tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 30, 2014 12:00am-2:01am EDT
or satisfying its purported rights in a way it's safe and monitored. that's a very important shift, and one of the things that iran has tried to do in addition to its effort to undermine the credibility of the iaea is to show that it stood up to the u.n. security council, whose legitimacy is also impugned. and so that in itself, that kind of change in dynamic, is an important change in itself. when it comes to the particulars, i think we made that vital concession on iran -- iran has been seeking this since 2003. we conceded any restraints iran is under will be temporary in nature and quite short in nature and iran will be treated like nye state at the end of this process, despite, again, those obligations. we have granted some implicit legitimate si to those facilities which, remember, constructed in secret and in violation of -- the -- now will
remain in place and not be dismantled. we have not forced iran to address the weaponnization question or the ballistic missile question. so all of these things are significant concessions we made in the course of these talks. on the second part, how do we bolster the credibility of the sort of or-else. i think it's important that there be a clear message to iran about what are the consequences for not reaching a decent agreement by the end of these talks? and i think that should be a unified message. here's an issue where i think there is strong bipartisan agreement in the united states, and i think that the messages we're sending should reflect that strong bipartisan agreement. i do think it's very important that we continue to enforce vigorously the sanctions which are already in place that haven't been suspended as part of the jpoa. i'm concerned, for example, by reports that china's oil imports from iran have increased 48%. you look at the first six months
of 2014 compared to 2013 and there has not been an appreciable response. when it comes to the military credible, think, look, that's harder because i think this is -- we have implanted in the mines of folks around the world the idea that we're a lot less inclined to address situations like those in syria and iraq and elsewhere in a sort of forceful. we didn't enforce the redline in syria. have not done much of anything, frankly in syria to uphold or policy. we responded in similar ways in iraq when it comes to ukraine, i think our response has been relatively modest compared to what is happening there. part of the answer is trace michigan of these situations around the world in a more purposeful and a more decisive
way. i think we need to stress our continuing commitment to this region. i think the messaging often that we send out is we're pivoting to a different region, we hey not have much of an interest in this region because of energy independence, and since 2011 our alliances in the region have suffered and i think we need to rebuild that security architecture which we once enjoyed in the region. without the 0 -- or-else, i don't see why iran would accept a deal that restricts its activities. >> one thing that is clear to me is that military assetses that did not exist or weren't in position in the region, are placed in the region, which should send the iranians a clear message that enough fact we cannot strike a deal and if
sanctions ratcheted up sanctions don't get them to rethink a break in negotiations, there's a real credible threat because those assets were not in the region prior to this process. they are in the region now. and i would happen that would be some sense of a messaging to them. look, with the thanks of the committee for your expertise, and i hope we can continue to call upon you. this hearing will -- record will remain open until the close of business tomorrow, and with the thanks of the committee, this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] >> tonight on c-span2.
senators comment on the israeli palestinian conflict. a pentagon update on rim pack, the world's largest naval exercise underway in the pacific, and the senate confirms veterans affairs secretary nominee, robert mcdonald. hearings on c-span3 tomorrow to hell you about. at 10:00 a.m. eastern the judiciary committee looks at gun violence against women and the act could be changed to address the problem. at 2:00 p.m. eastern, hearing on u.s. policy toward north korea. state department officials will testify about the country's nuclear program, and its human rights record. before the house foreign affairs committee on asia and the pacific. live coverage of c-span3 and c-span.org. >> american artifacts on american history tv, this weekend our visit to national
security archives at george washington university revealed declassified documents about the gulf of tonkin in vietnam. 50 years ago this week congress passed the gulf of tonkin resolution, giving president johnson power to wage war in southeast asia. while congress is in recess, american history tv will be in primetime monday through friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, features events from water -- gather. >> as fighting between israeli and palestinian forces continues in gaza today, israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu has warned that the fighting will not end anytime soon. members of the senate talked about the conflict and the iron dome antimissile system developed jointly between israel and the u.s. we'll hear first from republican leader mitch mcconnell.
>> israel's military campaign against the terrorist organization, hamas, has a clearcut objective. to restore israel's security by eliminating rockets, shut down these infiltration tunnels from which hamas is launching its attacks against israel, and indeed militarize gaza. that's israel's objective. this is clearly, clearly justified in the face of more than 2300 rocket attacks into israel from gaza since early july. and i strongly support israel's recent efforts through operation protective edge, to defend itself, and to end the threat of additional rocket and infiltration attacks by hamas. operation protective edge also serves a larger purpose. and its resolution has broader implications for the future. of the palestinian people.
if hamas declares victory by keeping its weapons stockpiles, by continuing to undermine israel's security, and by concerning away from egypt's efforts to forge a reasonable cease fire, the net result will be a relative weakening of the palestinian authority and those in the west bank who have worked toward a peaceful resolution of the overall conflict. so, look, i support any effort which brings this campaign to an end in a manner, in a manner, that increases israel's security. that means specifically that hamas cannot be left with large stockpile of missile and rockets, cannot be left with infiltration tunnels. they must be destroyed. hamas cannot be allowed to aggressively rest, refit, and build up weapons stockpiles. that weakens israel and the palestinian authority. and here's what i oppose.
i oppose any efforts, any efforts, by the international community, especially the united nations, to impose a cease fire on israel that does not meet these military objectives and that therefore risk rewarding hamas, actually rewarding them, for a campaign of terror. and it seeks to make additional -- hamas such as easing security along the borders of gaza. an unfavorable settlement, specially one that left hamas with a stockpile of weaponry would create incentives for hamas to continue to smuggle weapons from iran, and to turn to violence. an unfavorable settlement would undermine the leadership of the palestinian authority which has attempted to negotiate with israel through peaceful means. so, let's be clear here. the terror tactics employed by hamas show contempt, contempt
for human life, whether israeli or palestinian, by employing rockets and mortars as weapons of terror against israel's civilian population, or using its own schools within gaza as weapon depots, hamas has shown a gross disregard for civilians. the prime minister of israel, i thought, put it very well when he said, israel uses missile defense to protect itself civilians. hamas uses civilians to protect their missiles. there's no moral equivalency here. not whatsoever. these tactics should be loudly and widely condemned, and israel's right to defend itself should be affirmed. as i noted last week secretary hagel wrote to the majority leader seeking urgent funding for components of the iron dome defense system.
i and others support this request, as iron dorm has afforded israel some real protections from rockets. my colleagues will explain the importance of iron dome and the need for israeli defense forces to press on, to finish the job, and destroy the infiltration tunnels and weapons stockpiles. republicans are united in our support of israel's defense and this morning my colleagues will explain our opposition to any effort to force a cease fire on israel that does not further its security objectives. in a situation like this, mr. president, israel only has one dependable friend. the united states should not be trying to pressure israel to make a bad deal that leaves hamas in a position to continue these attacks against israeli civilians. no one has been more active on
this issue than my colleague from south carolina and i see him on the floor now and therefore yield the floor. >> thank you, mr. president. the previous order of the leadership time is reserved. the senate will be in a period of morning business until 12 noon with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes speech with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leader0s their designees with the republicans controlling the first half and the majority controlling the final halve. the senator from series. >> thank -- from south carolina. >> i want to return the kim compliment from senator mcconnell. there's no better friend for the state of israel than mitch mcconnell. the former ranking member of the subcommittee of appropriations which deals with aid to the world, particularly israel, and it was his idea to come on the floor today and have voices
speak in support of israel at a time they need friends. friends are a great thing to have. they're a wonderful thing in good times, they're a necessity in bad times. and israel is going through some pretty bad times and so are the palestinian people. i want to clearly make myself known. i have nothing against the legitimate hopes and aspirations of the palestinian people to have their own country to live in peace and prosperity by israel. but they have to i want more than i do. and the palestinian people are suffering. children are being killed the and the most innocent people on the planet or children and it breaks all of our hearts to see them as a casualty of war. but now is the time to be clear-eyed and focused as could what the problem really is. the problem is very simple in many ways. hamas is a terrorist
organization in the eyes of the united states government. hamas should be a terrorist organization in the eyes of any decent person in the world. what did they do? they have as their goal, not a two-state solution but a one-state solution, they complete and utter destruction of the state of israel. if you don't believe me, check out their own charter. they have as their tactics using their own people and children as human shields to win a prop goon da war. -- propaganda war. when israeli children are killed, it breaks israel's heart. when palestinian children are killed,$é$édlrg decent palestint hamas seiz sees it as a victory. they literally try put women and children in harm's way to marginalize the ability of
israel to defend itself against two things: irntion th things, e something new in this fievment 41 tunnels have been discovered 41 tunnels have been discovered 4100 tunnels from the gaza strip, into israel itself, and yesterday five israeli soldiers were killed by an attack that came from hamas fighters that penetrated israel through the tunnels. so, senator mcconnell, not only are you speaking for republicans when you say the senate stands firmly behind israel's right to destroy the terrorist tunnels. i think that is the body -- there's a resolution that's bipartisan in nature that is before the body and hope we can pass it before thursday. and it says the senate imposes any effort to impose a cease fire that does not allow for the
government of israel to protect its citizens by the threat posed by hamas rockets and tunnels. they the suit of the united states senate in a bipartisan fashion. today runs take the floor to clearly state where we stand in this conflict. we stand with israel's right to defend itself against the terrorist organization called hamas. what would we do as nation if a neighboring nation dug thumbs under our border for the express purpose of kidnapping and killing our citizens. what would america do if one rocket came from a neighboring nation, fired indiscriminately to kill american citizens. we would respond in the most
aggressive fashion and whoa have every ruth to do so. israel gives notice of the impending attacks. hamas secretly fire rocketed and their hope is it hits a kindergarten. that's their desire and the only reason they haven't been successful is because of the iron dome program which is a company will be operation between united states and israel for men years. there's discussion about appropriating additional dollars for iron dome. that discussion needs to turn into a reality. we don't need to marry it up with controversial topics. israel is under siege. we are the best friend of the state of israel. they need this assistance. every republican stands ready to work with every democrat to pass in the next five minutes
additional money for the iron dome program. so in tough times, what is the smart thing and the right thing for america to do? the smart thing for america to do is to pursue a lasting peace. a peace with meaning. not to repeat the mistakes of the past. insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. israel is beyond that moment. america needs to stand by israel's legitimate rights to get to the heart of the problem and not face this threat six months or a year from now. the one thing i can tell you that's not a smart thing to do is give hamas a bunch of concrete. they're not going to build schools with it. they build tunnels. all the aid that the international community has been providing to the gaza strip, through the hands of hamas, is not going into building hospitals and schools and
economic improvement of the lives of the palestinians but to create weapons of war. the tunnels are weapons of war. the thousands and thousands of tons of concrete and iron that has been misappropriated to build these tunnels came from people with a good heart. and how long does it take the international community to wake up to the fact that hamas has a bad heart. an evil, wicked heart. they could care less about their own people. they want to destroy israel. >> would the senator yield for a question? >> absolutely. >> we all remember that ten or 12 years ago, israel, which had previously occupied hamas, for the purpose of trying to prevent these kinds of devastating attacks, left, withdrew, as a solid statement that we're
uncomfortable occupying, and all we ask in return for our removal of our occupation is a peaceful border. and the senator from south carolina has just outlined that periodically this is what they have gotten in return. for basically leaving gaza alone and giving it's chance, if it chose to, to have a normal, peaceful existence. and yet they choose to continue the conflict as the senator from south carolina indicated because they're not in favor of a two-state solution. they're in favor of a one-state solution. >> the senator mcconnell is dead on point here. land for peace. give the palestinians land and in return israel gets peace. they gave the gaza strip to the palestinians. and what have they got in return? 2500 rockets in the last three
weeks. terrorist tunnels. so the idea of leaving an area will lead to peace in mid-east with the palestinians has not borne fruit. so what to do? very quickly, number one, pass more appropriations for iron dome because it's the right thing to do. it's the smart thing to do. number two, pass a resolution saying that we oppose any cease fire that does not allow israel to get to the heart of the problem when it comes to terrorist tunnels and deal with the rocket threat against their country. number three, push back against the united nations that has lost its moral way. the human rights commission, a subcommittee, for lack of a better term, of the united nations, passed a resolution 27-1, about the israeli palestinian conflict in gaza, and i want to read the first paragraph. deploying the massive israeli military operations in the occupied palestinian territory
including east jerusalem since 13 june 2014 which have involved disproportionate and inscrimmage senate attacks and resulted in grave violations of the human right offered the palestinian civilian population, including through the most recent israeli military assault on the occupied gaza strip, the latest in a series of military aggressions by israel and actions of mass closure, mass arrest, and killing of civilians in the occupied west bank. this resolution is 1600 something words and it has a half a sentence about rockets against israel and nothing about the tunnels and never mentioned hamas. so, the third thing i would like this body to do is either through a letter of resolution let the united nations know we condemn this one-sided view of the conflict. we find the human rights commission report objectionable and, quite frankly, immoral.
27-1, we're the only nation that octobered to this resolution, which i think should make every decent person in the world feel the -- ashamed of the united nations. so the leader on the republican side. thank you for creating this opportunity for us to speak. thank you for your long-standing support of the state of israel, and i close with this thought. in times of trouble, try to do the right thing and the smart thing. here they both come together the right thing to do is to stand by your friends in israel. the smart thing to do is to stand by your friends in israel. the right thing and the smart thing to do is oppose hamas. who is a wicked heart, and allow israel, for once and for all to fix this problem by demilitarizing gaza, dealing with the tunnels and rockets. as senator mcconnell says, israel has tried time and time
again, cease fires, without dealing with the military threat the face. not this time. when israel says, never again, they refer to the holocaust. america needs to stand with israel today and israel should say to hamas, never again will we allow a cease fire that allows you to dig tunnels our borders to kidnap and kill our citizens, and never again will we allow you to re-arm and rain holly terror -- holy terror on our people. now is the time for the senate to say with israel, never again. >> mr. president. >> the republican leader. >> briefly, want to commend senator graham for his suggestions. all three of those suggestion idaho be carried out this week. time is of the essence. and in listening to the litany
of the actions of the palestinians that you recounted and that we all remember going back almost to the founding of the state of israel, i'm reminded of what one of israel's early foreign ministers once said about the palestinians. said, you know the palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. >> sad but true. >> sad but true. i recall when prime minister barack was in office at the end of the clinton years. the administration brokered a deal that israel was willing to offer and the palestinians said, no. probably a deal they couldn't have gotten today. so we see this lit notify opportunities wasted over the years, and the people who suffered as a result of it obviously have been the palestinian people. >> absolutely. and with that i would like now to turn over the debate to a
good friend from new hampshire, senator aot, who has been one of the leaders on our side and is a steadfast ally of our friends in israel. >> i want to thank my colleagues. >> the senator from new hampshire. >> thank you, mr. president. i want to thank my colleague, the senator from south carolina, for his leadership and also for our leader, the senator from kentucky, for the incredible work that he has done in supporting our great friend israel and also in leading in this body in terms of the issues that he has brought forward not only in supporting important protection like the iron dome system, but also in ensuring that america remains safe ask strong. so thank you very much, senator mcconnell, for your leadership. i rise today because i had the privilege in march of traveling to israel, and i went there not
only to meet with the leadership in israel but i had the opportunity to immediate with some of the palestinian leadership as well. but to actually go down -- go to a town in israel -- i was very much struck about what the israelis are facing every day and the threat they face from hamas, a terrorist organization. you go to a town like stero, and everyone in theirs household has a bomb shelter, and i met with mothers there whose children feel traumatized because they never know when the next potential rocket may be coming towards their town and it's very much affected their children. so much so that when you go to the playground where the children play, the playground itself contains a bomb shelter. so there's a cat piller that looks like something that maybe your kids would play in but it's
actually a bomb shelter because this town in israel has been facing rockets from hamas, and that is what we need to understand in this conflict. that hamas, a terrorist organization, has not only used its own civilians, the palestinians, as human shields, but they've also continued to threaten the children of israel so much so that their bomb shelters, they're pounds have bomb shelters and what is happening right now in this conflict is that israel is trying to defend itself. to defend itself against this threat of rockets from hamas. that threatens their children and threatens the palestinian children who unfortunately have been put in harm's way by this terrorist organization, hamas. but they're facing a new threat.
can you imagine if we were faced with the threat that terrorists could pop up through a tunnel and suddenly terrorize the people in this country. what we would do to face that threat and that the threat the israelis are facing right now. they need eliminate tunnels to ensure their people can be protected from this threat, and how do they build these tunnels? they actually built these tunnels using concrete that the israelis let them have, the palestinians, for building things like schools, and instead hamas has taken this concrete and used it to build terror tunnels to allow them to either kidnap or kill israeli citizens. and so we stand with the people of israel and their right to defend themselves against this terrorist organization, hamas, and the terror that it has brought upon not only the
the palestinian people and how hamas stands in the way of peace in the region overall. and we also stand against the hypocrisy that we have seen on many levels and that hypocrisy and double standard has been most apparent in the u.n. human rights council and the recent resolution passed by that council. i have to wonder why that council exists in the united nations because you have countries like china, cuba, russia and venezuela issuing a resolution condemning israel for what is happening in this conflict but in no way even mentioning hamas or what hamas is doing to use civilians as shields, to use civilians as basically targets so that they
can try to get support for the international community, and the opposite is happening in terms of what israel is doing. it's such a contrast. israel is taking steps to notify civilians if there's going to be a missile coming in their area. they have warned civilians to leave areas. they have taken extraordinary steps to protect civilian lives in contrast to what hamas is doing in using civilians as shields. so we condemn in this body very clearly what the human rights council has done. and the notion that we're going to follow what china, cuba, venezuela and russia would tell the world their view is on human rights that doesn't even mention the actions of a terrorist organization that is at the root
of the conflict that we see right now in gaza, talk about the situation where the cat is watching the hen house, that's what's happening with this human rights council. frankly, this council, in my view, should be eliminated because it is the opposite of standing for human rights. it is standing up for terrorist organizations like hamas. and i stand with the recommendations of my colleague from south carolina and our leader that we need to absolutely condemn the human rights council. we need to reaffirm this week before we leave in this body our support for israel's right to defend itself and to eliminate the threat that these tunnels present to the israeli people and, frankly, also to the palestinian people as well. and to allow them to finally address this threat from this terrorist organization hamas,
because until this threat is eliminated there can be no peace in this region. there cannot be peace for the israeli people and there cannot be peace for the palestinian people. and so it is my hope that we will take this up this week, leader, and make sure that we clearly send a message to israel that we stand with israel, that we clearly send a message to the u.n. that we're not going to accept the hypocrisy of the human rights council. that we clearly send a message to hamas: we know who you are. you're a terrorist organization. stop using civilians to try to accomplish your purpose. and we stand with you. and with that, i would yield the floor to my colleague. mr. mcconnell: before senator ayotte loses the floor, i wanted to just commend her on her contribution to this discussion, particularly the stories with regard to your last trip to
israel. and also add i'm sure the senator from new hampshire agrees with me that the last thing the american government needs to be doing right now is trying to pressure israel into a bad cease-fire that doesn't allow this terror to be stopped. it at times appears to me as if the american administration is trying to push the israelis and to stop them before they finish the job. and we all know based on past history that unless this operation is completed, the challenges will continue. i just wanted to see if the senator from new hampshire shared my view on that. ms. ayotte: i would fully share your view. and really in order to end this threat, we need to support israel and its right to eliminate the tunnels, to address the missiles and
eliminate the missiles and the stash that hamas has that they are targeting israel with, which, by the way, would have had many more civilian casualties but for the iron dome system that we have supported and worked with israel on. and finally, we need to get to a point where the gaza is demilitarized and they're put in a position where this threat cannot continue. that's what we need to get at thinking about, but we need to allow israel to deal with the threat of these tunnels and the missiles so that the children in storogh will not continue to be targeted, so that children, not only israeli children but also palestinian children can live in peace in the region and that can't happen when hamas continues to be a terrorist organization that threatens all children in the region. thank you.
mr. thune: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: i'd like to echo what my colleagues, senator mcconnell, our leader, senator graham, senator ayotte and appreciate senator mcconnell's leadership in making sure what is at stake here, pushing hard to make sure the united states senate is doing its job in support of israel, making sure they are able to defend themselves and funding for the iron dome which has been so effective as a defense mechanism against these rocket attacks is funded in a way that allows them funded in a way that allows them as you look at the situation in gaza, mr. president, just want to start by taking a step back and looking at this conflict in both its historic and regional context. in israel we have the only -- the only functioning democracy in the middle east. israel is a nation that emphasizes human rights and powers. its population includes religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity in jerusalem you can hear the muslim call to prayer,
the bells from catholic and greek orthodox churches and the prayers of the jews the wailing wall, all at the same time. there is no other place like this on earth. this democracy, however, is situated in a region of intense brutality and extremism. that has meant seemingly end his conflicts with israel's neighbors intentionally targeting civilians in order to maximize casualties. one need only look across the boredder into syria to get a glimpse of this brutality. when syrians made the first attempt at striving for democracy the assad regime began slaughtering opponents, including gassing civilians with chemical weapons. as that violence parade into iraq radical terror organization isis started killing shia opponents and also other sunni clerics who would not swear
allegiance to isis. communities with ancient traditions, such as the christians in mosul, who ten years ago numbered 60,000, have been forced to plea for their lives. mosul has been completely emptied of christians for the first time in 1600 years. mr. president, it is in this context that the people of israel have built their nation. and it is in this con connection that we now view -- in this context that we view the conflict gaza. the current conflict is one that israel did not start. it started with hamas firing over 2300 rocks from gaza into israel, specifically targeting civilian populated areas to maximize potential casualties inch response, israel has conducted a methodical and forceful response. just as you expect any nation to do. first israel locates the source of the rockets. then an attempt is made to call
the resident biz phone to tell them to evacuate. and in many cases a flare is sent on to the roof as a warning that the location is about to be hit. before that location is ultimately destroyed. in a region where neighbors leaders indiscriminately drop barrel bombs on residential areas for the sole purpose of slaughtering civilians, israel goes out of its way to save lives. not just civilian lives bus they know by their efforts they're giving the a degreesors a chance to escape as well. after hamas continued to launch rockets into israel, even when israel agreed on multiple occasions to cease fires, tunnels were used to insurgent combatants near israeli settle. s. israel responded with a ground assault to destroy the tunnels and eliminate hamas stockpile of weapons. the attacks and rocket launches continued, it's understandable that israel would want to seek out and destroy stockpile of
weapons keep the cycle from being repeated a few months from now. mr. president, like all of my colleagues on the floor today i want to see peace in the middle east. specifically i want to see peace in gaza and the west bank. i want to sea peace in such a way that the palestinian people can live with the prospect of a better life. but as we have seen, peace is not possible when a terrorist organization continues to pursue its cause of annihilating israel. peace cannot be achieved while hamas rejects cease-fire agreements and continues to fire rockets. mr. president, as violent as the current conflict in the gaza strip is, it would be far worse, far worse, if israel did not have the iron dome. in any conflict, civilian casualties are a tragedy. and if israel did not have the
sophisticated, purely defensive weapons system that allows it to shoot these rockets out of the sky, the number of civilian casualties would be far greater. hamas has not dropped leaflets telling civilians to evacuate. hamas has not sent flares to warn residents to get oust harm's way. if not for israel's iron dome, civilian casualties in israel, mr. president, would be staggering. the united states must continue to support israel be ensuring that iron dome missile defense systems remain an effective deterrent to even greater civilian casualties. for as long as israeli men, women and children need to run to bomb shelters ahead of hamas rocket attacks, we must support israel's ability to defend itself.
mr. president, united nations council on human rights, other countries around the world, can choose to do things that are consistently at odd with the facts and with reality. but here in the united states, we need to do, as my colleague from south carolina said, the right thing, and the smart thing, and in this case the right thing and the smart thing are one in the same. and so i hope my colleagues here in the united states senate will make a priority of providing the necessary funding for iron dome and to standing united, united, behind our ali and our -- our ally and our friend, israel, as they defend themselves from these attacks. mr. president, i see my colleague from texas is here and i would simply ask him if he sees what -- what role he sees united states playing in both supporting israel and in providing support for the iron dome.
>> i thank my friend from south dakota. >> the senator from texas. >> and i'm pleased and saddened to stand here in support of my colleagues as we stand united in support of the nation've israel. in the last several weeks, over 2500 rockets have rained down on the nation of israel. 80% of the population has had to flee what they're doing and run to bomb shelters to hide. moms, dads, children, when the large goes off they have sometimes 10, 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter. mr. president, i want you to imagine if the same thing were happening here in america. imagine if 80% of the country, in the last several weeks, had run to a bomb shelter -- imagine if 240 million americans in the last several weeks had been sitting at work or the doctor's office or having breakfast, and
had to grab their children and run in a panic towards a bomb shelter, imagine what our country would be doing in response. mr. president in recent weeks we discovered that hamas has opened up a new chapter in the annals of terrorism. not just raining rockets down from on high, but it's now attacking from below. some 32 full-scale terror tunnels have been discovered. dug under the ground, under the border, and coming up in kibbutzes, inside israel, along gaza. some of the tunnels come up inside kindergartens. and we have discovered in recent weeks a terrifying plot that was
underway for hamas terrorists to come through those tunnels, hundreds of them, to emerge in kindergartens, to kidnap or6yíñf young jewish children. mr. president, imagine right now if enemies of this country had dug tunnels into this country that were coming up in our schools. imagine in iran or china or some other hostile foreign nation had tunnels where your children or my children were at risk of being kidnapped or murdered. being kidnapped or murdered. and right now today, in gaza, we see massive civilian casualties that are the direct consequence of the violence of hamas.
you see, mr. president, these human casualties are not an unintended side effect of the conflict. they are the objective that hamas seeks. dead palestinian children and women and men. we know this because hamas is engaging in war crime right now. not that the united nations human rights council would ever say anything about it. but hamas is engaging in a war crime of using human shields deliberately using human shields. where they place they're rocketing they're raining down, death and destruction upon israel with? they place them in schools. they place them in private homes. they place them in mosques. deliberately they surround their rockets and their terror tunnels with innocent civilians. israel right now is engaged in
something unprecedented in the annals of modern warfare. it is undertaking more humanitarian effort to spare civilian deaths than any military has in recorded history. before attacking israel sends out texts when they discover a rocket battery that they need too take out because it is firing rockets targeting innocent civilian. they send texts saying, clear out of the area. they try to save the palestinian civilians. they drop from the sky pamphlets on an area that is about to be bombed to take out the rockets that are coming from that area. and the pamphlets say to the civilians-get out. get out because we're going to take out the rockets. and you're in harm's way. not only that, they have a practice of sending an initial knock bomb. what does hat mean? it means the first bomb lands on
the roof. and makes a knock. doesn't explode. just makes a loud knock. and they do that for a reason so that the people inside the building can look up, can hear the knock, and can flee the building. the second missile can taken down the building and the rockets housed inside that are being used to try to murder innocent civilians. prime minister netanyahu a few weeks ago summed it up very powerfulfully, when he said, israel uses missile defense to defend our citizens. hamas uses its citizens to defend its missiles. now, israel tried to warn palestinian civilians, don't be located where the missiles are because we're going to respond as any sovereign nation will to protect our citizens. what does hamas say? hamas tells the palestinians,
stay there. mr. president, picture that for a second. israel is warning civilians ex-clear the area because we're taking out the rockets. we're going to take out the tunnels. and the response from hamas is, no, stay there. why? because what they want to see is palestinian children, palestinian women, killed so they can put the pictures on the sunday night news. because they know the world, many at the united nations, many in the media, will behave like youthful idiots, will point to the civilian casualties that are hamas' fault, when you put children on top of rockets, when you tell the children, do not leave when you know the rockets are going to be taken out, it is hamas, the terrorists, who are responsible for those children's death. but yet the international community puts the pictures on
the evening news and blames the nation of israel. i'm proud this week to have joined my colleague, from new york, filing -- condemning hamas' use of human shields, condemning it as a war crime, as an outrage, condemning it as the direct reason that we're seeing so many civilian deaths. and i have to note that one of the reasons civilian deaths have been mitigated in israel is because of the incredible success of the iron dome missile defense system. ronald reagan's star wars is today's iron dome. we see unfolding in recent weeks in israel the product of
president reagan's vision when he proposed the strategic defense initiative, or sdi, on march 23, 1983. critics at the time dismissed it as star wars. you and i will recall we were both teenagers at the time. you'll recall learned experts so to speak, going on television, saying, sdi was a fool's errand. was a dream. the analogy was given, you cannot hit a bullet with a bullet. it can't work. well, run the clock forward three decades and we see an iron dome, the strategic vision of president reagan, playing out in real time. there's a wonderful video on youtube i would encourage anyone who is interested to google and watch. it is a video called, iron dome
wedding. if you google it you'll discover a video from a wedding in southern israel. and it's an ordinary wedding video. just like i suspect you and i both have from our weddings. but in the midst of it, rockets begin coming through the sky. the night sky -- you see rockets come across the sky and then see iron dome interceptors come up and explode the rockets, and one after the other after the other is fired and explodes, and the whole thing looks like fireworks, and the background you hear the wedding music and the celebrations and sounds of celebration and you think, were it not for these interceptors, those missiles might be landing on that wedding and causing carnage and death and destruction. but because of the potential, the power, the actuality of missile defense, instead they're
intercepted. now, there are indisputable differences between the intercontinental ballistic missiles that sdi was designed to target, and the low-tech missiles that hamas is firing over israel that iron dome has intercepted and that's why iron dome is one part of a three-tiered system that includes david sling and the arrow two and three systems, which are designed to guard against more sophisticated weapons such as the longer range missiles that are being provided to hamas by syria and iran, and they would also defend against nuclear ballistic missiles of the sort being developed in iran. and it's worth underscoring, even as the fighting in gaza grabs the headlines, we have to keep our eye on the far more serious danger of a nuclear
iran. the threat of a nuclear armed iran would make hamas and their rockets seem like child's play. and our support for iron dome should be understood in the context of support for the continued development of these systems which not only protect our friend and ally, israel, but they protect us. there is a reason why hamas and iran refer to israel as the little satan and the united states as the great satan. because their intention with both is the same terror, the same murder, the same death and destruction. israel is currently working to carry out the grinding work to eradicate these terror tunnels that have been built under schools and kindergartens designed to kidnap and murder young children. and i would note it's an enormously difficult task, one that might prove impossible were
it not for the success of iron dome, limiting the effectiveness of the rockets. and so, i would encourage this body to stand together, united as one, republicans and democrats. there may be issues on which we disagree. there may be a great many issues. but we ought to be able to stand together in one and speak in unison that we support the nation of israel and will work with the nation of israel immediately to replenish their iron dome displays so they can protect the citizens there and they can do what is necessary to eradicate the hamas rockets and terror tunnels that are being used to commit war crimes. that should be a unified bipartisan voice in this body and it is my home by the end of this -- my hope by the end of this week that's exactly what it will be. i yield the floor.
[inaudible conversations] >> senator from maryland. >> what is the parliamentary situation? is a understand -- >> senate is in a period of morning business. >> how much -- may i proceed or does the other party wish to -- how much time is remaining on their side? >> the minority has three minutes, the majority has 47. >> with the concurrence of the minority party, i would like to proceed. i know they haven't yielded back their time but if that is agreeable, i and note no
objection, i will proceed if i may. >> ought objection, senator from maryland. >> thank you very mitch, mr. president. mr. president, i rise today as the chair of the appropriations committee to talk about several challenges facing our country. first, i just want to respond by -- to the comments made by maybe of the senators this morning when the compelling need to passes a supplemental appropriations to help israel replenish the rockets it's used up in its iron dome missile defense system. i am an unabashed, unrelenting supporter of that effort. for many years, as united states senator, on the appropriations committee, on the defense subcommittee, and also as a member of the intelligence committee, i know how important the israeli missile defense system is.
iron dome, others that were absolutely crucial. i worked hands on with senator -- a congressional medal of honor winner to make sure we fund the missile defense system for israel and to work on a bipartisan basis. senator stephens, senator cochran, we have been working together. and thank god it worked. and all to implement a bipartisan agreement signed -- or an agreement signed by president bush with the government of israel that we would always help israel maintain its qualitative edge, and you know what? we have done it. and i'm proud of it. and now more than ever a missile -- antimissile defense system that has worked needs to continue operation. we know that the technology works but they need to make sure that they have the tools to make
the technology work. these additional rockets. we know that israel is under attack. it's always been under attack since its very founding. this is not an existential threat. this is not an abstract threat. it is a daily threat. and we know that israel is trying to defend itself against the grim, unrelenting attack by hamas, a self-avowed terrorist organization that has sworn in its documents not to allow israel to continue. ... absolutely oppose an independent israeli state. mr. president, it is this week that we're going to be -- this month that we're commemorating the warsaw uprising. the prime minister is a member of the group we affectionately call the polish caucus. those of us who have a relationship with the polish
government, one of our greatest supporters in the nato alliance. we recall that 70 years ago people were willing to fight back against the not subsidies, rise-- -- the nazis, rising out of the sewers of a warsaw ghetto, to be able to fight them off with sticks and stones and out-of-date weapons, to be able to liberate, to liberate poland from nazi oppression and miles away in e werssion and miles away in miles away in places like auschwitz and othe and others, e the death camps. we are one year away from commemorating the liberation of the death camps. we know that as those people launched out of those death camps they made their way into palestine that became the way of israel. they recognize those necessary
and rightful place to exist as an independent government and forever and a day the homeland for the jewish people so that they would be safe from terrorism and what occurred. iit couldn't be the only thing that we put in the supplemental. we have neighbors right now hurting in the western states with wildfire raging over hundreds of thousands of acres, local resources of the first responders exhausted. then there is the crisis of the border which is the crisis is at the border on the supplemental
left lookout for the great state of israel and for our neighbors who are facing wildfires and lookout for what is going at the border. i first of all compliments senator sanders for the outstanding job he did working on a bipartisan basis for the access choice and accountability act of 2014. what a great job they did out of a scandal come a terrible scandal affecting the nation veterans where they had to stand in line simply to see a doctor in the very country that they fought to defend. the sanders bill goes a long way. again, walking on both sides of the aisle.
when we do this, this is right. i'm willing to be a senator. they have hands across the aisle and they did it. when the bill was passed for the veterans we would increase doctors and nurses into specialty providers and allow the veterans to see local providers if they have been on a wait list for an extended period of time or have to drive 40 miles to be able to get to the clinic we are going to pay for it in $10 billion for mandatory emergency fund is.
for the increase in personnel and extending a number of clinics, 27 new clinics. mr. president, as important as that bill is coming it is an important step, but it cannot be the only step that we take this week. mr. president, i am so excited that shoulder to shoulder again if we work together we can do a trifecta for our veterans. we can pass the access choice and availability act and new opportunities for healthcare for veterans to stand in line. there would be a new secretary, ceo, leadership, new energy, new vitality, and new ways of doing business with the practical know-how and the private sector to meeting that mission. but as important as those are, i
also come as the chair of the appropriations committee to say why don't we have a concept that really would do the job. let's pass the appropriations bill so that we can actually put next year's funding in the federal checkbook rather than just putting the va on autopil autopilot. we can make a difference in the expansion bill but that could take days, weeks and months to put in operation. right at this minute we could pass the bill as well as giving new leadership. i really do want t to move the bill.
mr. president, the appropriations committee works through the subcommittees. i had two great subcommittee chairman. the outstanding senators, senator tim johnson. they worked on coming up with a bill for funding the veterans for fiscal year 2015 and it is an outstanding bill. but right now we are out there in the wilderness. we lived through the subcommittee. we lived through the full committee. and we are out in the ether is waiting to come to the floor. johnson and curt, shelby, we have people with our nose
pressed together but we cannot get through at all what we want to do but to complete the job that we are trying to undertake today. the bill senator sanders worked on that without the appropriations bill the veterans will expand care. importance of port personnel that allow the doctors and nurses to do their job in the technology to run contemporary institutions. and by the way, the bill that we are going to be working on. on the veterans disability. in the days and weeks and months
to get your disability claim, we can't get the disability process. this is unacceptable. what we do in the va bill is come up with the funds to modernize the va. if the doctors provide medical health care to make sure that we have the modern equipment and the modern it systems. right now we need to be able to have the dod talking to the va because they come from the dod that have an interoperable system. having interoperable system. we work to fix this. you have no idea, mr. president.
my state of maryland and my office in baltimore has not had a good track record. i vowed i would try to break that backlog. we funded the appeals process and have additional claims processors and require the management at the benefit administration to deal with a backlog working with the new administrator. we have not only great ideas but we put the money in the federal checkbox. you know how they did it? talking to the va, reviewing the tons of gal inspector general reports and guess what else they did they talk to the veterans into these wonderful volunteer service organizations.
we will use this later on today or later on this week. they are looking at the floor with the bill i know that will help the veterans administration with the heavy lifting to deal with the health disability backlog. later on to bring up on the third reading to be able to complement what we are doing here today i want to be able to do that and i hope that no senator will object to it. in the spirit of full disclosure because i pledge to my
colleagues on both sides of the aisle i will never be a surprise to chair and i will never be one to pose gimmicks. i'm going to ask that consent and i want people to know about it so they can discuss it and talk with the respective launches. when i ask unanimous consent to going to be asked that he be brought about a third reader and why am i doing that? because under the rules of the senate if you bring up a bill on a third reading there is no amendment for the question would be argued trying again? though i'm trying to get the job done. we have 72 hours left before we take this long break. very long, long device a long break. i don't think that when you need
to modernize technology company to crack the backlog we are basking in the sun i don't want them in line. so either this afternoon or sometime tomorrow i will bring this and ask unanimous consent. in the spirit of meeting the compelling needs of the veterans i would ask that the bill come up so tha that as we that it hao the other aspect is that we are going to do to help veterans we can do it in the bill. i moved to come to the floor today to talk about how we support the treasure and look out for the neighbors in the west fighting the wildfires in how we deal with the crisis in central america where the chocolate are being victimized and brutalized every day so they are making the long march steps to rein in the territory to come to the united states of america.
most of all, i would hope we do not just do part of the job for the veterans but we do a trifecta that i'm recommending passing the veterans accountability act and health care act and have a chance to pass the va bill. mr. president, i yield the floor. floor. >> i want to associat don't asso the remarks of the appropriations committee chairwoman mikulski and i would add perhaps one particular point, and that is the senator will be basking in the sun in illinois during the recess. they won't be in a vacation it
will be in my home state and i'm sure you're going to be spending a lot of time as well. >> i am staying in maryland while you are in illinois and im in maryland is the only don't want our veterans standing in line for their healthcare or disability benefits. some shoulder to shoulder together. >> this bill is timely. one of the provisions is an additional $225 million for the i aired job defense that is a joint effort by the united states and israel to protect israel from the rocket attacks. imagine you are living in your hometown and in the neighboring state or neighboring town.
you want some protection and it provides protection for israel. the joint effort of the united states and israel has been successful despite the rocket attacks the casualties on the israeli side has been minimal, relatively minimal and it is because of the iron dome defense. what attack do they face today? it is characterized as a terrorist organization almost 20 years ago they have hospitals and apartments and homes and they are launching these attacks on israel and the daring them to fight back into civilian populations.
now they have invaded to go to the source to stop these rocket attacks. there've been casualties and some on the israeli side of course, but hundreds maybe thousands on the side of the civilian population. they are in the beginning of the civilian positions. it is with israel that they are protecting civilians and they are using civilians to protect weapons. that has to come to an end. we have to have an end to the hostilities. no nation on earth would sit still for the 2,000 rocket attacks into the population. and that is what is in the past several weeks. but the people also need much
better than they are receiving when it comes to hamas. they say they are martyrs to the cause. it would be difficult to understand it explained to the family that lost a child that they loved their child has just become a martyr. this has to come to an end with the hostilities between gaza and israel and in some negotiation and peaceful resolution. maybe it is wishful thinking that we do need to make the effort and i commend him for his effort trying to engage egypt and others in the conversation. the supplemental bill before us today provides more money for the interceptor missiles for the iron dome to protect israel created money requested by the secretary of defense which i support. the defense appropriations
subcommittedefense appropriatioe $350 million for the next fiscal year and this is needed now because of the hostility between the two countries and i certainly support it. >> the house debates the resolution authorizing the lawsuit against president obama. we are joined from capitol hill reporting on this upcoming debate. why does the speaker want to sue the president? >> this plays into the republican narrative for three years ever since obama has taken the white house he has abused his executive authority that he has stepped out of the bounds of the constitution and he said we have had enough we are going to sue him and they are pointing to a provision of the obamacare. of course th the health care whe the democrats passed without any republican support and they are saying that a certain delay in
one of those provisions is outside of the law and what congress did not approve and we are suing you because of it. >> what does the house resolution do, what does it mean quite >> it authorizes the house chamber to sue president obama, to sue the white house. and that is a debate over one facet of the debate is whether or not they even have the standing to do so. a lot of legal scholars say they do not in others say they do and this is something tied up in the courts for a long time so you will not see any decisions based on the legislation based on the suit but the fact they are going through all the motions is certainly red meat into democrats have been as also it is a political fodder for both sides and certainly an exciting day for us. >> we will pass the resolution authorizing the lawsuit and in regular order. what has the response been by
white house backed >> predictably they say that the republicans don't have standing. they say that this is just another instance of the republicans focusing on undermining a president they simply don't like rather than doing other business or rather than focusing on the economy and other issues people care about more. this plays into the narrative exceeded in the executive authority. and that is going to rally the republican base that democrats have the flipside and how it's going to rally their base in their fund raising and the question is how this affected dependents and that is the question right now and we won't know until after the election. >> this is a house resolutions o the senate gets no say? >> after the conference today the speaker met with a number of reporters the impeachment is a democratic scam in the hill and
he said in particular it all started by democrats at the white house and we have no plans to impeach the president. how did this go out of the lawsuit click >> and interesting fact he would be shocked to hear there is a partisan. they mentioned this is the first step towards impeachment. impeachment. this didn't come from nowhere. is there appealingsarah palen, r representative alan list of florida have been pushing an impeachment resolution for a long time but republican leaders have not yet gotten on board. so there is a distinction between 15 party conservatives both in and out of congress and the leadership so when he says you're not going to do a piece pushing back against the rank-and-file.
they indicate the talk about impeachment it has actually driven fundraising for the democrats. >> it certainly has. it actually began thursday when the rules committee passed a loss of resolution and when they mentioned that the impeachment they jumped on board and you've seen all of these e-mail blasts probably approaching 26 thursday asking for money since they've raised over $2 million in a matter of days. it's working for the democrats and so that's why they are still beating the drum. >> is the impeachment issue working as a fundraising tool? >> i have not seen the direct evidence but i imagine that it would be. and what of the conservative districts they agree with republicans that obama has
from the presidential candidatcandidate has written mn a dozen books on politics and history with his latest on america's education system. join the conversation as he takes your calls and e-mails for three hours at noon eastern and a tune in next month for the author historian and activist marian frances berry and supreme court expert to discuss court sessions past and present and best-selling author and historian michael corbin is the guest in november and in december american enterprise institute president and musician. plain back the u.s. navy is leading the world's largest military exercise called rim of the pacific. it involves 22 countries in the pacific region including china. u.s. pacific commander talked about this and other military operations at a pentagon
briefing. this is a half-hour >> good afternoon everyone. we will give a quick opening statement to be independent open up to questions. please identify yourself. >> good morning and aloha. here to talk to the area of responsibility i tried to stop him to see you folks occasionally. since we lost talked -- last talked we continue to follow the engagement exercises into those things that are contributing to the overall rebounds to the
asia-pacific. they came to hawaii in posted in ministers meeting which is an excellent opportunity to strengthen the relationships and the member nations. we followed that with a rim of the pacific exercise which is the largest naval exercise with 22 countries participating as we speak and that should end later this week. it wraps up on friday but so far it is an excellent training opportunity for all of the nations involved. we continue to work with our allies and partners to help ensure stability and security across the pacific and our relationships i think i've never been stronger. with that i would be glad to take your questions. question about north korea and proliferation. both the u.s. house and the united nations have taken action
to strengthen the sanctions against both north korea and in connections to the proliferation. are you losing ground on the north korean proliferation how the exercise we concentrated very closely on all activities out of north korea including the proliferation activities and i've read reports of the recent allegations and we will be looking at that. but we have a growing interest among the nations in the region and throughout the world participating in the counter proliferation exercises and we are growing our capabilities across the nations and institutions to anticipate and deal with this. the proliferation of activities
have a desire for nuclear missiles and capabilities as we said over and over again they are highly threatened and the denuclearization is a central part of the way i had in this part of the world. >> how does that fit into the picture of the exercise? >> it is one that we had scheduled for a while so this particular event that is playing out with just reemphasize getting it right during the exercises. >> i want to ask about your perspective on the potential changes into the way that it could change its outlook on the military defense practices going forward. how does that change the way you think about the western pacific going forward? >> as you know we welcome the
opportunity for the people of japan and the government to look at this particular issue and i'm proud that they are doing it in such an open way that so the rest of the world can understand it and in a way that limits the amount of anxiousness that might occur in the region that we're iwe arein because of the historl issues surrounding it. all that said it's important from the military perspective because we have a vibrant alliance into that always has to be looking forward in this country rather than looking into the past and japan is on the position where it has a competent self-defense force that it should have a broad role in security issues as well as the outlines so we are
supportive of the decisions into the way i had articulated how does it change your outlook and specific things because the japanese would be doing more? >> we could have a long discussion about how it might impact this or that particular events. i would say that we are in the process of looking at the strategic defense planning guidance which is the document that basically between the two nations lays out what we would do with each other and for each other in the alliance and what military support we would have. so a broad view and a different interpretation of the constitution that might allow them to participate in a greater area such as the policy were ballistic missile defense as we
work together to secure the alliance we will be approved in some of the changes talked about. >> since the army is a large part what is being implemented in the pay costs? ' >> that is a great question. if we started to draw out of iraq and afghanistan we found that the army is able to return to the groups in the asia-pacific we start looking at opportunities to get the army ay more involved in what we do day-to-day in the pacific. the ten largest armies in the world it makes good sense for us to have a good cooperation and
interaction between the armies and the pacific pathway was an opportunity by the army to use the force is returning from the war zones back to the garrison in the united states to be used in creative ways to build partnership capacity and peace and security throughout the region so we have a good way ahead for the pacific pathways and we are starting to execute the initial phases of that today. >> can you give examples of how you are executing? >> it is basically taking the army units that are under command and some of those might be on the west coast of the united states and putting them in various cycles that allow them to be more present with the
key partners and allies and work on the skills that are unique to the army interactions. >> what extent have you seen the chinese naval vessels were coast guard vessels were fishing ships in the navy vessels in the recent months? >> because of the places we upgrade in the east china sea via frequenwehave frequent inteh vessels of all kinds hav, civil, maritime security, military naval assets etc.. i wouldn't categorize that. any of these actions would be a harassing type of nature so we continue to have very productive dialogue with our chinese counterparts particularly as it
relates to the maritime and military forces how we operate in a way professionally to eliminate the possibility for this calculation >> two quick questions. how worried are you about the tension between south korea and japan leading u.s. efforts to get the trail after a cooperation and while those tensions and have it the ability to keep the peace in the pacific and on a similar note, you just finished the race in exercise with india and japan. how important is developing the
military to military relationship in india than with you and what is the next step forward in that partnership? >> let me start with the second question first. in exercise we do in india as you know we are in the process of doing our annual exercise that is occasionally bilateral to the united states and india and occasionally it becomes a multinational or trilateral. this year we have you tried by the between india, japan and the united states. in this particular exercise that goes back a number of years. it is i think one of the cornerstones particularly in the maritime environment of the other theater operators are indian partners and bringing in japan which has been done before. i think they participated in
this exercise in 2007 and in 2009 understanding they got 2011 probably because of the activity that having japan is kind of a normally accepted thing and it's an opportunity for us to look more holistically than the military's capable of providing perspectives into that holistic view. this is being done in the western pacific and so i would get a higher remark for that. the political issues between south korea and japan as the government and people deal with them do have an impact on the ability to conduct the credible military engagement with each
other from the commanders and from my perspective, it's very important for both the japanese and the south koreans to recognize that they have many mutual security interests that can be benefited by a bilateral and trilateral mill to milk of observation. they have huge comment concerning north korea that we encouraged him to work together in the political difficulties so that we can work to provide a better security environment in this region. >> would extend is the u.s. law and heading the cooperation that you would like to pursue. what kind of limitations are there and what is china asking the united states for right now?
>> it has a pretty good raw guidance and gives approval for activity that has to do with china. we may be teaching china and the activities. but there is a leeway that he can take recommendations from me and from the chairman on where to go an and he's done that in a number of occasions that have allowed us in the recent times to be able to open our dialogue and our interactions with the forces in a greater way. to date i would say it hasn't been a significant restriction to how we operate with each
other because the things that we operate and together have not been at a level that would make things kind of trip the level of high concerning 2000. it is brought to us by the chinese as an issue for them. they believe that it unfairly singles them out among other nations and if we are able to have a viable relationship in the two towers in the united states and china this is an impediment he was lik they woula drift at some point in time. a fall below the threshold of the nba 2000. [inaudible]
>> what do you think? is that information sharing? >> first i think it is information sharing. just in the area of the ballistic missile defense, when you look at how complicated the ballistic military defense is to both nations, both japan and korea they have to defense capabilities that are not able to communicate with each other because of information sharing restrictions that are of a political nature it degrades their ability to defend their own airspace and nations as a fact, and they understand that. so it's important i think that we keep articulating to the people of japan and south korea that for the military perspective, we understand the serious issues, the political and social issues that we have to be able to overcome but let's
recognize they are an impediment to your security. >> [inaudible] the international waters but i was wondering if you are concerned about the chinese moderate shape particularly because china was a part. do you think this affects creation between the u.s., china and any other participating and would this [inaudible] >> thank you. it's the united states off of hawaii monitoring the activiti activities. the good news about this is that it is a recognition or acceptance by the chinese but
what we have been saying to them for some time is military operations and survey operations in other countries where you have your own national security interest in the international law. we have to reiterate that as well as to the chinese that if this is within the law, it is the right to do it and as long as they do it in a way that doesn't interfere, it is okay by the law. >> if you come to an exercise for the first time where i quite have observed and believe that this is an opportunity and the chinese recognize it as an opportunity for them to interact on a broad scale for the 22 nations similar that they have
disagreement with another areas. it hasn't stopped or created difficulties and on the other side it gives the chinese an opportunity to see how their own word doing so as i understand it is pretty good. >> [inaudible] >> it primarily conducts i think on an annual basis -- we understand it will be about 20
involved, 20 or 30 airplanes into surveillance aircraft. related exercises that are done and so the exercise is what the military is due. they operate. will we be concerned abou that e type of operations they are doing? to the same degree we all kind of keep an eye on each other but this is not an unusual exercise. this is something that we had anticipated and they had announced in advance. my question is on north korea they've been firing the artillery missiles into the sea so i'm just wondering if you have seen an advancement in the technologies for anything lately
that would raise a level of concern. >> the long-term concern is that every time they do something that the international community has pulled them not to do as it relates to missile technology or nuclear technology, you have to assume that it is a step forward in the technology otherwise they probably wouldn't be doing it. and it is a demonstration to themselves and to the world into the concern is that it becomes over and over and over again it becomes somewhat from. on the long-term view for north korea to have to command that they denuclearize and stop the missile program in the fashions that they have today.
>> i-india have a new comment. from a different perspective what do you see in the changes between india and the government? >> congratulations on getting through your elections and to be administration. we look forward to enhancing our military milk relationships with india. as you know a couple of years ago president obama reiterated that we would need to build a long-term and a better, stronger relationship with india and that includes th a mail to mail participation. it's not just about melted now. it's about the whole of the government. i think the secretary would be in new delhi this week but soon
and the secretary is scheduled to go to meet his counterpart in august and i would hope somewhere down the road we would do the same thing to meet the new team that's in place here. we have had for a number of years very good relationships between the services, between pecan and the services we have an ongoing number of services that seem to have worked pretty well for our growing partnersh partnership. we think that it is all positive. >> what would you recommend to the travels in india next month? >> what would i recommend? well, he didn't ask me i recommend it. but i would recommend that he recognize and relate to his counterparts that we are interested in building closer
relationships and recognize that they already have a good basis for which to go forward. >> the administration today acknowledged the russian government violated the treaty. there is a strong voice in the agency deliberations are calling for the declarations of the treaty. i want to get your sense of how serious was the incident in your view and what is the implication for the region? >> i will have to -- it is obviously not in my area of responsibility. >> pretty strong in the interagency communication. >> certainly there has been a
breach of an international treaty over a long time. it should be a concern to everyone globally. we rely on these treaties to be able to put boundaries on strategic forces and the way they are used as a key determined and stabilizing way across the globe. it puts some stability in that is not good for the rest of the world and we have to look at it very carefully. >> [inaudible] from ukraine u.s. tensions are you seeing aggressive actions or do you anticipate there may be some ripple effects from ukraine to the pacific with russia? >> we are not seeing that right now.
it is not robust but we haven't seen that as of yet. i would say we have seen a strategic activity that's coming in and out of our aid but not from any perspective i want to go back to north korea for a second. you mentioned every step that they do -- there were a lot of rumors this spring about the nuclear test. what is your assessment of the nuclear program at this point and then if i could give an update on the review of the defensive guidelines discussions and are you still trying to wrap
that up with japan? that is the path we have directed and i'm confident we are not off the course at this point in time. so, to the question of north korea's nuclear capability there is a debate in the community about how much capability they have for weaponize or those types of things. as a military commander, i have to plan for the worst and i have to plan for what the north koreans say they have and what they demonstrate they might have when they show so for those indications we have to ensure
that we are properly postured to protect not only the homeland which includes all of our territories but also for our key partners in the region. so i take it seriously and i believe that they continue to make steady progress in both the missile technology and the nuclear capability and that they desire to do that. >> you mentioned that with the drawing down of the armed forces in afghanistan that the army would be returning to some of its historical center region. the general briefed us a few weeks ago and expressed great concern about what russia is doing a
>> he suggested in some degree i was wondering if you thought that it might affect to asia. >> i agree tha that given the ongoing environment that we are seeing they would probably look at the forest posture having to look at not that we saw maybe five years ago is important. i don't think along those terms that it is they have or have n
not. it is no matter where they are stationed. ithey favor of time and effort o get the forces where we need them and when they need them in a timeline that makes sense for us. now, certainly as we deal with things like sequestration and the continuing effects of that and we look at some decreases in the force structure to be able to deal with that sequestration it puts a greater expression on the force to be able to stay present in the number of most that they would like to have. the military piece of it is moving forward. we are seeing tangible evidence across all elements of the rebalance but only in the force structure but activities and things we are doing.
today the senate confirmed the former procter & gamble executive robert macdonal macdos the veterans affairs secretary in a unanimous vote. before voting the senators discussed the nominee's qualifications and proposals to reform the department of veterans affairs. this is 20 minutes. >> as the chairman of the committee on the veterans affairs, i rise today in strong support of a nomination of robert macdonald to serve as the secretary of the veterans affairs administration. for moving this important nomination forward as quickly as it has, and i hope very much that later this afternoon with a very strong vote the senate will vote to confirm robert macdonald as the secretary of the da.
madam president before i talk about mr. mcdonald's qualifications, i do want to take a moment to express my sincere thanks to the general eric shinseki for his dedicated service to the nation first as a soldier and then as the head of the va working tirelessly to provide for those injured and those that perish on the battlefield. his ambitious goals and under his leadership they made strides for the veterans homelessness into transforming the claims system to the ones in the 21st century and i think him and his family very much for the service. it is my strong belief that mr. robert macdonald will bring to very important qualities to the position of the secretary of veterans affairs. veterans and their families. mr. mcdonald and his family have a history of service to our nation.
mr. mcdonald began his service at the united states military academy at west point. he graduated in 1975 in the top 2% in his class with a degree in engineering and went on to serve as an infantry officer in the army's 82nd airborne, earning aaron born and ranger qualifications during his military service. his father served in the army air corps after world war ii. additionally, his wife's father was held as a p.o.w. after being shot down over europe. her uncle served in vietnam and still receives care at the v.a. also, mr. mcdonald's nephew is currently serving and deployed with the u.s. air force. in other words, mr. mcdonald and his family have a deep understanding and service with the united states military, and upon hearing mr. mcdonald at the hearing that we held in our committee for the confirmation process, i