanks to all of you for being here and all you do for the security of our country. the new york times report from february 27 recanted that at the time, when an intervention in libya was being discussed, secretary bob gates stated that qaddafi was not a threat to us anywhere. then the director of defense and intelligence agency, michael flynn commented that qaddafi was a thug in a dangerous neighborhood, but he was keeping order. how has the ks in chaos in
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libya, specifically the weapons from qaddafi's stockpiles in the infiltration of isis and al qaeda affiliates led to the destabilization of the middle east and threaten our security interest? >> thank you senator, the first affects of that destabilization was in molly when many of the fighters and arms ammunition explosives had that way which created challenges north africa and mali. the militias who have grown up in and around and used many of the animation stocks for their power and influence, not only only internal to libya, but external to its neighbors, and then the challenges have continued to grow because of isis and its brand of terrorism
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to threaten places like tunisia and then of course destabilize and total chaos in the area there has contributed to the problem. >> thank you. in a long report last week from the new york times, it was made clear that then secretary of state clinton in the white house were persuaded to support western intervention in libya into thousand 11. that was largely due to pressure from european and arab allies. it seems to vindicate that they would leave the operations to the united states to lead from behind, as it was put at the time. what what is your assessment of the involvement of european and arab nations in libya now, after the intervention has now led to chaos and a sort of islam it
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direction? >> i think they said many times, we would all hope that many of the european know would do more in this arena. >> the united states has been supporting saudi arabia's military initiative in yemen for over a year. this is for general austin, sharing intelligence and providing logistical support. in this time, they have not been driven out and the humanitarian crisis that is there seems to have been exacerbated and hasn't been alleviated. further, tereus terrorist groups are able to have safe havens and gain strength, finances and weaponry. what is your overall goal in supporting the salaries in in
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yemen and would you assess their intervention in yemen thus far as being successful? >> first of all i ask assess the current state is that there at an operational stalemate. i think both sides have pushed hard against each other because neither one has an overwhelming advantage and they don't seem to feel the need to come to the table to negotiate in earnest. having said that, even though i would characterize it as it as an operational stalemate, i think it's trending as a saudi led coalition because of some barriers that have been made here recently. our goal is to support the
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coalition in their efforts to reestablish the legitimate government in yemen. we are hopeful that the saudi's will be able to bring, the coalition will be able to bring them to the table and negotiate a settlement that allows for the governments come back in and reestablish itself. if it does, it will enable us to work with that government to do more to counterterrorist networks. we will be able to do more, but it doesn't mean that were doing nothing right now. as you know, with all the means that we have available, we are pressurizing a q a p on a daily basis. >> thank you. general austin, could you give us a quick update on the status of the investigation into the
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allegations of corruption of the intelligence analysis function in cincom? >> the investigation is ongoing. the dod ig continues its work and as i said, from the very beginning, the leadership at cincom will do everything in its power to support the efforts of dod ig to get to the problem of this. >> do we have a date or a projected date? it's been sometime since the investigation. >> it has, sir, i would defer to the ig to provide that date. >> did you stand up any kind of investigation of your own of these investigations question. >> it would be an appropriate me to do that while the other investigation is going on. >> you don't have any idea of
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when the ig will be completing their work? >> i don't, sir, i hope it will be soon. i would also also tell you that as i said before, if the ig or the investigation finds out or determines that there have been inappropriate actions, i will take the appropriate measures to address whatever the infections were. it's important to me that my intelligence analysts and all of my subordinates provide me input on a regular basis. >> understand that. that's why characterized you as the unintended victim here. let me change the subject for moment. afghanistan, the current schedule is 9800 - 5500 on january 1 of 17. the problem as i see it is to get to 5500, you can't just turn a switch on december 31.
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there has to be a drawdown of some kind starting in late summer. are you concerned, given the heightened level of taliban activity, that we would be making a stake by in barking on a drawdown of that nature? to get back to the foot law football analogy, if were on the five or 10-yard line, it concerns me if we are back to being calendar driven rather than being conditions driver. >> yes or, the way i view this is you have to have a plan and you build that plan on faxing you make assumptions at the time that you build the plan. >> given, you've testified to a heightened level of taliban activity and greater stress on the afghan forces. isn't it time to reassess that plan now is mark if we wait till august or september we are already in the mist of a drawdown. >> sir, that's exactly where i
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was going. as the facts changed, and as the assumptions are no longer valid, it's appropriate to go back and review that plan and make adjustments as required. >> is that happening right now? is there a reassessment underway? >> this new commander is on the ground and he is assessing things now, that at all levels, we will take a look at this and make the appropriate recommendations to the leadership. >> i certainly hope we don't find ourselves in a situation where we are drawing down at a time both in terms of personnel and authority we need more authority to maintain really significant gains that have been achieved. general rod reagins, is al-shabaab growing? are they adding members i know they don't hold territory but are they adding areas of influence question. >> boko haram does own significant territory in northern siberia as does
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al-shabaab in somalia. right now in somalia, there has been a tactical upswing in al-shabaab activities and i think that's a tactical change right now and we are doing everything we can to support the countries to ensure that is just a temporary change. >> final question the cessation of hostilities, would you categorize that as a locking in as the regime's position or a cessation's of hostilities? that always seems to favor the regime. how would you characterize that? is that a predecessor to peace talks or something else? >> it's left to be seen what the outcome would be.
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the goal is to get the help to the disadvantage people. that's a really big thing. we would also like this to lead to the talks. we are hopeful that it will lead to a better out outcome. i think that long term, the russians don't own the clock. if we reach a point where this drags out for an extremely long period of time, then i think it will play to their disadvantage. >> that's certainly better than the all-out war that we were seen before. >> absolutely. >> thank you.
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>> thank you gentleman for your testimony and for your long service to our country, particularly the the two who may no longer have the pleasure of appearing before our committee anymore. general austin i want to take stock of russia's intervention in syria last fall when russia first intervened and obama and several others used words like strategic blunder. are they achieving their objectives now? >> i can't speak to what their specific objectives were, but what i would tell you senator is that my assumption would be that they want to make a substantial difference as fast as they could and transition to something else very, very quickly. i think they are finding out
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this could go on for some time. >> if you stand page 12 of your testimony, it is apparent that russia's actions in syria is to bolster the asad regime. skipping down a few lines you say asad would not be empowered today if it weren't for the robust power provided to the regime by iran and russia. is it fair to say they are meeting the objective of stabilizing the regime? >> they have certainly bolstered and empowered the asad regime, yes or. >> you say further on page 13, none of russia's actions have helped stabilize syria or end the suffering of the syrian people can you elaborate? >> we still see thousands and thousands of civilians being disadvantaged. their intervention has not made
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things better. >> can you give us a rough estimate of how much russia airstrikes are targeting islamic states position in personnel? >> i would say a small percentage i think what you said is they want to come in and counter what we did. what we witnessed in almost all cases, they have gone after counter regime forces. >> you further on page 13 that russia's coordination with iran seems to be growing and is emerging toward a strategic partnership. could you say more about that you emerging strategic partnership? >> it's hard to say where this will line up, but we see a strengthening of that relationship as time has passed. russia came in and aligned itself with the regime and also
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iran and lebanese and hezbollah. where were news that relationship tween syria, russia and iran develops further, it will present a problem for the region. on page 21, you state something similar, they will continue to support some shiite groups and bahrain, lebanese, and other areas and they look to expand their cooperation in areas that include the sale of high-end weapons. can you say little bit more about those weapons that were you? >> we've seen recently the sale of high-end air defense capability from russia to iran. that's a problem for everyone in the region and also coastal
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defense cruise missiles. is that type of weapons migrates, that'll eventually end up in the hands of hezbollah. >> and like to asked general rodriguez a question. in north africa and eastern mediterranean, what are the implications for a long-term area with the robust weapons that they have. what are the implications in the region? >> there are potential threats their senator, and i think russia has had a presence in this region, as you know, for some time. i think we have to do everything we can as an international
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community to put pressure on russia to make sure these weapons don't move around the region freely. >> general rodriguez? >> i agree. we've talked about this and this is important for it to not get anywhere. >> general rodriguez, my final question, what can can you tell us about the ongoing violence in brindley? what is the impact it could have on the region? >> the violence thus far is mainly political violence and has not degenerated to the direct ethnic problems.
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we are watching that every single day to make sure that does not grow. most of it has been politically motivated and is ethnically motivated. >> thank you very much. >> on behalf of chairman nelson. >> gentlemen, thank you you for your public service. thank you general austin for your long enduring public service. we've been proud to have you as a citizen of tampa. as with general patel. he will continue to be a citizen of tampa for a while. let me ask you about libya. do we have the capability, general rodriguez, rodriguez, to prosecute a war in libya against isis while at the same time going after them in other parts
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of the world including iraq and syria? >> i think the answer to that is yes. is the question of how much risk we as a nation can take and how much you commit versus maintain. >> as i understand it, you all have a recommendation to the white house. obviously you can't share that because that's internal conversation but in your status of forces, you have capability that it's the president's decision to go after isis and other elements in libya, we have the ability to thwart those elements? >> yes sir, i do. >> thank you. would any of you like to comment
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on the efforts around here to cut back on your headquarter staff? >> we have worked hard throughout the headquarters to figure out where the best place to combat and that continues to move forward. we will support the efforts going forward. >> we clearly want to leverage all of the capabilities that exist to the entire system. we want to avoid the vocation of effort wherever possible. as you look at u.s. central command, as you know, as i've mentioned earlier, were involved with four major military operations simultaneously, if you include afghanistan, iraq
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and syria. and yemen and the current battle against the terrorist and the region. it takes a fair amount of effort to maintain all of that. also to do things to promote stability and security throughout the region as well. the effort applies to everyone. i fully appreciate it may have to do my part, but again, we also need the capability to maintain the efforts that we are involved in. >> senator nelson, i would agree with those comments. certainly there are opportunities for us to simplify and streamline and reduce duplication. we should always be looking at that. the concern that i would have is that we did make some decisions in the past to move people from our headquarters out to our
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theaters operations committee and we've recognized this in the past and we certainly should continue to look at how we create more efficiency and effectiveness to how we are doing our headquarters response abilities. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to thank the three of you for your service. general austin, in particular, i want to thank you for all you have done for the army and america and the opportunity that i had to serve with you nearly a decade ago. it was a highlight of my career but i am concerned about the lack of marine sitting behind you so i know, that was a joke. i know the staff puts in a lot of work to these testimonies why want to put in a thank you to the men and women.
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i want to follow up on senator mccain and senator cotten's comments on the iranian weapons sales from russia to iran, particularly the s300 missile defense system. there's an article that talks about that system which would be capable of rendering the iranians guys for u.s. and israeli jets. one thing that hasn't come up in the testimony, isn't that just a blatant violation of the un security council of weapons ban of sales to the iranians that still in existence, and a violation of the current iranian nuclear deal that the united states and other countries signed? >> no -- i don't know if it's a violation of the nuclear deal.
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it is concerning to everyone. this will increase the amount of effort to do the work we need to do. we will certainly find the ways and means to get the job done it for you are required to do that, but it makes it a little more difficult. but not impossible, senator. >> i want to turn the three of you, you have decades and decades of experience with regard to the service in the u.s. army. earlier we were talking about a lot of focus on our special operations troops. seems to be less focus on our conventional army. we required to get the army down to 450,000 active-duty soldiers. i think some of the army are looking at that as bringing very high levels of risk, given the new security challenges that our
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nation faces not only in sing come and african a ors, but really all over the world. i would like your professional military opinion on that number, given the increase of threats that use in your different a ors. do you agree with statements by mr. fanning that our army is getting dangerously small given the current threat environment and that the number of 450,000 troops, in terms of active duty army is to higher risk given our threats? >> in my judgment, i do agree with the comments that he has made in regard to that. i would just add, as i mentioned in my comments, the special operations commander, we are extraordinarily dependent on
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services, and the army in particular. what they they bring in institutional and infrastructure capability that we are absolutely, 100% dependent hundred% depended on. i am concerned as these reductions take place and the fact that it has an effect on us both directly and indirectly. i think there's a lot of focus in this committee that says we don't need big forces or airborne troops because we have special ops. they certainly can't do it all in today's threat environment. >> senator i couldn't agree with you more. i would not want to give anyone the impression that special operations command has all the capabilities it needs to do the operations we do. literally everything we do is supported by some conventional force. whether were at sea or other
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types of logistics, we are very dependent on of other types of activities and support. >> can you comment on your military judgment of what you think the number right now, in terms of 450,000 active-duty does to our nation security? >> i absolutely agree, it's high risk. both the current operations that are going on with counterterrorism as well as the threats from the four major challenges out there. >> in a life i was the joint chief of the army. we were concerned then and even more concerned now. i do agree with general miller's comments. >> that for 50 is too small? >> yes sir, we are getting dangerously small. >> thank you.
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thank you mr. chairman. >> it's hard for me to believe, general rodriguez, that it's been nine years. before that time, of course you all remember it was part of three different comms including -- i also remember i was opposed to sending the troops into bosnia. the excuse being used at that time was because of ethnic cleansing. i recall being in florida and it was something that was needed. it was brought up by senator cotten that there is a problem
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over there. there are a lot of problems in africa. they don't rise to the top, but the president there is one that our state department opposed ended like to know, it's my understanding, i know him personally and i have been with him several times. he was legitimately put into office but was nonelection. the reason our state department was opposed to him running again was because the term limits would have set in if that first term had been considered a full-time. now you follow me there so far. then when the courts came along, the supreme court agreed he was entitled to run again and then i
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will always believe that one of the big political problems that you've pointed to in answering the question is that our state department is very active in that race. our state department was very objected to the fact that he is running again. he was running it again in spite of the fact that there supreme court had made that decision. did you have any thoughts on that at the time or were you involved in that discussion? >> i was not involved in that discussion senator and my thoughts continue to be focused on the military and their role. >> good, i appreciate that and i wish the state department sometimes would follow that advice to. there are other problems that have been brought out here. we've been talking about libya and boko haram in northern nigeria, al-shabaab and somalia. other than those in the discussion on libya, what other areas do you see are taking place with really hot issues in africa other than the 3i just mentioned? >> sir, al qaeda and what's happening in northern mali and
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we have challenges in south sudan and central african republic. >> and in zimbabwe too. it's an interesting situation because i remember for years, south sudan was one of the independence from sudan and they finally did it and they end up in a civil war. what's the status of that civil war right now? >> sir that civil war continues in both the leaders are being obstructionist people to limit the ability of that government to get back together again. >> they are supposedly, right now in ethiopia, i think it is, trying to have peace talks. you see anything productive going on there? >> first, the fact that the regional partners are pressing them diplomatically to come to a solution solution is a very good sign and i think unfortunately
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that has happened before and wb. >> one last area that i've been interested in for a long time, in 2005, i went up and i was with two senators, and that was the first time that the lra had really serviced in the minds of people of how serious that thing was. he went as far south as congo and maybe western rwanda and then the african republic. just last week, one of his top people was done away with and over the years, we found others of his top people, but it seems he continues to go on even though the level of the
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tragedies is subsiding quite a bit. do you agree with that? could you give us -- >> we can send continue to pursue him with all means possible. >> okay, that's that's all you care about. thank you. >> thank you mr. chair. this is a follow-up to the chairman's opening statement when he talked about the micromanagement of operations. as you gentlemen are more than well aware looking at the levels of warfare, strategic, operational, tactical, and how when you go down to that level, there's obviously obviously some civilian involvement but the further down the conventional wisdom is, the last civilian involvement there should be. in fact, one of the classic criticisms of the vietnam war and the conduct of that war is how is micromanage. pictures of president johnson in the white house and the oval office picking targets in vietnam and they were seen as a symbol of mismanagement for that
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war. yet, just to give you a couple quotes from articles in the paper that talks about what seems to be extreme levels of micromanagement's. i don't. i know these are not easy questions. the u.s. military campaigning in syria as being designed to allow president obama to have a high level of personal control allowing the military to obtain sign ups first strikes in territory. similarly, former sec. gates recently said, when he was talking about the operational micromanagement, he said it drove me nuts to have staffers
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calling senior commanders out of field and second-guessing these commanders. when i was the deputy of national security adviser, if i tried to call a fueled commander going around the secretary of defense or the chairman of the joint chiefs, i would've had my head handed to me, probably personally by the president. does the white house approve targets in terms of our operations in syria and if so, is it helpful to have twentysomethings with no military experience on the nfc staff second-guessing what our commanders are doing in the field? does that happen? in the wall street journal it said the president was going to approve military targets in syria. does that help our operational tempo? it seems like it's micromanaging, not even the operational level but down to the tactical. i think most of us think that is a huge mistake. >> i know it's not an easy question, do you care to comment on how you see the micromanagement, that could be
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helpful for us in terms of our oversight capability. >> the question as to whether or not the white house approves our strikes and pics art targets in syria, that is an easy answer and the the answer is no. that doesn't happen. >> they don't approve targets or strike packages or targets that were focus in syria on terms of what were bombing? >> no that doesn't happen. we have a process where we generate the intelligence that goes into our target analysis and our target generation process. it's approved by military commanders. >> then related to that, when the iranians took our sailors prisoner, was there any involvement? how did that happen in terms of the are always we had sailors out there with 50
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caliber machine guns that are pretty forceful weapons. was there any involvement there from higher political forces that talked about our wheeze and said we can't return fire? how did our sailors get captured by iranian forces? wide and pay return fire when they had the iranians come upon them? >> to answer your question as to whether or not there was intervention from a higher level of the white house, in this particular incident, the answer is absolutely not. things unfolded rapidly with the sailors. investigation on that has just been completed. it has been forwarded up through channels to be reviewed by the cnl. it will take a bit more time for it to be finalized, but what you know and what has been reported
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with the sailors veering off course and had a mechanical issue that they addressed and when they did, they were taken by iranians. in terms of specifics on what happened between the iranians and the sailors, that will come out as a result of the investigation. >> thank you. >> it's interesting in these hearings, how matters and how the question is asked. i think facts are stubborn things. for example, for 16 months, we did we did not bomb the fuel trucks that isis was using and generating millions and millions of dollars in oil revenues. it's a fact that it was a recommendation that we hit those oil trucks. it wasn't turned down, it was never approved. this is what is so infuriating
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to so many of us. so for 16 months, these fuel trucks went unmolested and god knows how many millions of dollars of fuel in revenue. sixteen months later we finally drop some leaflets and told the drivers to get out of their trucks. this hearing is adjourned.
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the southern border. this is two hours. >> good morning this hearing is called to order. let me thank secretary jay johnson for coming before the committee. i know you've done this a few times. i know you have also did a
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little bit earlier than you wanted to. i want to thank you for that. thank you for your service. i can imagine this is a real think filled position. it's a serious responsibility. i know you are serious individual and trying to do everything you can't keep this nation safe and secure. i really do appreciate your efforts. it's a difficult agency in a difficult department. it's taking some time to do it, but i think you've brought the right approach to the job. i appreciate your efforts. for our own part here, i want to thank members of the committee for coming here. it's important for the committee. when i became chairman and sat down with the former chairman and my wing man, the first thing we did, because my business background, i thought it was very helpful to have a mission statement. we developed a mission statement for the committee. it's it's pretty simple, to enhance the economic security of america. you can separate those two.
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they go hand-in-hand. based on that, on the homeland security side of the committee, we established five priorities. nothing really, they're all top priorities, we've held 14 hearings on border security. we've taken trips down the border to central america. the border is not secure. cyber security. as keith alexanders that it's the greatest transfer of wealth in history, these cyber attacks. this committee is working to pass the cyber security enhancement act. we have that passed into law. that was the first that. it's not a fantasy, it's a first step. third priority, infrastructure including our electrical grid. i'm pretty sure ted koppel has written a book called lights out
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talking about the vulnerabilities involved in that. that's something we need to do more work on. the fourth priority, what can we do as a committee, as federal government to counter islamic terrorists and other violent extremist? the fifth part priority is commit this committee to do everything we can to assist the secretary as well as james comey and rasmussen in succeeding their mission of keeping this nation safe. what this hearing is all about is the budget hearing. this is providing the funds in what i would consider a top priority of government. i want to really have this hearing and be focusing on those threats and what we can do to keep this safe and secure so america can be prosperous. national security and economic security go hand-in-hand. so i do ask that my written statement be entered into the record. thank you for coming here and
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thank you for your service. >> thank you mr. chairman. it's great to see you. i want to echo the chairman's comments on thinking you for your leadership. the leadership team is here and we've had a chance to spend time with them and we are grateful for their service and the 220 people we have of the department of homeland security. thank you for joining us today. as you know the president's request a little over $40 billion, 40.6 to be exact in discretionary funding for dhs. it's for dhs. it's roughly a 1% decrease in the budget compared to last year. while i am pleased that many of these items are funded i do have several questions about the proposals and the impact it may have on the department and our ability to do our collective jobs. i understand the need to do more
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with less to bring down our nation's deficit and debt. making additional progress is critical for the well-being of our nation and our economy. while doing so, we also need to make sure that the department has the funds it needs to keep the american people safe against a constantly evolving and growing threat that we face as a nation. i'm concerned by the proposal to cut funding for several homeland security grants and some grants would be cut by as much as 45%. these funds are vital to helping our communities better prepare for disasters and terrorist attacks. in boston for example, we already talked about critical grants in preparing the community to respond like they did for the boston bombing. i know raising these fees is not always popular with some of the congress but i also felt that if something is worth having, it is worth paying for.
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that is why i support a reasonable fee increase that will update us and help us carry out the mission. there will be roughly $900 million hold in the budget for tsa. $900 million. that is deeply concerning. i hope we all come together and find a sensible solution to this challenge. despite these areas of concern, there are a number of positive items included in this budget. i mention a few of them. for example, there is a sizable investment, over $1 billion dollars in cyber security. there's a 30% increase over last year for the budget. this will help the department carry out several that they have helped pass over the years. for instance, the budget request includes needed increase in cyber security tools to secure our federal government.
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they're also planning for additional personnel. the proposed budget also continues our recent investments in border security. i was particularly pleased to see increase in funding for force multipliers. there's also pleased to see the budget request continue to make countering violent extremism high priority. last month this committee marked up my legislation i look forward to working with you mr. secretary and director of the office as well as their colleagues in the senate.
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finally i'm encouraged to see funding for the ongoing consolidation. completing this project will save taxpayers more than $700 million over the next 30 years by cutting down the number we used to hose dhs personnel. i'll close by recognizing that your leadership along with that of your deputy and the emphasis of your senior staff, some of whom are here today and over 200 ranking filed dhs employees in support of your unity of efforts and initiatives, along with members of our committee staff, we look forward to learning more and today about how we can work together to ensure your department has the tools, the resources, the authorities it needs to work even more effectively. thank you for joining us today. we look forward to your testimony on our conversation. >> thank you. it is the tradition of this
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committee to be sworn in so please rise and raise right hand. do you's where the testimony will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god. >> i do. >> you may be seated. >> sec. jay johnson is the fourth secretary of the homeland scaredy. prior to joining dhs he served as general counsel for the department of defense. when he was part of the senior management team he led more than 10,000 military military and civilian lawyers across the department. >> every time i hear that i think i need to rewrite that bio. people think it's more impressive that i ran an organization of 10,000 lawyers lawyers versus an organization of 200,000 people. mr. chairman, ambers of the committee, you have my written statement.
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this year's budget permission, as as i think senator carper has accurately outlined reflects hard and difficult choices to fit within the budget caps. because we had to make choices there are some things i wish we could've funded at higher levels that we do not in this budget request. let me say that i appreciate very much the true partnership that i think we've had it dhs with the members of this committee. what i believed to be a very effective bipartisan working relationship with members of this committee since i've been secretary, i think together together we have accomplished a lot. going back to even before i was confirmed and i began courtesy calls with members of this committee, i took to heart the
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message i received from you about the importance of management reform. reforming the way in which our department does business. overall, my goal is secretary for the remanding 319 days i'm in office is to leave the department of homeland security in a better place than i found it. but that means is improving the efficiency and the effectiveness by which we deliver homeland security to the american public. the senate piece for that, as you know has been our unity of effort initiative. under which we have established joint tax forces for border security on the southwest and southeast borders, we have ecstatic us to joint requirement of counsel to improve our acquisition and efficiency. we have beefed up our office of immigration statistics, we are, as many of you know developing
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better metrics for evaluating and measuring border security and total attempts across the border initiative that we started called border stat. i've appreciated the advice and input i've received from this committee in this regard we have initiated something called the data framework initiative to better integrate eta that we collect within the department so the data itself is not so typed and is effectively utilized against all our databases. this committee can help us. through the authorization of a number of activities, so they are cemented into law and institutionalized and go beyond my job is secretary, the time i have a secretary, i appreciate the effort and i've reviewed the legislative language of this committee to institutionalize our joint task forces, our joint requirement counsel, joint duty
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and to elevate the office of policy within dhs to the undersecretary level and to elevate the importance of that office of policy which i think is in indispensable, thank you senators for passing out of this committee legislation to specifically authorize our office for community partnerships which spearhead our efforts. we also believe it is important to consolidate our dnd oh and health fair functions, more effectively and efficiently around our office which is impending legislation right now. i also support the restructuring of the national protection and
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programs dir. into a more streamlined and effective and operational citizen of cyber security and infrastructure protection agency. i know we have been working effectively with your staff on authorizing a number of these things and i fully support this effort and hope that we can continue to work down this path in the future. thank you very much and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you mr. secretary.ogra.
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nothing could be further from the truth. >> could you speak a little in terms of what you're trying to do an engagement? >> thank you for the question. given the nature of the problem and the nature of the current threat, which in the homeland includes terrorist inspired attacks, law enforcement, the u.s. government is not always in a position to know about someone who is self radicalizing. it is the case, however that in almost every instance i can think of self radicalized actors, somebody close to that person was in a position to know. so, since i've been secretary, i have put a top priority on our efforts that are fundamental to the homeland security mission. so goal number one, build bridges with communities including muslim communities. i have personally traveled to
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almost every metropolitan area that has a significant muslim population. when i go, i want to be sure that state and local law-enforcement is with me. simply building bridges with these communities to say, help us help you. if you see something, say something. beyond that, the mandate that partnership is to engage the tech sector so the tech sector helps communities amplify the counter message to isil and engage philanthropy or it how can philanthropy help and support community activities. i'm pleased that in this years budget we we can have money for our efforts and in the sears budget we also have requested money for rcd efforts. these are my three goals for our
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efforts and i believe they are as important as any other homeland security mission, given the nature of the threats we face. >> thank you. i appreciate your efforts. one of the most important things we can do is engage those communities in positive ways. i do have to bring up, we went on the border and were incredibly impressed of what your department did in 2014 addressing the crisis. we have got more efficient at apprehending, processing and dispersing, the depredations of some of these children that have been in the process and disperse and we have lost track of them. i want to talk but the numbers. through january, we have had 16438 unaccompanied children from central america. that compares to 11034 in fy
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2014. if we just did the math on that and pro rate that, in 2014 we had 51000 on accompanied in this was crisis year. if we have maintain this pace we will have 70000. we don't have the 2014 number so that would be my first question. how many unaccompanied children were apprehended and processed and dispersed in february? >> well i want to compare numbers.
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>> branch on the southwest border. the 2nd lowest number since 1982. in the fall in october, november, december we saw an increase in uic's and a number was 60700 75. in january the number went down by more than half. after. >> the chart in terms of total by fiscal year. >> it went down to 28,000, but in the 1st four months if he and utilize the numbers we would be up to 77,000 per fiscal year 2016. >> we saw significant drop off to 3,111.
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february 2163113 in terms of you acs. the march number so far, only seminary days in the march much of the same paces february, slightly higher. has everyone knows, in early january we began a series of public concerted efforts in interior enforcement the focus on families. we also focus on just about every other population that is in the country those who came into the country as children or adults and those people are in removal proceedings. the total number of those
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sent back to central america is just over 28,000. the total number sent back either by cbp this fiscal year to mexico's around 128,000. as a pretty significant numbers. so we are sending a very public message you do not have a valid claim for asylum and have been ordered deported by immigration court. i have been public about that. >> again, in february 2014 2014 at did not have the numbers to compare. 3400 unaccompanied children from central america. in february of 2016 about 3100. >> the february 2014 number is 4,840. >> border metrics.
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>> am happy to share this. >> and we will take a look at that. we are pretty darn close, and you and utilize where we are. looking at 77,000 this year versus 51,000 and 2015. we can massage the numbers little bit. >> i don't think that's accurate. >> what do you have year to date? >> year to date uic, 23,553. >> up to 28,000 already. >> twenty-three. >> so that's just four months. >> five months. >> through five months. still at a pretty high pace. >> the numbers are high, definitely.
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but they are -- i have not done the math and i'm not sure there at the same february 14 pace. i'm happy to share these. >> 2014 was a crisis. right now we are running ahead of 2014 levels. >> i don't believe that's true. >> we will compare notes. i have run out of time. >> i just ran the numbers quickly. twenty-four thousand fifteenth months equating to an annual number that holds for the next seven months, looking at about 57,000. >> where the difference may be is you are looking at central america numbers and i'm looking at the total numbers. >> okay. >> let's stick with central america for a moment.
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i applaud the administration we need to invest not just in border patrol but invest in fixed wing aircraft, unmanned aircraft, address helicopters, motion detectors, all of the above. the administration's budget calls for a very small reduction, 300 out of every 21 or 22,000 border patrol officers. a significant investment in technology that will enable those border patrol officers to be more effective. i applaud that. with respect to central america and the flow of unaccompanied children and families, they are not coming from mexico. we know
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mexico. we know now there are more mexicans going back into mexico from the us than coming. a quarter of a trillion dollars to strengthen our border with mexico. we spent less than 1 percent all these folks trying to get out to make it to our country. we have been down there, and they lack hope, economic opportunity, rampant violence. it is situation we are complicit with because we buy drugs. they flow through the countries. listen money and guns down to the countries make life miserable. they want to leave and come here. we need -- is usually
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important. they have come up with their own plan. there are successful in turning columbia around. >> the ability to govern. security, rule of law, economic development. turnover tax dollars to those governments to focus. imust raise their own money. we provide funding the goes through our own efforts to the nonprofit organization. the administration's proposal comeau we will do that. the unaccompanied minors. the 1st three months of the fiscal year were concerning.
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he sent a message. maybe that is been received. i want to focus the last minute or two on the impact of dhs fees and their impact on the department of homeland security and the public. the cvp and tsa collect what will be the impact on the average american if those fees are increased slightly. it will be the impact on the department of homeland security, and if we do not support the fee increases that the administration is requested. >> let me begin by saying that the budget request, as i said before, does reflect our choices. part of our request is a request for authorization of the fee increase with
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respect to air passengers in the airline fee increase. the proposed increase would restore revenue fees from the airlines. i believe the amount is 470 million dollars. >> about a dollar ticket. >> that's for the airline. >> the passenger fee proposed increase is $5.60 to $6.60. that is a dollar increase. the underlying rationale for the proposed fee increases that a goes to pay for aviation security. in border entry and airports. and that those who use the system as opposed to those taxpayers generally should help a little more and paying for those things and services for aviation security. my recollection is that these two proposals to
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generate about 900 million in revenue for the department. these are not increased are going to have a problem finding where to pay for aviation security. aviation security right now given the world environment in my judgment is critical for the congress to support. i was pleased by this year's budget and next year's budget request. we have held the line on tso's. we are not reducing them anymore. the administrator and ii are making a number of investments in aviation security. we need help to pay for that. right now i believe aviation security is critical given the world situation. >> i agree. >> thank you so much. >> senator portman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary, good to have you
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before the committee. if i could, i want to get some rapid responses to issues. first is an issue we are dealing with right now, this epidemic of prescription drug and heroin addiction overdoses. we understand this now is primarily coming from mexico. we had testimony director of public safety. while means to infiltrate the country. can you give us a sense of what we could be doing better to interdict these drugs? and specifically tell us what percent of the heroin coming in is apprehended and stopped at the border and
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what percent is coming into our communities? >> a couplea couple of things. most of the heroin that is brought into the country is over land, not by sea. the coast guard is focused on this, but most of it is smuggled by land. i do know that the percentage of heroin smuggled, interdict and by cbp that was smuggled, those numbers,, those numbers, the volume has been going up between last year and the year before my going up because of our sustained enhanced efforts. this is an effort that our joint task forces have undertaken, an effort that cbp has undertaken in an effort that homeland security has undertaken as well. i do not have an estimate of what percentages interdicted versus what percentage gets through. if we have that number i
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will see if i can provide it for you. >> the number you hear commonly is nine out of ten. the people we represent are getting through. >> the volume of seizures has been going up lately. >> i would love to follow up with you and figure out how we can do a better job. this legislation focuses more on prevention, treatment, recovery. one of the issues is how you stem the flow and increase the price because one of the issues is prescription drugs are being replaced by heroin because the prices are so low. on unaccompanied children issues they held a hearing. this is where unaccompanied children come in. itin. it looks like the numbers will be high again this year. made some progress over the last couple of months.
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kids and attention. with hhs, you don't detain them. hhs does and provides children to adults cosponsors. they go to the sponsors before they can come to an immigration hearing. what we found out is, some of these children were placed not with sponsor superfamily members our surrogates but actual traffickers. in cases of ohio we had kids from guatemala who ended up on a farm being exploited. these traffickers got the kids from the department of health and human services. my question, are you aware and are you working to come up with a way to implement legislation to prohibit children from being placed with traffickers? >> i am aware of these unfortunate situations. i know the secretary is
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focused on the placement of the children. it is a legal obligation. together we have as people are screened.
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>> as the fbi director has commented, her social media was not public prior to her entry to the united states. notwithstanding that we have enhanced our use of social media to have a number of pilot programs going on now. there was a social media task force to give a report to me. i directed the department to go further in our use of social media. we use it now for something like 30 different intelligence purposes but we are enhancing the use of social media in connection with immigration benefits for refugee betting and k-1 review. >> senator. >> thank you. you and your team need to be commended.
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i want to talk a little bit. we visited outside the door. there is a recommendation to reduce it. i hope you continue to take public input with the folks that live in the region. i think from a security and economic standpoint i know you will look at both. it is important. as we tried to continue to grow trade with canada it is very, very important we take a look from that perspective. we will follow up off-line. as long as tsa and fees were brought up i want to talk just a little bit about fall body scanners. in front of our committee.
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we have a number in montana. there is a percentage of folks who do not have the full body scanners available. is that because of lack of money? >> i am not sure whether it is lack of money for that we believe some other technology is better. i do know that we are doubling down on our use of technology at airports for aviation security and reaction to the ig test results last summer. give thegive the administrator a very aggressive ten-point plan to reevaluate technology. >> i would just say i agree with you. i can tell you that in a lot of these, they are big airports but also smaller. i think it is critically important that they have the same -- that we put forth
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the same effort of security. if you could look after that i would appreciate it. i want also talk about community partnerships. proposing preparedness grants. it is pretty steep. can you tell me why you are doing it this year, last year there were held pretty harmless. >> i support the president's budget.
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such things as active shooter training and critically important. and often i wonder if the administration does not cut programs figuring we will bump them up. and i hope that is not the case. we are going to have to do something about that because i feel the same as you. according to the 2017 budget request dhs is a target of 300 fewer preparations. tell me -- that is on the northern border. tell me how that is going to work. quite frankly, i thought you were undermanned. >> if we are going to cut an
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additional 300 it looks to me like we are putting something at risk. >> well, i believe that the allocation that you see reflects a judgment about where the risk is and where the vulnerabilities are. as you know, we got a pretty active southern border right now. i also know that we are not doing is get a job as i would like to see is to. hiring up to levels of congress has authorized and appropriated in the commission of cvp has aggressively taken steps to recruit, to get people through the vetting process. in terms of the allocation at the northern border it is something that i insist that we look carefully at every
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year we make these judgments, but i believe the probably reflects a judgment about where the vulnerabilities and needs are. >> ii just think that what we are talking about drugs across the border they don't all come across the southern border. if we have a northern border problem with hiring there are things we can do. places are pretty rural. you will get somebody from scobee to do that. it is important that we start building bridges with a university systems because they can help you out a lot. with that, i will leave you with these words, don't forget about the border. it is damn important. nowhere the weakest link is. >> senator.
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>> thank you. i want to thank you. the 1st question relates to a question that senator tester just asked with regard to state grant programs, fema preparedness grant programs. i have a strong concern about the proposed cuts and their impact and potential impact in the state of wisconsin. the homeland security grant program, which is i think budgeted at $267 million less than the fiscal year 2016 enacted level, this funding has been critical in my home state. recently these funds have been -- have provided equipment and training to our fusion center in milwaukee which i might just add were a terrorist attack was ported a couple of
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months back. ask a question about that. before you answer put an additional question related to the preparedness program. i would like to here the justification and are there other efforts that we should be aware of the may supplement the critical work of the programs? switching to the cuts in the fema preparedness program, particularly is 63 percent cut to the national domestic preparedness consortium, i also want to point out the impact in the state of wisconsin there. the transportation technology center uses funding for its crude oil by rail program. over the past five or so years wisconsin as seen a
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huge escalation in the number of oil trains that are coming through and because of this is important that our 1st responders have the opportunity to receive training in the horrible instance of train derailment. we have had several. we have not seen any explosion. can you explain why the president's request was more than $60 million less than fiscal year 2016? into what extent does dhs prioritize funding for proactive programs that prepare local 1st responders to respond to natural or human disasters? >> well, let me begin with the last part of your question 1st.
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we placed top priority on programs that proactively get at preparedness, prevention which is why at various different levels we are funding state and local law enforcement, 1st responders, emergency responders, paramedic equipment, having said that is a remark before, this budget does reflect our choices. the budget deal that was made by congress and the president for 2016 and 2017 provides for greater levels in 2016 than a dozen 2017. regrettably the proposal you
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receive has been cut in the various different grants. congress will ultimately do what you believe is necessary and appropriate by way of funding, but that is where we believe we needed to make some reductions. i do believe these grants are important. >> i will stop you there. we will certainly be following up on that. last november i wrote a letter along with a congressman from my state dribbling about an issue at the austin strobl international airport in green bay. this airport, which is a port of entry has hosted the cbp green bay port office for 2


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