tv International Programming CSPAN March 17, 2010 7:00am-7:30am EDT
phased adaptive approach. of course, one of the benefits of this it allows for an immediate missile defense system against iran. what impact does the approach have affecting regional stability in the aor? >> well, we're looking at the ballistic missile defense, frankly, in the aor itself. we have made our requirements known to the department. and also there's obviously an effort to tie in what we do because now it's all about shared early warning and again sharing across combatant commands. and so as the deployment sequences are sorted out, we will then tie in with our european command brethren in making sure that what we see, they see and vice versa.
>> in an area that has more intrigue perhaps more than others is piracy in the vicinity. how much of our time and our financial resources and personnel and equipment would be assigned to dealing with the piracy in the vicinity that is within the aor? >> it's not a substantial portion of it, but it is an important mission that the naval component central command performs but it does so together with a coalition maritime force and also with e.u., nato, and even independent elements including china and russia has been out there as well. ultimately, senator, the key there is going to be maritime shipping companies taking more defensive measures including up to, we think, at some point armed security elements. we have changed our tactics and
so forth as well. we've learned a lot about the networks that carry out the pirate attacks which are really quite extraordinary in some cases, up to 5, 600 nautical miles off the coast of somalia with lots of big huge 50 gallons drums of fuel throughout. and there are other paraphernalia. but it's a very challenging mission because we have the authorities relative to pirates only that police have relative to an alleged criminal. this is not the declared hostile enemy for a military force. it is a reduced set of authorities, if you will, that we have in this arena. and so if you then detain a pirate we're right back to the question of who do you turn them over to? there are not authorities in somalia that will deal with them. we've made arrangements with some neighborhoods countries in the region but some of their facilities are starting to get fairly full. >> well, with respect to those
authorities and my time is up, is that something we should be looking at in terms of rules of engagement if we're going to be patrolling and protecting those arenas? i realize it's very sensitive? >> it is a sensitive one, sir. we've offered this to the policy arena. it becomes an international legal issue and again and so forth. and i think the u.n. has given the authorities that generally the international community is willing to provide. >> thank you. thanks to both of you. >> thank you, senator nelson. senator thune? >> admiral, general, thank you very much to your extraordinary service to our country in some interesting and dangerous times. general petraeus, the advanced weapons systems defined for antiaccess and aerial denial are being proliferated including in the centcom responsibility. iran, for example, is seeking to purchase the russian sd300.
what's your views by the iranians to pursue some of these antiaccess and aerial denial strategies? >> and, in fact, with respect to the s300, i think you know that has not been delivered. and there's quite a bit of focus on that whether it will be delivered because it would represent a significant increase in the capability air and missile defense capability of the iranian forces. there's no question in a they are trying to increase their antiaccess capabilities against maritime as well as air threats. it's something that we watch and that regional partners and others in that area watch very closely as well. >> what's your view on the pursuit of these -- this strategy by iran and how it would affect our ability to
project power in the middle east specifically in the gulf of iran and the strait of hormuz? >> well -- >> if they're successful in their pursuit of these -- >> well, again, we have -- you know, the most capable military in the world. we can deal with the threats that are there, but they make it more difficult. i mean, that's basically the short answer to that without getting into the specifics of each type of system and what we have in return. we think, for example, that we could keep the strait of hormuz in the event of a crisis if we're properly positioned and so forth. but again, these are -- that would be a challenging task. and again, these are the kind of tasks that we have to be prepared to perform. >> general, i wanted to get your views on the development on the air and sea battle concept that's under the pentagon. the new qdr directs the navy and
air force for a new concept of defeating adversaries with some of these antiaccess and aerial denial capabilities that i just mentioned, which in turn will help guide the development of future capabilities that will be needed for effective power projection operations. and some of these antiaccess and aerial denial weapons can be low tech weapons such as mines or small boots using swarm tactics and sometimes can be as effective -- just as effective in creating these denied areas. could you kind of give us your views on the development of this new air, sea battle concept so far? where does centcom fit in the overall concept and development and implementation on that concept. >> i can't really give you all that much because it's in very much the conceptual state of kansas.
-- state. it's on dealing with what we know exists right now and could exist in the near term with what we have right now and know we'll have in the near term. that really is our focus although we again do get the opportunity to contribute to the services developing these concepts. >> okay. it's not like -- i mean, i assume they're consulting and there are discussions that are occurring. >> that's correct. >> do you have a view how long-range strike capabilities would have in that a and sea battle concept? >> again, unless we get into real specifics i'm not sure where i would head with that. i mean, we've got a variety of long-range strike capabilities, as you know. >> right. >> some quite impressive. we've used some of those in recent years certainly. and again, without really
getting into the details of the concepts. >> okay. let me ask one other question, if i might, having to deal with afghanistan. let me find it here. it has to do with the intelligence operations, their military intelligence. and i would direct this both to you general and to you admiral, as well. major general michael flan who's the top intelligence officer titled a blueprint for what he called intelligence relevant in afghanistan. the report notes and i quote our intelligence apparatus still finds itself unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment which we operate and the people we're trying to protect and persuade, end quote. and i would pose this question to both of you. do you agree with general flynn's overall assessment in this report? what actions have you -- are you taking in response to that report and have any of the initiatives that he directs in the report have been carried out?
>> in those, senator, when we conducted the strategic assessment that's customary with a new commander coming in to a position like that of central command, one of the biggest of the big ideas was that our capacity and capability for afghanistan and pakistan was not adequate. and, in fact, i went to admiral blair early on and asked if he would appoint a mission manager for afpac. he did one better of deputy of national intelligence for that. we then set about beefing up the capability and capacity there including sending general flynn among others to help build that. we formed a center of excellence for afpac in the joint intelligence center at central command. the afpac sale or the pac sale as it's said has done the same.
so what we've done is to build the capability that we had -- this is not unlike what we did in iraq as well. in early 2007 one of the first requests i made before even going to take command was for a substantial augmentation of our intelligence capability. we got that and we've been working on providing that kind of augmentation in afghanistan as well. >> anything to add, admiral? >> i think it's natural for the early energy of the intelligence community to be focused on identifying the immediate threats to our force but as the battlefield has evolve, the transition into using intelligence capabilities to better develop our understanding of the environment and to seek opportunities for engagement is a transition that i applaud. >> okay. thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator thune. senator bill nelson? >> thank you, mr. chairman.
gentlemen, thank you for your continued service for our country. and i'm especially proud that both of you reside in my state, in the wonderful area of tampa. gentlemen, last week, i did a hearing for the chairman in our emerging threats subcommittee on the increased radicalization of young men and the extremist elements that are so bedeviling the civilized world. and the conclusion that came out of a lot of the testimony in this hearing was that we could continue to do everything that we are doing very well that the military is doing just exceptionally well.
particularly, in the responsibility that you give to these young officers with the cerp funds. that they can go in and help a village, a community. and it helps us ultimately from our military objectives. and we talked about all the other elements of the military in a place in like afghanistan, agriculture, health, digging wells, education -- all of these things are so important. but that if you don't get right to it, about the radicalization of young men by presenting islam as something that it is not, that is not taught in the koran, that you're still going to have these extremists that'll go out
and blow themselves up and threaten stability. you'd love to have your comments on that conclusion. >> senator, i think this really gets at the heart of one of the big ideas out there which is that it takes much more than just military security thrift it takes whole of governments approaches and not just our government, host nation governments and all other partners because indeed you have to get at the conditions that give rise to extremism, to the kind of discontent and so forth and unfulfilled expectations and the rest of all that that can give rise to extremism. and you have to get at the issues of actual education in some cases, which again in some cases creates fertile ground for the planting of extremist seeds as well. and again that takes a very comprehensive approach. it is one that some of our partners in the region have
actually done quite well in recent years. if you look at some of the countries in the arabian peninsula in particular, some others have not, but that is the kind of approach that is necessary to this overall challenge. >> i agree with that completely. i'd just add that the department of defense plan for addressing violent extremist threat does include actions led by the military as you laid it out to conduct the traditional military kinds of actions. but it also lends strong military support to the whole of government, whole of nations approach to dealing with the environment. >> if you all as successful as you have been certainly in iraq
and we hope in afghanistan and now in our relations through the pakistani government, that they are successful, too, but yet if young men are led astray as to what the koran teaches and they're willing to go and commit suicide, that is going to continue to be a great hindrance to us. and i think we've got to look at this through our northern command as well. the radicalization of young men here inside the united states. but that means we've got to be able to find clerics who know what true islam is and are willing to go out and educate the ones that are being radicalized. how do we do that?
>> i think the answer tops lie in the islamic world. it has to start there. and it has to be islamic leaders who identify the issue that you have just raised about the importance of religious leaders who have the courage to deny extremism as an aspect of islam. those leaders are out there. they are carrying out some of these initiatives. some of their countries were threatened enormously by this extremism. and have taken actions in the wake of that. and needless to say that has to continue to spread to address this threat of extremism as you've laid it out. >> all right. you take a country like saudi
arabia, now they can deal with the radicalization problems by going to the tribes which is the families of the young man who has been radicalized and work it out that way and they've had some measure of success in doing that but in other countries you can't do that. you can't work through the tribes. so my time is up. i want to lay the problem out. i want to continue to work with both of you. and with the overall problem that's in this country as well. >> senator, just a follow-up. i mean, saudi arabia has not just worked it through the tribes frankly which they have and it's been an important component. they've done a very whole of government approach to this overall issue. and indeed it has been quite impressive for a country that five years ago was seriously threatened by extremists who blew up their ministry of
interior building, so threatened foreign oil workers that thousands of them departed. took over our consulate in jeddah and so forth. and again what they have done has been quite impressive. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator nelson. senator sessions? >> i thank you for both of you for your service and to your country. i think the american people see how many men and women in uniform perform and how proud they are to them and and i continue to talk to them in airports and places like that and they are an inspiration to me. but good leadership is important. and it does make a difference and you're providing that. thank you so much. with regard to the training of the afghan military and police, general petraeus, your second tour, i guess, in iraq was to come back and train that.
you spent, i guess, a year or so training a force -- and i'm sure you developed some ideas about how that all to be done. it seems to me that of if you've got a local defense force that's willing to defend their community against taliban or al-qaeda, perfect training -- if it's going to delay dramatically the ability of those people to be effective is a danger. and i recall the al anbar model where we quickly got sunni tribal leaders to empower their local young men to turn on al-qaeda. that was effective. i guess, my question is, i see there's some tension in the -- the state department or other
people within the military about how -- how trained in kabul or in -- i'm talking in theory here -- how much tfaining by the central government before they can be allowed to defend their home territories. and with a little salary and support of a good tribal leader or mayor or community leader, much good can be done. where are we? are we demanding too much centralized training before we join with friendly local leaders? >> in fact, we're trying to take advantage of that in cases where that's appropriate, senator. and to empower in some cases with good oversight and partnering some local elements. it's called the community defense initiative now. i think there's 8 or 9 or so that are ongoing. these great special forces elements that are typically the ones partnering with them, tied
into the afghan ministry of moor interior because it's important not to empower the warlords that it took to disperse and disarm a number of those elements. really, it is the same dynamic that we had in iraq, different terrain, different culture, different social makeup and store. -- so forth. it's every valley in anbar in fact, in anbar over time and we knew this in the beginning the situation in iraq was so desperate that we were willing to just take individuals who were willing to to go to al-qaeda and how we were going to immesh them in the iraqi structure. it has taken some time but iraq pays the salaries of the so-called sons of iraq who have
not been provided jobs in various ministries and what have you. and a number of them have indeed already transitioned in that form. so that's what we have to be sensitive to here as well. and recognizing afghanistan is a country that doesn't have the financial means that iraq has. and so that's yet another dynamic that we're wrestling with. but we're indeed taking advantage of some of these opportunities in very careful ways in partnership with our iraqi colleagues. >> what strikes me this is a large country, 20, 25 million people will soon be drawing down our troop levels. many of them now are going to have to be concentrated in some of the more dangerous arizona. -- areas. and that leaves a lot of areas that we don't have any presence in or ves presence. -- very little presence and we may be desperate enough that we may have to take some chances
with leaders that we believe are pretty good leaders. >> there's some that are going on and there are areas where the afghans are security forces. have been for some time. areas in the north, for example, where we have virtually no other presence and perhaps the force protection elements which go with the provincial reconstruction teams. these endeavors are a patchwork quilt and what you're trying to find the right answer for that particular location and then try to figure it out to make it an enduring answer as well. >> general petraeus, with regard to the shortage of trainers, perhaps our trainers can be a little less skilled trains or something. -- trainers or something. that's something you don't want to be short on. do you see how long it will be before we can get the sufficient number of trainers there? >> well, let me just say that again what we would like to see
right now is for our nato partners to generate the additional trainers that have been requested. again, in the theory of always having contingency plans there are thoughts about how to fill that if we have to in other ways. >> admiral olson, with regard to the cerp program and how you train our special operating forces, isn't it true that we believe the best policy of our government is to have a seamless relationship between government aid and our special operation forces? and that we use all of those factors, political, financial, as well as military to achieve maximum progress toward our goals? >> it's certainly true the more
interagency cooperation there is the better the outcome typically is. >> well, with regard to the aid that's going through usaid and the state department and other things it, seems to me that when you got of a skill special operation forces team in an area and they really have little or no other u.s. government presence there, aren't they sort of the representative of the united states? and do you feel like they're empowered sufficiently and financially to make commitments with those leaders to say if you will do this, we'll do this? and could that, if we had more -- if they're empowered greater, that they could be more effective in reducing violence and protecting the lives of our own people? >> sir, i'd leave the answer regarding sufficiently to
general petraeus because the money flows through him for the most part. it is true that special operations forces are often somewhat more remote and do become if not diplomats at least representatives of the u.s. presence. and it is important that they be able to apply benefits in the regions where they live. and so within the special operations community resides the active component of the civil affairs capability of the army, for example, and that is a very strong and strengthening of relationship between usaid and the special operations community in many of those regions. >> general petraeus, my time is up but briefly you feel like we've made progress in that area and can we make more? >> i think we made progress but i think we can make more.
in fact, one of the important elements of general mcchrystal's overall approach is to achieve greater unity of effort. and that means conventional forces, special forces, civilian elements and so forth all working together to a common aim trying not to duplicate efforts in trying to do it in a way where little bureaucracy is necessary but recognizing some of that is necessary. so there is a need to do more in this area, and that is one of general mcchrystal's thrusts in his effort. >> well, i strongly support that. thank you. >> thank you, senator sessions. senator hagen? >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral olson and general petraeus, as other members of the committee have said, i thank you for your service to our country and for your testimony today. you know, aim proud north
carolina is part of the training center of fort bragg and as you know, all special joint operations combat are trained to obtain the skills they need on the battlefield. several months ago i had the opportunity to visit this facility and i witnessed the great training that has taken place there. i understand combat medics need to have the capability to perform complicated procedures often in the dark, in the middle of the night and under hostile live fire conditions in remote locations. i also understand that the dod sees tremendous value in live tissue training. especially since they are faced of the task of taking these young men and women with no prior medical schooling and transforming them into combat trauma specialists in 26 weeks. while simulators may hold promise according to the office of the secretary of defense, simulators currently lack the realism and the ability to
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