tv Capital News Today CSPAN June 23, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EDT
intelligence and devotion to a cause of public service. as you know she's currently leading a noble mission of her own protecting our military families from exploitative sand manipulative lending practices. by my rough calculations, general petraeus has spent more than twice as many months deployed in iraq and afghanistan over the last eight years as the back home in the united states to be a thrill out of that time with, holly has remained steadfast supporters opposed the qtr husband service to the country and i might add supported and protected of their gifted children. so today will wino whom we all want to say thank you, holly petraeus. general petraeus background and accomplishments would make him a superb candidate for any of top national security positions in the united states government.
but there are a special set of reasons why i believe she will make a truly super director of the cia particularly at this time of war. first general petraeus is someone whose very name inspires the trust and confidence of america's friends and the fear and anxiety of america's enemies. as our commander-in-chief in iraq than at centcom and now afghanistan, she has stood at the epicenter of some of our toughest most intensive and most effective counterterrorism operations. general petraeus knows our enemies. at the same time he has also built close relationships with our partners and allies in the middle east, south asia, the atlantic community and around the world. he's proven himself to be a capable leader of organizations
that are even larger than the cia and. and because, as you said, madam chair, he is not just a soldier, but a scholar as well having earned a ph.d. at princeton. he is very well suited to oversee and demand the highest standards in the critically important analysis done by so many who worked at the cia. after all he has done, general petraeus certainly would have been well justified at this point in his career to seek a quiet personal retirement. but fortunately for the rest of us, service to because larger than himself is a general david petraeus' creed and personal destiny. the skillful men and women of the central intelligence agency will be in very good hands when he is given the opportunity to
be their leader. and all americans who will be fortunate indeed and savor when general petraeus is at the helm there and that is why i feel so personally honored to present to this committee general david petraeus. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. we very much appreciate your being here and welcome you to stay if you would like or i know you have other things as well. so it's very much your choice but thank you very much. general petraeus, we are delighted to hear from you if you would like to proceed. >> thank you very much madam chairman. tester vice-chairman i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you this afternoon. i would like to thank senator lieberman for his kind introduction. i have of course a considerable contact over the past ten years with senator lieberman and his capacity as a senior member of the senate armed services committee and i might add also was one of the so-called three amigos. throughout that time, his
support of and abiding concern for our troopers and their families have been extraordinary. senator lieberman is a true patriot and statesman who has served our country magnificently. and i know that he will be sorely missed by his colleagues and constituents when he hangs up his senate colleagues in gentry, 2013 after 24 years of service on capitol hill. >> thanks also for your kind words about my wife, holly shinzo stranger to public service. she's an army daughter, wife, mother and advocate for military families. as was noted earlier this year, she left the office she established some six years ago the better business bureau to become an assistant director of the new consumer financial protection bureau responsible for the office of service member affairs. holley was recently described as being bright, nice, small, and a
pit bull. someone you want in your corner. i've been blessed to have had heard in my corner for some 57 years and 23 moves, and i appreciate the opportunity this afternoon to recognize her publicly. while that is needless to say a tremendous honor to have been nominated by the president to serve as the next director of the intelligence agency, i've worked very closely with members of the agency over the last decade in particular, and i have the highest regard for them and for the agency as an institution. if confirmed will be a true privileged to serve with them and continue to contribute to the important endeavors to which so many americans and coalition partners have given so much in recent years. up front this afternoon, i thought it might be useful to address a few of the concern's various pendants offered about individual backers of becoming the cia director. some reservists for civil questioned whether i will be
able to read my own work, that is to ensure that my involvement in afghanistan, iraq or other endeavors will not cover the agency's analysis of those efforts. let me reassure you on this issue. clearly i have views on the efforts in which i've been engaged. i shared them in the past with the agency analysts and i will do so in the future. however, if confirmed when i'm in the situation room with the president i will strive to present the agency position. i will also remain keenly aware i'm the leader of an intelligence agency, not a policy maker. in truth michael in uniform has always been to convey a the most forthright and accurate picture possible. i have to be sure to offer more positive assessments than the intelligence community did on two important occasions. in september, 2007 on iraq, and in december, 2010 on afghanistan. in each case, my team and i felt that the situation changed
significantly following the intelligence community assessment cut off date typically some six to eight weeks prior to the date of the assessment being reviewed by policy makers. in view of that, we sought to provide our assessment and more up-to-date analysis. in two other cases, those of the assessments on iraq in april, to the sunday and march, 2009, i provided less positive assessment than those put forward by the intelligence committee which again, stop the clock for analysis purposes a good bit prior to the date we provided our assessment. my view in those cases was that the assessment should have been more cautious and more qualified, and that is what i offered. in short, sought to provide the most accurate view possible. michael has been to seek truth to power, and i will strive to do that as the director of the cia if confirmed.
there's also been concerns voiced over militarization of the intelligence community in general and the cia in particular one reason i will retire before assuming the directorship of confirm this to release such concerns. beyond that, yet no plan to bring my military trust with me to the agency. there is no shortage of impressive individuals at the agency and i look forward to interacting with them and populating my office with them. if confirmed, i will inshore to get out of my vehicle alone on the day that i report to langley. finally, some observers suggested someone who has had six commands in a row as a general officer might find the root of the flatness of the agency organization unsettling. i would remind such individuals that i was as was earlier noted privileged to have an academic turkoman my background and that i have long enjoyed a vigorous debates and discussions. moreover i repeatedly used red teams outside advisers, direct
telescopes and back channel contacts with individuals well down in the organizations i've been privileged to command. in practice i used iraq and afghanistan for a sample was meeting with versus company commander on the battlefield circulations, and i've also corresponded by e-mail with a memorable young commissioned and noncommissioned officers as well. in short, i will not only be comfortable with a lack of a rigid hierarchy of the agency, i will promote a procrit flatness of the agency's organization, while recognizing that there does have to be some hierarchy and that at a certain point, decisions have to be made, analyses have to be finalized, and judgment have to be rendered. i would also like to offer a few observations about how i see the agency, observations that benefit from discussions with the agency's current leadership team, former members of the agency including virtually all former directors and a number of senior leaders and of course, with director leon panetta.
and here if i could i would like to salute director panetta's principal fourth rick leadership of the agency over the past two and a half years. indeed, leon panetta did an absolutely magnificent job at the helm of the agency, and it was a pleasure to work with him while i served as the commander of the u.s. central command and as the commander in afghanistan. in assessing the organization, it is important that i recognize that the agency is its people. indeed, it is blessed with thousands of individuals who truly are national assets, quiet professionals and on some heroes who go about their work silently and without public recognition. they are the ultimate selfless servants of the nation, individuals with extraordinary expertise, initiative, integrity and courage in the face of adversity and physical danger. and needless to say if confirmed by will work tirelessly to help attract the best people to the agency to ensure that those
hired provide the diversity needed for the areas in which we need to perform missions to ensure we strive to develop them and invest in them to the maximum extent possible and to work to retain them for as long as is possible. the agency is, of course, but one of 16 elements that comprise the intelligence community, and while that may be the most prominent and well known, it is nonetheless part of a team and collectively it has to be a team player. moreover, it is critical not only that the leaders of the agency elements work well with partners in the other organizations. it is also critical that the director works closely and effectively with the dni. i have known who dni jim blabber for a number of years and worked with him and his current capacity and when he was the under secretary defense for intelligence as well. we have worked well together in the past, and we have discussed the imperative of continuing to do likewise if i am confirmed as
the next director of the cia. i believe i you understand his role as the leader of the intelligence community, and by understand the relationship the cia should have with the dni. if confirmed, i also look forward to working closely together with leaders of the ever agencies of the intelligence community. i have in fact soldiered with many of them over the past decade while deployed for a year in the balkan starting some four years in iraq as the commander of u.s. central command, and of course over the past year in my present position in afghanistan. i am also keenly aware of the need to maintain close ties with congress to read by all reports, the agency has done an admirable, under director panetta in this regard, and i know that keeping the committee fully and currently informed is imperative. if confirmed, i will keep the agency on the trajectory it has been falling in this regard under john rector panetta.
indeed, i look forward to furthering their relationship indeed, the partnership that was built with congress on his watch. with respect to additional organizational issues, many have consulted since my nomination have emphasized the need to continue to improve the development of agency information systems that enable efficient sharing of information and also to continue the eve of of of tools and applications that help with analysis. i will focus on such areas as confirmed in seek congressional assistance if required. related to that, i understand the effort to reduce internal agency stovepipes needs to continue. they're reportedly has been considerable improvement in this area in recent years however additional ahead humped is warranted to work the tension between the need to protect information and the need to share its. on a related note, i will also strongly support efforts to
integrate analysts, all disciplines of intelligence and operators. in fact, the various centers of the agency such as the ones devoted to counterterrorism come counter proliferation and crime and narcotics among others are good examples of such integration. if confirmed on will support and reinforce such approaches. other issues and the organizational arena deserving attention are the need to maintain sensitivity to the counterintelligence threat, and prove cyber sea to come up great leadership training for supervisors, continue the expansion of language skills and strengthen the lessons learned processes among others. i will the examine each of these areas closely if confirmed and support appropriate initiatives in them. the committee knows well the regional and functional issues on which the agency needs to focus. obviously the agencies heavily engaged in the front lines and the global fight against violent
extremists. there has needless to say been important progress against al qaeda in recent months in particular and i will ensure we maintain the relentless pressure. indeed, i worked closely with various agency elements in recent years in this campaign, and if confirmed, i will support the continuation of this superb cooperation between agency assets and other intelligence community elements with the joint special operations command and other military command and with relevant relevance of the interagency. needless to say, support for the ongoing efforts in afghanistan and pakistan as well as missions in other locations such as its use them in, iraq and parts of africa will remain critical. the agencies charged with the conduct of covert operations. these operations are of enormous importance to the country and i will devote considerable attention to ensure such
activities are properly conducted, resources and coordinate it. it is also important the agency while staying focused on supporting our ongoing war not to be totally captured by these efforts will continue to such of the utmost, the agency nonetheless also has to maintain a broad global perspective, one that is constantly searching for new threats and opportunities, the next and for the but in the end of spring and the capability of the various state and non-state actors, the development of china and other emerging global powers and the possible proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to a particular as well are cyber threats that have emerged in recent years. i share the concerns that many whole about cybersecurity, and confirm bible ensure the agency continues to work closely with intelligence community partners to identify and counter risks, threats and adversaries from
issues within our networks to threats from outside attackers. related to this coming and in view of the agency's responsibility for conducting and coordinating human intelligence collection, i will also if confirmed examine progress and collection on the so-called hard targets, and inventory the status of initiatives against them, aligning our efforts as required finally, i also recognize will be critical to ensure adequate resources for appropriate investment and agency infrastructure, science and technology and other assets while also striving to be good stewards of the nation's tax dollars come in and doing our share to help our country deal with 20 fiscal realities. if confirmed, will focus intently on those imperatives as well, noting that i will also not hesitate to seek additional resources that may be needed as the emerging missions and tasks
require. the central intelligence agency's the forefront of the efforts to identify and counter the threats to the nation's security in the interest. it plays a central role in many of the country's most important and diverse. if confirmed as the agency's next director, i will do all that is humanly possible to insure that the agency is relentless in pursuit of intelligence needed by the country's leaders, our law to become our platts, and indeed, our own covert operators. it would insure to be in an enormous privilege to be the agency's stricter and to serve with our present, leave, and be at for agency members, individuals with world-class knowledge of other countries and cultures, with cutting edge technical expertise with extraordinary courage initiative cut meant and no quest for a claim more public recognition. the professionals of the agency
are our country's best and brightest. men and women who voluntarily undertake some of the most difficult tasks for the nation. men and women for whom integrity and analysis is the watchword. i served closely with many of them since 9/11, and i cannot say enough about them at the sacrifices they and their families make for the country. serving as their director would be a tremendous offer, and again, a tremendous privilege. thank you very much. >> thank you very much, general petraeus. now comes a pro forma five questions if you shiastan utter yes or no, please. do you agree to appear before the committee here or in other venues when inside it? >> yes, i do. >> do you agree to some officials from the cia and designated staff and invited? >> i do. >> do you agree to provide documents or other materials requested by the committee in order for it to carry out its oversight and legislative
response of these? >> yes i did you disconnect will you ensure the cia and its officials provide such materials to the committee when requested? >> i will. >> do you agree to inform and fully brief to the fullest extent possible all members of this committee of intelligence activities and covert actions rather than only the chairman and vice-chairman? >> yes i do. >> thank you very much, general. i know this is not the subject, but because of president obama's announcement last night, i'd like to put that behind us and then go onto other things. when we talked, you mentioned you had presented to the president certain options, and we didn't discuss what they were. i would just like to ask this question. how do you view the president's decision with respect to bringing home certain trips and
maintaining others for the rest of the time prior to 2014? >> if i could, madam chairman, perhaps i could just walk through the process because it was quite a substantial one although in a brief pergolas time included three meetings. after the first meeting is given homework assignment which i answered by the second meeting and then with a third meeting is the one in which the president ultimately reach a decision. the responsibility of a combat commander in that kind of situation is to provide options to the president to implement his stated policy, and that's what i did. associated with each of those options was an assessment of risk, the risk being assessed in this case from my perspective the risk having to do with the ability to achieve objectives in the military campaign plan, acknowledging that at every level of the chain of command of me there are additional considerations and that each person above me all the way to and including the president has
brought purview and has broad considerations brought to bear the president alone in the position of at evaluating all those different considerations, including certainly those of the commander on the ground, but also many others as well in reaching his decision to read on provided such options. i provide assessments of risk, and provide recommendations. we discussed all of this again at considerable length. the president then made a decision, the commander in chief has decided and is then the response devotee needless to say of those in uniform to salute smartly and do everything humanly possible to execute it. as chairman admiral mollen stated today before the house armed services committee, the alternate decision was a more aggressive formulation, if you will come in terms of the time line.
than what we had recommended. again, that is understandable in the sense that there are broad considerations beyond just those of the military commander. the fact is there has never been a military commander in history who has called all the forces he would like to have for all the time, all the money, all the authority and nowadays with all the band width as well. so there is always a process of assessing risk, and typically in a case like this as the chairman put it today risk at the margin. we are talking about small differences here, albeit a significant from the military commander point of view so that is how widely out in the process that took place, the very good discussion. this was indeed a vigorous. all voices were heard in the situation room, and ultimately the decision has been made and with a decision made obviously i support that and will do all i can during my remaining time as
the commander of isf to implement it and set up general allan to do likewise so we can achieve the objectives of the campaign plan and then if confirmed as the director of the intelligence agency to do the same from that position as well. >> thank you. i have one minute left. i have been concerned by many of president karzai's steegmans. we all know what this country has done in the last ten years, and it seems to me to be the development of an adversarial relationship. how do you view his recent statement? >> first let me say there have been times when first of all we had always seen issues the same way and we worked very hard to resolve such situations.
second, they're have been times where we think perhaps communication to the domestic audiences would to some of the kind of statements that we have heard which i think of cost legitimate concern among some who have heard those and that is very understandable i would note i sat down with president karzai on numerous occasions. people ask what's the relationship like, and i say that it is a productive, it is a forthright relationship, it is one in which again we do not always see issues for the same perspective initially but typically when we have added these around, we have come to mutually acceptable solutions. secretary gates has observed rightly that there have been times we have not listened closely enough to present karzai to read this is an important element of the relationship that
at times we need to think about walking a mile or a color monitor in his shoes and hindu kush and understand in that perspective and the need to maintain, again, this political foundation that is so challenging but without which he cannot operate. so, i have a degree of understanding in this case for president karzai, which to my partner over the past year and during which time we have made significant gains on the security front in the greater couple security area and helmand province and kandahar and in other areas in the face of a resilient insurgency. we have resolved some of the very important issues that have been problematic in the past, the private security contractor issue is now one course. we've reduced civilian casualties each year. we did it in 2010. they are down losses due to isaf
and afton operations this year are down by over 10%. but that's not good enough, we understand, and we have to continue the efforts to do that. we worked through mechanisms we are now afghan forces lead they don't just a company or partner us. they lead and nearly 25% of the night raid which are important to the overall effort not the be all and end all a comprehensive approach that also has to include a variety of other elements in this civil military campaign plan that we are executing. so indeed, i think we have to continue the dialogue and the partnership. there are times understandably i think where there are stresses on that relationship. addressing those is not optional and it is indeed the way that we approach the relationship and i work to help the individual that is that he elected leader of a sovereign country but is trying
to reach the same kind goals that we have for his land there in the hindu kush. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman? >> thanks, madame chair. general petraeus, in listening to the president last night, i was somewhat disappointed with the scale of the drawdown particularly in the short term. and the reason that i was disappointed is because i have visited with you on any number of occasions where you've been very attentive to making sure that we understood what your goals were in afghanistan particularly with of the now halfway complete surge from a timing standpoint, and you often talk about needing to make gains of homeland and kandahar provinces as you just talked about, and ultimately making gains in the eastern part of afghanistan. as i look back at your testimony
in june of 2010, just after the president made his west point speech, you talked about him and giving to messages in that speech, one of commitment and one of urgency. and i want to quote you. he said the urgency was the july, 2011 peace. noting that what happens in july, 2011 is a beginning of a process for transition that its condition based in the beginning of a process of responsible drawdown of the u.s. forces. you also said in that testimony that as we embark on the process of transitioning, which keep in mind the imperative of insuring the transition actions we take will be irreversible we will get one shot at transition, and we need to get it right. now, the reason that i am concerned about what the president said last night is that connie know you've made gains in the south.
i know you've made some gains in the east and have additional plans moving more aggressively in the east and i am concerned because if we are now talking about pulling them 10,000 or one-third of the trips this year that are part of the surge and the balance of them, by the end of next summer, before even the fighting season ends next year, what is the risk of losing those games that you talked about our reversible but need to be irreversible in your testimony back in june of last year. >> let me just come vice chairman, mention that first of all transition will begin this summer, begins next month in fact as you know. it will be conducted in seven different locations, three provinces, one of which is kabul less one district, and then for different municipal districts.
as i said, it will begin this summer and will then put a substantial number of afghan citizens. it's nearly 25% of the population. now the fact is that in each of these locations, transition essentially already has taken place. this has been ongoing over a period of time. strikingly gone, helmand province, the municipal district is going to transition. this is made possible because over the course of time indeed tsa forces have forced out and afghan forces have very much stood up to the point that there are virtually no forces policing the streets there nor are they in kabul i might add. now, we believe very strongly this is certainly the right course to take and it's what we recommended. there will be another staunch in the fall and another in the spring and fall of next year. and we have in on that schedule.
now the fact is we will have our surge forces again certainly 10,000 will come down by the end of this year. we have flexibility determining which forces and when they come. there are already some that are coming home without replacement and decisions that were already made. and others identified and then we will achieve this and scope it again based on conditions, based on assessments of fashion to the commission and we are constantly updating our campaign plan and we will do another round of that needless to say with a decision having been made. but basically we are taking out 33,000 u.s. forces over the course of a 15 month period and there will really i think somewhere in that summer is perhaps as late as mid september or so, something like that. during that time, i might add, that there will be some 70,000 additional afghan forces and on
the projections, about 50,000 additional afghan army and in national police. there will also be probably some 20,000 or so what are called afghan public protection force which are the private security contractors coming under if the control of the ministry of interior are very important actions, that is just beginning now. and then there will be some other non-standard elements that are supported by various agencies and international elements such as counter terrorist pursuit teams under the intelligence service and so forth. it will be critical that we obviously accelerate this as much as we can to read something we always been about doing so that we can indeed do that handoff as our forces come out of locations and as the relief and out because we are not keen to come out and him off, we will fan out and indeed a handoff to afghan forces. again, throughout this process, we will be constantly examining
and assessing conditions, we will provide forthright edify east, people always ask me, general, if something happens that is unexpected or that is increases the level of risk beyond which you originally provided, will you provide your fourth right advice? in my remaining time i can assure you there will be the case and in general allen who's my deputy central command during my time there i can assure you she will do the same as well. >> thank you. >> thank you very much mr. vice chair. we will live in regular order five minute rounds. >> thank you madam chair to the general petraeus, when we talked we talked more about the nature of the cia, the evolution of the cia, and it's interesting to me you made the statement i've got to get off the car all by myself you won't have a uniform on, you
will be a new person to them. i say this because i care tremendously about the morale of the cia, about the personnel. i think it's in pretty good shape right now because i think leon panetta was good and worked at it. she brought to people with him but no more. other cia directors since i've been on this committee much less in the senate have been less effective, some have demoralized cia, some have developed sort of a close the end of advisers to whom the term but the haven't been good at reaching down into unexpected analyst who gets a phone call of a sudden reaching outside the usual chain of command. it's my impression that first of all you want to be a champion for the cia. that's very important. it's also my impression that you want to focus on your duties and you use the phrase and your
testimony that you understand that you will be commanded a very large agency and will be involved in public policy but not necessarily the nation's leading discuss serve policy on meet the press so to speak. in other words, i think the cia will will get you first and they will be very impressed as obviously everybody is by what you've done but by the very, very excellence of your performance, they will also be nervous because they will be receiving as their leader somebody who comes in alone and somebody who is kind of a superstar on the military and intellectual force side but who they don't know. so my questions to you or the following. one, it is hard to walk into rebuilding. still a general petraeus, and
simply to develop a sense of confidence. i believe so strongly in the c.i.a. i think they need [inaudible] and their leader to read i would go so far to say that i think the whole of the entire region is a very large agency will turn into a bitter days words or less a good day's work based upon how they see you. so my questions are the following: you will take nobody in with you what you will have a strategy as to how you are going to make yourself close to the cia without in the sense and forcing yourself on them, but you will draw them to you, and we discuss that in my office and you had some very interesting thoughts and ideas and i wish you would talk about them. >> thanks very much, senator. first of all, i agree with you
absolutely. in your assessment of the agency. as i told you behind closed doors i will say here i wanted this job. this is something that wasn't a month or two or three in the making. secretary gates and i discussed this all the way back last year. i'm taking off the yen for my ford proudly for 37 years to do this job i think in the right way. i think the world of the agency and its people working closely with them for the past ten years in particular, and i do again feel enormously privileged just to have been a nominated to lead them. you should know on day one after being sworn in wherever that is, i will indeed get out of the vehicle alone. i will go to the auditorium, do all hands and have folks pie tin as well and i will tell them up front right there that you all should know that i'm here to recruit you, and i know that
you're here to recruit me. and i also know the director of the national clandestine service as my case officer triet i will seek to reassure them. i will use a lot of the same techniques applied obviously to a different organization that i tried to use in the military reaching out, reaching down. we talked for a simple about the descent channel. it's called ask of the director and there's an awful lot of great questions that come in where the director apparently and i will stress the should know that and beyond that, i will even give my personal e-mail address which should be readily available in sure on the system any way, and it's like the military, there won't be any hesitation in the junior ranks in providing unsolicited input to their boss, in fact actually mothers and fathers of american soldiers, sailors and airmen, marines come coastguardsman taking advantage of that as well, and i'm delighted to answer them. i did discuss today in fact this
morning with the td director and sissy director and i appreciate your recognition of mike morrill is a truly super officer and stands in the agency would be very well taken care of in the interim. with the launch of directors of the agency, and we talked about, again, this kind of strategies that can be pursued indeed to embrace the agency and to show how much i believe in them come in the missions that they perform, in their enormous contributions to the country's security and understand there's a whole variety of these. it even starts out by going to the cafeteria a few days a week and other days in fighting groups to the office the equivalent of the will of a company commander lunches certainly going out to workspaces and visiting them their rapid and summoning them to the seventh floor but in deed
that's an important incentive as well. so lots of these tactics and procedures and i've been given a number of ideas like that and i will certainly seek to implement them. but again, i get very much appreciate your feeling for the agency because it is one that i share a very deeply. >> and just finally, general petraeus, the idea of having people come at you systematically, challenging decisions that you are about to arrive at or perhaps have arrived at as well just picking up the following and the case officer either in the building or somewhere else in the world and say what you think about this and that? that kind of thing spreads wildly fast. >> senator, i think the red team is very important and the formal red team is an important part of any such organization. something that i sought to do also as i mentioned the contract
people that are the eyes and ears for you as well, reaching down into the organization to individuals and indeed welcoming them saying look, this is not a military chain of command here. this is an organization that prides itself on its flatness and in the vigor of its discussions and debates and there should not be a case someone walks out of my office and ghost town hall and says i wish i had said this or that. that shouldn't be the case and i have to try to create conditions to where people are willing to again not only for the agency speak truth to power in the inner agency but for there to be truth spoken to power on the seventh floor of the headquarters as well. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, senator rockefeller, senator shlaes? >> thank you madam chair in a general petraeus i want to join everyone in congratulating you and to express my profound
gratitude to more than three decades of extraordinary service to this country. more than simply filling a position at the helm of the cia certainly a man of our time during the pivotal moments in this country if the multiple faceted and the fact you bring the real world operational experience from the backdrop of being an operational commander both iraq and afghanistan as well as the command of the u.s. central command. i want to congratulate you and also to say thank you to your family and the magnificent wife holly. americans are you tremendous debt and strategy so i think that this nomination is an expansion of your list of career that is desert. general, i would like to go back to the question of afghanistan because honestly people in this country and the sacrifices of
those who made the sacrifices have been injured during the course of this decade long war uncertainty about where the future is with respect to the ultimate in began strategy and particularly in light of the president proposed redeployment and surge draw down. use it in your testimony before the senate armed services committee that we must be ensured that afghanistan doesn't once again become a sanctuary for al qaeda use it to the in your testimony that we made important advances in recent months against al qaeda but you also said in your testimony back in march that our efforts are fragile and reversible. presuming that on the basis a certain level of troops. the president indicated in his speech last night in reference to pakistan they have to expand the capability to grow about
cancer and violent extremist. irrespective of troop levels, and irrespective of the capabilities outcome the afghan national army is it possible to end this insurgency without the results of the pakistanis cooperation, their willingness to take the gerbil unambiguous steps towards eliminating terrorist safe havens. i know your predecessor now secretary panetta said that it is one of the most frustrating and complicated relationships with pakistan. so the key to all of this is that pakistan doesn't cooperate and eliminating those sanctuaries along the borders, then will we ever get to a point that the situation will not be fragile and reversible? >> welcome center, first, thanks for your kind words.
second, i think it's important to note what pakistan has done over the course of more than two years now. if you remember back around say 30 months or so ago virtually all of the than north west frontier province slash chellie or controlled by the pakistanis have an pakistan the other agencies of the federal lead and mr. tunnell area were controlled and by the pakistanis and was very clear to all in pakistan to the political leaders and citizens and religious leaders and the military leaders of this post the most pressing existential threat to the very existence of the pakistan a state as it existed at that time. the to their credit they have conducted very impressive counterinsurgency operations in very extreme terrain, and former
northwest frontier province to what folly in the associated areas to clear a number of the agencies in the federally administered tribal areas, not all and certainly right now we are working hard to coordinate on the other side of the border where the at other times take the and fall for our operations in kunar province and then we are the info for their operations in by sure agencies and it's very important we give them credit for what they've done and for the enormous number of casualties, thousands of soldiers, thousands of police and indeed thousands of civilians and lost their lives to these extremists inside pakistan. now having said that there's also there's clear recognition more needs to be done not only against those elements that are threatening the security of pakistan and and those causing
problems in neighboring countries in afghanistan and foremost among them and indeed posing a threat to the entire world with the fact al qaeda of course senior leadership was known to be in various locations and again in the rugged tribal border areas. so there is more that needs to be done and the need to be done to coordinate to share intelligence and so forth but in some others as director panetta has forthrightly noted that hasn't been the case and that is difficult to read and there's no question that the order of difficulty, the mac into this the difficulty for the effort in afghanistan is greater as a result of the inability to deal with some of those very significant threats that reside in places like north waziristan down in a certain areas of baluchistan and so forth.
now, we've got to work this relationship. there are hugely important neutral object ifs that we need to work together to achieve clearly this has been a time when that relationship has been fraught for a whole variety of different reasons, and we've got to redouble our efforts there in the to move forward constructively. now, can we achieve the objectives and afghanistan? certainly much more difficult if there is not assistance there, and in those cases what we've done naturally is to establish leered differences. back from the borders of the agencies in which these groups reside most heavily. so for a simple, in host province down to the southeast of kabul which borders north waziristan there is quite a substantial afghan defensive element has published the new the mountains there is another
line of defense and there's another line of defense at the southern end of the two provinces of kabul to greater kabul province area and then within a couple afghan security forces are in the lead conducting all operations and as the lead elements including some absolutely superb special operations forces which indeed we do seek to support the and to enable intelligence tools and assets which conduct the operations on their own% to arrest warrants issued by afghan authorities. so, again more difficult without question i'm not sure that i will say not doable. >> thank you. thank you very much, senator snowe. senator wyden? >> thank you. general, let me join my colleague and express my gratitude for your service. i also think that what is especially important in the
director's position is that senators get the real story. they get somebody who's going to be a straight shooter and i'm convinced you're going to do that and i appreciate that. i brought with me a new issue of the foreign affairs magazine, and it talks about the arab revolt, and they have a section with a caption why no one saw it coming. and so, what i would like to do is begin by asking you what you believe is a reasonable for policymakers to respect the intelligence committee to be able to anticipate in terms of major geopolitical events, and i would like to take care of springs as something of a case study general. certainly over the last few months, the report things that we've gotten from the intelligence community has been quite good. but in december and january when
the revolutions were getting started, the intelligence agencies appeared to be about as surprised as freddie also. in fact, the director jim clapper told the committee a few months ago that the intelligence community first realized that to the mubarak regime was going to have trouble hanging on in egypt when the leader of two nisha stepped down in mid january. obviously not every surprise or instability can be predicted, but i would like to hear your thoughts about whether it is reasonable for policymakers to expect the cia and other intelligence agencies to see evin click the air of a revolution coming. so my question is what should policymakers expect you to know and when should we expect you to know it?
>> well, i think senator it is reasonable to expect the committee and the cia in particular to do everything humanly possible to identify new developments come emerging developments like the arab springs, and as you noted, i think the reporting on that has gotten better over time. i don't know if it is reasonable to expect the community to be given to anticipate the self immolation of the street vendor would bring down a long standing leader of the country dictator of tunisia so i have some degree of understanding. i think over time the intelligence, because i have followed it, our countries from my former days which i maintain interest has improved, but the truth is this comes to the point i made in my opening statement and that is that the agency has
to on the one hand absolutely maintain its focus on prosecuting the global war on terror and going after the violent extremists who oppose such an important threat to our country and our allies and troops in a number of locations but we also can't turn that into a girl of magnet ball to use the kids saw chronology that everybody can focus on the ball, up to it and thereby lose sight of the rest of the field. i can tell you having discussed this with agencies leaders they are keenly aware of attention again between this focus that has to be maintained on this important flight, the focus the result of course in the death of osama bin laden but also ensure the global coverage mission continues so that indeed new developments don't end up being
surprises to policy makers. >> what concerns me and we will talk more about this there's no question that the intelligence community saw ordinary arab citizens generally have a lot of grievances against their respective governments but you don't have to be a cia analyst to figure that out and the question is going to be and you're talking a lot about it since we are spending billions and billions of dollars on intelligence. what can we get for that investment so that we really get an improved early warning system with respect to how serious these matters are and suffice it to say we will continue this. i look forward to supporting you both in committee and on the floor of the senate. thank you. >> thank you very much senator wyden. sinnott herber? >> thank you madam chairman. general, thanks to you and your
family for your service. a number of us had the opportunity to see you in action in iraq and afghanistan. i think we've seen firsthand you don't say things you don't mean. given that use made a statement numerous times on the day you're sworn in you're going to get out of your car by yourself, but you're the only main person in bin ladens's documents i hope he will change your mind and take somebody with you. >> there will be some security. >> the agency provided securities. >> general, most if not all of the finished intelligence at our committee is provided is finished analysis, and that's a derived from source reports and other intelligence materials that we don't see, and i might say we don't always need to see tax dollars are put to good use in the intelligence community.
would you agree part of the committee's duty is to conduct successful quality oversight of that analysis? >> absolutely. and as i stated, this is not just about keeping the committee informed. it's about a partnership and that is the trajectory in which leon panetta has the agency and we want to continue to do. >> i hope as we go forward that he will agree on a case by case basis there are times the committee needs that brought intelligence to make a successful judgment on the accuracy of the analytical product we are providing. trustees alluding to this i think until 9/11 the relationship between the intelligence community and specifically the house and senate intelligence community changed i think it became much more transparent, much more open line of communication, and we
had a common goal and i believe that this committee should and has been notified as fully as possible on a very quick basis. especially as it related to changes and threats do you agree this committee should have information in a very timely fashion and that he would provide it? last thing, we continued to be played to the process of weeks. some of that may deal with changes we need to make in the clearances but the staffing contractors at the cia must pass a polygraph in order to have access to qualified to be classified information. congressional staff on the senate and house oversight committees do have access to some of the most sensitive intelligence information from
the cia and in the icy community. given this access, what is your personal opinion on whether oversight committee staff should be required to meet the same minimum polygraph standards and staff at the cia? >> yes, senator, with respect that's not something that i have discussed with the leadership of the agency, and before making a judgment on that come before the committee, but i'd like to do really is to discuss it and then to come back to you for the record if i could. >> i appreciate that, and i think i speak for the entirety of the committee we would like to try to begin to make sure that we don't read about the things we discussed in the intelligence committee. i know the chairman has a deep interest in that and any suggestions you might have that help us to plug those holes we would greatly appreciate. >> thank you. >> thank you very much senator byrd. senator mikulski? >> thank you, madame chair.
general petraeus, it's a pleasure to welcome you and mrs. petraeus. i'm going to just echo my desire for continued service as my colleagues have said, and really come as someone who has a substantial number of military particularly -- to mrs. petraeus protecting them from financial predatory i enjoyed our conversation in my office in listening to the testimony here because as you know, in our conversation i wanted to know not about general petraeus, who i tremendously respect and admire, but who is going to be mr. petraeus? who is going to be dr. petraeus, and who the heck is going to be director petraeus? now, to insert a lot of those questions both with me and senator rockefeller's question that indeed the ceo of the cia,
and i hope we would have time to elaborate on that, but we also talked about you as a reformer at the cia and the military, so let me get to a former question to you so much of the work of the cia over the last ten years has been contracted out. there has been a tremendous use of contractors, many of which to do work of dubious quality and some pretty dirty, and i wondered if you had the chance to go through your transition documents to take a look at the contractor issue, and do you see the need for reform both in terms of expenditures of money functions performed, and also the so-called dirty work because work we didn't know too much about? >> i have and it is a topic i
discussed with the leadership of the agency. in fact by the way it can apply is briefed on the agency budget and if i might for the committee very briefly, i know that that budget is classified. i want to go into the numbers, but i will tell you that coming from the military, i kept asking surely there's got to be something more you're not telling me about because if our country gets a great cia for that amount of budget it's the best bargain we have as a nation. now, having said that, there's no question but quite a substantial component goes for contractors. there is, as you know, senator, an effort already on going to reduce the number of contractors, and i can tell you that that effort will continue, that indeed, that thrust his present for a variety of different reasons, some of them if you will substantive reasons. it should be done.
but then also because of the fiscal constraints that all elements of government are going to have to deal with in the years that lie ahead. >> can i have your word that has the ceo of the cia that you will scrub this issue of the use of contractors not that we don't need them, i don't dispute the need, and talking about the appropriately, value for the dollar come and then this whole way i found the way that if it was tough interrogations' for questionable tactics. >> you have my word. >> let me go in my last time here the job of the cia is both to deploy a spy but also to advise the senior policy makers from the president to the congress and potential and emerging threats. that takes me to cybersecurity.
you mentioned this in page five. i would like to hear your comments on that from the perspective of the cia. my own view is are you in during war that coming out of the white house policy has a lack of urgency, cohesiveness and mosul, and i wonder from your perspective a more muscular focus urgent policy how you see the cia and tactics and plans i know it's a complicated question in a public forum. >> actually -- i would be happy to because in particular come as a commander of the u.s. central command, i was one of the more vocal proponents of the establishment of the u.s. cyber command, and happens to be by the way west point classmate of mine and longtime friend in my personal pantheon of heroes for
the extraordinary expertise that he has developed in this area and in his leadership of the community and that carries out a very substantial portion of activities in this arena. clearly the agency has to focus very intently on the defense's against cyber threats, intrusions and so forth. there is -- this is where you have this tension between the need to share and to protect and that is something i look forward to working with the leadership of the agency but we should also remember that the agency has a unique role to play as the human intelligence collection agency if you will first and foremost that is a charter of the cia, in terms of helping other agencies to get into networks, and so i
indeed look forward to working that role very hard and in a number of different ways part current with general alexander and their heroes at nsa and cyber command and the other elements of the interagency to assist as is appropriate in that regard as well. >> thank you congenital. dr., director petraeus, and we look forward to working with you. i believe we do protect that and i have great anxiety that protecting.gov and.com and look forward to working with you. >> senator blunt, your next. >> thank you. general, thank you for being here and i'd love to join all of my colleagues in thanking you and your family for your service. you mentioned at west point, the general alexandre and i know there's a couple of cadets, doug
mcfarland from misery and travis griffin from maine and whether they are here or not we think that your leadership and example are a great role models with pete wamp -- you made about how it's critically important as a matter of fact i want to read three sentences from that, congressional oversight is fundamental to who we are into our system of government. by necessity, most of the cia activity had been out of public view and undercover. that cover shouldn't be used by elective officials have effort to hide accountability national security must be a partnership senator byrd said and as you mentioned it's a greater partnership since 9/11 that it was before.
i won't talk a little bit about drones for a minute and the use of drowns as i told you in my office a couple of days ago i'm very supportive of the decisions the president made regarding one of the results of that decision was -- i think we can talk about what i want to talk about here. -- >> we had the conversation. >> the only thing i was going to say about that is we're able to lead with information in addition the principal goal which was osama bin laden and what was going to ask in a general context is what kind of evaluation would dillinger the decision how much information might be there and whether you use a drone or not and whether you make the decision to try to
capture the information as well as eliminate the individual. >> as we discussed in fact, our preference and many of our targeted operations, again, speaking now for the military, but it has applications more broadly is to capture individual so that you can indeed interrogate them so that you can develop knowledge about the organizations they are part of so that you can build if you will the diagrams, the architectural chart and to understand the hierarchy and generally continue to pull the string and to some of them ever more granular and nuanced understanding of these organizations that we are seeking to combat.
there are however occasions we cannot for a variety of different reasons carry out that kind of operation, and in such cases then obviously kinetic activity is a course of action with your by drones were other platforms for that matter or other kinetic elements and so that does provide an option to us where you cannot carry out the operation. i would note that the experience of the military with unmanned aerial vehicles is that the precision is quite impressive, that there is a very low incidence of civilian casualties in the courses of the operations the warheads in many cases are small as a hellfire of course, so these are not large munitions
and as a result again i think the precision is quite impressive and it is constantly growing with of the proliferation of the various platforms that enable us to have the kind observation and understanding of the targets i appreciate that you're all of those things are things that as the director of you need to be intimately involved in and look forward to that leadership and other leadership and like others on this committee and i respect your service and respect your capacity as an individual and look forward to being supportive both during this process and to be supportive of your actions and held no forward with that partnership that you mentioned is such a critical part of this part of our security right now. >> thank you, senator.
>> thank you. senator nelson, you've returned. >> thank you. general, i enjoyed talking to you, and in playing on a senator rockefeller's comments to you. you and i discussed before that having come out of eight military command structure where so often it is of necessity top-down command structure when you get into the intelligence community, the collaboration structure is so much more essential to the effective achieving of the mission, and you shared some very interesting thoughts on not with me. would you repeat them for the folks here? >> thanks, senator. indeed, the ability to foster collaboration in an organization
like this and of course it's not strictly unique to the agency there are huge elements in the military and among those various intelligence elements in which we seek to shape the same kind of collaboration and sharing, but critical to the in particular is the sharing of all disciplines of intelligence fusion of the products of all disciplines. the interaction of operators and analysts and then the collaboration of all members of the intelligence community as well. i think that's critical. but as we discussed there certainly have been breakthroughs in every discipline of intelligence and since none of and whether it signals intelligence, imagery and indeed the proliferation of various platforms and unmanned aerial vehicles, the ability to digitize human intelligence and
measurement intelligence and packages optics and so forth that are now on several platforms and there's been breakthroughs. but the fact is the biggest breakthrough is occasionally overlooked and that is the fusion of the products of all of these disciplines and then bringing them all together and that fusion is carried out by people and yes, you can have the greatest applications, computer databases, massive databases you can throw lots of data into but at the end of the day the digitization of this, the use of it, the employment of it is by people and it's by people who work together to are encouraged to do that or in senders that the counter terrorist center and so forth and leaders to bring them together and ensure that all know that teamwork is not optional. now again, i think the tone for
this, the culture of this obviously has to start at the top as is the case with any organization. every team does at the end of the day have a coach and a fine privilege to be the coach of the team cia indeed i will try to foster that kind of approach. i will try to indeed encourage that, but by my own actions and initiatives including some of those that we discussed with senator rockefeller reaching down, reaching out, making contact with individuals well down in the organization allowing to send channels, welcoming red team contributions and so forth. >> describe what you think to be the state of the fight now with al qaeda, and what do we need to do to make sure that al qaeda no longer opposes a meaningful threat?
>> well, we have to maintain that effort. that relentless pressure that has resulted in al qaeda being a considerably diminished organization but noting that it still has considerable capability. obviously the loss of the only leader al qaeda had ever known, an iconic figure, is a tremendous blow to the organization, and to the organization has the franchise if you will as well, and indeed i think even some of the images that came out of that subsequently diminished to the perception of osama bin laden and the way in which he was living and so forth fighting was contrary to what i would assume many of his followers would have expected of him. also of course over the course of recent years the number three position in al qaeda was the most hazardous job in the world,
but having said all that, they're still is al qaeda senior leadership, there's a new leader of al qaeda reportedly and efforts to regenerate to resurrect and continue the efforts to carry out attacks on our homeland and on the homeland is among our allies. and as you know, these franchises elsewhere, al qaeda and the arabian peninsula was a concern of mine even before i left iraq, before even going to central command and indeed over the course of the years there there has been increased pressure on that as is reasonably well reported. al qaeda in east africa stand in very substantial loss very recently here. every now and then you actually get a break. and that appears to have been the case with a significant leader being killed at a checkpoint, al qaeda and ahmad grab in other parts of africa also bears very careful
watching. al qaeda in iraq enormously diminished but still capable carrying out sensational attacks and warrant additional attention. now the fact here is that we cannot ever get into a game of what the mall. what we have to do whack all the moles simultaneously. we have to pressure that network with our own network and one of the major developments since my knowledge and has been the establishment of this network. in many cases led by the special joint operations command of the military, but with very, very good partnering again with elements of the central intelligence agency, other elements of the intelligence community, and in fact with conventional military forces the lights off and special mission units and certainly with our diplomats and the members of other interagency elements such as the treasury department, state department, department of
homeland security who also play a very important roles in the fight against extremism. >> thank you, madam chairman. >> senator risch? >> thank you, mr. chairman. senator general petraeus was good with his time with me and i appreciate your taking the time to come see me and answer my questions, so thank you very much. >> senator udall? >> senator risch is a tough act to follow. [laughter] >> you never said that before, senator comply will take note. >> one with rocky mountain westerner to another. general, thank you for your service taking time to come sit with me and we could have finally visited for quite a bit longer but thank you for the thoughtful way and which you approach everything you've done for our country. i know that you are a keen observer of institutions and people come and in that spirit i
in other words, you do see torture differently in the cia context and in the military context? >> thanks very much. first of all i might add that it was not just the counterinsurgency field manual that we oversaw the drafting of when i was the three-star commander of the armed center headquartered at fort leavenworth, it was also the army field manual sometimes identified on interrogation actually called the human
intelligence collector operations. in that field manual, i might add thanks to senator mccain, who knows something on the subject also, has the force of law. your body gave it the force of law. no one has more experience i don't believe overseeing the application of the field manual and techniques than i do having commanded in iraq and afghanistan, and in iraq when we had some 27,000 detainee's at the highest point in afghanistan where we have far fewer, some 2,000 or so. my experience is those interrogation techniques, which are judged to be humane, and by we, we had the international committee, the red cross and all of our detainee facilities in iraq and afghanistan. we opened up some during my time in each of those commands that were conducted by some of our special operations forces, and the as been judged as the gold
standard by the international organization. those techniques, again, do work. we do gain very important information and as i mentioned that's why in many cases we prefer to capture extremists rather than to kill them. and it is a very rare case in fact where those techniques do not elicit the material we actually are after in these cases strongly support the continued exercise of that, noting by the way that the cia does not to interrogations' and does not hold the detainee's, but again, as a general statement, but also i would submit to this body and really to policy makers that there may be a consideration of a special case, and i talked about this on the record before. i do think there is a need at the very least to address the
possibility of the so-called, you have the individual in your hands who you know has placed a nuclear device under the empire state building and goes off and 30 minutes, she has the code to turn a dhaka i think that is a special case. i think there should be discussion of that by policy makers and by congress. i think this should be fought out ahead of time. there should be a process if indeed there is going to be something more than again of the normal techniques employed in such a case. and again, i would certainly submit that there would be very helpful if that kind of debate could be held, and some resolution could be made as to what should be done in a case like that so that it is worked out ahead of time rather than under an extraordinary sense of pressure in such a situation. >> thank you for the thoughtful answer, and i look forward to
perhaps a more secure classified setting having that discussion and in the meantime i will note the ways in which you and the military have performed humane interrogation that have generated enormous amounts of information keeping faith with values that make america and americans special. 64. >> senator rubio? >> thank you congenital first appeared to echo the comments made here by everyone thinking you for your service to the country and looking forward to supporting you both in the committee on the floor in the nomination hope you'll come to the floor and he spent some significant time mutual friends miss you and the tampa area. i do want to revisit for a moment the president's decision on afghanistan because i think it's relevant to the role that you will play in terms of managing relations with pakistan. ..
i also noted that again, there are broader considerations that guided that in my view, but i don't think he is my place to try to explain in detail what all those brought considerations are. i don't think it is appropriate for me to go into the positions of other people in that room either, and i think that you certainly have the rights to ask us i think in terms of the
personal view as we pledge to provide and i have provided that here this afternoon. >> my question is really more toward, and i understand the president has a number of factors is to take into account ache in his decision. i would think your recommendation would be based on military factors and you wouldn't be able to happen to share that recommendation with us today on exactly what it is you recommended the course of action be from a military perspective? >> chairman mullen has started on that today. he talked about having to two full fighting seasons rather than again well into it. >> in other words the 33 k. coming down at the end of the second fighting season roughly in that timeframe. now we do have is they said, 15 months to do this. and again there was a good discussion of this and a healthy debate. >> i just wanted to kind of add to that i asking, the september 2012 day come is there any specific significance of that day from a military or
practical perspective in terms of why that date was chosen, september 2012? >> again i'm not going to try to provide again the rationale that individuals used in making the decision. my discussion, my input focused on again the duration of a fighting season and that is what guided that. >> and that is what i'm trying to get at is the september 2012 date has some military significance or fighting season significance. >> well it does in that it is a reasonable time to the fighting season to be sure. >> right. the other question i have is in light of this decision, one of the things we have heard repeatedly is that obviously it is not the only reason but one of the things that can't locate the relationship with pakistan and in particular managing our relationship with isi is this thought that from the pakistani side, so they say, they have
doubts about americans willingness to stay there and in fact they feel like in the past perhaps we have not stuck to our commitments in the region and left them holding the bag and in essence we encourage them to -- i don't think that explains all the problems here but one of the things we keep hearing come up in conversations and media accounts. i wanted to get your perspective on how not just the president's decision yesterday but in general any decisions that we make about transitioning to afghanistan, how that should be handled and how those numbers, dates and decisions that are made how that impacts that issue and impact the question would apply that have express we need to hedge your bets attitude because they have questions about america committing to the region and to the conflict. but specifically about pakistan and managing that relationship. >> first of all i think it is very important to recall that
the most significant development in the past year in a strategic sense with respect to the campaign in afghanistan is the commitment that was made at lisbon this past november 4 the alliance to remain committed to afghanistan through the end of 2014 by the end of which time afghan forces will be in the lead in security terms throughout the country. that was an enormously important moment for the effort in afghanistan. now, implied in that, explicit in that actually is the idea that obviously during that time there is going to be a steady drawdown of coalition forces and isaf forces as indeed there is a steady increase of afghan forces. as i noted earlier for example during the 15 month period that we will draw down some 33,000 troops and at the end of which
we will still have 68,000 u.s. troops on the ground and probably another at least 30 to 40,000 other non-u.s. isaf forces, during that time if we draw down 33,000 i think there will be an increase of some 70,000 afghan forces and again this is not just the army and the police that are authorized. it is also the afghan public protection force being stood up. it is additional afghan police elements that will be established and are very very important because their local defense forces and no one defends his village better than the villager. so all of that will take place and indeed i think the commitment to 2014 remains very sound. there will be those infected will argue that this decision solidifies support for that all the way through and provides a rational and so one. pakistan sees this. i think they saw 2014 and at
that time i think they realized that the united states and the rest of the international community was indeed committed for another, still from here now 3.5 years and then there is now the discussion of the u.s. afghanistan strategic partnership agreement or declaration and indeed there is also a discussion of the nato afghanistan partnership agreement that would go beyond 2014. countries like australia. the prime minister has been very clear and explicit in her commitment to continuing beyond 2014 already as have other countries. so i don't think that we face a charlie wilson's war kind of scenario here. i don't see us feeling that okay, we have gotten rid of the soviets and we have a compass this mission and now we are out of here. i think there is every intention that there be an enduring commitment albeit one that is
much less costly overtime and is more sustainable in that sense given the fiscal constraints that all of the nation's face in afghanistan, and one that increasingly is characterized by afghans being in the lead and afghan children bearing more moe burden. i have an obligation here by the way for our afghan partners to know to this committee that afghan forces right now are dying, are being killed in action and three times the rate for isaf forces. for anyone to say when will the afghan start fighting and dying for their country i can tell you they are doing that right now and indeed we should give them enormous credit for being out there increasingly shouldering the burdens in their country. thank you and i will get back to florida. >> thank you senator.
general we have two ex-officio members who are very potent members in their own right of a very significant committee, namely the chairman and ranking member of armed services and i want you to note their female glitzy. they have sat at set at the end of this road now for approximately two hours and i think it is time. >> hating every minute of it. >> i've been staying hydrated for this. >> when i saw senator mccain i started drinking water immediately. [laughing] >> so i would like to recognize the chairman of the armed services committee, senator levin. >> thank you madam chair and thank you general for your fabulous service. you have been a great commander of our troops here. you are a deep thinker in terms of strategy and how to deal with challenges we face, including these kinds of insurgencies and we are all very much in your debt in the country is very much in your debt and that if your
family as well and by the way we are going to have a hearing and general allen next tuesday. you will be happy to hear we hope to get his confirmed confirmation completed next week. i want to pick up on the question of afghanistan and the decision the president made last night. he gave a number of reasons here today for why you -- as i read you, you are comfortable implementing the decision that the president made. whether or not it was precisely following your recommendations are not, that you do feel comfortable implementing it and supporting it. is that an accurate reading? >> i would be a bit more qualified mr. chairman and actually first if i could. >> put it any way you want. >> first in turn i would like to thank you for your great support for troops over the years. we have actually been through a lot of hearings over those years
and i have appreciated those opportunities and more importantly i've appreciated all that you have done for our men and women in uniform and indeed for their families. so what i have said again is the same frankly is what admiral mullen said this morning i think to the house armed services committee and that this is a more aggressive timeline. now what that means and of course commander shorthand is that means that we assess that there is greater risk to the accomplishment of the various objectives of the campaign plan. doesn't mean they can't be achieved. just means from our perspective which again is that dudley one that does not have some of the broader concerns that those above us in the chain of command and indeed the president has to address, that from our perspective again, that would have been preferable. now, what i need to do frankly is get back.
i am headed back to afghanistan the first thing tomorrow morning. sit sitdown with the staff, work our way through this. we had done preliminary planning. this was an option that was indeed evaluated but now we have the final answer. we will go to work on howl indeed best to implement the policy, how to ensure that afghan forces are positioned to accept the transition as we been out in certain areas and they are thickened in certain areas. >> admiral mullen, he put it to the committee that the truth is that we would have from the other kinds of risks by keeping more forces in afghanistan longer. that is his exact words, and they would have made it easier for the karzai administration to increase their dependency on us. those are his words today as
well. and we would have denied the afghan security forces who have grown in capability opportunities to exercise that capability and to lead in terms of risks. we would have signaled to the enemy that's to our regional partners the taliban still possessed strength enough to warrant the full measure of our presence. they do not. would you agree with admiral mullen on that? >> i am not sure i buy every bit of that characterization chairman. again you can certainly say that staying longer would reinforce the taliban narrative that we are not going to go home except that i think you know we are holding the forces down, gradually reducing those forces. so again, i would come back if i could chairman, to my point which has to do strictly with the military commander on the ground, strictly evaluating it in again the military campaign
plan, an awareness of the strategic context and these other factors that are out there and explicit recognition that others have to evaluate those factors. i cannot do that. only the president of the united states and assess all of the different considerations and again i should note that i stated this in the situation room to acknowledge that indeed in this process there are broader concerns than those of the military commander. and as a result, i obviously support the ultimate decision of the commander-in-chief. that is we take an oath to obey the orders of the president of the united states. >> you could do that consistent consistent -- resign? >> i'm not a quitter chairman, and i think i have actually had people e-mail me and say that and i actually -- this is something i have thought a bit about. i don't think that it is the place for a commander to
actually consider that kind of step unless you are in a very very dire situation. this is an important decision. it is again a more aggressive approach than the chairman and i would have indeed certainly put forward but this is not something i think where one hangs up the uniform in protest or something like that. >> just the final part of this. >> if i can continue, i actually feel quite strongly about this. our troopers don't get to quit and i don't think the commander should contemplate that again as any kind of idle kind of action. that would be an extraordinary action in my view and at the end of the day this is not about an individual commander. it is not about a reputation.
this is about our country and the best bet for our country with the commander-in-chief having made a decision is to execute that decision to the very best of our ability, to do everything i can during the remainder of my time as commander of isaf to enable general allen dan to take the effort forward and then if confirmed to be the director of the central intelligence agency to do everything i can from that position with that great organization to support the effort as well. >> that as well put and very reflective of your character. you are a man of extraordinary honor and we all are in your debt. if i could just add one quick additional reason for why the conditions on the ground have improved. you mentioned that there would be 70,000 approximately additional afghan security forces. you expected in the next 50 months. you indicated they are capable people who don't believe that
afghan army is capable of fighting and i think will run right into your very strong, powerful comment about how many of them have died fighting. i also want to add that in the last 15 -- the last 18 months there has been over 100,000 additional afghan forces that have been trained, and that is also changing the situation on the ground and a in a significant way because now the taliban -- the absolutely. >> i thank you and i thank you very chairman. >> thank you again chairman. >> i thank you mr. chairman. thank you for being here. senator mccain. >> thank you madam chairman and general elect you add my voice to the chorus of congratulations and appreciation, you and your family for their credible and wonderful service to our country. i guess that you do have a certain sense of relief not
having again to put up with colonel graham's presents with you. >> it is a very heavy burden that we have had an theatre in iraq and now in afghanistan. i thought we had gotten --'s be your reward will be in heaven. [laughter] we are indeed part of his continued presence. and the contributions. i guess my questions there and i think you have been very candid with the committee, particularly in your previous responses to this chairman, chairman levin's comments. i guess one of my questions is this. is it more difficult or less difficult now for general allen to be able to achieve the success of this mission in afghanistan? is the president decision-making
it more or less difficult for general allen to achieve his goal of success of his mission? >> well, senator first of all let me also interned thank you for all that you have done for our country over the years. including a particularly long tour that you served in uniform and the way that you then use that experience i think to help guide us as we saw us to learn lessons from some experiences early on in the post-9/11 period and as i mentioned earlier at the manual to which you gave force of law does prescribe techniques that work, and i remember that debate very well. i was at this at the commander of the combined arms center when that manual is produced and i
thought the way you guided that debate was truly admirable because it was in the face of some degree of criticism as you well know from some quarters including some of those on your side of the aisle which made it all the more admirable. sir, with respect to the question that you posed, can i would like to use this in terms of again risk, but again you have to keep in mind that there are risks not just at the military campaign level, not just in achieving the objectives of that campaign. there are risks that involve other considerations and did my view, and again i don't want to get too much into the reasoning employed by others but in my view it is an assessment of those risks, risks having to do with other considerations that led to the decision that are
important as well. so i actually can't, i can't give a direct answer in that regard because as a commander on the ground you are aware of these other considerations. you are or where of the context in which your options, your recommendations are evaluated and it is again only those at the very top, only the commander-in-chief pulls them away i think can actually assess that appreciable risk. >> i appreciate that and that is the whole structure of our system of government and i fully knowledge that. from a pure military standpoint, conditions on the ground as they are, the troops coming out before the end of the fighting season next summer in order to comply with the september pullout, does it make it more difficult for general allen to
carry out your military aspects of his mission? >> well, again, this is a more aggressive timeline than that which the chairman and i put forward. it means that there are again further challenges by not getting all the way through the fighting season. but, again, when you then elevate and consider other factors and other consideratione end of the day that again, this is why the chairman i think gave the assessment that he gave earlier today. >> it doesn't surprise me, but it is interesting to note that, according to an article today in the new york times, only hours after mr. obama spoke, president
nicolas sarkozy said in france on thursday he would begin drawing down some of the 4000 french soldiers and the german foreign minister, this country will reduce the number of german troops for the first time. we are going to see a domino effect here of this announcement no elected leader of our alliance is going to tell his people they are staying when the americans are going. is that of concern to you, sir? >> well i think this was expected. actually i talked to the france leadership before. talk to the german leadership and i've talked to other countries and indeed really it is only one country that has already announced. the others are waiting for the announcement that there was no question that those announcements were coming. now, the question is of course you know, what is the size of their reductions and the sitcom you know in the case of the u.k. forces. and back some of those reductions were support troops
that were still at kandahar airfield over no longer needed and so on but again this is an area in which we will have to look at all of that. we will conduct yet another review of the campaign plan, something that we do on a fairly regular basis and examine how we may or may not have to relook the battlefield geometry and assess the focus of our campaign over time, over the course of the 15 months of this drawdown effort and determined the establishment, the increase of afghan forces that can take over in the transition of our forces. >> we will be able to discuss that it i'm sure in the future but i think our allies will accelerate their reductions and presence in afghanistan. is only logical for them to do so was i think exaggerates to some degree the difficulties of the challenge of achieving our
roles. if i may, which is like to say that i look forward to working with you on this ticking time bomb scenario, and i'm not sure what the answer is because i think the person who would have to be responsible would be the president of the united states, who would then be able to go to the american people and say, i did it because of the eminent threat to security of the country. i'm not exactly sure how we do it but i do agree with you. i also would agree with you on your battlefield experience and that is that at no time in the afghan or iraq conflict has there have been a need to torture and violate the geneva convention on the things that we as americans stand for and believe in. your comment? >> i couldn't agree with you more sir. as you know we have been partners in this. there have been quotations from this letter that i sent out to our troopers when i had a
concern at one point in time entitled of our values. these are values we have fought for that americans have died for over the course of decades and centuries and as was noted, there are two good reasons to live our values. one is it is the right thing to do. if someone doesn't accept that, it is the expedient thing to do because it bites you in the backside over time if you don't. and again i thank you for championing that this in this body. with respect to the ticking timebomb scenario, i actually think this could literally be sort of the nuclear football kind of procedure, where'd you know it is all thought through, that there is an authorization but it has to come from the top because something extraordinary is going to be done and this can't be something where we are forcing low-level individuals to have to make a choice under enormous duress. i think there has to be very streamlined process again but i
think that is something worth discussing and i appreciate your willingness to take that on. that is an issue that again has to be dealt with i think by folks on the hill hill and also certainly policymakers. >> thank you senator mccain. i have a couple of odds and ends i want to clear up and then we will do a quick second round. we are going to try -- i spoke with the vice chairman -- try and get this nomination confirmed five the fourth of july, so we will have to be very. >> he with the questions and the markup, and i hope you will be able to do that. >> we will do it. >> okay, good. the second thing is, you know, listening to senator mccain on the army field manual, it is easy for us -- i have never known torture. it is a different thing for someone that has to really come out i think where senator
mccain has come out and i too and i think every member appreciates that. i just wanted the to be complete on what has happened. the army field annual does not have the force of law. it has the force of executive order. >> i'm sorry, thank you. right, correct. >> i've put in 2008 an intelligence authorization bill. that bill was vetoed by the president so right now it has the force of executive order. you know as that listens to you and the questioners here, the thought that occurred to me was, you are bringing direct streetsmarts from the theater of war to the intelligence community. i think we believe that if we win against terrorists, it is going to be because we have good intelligence. you are a different nominee then leon panetta was. leon brought streetsmarts with
respect to the administration and with respect to the house, with respect to how government works. this is really a unique situation i think, where your experiences can hopefully improve the gathering of intelligence. do you agree with this, and if so, how do you think this can be realized? >> well, i would certainly hope that will be the case. as was noted earlier, i don't think there have been any more avid consumers of intelligence and battlefield commands then i have been. we have worked very closely together to integrate all elements of military forces and intelligence elements for common objectives.
clearly i've got an enormous amount to learn about the agency as an institution and in organizations and its processes and so forth but again i would like to think that the experiences that i have had will prove of value at the helm of this organization if confirmed, and i can assure you i will also have the sense to listen to people like mike morel and the others who lead the various elements. in fact i spend a fair enough -- fair amount of time with them over the past week, we can have already. >> thank you. the staff director gave me a note so that i can clarify this army field manual further. be the army field manual is by executive order for the intelligence community. the detainee treatment act makes it law for the military service so there is that slight
different chilled there. i think it is good for all of us to know that as we go forward. >> absolutely, and again, i mean to us it is what we follow, as you know. you know, if i could, i also perhaps want to get on the record the fact that i mentioned earlier that i not only feel privileged to lead the organization, to be its champion but also to be its advocate his advocate and in that regard i think that it is time to take your rearview mirrors off the bus with respect to certain actions out there. i don't want to comment on specific justice cases, but i think that in a certain moment in time, especially a moment when we do no longer, we do not any longer truly i think appreciate the context of the post-9/11 period and period and some actions that were taking place under direction and i for
one again as a potential leader of the agency, would like to see us focus forward and indeed some of these actions behind us once and for all and put our workforce at rest with respect to that. >> thank you very much. that is very helpful. my own view is that you were going to be a terrific asset to the intelligence community and this committee really looks forward to working with you. i think the closer the relationship in terms of the sharing of material and thinking the better we all are, the better our authorization bills are, the better the performance of both sectors, the congress as well as the agency. and so this will be i think for all of us a very special and very unique experience and we are lucky to have one of our very best leaving it. i have no doubt that you will
be. >> thank you madam chairman. >> senator chambliss. >> thanks madam chair. general, i just want to go back to the issue of detention and interrogation because i'm extremely concerned about where we are right now with issues like ogg rum and what is going to happen to all the detainee said ogg rum and we turn bagram over to the afghans. i am really really concerned about that and i think i know where you stand on that too. secondly, with respect to the interrogation of detainees, irrespective of what techniques we use, we have got to have detainees to interrogate and we have got to make sure that we have got facilities in which to hold those detainees. i am concerned about going forward, that if we are still thinking in terms of closing
guantánamo -- it has been very clear that the american people to not want those detainees at guantánamo transferred to u.s. soil and now that is the law of the land they won't be. and if we are going to try to house these prisoners somewhere other than guantánamo, i don't know where it is going to be. and i don't expect you to be able to give me an answer right now on the issue of interrogation of future detainees, but it is something that i hope you will give some thought to immediately because while you are on the border, the cia is not a part of the interrogation team. i think that is a mistake, and i hope that policy will be changed under your leadership. with respect to housing detainees, i would like your comments there, particularly
bagram. and guantánamo. .. attached to it. there's a certain degree of radioactivity. and to be fair, some of that was because an association with abu ghraib that probably shouldn't have been drawn, but nonetheless, visa the kind of issues that are the reality for those of us in the central command area at that time. by the way, i did that before
president obama made the statement, so this is not something that is trying to be politically correct. this is something i felt an answer on the record. now, the challenge has been of course we have not been able to do this in a responsible manner. they're certainly haven't been any state governors i am aware of who said yes, send all the detainee's out here, and yet there has to be a location for these detainees. i agree with you absolutely in that regard and we are in a real conundrum right now. i can tell you that afghanistan cannot and should not be location to which detainee's take outside afghanistan and of being located. so we are in a very difficult position, and this is together with the issue of the ticking time bomb scenario i think since the other major issue that needs to be addressed by a combination of policy makers and those in congress because our nation does have to have a place to hold
individuals. there's a very legitimate concern about the recidivism rate, those released to various locations in fact, you've seen there was a jailbreak and yemen and the last 36 hours or so. i don't have the details whether or not there were gitmo detainee's as part of that, but i do have confirmation some of the more al qaeda and the arabian peninsula figures. so again, this is a very serious issue for our country and it is 1i really believe policy makers and congress need to address on an expeditious basis. >> we look for to working with you because i, too, agree that is the top of our priority list moving forward, and yemen is a pretty good example of why that recidivism rate is 25% and may be higher than that, i don't know because there's virtually no supervision of the former gitmo detainee's in yemen.
thank you very much, general, we look forward to seeing your confirmation process quickly. >> thank you. senator wyden? >> thank you, madame chair. i'd appreciate the chance to get into one other area with you, general. you are aware that we sent you the question i'm going to ask you. we sent it to your staff, and your staff has it and it deals with the fact i feel very strongly that intelligence agencies have to be able to conduct secret protections to protect sources and methods, but i also feel strongly that our laws in particular on how they are interpreted, the officials interpretation how laws are interpreted that has to be public. so, the question that i sent you and that is essentially as my concern involves the officials' interpretation of the cia authority and the state department top lawyer gave a speech last year in march where
he laid out the administration officials view regarding counterterrorism and the use of force, but they're seems to be some question about whether the speech applies to the entire government, or whether there is an exception really an unspoken exception for the intelligence agency. so, the question i sent and i ask now is all the statements made in that speech regarding the use of force against the terrorists apply to the cia? >> my apologies, senator, with respect i don't know on that. i know that it was sent over, but this is 1i would like to take for the record and obviously i will give you the answer needless to say before the confirmation process is complete. i will get that to you for the record. >> that's very helpful. that is the answer i had been hoping for and was the key that it would be an unclassified
answer, because this is as i say a question of how law is being interpreted. i want to make sure and i had discussions about this before that nothing is done in any way to threaten the sources and methods and collection and this is about the official interpretation, and to have that in an unclassified fashion that would be very helpful by the end of the confirmation process. thank you, madame chair. >> thank you senator wyden. senator cornyn? >> thank you, madam chairman. "the new york times" reported this morning according to military officials, the withdrawal plan outlined by the president who resolved and the cancellation of plans to shift u.s. troops coming out of southern and southwestern afghanistan to eastern afghanistan where afghan u.s. coalition forces are fighting insurgents, including the haqqani group. is that accurate? >> first of all, i don't have a clue who those military sources
are, and if they know something i don't know, i'm just the commander of the theater. laughter again, we have not yet -- i don't think so. again, i literally just gave guidance to the deputy chief of staff for operations of isaf who is cool headed as the j3 for the u.s. forces this evening on secure internet as to how to move forward on this. and this is -- they are a little bit ahead of the planning process, if i could, mr. chairman. >> so, if this were true, would you know it? >> i would certainly hope so. again, as i said, -- to quote military sources. i actually saw that and i was a little bit surprised. this is similar to the military sources by the way who are also trying to comment on what my options and recommendations were going to be, and curious because
there was only one person who knew what those were going to be. and there was a four-star action officer named petraeus. >> well, if it turns out that that is accurate, would you let us know? >> i would be happy to. actually, let me clarify, because the plan for the east was never we were going to move massive forces it was then you're going to move the main effort and enablers. and again, there's not -- not a concept of moving brigades from the south to the east. there is a concept of moving the main effort to cover the focus, in other words other resources that enable those forces on the ground, and that's how you rate the main effort in a campaign like this. this is not a maneuver campaign. perhaps there could be small elements moved, but again, we have not yet done the latest iteration of the refinement of the campaign and would be
premature for somebody to try to link back to the new york times. >> another article in the times this morning -- the reporter, quoting himself i think, made a general assertion the effort to transfer security responsibility to the afghan security forces remains, quote come the elusive because afghan troops are, quote, proving unprepared for the job. and of quote. any comment on that? >> i would be happy to. we are going to transition as i said in seven different locations. in those locations the afghan forces are frankly already performing the bulk of the security task. most significantly and prominently in kabul, where again, all night raids in kabul are led and predominantly manned by afghan forces. we do not do -- not only do we not to unilateral operations, we don't do even partnered operations. they are led by elfgin forces, in some cases enabled by isaf or
other intelligence elements that supports them. but we don't do them. i might also add that 100% -- actually, there's a small subset we do an occasional kinetics strike. but every targeted special operations conducted in afghanistan, every single one, is now partnered with afghan forces. there are afghan equivalence for our most highly qualified special mission units, and then there are other elements, or there are over some 12,000 afghan special operations forces now of all different categories. and i'm not including the civil order police among those. >> and all those efforts and actions, are the pervvijze -- not all -- but are they preparing to do the job? >> they are indeed. having said that there is an uneven this to the police in particular that is characteristic of these kind of
endeavors. as you recall, we face the same in iraq. we actually faced the same in the balkans and he and a variety of other contingency operations as well. but there's a substantial number of good forces there. and indeed, they have continued to grow and to develop and prove themselves. it's not to say they are all going to step up to the plate and hit the ball in the first pitch, but the batting average has certainly gone up considerably. >> and finally, president karzai's comment on his speech about our being occupiers, i've got to tell you that while i agree with you there are times we have not listened adequately to president karzai, i agree with that. on this occasion i was absolutely dismayed, as i thought that comment of his, talking about us as occupiers, please rights into the hands of the common enemy, the taliban, and i would hope that in your
determination to speak truth to power, which is your commitment here, the cia director, that he will also speak truth to the president karzai, president of afghanistan, that that comment, that speech of his as general eikenberry said, was totally unacceptable and dismayed and please into the hands of our common enemy. >> i can assure to, mr. chairman, i have always sought albeit in private and many occasions one on one to have very candid and forthright conversations with president karzai. >> or you dismayed by that comment? >> it did cause concern, without question. to have that, again, is even, you know, you understand it's to a domestic audience. you can understand some of the pressures and issues that are out there that are of enormous concern to our afghan parkhurst, but at the end of today, it's not just about the afghan
domestic public opinion, there's some domestic opinion in the 49 troop contributing nations, not the least of which is right here in the united states. >> thank you, madame chair. >> thank you very much, senator. i would like to associate myself with your comments. and i just want to say to you, general, president karzai's, and had a big impact on me. you know, i come from a state where we have a lot of veterans and a lot of people that have lost limbs, as do other senators. it's very hard to sustain what is increasingly become an unpopular war. because we believe we need to do it. if we are ever going to stabilize the part of the world and preach and terrorism from growing. it's really hard to do that in the face of comments like this. which -- and i just had them all polled and took a look at them, and if you look at all of them, they are unbelievable that we
use chemical weapons, that we are occupiers, that we may use a nuclear bomb -- i mean, it's provocative, it's insulting, and very misleading. so, you know, i think we have to appropriate the money for the war. i happen to be on the defense subcommittee, and if the person that we are trying to help stabilize the government for him is saying these things about us, having automatic reaction, why are we here then? >> well, look, i am entirely sympathetic to that needless to say, and so i will certainly ensure that sentiment is shared with our afghan partners. >> appreciate that very much. and again, we will try to get this done just as soon as we
can. the questions will go out to you within what, 48 hours? >> [inaudible] >> a good staff to read it tomorrow by 3:00. the sooner you get them back to us, we will have members receive them and schedule the market and the vote will go to the floor. somehow i don't think it will be controversial. >> thank you, madame chair. stomach madam chairman, i think we ought to give some time to yourself and family between us and responsibilities. you are entitled to that, and we hope to get it somehow. >> thank you. >> in the meantime, take your wife out to dinner. [laughter] thank you. the hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
troops from afghanistan by the end of this year. and we will bring home a total of 33,000 troops by next summer. >> all the time line on the war in afghanistan and search over 4,000 entries online at the c-span video library. search, watch, clich and share every c-span program since 1987, all free any time. it's washington your way. at this press briefing, house speaker john boehner discuss negotiations over raising the federal debt limit. earlier, house majority leader eric cantor withdrew the talks with vice president biden over a disagreement on taxes. speaker boehner also talked about a resolution on the funding military operations in libya. [inaudible conversations]
>> good morning everyone. yesterday the house passed a jobs bill that would eliminate needless permit delays and expand energy production to help lower energy prices and create jobs in our country. today we will be passing another jobs bill. this one will streamline and modernize the patent process to help america's innovators. it's been our focus all year of removing barriers to hold back job growth. our plans to get government out of the way and allow the private sector to do what it does best, invest and create jobs. democrats don't plan for jobs. you heard them say again yesterday what do they want? more stimulus spending and higher taxes to it will come on the same day that the cbo called the debt crisis daunting, democratic leaders cannot and asked for more spending.
if you recall, we tried this. it's called the stimulus plan, and it didn't work. at the time when millions of americans were struggling, it's alarming how democrats continue to call for more spending. we've got to stop spending money that we don't have. and since the beginning, the majority leader and myself along with senator mcconnell and a senator kyl has been clear tax rates are off the table. first of all raising taxes is going to destroy jobs. if you raise taxes on the people that we need, need to grow our economy and hire new workers, guess what? they are not going to do it if you have to pay higher taxes to the federal government. second, a tax hike cannot pass the u.s. house of representatives. it's not just a bad idea. it doesn't have the votes and it can't happen. and third, the american people
don't want us to raise taxes. they know we've got a spending problem and why republicans passed a budget that pays down debt over time without raising taxes. we don't have any more time to waste. i want to reiterate that we will not agree to the president's request to increase the debt limit without serious spending cuts and reforms to the way we spend the american people's money. as i said before, the spending cuts must be greater than any increase in the debt limit. these have to be real spending cuts, no targets to push the question off to the long term, no more kicking the can down the road. and the reason for this is simple. a debt limit that fails this test would hurt the economy, in pete job growth by intensifying the uncertainty about the nation's ability to deal with our long-term fiscal problems. this is the moment the fight
isn't about numbers, it's about jobs. it's about the future of the country. and we've got a chance to do something big. we have the chance to do it now. for the sake of the economy, for our kids and grandkids, this is the chance and opportunity we cannot afford to allow to pass. >> is the goal of mr. kantor's debt talks and parallel talks and is it a signal that there is a problem with selling this to the rank and file and do we need to take this to the president or even you to sell this to the american people? >> i talked to the majority leader about peace talks for the last several months. i know the frustration that he feels when democrat members continue to want to bring tax hikes into this conversation and we have to raise taxes on the american people.
and i feel mr. kantor has made it clear that these conversations could continue if they take the tax hikes out of the conversation. second, i would point out what i said several weeks ago. after we were all down at the white house, our entire conference, what i said that if we are going to meet the president's timetable to come to an agreement by the end of this month, that he needs to engage. and if we are going to meet that timeline, the president is going to have to engage. >> what does that mean in terms of conversations with the president? this only three weeks in both cases [inaudible] >> i would expect to hear from him. >> are you going to call him? >> is it a position that you support? >> understand his frustration. i understand why he did what he did. and i think the talks could
continue. [inaudible] >> talk about the impact of the tax hikes, specifically are you talking about hikes in the rates or just cutting to subsidies? >> we've talked and have been opposed to increasing tax rates. >> mr. boehner, if the group comes up with a piece of legislation without somebody in that room would you allow it to come to the floor? for democrats to vote for it? >> [inaudible] every day with the christmas. [laughter] >> is there an exchange for any kind of tax expenditures? >> i think it's been discussed in the biden talks. something i think has merit, and i would hope they would continue to have those conversations. >> the president on afghanistan
issued a statement generally supportive of the strategy. did the statement last night -- is that essentially take afghanistan off the table for 2012 for the election do you think or is that still going to be a major issue even if the drawdown and we are starting to leave the country -- >> afghanistan is critically important to the safety and security of the american people. the president agreed with general petraeus' strategy 18 months ago to search the troops in order to gain better control and to bring better security. there is no question we have had serious success as a result of general petraeus' strategy. if the president -- and i feel the president made it clear last night -- there was enough flexibility in the statement that would allow for him to continue to listen to the commanders on the ground and our diplomats in terms of bringing
those troops home. we've gained a lot of success, but i wouldn't describe it as tenuous, and i don't think anyone wants to jeopardize the gains we have made in afghanistan. so i'm cautiously optimistic about where we are going and how we are getting there. but, this withdraw shouldn't be done on a political debt line. it should be based on conditions on the ground. >> admiral mullen said the positions are aggressive and more risk than he was prepared to accept forcing more time [inaudible] what do you think about a statement like that and attack on where we stand on the libya resolution that has now been introduced, and what are the to
bring to support and what are to going to bring to the floor? >> i expect the libya resolutions will be on the floor tomorrow. i dealt with the military commanders. they always like to have more troops. always. there's not a commander anywhere that wouldn't want more troops. i understand that. but the house understand, the top of the pentagon are comfortable with the president's strategy. and i have said since the president took office that if the president listened to his commanders, and his diplomats in the region i would support his plan. i'm generally supportive of the plan because there is enough flexibility in a withdrawal to take into consideration the conditions on the ground. and that is critically important i think for the long term success.
>> [inaudible] said yesterday this is a question. i wonder if you can respond to that and tell us whether you think the original mission [inaudible] >> i believe and most of my colleagues believe the president has failed to make his case as to why we have engaged in libya. and as a result, we've not heard the president talked about this for four or five weeks. and therefore, members of congress and the american people are left in the dark. i think the strategy was flawed from the beginning. as i said -- understand the humanitarian mission, but the idea that the rest of the strategy was to hope that gadhafi would leave and the question how long are we going to be there? and i just believe because the president's failure to consult with the congress, failure to outline to the american people
why we are doing this before we engaged in mass puts us in a position we have to defend our responsibilities under the constitution. and that's why these resolutions are in fact willing to come forward. having said that -- having said that, we, are there. the fact is we, are there. we are engaged. i believe that nato is an important organization, and as we, are there i don't want to do anything that would undermine nato or to send a signal to our allies around the world that we are not going to be engaged. this is primarily a fight between the congress and the president where his unwillingness to consult with us before making this decision. thank you. >> [inaudible conversations] >> now house democratic leaders
discussed the bite in budget talks in afghanistan. we will hear from minority leader nancy pelosi and the budget committee of lead democrat chris van hollen. this is 25 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon. here we are at our regularly scheduled thursday -- a licht leader in the morning -- meeting coming together. as you know, i liked martyrs' come here we are 170 days into the republicans joining the congress and still not a job still in sight. but of course is the responsibility we have to the american people. it is the top priority we must address. democrats put forth and make it in america agenda and the leadership with steny hoyer.
within that we specifically put forth legislation which we are calling for a discharge petition to bring to the floor to address chyba's manipulation of currency which could cost between 1 million to 1.5 million jobs in our own country. other issues of concern to us our medicare which is repealed in the republican budget. medicare and medicaid, very important to the american people. while the republicans are asking seniors to pay more to get less, they still insist on giving tax subsidies to big oil companies that ship jobs overseas and to the wealthiest people in the country. the news of the day, congratulate the president for putting -- releasing 30 billion barrels which is part
of the 60 billion beryl release of oil which i believe will immediately bring down the price at the pump which is a concern to america's working families. this has been part of our energy bill that is part of our making it an american proposal, so we are very pleased the president has taken this action. as our news of the day, mr. van hollen and i, and i'm very honored to be here with chris van hollen, the ranking member of the budget committee, and one of the two representatives along with leaders jim clyburn at the talks on the budget. we were just at the white house for the meetings this morning with the president to discuss how we can work together to have a balanced bipartisan reduction of the deficit and we will do just that. the president has always is very concerned that the deficit reduction be a priority for all
of last, that he knows that the reduction can only take place in a bipartisan and balanced way. we left the meeting to find that the leader had walked out of meetings. he walked out of the meetings because democrats want to raise taxes. yes we do want to remove tax subsidies for big oil we want to remove tax breaks for corporations that send jobs overseas. the list goes on. i don't know that's a reason to walk away from the table when we are trying to find a balanced approach. i've been encouraged in the past weeks by the report of mr. van hollen and mr. clyburn that the talks were proceeding under the leadership of the vice president in a very spirit of goodwill and a constructive way and the past that could take us to agreement. let me yield to the
distinguished representative, again ranking member of the budget committee, mr. van hollen. >> thank you. let me start by joining the leader pelosi in commending the president on his decision to release some stifel from the strategic petroleum reserve in concert with some of our allies. as you know, as a result of the defense in the middle east, there was a supply that fit a speculative bubble and there's a lot of speculation going on in the oil markets by people making a lot of money. simply by making bets the price of oil will go up. we have to pop the bubble, bring down the path. the price of gas at the pump and put more money back in people's pockets and help get the economy moving again. i feel was a very good decision, and we commended the president on that decision. with respect to the budget talks, the vice president and all of us on the democratic side
lead out two principles that would govern our participation in the talks from the beginning. one as do no harm to the economy. don't do anything that would threaten to throw more people out of work at a very difficult time for working americans around the country. and the second principle was you need to take a balanced approach. every bipartisan group that has looked at the challenge of reducing the deficit has said you have to do this in a balanced approach. so the question is not whether we need to come up with a plan to reduce the deficit in the steady predictable and real way, we absolutely have to do that. the question is how do you do that? as i said, the framework that has been put out by different bipartisan groups say that you need to ask different, ask for
shared sacrifice. the was the second principle. i'm disappointed that leader kantor has chosen to lead the talks. they have been proceeding well although there is no doubt there were some difficult issues that needed to be decided. the speaker of the house said it was time for an adult moment. adult moments mean it's time for making tough decisions. and the reality of -- the reality is that until our republican colleagues are more concerned about the need to reduce the deficit than they are worried about what and grover norquist will say, we are going to have a difficult time reducing the deficit. as leader pelosi said, we believe we'll and gas companies that are getting big tax payer subsidies should contribute toward reducing the deficit. we thought there were positive signs in the senate the other
day. when state limit some of the ethanol tax breaks for the purpose of deficit reduction. that's what we've been saying with its tax breaks for oil and gas companies or corporate jets. with its tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas instead of shipping products, shipping and jobs overseas. those are things we should deal with here and now. there's no justification for that if you're serious about reducing the deficit. we have to see what the next steps are. but the president is absolutely committed to making sure number one, the economy gets fully charged again, and number two, that we tackle this deficit in a meaningful and responsible way. >> thank you very much. [inaudible conversations] -- the distinction between tax subsidies and what democrats call expenditures, i believe the
same extinction in revenue but republicans say the tax increases are off the table. it makes me wonder to what even have other types of tax increases been mentioned, brought up, put on the table by democrats, capital gains, marginal rate, income tax rate, any of these other things we think of this tax increase not subsidies. >> even now i am not going to get into the details of the talks. but let me just say we have proposed a menu of the eliminating different kinds of special-interest tax breaks, and dealing with xm tax exemptions for the very wealthy in this country. there's been a number of proposals and ideas some put forth by republican economists that recommend you can raise revenue without changing the
rate by eliminating some of the deductions and tax preferences. there was actually very recently a report by the irs indicating the number of people with lots of income, and by talking about individuals, not corporations now, we heard stories about corporations with income taxes, but individuals who are high in come using creative deductions to pay no income tax, and so yes, we put proposals on the table to say for folks at the high-end we believe that there is a responsible way to phase out some of those deductions along the lines recommended by the way by the simpson commission and others. that is a bipartisan approach. >> [inaudible] could you tell us what the president's reaction was about mr. kantor and the senator kyl walking away from the talks; and was their discussion about
taking the can as it were a to the presidential level and him becoming more involved in the talks? >> actually, i'm not going to go into the details of what went on in our discussion with the president, but on this particular fact we learned this as we were leaving the white house, so the news didn't break with in the room. >> [inaudible] you have to go back and reassess without having these key players at the table the use it needs to be done in a bipartisan fashion. that was an intense discussion with the president as we change where we go forward. >> i don't think the principles we laid out will change, and i'm confident the president shares the principles that need to be met in any responsible deficit reduction plan. >> [inaudible] >> to the best of my knowledge, no. i learned this at the same time you learned it, and perhaps --
[laughter] perhaps after you learned it coming and we were walking out, the meeting was breaking up when the vice president got the news and that is when i learned. >> do you think the house gop has a constitutional argument in terms of withdrawing the funding or do you think they are playing politics in the resolutions going forward to mauro? >> i don't think figure playing politics. they are expressing what they believe. whether they think it is constitutional or not is a curious question because the speaker himself in the past has said that the war powers act is not constitutional. so you have to be the judge of that. but i think there are legitimate concerns in both parties in the house of representatives announced to the more powers act and the rest. i myself believe the president has the latitude to do what he's doing as long as there are boots
on the ground. i also always say consultation strengthens the results of our country and the more consultation the better whether or not it triggers the war power act. let me say as i said earlier, i said billions when i met to say million, it is 30 million barrels, 30 million barrels from the u.s., and then 30 million barrels from an international entity, which by the way, has about 1 billion barrels in reserves, so it's 30/30000000 barrels. in washington millions turn into billions pretty fast, but not in terms of the release. >> secretary clinton came to speak today. i'm wondering what she talked about. >> as far as i'm concerned, she was still testifying before one of the congressional committees, and by the time we came here i
don't believe her briefing took place, at least i hope not because i'm hoping to make it so perhaps we will have a couple more questions. >> [inaudible] >> i know that he will talk to upsetting an internal deadline of july 2nd. do you feel you could then introduce this deal to your members and have time to get comments on it? what do they do to that plan and do you think you can come up with something by august 2nd? >> we simply are going to have to. it's important to our economy, to the confidence the market has, the confidence in the market and by, for, and in the market that we come up with. so we have to engineer back from there and say what is the half that gets us to that place? it shouldn't have to be that these are tied together. but somehow or other in some of the bus passion these two entities merge to each other the
only way i can do about it we would have a deficit reduction package, and would be in the same breath as the needs to not -- i don't want to say raise the debt limit, not default on the debt largely encouraged by president george w. bush. did you want to say something? >> one thing devotee fragile economy and breakage would be for the united states to default on its obligation. nobody should be playing a game of political chicken with this issue. we heard some schemes that would suggest we are going to proceed from in fact legislation introduced by republicans in both the house and the senate that says don't worry, we will pay the government of china, we will pay bondholders of u.s. debt. we won't pay our troops and we won't pay social security.
that is first fall totally misplaced priorities. number two, when the united states begins to default on any of its obligations to the troops and social security, with average maybe, but also sends a terrible signal to the credit market. it risks higher interest rates could hurt the economy. so, people are playing with fire and really putting fragile economies and to greater threats by playing the games we have been seeing. >> you have these republicans taking a hard line on what they consider tax increases. those that make it easier for democrats at the table to take a hard line when it comes to protecting medicare and medicaid and other entitlements? >> let me say one thing and this was mentioned at the beginning. the house republican budget was a nonstarter. it in the the the medicare
guaranteed at the same time it protected tax breaks for special interests, and by the way, gave folks at the top millionaires a 30% cut in the tax rate on income tax rate they pay so there was absolutely a nonstarter. what we have said is that the right way to approach the health care issue is to build on the success from the affordable care act in terms of providing greater incentives that reward doctors and hospitals for the value and the quality-of-care they provide rather than the volume of care, there are additional things you can do. we've also made it clear that when it comes to the prescription drug industry weekend number one give medicare programs the same rights the veterans administration have with respect to negotiating prices to bring it down for everybody, and you can go back to the same payment rates and
system that was in effect prior to 2005, when ha people who were on medicaid and medicare got a higher rebate but the program got the higher rebate. so there are a number of things we have made very clear that you can do but we also made it clear we are not going to -- we are not going to transfer or force seniors into the private insurance market where cbo, as you know is an independent entity has said they will face higher costs and get less support from the medicare program, which would in the and to give seniors a raw deal and want to make this final point because it keeps coming up. even though it's been debunked by a lot of these independent fact checkers, the proposal and they are giving for seniors is not the same as members of congress. they are giving themselves
members of congress a much better deal than they are proposing for seniors on medicare. >> the kind of things democrats you'll are willing to do but that's hard for democrats to show a willingness that the republicans in your view aren't showing by walking away from the negotiations? >> if we are going to have a balanced approach we have to make some very difficult decisions because we simply must take down that deficit. we are not willing to pass president bush's debt on to our children and grandchildren. but we also have to get on a path where we don't incur and increase the debt as well as we go forward. the thing that comes out of the
meetings and i only get a report of it, shall we say, discreet about the proceedings in the room is nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to. that has been a public acknowledgement, right cracks or at least it is now. [laughter] and i want to hear from mr. van hollen to see if he wants to reveal any of the -- [laughter] >> well, let me just -- look, the president, when he gave his speech at george washington university and laid out a framework, it's a there and it calls for significant cuts in discretionary spending. i mean, it is a cut not just in nominal terms but in real terms, and it will impose pain. the appropriators have to decide how to allocate those decisions, but it does require that which is why she and we and others have made the point if you are
asking for significant changes in that area, why should we be asking oil and gas companies to get rid of taxpayer subsidies? it's a very straightforward question, and we haven't gotten a very good answer to that. >> general policy places we are talking about the cuts -- examples where you are willing to make the choice? >> i will give you an example that's a hard choice for many people it's been a regional issue and because it's been reported publicly agricultural subsidies in terms of ratcheting goes down would be one example, and there are many other examples, but i would require a change in policy with respect to direct payments. right now agricultural interests get paid a certain amount. whether the commodity prices are
high, like they are now or low. that doesn't make sense, but that is one example among others. >> suffice to say that there are significant in the amount of money that would reduce the deficit, and that's very important, and that is only more reason why you would expect you know you cannot cut yourself or cut our country out of debt. we kind of have to have cuts. we are going to have to have revenue and have to have growth in order to bring the money in to help reduce the deficit as well. so, with the willingness to make the cuts is hopeful the republicans will recognize to has to be revenue change. i just want to close with this. last night the president made an announcement about afghanistan. the good news on that is that the president is bringing the war in afghanistan to an end.
similar to the path he took in iraq. many of us would like to see this go faster than the path laid out, however, it may. and with the proper progress others on the civilian side, the government side, the anti-corruption side, it may well be we can have a quicker drawdown and soon a resolution of the situation in afghanistan as it is in the interest of our national security. and so, the president for his reason has the timetable he has my respect that. i feel it also accommodates quick progress we have to work for. i was there in the spring in afghanistan for the first time i saw real progress in terms of some of these issues, governments, the civilian
initiative, the anti-corruption initiative, the training of the police and the national security forces in afghanistan. for seven years we have no progress, no plan. president obama came and instituted a plan and i think it is going in a positive direction. i hope that the momentum it now has would bring our troops home sooner, but i commend the president for announcing and reinforcing his previous message that the war and afghanistan will be over in a finite period of time. thank you very much. [inaudible conversations]
securities exchange commission chairman mary schapiro spoke this week to corporate executives at able street journal conference in washington, d.c.. she discussed the u.s. financial system and the implementation of new financial regulations. this is a half-hour. >> thanks, everybody. we will try to make this
interesting. i am the editor of the investor which is of course the when you read first. [laughter] and we have the pleasure of talking to mary shapiro and she really doesn't need any introduction. the only thing i would point out from personal experience i was their working on the financial crisis, and there were a lot of people, serious intelligent people saying the sec would never survive, there would be no fcc after the financial crisis given the performance of the agency, mary's predecessor, during the financial crisis. the fact is the fcc is still here and mary has been a great job of removing it and expanding its capability and it is now past with a number of important and crucial tasks including of course writing the detailed rules in dodd-frank and many others we will talk about. but i would like to start from a
general question. do you think that the financial system is now safer than it was during and immediately after the crisis? >> not yet. i think we have a long way to go. obviously dodd-frank is a tremendous step forward. we at the fcc have 100 rules to write and multiple studies to conduct and we are through the process. we've done about two-thirds of our rules, but until we have in place a regulatory regime around the derivatives, i think, and until we have final rules around the resolution and the tools will be available to the fdic and bank regulators in that context, until we have additional capital requirements actually in place, i think we are on the path for sure but i don't think we can say we've necessarily cemented the foundation of the financial system in a way that we all hoped would be the case in the
not too distant future when some of these things are done. when things are better i do think there's greater sensitivity in corporate management and in financial institutions about risk. i think there has been able stir in the risk management capability and that's a good thing. i think regulators are very much on a point now, watching what's going on and being more inclined to step in, and if not, push companies to at least use the bully pulpit and use tactics to get the changes necessary. so those things on the periphery are better. i think we are seeing some improvements in things like compensation programs, although not nearly to the extent i think we need to to get incentives better in line. but until we really have implemented dodd-frank and the most important provisions of dodd-frank, i think we would be foolish to suggest that everything's fine.
>> so that could take years. we would be in limbo for another bumper of years. >> would take time in some areas, and i know guerrera just talked about the tremendous task and challenge of taking a 600 trillion-dollar worldwide markets fully globalized, largely unregulated throughout the world certainly in the united states, and turning that into a regulated market with full transparency, reduction of counterparty risks and central clearing and business conduct for market participants. and those are going to take some time because we are going from unregulated to regulate it and we are not riding on a clean sheet of paper because the market already excess. so there's a lot of challenges ahead. >> the stock about dodd-frank. you said hundreds of the rules that go with it.