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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  July 19, 2013 12:00pm-5:01pm EDT

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i go through the baltimore va and we we are talking a big city here. there are very few mst providers. that are specifically trained in this area. .. >> i first want to say, thank you so much, miss sanders to
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have the courage to come up and tell your story again and i want to say how very proud i am that today you have given voice to so many women and men who suffered this atrocious experience. it is a triple assault in many of our veterans. one is the trauma of war or the trauma of feeling they could die at any moment through an experience from war, which is ptsd-related. the second is the trauma of the mst experience. what i'm hearing now is we have a third incident, and that's the trauma of the lack of coordinated, sensitive, and appropriate care that as a physician sometimes i know the treatment can make things worse. and so as a physician, it is
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absolutely unacceptable as a congressman, absolutely unacceptable, and i know i speak on behalf of everybody on this panel. i know the hardships that many patients face. men and women. who come to the emergency department because of sexual trauma. i agree that sexual trauma is a holistic illness that is not something that can be treated with a pill. it's not a one-time shot. it's not a one-time treatment. it's a lifetime struggle. and part of the illness of this is a sense of powerlessness. and part of the treatment is to regain that power. as an individual to be empowered to feel leak you're back in that control -- to feel like you're
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back in that control room. and your giving that empowerment to a whole lot of people around our country, and i thank you for doing that. a side victim in all of this is the family, and relationships that you have with your spouses, your significant others, your children, issues of trust. issues of being able to communicate, and i know it's very difficult. has the va addressed treatment with your significant others, your families, and your closest friends? >> i will answer that. not to my knowledge. i don't know there is any type of program set up for family members, spouses or children, but thank you for bringing that up. at it something that most
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certainly needs to be addressed. we talk about it as military sexual trauma. we're up are all rape survivorso one wants to use the word rape because it brings all the ugliness that rape brings into tower if you. it was brought into our lives and we brought that into our family's lives and our families need support. they are our biggest support network. issues need to be addressed with our significant others and with our children. it can be modeled after an al-anon program who gives support to family members of alcoholics. we need that support so that we have a strong support system. they need a support system also. intimacy issues need to be addressed. that's something that we don't like to have to talk about our intimacy issue we have with those who have stood by us through the process, but it's important and they deserve that. so if i could ask the panel to
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take a look at that issue, it needs to be done. >> if i could follow up on that. >> yes. >> significant barrier in that is veterans who are identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgeneral sir. services in that department can be very difficult. the va in st. louis is starting in that area but it's not a national trend yet, and that really needs to be addressed, because there can be a lot of gender confusion, a lot of sexual confusion after the -- after a sex -- sexual trauma. le and a lot of time the va takes our power away from us or asks to us use it in inappropriate ways. i was asked to take a nerve block to relieve some of my
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chronic pain, and it was -- i was asked to take this nerve block transrectally. imagine a male survivor, being asked to take a nerve block with a doctor -- you're in an ob/gyn chair. your legs are up, and you're having something inserted through your rectum and pushed into a nerve in your prostate to remove your pain. that's the type of pain i live with. my psychologist would not step in, knowing that procedure would do. that power should not have been needed to be exercised by me. that should have been my psychologist stepping up and saying, no, this is contraindicated. so sometimes the power is used in both ways. and you're right, congressmann, the va wasn't there for me. it was not anyone at the va. wasn't even a doctor that gave me the injection.
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it was my partner that got me out of that building and he gets no recognition from the va for that effort. and they need it badly. thank you, congressman. >> thank you. my colleague, dr. earl. >> yes, i thank the chairman and thank you to the panel for being here today. i go back as a young military medical officer, during the vietnam era, and i was thinking, as i was listening to the testimony, what training i have had in o -- i'm an ob/gyn doctor and what training did i have going into the military as a drafted for what training did i get in the military to treat this, and i can tell you in the military, i received none. and one of the reasons was
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military sexual trauma was occurring and didn't start now. it's been going on but it was not recognized. i mean, i never heard it mentioned, and just logically thinking about it. you knew it occurred outside the military, why wouldn't it occur in military? i'm in the civilian world and get drafted and sent the n the military the next day it's not an issue. there were -- in today's military, there's a lot morewomen -- more women serving. it's amazing how many women now do a phenomenal job in the military, and there is that issue there. and i think what we have to do, as a scientist, you identify the problem, you identify and try to determine what the incidence of that problem is, and then you try to find a solution to that
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problem, and i think miss sanders, you brought up something -- i don't think the va has been equipped to do that. we have a va medical center? my town and it's woefully undergunned in this. there's no way on this world they're prepared. that means there's not folks not willing to do it. it just means they're not prepared to do it adequately. miss sanders as a nurse brought it out eloquent limit you want to get that care as close to home as you can. it's intimidating enough to go to a doctor's office or large medical center -- i'm going to have a physical next week and already have sweaty palms and i've done thousands of them. i understand what you're saying. i think either the -- we take the treatment the patient, but as dr. reyes said, you can't take the wrong treatment to the patient. you have done them harm, no
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good, at mr. lewis pointed out. so we identify the problem and look for victims like yourself, who have suffered military sexual trauma, and come up with a plan of how to better treat these patients. and right now we don't have it and whether it's outside the va, the patient should get the best treatment. and i guess miss johnson, i was looking at your testimony, and you said that the treatment you received at the madison, wisconsin, va was extreme lit -- extremely limited. >> it had to do with i was not yet service connected so i was told i couldn't receive consistent treatment there until my service connection came through. that being said, the problem was that mst was never addressed so who knew that was part of the issue. so, d. >> never connected the dots. >> exactly. not through my primary care
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physician when i started having gyn visits, including emergency room visits, not mental health, and no one -- i was -- is a said in my oral testimony, i was not a combat veteran. so, to have all of these symptoms going on and still not be screened for mst so that i could receive treatment therapy, while waiting for my service connection, really put me behind, and it was really a travesty because the -- everytime i had to go there, i built myself up for a week before saying, i'm going to tell my story. this is it. i'm going to do it. and then i would be deflated. and then it would take me another week to really come down from that experience, and it was different providers everytime i went. the most often i had if seen the same provider was twice. >> i think you hit the nail -- i stayed in the same spot for 31 years before i was elected to congress, and i've had patients that i had known for 20 or 25
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years, that finally told me something after 25 years, and it was like a -- they knew me well, and knew me very well and had seen me and maybe i delivered their children, whatever, and it is like a load of bricks being lifted from their back, and i think you can see their life open up in front of them. it was -- i didn't see that one time. i saw it multiple times. and is a point out to you al -- you all, irdid numerous sexual assault trauma examinations and in the military i didn't do a single one you know it was there but so under the carpet, nobody talked about it. i think they fact y'all have done that has been helpful. and i think the other things you can do is give us ideas how we can help the va be better, and we found out how doing it not
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right for you individually helps, and i suspect your story is not that much individual. every one is individual but there's a common theme i'm hearing. i yield back. thank you. >> miss cookpatrick. >> thank you for holding this hearing, thank you, ranking member for this opportunity and thank you for showing up and your courage to testify before congress. and i'm just so sorry for what happened to you. i'm a former prosecutor. i have prosecuted rape cases. i just want to know if any of your perpetrators were ever charged? >> my perpetrator was charged. i went to the article 32 hearing, the equivalent of a grand jury hearing, and he was charged with five charges. went through the rest of the investigative process, and he was given an other than
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honorable discharge in lieu of prosecution, and the prosecutor explained to me the night before we were headed to trial the next morning, they called me in for an initial -- another meeting, and sat me down and explained that, lisa, i can prove that he raped you. but the rape wasn't violent enough for him to get any real jail time. and what this gentleman was doing was giving me a message of what i was in for the next day -- >> we have to break away from this live hearing for just a moment. we're going to take you live to the floor of the u.s. senate. our commitment to give you gale-to-gavel senate coverage. they'll be in and out quickly and as soon as they're finished we'll take you straight back to the hearing. still in the first of three scheduled panels at the house veterans affairs subcommittee hearing on the health treatment for military sexual trauma. so now live to the floor of the u.s. senate.
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the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the clerk will read to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., july 19, 2013. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate i hereby appoint the honorable mazie heurpb know, a -- hirono a senator from the
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state of hawaii to perform the duties of the chair. duties of the chair. >> so there you are, the senate in and out with a pro forma session on tuesday. we're going to take you back right now to that house veterans affairs subcommittee hearing in progress. live coverage here on c-span2. >> the whistle blower act is a wonderful thing that is out there so that victims can feel confident that if they do decide to report, they won't be retaliated against. but common sense, again, tells us if you can't get a commander to prosecute rape, a crime of violence, why would a victim have any confidence that the commander is going to protect them when they come forward? so thank you for bringing that topic up. at it -- it's important.
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>> that's my concern. i yield -- >> if i might. miss wilkin is very -- i hate to use the wrong word here but she has seen some measure of justice. a lot of survivors really do not see justice at all. i know in my case i was threatened under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and that's a huge concern especially in the mail survivor community. we were told, if you go forward with this, you will be outed as a gay man, regardless if you are or not, and pushed out of the military. or you'll be given some sort of weaponized diagnosis like personality disorder, or boredline adjustment or whatever. another aspect of your question is the current process to change your discharge. the military's favorite line is, if this person is dissatisfied with their discharge, tell tell
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to to go to the board for correction of military records. i'm here to tell you that is a joke and really deserving of this congress' attention. less than 10% of all upgrade petitions are adjudicated favorably. imagine the psychological damage that does to a veteran when they get -- first off they're traumatized in the military. then they have to go back to the military and say, we were hurt, we deserve our ptsd because these people rated us at 100% and these people gave us a general discharge. and then the military says, oh, no, we were totally right in doing it. that is another area that totally needs to be addressed and that's also a good reason for -- to pass hr1593, the stop act, just as quickly as possible to stop those actions and to really enforce the whistleblower laws because if you go ahead,
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especially in the military, you're going to be pushed out and then you're going to be told, you can't get your discharge changed and that has implicationed in the va for receiving care. thank you. >> thank you very much. i yield back. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the gentlewoman from new york -- california. sorry. >> the other coast. mr. chairman, thank you, and ranking member, brownley, thank you as well and all the members for showing such a deep and committed interest in this issue. to you survivors, you're american heroes, and we owe you a great debt of gratitude because you're speaking on behalf of 500,000 veterans who have been sexually assaulted, raped, in the military. i want to ask you a series of questions so we can get a sense, because i think i know the answers but i think it would be important for all of us to go beyond the numbers. 87% of victims don't report.
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and they don't report for a very obvious reason. because they don't get justice. so, let me ask this. how many of you were raped early in your military careers? how many of you were under the age of 25? how many of you were under the age of 20? >> i was 20. >> i was 20. >> how many of you were raped multiple times? >> pardon? >> how many of you were victims multiple times of rape? >> no. >> how many of you were sexual hi harassed. how many of you endured an article 32 hearing? >> an article 32 hearing in the military, allows the defendant's attorney to question the victim about their prior sexual history.
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now, we have rape shield laws in this country that prevent that from going on in civilian society, but in article 32 hearings they are able to raise that. how many of you were -- how many of your assailants were in the chain of command? this is really important because this makes the case that if we keep it in the chain of command, the likelihood of any victim getting the kind of fair evaluation is just not going to happen. how many of you were -- were your assailants associated with or friends of or known by someone in your chain of command? so your cases -- you're the only person that was raped outside 0 your chain of command, looks like. how many of you were treated only by medication? how many of you were overly
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treated by medication? how long after your assault, your rapes, were you discharged? >> one year. >> two years. >> nine months. >> ten years. >> how many of you have a dd214 which indicates that you have a personality disorder, adjustment disorder or something like that? how many of you believe that for this tissue be dealt with appropriately in the military we have to take it out of the chain of command. >> all right. how many of you, when you entered the va system, were asked specifically if you had been raped or sexually assaulted in the military?
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how many of you received one-on-one counseling? >> what? >> one-on-one mental health counseling in the military. how many of you were in a sexual -- an mst program that was reflective of your gender? >> it was also -- a rape survivor and insist survivor's group they put us together. >> very briefly, if you could, speak about the violence in your rapes, because we tend to overlook that because we focus on the numbers, and most of these rapes are -- have a level of violence that we have no conception of. >> i was pushed into a rom by three men, one of the men got
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inside with me. he push me down. he tore my pants. he -- there was evidence that they could have collected but he was given nonjudicial punishment. >> you were locked in that room by the -- >> i was locked in the room by the outside. it was -- there were two padlocks on the outside doors and his two friends were not to open it until he said so. >> miss wilkins? >> some people might say that i am a lucky victim; that i was asleep when the assault started so i woke up to it happening. so there are parts of the assault that i wasn't awake for. but that were evident. and so a lot of people think that if you're not aware of the assault, that it's not as bad. but rape itself is a crime of violence, and to have someone put their hands on you or be
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able to put themselves inside of your body without your permission, in itself is violent, and so a lot of people think that it's not as bad as if you don't know exactly what happened to you. but not knowing sometimes makes it worse. and to bring up the point that you talk about, about using your sexual history against you, in my case, during the investigation i was interviewed by the office of special investigations, who does things in the united states air force. i was interviewed for four hours in a eight by four -- eight by eight room with two male osi officers, and i had to go through my entire sexual history from the time i lost my virginity until the night i was assaulted and i had to answer questions about that at the article 32 hearing, and so it
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revictimmizes you. >> my time is expired, mr. chairman, is it all right if the last two witnesses -- >> there's time for more. >> my perpetrator used a weapon to obtain my compliance. he used a knife. had i resisted, i would not be here. i would be six feet under. and i knew that looking in his eyes. there's a lot of victimization that goes on physically and mentally when senior members of your chain of command come down and say you will not file a report, official report, with naval criminal investigative service. that's a victimization almost as bad as the one. i don't remember a whole lot because my perpetrator hit me
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over he head and knocked me unconscious. i have been trying to get evaluated for head issues ever since, and va has never done it. so there's physical violence and there's the violence that comes after, when your command says, you're not going to do this, and then the doctors in the military say, oh, you're fine. let me push you a boatload of pills and send you back out to sea. or the doctor we go to in the military that says, oh, you are lying about what happened. and by the way, here's your personality disorder. and a bag of pills to last you 90 days on your way out. i took enough pills when i was stationed at 32nd street in san diego to float a ship. i often called it a shuffle because i couldn't feel my feet touch the floor, and that is
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violence as well. and i know you meant the physical kind but that violence needs to be addressed as well. and there's no gender sensitive care for male veterans anywhere. that's why me and a few other survivors are standing up and recovering from military sexual trauma because men don't have anywhere to go. men deserve the right to be supported, too. thank you, congresswoman. >> my situation was as a young officer candidate and it was actually out in a social situation that it started. and for many years i did not disclose because it was more of a date rape situation, and i was told afterwards, you know, i pretty much deserved it and brought it on myself. so for whatever reason i sincerely believe i was given
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something so that i wouldn't remember or so that i would be more compliant. being a marine i'm not a very compliant person anyway, but i don't remember much of it, but if someone comes too close to me or i feel that someone invades my personal space or i smell a certain smell, i become so agitated and scared to the point where i can't function and i feel like i'm going to throw up and that can happen anywhere. so while it wasn't really dish didn't come out with bruises, i came out with pain and i came out with invisible wounds. when it happened years later with somebody else, it was sort of the same situation, and i was told, well, it's not rain. -- it's not rape. but i said, no, it's not rape. and so while neither incident was outright violent, i was not physically harmed in such a way as the other witnesses.
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it's still -- the violence in it for me was questioning my judgment and questioning who i was as a person, and believing for so long that it was my fault. and that i couldn't tell anybody. and it -- how too you think at 22 and how you think at 40 when you're trying to raise two young men, really impacts the way you look at things, and when i knew i didn't want my sons to treat a woman like that and i thought, -- i knew that what i had experienced and i was still traumatized from it, and that it was wrong. so, completely different situation, but long-lasting effects. >> thank you. mr. chairman, thank you for your indulgence. >> i want to thank you all so very much for coming to
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washington and telling your stories. you have been very helpful to try to correct this problem. this is particularly frustrating to me to hear these stories one after another. while your individual experiences are unique, the challenges and barriers you spoke of in facing the va and the dod, are very similar. i hope that administration officials in the audience were listening as closely as i was to your testimony. thank you very much. and you're excused. >> i'd like to welcome our second panel to the witness table. joining us on the second panel is dr. michael sheperd, a physician with the office of health care inspections at the
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va office of the inspector general. dr. sheperd is accompanied by karen -- the associate director of bay pines. office of health care inspections. also on our second panel, dr. jonathan higgins, the head of the treatment program in the va eastern kansas health care system, and carol o'brien, chief of the post-traumatic stress disorder program at bay pines. welcome. who is talking first? dr. sheperd. five minutes for your testimony. >> thank you, ranking member brownley and members of the subcommitee. thank you for the opportunity to discuss a recent ib report on residential
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treatment for female veterans with mst related mental health conditions. i'm accompanied by the associate director in our bay pines office of health care inspections. want to thank the four veterans on the first panel for their courage. i want to briefly mention why we did this review and offer a few observations. this inspection was undertaken in response to a request from the senate, veterans affairs committee. the report was intended to describe the care of female veterans discharged during the six-month period from 14 programs listed by va as having the ability to treat mental health conditions related to mst. although the request and the report specifically focused on treatment of female veterans, i do want to knowledge the incidence and distressing impact on both mail and -- both me a and -- beth male and female
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survivors. the average age was 44, the 46-50-year-old age group as the most common. 4% of the patients were under 25, and a quarter -- the -- i think this demographic data highlights the impact across service areas and also highlights the pressure on the system to simultaneous my plan for and serve the growing mentality -- mental health of veterans. i want to discuss the complexity of the programs. 96% of the patients had two or more mental health diagnoses in additional to multiple physical diagnoses. in fact 8% had concomitant
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eating disorders and after the programs patients tended to return to the facility at which they received preprogram care. 22 patients were admitted to an acute mental health unit or another residential practice for me the real takeaway is for these patients, effective treatment is not a one-stop program but rather requires a coordinated and longitudal effort, building the foundations care in the outpatient setting, having adequate residential treatment and then integrating treatment back to the outpatient setting to effectively build on gapes achieved. third, largely all but three programs treated patients from all over the country there was a national draw to these programs. on sight visit wes found that difficulty obtaining travel funding authorization was a consistent theme. mst policy dictates care for veterans, even those not
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otherwise eligible for va services and that residential care should be available. but va's travel beneficiary policy is restricted to vas meeting certain eligibility requirements, and favors treatment at the nearest facility. we found the two policy does not align. for some patients the lack of alignment may delay program access. we recommend the review of existing policy pertaining to policy for veterans seeking mst treatment in these programs. established a work group to provide recommendations. as of the last quarterly update the work group was continuing its review of this issue. finally, on sight visits, mst coordinators consistently reported their concerns that, given their direct patient care responsibilities, they did not have time to perform the collateral mst coordinator duties, including outreach,
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coordination, and tracking of patients with positive mst screens. in conclusion, the programs reviewed do serve treatments from across the program, the system. ideal, these women and men would be engaged in a coordinated, integrated, comprehensive and longitudal treatment effort. thank you for this opportunity to testify. athe >> and is a tertiary cite
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facility. i'm head of a program for veterans with post traumatic stress dissport other problems. this unit is designed to help veterans deal more effectively with traumatic experiences that occur during their military self. the unit is physically located within the medical center at topeka. as program chief and as one of two ptsd mentors, i'm pleased to share my reflections from the field concerning mst treatment. our to pekka program is best described as an integrated, mixed trauma model for mixed gender. we provide inpatient treatment services for male and female veterans from all branches as well as active duty military personnel. trauma issues addressed clues those related to combat, mst, nonsexual assault, and training incidents. the unit is designated as a national resource specialized inpatient ptsd unit, or cpu.
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the goal is to help veterans maximize their post traumatic growth recovery and reintegration into families and minutes. here's some key program data. the unit hat treesed 119 patients, 28 or 24% of the patients self-identified at admission as mst survivor referrals. additional patients self-identify after admission of having sexual trauma issues in addition to other presenting issues. 100% of the identified mst admissions have had a ptsd prior diagnosis. many are scheduled for admission in the fourth quarter. of the fy13 referrals 36 have been men and 14% have been women. they clue those who served in vietnam, iraq, afghanistan, and other locales. off our mst referrals, males
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heavily outnumber females. is a common in other inpatient residential programs we experience a higher percentage of mst admission no-shows and cancellations than for other traumas. this speaks to multiple issues including readiness issues and travel difficulties. the program is staffed 24/ by a terrific multi disciplinary treatment team. they provide multiple evidence based psych owe therapies, gender specific cares, same gender therapist, diverse psychological education program, complimentary alternative medicine such as yoga, medication management. as a national resource program, referrals are nationwide. a rolling admissions format is employed where an mst referral are admitted in many cohort groups in order to provide for maximum comfort group cohesion in fy13 we have not encountered any aborted issues.
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treatment highlights through include, first, the program's core value of treating diverse individuals works. mst is destigmatized. mst is not regarded as a second class source of ptsd but is a primary problem in its own right. second, the program achieves a powerful sense of community and acceptance of all individuals with ptsd, regardless of gender and trauma demographics. the invivo aspect of the treatment environment is normalizing, essential to veteran recovery efforts and facilitating reintegration into the real world. treatment outcome data supports the mixed model. last, treatment gaps which challenges including these. first, active duty personnel. our program is one hour from two military installations and we
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receive active duty referrals for combat trauma treatment. however, referrals for mst are infrequent. patients report fear of stigma and concerns about career advancement. these are worthy issues. transportation. some mst referrals have struggled with transportation problems to our scram to other programs. one nonvisitting female veteran who could not afford transportation to our program was eventually flown by a veteran organization. the policies must work together so program access is not a problem. capacity. greater understanding is needed of the multiple pactors that contribute to unfilled mst beds, mst specialized programs are encouraged to share best administration practices. and last, research. more multisite, multiprogram research is needed to best discern the treatment that yield
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the most robust treatment outcomes. i'm pleased to be part of the growing national efforts to treat mst and appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today. i'm prepared to respond to any questions you may have. >> thank you. dr. o'brien, please proceed. >> thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss the bay pines va healthcare system' efforts to provide care to the nation's heroes, specifically those affected by sexual trauma. i will provide a general overview of our system. the fourth busiest va health care him in? the country. the bay pines va healthcare system serves a ten-county area in southwest florida, includes a large medical center located in bay pines, and eight outpatient clinics located in communities wind our catchment area. our healthcare system includes 3500 employees who are dedicated
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to serving the more than 100,000 men and women who come through our doors. i'm the section chief of the healthcare system's post traumatic stress disorder programs which include residential and outpatient services to treat ptsd resulting from war related trauma and for military sexual trauma. our center for sexual trauma services is the section of the ptsd programs that specifically treat ptsd resulting from sexual assault endured during the military service. i began treating veterans with problems related to mst in 1993. shortly after the passage of public law 102-805. as a result of our experiences, a colleague and i requested and received a va innovative programs grant to establish the bay pines residential military sexual trauma treatment program in the year 2000.
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we initially had capacity for eight female veterans and expanded the program to treat an equal number of male veterans and private outpatient services. at present, we treat approximately 100 veterans with military sexual trauma each year through our repsal -- residential program andout patient services to 400 veterans annually. our team provides evidence-behavessed psychotherapy for pts and gender-specific treatment interventions and other therapyike modalities to treat the unique aspects of mst-related ptsd. because n an overarching goal of treatment is community re-integration our residential program has a focus on interpersonal skill development and recovery defined by the veterans goal's and values and we incorporate concepts from
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therapeutic community models of care. the center for sexual trauma service was the first mst specific program to be established within vha. in addition to providing excellent patient care for veterans who come to us from across the nation, we initiated a national clinical training program in 2001 that has been attended by hundreds of mst clinicianses from other va facilities and from vet centers. in addition, our program has included ambitious clinical research initiatives, and provides training for interns and residents from many disciplines. >> our residential treatment community includes equal numbers of men and women. length of stay vairs buysed on treatment needs and goals and the patients take responsibility for the functioning of their residential community through a
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mentoring and coaching each other, identifying shared community values, and related behavioral goals and focusing on independent problem solving and management of difficult emotions. we also focus on the gender-specific issues related to military sexual trauma. our male and female patients meet separately to process the impact of military sexual trauma on important aspects of life, including sexuality, perceptions of others and interpersonal relationships, and then come together to recognize that sexual assault affects both men and women and is not a problem of gender. through their relationships with each other, they begin to trust again and they develop an eagerness to move forward with their lives. as we continue to work to advance the understanding of the impact of mst and to develop increasingly effective treatment models, i respect any make the following suggestions. we have made huge progress in
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the availablity of treatmentss for ptsd and have -- but we need programs to specifically address the complex family problems, behavioral issues, and currenttive orders typically seen in this group of veteran. we need to provide treatment earlier. most of our patients receive treatment years and even decades after the sexual assault. many of our veterans tell us that the mst resulted in the loss of very hoped-for military career. va and dod need to prioritize effective early treatment interventions to preserve the quality of life and the potential contributions of military service members who experience military sexual trauma. we need more treatment options for men. we know that for men who are
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raped, the reporting rates are lower. the incidence of ptsd is higher. functioning and relationships and work loads is more impaired and treatment is less effective. finally, we need to understand more about the causes and the predictors of military sexual trauma. we need additional va/dod collaborative research initiatives to understand the problems from the perspective of both the victims and the perpetrators, so that we can design interventions relative to the military environment to ameliorate this problem so there are no more victims. thank you again for the chance to testify. >> thank you, dr. o'brien. i yield myself five minutes. dr. sheperd, were you here nor testimony of the first panel? >> yes, sir. >> fairly dramatic testifies.
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you're with the office of inspector general. is the inspector general's office doing anything? are they review what the va has been doing? this is pretty dramatic. i would think that you would have been on this in some way. >> well, as i mentioned in my statement, we did do a review in the last year of residential treatment for patients with mst-related conditions. we have done a review about two years ago looking at treatment for women with combat stress and -- >> you haven't really reviewed -- doesn't sound like you're answering you reviewed what the va is doing with military sexual trauma trauma in view of the testimony before. >> yes. >> are you aware of the number of inpatient beds there are for -- in the va system for
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inpatient treatment of military sexual trauma or that was maybe for ptsd which would have availability appropriate for mst victims? how many inpatient beds in the country? >> i don't know the exact number. >> do any of you know that number? let me ask you, the doctors that are involved with clinics themselves. are your clinics always full? is your clinic always full? >> as i mentioned -- thank you for the question. mr. chairperson. i mentioned in my remarks we do experience some people who do not show up for treatment that are scheduled for them and are waited to be admitted. the advantage of having a rolling admissions format we can pull people forward and fill the positions quickly. >> hooven does somebody have to weighed. you mentioned you have people scheduled for the fourth
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quarter. >> we do. we're in that territory and we're -- so we keep a waiting to be admit list so folks get their personal affairs lined up, and prepared to come into a program. it takes some doing to get family and work and so forth. >> how long does it typically take? >> i would say that we're running about a month to 40 days right now. >> and so -- what is the census in your facility today? >> it varies -- >> todaying are right -- >> it runs from 80 to 95%. >> dr. o'brien? >> again, we typically run over 85% occupancy rate. the bay pines residential program is considered the premiere program in the country. we get probably more referrals than other programs do. but a couple of weeks ago we admitted a female veteran
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directly to our program from the inpatient psychiatry unit with absolutely no wait. >> we haven't heard from you, miss -- do you have anything you want toed a to that? >> thank you, mr. chairman. as far as with our review we looked at 14 different programs, va facility programs. and we had to estimate the capacity because some of the programs are womens on and some are mixed gender. for purposes of our review we only lookedded a beds available for women with mst. our estimated capacity was approximately 600. we did obtain data, both while we were on our site visits and looking at va self-reported data that had to do with capacity, and we were consistently told the programs were underutilized. the time period was the first two quarts of fiscal year 12,
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and during that time frame, the data provided by va to northeast program evaluation center for these particular programs reflected an occupancy rate ranging from 42% through 81%. the programs that had a higher occupancy rate included bay pines, lionses, new jersey, and sheridan, wyoming. as far as how long it takes to access we can get you that. in we reviewed 166 medical records and within our report we have the data stratified by facility how long it took from the time a patient was revved -- referred to the program until the patient entered a residential program and it did vary considerably. >> do you think that the -- dr. sheperd, just to finish -- is the idea in view of the testimony we had today, have any -- do you think you would
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entertain a plan to inspect how the va is doing thing? with the dramatic testimony of coordinators, shouldn't the inspector general be involved in that? >> i very much appreciate the testimony, and when i return today to the office, i will begin dialogue with my superiors about possible inspections we might do in this area. >> i would appreciate the followup. >> has been discussed and we initially looked at doing this review we chose to look at the residential programs because these programs were identified by vha as being specialized treatment. for a specific population. one thing we did consider is looking at outpatient services which is little more challenging because it is so broad. it was challenge to figure out how to objectively measure what they were doing. and there can be so much
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veriability from place to place. one thing we considered, currently vha facilities have a screening program where they're supposed to be doing a screening. at it an electronic screening called a clinical reminder, where it's opposite in a lifetime they screen the va for the presence of military sexual trauma. it consists of two questions to determine if a patient met a trite tiery. at which point they're supposed to be verbally prompted to see if they would like to talk to someone further. we were told that vha is in the process of adding a third question to the reminder, that would actually document whether or not the person would like too seek help or further assistance. once the clinical reminders is in place there would be an octobertive way to measure how many veterans requested then, then go back and see how many got the help they asked for and how long it took. so we are kind of keeping an eyeball to when that reminder
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might be rolled out. we are were told it was under protest. as -- anywhere process, but not has been rolled out nationally. >> thank you for your testimony. i yield to miss brownley. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you all for your testimony. you know, hearing the first panel, for me was disconcerting, devastating, and your response to the testimony, didn't seem to me that sense of urgency is there. i mean, we heard about big gaps in care, long wait times, uncaring providers, employees that didn't seem to know what the policies were, issues around family support, gender sensitive care, the fact that ptsd and mst therapies were combined.
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the need for -- to get access outside of the va. victims not being screened. so, it just -- and it seems to me -- the data that we know in terms of the victims who are out there and the victims, 87% who actually were victimized but don't come forward. it just doesn't seem that -- your testimony and the data that we know about are really aligned here, and somehow i think we have got to find those nexus points so that we are doing a better job. so, i feel like this hearing is just beginning to scratch the surface, and we still need to drill down further on so many of these issues to figure out how
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we can provide immediate service, caring service, the right service, services the best practices, and i am sort of struggling with that. i appreciate your testimony. i feel like it was prepared and n advance, which i understand one has to do, but it didn't feel as though it was really responding to what we heard. so, i would just like to hear from you, from all of you, really, what some of your responses are. and i know in the case of mr. lewis, who testified, and dr. o'brien, he gets services from your facility and if we could hear a little bit more from you about some of his testimony and some of his experiences.
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>> thank you. and i, like you, reacted with a great deal of concern and compassion for the testimony of not only the male victim but the entire panel. and as we move forward with this, a part of what we need to do within va is to talk with our veterans, to listen to those concerns, to continue to work with them in order to improve our programs to meet every single individual veteran's needs. one of the things we're doing that will be helpful we're hiring a large number of peer technicians to work with our programs and we'll have one coming to our program at bay pines as well:...
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>> in a manner of speaking, we have a skewed sample because the parables made it into a specialized program, whereas the veterans in the first panel who spoke openly and bravely about their experiences, what we gather from the testimony, only one of the four made it into a specialized program, so while we can discuss characteristics in our view, it may not be those in the programs. we did find evidence, both in the medical records and through
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interviews and site visits, we did hear about barriers, and many of the barriers we heard from staff were very similar themes to what we heard from the veterans who spoke earlier today. we consistently heard that the mst coordinators, there is one in each facility, that's what we found in the review. that's what is required; however, the directive does not mandate the time dedicated to the role it needs to have. we were consistently told on-site that, by most coordinators, it was 10% of their time to doing coordination. at the bay pines facility, the coordinator is a busy lady, wears many hats, works full-time, the amnesty coordinators, and the visit point of contact for msg. that's one person. we were told that, by most of them, 10%, a few have two hours a week afforded to do the
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outreach needed to do. i think that when you listen to the examples we heard from the prior panel, a lot of them echoed that, had there been more outreach and a lot more focusing on coordination and reaching out to patients coming into the system, that, perhaps, that could have avoided the issues related to the coordination of care. >> thank you. i yield five minutes to dr. west. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you, all, for being here today. you know, i know it's difficult, but always necessary in everything that we do to self-critique ourselves, and i just wonder how you describe or rate your customer service as far as those with mst, and what is it that you need that is not provided to you today to improve
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upon that? anyone can take that. >> thank you for the question, congressman. i believe the as much ass are outstanding, excellent team, and the feedback we get back repeatedly from veterans through the program and other sources as well is they are pleased with the care received from us. we can always do better. i -- we have brought on peer support specialist this past year to help out. it's been a strong move for us, continuing to look at how we can link in better with local community resources to help become more linked in with things like preparational activities, staff dollars help with that, but there's room for improvement there. >> okay. anyone else? care to comment? >> i have a comment, since both of the panelists from vha mentioned the peer technicianings and peer counseling, such a positive recovery movement rolled out in dha. that is something we notice when
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we looked at the medical residents of the women in the residential program. those in the program look at, there was peer counseling available or peer support technician who was there; however, from what we see in the medical record documentation, and looking at veterans who were women, we only saw one female pier support technician who was working in particular programs, and i believe that was in the program in cincinnati. i know that va mandated that the residential programs need to get ready to have up to 15% of the population be female; however, they have no set threshold for what number of peer support technicians need to be female. >> thank you very much, and i yield back. >> ms. customer, five minutes. >> thank you very much. i'll be more mindful of my time,
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thank you. thank you for coming before us today and the work that you do, and i understand that you're very committed to it and dr. o'brian, i admire you being a part of this for a long, long time, and dr. higgins, impressed by the program described, and thank you to our friends that are looking into this deeper. my question, i want to focus in on a comment that you made about you used the phrase "once in a lifetime screening," and i guess the comment i would have is it's very clear to me from our first panel that "once in a lifetime screening" would not be adequate, and you spoke eloquently about this knowing his patients for 30 year, and it takes 5 years to have the -- 25 years to have the conversation. what would you recommend that
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could be done across the board throughout the va to be more mindful of the challenge of bringing this situation forward, that it's not just saying i broke my arm, can you fix it? >> i think that the part of the issue has to do with the coordinators, and the time they are afforded to follow-up on screenings, and, also, when they are working -- when a patient discloses in whatever venue it is, ensure the coordinator is aware and the screening then is flipped back to being positive in the medical record. a clinical reminder, they can be set in the electronic medical record at certain intervals. we were told that currently, this occurs once. when a person, male or female veteran, comes into the center for enrollment, they are screened for many conditions. there's two questions in the
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screening, and then, as i mentioned earlier, we're told they are in the process of adding a third question. we would probably need to defer for more specific information about the future plans for the clinical reminder. we did have some dialogue with vha staff and central office about the critical reminder and pros and cons of having it come up more than annually. we did find, in our particular sample, all of the veterans had been screened. we did find that out of the -- out of 166 patients, 16 # 1 # were actually veterans, three active duty, two reservists. of the 161 for whom the reminder would have been turned on in the medical record, for seven, it was marked "negative," and that impacts va collecting data because they make efforts to collect data on the patients. if the reminder is marked "negative," then some of the data they collect would be lost. >> great.
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>> can i add, also, -- >> sure. >> -- that although in va we have the requirement to ask once to do the reminder, that's not the only way that we reach out to the our veterans to let them know about the viability of treatment and so on, and we have brochures, posters, events for sexual assault awareness people. we have, many multiple moo daleties, reach out to the veterans to let them know care is available and encourage them to seek care. i had a veteran they -- say to me the other day that he had said no to the clinical reminder, and then he saw a poster at our facility that we have hanging right inside the door that says "it takes the strength of a warrior to seek help," and that gave him the courage to come to us and say, i was sexually assaulted in the
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military, and i hear i can get care from you. >> great. my time is short, but i do want to take the opportunity to introduce an expert from my region in new hampshire who is here with us today at the hearing, victoria banyard, ph.d. from the university of new hampshire. i'll submit her statement for the record, but with regard to your comment, i think the connection to the services that are available in the community, including in academia, in programs, the issue of sexual assault and rape it not new in our society, and one of my biggest concerns across the board, both with regard to dod and the va, is that there's this effect of a total vacuum of the military and the veterans
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administration seemingly dealing with these issues in a vacuum, and so i would encourage all of you and, certainly, we will encourage the veteran's administration and the dod to work with the civilian population because this is -- it's a very unique, both with regard to coming forward and telling the story and all the way throughout. our concern is with the multiple trauma, that we learn best practices from people who have worked, dr. banyard has been working 20 years in this field, and i'm honored to have her with us here today, so thank you. i yield back. >> thank you very much. i'll yield five minutes to the share. >> thank you. i agree with sharing the
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frustration, i feel like we're in two separate worlds. we heard gut-wrenching testimony from extremely courageous people whose lives have been ruined, and i'm frustrated sitting on the committee. i've been asking questions about this issue to the va since i've been here with no answers, and customer service is great? maybe to those accessing the program, but those silting here representing tens of thousands of peep, it's not working. i'm frustrated. i want to direct the question to dr. sheepered. it's recommended that, quote, the undersecretary for health review existing vha policy pertaining to authorization of travel for veterans seeking nst specialized treatment and residential programs outside the facilities where they are incontrol rolled. they agree with the recommendation and promise to have a recommendation completed for the undersecretary for
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health no later than april 30, 2013. have you been provided with that status update? >> quarterly update in may, they were still working on it and had not come up with a list of recommendations. >> it's falling on deaf ears, no response, no report. when we deal with this issue, the reason the stories are so gut-wrenching, i think, is because, you know, we have thousands of people falling through the cracks in the system, and we can't even get answers to the congressional committee that's in charge of watchdogging and making sure these people get treatment. >> in fact, in the last few days, with a lot of pressing, we got a response that they recently developed recommendations that the undersecretary would review in the last few weeks. i agree with that.
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>> failure to address the promise? >> no, ma'am. >> indicate the inability to provide services in your estimation? >> hard to say. i mean, certainly, you know, we'd like to see prompt response to the recommendation we have, and we'd like to see the -- what they recently proposed, get implemented because we think that will help improve access for veterans needing the programs. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i yield back my time. >> ms. kirpatrick. >> [inaudible] excuse me, thank you, mr. chairman. dr. o'brian, how many of the 3500 employees after your facility are psychiatrists?
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>> thank you for the question. i would need to take that to the record and get back to you on the exact number. >> can you give me a ballpark number? >> i can tell you in our ptsd program itself, we have two psychiatric arnps, two full-time psychiatrists with the position open for yet another psychiatrist. >> i don't have your written testimony, but i just recalling from your testimony that you said you had -- you treat a hundred thousand in-parties at the facility and 400,000 out-patients; is that correct? >> i indicated we have 100,000 male and female veterans who come to our facility each year. >> and how many of them are seeking mental health care?
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>> again, i don't know the exact number. ky get that information to you. >> i would appreciate that. dr. higgins, can you answer the questions for me for your facility? >> thank you for the question. i find myself in a similar situation as dr. o'brian. on the in-patient, we have a full-time pa and arnp with a psychiatrist who supervises that work. i'll have to get back to you with respect to the total number of psychiatrists in the facility. >> do you have a ballpark? >> let me get back to you about that. >> okay. you talked a little bit about staffing in the previous question. do you think that if we have sufficient number of psychiatrists in the va system to treat these issues? >> under our review, we looked at the staffing specifically of particular residential programs, so i would not be able to comment on the adequacy of staffing for the other 140va
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facilities as far as availability of out-patient services. there's staffing for the particular programs we reviewed, which were residential, and in-patient in nature. >> i'm concerned about the testimony we heard from the first panel, that they're seen by medical students, untrained professionals, and really would like an answer back about whether or not we have adequate professionals within the va system to deal with military sexual trauma. i also, in the written testimony of one of the first panelists, she says, some women are not going to come to the va because of the lack of treatment or a bad experience with the va. we've heard from, in other hearings, about women hesitant to go to the va. i'd like to know from the panel what efforts the va is taking right now to address that to make that a pleasant experience for women where they feel protected and welcomed. >> thank you.
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i think one of the things that va has dope over the years is the creation of women's health centers. every va facility has a women veterans' program manager whose job it is to advocate for women veterans throughout the facility, and women, i'll talk about the bay pines women's clinic, a separate clinic, dedicated to the health care ofwomen veterans, and in that clinic, there's mental health providers so if they come to the facility and feels uncomfortable getting care in a general clinic or another setting, they get virtually all care in the women's clinic. >> dr. shepherd, are you aware of anything going on in the va to make it user friendly for women? >> i can speak to, i think, ideally, that's the question best answered by the two
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panelists from va, but i can say that, you know, going back four or five years ago in the residential programs, there was really concern about physical safety or that that was more of an issue, and many of the programs did put, you know, like key pad or other type devices to bolster security, so other than that, you know, i can offer that, but i think that's best answered by the va pammists. >> do you have any comment on that? maybe ideas about what could be done better? >> just to echo the sentiments of dr. shepherd, we have the offices of sections, when did you schedule visits, called capped at 50 va medical centers each year looking at the safety security of the mental health residential treatment programs, finding high compliance with the standards pertaining to safety and security for women veterans in the venues. as far as the required alarms,
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door locks, rooms, and bathrooms, being able to lock, cctv, building entrances and whatnot, i know the oig has a component relevant to women's health, typically in the scheduled site visits for medical facilities and reviews, it is something they are keeping an eye on. i cannot personally comment on the adequacy of the efforts overall as far as being welcoming to women. >> dr. higgins, can you describe what's going on at your facility with that regard? >> happy to. we also have a women's health clinic where a full comprehensive range of services available. with respect to the unit, we do, indeed, have alarms on doors, doors lock at night, and to maintain the physical security of the rooms. i think that the -- the message is best delivered every time we interact with female who comes into the va, it's that individual contact that makes the difference, and our staff,
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my staff on this end is well-trained and committed to that because we understand the gravity of the stories that are going to unfold before us as we work with these women and men who have been sexually traumatized. >> thank you. mr. chairman, thank you for indulging me to exceed my time, thank you. >> thank you very much. i'd like to yield a couple more minutes to the ranking member from california. she has an inquiry. >> thank you, mr. chair, and this inquiry is really to the office of the inspector general, dr. shepherd. you know, we've heard in today's testimony a lot, and one area to focus on is the transition area from dod to the va up for military sexual assault victims, so you know, my understanding,
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anyway, back in 2009, there was a dodva mental health summit, and from that summit, there was, i think, an agreed upon strategy coming out from the dod and the va, but we really don't know anything about it and really what has happened with that. we don't know what the strategy is, easts. i think, and i think the chairman agrees with me that i would certainly like the inspector general to look into this issue around transition and how the dod and the va are going to work together to service our military men and women who have been sexually assaulted and report back to us in the official capacity as the office of inspector general and would like that to happen and to have a report and that would come
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back to us. >> in light of the heart felt concerns expressed and shared by the first panel, i personally would be honored to work on that. >> thank you, sir. >> i thank you, all, very much for testifying for us today and hereby excused from the panel. >> i'd like the call the third panel. we have the department of veteran affairs, dr. jane, assistant deputy undersecretary for patient care services, accompanied by dr. david carol from the office of patient care services, and dr. stacy pollack, national health direct of policy implementation for the office of patient care services. that's a long title.
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joinedded by karen dice, the principle deputy undersecretary for health affairs. i want to thank you all for being here today. we have your complete written statements as part of the hearing record, and given the gravity of the testimony and personal experiences that we've heard in the previous panel, i want to go straight to questions if you don't mind. you all -- you were all here for the testimony in the first panel, i take it; right? to me, it's the same complaint, and i know that i have received constituent letters about how people have been sexually assaulted in the vietnam war,
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but still have not reported it to the -- to their va person because they are just afraid. you know, they didn't reveal it until they wrote me the letter. this testimony is so devastating. i know you have a statement there, but maybe dr. jane can tell me what's your reaction and what do you think your first thing you're going to do after this hearing to try to fix this is going to be? >> thank you, mr. chairman, for the question. i think there's no question that our testimony that we've submitted, as you said, is already somewhat dated based on the testimonies that have been provided by the four veterans on the first panel. i think they really present a powerful story, and i think that they point out that in as much as when the va have done a lot
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for survivors of mst, over the last few years, we also feel that there are significant gaps that have been pointed out by the panel that we need to really look careful look and address and see how best we can meet the needs of all of our veterans in a sensitive manner. >> wouldn't you agree this is an emergency that should be, you know, rapid action taken and -- >> i would agree, and we certainly go back and take a very critical look at how we have structured services and what can we do to address some of the gaps, and, frankly, they made a lot of wonderful suggestions that we also would want to consider. >> dupe who would be in charge of that making of the -- is there someone in charge of the va? is there, i don't know, so many -- i get confused at the
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principle deputy assistant director, those types of terms. i get confused. is there someone that you can name that is in charge of fixing this? >> well, sir, as -- >> that you -- i mean, -- >> in charge of the patient care services, i'm willing to take that responsibility on the behalf of the vha because all of the mental health services and the mst services are part of the menial health services and patient care services, so i would be personally willing to take that responsibility to do a careful assessment working with our leadership on the operation side to make sure that we have all the appropriate staffing needed to make sure we provide the services in a sensitive manner. >> you have to have caveats, i understand, but to tell youth truth, i really appreciate your
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answer. i worked for 20 years, and a straightforward answer that you give doesn't happen that often. even with the caveat. i'll yield my time allowing ms. rowley to go on. >> >> thank you, mr. chairman, i share your sense of urgency here today, and earlier in the testimony, there was a discussion about the chain of command, and i think this issue need to be addressed with some of these issues, and that we are really providing best practices to the men and women who have served so bravely and bravely
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testified in today's hearing. i wanted to go back to the specifics from panel one of suggestions. one is going, you know, going outside of the va for services to access services that may be closer to home, to access, perhaps, services that are best practices if it does not exist within the va, and it seems to me that if we do have these gaps in care and so forth, and we want to address this, with that sense of urgency, that perhaps, you know, one solution could be is to go and look at the utilization of outside services
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for our men and women within their areas of which they reside. it seems to me it's those best practices out there and being provided, that this may be a way in which to provide services in a very efficient and expeditious way, and just wanted to hear any comments from you with that. >> thank you, congressman, for that question. let me start the discussion on that particular topic. i think, as you say, our va medical center leadership at all the facilities have a range of options available to them in terms of looking at how do provide services in a timely mapper. veterans on the panel pointed out that fee basis care is one of the options. i would also submit to you that
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we have tele health services, and i think that was pointed out that we could have these clippics. as you know, we have a lot of community-based out-patient clinics. over the several years, mental health department has now become a component of the primary care services provided. what we have done over the last few years is add the mental health services to further expand the reach of the experts that we have at the medical centers to make sure that higher level of expert services is available in our clinics. listening to the testimony of one of the veterans, it's clear there are areas of gaps. there are areas where, perhaps, the veteran was not able to reach a community based out patient clinic where there was also a combination of services and other expert services for
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survivors of the mst, that may be available. the issue of fee basis services is certainly there, and clearly, as you say, one of the options. the challenges one faces, though, immediately, is that you have to look at whether there are the right professionals available to make sure that that is available in a timely manner. i think they pointed out the challenge of exchange of medical record information. when the services are provided within the va or when we partner with hersa, for example, or when we partner with indian health services, you know, we've done several projects now for where the va in partnership is working with those types of agencies to make sure we share resources and provide care in a timely manner to where the veterans are. i think there's a range of options, and, clearly, one of
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the options would be have to be a fee-based service. >> i'd like to go on further -- >> sure, please. >> -- with another question, if you don't mind. the other issue is around screening, and, to me, that seems like it's a simple fix to make sure that, you know, across the country, that we are doing this screening, and it was very concerning to hear ms. johnson's, our most recent service member and veteran who, clearly, was not screened, and so we say we are screening, but yet, i think from the testimony we can conclude it's not a fail safe program, and every man and woman are not screened, and so with being with that, it's something that is not complicated. it's just a matter of making sure that we are doing it, and i also think vis-a-vis screening,
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screening is something that's not just a one-time thing. we have to, you know, continue to sort of follow up, and there probably needs to be other places in the process where they are screened again, so it's not just a one-time thing, so that it is more of a check and balance and more of a fail safe system. the other thing that has come to mind in listening to the first panel is, you know, having advocates for these men and women that can access the system, to prioritize their needs within the system to get -- to get the services they need and when they need it, and can help in the coordination also in making sure that from every place wherever it may be, that they are getting what they
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need and just would ask few yo can comment on any of those. >> so, congressman, thank you very much for those comments, and i fully agree with you. i think that there are many points that our veterans made in terms of suggestions that we would take to heart and we will go back to review current policies and procedures to strengthen, for example, screening, as you point outside, there's some things we would need to look at. i was very surprised to see that none of the four veterans now in some ways, possible explanation could be that maybe this screening was conducted a few years earlier when the screening was not fully in place, but that still is not a reason not to do that again. i think you point out a very good thing here, and i think the veterans indicated that we need to look at our procedures for screening to see if there is a way we could offer some kind of
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another chance to have this screening done in a simple leer way. i would fully agree that that -- i think you're other point, also, it makes sense in terms of veterans having options available, ie, some kind of a coach or a coordinator, and i think we're toying with some of those ideas in our primary care clinic in our pack program. we have recently introduced the concept of coaches or health coaches, and these are all about the coordinators that we have. as you know, the oef coordinators helped in the transition of the service members coming into our system, but they also assist in coordinating care weather it's coordination with other specialty clinics or coordination between the va and the community. you know, a lot of our pack teams have post-deployment
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counsel, and they provide a similar road. i think what we begin to do now is add more coaches to can help to further strengthen this element of coordination of services because of the dual care that happens in the system. >> thank you, and if the chair allows me more time, i'd like to ask the dod to respond to some of the issues as well. >> i think there's a lot that we have done recently. there's a new dodi, new instruction, which kind of talks about the roles and responsibilities of everyone in the department of defense to specifically address sexual assault prevention and response. that was just issued in april. the services are in the process of fully implementing it. we know they are compliant with the health care provisions in there, so we know that providers are trained. we know that they're meeting the
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standard for proprioritying 24 24/7, and there's safe kits, and i think we responded in a thoughtful way from what we heard from the survivors in the department of defense to address problems articulated. we're seeing if we have solved some of the problems, certainly, that were articulated for the health care parts of it. we have outstanding issues with regards to the other things you all have articulated here, but i'm -- i just want to arctic late my thanks to the first panel. it is only through their eyes that we actually see us as we are, and that's how we fix things, so i'm very grateful to their willingness to come forward today and help us understand and see things the way they see it. that's only how we get better. >> well, thank you, thank you for that. i think we all walk away today,
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hopefully the congress, dod, and the va walk away with a sense of urgency today that we have a lot of work ahead of us. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> ms. kirpass trick. >> our committee heard a stigma exists in the military that detours active service members from getting mental health care. one of our veteran pammists suggest there be a mental health day where professionals are brought together so that service members can seek mental health care that day and actually see professionals. is that recommendation been explored before? >> i've actually not heard of that particular recommendation. we have done a lot in the past several years to provide embedded mental health providers both in the deployed environment. we have embedded health specialists in the primary care teams for the patient centers, medical homes, so i think we are doing a pretty good job of trying to penetrate and provide
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our behavioral health specialists where they need to be, and so they are not seen as something different, but they are just part of your group, and i think that that's going to go a long way. we actually have seen the department increase in people accessing services for mental health which i think is a good news story that, i think means we are addressing stigma. have we totally fixed it? probably not. i think some of the maneuvers and some of the choices we have made are actually making some end roads into it, so i'm quite positive, but i'll take back the idea of menial health day, and we'll see what -- how people respond to that. >> i represent a large rural district in arizona using more and more telemedicine and finding appreciates are open to that and find it's a positive experience, and i'm just saying this may be a way for veterans to speak mental health treatment in the privacy of the home
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without going to a facility. dr. jane, would you address that idea? >> thank you, congressman, for that question. i think the potential for telehealth is still, i would say, in the infancy. we really can take this to many different levels. i think the point that you made and veterans made providing care where the veterans live in that community, i think, is a message that we have taken to heart, and we've done a lot, but we need to do a lot more. i think that the days of asking the veterans to drive 2 # 00 miles or 150 miles to come to the mother ship and be able to receive care i think has to be a passe, and we have to move on from the point where we're able to provide more services, either in our community-based out patient clinics or, potentially, in their homes. yes, that's app area we are looking at actively and will continue to expand that p on the phone: thank you, and, again, i
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thank the panelists for being here today, and i yield back. >> i'm just going to ask a couple more closing questions. you know, looking at the goa report from january of this year as we found that military health care providers do not have a consistent understanding of the responsibilities in care of sexual assault victims. did the testimony of the first panel, did that affect you in your thoughts of how -- how things are going in the system? >> i think the testimony of the first panel was compelling and heart wrenching. i think that the things that we have addressed in our new guidance to the field, though, will go a long way to actual try to remedy some of the things that they articulated. all health care providers coming in contact with any role or responsibility for sexual assault and treating those
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patients are required, required to have an initial treatment and an annual refresher course. those that are -- those that actually perform the safe exam, which is the forensic examination, are required to have very specific training to a national standard which is the department of justice. >> right. one quick short question here. there's been concern about people that survived mst and their inability to stay on active duty because there's not quite the treatment protocol to allow them to do that. is there some way that we're addressing that in the dod? >> i would have to actually go back and talk to people about that just to make sure that we've got something in place that's directly addressing that particular question, sir. >> all right. well, i appreciate you getting back to me about that. i want to thank you, all, for joining us this afternoon. i truly appreciate it, and i
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hope that, as i said earlier, that the testimony of the first panel affects you all in your zeal to make things better from every aspect of the va and the dod because i know it's certainly affecting us here op -- on the committee, and we're going to, you know, work on improving it from our end, but i hope this inspires you to work harder in making it happen, so with that, you're excused. thank you. >> thank you. [background sounds] >> i ask unanimous concept five legislative days to revise and extend remarks and include any material, and without objection, so ordered. i'd like to, once again, thank all the witnesses in the audience members for joining us here today for these important conversations, and this hearing
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is hereby adjourned. [background sounds] [background sounds] >> so that wraps up the hearing looking at the treatment in the military. this is one of several hearings on the topic available in the video library. go to c-span.org and use the search function. the issue was also discussed at today's defense department briefing with the chief of naval
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operations. here a brief look at the comments. >> a few words on what i call the challenge of our time, sexually assault. we're in it for the long haul. this is something that we have to resolve, and we will. we will stay at this. i recently released some directions via a naval administrative message and also a letter i signed to the director of supply core involving organizational changes to really strengthen our staff to make sure that we can cohairnt -- coherently run the sexual assault strategy, but also provide our float staffs and fleet commanders, the sexual assault experts that they need. we'll be bringing them in and putting them on their staff. it's the support, the awareness element of the program, the support of the prevention element, and to support our
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victims' support element of our program. this will include an expansion of pilot programs that we have run in the great lakes and in san diego with pretty good success, measurable, tangible success in reduction of alcohol incidents, behavioral incidents, and sexual sexual assaults as w. we're going to expand that navy wide, and i've directed that to go in place by 1october in all the bases in the navy. >> watch the entire event any time at c-span.org. a live look here at the u.s. capitol where the house of representatives was in for legislative work today. the members approved a rewrite of education legislation known as the no child left behind law. the final vote was 221-207. the white house issued a veto threat on the bill. we'll have more live house coverage next week on c-span, and the senate here on c-span2. here's a look at the weekend
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programming. >> in 2003 in an article, you recommended a historical, quote, a historical reckoning with crimes committed, sponsored, or permitted by the united states, unquote. which crimes were you referring to, and which decisions taken by the current administration would you recommend for such a reckoning? >> thank you, senator. again, thank you for giving me occasion to respond to that. i, as an immigrant to this country, any this that country is the greatest country on earth as i know do you. i would never apologize for america. america is the light to the world. we have freedoms and opportunities here that people dream about abroad. i certainly did. with regard to that quote, one of the things that had moved me, i had -- some mentioned, written critically, and senator aye --
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isakson mentioned what i wrote in great detail about the genocide, and president clinton, himself, came forward and expressed regret that he -- that the united states didn't do more in the face of the genocide. when i traveled to rwanda, however, having been very, very critical, i was stunned to see the degree to which clinton's visit to rwanda, his apology for not having done more, how it resinated with rwanda. >> this weekend on c-span, the senate foreign relations committee takes up the nomination of samantha power to be ambassador to the u.n. saturday at 10 a.m. eastern. on booktv, live full-day coverage of the 15th annual harlem book fair with author panels, your calls, tweets, and facebook commentings saturday at 11:45. c-span233, american history tv, lectures in history and history of u.s. political parties sunday
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at one. >> what we do teach here at the museum on a typical tour is we do start with how the music industry started with eddison and the cylinder machine, and we go forward with the invention by the flat disk machine which is called a gramaphone, and we go ahead throughout that story and tell about johnson's very important inventions to improve the machine. >> mr. johnson, and his engineers went to work to keep customers very happy, and what they did, they came out with a style referred to as a patrol. the word "patrol" was coinedded when the horn was actually reremoved and put in a concealed area within the cabin itself. now, they also decided, which
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was very clever idea, to put doors on the front allowing you to modify the sound. now you had volume control doors. you also could take the lid and close the lid which would give you the ability to soften the sounds, but also sometimes if you had a very -- a scratchy record, that would hide that sound as well. ♪ >> learn more about the founder of the victor talking machine company in 1901 as booktv and american history tv look at the history and literary life saturday at 10:30 # eastern on c-span2's booktv, and saturday at five on c-span3's american
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history tv. >> both have been nominated to remain in the senior military posts on the joint chiefs of staff. during one exchange on syria with senator mccain, regime dempsey did not rule out of the rule of force, but declined to give his opinion. senator mccain announced he would place a hold on renomination until he gets more answers about syria. this is just under three hours. >> good morning, everybody. the committee meets this morning to consider the nominations of general martin dempsey and admiral james winefield, both
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nominated to continue in the current positions. general dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and admiral vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. thank you, both, for your service and willingness to continue to serve in these positions of human responsibility. i'd also like to welcome and thank your family members, some of whom are with us here this morning. our military families, as you well know are a vital part of the overall success of the armed forces, and we appreciate greatly the unwaiverring support and many sacrifices. it's in the course of long military careers. in the opening remarks, feel free to reintroduce your family members to our committee. foremost duty of the leadership positions in which general dempsey have been renominated is to ensure our servicemen and women have what they need to win
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wars, to succeed in their missions, and to secure peace. our nominees carry out duties with energy, commitment, and it is a testament to the quality of their service that the president has nominated them to continue in their positions. i've had frequent occasions to seek the views of jeremy dempsey over the years in both public and private settings, even on those few occasions when i disagreed with assessments, recommendations, i have found their positions to be thoughtful and well reasoned. if confirmed, our nominees will face a series of continuing challenges. in syria, assad is using air strikes, missiles, helicopters, tanks, and artillery to attack the syria people. he is targeting civilians in residential neighborhoods, marketplaces, schools, and in places of worship, using chemical weapons against insurgents, increasingly relying
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on foreign fighters from iran and hezbollah to sustain his grip on power. today, his actions killed more than a hundred thousand syrians, led thousands to flee the country, forced 4 million more to be internally displaced, level entire villages, nakeds, and motivated the syria people to rise up against him. i look forward to hearing the nominees' views on the steps that might be taken to increase the military pressure on assad. in support of the administration's goal in convincing the assad's regime and supporters, including russia, the current momentum towards the regime can't last in the face of a major insurgency that has the support of both the syria people and that international coalition, and that a political settlement that transitions syria to a post- assad regime protective of all elements of the syria society is the only solution. in afghanistan, while the
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campaign is on track to transition responsibility for the country's security from coalition forces to the afghan security forces, and u.s. and coalition forces con to draw down over the next year and a half, significant challenges remain to secure the hard fought gains. among those challenges is putting the u.s.-afghanistan strategic partnership on a sound footing for the long term, incoming through the conclusion of the bilateral status of forces agreement to ensure troops have the legal protections necessary for any post-2014 u.s. military presence in afghanistan. recent statements by president karzai complicated the negotiations of the agreement, and i'm interested in what the witnesses have to say about the prospects for successful negotiation as well as what the status is for the efforts in afghanistan militarily. in mid-march of this year,
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secretary hagel responded to north korea's provocative behavior announcing a series of steps to improve our homeland missile defense capability including the planned deployment of 14 additional ground based intercementers in alaska by 2014. on july 5th, our ground based mid core defense system had a flight test failure. this test failure, along with an earlier failure, reenforces the need to pursue a fly before you buy approach demonstrating the realistic flight tests that the system will work as intended before deploying any additional intercepters, and i would welcome our witnesses' comments on that issue as well. the defense authorization bill that we will bring to the senate floor includes provisions that give the secretary of defense greater flexibility to transfer detainees from guantanamo. i'm interested in the witnesses'
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views on proposed changes in the defense authorization bill, and lastly, but far from leastly, we must confront the growing challenge of sequesteration. all things military has to do, responding to regional crisis, maintaining readiness, training, equipping forces, taking care of the service members and their families depends upon appropriate levels of funding. the damaging effect sequesteration has and will continue to have nlings addressed and reversed, that damage on the readiness of our military must be addressed and addressed in a way that affects the vitality of our forces. it is against the backdrop of these and many more challenges, both foreign and domestic, that we consider these two very important no , ma'am -- no nations. again, we become both of you today, and we look forward to the testimony, and i now call on senator inn hof. >> thank you, as i mentioned to
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you, we have another summit with this two floors up, so i'm going back and forth. the military suffered a damaging drop in capabilities and readiness. this administration is cut nearly 600 billion dollars already from the defense budget. reduced this by the size of the naval fleet cutting hundreds of air force combat. training has been gutted, and programs are being safe, and resources on the horizon is the addition of 5 # 00 billion in cuts. if we're unable to find a solution for sequesteration, which, you know, it's ridiculous. ..
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will significantly amplified the pain our military is already enduring. admiral, you were asked earlier this year about the impact of the budget cuts on the military and you responded, and have to say it was courageous response. temperature there could be for the first anytime my keir we may be asked to respond to a crisis and we'll have to say we cannot, end quote. i feel that we're well on our way to this unthinkable reality. recently the department is
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addressing critical readiness issues, including the resumption of flight operations for the air force after 16 squadrons had been grounded for over three months. while this development is welcome news, i remain concerned of the vital training and maintenance activities across the services that remain curtailed and nearly 700,000dod civilians are still being furloughed. what i find most concerning is that much of this pain has been unnecessary and could have been avoided all along. earlier this year i introduced a bill that would have provided the department with flexibility to al locate the sequester effects that would minimize the risk. all the chiefs agreed, that would be not as devastating. and when we come back and we split our squadrons in flying status again, i'm going conduct my own test on this and we've
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already looked into it how much more it costs to retrain, get people back up in proficiency, than it would have if we stayed with it. our actions at home do not occur in a vacuum. around the world we have seen the effects of the declining military capable from the middle east to the asian pacific, our adversaries are embold inned and growing doubts about the united states among our allies. i raise these issues because i'm deeply concerned by the current state of our military. as our military is experiencing an unprecedented deterioration of capability. i ask our witnesses what advice they're giving the president on this matters. general dempsey, when you report the dire see narrow you laid out before our committee in february, and i quote, you said if ever the force is so degraded and so unready and then we're asked to use it, it would be immore, unquote.
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general dempsey, you also warned in testimony to this committee that further defense cuts will, quote, severely limit our ability to implement our defense strategy and put the nation at greater risk of coercion. it will break faith with the men and women in uniform, unquote. the service chiefs are already talking about combat forces and capabilities starting to hollow out. we have had a discussion. are we hollowing or already a hollow report. i direct you to the comments of james clapper who stated, quote in almost 50 years in intelligence, i don't remember that we have had a more diverse array of threats and crisis situations around the world to deal with than we have today. so that's our problem, mr. chairman, and that's why we're having this hearing today. >> thank you very much, senator inhofe. let me call been you, chairman
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dempsey, welcome. >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member, distinguished senators, i'm honored to appear before you today on this 18th 18th day of july as the 18th 18th chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. i'm also thankful for the confidence you placed in me two years ago, for the continued confidence of our commander-in-chief and the secretary of defense, and for the privilege of serving sever e the joint sheaves -- serving along the china chiefs -- joint chiefs of staff, and i'm thankful for the help of my wife, not to mention our three children and seven grandchildren, and that's plus four since my confirmation hearing two years ago, with one more due any day now to make it a total of eight. >> i'm sure if you were -- for that reason aloe, love to be appointed a third time. >> well no, actually, quite the
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opposite. i'd like to spend some time with. the but also want to mention, notice my nephew michael, a student at wake forest university and home for the summer, has joined it, we're also proud of him as well. more than anything else i'm thankful for the opportunity to defend our nation alongside the men and women who wear its cloth. when i witness their courage and skill, i'm very much reminded of the inscription on the private soldier monument that goes like this: not for themselves but for their country. it's on their behalf, and in that spirit, that i'm here today. my purpose, my only purpose, is to be worthy of their service, every day and in every decision. to strengthen the position of trust the armed forces have if with the american people to keep our nation immune from coercion. we can't take this relationship for granted.
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historic transition are testing our ability to meet our obligations. when in the middle of a fiscal direction to restore the economic foundation of power and we're also transitioning from war to an even more uncertain and dangerous security landscape. so even as the dollars are in decline, risk is on the rise. if we don't manage these transitions well, our military power will become less credible. we'll foreclose options and leave gaps in our security. it doesn't have to be that way. we and can we must lead through these transitions. we have it within to us stay strong as a global leader and as a reliable ally. we can make our military more affordable without making our nation less secure to do this we need to get at least four things right. first, we need to get our strategy right. this means aligning our aims with our abilities. strategy is nothing if it's not about setting priorities.
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even as we rebalance to the asian pacific region we still have to defend the homeland from cyber, terrorist, and missile attack, achieve our objectives in afghanistan, deter provocation on the korean peninsula, assure and assist allies across the global set a more responsive posture for a new normal of violence. as we respond to new contingencies we must come to terms with the risks and costs to these existing obligations and may have to do less but never do it less well. second, we need to get our force right. this means keeping our military ready and balanced. so far we're getting it wrong. we have already lost readiness that will take more time and additional costs to restore. we are already out of balance due to the magnitude and the mechanism of not to mention the steep dissent -- descent of budget cuts. remove the budget uncertainty.
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slow down the drawndown, help us make seemingly intractable institutional reforms. if we do this we can build a joint force to meet the nation's need for a price that the nation is able and willing to pay. third, we need to get our people right. this means strengthening our profession. hours is an uncommon profession, one that must value character as much as confidence. that rests on a foundation of learning and leadership. that advances equal and ethical treatment for all members and that allows no quarter for sexual violence in all of its destructive forms. we also keep feather by making sure our sons and daughter always go to war with the best training, the best leadership, and the best equipment. if we get this wrong, we won't get anything else right. finally, we need to get our relationships right. this means staying connected to our allies, and most important he, to our fellow americans.
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now is the defining moment in our nation's relationship with its 9/11 veterans. this generation is a national asset. they're ready to contribute in their communities. they need opportunities. handshakes, not handouts. in the end, all relationships rest on trust. two years ago i offered this image at my confirmation hearing to illustrate the vein of trust that must run from the men and women in the front lines back here and right back to our communities and our families and the american people. today, it's still all below trust. reconfirmation is at its base, and re-affirmation of trust. i'm hum -- humbled by the opportunity. i know you expect it and i know our men and women in uniform deserve it. i'd like to say one other thing before passing back to you, chairman. as you know i am very careful not to presume confirmation, and
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in that spirit, and not knowing when my last opportunity will be to appear before this body, i'd like to thank you for your leadership of this committee and your support of america's men and women in uniform, as well as the two ranking members, senator inhofe and senator mccain, with whom i have had the privilege of working for the last two years. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. admiral. >> good morning. i'm also honored to appear before the committee this morning and to do so along my friend and colleague and boss, general dempsey. the military is a family business and i'm pleased to have with me today my wonderful wife, mary, who has been such a supporttive partner. she is behind me in the purple outfit and is a tireless advocate for military families and wounded warriors and
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caregivers; my sons james and jonathan would have been with us but they're both at athletic tournaments, one at state baseball championship tournament, and the other a golf tournament but they remind me every day the importance of honorable service. it's been my privilege to serve the nation as vice-chairman for the past two years and am honored to be asked by the president to serve another term. i will continue to provide independent and objective advice to the chairman, the secretary of defense, and the president, on the shape, readiness, health, and use of the military instrument of power and to keep this committee informed and to give my best effort within tee n three port forols of policy, investment, and people. in a world growing more, rather than less dangerous, at the same time we face considerable financial pressure, there are plenty of challenges in the three port foal you'res -- portfolios in the area of policy
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we have been grappling with a host of threats to our national security interests around the world in afghanistan in iran, on the korean peninsula, with the continuing evolution of al qaeda and its affiliates, and the aftermath of the arab awakening in libya, sirra, egypt, and other nations, and within the complex cyberdomain in the investment portfolio i was first confirmed for this job on the same day the budget control act was enacted. and we continue to cope with the financial challenges and the wake of that act that are quietly eroding our readiness to defend our nation and have so impacted our ability to plan for tomorrow. to the people portfolio we're doing our best to manage the enormous uncertainty to request which the military are being exposed in this budget crisis. we're also expending considerable effort to make sure we're properly caring for our wounded, ill, and injured members and their families, as
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well as finding every lever we can could limit the pernicious threat of sexual assault. these are only a few of the challenges we face and much needs to be done in all three portfolios. if confirmed look forward to continuing to serve our great nation in uniform and pledge to work with this committee on the difficult choices required to achieve a capable and strategically safe force that can keep america safe and our interests clear. allow me to close by saying how deepfully grateful i am by the energy all the members of the committee and your able staff bring to these issues and your long-standing support for the men and women in uniform and our civilians. >> thank you very much, admiral. let me now ask you the standard questions i ask you both, which we ask of our military nominees. have you addressed the -- excuse me.
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haveow adhered to applicable laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest? >> yes, sir, i have. >> do you agree, when asked to give your personal view, even if those views differ from the administration in power? >> i do. >> do you assume any duties or undertaken any actions which would appear to presume the outcome of the confirmation process. >> no, sir. >> will you ensure your staff complies with requirements. >> yes. >> will you cooperate in providing written responses. >> will the witnesses be protected for reprisal from tonight or brief is. >> yes. >> do you agree to testify before this committee if requested. >> yes, sir. >> do you agree to provide copies including electronic forms of communication in a timely manner when requested by a duly constituted commitey, or to consult with the committee.
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>> yes, sir. >> thank you. >> we're going to have a seven-minute first round of questions. >> general, do you support finding additional ways to increase the military pressure on assad? >> senator, first let me say i'm well aware of the human suffering and the tragedy unfolding in syria, and the effect it's having not just in syria but on the region to your question about courses of action going furled i support very strongly a whole government approach that applies all the instruments of national power. as for the military instrument of power we have prepared options and articulated risks and opportunity costs, to put additional pressure on the assad
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regime. >> does the administration support additional training and equipping of the opposition? >> the administration is -- has a governmental approach to the increased capability of the opposition. >> does that include training and equipping militarily? >> not through the department of defense. >> through other means, whether it might be other countries? >> yes. >> on afghanistan, is the -- are the security forces of afghanistan on track to be fully in charge of securing afghanistan by december of 2014 when the nato combat mission ends? >> they are. general dunford assessed that he will achieve his campaign objectives in developing in the
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afghan security forces and he does also acknowledge there are some potential gaps he will have better clarity on after this fighting season. >> but he is basically on track. >> yes, sir. >> now, i'm not going to ask you what advice you have given to the president on the residual force which might remain, assuming there's an agreement with the afghans, after december of 2014. i'm not going to ask you what the advice is because that's advice you give confidentially to the president and he has a right to your confidential advice. my question, hough, is the following: have you given the president your advice relative to the size of the residual force? >> i have, sir. we have provided several options. we have -- as a joint chiefs we have made recommendation on the size and we have also expressed our view on when that announcement would best meet the campaign objectives. >> now, would you agree that legal protections for our
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troops, which would be provided for if we can reach a bilateral security agreement with afghanistan, are essential to any long-term u.s. troop presence in afghanistan? >> i do believe that. >> so, that any presence after december of 2014 is depep dent upon working -- dependent upon work ought a boundary lateral agreement with the afghans? >> that's right, sir. >> i hope president karzai is listening to the office. >> i will travel over there and have a planned office call with him. >> i hope you make that clear and also i believe that our committee and i won't -- i won't speak for others directly, if anyone doesn't feel this way, they can speak for themselves. i think it's essential that he understand that there has to be
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a bilateral agreement that protects our troops for there to be a residual presence. i i happen to fav a residual presence. >> as do we. >> i happen to favor a giving confidence to the afghanistans they're going 0 to be a continuing relation but i do not want to just be silent in the face of what i consider to be president cars -- president karzai's comments whether or not he want as residual presence. sometimes he acts like he doesn't want a residual presence, even though it's clear to me the afghan people do and so does he, but he wants it on his terms but it has to be on a mutually agreed basis. >> i also point out that our relationship and our interest in afghanistan runs deeper than just president karzai. >> of course. and there's going to be an
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election next year and you can pass along to president karzai his assurances he won't be a candidate in that election but that there will be an election are michigan -- something the committee members take seriously, and those statements of his matter to us. now, on the guantanamo issue, do you favor -- let me start over. we have in our defense authorization bill language which would give greater flexibility to the department of defense to transfer guantanamo detainees to the united states for detention and trial, if it's determine to be in the u.s. national interest and public safety concerns, to streamline the authority of the secretary of defense to transfer guantanamo detainee to foreign countries too. you support those provisions?
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>> senator, what i support is, as the senior military leader of the armed force office the united states, is that we must have an option to detain prisoners. we can't expect young men and women on the battlefield to have a single option which would be simply to kill. we must have a capture and detain option. so i support anything that will assure me that those young men and women will have that option. >> assuming they have that assurance, there are places -- a place or places -- >> that's correct, sir. >> then in given that condition, qualification, one which i share, by the way -- you then support the language of the bill. >> i'd have to see the bill but if you're asking me, has guantanamo, the facility, tarnished the image of the united states globally in i think it has and therefore i would welcome any other solution.
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>> on missile defense, we have -- we have had an assessment from lieutenant general, a letter providing the assessment that investing in additional discrimination capability for our homeland missile defense would be a moe cost effective and less expensive homeland missile defense option than deploying an east coast missile defense site particularly since there's no current military need to deploy on the east coast. do you agree with the assessments and do you agree that additional analysis is needed to determine whether it would be necessary to deploy an additional missile defense site in the united states in the future? >> i'd like to ask the vice-chairman, who works -- i will say, i absolutely agree, we should do the analysis before we make a decision on how best to meet that capability requirement. >> i'm glad you gave me an
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opportunity to ask admiral -- >> i've been looking for an opportunity. >> so have i. thank you for giving me that opportunity. admiral? >> chairman levin, i would spent my next dollar on missile defense on the censor discrimination you described. there's an oft-quoted saying, quantity as halt, and in this case quality has a quantity and if you can have a better firing. i think is a wise we're doing the ei ss, environmentam impact statement for the potential east coast site, and we'll have to be cognizant of that because it could develop quickly. may become nose put into place a second site. we'll play that as we have to. >> you we should do the environmental impact statement you mean before making a commitment to a site? we some complete those assessments? >> yes, sir. i think planning on dog the
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eiss in the relatively near term and done before the need to make a decision to go with an east coast site but weed in to be cognizant of the trajectory. when you say they'll be down nationally. >> they will be done, should be done, i agree with doing them as part of our hedge strategy we have always considered having an east coast side. part of the start d. >> just trying to get a clear answer. you think they should be done before the decision is made as to whether any site is selected? >> yes, sir, i think so. >> there's an article in today's "washington post" that reported "the associates" wants to again declay he transfer or wartime operational control. i'm sorry. i was looking for my card. i'm not -- i forget we're using the timers. and i'm glad that remind me to look in front of me instead of down for the blue card. i keep looking for the blue card.
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i've gone over time. i apologize to my colleagues. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in opening statement i quoted each one of you, and i think that very strong quote, particularly the one that, if ever the force is so degraded and unready and be asked to use it would be immoral. then the statement of general dempsey, who actually -- i don't see it right enough but the one -- yes, for the first time in my career instances where we're asked to respond to a crisis and we will have to say we cannot. and then of course we saw the james clapper thing. never been a time in our history, and he's been around for 40 years -- when the threats are so great diverse as they are today. do you agree with that? >> i do, senator. they're probably fewer existential threats to the nation but far more ways that the middle wage states, nonstate
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actorsors and violent extremist groups can reach out and touch us. >> do you agree with that,s a miller? >> yes there are two definitions. one is a force larger than the readiness money you have to keep it ready and that the more complex def nix. the simple one is something looks good on the outside but rotten in the middle. >> i was talking about the threats out there. i look bat wistfully at the days of the cold war. now you have enemies like iran that even our intelligence says they're going to have the weapon and camability of a delivery system. that's what he is talking about. that's the threat is think it's really -- it is a scary thing. the question i want to ask you, do you both believe that, have you shared this with the sunset. >> yes, we have proofed -- >> he knows this. >> yes. >> yet he continues with his approach. let me ask you a question about
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gitmo. you said you would welcome any other solution. i've often looked at gitmo with a few good deal wiz have, we have head 1904, $4,000 a year, mr. chairman, and don't collect it half the time, and yet when you say, welcome any other solution, just what other solution -- there is a solution out there that would not entail bringing these people into our continental united states? either one of you? >> i've been -- i've seen the analysis done at any number of solutions. but there hasn't been any consensus on which one to pursue. i simply want to align myself with those who say we have to have a detention solution. >> well, i agree. we have to have detention. we have somebody -- something there that is ready-made. i understand people in the middle east don't like it. maybe giving us a bad reputation
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in some areas, but i believe that we need to think of america first. i can recall four years ago when the president came out talking about these alternatives they had. they had sites in the united states. one was in oklahoma. i went down there and i talked to a young lady. she was in charge of our prison down there. she had had several tours in gitmo. she said, don't they know we have this? it's ready-made. i have to say this. this is a great frustration. yes, we have language that is pretty good language in the bill. but nonetheless, if either one of you -- well, one last question on that. can you think of anything that would not entail incarceration or movement into the united states? right now, off the top of your head. >> i don't have an easy answer to that one, senator. one thing i would mention is that a little more flexibility
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would be useful to us. we have a moral obligation to take good medical care of these detainees. because we can't move them outside of gitmo we have to build very state of the art medical facilities. >> have seen it. >> it would be great to move them back and forth to the united states if they need medical treatment. >> that's fine. but -- >> we have that. not a person up there that haven't been down there more than once, and one of the big problems they have with the detainees is overwraith. they're eating better than they ever have. better medical attention, tests run they never heard of before. so we'ring that. on april 9th, when the stopped decline -- i talked to you about this. we need to get something on the record. i have an aviation background. i don't think you have to have that to know you have to keep your profuse up. -- proficiency up. i applaud the decision to now
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get back in and start retraining. ... just in basic air nenship taking off and landing and that sort of thing. probably another three months beyond that to get the combat skills back. i think in term of time. there's a -- >> yeah, but, time, wouldn't you agree, equals risk.
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at the time we need this. we have some that came out of school around april 9th. they'll have to start from the beginning now. if we don't have the capable to take care of needs as they come up, i believe it translates to a risk. i'm not willing to take that, if i can do anything about it. >> senator, can i add -- >> sure. >> what we're seeing is we're going end up with two problems over time if sequestration remains in effect. the immediate problem for the next several years will be readiness because we won't be able to find the money we need to achieve the level of sequestration cuts without dramatically impacting our readiness. as the force becomes faller you can restore readiness. you are dealing with a too small of a force. it goes too far too fast.
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>> indian nap -- i understand that. you are dealing with a smaller number of units. the threats we have right now. it's not a good idea. not that you can do anything about it. right now that's a problem. the last question, my time is up. admiral, i appreciate the fact you used the word immorally given the current path of readiness, there are, of course, in your professional judgment when will the commander in chief be at the point of making immoral decisions? >> i don't think i was the one that used the term immoral. i think we that we are keeping the white house closely informed as to the outcome of the strategic choices and management review. that includes capability, capacity, and readiness of the force. they are aware of the results. i'm sure they'll factor it in to the decision making on the rest of the budget issueses in play. hopefully we'll be able to find
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a good resolution that will allow us to go forward for being able to plan what the future is. >> i appreciate both of you. we have to let people know we have a serious problem here. i think this hearing is our opportunity to do that. i apologize in atrinting a quote to you -- i guess it was general dempsey that made the quote. >> yeah, it was, sir. let me assure you if the nation is threatened, even -- we'll go. but that's the point. we'll go and we may not be ready to go. and so it would depend on the nature of the conflict in which we were asked to participate. if it's an external threat to the nation. there's no immorality in that. if it was some other contingency asking men and women not to go ready. we have a choice. -- >> i appreciate that. i agree with you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. senator blumenthal. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and
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i join in thanking both of you for your service over many, many years. generally dempsey. you and i have discussed briefly the purchase of helicopters for the afghan armed services. the purchase of russian m i-17 from the export agency controlled by russia that is now selling arms to syria, and country that is still harboring providing refuge to edward snowden. we doesed -- discussed the reason for that sale, and very briefly you suggested you would look in to the possibility of either ending that sale, which will result in helicopters right now, according to the inspector general for
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afghanistan sitting on the runways of afghanistan because they lack pilots to fly them, and they lack people trained to maintain or repair them. i wonder if there is something we can do either to stop the sales purchases, subsidized by american taxpayers, provided by american taxpayers to an ally -- supposed ally that still doesn't have a status agreement that will enable us to continue providing aid to them. i think in connection with with that question, additional kinds of resources we should consider stopping if there is no status agreement. >> senator, on the m i-17, i support continuing on the path
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we are on to get the afghans as capable as possible by the end of '14. that will require us to stay committed to that fleet of m i-17. there's no way we can transition at this point and put them in anything other than that airframe. what i suggested to you is that if we can achieve a lasting and enduring relationship with them, and live up -- if they live up to their end of the deal and we live up to our end of the deal. we'll be investing through foreign military sales for some point. there's a likely hood we could transition to u.s.-built aircraft. in the interim period we cannot -- i shouldn't say we cannot. it would be my recommendation we stay the course with the existing program. >> and is that interest sufficient, do you think, to sufficient the national security waiver under the legislation currently included in the national defense authorization? >> i do, sir.
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>> what would have to change those helicopters to be purchased from an american manufacturer such as any of the others more than capable of providing other aircraft to the afghans? >> well, we actually have experience in making that transition in iraq. we have initially outfitted them with soviet aircraft and making a transition to an american air program. it starts with training and long lead time procurement, but that effort is unlikely to begin until we establish a bilateral security agreement. >> admiral, i was at the briefing you gave, an excellent briefing on threat to the navy, i wonder if you could comment to the extent you are able on the porn of p -- importance of the ohio class
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replacement in term of nuclear deterrence, the importance of continuing with that program, andfully possible jeopardy that might be impacted as a result of sequester. >> senator, on we remain committed. we believe it's the right approach for nuclear deterrence for this country. of course the fleet list of submarines are essential to the triad. it's the most sur viervel element we have. it's a very reliability platform and missile that goes with it. we're committed to the next class coming down the line. i think we have delayed as far as we can. we need to now -- we are getting in to the requirements and the design of this missile carrying submarine. again, we are committed to the program. it's important we get it right. we are going to try to control the cost and make it like all the programs we are working
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right now from the beginning a successful acquisition program. i know, that under secretary of defense for acquisition technology and logistic and the navy and the cnn o are committed to making it successful program. you would agree that the program really has to be spared any impact as a result of sequester? it's vital to the national security. >> i would agree with that, yes, sir. >> jmple dempsey, if i wonder if i could move to a personnel issue i know because of your commitment to the well being of our troops. the electronic medical records system which it still is incompatible with the va records system despite questions that i and others asked repeatedly under this secretary of defense and the previous one. i remain concerned, to put it
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mildly, with the fact interoperability is a goal not a reality. i wonder if you can comment what can be done to increase the pace to making the two systems capable. i thought originally they would be one system, a billion dollars sent on making them one system, and i asked you to comment. >> thank you, senator. i share your concern. i can also assure you that secretary hagel, has a background in the veteran's administration shares it. he has taken a decision to move the responsibility program management in to a tnl where i think you will see be much better managed. we have done other things, for example, agreed to certify as complete medical records that pass from active duty to the veteran's administration which leaves the burden of them having to do continual research to figure out if the record is
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complete. that is what -- that's the path we're on, but your oversight and interest in it will be an important part of achieving it. >> thank you. my time is expired. i want to thank for your extraordinary service. generally dempsey, i remain unhappy, very strongly unhappy with our current position and posture the m i-17 and i'm not going let the issue go with all due respect. i understand your position, and thank you very much for being forthright in the answers. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator blumenthal. senator mccain. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to tell the witnesses on the onset i'm very concerned about the role we have played over the last two years. your view of your role as the chief advisers to the president on national security and the
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state of the world of the last two years since you have been in the office you hold. generally dempsey, and admiral, do you believe the continued cost risk of our inaction in syria are now worse for our national security interests and the costs and risks associated with limited military action? -- i would say that the issue in syria is we are at greater risk because of the e e american jensen. >> you're not asking the question, general. do you believe the continued cost and risk of action in syria are worse for the national security interests than the cost and risk associated with limited
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military action? >> with all due respect, senator. your asking me to agree we have been inactive. we haven't been inactive. >> we have not been inactive. >> that's correct. >> this again gives validity to my concern. obviously, we may not have been inactiving with but any observer knows bashar al-assad is prevailing on the battle field. the russians are there. the situation is much more dire than it was two years ago when you and the admiral came to office. your answer is we haven't been inactive. >> that's correct. we haven't used direct military strikes. >> i'll ask you for the third time. >> yes, sir. >> do you believe we should take military action, which is more has greater risk, our continued limited action or significant
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action such as establishment of a no-fly zone and arming the rebels with the weapons they need. which they haven't been getting, general, i know perhaps better than you. i've been there. at which do you think is a greater cost? the action that we're taking now, which is has no effect on the battle field equation, or doing nothing? >> senator, i am in favor of building a moderate opposition and supporting it. the question of whether or not support it with direct strikes is a decision for the elected officials not for the senior military leader. >> it goes back to my concern about your role as chairman of the joint chief. >> as i understand. >> they are supposed to provide the best advice he can as far as the over all national security is concerned. that's why you are the sole
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military adviser. you testified this february, you advised the president to arm units of the syrian opposition. in april you testified you no longer supported the position. now we publish report that the administration decided to arm the syrian opposition units. how do we account for those? >> i wouldn't accept the term perilous. we have adapted the approach with what we know on the opposition. if you recall, there was a period that the extremist groups were prevailing inside the opposition. i have not been waivering -- [inaudible] in. >> the extremist groups are prevailing inside the opposition? >> you asked me that february. in february i had that concern. >> so that's your answer to why in february advised to arm them. in april you said we shouldn't. now, obviously, we are arming the rebels.
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do you support that policy? >> i support the building of a moderate opposition and including building its military capability. >> here's an example of my concern, quote, you told cnn on july 8, the war in syria is not a simple matter of stopping the fight by the introduction of any particular u.s. capability, quote, it seems to me that we need to understand what the peace will look like before we start the war. the war has been going on, general dempsey over 100,000 people killed. we didn't start the war. we wouldn't be starting a war. we would be trying to stop a massacre that is going on. we would try to stop hezbollah thousand of troops in. we would try to stop the fact that the russians continue to supply heavily bashar al-assad
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forces. what could be a great try yomp for iran in the entire region. you said it seems to me we understand what the peace will look like before we start the war? you think we ought to see how we can stop the war by intervening and stopping the massacre? >> senator, would you agree that we have recent experience where until we understood how the country would continue to govern and institutions of govern mans wouldn't fail. actually situations can be made worse by the introduction of military force? >> actually, general dempsey, you and i went through this in 2006, when i said that it wasn't succeeding and we had to have a surge and that only a surge could succeed and reversing the tide of battle. you disagreed with me then. way back then. and i think history shows that
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those of us who supported the surge were right, and people like you who didn't think we needed a surge were wrong. so i guess my question to you is is it in any way a good outcome for this situation on the battle field to continue as it is with obviously bashar al-assad prevailing and a great victory for iran and continued slaughter of thousands and thousands of people and destabilization of jordan. the destabilization of lebanon, and what is clearly erupting in to a regional conflict. is that your answer? >> senator, somehow you have me portrayed as a, you know, the one holding back from our use of military force inside of -- >> i'm not saying that, general.. i'm say what your advice to the president of the united states and your views are very important because that's your job. >> it is.
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, and i have given those views to the president. we have given him options. the members of the committee have been believed them on a classified setting. we articulated the risk. the decision to use force is the decision of our elected officials. >> i just asked -- the chairman asked you if you would give your personal opinion to the committee at best. you said yes. i'm asking for your opinion. >> about the use of he nettic strike? that issue is under deliberation inside our agencies of government and would be inappropriate for me to influence the decision with me rendering an opinion in public about what kind of force we should use. >> so your answer to the chairman's question about giving personal view ask circumscribed by decisions being made. >> i will render -- let the committee know what my recommendations are at the
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appropriate time, yes, sir. >> and when might that be? >> senator, if the administration and the government decides to use military force, we have provided a variety of options, and you know that. >> well, if it's your position you do not provide your personal views to the committee when asked, only under certain circumstance, then you just contradicted what i have known the committee to operate under for the last thirty years. i thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain senator donnelly. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you general, thank you admiral. i want to get back to syria in a second. first, i want to ask you, general dempsey, in regards to mental health services for our servicemembers, one of the things that recently happened they are reduced by 15 per month
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in cost of the sequestration and what i was wondering if you know if there has been any increase in suicide attempts since sequestration? >> i don't have that data readily available, senator. it's a good question. we are aware of some of the reduction services. i can take that for the record. >> okay. great. an followup would be are there efforts in place right now to try to minimize the effect on mental health since it has such a traumatic effect on the servicemembers? >> there are any number of earths, -- effort, and it's got the attention not only the department but the joint chiefs -- admiral chairs a meeting with the vice chairman chief of service. we meet. we are concerned because although we have prioritized care for wounded warriors'
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families and mental health services in the face of the declining resources, how it's implemented in the field can sometimes be missed. we are alert to it. >> okay. i was in afghanistan a few months ago, and met with our commanders and at the time we were on all of our metrics. everything was being -- we were right where we wanted to be as we head forward the -- toward the end of 2014. to admiral and general, are we still meeting the plan we laid out? are we still being able to hold the towns that we've started to hold? are we able to turn the taliban back? is the plan moving along on schedule? is it going faster? or lesser? are we meeting the numbers we were hoping to meet as we head toward the end of 2014? >>. >> i'll start and see if he
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wants to add. besides speaking with general on a weekly basis and visiting him about quarterly. i reach to as many other people as i can reach tout who can give us other views. yesterday we had a woman from the congressional research service who actually spent the last five months traveling around afghanistan visiting with civilian and military leaders. mostly afghans. and her report aligned with general dun ford's assessment we can achieve our military campaign objectives on the timeline that is currently established. >> okay. i appreciate the update because, you know, if we are to be stay on that program, then the afghan forces have a chance to make this work. to get back to the syria that senator mccain was talking about. if conditions do not change,
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does it look to you as it looks to many that in the near future dare are a could fall to the assad government as well? >> well, actually, the chairman asked -- i apologized i had to step out. >> no, no. i was reflecting on the fact there are many people concerned about. it. met on saturday the king. i'll be visiting him next week and the leaders as well. we have got military contingency planning ongoing both back here but also inside jordan. so, yeah, we are concerned about it. the conflict tends to ebb and flow. that kind of conflict will always ebb and flow, and so we are watching and making sure that we would have options available to the national command authority if necessary. >> what steps short of limited no-fly zone could have the kind of effect that could slow down the assad forces?
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>> can we pass that to the vice? he just did significant work on this in preparation for the hearing on tuesday. >> yeah. senator, there are a whole range of options that are out there. >> and the reason i ask that because i know there's a whole range of options, but as you look at everything, the rebel forces are being moved from almost everywhere they are located. and so we have options, but the ball seems to be heading the other way. >> yeah. i wouldn't want to get any intelligence judgments or anything unclassified in a classified hearing. where the rebels are most -- the opposition most on the run right now in the central and western part of syria. around homes which is very difficult situation for them right now, and that also happens to be the most important place other than -- damascus for the syrian regime to regain control from. that representatives the pathway from damascus to the traditional
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homeland. they really the president back. i believe, personally, it's only my person judgment that if the regime is successful in the area, they will next move north. which is the largest city in syria, it's the commercial center. i don't think they'll go down. we have to watch. we have to maintain vigilance and discern where it's headed. >> then whether it's aleep pow or dare are a. the old saying, i know there are contingency to not take action is take action. it is determinative of what happens. i think there's a concern as to how long does it go on before the momentum becomes irreversible. we are dead ready to act -- the current tract being pursued by the administration is diplomatic tract, and all other options have been discussed and continually under discretion. i would not want to get in front
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of the president or anybody else on what choices. >> in effect you're waiting to hear at this point? >> as we should be, we're providing every possible option we in case we are called upon to exercise the use of force which we believe is a political decision. >> in regards to the rebel forces, as you look at them right now, general, admiral. we have been concerned about their activities, and do you see it growing stronger than the moderate peace? how do you see it moving on a day-to-day basis? >> there was a period in april that senator mccain referred where i was very concerned that on the front -- there are hundreds of different groups that shift the leaguens and alliances on the opposition side. it makes it challenging to determine what we're looking at there. the intel community is hard at it. i'm hard at it.
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we're hard at it with our regional partners. there was a period of time where i was fearful that the extremist element, the jihadist side of the opposition was gaining considerable strength. of late, through some efforts we have made to convince our allies to avoid creating a problem by empowering some of these groups, we've had some success at that. we also have had some success in identifying more clearly a part of the opposition that could be built and trained not only militarily, this is the point i really want to make sure resonates. this opposition has to not only be prepared militarily. it has to be prepared if it achieves a position of govern mans inside of syria. otherwise the situation will deteriorate any further. >> general, admiral, thank you. mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator donnelly. senator inhoff --
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inhofe has a brief clarification. >> i was told by my staff i might have been misunderstand in the comments. i'm probably arguably the strongest support of using it to the capacity not just incarceration, but for trials. and the language that is in the bill i know, mr. chairman, i appreciate your good faith efforts in the language that was in there. i have against the language that it in the nda. thank you for giving me the opportunity state that. >> thank you, senator inhofe. senator wicker. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general dempsey, welcome back. let's talk about the situation in egypt. there's been disagreement in washington about the wisdom of continuing to provide assistance in egyptian military in light of recent events there. when i look at egypt, i don't see many jefferson began democrats. i believe the egyptian military has acted with great
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professionalism and restraint throughout the three years of difficult transition since the 2011 oust of hosni mubarak. i believe one of the primary reason there's not been more bloodshed and suffering during this time of transition is the support the united states has provided to egypt through foreign military service and military cooperation. in light of recent events, some called for the end of the program. let me tell you how i feel about this and our commitment under the camp david and let you respond. first, we must maintain the strength of this relationship. to enable us to assist and influence egypt's military leader. second, the united states should be short sighted to overlook the return on investment we get from the egyptian military. for example, suez canal transit for the carriers, these are
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example of the benefit we derive from this relationship. third, the egyptian military played a stabilizing role during egypt's transition. and fourth, our commitment under the camp david court yielded sustainable peace between vale -- israel and egypt. we must acknowledge israeli prime minister net yat hoo's statement this weekend on face the nation that the camp david have been quote, the corner stone of peace between us our and neighborhood. it's also been the corner san antonio of stability in the middle east. general, do you agree with me regarding the importance of military to military relationships as enablers of u.s. foreign policy? >> i do, senator. >> do you agree with me that we should don't make contain and foster the strength of
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u.s.-egyptian military relationship? >> i do. if our government decides that they have to take some action based on existing legal frame work and restrictions, i would recommend that we find a way to restore those as quickly as possible. even if that meant conditioning them some way. i strongly believe we have to maintain our contact with the egyptian armed forces. >> and do you have any reason to believe as some have feared -- as some fear now that weapons and equipment we provide to the egyptians or we have provided in the past have been used or will be used or would be used in ways that might eventually endanger the united states military or civilian personnel or united states interest? >> there's no indication at this point, senator, that would be a concern. >> and in your opinion was the elected government of mohammed
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morsi moving toward a dictatorship? >> if i could, i would like to use this opportunity to express my conversations with my counter part. i can tell you they very strongly believe that. >> okay. well, let me just ask you then before i move on to another topic. i made some pretty infattic statement. would you like to elaborate? i'll give you an opportunity to elaborate on what you've said about the relationship that we've had and the assistance and sales we have had with the egyptian military. >> thank you. it goes -- my own personal experience goes back to when i commanded in 2008. i can tell you they have they are a strong partner of the united states. a very key nation in the nation. as you put it yourself, we enjoy preferential passage in the
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suez. they committed to the camp david of court israeli military considerses the egyptian military a strong partner, and so in my personal experience, which goes back now about five years, they are worth the investment. >> with regard, then, to syria, the chairman talked in his opening statement about a post-assad solution and negotiated solution. do you agree that unless the momentum shifts -- i think senator donnelly was concerned about this also. the list of momentum shifts back toward the rebels, there is hardly any chance for that sort of solution that the chairman
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seeks and is hoping for. >> yeah, i agree. as the mom -- momentum ebbs and flows each side feels more or less propelled to seek a negotiated settlement. sure. >> and if i can, you are -- i think you answered a question from the chairman about ways in which military support could be gotten to the rebels. i think he asked about enabling other governments to support the military efforts if we are unable or unwilling politically. do you remember the question? >> i do. >> can you elaborate at all? or is it something you don't feel comfortable talking about it? >> i'm comfortable talking about
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the commitment to improve the capabilities of the opposition, and any number of ways to do it. directly. >> the military capability? >> that's correct. but you've also heard me say it's not just about improving or enhancing the military capable. >> i understand that. that's what my question is about. >> yes, sir. and of course, other nations as well, and there's a significant diplomatic effort to bundle or efforts together in to something that will increase the pace which their capability could be increased. >> could you elaborate as to who these allies might be that a little more -- >> i would rather do that in a classified setting, senator. okay. thank you very much. mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator wicker. senator reid is going to yield
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momentarily to another senator who is next in line who i believe is senator jill jill brand. senator reid is going to yield for one turn. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for your public service, for your dedication for all that you do for our military and for our nation. i would like to first focus and continue the conversation on syria. i have grave concerns over the broader regional security in the middle east, particularly when we're seeing the continued influx of the jihad and hezbollah fighters in syria. i want to talk about what it mean for syria's neighbor. obviously hezbollah and iran has been an influence at israel's border. will iran be able to do the same with regard with syria and your estimation? what can we do to prevent both gee
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in syria. >> i'll take this. we have been surprised in a deeply involved in this issue collaboratively. first of all, you're exactly right to think of this as a regional issue, senator, and i would add that iran is not just a challenge to the united states in the nuclear aspirations, but also through its surrogates and proxy, arm sales and so there is -- there is sectarian conflict that runses from beirut to damascus to baghdad. the approach to that, the strategy that would underpin our efforts should be regional? therefore, which means we need to increase the support of the lebanese armed forces. on one side of the iraqi armed forces on the other jour dane began and turkish partners on the northern and southern.
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-- about the election as a new president. what is your assessment of the impact of the election? do you expect an election to change iran's policy? what is your national assessment? >> first of all, i reflect back on former secretary gates looking for the iron i had moderate. they have a reputation for being the moderate. he moderate statements since he's been elected. he's not in office yet. and there are those of us that he's going have a opinion that he's going to struggle a little bit against the conservative leadership by the supreme leader that may prevent from him if he wants to be a moderate to becoming one. i think the watch word here is prudence. it makes sense to potentially reach out to him see where he's coming from.
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not to do so naively. i don't think anybody is going to do that. i think we're in a good position here. it's an interesting development. nobody expected him to be elected. at the same time, again, the iranian moderate we need to maintain the pressure we're maintain on the regime and make it clear what our objectives they not develop a nuclear weapon, number one. >> thank you. turning to cyber both of you testified you agree cyber is a growing threat and concern for our national security and economy. we have been working on a bipartisan basis on a bill called the cyber warrior act. in order create a national guard unit that is dedicated solely to cyber defense of our nation as to get the best and bravest from the private sector who are dedicatedded to the military as defense in the country to be able to use their talent more
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efficiently. can i have your opinion on what the impact of creating these these impact would be. whether it would be -- in the end better for the defense and growing this talent in-house? >> well, i'll go first. again, it's one where the vice has been deeply involved. first of all, you have our commitment to seek to figure out what are the various roles in all the component of our military and branches of service. without making a firm commitment right now on that particular approach, i will say that each of the service chiefs is taking a look at it. under the advice of our cybercommander. you say it's a growing concern. it's here right now. there's urgency to this. i think you understand that. we have to understand what the cyber role would be for a guardsman. there would be no role and title to authority. there's no title to authority
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for cyber. it's really title x. go ahead,. >> it's an interesting idea we are committed to looking at. we are growing our cyber force by considerable. it's probably the only part of the force that is going to grow. we need the new force to do a number of thing for us. principally to help us defend our own networking inside the department of defense to defend the nation against cyberattacks. law enforcement, department of homeland security have a lead there. we play an important role in assisting them. there's a potential for cyber -- and support of combat and commander if we find ourself. where are the national guard fits to the three niches is something we need to study and look at. we're short of money. it's going cost a lot to develop the cape inability the guard. it's not all the time for us. then again, i think you make a fair point there's expertise out there. >> that we want. >> yeah. i think we need to look very closely and soberly whether it makes sense financially.
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>> i would like to work with you both on this issue. we obviously have been spending a lot of time on sexual assault in the military. it's something that everyone cares deeply about resolving. one of the thing i want to get your thought on. the military had a chance of position on article 60 we with take article 60 authority outside the chain of command and maintain good order of discipline. why do you think removing article 30 would be different in any way? i would imagine that second legal decision would not have a differing impact than removing article 60. article 60, the first article 60 was because we had put in place over time in our judicial system. other mechanisms, you know, military judges and prosecutors and an appeal process that allowed us to consider the changing the authorities of a convening north to change a ruling after the fact.
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but that's different than it seems to us different than taking the actual offense out of the ucmj. you want to add? >> i think the most important thing to me is to make sure there's an active deterrent out there that somebody who is contemplating or sexual assault knows they're going to be caught, they're going to be prosecuted, and if they're prosecuted they're going to be punished. if the same thing that worked in the drug world for us and the like. so it's -- as you know, it's our strong view that the commander is responsible for that. >> i would argue that the commander still responsible for that. because keeping in a number of the articles like article 134, other articles that are general crimes you are still fundamentally responsible for command climate good order and discipline for any infraction the commander is responsible for. you have to set the climate where this assault and rape is not going to happen. where they cannot be retaliated
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against and report. the only difference is legal judgment that weighing of evidence and facts will now be done by a trained objective military prosecutor. >> i would like to give you some a couple of number ofs what the army discovered recently and look peeling back the numbers on so-called objective observer might end up with the army is looked back over the last two years and found 35 cases where civilian district attorney refused to take a sexual assault case. refused to take the case. the chain of command insisted the case be taken inside the chain of command. of the 35 cases there are 14 not yet resolved. they are still in the court system. of the remain of the 35 -- there are actually 49 -- of the 35 complete 25 resulted in court-martial conviction that. that's a 75% conviction rate.
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the civilian rate is around 18 to 22%. so of those 71% that we're convicted, 25 -- 24 of the 25 got punitive dangers, they are doing prison time. okay. if we hadn't -- if the army hadn't taken the 49 cases and 35 where we achieved conviction. those people would be walking the street right now. the victims would not have had the resolution they deserved in this case. this was done inside the chain of command, chain of command insisting that the prosecution be pursued and pursued successfully. i worry if we turn this over to somebody else, whether it's a civilian da or a nonentity in the military they're going make the same kind of decision those civilian prosecutors made. i worry we're going have fewer prosecutions if we take it outside. >> we want prosecutions that are going to result in guilty verdicts. and weighing these kinds of evidence is very difficult. being trained to know what kind of cases you can bring forward
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is so important. more over, you know, you may have helped a handful of victims, we're still have 23,000 victims who don't feel the system is strong enough, objective enough, and transparent enough to even report. it if we're going to address the 23,000 cases as opposed to the handful where judgment of a commander might have helped, we need to change the system. my time is expired. >> by the way, thank you, senator. i hope you know, we actually embrace this discretion. >> thank you for your service. >> senator ayotte. >> thank you, i want to thank you for being here and your service to our country. general dempsey, i want to thank you for your visit to new hampshire. it meant a lot to the men and women in uniform, it said -- they said to me after that it really said so much about your leadership to go here --
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go hear from those on the ground or the shipyard or civilian work force. they deeply appreciated it. thank you. i wanted to ask you yesterday, i was deeply troubled bay report that came out from gao about the wopmia accounting command. that report actually said that unfortunately the leadership weaknesses and fragmented organizational structure is undermining the important function and of course more than 83,000 of our country's heroes remaining missing or unaccounted for from past conflicts including 49 from new hampshire for vietnam and korea. i believe we have a moral obligation to those we have left behind. this follows up a recent ap report that found that an internal study that was done at dod found that this effort j pack was so inept, mismanaged, and wasteful, it risked dissenting from dysfunction to
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total failure. there were allegations that the interstudy had been suppressed by dod. i would like to ask you, general, what are we going to do about this? how are we going to make sure that we fulfill our responsibility to those who have served our country and have been left behind so they understand they are not forgotten. >> first, senator, thank you for hospitality last week. i assure you, i always get more than i give on those visits to soldiers, sailors, airmen, coast guardsmen. it's a new report to us as well. i can tell you the secretary of defense while on travel called me up to make sure that i had been made aware of it and tell me when he got back and when i complete this process and hearings and office calls that he wants to get to the bottom of it. so, i mean, it's so new, but it's so discouraging. move rapidly toward
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disgraceful. i assure you, we will get tat. we have a new commander out there. i can also tell you that he is seized with this as well. >> and i would ask -- i've asked and written the chairman, i hope we can have whether in the committee or the larger with the full committee a hearing on this. i believe it's that important to get to the bottom of the issues that have been raised by the gao report and the internal report. i would like to ask you, chairman, the chairman and ranking member of this committee wrote to secretary hagel on may 2, 2013, and we have heard testimony both in the readiness subcommittee and every subcommittee within the committee about the impact of sequestration. in that letter the chairman asked you to produce or department of defense to produce a package of reduction for fiscal year 2014 defense budget that would be the most workable approach of meeting $52 billion
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in reduction required by sequestration under the budget control act. we did receive a response recently from secretary hagel, but it doesn't really answer our question on the specifics. have you put together a contingency plan for the $52 billion in reductions required by sequestration in the year '14? >> the services having received the fiscal guidance about two weeks ago are preparing that contingency right now. it will be a cop ting -- contingency. we asked for this in july. i'm hoping this -- can you give a commitment when will it be produced to us as a committee. we can understand the impact of sequestration and we can also share with our colleagues about what it really means in term of the impact and the readiness of our forces. >>. >> we can probably -- >> it's a very fair question. the answer that came back was
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the first cut -- the first contour of what fy14 looked like under the conditions. it's important for us to kind of keep in mind there are about five things the service planners, the budget planners are having to go through right now. they go through what '14 looks like under the conditions asked for in the letter. they are finalizing what '14 execution would be looking like under the president's budget and develop two or three scenarios. these people are furloughed one day a week. so it's a little tough to produce fine detail that quickly. the service has been given the task, i believe you'll see -- they'll have an execution plan before the first of october. >> we need it sooner. let me say you can do all the plans you want for the president's budget. it's pie in the sky right now. the reality is and the law is the sequestration. until the american people understand and everyone here understands what the real impact
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of that is, that is why i was hoping you will make that the priority. i know, i don't have that much time. i want to ask you, chairman, and the vice chairman, about russia. in particular i saw recent report that russia is in violation of the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty. is that true? >> that is something we can't addressed in an unclassified hearing. i would be happy to get in a discussion with you in the more classified setting. the point being we have good verification methods in place. we watch it very closely. we believe they are in compliance with the treaty. i need leave it at that. >> i will follow up, i'm not asking u you about the treaty. >> i understand. be >> the reason i'm asking here is where we are with russia. the human rights who was, of course, tortured and killed for
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bringing out corruption within the government to put it in the face with the united. they have not ruled out granting asylum to edward snowden. there was report one of putin's a candidate for the mayor of moscow was convicted. it really reeks of using the judicial system for putin to punish his opponents. when i look at that context, one thing that concerns me is that our posture with russia, if they are in violence of the treaty obligation. that's an important issue. one final request, admiral. the president recently announced he could be considering further reduction to the nuclear arsenal. do you believe we should do that unilaterally? >> senator, the advise we have given to the president we not do that unlot i are. >> if there were going to be unilateral reductions. would you oppose them? >> i would not give that advice to the president we do a
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unilateral reduction. >> you would advise against it. >> we already have. >> i appreciate that. >> there's three things, senator. preserve the triad, and modernize the stockpile. >> my time is up, but i think given the behavior of russia, i think it ised a best naive to think we're going to be able to negotiate economy -- any kind of further reduction. i would oppose. i don't think that's the right direction for the protection of this country. in light of what i just described, and obviously we can't does it in this setting. if we find out they are in violence of other treaty obligation coupled with the other behavior, i don't see how we can expect good faith from the russians at the moment. >> thank you, senator. senate reid. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, jentd jentd lmen for your service. it's evidence you can't do it alone.
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general, one of your duties is to provide your formal military advise on the strategic environment and the military activity needed to address that environment through the chairman's risk assessment. given the -- which seems to be changing minute by minute, senator, just detail the last 4 hours with respect to the russians. what changes would you make today to the risk assessment you submitted in april? >> thank you, senator. the first thing, inyou probably noticed. we changed the one we submitted in april. previously it was a combat an commander requirement. by the way, this is to senator inhofe's point earlier. since i've been chairman over the past two years. the require that the combat have increased in them. it's to the point about increasing risk declining
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readiness. and we change the two try to align what we're doing with national security interests unpriorityized. that's not our responsibility to prioritize. we made an estimate of what we are doing across the globe that is being placed at risk. we also looked inside the services how the health of the force is evolving. in that document, i made mention of the fact this document didn't account for sequestration. once that became a reality i would have to revise my risk assessment. i will have to do so through alignment with the submission that senator ayotte described. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. my colleagues, senator particularly jill jill will brad despite years of effort we have
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a significant sexual abuse problem in the military, and we have to, as you both clearly indicate, we have to not rhetorically, but fundmently respond to this. i want to ask we focus on the judicial system. but some of my experience suggests there are other levers that are critical to the climate, the command structure, the performance of the military. and they include evaluation, promotion, and retention. that if we do not focus on those areas also, then we'll never have the kind of force we need and the trust we need among men and women who serve in that force. can you comment on that? i know you have taken you and your colleague have taken the role in dealing with this issue. >> in term of promotion and -- >> how do we make this so every day someone thinks about, you know, the responsibility not i might, you know, there's a
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judicial process out there. but this is how i'm going to -- this is what is expected of me to stay in the force to succeed in the force, and to have a force succeed. >> there is an enormous number of aspect in the answer. i'll touch on a few. the most important thing, senator tested on this. the command climate we hold commanders responsible for establishing that makes the likelihood of the sexual assault drop down hopefully to zero. >> intervening for you see it about to happen. a whole host of measures the commanders must take to establish the climate inside their command. we need to hold commanders accountable for establishing that climate. we intend to. that's one of the ways they are going to be seen. which we normally haven't done.
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if that next echelon detects a problem the climate is not where it needs to be. action can be taken and it can be entered in to somebody eels evaluation as a down strike, if you will. in keeping with the prevention anded a vot -- advocacy, accountability pieces what we're trying to do to take on the pernicious issue, it's absolutely vital that the climate piece come to the forefront and hold commanders responsible for that. >> thank you very much. general dempsey, we are can you comment on the current level of cooperation between the government of kabul and nato, command? every day we seem to be another sort of example of friction rather than harmony. >> the relationship with the
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notably the president of afghanistan is strachy. i think it's probably as good of word as i describe it. he's addressing what he describes as issues of sovereignty and we're trying to close the gap on what an enduring presence and commitment might look like. >> thank you. and admiral, in term of the recent discovery of contraband coming out of cuba, to north korea, do you have kind of a rough assessment of structure was it the cubans or try to get commitment to north korea so they could use it? >> it's a little hard to tell at this point many intelligence community is evaluating that. it would be easy to come to the conclusion under the guys of returning equipment to north
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korea for repair that in fact these are missiles that would be going north korea to replenish the stocks or what have you. in either case it, it clearly exposes north koreas willing defiance of the international community, and united nations' counsel resolution and the like. we're glad they discovered this so we can once more expose to the world the cynical behavior of the north korea regime. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator reid. senator graham. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for your service. chairman dempsey, the russian president said, age couple of agos he thought hurting u.s. relationship, u.s.-russian roip would be a consequence of granting snowden asylum he wouldn't do it. what would your --
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>> i think that there would be cone consequenceses across all of our relationship military economic. the following things about iran. there's a new president of iran he believes he's criticizing his predecessor for being a wolf in wolf's clothing. his strategy is being in a wolf in sheep 'clothing and smile and build a bomb. do you agree with the analysis? >> as i mentioned earlier, i would agree that we're looking -- >> is there any doubt in your mind that the guy is actually a moderate? my question is determine how i vote for you. do you believe the current president of iran is a moderate? >> he doesn't have a history of being a moderate, no , sir.
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>> i'll take that as no. the united should ratchet up the sanction and make it clear to iran they won't get away with it. if sanctions don't work, they'll have to know you'll be prepared, us, the united states, to take military action. that's the the only thing that will get their attention. do you agree with the israeli prime minister about the threat of military force against iranian nuclear programs may be the only thing to get their attention? general dempsey. >> that's been our approach all along, great. we're all on the same sheet of paper there. they don't believe we're going hit them. they're going move. here's what he said about all of the problems in the mideast summed this week. all the problems will be dwarfed by the mess nistic have an atomic bomb. it would make a terrible and catastrophic change for the world and the united states. do you agree with his assessment
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how important it is not to allow the iranians to get a nuclear weapon? >> i do. that's what we've said. >> great. all right. now as to afghanistan, the current commander suggested a 12,000-member force, two-thirds being u.s., the other 4,000 being nato, not counting american special forces troops, soft capable would be a reasonable number to leave behind in term of the force? does that make sense to you? >> he is. we have said so at nato and -- >> thank you very much. that's encouraging. do you agree with me it would be a wise investment to keep the afghan army at 352,000 at least for a mu more years rather than drop down to 232. >> i do.. >> thank you.
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is assad winning in syria? >> currently the tide seems to have shifted in his favor. >> you agree with that, admiral? >> i think specifically the tide shifted in his behavior in the central and western part of the country. it's fragile in the north. >> is he winning overall or not? >> i think if i had to pick who is winning it would be the regime. not by much. >> okay. well -- [laughter] all right. the regime is winning but not by much. could they be winning without russia's help? >> i think the most important help is iranian and hezbollah. it's certainly helping them. >> general dempsey, how would you evaluate the significance of russia's help to assad? >> through their military seas. they are arming -- >> let's put it this way if the russians said we want you done tomorrow, it would matter to assad? >> absolutely.
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>> it would be a game changer, wouldn't it? >> i certainly do. assad he's going to fight to the death, i think. >> do you believe -- do you agree with me if russia said to assad, we no longer support you, it would be the ultimate game changer? >> it would be a very important game changer. absolutely. >> thank you. do you see russia doing that >> no , sir. >> okay. if he stays, versus him going, what is the most catastrophic outcome for us? if he wins over time and doesn't leave, versus having to deal with the fact that we kicked him out because we said he had go. what is worse for us? him staying or going? >> well, we have said as the nation's pots that -- policy as assad must go. >> it's worst for us for him to change and we not achieve our policies do you agree with that? >> that's my interpretation. >> do you agree with that,
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admiral? >> yes, sir, i do. >> will he be in power next year if nothing changes? your best military advice if we keep where we are iran helping him. do you agree they are helping assad? >> i do. >> do you agree that hezbollah is helping assad? >> yes. >> russia is helping assad. >> yes. >> if nothing changes, if we don't change our game, will he be in power a year from now in. >> i think likely so. >> what will it mine for the king of jordan. will he be in power a year from now? >> i met with with him. he's concerned that the demographic in his nation. -- >> your dead right. he didn't think he would be here another year because there's a refugee in desubstantial idessing jordan. do you agree with that. >> that's his concern. >> what it would mean for the region and us if the king of jordan is gone a year from now and assad in power a year from now. it would be a good or bad
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thing? >> he's a strong ally. it would be a bad thing. >> it would be a horrible thing for the mideast, wouldn't it? >> yes, sir. >> if assad is in power a year from now. what effect would it have on iran? >> it's already destabilizing western iran. >> iraq would begin to fall apart at the faster rate. it's destabilizing the country. >> that would certainly be a possible scenario. >> from the israeli point of view, the likelihood of hezbollah getting russia-made avanced weapon still in power a year from now. does it go up or down? from the israeli standpoint? >> we're. from israel's standpoint one of the worse nightmare would be hezbollah getting advanced weapons sold to assad by russia and that likelihood would go up if he's still in power a year from now? >> yes, sir. >> okay. >> we'll talk the second round
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about sequestration. thank you both for your answers. >> if we can finish the first round by noon, at least there would be a brief second round. that's my current intention, which i shared with the ranking member. senator mccaskill. >> thank you, mr. chairman. just when i think we made progress on more time contracting, you know, something happens and i realize that we have still miles to go before we really have a handle on this. the latest incident that come to my attention is the $34 million military base leather neck in afghanistan. when the marines on the ground found out this was going to be built, they sent the word up. they don't need it. don't want it. that was in may of 2010. in february of 2011, contracts were issued, and the buildings was built. now we know it's never going to be occupied. probably going to be demolished because it was done according to
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u.s. wiring standards, so for the afghanistan army to take it over, for the national forces there to take it over it would be quite an investment for them to convert the building for their use. i understand an investigation is ongoing, i question them about this the other day. i need to hear from you, general dempsey, you are committed to getting to the bottom of this. if we don't fix accountability in this instance, whoever pulled the trigger on that expenditure really needs to be disciplined. my opinion, they should be fired because we have to start sending signal when the people are saying don't build it, it's a waste of money that it doesn't get built. do -- are you aware of the situation? >> absolutely, senator. you have my commitment we'll get to the bottom of it. if i can share a bit of good
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news. we have -- this one was not caught, but we have obligated about $1.3 billion in contracting for u.s. forces afghanistan probably twice that amount for the afghan security forces. >> that's good. i appreciate that very much. there has been discussion around military sexual assault that the allies have gone to a different system. the reason that this was talked about was in the context that canada and europe had gone to a different system in order to provide more protection for victims. we have had a chance to take a close look at those countries and what happened. it's my understanding those changes in their system resulted from a concern that there was not adequate due process protection for perpetrators. is that your understanding as well, general? >> that's correct. based on our last hearing on the subject, we have done at love research in to the why the
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allies, the five other nations went that path. it's not just because they wanted to protect the accused, but they were also mandated to do it by human rights courts in the european union. >> the other argument being made putting it in the hand of prosecutors it would increase reporting. i've had an opportunity to look the the numbers in canada, we actually have 176 in 2007, 166 in 2008, 166 in 2009, 176 in 2010. look at the number in ue. the numbers have gone down over the last several years in term of report from 54 to 40 to 40. in australia, they have been stable at 82, 86, 84 over the last several years. in israel, there had been a fact
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about reporting going up when they changed part of their system when it related to lesser sexual offenses a few years ago. there was testimony about their reporting going up 80%. if you look back at the numbers, there were 26 -- these are sex-related offenses total. the military. the big understanding is the difference between the enormity of the challenges in our military and what looking at in israel 26 in 2009, 20 in 2010, 14 in 2011, and 27 in 2012. so, yes, there's an 80% increase when they changed it between '11 and '12. they only tobacco back to the numbers they had previously. are you aware in the research you have done that changing the system that has resulted in an increase reporting anywhere in the world? >> there's no analytical evidence nor evidence that it increased reporting.
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further more what my counter part told me it slowed the system down. >> you mentioned admiral, if your testimony earlier that you all have taken a look at prosecutor's decisions in isolation. and i have some knowledge of this. there was discipline in my office when i found out that prosecutedders in our warrant desk, the intake desk were getting lobbied by some of the trial prosecutors on the decisions because they didn't want any losers. they didn't want them to take cases that were going to reflect poorly on the one-loss record. when you're a prosecutor there's a won-loss record. when you take a case to trial you either win or lose. so your status among your peers and in some instances your upward monlt mobility on your job could depend on your
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conviction rate. so when you isolate them with this decision, there certainly could be instances where you have a prosecutor that didn't want to take a close want. didn't want a he said she said. do you have additional information that you can share with this committee in terms of numbers of the number of times that civilian prosecutors have said no, military prosecutors have said no. but there are victims out there today that have had justice because the commanders said yes? >> i do. i'll give you a couple of example. the marine corps. had 28 cases. they looked back to 2010. 28 cases where civilian prosecutors declined to take the case. of those, 16 of them -- the marine corps. was able to obtain a conviction in court march. there are 16 perpetrators no longer walking the street and 16 victims who received justice who
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wouldn't have received it otherwise. the more startling numbers from the army. the army looked at 49 cases in the last two years. 35 of them are -- actually 14 are still in process. we don't know what is going to happen with those. they are still in the trial system. 35 have been completed. 25 of those or 71% resulted in a conviction in a court marble. two additional ones were plea bargained down to a punitive danger. it takes the number to 77%. they would not take that resulted in some serious action taken against a perpetrator. there are some acquitted. understandably, most of the ones found guilty are doing hard time. i would add, that one of those -- some are heinous cases. the da wouldn't take. one was a 10-year-old autistic
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girl. we took the case. the commander insisted and a conviction was obtained. >> well, we have the same goal. this is hard. but i do want to say as i close this questioning, that anybody who characterizes me as someone protecting the pentagon that somehow i didn't can hoots with the pentagon trying to hurt sexual assault victims -- with all due respect to you. i think you're terrific. there's nobody who will be in front of the line to kick you until you're senseless if we don't get the problem under control. it's not victims versus the pentagon. anybody who is characterizing that is doing a disservice to the victim, the military, and disservice to the member of the
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committee who spent hours trying to find the right way to make sure we prosecute more cases effectively within the military. i thank you both very much. >> mr. chairman, if i take ten seconds. we are grateful that the attention that the entire committee has given to it. it's been helpful. i look forward to have the next change with you over to the pentagon as we have done before and get your thought -- show you what we're doing. get your expertise in there. i think it's a productive opportunity. >> you don't need to worry about me being invited. you know, as many of your jacks will know. i call it. i'm not reaching out if i'm getting -- you guys calling plays on this. you know, i was just infuriated with the article written somehow you guys, you know, pulling strings over here telling us what to do. nothing could be further from the truth. and i appreciate both of you and your commitment to this, but believe me, we're not going
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anywhere. thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> thank you. if i might take thirty seconds before the senator speaks. there was an implication in the article in "politico," the amendment which was adopted by the committee was somehow or another cleared or shared with the pentagon nap is not true. >> are you aware of that? >> not that i'm aware of. no. >> two-page article suggesting somehow or another the pentagon screened or impacted the language which we offered in a public session in this committee that lead to the developing of the bipartisan amendment. part of an article suggested that somehow or another the pentagon wrote something or screened something. what they did very properly so was ask by the subcommittee that adopted language on the subject
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for its reaction. we do it all the time before the bill is marked up. the subcommittee wrote the language under senator jill will brand's leadership. the amendment adopted by the committee was not shared with the pentagon. i don't know that the folks at "politico" wrote that. want to correct the article in fairness, i believe they should. senator. >> mr. chairman, might i say on a point of personal privilege on behalf of senate mccaskill. the implication that she is bought off by the pentagon, she has been the spark plug-in this whole thing from day one, and i want her to know how much i
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appreciate that. >> her prosecutable experience is invaluable not just this subject but others. the contracting problem she delved in to with such tenacity. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your leadership and impassioned leadership on the issue of sexual assault. i'm not going go in to questioning, i think it's been thoroughly, gentlemen. we know where you are, and you're trying to rectify a very serious situation. i think you have a thorough understanding that this committee has a whole committee is upset with what is going on in that realm and every barrage of our military. we have to fix it. the system is broken. the chairman's leadership on this and as he said, in a bipartisan way, i think
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addressing it fairly. but we look forward to that debate on the floor. let me -- general dempsey, in your answer, you said and i quote we are at risk of strategy and solvently if sequestration is implemented currently represented by law. the word strategy and not being able to take action again threat of national security and not being able to assist allies in partners and unstable regions. is that what you meant? >> yes, sir. maybe even more simply, it's the mismatch of aspiration and abilities. >> i want to go back, general dempsey, to syria. again, it's been thoroughly talked about here, i'm a little bit confused.
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i heard your response to senator mccain's questioning, and here is kind of the way i see where we are with respect to syria right now in your paption in -- participation of the process. you have been in place for about two years, as we all know. during the two years, the conflict of syria has been going on the entire time. there's been virtually and uncontrolled sliewghter -- slaughter going on inside syria. i know, that even the president's nominee to be ambassador to the united nations said yesterday in her hearing that the failure of the u.n. security council to respond to the slaughter in syria is a disgrace that history will judge harshly. i agree with that. but it's also a fact that the united states is kind of set by watched what is happening over there, and really had our hands behind our back. you have been in place for two
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years. you have been in the principle military adviser to the president on this issue and others. has the president followed your advice on the involvement and the united states to syria? >> the president has asked for options. and we have provided them. on of the issue of has he follow my advise? the issue is whether -- there's two issues at work. could we and should we? i advised him on could we. he nor anyone else has actually -- we haven't gotten in to a conversation should we as it relates to the current path which is one focus primarily on building a modern opposition. i'm thinking that the president
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has listened to your options, but apparently you haven't picked a side or been forceful in what you think the president ought to do; am i correct? >> well, senator, let me talk about the role of the chairman. it keeps coming back to that. it's my responsibility to provide options about the use of force and how they contribute to a broader strategy. not in isolation. i'm reduck assistant to -- i'm unwilling, actually, to discuss my advice on the whether we should use force. that deliberation is ongoing. to the point about what is my responsibility to this committee. my responsibility to the committee is to have the same kind of conversations with you as we have on options and on what the military instrument of power could do in the context of a broader strategy. but the decision on whether to use force is fundamentally a political decision. one that is being deliberated
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even frequently with regard to syria. for me to advocate it would actually put me in what i deem to be inappropriate with the committee. >> did you advocate for a no no-fly zone or against it? >> that's the point. i haven't advocated or opposed in the i options. i explained what they would do the situation. >> here is my i did limb delimb ma, general. you are the top military adviser to the president. syria is the most significant internal military conflict going on today. it has the capability of providing future unrest to that part of the world that may be permanent. there's been no change during your two years. if we approve you for another two years, confirm you for
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another two years, then is there going to be a change in policy over the next two years. are we going to keep doing what we do innocent people slaughtered? >> i hate to take that burden entirely on myself to determine whether the situation in syria will change over the next two years. you can be sure that as we develop options to be considered in the military issue of power that i will articulate whether i think they'll be effective. whether the risk involved to u.s. forces. what are the opportunity costs you know, let me tell you what has changed. we are far more involved on the korean peninsula at higher state of readiness. we are far more involved in the gulf higher state of readiness. we continue to manage the conflict in afghanistan. and so there are some significant risks we are accruing while we also are engaged in trying to determine
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how to meet match ways & means in the face of sequestration. >> in closing, let me just say secretary hagel in a recent announcement directed a 20% cut in the number of top ranking officers and senior civilians at the pentagon by 2018. i applaud that move. i think it's something that's got to be done, and we look forward as a committee to working with you assuming you are confirmed to carrying out that directive by the secretary. ..
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not only the joint staff but the osd staff but combatant commander staff we'll trim by 20% over next five years. >> if i heard you correctly, not just that you support it but you offered it is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> thank you. thank you senator chambliss. senator hagen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general dempsey and win if i felled, thank you very much for your service. ashley: i was there for the
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first f 35 b to the marine corps. national security and local north carolina community that sport it and this was certainly, reiterated to me during my visit on monday. like you, and like the members of this committee, and i'm, very worried about the damage that sequestration, is already doing to the department and to our national security. most of members civilian workforce that met with on monday, had just had their first furlough day the friday before, which is i think a harsh reminder of congress's inability to find a solution here. we actually have 19,000 civilians working for dod that are on furlough in north carolina. but please know that i remain dedicated to finding a bipartisan solution to sequestration. what i really worry about those in washington who underestimate the damage that sequestration will have if this is allowed to continue. in fiscal year 2014 and beyond.
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my question is, i think it is important that congress and that the people here directly from senior leaders like yourself about the impact that this is going to have if it's allowed to continue. can you give a few examples of the impacts that it might have on the f-35 hb and other mod certain nation programs as well as local programs that support them? >> let me give awe brief, generalized answer. the vice chairman sits on most of the meetings where the tradeoffs are made and things like modernization. but the point is, that, as i said it is too far and too fast. so at the beginning of this period we will, we will suffer most prominently in readiness and modernization. we have to get money where we can get it. later on as the force shrinks and we'll be ready but less modernized.
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in my view we will have forces inadequate as the strategy currently conceived and we might look back how we might change your strategy. >> specifically on the f-35, our first priority right now is to finish the development of that program and we requested some money in the reprograming authority to get that done in fy-13 to keep the std effort on track. because of the importance of this program we're doing everything we can to protect the numbers as the department finalizes lot 6 and 7 prices. i don't want to stray outside of my authority. this is really undersecretary of defense for at and l lane, but we are committed to this program and we want to ramp up the production to get the economies of scale to make this a productive program. the f-35 is a very important program to us. no question about it. >> it is also my understanding under sequestration, that the dod civilian supervisors, they
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received notice just recently if they have knowledge that the employees report to them work more than the allotted hours during their furloughs, even when it's voluntary on their part, that those, that those supervisors, these civilian supervisors are subject to fines up to $5,000 and potential jail time. and when i realized that, you know, there are legal guidelines i know that have to be followed, we certainly don't want to have furloughed employees to have to involuntary littlely work without pay but to me this seems to just go too far. so i'm troubled that these supervisors could face these unbelievable penalties because they have got motivated workers who really, are dedicated to national security of our country, despite the furloughs and we can't fault them when they want to continue their mission once again because congress has not acted. so what are your thoughts on this matter and how does one find the right balance here? >> first of all, senator, i would make a shoutout to our
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civilian employees in the department who are fantastic. these are people who under ordinary conditions work extra hours because, you know, they believe so much in what they're doing and they're just tremendous. i am not a lawyer and i don't have the legal background. i believe that the restrictions you're referring to when you're furloughed are legal restrictions and i think we're just trying to stay within the letter of the law but i couldn't agree with you more on the overall principle and the sentiment that these are american patriots who want to dot best they can for their country. we're cutting out a day's pay and they still want to do work for us. what more can you ask for from these great folks. the sooner we can resolve this the better. i know the department is work hard if we can to reduce the number of furlough days. there are no guaranties. the comptroller is working on that but this is tragic situation for these great americans. >> even these legal ramifications they're not even supposed to look at blackberries on the days they're furloughed.
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the previous quadrennial defense reviews mandated significant growth in our special operation forces and enablers that directly support their operations. admiral winnefeld, in response to the policy questions given financial downtrend we must balance the need for soft capabilities and address other capability demand in the light of financial pressure. do you belief the growth should be maintained despite budgetary pressures and how should capabilities be prioritized compared to the other capability demands that you referenced? >> if we get into the full bca caps, what we equal sequester forever in the department we'll probably have to level off soft growth because there are some other programs that will be shrinking in size. it is sort of, if you're level,
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then you're doing pretty well in this budget environment. if you're growing, it is really unusual. the only thing i know that will grow will be the cyber forces of the everything else will be coming down in size. i think keeping it in perspective leveling off soft is probably about as good as we can do if we get to the full bca cuts. >> even with the demands we see around the world today? >> even with the demands. our soft forces are very important and doing great work around the world. we have a soft forces doing work in afghanistan for counterinsurgency. that would end in 2014. we were hoping to bring that capacity home and do couple things wit. hopefully to rest the force. they have been going hard for the last decade. enhance the building partnership efforts across the world. we certainly want to rest the force. we may have to trim a little bit on building partnership capacity just because of the budget cuts. again leveling off, you're pretty lucky if you're only leveling off under these circumstances. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator hagan.
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senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general dempsey and admiral winnefeld, thank you both very much for your service to this country and willing to continue to serve under what are very difficult times. general dempsey, i very much appreciate your coming to new hampshire and your visiting both pes and the national guard at the portsmouth naval shipyard and meeting with a number of the businesses in new hampshire that help make up part of the great defense industrial base in this country. many people on the committee have expressed their concerns about sequestration. i know it is something that you both care very much about. one of the things that we heard from the businesses in the meetings that you had in new hampshire was their concern about the uncertainty and what that means in terms of their future ability to provide the
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support that our military need in order to do their job. i wonder, if you could speak to whether this is something you're hearing from other parts of the country and then how concerned you are that continuing cuts from sequestration might have very damaging impact on the defense industrial base in this country? >> thank you, senator. what i found most interesting in that roundtable was two things. the big corporations, well, i won't names, but the big corporations have enough flexibility that they can kind of weather the storm and are likely to still be there when we need them. it's the small businesses who don't have that kind of flexibility who i think we risk losing in two-ways. one as i suspect they will look, they said, they will look increasingly overseas and the second thing they said was that their ability to innovate is being reduced. and so we're losing in several
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ways. that i think could have a long-term negative effect. >> thank you. the other, the other thing, you have both talked about is the importance of the people who serve this country, both who serve actively in the armed forces and as well as those people who support your mission in the civilian capacity. and, one of the concerns that i have had is relative to the workers that we have to have the degrees in the stem fields, science, technology, engineering and math. looking at the statistics for the people we will need to do the work of our military and its support in the future the statistics don't look very good because an average age of an aerospace worker in the industry is 44. 26% of the aerospace workforce became eligible for retirement
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in 2008. 50% of the navy's science and technology prodepressionals will be retirement eligibility by 2020. those statistics go on. so can either of you speak to concerns that you have about how sequestration might be affecting our ability to recruit the people who have the degrees and the skills that we're going to need in the future? if we're looking at sequestration, not just in 2013 but 2014, 2015, 2016, for the next nine years what does that do to our civilian workforce that supports your mission? >> i will -- in a moment here but reflecting back to the trip to the portsmouth naval yard, one. things i was unaware of was the appresenttics ship -- apprenticeship program, where
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they take folks with skillset that you describe, from incredible schools in the northeast notably, and they build into them this passion for what, that i saw in the workforce there in support of the united states navy and in fact support of the coast guard as well. it's going to be simply a matter of mathematics. they're going to do less of that so i think we will lose some of those. >> fundamentally the real challenge we have under the worst sequester scenario is the steepness of this cut and what we found over time and we now understand very well this time around it is very hard to get force structure out quickly. force structure meaning people. we can't get people out fast enough. the only leverage that you have are readiness and modernization. readiness and modernization are very technical things. we will be jettisoning basically a number of modernization programs or vastly trimming them
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down and we'll be reducing readiness, which includes depot work and that is also technical. so i worry about that. the other thing as we get smaller the tendency under the rules we have is sort of last person in is the first person out. so that is our seed corn. all these young technically adept folks thinking of coming in, or already in they are the first to go and we'll lose them and have the effects we'll talk about where we have a force that stays and retires and there is nothing to backfill. there really is something we've got to watch closely. frank kendall is worried about it ash carter is worried about it and something we have to be very mindful of as we move forward. >> thank you. i certainly share that concern. let me ask you both, one of the things that senator mccain and i have worked on that is language in the immigration reform bill that passed the senate as well as in the defense authorization act this committee has done, would deal with the
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number of afghans and iraqis who have been helpful to the united states and the international force who are concerned about their safety once we get past 2014 and the international nato force withdraws. i wonder if you could talk about how concerned you are about that and what kind of message it would send to other people in the future who might be willing to cooperate us, cooperate with us in these kind of conflicts if we're not able to help provide safety for those people who have cooperated? >> having lived with those men and women i strongly support the effort but let me turn it over to the vice who has been tracking it most closely. >> just to give awe sense, actually yesterday, we had a deputy committee meeting i was
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unable to attend, immigrant visas and getting those folks in, literally risked their lives to enable our operations in iraq and afghanistan. it has attention of national security staff. it has our attention and we'll continue to push it in the right direction. i would just say if you hear anything that is making you uncomfortable, don't hesitate to talk to us. we'll answer any questions you might. >> thank you. i know senator mccain and i stand ready to be of any help we can and i know it has the support of this committee as well. so thank you very much. >> staw thank you, senator shaheen. senator sessions. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for the leadership of this committee and lead us in a way to get most of us to vote together every time we bring a bill out. that is testament to bipartisanship. >> thank you. >> in the defense of america. general dempsey, particularly i just want to ask you to reaffirm, and i know you will do
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so but reaffirm your responsibility to share with this committee and congress your best military judgment about matters and that you will internally, when asked by the commandinger and chief to give your opinion you will give your best unvarnished military opinion and not be influenced by politics or pressures of any kind? >> i can assure you that that is my, what has been my intent and will remain my intent in the future. >> admiral winnefeld, will you likewise? >> that is what we're doing and continue to do, yes, sir. >> thank you. that is important. we have a lot of significant agenda items that are occurring that will set policy for years to come, whether it's the number of personnel, the involvement around the world. whether it's missile defense and in particular we're beginning to have some hearing on nuclear
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capabilities. the public proposal of the president that he would like to reduce by one-third are already substantially reduced nuclear arsenal is of serious concern to me and we'll ask you as time goes by your best judgment on that. of course it goes beyond the technical issues to our role in the world and the confidence our allies have in is also. general dempsey, one of the more amazing thing to me i believe has cause ad great deal of unnecessary problems with the sequester and the reduction in spending was the fact that this was passed in august of 2011 and the president said in a national debate, it wasn't going to happen. but it was the law of of the united states. it was, he signed it. and i frankly at the time
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wondered how it was going to be fixed. i had my doubts that we would get it fixed and the president's indicated basically wants more taxes and more spending and he won't find any other reductions in spending anywhere else to relief the burdens on the military. but i would just like to get one thing straight. with regard to the difficulties you've faced this year, my understanding is that you made no plans and made no cuts in the first six months of this year even though you were aware that this was the law as, in 2011 and, as a result, you had to make more dramatic cuts, more unwise reductions, to try to finish this year within the budget law that have been told you have to finish under? has that been a problem for you and why, why did we not plan to
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reduce spending all year instead of making up all of that in the last six months? >> it has been a problem, senator. we found ourselves with 80% spent with half the year to go. and the answer is, how did we get to that position? you know that was the budget guidance we received. >> you got that from the executive branch? >> i get it, i get my marching orders from the department but i assume they got it from the office of the management and budget. >> and i do remain concerned about the impact on the defense department. it is not just that i have a, as a member of this committee and personal views, a strong affinity for the men and women who serve us in uniform but because half of the reductions in spending that were included in the budget control act have
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fallen on 1/6 of united states government spending, the defense department. so this is a does proportionate reduction in spending in my opinion, to our defense department. and it's, it's at a level that is troubling to me. now i'm ranking on the budget committee and i've seen the numbers and we should look for other areas within our government to find some savings too. for example, medicaid has no cuts. social security has no cuts. medicare had a little but it didn't help the defense department. that was used to reduce spending reductions in other departments. food stamp has gone up fourfold in the last 10 or 12 years. had zero cuts. so we just at a point that we've got to work out, figure out how to deal with this and i do believe you're being asked to
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take a does proportionate cut and congress should work with the president to, the commander-in-chief and he needs to help us work through a way to spread out some of this belt-tightening so that other departments and agencies in the government tighten their belt too. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for opportunity. >> thank you for your comments as well of me. senator sessions. now, senator, do i have a card? i don't. is senator king here? if not senator casey. senator nelson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for your public service. let's talk first about upgrading the isr fleet. you're moving from manned platforms to a combination of unmanned and manned platforms.
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and the law directs the vice chairman and the undersecretary to certify annually that the navy remains in compliance and in supporting the needs of the combatant commanders and the navy has certified compliance and so my interests in this is that in the president's budget the navy plans to gradually draw down your manned platforms before going over to the p-8 platform and then to field a fleet of mq-4c tritons, the uavs. now it is my understanding that the navy is, the secretary of the navy is supportive of this position. have you all spoken to the combatant commanders to confirm
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if these isr capabilities fulfill their requirements? >> i haven't recently covered that particular slice of the combatant commander requirements. they are going to have their integrated priority lists due to us here over this fall and we'll scan those. we also get constant feedback from the ja organizations as to whether they're received but i would have to take it up for the record on whether specifically in that area we're answering their needs. >> okay. i would appreciate it. i think that there is some concern and the secretary's office about this transition and to see that those manned platforms are utilized so that there's not a gap while we're transitioning over and getting the combined fleet between unmanned and manned. now, once we are withdrawing from afghanistan there's going
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to be a lot of independednt sr assets that will come back and be distributed throughout the combatant command. i sure wish that you all would take a look at what sequestration is doing to us in the southern command and the huge success that they have had in the interdiction of drugs coming north. as a matter of fact, just in last year colombia it seven -- itself, interdicted 207 metric tons, as it started to come through central america toward the u.s. border the, jiatf,
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which is the joint task force going after these drugs, that interdicted 152 additional metric tons. and by the time it gets to the southern border of the u.s., then they were interdicting another 10 metric tons. well, you can see that the big part has already been interdicted before it ever got there thanks to a lot of u.s. southern command's efforts in the joint task force. and so i would surely appreciate it as these assets, isr assets are going to be available, that you will consider southern command as a part to use those isr assets. and i know you will but would you just for the record state what are going to be the long-term effects of the
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sequester on the counter narcotics mission? >> well, in general i'll tell you that we will be able to do less in the maritime transit zones for the immediate future because of some combination of sequestration and also maintenance that's been deferred over time. and i am concerned about it. in fact met over the past several months both with my canadian and mexican counterparts to see if we can collaboratively find a way to mitigate the risk. do you want to add anything to that? >> we had to make some very difficult choices in the current environment and the navy has not been able to support as many ship deployments. as you know we had considerable success interdicting drugs coming from south america using maritime environments. so we're going to have to allocate resources. as the chairman mentioned it is
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in the end about balancing ways and means and we'll have to keep an eye on it absolutely. >> i'll tell you where you're going to be additionally stressed is, if we're fortunate to get an immigration reform bill, and if it stays in the present posture that it passed the senate where all this additional money is being used to enhance the effectiveness of the land border, what's going to happen to all those drugs and indeed, human smuggling, it is going right around on the maritime border. now, i think this was an oversight. they would not accept senator wicker's and my amendment to enhance by just a billion dollars the hs, the -- dhs, coast guard and helping dhs with unmanned platforms. the navy blimp is also an asset
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that can be used on that. i have ridden in that blimp. it can dwell for a long time. the amount of gas it takes for a 24 hour mission is the same amount of gas it takes for an f 16 to crank up and just run out to the runway. so it's a cost effective platform for observation of something like a maritime border hopefully if we can pass the immigration reform we're going to be able to enhance that maritime border but this is going to all the more bring into question the desperate need to avoided sequester in a place like southern command, not even to speak of all the other commands. i spent some time with admiral mccraven and he walked me what is going to happen to special
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operations command if we have this sequester continue and it's absolutely ridiculous, that we would be doing this to ourselves. not only shooting ourselves in the foot but starting to shoot ourselves up the torso. so, i wish you would take a look at the isr assets as they come back and allocate some of them to southern command. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator nelson. we're going to have a very brief round, second round, about two minutes for those of us who are here. we've got a vote, i can't see the clock but gets close to 12:15. is it there already? i think we have a vote at 12:15. so i will have a two-minute second round.
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general, i want to find a way to work through the options issue on syria. not in two minutes but i want to work through it. because of i think there's a real uncertainty among some of us as to what your role is in terms of telling us your personal opinion on things, what your role is in terms of giving advice to the president, in terms of the option, options that you have laid out. the pluses, minuses, strengths, weaknesses of each of those options. whether they can be effective. what are the costs. what are the opportunity costs and so forth. and what i'm going to ask you to do, for the record, is to give us a unclassified, list of options in your personal
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assessment of the pros and cons of those options. now, some of those, in some of those pros and cons, been your personal assessment pretty obvious that you will not recommend something. i'm not going to ask something point-blank, which of these options you recommend. you've said you're not going to tell us. you can't tell us. or you haven't decided for whatever reason, you're not going to tell us what your preferred option is. what you're willing to do so go through with us the pluses and minuses of each of the various options. that is what i'm going to ask you to do in a fairly thorough way for the record. if you need to give us an, a classified annex, that's fine. but i want to work very hard to try to work through this issue of the options in syria.
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you're aware of the fact that i personally have favored arming, training, the opposition. i personally indeed want to consider and have even gone beyond that, talking about standoff airstrikes against certain facilities. that is just my own personal opinion. you know where i'm coming from. you and i talked about it. i'm not trying to persuade you that is the right position or should be your position but that is my public position. so my question to you is whether or not you are willing to give to us a unclassified list of options and the strengths and weaknesses of the costs effectiveness and so forth of each of those options? >> absolutely, senator. and as well as the, i've also, as well as the framework of a strategy in which they might make sense which i'm happy to do. >> anything else you want to add to it.
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i don't want to limit you in any way. as long as it include that. it may help us work through this issue. >> yes. but i would ask you to take my point even now that the decision whether to use force is one that i must communicate personally to the president and, as you've seen me do in the past, if the president takes my advice, and you asked me, i'll tell you that he took my advice. if he dip, i'm more than -- if he doesn't, i'm more than willing to tell you my recommendation is something else. he is under no obligation to take my advice. >> you indicated you would not share your opinion, if you have one, whether or not to use force. >> while it is being deliberated. >> and i'm not asking you to do that. >> right. >> i think if you are able to do what i asked you to do. >> i am. >> it may be clear at least some of those options you think are not wise options just from the
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list of your pros and cons assessment. >> right. i thought we got, at some level in the classified briefing but -- >> we need an unclassified here. so you said you're willing to lay out options and to show pros and cons of options and whether they can be effective, what are the costs, various costs. >> right. >> and so forth, if you will do that it may be a step that would be a constructive, positive step. if you can do that, you know within the next four or five days we appreciate. >> sure. >> senator ayote. i believe, i may be wrong. let me see. >> i am next but i'm going to defer first to senator graham and then go. >> okay. senator graham. >> thank you, mr. chairman. chairman dempsey, back to afghanistan. if no troops were left behind for whatever reason in 2015, we just pulled out and there were no american force left behind, the zero option, very quickly what is the likely outcome in
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afghanistan? >> i told that you the progress of the security forces has been significant, they would not have the level of confidence to sustain themselves over time if it happens that precipitously. >> and it would lead to what i would believe would be a fractured state, a larger safe haven for al qaeda-types and over time would be a disaster, would you agree with that? >> those are all high risks. >> thank you. admiral winnefeld, sequestration, you, in terms of the air force, if sequestration, let's start with the navy. over a 10-year period how many ships will we have in the navy after 10 years of see questions tricks? >> i don't have the exact number for you. >> somebody said 232 ships. >> it could be that low. >> would that be just like crazy? >> it would certainly impact our ability to respond to contingencies. >> i think it is crazy. >> and to have forward presence. >> one-third of the fighter force is grounded today. they're beginning to fly again
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because you robbed peter to pay paul, is the effect of sequestration grounded one-third of our fighter force. >> it grounded nine fighter squardrons which is not one-third of the fighter force. but other squadrons are flying at a lower rate. >> what would it take tore the enany to knock out nine air force squadrons. >> i know where it coming from -- >> if i were iranians i would thank congress to ground more air force planes they could on their own. to say i'm upset is a understatement. general dempsey, what if congress could not find a way on a deal funding government, come october the 1st we can't fund the government and politicians in washington can't come up with a budget and military we had no money for our military, what signal that would be sending to our troops and our enemies? what kind of national security impact would be in the times which we live if there was no agreement to fund the government, what would it mean
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to our national security? >> senator, you remember i held up this slide showing the kids we send in harm's way trust us. i have to, i would have to assess that that bond of trust would be broken. >> [inaudible] >> i think they would be certainly happy at our demise. >> thank you, senator graham. senator ayote. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral winnefeld, how would you, if you look at security of country what would you prioritize first? >> i would prioritize first the survival of the nation? >> would that mean protecting the homeland? >> it would definitely. >> so i know earlier you were asked about our missile defense system and you said that the first dollar we should spend is on the censor to -- sensor to add discrimination power, correct? >> that's correct. >> and i guess i'm kind of
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dumfounded by it because as i understand it, that was not in the budget proposal put forth by the department. why was that if it was the number one? >> i would have to review the budget documents to validate that but one thing to remember we have a new commander of the missile defense agency, new director there he is doing an exceptionally good job, the vice admiral, he along with his technical experts have studied this and they have come to the conclusion you can get better shot doctrine if you get better discrimination. he would hasten to add if the threat gets worse we'll need more missiles as well which is one reason -- >> let me follow that. you had said in your testimony you have to watch the threat develop from iran. in fact in the recent interview that prime minister netanyahu gets, gave, he said that iran is building icbms to reach america. the american main land within a few years. of course that is consistent with what we've heard if 2015 is a potential date when iran will
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have icbm capability or reach the main land of the united states? >> that is intelligence assessment. shifts all the tie. 2015 is the current number when they could potentially -- >> if 2015 is the number and i guess i'm a little dumfounded why we keep saying there is no current military requirement for east coast missile defense site when the priority of our nation is to protect the homeland. and as i understand it, if we went in terms of an eis to production of an east coast missile defense site it would take about six years, wouldn't it? >> i don't know that it would take that long. i have to get the exact numbers for you but i think that when the eiss are done closely on the heels of that we would have another threat assessment that is continuing going on. we would have to come to a decision fairly soon after that as to whether we would do another east coast or a east coast missile field to start with. >> when i look at, i look at the possibility of 2015 icbm capability i think the tail is wagging the dog in terms of lou long it would take to put that
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up and i know you said first dollar. what if you had the second dollar of missile defense, what would you do with it? >> first thing we want to get is the ce-2 missiles working and into the silos in alaska, get additional missiles we talked about. that will take additional time to get that done. first dollar as i mentioned is the sensors. the dollar has quality all its own phenomenon where we have to shoot fewer missiles against inbound threats that will really help us. assuming that the threat continues on a trajectory where iran develops an icbm, we may well need an east coast missile field to defend this country. >> well, when we met, i think what you're saying today is the second dollar. and by the way we could do both if we wanted to could we not if -- >> i think in terms. if we allocated resources to do it. >> that is the wisest use of
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resources. as you point out in the very beginning of this discussion the highest priority to the defense of the nation. >> thank you both for being here. appreciate your service to the country. >> thank you, senator ayote. thank you both. we, are hopeful that we will have a speedy markup an confirmmation but that will be up to the whole committee but that would be my hope. thank you, we thank your spouses, your wives who are here, your families. again for their great support over the years. and we will stand adjourned. [inaudible conversations] >> thanks, admiral. appreciate it. >> i will get that for you. i hope it will help.
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>> president obama made an unexpected appearance at today's white house briefing. the chief executive wanted to talk about the trayvon martin-george zimmerman case. we'll show you his complete remarks at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span but here's a brief look. >> there are very few african-american men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. that include me. there are particularly very few african-american men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. that happens to me at least before i was a senator. there are very few african-americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously
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and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. that happens often and, you know, i don't want to exaggerate this but those sets of experiences inform how the african-american community interprets what happened one night in florida and it's inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear. the african-american community is also knowledgeable that that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws. everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws. and that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.
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now this isn't to say that the african-american community is naive about the fact that african-american young men are does proportionately involved in the criminal justice system. that they're does proportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence. it's not to make excuses for that fact, although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context. they understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is borne out of a very violent past in this country. and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history. and so, the fact that sometimes
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that fact is unacknowledged adds to the frustration. along the same lines i think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it, if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies we saw in the florida case rather than diffuse potential altercations. i know there's been commentary about the fact that the stand your ground laws in florida were not used as a defense in the case. on the other hand if we're sending a message as a society in our communities that someone who is armed, potentially has the right to use those firearms even if there's a way for them to exit from a situation, is
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that really going to be contributing to the kind of peace and security and order that we would like to see? and for those who, who resist that idea, that we should think about something like these stand your grand -- stand your ground laws, i just ask people to consider if trayvon martin was armed and could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? do we actually think he would have been justified in shooting mr. zimmerman who followed him in a car because he felt threatened? and if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws. number three, and this is a long-term project.
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we need to spend some time thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our african-american boys and this is something that michelle and i talk a lot about. there are a lost kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement and, is there more that we can do to give them a sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them? >> in 2003 in an article you recommend ad quote, his core call reckoning with crimes permitted sponsored by the united states unquote. which crimes were you referring to and which decisions taken by the current administration would you recommend for such a reckoning? >> thank you, senator. and again, thank you forgiving me occasion to respond to that.
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i, as an immigrant to this country think that this country is the greatest country on earth as i know do you. i would never apologize for america. america is the light to the world. we have freedoms and opportunities here that people dream about abroad. i certainly did. and with regard to that quote one of the things that had moved me, as some had mentioned written very critically, senator isakson said written very critically about the clinton response to rwanda back in 1994, written in great detail about that president clinton as you know had come forward and expressed his regret that the united states didn't do more in the face of the genocide. when i traveled to rwanda, however being very, very critical i was stunned to see the degree to which clinton's visit to rwanda, his apology for not having done more, how it had
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resonated with rwandans. this weekend on c-span the senate foreign relations committee takes up the nomination of samantha power to be u.s. ambassador to the u.n., saturday, 10:00 a.m. eastern. on "booktv, live full day coverage of the 15th annual harlem book fair including author panels and your calls, tweets and facebook comments. starting saturday at 11:45. c-span3, american history tv and a history of u.s. political parties, sunday at 1:00. >> what we do teach here at the museum on a typical tour is we do start with how the music industry started weed does son and the cylinder machine and then we go forward with the invention by berliner of the flat disk machine which is called a gramaphone.
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we go ahead throughout that story and tell about johnson's very important inventions to improve this machine. >> mr. johnson, and his engineers went to work to try to keep the customers very happy and what they did, they came up with a style referred to as a vick troll la. now the word virtrola was coined when the horn was actually removed and put in a concealed area within the cabinet itself. now they also decided to, which was a very clever idea, to put doors on the front which allowed you to modify the sound. so now you had volume control doors. you also could take the lid and close the lid which would give you the ability to soften the sound but also if you had sometimes a very, a scratchy record, that would also hide that sound as well.
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♪ >> learn more about the founder of the victor phonograph machine company as we look at booktv in delaware. saturday on c-span2 on "booktv and sunday at five on c-span3, american history tv. federal reserve chairman ben bernanke said thursday that he can only recommend and not threaten congress to take action to improve the economy. he made these remarks at a senate banking committee hearing during his second day of testimony on the fed's semiannual report on the economy and monetary policy. south dakota senator tim johnson chairs this 90-minute hearing.
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>> good morning. i call this hearing to order. today we'll welcome chairman bernanke back to the committee to deliver the federal reserve's semiannual monetary policy report. nearly five years after the worst financial crisis since the great depression the u.s. economy continues to show signs of improvement. recently we have seen the housing market strengthen and payroll employment firm up. private sector job growth strengthed to year to around 200,000 jobs per month. the economy has shown signs of
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resilience despite fiscal tightening. on housing, i'm pleased to say that the recovery is gaining momentum with solid home price gains nationwide. new home construction has seen double-digit growth and single-family home seas have also picked up. many homeowners remain underwater but overall numbers continue to decline. going forward i would encourage the fed to be thoughtful in its actions to make sure these positive trend in housing continue. congress has a role to play too. to address fha's short-term challenges, ranking member crapo and i released details this week of bipartisan legislation to get fha-backed on several feetings and strike a balance in a program to meet for americans.
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we will turn to comprehensive system housing finance reform legislation. much ledge progress has been made by the labor market has not fully recovered from the great recession. labor force participation remains low even when accounting for retiring baby boomers and long term unemployment remains near historic levels. moreover, youth unemployment remains high in even many young college graduates struggle to find gainful employment. these trend have lasting effects on the economy. over the longer term, still -- from prolonged unemployment would reduce our economy's potential. it is important that we help, not hurt, young americans prospects and why it is so important that congress finds reasonable solution to the recent increase in student loan
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rates. to fulfill its dual mandate the fed should not prey maturely step on the brakes. with consumer price inflation low and unemployment rate unacceptably high, the fed must continue to take action to support employment. when the time comes it is important that monetary policy adjustments are gradual and do not disrupt financial stability and economic, economic growth. chairman bernanke, i thank you for your years of service and leadership at the federal reserve and the challenging period in our nation's history and i look forward to hearing your testimony. i now turn to ranking member crapo. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. and chairman bernanke, welcome. i welcome our federal reserve chairman ben bernanke back to the banking committee to testify
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at the semiannual humphrey-hawkins hearing regarding the federal reserve's monetary policy and the state of the economy. in recent weeks the prudential banking regulators have been very active on a number of regulatory fronts including releasing final regulations to implement the basal iii capital rules and proposed regulations on capital leverage ratios. i thank chairman bernanke personally for addressing the concerns that chairman johnson and i raised in our february letter about the unique characteristics of community banks and insurance companies. a one-size-fits-all approach regarding capital rules does not work for these types of entities. with regard to monetary policy we've experience ad period where the fed has pushed the short-term interest rate down to zero more than four years ago. the fed pursued kwan quantity or, what has become known as qe in order to suppress long-term interest rates. as a result, the fed's balance
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sheet stand at nearly $3.5 trillion with an additional $85 billion a month in long term assets being added. recently released fomc minutes from the june meeting indicate that several members. board felt a reduction in asset purchases would likely soon be warranted. several noted economists have called into question whether the benefits of these purchases outweigh the risks. the negative reaction by equity markets to the june fomc statement on tapering indicates that some of the increase in the prices of equities and other assets recently is attributable to the fed's balance sheet expansion and not to purely economic fundamentals. in fact, june marked the worst month on record for bond fund outflows. the reaction indicates that markets are still heavily reliant on government intervention which is not good for the long-term health of the economy. i'm interested to hear from chairman bernanke to what extent the fed anticipates the inevitable tapering process will cause in terms of additional
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periods of market volatility. because of the official stance of the fed that the decision to taper remains, data dependent, i'm interested in hearing the chairman believes laying out specific data would improve both the fed's commitment to the policy and the market's reaction to it. beyond tapering which is simply slowing the rate of growth of the fed's balance sheet is the more important issue of winding down the fed's massive balance sheet. the fed hasn't indicated it may continue to roll over its holdings of long-term assets which means its balance sheet may not shrink for some time. a key element of the exit strategy adopted by the fomc in june of 2011 is a 3-5 year period over which the fed expected it could completely eliminate its holdings of agency securities. this was done for the purpose of minimizing the extent to which the agency securities portfolio might affect the allocation of credit across sectors of the economy. since then the balance sheet has
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increased in size by more than 20%, to as i said, almost $3.5 trillion and the fed's holding of agencies securities has increased by more than 30% to about $1.2 trillion. why does the fed see the need for such accommodative policy to continue into the future? in light of the fed's large portfolio increases the dominant role that the gses play in today's mortgage market and recent increases in the level and volatility of mortgage rates, will the fed revise its balance sheet exit strategy principles in particular will the fed revise the time period over which it expects to eliminate its holdings of agency securities? it is my hope that this hearing gives us additional insight into the fed's plan for the additional reduction of asset purchases and roadmap for return to normalized rules-based monetary policy. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank thank you, senator cra. . .
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