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tv   Defense Secretary Esper Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Dunford News...  CSPAN  August 28, 2019 1:34pm-2:22pm EDT

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[live press briefing at the pentagon]
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[...] ]ive >> good afternoon everyone. it is great to be here with you in the pentagon briefing room. sec. esper: since i became the secretary of defense last month, i've had the opportunity to meet with many of you. i'm especially pleased that the chairman and i can spend time with you all here today in the briefing room. the united states military has a proud history and a great story to tell. it is my commitment to the american people, who entrust us with their sons and daughters to
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keep them informed of the work that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, and apartment of defense civilians do every day to keep our nation avenues tohave many engage with the media in today's world. moving forward, i intend to do these briefings to maintain an open dialogue about the department's activities. our head of public affairs and a representative of the detroit staff will also begin holding regular press briefings. -- of the joint staff. my aim is to give you an overview of my first 30 days in office and to give you out and my priorities. it has been a busy first month for the team, i am encouraged by the progress we are making. our direction remains fixed. we are committed to the national defense strategy and its three lines of effort. building more lethal force. strengthening alliances and partnerships. and reforming the department for better business practices. and i added line of effort for me. taking care of a servicemember's and their families.
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the nds is a strategy grounded in reality, strategic competitors such as china and russia are deliberately billing up and modernizing their military forces, to challenge the united states and enable their geopolitical aspirations. at the same time, regional adversaries like iran and north korea, continue to promote instability. thus, the apartments central challenge is to balance current requirements with the needs of the future. both require our time and resources. to get this balance right, beans make tough decisions. to enable this decision-making, we have modified our battle rhythm. every monday all the departments senior leaders, uniform and civilians, are now leading -- meeting twice in separate sessions as a leadership team, to ensure our parities are aligned and to measure progress toward implanting the national defense strategy. our policy team has been integrated into our planning processes, and is leading the nds reviews, exercising settling
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control over those efforts. the ideas take a hard look at our activities so everything we do drives toward our strategic objectives, which are designed to achieve our policy aims. if something does not, we ask ourselves, why are we doing it, and what should we be doing instead. we have also begun a defense wide review process. the goal is -- of the review is to identify time, money, and manpower that can be reallocated to highest priorities in support of the nds. the deputy secretary norquest serves as my appointment for this effort. process with a focus on state and will eventually address other parts of the department enterprise. earlier i travel to the indo pacific region on my first overseas trip. many view traveled with me. that region is our priority theater, it was important for me to demo stream i commend to allies and partners there and hear firsthand for my foreign and has of state. together, we are committed to defending our shared values and upholding core principles such as respect for all nations of
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sovereignty, adherence to international rules and norms, and our mutual secured. it is clear that china is engaging in a deliberate strategy to undermine the stability of the region. it is clear the values and behaviors of the chinese communist party do not align with the vast majority of states. throughout my conversations with foreign leaders, time and again emphasize the need for the united states to continue to show leadership throughout the indo pacific. in order to preserve the freedoms we all enjoy. we will continue to expand our defense activities throughout the region, in close cooperation with our allies and partners, while pressing for equitable burden sharing from them as well. next week, i will travel to europe to meet with nato allies to discuss the u.s. posture in europe. and our ongoing efforts to deter russian aggression. i had the opportunity as many of you note to attend the nato ministerial this june. we discussed a broad range of issues to include the inf treaty, the state of nato readiness, the future of afghanistan, and how to address
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continued aligned behavior. -- malign behavior. i am pleased to inform you that operation sentinel is up and running with bahrain. the purpose is to provide freedom of navigation for shipping that is so vital for economic trade, and to district provocations and avoid -- to deter provocations and avoid conflict in the region. we remain with many nations have a stake in this region and expect to see the list up or dispense to grow. i'm excited for tomorrow's activation of the united states space command to ensure the protection of america's interest in space we must apply the necessary focus, energy, and resources to the task. that is exactly what they command will do. as a unified command, the united states space command is the next crucial step toward the creation of an dependent space force as an additional armed service. 's is anependent additional armed service. we are making progress in senate
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confirmations. we have five nominees will have hearings in that couple weeks, and another eight undergoing white house vetting. finally, as a parody of mine, we remain focused on the well-being of servicemembers and their families. pft month, we stood up the ast task force now working with epa and other agencies to develop a copperheads of plant to mitigate p fas contamination in military investing installations-insulations. we are also working with private housing contractors throughout military installations to ensure families are living in safe and secure housing that they deserve. i met with the service secretaries the other day to discuss this issue. your after year, we are proud the u.s. military remains the most trusted institution in america. this is vital to our success in defending the nation. i'm committed to preserving this trust by ensuring that we recommit toour professions'' core values. i reinforce this by setting out an ethics note to the entire
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force and talked about yesterday at the naval war college. our relationship with the american people and congress are mean strong. where thankful for the two-year budget deal shall give us the predict ability needed to advance the nds and protect this great country. it is vital, however, that congress passes the nda and defense appropriations bill on time for the coming year. as i've expressed to members of congress on many occasions, to include yesterday, continuing resolutions harm our military readiness and stifle modernization efforts. as such, i urge congress to work together in a bipartisan manner to ensure the defense bills are passed by sober first. with that, i look forward to taking your questions -- passed by october 1. i look for it questions, but first i welcome gen. joseph dunford for his remarks. gen. dunford: the secretary spoke about lines that are outlined in the national defense strategy. i want to address how we have aligned to the nds and adapted.
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therefore characteristics of today's strategic landscape driving annotation across the joint fortune. return of great power competition that is addressed in the nds changes the character of war leaders. the department has been speaking about that for some time. the capacity of the force relative to our operational commitments has increased in an unprecedented pace of change in virtually every aspect of our profession. in response, we are adapting how we plan, how we support the secretary to make decisions, how we prioritize and allocate resources, and how we are developing tomorrow's cap abilities. i will briefly touch on each one of these areas. first we shifted from a traditional focus on operational plans for specific contingencies, to plans that are globally oriented on each of the challenges addressed in the nds, china, russia, iran, north korea, and violence extreme is him. we scheduled a series of globally integrated exercises with participation from across the u.s. government interagency to refine our plans and assisted
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the secretary in making decisions. importantly, we've change the way we prioritize and allocate resources across combatant commands to better align with the national defense strategy. given the pace of operations over the past 18 years, we pay particular attention to establishing a more sustainable operational tempo. this allows us to do what the secretary has identified as the fourth line of effort. to better take care of our people, it also allows us to increase readiness. finally, to ensure we have the military we need for the future, plan a series of exercises, and wargames to better inform how we adapt the force we have today, and defined the force we need tomorrow. once again, aligned with the nds, it is important to highlight that we fully integrated our allies and partners into the initiatives i have described. with that brief update, the secretary and i will be glad to take your questions. >> thank you. mr. secretary, at general
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dunford, good to hear you are going to resume regular press briefings. it will be appreciated. a question for each of you. you mentioned iran and operation sentinel, mr. secretary, it has not been that long ago that the u.s. almost went to war with iran in the sense that there was an attack plans that was called off the last minute. in recent weeks, it seems to have been relatively quiet. there has been no sabotaging of vessels in the gulf. i'm wondering if, has the crisis passed? and mask a question of general dunford on afghanistan. -- may i ask a question. you are close to retirement and have spent a good part of your recent career focused on afghanistan. at this stage, negotiators are talking about getting close to a deal that would call for the united states withdraw its forces from afghanistan, i'm wondering how you feel about essentially walking away from afghanistan with no
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counterterrorism forces on the ground, as opposed to over the horizon or another form. is that a wise course of action in your view? >> i'll go first. i would admonish you do not mention the r word again. he's not going anywhere yet. [laughter] he's got a few more weeks. your first on question peered we are not seeking conflict with iran. we want to engage with them diplomatically. you saw of the weekend some reporting the president is more than willing to meet with iran's leaders to resolve this diplomatically. that has been the purpose of operation sentinel, to avoid eight situation that would get us off of that track and onto a different one. to the degree that it is been successful, that is good. i'm not sure i'm ready to call the crisis over yet, but so far, so good. we hope that trim lines continue that way. we help the parties, the iranians, agree to meet and talk and resolve these issues. gen. dunford: when i think about afghanistan, i think about two
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things. we do not want afghanistan to be a sanctuary from which the homeland can be threatened, from which the american people and our allies can be threatened. the other thing is we want peace and stability in afghanistan for the american people. any of us have served their -- who have served their know that what is required is a negotiated peace settlement, inter-afghan dialogue leading to that peace settlement. when i hear you say we're going to withdraw, i do not think about it as we are going to withdraw. i think about it as we are going to initiate inter-afghan dialogue, ideally leading to peace and stability for the afghan people. ideally, afghanistan not being a sank sway from which we can be attacked. the president and secretary have been clear to me that as this progresses, we are going to ensure that our counterterrorism objectives are addressed. so i think it is premature, i am not using the withdraw word right now. i am using, we are going to make sure that afghanistan is not a sanctuary. and we're going to try to have an effort to bring peace and
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stability to afghanistan. >> quickly, and your view, will it be possible to achieve that -presenting afghanistan from becoming a sanctuary again without u.s. forces on the ground? >> i would not have been standing here as long as i am if i was not a glass half full person. gen. dunford: i believe what is needed is that some type of disruption to the status quo. an agreement that can initiate inter-afghan dialogue, potentially leading to a reduction of violence associated with the insurgency is something worth trying. particularly is important to emphasize that an agreement we have moving forward, the president has been clear, is going to be conditions based. those conditions make me confident that it is worth trying. >> i'll follow up on afghanistan. potentially moving counterterrorism forces over the horizon a solution that this department is considering planning for? gen. dunford: i honestly think
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it is premature to talk about what our counterterrorism presence in afghanistan may or may not be, without a better appreciation for what will the conditions be. we have tailored our counterterrorism presence in afghanistan to reflect the operational environment. the operational environment would clearly change in the wake of a negotiation. we would have to make assessments. i would then make ruckman nations to the secretary. and have a conversation -- i would make ruckman nations to the secretary and have a conversation with the president. -- recommendations. >> general dunford, i wanted to ask you to reflect on the environment you have been operating in over the last two years. i'm sure you saw today sir that secretary mattis wrote, quote, we are dividing into hostile tribes cheering against each other, fueled by emotion and the mutual disdain. because you are the president's key advisor on threats to
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democracy, democracy of this country, you agree with secretary mattis, whom you have known so many years. do you believe that there is now tribalism in this country that essentially threatens democracy? [--] ask you to alter best you can, on how you see president trump changing over the last couple of years and his role as commander-in-chief. we well know that you do not like to talk about the president. but this may be our last opportunity to ask you. gen. dunford: barbara, as you know, i have worked hard to remain apolitical and not make up local judgments. your first question is not in my lane. i have worked hard to provide military vice to the secretary, military vice to the president, other members of the national security council, and make sure that our men and women in uniform have the wherewithal to do their job. i'm going to stay in that lane. i guess to the second part of
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your question, which is i will not now, nor will i when i take off the uniform, make judgments about the president of united states or the commander in chief. i just will not do it. >> how do you view, because you are the advisor on military matters, we have now seen troops in uniform, active duty, wearing political hats, we have seen the president come into this building, and make speeches discussing the democrat leadership. do you worry at all that way have partisan politics brought into the military? that would get question for the secretary as well. do something need to be done about this? or do you think it is ok, just to let it go on. what are your concerns about the emergence of partisan politics into the ranks. as the answer to
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congress during my nomination hearing. i've said this to some of you before as well. my commitment is to keep this department a plot ago. i believe the best way to do that begins with the chairman and i behaving in an apolitical way. and from there, the leadership that we demonstrate, the values we emulate, work their way throughout the force. to me, that is the best way to do it. of course, we have rules and regulations throughout the services that say you cannot wear plug all items on the uniform, et cetera. and we will continue -- you cannot wear political items on the uniform. we will continue to enforce that. >> to follow up on afghanistan. are the taliban wrong for saying that in 24 months all u.s. troops will be out of afghanistan. can euro that out? >> i'm not -- can you roll that out? -- can you rule that out? >> i'm not going to make any comments in regard to the diplomat of relations. then i will answer your
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questions on the agreement, if it whines at being an agreement. i will emphasize, and the secretary and i have talked about this many times. some of you may not hear this if you hear bits and pieces that may be speculation. one thing clear is that any agreement will be conditions faced. the president has -- conditions based. the president has been clear about afghanistan and not being a sanctuary from which we can be attacked. this will be done with afghan leadership. >> you're the commander there and you to deal with the afghan government. the afghan government feel they have been left out of these talks. do they have legitimate concerns? gen. dunford: i would leave the state department to characterize the relationship we have with the afghan government. i recently visited and met with the secretary and the ambassador and engage with the afghan leadership and top kabul virtually every day, to make sure there's transparency in any negotiation. i would view any agreement pending as something we are doing with and not to the afghan
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people. secretary, as israel expands is targeting inside iraq and lebanon, can you help us understand the level of your concern about the political blowback for u.s. troops and the iraqi political environment as a result of the strikes? and mr. chairman, the military has long been concerned about, quietly concerned about the impact these strikes could have on the security of u.s. forces in the region. can you speak to that, please? >> to the first part i will say obviously we are in iraq at the invitation of the iraqi government. we are there and focused on one thing, air forces working with and through the iraqi forces to execute the d isis campaign. that is where we are focused. obviously we are concerned about anything that may impact our mission, a relationship or our forces. >> from d.o.t. the other day made a point of distancing the
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u.s. -- from dod the other day made up point of distancing u.s. from these operations. put a finer point on that either u.s. wants to stay away from - we remain focused on iraq and supporting our forces in iraq to go after isis. >> all of these are consistent-all our operations in conjunction with the iraqi security for because -- forces focus on isis. we assessed force protection across the region virtually every day. general mckenzie is in constant dialogue with the secretary and i about the needs for force protection. he makes adjustments based on tensions and the region. so yes, are we concerned about it, we are not complacent about force protection. we look at it every day. and we are very attentive to the operational environment, when we make adjustments in force protection. >> i'm going to try one more time in afghanistan. still in negotiation with the
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taliban. he expects assurances from the taliban that it will not be used -other way i al qaeda terrorist organizations again. the pentagon last month said we need a robust counterterror capability. so just be clear, do you need both the assurances and the capability? even though we do not know whether capability at this point would look like? you both could address that? >> i'm not sure which report you're referring to that came out of the department. i will say again, this is the state has the lead on this, the ambassador and his team have done great work. we have people involved with him, as is general miller on the ground. i will defer to him to comment on what he wants to comment. we are not going to get involved and commenting on the diplomatic process. >> that is not my point. my point is, do you need a counterterror cap ability in afghanistan? >> i think your answer to that already. i'm not trying to be i think you answered that already. we have an during security
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interests in the region, diplomatic interest in the region. the form of our presence will change over time. to advance those interests. any discussion about capability will be benchmarked against the threat. as importantly against the capacity of our partners in afghanistan to deal with that threat. could we talk conceptually about a time in the future when the afghan security forces can deal with garrity in the country by themselves? you can. -- security in the country by themselves. you can. but we are not prepared to talk about what capability would be associated with what operating environment. >> we will need our interests addressed. >> i appreciate it. north korea has been launching salvos recently. i know the white house has downplayed them. strategically, are they a concern for you that they are
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developing what they called to be new weapons, and do you think they are just pushing the limits of that agreement? and it just a follow-up, about this new summary missile. >> i talked about this on my trip to the indo take,. i had conversations with my counterparts in japan and korea about these tests. we are concerned about their short range ballistic missile tests. we want to understand what they're doing, why they're doing it in on the other hand, we are not going to overreact. we want to take a measured response, and make sure we do not close the door to his plum as a. -- diplomacy. at the end of the day we will get to an air reversible, verifiable, complete denuclearization of the peninsula. the best way to do that is through a political agreement. we do not want to close the door by overreacting to their tests and what they're doing. , new submarine ballistic missile, we know they have been developing this capability for a while. are they on the verge of something that can be a game changer.
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that potentially could be an icbm launched. >> i do not have anything to add to what has already been reported in the open press. >> thank you, with mcclatchy. i want to get back to what you're saying about taking care of people. over the last few decades of war, number servicemen have come in contact with things that are potentially cancer-causing. the air they breathe, the burning, a lot of the aviation. they are dealing with the pfa asked. are you concerned about - pfas. what you're dealing with. cancer concerned with and military community. and are you looking at making easier for those servicemembers as they age of a potentially 10 years down the road, if they develop the type of cancer related to the air they breathed or the vehicles therein. >> this goes back to my days in the service. after my tour in the gulf, we had gulf war syndrome still many folks suffer from it.
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the v.a. has the lead on this. i have not talked to the v.a. had i go wilkie. he back many years. his complete leak committed to our service members, and the veterans. that is -- he is complete the committed to our service members and veterans. we want to assist soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines as they transition reads as they tn into the v.a. system. -- and to make sure that we tackle some of the things we talk about. two quick follow-ups, to tom's question, when you said there might be time in the future where the afghan partners have the ability to be the counterterror force in afghanistan, aren't they capable of that now? are you ready to say that afghan security forces could secure that country? >> in the current environment today, with the insurgency, i think we and the afghans agree that some degree of support is an s area.
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-- is necessary. that's what we have troops on the ground today. when i spoke or about -- when i spoke about afghanistan securing itself in the future i was just answering the question and not affixing a timeline. it's our judgment of the afghans need support to deal with the level of violence associated with the insurgency today. if an agreement happens in the future, the security environment changes, then our posterior -- posture may adjust. >> and this is the level of support we are providing today. one thing i am sure of, based on my time in afghanistan. many of you recall that we have 140,000 coalition forces in iraq , and about 15,000 or 22 thousand total coalition and u.s. forces today. it is significantly different. in the future, our posture will adjust.
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korea, since short-range missiles have been a response to computer-based exercises, what does this say about larger scale military exercises between the u.s. and south korea? will we get back to the point where there is a large scale 10,000 suit of troops weeks long military exercises? >> the keys to preserve readiness. i have had this discussion several times with general abrams, and the chairman they want to comment. two weeks ago when i was in seoul, we talked about it. he filled the training and exercise plan we have is sufficient to maintain readiness with our allies. or may not mean going back to whatever it was. i trust the commanders assessment. >> our exercises were designed to do two things, to deter north korea, and enhance the readiness of our collective combined forces. we made an adjustment to the
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posture of our exercise, the visibility of it in support of the diplomatic effort to denuclearize the peninsula. when we made that adjustment, we found other ways to maintain a high level of readiness. we spoke a great deal with general abrams, and now the secretary. we are confident that the exercise and training program we have in place now will allow us to maintain the requisite level of readiness. turkey,ted to ask about , ife has been mixed signals turkey was to say hey, we are getting rid of the s 400, or put it in a warehouse, does this --lify >> not my book. i have been clear in my public comments and privately with my
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turkish counterpart. it's either the f-35 or the s 400. park onepost -- both, in the garage general the other one out, it's one of the other. it's incredible, turkey has been a long-standing partner and ally and i would hope that they would move back in our direction and really live up to what nato agreed to many years ago, to begin divesting soviet era equipment and they are moving in a different direction. if they said we were walking this back and they made a mistake, would you be open to it? >> they would have to get rid of program, and then we could consider that. >> you have been one of the most , what is with turkey the relationship between the u.s. government and the turkish government right now? >> this is what i tell my counterpart almost every time we meet. when i look at turkey in the
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united states, it's clear to me that we have many more areas of convergence and divergence. in these areas of divergence are often near-term issues, they are difficult, no question. but they are issues we can work through. so we try to focus and say look, we are allies today, turkey is an important part of the nato alliance and our bilateral relationship is important. so we try to find ways to enhance the relationship, and focus on the future which, in my view, if you look at turkish and u.s. natural interest, look at what's more closely aligned? >> i am want to follow up with a quick question. back to the question about partisan politics, is that your judgment that some of the events that were referenced, the magna hats and using military funds
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for the border wall, do you believe those things have damaged the jeopardize miller -- or jeopardize the military's apolitical position? , thehe question on yemen war has continued far longer than anyone has expected it to, civilians are dying and we have a significant development in the saudi and amber riley coalition -- amrit coalition -- emerites coalition seems to have --, is it time to rethink our-- suppor? >> notwithstanding any specific incidents, when i look back over the last few years, i'm incredibly proud of the professionalism of our men and women in uniform. with few exceptions, they have conducted themselves in a matter consistent with our e thousand values. we take every one of these issues seriously. the address it when it occurs. by and large these issues are
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addressed by those on the scene. and sometimes it arrives to the level of the chairman. to answer your question specifically, i would not want any of these specific incidents to characterize men and women in uniform. done whatby and large we have asked. it has been a politically turbulent period of time and yet 80% of the american people still have trust in the united states military as an institution. we take that seriously. >> when i spoke to the students at the naval war college i spoke to them about maintaining ethics and values because we are the highestperhaps institution in america. but it's a fragile thing and we have to safeguard it by practicing on a daily basis are professional values and ethics. it is something that we will continue to push forward.
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>> [indiscernible] almost forgot the question. what was the specific? ? >> is a time to rethink military support for the war in yemen, continuing -- considering not the war has not gotten any closer to a conclusion? >> our support has been limited to helping them for defensive purposes. you have outlined some things, we will see where it goes. with most of these conflicts they often end in a political agreement and we will see if the parties are ready to move to that stage. secretary, you were in the pacific region. >> as were you. >> exactly. you are confident that you would get some kind of resolution to
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south korea and japan. we saw south korea pull out of that agreement and i'm wondering what you see the path going forward -- do you see a possibility of resolving this with little impact in the military operations? in general, are you seeing any impact military operations due to getting out of that fact? >> i was and remain disappointed that both parties are engaged in this. i expressed that to my counterparts as i met with them in tokyo and seoul and urged them to work it out. a glass half-full person, i hope to get on this -- beyond this, i have articulated and then that we have common threats , north korea and china, and bigger threats. we are stronger when we work together. if we look at the ledger we share more interests and values than not and i want to build on
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that, and hopefully move forward and get back on the important track we need, which is really thinking about north korea in the near term and china in the long term. how do we broaden our partnerships and strengthen our lives. i have not seen an intact and military operations right now but i sure that the secretaries -- i share the secretaries disappointment in this setback. i think this is an important relationship. , have worked on this every day and i have a good relationship with the chairman. i think it's in our collective anerest for us to have effective relationship and we will continue to try to work and get back in a positive direction. contingencyave plans to deal with that? >> we have other ways of sharing information, not as affected --
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effective as a bilateral sharing agreement between the two countries but there are other mechanisms allowing us to deal with this. trump has said repeatedly that the u.s. could win the war in afghanistan and the cost of million of afghan lives, does united states retain the rights to used in clear weapons against the taliban? weaponse nuclear against the taliban? >> we reserve the right to keep all options on the table, but the key to resolve this is a political agreement. we are on that path now and we are hoping that we can reach a conclusion that would result in the political agreement that will get us on the right trajectory. help the ongoing negotiations when the president repeatedly says that the united it could kill millions of afghans in the war? >> this administration is committed to finding a path forward that achieves a few
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things. one being that afghanistan is no longer a safe phase in -- safe haven for terrorists who attack the united states. and one that results in an agreement that allows all the stakeholders in the country to move forward on a different track. then what they are on now. and you have had conversations with the defense minister, could you tell us what sort of relationship you want to have with india? >> i don't like to talk about private conversations i have had with folks, it's a good rule of i have lived by. -- rule of thumb i have lived by. but we have had good conversations, we talked about mutual strategic interests and next steps. >> a question for you mr. chairman on turkey and syria and then on the border wall. u.s.-backed forces say they have
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begin withdrawing because of this is safe zones. could you explain what exactly the united states military agreed to? will there be joint controls to the system? >> thank you. to put in context, there were two things we're trying to do, to maintain continuity in our campaign against isis and syria, and to address what are the legitimate concerns by the turkish government for the border between turkey and syria. we are trying to balance those, as many of you know, we have been having with all parties for two for five years, working our way through this. years, working our way through this. we have set up a coordination inter, there is no coordination sent -- there is now a coordination center and we have made agreements to address
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the threats along the border between turkey and syria, the removal of heavy weapons and those kinds of things. with regard to your specific questions, those are being worked out in the coronation center. so it -- the coordination center. we have agreed on the threats, the broad approach, we spoken to our counterparts to address that area between turkey and syria, but every day we are going to grow the capacity. the whole purpose of setting up the coordination center is to drive down to the appropriate tactical level between commanders, the specific actions we will take daily to eliminate the threats. >> do we have a date? >> no. wall, whythe border did you agree to build an additional 20 miles order wall, can you elaborate on your decision? and how much has this cost? >> i don't have the total number
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in terms of costs but we can get that for you. on the first part, the reason why we are able to do 20 miles is because the corps of engineers were successfully negotiating lower prices so we could free up money to do more miles area if i am mistaken, jonathan will clean it up afterwards -- miles. , if i am mistaken, jonathan will clean up afterwards. >> my question is for both of evidence you seen any that iran's military hasbilities or readiness been diminished or weakened because of the military buildup in the region? and because of the u.s. sanctions? >> i don't talk about intelligence matters. i would say it's fair to say that between our present and the presence of our allies and
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far,ers, i think, so provocative behavior has been deterred and that's a good tank. as we can reach out, we want to talk with iran. and talk about a diplomatic path forward. >> and i would not draw a correlation between the forces we have put in the region and integrating iranian capability. the forces in the region are to terror -- are to deter progression. there was a material effect on the actual capacity of the iranian. are there plans to send more troops to the border mission? or to withdraw any of the ones there? and is there a possibility that the wall will be completely built piecemeal under the dod's decision? >> i don't know about the second part, on the first part, our
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response in terms of providing more resources and troops depends on dhs need. we look at them on a case-by-case basis. nothing comes to mind immediately, maybe i am missing something, but it's based on their needs at the border which ebb and flow based upon what they see approaching the border, trying to handle folks and whatnot. ok. thanks everyone. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [no audio] >> tonight at 10:00 p.m.
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eastern, interns at the heritage foundation and the cato went to debate conservativism versus libertarianism. among the topics, immigration and the economy. as a pretty. --here is a preview. >> immigration has a positive impact on economic growth and little to no effect on the wages of nativeborn americans. most estimates find positive impact overall on nativeborn americans. and undocumented immigrants are ineligible for federal mean, as in welfare. so they hardly pose a threat to entitlements ending which is already out of. from 2002 to 2009, immigrants as a whole subsidized medicare, making 14.7% of contributions but only consuming 1.9% of teachers. -- of expenditures. a common misconception is that undocumented immigrants want to simulate, if you compare today's toigrants, comparing them
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irish and italian immigrants, you see them assimilate at the same rate, voting patterns and self identification as an american are identical three generations in. one important fact should be emphasized, assimilation does not necessarily mean adopting heritage foundation values. if we want to protect our heritage we must continue to allow robust immigration, with the plainly racist chinese exclusion of 1882, the conception of an illegal immigrant did not really exist until 1924. almost everyone is descended from someone fleeing persecution are seeking better opportunities for their families those same people would not make it to america under current law. when you hear conservatives they get to the back of the line, remember there is no line. the system lacks meaningful due process. we lock children in cages away from their parents free we demonize people trying to provide for their families.
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our policies make criminals out of good people. undocumented migrants are not a threat to the united we make them one. >> a rebuttal from the conservative side. >> we are having this conversation within the context of the status quo, in a world with border patrol and ice. what will happen if we just remove the security measures? contrary to what our opponents have said, this is -- we will see an influx of crime on the border. should we not straw -- try to criminals from crossing into the country. how long do we have to wait before we do something? i had yet to hear an answer about how it does not affect only the federal government but also the state government. states also give welfare benefits to noncitizens. if we are unwilling to build a wall around welfare or the birder, why would it -- the border, why would it build a wall around welfare.
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we let people into the country illegally and if we allow more in, and of the additional people who come in, the government estimates that the illegal alien population will cost $1.25 million. are at a timewe in the rebuttal. hearnever thought i would libertarians argue for the expansion of the welfare state. >> you can watch this debate with interns at the heritage foundation and the cato conservatism versus libertarianism tonight at 10:00 eastern on sees and -- on c-span . you can follow our programs online at and listen with the radio app. wake of the recent shootings in el paso, texas, and , the houseo judiciary committee will return early to mark up pills which include restricting firearms
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