tv [untitled] February 11, 2016 7:01pm-7:12pm EST
look at the authorities i have -- >> i'm just not -- authorities -- your recommendation. isn't kandahar the spiritual home of the taliban? >> absolutely, sir. kandahar is important. >> i just want the american people to know we're not going to let iraq happen in afghanistan. if there's a sustained effort for -- by the taliban to take a major city, we should not sit on the sidelines and let that happen. that is not in our national security interests, is it? >> i agree, sir. >> thank you. >> counterterrorism, what's the likelihood of another 9/11 being generated from afghanistan if we went down to 1,000 troops in january 2017? >> sir, i'd be concerned that we would not be able to perform our counterterrorism mission. >> would you say it would be high? >> it would be definitely higher, sir. >> okay. so the counterterrorism mission is one of the most important to the united states. how many counterterrorism forces will we have in place under the current plan in january 2017? >> sir, i can't answer that question right now but i'll be happy to come back to it. >> isn't there a plan that
envisions going down to hundreds? >> sir, the plan right now at the 5,000 would still include a significant counter -- >> would it be enough? >> that's what i would like to assess, sir, because i'm concerned -- >> sure. i know you are. you're a good man. i know you'd like to protect the country. here's what i'd like you to do. i'd like you to present to the committee, if you could, if this is appropriate, a counterterrorism footprint given what you see to be happening on the ground today and the next five years, ten years, marrying that up with the capability of the growth of the afghan military and have a small, medium, large, low, medium, high risk footprint and let this committee know from a military point of view how many troops we'd need to have a low threat and as we go below that number, what are the threats to our homeland? could you perform that for us? >> yes, sir.
>> what it comes to isil, what are the limitations on your fight against isil in afghanistan? >> sir, isil's been designated as a terrorist organization. >> can you do independent operations whouithout going thrh the afghan military? >> sir, i'm not sure of the classification level of -- >> would you agree with me from a national security point of view we should be able to independently operate against isil in afghanistan? >> yes, sir. >> from a national security point of view, we should be able to capture somebody who's an isil fighter and put them in american detention for intelligence-gathering purposes? >> sir, again, a little bit out of my area in terms of detention -- >> okay. i just want to make sure that we can fight isil as effectively as required in afghanistan. how did isil come about in afghanistan? how were they able to get there? >> sir, as i understand, couple of factors. one, the pressure put by the pakistanis on their side of the
border as part of the recent operations forced some fighters in. some of these are from the tpp. they aligned with the islamic movement of uzbekistan. as well as, again, some isil facilitators formed the group and began to grow. they didn't have much operational capability initially. there were linkages definitely back to syria where this group and now they have gotten to a point where they do have operational capabilities. the area they've embedded themselves -- >> is there a command and control component from syria to afghanistan? >> that i'm not sure of, sir, i'd have to tcome back to you. >> that would be something we want to know, right? >> there is communication, right. >> okay. i just want to put afghanistan in perspective. do you agree with me, of all the places on the map, this is the place we're attacked from on 9/11. it's important that we be seen to have won in afghanistan. and that we're going to be judged not by the day we leave but what we left behind in terms of our national security
interest. can you describe what winning would look like in afghanistan and how close are we to it? >> yes, sir. number one, there's no more terrorist attacks that emanate from afghanistan that affect our homeland. number two, the afghans have a level of security capability that enables them to secure themselves with our continued assistance. >> how close are we to achieving those goals? >> sir, i'd like to get on the ground and do my assessment and i can give you a better answer. >> yes, sir. >> well, general, we thank you for your testimony. there may be some written questions submitted by members of the committee to you. we'll try and expedite that and ask our members to get those in as quickly as possible. we'd like to get your nomination
to the floor by early next week. but we also want all members to have the ability to ask any questions that they might have. i can only speak for myself but i believe that you are imminently qualified. i believe that we are in a crisis situation there given the increases in the conflict that we have seen, presence of isis as senator graham just pointed out and other aspects of the situation which are, indeed, disturbing. due to your previous time there, you know that we've made enormous sacrifice there and it would be really shameful for us to -- to lose this conflict because we are not addressing it adequately.
so we thank you. we thank your family for their service. and we'll look forward to your return in some months from now after your confirmation so you can give us your assessment. in fact, earlier the better so you can give us your assessment of the situation on the ground. senator reid? >> well, mr. chairman, i concur entirely with your submission. i think the general is perfectly qualified. we look forward to your report as soon as you get on the ground and get back. thank the chairman for being so polite given the overwhelming number of west pointers here today. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i'm getting much kinder in my declining years, thank you. this hearing is adjourned.
homeland security secretary jeh johnson is speaking today on the state of the nation's security and his agency's achievements and expected challenges for the new year. he'll also take questions from people at the wilson center. see his comments tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. then at 9:00 eastern on c-span, today's house foreign affairs committee hearing on the implementation of the iran nuclear agreement.
witnesses include the state department's lead coordinator for implementation of the deal, and the treasury department's head of sanctions oversight. american history tv on c-span3 features programs that tell the american story. and this weekend, we kick off a three-week special series on the 1966 vietnam war hearings, 5 ye 0 years later. >> vietnam hearings were probably some of the most extraordinary hearings ever held by congress. they were hearings, an investigation into a war that was still being fought. that congress and particularly the senate wanted to know why we were in vietnam. what the administration's policies were. and they wanted to hear from opponents of the war. they gave equal status to critics of the war as they did to supporters of the war. it was a real debate. >> this weekend, two witnesses
who opposed president johnson's vietnam policies. first, a february 1966 abc news special report that includes the testimony of former ambassador to the soviet union, george cannon. then retired general james gavin followed by questions from senators including chairman jay william fulbright. >> air naval powe eer alone cou not win the war. it was incredible to me that we had forgotten that bitter lesson so soon that we were on the verge of making that same tragic error. >> general, as far as you know, are the conditions in indochina any different today than they were at that time? >> next weekend we'll hear from general maxwell taylor and saturday february 27th, secretary of state dean rusk gives his testimony defending johnson's