tv National Security Threats CSPAN January 31, 2015 3:05pm-6:21pm EST
regime and question assumptions regarding the security situation in europe. in iraq and syria, isis has established a safe haven and training ground in the middle east that it is using to disable the region and threaten core national security interests of the united states and our allies. the regime in tehran seeks to use negotiation to achieve sanctions relief well providing a permanent and verifiable end to its nuclear weapons program. iran continues to oppress its own people, threaten key allies like israel, and support terrorist groups like hezbollah. across the middle east and into north africa, emboldened al qaeda affiliates brought attacks against the united eights and our allies.
al qaeda in the arabian peninsula uses the horrible security situation in ye united eights and ourmen. a country the president cited as a counterterrorism success story, to carry out attacks throughout the world. in the asian pacific, china is using historic economic growth to build middle -- military power. it is bullying its neighbors and testing internationalin laws that are essential to the united states. our partners international security and prosperity in that region. while each of these threats and challenges are unique, there is a consistent and concerning cap -- gap between security and the strategies visit ministration is pursuing. with defense sequestration set to return next year and threats
growing, there is an increasing gap between military capabilities and the capabilities we will need to address these threats. the key question for this panel and for all of us remains, what is the best path forward to address these national security challenges? few in our country have as much national security wisdom and real-world experience as the members of this panel. between the three of you, you have more than 115 years of experience. much of it at the most senior levels of our military. we look forward to hearing your best advice on how the federal government can fulfill its most important responsibility to the american people. that is protecting the security of the united states of america. thank you very much. i would like to turn it over to senator reid. >> thank you very much. let me join you in welcoming our witnesses.
extraordinary individuals who have served the nation with great distinction and courage. never broke faith with the men and women they let, the highest tribute anyone can make to a soldier. thank you. let me also thank chairman mccain for putting together this series of hearings. these discussions will help us inform our consideration of the administration's budget requests in a few days. last week, two of the most prestigious thinkers discussed a number of issues with the committee. among these was the need to give negotiation on iran's nuclear program significant time to reach conclusion. they have urged the body not to
press forward with additional sanctions. this matter is being discussed with the senate banking committee. i have to leave here and go there. i am a senior member of that committee also. my colleagues will be taking up the slack, particularly senator king. i want to thank him. i will return to ask questions of the panels. much of last week's discussions revolved around the ministration's strategy in iraq and syria and the threat posed by the so-called islamic state. dr. burzynski stressed that efforts to take on isis will take both military and political elements. we also received testimony from the department of defense. this is just one aspect of the ministration's approach to the threat in iraq and syria, which is built upon an international coalition, including regional and arab and muslim states using economic tools to go after isis
financing. coalition, includingand strikes against leadership and facilities. this morning's hearing provides an opportunity to examine the military aspects of our strategy for addressing the isil threat. all of you have been outspoken in your recommendations of that strategy. some of the aspects are reflected in the actions of the administration has taken. coalition aircraft have flown over iraq and syria. 586 involved kinetic strikes. president obama has authorized the deployment of 3000 military personnel to assist security forces. at the administration's request, the fiscal year 2015 act included $5.6 billion in operations funding for dod activities in iraq and syria. also in testimony last week,
they cited the need to work with international partners and address the si -- isil threat. i hope our witnesses can bring their perspective to the strategy both in syria and iraq and the region. i think it is appropriate to focus on not only military aspects, but political and diplomatic initiatives as well. i want to thank the witnesses, particularly admiral fallon. thank you for your efforts. with that, thank you.
>> thank you, senator reid. i would like to begin with general mattis. he served 42 years in the marine corps, including time as commander of central command. thank you for being here. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. member read, distant which members of the committee. i have some it is a statement for the record. during active duty, i testified many times before this committee and gained the highest regard for the manner in which you carried out your duties through good times and bad. i remain grateful for the support you have provided our military. i commend the committee for holding these hearings. as former secretary of state george schultz has commented the world is awash in change. the greatest generation, coming home from mankind's bloodiest conflict, international order is under increasing stress.
it was created with elements we take for granted. united nations, nato, marshall plan, and more. it reflected the wisdom of those world war ii veterans who recognized no nation lived as an island. and we needed new ways to deal with challenges that, for better or worse, impact all nations. like it or not, we are part of this larger world and bus carry out our part. we cannot wait for problems to arrive here or it will be toco the. -- too late. the system is not self sustaining. it believes england and america standing for each of the freedoms we have enjoyed. the hearing today addresses the need for america to adapt to changing circumstances, to come out from our reactive crouch and take a firm strategic stance in defense of our values.
while we recognize that we oh future generations the same freedoms we enjoy, the challenge lies in how to carry out the responsibility. america needs a refreshed national strategy. the congress can play a key role in crafting a coherent strategy with bipartisan support. doing so requires us to look beyond the current -- events currently consuming the executivethe congress can play a branch. there is an urgent need to stop reacting to each vexing issue in isolation. such response creates unexpected effects and more problems. the senate armed services committee is uniquely placed in our system of government to guide, oversee, and ensure that we act strategically and morally , using america's in delivery -- ability to inspire to ensure freedom for future generations. i suggest the best way to get to the essence of these issues and to helping crafting america's response to a rapidly changing
security environment is simply to ask the right questions. if i were in your shoes, these are some of the russians i would ask -- questions i would ask. the committee should provide a -- you will enable a more focused use of resources allocated or national defense. is our intelligence community fit for its expanding purpose? today, we have less military shock absorbers in our smaller military. less ability to take surprise in stride. you are deployed forces overseas to act as sentinels. accordingly, we need early warning. working with the intel community
, we should question if we are adequately funding intel agencies to reduce the chance of our agencies being caught flat-footed. you know that the foreseeable future is not foreseeable. in your assessments, you should consider what we must do if the national debt is assessed to be the biggest security threat we face. as eisenhower noted, the basis of military strength is economic strength. in a few short years, we will be paying interest on debt. it will be a bigger bill and will be paid for defense. much of the interest money is destined to leave america for overseas. if we refuse to reduce our debt or pay down our deficit, what is the impact on national security for future generations who will inherit this irresponsible debt? no nation in history has maintained its military power if it failed to keep its fiscal house in order. how do you urgently halt damage caused by sequestration? no foe can wreak such having as
mindless sequestration is achieving today. congress passed it because it was so injurious that it would force why choices. we use arithmetic rather than sound thinking to run our government, despite emerging enemy threats. this committee must lead the effort to repeal sequestration that is costing military readiness and long-term capability while sapping our troops' morale. no strategy can be implement it by military leaders. in our approach to the world, we must be willing to ask strategic questions. in the middle east, where influence is at its lowest point, we see a region directing in crisis. we need a new security
architecture for the middle east , built on sound policy, one that permits us to take our own side in this fight. crafting such a policy starts with asking a fundamental question. the fundamental question is, is political islam in our best interest? and how to we support countervailing forces? violent jihadist terrorists cannot take refuge behind religious garb. we have many potential allies around the world, and in the middle east, who will rally to us. but we have not been clear about where we stand in defining or dealing with the growing violent jihadist threat. iran is a special case that must beat up with. -- dealt with. it is a threat to regional stability, nuclear and otherwise. i believe you should question the value of congress adding new sections well -- sanctions while the gates -- negotiations are ongoing. further question now, if we have the right policies in place.
when iran creates more mischief in lebanon and elsewhere in the region. recognizing that regional counterweight like egypt, saudi arabia, the arab emirates, and the rest of the council can reinforce us if they understand our policy. in afghanistan, we need to consider asking for the same outcome as we saw last summer in iraq. should we pull out all our troops on the administration's proposed timeline. echoing the same military advice given on the same issue about iraq, we pull the troops out the gains achieved at great cost against our enemy in afghanistan are reversible. we should recognize that we may not want this fight, but the barbarity of an enemy that kills women and children and has
refused to break with al qaeda needs to be fought. more broadly is the u.s. military being developed across the spectrum of congress -- combat? knowing enemies will move against perceived weakness, we must be ready for counterinsurgency and everything in between, including cyber domain. while surprises a factor, this committee can in short. while we do not need in oteri that is dominant and irrelevant, we must deny funding for bases or capabilities no longer needed. the nuclear stockpile must be tended to and fundamental questions must the past and answer. we must clearly establish the role of nuclear weapons? do they deter nuclear war? if so, we should say so. resulting clarity will determine the number we need.
i think you should ask if it is time to reduce the triad to a diad. removing land-based missiles. this would reduce false alarm danger. good we re-energize the arms control effort by only counting warheads? was the russian test violating the imf treaty a blunder on their part or a change in policy? what is our appropriate response? the reduced size of our military drives a need to ask questions. our military is uniquely capable and the envy of the world. are we giving it the resources to ensure we have the best equipment and toughness training? with a smaller military comes the need for troops kept at the top of their game. when we next for them in harms way, it must be the enemies longest day and worst day. while sequestration is the nearest threat to this national treasure that is then military sustaining it will need critical
oversight. are the navy and our expeditionary forces receiving the support they need in a world where america's naval role is more pronounced because we have fewer forces overseas? with the cutbacks to the army and air force, fewer forces around the world, military aspect of our strategy will inevitably come -- become more naval in terror -- nature. we will need to take this development into account. today, i question if our shipbuilding budget is sufficient, especially in light of the situation in the south china sea. while our efforts to keep positive relations with china
are well and good, these must be paralleled by a policy to build a counterbalance if china continues to expand. we are shrinking our military. we have to then ask, are we taking into our strategy a reduced role? strategy connects ways and means and we must reduce our appetite for using it. prioritization is needed if we are to remain capable for the most critical mission, to fight on short notice and defend the country.
we have to ask that our strategy , as senator reid pointed out, take into account our increased need for allies. the need for stronger alliances comes sharply into focus as we shape the military. history reminds us that countries with allies generally defeat those without. as churchill intimated, the only thing harder than fighting with allies is fighting without them. this committee should track closely with increased military capability to work with allies. we must ask if the nato alliance efforts have adjusted to the unfortunate. with regard to tightening the bond, and those other militaries
we may need at our side, the convoluted and military sales system needs your challenge. hopefully it can be put in order before we drive more potential partners who equip themselves with foreign equipment and make it harder to achieve interoperability with our allies. when the system fails to reach its potential. as we attempt to restore stability, the critical question will be, is america good for its word? when you make clear and give our word about something -- >> when the decision is made to employ our forces in combat, the committee should still ask, is the military being employed with the proper authority.
for example, are the political execs -- objectives clearly defined area murky political states condemn us to enter wars we do not know how to end a. -- and no -- end. such announcements do not take the place of a mature, well-defined and state. you should ask, is a theater of war itself effective for prosecution. if the defined theater is insufficient, the plan itself needs to be challenged. the authority for detaining prisoners of war, is it appropriate or the enemy we are fighting? we have observed a disturbing lack of d10 a policy and we
should not engage intro another fight without resolving this issue up front, creating hostile forces. we have to ask, are america's economic and diplomatic goals aligned with the war aid? when we take the serious decision to fight, we must bring to bear all of our nations resources and you should question how the diplomatic and development efforts will be deployed to victory and our nation astro strategy demands that approach -- our nation 's strategy to man's that approach. no matter how laudable our countries instincts, they need to consider carefully any proposed changes to military rules, traditions and standards. there is a great difference
between military service and dangerous circumstances and serving intro a combat unit whose role is to kill the enemy at close quarters. this committee has a responsibility for imposing reason over impulse. ultimately, we need the foresight of this committee in a oversight role to draw us out of our reactive stance and charter a strategic way ahead. our national security strategy needs your bipartisan direction. mixing capable people with good ideas and bad processes results in the bad processes to feeding good ideas nine times out of 10. this is an tro urgent matter
because intro interconnected age, democracies work into band of to destroy stability and our country needs to regain strategic footing. we need to improve our efforts before he lose the confidence of the american people and allies. >> thank you general mattiswe need to improve our, next i would like to introduce general keane. he is a vietnam combat veteran and one of the architects of this successful surge intro iraq and the current chairman for the institute of war. >> madam chairman and senator reid, members of the disinterest committee, thank you for enjoying -- inviting me to testify. it is always a privilege to be with this committee, that has been 15 years and tro association for me. and the reputation of tackling
tough issues as always been appreciated. i wanted to be here with general mattis and admiral fell in. i don't know what the criteria for panel selection was but obviously we have someone in common. we are all getting older and have four stars retired. the thing we also have in common is we are very direct very straightforward and sure as hell opinionated. theso you will not get someone who is nuanced,, you will not get that from us three. i put some extra in their because congratulations to the new members of the kitty, there -- committee, there is background information that may feel useful and i appreciate senator mccain giving us extra time on such a complex subject.
the united states is confronting emergency security challenges not seen since the rise of the soviet union to superpower status. with radek islam morphing into a global jihad, iran seeking hegemony and revisionist powers of russia and china capable of employing various degrees of sophistication, disruptive members of war and things that will test the methods of sustaining powers abroad. the united states will have to confront these challenges without its long-standing decided advantage in the scale of resources is able to devote to the competition. the budget control act is not only irresponsible, it is downright reckless. let me refer the outline the major security challenges and
what we can do without them. radical islam are both geological -- geopolitical movements. radical islam is the major security challenge of our generation. today's discussion consists of three distinct movements who share a radical ideology. they use terror objectives to achieve things but -- i provided a map that you can use and there are also some display maps that you can use that you may be challenged in seeing. intro 1980, iran declared the united states as a strategic enemy and the goal was to jive -- drive the united states out of the region.
it uses proxies as the number one state sponsoring terrorism. for 36 years, iran has used these proxies to attack the united states. today the results is iran has direct influence over beirut lebanon, damascus, syria baghdad, iraq and now yemen. is there any doubt that iran is on the march and systematically moving toward their regional objective? iran has been on a twenty-year journey to acquire nuclear weapons because they know it guarantees preservation of the regime and makes them the
dominant power in the region and capable of expanding their control and tro influence. add to this their ballistic missile delivery system. as the increased missile range is eventually a threat to united states. a nuclear arms race is on the horizon for the middle east. the al qaeda sunni-based movement, declared war on the united states in the early 90's. and they would dominate all muslim lands. that is the most ambitious radical islam movement to eventuallyand they would achieve world emanation. al qaeda and its affiliates exceed iran and are beginning to dominate multiple countries. al qaeda has grown four fold in the last five years. third the islamic state is an outgrowth of al qaeda and iraq which was defeated intro 2009. after the u.s. troops pulled out intro 2011, isis reemerged as a
terror organization and moved into syria and began seizing towns and villages from the syria-iraq war all the way to western syria. after many tourist attacks and assassinations, to set the conditions for follow-on operations, they launched a conventional attack back into i rock, with the seizure of falluja. is it possible launched a conventional attack back to look at that map in front of you and claim the united states policy and strategy is working or that al qaeda is on the run. it is unmistakable that our policies have failed.
and the only explanation is that u.s. policy has disengaged from focusing on the military -- middle east. u.s. policymakers choose to ignore the harsh realities of radical islam. intro my view, we became paralyzed by the fear of adverse consequences in the middle east. moreover, as we sit here this morning, u.s. holocene makers refuse to accurately name the movement as radical islam. we further choose not to define it nor explain this ideology and most critical we have no comprehensive strategy to stop it or defeated. we are choose not to define reduced to a piecemeal effort using drones intro yemen and pakistan, a vital tactic but not a strategy area -- strategy. our partnering program with other nations is fragmented with no overall strategy. this approach almost certainly guarantees we will be implementing an engagement with
no end insight. what can we do? it requires a broad, long-term comprehensive, strategic approach. world leaders understood how long-term, formidable communist ideology and the soviet threat was to the world order and formed political and military alliances. forming similar alliances today offers the opportunity by member nations to discuss and set goals for necessary political and social reform and to share intelligence technology, equipment and training. the alliance is mostly about orting countries in the region to make internal changes and to assist comprehensively. we should rely on some of the
leaders in and outside to enforce the alliance. this is not about major military intervention, it is about assisting alliance members who trained their counterterrorism horse and their conventional counterinsurgency and conducting counterterrorism operations as required, while killing and capturing terrorists is key, so is the strategy to organize an alliance wide effort. on iraq and syria, the isis advance has stalled intro iraq. with modest gains. a successful counteroffensive to retake mozul and anbar provinces are a very real challenge. no one knows how the sunni
tribes and shia militia will perform. the united states should plan now to have u.s. soldiers accompanying troops. direct action and special operation forces should assist by targeting isis leaders. u.s. and coalition combat the gates should be designated for employment and move to kuwait to be ready for employment if the counteroffensive stalls or is defeated. the alternative? we wait a couple years and try again. the syria policy is a failure. isis is continuing to advance and taking new territory.
you can see that on the other map and even approaching damascus and attacking south damascus. the plans for training and assisting is not robust enough. attacking south i know you received a classified briefing so you know more than i. and committing to bomb faster than new members are trained makes no sense. the united states should work with jordan and turkey to establish a no-fly zone and a buffer zone to protect refugees. the long-term goal for any alliance that is formed should be the regime change or at least a collapse of the existing government framework similar to the collapse of the soviet union.
i'm ron oestreich -- iran's stated objective -- i run -- iran cannot be permitted to college its nuclear objective. congress should do two things in reference to i ron -- iran. they should legislate ratification of any deal by the senate. the political situation intro afghanistan -- in afghanistan has improved considerably but the security situation remains at risk while the security situation in the south is relatively stable, the situation to the east is not. haqqani network has not been rooted out of of their support zones and safe areas.
this is a serious problem. it follows that the a msf -- amsf needs funding support to conduct counterterrorism and to advise, train and assist beyond 2016. we also need to target the network in the sanctuary in pakistan in the vicinity of five top. -- fahtah. all that we've accomplished in afghanistan will be at risk if the troops have pulled out. how can we not learn the obvious and painful lesson from iraq. the security challenges posed by vision -- visionary nation -- in europe, the campaign against the georgia in 99 was not an aberration.
by seizing the crimea answer orting trumped up rebel forces and engaging in military deployments that threaten the baltic neighbors, moscow has made it clear that it does the accept the political map of post cold war europe. i believe that we need to realistically conclude that moscow is willing to challenge the existence of nato. what can be done? given the dramatic drop in oil prices, conclude that moscow is willing to challenge the russia is suffering economically and is likely headed toward a recession. it is a disgrace that once again we have refused to help people being oppressed when all they ask for are the weapons to fight. we should robustly arm and assist campaigns.
the nato military presence in central europe -- from central europe, should be significantly shifted to the baltics and eastern europe with plans for a permanent basis. a clear signal must be sent to moscow. these actions will strengthen our diplomatic efforts have failed. china's continued economic growth has continued a buildup that is beginning to shift. as regime has been emboldened,
especially expanding his territorial claims which includes not only taiwan but most of the south china sea islands. china has embarked on a strategy at the expense u.s. interest and decades of partnership with allied countries within the region. what can be done? develop a regional strategy, recognize that chinese military strategy to defeat u.s. information networks which they believe a loan made momentarily -- they are exploding decision to strike capabilities, threaten and ground the naval forces and air and seaport demarcations. the united states no longer enjoys the command a position in the pacific -- pacific strike regime. we should pass a u.s. military defense to recognize the chinese threat and recognize that a
change is likely. lastly, sequestration. it must be repealed and reasonable services restored to meet the emergency challenges. in conclusion, given the emergent security challenges and limited resources, the need for a well-crafted regional defense strategy, more so now than a time i believe since homework to. this is not what we do. what we do is a cute vr, every four years, largely driven by process and far too focused on the budget. >> admiral fallon, inc. thank you for being here admiral fallon is a vietnam veteran who served 40 years in
the navy including as commander of u.s. central command. >> madam chairwoman and senator reid, members of the committee thank you first of all for your essential and enduring some more. thank you for the opportunity to address this distinguished body and also for my perspectives on the current threat, american foreign policy and national defense topics. there are certainly many area's of concern around the world will see those highlighted regular -- regularly by the media. first of all, i believe that a coherent national security strategy requires a long-term focus.
we should resist reactive responses and attempts to find near-term fixes which will pop up issues. you're one to write continuously and compete for attention with what we concern the highest priority national interests. considering the world today, i think we should focus on where we want to be in the future. with more people around the world enjoying a better life in conditions in their choosing with responsible elected leaders providing good government and respect for human dignity. this scenario is not going to happen without lots of hard work, informed and guided by an effective strategy. the united states government has and will provide -- political, economic and military security assistance.
the fundamental prerequisite for any u.s. national security strategy is a strong and proud domestic foundation. our credibility is ace on the actions of our actions and how people see we might act in current situation hard not to wonder if other people in the world take us seriously. seemingly, ever-changing policies and 40's. a military capability is an essential element of power and one of the metis tools and certainly moral leadership about if, when and where to our military services. we also faced some tough choices on what to do.
we can't have everything, some people would propose an endless list of things that we did never of ward. we have to make choices as we contemplate the u.s. ability or responsibility in world security. the reality is nuclear weapons and that bracing or them is continuing to -- the counter proliferation progress, fueled in large, russian operation appears to have ground to a halt in the wake of bad behavior. viewers strategy in dealing with the potential use of these weapons has been halt in the heretofore successful with our national turgid force. the critical components have been aging without significant upgrades. monetization and the survivability of the free-based
or it should be a responsibility for us to remain credible. in my view one of my most important -- most important strategic a interests is the stability of the vast asia-pacific region and our long-term relationship with china. mutually beneficial in many respects, it has other dimensions notably in the area of cyber security, military expansion and reasonable disputes with neighboring countries which need to be addressed. a key focal point is conflict in the middle east and the threat and spread of violent extremism. the middle east scenario is height for us, for obvious reasons. next year, the backs rows to improve stability, but i think we should continue to engage in this region.
with the editors saying that we are not likely to be successful by mandating u.s. solutions. sooner or later, they will have to step up and prevent the issues. we can and should accept will not rob their problems. some recommendations for addressing the current challenges in iraq and syria from my perspective include recognition that in iraq success will rest on the ability of a new government and body to convince the majority of his countrymen and women that they will get a fair shake going forward.
after this political foundation, nothing we do will be effective in the long term. second, getting islamic leaders to encounter the extremist ideology and cut funding. i would highlight the recent remarks by the egyptian leader abdullah. and third we should continue u.s. military effort, to enhance their capabilities, increase their combat effectiveness and support them with training airpower as required to defeat them and reclaim arias that were overrun. simultaneously, crushing it in rural it in rural arias -- they deny their ability to expand stain actions in iraq. collectively we have a chance to achieve our general objectives. combat and violent extremism worldwide will be a close term effort. especially in area's of intelligence sharing, u.s. military training and assistance and in summary, strategic
adherence would fit strong credible, specific dental policies. they would turn this great nation into the position of quality leadership it has earned and kept for many years. a thoughtful, focused and collaborative strategy formulation process to agree on the few high priority national security goals and objectives should set us on a there course. agreeat the international level, active engagement, underpinned with a strong forward resins by u.s. military forces whose credible capabilities are our best deterrent to credible threats worldwide. thank you very much and i am pleased to address western -- questions. >> i want to thank each of the members of this panel and i
would like to start with general keane, a question to you, about the fight we faced against radical islam, you said that you believe our policy has failed that essentially al qaeda has grown four fold in the last five years. can you help us understand what you think would be the strongest strategy in terms of defeating radical islam and can you speak to the strategy incan you help yemen? >> as you noted, radical islam is clearly on the rise. our policy of disengaging has contributed to that rise. obviously this is a very ambitious movement. given the scale of it which i tried to display on the map
which goes from northern and western africa all the way to south asia, as you look at all of that read on the map, al qaeda central does not control all of those affiliate. what they have in common, what they're connected tissue is, is that they share a common geopolitical believe driven by a religious ideology to dominate their host country governments which they are conducting insurgency at and at al qaeda central, it is a very ambitious geopolitical objective and that is to dominate muslim land initially and then world on the nation. given that and given where they
are and the swap of territories and -- swath of countries and territories they are involved in, there is no waiting that is nathan deal with a country -- a problem of this -- there is no way that the united states can deal with a problem of this scale, nor should it. we dealt with it in a wise fashion, we brought countries together who shared values and
political beliefs and formed a political and military alliance. there is no othertogether way that you can cope with this scale of a problem without bringing the countries involved, together, whether they had interests in the region or outside of the region as many do because of the export of terrorism and develop a strategy to deal with it. this isn't about the united states driving a strategy, this is about bringing countries together. much of what has to be done in the region has to do with those countries themselves, those are the conditions that exist. the issues are -- what the arabs ring was about -- arab spring was about, it was seeking political reform, social justice and economic opportunity. the radical islamic saw the arabs ring as an opportunity and it became an accelerant for them . using that as a backdrop that drives you, those issues are still there. political reform, social injustice and lack of economic opportunity. we have to bring those countries together to recognize those problems and then point out what general mattis pointed out as well, we have to share technology and share training,
we can help a lot and we have been fighting this enemy for 13 years. there is much that we can do if we take a comprehensive strategic approach as opposed to what i think is a fragmented approach now and it does not get at the long-term problem. the long-term -- you have to see the long-term solution and then have midterm objectives to a copper ship. that is the only answer that is possible.
otherwise we will just protract this thing and take these things -- what about after isis? will there be something else? you bet. if we don't take a comprehensive view. >> they knew they had no global reach. al qaeda always wanted to take jihad to europe and the united states to drive us out of the region and drive our ideas out of the region. the fact is they france -- franchised out and gave them some leaders to do it. this is a force is not only conducting an insurgency, but putting together capabilities to conduct out of region attacks in the united states and most recently in paris, france.
i think we have a big? on where we are going forward. this will have to play out in front of us. there are serious challenges in yemen, given what has taken place with the iranian and posed overthrow of the government. they are also opposed to a queue a p -- a qad, but they are automatically opposed to our interest. >> >> i would call on senator reid right now. >> thank you madam chairwoman, general mattis, you made it very clear that we have capabilities with respect to the middle east in terms of military solutions but it also has been pointed out that there is very high cost there. if we choose to use military, as
you said, if americans take ownership, this will be a very serious war. that is still your view? >> yes sir, it is. >> can you give us an idea of the scale, the idea of the forces and the top line -- i think your is very well made point which is, if we are going in to something, we have to go in with the idea that it will be difficult and costly. >> what you just quoted was something i said in response to a question, as you recall. in this case, we have to get to a very detailed level of understanding, what is the political objective we are out to accomplish. i don't know what it is now.
once we find that to a jesuit level of definition, a strict definition, at that point we allocate the means. if we orchestrate this correctly as has been pointed out by the other members of the panel, with allies, the clarity and the commitment of the united states can draw in the full commitment of others. we should not think that a tentative and halfhearted commitment on our part, saying we're willing to go in but not doing the fighting would draw full commitment from others. they are going to be willing to match us that when you live next to this terrible threat, they have to not doing the fighting would assume we are in fully or they will have to moderate their response. once we feel that level of commitment, our requirement would actually go down because others would be willing to come in and go full throated in support. it would be a serious operation. no doubt, senator.
>> thank you. general keane, do you throated agree that unless there is political cohesion in iraq, that the government recognizes and integrates the various sectarian groups that military efforts will be ineffectual? >> absolutely. i think we can be a little bit encouraged by a body. a study that just returned from baghdad meeting with officials -- abahdi is moving in the right direction. that is good news. let's be honest here. maliki's malfeasance and notorious character despite his rhetoric in iraq particularly after we pulled out of their was tragic.
the sunni tribes are key as fox pointed out. and right now while some of them are fighting against isis, most of them are not. and the harsh reality is, to get them to move, to take isis on, they will have to be convinced that there is reckoning for long-term political inclusion in this government. it is a major issue. anbar province will be largely sunni tribes with them to participate. peshmerga one not participate. sunni tribes also be needed in a counter force to retake mozul. they will be a supporting force. it is key and we have known that from the outset.
>> in effect, the politics would drive the military operations. without effective political reconciliation or signals from baghdad, our military efforts as strenuous as we may mount are not -- won't be particularly successful? >> it would be hard to visualize a scenario with a successful counteroffensive to retake the territory that has been lost without significant sunni tribe participation. >> let me switch again, to admiral fallon. thank you for making yourself available, but one of the points that was raised in the course of the testimony was the radical islam.
one of the company factors is, within radical islam, you have sunni radicals, jihadists and shia radicals and they have a mutual animosity which is even greater than their animosity toward other groups. the sunni believe the shia are apostates, etc. how do which is even greater you reconcile that in terms of our operations in the middle east, particularly in terms of iran? that complicates an already competent situation. -- complicated situation. any comments you have. >> piece of cake. we wish. the reality here is that these things are complex and there are a host of issues and interest
in every one of these conflicts pick the country, pick the region. we might consider a couple things. first of all, in these particularly vexing things that have so many aspects, we probably ought to step back and take a look at our long-term large interests. iran. iran has been a problem for us for decades. exacerbated by the fact that we had no interaction to speak up until recently for these many decades. we find their activities extremely distasteful and we basically detest many of the things they have done and continue to do.
they promote a brand of radicalism that has spread well beyond their borders and we have been at our wits end to figure out what to do. my thought is that sooner or later we will have to seriously sit down, as i think we are trying and have a dialogue. , we could, one option would be to invade that has been proposed , before, at what cost? anybody want to push that idea forward in a meaningful way? i doubt it. at some time we will have to come to grips with this. how you do that? you recognize that everybody has a dog in the fight and they all want something, and we have to decide to find what things we might except some role for them , in the region, but some things we are not going to accept. we don't want any part of the
nuclear weapons program they seem to be embarked on. but their time is being stressed right now. certainly the economic conditions. there has been apparently a pretty notable effect of sanctions working against them , and of course the people that take the brunt of this are the common folk and not the leaders. nonetheless they had a dramatic impact on that country and the price of oil is a detriment to them. frankly they have not been particularly successful of late in other places. i think that we cannot expect that we will have one solution that will solve these problem. back to first things first. let's decide what we want for the long-term. can we accept iran playing some kind of role in this region, if so how do we get from where we
are today to there? at a tactical level, allowing them to get away with instigation's and things, other places, we should not permit tactically i think we act to block those things when we can. the fact that you have sunnis and shia's at each other's throats in many places, is something we will not go in and say, sit down and stop this, we are not going to solve it, but i think we act strategically in trying to decide where we want our place to be in the region and then we work hard against those things at the tactical level that are a problem. so iraq is a real problem. to let it just go is not going to the acceptable. we will have to continue to do what we are doing to take back the territory they have lost. >> thank you. >> senator ernst. >> thank you madam chair.
gentlemen, thank you for being here today. i appreciate your service on this panel here today as well as your years of service to the united states, we are very great all for that. i do agree that we have to have a national security strategy and this is very important. what we have seen and all of you had mentioned that with sequestration, our effects globally have been diminished. we are reacting in a knee-jerk way to threats as they become visible. we don't have an over arching strategy anywhere today and i think that is a great detriment to all of the citizens here in the united states. what i would like to focus on is what what we have seen in iraq. i served in iraq from 2003 to 2004 at a low company level, we invested so much effort in that
region and we withdrew from that region before many of our military leaders believed we should withdraw. i do believe we are seeing that in afghanistan also. these are areas, especially when it comes to afghanistan, it is not talked about so much in the media. we seem to focus on one issue at a time rather than looking at threats globally. with afghanistan, we see that we have a proposed timeline for withdrawal and general keen you , stated that perhaps we won't be ready by 2016 to withdraw our troops. on saturday i was at a sendoff ceremony for the 361st medical logistics company deploying to afghanistan and their mission is to assist in the withdrawal of
troops. how long, general keen, do you believe that it will take for us, realistically, forget the timeline proposed, for the afghan national security forces to fill a role and be able to sustain and keep open those lines of communication, to maintain security within afghanistan? are we eating what is happening in iraq? >> it is a tough question. i am very empathetic regarding the american people's frustration. we have been at this thing for 13 years. in 13 years, given the united states, you would think we could resolve this on favorable terms to ourselves, that it has not happened. the facts are that policy decisions drove the 13 year war, it was policy that drove us to a war in iraq and put afghanistan
on a diet for eight years. we never got back to it until 2009 when the current resident -- president made a decision to increase forces in afghanistan. but here is the problem, when we increase those forces in afghanistan, the surge, crystal and the trans general petraeus got 25% less than they needed to do the job and as a result we were , never able to apply the surge forces in the eastern afghanistan the part of , afghanistan as we did successfully in the south. another policy decision pull those forces out after the objection of general petraeus in our judgment maturely and no application of surge forces whatsoever dealt with the haqqani network in the east. the facts are that he haqqani network is in those safe havens in the east. they are embedded in their. and the afghan national security forces, this is my judgment,
does not have the capability to be able to deal with that harsh reality. what makes this so serious? strategically inside of afghanistan and everything gets lit up in kabul and is done by haqqani network. they are in the environs right now with the supporting infrastructure surrounding kabul. the only thing we can do to change that dimension is increase the capacity of the afghan national security forces and by god we got to hold them at 352. anybody coming to you and telling you that we should put the afghan national security forces on a decline after 2016, is absolutely foolish and irresponsible. we have to hold to that line and this congress has got to fund it. probably for at least four or five more years. otherwise we don't have a chance. secondly, we have got to step up
for what two presidents have failed to do and that is deal with these sanctuaries in pakistan from which intelligence support, and training for operations inside afghanistan comes. this is afghan taliban sanctuaries in pakistan, and the haqqani network should be targeted just like al qaeda. in targeting them he will disrupt the command and control and disrupt their operations. then we begin to have a chance. secondly, we cannot pull out our counterterrorism forces of 2016. these are the guys who take down high-value targets. when we do that in iraq it was a disaster. when al qaeda began to rise as we pulled out, we could not see it and we could not hit it. if we do that in afghanistan, it
is a death knell for afghanistan. yes, 13 years is a long time to be there, but to squander those gains in the face of what we are dealing with makes no sense to me. i don't know how long we would need to keep those troops there. right now the plan is the full -- is to pull them out after 2016. we are talking likely, a number around 10,000 troops, most of them would be in the train assists, and advise roles. a small portion of them would be in combat and that is our direct action. if we educate and explain to the american people what this really is, i think they could possibly support it and i would hope the , congress would support it. what drives their departure should be conditions on the ground and our commanders assessment as well.
>> thank you. i do agree. many sacrifices have been made their and we are falling into , those same mistakes. i would rather see us fully engaged and defeat these threats rather than half step. thank you gentlemen and thank you madam chair. >> senator kaine. >> thank you madam and thank you to the witnesses for the excellent testimony, i heard a lot i agreed with and a lot i disagreed with, and that is why you are here to provoke our thinking. it seems there are two very solid points of agreement, first that we are taking a fragmented, reactive approach to global challenges now and second at the , fragmented approach may be driven or exacerbated by budgetary dysfunction and indecision here in washington. ideally we would have a strategy
and build a budget support strategy, secondarily we would allow budget to drive strategy but we have been allowing budgetary indecision to drive strategy which is by far the , worst thing to do. i think our approach is a fragmented one and i think it is exacerbated by budgetary indecision. we had a overarching national security strategy beginning with president truman deciding to support greece after world war ii. the truman doctrine explained a lot of what we did even things , like the creation of the peace corps. you might like the strategy or not but it was a unified strategy. and when the soviet union collapsed, we went case-by-case and we had a strategy again but over time that was not a big enough strategy for a nation
like us and we have devolved after 14 years of war and we're back to the case-by-case approach that is reactive which is hard for the allies and citizens to understand. it seems like, if you look at an analogy to post world war ii, it is not a bipolar competition, it is a tri-polar one. the president is visiting european nations and south american nations, they are many democracies and we are the leader. there are the authoritarian nations, with russia and china chief among them. then there are the jihadists. many are nonstate actors and that is a new challenge. the competition today is between democracies, authoritarian regimes, and nonstate jihadist. it is critical and you have raised important questions.
in tackling the jihadist threat we have each of you have an , active in battling this threat using military means but we all understand that part of the jihad is disinfecting young people and the a luer of young -- allure of young people into the jihadist element because of their lack of opportunities, what should we be doing to counter the radicalization of young people in the region are smart -- in the region? how can we assist regional actors in doing that so we can shut off the allure of foreign fighters like isil? >> senator, i think that what you have to look at is a definition of the problem that is so rigorous that some of the solutions start coming forward for example, there are two basic
brands of jihadist terrorists. one comes out of tehran, we know it as lebanese hezbollah declared were less -- war on us in 1983, bombing the embassy in beirut. and we have seen them continue to mark on unchecked i our counterterrorism efforts. as we define these, we don't give them any inadvertent support by giving them the cloak of legitimacy. then we determine if this is not in our best interest, then how do we support the countervailing forces? in speaking to his own clerics he said we got to stop doing
this and dressing up in the guise of islam. there are people out there, the united arab emirates, called little sparta because they always stuck with us through everything. there are countervailing people in the region, leaders of the region and we should be fully in support. if we don't define this threat and break it out and identify the countervailing forces and come up with a strategy that supports exactly what you're talking about, then we will continue to be spectators. >> let me ask you this. i think you all are on the same page with the other item, do you all agreed that it is a mistake to use a calendar to determine the end date of our afghanistan involvement rather than an assessment of the conditions on the ground? are you all on the same position? >> certainly that is the case.
i think we need a little clarity and definition again. we talk about withdrawal from afghanistan, from my view, we got into the same morass in iraq a few years ago. it was this idea that we are going to withdraw or not withdraw. our best interest are served not by withdrawing from many places, but for continuing engagement. what we're talking about is what i believe put in place our major , combat engagements have ceased and are not likely to be reengaged. however, we ought to be continually engaged with them in
assisting them in training and supporting them and in some areas, using special forces in areas that we have capabilities and they do not, when we see things that challenge our interests. we need to be clear about this. we ought to be in to do certain things to help this government move along. those things are not going to be successful on their own, but in taking them in concert with economic steps we may have a , chance to actually see a long-term good outcome here. everybody gets confused, we in up with something in the media where they will pick on a specific work somewhere. >> senator graham. >> thank you. i have really enjoyed this and gotten a lot out of it.
it's given me a lot to think about frankly. , i just regret -- to our media friends who are here, thank you for coming. maybe if we had tom brady, we would fill up a room, but that is the world in which we live in. talking about consequential things and we have a couple of , reporters here. this is a generational struggle. somebody will be dealing with this long after we are gone. over time, we win. they lose, right? >> if we can come up with a strategy. >> what they are selling very , few people actually want to buy. the radical islamic view of life is not embraced by most people in the religion. we just need to provide them the capacity to fight back over there so we can be protected here. does that make sense? how do you do that.
sequestration -- do you all agree that it should be if not repealed, replaced? all agree. if we do not replace sequestration, our capability to deal with the national security threat you describe is greatly diminished. is that correct? >> yes. >> the enemies are on the rise and our capabilities are going down. is that a correct assessment? would you agree that our nato allies are on a path to reduce their capability? >> yes. so we have two things going on. we have an enemy on the rise america cutting her budget and , are nato allies reducing their budgets to help us as partners. is that a formula for disaster? >> pretty close. >> ok. general mathis, you said if we cut state department funding under the 150 account foreign assistance, you will need more ammunition. do you still agree with that? >> i do, sir. we need a comprehensive approach.
>> do you agree with that? >> can i give you an example? one of my frustrations was inability to delegate enough time to engage in central asia. what i saw back in those times about a half-dozen years ago was that we had people who were looking for something other than what they had, the soviet union. they were concerned about being in the squeeze between resurgent russia and china, and we were a lifeline. we had almost no engagement because we didn't have the resources, the interests, the time to devote to things like telling people what things are really like in america. we used to have these kind of storefront shops. that has all disappeared. >> i cannot agree with you more,
but we have a very light military footprint in africa, is that correct? >> very much so. >> it's a continent very much up in the air in terms of how it will turn out. i just want the members of the committee to know that i'm the chairman of the foreign operations account. if you think sequestration is bad for the military, your to see what it does to our ability to engage the world peacefully. it absolutely destroys it, which is insane. we're on the verge of eradicating malaria. we are making great progress with aids, malaria, polio. how many marines did we have in the second battle of falluja to retake falluja? do you remember? >> it would have probably been somewhere around -- including the supporting elements, probably around 10,000. >> so we had army personnel assisting their, was that correct? >> yes.
how in the world it would go into mosul -- if the past is any indication of the future, if we had 10,000 or rings -- and i think it was about nine thousand, actually, engaged in helping the iraqi security forces liberate falluja from al qaeda and iraq, how in the world could we do this in mosul without a larger american component? can you envision that being successful without more american help? >> i don't know for sure. as i said in my remarks, we are advising -- we made a policy decision not to commit ground combat forced to do that. i basically agree with that decision. >> you said we need brigades at the ready in kuwait.
you said we needed people on the front line, is that correct? >> absolutely. >> what numbers that come out to in your mind? >> i think we can get very close to a number in train and assist and advising something close to 10,000. not the few hundred that we are currently doing. i'm talking about frontline advisors. >> i have 30 seconds left. so we have 3000 on the ground today, we need 10,000 in your opinion. i think that is correct. if we lose in most, if we take isil on and lose, that's a bad day for all of us, do you agree? don't take them on if you can't win. syria -- how many of you support a no-fly zone, a buffer zone? >> i do. >> not until we figure out what we want the end state to look like.
>> fair enough regrets i've been part of a tenure effort in iraq. >> let me just ask this simple question. one of the reasons that isil was defeated in kobani, and i want to tip my hat to our coalition forces, is that you had the kurds fighting isil on the ground. what happens if we send a free syrian army trained up into syria to fight isil and we don't neutralize a sock cost airpower -- assad's airpower? >> the facts are, he is engaging of free syrian army right now. the free syrian army today on the ground -- what is so frustrating about this, when the moderate rebels took on the aside regime back in 2010 -- do
you remember this? they had the momentum. this is what happened. the iranians jumped in with 5000 has below to assist and russian airplanes flying in with supplies every single day. the free syrian army came to us, the momentum shifted. many of you were on the dance card when they came through town here. even i was on it. what did they want? they wanted simply this. we need arms to be able to stop tank systems and antiaircraft systems, to shoot down his airplanes. we don't need your troops are your airpower. let us fight this war ourselves, we think we can win it, and we said no. we have never recovered from that decision. that decision was revisited again by the tray is connecticut, and dempsey. petraeus vetted that force as
the cia director. we have never recovered from that decision. >> but we may have missed the opportunity to work with the free syrian army. or going to have to really look at what options we have. >> the only comment i would make is that we consider here in ring our hands and bemoan the past in a lot of situations. we need to deal with the present. so for now, forget the past except for lessons learned for new strategies but we need to figure out what is going to take right now to move forward. >> syria and iraq are great platforms to it -- to attack the united states. if we keep screwing around with this and these guys get stronger any year from now they are still in place, were going to get hit. it's time to put these guys on
the run. let me tell you about the in game. america is going to get attacked if we don't do with the threat in iraq and syria. do you agree with that? >> 100%. >> thank you. >> thank you, madam chair. i want thank all of you for your extraordinary service. we are so much in your debt. america has already been attacked and now we have lost a number of our young people already to isil. tragically, in my home state. they said they are a caliphate which means they either grow or they go. in iraq, i would like to get your best idea, you are really influential in working with me there and trying to push back before. how do we coordinate with them
work with them to push isis out of iraq and syria? >> when you think about the sunnis, it's not a homogeneous organization to say the least. we have irreconcilable sunni tribes. many of them are former saddam hussein regime elements and they will continue to fight with isis. what happened before in iraq informs us of this when they push back against al qaeda in on more prosody -- province and moved into other places were sunnis live. they know they have made a bet with strange fellows there. they know it is not in their interest to support the long-term objectives of isis.
isis wants to govern the populations it controls. right now in mosul, this is what life is like. all universities and school systems are shut down. the only schools that are operating or the dross as indoctrinating radical islam is, isis police, and a medical school they are forcing students into to become doctors to take care of their wounded. second, they do not run government services very well. garbage is on the street. the people in most are not even socializing with extended family members who don't live in their immediate vicinity. life is they know it, teaming marketplaces, traffic jams, a thriving community, is gone. we know that that exists.
we know that isis and reconcilable sunnis are on a collision course. what we have to do is incentivize them more than what we're doing. one of the things -- obviously a body that is key to this secondly we need to go into and more province and we have some plans to train and arm sunni tribe. we have to be willing to be on the ground with them when they take the fight to isis. we need advisors with them. we need people to help coordinate support with them. that will incentivize them. we need to help accelerate that timetable for them. good thing we have working for us, again, to emphasize this, is isis itself. here's the problem we have. the political leadership in iraq
does not want to wait, because the pressure they have on them from the people in most and the conditions i'm describing to you are very real and they are accountable to those conditions. they want to go faster. the u.s. is pulling back and saying were not ready. the military in iraq wants to go faster because it is answering to its national leadership. we are not ready to do this yet. we are not applying enough resources to it, senator. >> are we not ready because we don't have the ability to do it, or because we do not have the plan to do what is necessary? >> mostly, i believe lessig can draft a counteroffensive plan to take back most and also to take back and more province, we know how to do that. most of this is about resources
and dealing with what most of us believe is relatively weak indigenous land on the ground. >> here is my fear, that this is a hotbed. this is where they are communicating with people in our country who attack us in syria and in iraq and with isis. if we have resources in this area, it seems to me that we either eliminate them or there's going to be a catastrophe in our own country. i would like to hear what you think about how we start to go on the move in syria as well. >> we don't let military capability. what we lack is the political will.
if we figure out who sign we are on here, and you look at what a leaky did to break trust with those tribes, i think the new prime minister only has about a 50-50 chance of restoring that trust as far as putting in a sunni minister of defense, was a great step, i think. what were going to have to decide what the interstate is and commit resources we have not committed it. >> i am out of time, but i just want to thank all of you for coming here today, for continuing to serve us, because the people of our country continue to need your help. thank you very much. >> senator sullivan. >> i also want to thank you, gentlemen, for being here today. tremendous service to our country. i think there is broad agreement certainly among the three of you and among all the panelists here on the importance of
comprehensive strategy that integrates all elements of american power. all of our resources. we have talked about economics diplomatic's, we talked about finance. certainly we are focused on military. one instrument of american power that we haven't really discussed , has not really come up in the conversation yet. maybe it's because 10 years ago it didn't exist. as an instrument of power, american energy. as you know, we are once again on the verge, if we haven't already gotten there, of being the world's energy superpower, a position that we used to occupy several decades ago.
now we are back. oil, gas, renewables, and from the perspective of dealing with long-term national security threats, whether it's iran russia, china, isis, i just want to start with two questions for you, general teen. -- general king. have critical and beneficial to think it is in dealing with these longer-term strategies that we now have this tremendous resource in america, which is energy. not only for own citizens, that we can export to our allies. do you think and undermines america's security when we undertake policies, as the current administration does on a regular basis. we undermine policies that enable us to responsibly develop our own energy resources that can benefit us as a nation and our national security. >> certainly energy independence for the united states and the
rapid growth that has taken place most recently is certainly an added measure of our national security. and i am delighted to see it. my own view of it, i'm not an energy expert, is that certainly we should do whatever we can to ensure that independence, and i'm convinced we can still protect the environment while we are doing it. but its relationship to the world is significant. you hit on it. europeans are tied like an umbilical cord to gluten in an russia because of energy independence. -- tied to putin. also, we have to be realistic. radical islam and what is taking
place in these countries laid out on this map is a fundamental, geopolitical movement. they are operating in countries where there are not democracies and where there are significant conditions providing a groundswell for this kind of activity. they would be doing that regardless of saudi or not. we got to understando that. il, which were on the way to doing, it doesn't change the harsh reality of iran's march to jill -- geopolitical control of muslim countries. >> at like to move from the strategic to the tactical. i had the honor the last 18 months of serving of serving in the marine corps forces reserves.
i was just out with some of my marines at fort lewis, washington this past weekend. they send their greetings. as you know, that mission is to deploy small forces with foreign army, other supporting arms. general mattis, this question is for you. to make progress on the ground against isil, is there any scenario you could see that would not include integrated supporting arms firepower, and are therefore enforces that can do that, or is that something that is an area that pretty much
needed to have american troops whether special forces units doing that kind of mission? >> no strange, canadians british, french, they can do that through coordination and integration, but no one has the capacity are probably the frequency of training that permits us to do it best. i would only suggest that as you look at this is the kind of forces that can work with allies, this committee, whether it be the army green berets, even to the point of looking at our army brigades today, differently than we looked at them and just conventional war fighters 10 years ago, they have capabilities to do much of this and kind of steel the spine of the allied forces that we have the political will to put them in. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much, madam
chair. i want to thank all three of you for your very substantial and provocative testimony. general keane, you describe life in mosul where schools are set up to radicalize the population, where just everyday life has changed. one wonders how long isil can so-called god or in this way. so you are indicating that we in the united states should have people on the ground, when the people in iraq finally get to the point where they want to fight isil. the question becomes been, when is that time? would you say that is perhaps a major role for our intelligence community to inform us as to when that critical point is that we need to be there to help the people fight back? i would also like to ask that question of general keane.
>> that's a very tough question, senator. the only thing i can do is just look back a little bit. we had insurgency began in iraq in the spring and summer of 2003. led by saddam hussein and his people. al qaeda fell in on that very quickly. then in 2006, two or three years later, sunni tribes who were aligned with them initially began to push back. much of it was literally driven by women, frankly, because the women were putting pressure on the tribal leaders that they did not want their children and grandchildren to live like this
for generations to come, with seven sentry taliban-ism, under the threat of what al qaeda was doing, controlling every aspect of their life. that frustration is already there. i do believe that given the fact that particularly in and bar province, this has existed before, the accelerant will be faster and not take three years. i'm going to make an assumption that our intelligence community, with the use of informants and others, are monitoring what is taking place, and we have some sense of what the conditions are , and more importantly, what the attitude and behavior are of the people themselves. let's also be honest that there is just so much those people in most will be able to do against
a well armed and well-equipped force, as isis is in most will and in suburbs. to eject them out of their will take a conventional military force to do that, supported by care power and some pretty good intelligence on where people are. the attitude and support the people will be a factor, but i don't believe it will be decisive. what will be decisive is the use of military force to defeat that military organization there. >> and the conventional military force should be the iraqi military themselves. >> very much so. the peshmerga have the will to fight in the skill.
they don't have all the weapons they need. the iraqi army -- and by the way, the iraqi army probably is in a little better shape waste on some recent reports i just got this weekend from people who returned that many of the media reports are suggesting. the best fighters in the shia militia are -- >> general, i am sorry to cut you off. >> go-ahead, i will stop. >> i have a couple questions in regard to the asia-pacific rebound, you indicated in your testimony the importance of the navy and familiarity with the asia-pacific area because of your previous position.
so the navy is intending to put 60% of our ships in the area, so for the two of you, i would like to know how this is viewed by china, and how is this resoce rce -- how is this resource placement seen by our allies and enemies. >> i think 60% of too few is probably too few. but i think that anything that we can do to ensure our allies of their economic and territorial future is not going to be under the veto of the chinese, it would not be welcome out in the pacific. >> a low hawk, senator nash -- aloha, senator. >> i think is not particularly handled well at all. just a few facts, 60% versus
50%, which is what we in the navy would say, and we are going to stick during the navy, -- stick to the navy, during the cold war, the navy leadership tried to press more of a slogan because of the vast size of the pacific and so forth. if you take just one denomination, aircraft carriers, that is one aircraft carrier based on today's fleet. by the way, that carrier is already in the pacific. so most of this is just chatter, pretty mindless, 280 ships, 10% of that is a 20, so what are we really talking about? not a whole lot. but the perceptions are all over the place. if you are chinese, you use this is a great example.
blah blah law, and you use this as a justification in some respects to push to increase their military capabilities. so i think it is overblown, the reality is it that we need to be engaged in the far east, in the asia-pacific, and given the size and the spoke -- and the scope of the place, we need to work with our long-term allies out there, the japanese, the australians, and others, and those that support us, but at the same time, we have got to work this difficult task of trying to figure out how we collaborate in ways that make
sense with the chinese for the long-term. it is a huge country, huge impact, blah blah blah, so you know we don't need to have another cold war, we don't need to have another road to conflict with these guys. we have very interesting deep relationships with them in every aspect except military with them. and i think that is where it needs to be. i think the military leadership in our country is working on this right now we need to continue this. >> thank you very much. >> senator tillis. >> thank you for your extraordinary record of service, and you made a comment that we seem to be at a low point with our middle east policy ineffectiveness over the last four decades. can you indicate anything over the last six or eight years that you think would be something positive that we have done and that we should hold on -- build on in the context of things that are not working? >> yes sir, i can, we have been in somewhat of a strategy-free environment for quite sometime within this administration.
we have policies that go on and come off and i think that if you were to look at the fact that maliki was put out of office with our full support, they're inside baghdad, i think that was a positive step, we cannot get iraq to fight this enemy when they have a prime minister who basically declared kurds and sunnis persona non grata in their own country. i think the engagement of the president going to saudi arabia as we speak is certainly a positive point. you know, i would have to think more senator, but i will take that for the record, and if i think more on that, i will get back to you, we have disappointed a lot of runs up there from tel aviv to riyadh -- a lot of friends out there from tel aviv to riyadh. >> i think radical islam is -- radical islamists and did not seize our dangerous words, why don't we use those?
>> they are all ideologies themselves that another generation had to deal with. we beat not theism with brute force -- nazism with brute force. and i think islamists can be beaten, after all, what they are running from and why they do not want the united states in the region, it is not because god just because of our guns, it is because of our ideas. >> it is democracy and
capitalism. they do not want our ideas polluting those governments that they are attempting to overthrow so that a move in a direction of those ideas. that is why i use that. we want to run from that illogical aspect of this thing. and, you have to face it and you have to explain it and you have to undermine it and you have to counter it. >> senator i think that one of the problems today with this radical jihadist stuff is that we give it credibility. i don't view this problem in the same context as i view, for example, the need to make sure that this country is a fundamentally sound in its political, economic, and other aspects going forward for our future. nor do i think it is in the same
relative merit as our long-term relationship with china. and the extent to which we hype everything that seems to happen with these characters i think is one of the reasons why they are attractive to the disenfranchised and the folks that are struggling in other countries, and the folks that see this as a chance to gain glory and go help out the crusade. so i think we would be well served to tamp this stuff down . this army, if you would, in iraq and syria, is certainly not the 82nd airborne or the first marine division by any means. it is a pickup band of jihadists that share blah blah blog, we have gone through that, they are not in the same league with our capabilities, and to the extent of which we continue to hype them is really counterproductive to what we are doing and what we should be doing.
>> there has been a lot of discussion in the middle east and some of you touched in the opening statements that we should encourage them, and what should we focus on and what should we expect if you had a crystal ball to see in the ukraine and other areas in that region if we do not act? what specific steps should we take be on what has been done to send a message? we talked about economic actions, but other actions to send the message to the russians that what they are doing is unacceptable and that we are in a better position to react to? >> well, i mentioned some of those in my remarks, and i think we have to admit to ourselves that our diplomatic efforts using sanctions as the mainstream have not dissuaded putin from what he is attempted to achieve, what i think is a
new political order in eastern europe, post-cold war. whether he is a strategic thinker or a tactical thinker or whether he is impulsive and he reacts to sort of current events, i think is beside the point. i do not think we should waste a lot of time talking about that. the fact of the matter is, he is acting, and he is taking advantage of the situation. it is a huge opportunity for him. he has also put the united states in that category, and this is advantage to himself as a result of it. we have to convince them that we are serious. that they don't really matter to us. otherwise i think he keeps coming. certainly we want to avoid a military conflict with him, and i think that there are steps that we can take to do that.
one is what was discussed before about helping with energy and removing some of the energy dependence of that europeans have on him, but secondly, listen, the threat has shifted so we have a threat in eastern europe on nato's in eastern flank. let's shift nato forces to that area, not just temporal early -- just temporarily in and out, but demonstrate to him to article five really does matter. i am absolutely convinced in his conference room, he has people sitting around the table with him saying "do we really believe that anglo america will respond with the threat that we pose in estonia?" and they are answering that question. we don't want that question on the table. we want to take that question off the table. and i think we could do that. now whether we put the
missile-defense back into where we took it out at the beginning of this and ministration, i think that needs to be re-looked. i'm not confident that is what it was to begin with. i think that needs to be re-looked in terms of where we place it. but certainly, it is a disgrace that we haven't been able to provide arms to ukrainians who want to push back and have a history of courageous military interaction to protect their own people. they are not asking for anything else, they are not asking for troops, they are not asking for air power, all they wanted were the weapons, and we stiffed them on it. it makes no sense to me whatsoever. when a message says he is on the move again in eastern ukraine, but her efforts have not worked because they don't have anything behind it. we need to put some things on
the table that will strengthen our diplomatic efforts, and we have not been doing that. >> thank you, madam chair. >> thank you very much, and let me thank all three of you for your service but more importantly, for your testimony today. i think that admiral fallon said what we are going to do today and what we do in the future. but, hindsight is 2020. -- 20/20. today we have less volunteers for the military, and we all believe that they would have some intermingling of volunteers versus the draft and that we would not have a 13 year war and we would have had better decisions and better direction if you will, because people would have demanded it.
hindsight being 20/20, i get this question asked a lot. we took out saddam hussein in iraq should we have ever entered iraq, should we have ever declared war on iraq, should we have ever gotten out? out.what we do in syria, should we take out a sod? -- should we take assad? should we double down? should we in syria? how much affect you think we will have to find people that will fight isil that will turn
and then fight assad? the turks want us to go and commit to fight him and isis. i want to open the door and see what you all go with it. let's start with admiral fallon. >> senator, i would not go back and speculate beyond the merits of how good or how bad each of those decisions were based on where we are except to say with black -- except to say look like -- except to say -- gleick's -- gleick'\>> the reason i am saying so, is because we're
close to making that same decision -- >> so i think that the lesson that i would take would to say where are we now? >> got you. >> what are the chances if we are in a different place, but i would like to go back, if i could come at your opening comic, because i think it is the most -- comment, because i think it is the most important thing for the long term as i look at our country and our ability to address national security issues and the future health of this nation, and that is the very very small percentage of this population that is in any way, shape, or form, actively engaged within the uniform services. we have had a lot of rhetoric in the past dozen years or so, but as we go forward, what i see that really concerns me is a growing gap between the few that are actually engaged in this and i get the feeling that a lot of people kind of think that it is just a job, this is their job, they are going to go and fight this thing. is that will we really want to have in this country? are we going to have better decisions when we have that
view, that we have a professional paid army that takes care of everyone and everyone else builds their own thing. i think this is a huge problem and we ignore it at our peril. thank you. >> you know, starting with the all volunteer force, i served as did jim and fox also, in the draft military, and transitioned to a volunteer force post-vietnam. as a result of that, i think by anybody's judgment that the force is the best this country has ever put together, and there is nothing quite like it any other place in the world, and i attribute that to a couple of reasons. one, the force looks like america, in its diversity, ethnicity etc., and they want to be there, and they want to accept the burden and the responsibility that comes with
it. in the draft military, we had so many there that did not want to be there. it was frustrating to deal with them. we did a lot of social rehabilitation for people. i don't believe that is what a global power is about, frankly and i think that the skills that are needed in the military today , it is a prerequisite -- and i have similar concerns, 1% are involved, but i don't think going back to revisit the draft and its consiption is the answer to that. secondly, on iraq and syria, iraq itself, i was a four star at the time, but i did not think -- i was shocked in the
first week of december of 2001 that we had made a decision to go to war in iraq. just as we toppled the taliban and, i was asking why, and when, etc. i could see the need for it at some point, certainly, because of the wmd issue, but my job was to stay on top of al qaeda which was the reason we were in afghanistan and if they were , going to run into every hole we were going to follow them but after what took place here that was my motivation. in in in syria -- listen, syria is as complex a thing that we have had honor play, and you can be on any side of the issue and make reasonable cents. the only thing that concerns me about this, and i respect jim
when he says these things, but i think what we try to achieve in syria is that some form of government stays in partnership with moderate forces to help run the country. so you are looking towards a political solution. but i just know that we are on a collision course that right now in syria with isis is expanding control and dominance inside the country, at the same time, we are trying to push back on them with a ground force that is being pounded by the assad regime. and if we continue to let that happen, the free syrian army and the force that we are trying to support is going to go away, and that is the reality of it. do you do something about that? do try to make some attempts on that? with all the geopolitical things that entails? my answer is that we should try. and it is hard. i am not suggesting it is not. but like most human endeavors
it is not hopeless. >> madam chair, may i just indulge general mattis and the volunteer versus -- >> yes sir, i think this has been bad for the country, i would only add on the decision to invade a country to go into -- i don't know what our policy is on syria, i don't know what the state is and what the people want to accomplish, and if people wander into a war on that, you're probably going to get lost on your way somewhere. we should never go into these countries unless there is a reasonable chance for a better outcome, and war is fundamentally unpredictable, so that means a long-term commitment with a clear and fully resourced sound strategy to get there. otherwise don't go in and look , at libya in your rearview mirror and wonder what you have done >> i don't want to leave this
with the impression that i endorse the return to conscription, i don't at all but i think we are to be seriously considering how we motivate people for service in this country, not just in the military, but on a range of things, but the way we are headed right now causes -- >> luckily, we have volunteer right now, as compared with the draft, if you will -- >> if you have a mixed service situation in this country, you would have no difficulty filling the ranks of the armed or says what people -- with people who would volunteer. >> if we had all volunteer army doing vietnam, we would still be in vietnam. >> senator king. >> thank you, madam chair. somebody asked up in maine recently what my job consisted of, and i thought for a minute and i said it is applied history with a minor in communications
and your testimony today has been ample evidence that this is really all about history. i have a lot of favorite quotes from mark twain, but my all-time favorite is that history does not always repeat itself, but usually rhymes, and that is what we're talking about here today. talking about history. would you all agree, and i don't need lengthy answers, that leaving afghanistan prematurely would be a major strategic mistake for this country? >> yes sir. >> yes. >> admiral fallon, do you agree? i'll think the american people realize the progress that has been made in afghanistan, it is fumbling the ball on the five yard line, and it is a modest additional commitment in terms of people and would maintain
those benefits, and i think general keane, you testify without that, and you say that is lost. >> one of the problems that we have it done this twice. this in that region and then all hell would break loose there, i don't think that would work in this case, even though i do agree with you that the internal contradictions inside communism and the internal jihadists thinking would rot from the inside out, just with coming us. >> where the historic era well breaks down is the piece of this and the communications and i think you mentioned seventh century, i don't know which century it is, but the danger -- the georgetown stay mr. g was containment until it imploded because it's ideas are not as good as ours. isn't that a guide for a
strategy with regard to this threat we are facing today? >> i definitely agree with a broad strategy and lyrical and military alliances we had built to deal with it. this movement has attacked us and it is crushing our interest in the region as well by physical means. that has changed the dimensions of it quite a bit. >> i think that in a globalized world today where we are perhaps one airlines it away from somebody exporting this into paris, we have to be very careful thinking we can contain this without having ramifications on our economy, on our friends. for example we may be energy independent in north america or will be very soon but the global price of oil on a globally traded commodity will be sent out to the middle east. the world economy -- it would
immediately impact from maine to california if it got the oil cut off there. the fact we are oil independent, energy independent would not change. the idea we can contain this in that region and let all hell break loose there i do not think that would work in this case even though i do agree with you that the internal contradictions inside communism and the internal contradictions inside the islamic political islamic jihadist thinking will rot them from the inside out just like with the communist. where the historic parallel breaks down is a nonstate actor piece of this and also to medications. -- also to medications. you mentioned the danger we are in now is dealing with people with seven century ethics and 21st century weapons. intelligence is one of the key elements in this battle, perhaps
more so than ever. let me conclude with a couple of questions about iran. we are engaged in this negotiation that is going to come to some kind of conclusion, we believe in the next two or three months. i do not think there is must likelihood of an additional extension. what if those negotiations fail? what are our next steps? we end up with no deal or a deal that is just not acceptable in terms of containing iran's ambitions? >> we have to ensure that that they have the ability to enrich fuel and a rigorous inspection regime that ensures we will have confidence that they are not going to engage in the deceit in their weapons program.
if it fails, we would have to re-energize and elevate the economic sanctions, perhaps even to the point of a blockade, and i think that defeat of iranian interests in that area could reverberate right back into tehran and the iranian people would come out into the streets. but the oppressive powers are strong and the alternative to the economic and some of these peripheral efforts working would probably end up being war. >> i was just in the middle east last weekend talking with people in the gulf states. in history we know that we are , dealing in some ways with an agent civil war between sunnis and shiites, but in the gulf states, they are very worried about iran's expansion even outside of the nuclear area.
we are now talking about an ancient civil war between the persians and the arabs. i don't think many people realize of it iranians are not arabs, this goes back to darius, and in some ways, you have people trying to re-create the ottoman empire and some people trying to re-create the persian empire, and here we are trying to wind our way through 2000 your old disputes. that is not really a question, but general keane, your thoughts? >> i think our behavior with iran over the years have been pretty atrocious. they bombed our marine barracks, they took down our embassy in lebanon, they took down the annex, they took down the kuwait embassy, they took down air force barracks, and a general -- one of our generals believe that
a trained hezbollah fighter use an ied exclusivelythrough a single series of - these are the things we have already accepted. it is a nonpartisan nonresponse -- bipartisan nonresponse. >> here we go into negotiations by a regime who stated an objective to dominate the region. they are beginning to do that and want a nuclear weapons to guarantee their preservation and to help in their geopolitical objectives. the beginning of these negotiations, we are permitting the uranium and thousands of thousands of centrifuges.
we are already behind. the only negotiation that should have been done is suspend the program and we will take off the sanctions. that is not where we are. i believe if it fails we go back tough, crippling economic sanctions. bring in the national security agencies. have the director there lay down , in front of them what they can do to get after them. we can sit down and have more dialogue with these guys. somehow we can work towards mutual interests in the region when the stated interest are truly regional domination and we have already given up too much to them as we speak. >> i want to thank these gentlemen. this has been one of the most
helpful hearings i have participated and since i have been here. thank you for your honest testimony. >> a cannot agree more. i appreciate all of you. i think we have a couple of second-round questions. i appreciate all of you staying here. i want to follow up on testimony you gave about our detention policy. you had said we had a lack of detention policies of that has resulted. we should not get into another fight without resolving this issue. could you help us understand what are the consequences? and terms of our national security and as i counted, we know we have confirmed at least 107 terrorists confirmed to reengage in terrorist activities
and a dish and a dish in a 77 are suspected of doing so. -- and an additional 77 hours expected of doing so. what is it impacts to us as it regards the policy? >> the implication first and foremost i believe is we go into a fight and were not even certain of ourselves of holding prisoners that we have taken into the fight. for example in 1944, we do not take the pow camps and let them get another shot at us in normandy. we cap them until the war was over. we did not start this war and if the enemy wants to fight or be a truck driver, they do not have a significant role. if you sign up with this enemy they should know we are coming after you. if the commander-in-chief sends us out there. if taken prisoner, you will be prisoner until the war is over.
this is not war fighting 301 or advanced war fighting -- this is 101. the biggest concern i have having been in the infantry for many years, if our troops find that they are taking someone prisoner a second time and they have scraped one of their buddies off the pavement and zipped him into a bag, the potential for maintaining the ethical imperative we expect of our armed forces is going to be undercut if in fact the integrity of our war effort does not take those people off the battlefield permanently if taken prisoner. in other words they will take , things into their own hands under the pressures of warfare . i think what we have to do was have a repeatable detainee policy so when we take them, we hold them and there is no confusion about their future. not among the enemies mines certainly not among our own. i would go by the geneva
convention and maintain them with red cross oversight until the war was over. >> thank you, general. i wanted to follow up. let me just say i fully agree with what you said about providing defensive arms to ukraine. i think it is a disgrace and i cannot understand why this administration has not provided these arms so they can defend themselves against russian aggression. i think we are sending the wrong message there. the other consideration is in signing the budapest memorandum, why would any nation give up its nuclear weapons when we will not provide a basic defensive arms when they are faced with aggression on their own territory? i would like you to comment on what are the implications of that as we ask other nations to give up their nuclear weapons? i don't understand why they
would do it when they see our behavior. >> i totally agree. we went back on an agreement. we went back on our word. i believe that is one of the reasons that putin is looking at nato itself and saying to himself is this still of the organization that helped force the collapse of the soviet union back in 1991 or has this organization lost its moral fiber? i think when we break agreements like that, even though ukraine was not a member of nato clearly the deal that was made was in their interest as well as the world's interest. we foreclosed on it and shame on us for doing that. i do believe it has significant implications, not just to other
countries who we believe are our friends, but because it does encourage vladimir putin. common sense does tell you that and his behavior underscores that. >> i want to follow up on the discussion of iran. looking at their behavior, i think general keane you said we are already behind on this deal in terms of what we have agreed to. so as we look at the negotiations that are going on, what does "a good deal" look like? and given the implications for our national security, i firmly believe that congress should have a say in that agreement and what is the result. but what does "a good deal" look like? finally, i don't see in any negotiations any resolution whatsoever to their missile program, their seeking icbm
capability that can hit our east coast, and also their activities as a large state sponsor of terrorism. can you help us understand what we should be looking for and what are the two other issues that i think are very important to us as well, in terms of their activity. >> well, as i've said, i decent think there is a good deal here at all. what we're argue rg about is the technology. our negotiators are trying to find that technology to extend a weapon. we have been in this problem with the iranians 15 years in the negotiations. it is always two steps forward and one step back. that's where we are. i have absolutely no confidence that if we made a deal that the
iranians will not undermine that and move fast forward to be able to develop a nuclear weapon much faster than we think. i think history is on the side of that argument, frankly. so i am not optimistic at all about this. i will give the administration credit for well intentioned motivations. i don't want to get into that, and i can't, because you would have to get into people's heads. but the fact is, we should be concerned about a bhad deal here because i believe we're on the path to it. let's be honest with ourselves. this regime's supreme leader is ven giving up on having a nuclear weapon. anyone that thinks that is incredibly delusional and naive. he is on a path to it he will achieve it. he has got in charge now not
automatic dinjad -- achmadinijad , he has someone that he feels will complete this path. the only thing that makes sense to me is this program and dismantle it and pull the sanctions. this administration will not do that. we are already past that. >> i think economic sanctions drove them to negotiation better than any other thing. it give us credibility with the international community. it also puts us in a position to define what "a good deal" is, which depose to the heart of your question. i think it gives us confidence that they will not have a break-up capability and no ability to enrich uranium.
if that cannot be achieved, we will have a bad deal. >> admiral? >> someone made the point earlier that history doesn't exactly repeat itself. during the cold war we were against a power that was diametrically opposed to the fleems we hold dear to ourselves. yet we realized we have an interest to try to ensure that we didn't get plunged into yet another conflict with staggering potential confidences of the negative. so we ended up negotiating with
the soviets. we didn't trust them. they didn't trust us. but we thought that there were some longer term higher objectives that needed to be achieved. i think we're not in a dissimilar situation here. it's not the soviet union. we shouldn't give them that credibility. but it is a problem that we just can't keep ignoring. if we come up with an agreement that the powers that be feel reasonable, then the important thing is to identify the key aspects of that. i think that's what is very important. >> thank you very much madam chairwoman. i will echo senator king's remarks. this has been extremely useful. thank you gentlemen. one of the things i -- thoughts i had listening to senator king's testimony, history sort of drives us.
in the cold war, we had an extension enemy, the soviet union. they were engaged in sponsoring national liberation movements here and there. they invaded hungary in the 1950's. they were attempting to establish missiles 90 miles from shore, et cetera. we negotiated with them, but we did it with the same kind of skepticism that we have toward the iranians. no one trusted kruschev that much. i think it was important that has been said by all of you, that we get to a conclusion. we have positioned ourselves. we have international support. if they cannot meet that standard, we are in a stronger position to move collectively.
i think that is important to note. let me ask a question. we have to be clear when we start something where it is going to go. since you raise the issue of escalation. the negotiation that we -- the notion that we take a step, it will solve a problem. my experience is the first step will prompt a counter response and then a counter response, et cetera et cetera. wrlt to ukraine, simple question. if we were to give defensive weapons to the ukrainians, which is something being seriously considered, what do you think putin will do? will he pull his troops out, or do you think he'll do something else? again, will we get into a situation where we find ourselves in a much more precarious position?
sort of thing, as he has a higher physical cost, more troops coming home dead from this sort of thing. we have to ask ourselves, are we willing to support the ukrainian people? on that i am one way about it. of course we support them. >> i think the putin strategy is quite brilliant, when you think about it. he is using forces in the sky. they created an uprising that's not even there. then they appeal for a more military assistance. and he provides people who don't identify themselves, in uniform, but they don't identify what country they are from. so-called "soldiers in the sky."
so he trumps this up for a so-called military response. he puts the onus on us that it is up to us to escalate because this is all innocent it's an uprising. it's an interesting phenomenon. i think we will continue to see it again and again. one is we need to deal with this strategy that he's using, and what should we do about it? and number 2, i think the harsh reality is that putin has done all the escalation himself. he is the one that brought paramilitary forces in very sophisticated equipment. he's the one that brought fult multiple armor, and then rushed
them across the border, artillery, anti-aircraft. it is his forces that shot down an airliner. his weapons systems at least. so all of the escalation has really been done by him. i believe that providing assistance to the ukraineans as much as that would be material assistance, because i believe conflict is fundamentally a test of will. sun su taught us that. the number one -- i give alms to the ukraineans not just for the physical capability it en-- i would give arms to the ukraineans to demonstrate that we are behind them to demonstrate we are behind them with their will and their spine. they have this national history to stand up to it. that's where i am on it. i am not concerned about escalation, because putin has done all of that already.
>> when we any about russia, i think it is a great example of a place where i think we ought to be thinking more strategically and not channeling ourselves into "he did this, so we have to do that. i think he took advantage of an interesting situation. he's aggressive. he has ego. whatever. what else might we do to get this guy's attention? first of all remember this country has some very significant internal problems. look at birth rates. look at health and longevity. look at the reality that it is a one trick economic pony, and right now the trends are not going in the right direction. we have a phenomenal new energy card in a capabilities here.
what might we do that might get this guy's attention and get him to back it off? he thought he was pretty clever. he went to the chinese and said let's go make a deal. the chinese, hey, you know, it is a way to play off the americans. so we might think about coming around and working things with the chinese. i think there is more than one way to skin a cat here. yes, we stand up for the things we think are important but i don't think the only solution is to flow troops at it. we may decide it is in our best interest to give support to the ukrainians. i think we might seriously about support to our other eastern nato allies. i think we ought to be thinking a little bigger in dealing with russia a little longer term. >> thank you all. i was able to hear all of your
opings statements. i think this is one of the finest we have had in a long time. i think these are some 69 decisions our commander-in-chief needs to be making. we are on a path that is not going to be successful, the path we're on. i want to thank you for your honest statements about that. i am more hopeful than some and i think we can make some progress here. general keane, i think he acknowledge that it is important that iraq did act together with regard to the shia and the suni and the kurds and be more effective working together. i don't take that to be a statement that we should not seek to be offensive as soon as possible, even right now.
it seems to me, you talk about will, i have seen a recent article about general scales who talks about will and diminishing hopes. what are the prospects of us in your opinion, beginning to retake more territory in iraq in removing this hope that's out there that seems to be attracting more soldiers from around the region into the isis ranks. >> i think we should use local ground to attempt retaking of
lost tamplete there has been modest retaking of territory already, but nowhere near what needs to be done to return the integrity and sovereignty to iraq. that will only take place by a counter-offensive campaign up those two river valleys to retake mozul and felusia and ambar proffjins. all that said, i think it is important to do that, but to be robustly assisted. not in the way we are planning to do now with frontline advisors who will be down where the fighting takes place, which means they are at risk. they are not in direct combat, but they will be where combat is fighting. that's a given. >> you think that has to be done? >> yes. can we retake mozul if we butt
put combat missions on the ground, by cadse on the ground now? can we do that? yes, we can do that. but, here's the problem with that. one, is i have great difficulty looking u.s. soldiers in the face again to go do something like that after what happened after 2011 and we pulled out of there. policy decisions squandered the gains. two, it is not just the issue of retaking mozul and felusia. it is the ability to hold it. isis will not stand down after we drive them out of there. we have known enough about this war in iraq and afghanistan. you drive an enemy out, that's one thing. then we have to make sure we hold it and prevent that enemy from coming back. that is why i believe it is the right thing to try to use these local forces, even though we
know that is not as strong a hand as we would like. strengthen that hand to the maximum capability we can without introducing ground combat forces, and then, once we clear it out, holding what is there. that will be the challenge because isis will come back and undermine this. that's why i don't think combat forces now is the right answer, u.s. combat forces. if we have any lack of confidence that we will be able to retake that lost territory, and we still believe it is strategically important for us in iraq to do that, i would combat brigades on reserve in kuwait as a backup to accomplish the mission, if the mission does fail and that would be coalition missions as well.
>> let's compare this to libya. it strikes me we have quite a different situation. we stood shoulder to shoulder with the iraqis. we lost thousands of american troops in this effort. to me, to say that we won't even embed a few soldiers not in the front of the advance, at this point, to preserve our -- i think you agree it is possible and to oust isil would be a clossyill mistake. do you feel a special strategic bond with the iraqis? >> i do. however, in giving you advice, i have to divorce myself from it. we have to be very pragmatic
about this. i would tell you the senior military officers all explain that the successes we've achieved by 2010, 2011 were -- this is a quote -- "reversible." that the democratic processes and the military capability were too nacent to pull everyone out at one time. what happened here is very sore foreseeable. the acting policymakers were very blunt about this issue. right now i believe we should embed our l air controllers and those that can help plan these operations. we are going to have to put them together. >> would doing that, in your professional opinion, see gains from that? >> you are creating a ground
effort at the point of contact, so you would see a much faster decision process. so yes, sir, it would. >> thank you. i certainly share the view that it was a colossal error in 2011 to completely withdraw. this was predictable. senator mccain and others predicted this. >> nor blume that you will -- blumenthal. >> thank you madam chairman. i want to join in my thanking snore mccain for convening this hearing which has been extremely valuable. insight and experience reflect each of your extraordinary service to our nation and i thank you for what you have done to make sure we are strong and that our security is as robust as possible.
i agree we should support ukraine. and believe the policy has not yet been implemented. so my question to each you because this pact is very broad in what it authorizes by way of weaponry and and defensive services and training, using that $300 million, what services do you think would be most helpful to the ukrainians? there is a lot of artillery being used against them. you made reference to russian
troops disguised as civilians. what specifically can we provide? is it anti-tank missiles? is it more body armer? can you be more specific what you would advise the president to buy? >> senator, i cannot. i don't know about the specifics on that battle feefment it depends on where they are being fired from artillery radar, for example. but i'm not the person to answer that. sorry. >> what they are asking for is more intelligence than they currently have. i believe we have begun some of that. they want anti-tank weapons. those show fire and missile, essentially.
they also want the heavy krusar weapons. one of the problems we have here, under the previous regime in ukraine, because of the significant amount of corruption that took place in all the agencies of government, what took place inside the ukraine military is outrageous. in terms of the rip-off of funding and the technology they used to have and no longer have. they are a mere shadow of their former vfl to be honest. i don't know the entire list of what they want. >> nor do i, sir. i would caution that again, whatever we decide to do here, will be effective or not, in large measure based on what the
people in the ukraine do. what they do is going to be based on the confidence they have in the leadership that has been abysmal up to now. i'm not sure where they are. after that, we could dump stuff in there all day long and probably not be successful. understanding what's going on at a political level is really essential to all this sfuff. >> general, i would like to ask you on a different area. the premise of my question is you have done a fair amount of work on climate change and environmental issues. in light of your experience, how big a threat to our national security is potentially what we see happening in climate disruption the impacts on the
availability of sea lanes and water resources in the middle east and food resorgses in atchca -- resources in africa. to what extent is climate destruction a national security threat? >> i think it is a very, very important national security issue. it is one we understand very little about in my opinion. ramifications of the continuation of the current trends provide all kinds of interesting scenarios. in the one we have talked about here, there are advantages to russia and putin's opportunism. he'll have some significant options pretty soon when the arctic continues to use its ice pack and become basically
accessible 12 months of the year. it gives them very very interesting opportunities to move things around and act in ways that they were significantly inhibited in, in the past. it may make other opportunities economically. who knows. the melting of the ice caps, rising sea levels. you pick your scenario here but the trends are pretty clear that the border is coming up and land is going to disappear and the imfelix -- the implications for us in this country, more importantly, places really in danger bangladesh, places marginally above sea level now. every problem we deal with has its roots and instability and insecurity. at a basic level. not armies, not isis picking up 50 caliber guns, it is what people feel very close to them. if they feel threatened in their
livlihood and their families and their ability to make a living, then things start to unravel. i think that's the l position we face. i don't want to stay awake at night wringing my hands about this but on the other hand, are there things we can do to reverse trends? that's probably another topic for our discussion. but it gets back to one of my points as credibility, our credibility as a country. as the world graps with these things that reply to -- grapples with these things, i think the u.s. ought to be in the forefront. i think sometimes we're not there. we're not voting. whether we're denying or defaulting some someone else,
and despite the smimes -- sometimes wsh they really -- the world needs our leadership and involvement. in this case, we do could probably do some good if we put our minds to it. >> thank you all of you for being here today. >> senator. >> thank you, madam chair, and thank you all very much. i know you've been heefer a long morning, -- you've been here a long morning. we very much appreciate that. i had a chance to hear your statement, but i don't think anyone has covered this aspect of my question. you are all probably aware that d.o.d. recently released a study done by the rand corporation that's entitled "improving
strategic competence, lessons from 213 years of war." there have been some high-profile articles addressing this subject as well. one of the conclusions from the study, as you all know, is that the types of war that has been fought since world war ii have changed. they are no longer conventional combat wars against state actors, but they are more unconventional l than regular warfair against non-state actors. one of the statements in the record says, and i quote that the joint force in the u.s. government as a whole has displayed an ongoing ambivalence and a lack of prophecy in the -- proficiency in the non-state actors. the report goes on to point out seven lessons, from its per view and i won't go through all of them.
the first two seem particularly relevant, i think, to today's discussion. one is that the u.s. government displays a persist yept weakness in national security strategies, and that this weakness is due in part to the lack of an effective civilian process for effective policy making. i wonder if you believe this is something that can be addressed or do we need to improve our process for national security decision making. general fallon? >> i will throw myself in front of this train. i agree with it. my observation after this many
years in washington washington, you have been around this long you get to see many transitions. one of the problems, i believe is that a national security policy can be created after things are settled down and people get in their places. it sounds nice, but let's get a secretary of state, secretary of defense, and get them in there. my serns is, it's too late. there is no way you will be able to come up with, that i can see to come up with comprehensive long-term thoughtful effective policies once the gun goes off. wauns the inauguration starts -- once the inauguration happens, you are off and running. all these pressures make it virtually impossible to think strategically in my observation once you get in the game.
so a prerequisite is a good process. there are a lot of smart people around this country and the world that can inform some pretty good decisions. can't solve everything. pick a few big ones, decide they are the ones you are going to focus on, and go with it. >> thank you. general king? >> well, there are a couple things that are not correct. the most redominant type of warfair since war has started has been unconventional warfair. that's well documented. the that is best documented if you want to see the best reference on it by max boots, from history in all of this he was the councilor of foreign relations. he is a prolific, articulate, thoughtful writer.
in terms of your comment, dealing with this, i great that we have not taken a whole government approach in dealing with the types of challenges we have faced. what i observed in countless visits over the 13-year experience in iraq and afghanistan, much of the nonkinetic things that needed to be done in dealing with that nonconventional enemy defaulted not to other parts of our government but the united states military. even though while they are intelligent and have enormous personal attributes and skill sets they can reply against anything to be -- apply against anything and be successful, it is not something they have been trained in. they have become very good at it. we would always be looking
around, where is the rest of our government to help us do some of these things? so in that regard i think there is something we can learn in this 13-year experience in taking a better approach. while kinetic actions have a value, non-kinetic actions do as well. we can do much better at that than what we have done. >> thank you. general, manus, my time is up, but do you have anything you would like to add? >> yes senator. very quickly i would point out, we would have to improve the process, assuming there is a process. i have not been able to identify one recently. we must develop a sound strategy or we are going to waste lives and our country's future. i think, too, we need to move authorities back to the senate confirmed secretaries of state
defense and not concentrated in a small but mushrooming at the same time national security staff that does not have the foreign service officers and the trained military officers who can actually develop what you are looking for here. i don't think we can adopt one preclusive form of warfair. my point is, the enemy will always try the warfair they think we are least ready for. one of the reasons the rand study says is that the state-on-state warfair didn't happen because we were ready for it. that's the best warfair to have, the one that doesn't happen. the u.s. cal valerie from 1850 to 1905 was decades long. this sense of rushing thifpks, for example, setting withdrawl dates and telling the enemy in
advance when we are leaving probably contributes to the endless wars we get into. we are in a violent urek with rallies lamb now and we need tools alng side our military. and for a country that would send the troops right inside the iron curtain, we are not quite in the war anywhere near as smartly as we were during the cold war. i think you should aggressively go after these areas you are bringing up, ma'am. >> thank you ale very much. -- thank you all very much. senator graeme. >> you all have probably violated the geneva convention when it comes to the three of you all. laugh laffer -- [laughter] back to iraq. let's assume we can get a more cohesive environment. that we can get an iraqi trained force.
the kurds help us. eventually we take back mosul and ambar province. again, that's a big "if." if they ask us to leave, would you suggest that we honor that request? >> yes. we would -- they are going to ask for sure and how could we say no to that. >> the american interests for iraq did not turn out well. do you all agree with that? whether we should have gun in or not is behind us. the best line of defense for americans is having allies in the region that will fight this radical ideology at its core. the hardest part, i believe is the strategic patience that comes from investing in others. as unreliable as they are, is
fortress america and i don't believe that works. now, as we get ready to go into mosul, general kefment ane, i believe you say the iraqi time table is probably different than ours. imagine as an american politician that there was a town in our oh, your state occupied by a foreign force and the federal government was telling you, or some outside entity was telling you that it may be a year or two before you can go back in. i think the new sunni defense minister is in a tough spots. how much tougher is he going to allow these people to get? we have to understand that iraqi calculation has a different position than our american leaders here. it is in our interest to make sure the iraqis do this right, is that correct? >> yes. >> they are not ready by this spring, are they? >> i'm not on the ground but talking to people who are, i
don't think so. not even close. >> admiral fallon would you be worried about this? >> i don't know what the timing is because f -- because i haven't been in dialogue with these guys but me thinking is there are probably things we can do. if you accept that we are not ready, i think there are some things we continue to do. last week the sense is that we're starting to go back and zsh when i say "we" our allies over there. maybe they are not ready for the big thing. but then again, i have a hard time frankly envisioning the kind of activity that with -- that we saw when we had to retake falusia for the second and third times going in there street to street. i'm not sure that's a scenario that makes a lot of sense. >> i fwree. but someone has to take mosul
back. do you agree with the idea that 10,000 is the right support? do you think that's the right support sfl >> we have to have enough trainers, enough ad vidsors to make a difference. >> does that make sense to you? >> i have idea what the exact number is, but you have to have squal the prite skill sets. >> to the american people, we are going to have boots on the ground if we want to get this right. hopefully we doppede don't need the 82nd air borne going back in. quickly with syria. i understand how we're going to get there what -- with iraq, but i really don't understand how we get there with syria. very quickly, how do we dislodge isil -- isis?
how do we get them out on the ground, and should we leave a side in power? if we do, what should we expect from that? >> i will answer that as we have tried to answer that in the past. this is tough, complicated, and very uncertain. here's what i believe. first of all, the mission that we have is not to destroy isis in syria but to degrade it. to destroy isis in iraq, i believe that is a good mission. i don't think you separate syria and iraq, i think you see them as a bulk in terms of what you have to do against that enemy. all that said, if our intent is
to destroy icis -- isis in syria, the only way that can be done is with ground forces by air power. there is no ground force in sight with the capability to do that. you know that better than i because of the briefing you got from the general. at the pace we have, we're not even close. so in my mind, you have to push back on assad. that brings in the coalition very strongly in terms of support. they you bring turkey to the table, you bring jordan to the table, and you bring saudi arabia to the table. now they are at the table, and you have their interest. they have got to be coalition force that will drive isis out of there with our assistance. >> do the two of you agree with
that? >> the question is, how do you convince these people to do that? that's the real challenge. >> general mathis, do you agree with that concept? >> i do, senator but the devil ss in the details. we have to look -- zise decide what we want it to look like in the ipped. -- end. there are some who say we can't put syria back together if assad is involved. we have to get this straight in our heads and then we can give you a lot of answers about how best to accomplish it. >> thank you, madam chair. i just have one comment to make. we have repeatedly talked about the need for residual forces and a condition based situation in
afghanistan and other places when we commit ourselves. looking at 2011, we're all looking back, and i think it is important to note that the stage was probably set in 2008 when the united states and the government of iraq entered into a formal agreement to remove all troops by 2011. that was signed by president bush and prime minister malwoki. if they hadn't i believe our troops would have left sooner. it goes to general mathis' point, when we sign something formally saying "we're out" even though there was an expectation that we might be able to negotiate, it is awful tough when we have a deal between the u.s. their prime minister, ratified by their parliament to reverse. also particularly difficult if we sign with 100,000 troops on
the ground and we are already down to a much smaller figure by 232011. i think it is important to put this in context because this issue of residual forces with a condition based level is something we have to consider as we look again as senator frank suggested, going forward in iraq and also going forward in afghanistan. i want to thank you. i don't necessarily need a comment. you can write me, mail me, email me. i want to thank the chairwoman for running an excellent hering. >> i want to thank senator reed. i appreciate all three of you being here. i think it was evident your experience. we all appreciate your best advice and we appreciate what you have done and continue to do for our country.
and we are very impressed with your endurance as well. >> ment obama reveals his budget request on monday. the proposal is expected to include a 7% budget request bringing to an end to the sequestration cuts in 2013. we will have live coverage at 11:4r545 a.m. eastern on c-span2. next president obama's weekly address. the rinse response. >> hi, everybody. at a time when wages are starting to rise again, we have to make croice choices about the kind of country we want to be.
will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well, or will we build an economy where everyone has a chance to get ahead. that was the focus of my state of the union address, middle class economics. the idea that everyone does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. this week i will send a budget to congress that's built on those values. we'll help working families' pay checks go farther by paying for things like paid leave and child care like the economic challenges they are. we will offer americans of every age a chance to upgrade their skills with plans like making two years of community college free for every responsible student. and we'll keep building the world's most attractive economy for new jobs, manufacturing and expanded access to faster internet and new markets.
we can afford to make these investments. since i took office we have cut deficits by about 2/3. the fastest sustained deficit reduction since after the end of world war ii. we have to be smarter about how we pay for our priorities, and that's what my budget does. it proposes getting rid of special interest loopholes and using those savings to help pay middle class families. it refuses to play politics with homeland security and funds national security interests at home and abroad. it undoes the arbitrary across the board cuts known as the sequester. it matches those investments dollar for dollar in resources our troops need to get the jobs done. i know there are republicans in congress that degree with my approach. like i said in my state of the union, if they have ideas to help middle class families, i'm all in to work with them.
i will keep doing everything i can to help working families make ends meet and get ahead. not just because we want everyone to share in america's success, but because we want everyone to contribute to america's success. that's the way the middle class thrived in the last century and that's how it will thrive again. thanks everybody. have a great weekend. >> good morning. i'm lynn jenk ins, congresswoman from the second district of kansas and vice chair of the republican conference. this is the time of year when high school seniors are putting fime touches on college applications. that means it is also the time when families are preparing to start paying for that education, whether it is a four-year college, community college or a technical school. as a parent with two children in college, i know this can be one of the most rewarding and at the same time challenging aspects of being a parent, particularly at the