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tv   Hearing on Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Budget  CSPAN  February 29, 2016 3:30am-6:01am EST

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>> c-span student cam document contest need your votes. we selected the top five student videos, and now you get to select the fan favorite. the top five student videos and cast your vote online. documenter hasse the most votes will win a fan favorite prize of $500. the winner, along with the winners of this year's competition, will be announced on c-span. >> president obama is requesting yearbillion for fiscal
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2017. ashton carter and joint chiefs appearedjoseph dunford before the house appropriation committee and how other factors are part of the proposal. this is to in a half hours. -- this is two and a half hours.
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>> good morning. our committee will come to order. especiallymembers, the chairman mr. rogers. i'm pleased to welcome the 25th secretary of defense, ashton carter. this is dr. carter's second appearance before the subcommittee, although we know him well from his many years of service to our nation. we also welcome general joe done for, the great marine, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and dr. michael mccord. secretary, prime minister winston churchill observed 70 years ago, and i quote, "what
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i've seen of our russian friends and allies during the war, i am convinced that there is nothing they admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than weakness, especially military weakness." churchill was referring to the postwar leadership in moscow, and the same can be said today. examine --t as i -- the budget request before us today is our exactly the same amount as last year's, and yet this administration no claims to provide robust funding for your department. mr. secretary, lower ragged edge a robust funding? he department must justify a
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shrinking army and marine corps, a slower navy, an older air force. we face more serious threats from more sources than at any time since world war ii. russia occupies crimea and continues to menace ukraine, its neighbors, and our nato partners. china is building whole islands in the south china sea, yet this administration suggests cutting and already an adequate shipbuilding budget. many of our gains in afghanistan have been reversed. isis await and now our departure. iran's global terrorist network just received a massive transfusion of money, which seeks to challenge our interests and allies in iraq, syria, yemen, and the middle east
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. devolving even further by the day with russia and the radiant sponsorship, we seem to be de-conflicting our operations of those countries, hurting our allies. isis has a major franchise in libya, operations in north africa, 160 miles of mediterranean coast. terrorism is like a cancer across the world, and this budget does not do enough to hold its spread. moreover, many of us on this committee are concerned that this budget's future military capabilities paper the requirements. oursecretary, commander-in-chief proclaimed in his state of the union address that we spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined, as if dollars and cents are the only yardstick by which we measure the effectiveness of our armed forces and the strength of our
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global leadership. s are measured based on our military capability and our national will. those adversaries and some of our allies? . herers of our subcommittee this repeatedly from foreign leaders who travel abroad. we meet them here at home as they watch us continually tested without consequences. i also want to bring to your attention the concern of the national security council. it's come to our attention repeatedly that the rules of engagement for our special forces and the rules of engagement for our conventional or says are being micromanaged right out of the white house. i'm sure you would agree that the battlefield decisions should be left to military professionals. in closing, i can assure you that a bipartisan majority in congress stands ready to provide
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our commander-in-chief with the resources that our military needs to meet challenges from russia and china and defeat the and other lethal .errorist groups the nda required the administration to provide a strategy to counter violence extremism in syria, but we are still waiting. having said that, i'd like to turn the microphone over to my ranking member. thank you. appreciate --, i mr. chairman, i appreciate you holding a hearing. welcome to the hearing. i thank each of you for your commitment to service. i wish to express my continued concern regarding the self-inflicted uncertainty created by the legit control act
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of 2011. admittedly, i use much of my sameat this hearing for a purpose, and although much has changed in the last 12 months, including the enactment of the bipartisan budget act of 2015 that mitigated the bchf for two years, it is hard to argue that the department of defense or any federal agency is now appreciably better positioned to plan or budget for the future. it pains me to think about how much less efficient the department of defense has been over the last six fiscal years, as it has been forced to carry our national defense's strategy in an increasingly unstable security environment as you have described, while navigating the unpredictability of sequestration, of government shutdown, of vacillating budget caps, and continuing
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resolutions, and appropriations through no fault of the full committee that arrived well at the next fiscal year. even the least clairvoyance among us can perceive the problems looming in fiscal year 2018. the bca was sold as a deficit reduction tool, yet the congressional budget office 2025,ed it from 2016 to -- projected the military deficit would be more. the prolonged inability of congress or the administration to find a consensus needed to replace it in its full austerity policies that truly address long-term budget deficits, mandatory spending, and a lack of revenue is an abject failure. despite thee note, ongoing efforts in congress to renegotiate the agreement to fiscal year 2017, i am guardedly willistic that the bba
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provide some predictability in this year's appropriations process. we have a number, and i hope that this subcommittee, under the chairman's leadership, will be allowed to make the difficult a deliberate decisions needed to prioritize the resources available to strengthen our defense and minimize the risk of our nation for those in uniform. secretary carter, you have said that this budget is a major inflection point for the department that takes the long view. further, you have indicated that this request favors innovation and readiness. i was pleased t to hearhos -- to hear those sentiments, but based on the outcomes of the last budget requests, in skeptical of any strategy plan or program in future years. understand that the motivation behind the dod's decision is to assume more funding. that the am worried assumption may not come to fruition. i assure you that i am committed
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to working with my colleagues to find a lasting solution to our fiscal situation, which again necessitates addressing both revenue and mandatory spending. simplylusion, i would also observe that i appreciate that the much-anticipated plan for the closing of guantanamo bay detention facility was transmitted to congress earlier this week. i hope the plan is considered on its merit rather than to be reflexively rejected. mr. chairman, again, thank you very much for holding the hearing. >> thank you. mr. rogers, jim rogers. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, general dunford, thank you. thank for being here, and thank you for your years of service to your country. we appreciate that very much, and we thank you for being here this morning for what is the first hearing of the subcommittee for fiscal 17. we have 21 hearings across the
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committee this week. fifth year in a row, this has been able to be passed out of the house. i am confident we can do the same this year. we know our troops and their families are depending on it. our only hope is that when we pass a bill service committee and on the floor of the house and send it to the senate that they act. which they have refused to do for the last several years. consequently, we get into an omnibus negotiation to keep it from closing down the government. it's time the senate acted on a bill. amazing. menr your leadership, the and women who serve in the u.s. military answer the call time
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and again, leave their loved ones, put themselves in harms way, execute challenging abroad. we are mindful that i responsibility is to support our allies in need and respond to threats of our enemies that pose a significant demand on our troops. theirommittee appreciates dedication and willingness to serve, and your leadership amidst the unprecedented challenges facing our nation this day. environmentecurity continues to grow increasingly complex and unpredictable. the mounting threats we discussed this time last year still is and in some cases have increased. two years after the russian annexation of crimea, russian aggression remains a threat. the sovereign states in the
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region and a considerable influence across the middle east. the islamic state maintains its hold on population centers, where it terrorizes innocent lives, has created an unlivable situation for iraqis and now even libyans. we've seen this conflict force the migration of millions of anple, precipitating unprecedented humanitarian crisis, at least in europe. meanwhile, iran and north korea continued to rattle their sabers while china exerts military strength in the pacific. today, we will discuss many of these threats and how your budget request addresses our ability to defeat them, however we continue to hear rhetoric from the administration that appears to minimize, or just flat out this understand, the
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reality and the magnitude of the threat that we face from violent extremism. just this week, the president announced his intention to close the guantanamo bay detention facility. at a time when the threat of terrorist activity at home and abroad shows no signs of abating, the president's advocating for the transfer of known terrorists out of the united states custody. where we cannot control their availability to return to the battlefield. or detainees that he believes pose a continuing threat. toasked the american people allow them to be detained on american soil, in their own backyard. as the president made the case that these prisoners will be subject to strong security measures while in the custody of other nations, the former guantanamo prisoner was arrested in north africa on terror charges. the director of national
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intelligence tells us that 30% of the prisoners released from the facility have reengaged in terrorism. yet the president continues to argue that releasing these prisoners will make us safer. that's twisted logic. once again, i am perplexed by to administration's decision continue to prioritize this misguided campaign promise despite clear direction from this congress, not to mention the implications for national security. set to decliney theher until 2017, conversation we will have today about responding to increasingly complex threats across multiple regions against enemies with very different missions and capacities becomes an even more matter.ted
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the challenges you face are well documented. the demands they place on our troops and military leadership are great. i look forward to discussing how this committee can best equip you to lead in these uncertain times and respond to threats to american security around the world. this committee remains confident in your ability to lead and protect our troops and to ensure the safety of americans at home and abroad. you have our full support. and we deeply appreciate your service and your commitment to our nation, our servicemen and women across the world. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you have our full support for the men and women you represent, whether civilian or military. the best of america. all volunteersof doing remarkable things. this is secretary, the floor is yours. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> your statement will be put in
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the record. >> thank you, chairman. chairman, thank you. and all of you, thanks for what you say about the troops. that means it all. that is what i wake up for every morning; i'm sure that's true the chairman as well. they are the best of america, and we are very proud to be associated with them, and i'm very pleased to hear you say the same things. it is good for them to hear that, so thank you all very much. and thanks for hosting me today, and in general for your steadfast support to the men and women of the department of defense, military and civilian alike, who serve and defend our country all over the world. i am pleased to be here with chairman dunford to discuss president obama's 2070 defense budget, -- 2017 defense budget, which was marked as a major inflection point. i'm also pleased to be discussing the budget first before this committee, which has
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been a leader in securing the resources the department needs. we're taking the long view. we have to, because even as we fight today's fight, we must also be prepared for what might come 10, 20, 30 years down the road. last fall's budget deal gave us much-needed and much appreciated stability. i want to thank you, all of you, your colleagues, for coming together to pass that agreement. the bipartisan budget act set the size of our budget, which is why our budget's commission in my testimony focus on its shape. changing that shape, in fundamental but carefully considered ways to adjust to a new strategic era and seize opportunities for the future. let me describe the strategic assessment that drove our budget
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decisions. evident that it's america is still today the world's foremost leader, partner and underwriter of stability and security in every region across the globe, as we have been since the end of world war ii. i was in brussels the week before last, meeting with nato defense ministers and defense ministers of the counter isil military coalition, and i can tell you, they all appreciate the leadership from the department of defense of america. as we continue to fill this in during role, it is also evident that we are entering a new strategic era. today's security environment is dramatically different from the last 25 years, requiring new ways of operating . five evolving strategic challenges, namely, russia, anda, north korea, iran,
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terrorism. five are now driving dod's planning and budgeting, as reflected in this budget. i want to focus first on our ongoing fight against terrorism, isil, whichlly hi we must deal a lasting defeat. most immediately is its apparent tumor, iraq and syria, and also metastasizing elsewhere in the world. we are doing that in africa, we are also doing it in afghanistan, where we continue to stand with the afghan government and people to counter al qaeda, and now isil, while at the same time, all the while, we protect our homeland. as we are accelerating our overall counter isolate campaign, we are backing it up with increased funding in 2017 in our request, requesting $7.5 billion, which is 50% more than
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last year. just this week, following the progress we have made in iraq by retaking ramadi, we also made operationally significant strides in our campaign to dismantle isil in syria. there, capable and motivated local forces, supported by the u.s. and our global coalition, have re-created territory surrounding the eastern syrian town of shadaddi, which is a critical eye so base -- a critical isil base. more importantly, by encircling in taking this town, we are seeking to sever the last major northern artery between raqqa and mosul, and ultimately dissect the tumor into two parts, one in iraq and the other in syria. this is just the most recent example of how we are effectively enabling and partnering with local forces to
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hel deal isil a lasting defeat. next, two of the other four challenges reflect a recognition of a return to, in some ways, great power and competition one challenge is in europe, where we are taking a strong and balanced approached to deter russian aggression. we haven't had to devote a significant portion of our defense investment to this possibility for a quarter century, and now we do. in theer challenges is asia-pacific, where china is rising, which is fine. but behaving aggressively is not. there, we are continuing our rebalance in terms of weighted effort to maintain the regional stability we have underwritten for the past 70 years, allowing so many nations to rise and prosper in this, the single
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most consequential region for america's future. otherile, two long-standing challenges posed threats in specific regions -- north korea is one. that is why our forces on the korean peninsula remain ready, as they say, to fight tonight. because whileran, the nuclear accord is a good deal for preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon, we must still determine in aggression and counter their malign influence against our friends and allies in the region, especially israel, to whom we maintain and on the unwavering commitment. the dod must and will address all five of these challenges as part of its mission to defend our country. doing so requires new investments on our part, new postures and some regions, and also some new and enhanced capabilities.
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for example, in confronting these five challenges, we know we will have to deal with them across all domains and not just the usual land and sea, but also cyber, electronic warfare, and space, were our reliance on technology has given us great strength and great opportunities, but also lead to vulnerabilities that adversaries could seek to exploit. hour approach has been able to deter our most advanced competitors. we must have, and be seen to have, the ability to ensure that anyone who starts a conflict with us will regret doing so. to be clear, the u.s. military would fight very differently than we have in iraq and afghanistan. be preparedmust for a high-end enemy, what we call full-spectrum. in our budget, our capabilities,
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our actionss, and we must him and straight to potential foes that we have the capability to win, because a force meant to deter conflict must show that it can dominate a conflict. in this context, russia and china are our most stressing competitors, as they both developed and continue to advance military systems, including anti-access system that seek to threaten our vintages in specific areas. we saw it in the china sea and in crimea and syria. in some cases, they are developing weapons and ways of war that seek to achieve their objectives rapidly, before we can respond. we don't desire conflicts with either country. and while i need to say that they post some similar challenges militarily, they are very different situations. our preference is to work together with important nations.
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but we also cannot be blind to their apparent goals and actions. because of this, the dod has elevated its importance in our planning and budgeting. in my written testimony, i detail how our budget makes critical investments to help us better address these five evolving challenges. we are strengthening our deterrence posture in europe by investing three point $4 billion for our european reassurance initiative, quadruple what we requested last year. we're prioritizing trading and readiness for our ground forces and reinvigorating the readiness and modernization of our fighter aircraft fleet. we are investing in innovative capabilities, like swarming 3-d printed micro drones, the long-range strike bomber, and the arsenal plane.
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as well as the newly antiship capable sm-6 missile, in which we are investing nearly $3 billion to maximize production over the next five years. we are emphasizing the navy with new weapons and high-end ships, and by extending our commanding lead in undersea warfare with new investments in unmanned undersea vehicles, for example, more submarines with a versatile virginia payload model, that triples their strike capacity. in cyber,g more electronic warfare in space, and investing in these domains has a combined total of $34 billion in 2017 to help build our cyber mission force, develop next-generation electronic jammers and prepare for the possibility of a conflict that extends into space. in short, dod will continue to
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ensure our dominance in all domains. our budget also seizes opportunities for the future. that's a responsibility i have to my successors, to ensure the military and the defense department they inherit is just as strong, just as fine, if not more so than the one i have the privilege of leading today. that's why we are making increase investments in science and technology, building new bridges with amazing american innovative systems to stay ahead of future threats. that is why we are also innovating, to make our operations were flexible and dynamic in every region. that is why we are building the force of the future, because as good as our technology
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is it's nothing compared to our people. we're opening all combat positions to women, support military families, to improve retention and also to expand our access. let me close on the broader shift reflectd in this budget. we in the defense department don't have the luxury of just one opponent with the choice of current fights and future ights.
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we need your help to succeed. i thank this committee again for overwhelmingly supporting the bipartisan budget act that set the size of our budget. that's why going forward the
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buggest concern to us strategically is if congress averting the return of sequestration next year so we can sustain all these critical investments over time. we've done this before. if we think back to a start defense investments that made our military more effectively, gps, communications, but other areas like the all-volunteer force. they were able to yield tremendous benefits because they garnered support across the aisle, across branches of government, and across multiple administrations. that same support is essential today to address the security challenges we face and to seize the opportunities within our grasp. as long as we work together to do so, i know our national security will be on the right path. and america's military will continue to defend our country
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and help make a better world for generations to come. thank you. >> thank you for your remarks. chairman bunford, thank you for being with us. thank you for your remarkable career. >> chairman, ranking member, distinguished members of the committee, good morning and thank you for the opportunity to join secretary carter and secretary mccord in appearing before you. i am honored to represent the extraordinary men and women of the joint force, our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines and civil servants remain our single most competitive advantage. the u.s. military is the most experienced fighting force in the world. i don't believe we ought to ever send americans into a fair fight. rather, we must maintain a joint force that has the capability and credibility to ensure our allies and partners
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hat overmatch any adversarice. this requires us to improve, restore full spectrum readiness, and develop the leaders who will serve as the foundation for the future. the united states is now confronted with challenges from both traditional and nonstate actors. the department has identified five challenges which secretary carter has already addressed. russia china and north korea continue to invest. through competition with a military dimension that falls short of traditional armed conflict and the threshhold for traditional military response. examples include russian action in the ukraine, chinese activities in the south china sea and iran's maligned activities across the middle east. isil and al qaeda pose a threat to the homeland, the american people, our partners, and our allies. given the opportunity such
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extremist groups would fundamentally change our way of life. as we contend with the department's five strategic challenges we recognize that execution of our sfriege requires that we maintain nuclear and capabilities. it remains effective but requires modernization. therefore prioritizing investments needed for a safe secure and effective nuclear deterrent. we're also making investments in our conventional capabilities. we must further develop capabilities in a vital and increasingly competitive dome maine in cyber and space. t we do so in the context of a fiscal environment that is that has hampered our ability to plan and allocate resources most effectively. despite partial relief from sequester level funding the department has absorbed 800 billion in cuggets and faces 100 billion in sequester
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reduced risks through 20 21. absorbing significant cuts has resulted in our underinvesting in critical capabilities. unless we reverse sequestration welt be unable to excute the current strategy. he 2015 budget begins to address the budget. to the extent possible with the resources provided by the 2015 bipartisan budget act addresses the challenges by balancing three major areas, investment in high-end capabilities, to meet current operational demands, and rebuild readiness after an extended period of war. in the years ahead we will need adequate funding levels and predictability to fully recover from over a decade of war and delayed modernization. procurement requirements in the future include the submarine ohio replacement, investments
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in long range strike bomber. it will be full years before we replenish our stocks of critical precision munitions nfment summary i am satisfied that the 2017 budget will support our growth but we need the responsiveness that ensures any future fight is not fair. once again thank you for the opportunity before this morning and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. let me associate myself with the remarks of chairman rogers' concern about prisoners being released from guantanamo that go back to the fight. i mean, that is disturbing. it makes me quite angry. in light of the president's intention to visit cuba, there's been some speculation that there might be some announcement that would relate
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to the future of the naval station guantanamo. can you assure us there's no plans for any change of our operations and historic role there? >> i know of no such plans. our plan in fact is just the opposite. if you're talking about the guantanamo bay naval base -- >> there's been some speculations. >> no. gitmo is a strategic location. >> we have less assets in the region we've ever had. trr detention thing is a separate subject. and just to agree with chairman gers, the reason to have a conversation with the congress about the future of the detention facility at guantanamo bay is precisely because there are people there who cannot be safely transferred to the custody of another country. that means they need to stay in
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detention. so they've got to go somewhere. and if they are not going to be at guantanamo bay they have to be somewhere in the united states. the proposal that the president made and we helped him craft asks congress -- because doing so is forbidden by law now -- to work with us to see if we can devise a detention facility in the united states precisely in recognition of -- >> my question -- >> let these -- >> respectfully my question had to do with the future of the naval station. there's no plan or announcement that would change our historic role there? >> no. >> let me focus on the middle east. the committee is going to be taking a look at. we work very closely on what's called the overseas contingency account, which historicically and still aimed, the focus on the war on terrorism. we did a pretty good job of vetting in our last bill all
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aspects of that account. can you review for the committee very briefly -- i see at the top of the funding responsibility, the issue of force protection. we still obviously have troops in the region. can you review for the committee very briefly the issue of force protection are continued in, may i say, a rather expensive in investment in the afghan security forces fund, their capabilities even after all these years of supporting them there's some questions as to how capable they are. and two areas that have been mired in some say controversy, speculation. iraq train and equip, syria train and equip. can you briefly go through the livet list with our committee as to why these are particular focuses? it's not that they aren't ours
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but in reality could you briefly go through? >> absolutely. and i start out and ask the chairman also to elaborate on some of this. you're right. those are four ingreed yents of our oako requirements. we very much appreciate your support for oako. and we understand that -- i know the constitution which is we propose and you decide on the budget. so every nickle that is in o.c.o. is subject to the visibility and approval of this body and that's perfectly appropriate and we're used to that and comfortable with that. and it is used for a variety of absolutely essential purposes. force protection is the highest priority that we have both abroad and at home taking care of our people is incredibly important. so it remains a high priority. i will ask the chairman to say
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something more about that because he and i were just talking about that. yesterday in some locations. he's also the expert on afghanistan having done a fantastic job of commanding there. but just so he doesn't have to sing his own praises. he really did. and as a consequence despite ll the interruption of a year, almost a year eight months in the transition of the afghan government from karzai to the national unity government. despite the fact -- and i remember this when we started to build the security forces you were dealing with recruits who couldn't read and write. the afghan security forces capability is growing. they have many of the capabilities but not all the capabilities they need. that's why we stick with them.
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that's why our plan is to stick with them. and that is why in our budget we request funding for the afghan security forces for fy 17. and our plan is to continue to do that in the future in all the other nato and other partners have also committed to doing that supporting the afghan security forces. because the whole strategy and the one that general did you knowford executed so well is to make the afghan security forces capable of securing the country, stopping terrorism from once again arise ong that territory, and striking the united states. and also to give us a friend in a dangerous part of the world. nd all of that is what we're pursuing in afghanistan. that's why we want to stick with it. you mentioned also train and equip. >> to some extent we're doing what we're doing in afghanistan is perpetual apparently train and equip.
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so general did you knowford and then i'm going dwsh >> chairman if i could start with afghanistan. we have finished to put in some kind of perspective. when i arrived in afghanistan in february of 2013, about three years ago, we had over 100,000 u.s. forces on the ground that were fundamentally responsible for security in afghanistan. today we have 8800 americans on the ground. in the interim period the forces have secured responsibility of afghanistan, gone through a very difficult and politically turbulent period. so, quite honestly, we have a work to do particularly in the area of aviation enterprise, intelligence and so forth but if you put in perspective where we've come from the last three years and put in perspective and current investment. but more importantly if you put in perspective our national interests in afghanistan which are to maintain an effective counter terrorism platform and partner with that part of a world in which we face a still
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significant threat my assessment is we're moving in the right direction certainly not as quickly as we want to. let me assure the committee we have very specific standards. we work hard to do that. when secretary carter was the deputy and we moved forward on the m rap program that was evidence of commitment that we have. and today the lessons learned and the program have been incorporated and frankly reflect in the investment that we make in taking care of our people. very quickly on the syria -- there's been obviously a lot in the lack ources about of success. so maybe you can talk about that. train and equip. >> in train and equip. >> we've got a lot of people on the payroll. >> over the last first of all the endeavors in iraq and syria relatively speaking, if you put it in perspective is still
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relatively new. we've trained over 15,000 in iraq and the evidence of their performance was recently demonstrated in ramadi and currently demonstrated in anbar province. so where we were four months ago we did not have the momentum and campaign in iraq. they'd i can tell you with authority that we do have the momentum. the forces have proven to be capable and are now organizing for operations in the north. we have trained 2500 peshmerga. they have been successful. we cut the lines of communication between iraq and syria. syria itself we had a slow start. but right now as secretary carter outlined the partners that we have on the ground being supported by u.s. funding are the ones that just recently took shad addie going down and isolate toon the califate, the location of the califate in racka. and they've also been successful in cutting the lines of communication between iraq and syria. from my perspective, a lot of
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work to be done but the enemy is under great pressure. we have reduced their freedom of movement, physically isolate them in their major areas of concentration. we are doing that by wnd a through the iraqi southeastern partnership that we have trained over the last year. so much work to be bone did you the trajectory is in the right direction. >> we'll be watching carefully. thank you for your assessment. >> gentlemen, just for the record would continue to reiterate my concern about making sure we're on schedule for the department they have audible financial statements by 2017. not orally mere but for the record. if you could respond to any major investments that still need to be made. and, if so, any of those automated systems, whether or not they are fully funded in the fiscal year 2017 request. >> we'll provide that. >> mr. secretary, the issue i would want to address at the
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outset was the industrial base that i'm very concerned, i think all of you are as well. are there any particular sectors, industries, components at the department today has a problem with? every time we get a waiver notice from the department of acquisition, it brings this problem to mind. and i'm very concerned about it. follow-up is what can be done. is there something from a budgetary standpoint that is lacking that we can be helpful with? >> well, thank you. and i share that concern and long have shared that concern. because second only to our people, it is the unparalleled quality of our equipment that makes us the finest fighting force the world has ever known. we have to keep that going. it does depend upon healthy industrial base. and two things. come to mind.
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first of all, the stability that you have provided that i spoke of early is simply having knowledge of what our budget is going to be two years in a row. that's the kind of thing that allows our program managers to manage programs in a more stable basis so that the levels below the prime contractor which depends so totally upon those makes all the spare parts and so forth stay in the game and don't decide they can't work with defense any more. in answer to your question what's the single sector that i am most concerned about. ne is certainly manufacturing. what -- and that is one of the reasons why we have started manufacturing institutes, funded manufacturing institutes several places around the country. these are public private partnerships focused on manufacturing. it's a problem in our country
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overall is making sure that we maintain competitive advantage in manufacturing relative to other parts of the world. but it affects the defense industrial base very directly as well. and then finally there's some products that we can't outsource to other countries fully trust 't them. so to make sure that we have control over certain critical components. almost $200 billion of investment that in our industry every year research velopment and acquisition is it's noornt we manage it well so the strength stays strong for us. >> besides the predictability, which i wouldn't at all argue, are there any budgetary shortfalls?
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you mentioned the institutes. . is there anything we can do to be helpful to make sure we don't have any more degradation as far as the manufacturing? i will come back and try to highlight the thing that is we have done. it's very much on the minds of our secretary for acquisition and lodgistics. the manufacturing institutes come to mind. changes we've made in payment no such thing as an excellent concern but i share our concern.
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is trying unts china to build itself into a maritime power. meanwhile, they claim that they're being provoked by their neighbors and by the west using it as a justification to aggressively pursue their own interests with regard to territorial disputes in the east and south china seas. mr. secretary, what's your think sng has your thought process evolved in lieu of these -- in light of these fairly recent developments on the importance china's playing
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on the development of his blue water naval force? >> first of all, i agree with your assessment completely. and our assessment has changed over time. not because we've changed our assessment. because the facts have changed. china is doing exactly as you say. there was a time when the chinese military was largely a land-based military. it was a military focused on defense of its own territory. now it clearly has the aspiration to extend its way in the pacific and the united states policy there is, as has been for 70 years, to remain the pivotal morning power in the asia pacific. that is what our rebalance is about. that's why we're making all the investments in the high end, new kinds of weapons, new aircraft, joint strike fighter,
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long range strike bomber, and so forth. with respect to the chinese specifically and the south china sea, the idea that we have provoked them into that -- the reason that these activities are getting notice isn't because the united states is doing something new. we've been sailing in the south china sea and will continue to sail wherever for decades. we aren't doing anything new. what's new is the chinese -- other countries do some of this but nothing on the scale of china. exactly as you say, dredging and putting military equipment on. that's having two effects. being reacted to in two ways. first is by us in our investments. that's why when we talk about this being an inflection point, that's part of it. looking to the future. it's also having the effect of causing others in the region
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both to increase their own maritime defense activities and to align them with the united states. old allies like japan, south korea, australia, the philippines. and then new partners like vietnam and india that are working with us increasingly. so the chinese behavior is having the effect of self-isolation. and it's also galvenizing others to take action. gainst it. that is a change in the strategic aspect that china presents tolt region. we're determine to do what the united states has done for 70 years, which is keep a peaceful and stable environment. that's the environment in which the asian miracle occurred because of the counterweight of the united states to what would otherwise be a region that has no nato, no security structure. we've provide that had for 70 years.
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>> do these action obvious china recently -- does that threaten our ability to live up to our treaty obligations to taiwan? >> well, no. our treaty obligations to taiwan are very strong. we're constantly adjusting them. obviously the more the threat grows from china, the more we have to adjust with our operational approach and our technical approach. that's one of the reasons why we're making these investments is because our commitment under he taiwan relations act to capabilities to defend taiwan. but i think just to follow what ou said, earlier china's activities have expanded to beyond taiwan, which has been with us now for several decades. and they're look together south china sea, the east china sea. so it's not just taiwan any
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more. but it certainly includes taiwan. >> could you address this subject. the threat that might be posed by the recent changes in china's activities in regard to blue water capability and or aircraft or land-based? >> chairman, it's very clear to me that those capabilities that are being developed are intended to limit our ability to move into the pacific or to operate freely within the pacific. and we call that anti-access area denial capabilities. so there are developments in anti-aircraft capability and as you described the blue water neeve clearly intended to limit our ability. in this particular budget we focused on this to allow us to maintain a competitive advantage. it's also why we're feemeding the most modern to the pacific first. thing likes the f-35, f-22 and so forth and other capabilities are going to the pacific first.
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so i absolutely share the concern that you've outlivende chairman rogers, and it is certainly something that for me in terms of joint capability development it's a priority for us over the next several years to ensure -- what secretary carter said is true. we are capable today of meeting our obligations in the pacific. there is no doubt in my mind that we have a competitive advantage over china today. it's equalityly clear to me that the trajectory china is on today, were we to not maintain sazz outlined in the current budget we would lose our competitive advantage and find ourselves to inadequately advance in the pambing. >> some people say what kinea is doing this that region, as we talked about here, is more to impress and perhaps intimidate their neighbors than it is to confront us. what do you say to that? >> well, it's both. because that is definitely intended to intimidate or dominate the neighbors. but it's also partly clearly
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strategically directed at us because it is we who are have provided the security structure in that region. now, i'm not one of these people who believes that conflict with china is inevitable, certainly not desireable. ut it is we who have provide it had environment of peace and stability there that has allowed china to develop freely and economically. and before them, japan. before them, south korea, before them taiwan. before them southeast asheavement now india and china we have provide that had environment. some chinese understand that is a good thing. we're not out to keep china down. but we don't look for anybody to dominate the region and certainly not anybody to push the united states out. we are a pacific power. we're there to stay where half of hue manty lives. half the economy. we're there to stay. welcome.
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thank you for your service, secretary carter, general did you knowford, and undersecretary mccord. what problems are created when congress does not pass a spending bill by october 1? what does it do for your budget? and can you carry out the department's mission within the amounts proposed in your fy 17 request? >> thank you, congresswoman. we can carry out the mission as we've said with the budget that we have proposed, which we proposed at the level prescribed by the bipartisan budget agreement. the stability provide bid that agreement is very important to us. to get to the first part of your question. when we have instability, what
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happens? within the department, we start to do things inefficiently. first of all we begin to shorten the contract times so money is wasted. and we can't plan programs for the long run. there's program instability which hurts the industrial base. for our people, it is very bad for morale, both military and civilian. people say hey what's going on here? there's gridlock in washington. we don't have a budget. the government is going to close down, quer is going to come in. i don't think it's fair to people. they're trying to plan their future and they say is this an institution i can plan a future with? we have an all-volunteer force. we need to have them see a future with us. finally i look at what it looks like around the world. our friends and foes who say can't you get it together and
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have a budget for the long run? so it is very deal tier yuss. that's why i'm very grateful to you on this committee among others for coming together this year and putting together a bipartisan budget agreement that's the basis on which we submitted our budget and the stability provided to us is incredibly important. and chairman you may want to add on stability. >> the one thing i would say, as i look at the last several years we've kind of lived year to year. i would echo the secretary's comments. i'm confident that we can meet our obligations today. i'm equally confident that the procurement that i alluded to in my oppingse opening remarks and the modernization is a bill to be paid in the future. as confident as i am agbbt able to meet our requirements today, i'm confident if we continue to do is absolutely no way five or seven years from now we would
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have the same conversation about china that we just had with chairman rogers. it would be a different conversation. so that's where the piece about predictability and stability comes in. you have to have a long term view towards joint capability. the living year to year, the budgets incomplete that causes us to be very inefficient with taxpayer dollars. but more importantly, our focus continues to be on the near term and we've got to be able to do two things at one time. we have to meet our current operations requirements but we have to do the investments necessary to maintain our competitive advantage in the future. in achieving that balance requires a much different environment than we've been operating now for some three or four years. but thanks for your question. >> thank you. and i know if it's up to chairman rogers and i, we will proceed with regular order. but talking about competition and workforce, i would like to ask a question on cyber security. first of all, if you could please describe the primary
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risks faced by the department of defense in the cyber security realm. and the budget indicates that measures that take into increase the capabilities of the cyber mission force initiated in fy 2013. if you could describe the primary elements and how does the budget request support your efforts in cyber security? >> thanks for that. i'll start with that and then, chairman, you add. our highest priority, to get the first part of your question, has to be defending our own networks. because our military networks are what stitches together the ingredients of our military and makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts. so all of our operations of ships, planes, tanks, people, troops, intelligence and so forth comes to the ngget network. and making sure those aren't penetrated or compromised, we spend a lot of effort o than. we also recognize that sibe kerr be a tool that we can use against our enemies.
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so, for example, right now -- and i can't go into detail in this setting but i can with you separately. cyber come is operating against isil. because these guys -- why should they be able to communicate? why should they be using the internet? these are people not part of the free, open, culture that the internet is -- this is evil and shouldn't -- and the internet shouldn't be used for that purpose. we can do that under our authorities as part of our campaign against isil. and the last thing -- another priority for us is we do help -- we don't have a lead here because there's homeland security and law enforcement and so forth. but if there are other kinds of attacks on the homeland potentially we would assist in the defense of our homeland in cyber space as we do in everything else. in terms of our investments, you're right. 133 cyber mission force
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elements at cybercome, that's just a piece of it because the services all have cyber efforts, they're all tied up with the co-comes. those are included in our operations plans and we have an i.t. us investment in our systems. many tens of billions of dollars in our i.t. system all of which is being modernized, put in the cloud so it can be better defended. so there's an enormous investment. we've addressed it and our need as the chairman just said to focus on the future. >> briefly, because i know ms. granger would like to have -- >> i will be very quick. first with regard to the primary risk. i echo the secretary. protecting our own warfighting capability is critical. but as much as you focus on the risk, we have to talk about opportunity as well. and we do have opportunities and so to your second question
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about investments across the range of our primary missions. one to defend our own network to support the defense of our nation as well as take advantage of offensive capabilities to take the fight to the enemy. the secretary alluded to what we're attempting to do which we wouldn't talk details in this particular venue but the investments we're making. the secretary talked about the cyber force. we build those. our theme this year is focused on providing the tools and the training facilities, but those are probably two of the other areas that i would highlight we're trying to do to enhance the effectiveness. we will grow capacity over time but this year's budget is focused orn building over the last few years. >> thank you. thank you for all the attention you're giving in keeping us safe. there's nothing more important. as we do that, we have partners that we're asking to play an
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increasing role in the fight against isis. my concern is the foreign military sales, the process is couple bever some and bogged down. for example, the congressional notification for the f-18s for quate has been stalled since march of 2015. this is just one example of many concerns we've been hearing. in fact, the delays are driving our partners to go elsewhere including russia and china for assistance. the relationships are critical to u.s. national security and they must be protected. our current lack of action is risking our long term strategic alliances. i know this is not just a d.o.d. issue but mr. secretary you play a significant role in the process. what are you doing to try to expedite the request from our partners? and what changes are being made to fix this problem? >> i align myself completely
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with what you said. our exports, defense exports are a two-fer. they help our industrial base which in turn helps us. because they make -- when others make investments in our defense industrial base, those are investments in the base upon which we depend when they buy aircraft that we are also buying they make them less expensive for us. and it's all good. you know from the joint strike fighter and other aircraft how important that is. and the other thing is that it make them stronger and they're our friends. we don't want want to have to do everything for ourselves. we're trying to get other people to get in the game not be free riders, help us fight the fight. and they nide capability. and the last thing is you're absolutely right. if we don't give it to them somebody else will and that won't be what we have to have in there. for all those reasons, the
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speeding up the approval process you're right. it's too cumbersome. there are a lot of people involved. it's something i've been working on for a number of years. my predecessors did as well. and i talked to secretary kerry about and secretary pritsger as well. but this is an important positive thing for american defense when we're able to help our friend and ally soss we can help them help themselves. >> i just echo that. i was in kuwait on monday. and met with the minister of deans and my counchtpart. from their perspective great partner. our presence in kuwait has been critical to prosecute the current fight against isil. it's been critical for the last two decades plus. and they're incredibly frustrated. and i agree with secretary carter. those are the kinds of countries we should be keeping close. they're valuable allies. both in the fight and from the
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u.s. posture perspective. and we should look for ways to expedite the delivery and equip. because they have and they will go elsewhere. and we want to build interoperability. we want to build effective partnerships and allies. one of the ways to do that is commonality of equipment. if they're going to buy chinese equipment it makes it incredibly difficult for us to put coalitions together in a circumstance like we find ourselves right now. and winning in the circumstance we are in right now make no mistake about it is going to require an effective coalition. so i think it's a foundational element of us advancing our national security interests to make sure we have that interoperability and commonality of equipment in order to incentivize people to deal with us. we've got to make it easier. >> anything we can do from the congress to help speed that up or make it smoother, please let us know because we understand. i always go back to egypt when they had the uprising in egypt, everything shut down. there was no communication
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except military to military because they're using our equipment and we train their pilots. so we kept that going and knew what was happening that way. we really need to do everything we can to make it faster and smoother. thank you. >> thank you. >> welcome. before i ask my question i want to mr. secretary commend you on i know you make many smart decisions. one is steve hedger of department secretary. he began his career in my office. >> well, thank you for that. because i couldn't agree with you more. he's absolutely fantastic. i rely on hill completely. i'm grateful for him. >> and now we've embarrassed him thoroughly. mr. secretary, a good part of the debate in this committee and the debate on the budget revolves around the issue of military hardware, platforms, technology, systems.
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i want to ask about the software. and by that i mean how we educate our officers, our troops. the intellectual talents that we need. this is something i learned when i was on the hasc and former chairman ike skeleton and i worked on military education and i learned it first-hand during a visit to iraq. i asked what do you need? what kind of deficiencies? he said i think we can use some more cultural anthropologists. we need situational awareness includes an awareness of culture and link sticks. you've got to know when you're kicking in a door who is behind the door. and so i would like you to comment -- i don't have a question -- and then i will have a question for general did you knowford. some of the challenges that we're just too busy to learn are the challenges that our budgets just don't allow us to make those investments.
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and what more can we do with those obligation that is we have? >> thank you. while we're acknowledging people who have done a tremendous amount for our country, i would like to acknowledge you also for your service in this body and to the country, and your loyalty to the department of defense. you're on one of the subject that is the chairman and i i think feel most passionately about. it's a critical force of the future. and that is profgsal military education or the continuing development of our people. we need to get the best which is why recruiting is so important. but once we get them we need to develop them in the course of the croor career. because the world changes, technology changes, the skills they need change. and in order to retain them we need to -- they need to feel
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continually like they're building their skillset. and that's crucial. and when you talk to young folks -- and i do all the time -- and say what does it take to keep you, what would make you leave? what do you talk about when you go home sit around the dinner table and try to decide to stay or not -- there are lots of things they talk about. but a big one always is well, am i growing? and one of the things that is part of society today that asn't so much in the past is companies recognize that a lot of people recognize that their education didn't end when they were kids. you have to educate yourself your whole life because you need to keep up. otherwise, the world is going to pass you by. that's true everywhere in our economy. you see people trying to do that. but it's critical for our military both to keep their skills sharp and to make them motivated to stay. and a concern i have in one of the things we're addressing in
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this budget and it's not a lot of money. it's really attention is this. every time there's a little shave in the budget or turbulence -- i was asked earlier about consequences of turbulence where you grab money where you quickly can because all of a sudden you have to grab money, which is a bad way of managing yourself. when we have to do that kind of thing one of the things you grab is professional military education funding fellowships and so forth. that's penny wise and pound foolish and it's an example of the near term killing the far term. i think you're absolutely right. i like the word software and i will stop at that point. >> actually, if you would elaborate on that in the time i have left. may i also ask you to comment on something i know you have worked on. and that is the value of mindfuls in in helping to shape sharper and better minds in the military. >> i will, congressman. i will start with the mindfulness question. i became aware of mindfulness
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about six years ago when i was commanding out in the west coast. we were looking for ways to enhance the resilience of our marines and sailors at the time. got a briefing from a dr. stanley at the time who clearly made it clear to me that mindfulness will help us in terms of enhance and resiliency the force mitigating the consequences like post traumatic stress but helping people to deal with the challenges that confronted a particular time. so i think there's a lot to that and we've continued to work that over the last few years. i think there's a lot of promise to enhance the capabilities with mindfulness training. >> thank you. >> judge carter and then mr. ruppersberger. >> thank you. welcome. we thank you for all you do for our nation. you're an important part of keeping us safe. i'm proud to know you. secretary carter arks you well
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know, only five of our nato allies keep their obligations on defense spending. a strong and stable europe is of course vital, national security of ours but even more importantly of the european citizens. with the european reassurance initiative funding fy 17 quad upeling what kine of steps are you taking or can we take to reassure themselves? and how can we better incentivize european countries to contribute more to their own safety? could you take us through the decision making that was involved in deciding to implication -- implement a rotetational abct as opposed to abct.icly stationed encourage critical strategic partnership with allied nations
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armed forces and provide a greater institutional knowledge and mission capability as compared with the rotational force. >> thank you, congressman. you're right. the europeans need to do more. they are as -- in general -- and i'm now in a long string of secretaries of defense who have decried the decline in european defense. it's not uniform. there are country that is are increasing their level. i would particularly -- single out the united kingdom as one. and of course our allies around the world like japan, australia, they're all doing more. and so they're getting stronger. but in general, europe is under invested. and our european insurance initiative, our plans there are to work with them to defend
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them. to do that we need their participation and assistance and their own capability ts. e.r.i. puts some equipment there permanently. but you're right, our approach to force to increased force presence there is rotational presence persistent rotational presence rather than permanent presence. and you say a why. d the reason is that -- is twofold. one is that we don't think it's support for us to get for increasing more overseas basing in europe. the pressure on us has been in just the other direction and we have been doing less than europe, continuing to have a strong defense of europe but having fewer forces positioned in europe. we think we can do the mission
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-- we know we can do the mission rowtationly in a better way in the following sense. and i will let the chairman elaborate on this. but i know if you spoke to the chief of staff of the army and the acting secretary of the army about this, this is what they've told me. they actually prefer the persistent rowtational presence because it's better for readiness. these guys who go over there -- and i've met with them. i've visited our guys in europe and so forth. and they say we are much more ready now as a consequence of our being here. we know the environment. we're at a high state of readiness. so it's good training for them to rotate. then they go back home. if they were there all the time and the people back home never got to go to europe, the readiness for europe wouldn't be as high. so the army believes that by rotating different units through europe you increase the proficiency and therefore the e.r.i. >> i view rotational forces as
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a way to meet enduring requirement as opposed to seeing them separate. i've spent the majority of my career in the service. so multiple tours in okinawa for example where we meet the majority of our requirements. i couldn't agree more with the secretary of the army and chief of staff of the army. my experience is that using a rotetational base is to put forces in europe will actually ensure that they maintain readiness and will give them a breadth of experience that they might not otherwise have. so i think frankly it's a good way to meet our requirements. again, i don't view it as either enduring or rotational. i view that as a way to meet the enduring equipment. >> staying on the european participation. how effective is european participation if their rules of engagement are strictly defensive which is what we've experienced in some of the theaters when they participate? you say you're still
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challenging them. but in reality, we've got to have people that fight. >> congressman, i had the privilege of commanding all the nato nations in the isaf mission. we have 50 missions in the coalition. there are some exceptions but that issue of cav yats and rules of engagement, we overcame that in afghanistan probably back in 2011 and 2012. we have some incredibly effective partners. over time they were able to accomplish the mission and operate within the same roe that we do. my expectation is that they will do that in the future. we don't have nato in iraq, for example, in syria but we have nato nations there. and almost anywhere we are we have either members of the nato alliance or nato itself. and i frankly think that we can work through those things, and we have in the past. it's a political issue but once there's commitment and will to the mission, the forces are more than capable enough to be
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shoulder to shoulder to us and i believe that as a commander. >> thank you. it is a critical issue. >> i think right now that the job that you're doing, we're in a good position as far as protecting our country. with that said, we know a lot about cyber. we know it's one of the biggest threats we face. we know it affects our business, communities, combatant commands. we have a lot of work to do there. in that yard because of the fact that we need to deal and focus on cyber, one, i personally believe we need to take cyber command and make it into a fully functional combatant command. i happened to represent nsa in my district and fort mead. are you considering that? if you are, do you have any timeframe? and also werks need to go focus on the budget issue. then if we have time i want to focus on one question on raurn. >> thank you.
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with respect to cybercome, yes, we have considered and continue to consider various ways of g proving our managerial approach and our command approach for cyber. cybercome is a very effective organization. it is a growing organization. so we're going to have to see where it goes. and as you know, it is now a subunified command to stratcome. that is an arrangement that works now but it's not necessarily optimal. which is why we're looking at it. we do have a reluctance about adding new headquarters staffs because one of the things that we're doing in this budget is cutting headquarters staff. so we need to be careful about that. but whichever way that turns out, the command structure, cyber km has an important future. and you mentioned nsa. it's important to me that cybercome and n.s.a. are in the
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same place. and the reason is very simple. >> i agree with that, too. >> we don't have skilled cyber people -- this gets back to some of the earlier questionings. they're hard to find. cyber is partly a money issue. but it's not really a money issue. it's a people shufment and finding good people is critical. having n.s.a. next to cyber come means they can interchange talent and draw on one another. it's a huge strength for both of them. so the fact that admiral rogers wears both hats, that is a critical advantage right now. there may come a time when we have enough people that we can do something different. but for now, i would not recommend that separation. but it's people. that's the long pull. >> i do also want to get questions about russia. i was in russia this november about the syria issue. and then i went to astonia and
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latvia. there is a great concern talking with representatives from other countries in the european -- poland and romania. there's a great concern. will the united states stand behind them if the aggression of putin continues to go on? especially in the border states. they are concerned. i think the fact that we're going to put about 4,000 or 5,000 troops in that area will help them. but i think we have to let them know we're the strongest military in the world. and we need people to know that. i'm wondering if there are any strategies that we might even consider. you don't want to escalate but you also want to stand up and show that you're strong and you need to get the morale of these countries. putting troops on the border. if that's the case. i'm not saying to do that. that's your call as far as the military. but i think we need to show that we're strong, that we're not going to tolerate the aggression of russia and especially with our allies that are right on the border. >> i'll start first, then
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chairman. the reason why we're quadrupling the e.r.i. is precisely for the reason you say. to signal the determination of the united states and nato to defend nato territory. we do that with the activity sets which are the equipment sets that move around. we do it with rotational presence. we do it with the permanent presence that we have there in europe. we do it with exercises and so forth. and russia should know that what they see there in europe on a daily basis isn't what we used to defend europe. they get the whole weight of the american military behind the defense of europe, that we have plans to do that. that is one of what i was alluding to earlier. for the defense of our nato territory in concert with them. and we would do it with the full weight of the united
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states. as has always been the case in the defense of europe. it's going to be a different kind of thing than it was back in the days of the fold the gap. and i emphasize that we call the new playbook because it is not just territorial. it is little green men, hybrid warfare, i'm sure you've heard about that. the kind of things you saw in crime 83 and ukraine. so it's a different kind of threat. it's what we have to plan for in order to be shown strength but most importantly be strong in defense of our nato allies. >> very briefly. congressman the secretary mentioned exercises and you asked questions specifically. i would say that what the europe pan reassurance does in terms of increase and exercise is two things. one helps us decide sbroprabblet with our nato
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forces. but send a clear message about our commitment to europe as well and article 5 of the nato alliance. and as importantly, a clear demonstration to russia that if russia faces nato they face the full weight of the military capability of 28 nations, the full economy of 28 nations and the full political will of 28 nations. quite frankly, if you put all that together that's a pret 2022 overwhelming challenge for the russians. our exercise is designed to make sure one part of that will be clear that we can bring the full weight of the military capability. >> nonnato ally support for ukraine would be appreciated i know by the ukrainians. they're still waiting. >> mr. chairman, thank you you all for your service and service to our men and women in uniform. you pretty well laid out all the diverse threats that we face. i can't think of a time where
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we faced any more on a near term, short term, or long term basis. we're facing them at a time of shrinking budgets. this subcommittee i think has a role to play. some of us have served under different presidents and different secretaries of defense. and i think we all bring unique perspective. i want to have a brief discussion with you about your decision to end the lit torl combat program at 40. if you look at that program, you can see that it was set up to be a 5 h 2-ship program. and that decision, the memo -- the reason i say it's your decision because there was a memo that you wrote the secretary of the navy reported in the press, and it talked about the fact that maybe some of the leetsdz alty wasn't there. it was almost like, i guess,
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the port said that maybe the navy spends too much money on ships and not enough money on some of the other platforms like the e 2 d hawkeye or the p 8 or the f-18. and i happen to be a big supporter of all those programs. but i'm not sure it's correct to justify them as -- comparing them to other programs. and when i read that memo and i talk to other members senior members of the department of defense, it seems like there's this question that maybe the ship is more of a presence ship like patrol board or friget there to show our presence but maybe doesn't have the kind of high tech capabilities in this new world that really deal with china, deal with russia, deal with iran. o i guess my concern is that that's one opinion. you read articles about how important the old cs can be.
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you talk about some of the folks who have been on them over in the asia pacific and they would at the el you you almost need those kind of ships to defeat some of the folks over there. so my question is, if the navy says we need 52, that was their estimate and they reiterated that after they did a year-long study after we asked them to do, then your decision is they need 40. i guess the question becomes, how does that requirement change so quickly? and will we get to see an analysis that went into your decision? in other words, do you really believe we need less combat ships or do you believe we need to spend more money in other areas? the bottom line is that a decision based on that long-term national security or is that a decision based on a short-term budget? >> it's a decision based on long-term security. and i'll explain the decision. let me say something.
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the combat ship is a successful program. it is an excellent ship. and it will be much better than the mine counter measure ships the coastal patrol that it replaces. and these are critical capabilities. and in general in ship building this budget makes a huge investment in ship building. new ddg's, new virginia class submarines. aircraft carriers. overhaul maintenance of aircraft carriers. amphibious ships. the first ohio class replacement submarine so there's an enormous amount. i should add also the added virginia payload modules for the submarine program. so there's a lot that goes into ship building. and our ships -- the number of ships is actually increasing. it's going to go to 308 from
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about 280 today. not a smaller navy. that's our plan. and that's in the budget in front of you. a navy that gets larger. but to the question of the combat ship the navy's war fighting ansiffs was concluded 40 was enough and yes we want to apply resources elsewhere to the lethality of the ships. that's critically important that we not only have enough ships but that they're have very best. that's why we're investing in combat systems. that's why we're investing in all the new missiles and weapons that i talked about. we have a new lightweight, heavyweight torpedo program. various anti-ship missiles including the new capability for the sm 6 missiles. lethal, makes our most
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china, iran, others having to try to have that capability. so there is some balance that needs to be done between high end and very important lower end ships. there's nothing wrong. there's nothing wrong with it. we like it. our plan is not to buy 52 but to buy 40. but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the program. it's been very successful and it is needed in those numbers. >> thank you. >> the gentleman from georgia. mr. secretary and general did you knowford, the 2017 funds that this committee propets for the defense budget would be available to support the policies and the programs of the next president. the next president the american people elect in november. a leading candidate is telling the american people and the world that torture works. he says he will use torture to help defeat isil including
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things way beyond waterboarding. he says he will order our military to take out the families of islamic terrorist. i presume that means directing the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the men and women under military command to intentionally kill innocent family members including children. that might be suspected terrorists. i find these threats frightening and dangerous to our nation. general did you knowford. do you support allowing u.s. troops or the intelligence community to use tort to tur to exact information from suspected terrorists? does the use of torture advance the military or national interests of the united states? >> congresswoman, before the chairman answers your question, i really need to say something. and it's -- the question is a fair question. i want to say something about the framing of it that i believe in very strongly. >> please, sir.
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>> this is an election year. we will have a new president. i recognize that. i feel very strongly that our department needs to stand apart from the elect ral season. so i respectfully decline to answer any questions that are -- that arise from the political debate going ofpblet i just don't think that's appropriate. and i want general did you knowford especially even more so than me not to be involved in political debate. so i think if you address the general question of how we try to conduct ourselves as a military in the air and syria you were a commander in afghanistan that's fine. but with with great respect. >> well, we had discussions on the political nature of guantanamo and president obama. will you just make a blanket statement as to the military's
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role of the use of torture? because we've had a lot of hearings on this. this daws add lot of angst in this congress. we went through one administration that used it. and as far as i know we're working to stop and ban the use of torture because it does not serve our national interests. >> let me answer the question broadly without getting into that. one of the things that makes me proud to wear this uniform is that we represent the values of the american people. and when our young men and women go to war, they go with our values. and i think our performance in the battlefield in the past decade plus of war reflects that young men and women from this country bring their values with them. and when we find exceptions you can see how aggressively we pursue addressing those exceptions. i guess what i would say is we should never apologize for going to war with the values of the american people. that's what we have done historicically. that's what we expect to do in the future. and again, that's what makes me
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proud to wear this uniform. >> mr. chairman, i'm assuming the values of the american people do not include torture. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i agree with the general statement as well. >> thank you everybody for your patience. >> thank you mr. secretary. i'm very concerned with the timeline and the funding reduction included in this year's budget for the j star's recap and wanted to discuss that for a few minutes. the timeline for ioc has gone from 2022 to 23e to 24e. and as a result, existing j star's fleet and life cycle costs just go through the roof. every year the air force defers recapitalization. they are missing out on $100 million or more in reduced operations and maintenance costs. secondly, the current e 8 aircraft are reaching the end of their service life and will require waivers and additional
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funds to maintain themselves. this will likely lead to a likely capabilities gap depriving war fighters and recently half the fleet was in depot maintenance. this all ensures there will be a huge capability gap in the 2020 timeframe before replacement aircraft would even be ready right now. so now we're being told that there is need for more tech mat ration. this is completely at odds with the plan we've heard from the air force over the last four years. they've repeatedly said that the recap will involve mature technology and that the recap will only -- will be an only -- an integration effort. can you just help us understand and maybe explain why this year's budget includes additional delays which result in additional expenses and some gaps in capability? >> i can. i will describe the acquisition strategy. first of all, you're absolutely
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right. and the air force does have a ntinuing requirement for ground moving target indicator gmfi radars and j stars. j stars is a fleet of 16, 707 aircraft now. they've been around for a long time. they have to be recapitalized because we need that capability. you don't need as big -- physically, a radar any more. radars have gotten smaller. we flew a butch of them and general did you knowford's sources flew them in afghanistan and we have flown them elsewhere. so the air force is committed in our budget does lay in the funds for a j star's recap. they have not chosen -- they want to do a competitive source selection for that both for the radar and the integration with the air frame. so they haven't picked a winner of that yet. they have announced that
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competition for a j star's replacement and have put in money, i think it's somewhere between 2 and $3 billion in this five-year defense plan to begin the recapitalization. so that's the acquisition strategy. we can get you more detail on that but i think the thing i can say is as secretary of defense we are committed to that capability. we have to recapitalize because it's an air frame now that's decades old and we can't keep flying it. we need the capability. >> thank you mr. secretary. and you're absolutely right. it's a very old platform but a very needed platform today. and my understanding in some of the briefings i've been in is that -- and not too distant time from now half of the fleet will be at its full life cycle. 100% plus of its life cycle. and we still don't seem to be on a time line that would fulfill that gap. and i think we've had
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tremendous support on this can he for this program and for advancing it and moving in as swiftly as possible because of our deep concern for our troops and the capabilities that they have in the field. so any additional support or hurriedness on this would be greatly appreciated. >> thank you plfment graves. >> mr. secretary, general did you knowford, thank you for your service to our country i will ask my questions quickly and you can use the time remaining to answer them, if you could, please. first of all, and the four topics russian propaganda, isil's growth the state partnership program and and survivor benefits. on russian propaganda. i read general dundford your statement the testimony the russian military presents the greatest challenge to u.s. interests. aagree. i want to express my own deep concern about russian's well-funded propaganda war in
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ukraine, battlic, europe, and even here in the west. and i observed the west's approach to confront that force of hybrid warfare is fragmented and underfunded. can you respond potentially review what is being done across various departments, a designed strategy to encounter russia in their efforts including assigning a lead in the administration to this task? working with our allies. number two, on the state partnership program i think it's one of the effective tools in working with our european allies to meet the challenge we face in europe, ohio for example our guard has a relationship ongoing with russia and serbia, california with ukraine, illinois with poland. what does the budget do to facilitate this to careying out our activities in that realm? thirdly, describe the development and size of isil as
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a terrorist force and the motivation for what seems to be drawing additional adherence? and would appreciate for the record what is d.o.d.'s view of victory in syria. and finally on the matter of survivor benefits, i was contacted by a veteran constituent with three children who is an afghanistan veteran herself at the e-7 level and has pts. she as gold star we've wife, due to the death of her husband in iraq in 2004. under current law required offset and payments and her survivor benefit plan annuities prohibits her from receiving the full amount of both for the record let me also state 5% of military widow's remarry. 5% of widowers do. for women with children, it just seems to me there ought to be something going on with d.o.d. that would help who have so nobodyly served our nation. so i wanted to put that on the
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record. if you can't answer i would appreciate in your written reply. so first on the propaganda issue. >> thank you very much, congresswoman. i'll start on the russian propaganda. it is related to hybrid warfare. and russia has bought media in the west. no question about it. you can turn that on in your own living room. and of course and sometimes that contains what i call the big lie. and our principle response to that as a country and the west is the truth, and but we have to watch the effect of that. and it is related and the state department does that intelligence community does that and others. but for our part you asked us, it is related to hybrid warfare and earlier we were discussing
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the european reassurance initiative and its parts. and we were talking about territorial defense which is important. but another critical part of states s hardning the of europe to essentially subversion, which is hybrid warfare shades into subversion. hardning by helping them to defend themselves from cyber anipulation and from other kinds of insidious influence that is we saw precede the russian actions in crimea and ukraine. so we're trying to learn from that. that's exactly what hybrid warfare means. why it's part of the new playbook as i call it for nato. it's not like your nato was long ago. which in the fill the gap which was more conventional kind of
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conflict we have to expect a more unconventional kind of conflict and that is exactly what the chairman and i and general breed love think about and plan for when it comes to europe. i will stop there except just, if i may put in a plug for the program with you. we get huge value over these programs. we fund them. and their people are very enthusiastic. the countries tell me all the time how much they love the state. it's a great way of tying america to others and complimenting what the department does institutionally. they're great programs. >> with that endorsement, i hope you will find ways to broaden it, to fully utilize it in those places at risk. and on the propaganda front, i really hope in your position you can lead an administration effort to be a little more
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coordinateded not just d.o.d. but we need a strategy to totally combat the propaganda that is flooding nations like ukraine. it is not interest, it is not in liberty's interest to have this continue without a response. and the west's response is very anemic. >> let me commend ms. capture for her persistance on this issue. while you're aiming at the russian propaganda, we might come up with a game plan for isis and the islamic state as ell. >> thank you. secretary quarter, general did you knowford, thank you for being here. thank you for your service to your country. we certainly appreciate it. i want to expand on chairman rogers' questions regarding china. obviously china has been closing the technology gap between our countries, its military until recent history as you mentioned historically was focused internally.
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with the primary mission to protect the communist party and the existing government within their country. until recent history they've been interested in projecting military power just in their own region. i would argue that we win wars not just because we're just the best trained and most proficient, because we're good at large-scaled strategycal operational, supply, maintenance procedures and practices. we're good at getting our people and our equipment anywhere on the globe in a timely manner and have the decades of conflict and experience through the world in prepping and executeding these combat service support functions. china is new to this. china is new to prore projection. i question their ability to conduct these functions effectively and fighting the conflict beyond their shores. you can have the largeest military in the world but if
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you can't feed or supply them after three days they become worthless. can you comment on china's ability to effectively project war fathing power bei don't understand its shores but specially with regard to affect logistics, supply, to china? i don't think we've put a lot of thought into that. >> thanks for the quefment first of all, i agree with you that our logistics capability is our competitive advantage. i also agree the chinese capability is relatively immature. however, if we're talking about within the pacific, they do have one advantage. which is interior lines. in other words, from a geographicle perspective, if we talk about a conflict in the south china sea, if we talk about a conflict in the east china see in taiwan and those areas, those logistics challenge significantly less than the challenge we would have as we project powers to the middle east and to the
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pacific. i do see from my own personal experience putting equipment at sea, employing sea base, logistics over long distances, we have many, many years. we have maritime preposition ships, we put equipment aboard a ship six months later try to take it off and all the fuel had turned to slunl. so we had to learn how to do that to ensure the level of maintenance was what it is today. that was a discovery learning process that took many years to develop that. so i would agree with the thesis that the chinese have a long way to go in terms of developing power projection. i guess what i would say is that if you look at the investments that they're making, the attention they're paying to it, the reorganization they did is a recognition in part of the comment you made just now recently looking at our capabilities in terms of jointness and integration, a piece of which is our logistics capability. they made in part to immigrant gate the challenges that you've
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identified and that they know exist. so do i think they have a legitimate power projection capability today? no. to i see forces deployed to places like jab outie? do i see the maritime, the capabilities developing? yes. so i think it's fair from my perspective, i don't look at intnt but the capability. and i think it's fair to say at some point in the future were they to continue to emphasize power projection, continue to make investments that they will develop the power projection capability. but i would agree that's some time away. but again in the near term what they are developing would provide them capability that probably is much easier to attain and that is capability within the interior lines. thank you for being here. one of the issues -- the issue
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we talk about here, the budget, money, how are we going to free up money. i know we have a lot of priorities. and the challenges we face today are i think unlike we've ever had to as far as dealing with these global challenges. the technology. making sure that offset. all these new investments we have to make. so we have to be very smart in how we free up money. i know that we've been spending since 2001 ra good deal more money on health care. and so one of the issues i want to ask you about just briefly and put a plug in for when we look at rates of diabetes and bloot pressure and all these things that are causing us to spend a lot of money in the health care system, military health care system, i want to talk to you about the healthy base initiative, the kind of food we have coming in, the kind of nutrition that we're giving these elite warriors. and we know that a lot of these issues are caused, they are
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diet related. and i think it would be smart for us to take a holistic approach here and just say, hey, if we know we start feeding our soldiers, airmen, and the rest healthy feed that ala lot of these problems can be avoided which frees up money to be put into the third officeset. so you don't have to comment, just comment for the record on the healthy base initiative and what we can do to make sure we start driving down some of these health care costs to free up money for some of these other things. i know mentioned the industrial base. ohio is home to america makes which is the additive manufacturing institute. which is doing a phenomenal job i think can transform our manufacturing. so i want to make sure we robustly support these ibstutes as we move forward. then to touch base quickly on what was said on the idea of these kinds of mind-fitness
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training again. mind, body health, how we prepare these men and women to function at the highest level possible and using the most cost effective ways to do it. we mentioned liz stanley. i know she's not doing any more work within the military now and i would just like to reconsider that and i think not just offer it but ramp it up because i think that would be a huge opportunity for us to reduce some of the suicide. so -- and increase performance. lastly, in a question. in youngstown at our air base there we have the only aerial spray unit. and we are now dealing with the global zika issue. and i see we are reducing our c 130 j requests by three and i just wonder, can you touch upon the zika issue keeping our troops safe around the world making sure that we have the
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capacity to address this issue? and also, will the reduction of c 130 js affect our ability within the aerial spray unit and others to combat this global problem? >> you have a minute-and-a-half to kind of deal with all that. >> i'll be very brief and we will get back to you on the healthy base initiative. and we do spend $50 billion a year on health care. so that is a big part of our budget. obviously like everywhere else in the economy we want to see that not grow too quickly. one of the ways we do that is to keep people healthy and one of the ways is to teach them what is healthier. and that's an important initiative. i also want to thank you, the manufacturing institutes are a tremendous success. these are public private partnerships and model ways of doing this. high skilled jobs. but more importantly industry
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supporting defense from our point of view in the united states. i will say this about zika and get back to you on the c-130 jmp. i am not aware that the praying program, we have several hundred c 130 js and we address the buy accordingly. with respect to zika we have not been assigned a role yet for that. we have a fund congress made available to the department of health and human services for combating zika. and they're doing varecruss things. we stand ready to help them with research, with spraying, with whatever they end up asking for. so we're kind of tiptoes. we have not been asked to do things yet. obviously we'll play a role if we're asked to play a role. >> the zika virus, protection of the force. our commanders have all
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identified. pregnant women in south america. have afforded them to leave the area. where they're at risk for the zika virus. where they are force. particularly in those areas where the zika virets is present. we're taking all the measures to make sure we have a healthy force. the thing that is we do, our medical professionals are very experienced and very good in preventive health. areas something like this very good at making sure we're proactive in keeping the force healthy and ready. >> the committee of course would like to commend the department for the good work they did addressing the ebola. your command and control of that was very important. >> general did you knowford, always great to see you. mr. secretary i'm a big picture guy and obviously it is obvious with your third offset strategy you're a big picture guy.
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i truly appreciate that. there's another big picture view that is stark reality. and everybody on this dais knows it. we talk about it a lot. that's the trajectory of the federal budget and the squeeze that is happening as a result of the growth and the mandatory programs into fewer and fewer dollars. there seem to be for discretionary programs including the defense of our country. it's alarming to me. and we don't have an answer for that. that said, as a result of sequestration and the budget ntrol act, we have lost what i believe is readiness pability because of very difficult and strained resource environment. and it looks like we're going to be trying to buy back some
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of that readiness now and defering some of our other obligations to the future. which this congress is pretty good at. i hate to see the department of defense having to do the same. but that's the reality of the constrained resource environment that we happened to be in. so i'm just going to throw that out on the table as a concern from this member of congress and ask you to comment and give us the reality of what's happening in the pentagon and how we are having to push a lot of very vital procurement needs to the future to be able to buy back some of this readiness that has been lost to date. >> i will start and ask the chairman and say you're right we are trying to give priority in this budget both to restoring readiness particularly full spectrum readiness and to modernization. we have to balance those two. no question about it. we're trying to find the money
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for those two priorities elsewhere in the budget. and that's why as i said the shape of our budget is so different this year and how we're trying to turn a strategic corner. with respect with readiness, each of the services is somewhat different but they're all trying to get back to full spectrum readiness. we are funding their return to full spectrum readiness. the stability you gave us with the bipartisan budget act is absolutely critical. without that, we can't be on that trajectory to full spectrum readiness. so the stability is very important. and you began your question by talking about everything that goes into stability. we're not only part of the defense. we're part of the discretionary budget. we uns you have to deal with all parts. but we can't just keep focusing all the energy on the
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discretionary part of the budget as has been the case. that's why i'm so glad that the budget agreement was reached and gave us some stability. but readiness is a big priority for us. i could go through each of the services but i don't have time. let me ask the chairman to comment in general on readiness. >> two quick comments. thanks for the question. as you know with readiness we can't actually buy our way out of the problem that we have right now. there have a been a couple of things that have impact. there's a factor of time. it's going to take time. the operational tempo has an effect on readiness. then some of the impact the last few years with regard to the industrial base and the maintenance backlog has resulted is a physics issue in terms of getting all the equipment that needs to be fixed. and the modernization also impacts readiness because some of the buy that is we would
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have done now are out three four years from now. what i would say i tried to do in making recommendations for the secretary for this budget is you look at readiness and force structure and modernization, and then you look at the foundational elements of infrastructure and so forth, what my perspective was is that given the resources that we have, we have to try to achieve some balance among those four areas and posture ourselves for the next five or seven years. so you're right. you don't want to make decisions always for the near term that actually mortgage the future. i think in 17 what we really try to do and that's high lighted by the capability areas that we emphasized is that we have lived year to year and i know this as a service chief we just try to get through the fiscal year. and we delayed those decisions. i think we reached that we recognized in some critical capability areas that we can no longer wait. so what we try to do is achieve the best balance in those four
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areas. even while being attentive. i will tell you job number one has been for the secretary and i making sure that the young men and women deployed have the wherewithal to accomplish the mission with minimal loss. we have focused on that. but given that we did make some other decisions that would allow us to balance near term readiness and long term. and i describe that of health of the force and wellness. really about wellness. so tough decisions had to be made. and again what i would say is we came out of fy 17 balancing the resources that we have the best way we could. you defined something my number one concern less what we're doing and fy 17 or where we are today. my number one concern is where would we be five to seven years from now if we don't change the trajectory? where will we be five to sevb years if we don't start making
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investments that will allow us to have the same conversations to where we say russia's a challenge, here it is. north korea, iran, china all challenges. but make no mistake. we have a competitive advantage. i'm not sure we can say that in 2022 if we maintain the same path we're on today. that's what we're most concerned about. >> i appreciate the service of these gentlemen and yield back my time. >> we thank you for your service. you didn't put a plug in but others referred to the enormous contribution of our national guard in which you were part of for many, many years. there's a lot of keen interest. i know we're past high noon but we're going to labor on plefment know if there's any ill ease at the front table. i would like to talk a little t about the whole issue of deflecting of our deconflicks with russians and others in the middle east. can you comment on that?
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there's a lot of open source information there. with -- in iraq we are elements of the cudes force. to some extent we see russian superiority in major portions over syria. you talk a little bit about what we're doing. there's a report in the "washington post" that we've been letting the russians know where certain operations are occurring. could we talk a little bit about that in this session here? >> we can. i would obviously go into it in greater detail with you privately in other seggets. but i will start. why don't i do syria and you can do iraq or whatever. in terms of the russians in syria, we have a memorandum of understanding with them that is - and the word is accurate and
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precise to deconflict. our war on isil. from what the russians are doing, which unfortunately is something quite different which is supporting assad in the civil war. which is not what they said they were going to do. and so they're off on a whole wrong trajectory of fueling the civil war in syria. that's a somewhat separate subject. but -- and we don't agree with themful and that we can't align ourselves with their strategy in that way. our deconflicks doesn't mean we're aligning ourselves with the russians it just means that we're working with them so we don't inadvertently run into each other in the air or on the ground. there, i have to say abiding by that memorandum of understanding it's very professional it's military to military. a very operational professional
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level. conduct themselves in accordance with that agreement and therefore don't impede our campaign against isil. at the same time, i just have to repeat, we don't otherwise associate with what the russians are doing in syria because it's totally wrong headed. >> in iraq, to some extent the quds force have been able to unite disparate groups of shiite militias and been enormously successful in terms of influencing the course of action there. i just wonder how, do you have any degree of discomfort? and what's your feeling about what's happening there? >> chairman, thanks. in iraq there's really two issues. you talk about us being colocated with forces. i would tell you from a recent rip i'm satisfied we have a an aggressive counter force in iraq. so that's a piece of i think
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what you alluded to. with regard to the provisional military force that is happened to be backed by iran the one thing i'm encouraged by is the iraqi government particularly in operations like ramadi they recognize that our support was conditioned on not having those iran yp backed forces in and around that area. so they weren't participating in ramadi. i also know that there is a great deal of energy being applied to talk about how to integrate those forces into legitimate iraqi security forces. and we are not at any time providing support for any forces that aren't actually legitimate. part of the iraqi government in bag dad and under prime minister abadie's control and responsibility. >> we're of course all of us are interested in the issue of force protection. just because at this point in time people are shall we say cheek by jowl with us quote leaving us alone, one has to assume that they themselves are doing what we're doing.
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>> mr. chairman, just to make sure it's clear. we are concerned about that. we are watching that very closely. and i wouldn't suggest to you for a minute that we're complacent about it. i know our commanders on the ground aren't scompl place ept either. we have sources to recognize the changes and sources. >> but to have that public reassurance. on the issues of rules of engagement, one of the benefits of congressional travel is that we often separate ourselves from general officers talk with the men and women who do remarkable things. and i followed a little bit of the lead of my predecessor to getting out to bead and walter reed. from time to time i run into situations where remarkable people who have done courageous things have been injured. and it bothers me when i hear that they didn't get the air
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upport that they needed. as you've pointed out maybe the afghans are ready for prime time but i do hear more than anecdotal information that some of those forces don't fight at night. as a result, some of our men have been put into compromising positions. i would like -- and it's sort of hinges on my introductry remarks which are not political. there is a feeling out there and i think this is shared with a lot of members of congress that there's somehow forces of higher up and i understand the chain of command. that people have to check with a variety of different people before they shall we say look after the mission that they are involved in. could you comment a little bit about that and give -- again, a
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level of reassurance here to think that somebody would be sort of checking on you and the remarkable people who are in positions of command and srked guessing you. assure me that that's not happening. >> chairman, i can. let me try to explain. first, i wouldn't understate the folks that you talked to. i've talked to them too and sometimes they have condepution they have questions. and believe it or not even though i am a general they bring it up to me as well. that's the nice thing about our force today they don't hesitate. if you make yourself available for questions you have to be prepared to answer them because they're going to ask them. but i would distinguish rules of engagement kind of has become a catch all phrase for a whole wide range of activities that take place in the battlefield. i can assure when it comes to the right of self-protection there's nothing that limits a soldier sailor airman or marine from taking appropriate action
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if they were threatened. there's no question about that. what you're really referring to is when where and how we employ combined arms on the battlefield. so i would tell you that there are times when those decisions are made at a more senior level. and frankly i made them at a senior level on occasion because there are strategic implications sometimes with regard to civilian casualties. >> collateral damage. >> so that sometimes has to be managed. and we have various levels of authorities that are associated with a number of civilian casualties and the amount of collateral damage that may take place in a certain operation. that is sometimes elevated to a general officer level. and my experience is again when it comes to soldiers sailors airmen and marines taking action that involves their right of force protection, they can crush a handset so to speak combine arms and do what must be done. when it comes to conducting a deliberate strike that may have
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implications we have we will make those decisions at a level where risk can be managed appropriately to make sure that what appears to be tactical actions with strategic consequences, the decisionmaking is being made at the right level. at my case it was managing a very difficult relationship with the governor of afghanistan. in some cases our very presence and ability to conduct counter terrorism operations was being managed as a result of the strikes. and so from the troop size i don't understate for a second their concerns and i try to explain to them just like i explain to you, it isn't that we don't trust you. everyone looks through a soda straw in combat and everybody's soda straw is different. and when you sit there as commander it's a little wider. and again, when it comes to them doing what needs to be done to take care of themselves or their unit, it's completely decentralized. when it comes to manage broader strategic relationships sometimes you make decisions at the level that they would
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prefer to make those decisions themselves and those of us that have become more senior sfeel like sometimes we ought to make those decisions. >> we are -- i'm glad to hear it because i do think as our footprint slinchings and there's that certain inevitability that force protection we have -- every soldier and whoever is representing our government deserves that assurance. and i just want to make sure that you've made it quite clear that that is the case. >> mr. chairman, if i could return to the european reassurance initiative which is contained in oco. and we've had a number of interchanges as to the difficulty and planning year to year. any sense given at least my impression that this is going to be a permanent situation for some period of time, us, vis-a-vis the russians that some of those moneys migrate into the base budget as opposed
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to end up in oco, say, in 18? the reality there is that this is money that we need to spend and on a requirement that has quickly come upon us. therefore, it's appropriate that it be in oco. there are other thing that is we're doing about the russians and the kind of threat represent bid the russians that are in the base and part of our enduring investment. so there's a mix here. and i think if the question is are we going to be doing more about the general kind of threat represented by russia and china in the base budget in the future, you see that in fy 17 already and i think you'll see it in the out years. assuming that what chairman said is our biggest risk here strategic risk which is a snap -- a collapse of budget agreement and reversion to the budget control act which is
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what he was referring to earlier. that's the biggest risk to everything we're trying to do, e.r.i. and everything else. >> if i could ask one more question. more if you want to address the issue of the budget recommendations on health care retirement. i mentioned in the past i think congress has a huge burden to bear and blame, not that the administration is always right in these but something has to be done. we mentioned mandatory. in the civilian side you suffer from the same problem. from the administration's perspective, what's your justification from doing this from a budgetary standpoint? the general talked about his concerns six,sen years out. >> we have made proposals and the department continues to ask for your support and we haven't always gotten the support not necessarily of this committee but of congress for what we regard is reasonable steps to
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make our provision of health care more efficient. and to cap the rise in the growth of health care costs. we try to do that in a way that's -- doesn't compromise the quality of care, doesn't restrict the number of people receiving care. but i will give you some examples of that. medical treatment facilities, using them more efficiently. the issue of copays. i know has come up in past years. that's really -- they're very small copays we ask for and their basic purpose is to make people ask themselves, do i really need to go to an emergency room for this or could i take a different route? if they need to go we want them to go. this is just a little signal in that regard. d we try to allocate these efforts across the populations so that we protect the population -- parts of our
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military family, active duty and retired who have the greatest needs and have fewer -- the fewest alternatives. so we try to do this as carefully as we can. we know it's difficult. we know that we have not received 100% support. we're grateful for the support we've gotten from this committee and others. but it's tough. it's tough on us. we understand it's tough on the congress as well. with respect to retirement, we do have a, thanks to our partnership with congress, an approach to retirement that -- for new members. a blended retirement system. i think that's a good thing. i think it will be good for the all volunteer force going forward. just to remind you for members of the service who are already in they don't have to go to that retirement if they don't want to. nobody is changing the deal for people already in the military. this is a program that will be available for folks in the future. that's a few things about health care.
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perhaps the chairman would like to add. >> maybe just to put it in perspective from where i sit. stimets we look at health care and compensation as separate from training and equipment. to me, it's all about taking care of people. it's all about our number one responsibility which is to bring our people home alive and give them the wherewithal to accomplish the mission and then keeping faith with them. i can share why we're so focused now. as a service chief in the marine corps they have a little different dynamic. as a department as a whole we spend close to 55%, 60%. in the marine corps we spend close to 70%. health care has gone from 4% of the budget to some 9% of the budget if i'm not mistaken. so i started to look at the trajectory of the cost of the people, i realize look there's absolutely no way that i can make sure these folks are properly trained and equipped as well as paid and compensated
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so there's a balance that has to be achieved. so i think these initiatives are in fact designed number one to provide better programs through recruit and retain high quality people but also at the start to control the cost and still be able to take care of people. when i explain this to families they actually get it. when i talk to spouses even i say look here's the reason why we tried to control the cost of personnel over the last couple of years. we used to spend -- and this was again a service we used to spend 12% on modernization. now i'm close to 8%. at the end of the day you may be well paid, live in a good house, have good medical care. but we may not have the wherewithal to provide you with the best training and equipment. and the spouses look at me and say you'd better noncompromise on the training and equiping you provide my loved one. so i look at compensation holesically. it's juth not those two things you mentioned. it's the entire package that we ensure to have the most well trained, the most well equipped
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and the most well incentivized for us. so i appreciate the latitude that we've had to try to make some of these decisions because the desired end we share. high quality people, recruit and retain. and frankly the right skill sets and so forth. we also share the end state of making sure we give them the wherewithal to do what we ask. >> one real quick follow up back to e.r.i. for just a moment. kind of applaud for the reserve component since my chairmen were brought that up just a minute ago. rotational brigades i think ideal for reserve components formations. it does a lot of things. won't go into all those here. state partnership programs particularly with host nations support. the relationships that are forged there become combat multipliers for us if
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necessary. o just put in a plug for that. i've gotten to know general hodges pretty well. and what a remarkable person to be able to make 30,000 look like 300,000 on a given day. and i know he relies heavily on these state partnership programs. i ask for your continued support. >> thank you. and i know two gentlemen who have p done most of the speaking thai also rely on secretary michael mccort. while you didn't say anything may i thank you for the close working relationship you've had with our staff and other committee members. there's never been a time that we've requested the information that we haven't gotten the facts that we needed to do the job. >> mr. chairman if i could make -- >> please do. >> on the discussion on the i.m.i.'s. we're looking carefully at possibly send youg the programming to create one more.
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it's not a final decision yet but it's a possibility. >> you can be sure we'll take a look at all the reprograms that you send. and ask for a full justification. yes. >> i've been remiss as a notre dame grad for also congratulating the comptroller on defeating notre dame. and then the next day the women's team beat the maryland's team. >> i was not going to bring that up. >> that's why i respect you. thank you so much. >> i thank you. he is terrific. and we're very much benefiting and i'm delighted to hear that it worked so well. >> on behalf of the remarkable men and women you represent, please extend our thanks and gratefulness for their dedication and service all volunteers. as i said at the beginning the best of america. we need to look after them and their families. we stand adjourned. thank you very much. [captioning performed by
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national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2016] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption contents and accuracy. visit
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[laughter] >> every election cycle remind us how important it is for
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citizens to be informed. >> it is a home for political junkies and a way to track the government as it happens. there are a lot of c-span fans on the hill. my colleagues will say i saw you on c-span. >> there is so much more that c-span does to make sure that people know about what is going on inside it. >> coming up next, q&a with citizens against government waste president thomas schatz. at 7:00, washington journal is live with take -- with your calls and a look at today's headlines. >> this week on "q&a", thomas schatz, president of citizens against government waste. he talks about his organization's efforts to bring attention to government waste over the years.


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