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tv   Russia U.S. Military Operations in Europe  CSPAN  March 15, 2018 10:02am-12:14pm EDT

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about what kind of typewriter it was. he didn't type books on this. he typed a few letters and some documents but he mostly used it to entertain his young friends. when they would come to visit him, he would let them type volumes and volumes of poetry on it and this was quite a novelty in 1888 to be able to reproduce something that looks like a printed document right there on your desktop. >> on sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv, a visit to old salem, settled in 1766 by german protestants, known as moravians. and here about the hidden town project, which explores the history of afro moravians. working with our cable affiliates as we explore america. c-span3 this morning is live at the house armed services committee hearing on security
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challenges in europe. the committee will hear from the top u.s. military commander in europe on security operations to counter future potential russian aggression. committee will come to order. committee welcomes general scaparrotti pack today to testify on the threats and posture in the european commands area of responsibility. there, he faces the full range of security challenges from russia's constant modernization of its nuclear weapons and
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delivery systems to the hybrid and political warfare it wages against the u.s. and others. its tactics extend as we've been reminded this week to targeted assassinations as well. i think that it is clear that the u.s. has neglected both ends of the warfare spectrum in recent years and much in between. but the recent budget agreement and the new national defense strategy and nuclear posture review give us the chance to begin to do better. we must do better across the board. it's not enough to advocate for a more robust cyber response to russia's attempts to meddle in our elections, but waiver on our response to their renewed nuclear or territorial ambitions. likewise, we cannot build up our missile defenses and nuclear deterrent but leave significant cyber intrusions unanswered. it's essential, in my view, that we face all of these challenges with clear-eyed objectivity.
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and not allow domestic politics to color our view or affect our actions. the united states and our allies and our interests are threatened by the full range of russian capability and by its increasing belligerence. our job is to address them in the military sphere in order to protect our nation's security. nothing more, and nothing less. i yield to the ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, general scaparrotti, it's good to see you again. always appreciated your time out at joint base lewis and your leadership out there and certainly your leadership now for us in europe. and i certainly agree with the chairman, russia is the big issue, not the only, but the big issue in the european command. and how we counter their increasingly aggressive behavior. i would disagree slightly. i don't think the chairman meant it quite this way. it's not just a military challenge. obviously, we are here in the armed services committee or the ucomm commander so that's your primary focus but that is a
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broader challenge and we had the opportunity to have a conversation with you yesterday a little bit about that in addition to being a military commander, you're also occasionally a diplomat in terms of being able to stay in touch with your russian counterparts to make sure there are no misunderstandings and we don't stumble into a conflict and i would also be remiss again if i didn't point out that in confronting this, diplomacy is enormously important, which means that the state department is enormously important. they are an indispensable partner for what you are trying to do and right now, the state department is not in a good place. certainly they are transitioning from one leader to the next. we're not sure how the confirmation process is going to go, but it has been a tumultuous year at the state department. that needs to get figured out, because diplomacy is going to be a big part of this. i agree with those folks, including many on this panel who have identified the fact that we have moved back into an era of great power conflict.
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i don't agree that that conflict necessarily has to be military. you have to handle it in a variety of different ways in order to try to move it in a different direction. the one big thing on russia, yes, they are moving forward in terms of increasing their capabilities in a variety of areas, but the one big area where they're actually acting on a consistent basis is in their disinformation cyber campaign. and there is an area where i think we are behind and some of the other areas that the chairman mentioned, we are worried because the russians are catching up and potentially getting to the point where they can surpass us in capability, but when it comes to cyber, when it comes to disinformation campaign, we are barely on the playing field at this point. we will all, you know, read about russia's efforts to influence our election here in the u.s. they are doing it across western europe, and it's not just elections. they are spreading a message, and that message is that authoritarian regimes are better
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than democracy, backing assad in syria, the things that they're doing down in libya, they are undermining the basic tenet es of what we stand for, which is political freedom and economic freedom. and we have to counter that. in fact, general, you said something very interesting yesterday during our classified briefing. this wasn't classified, i don't think, but that a poll of people in western europe asking them how important democracy was, a poll of the younger generation, it was shocking to see that it wasn't a very high percentage that said it was important. the basic notion that political freedom is the way to govern a country and to govern the world is being eroded. now, there's a lot of reasons for that, but i would submit that one of the biggest ones is a concentrated campaign by vladimir putin to undermine it. we need to counter that. so i'm very interested to hear today what we're doing on that information campaign and obviously as the chairman mentioned, there are military challenges as well but i'll just
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close by saying i think the i a ideal outcome here is that we figure out a way to work with russia. i will oddly agree with the president, at least in that sentence, not necessarily in the way he's chosen to go about doing it, but the world is a better place if the great powers of the world, the united states, russia, china, the european union, get along and confront global challenges. you know, whether it's terrorism, global warming, if we work together to confront the things that challenge us all, we're better off than if we get involved in conflicts with one another, and i'm still optimistic that there are paths to get to that place. so, i look forward to your testimony. i thank you for your leadership and thank you for being here. i yield back. >> again, we welcome back general scaparrotti, commander u.s. european command and supreme allied commander of nato. general, without objection, your full written statement will be made part of the record and you're recognized now for any oral comments you'd like to
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give. >> chairman thornberry, ranking member smith, distinguished members of the house armed services committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you as the commander of the united states european command. it's an honor to represent more than 60,000 men and women. our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guardsmen and civilian workforce continue to demonstrate selfless service and dedication in an increasing complex and competitive security environment. our adaptation to this environment is made significant process thanks to resourcing provided by congress. particularly under the european deterrence initiative. ucom deeply appreciates congress's support, which has supported the largest reinforcement of the eu a euro-atlantic defense in a generation. the nato alliance are remains critical to our national security and the rules based international order.
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every challenge we face as a nation is best addressed with our allies and i'm proud to report that nato alliance is strong, it is united, and it's committed to being fit for purpose. our european allies in canada and turned a corner on o defense spending with increases in each of the past three years. during this time, they've added $46 billion to our collective defense, including a $5 billion increase from 2016 to 2017. in 2018, eight countries will meet nato's 2% spending target and by 2024, at least 15 nations are on pace to reach or exceed the 2% mark. as these commitments demonstrate, nato is adapting to ensure it is veg latiigilant in responsive in crisis. together with nato, the u.s. has made significant progress, but we have much work to do as we execute our national defense strategy, fielding an increasingly lethalal, agile,
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and resilient joint force in long-term strategic competition with russia and ready to counterviolent extremist organizations. russia's carrying out a campaign of destabilization to change the international order, fracture nato, and undermine u.s. leadership around the world. at sea, on land, and in the air, russia's increasingly modernized military is operating at levels not seen since the cold war. at the same time, russia is using indirect activities to advance its strategic objectives. throughout europe, along its periphery, in the middle east and beyond, russia has demonstrated a willingness and capability to use political provocation, spread disinformation, and to undermine democratic institutions. in response to the challenge posed by russia's pursuit of power, u.s. has increased its posture in europe to include an armored brigade combat team and a combat aviation brigade.
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we've prepositioned equipment for additional abct. we've doubled our maritime deployments to the black sea. we've exercised theater anti-submarine warfare operations, executed bomber assurance and deterrence missions and europe and for the first i mean, we've deployed fifth generation fighters to europe. the u.s. has taken these acts in coordination with nato since the 2016 warsaw summit, nato has made significant gains in meeting its security commitments. nato has implemented its enhanced forward presence with four multinational battle groups backed by 29 nations. it is also established a tailored forward presence in the black sea region. additionally, the u.s. and nato are putting a spotlight on russian meddling and interference, countering russian misinformation with truthful and transparent information and
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reinforcing our winning narrative of sovereignty, freedom, the dignity of the individual, and the rule of law. the second major threat we face throughout the european area of operations is violent extremist terrorist groups. since 2014, europe has endured 18 major terrorist attacks. while the defeat isis coalition, which includes nato now, recovers territory that was seized in iraq and syria, isis remains active and seeks to expand its operations across europe. ucom provides forces for military operations against isis such as operation inherent resolve and has increased information and intelligence sharing among u.s. agencies, international partners and the private sector. with the eu and nato, ucom supports a trinodal community of action. also, ucom has increased coordination to thwart terrorist activities. our european allies fight alongside us, deploying forces worldwide to support u.s.-led
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counterterrorism operations, including oir and operation freedom sentinel and to conduct national counterterrorism missions. the allies remain committed to defeating violent extremists and their support is essential to our ongoing counterterrorism efforts. thanks to the resources provided by congress, particularly through european deterrence initiative, ucom has made significant headway in establishing a defensive posture that is credible, capable, and relevant to our strategic objectives. as our national defense strategy states, a strong and free europe bound by shared principles of democracy, national sovereignty and commitment to article 5 of nato's washington treaty is vital to our security. with service members and civilians at ucom are making this strategy a reality. we stand ready to protect the homeland, strengthen the alliance and ensure that europe remains whole, free, and at peace and chairman, thank you, and i look forward to the committee's questions.
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>> thank you, general. i want to ask a question about this chemical weapon assassination attempt in britain as at least as far as i know, this particular weapon that was used has only been made by the russians. and this morning, in the "washington post," the british foreign secretary writes that it's part of a pattern of reckless behavior, the common thread that joins the poisonings in salisbury with the annexation of crimea, the cyber attacks in ukraine, the hacking of german's parliament and russian interference in foreign elections and the kremlin's reckless defiance of essential international rules. my question is, do you agree with that statement, that this is a pattern of behavior that has in common the reckless defiance or maybe even the attempt to undermine international rules.
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do you agree with that, and do our nato allies agree with that? >> chairman, i agree that it represents russia's consistent disregard for international rules and norms. each of those instants that you talked about, you'll note in this specific incident with the nerve agent that nato has said that they stand by their ally, uk, and believe it's highly likely that russia was complicit in this attack. that was a statement that they made as an alliance of 29, to my understanding. we also believe that it's highly likely that they're complicit with the chemical weapons use, and we stand by our ally, and we support their efforts to fully determine who the responsible parties were and hold them accountable. >> well, i just say, as i
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mentioned at the beginning, whether it's this incident or cyber attacks or putin's boasting about new nuclear weapons, i think it's really critical for the alliance to stand together and push back against this whole range of activity. that's the only way for us to counter it. i'm going to yield to the ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. along those lines, in terms of -- because i think the chairman's right. i think a huge part of this is holding russia accountable. russia is not altogether that powerful. they have all kinds of internal problems and economic weakness, and even their military is still nowhere near a match for ours, but they will push as far as they can push if they think there's not a cost to it. so, one specific question about that is, administration has delayed implementation of
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sanctions against russia. as i understand it, the loose justification was that they're waiting for putin's election, like he might lose or something, i don't know. doesn't it make sense at this point to be as aggressive as possible in implementing the sanctions that congress has made available to the president, precisely to try to impose a cost upon russia in much the same way that we are doing with iran and china -- or sorry, iran and north korea? >> sir, i can't comment on the speed of the sanctions. i know that they're working. i would say, as you said earlier, that we have to address their activity with a whole of government response, and sanctions would be an appropriate part of that. >> understood. and just something we haven't talked about yet, turkey is perhaps the other, you know, largest issue -- well, that and the whole issue of trying to make sure we keep nato together and coordinated but the conflict
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between turkey and the kurds, while turkey is a valuable ally, without question, so are the kurds. they were indispensable in terms of what we did in syria and iraq in dealing with isis. what's your latest on how we might get to a better place between our two allies there, turkey and the kurds? >> yes, sir. as you stated, turkey is a va e valued ally in ucom, a member of the countries in ucom. i work closely with them to continue our close relationship and actually restore the relationship to an extent because of the differences here with respect to the ypg and their alliance with us in our de-isis campaign. presently, as you know, the state department is working closely with them. we've been involved in this. and we're presently, i think, working on a way to attempt to
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meet their legitimate concerns, their security concerns along the border, the terrorist attacks that they have inherent to their country and have had for some time as well as meet our interests to ensure that we can complete the de-isis campaign which has presented a direct threat to the security of our country as well. so that discussion is ongoing. i'd prefer not to go into more depth, given that we're right in the midst of them now. >> understood. but i think that's crucially important, that we find some way to make that work. and i understand there are legitimate concerns on both sides. i mean, the kurds, you know, have long wanted as great a degree of independence as they can get. at the same time, you can hardly blame turkey for being upset that they routinely have terrorist attacks committed in their country. i'll just close and i don't have any more questions for you, but just with an editorial comment about russia. i think we need an administration that sends a much clearer signal on russia. the president's reluctance in
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instance after instance, most recently even the one that the chairman just raised, while our -- number of other government officials, i forget if it was the secretary of state or the cia director who said there's no question that russia committed the attack that happened in england against the spies. our own president was like, could have been, we don't know, might have been somebody else. sort of the same thing that he said about the interference in the elections that russia has done. the longer the leader of our country gives russia a pass and keeps saying, well, maybe they're doing bad stuff, maybe they're not, the tougher your job cea job's going to be. the tougher it's going to be to truly hold them accountable so whatever the reason for that is, i don't even know, wouldn't even begin to guess, the president needs to speak clearly and forcefully against these russian actions and stop acting like maybe they didn't happen. i think it really undermines our ability to confront what russia is doing on all fronts that have
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been discussed by both the chairman and me. and with that, i'll yield back. >> mr. wilson is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and general scaparrotti, thank you for your successful service. where your mission is absolutely critical with little room for error. one of my primary concerns with ucom's ability to successfully defend its area of responsibility surrounds its ability to transport troops and/or equipment expeditiously across europe. training and exercising in the theater. could you please describe what role the u.s. is taking in leading the effort to resolve these issues and what other organizations, nato, eu are doing to address the challenge. >> thank you. i would agree that mobility, as i will call it broadly, within the euro-atlantic theater is very important to our deterrence
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and defensive capabilities and it was not invested in through the years that the past decade or more that we believed that russia was a partner. i think we've turned a corner on that in this past year in the sense that we have focus and energy among our european partners, as you said, to get a focus on improving our infrastructure, our rail and road, our ports, and our capability to handle the movement of military forces throughout europe. we've done that in ucom through the work of first our logistics capacity in an assessment early of our ability to move and the infrastructure that supports it. we've worked closely with both nato, the jfor and my shape headquarters and nato headquarters as well as with the eu. so, nato and eu is one of their primary cooperative efforts is, in fact, mobility.
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that's important because it brings to bear the other elements of national power outside of the military that the eu can bring an economic, diplomatic, et cetera, so i think we have a good start and we have a broad alliance of nations that are looking at this now. >> and i was grateful to be with you in munich and also in brussels where i saw the high regard of our allies for your efforts to address this issue. in december 2017, the president courageously changed the u.s. policy to provide defensive lethal assistance to ukraine and the state department has subsequently approved the sale of javelins to ukraine. it is sad that nearly 10,000 ukrainians have been killed as putin has illegally invaded and occupied crimea and the eastern portion of ukraine. high hopes for a democratic and prosperous russia have been
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crushed by putin. what is is your assessment of the impact of the new aid on the fight on the ground in yoouukra and has it changed since the new policy. >> i'll first start by saying that ukraine is in what i would consider a hot fight right now. it's not a frozen conflict. daily, there's activity along the front and unfortunately for ukraine, the loss of life every week. and i fully support what we're doing to help build their capability to defend their own country and reform their security institutions as well, which they're working closely. the assets that we've provided funded by congress to support them and support their development has provided them with defensive capabilities and with the javelin that you specifically noted and those assets go directly to their
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improved capability to establish the defense in the east and become more and more competent and confident of their ability to secure, you know, their nation. what i've seen in russia is russia has continued to support what i call a proxy force, to include providing regular military commanders in charge at company and above level of the separatists or the proxy forces on the other side. i think it's too early to say whether or not we've seen a change as a direct result of the decisions that we're just taking, but we'll watch that closely. i'll close by saying it. it's not my -- it's not my belief that russia wants to resolve this conflict at this point. they certainly could do much more to move along -- to move
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the minsk agreement forward. things like offering protection and allowing mobility of the mission that oversees this, which they're not doing, so i think they actually are attempting to freeze this a bit to their advantage. >> thank you very much again for your leadership and the persons serving with you. god bless you. >> mr. larson. >> i yield my time to mr. brown of maryland. >> thank you, mr. larson and thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, general, for your service and your testimony here today. appreciate the opportunity to ask questions in a classified setting yesterday. i recently returned from a codel in eastern europe with representative stefanik where we saw how partners such as estonia, latvia, ukraine are working with your command to deter and counter the threat of and actual russian aggression and expansionism. a critical component of that is forward deployment of our troops
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and equipment in the region and your written testimony and at the senate hearing last week, you highlighted nato's increased presence in the baltic region and in poland through the european deterrence initiative, which includes prepositioning equipment and deploying enhanced forward presence battalions along with armored brigade combat teams and combat aviation brigade on the heel to toe nine-month rotation. my question, given russia's high tempo of exercises and troop placement on its borders, i'd like to hear a little bit more about, you know, your thoughts on our forward force deployment, is a heel to toe nine month rotation the proper force posture for our units or would a one or two year rotation be better or what about permanent presence of units. >> thank you, sir, and i appreciate your visit to those nations as well. they're strong allies and as you
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know, one of the smaller nations through the baltics but strong and active. first of all, i would say that i think ow our rotational period about nine months is about the right one. we've had experiences in our forces and particularly in the army of rotating for a year or a year and additional three months or less and we found that nine months is about right for a number of reasons. and so i would, in terms of rotation, i would stay with nine months. with a rotational force, i gets someone specifically trained for a mission ready to come in and actually because of the ranges, et cetera, we have available, i think i return a force that's just as well trained when it returns to the states. so, we at least maintain the readiness if not build some readiness through that experience. in terms of rotational versus permanent, i do believe we need more forces in europe. i don't think we're at the posture that i believe's
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appropriate or required yet. and because of that, i think that there are some permanent forces i would like to have. the first ones i would like to have would be some of our enabling elements, for example, a fires brigade, et cetera, as a permanent force and then continue the rotation of the mech brigade until we reach a point that we might consider that as well. the last thing i'll say is i lay a requirement out and the service determines how best to fill that but i think some of these, again, are best provided in the permanent fashion. >> would you include an aviation brigade as a -- one of those permanent forces that you'd like to see. >> i would, yes. >> okay. could you discuss some of the logistics and infrastructure challenges facing our forward deployed troops such as issues with freedom of movement and military construction in theater and what steps are you taking under your command to address them. >> as i said, our force has done
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an assessment. in terms of the infrastructure status across europe, and what was required, with that, we now working with the nations involved so that they understand their responsibilities as well as an ally or as a partner. and there's examples throughout europe of them taking this on in terms of their investment in ports, infrastructure, roads, changing rail. for instance, in nato, at 29, they agreed to begin working the diplomatic and customs rules that allow the military to move expeditiously with less than five days' notice, for instance. those are steps that are significant and making forward progress. we have already, through the -- through congress's support and edi, along with our partners are investing in critical infrastructure ports, things of that nature that we identified
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we need to improve in order to help with our mobility. and in just about all those cases, our ally in that place also invests in that alongside of us and invests more than we do, obviously. it's in their country. so, i think we're making very good progress. we've got good examples of that but there's a lot of work to do. >> red, yellow, or green. >> i'd say yellow. >> thank you. yield back, mr. chairman. >> mr. turner. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general scaparrotti, good to see you again. i want to echo joe wilson's comments, having been with you in munich at the munich security conference and then your presentation also to the nato parliamentary assembly i think in all -- both of those, we were very proud of both your representation of the united states but also to our allies. you have continued to make clear the threat that russia poses in all of our presentations,
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including their meddling in elections, meddling in democracies, the threat that's opposed to you and your ability to execute your job and task and even the ford deployed troops, what they're experiencing. on the mobility issue, i'd like to expand a little bit on the questions that have been asked. you've done a great job in informing congress that there are mobility issues as we've expanded nato, we did not undertake plans for how would we defend the space and make sort of the infrastructure was there. but i think people would also be surprised at when we approved the european reassurance initiative that there were funds, there were u.s. funds that were necessary in order to be able to get our troops point a to point b that went to infrastructure. you mentioned that briefly, that we were working with our nato partners and allies as to what they need to invest in. could you give us some examples of the types of things that you had to fund with the european reassurance initiative that you shouldn't be funding and that we need to work with our allies to make sure that the
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infrastructure supports so that you don't have to in the future. >> an example might be an mk, which is a base in romania, a very good base that they have, we're laying concrete pad off the runway and investing in a little bit of the infrastructure that helps with the movement and mobility of troops through that port, and what they're doing is they agreed, as we improved that tarmac, improved their reception point off the runway, they agreed to include a fuel line and improve that rail line into there, all helpful to make this a good hub for movement of troops and equipment. they also are investing in the base itself and accommodations for our troops that we rotate through there. so that's a really good example of where we've worked with another country in a place that we needed some mobility and a site to come into. and there's others like that that are just improvements to
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aerial ports or seaports that help our mobility, help us get the capacity in that port. the other thing i'd just like to mention, and i intended to mention earlier, was that the other thing we're going that's important is we're -- as we rotate our forces and the allies do, we're trying to bring them through different ports and move them by different means, and in doing that, we learn where we have issues. we develop that capability in our -- in those countries and their civilian infrastructure that supports that, and build muscle memory. so, that's been an important part of this over the past year as well. >> well, that goes to my next question. after seeing you, i went to -- i was in germany and saw the toledo air guard, which had just left estonia, and they reported that there was a number of their missions that they were unable
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to accomplish because of some of the issues that you just described, and questions that they had obviously was, how is that captured, how can we be sured th assured that as we do the forward deployment of troops and they run into impediments that it's captured and worked so we do have that future capability. >> yes, sir. we capture that in a very deliberate after-action review and all of those exercises, again, purposeful movement by certain ways, operations out of certain places, capture the issues we have, bring it back up through the ucom j 4, out to nato j-4 and the countries that it's involved to capture ha. that's exactly how we do it. we have examples, for instance, in movement of troops here this last summer for exercises where they were stopped at a border, put on a side track for, like, two days, three days, we had to
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work through customs. first, we had to discover it. we had troops sitting on a rail alongside, you know, alongside a border. but those things occur. we capture that back up and then we drill back down into it, whether it's a customs issue, a coordination issue, or it's an infrastructure issue. >> thank you, general. thank you, chairman. >> mr. courtney. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, general, for your testimony yesterday and today. the office of naval intelligence issued a report in 2015 called the russian navy, a historic transition, and again, public document, and it states here that submarines are the capital ships of the russian navy. this is dictated by russia's geography, constrained direct access to major ocean areas everywhere but in the pacific makes surface ship operations vulnerable to potential enemy action. the inherent covert nature of submarines enhances their
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capability. it goes on to quote the admiral of the navy stating that the nuclear submarine fleet is the priority of the navy shipbuilding program. one, one of your predecessors testified here a couple years ago and kind of caught people's attention by stating that the submarine activity is roughly about 70% of what it was during the cold war era, and he knows what he's talking about, because he sort of was there during a lot of that. and you mention in your opening remarks about the fact that anti-submarine activities is now, you know, kind of a restart in terms of our forces as well as the region. i realize some of this is classified and you talked about it a little bit yesterday but i think it's important, still, to talk -- create at least some picture in terms of what you're dealing with and what you're seeing and i was wondering if you could comment a little more. >> yes. thank you. well, the admiral noted that he gave an estimate of what it was
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in, just this last year, since the last time i testified here, we've seen activity in the russian navy, particularly undersea, in their submarine activity, that we haven't seen since the '80s. so, the level of activity is up yet again, and as you know, they're producing maritime enhancements to existing ships and new submarine that is definitely more modern and more challenging. while we remain dominant undersea, we've got to continue our investment as the navy has laid out in order to maintain that dominance, just given their modernization and their increased activity with their forces. >> and as far as working with, again, some of our allies in the region, again, this is something that is sort of a restart, as i mentioned. >> yes, sir. it's important.
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you know, most of the allies in the united states doesn't have the same capacity that it had during the cold war, when we were used to doing this together, particularly anti-submarine maritime operations so we're all rebuilding our capacities, we're improving our capacities to meet the challenges we have in this new environment and russia's modernization. together, we can handle this. we've proven that this past year. but it does take all of us working together, and the other thing i would mention, it takes a mix of the forces, particularly anti-submarine warfare, you're talking air, surface, subsurface, sensors, it's a mix that allows us along with our allies and their capabilities to be successful. >> thank you. last year's ndaa, we included some language that allowed wounded ukrainian soldiers to be treated in u.s. medical facilities in accordance with d.o.d. rules. and again, i know that was just signed a couple months ago, but
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i wonder if you had any sort of comment in terms of just, a, how that was received, you know, by our friends in the ukraine and whether or not you see that as a process that's actually going to happen. >> i would say i'm sure it was received very well. it's a very deliberate demonstration of our support for them and our close partnership. to care for one of their wounded. >> great. >> and so, without a doubt, and you know, i know the chief of defense, truly cares about his forces and their care as well as their training, so that they can fight and protect that country. >> great. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. >> mr. kaufman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you so much for your service. my concern is where we're at an
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untenable position with russia right now and i want to get clarification of article v, your interpretation of it because they've developed a hybrid system or sort of a -- i guess you could call it hybrid tactics that involve information operations, i guess you could say, an element of psychological warfare as well as using covert forces as proxies. and so, when we look at something like the baltic states that i think have russian minorities this them, much like the ukraine, that they could do the same pattern there, and i'm concerned that would -- that nato would acquiesce to that because they might not consider it a conventional attack under article v. what's your interpretation of that? >> well, first of all, nato recognizes the difficulty in
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incorrect or asymmetric activity that russia's practicing, activities below the level of conflict and in fact, we've inserted that for the first time into our nato exercise that we did this past year. with some ambiguous activities that are consistent with what they would typically do in order to bring this about and have that discussion at 29. and so, they're actually dealing with the issue around this and in cyber, and working to define an understanding of what would be a trigger for article v. so, they're working that, and they recognize it. i would just share with you, that's the most difficult scenario i see, potentially, is because of the way that they typically work in a fashion that would be ambiguous, it would be most difficult to come to a, you know, to come to a decision. but i would share that nato's
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aware of this, and they're actually working on it. >> but don't you think that -- you said that that's the most difficult scenario. don't you think that's the most probable scenario right now and don't you think one of the objections -- objectives of russia clearly is to break nato and to test this, for instance, in one of the baltic states. >> i think that absolutely they're trying to undermine a splinter nato. it is a difficult situation when they operate that way, but i'm confident of nato. i've seen the discussions, and i think in something that they agree is an attack warning, article v, that they can come together. i've seen them come together in other things less than this that was perhaps divisive at the time, but they can reach a conclusion. >> well, let me express to you
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that i don't necessarily share the confidence in our allies because of the -- there's an agreed upon 2% of gdp to be spent on defense. and the majority of our nato allies are nowhere near that 2% requirement, and so it's, you know, is it that, well, obviously, they have other priorities within their budget, but that's a real concern when they're not doing that and there's an overreliance upon the united states. could you comment on that. >> i share your concern, and i press that as well as the secretary general. i press it as the commander every place i go. they have to demonstrate a change. they have, as i stated in my opening statement, there's -- there will be eight that have made that 2% and 15 that plan to make it. being a part alliance is also
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contributing as a part of the alliance, both in cash and contributions and capability. so that's what we're watching and i agree that we need to press that. i would add that if you look at nato and say, since warsaw, for instance, and the adaptation, the recognition as russia -- as a threat here, a competitive nation, all of those things that ei noted about the forward posture of troops in the east, our air policing activity, a much more increased maritime activity, particularly in the black sea and the baltics, everything that i do there was agreed at 29. that's why i have confidence in the -- in nato. these are tough decisions for them and within their countries, and they've been able to act over the past year. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i wanted to specifically talk with you about russia and the
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balkans. i know there have been several investments that russians have wanted to make in the balkans. there was a pipeline project, i believe, about a year or so ago that didn't quite work out the way they anticipated. there have also been some credit and remittance issues, some other foreign trade things that didn't quite go the russians' way, but it's definitely is clear that they want to continue to have influence there. in in your opinion, how far are they willing to go to make sure that they can continue to have a certain amount of influence there in that region, even though some of the thing that they're working on economically just haven't beared any fruit. >> well, what i see is offers, for instance, of military equipment, military assistance and sometimes the military equipment is surely below the cost to them. but as you watch them work in europe and on the periphery, in countries that they work with, they'll offer that equipment at
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a very low cost in order to ensure that they will take it. they'll offer, then, support and bring in troops, and then they'll decide that the troops need to stay. as a matter of influence and some leverage, i would say, over time. those are the things that i see them doing on a military side. beyond that, very common disinformation, campaigns in the nations, you know, within the balkans, stirring political debate, support for fringe political parties in order to stir that debate and a very consistent message that's -- that is anti-west, anti-nato, anti-u.s. >> if their demographic crisis is real, and it's been, you know, reported that they're losing population, and these investments that they're offering to people aren't going
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through, and again, they're not, you know, yielding anything, how long can they continue to keep up that sort of disinformation and continue to be a powerful player there there if they are suffering in all these areas economically? >> you know, there are some that look at their demographics, they look at their economy, health issues, et cetera, and would say that while they are in a great power competition as you look long range they just can't sustain this. my view would be that, you know, the russian people are used to adversity. they almost as a culture embrace that. and even with a difficult economy, president putin has been able to reverse the trend and it's, i think, approaching 2% growth. i think they have great resilience and that's not what we should count on.
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we should count on us ensuring we're strong and we deter their activities. >> how do you think that we should continue to try to influence the countries there in the balkans to make positive steps towards nato? >> i think it's important that we have a whole government approach. diplomatic, diplomatic engagement there, which we do but also encouragement from our allies there. we need to work with them. to build western democratic institutions. there's clearly a desire among the population in the balkans to come west. but we've got to show them we're just as interested in that as they are. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> mr. scott. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, nice to see you again. i want to follow up on a little bit of the line of questions that my colleague was asking, russia is a huge country land
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mass, largest country, to my understanding, on the earth. they border, depending on how you count them, over 12 countries, including north korea and china on the eastern side. but then when you come back to the part of the world that you're in charge of, they board ear number of countries in the european theater. my question is, are they engaging in malign activities against all of them and if not which countries are they not engaging in these activities against? >> i think, you know, i probably seen some activity in most countries, and, you know, those they don't have a certain focus on, you still see that activity in their media, because their media is laced with a, you know,
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anti-western, anti-international order kind of message, und undercutting democratic countries, undercutting governments where they are in and that's kind of light even if cussed more on the east countries that were once a part of the soviet union. you know they see that as their strategic space and they think they should have some preferential influence in those nations. it's much heavier there. even in the other countries of europe, if you go to the west, italy, france, germany, et cetera, there's examples there of same use of disinformation, social media, and those kinds of activities as well. >> i've only been over there a few weeks in the last couple of years but the perception that i had is that they are engaged in all of those, in basically they are going to start chaos wherever they can and when they see a weakness they would take
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advantage of it. and you answered this question earlier when asked but the question i ask is how long can they sustain that against all of the countries and how long do all the other countries go without at some point taking an action against russia to actually stop, stop this. i mean -- >> i can't answer how long they can go. i would say they are a resilient nation, and a culture. i think we have to take action in order to establish a deterrent effect. that is to respond, to demonstrate capability and demonstrate the will to use it if necessary. >> i worry, and i'll just make this as a statement with regard to turkey being on their border, i worry about them using their activities to create a
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disturbance in turkey, potentially a coup there where somebody friend to them took over even if they took over only for a day or two with our assets in that country, the potential damage that they can do simply by seizing some of our assets. are you comfortable that that relationship with turkey is strong enough and we have enough insight into that that if that began to happen we would have the ability to protect all of our assets in that country. >> yes, sir, i'm comfortable with that. we have a very good military relationship with turkey. i speak to their defense chief often. our staffs have interchange. they are very responsive to us in terms of force protection as well. so any concern that either through their intelligence or ours about a threat to our forces that are stationed there, et cetera, they've taken immediate action. so, in terms of their
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demonstration, and relationship we have, i'm confident of that in the protection of our force there. if i could follow up on the other one i talk about, we had to demonstrate, i want to emphasize the "we" is the alliance and our partner. our strength versus russia strategically is fact we have such a great alliance and great partners. that's important. they recognize that. >> absolutely. and they don't seem to be -- they don't seem to have many, which is good. i just want to thank you for your service and for being here and i look forward to making it back to that part of the world to see it. >> mr. o'rourke. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, could you briefly give us an idea of what the capacity is on the russian side to continue or accelerate this level of military spending? >> well, i think that, you know,
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just from what i under of their budget and what they are doing, their budget is improving. but they do have a difficult hand to play here. so what we've seen is they've slowed down their modernization. i think you'll continue to see decisions in that regard. but not enough to make a huge difference. northeastwar in other words, it will draw it out another two to five years but i think they know what they want to -- they know what they want to establish, the capabilities they need and they have been very focused on that over a number of years. so i think you may see it drawn out but i don't think you'll see them stop in terms of what they believe they need as part of their military capabilities. >> thank you. in february admiral rogers said and i'm quoting him, president putin has come clearly to the conclusion that there's little price to pay and, therefore, and he's quoting putin, i can continue this activity. clearly what we have done has
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not been enough in regards to what action we've taken to deter russian and election meddling and perhaps we can extend that to syria, to crimea, to you crane, to involvement in european election, to involvement in the 2018 elections in the united states, to the involvement in the 2020 elections. you said to the senate arms services committee last week, i don't believe there's an effective unify occasion across the interagency with energy and focus that we can obtain. how can you assure us we're going to achieve that and to follow up on the ranking member's question there's a price to pay for russia that will deter this kind of activity going forward. >> we're working to develop the structure and enhance the energy that i talked about. i think that's tissue.
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we've got to -- look, we have a lot of capacity. we have a talent. that was directly to a question about activity directly below the conflict. when it comes to operation our capacity in cyber, our ability in diplomacy and truthful immediate area we have great capacity. we got to focus that capacity as a whole of government on this, on this problem. so that they know there's a response and we can overcome this. we've seen instances in europe now where we've developed the structure and volume at specific times within the media to influence their disinformation. to influence their actions as a result. this can to be done, we've got to pull this together and get after it. >> yeah. i am convinced of your intent and the will and the dedication, excellence of those who serve under you.
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i'm not convinced. strategy or efficacy at this point. i don't under -- i wouldn't expect you to tell me that everything is okay because it definitely not and you yourself have said that it's not. you said we're getting a better understanding of it. i would not characterize it as a good picture at this point, not satisfactory to me. you talked about russian activity relating to united states infrastructure reconnaissance. you said i'll leave it at that. what i would like, though, is not to be assured that it's okay but to have some assurance in a strategy that we can all understand and artifacculate an commitment to this athlete, articulated by the president on down. i'm not seeing that. my constituents are not seeing that. i'm getting asked those questions. that's why i'm asking them of you today so i can go back to them and have an understanding of what that is. it does not sound -- it does not look like if we just connect the dots from russia's activity from georgia to today that anything
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we've done has deterred them. convince me to the contrary. >> i can't, you know, broadly, they have not been deterred. they act today on information realm. they continue to take activity below the level of conflict. >> is there anything you're doing now or plan to do in the near future that will deter them? >> we are taking actions that do deter them. in specific areas we have the capacity to do this. we're taking all kinds of activities. i think it's across the whole government as well. we have a deterrent effect in the east, no doubt about it with respect to -- and it's not just military component that does that. you know, we have a deterrent effect conventionally. within the information cycle it's a new domain. it's in a -- it's a domain today that is connected, it's fast, so this isn't easy and it's new. and that's the area that we --
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and probably one of the two areas to deter and enact. >> thank you for your services. >> general, i'm over here. first of all, thank you for your service to our country. we genuinely appreciate what you continue to do for us every day. all of us have watched with dismay what's happened in eastern ukraine, over 10,000 people are dead and i'm glad to say we're now beginning to give them the help that they've been asking for for some time. as you know, ukraine is not a member of nato, whereas other countries in that region, i'm thinking specifically of the baltics that are members of nato and to which by virtual of the fact we're members of nato we owe them a substantial obligation if somebody does something to them, somebody invades them. so two questions. do you think something what happened in eastern ukraine could happen in the baltics and
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if so what would we need to do to honor our obligations to those countries. >> i would just say this, we have an agreement with members of nato that in article v attack on one is an attack on all. we would come to their assistance. i think russia is deterred from taking an action like that, like trying to seize a portion of one of the countries on the border because they know, nato is 29 nations, it's much stronger, and that we would win that conflict. they don't want a conflict in that regard. i personally don't believe they would take that step. >> well, i would hope they would not as well. >> i would hope not too. >> hoping is not a plan, as you know. i assume whether you can tell bus the details whether or not, i assume there plan is if they
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try to do something. >> there is a plan. >> good. >> are we providing you, is congress provide underground with the authorization and resources you need to implement that plan? >> sir, the budget that's presented here and when i talk about the budget i'm also looking at the out years. since i've been in this job, this is the first time in the budget that i've said here are my requirements and they are being addressed in some way. so i'm very pleased with this and i think with that regard it's sufficient. but listen it will take us those years to really put us in a posture that i believe that we should be in and we're best in to assure deterrence of russia and any idea that they might have to take an act. to ensure that we deter any thoughts or opportunities they might think they have. >> i want to make sure that -- i believe with all my heart you're doing and the people under you
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are doing what they are supposed to be doing but sometimes you have to tell us what we need to do to provide you with both the authorization and the resources to do what you need to do. and i hope you will not be reticent about telling us what you need because until we know that it's hard for us to do what we need to do. as you probably know we had quite an effort to get the level of spending up for the department of defense for this fiscal year and next fiscal year. that didn't come about by happen stance and took an enormous amount of effort. we need the information and the push sometimes from you and people that are working with you so that we get what we need to get done here in congress for you. >> well, sir, first of all, thank you. i understand this has not been easy. my message to you is, you'll know clearly what my assessments are, and in a number of these things in a classified document
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i'll tell you exactly what my requirements are and to the competent that can you look at it across the act and see whether they are being addressed and how quickly they are addressed. i'll be quick about that and i appreciate congress and their committees diligence in this. thank you. >> well i think everybody on the committee appreciates your directness with us. sometimes the more direct you are the more likely we are to be responsive to you and i just want to encourage you to do that, because i believe you do have a plan. we probably will learn about it another time when it's appropriate. but i always worry that you've got a great plan and we've not always given the authorization and propositions what you need. tell us what you need and i think you'll find this committee willing to work with you. i yield back my time. >> thank you, mr. chair. general, one of the things i've been advocating for is moving the edi from being base lie funds to the base budget.
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i certainly think if we want to talk about a commitment and show of force at least to russia that we're committed to europe, that would be the route to do it and, of course, also to assure our nato allies we're with them in the fight and not just in a one year process. what would change from your perspective in terms of planning if we moved edi out of oco and into the base budget? >> first of all, i would support going to a base budget out of oco. what would change in that is that at some point it would be under the services to them prioritize and fund and deliver the assets within their service. and that's my one concern is that the way we develop edi today between i and the department, the department is that we lay out the priorities from a commander's perspective,
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and that's a bit different than a service perspective because i'm looking at the combination of all the services and resources to get the best benefit in terms of deterrence and defense. so as we move to the budget i would like some means within the planning to protect that prioritization by the combatant commander. >> in terms of the message it would send to our allies, if we went that route, in your opinion? >> well, you know, i think that the message would be we're committed to funding our needs, and particularly those needs that had to do with the euro atlantic where we're a member of nato and we have partners in europe. but the key there would be that they see the investment that's
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also inherent in our lialliance and capabilities. >> i would like to move on what we just saw occur in england. russia will likely, in my opinion, ever present a clear violation of nato's article v, but they will always try to be like the petulant teenager that they are. what weather we doing with our nato members and nonnato members like finland and sweden to build up the alliance, of their emc capabilities and prevents russian incursion that the pre-russian incursion that happens when such activities around hyper warfare such like that. i guess the ininoculation we should stop russia on our allies and near allies.
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>> there's a number of activities ongoing in europe right now that are u.s. partners and u.s. within the alliance. i would first point out with any alliance that, you know, we've noted that cyber is a domain and we're now working as a domain, both at a diplomatic level as well as the military aspects of that and we've established cyber centers. we're beginning to take -- we're beginning to conduct activities in that regard and that touches all 29 nations but also touches the partners of natural jobs which there are about 40. within nato you have a cyber center of excellence among different nations. those also are in place to help assess the environment, determine best responses, educate the other nations capabilities in this and then help them in applying it. and within natural jobs all of our actions are to help us do
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this in a synchronized pattern. so while there's much work to do, there's a lot of good work going on right now in each of these areas. that shares information, shares best practices. shares information so that we're fully aware of what's going on in our environment. and so i'm positive about this. but there's a lot of work that needs to be done. >> i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, general for the great work you're doing. i had to be in another committee so please excuse me if you already addressed this question but feel free to amplify. i want to ask about iran. as north korea continues to expand its ballistic missile and nuclear capabilities it's also been testing newly developed systems in which i think is a real problem. while the u.s. has shifted focus
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in the last two to five years to address the threats from north korea how do you base our ability to address a iran threat even to protect our forces in your area of responsibility. >> sir, i assess our capabilities as good. as you know, our defense system, particularly our air and missile defense system has as a focus iran as well. we do watch closely iranian activity and particularly their malign influence as citizen a party and iran consider iran a threat to them. one of my responsibilities is to support the defense of israel. so we work closely with eaisrae and keep a very close eye on iran's capabilities and activities in close coordination with sitcom. >> as a follow on to that, we
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have sites in romania and poland. what are we doing from text them from cruise missile or other kinds of attacks? >> sir, that's addressed among a layered defensive system. i'll leave it at that. steps that we're taking in that regard. i prefer to give you that response for fully than that in a classified document, if i could. >> okay. that would certainly work. and, lastly, on asian modernization, give us an update on the russian military modernization programs and, you know, general -- excuse me president putin talked about these, i think kind of far fetched nuclear tipped torpedos, nuclear powered cruise missiles, things like that. but what are they realistically doing that you're concerned about? >> well, you know, they are modernizing their force, so let's go to the conventional and
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nuclear force first and just generally in this environment, i can talk to you, i can provide you more in depth response in a classified document. but it's well-known that they are modernizing their conventional force. they are primarily doing that through respect of the weapons systems that they put on them as well as the missiles that they developed that give them greater range, greater precision. and most of they systems that they employ they can be either conventional or nuclear. so in many ways they are improving the ships that they have in the maritime, improving the planes that they have, their bombers. and their submarines with advance systems that we need, to you know, we need to pace and be able to deal with. they are improving their nuclear capability across all their systems and modernizing those.
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that's why npr is so important for us to maintain our nuclear deterrent across the range of scenarios that they might present. last thing i would note they are working hard to modernize both their sea force systems, you know, their command and control communications. and also capabilities in space. and then hyper sonics as well. >> when it comes to the nuclear pose tour posture review i believe it's a good thing we propose we have more options like low yield weapons or sea launched intermediate cruise missiles. some people think that we should have fewer options just as a philosophical matter. where do you come on the number of openings we should or shouldn't have. >> i support the nuclear posture
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review that we should close any gaps. have a deterrent that can respond across spectrum of scenarios they would present us or an adversary would present us. i think this designs a tailorable force that does just that and doesn't lower the threshold. actually by closing those gaps and ensuring they under that we have a deterrent, a capable posture that it raises that threshold, in my view. >> thank you so much. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> general, good morning, thank you for being here. thank you for your testimony. as you can tell by most of the questioning, hyper warfare is a concern to what's going on, obviously with russia and what they are doing. when you look at article v and i just looked it up to be frank, you know, it says armed attack.
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armed attack. it goes through that. in your opinion, do you think article v needs to be updated in order to deal with this cyber warfare so there can be more of a joint response? >> well, you know, i'm not going to try to get in -- that's that north atlantic council's job there. but i talked to them. i think they are actually working on the structures and the definitions that inform that treaty. and i'm confident that they are wrestling with the hard question that you're talking about. whether or not it's a change literally to the wording of article v or whether it's the, you know, the process and understandings they develop short of that i'll let them be the determinant of that. >> does it eliminate you now in this current case? >> no. i think there's an understanding of the basis, the spirit of article v and an understanding that the character of warfare is
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changing. >> fair enough. great. thank you. pivoting, moving up north, in regards to the arctic, can you speak to the russian build up, up there and our response? >> clearly they are modernizing some of their older base there's. they are building some new ones. they are placing radar systems, et cetera in place and they have moved air defense systems back and forth as a part of their exercises as well. they are developing capabilities in terms of ships capable to operate. in the in-state in several years they would be in position given their modernization if they chose to control the northern sea route.
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they state their intent is for safety, security, economy, rescue of those at sea, et cetera, but i think we have to pay attention to what we're seeing there. >> and we are paying attention, clearly. >> we are. but we also need to look with our allies and across our government of what assets and capabilities we should have in place given their modernization. >> and beyond looking are we actually doing something? >> we are. >> okay. all right. thank you. appreciate it. i yield back. >> mr. chairman. great to see you again, general. you stated recently that you do not believe that the u.s. has an effective and unified approach to dealing with russia's cyber threat specifically quote i don't believe there's an effective unification across the interagency with energy and focus we can attain. what are we doing to address
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this and what specifically do we need to do? >> well, i'll speak from my point of view. what we're doing is we're work with the russian information group, which is the rig commonly called. interagency board, i co-chair that with the undersecretary of state. that gives us a platform to bring together the interagency in a whole government approach and activity for warfare. it is under state, which is the global -- >> englaegment center. >> engagement center. i think at least in my view the central point now within the government state of being responsible for, particularly informations counter disinformation. so that's what we're doing. and it has been receiving additional funding and guidance. my point is that you quoted is i think we have the structure that
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we can expand on but we're not, just don't have the focus or energy that i think we're capable of or we should put into this in order to deter this disinformation campaign that's going on. >> so i agree with you. but i want to hear specifically what steps we need to take to ensure that we have the focus and the energy and i i know have concerns with the lack of implementation of the appropriations when it comes to it, but i want to hear from you specifically what steps we need to take so a year from now the answer to this question isn't the same. >> okay. i'm going to give you my response. i'm not in state. this is really a question that, you know, frankly i will admit here publicly that this is their, their business. but from someone that takes part in this, as a part of dod, you know, i personally believe that, you know, greater clarity in role, greater direction across
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the interagency with respect to how this will work as a, you know, as the central agency for information and perhaps resources in order to develop the energy and focus that i talked about. i prefer not to go beyond that. again this is really a question for state. but i think from my point of view and working with them. they are good people. making good head way. but we could do more. >> you and i have discussed and it would be worthy for the committee to hear your sees mernt. are we seeing new trends in the context of this question comes from we're heading in to the mid-term athletics. are we seeing new trends when it comes to russia's use of disinformation among our allies. obviously we saw that leading up to the french election and german elections and i think both countries were pretty capable in terms of how they ensured that this disinformation campaign from russia didn't meddle with their electoral process. what can we learn from that? what trends do we need to look
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for as we head to the mid-terms? >> i think the one that's patient is use of social media and using factories in order to get out a lot of volume with disruptive messaging and that was seen here. it was seen in europe in the elections there as well. but that's one of the trends that's been identified and other nation as we progress through some of the elections in europe they were able to handle because they recognized this may be coming about. they've learned how to begin to counter that. how to be prepared to counter that, et cetera. there's progress being made. but that's one of those that i would note. i think as an alliance, we've assisted with their elections, et cetera and they've exchanged information as well from what they've learned, and my general view is that we've been better able at least on europe to deal with this as this has progressed. >> and my last question if i have time is, who from your
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perspective has the central responsibility when it comes to counter propaganda, whether it's from russia or frankly other adversaries? >> my understanding it's state. >> are there countries specific strategies that are being developed that work effectively with dod counterparts? >> yes. what we've done with any information group and across the interagency s-we've developed nations that are vulnerable or under athlete, ones we thought we could have the best benefit and from a u.s. perspective now we've gone to the ambassador and our country team and said what are your objectives and how do we support those. so we're focusing on that. >> thank you. >> general good to see you again. thank you for your service. so i know that my colleague just
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talked about the global engagement center but i want to address this as well because i think it's an important topic frtopic. from its conception i believe it's an important role when it comes to countering messages perpetuated by our adversaries, both terrorist organizations and nation states. i'm sure glad that the state department has accepted the allocated transfer of funds from the department of defense to assist in the effort, but i find it somewhat problematic that there still exist as lack of leadership within the state department from the bottom all the way to the top. as we've seen within the past few days to leverage its capabilities to disrupt desstabilization campaigns aimed at the u.s. and its allies. how are you working with the global engagement center and how
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can we better use its capabilities? >> well, i can comment on our relationship. it's a very good one. we work with them consistently. they are a member of the rig which i talked about and through that, that's the direct connection with the work that the rig does, but even on a daily basis we know who to go to with respect to the information operations we are doing, or the things we see. so it's a very good relationship. my comments have been directed on, i think we need a more robust effort. in terms hoff how we do that, that's really state's portfolio. >> so you noted in your testimony that russia is advancing its indirect capabilities in accordance on its concept of warfare doctrine.
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the concept here states that nonmilitary means have grown or is your passioned the use of force to achieve political or strategic goals. nonmilitary factors outweigh military factors in that doctrine by a sly of 4-1. do you feel comfortable that the nonmilitary assets of u.s. national power are being utilized effectively to adequately counter threats posed by russia, and can you describe the extent of your relationship wi within the u.s. responsible for coordinating nonmilitary elements with you and your staff? >> well, first of all, i'll underscore that russia has a doctrine that in my view sees these activities below the level of conflict. there's a part of full spectrum. with an intent if they can undermine a target country through these types of means,
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political destabilization, et cetera, never having to use a military force, that's their objective. we work every day across the interagency. i have interagency representatives that are talented and capable and working hard with us to ensure that what we do is an interagency government, whole government effort. so i don't mean to imply that we don't work that way. we do. but that's, you know, that's hard government work ballgames most of our agencies to include dod are formed and focused on doing what we do best and dod is the same way. you have to break some cultural barriers here and work on cross interests. we can do this. we've done it in the past. so i would say we continue to do what we set out to do as a government. we continue to reinforce the
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capabilities that allow us to approach these things as an interagency. >> so, let me follow up with this. the recently published national defense strategy states that we are competing with russia. and i have a feeling russia may think it's already in a type of informational or political war with the united states. as a part of the doctrine, information operations are presented as integral to all six main phases of russian conflict development. the only nonmilitary measure spanning the entire spectrum, but europe is absent active armed conflict. we lack certain authorities to conduct our own information operations. so, how are you countering russia disinformation in europe without the broad authorities granted in larger operations or execute orders understanding you're likely cannot get into
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details about how you feel we are adequately challenging russia in this space? >> i'll briefly answer that by saying that we engage through nato and eu as well as our partners in individual countries opinion countering the russian message. all of this is truthful print. much can to be done through public affairs. then in others ways we have military information support teams that we provide specific countries and all of this is in support of the embassy and their message as well as well as foreign countries. we work directly with some of these foreign countries and what they see and how best to counter this disinformation. so, i would, i would leave it at that. last thing you mentioned authorities. i've asked for authorities with respect to information operation
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and those that i requested i've been granted. in this forum i'll leave it at that. but i adopt to you know where i've asked for specific authorities, to this point i've received what i've asked for. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. are you prepared to move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem in israel. >> do you believe we're prepared to move our embassy to jerusalem? >> today we're preparing to do that. again this should be a question that goes to state first as a lead in that. i was just there. i'm aware of the planning that's going on. i would respectfully go to them for the question of the preparation. >> okay. fair enough. going back, then, to russia, in your understanding what are
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russia's goals in the baltic sea? >> i think its consistent with other places and that is that they establish themselves as a respected global power. they undermine the democratic values and the values of the west. they attain to the extent that they can some privileged influence over the nations that border them, particularly the ones that were in the former soviet union and even the baltics they have the similar objective. >> okay. of those type of things, what would you consider as far as their influence in that region? what troubles you the most? >> well, the presence of their, again, disinformation campaign. some political provocation. you know, we see where they
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approach social media or tv stations, et cetera, in a couple of the baltic countries you have a russian population that, obviously, they target their message to and can share through language. that population is harder to penetrate by the government it self in some cases. so it's a, you know, it's a population that's easier for russian influence and, of course, they target that and take advantage of it. >> what tools can we utilize to help aid our allies over there against russian operations and cyber operations, that type of thing? >> very close working relationship across our government. not simply in the military realm but through the other forms of government in order to help them assess, respond to and understand the environment and also learn from them. estonia cyber center is an
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excellent center. the baltic nations, they have an understanding of russia and that threat in ways that we don't. so we rely on them. so it's a team effort here and i think it works both ways and that's the way we approach it. >> do you believe it's working well, those communication lines censor pleased? >> i am. yes. >> okay. how then along those lines, how does it work with other agencies to utilize the whole of government approach against russia? >> yes, sir. well in all of our challenges we first approach it from a whole government approach. to set the stage by civilian deputy is an experienced, you know, foreign diplomat. he just was last u.s. ambassador to italy. so that tells you something right there. he gives us a direct connection into the interagencies and particularly state.
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then we have a number of interagency treasury usaid, fbi. we have a number of interagency persons that are a part of my staff that work day-to-day. so our counter transnational threat cell for instance is a lot more civilian workforce than it is anybody in a uniform. as an example. that's how we pull them in and we make sure we have their expertise in this. >> very good. thank you for all you do. we appreciate it very much. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you for being here today. thank you for your service to our country. i want to go back a little bit to the 2% issue in europe. i guess what i heard you say is that it's going to be russia over the next five years is going to eventually have some issues with continuing to fund their military. you had mentioned it's going to
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take us about 30 years to get where the plan wants to be. i was wondering does 2% get our european allies to where they need to be and what is the real number to get them to where they need to be? >> well, sir, i haven't looked at it in that depth in terms of a real number. it would take an assessment of each and every country to do that. i would say an investment at 2% will make significant difference in these other nations in a way that we make sure we have what we need is within nato. we do a capabilities assessment. we just completed this cycle. and then we determine what the requirements are in nato to have an effective deterrence in defense in the euro atlantic. and we assign each of the nations capability targets that they have to meet as a part of that 2% and 20%. and through that we can provide the force in nato that we need. we know that now.
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we just have to ensure that they make those investments in the capabilities that have been outlined. if they want to invest in other areas in their military that's fine but they need to meet those capabilities first that we have force in the atlantic. >> the sustainability of that, though, as we saw in the last economic down tourist here in the united states and around the world plays a big role in that, i imagine. i don't know if you assessed to that level yet. these economic cycles are something that's part of our history. they will occur again. and a lot of these countries were hit pretty hard during the last downturn. how much time will it take for some of these countries to get up to speed 2%. you mentioned 15 are not there yet. how are they going to get there? >> i think -- if i can respond
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to this in a written form in more detail. but, again, ral we' but, generally, nato has taken a look at the countries. there's a grouping of five to seven given their financial plan at present, and in some cases if they are in the eu, the standards that they have to meet with respect to data, et cetera, they will have a very difficult time meeting the 2024 2% if they adhere to the nato and eu requirements. there's a group of countries with analysis will have a more difficult time. >> one of the issues that came up is how we can address some of our issues with them and with their ability to impact citizens in their countries. you mentioned something we have an advantage because of people's representation of us as having a
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truthful media. and here under alternativally in the united states we have this ongoing division over the media here. how do we let people know over there that we are truthful when within our own country we're having this struggle on the truthfulness of the media? >> that's a difficult question to answer. i would say the issue of truth in media is not just the united states, it's a global issue now. with the development of our social media and the internet, et cetera, we've lost had that we once had where we had print editors that had editorial standards, et cetera. much of this has no discipline within it. i think that's something that internationally we need to come to grips with, and determine how we're going to begin to discipline that. it's particularly important for
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democracies because of the role that, you know, truthful media in journalism plays in a vibrant democracy. >> thank you, general. i yield. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, general for being here. i have a general question concerning eastern europe, if you will and i don't expect a deep dive answer, but you mentioned a team approach to nation in europe. and from your perspective, what are thor and europe nations, for example, wanting and needing from say if we go down the list, what they want diplomatically, militarily, economically, information sharing. what are they wanting, what can we provide. that's a pretty broad question. >> yes. frankly, i need to probably focus most on the military aspect of that. >> sure. >> the first thing is they want
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a close partnership. i'm speaking as a commander. they want a close partnership with the united states because they recognize our capabilities. they recognize our leadership. they want to have a close partnership so they can also develop their capabilities. >> militarily? >> diplomatically. et cetera. those nations are, are great allies. they are small. but they are working very hard. you'll note they are above 2% very quickly. so they are also investing in capabilities that they believe they need to nest with ours. that's what we need to continue to do. we need to don't help them in that regard. i think also our presence there reinforces their populations confidence in the west, and their decision to be nato members in some cases or to align with the west generally.
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>> obviously all those things intertwine with our success there and when i talk about economics and things like that, and i've always had a concern the dependency upon russia for say natural gas, et cetera. and the stronger their economy is, the better our military relationship can be, et cetera, et cetera. are there things from where you sit that you feel you're hampered if we only did more economically like try to alleviate that dependency on russia. >> i think we're work towards relieving some of the dependency on russia. those countries are as well. particularly in liquified natural gas, facilities are being built that will allow us to transport that and frankly i think we should continue to do that because as you know russia uses energy to coerce and compel at times. thank you. >> thank you. i appreciate it. i yield back.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you for your service. in discussing ukraine, i think it's important to look at some of the historical content. when secretary baker met with gorbachev there's a discussion about expansion of nato. our country made no formal mittments to gorbachev as putin claims but gorbachev recent leadership did say the spirit of the conversations very much suggested that we wouldn't expand nato. then when the next one came to power in the ukraine and wanted to do business with the european union, the russians asked the united states whether we would be okay with a tri-patriot economic agreement, where europe would do business with the ukraine and russia. european union rejected that. then when the russian president was ousted he came to united states and said why don't we call early elections and call a
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coalition. it's unclear whether we worked diplomatically for that. we then supported the regime change. i guess my first question in sort of three parts is do you think we made a strategic mistake by insisting that ukraine join nato, you believe we made a mistake by recognizing the coup, and do you think we made a mistake by not having tri-patriot agreement. >> i haven't looked at that in enough detail and the specific instance you pointed out to give you and answer. if you like i'll give you one in a written statement after the hearing here. >> i would appreciate that. more broadly and this goes to your expertise. one of the things that has served us really well in this nation is the monroe doctrine made by john quincy adams. we believe no one should interfere in our region. assume for a second that russia is acting in a similar strategic
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interest. do you really believe even if we have arms going to you crane of 50 million, 200 million like the president wants that we could ever outcompete the russians in ukraine? won't they just increase their arms? don't they have for more strategic interest to fight us than we do in ukraine? >> if one looks at proximity, et cetera, that's one advantage for russia and advantage militarily as you suggest. but what i go back to is what we believe as a fundamental principle is that people have a right to determine their own government and how that government is led, whether it's a democracy or what type of democracy it might be. i think that's the principle that we fundamentally support here. >> general, i agree with you. john quincy adams had a very famous passage the united states support the self-determination of people around the world and
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we should extend our prayers and hopes but not going out to destroy. because that's not in the united states's strategic interest. what do you think is our national security strategic interest? what is being served by putting more weapons in ukraine? how does that make the united states more secure? how does it make constituents in my district more secure? >> the united states has come to the assistance of people and a nation that seeks to establish themselves with the west in a democratic way and make reforms to do that. i think it's important that the united states be seen as a good ally in that and, of course, where that takes us here in the future will be set against, you know, our vital, our vital interest in this as countries move forward. i think it's important that we support those who seek
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democratic values and ways and in the world as well. otherwise we forfeit that movement to others like russia who would like to undermine and establish a world order that is counter to our interests and as we've seen in past history typically leads to conflict. >> no one disagrees we shouldn't recognize human right but is that in our national interest. do you think being bogged down there, is russia our most strategic competitor or is it china? and does putting resources here hurt our ability against china or against fighting the war on terrorism? >> i don't know that we're bogged down there and i would remind you we're also not fighting they are fighting for
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their own sovereignty. we're providing form to their government. russia and china are both competitors. i particularly believe in the shorter term here russia is an immediate athlete at this point. they are more consistent athlete. maybe in a longer term maybe china. that's a debate many will have. >> mr. banks. >> thank you, general for being here. i wonder if first of all you have any thoughts or if you can explain at all why macedonia is having a hard time in hopes of being admitted to nato. if they are admitted to nato they could be a somewhat important ally to the united states in our efforts? >> yeah. i would probably refoer you to state on this in terms of the details on this. they would like to seek a means to enter nato.
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i've talked to the minister of defense about that. and i think it's a, you know, a matter foremost of being able to establish the ability to meet the map or the succession principles within nato you have that and being confident in showing that there's a confident means to do that. >> i appreciate that. my next question, as you know, the nonlieu gear reduction threat program has been in the world for 25 years. as part of your overall security cooperation efforts ctc h-- ctr has been fundamental. recent efforts in moldova and ukraine highlight the threats that nations face. can you comment on ctr and any
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ctr efforts that have been effective or he as congress might change program that's now 25 years old to confront the threats we face in the future. >> i would like to take that for a to take that for a response as well, to get into detail. we address this and we work within nato or within ucom with nato, with our partners, to counter proliferation and transnational threats. that cell i noted before, the transnational threat cell, has that as one of its fundamental tasks. i think we are having effect. i think it is positive. but i think today more so than ever, we probably need to be more focused on this because we have nonstate actors today that now have the funding and capability to attain some of these weapons systems, whereas before it was fundamentally a nation state capability that was passing those. so terrorists, violent extremist
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organizations. so it's important we maintain this focus and work again, you know, with our partners and as an alliance to do this. >> my last question, in your written testimony, you talked about the growing maritime threat in your aor. i wonder if you could maybe comment more extensively about that with a resurgent russia, maybe comment specifically related to the anti-submarine capabilities under your review. >> yes, if you want a detail on that, i prefer to do that in a classified document as well. just generally, the activity level of their maritime forces is up in europe. they're active now, coming out of the high northern and the northern fleet, into the mediterranean, for instance. that has not been -- while not alarming, it's not necessarily something they couldn't do. it's just not something they've normally done in, say, recent history. they're deploying more, and they're deploying at a higher
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rate. the forces that they're deploying are being modernized, primarily with weapons systems. so you know, most of their ships now, you know, have a caliber system on them. it is both conventional and can be nuclear if they choose to do so. it's a very good system, provides reach and precision. of course, wherever they have a ship, whether it's under sea or on the surface, many of their ships now have the caliber system on them. >> appreciate that. thanks for your leadership. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you very much for holding the line for us in europe. appreciate your service. i served under general jim mattis, current secretary of defense, and our division motto at the time was no better friend, no worse enemy. i found it was the first half of that, that was sometimes harder to maintain.
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people understood the marines were a tough enemy but weren't always sure they could trust us. how do you make our eastern european allies trust us in the fight against russia when we're not really willing to stand up to russia right here at home. this is a consistent theme i've heard as i've traveled around the globe. a lot of our allies right now are not sure whether they can trust america. give us a window into how you fight this fight on the day to day in europe. >> first of all, i'll tell you, i don't see that issue particularly in the east within nato, in terms of any distrust. the first way i do it is look at what we're doing. we're rotating -- >> so you don't think when the president comes out against nato and says maybe we shouldn't be a part of nato, that doesn't contribute -- >> the president has stated support for article 5 and full support for nato. in this time, we've deployed a lot of force in this past year
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to europe on behalf of nato. so what i'm trying to say is what i point to is what are we doing. edi, which congress has budgeted, for instance, is a substantial investment, and our allies recognize that. >> general, let's talk about for a second. the edi -- and i've witnessed this in eastern europe myself -- seems to be very heavily focused on conventional forces, which is not the way that russia's attacking us. russia is attacking our eastern european allies through the internet, through partisans, but undermining their political process, by sowing disinformation, as you earlier described. it doesn't seem like our effort is calibrated to really meet that threat at all. it certainly wasn't when i visited there in 2015. i know that we on the committee have tried to make some modifications. i'm not sure we've gone far enough. what could we do to improve our
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ability to stand up to the type of warfare that russia is actually exercising today? >> first of all, sir, i'd say we need to have all of that. so we do need that conventional capability in place as a deterrent. it's an absolute signal to them of our commitment to article 5 and our commitment to nato and partners. many of the things we are doing is what we need to continue to do. we're providing those nations, particularly in the east, with direct military information support coupled with our embassies working with them as well. the nations themselves work with us closely in terms of their public affairs messages, et cetera. that's all a part of this. edi does fund some of the information operations that i do in ucom as well. >> what parsage of the budget for edi goes to those types of activities? >> a very small part of that. i can give it to you if i sit down and figure it out, but it's a small part of that.
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i would first say, though, that information operations is not that expensive. >> what percentage of the attacks that you see whether they be hybrid type attacks, the disinformation campaigns, the attacks from russia, what percentage are these hybrid type attacks versus conventional attacks? >> in terms of attacks within nato, most of this activity is below the level of conflict. >> pretty much all, right? they're not rolling any tanks into eastern europe. >> well, no. but they did annex, you know, portions of the ukraine, for instance, and georgia in 2008. but you're correct. today's activity is purposely below the level of conflict. >> are there other things we should be doing on the committee to better meet this threat? it sounds to me like we could better apportion the budget. are there other things we should reinforce or ways we could give more confidence to our allies that we will help them stand up
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to this serious threat? >> well, you know, i would applaud members of congress for their trips to europe, for instance, and to see our allies, like the one you took in 2015. those visits and open discussion with them is very important. it's a direct demonstration of the united states' interest in their security. so i would encourage those as well. secondly, continue to do what you're doing today. that is to have a good assessment of our security needs. what should be funded and how you fund them. this budget has been very important to enabling me to do what i do with our allies and the security of the euro-atlantic. you need to continue that. towards the budgeting, i would say this. again, information operations is not overly expensive when compared to, for instance, conventional force structure, rotational forces, et cetera.
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and from my part, my request through edi is structured in what i believe we most need for deterrence today. so i take into account, at least my portion of this, as i put it forward to d.o.d., the percentages of what's required and best used for a coherent defense. i take that deliberately as i present this, my portion of that budget to the department of defense. >> thank you, general. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> general, thank you very much for yesterday's discussion as well as today's. my apologies for not being here. there's another general at the army corps of engineers to whom i had to give some attention this morning. the edi fund, should that be part of the base or continue to be -- >> i've said i think eventually it should go to the base.
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in order to get us into the base as a fundamental part of our security. and as i stated earlier, i would just like to ensure it's protected. congress has set this aside as edi specifically for specific objectives to be attained. as we go into the budget, to protect that clarity. >> so either way, you need edi specifically for the work you're doing in eastern europe. >> we do, absolutely. i need it because i don't have the force posture i need, that i believe i need. it's going to take edi to build that or that funding within the budget to do so. >> i just want to make it clear, we're going to be dealing with this in the next couple months, and we talked about it a little yesterday. it seems to me that we want to keep it separate, at least that word you used, eventually, and i'll just let that hang out there. at least for the near term, i would think we need edi separate and available to carry out,
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which incidentally in a tour of the eastern european countries in the summer, you and your troops are doing an extraordinary job. the heel to toe makes a lot of sense, i think, in the near term, as you've said in your testimony. a cup of othouple of other thin. lng, which was mentioned. gas is a tool used by russia for economic/political purposes. we are exporting gas here in the united states. it seems to me something we ought to consider is the strategic tool to deter russia. and it would be in our interest to subsidize natural gas, lng, to europe as a way of deterring russia and pushing back in the most meaningful of ways, that is their economy. i suspect we ought to do a little economic equation here and see what it would cost to provide lng to europe at a cost
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similar to what russia is providing gas. could give us significant leverage. with one final question, do you need a new low-yield nuclear weapon to deter russia? >> sir, in regards to nuclear pasture review, the supplemental weapons systems part of that are required. what it does is ensures that we can be confident in response across any scenario that might be -- that might be projected. so i do believe we need those systems. >> thank you. i'll yield back. thank you very much. >> general, you've answered lots of questions about hybrid information, political warfare. part of the reason is i think we all are challenged by thinking of warfare in nontraditional
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ways, and the role of the military and doing that. you've answered a number of questions about edi, and i think that conversation is very interesting. i just want to ask, to the last question on nuclear deterrent, can you step back from particular weapon systems and talk more generally about the value of having a credible nuclear deterrent with an adversary who openly talks about using nuclear to counter conventional, about escalating to de-escalate, in a region where a lot of allies depend on our nuclear deterrent for their security. one of my concerns is most -- many of us thought that we didn't have to worry about that stuff anymore. a lot of not only the weapons and delivery systems, but the
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thinking atrophied after the fall of the soviet union. we have to pay more attention to it now. so can you just, in a broader sense, talk about the role that a credible nuclear deterrent plays in what you're trying to do every day. >> well, if i could, i'll just focus on -- you know, as you step back and look at a credible deterrent and the importance of having one, a credible deterrent that they understand is responsive across the spectrum. when you look at escalation management, you talked about, you know, the russian comment that they'll escalate the de-escalator, escalate to dominate. it's a cognitive exercise. it's an influence on the decision maker on putin on the other side. a credible nuclear capacity, a credible one, and our will to use it if necessary for the
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extreme case. known by the adversary is paramount here. and then across the spectrum. i think their escalate to de-escalate comments were centered on a capability at a low end to perhaps gain leverage. what we're saying through the mpr is you won't have that leverage. we're going to drive this back to a higher threshold. and he can be confident in that as we enter -- if we would enter any kind of an escalation at all. so that's why it's important. >> well, i'll just say for my standpoint, we talked yesterday, i guess, about deterrence when it comes to space. we talk about deterrence when it comes to cyber. one of the challenges, i think, for all of us is to reinvigorate our deterrence, thinking, and intellectual preparation.
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as you said, deterrence is in the mind of the adversary. whatever domain we're talking about, and i think we've got some making up to do maybe there. unless you have something else. >> i'm good. >> thank you, sir, for answering our questions, and the hearing stands adjourned. >> thank you, chairman.
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>> if you don't push back on something, you're going to get more of it, and they have a history of these targeted assassinations. i think it's part of that contin continuum where they're trying to undermine democracy and intimidate people who go against them. it's disturbing. the civilized world has to stand up against that. and i'll give the administration credit. i understand that today they did announce implementation of sanctions against some of those. so that is a way to push back. >> mr. chairman, what's your current thinking on stationing permanent forces over in europe? i know the commander talked about how we would like some
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permanent forces over there. what's your thought? >> well, we have had conversations with the general about this. ov i think the key is we want to convey to our european allies that we're here to stay. i think we are there to stay. that does not necessarily mean that you have to move whole families over there. but there are different ways to convey that. he has some specific kinds of capability he would like there permanently. then maybe have a -- what we would think of as a permanent place, a base, around which units rotate in and out. i think there's various ways to accomplish that goal. but again, the point is to convey not only to our allies but the russians, we're here to stay. >> what about this question a lot of members asked, moving edi? >> i thought that was interesting because we did that last year, just to do this, to
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convey that this is not a temporary thing that we're going to continue to support this effort to defend nato. and i think the general's concern is, okay, you just make it part of the base. how do you protect it from being eaten up with other priorities. i thought that was interesting. it's a deeper level of thought about this. we'll continue to talk with him and think about that because what we don't want to do is move it and then have it erode away because that undermines the whole purpose of moving it. >> that's true. makes sense. >> can i ask you about space force, space corps, whatever you'd like to call it. obviously president trump seeming to back the idea kind of shifts the debate. i don't know whether you saw the air force secretary's testimony yesterday. >> i didn't, but i saw something about what they said. >> they appeared to be a little more open to the idea. i'm wondering if the president seems to be behind it if you think the pentagon might be open to the idea. >> well, maybe, but we made a
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lot of changes in last year's bill when it comes to space. i think what everybody's going to be watching for is how well the air force moves out to implement wholeheartedly what we did last year. if they are reluctant for whatever reason to do that, then that will add fuel to the argument that they can't deal with space, that they are too culturally dominated by air. so i think a lot of people are watching this implementation, at the same time talking about, okay, what makes sense for the future. but we have real issues in space right now. so they have an opportunity to reassure people that they can handle it and are willing to. >> thank you so much.
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today, a house armed services subcommittee will hold a hearing on the pentagon's national security strategy in space. live coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. eastern right here on c-span3. this weekend on the c-span networks, saturday at 9:00 a.m. eastern, american history tv on c-span3 with day-long live coverage from ford's theater in washington, d.c. for the annual abraham lincoln symposium with an anna hollaway, william harris, author of "lincoln and congress," michael burlinggame,
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stanley harrold, and walter stahr, author of "stanton:lincoln's war secretary." sunday at 1:00 p.m. eastern, book-tv on c-span2 is live from the new museum of the bible in washington, d.c. discussing the bible's influence on literature and its impact on government, legal systems, education, and human rights with the museum's director. we'll also take your calls during the program. watch this weekend on the c-span networks. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c., and around the

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