Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  November 13, 2014 10:00am-11:01am EST

10:00 am
we'll see you next time. ♪ this is al jazeera america live in new york city, i'm del walters and we want to take you live in washington where congress will begin hearings on i.s.i.l. and about to hold a hearing in the obama administration handling of the campaign and the top two military leaders are expected to testify and hagel and general martin dempsey and we are live in washington with a 16 year veteran of covering the pentagon and good to see you again and what can the top military brace, what can they expect? >> we have very divided questions between democrats and republicans on the committee and
10:01 am
expect some republicans to be pressing for whether or not there should be american boots on the ground as they say ground forces that would actually engage i.s.i.l. on the ground because of the lack luster and embarrassing of iraqi troops in the face of islamic face militants and democrats on the community to side with the administration policy of training and assisting and advising the iraqi forces stiffening them but keeping u.s. forces out of any sort of ground combat role. what you will hear probably from the secretary is that there is no quick fix in the fight against i.s.i.l. in iraq and also in syria, that it's an operation that will take some time, patience and perseverance and making a request and asking for money to fund those additional troops that president obama wants to send to iraq to expand the training of iraqi forces and also and permission,
10:02 am
an authorization for the additional use of military force. the president said before he had that authority with some in congress said it doesn't really apply to this situation. so in a nod to the congress, the administration is asking for an additional authorization of military force. but you know, del in many ways one of the most important developments in the story happened 6,000 miles away this iraq where iraq's prime minister al-abaddi sacked the military chandlers and corrupt and linked to maliki the former prime minister and replaced them with new commanders and the u.s. strategy really hinges on the fact not only can they train the iraqi forces to fight better and give them some backup but have to have the will to fight and for the will to fight they have to fight for a government that is seen as inclusive and they can support and the u.s. assessment is really what happened with the iraqi forces that folded in the face of those
10:03 am
islamic state militants and they were just not willing to fight for the maliki government. so in many ways the u.s. strategy hinges a lot of what happens in baghdad and what happens with the government. >> by way of perspective you were there in lead up to the last gulf, last war in the gulf and now you say congress believes the president needs authorization of congress in order to get involved again and the president saying he did not think he needed that authorization, do you get the sense in washington that this time they are trying to do it by the book because they know that history is watching? >> well, you know, the president can send, can pretty much dispatch troops at-will and pentagon can usually find the money. in this case they are also asking for the funds and it's a little different sending troops in combat as opposed to sending them in an advise and assist role. it's a little bit trickier to find the funding for that. so i think the president realizes that especially after the results of the mid term election that he needs to work
10:04 am
with congress and because this really there is really by partisan support to take action against i.s.i.l. the administration i think is pretty confident that congress will grant them that additional authorization for the use of military force. and so i think it's an effort to include the congress and make sure the congress feels comfortable what they are doing. the friction point between the administration and republicans in congress who don't think the u.s. is doing enough in the battle against i.s.i.l. is this idea of administration ruling out a ground combat role for u.s. troops. and some of the republicans say you know you shouldn't rule anything out. we may need to really battle these forces in iraq and it may take some additional military force in the future. >> jamie, what is the mood at the pentagon? because after all these u.s. troops that we are talking about even if they are in an advisory role are going in to do a job they train the iraqi military to do and then when push came to
10:05 am
shove iraqi military turned and fled. is there a sense that some in the pentagon don't want to get involved in literally cleaning up the mess that iraq has become? >> well, i think general martin dempsey the chairman of joint chiefs has made it pretty clear in the past the united states doesn't want to own this mission. the feeling in the pentagon is yes the u.s. military can send in additional troops and now the situation very well very been there for ten years and could beat back some of the i.s.i.l. forces and retake some of the territory but when they leave they are facing the same problem. they really want the iraqis to own it and think the political piece is so important and very important that the government in iraq be one that reaches out and much more inclusive and, in fact, think the key in syria, neighboring syria and it's iraq first and then syria which syria is a little more complicated but think the key there is getting bashar al-assad out of the
10:06 am
picture and now he is firmly in control and makes it very difficult to train and e equip the opposition in syria battling on i.s.i.l. on one front and assad forces on the other. so the u.s. strategy is sort of focus on iraq and not put u.s. troops in a ground combat role to use the u.s. to help the iraqis solve the political situation so that their forces will stand up and fight and then sort of pivot to syria and see what they can do there. there are no easy answers here and i think that is one of the things you will hear from the hearing is they don't have a quick fix for this problem. >> again we are watching washington where the hours armed services is about to hold its hearing concerning i.s.i.l., the two top military leaders expected to enter the room shortly and defense hagel and general martin dempsey and jamie one of the things that has emerged in this campaign against i.s.i.l. is what seem believe a
10:07 am
divide between the top brass and the white house. describe if you would i guess the healthy distention between a military brass and civilian leadership. >> well, i was walking around the pentagon yesterday talking to people about that. of course you know a lot of the times the information you get from people at the pentagon is a lot of times while there is debate and dissension a lot of times they feel that is over played and of course you know we have civilian control of the military in the united states. so it's the political leaders that make the decisions and the military's role is really to provide their best advice and then to salute smartly and carry out those decisions. the chairman of the joint chiefs who we will hear from today is in a slightly different role and serves as the military advisor to both the president and defense secretary. so the advice he gives the president he doesn't often share with others but he is also in sort of a different situation because he is appearing before
10:08 am
congress and when general dempsey was confirmed before the congress, congress asked him if he would give them his best, honest advice too so if he doesn't believe a policy is working he is op gaited to tell congress and he will walk a tightrope talking before the committee today to make sure he is honest and gives his real military assessment of the prospects for success while not really portraying the confidence of the president and defense secretary who he is the principle military advisor and see how he dances around that. i'm told people close to dempsey he is optimistic but just cautiously optimistic. as a military leader he is well aware of the things that can go wrong and how the strategy really depends on a lot of pieces falling in place that in the past have not fallen into place easily. >> defense secretary who has entered the room and chairman of chief of staff dempsey and
10:09 am
getting ready to seat themselves and one quick question before the hearing begins and we just ended a massive campaign in which spending from all angles came out of the woodwork and the i 270 and i-267 corridor are live with defense contractors and how much does a role does all of that outside spending on defense projects play in roles like what we are seeing now unfolding against i.s.i.l., how much pressure on the administration and pentagon to go and have a fight? >> well, i think that the pentagon would push back against the idea that that influences their decision at all but money is a big issue and the chairman of the joint chiefs has been frustrated by the previous sequestration efforts by congress he feels has handicapped the pentagon in being able to respond and you will also see general dempsey
10:10 am
push back on that. >> we are going to go now to the hearing in washington d.c., this is the chairman of the armed services committee and house of representatives take a listen. >> i want to thank you at the outset for your cooperation. we have a hard stop at 1:00 p.m. today because the house organizational meeting therefore after constitution with mr. smith i ask you now to consent each member shall not have more than four minutes rather than the usual five to question the panel of witnesses so that we can get to as many members as possible. thank you. the committee meets to receive testimony on the administration's military campaign and strategy for, syria and iraq and welcome hagel and dempsey and we appreciate you being here to address these very consequential issues. when we last saw you in september the congress just passed an authority to train and e equip modern syrian rebels
10:11 am
after a lengthy debate. the air campaign in iraq had been under way for a few weeks and strikes in syria had not yet begun. i stated then that i did not believe the president's minimalist strategy was sufficient to achieve his objectives of degrading and destroying i.s.i.l. this hearing is critical to our understanding of the progress made by the president's strategy and to hear from military leaders on what else may be needed. the budget amendment that we received monday afternoon pays for the air campaign and adds more advisors. but it does not appear to reflect any changes in strategy. however, we know that targeting and air strikes are getting harder as i.s.i.l. changes tactics and limiting advisors to buildings will not help newly trained iraqi and syrian opposition. their forces to hold terrain and
10:12 am
much less defeat i.s.i.l. in the field and the president doubled down on the policy of no boots on the ground despite advice given him and my question is how can you successfully issue the mission you have been given to degrade and ultimately destroy i.s.i.l. when some of your best options are taken off the table? gates and leon pinetta said we need to have boots on the ground if there is hope for success in the strategy and the coach a west point graduate and very successful basketball coach at duke told an army conference last month declaring we won't use ground forces is like telling your opponent you're not going to play your best players. we may very well be considering a new aumf in the future but i would offer a warning that should the aumf proposed by the
10:13 am
president contain such limitations it will be doa in congress. i will not support sending our military into harm's way with their arms tied behind their backs. lastly, the risk to our forces increases even more with terrorist detainees turning to the battlefield. i.s.i.l.'s leader al-bagdadi is chief among them and reports of guil gitmo returning and dispute the disturbing trends there is increase in notifications regarding detainee transfers from gitmo, general secretary and dempsey you shoulder an immense responsibility each time you sign off on or concur on these releases. i understand you are under pressure to release even more. but the roughly 150 detainees that are left are the worst of
10:14 am
the worst. to continue these releases just as we have had to open a new front in the war on terror is unwise. mr. secretary and general dempsey, again, thank you for being here today. this is likely the last hearing that we will have together. and all of the issues that bring us together are never easy. i've always appreciated your friendship and candid conversations and your service and your dedication to this nation. and for those of us who will not be here in the 114th congress, let me express our gratitude to you for your leadership, your service and above all your devotion to our troops. ms. sanchez? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and gentlemen, thank you again for being before us. mr. smith could not be here this morning and so i will be reading his statement.
10:15 am
if it so pleases and i hope the chairman. so again these are not my words because as you know mr. chairman, i'm probably very different than a lot of the thought that is going on in the committee in my ways but these are mr. smith's words. he would like to thank witnesses for appearing here today just three months ago the president notified congress he had authorized the commander of central command to under take air strikes in iraq against i.s.i.l. just two short months ago on september 23 the administration provided a war powers notification of strikes in syria against i.s.i.l., since that time the u.s. has taken hundreds of strikes in iraq and syria killing hundreds of i.s.i.l. fighters, eliminating their freedom to move in convoys and substantially impacting ability to have oil and to fund their operations and driving their leadership under ground which complicated their ability to command and control their forces. the dod has deployed about 1400
10:16 am
troops to iraq to protect the embassy and to advice and assist in iraq cherokee security forces including the iraqi army, counter terrorism and kurdish pershmerga and announced another 1500 will go and air-lifted weapons and ammunition to isf and the syrian kurds fighting i.s.i.l. and the administration has been lifted around 60 countries to fight against i.s.i.l. and a number of them have under taken strikes in either iraq and syria and some volunteered to send special forces to iraq to help and congress approved a temporary authority for dod to train and e equip syrian opposition to fight i.s.i.l. in other words, mr. smith says we have come a long way in a fairly short amount of time. and thank you to the two of you for leadership in arriving at most of what i just mentioned.
10:17 am
and even though we have made substantial progress more remains to be done to combat the threat of i.s.i.l. and i.s.i.l. able to control territory in iraq and syria will without question plot and plan attacks about the west and i think we all agree as we have seen what they have been doing to the people that they have taken to the people that the beheadings and the executions, et cetera, i'm paraphrasing here to make this short, mr. chairman. but going forward we have many decisions to make about combatting the threat of i.s.i.l. the president for example requested that congress authorize the use of military force against the group rather than relying on the 2001 aumf to combat al-qaeda. i agree congress should debate and pass an aumf but i am skeptical we can assemble a majority to do so. the president has also requested 1.6 billion to train iraqi
10:18 am
forces and congress need to reauthorize the syrian train and e equip authority. and, again, these are the words of mr. smith. i'll end and i would like unanimous consent to put the entire statement into -- let me end with the last paragraph and make it shorter. going forward prosecuting the camp page against i.s.i.l. in either iraq or syria will be extremely complex and challenging, we must not dilute ourselves about this, both iraq and syria are complex, messy situations where perfect outcomes are extreme low unlikely and it will take years and dedicated efforts and disagreements with allies and partners about desired outcomes and russia's role in syria will be challenging and we seem to have overlapping interests with iran and iraq our desired outcomes do not clearly align and we certainly do not have the same overlapping interest in
10:19 am
syria. all of which is to say that these situations are going to be messy and require constant attention and management. fortunately managed correctly we have a real path toward the goal of degrading i.s.i.l. denying safe haven and eliminating leadership and curtailing striking at allies and us and i hope the pan list will explain to us and the strategy and thank you mr. char man and ask to put it in the record. >> without objection so ordered. mr. smith had ten days ago had surgery on his hip and he is recovering. i want to let you know he is fully engaged. yesterday we had our big four meeting working on the bill and he was -- technology made it possible he was in the room with
10:20 am
us and fully and totally engaged. one other thing i would like to mention at the outset, several of our members will not be with us next year. some retired. some lost their election. let me thank each of you for your service to this nation, to your service on this committee. it's much appreciated. this committee is always tried to work in a bi partisan manner and anyway i think enough said, thank you, thank you for your service. mr. secretary? >> chairman and congresswoman sanchez and members of the committee thank you. >> [shouting] . >> there is a disturbance in the
10:21 am
committee proceedings. the committee will be in order. i'd like to formally request those in the audience causing this disruption cease their actions immediately. [hammering on the gavel] thank you very much. thank you to the capitol police for restoring order. mr. secretary? >> chairman, obviously, your last hearing is not going unnoticed and unrecognized. so we shall proceed. as i was saying i very much appreciate and i know general dempsey does the opportunity to come back after a couple of months and update this committee on what we're doing and how we are doing it, why we are doing it.
10:22 am
i know that this has not been as you all know the only communication we have had with this committee. we have had many, many briefings with your staff. many of you i have spoken to directly as well as general dempsey and many of our military leaders, so to have this opportunity to bring together in some convergence of explanation of what we are doing and why and how, i very much appreciate. mr. chairman, your leadership and your service to this committee, to this congress, to this country over many years has been recognized many times appropriately over the last few months. it will continue to be recognized. it should be recognized. i want to thank you personally for your support, your friendship. i have valued that over the last two years.
10:23 am
i've had the privilege of holding this job. i will miss you personally. and i know this committee will. but there are so many very able and capable and dedicated people that are right next to you that will carry on. so i didn't want this opportunity to go without me expressing my thanks and best wishes to you and to your family and to the next chapter in your life and your many new adventures that lie ahead. as i noted i'm joined this morning by the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general martin dempsey, who i too have like you have appreciated his wise council and his partnership as we have dealt with some of the most complex and difficult issues that i think this country has faced in a long time. and i know general dempsey
10:24 am
appreciates all of your service as well. general dempsey has played a critical rollover the last six months especially in shaping and developing our strategy along with our sencom commander and you know lloyd austin and austin and commanders and men and women i want to thank them. mr. chairman, president obama chairman dempsey and general austin, all of our leaders and i have been very clear, that our campaign against i.s.i.l. will be long and will be difficult. we are three months into a multi-year effort. as we enter a new phase of this effort working to train and e equip and train regarding i.s.i.l. in iraq and syria we will succeed with the strong support of congress and the strong support of this committee. before i testified two months
10:25 am
ago our campaign against i.s.i.l. has made progress and advance in parts of iraq has stalled and in some cases been reversed by iraqi and kurdish and tribal forces by the u.s. and coalition air strikes. but i.s.i.l. continues to represent a serious threat to american interest and allies in the middle east and we will still influence over a broad swath of territory in western and northern iraq and eastern syria. but as president obama has said, i.s.i.l. will not be defeated through military force alone. our comprehensive strategy is focused on supporting inclusive governments and sustained a broad based regional and broad coalition and strengthening local forces on the ground. it also includes under cutting i.s.i.l.'s flow of resources, encountering i.s.i.l.'s messaging, constricting the flow of foreign fighters, providing
10:26 am
humanitarian assistance and our intensive regional and global diplomatic effort. in iraq much more needs to be done to achieve political reform. but we are seeing steps in the right direction. in the wake of years of polarizing leadership, iraqi prime minister abaddi is leaning forward by the diverse communities and appointed a sunni defense minister, after that post was left vacant for more than four years. and he is moving to create an iraqi national guard which would empower local forces especially in sunni tribal areas of anbar providence aligning them with the central government. you may have noticed that yesterday was announced that he replaced 36 of his most senior commanders integrating the iraqi security forces with more senior sunni leaders. this is essential to
10:27 am
strengthening not only the iraqi security forces but strengthening a central government, a government in iraq that, in fact, can build trust and confidence of iraqi people. thanks to intensive diplomacy and we support iraq and syria, a coalition of 60 nations that are contributing assistance rangiin from air support to training and as i testified 16 nations joined the military campaign against i.s.i.l. the first coalition air strikes in syria involved ba range and jordan and cutter and saudi arabia and united and a tremendous demonstration of unity among our middle east arab partners and coalition partners have carried out 130 air strikes
10:28 am
against i.s.i.l. in both iraq and syria. last week canada launched the first air strikes in iraq bringing the total to 12 nations participating in strike operations in iraq and syria. as additional partners provide tanker command and control and intelligence survive and aircraft. coalition nations have also pledged hundreds of personnel to support our mission to train, advise, assist and help build the capacity of iraqi forces. a global coalition is shaping the burden of the campaign with nearly all our coalition partners funding their own contributions. with the president's special envoy with general john allen, allen is in the lead as he coordinates the coalition strategy and contributions across all of lines of effort with our coalition partners. as a coalition and as a nation,
10:29 am
we must prepare for a long and difficult struggle. there will be setbacks. but we are seeing steady and sustainable progress and mr. chairman that is an important part of answering the questions we have. the questions we have about our own strategy that we ask ourselves the questions you have about our strategy. can we sustain it? can it be sustained? after at some point we leave. that is a critical component of our strategy. asking that question-and-answering that question. we are seeing steady and sustainable progress along dod's two main lines of effort, first, we are seeing progress in degrading and destroying i.s.i.l.'s war fighting capacity. and in denying safe haven with fighters. directly and through support of iraqi forces coalition air strikes have hit i.s.i.l.'s
10:30 am
command and control, its leadership, its revenue sources, its supply lines and logistics and impaired the about to mask forces. in resent weeks these strikes help persmerga push forces out of northern iraq and helped security forces begin retaking areas around major oil refineries. last weekend air strikes hit a gathering of i.s.i.l. battlefield commanders near mosul. i.s.i.l. fighters forced to alter their tactics and we knew they would. they will adapt. they will adjust. maneuvering in smaller groups, sometimes making it more difficult to identify targets, hiding large equipment and changing their communications methods. sustaining this pressure on i.s.i.l. will help provide time and space. time and space for iraq to reconstitute its forces and continue going on the offense.
10:31 am
this pressure is having an effect on potential i.s.i.l. recruits and collaborators, striking a blow to morale and recruitment and we know that and intelligence is clear on that. as iraqi forces build strength the tempo and intensity of the air campaign will accelerate in tandem and we need to build partner capacity so lobinging forces can take the fight to i.s.i.l. and ultimately defeat it. today many of the approximately 1400 u.s. troops in iraq are engaged in advise and assist programs with iraq and kurdish forces and we will expand the support to iraqi forces by deploying up to 1500 additional military personnel. including two new advise and assist centers at locations beyond baghdad and irbil as well
10:32 am
as four new training centers in northern, western and central iraq. i recommended this deployment to the president based on the request of the government of iraq, u.s. central command's assessment of iraqi units, general dempsey's recommendation, and the strength of the iraqi and coalitions campaign plan. these additional troops and facilities will help strengthen and reconstitute iraqi forces expanding geography of our mission but not the mission itself. u.s. military personnel will not be engaged in a ground combat mission. our phased plan to help strengthen iraq security forces has three major components, first our advise and assist mission partnering coalition advisors with iraq forces at the headquarters level and u.s. and coalition advisors are already helping plan current and future operations. and as noted we will expand this
10:33 am
mission with two new advise and assist centers that we have announced. second, we will support the regeneration of iraqi forces so they are better equipped to launch offensive operations over the coming year. sencom new training south in northern, western and central iraq will help train 12 iraq brigades and more than a dozen coalition nations expressed their intent to send trainers and advisors to help build the capacity of iraqi forces. third, we will concentrate on broader security sector reform. to help transform iraqi forces in a more coherent and capable unified force. this includes prime minister abaddi initiative for units that i mentioned earlier. coalition partners playing an important role in these efforts
10:34 am
by providing efforts and trainers to help generate iraqi brigades and together we are also providing more arms and equipment to iraqi security forces. this year the united states alone has shipped more than 685 million dollars in critical equipment and supplies to iraq. ranging from grenades and small arms to tank ammunition, helicopter rockets and fire missiles and hundreds of which will be arriving this month. u.s. and coalition partners together have delivered over 2.7 million pounds of supplies including 33 million rounds of ammunition, to persmerga forces alone. mr. chairman, in syria, our actions against i.s.i.l. are focused on shaping the dynamic in iraq which remains the priority of our counter i.s.i.l. strategy, but we are sober about the challenges we face as i.s.i.l. exploits the
10:35 am
complicated, long running syrian conflict. because we do not have a partner government to work with in syria, or regular military partners to work with as we do in iraq, in the near term our military aims in syria are limited to isolating and destroying i.s.i.l.'s safe havens and coalition air strikes in syria are accomplishing this by containing or continuing to target significant i.s.i.l. assets which has impaired i.s.i.l.'s ability to move fighters and equipment into iraq. disrupted their command and control, damage their training bases and significantly limit their financial revenue by hitting captured oil fields and disrupting their crude oil distribution and collection sites. the defense department's longer term effort is to train and e equip credible moderate
10:36 am
opposition syrian forces especially from areas most threatened by i.s.i.l. this will require at least 8-12 months to begin making a difference on the ground. we know the opposition will continue to face intense pressure in a multi-front battle space and we are considering options for how u.s. and coalition forces can further support these forces once they are trained and equipped. these forces are being trained in units, not as individuals. our strategy in syria will demand time, patience, perseverance to deliver results. we cannot accomplish our objectives in syria all at once. the position of the united states remains and assad has lost the legitimacy to govern. but there is no purely military solution to the conflict in syria. alongside our efforts to isolate and sanction the assad regime
10:37 am
our strategy is to strengthen the moderate opposition to the point where they, where they can first defend and control their local areas. next going the offense and take back areas lost to i.s.i.l. and ultimately as their capability and leverage develop to create conditions for a political settlement in syria. thanks to the broad bi partisan support in congress, mr. chairman, including majorities in both parties, preparations for, syria e equip and train commission is complete and have a task force to coordinate the coalition training e equip program forcier yeah and saudi arabia, turkey and other partner nations agreed to host training sites and development of those sites recruiting and vetting will begin once congress has authorized the actual funding. but we are still moving forward, doing what we must do to prepare
10:38 am
for that vetting process and that training. we are still at the front end of our campaign against i.s.i.l. as president obama told leaders of both houses of congress last week during a session which i attended with general austin, congressional support, your support is vital for the campaign to succe succeed. the administration requesting $5.6 billion in overseas contingency operations funding for fiscal year 2015 to help execute our comprehensive strategy in iraq and syria. $5 billion for the department of defense, $3.4 billion would support ongoing u.s. military actions against i.s.i.l. under operation inherent resolve. $1.6 billion would into toward a new iraqi train and e equip fund devoted to helping reconstitute
10:39 am
iraq security forces. this fund will be critical for enabling iraqi security forces including kurdish and tribal forces to go on offense in 2015. and it will require the iraqi government and coalition members to make significant contributions as well. over 60% or $1 billion of the $1.6 billion fund would be available initially. the remaining $600 million would not be released until the government of iraq and coalition partners have provided at least $600 million of their own contributions. because the iraqi government must invest in its own security and its own future. as the president said last week, the administration will be engaging the congress to support the effort against i.s.i.l. by enacting a new and specific authorization for the use of military force, one that
10:40 am
reflects the scope and the challenges of our campaign against i.s.i.l. dod will, who closely with the congress on each component of this effort. as this mission continues to progress, we will continue to evaluate and reevaluate each element of our strategy. having just marked veterans day earlier this week, let me again thank this committee for what you do everyday to support all our men and women in uniform and their families serving this country across the world. mr. chairman, thank you. >> general dempsey. >> thank you, chairman. i want to add appreciation to you on behalf of the joint chiefs of leadership and all you have done for the defense of our nation, your devotion to the men and women of the joint force and importantly to their families will continue to resonate throughout our ranks. i too appreciate the opportunity to appear before this committee
10:41 am
this morning to discuss our strategy against i.s.i.l., secretary hagel has already detailed the elements and the progress of our comprehensive approach against i.s.i.l. broadly our strategy is to reenforce a credible partner in the iraqi government and assist regional stakeholders to address the 20 million disenfranchised sunnis who live between damascus and baghdad and they have to reject the i.s.i.l. ideology from within and implementing iraq first strategy enabled by coalition but as i said before it's not iraq only strategy and it will evolve through the coalition and with multiple lines of effort and over time. we need to squeeze i.s.i.l. from multiple directions, we need to deny them safe haven and disrupt activities in syria. we need to build up a syrian opposition to confront them. and we need to take a long view, achieving the outcome we desire
10:42 am
requires the multiple lines of effort all have to move a pace of each other. these lines of effort include counter financing, counter foreign fighter flow, counter messaging, humanitarian aid, economic progress the air campaign and security forces and a ground campaign managed by the iraqi security forces with the isf from baghdad and persmerga from the north with contribution from the tribes and in particular in alambar and other provinces. on going dialog with coalition counterparts there is a consensus across the coalition about our common vision and the objectives across those lines of effort. and there is a strong commitment to work together closely in this complex and long-term undertaking. progress will be uneven at times but with strategic patients the trend lines favor the coalition
10:43 am
over the long-term. we are alert the assumptions that under pin our campaign will be challenged, most notably we don't yet know to what degree the government of iraq will be able to convince the kurds and sunno sunnis it needs a government of unity and giving the people the confidence they have a future other than through i.s.i.l. radical ideology and don't know how sectarianism will ultimately effect the region and campaign, we will continue to revisit and review our assumptions as the campaign evolves and we will adopt and, inc br brings me to resources and commitments on the globe are up. resources are down. and to add to that sequestration is only months away. everybody we don't have budget certainty, flexibility and time means we will continue to erode readiness and over time i will
10:44 am
have fewer military options to offer and the joint chiefs and i appreciate support through the security challenges and resources and flexibility necessary to meet them. thank you. >> you have been listening to the on going testimony before the house armed services committee and one of particular interest chuck hagel says it was a kitchen accident and stood up too soon and suffered an injury and no hospital treatment was needed and you have covered the pentagon as we mentioned for more than 16 years. what did we hear coming out of this hearing so far that is new? >> well, you can see the tension here between some of the republicans on the committee, particularly outgoing chairman buck mckeen retiring from congress and this is his last hearing referring to president obama's approach in iraq and syria as minimalist and decrying
10:45 am
the fact hagel and administration and did it today flatly ruled out additional combat role for u.s. troops in iraq in battling the i.s.i.l. rebels. secretary hagel outlined an approach that is going to take quite some time and talked about really a process that could go on for years as the u.s. military tries to stiffen the forces in iraq and how much it hinges on unknown and not able to ponder particularly to the degree there is inclusive government in baghdad that iraqi forces will want to fight for. he also you heard the chairman of joint chiefs make the appeal for more resources. he is frustrated by the sequestration that capped the spending across the board in washington and he says he is going to have fewer military options to offer if the pentagon is not funded at a higher level.
10:46 am
we will be getting and they will get in the nitty-gritty back and forth particularly the debate about whether or not iraqi forces can do this on their own or whether they ought to be an option for u.s. troops to at least go in and start to make some in roads but secretary hagel said the key question is if the united states does that how do they leave and let the situation resolve itself and the pentagon has come to the conclusion that really the only way for this to work is for the iraqis to be able to fend for themselves and all of the efforts of the united states needs to be directed toward that. >> it bears pointing out a reason the white house was hesitant to get involved with the firing of 36 commanders and iraqi military is that the political progress that the white house was seeking? >> well, that is a big step because frankly you know as pentagon officials have said we
10:47 am
can train them how to fight but not the will to fight and it was clear it wasn't that the forces that folded and melted away in the face of islamic state militants were not trained and equipped enough to fight, they didn't want to fight and had no interest in fighting the islamic militants on the maliki government. many of the troops felt that their commanders were not real commanders. they were just kronies of maliki who were appointed for political reasons. so this perception of kroniesm degraded the fighting will of the forces. the pentagon and u.s. military believes it's equally important or more important to rebuild that part of the equation than to you know go through the routine military training and e equipping but both of those pieces have to fall in place and you heard secretary, you heard general dempsey rather than the end say we just don't know how much that is going to work and how long it's going to take.
10:48 am
so it's a strategy that is built on a lot of moving parts and a lot of things that the pentagon cannot control and so they are warning this is going to take quite some time. this is not a solution that is going to take months, it's going to take years. >> jamie is standing by and our senior washington correspondent is at the capitol this morning and mike is the white house concerned about the new republican-led congress that will be taking the oath of office in january and pushing in iraq are they convinced the new congress will have the patience to wait this campaign out? >> well, there is certainly going to be a more hawkish town from congress and the senate and no doubt about it and weighs heavily on decision makers and i think you saw secretary of defense and joint chief of staff and we need more time, we need more money and nothing is guaranteed in the end. this has been the mantra for the
10:49 am
last couple of months and i thought it was very significant and a lot of reports that the coalition of course including sunni arab gulf states in the region is fraying somewhat and disagreements remerging over not necessarily the iraqi strategy as tenuous as that is as dependent as that is on the body government forming a more inclusive government on bringing sunnis and having a redo of the up raising we saw in 2007 and 2008 to drive back radicals but more to syria and where the concern is. the assad government you heard secretary hagel shoot down reports that emerged over the last few days that the white house has now been rethinking strategy and posture to assad government and being a political solution is what is necessary. the administration doubling down on that and i was talking about the coalition apparently fraying over their policy, many of the gulf state neighbors there flying some air strikes over syria and iraq want to see assad
10:50 am
go and none more forthright than turkey and there has been considerable friction between the united states and the close ally turkey on that score but general dempsey doubling down himself saying the coalition is -- there is a consensus among the coalition on the goal. so some significant comments and almost as significant of what they didn't say about the shifting goals and reports of shifting goals in terms of syria policy and evidently staying the course in the policy toward assad and arming those so called armed vetted opposition members that hagued reiterated is another 8-10 months out. >> outside the hearing on capitol hill and is always please stand by and we will take a break and we will return to the armed services committee and talk about i.s.i.l., stay with us.
10:51 am
10:52 am
this is continuing coverage of the armed committee examining the administration plans for i.s.i.l. and let's listen in. >> totally off and wrong and so iraqi army ran away from the fight with respect to i.s.i.l. or fall in with respect to i.s.i.l. and some have said it was the leadership that maliki wasn't doing the 60-20-20 thing et cetera, et cetera. but my question is: what has
10:53 am
changed or what needs to change for us to continue of what we see as the strategy in part or what i call the ratification of that army of having iraqis actually fight the battle so that our people don't come in as boots on the ground and what has changed or what is wrong from we have not gotten it right in afghanistan or iraq and what are you doing to change it so these men actually do take the fight to i.s.i.l. and armed men and women don't have boots on the ground? >> congress women i'll give you an answer but i'm going to also ask chairman dempsey to answer this because as you all know chairman dempsey spent a lot of time in iraq and there are a few military leaders that we have
10:54 am
today in this country who know as much about iraq based on personal experience than general dempsey. so i will give you my brief response and then i think this committee will want to hear from general dempsey on this. what's changed? a number of things have changed and let's start with i.s.i.l. and the threat of i.s.i.l. and what it represents. i've said before this committee, i said in other places, and believe it, absolutely, we have never seen a threat like i.s.i.l. before. the comprehensive threat that i.s.i.l. represents, the sophistication, the armaments, the strategic knowledge, the funding, the capacity, the ideology, it is new. the threat is significantly worse than we have seen ever before, not just in iraq but in the middle east, what i.s.i.l.
10:55 am
represents, certainly to the future of iraq. secondly. >> mr. secretary, i'm not -- i understand the threat of i.s.i.l., i'm asking what is the difference in the men of the iraqi men that we have in the forces there in making the difference, not running away from the battle and being trained and led correctly? >> i'm going to get to that but i think it is important you asked what is the difference. there are a lot of differences like i said, starting with i.s.i.l. second, a national unity government by a new prime minister who, in fact, as i said in my testimony for the first time has designated, picked a minister of defense. we have not had a minister of defense in iraq for more than 44 years and prime minister maliki took that job to himself as he did the minister of interior. this new minister of defense and
10:56 am
this new government is reconstituting the leadership of the iraqi security forces as i noted in my testimony, 36 new commanders were switched, starting at the top, across the top. men and women will not fight if they do not have confidence in their leaders, if they do not have confidence in their country, in their government, if their government won't support them, those are fundamental changes. let me hand this off to general dempsey and i think get more of the specifics. >> with respect to the second point and maybe general dempsey you can collar clarify if they are 60-20-20 split or the same as before? >> well, i'm hoping we will find out and we don't know yet. we have some who have been retired, some of who have been relieved, some of whom have been moved and we are not yet familiar with who is taking their place and i hope it's not
10:57 am
actually some artificial 60-20-20 ratio because you want someone to lead and fight and inspire and be inclusive but we will see, we will see very shortly actually who takes the place of those who have been changed. this is a very brief answer to a complex question and we left iraq with some things undone and we had not fully established the logistics architecture and intelligence architecture and they did not have close support and capability to integrate fires. and this is largely it would assign leadership and they knew that and they knew we knew that but it was not a completed work, it remained a work in progress. and then to couple that back to the secretary's comments about
10:58 am
the -- what creates courage on the battlefield is confidence that you have got somebody at the central government that actually will care for you and your family. i mean, look, you don't think we would be out there swinging and fighting if we didn't have the support of the congress of the united states and the kind of support that the american public provides to our men and women in uniform so we cannot hold the iraqis to a higher standard that just simply didn't exist. that is why i said that one of the important assumptions about this campaign is that the iraqi government does establish its intent to create a government of national unity. i can predict for you if that doesn't happen then the iraqi security forces will not hold together. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. thornberry. >> they chairman and for being here. you mentioned the president said he would be engaging congress to
10:59 am
support a new updated, revised authorization for the use of military force and my understanding is in every previous instance an administration has proposed language and sent it up to the congress, is this administration going to propose language and sent it up to us and if so when? >> congressman, i don't know specifically what they are going to propose. i don't know specifically if they are going to send it up as a legislative proposal. i do know that conversations are being held right now, have been with various members and their staffs about the right approach. the president said, as you know last week, that he intends to engage congress on this and i know the president has had specific conversations with specific members of both the house and senate on this. >> well, i just comment that
11:00 am
having conversations is one thing but as we learned with the authorization to train and e equip the folks in syria until you get words on paper it's hard to make progress. let me follow-up a little bit with some of your comments that you made to ms. sanchez and i noted never before seen a threat like i.s.i.s. or i.s.i.l. and worse than we ever seen before. one of the key questions under lying all of this is to what extent we can ultimately be successful against i.s.i.s. without dealing with assad. and what is your view of that? some people believe, some of our closest allies involved in this effort believe that we can only be successful against i.s.i.s. if we become involved in the effort against assad. >> congressman, it's a fundamental question you ask and i'll answer