tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 19, 2014 6:00am-8:01am EDT
and counsel he receives, the professional advice of the military. they are the ones best suited to do that. i realize he's commander in chief, he has the final say and the final obligation and responsibility. i would also request that he not take options off the table. it seems to me, every speech he gives, the first thing he says is no boots on the ground. and then makes an announcement of sending more boots. i think that that's confusing to the american people, and i think it builds distrust rather than understanding of what he's really saying. i think no boots on the ground, i think people are thinking divisions and full bore thing we did in iraq, shock and awe. i understand that's not the
strategy. but i think the american people get confused. and if we explain to them, look, boots on the ground means no combat forces. or boots on the ground mean we're not going to do shock and awe or whatever. but we are going to have our people there. and there are certain things that they have to do, and without them, we can't be successful in this battle. and i think -- i think they can accept that. and they can -- they're smart enough to figure it out. and if they think they're not hearing the truth, the whole truth, i think then they get -- they kind of get their backs up. i think it's also very important that the president give lots of updates. i think, you know, over the last several years, the war in afghanistan, there have been a lot of accomplishments that we've achieved over there. and i don't think the american
people know. and i think only the president can tell them that. and i think they would like to know as we move forward how we're -- how we're doing in iraq, how we're doing in syria. and i was -- i would strongly suggest that he go before the people. he's the only one that can do it. and keep them informed as to what's going on. because i think they're going to have to be in this. and this is not going to be -- this is going to be for the entire duration of his presidency and probably the next president's. so if we don't let people know what's going on and make them a part of it, we're not going to have the political support we need to go forward. i'm concerned about the strategy of counterterrorism. i don't think it's been overly effective in yemen or other places that he pointed out that
had actually been successful. i think we're going to have to be more aggressive than that. i see what we're doing in iraq is building up, pushing isil out -- i think the plan is to push them out of all their occupied territory, regain that, take it back, and free up iraq. and then as you're pointing out, we don't want to have a safe haven where they can slip over into syria. my understanding of what the president's saying, he's not going to give him safe haven. we don't know yet what he will do. he has said he'll make -- take air strikes there are possible. so i just -- more than questions, i just want to relay a few of those things. my thoughts and feelings. i'm not going to be in a
position to do that much longer. i want to take advantage of it while i have the opportunity. thank you, thank you very much. >> mr. chairman. may i respond to a couple of the -- >> you bet. >> the points you made. each is particularly important. and not only are your points right, i think. and i think the president agrees with what you've said, but most of the points are center pieces and pillars of his strategy. on a particular question on boots on the ground, what he has said is that there's no ground combat role for americans. yes, a combat role on the ground is going to be required. obviously, it is going on in iraq today. it'll be required in syria. and what he has said is it is
the iraqi security forces, the peshmerga, the kurdish forces that are the ground forces in iraq. and we will continue to support them through air strikes and other capabilities we have. syria, as you know the whole point of train and equip is to help develop that ground force capable, unit by unit ground force in syria. but he's fully aware of and agrees that this isn't going to be done without ground forces. but what he's made clear to the american people, and i know there are differences of opinion as he does that he is not going to order american combat ground forces into those areas. but i -- i thought that was a point that you made that you gave me an opportunity to maybe, hopefully clear that up. your point about informing and updating the american people,
you were right, i think any of us in this business understand how critical that is, the american people understand what's going on. they are represented, obviously, in this body, and the body across the way as it should be. but to have the american people understand it and be part of it and especially the congress as i've noted in my testimony, the president thinks it is a critical component of going forward. so thank you for allowing me to maybe clear that up. >> thank you. >> and the boots on the ground point, i think the problem is that the president and many people have the instinct. we don't, we just don't want to go back into another war. everyone's very concerned about that and the president's seeking to reassure those folks. but i agree with the chairman. i think it would be better to sort of explain, you know, what -- it's not a boots on the ground issue. and also, it's not even a matter of we're war wary, we're not
going to send in troops because we know it'll upset people. it's because we don't think it will work. and i think that's to make it clear if there's too much of an excessive reliance on u.s. military force, then oddly, we push more people into the arms of isis. and i think, you know, too often the president does sound more like he's in the former camp of we don't want to do this because we know it's hard and we know you don't like it. it would be better if you would make it clear that we're not doing this because it's not going to work. it's not the most effective way to confront these forces. so, you know, both will task you with going to the p tresident a work on his messaging. but it's important how it's presented to the american people and how we build support for this program. on the issue of finding sunni partners. i still contend that is the key. if we find enough sunnis in iraq and syria who are willing to fight against isis, that's when we'll start to be successful. what are our efforts in terms of outreach to some of those tri s tribes, folks in iraq for the
moment. they're still there, i expect many of them are fighting with isis. how are we doing working with the iraqi government or the locals there to try to turn some of those tribesman the same way we did during the awakening. >> congressman, as you pointed out, and as i noted in my testimony, the reaching out to the sunni tribes through an inclusive representative functioning government in iraq is a start. general allen's relationships will help, general austin's relationships, relationships of other coalition partners in the area, especially arab/sunni countries that are a part of the coalition. will be critically important to
this. this cannot be seen as a u. u.s./western effort against any component of the muslim world or islam, sunni versus shia. so it's all those working together as we go forward in this coalition to get, once again, the sunni tribe leadership and buy-in. and as i noted in my testimony to what we're doing, one of the most fundamental parts of that is the evolution and development of government in iraq that the sunnis trust and have some confident in that begins to unite that country. and as you defined it in your opening statements, much of the maliki government did everything but that the last five years and brought a lot of this on. so that can be done. it's a critical component of this.
we know that, and we're working hard to do it. >> and it just -- little pie in the sky for the moment. the whole area there would benefit from the sunnis and the shia finding some way to co-exist. massive understatement, i understand. but our partners, saudi arabia, uae, qatar, is there any way to have conversations with them and say, look, we know you guys hate iran and understand that. a big part about what motivated some of these other countries in the early stages of the civil war to say, hey, if you were against assad, we're going to throw money and guns at you, which is what empowered some of these violent extremists was the saudis, they didn't care. they were like, we hate iran, assad is a partner, so whatever, whatever we have to do to get assad is in our interests. do you think it's dawning on them at some point they're caught between two things here and if they don't find some way
to peacefully -- iran's not going anywhere, okay. now, we do wish they would stop messing in external affairs, as well, as they do, but has there been any effort saying how do we sort of take the edge off that? that's what groups like isis feed on. >> you have just identified a big part of the complications. yes, we are much aware of that. we are working with that, as i noted secretary kerry was there last week, convened a meeting of foreign ministers from middle eastern countries. as i noted in my testimony and my comments, this is a complicated dynamic on a good day. and there are many factions and factors that are flowing through this. and we have to be mindful of that as we proceed and try to calibrate achieving an objective here that the president has laid
out that's clearly in our interests. and clearly in the interest of those sunni countries, arab countries, all the countries of the middle east. and to find that common ground and common interests and seize upon that where we can find that cooperation, and that is coming together. as these countries are stepping forward on committing to what they're going to be doing. and they're going to be doing more of it as we coordinate that. so what you've identified, áá4 a core piece of this effort. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. thorneberry. >> i want to yield my time to the gentlelady of indiana. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank the gentleman for yielding his time. thank you, secretary hagel and general for being here for your service, we appreciate it. and i'm thinking, i remember on september 11th, a reporter was asking a question to white house
press secretary and said how are you defining victory. and the white house press secretary said i don't have my webster's dictionary up here with me. and it's on my mind, as well, that we've talked about degrading and destroying, and now those seem to be the two coins. we're degrading, which my understanding is we're slowing down this process, disrupting isil's maneuvers and operations and then ultimately destroying. and i think it's a fair question to ask on behalf of all americans if this plan is successful and so much plan "b" being successful, the big if. what is the end game? what does it look like with a destroyed isil? first, destroying isil is clearly as you have noted.
we'll continue to be honest about it. your question, what's the end state? it is a region. and it is a reality and a threat that is eliminated from threats against the united states and against our allies. >> so -- >> that threat of beheadings, of terrorists -- sophisticated terrorist attacks of slaughtering people of barbaric approach to everything they do, an ideology that has nothing to do with religion, any religion, the capacity that isil now possesses through their funding mechanisms, through their sophistication, through their organization, through their strategy is the threat to everybody. so what is an end game look like is a world without that threat. is the world always going to be dangerous? i suspect it -- in our lifetimes, it will be. but that, that's something that
we're aware of, but we're dealing with the threat right now. >> right, i understand that, and the enormity and complexity. but i think it's a fair question to say -- the success that iraq gets its territory back, that would be successful, i would imagine you would agree. that syria. stability in the middle east. is success also going to be measured in the fact that we no longer have a group of people that literal will insist on world dominance in the caliphate or will we ever be able to deal with that? it seems to me if we don't continue to have some kind of bold and aggressive approach there is some kind of democracy and freedom in that region with the limited partners that we have, that there will never be an end game. we've all heard this before. we've all gone -- we've all
lived through this already. >> so what's the alternative? do nothing? >> if this plan doesn't work, what is the alternative? what does it look like in the middle east then? >> well, we always have plan "bs" and "cs," but we believe this plan will work. . and the way it's laid out with our partners, the reality of it, the time frames, the partnerships, commitments to this will work. and i understand your question. as i said, i don't know if we will ever see a world without threats. particularly your question, won't there always be threats out there with an extremist group trying to build an extremist caliphate in the middle east? i suppose. but i've got to worry about what i have right in front of me right now. and this is an immediate threat. yes, we have to think long-term, we do. we're trying to think through
that as to what will work, what will be effective. how do we bring the civilized world together to stop this? because the other way to ask that question is what if we don't? >> correct. >> and my, just quickly, what else can we do as a congress to make sure we get those passports away from the foreign fighters coming from america? >> thank you. and i'm glad you mentioned that. it's something i noted in my testimony. it's a critical piece to this. it's a dangerous and real threat with those kind of individuals floating around out there, possessing those passports with easy access. as i said, we are coordinating with every agency force we have. our partners all over the world. everything we can do right now. to address this to identify those threats out there stop those threats. some countries are further ahead like the uk.
probably further ahead than almost anyone. i was in a national security council meeting late yesterday afternoon when we came back from tampa. the president chaired. and the attorney general was there, secretary of homeland security there. we were all there. this was a big part of the topic. in fact, it was a central part of the topic foreign fighters. and president wanted updates and he gets them every week on what are we doing. how much are we doing? how much can we still do and what do we have to do? it's a big part of what we're doing here. >> i appreciate it, thank you, mr. chairman. yield back my time. >> thank you, mr. sanchez. >> thank you, gentlemen. yesterday, we took a vote, the vote was on whether to arm the syrian rebels. we, i think, all acknowledge that isis is a problem and something we need to take care of. i find it pretty disturbing that we are having this hearing after
we've taken a vote. because i don't think that the plan i have seen was detailed enough to make me believe that your plan will work. i'm going to ask you some questions, most of which would probably have to go on the record or you'll have to come in and brief me. and i hope the other members of this committee believe it's important for us to understand exactly what this plan is. because i'm not so sure of it and i haven't heard the details as i'd like to their them. i want to begin by saying i have a syrian/american community and i've -- they're all over the place on this. i go and talk to them, et cetera. syrian moderates left, most of my people say those syrian moderates have gone over to isis, and most of them have told me that they don't think that the syrian moderates we arm, whoever those may be are actually going to fight against the isis moderates who used to hang out with the syrian
moderates. equip and train. we did such a great job in iraq $35 billion later. and mr. chairman, i was the one every single time rumsfeld and others were in front of us asking about equip and train. but some have said as my good friend and colleague here that it wasn't a problem of equip and train, it was a lack of leadership. it was bad people commanding, it was the commander in chief, maliki who was wrong and didn't help us on this or didn't make this thing work. can you tell me who the commander in chief of the syrian moderates who are all over the place don't even talk to each other sometimes? how we're going to see that leadership go through -- these are just for the record, okay? what type of arms? exactly.
what type of arms are we going to hand over to these people? because the last time i checked, we handed over arms to maliki and they ended up in isis and the very same arms are going after us. coalition, coalition of 40, the president says. who? what will they really do? how many troops? i've been through this, you guys. i saw the coalition in iraq, and we used to sort of like chuckle at each other at seeing some of these countries with one person. i don't know, training dogs, maybe a bomb expert. but coalition of 40, who? what? how much? which are the combat troops? how are they going to get there? i would like to know those things. and i have a problem. when you go out in front of the american people and start talking about why certain countries might not want to suggest that they're with us. that's why i want all this information. somehow, i don't need to put it
out in the public. but you know what i'm told by my turkish americans that turkish army arms are in isis' hands and the government of turkey has winked to let those go into those hands. a problem. it's a very complicated issue, you're getting america into even more complicated situation. more importantly, and secretary, this isn't and shouldn't be under your sort of purview, but it is under the administration's. so let's say, and i hope your plan works because, you know, i -- isis, isil, they're not good. i hope i am wrong. i hope the same thing when i voted against the iraq war that i was wrong. but i don't believe that i was wrong on that. so i want to see the plan in particular, i want to ask the
administration for this of the neighborhood players, let's say we eliminate isis and isil. what fills that gap? what has to fill that gap for this to work? are people putting up homes, people putting up schools. people putting up jobs, people getting -- these people the type of lives they see on television and all these tv shows we export. but aren't living. and that's one of the reasons this has been created. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. gentlelady yields back, mr. jones. >> mr. secretary, in november 2005 as a senator, you pinned an article in foreign affairs magazine asserting that vietnam was a national tragedy partly because members of congress failed their country, remained silent and lacked the courage to challenge the administration in power until it was too late. you wrote and i quote to
question your government is not unpatriotic. to not question your government is unpatriotic. america owes its men and women in uniform a policy worthy of their sacrifice. these are your words, mr. secretary. in the past, you informed america that many in the middle east see us as an obstacle of peace and an aggressor and occupier. you wrote that our policies are a source of significant friction in the region and that we are at the same time both a stabilizing and de-stabilizing force in the middle east. also, you said, you described a fear of the uncontrollable. the unpredictable consequences of military action. you stated how many of us really know and understand iraq? the country, the history, the people and the role of the arab world. you asserted that the american
people must be told that long-term commitment, risk and cost of the undertaking. mr. secretary, you and i have a friendship that was based on my coming out against the iraq war. i did not know you prior to that. and i was very grateful that you extended a hand to me because i was getting beaten up pretty bad down in my district and by some of my republican colleagues. in fact, the chairman at the time told me that he would not appoint me to be a subcommittee chairman because i would vote with the democrats to pull our troops out of iraq. which he was right in that assessment. not necessarily, not naming me as a subcommittee chairman, but my position. the reason i bring this up and what you said back in 2005 is that in the year 2000 when bill clinton left the presidency, president clinton left this as president, we were $5.6 trillion in debt.
today, mr. secretary, the debt of this nation is over $17.6 trillion. i've heard you testify, and you will in 2015 that cuts are coming to the military, you're concerned about it. and we're concerned about it. you also have said that sequestration if it's not repealed is going to complicate the cuts that are coming with t without -- normally. i want to ask you today, do you think that congress should pay for whatever we decide to do and the administration decides to do as it relates to syria and to iraq? do you think we need to pay for it today? or put it on the back of our grandchildren? because we will not be able to continue to police the world. and by using what we have is known as borrowing money from
the chinese, the japanese and all these other countries. because we cannot pay our bills today. would you agree that we need to pay for whatever we do in syria and in iraq? we need to pay for it today and not tomorrow? >> congressman, thank you. and, i recognize any time any of us already write anything or say anything, it's always at some peril. but let me addresscwwwww my own for a moment and say that i, obviously, agreed with what i wrote then and i still agree with it. now, the big difference between what we're talking about today versus where we were in 2005. the president's strategy in where and how, why -- >> mr. secretary, one moment, i apologize to you for that. but please answer my question about do we pay for it today or
do we pay for it tomorrow? my time's going to expire. >> the responsibility of elected officials is always to be honest about anything they get this country into, any action they take, including paying for it. and i can assure you, this secretary of defense will be very clear in this administration on what we believe is going to cost, how we're going to pay for it. and there will not be any ambiguity about that. but, yes, every congress, every elected official has that responsibility. that financial responsibility and fiduciary responsibility. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. larson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, i think generally history would show that the west won the cold war, but also show when the cold war either didn't end communism or get rid of
communists. so the point i want to make is it fair to say that we might be able to beat isil as a group but that is not going to end extreme islamic militants or going to end the desire for those folks to try to create a caliphate some time in the future? >> i can't nor would i, and i don't believe the president would ever say that what we are doing now and attempting to do with our strategy and focus on isil will end forever any terrorist group or any group of people who want to do harm to our country or establish islamic caliphate. of course not. >> that's what i want to hear. i think we need to have the right expectation here. when people ask you what the definition is, which is a great question. we need the right expectation about what that is.
>> but i think, also, congressman, the reality of the threat as it -- as it is today is very real. and -- >> yeah. >> and i will never come before this committee, overstate a threat or understate a threat. and we have a threat. >> second. in your testimony on page 3, you say centcom's plan included targeted actions in syria. general dempsey and i, meaning you, have approved the centcom plan. so you have approved a centcom plan that already includes air strikes inside syria? >> that plan was provided to the president in full explanation yesterday with all the options, all the plans. and i laid it out in -- generally in my testimony and the president has said as to what our options are. >> and your testimony, in your testimony you say you have approved that plan. it was briefed to the president, has the president approved that plan, taken any action to
operationalize that plan? >> the president has not yet approved its finality. he will do that when he feels that he's -- >> i'm sure he's putting a lot of thought into it. i'm sure he's not saying he's not. i want to be sure what step the white house is with that. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> the third question, mainly for the general, i don't want you to feel left out. on the train and equip mission, i think mr. smith made a good point. it's how do we get out of the fight? we want to train and equip moderate and syrian opposition. obviously after 13 years in afghanistan and iran, we should've learned some lessons about the vetting. and i think a big concern is how do we know people are moderate, people are syrian, that is committed to a free syria. and third, that they are in the opposition. they're not going to turn on us. >> yes, congressman, you raise a
good point. i think we've got to be very upfront that we -- that the vetting process is absolutely essential. if we want to get this right. we have tremendous amount of experience over the last decade in vetting and standing up these types of forces. we have an eye on the pool right now of folks that we can draw from, but we need to be very deliberate. despite our best efforts, this will not be perfect. but we are looking for individuals that can come together that want to defend their community, can work as a team. they have to be able and willing, they have to be appropriate for the task. many of them will be former military, some will come from the large syrian that have been displaced, but many of them are fighting right now and against the assad government. we'll have to put in place mechanisms to assure ourselves of their reliability and make sure that we have a system of
accountability. and then we'll build from there, we'll build a chain of command, take small groups and build formations. it'll be something that is a multi-year requirement that we'll have to look at. >> i think we'll -- as was laid out in the amendment yesterday, we'll have plenty of time to talk to y'all later on how that was going and what you're running into. finally, i don't have a lot of time. i'll make a note on this. i just -- i was surprised the president used the 2001 aumf as a justification for this because it's the last time the pentagon was in front of us to discuss this issue at all. there was at that time, i wouldn't say 100% position, but a lot of reluctance in using the 2001 aumf. there was no connection. at some point in the future, i'd like to find out what changed. but time's up and i do want to have that explored at some point.
thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. forbes. >> chairman, thank you for holding this hearing. thank you. i'd like to get your thoughts on two areas. the oxygen -- one is hatred, which we can't do a lot about, but the second is the financing and the money. when i look at isil, at least the figures i have that we expect them to get about $1 billion this year through kidnapping through ransom, selling oil on the black market, stealing money from banks and funding from state sympathizers from the gulf. could you give us your thoughts on the strategy we're going to use to cut that off, one? general dempsey told us that syria had five time more air
defenses, some of which are high-end systems, that is to say higher altitude, longer range, could you give us your concerns if any about the impact those air defense systems could have on some of our air strikes and our capability of them? >> congressman, thank you. on the isil financing, and you stated it correctly, we must cut off that funding and those sources, and it is as high a priority in this effort as any one priority. as i mentioned in my testimony just generally, the treasury department through a couple of their offices set up the deal with foreign financing and these general kinds of threats have set up a special office on this particular issue. working with our international partners. you hit some of the main ones,
the black market avenue that they use to sell oil. they have, as you -- i know you are aware. isil taking control of certain small oil fields in syria. and we have some estimates of 100,000 barrels of oil those fields are producing. and they get them out in different ways. so to cut off that main source, you mentioned other sources. they obviously have taken over cities and towns and resources and banks. but there are day-to-day illegal activities they're involved in, businesses that we're trying to find, will find, but that has to be working with our partners on it. so there's no higher priority than getting that to cut that off.
we can do this in a private, closed setting. we can give you a thorough briefing on this. >> another thing, i know we have a priority of cutting off that funding, but i think on the committee, we would love to just hear what our strategy is for actually doing, you know, doing that because, we'd like to know -- if they're getting $1 billion a year, do we want to get them down to $200 million? what have we laid out as our strategy? and what exactly is our plan to get our hands around that and do that? so if at some point in time you could maybe share that with us in whatever venue or setting you think is appropriate, we'd appreciate it. >> we can do that whenever you want to do that, and we could do that, i think it'd be more effective in a closed briefing on exactly how we're doing it and take you down into some depth on this.
>> i'm glad you brought that up. that's something that separates isil, they're so well funded. and they have good leadership and know how to use that money. very good to attack that. >> we can do it through your committee however you want. >> we just found out there's no votes tomorrow. so probably people in the airport pretty quick. we'll get back to you. thank you. mr. courtney? >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary hagel, your predecessor one time removed secretary gates as he was leaving gave a speech at west point where he said in my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to send a big american land army into asia or the middle east or africa should have his head examined as general mcarthur so delicately put it.
obviously there was high anxiety that this amendment was a prelude to the scenario that secretary gates warned against. one of the reasons why i voted for the amendment was that i think a close examination of the text showed that, in fact, we were talking about using a program, title ten, not about sending in large ground forces from the u.s. but the opposite, stand up indigenous forces to take the fight, you know to our enemy. and i guess i just want to ask you, as long as i got you here, just if you could reiterate whether that's the correct interpretation. or do you need to have your head examined? >> well, having my head examined, that question is open for many reasons, not just this issue, i suspect. but i completely agree with secretary gates.
and i would not make that recommendation unless it would be such a catastrophic situation that -- but i don't think that's the case today. i know it's not the case today. now, that said, i think the issue overall, though is always one of first identifying the threat, is it real? and then, what do you do about it? and your question about the interpretation of the amendment is, for example, i mentioned in my testimony, when we put all of the additional soldiers in place that the president has ordered, that will be approximately around 1600 americans in iraq. the interpretation as i have read the amendment in the cr, i
think is your interpretation is correct. i said this has to be a partnership. the president has said that between the congress and the administration. i was once on your side of the dice. i understand article one pretty well, starting with the fact you have the money. and the authorities and all that goes with your side of the equation. so there are specific issues that we'll work through on how we implement that amendment and those authorities. there's always a question of, i think if we could rewrite it, we would rewrite it in certain areas. i think what you've laid out, your understanding of what you voted for is pretty clear is my understanding. >> right. thank you, mr. secretary. and, in fact, i think one of the benefits of the amendment is that it really does engage the congress with the administration
as opposed to just kind of abdicating our role, which, you know, some of the comments on the floor were just we'll let the aumf from 2001 and 2002 kind of control or authorize whatever action the administration needs to take. which i think is not the way our checks and balances should operate. >> no, well, i agree. but the difference aumf 2001 or the moderate opposition of syria is this is equipping and training a nongovernmental group that we've historically done that. i suppose we have, legally, but above board. that was different in iraq.
in some of these other situations. but the authority of the president has statutorily. i know there are different opinions. from 2001, 2002 really comes down to the connection isil's had with al qaeda and still has in terrorist groups. but the training and equipping mission with nongovernmental groups is a little different. >> right, and i think that's our role now. it's by statute that we will get your reports from the department and we'll have a time line where we'll be reengaged almost immediately after the election. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. wilson. >> thank you, mr. chairman, secretary for being here today. over the weekend, the president promised that as we defeat isil, there would be no more mistakes. i look forward to working with you to avoid his mistakes.
the obama mistake of underestimating isil as junior jarsty, jv. we know that 16 months ago as the president was underestimating the terrorist threat and saying it was diminished that that was not true. the american enterprise institute released a map showing in warning of the growing terrorist threat across north africa, middle east and central asia. and this was ignored by this administration. the obama mistake of failing to secure a basic security agreement undermining the achievements of the allied service members who promoted freedom in iraq and i particularly appreciate that i had two sons serve in iraq and working with the people of iraq to preserve their freedom. the obama mistake of a sequestration, downsizing our military as jihadists expand their safe havens across the world to attack the american families.
the obama mistake of failing to support the students of iran's green revolution. the iranian revolution supporters in tehran carries signs in english declaring clearly their goals. death to israel, death to america. the obama mistake of declaring a red line in syria on chemical weapons and then blaming others. clearly the red line was stated by him in a speech on august the 20th, 2012. and a year later he denied it, which is not correct. the obama mistake of releasing five murderous taliban while negotiating with the terrorists. one terrorist was praised as the equivalent of 10,000 warriors to destroy america. it's more important than ever that the detention facility at guantanamo bay be retained to protect american families. the obama mistake of announcing an afghan withdrawal date disregarding conditions, putting afghanistan and pakistan at risk.
the obama mistake of equating rocket attacks with israel's self-defense. we should recognize the hamas creed. quote, we value death more than you value life, end of quote. the obama mistake of the benghazi assassination's cover-up, the obama mistake of the ft. hood massacre dismissed as workplace violence in the little rock murder as drive by shooting. the president obviously needs to change course and adopt peace through strength. we know weakness endangers american families worldwide. i believe the president should take action remembering september 11th in the global war on terrorism. and a way to change course is backing up our -- the kurdish regional government, our courageous allies. and i'd like to know, what are the plans for weaponry for irbil? i understand there's a problem in delivering the weapons. we need to be there to back up people who have been so bravely associated with the united
states. >> congressman, on your question regarding backing up irbil, the peshmerga, there is no country that we have accelerated our deliveries to quicker than iraq, specifically the peshmerga. we've had allied countries flying missions in there directly to irbil to reinforce them with ammunition, with equipment, coming from many nations. it has been as high a priority over many months as we've had. so it has been ongoing, and it is as high priority as we have with our partners. >> and as the co-chairman of the regional caucus, i appreciate that. and i've been to the kurdish region for decades. they have resisted oppression
and identified with freedom of the united states. a final question for many, mr. secretary, was yes or no. is america at war? >> i said america was at war against isil just like we are al qaeda. i said it in my testimony. >> and we're at war in a global war on terrorism? >> yes. >> terrorists who try to kill us and the president's taking action and has laid that action out very clearly and has asked for the congress' partnership. >> thank you. the actions are so important. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and welcome, secretary hagel and general maville. like all americans and i think you've heard in our discussions, obviously everyone on this committee and if you could have been on the floor throughout the past several days, i'm greatly concerned with the recent events in iraq and syria. we know that isil is a lethal terrorist organization, and we
must confront the difficult questions that our president has raised about the serious threat that it poses. but this is a complex and long-term challenge. and as such, i am wary of commitments that the president has admitted will spill into future administrations. creating enduring costs while raising substantial and unpredictable risks without a more robust, clear-headed debate. and i like congresswoman sanchez appreciated the opportunity to have this hearing with you before we took the vote. and i appreciate the president's continued commitment not to send u.s. ground forces into combat but his experience has shown any expansion of u.s. government in this region raises serious concerns over the slippery slope we may find ourselves on. chairman dempsey's recent testimony that he could foresee a scenario in which he could recommend u.s. ground troops in the future crystallizes the
alarming uncertainties around this effort. many questions remain. you heard some of them addressed today, including the costs, timetable, the nature of the participation from the region's arab state to name just a few. yesterday's train and equip vote endorsing just one piece of this strategy expanding focus on expanding our effort in syria masked the multifacetted challenges ahead and i could not endorse it. but i appreciate the opportunity today to begin to ask some of these questions. in the september 16 testimonysed the united states and its allies would work to develop a military chain of command in syria that is linked to a political structure. i would like to know more about the political structure that chairman dempsey is envisioning. secretary hagel, do you think the syrian opposition has a solid and widely supported political structure on which to
base a military command? and if not, who do you think it will be linked to? >> first, on the issue of a political agreement and a political resolution, i mentioned that in my testimony. the president has been very clear on that point when he has said on many occasions -- and i have just noted -- that there's not a military solution to this in syria or in iraq or the middle east. so political resolution must be achieved. >> but that is not the question. we're now embarking upon an effort to train and equip the syrian forces that we think -- the moderate syrian forces that we think we can work with and for it to be effective, general dempsey has said and i believe he is correct that it has to be tied to a political structure. so to start down this path in which we're focusing on training
and equipping a force not aligned with any syrian-oriented political structure really in some ways puts the cart before the horse. >> well, not exactly. if, in fact, there is no alternative that is allowed to develop in syria because of the brutality of isil and other terrorist groups that are slaughtering the people in syria and you have a regime that has no legitimacy to govern, which started all this, you got to start somewhere. we recognize this is difficult. we recognize there's no good option here. but if we don't help where we can help develop some infrastructure -- this is why we would train in units, not individuals, to allow a political opposition to come
together based on security, because security is required in this as well. it isn't either or. that's how we envision and that's how we would want to go forward. that's partly why this is a long-term effort. this is why we have been very clear it's complicated, it's serious. but if there's no opening, no opportunity for a political opposition group to develop because they're all out of the country -- >> it doesn't exist today? >> there is very little organizational opposition in syria today. that's right. >> thank you. >> that's part of the problem. >> thank you. my time is up. thank you. >> thank you. mr. kline. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen for being here. this morning i saw a brief news story that said that decisions for approving targets for air
strikes in syria would be made by the president and only by the president. is that true? >> no, it's not true. that story in "the wall street journal" was not true. >> i can't tell you how relieved i am to hear that. i think that's a terrible mistake if we're going to make daily tactical decisions in the white house. >> i might say, i was sitting next to the president yesterday when this entire issue was being discussed. and he was very clear with general austin, once he makes decisions, he gives general austin and our military leaders the authority to carry out those policies. >> outstanding. as i said, i'm very, very relieved to hear that. that does lead me to the larger question though. i have three or four minutes here. could one of you outline what the command structure, what the command and control structure is going to be? what is the role of general austin and what is the role of
iraqi commanders of peshmerga? who is going to make the decisions? >> well, because the general is just a pretty face here and hasn't had to answer a question really except one -- [ laughter ] >> i was hoping he would answer. >> you have never been indirect before, congressman. so with your permission, i will ask general maville. >> the command and control structure begins with iraq and their security forces. our role is to supplement that. we're doing that right now. we will switch out some of the initial assessment teams and replace them with more -- with army advisers that can better help at the general officer level as well as reach into the ministries and assist as well. but the chain of command is an iraqi chain of command enabled by partners in the region. >> pretty face or not, let me
try it this way. i started my questioning by asking about targets for air strikes in syria. so if it's not the president of the united states, who is it? >> for targeting, targeting will be planned jointly and enabled by u.s. central command through its kaok in the region. the nemechanisms to command and control -- they are in place. you saw that unfurl when we retook mosul dam. so we're not going to change that. the air force command and control structure component underneath central command will orchestrate this. the coordination and planning will be done in concert with iraqi forces and iraqi leaders. >> air strikes in syria i'm talking about. >> we haven't received
authorization -- that's part of what the secretary was talking about. we have yet to receive authorization for those missions. >> it's not the president of the united states but we're not quite sure who is going to make the decisions? >> if i could, sir, whether we strike -- where we strike, regardless of the geography, the command and control structure that i played out is the command and control structure that we will use wherever the president allows us to strike. >> i yield back.oowçmvzky >> thank you. miss hanabusa? >> thank you. thank you mr. secretary and general for being here. i think part of the problem -- you hear it with the questioning that we're having today -- is that because the amendment that we voted on involved syria and the potential to train and to arm the syrian quote whatever that moderate force will be that's going to be vetted 15
days from now when the senate passes it, and the fact that the 170 air strikes are really in iraq and we're talking about our 1,600 -- as far as i know are in iraq, that the public i think are getting confused as we probably are as to what exactly is being done in iraq versus what we're authorizing. you also know that part of the continuing resolution was to fund oko at the 2014 level which is about 30 some odd billion dollars more than what was requested in 2015. whether or how you determine what that money is and how it plays out for the remainder of the continuing resolution is something else. but we also know that it was the request early on that the funding include the $500 million which is to arm and train 5,000 syrians. so having said that, whoever can
answer that question, take it. my question is really, when we divide the two, not syria part but the iraqi part which we are clearly engaged in, one, where is the funding coming from? is it funding? two, how much is that costing us per day? and though we feel that we don't have the same kind of legislation as we have in the amendment which clearly defined who would be appropriated -- who would be appropriate vetted people in syria, now who are the people that we're vetting -- if we're vetting them at all -- in iraq? because right now air strikes are in iraq. and we need the ground forces, as i understand the philosophy, to be in iraq. so who are we vetting? because general dempsey i think made a statement yesterday that there are 50 brigades or so in
iraq of which 26 or 24, one of those two numbers, are not appropriate because it's not of the right composition. so who is making these vetting decisions, and what are we in for in the iraq portion of this? though we have sort of been kind of thrown off the path because we're talking about syria. but our people, 1,600 of them, are in iraq. i think my constituents want to know what does this mean for iraq? iraq is the concern right now because that's where we are. who can -- whoever wants to take it. >> i will give you an answer, and then the general may want to go deeper on this. your question about who are we vetting. we would be vetting the syrian opposition forces that we would begin to train and assist. >> i'm talking about iraq. >> you asked the question about who are we vetting.
that's who we are vetting. it's not iraq. >> we're not vetting anyone in iraq? >> the iraqi security forces under the government -- the sovereign government of iraq and the peshmerga, who are as you know are part of the overall structure, are in place. they are institutionalized. they are functioning armies now. >> mr. secretary, not to interrupt, but general dempsey said of the 50 brigades, only 24 -- >> those are in iraq. >> i'm talking about iraq. he would have messed this together. but i'm looking at iraq. are we vetting iraqi forces that are supposed to be the ground troop s troops? >> the general is nodding and you are saying no. >> i'm nodding because i understand the question. i can understand the question. >> we're not vetting iraqi forces and troops. what general dempsey was talking about is the most capable iraqi
security forces, iraqi security forces, vetting in that part of it is part of the syrian train and equip moderate syrian opposition. general, you want to add anything? >> yes. i understand the question. i can see how it can be confu confusing. what we are doing today in iraq is we are securing u.s. government facilities and u.s. government personnel, american citizens in iraq. we have two operating centers, one in irbil and one in baghdad designed to facilitate the iraqi security forces operations. we advice them. we make them aware of what they need to do next. we help them track issues. as was mentioned earlier, whether they go on an operation and it needs to be enabled by air support, these operations centers do that as well. most recently, the assessment team that went in baghdad, the area general dempsey spoke to
and identified 50 brigades and gave an assessment, that assessment is over and we are changing those forces out and they will be advise and assist forces to work with selected brigades and divisions in iraq. i hope that helps. >> thank you, mr. chair. >> chair now recognizes himself for five minutes for questions. secretary hagel, i want to thank you for yesterday's medal of honor ceremonies. i appreciate you doing that for a great american. i understand that the administration was prepared to acknowledge publically that russians were in violation of the inf treaty over a year ago but didn't for policy reasons. do you know what thought went into why we didn't publically acknowledge the inf violations earlier? >> i know that we were carefully
examining the evidence that we had and that we were looking at to see if, in fact, they were in violation. as to your specific question, no, i don't know. >> okay. yesterday -- recently, russia's president announced in mid august that he had authorized the deployment of russian tactical nuclear weapons into ukrainian territory. do you know how the u.s. would respond and what the implicati n implications are for us if he does move those weapons into ukrainian territory? >> well, again, i think rather than talking about this in an open hearing, we would probably do this in a closed hearing. take you through a number of steps there on this. i think i would feel more comfortable talking about it that way. >> i understand. do you know why the united states is considering continuing to approve russia's proposals to
fly under the open skies treaty, enhanced sensors and aircraft over the united states while it's in material breech of the inf? i'm concerned with us going forward with the open skies access when we know they're cheating on chemical weapons, biological and the inf. who are your thoughts on whether we should go forward with the open skies practice? >> we had a team in moscow last week on this specific issue. we were represented by a senior member defense department, state department, others. these were all issues that were discussed. we, the russians and us have ma many mutual interests on different things. what they have done in ukraine
and their actions the last six months have not only complicated but put in jeopardy all of those interests that we have. so we are working our way through the very questions that you have just asked. >> in fact, this may be one of the consequences they may suffer or experience as a result of the inf violations, denied access under the open skies violation? >> no decision has been made on this. we're looking at a lot of different options. we're talking to the russians. >> good. my last question is, recently -- yesterday the committee received the secretary of two reprogramming requests to the total of a billion dollars out of the army o and m to pay for the military's effort to respond to the ebola outbreak. we have a serious readiness problem. what are your thoughts about what this billion dollars would do to that? >> well, thank you.
on two pieces to that, one is the money and second is probably the bigger implication of your question, how does that affect, as you say, our readiness and capability to respond to other challenges and we have a lot of them, as you know. on the money, that can be -- that can be done okay by using oko that would not affect our readiness in any other area. but the other question that you ask is a legitimate question. right now, general dempsey and our commanders have agreed that what we will be providing, the military, in assisting in africa with the specific areas that the president announced on using our unique capabilities would not affect our readiness anywhere in the world, because these are capabilities that we have that we wouldn't take away from any
of the other areas that we are now dealing with that are significant threats. >> am i hearing, since you said oko is the proper source for the money, would it be accurate to say that we can expect to you come and ask us to adjust the oko levels to reflect this added amount of money before we finish up? >> well, i would have to talk the comptroller about this and bookkeeping on how that works. as you know, congressman, there are different opinions on whether there should be an overseas account and whether it's a slush fund or not. but in this case, i think -- it's an imperfect process. probably oko is an appropriate count for this kind of thing, these things that develop, these contingency situations overseas. i don't think anybody would have forecast this. we didn't a year ago.
the seriousness of this. we're working it right now with comptrollers and the appropriations people here on the hill. >> based on the way the world is looking, oko may have to get bigger to accommodate all the contingencies popping up around the globe. >> it may. you hope not. as you know, we have been bringing that account down every year. so that's the good news. >> thank you very much. thank you for your service. who is next? mr. barber from arizona is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary and general mayville for your service, both in uniform, mr. secretary, and in public life as a senator and now as our secretary of defense. you know, i was -- took the vote yesterday after a lot of consideration about what we were doing when we were giving authorization to a limited authority to train and equip the vetted and moderate forces in
syria. i was proud to stand with my colleagues to give that to you and to the president, because absolutely we must stop the savagery that we know as and committed at the hands of isil. also, because i want to make sure that we do everything we can to prevent them from having a safe haven to send harm our way in the homeland. we must do everything we can to preventists can attack this country. so havei have two questions. one related to that and to the larger issue of how we contain and eliminate and destroy isil. first, could you speak to the question about how you see isil's current capabilities for carrying out transnational terrorism? secondly, could you speak to how arming the syrian opposition will roll back isil's territory
and their ability to launch an attack and how long would you estimate it will take for the opposition to really engage isil in order to degrade its capabilities? >> thank you, congressman. the first question on transnational criminal activities is a source of isil funding. it is part of -- a significant part of that funding. i think in a couple questions asked here earlier, specifically the blank marketing of oil. >> it's addressing how -- what your view is about how we can prevent the capabilities for exporting terrorism to our country and other countries. >> you have to cut off the funding. and that's what i was talking about earlier in answer to some other questions as well. that is a huge priority of what we're overall in -- in our overall strategy, how you defeat isil, how you degrade them.
you disconnect them and you defeat them. taking that funding away is a big part of that. we are operationally doing that right now with our partners through the treasury department, our law enforcement all over the world. it's a key part of degrading any capacity they have in the future. as to your longer-term question, how long, i think the president has been pretty clear on this. when general dempsey and i were days ago, we talked about this. i can't give you an exact number of years how long. but we know it's going to take some time. we know it is going to take some years. maybe we can do it sooner. but this is, as you know so well, and has been reflected this morning in many of the comments, this is a group that has capacity that we have never seen before outside of a nation state. and you mix in with that the
religious dynamic, ethnic dynamic, all the other factors that complicate this situation, it's going to take some time. we know that. >> in your view, is isil capable today of sending radicalized americans back to this country to do harm to the united states? >> oh, i think they're capable of doing that today. >> given that, i want to expand the question of their threat in the middle east to israel, to jordan, lebanon. can you speak to us about what you see as already happening and further threats that might exist for those countries? >> it is very clear to me -- i think most people who have looked at this and certainly it is to the president and his administration -- that with the instability that currently resides all across the middle east -- you go three each of the
countries starting on the west with lebanon and move east. every one of those countries is in some form of instability and under threat from isil, from other terrorist organizations. if we see further destabilization of these countries, that will create a global problem that will ripple out everywhere. oil. if you would destabilize the major producing companies -- countries in the mideast, that in itself wouldç affect world economy, would affect everything. israel, you look at where we are today in that part of the world. it is probably as unstable as it has been in our lifetime. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> mr. lambborn? >> thank you. mr. secretary, thank you for being here. >> yes, sir. >> i did support the amendment
yesterday of the chairman. however, that's only good through december 11th at the latest. so we will be re-visiting this issue again soon. so because we know isil is so dangerous -- look what the news is out of australia just today. going against the public, australians. so this is a blood thirsty group. the beheading of two americans is a horrible situation and was one of the real reasons why i supported the president's plan. however, i would like to have you elaborate on some of the details of the president's plan. other questions have done this previously. particularly, is -- are we contemplating, will we be using uavs and drones, armed predators and reapers to take out isil
leadership like we have done in iraq and afghanistan, like we are doing now currently in somalia and yemen? >> the way i would answer your question is -- i think the president noted this in his statement to the american people a week ago that we are looking at every option, every target using our capabilities and our partners to degrade and destroy isil. >> so that is something that is on the table? >> everything is being closely examined. everything. >> i would hope the president would not take that off the table. >> everything is on the table. >> okay. good. regardless of whether it's syria, iraq or any other neighboring country, this leadership needs to be -- the american people would support eliminating the leadership. >> as you also recall from the president' speech, he said wherever they are. >> okay. second issue is the use of our
tier one special forces, our elite special forces to mount assaults on the ground to capture and apprehend isil leadership wherever they are found. this is what i meant when i said we were doing this in somalia and yemen. is that something that will be contemplated and is on the table? >> well, i think to really get into any of the special tactics, congressman, we want to probably have a closed briefing on that. we can do that. >> okay. certainly. then let's follow-up on that at the appropriate time. >> we can do that. >> along the same line, using boots on the ground, for lack of a better word, to guide and direct close air support. that is something that i think is critical also. and once again, is that something that we can talk about in this forum? i want to see as many tools in
the toolbox as necessary so that this plan can be successful. i think taking things off the table goes against that. >> well, again, within the confines of an open hearing, i everything, nothing off the table. but i would also point to the success recently regarding the strikes where it has been the iraqi security forces on the ground with their special forces and to our air strikes. we didn't have our people imbedded with them. they were very successful. the iraqi security forces have capability. >> i'm glad to hear your answers, mr. secretary. my concern is -- i'm going to echo what the chairman said earlier. sometimes the president takes things off the table right off the bat. that's troubling to me. i want to see as many options on
the table as possible. >> well, if i might -- i think you have a little time. so i woen't indulge anyone else here. i know it's not a matter of the president taking options off the table. i think what he wants to always make sure that the american public is certain and clear of what his intent is and what he as the president of this country is willing to do. but he wants the american people to understand, what is it that he's getting them into. what is he asking the american people. i think that's the clarity you see tactically and -- he won't take things off the table. >> thank you for that reainsurance answre reassurance. i will continue to be supportive. >> we will go to four minutes to get everybody's questions in before we have to go to votes.
miss duckworth? >> start with me, didn't you? thank you. mr. secretary, thank you for being patient and staying here until we freshmen get to ask questions. i appreciate that. >> congresswoman, i was a freshman once. you ask the best questions. >> thank you very much. i voted no yesterday. it was a tough no vote for me because i simply have a lot of questions. the vote yesterday was on this reauthorization for the $500 million that expiring in just 12 weeks. why would we not start by asking for that amount of money to arm the peshmerga and putting more forces and more resources behind the troops in iraq first before we go to what is a short-term funding for arming these rebel groups in syria?
>> two answers, congresswoman. one is, we have to do both. we are presently supporting the peshmerga as well as the iraq okay security forces with literally expanded, accelerated help, equipment, armaments. and we're doing that and have been doing that. i noted that in an earlier answer. so it's not an either or. we believe we need to do both. we need to get the training and equip part of the moderate syrian opposition piece started as quickly as possible because they both fit into the overall strategy as how you defeat isil and you help stabilize those countries, particularly iraq. it's not a matter of not doing one versus the other. >> i am concerned we're starting with the rebels. general, i had a couple
questions for you. if we turn -- if we actually train and equip these moderate rebel groups and we send them back in, my understanding is that they don't have much of a command and control structure. they are fairly self-identifying, a bunch of groups. there's no military-like structure like the isil has. their first mission is to basically defend and deny territory to isis. how are they able to support themselves once we train them and give them this weaponry? how are they going to be able to conduct the operations? who is going to provide them with the 556, the 7.62? is that -- where is that coming from? are we looking now at relying on contractors or secret -- covert ops to do that? >> congresswoman, we are looking at all options. how do you sustain this once you
begin? you raise an important issue in developing the leadership and finding those within these initial formations that have the aptitude for additional skills. we will have to find who has the aptitude to be a communications expert. we will build that capability as we build this basic force. the first phase is identify and vet them, create a relationship and give them base ic training. the next thing is build off of that with skills. we will stay connected to them. there will be accountability. we will create a method for doing that with the leadership that we identify within the training. >> the last 20 seconds i have, you are not ruling out the fact that we may turn to a black water or whatever their subsidiary is, z international solutions, to provide the logistical support in the
initial stages? >> there has been -- we're in the very early planning of this. to date, there has been no discussions of anything other than how we as a military would do this. >> thank you. >> mr. scott? >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thanks for being here. mr. secretary, i think i heard you clearly and concisely say, we are at war isand everything on the table. is that accurate? >> yes. >> i think one of the things confusing to me and confusing the majority of americans is that that's not consistent with what the president says when he -- as one of my colleagues pointed out, takes other actions or potential operations off the table. my granddad is no longer here, but he was a world war ii pow. he would tell you the first decision is the decision to win
and make sure that we're willing to do whatever it takes to win. desert storm was in 1990. we have been in that country -- in those countries on and off for 24 years, over half of my life we spent trillions of dollars, we have had hundreds of thousands of americans in there, hundreds of thousands of other people that we have trained. general, these 5,000 moderate syrians ought to be pretty ease y -- pretty easy to find. my question is, how can 5,000 moderate syrians do what the united states and all of our coalitions could not do in 24 years? >> well, 5,000 moderate opposition groups with basic training to secure their
villages will have some affect, but it won't have the decisive affect that you speak to. but it's only one part of a larger effort. that larger effort includes training, continuing to assist in the iraqi security forces. we will have the use of our air power to assist where it's necessary. we're also looking to employ the support -- the direct support of partners in the region. so we're going to squeeze on this through multiple venues. >> then with due respect, the president should outline that. there should be a separate vote, not a vote on a continuing resolution. i blame this on my leadership as much as i do the president. this more serious than an ame amendment to a continuing resolution. i would also suggest -- we don't understand the war, certainly not all them participate in it.
when we talk about beheadings, mr. secretary, it's my understanding that the saudis beheaded eight people in the month of august and they practice one of the strictest forms of law and do things over there that by any stretch of the imagination i think any american would consider barbaric. how do we pick our friends? >> well, i think the first way i your question is, america -- i think any country -- always responds in its own self-interest. what is our interest here? i think you asked the question, when american citizens are publically killed, murdered, is that an interest of this country? i think it is. is it a threat to who we are? i think it is. you can take that out as far as
you want. that's partly, i think, the answer. to your bigger question, which is exactly the right question, the history of that area. we can't interject ourselves or impose ourselves on any country or traditions or history. and what we're doing differently is bringing in partners from the region. this, as the president said and i said, has to be settled by the countries themselves. that means the a s the arab co the muslim countries. we can help. we can't dictate or determine the outcome of that. but it's in our interests. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, lieutenant again mayville, thank you for your service to our country. can you describe -- there's talk about coalition. what are the members of the coalition that are going to have people on the ground either as
military advisers or troops along with us? >> as i said in my opening testimony, we are close to 50 coalition nations who are -- >> i don't mean to interrupt. but specifically have committed to having people there arm in arm with us, not just supplies, but actual human beings on the ground helping us with that mission. >> each country will provide assistance based on their capacity. some will be air power. some will be people. we have had a number of military offers. we're coordinating that now. i noted in my testimony that general allen has the essential responsibility of bringing that together, coordinating these pieces. we're in the process of doing that. >> thank you. i'm a little bit still confused about the nature of this. the president promises no combat mission, and i know you have been questioned about what that
means. but i am concerned that whether we're -- whether our people are over there on a combat mission, training mission, advisory mission, they will become targets. you can clarify if we have people that are shot at, they will have rules of engagement should say they should defend themselves? >> absolutely. >> i appreciate that. i'm glad. won't that then lead to combat missions? maybe not offensive combat missions. but if our people are in harm's way, won't they be in combat? >> anybody in a war zone, who has been in a war zone -- some of you have -- know that if you are in a war zone, you are in combat. what the president has said that there would be no specific american ground combat role. i think that's pretty clear. yes, if you have advisers in a war, they're in a combat zone. yes. but the role of americans in that war, as the president has laid out, i think is pretty
clear. what he said we will do and what we won't do. >> you can or the lieutenant general give us any sense how many americans will be put in -- how many americans additionally will be put in harm's way either in the theater or near the theater? >> what i said in regard to the president's announcement last week and what he has ordered now, additional american forces into iraq, by the time they all get there, around 1,600 american forces in iraq. >> in iraq? >> in iraq. >> not syria? >> not syria. in iraq. >> finally, i guess, trying to figure out again who exactly we're helping. you speak of sort of the we in this. i know you have been asked similar questions. but i'm still fuzzy on how exactly you're going to identify the forces that we can train, we
can enhance. i guess it goes back to my allies question, are they going to be alone? is this a few syrian fighters, 5,000? it seems to me that if we're training them, yes, we will eventually build up a force there. but in the meantime, won't our enemy build up their force far more than we can catch up? >> well, a couple of answers to your question. it's a beginning. we might be able to do more than 5,000 a year. as i said in my statement, it depends on more training sites, more vetting, more people. we will train them in units, equip them in units, not just rebels here and there so that they are prepared to take on more and more responsibility. with our partners. that's another piece of this. this is an undertaking that's pretty dramatic and sophisticated. it's a beginning, but at the same time, all the other dynamics of this strategy what's
going on as general mayville noted here a minute ago are in play at the same time. we're not just relying on that train and equip moderate syrian -- >> thank you. >> gentleman's time expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. hagel and general mayville. i want to thank you for your service across the board. it has been vearied for secretay hagel going back to vietnam. we appreciate that. you made a comment about combat. i want to make sure that our troops that are the 1,600 in iraq are going to be compensated as they should be in reference to combat pay. because they're going to be exposed to that at some point in time or could be. are they going to be? >> yes. they are now. let me have general mayville explain -- >> those are receiving combat pay? >> let me not get in front of
that important decision that will come to the secretary. but typically, you are talking about hostile duty pay. there are procedures outlined and under what conditions one is entitled to that. we will apply that standard here. it will go to the secretary. >> so the answer is, the secretary will make that decision whether or not? >> yes. and they will be compensated. >> thank you very much. i appreciate that. i voted no. i will tell you it was difficult but at the same time -- all the briefings i heard. you touched on it. the syrian force that we're talking about training and equipping, the reason i voted no was they have very little organization. there's no -- you mentioned this. there's no political structure in place to support them. i would support an iraqi issue,
because there is a political force to at least start talking about how to fix things. command and control, we know that at this point in time there is no command and control for the syrian free forces or whatever you want to call them. there is for the iraqis, because we helped build that. training or retraining the iraqi force is a lot easier than trying to train up by the president's own description of guys that are, you know, the regular folks. they may have some combat experience now because they had to fight for their lives, but they're not a trained combat, just as iraq is, because we trained them, even though they have had issues. but we have at least a base to start from. i guess that's why i disagreed with us getting involved in the train and equip portion in syria when we have the ability to do that, i think, and win in iraq.
i think we have. i think we have shown that we can work with them. so it gets a lot -- it's a lot of hoping and wishing in the fact that -- i know it depends upon the training facilities that we have available. but the testimony has been three training facilities, 5,000 troops. i don't know how -- how do we overcome the other things, command and control, political system and actual trained force snz it forces? it's not going to remain static. >> the way i would explain it -- it's my opinion and the opinion of the president that if you are going to defeat isil -- that's the objective, as the president laid out -- you're not going to defeat isil just in iraq. matter of fact, most of the isil threat is in syria, safe havens, training camps, resources. you have to deal with them in
syria. >> i would think an approach where you can get -- drive them out of iraq where we have the opportunity to and as we're doing it focus then back on syria. i yield back. >> we have to do both at the same time. >> i appreciate that. >> mr. kilmer? >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you mr. secretary for joining us. i'm of the opinion for the use of military force needs to be rescinded and a more specific authorization needs to be drafted to combat the isil threat. what cautions, what advice and requests would you have for us if we were to consider that effort of drafting a new authorization for the use of military force? >> well, as you know, we believe the president has the authority under the aumf of 2001 to do what he believes is important to do for the security of the country. he has said he welcomes the
congress's involvement, support. if the congress believes that they want to get involved in writing a new authorization of force, that's the per ogative o the congress. i leave that up to what the white house thinks they need if that's something they think they should want to do or need to do. >> is there anything specific that you would want or not want in such an authorization? i understand you believe you currently have the authorization. the question i have and the briefing we had it was said we would welcome if congress wanted to provide a more specific authorization. any constraints or things that you would want to see in that regard? >> well, i think any time -- i'm going to be general in this because that's not my area.
that's really the president would have to make those kinds of decisions. for us, department of defense, we are always the ones required to implement, we would want to have the commander in chief have as much flexibility within the bounds of accountability, which in a co-equal branch of department we have to have. we recognize that. but for us, we have to have that flexibility and i think the commander in chief does as well in order to carry out his duties. >> the other question i had for you was, has the department begun to consider the second and third order affects providing air support and training and supplies as prescribed by this mission? i'm concerned with the wear and tear on our vessels that may have a higher utilization and require more maintenance than
presumed. as the presumed $500 million dollars to train and equip our allies won't cover that maintenance, where will the additional money come from? >> we're looking at all that right now. you are right. as we pick up the pace on this mission and do the things that we need to do, we're going to most likely have to change some of the those numbers. that's not new. the world is dangerous and it's fluid and it's dynamic. >> thank you. >> thank you, chairman. i yield back. >> thank you. at this time, i will take my four minutes here. i appreciate you both being here. as we look back on things, i remember vice president biden saying the victory in iraq will be one of the greatest successes of the obama administration. as i look out and i see those of you with your combat patches, i would say that the success goes
to those that were in the field. but that being said, we did succeed. we succeeded with combat troops in using all of our assets. it was a gift to iraq that has fallen apart. my concern is when we start talking about counterterrorism operations as opposed to full combat. i have concerns there. isil is somewhat of a state, not a raised state but they have territory, wealth and they have an army and different than the typical terrorist effort. i understand our desire to want to use the kurds and syrians. my concerns stem from about who has the central command here. who is really calling the shots when you are putting these pieces together? i have the concern with that. but also in another hearing, i had asked, will -- is the iraqi army or the peshmerga willing and authorized to move into syria if that's what it takes to destroy the enemy, especially if
our effort is not successful with the syrians. the answer i got was no. that's like saying in world war ii, we will go to germany but we won't go in and defeat them. what is our contingency here? what are we going to do if this effort in syria is not successful knowing that our strongest assets on the ground are not willing to go into syria where they have safe haven at this point? >> first, i think we recognize that iraq is a6c2jihnr soverei country. we don't order iraq to do anything. we can't. >> understood. >> so if iraq makes a decision for whatever reason -- >> that would be -- that is their objective. okay? is to liberate iraq from the enemy, from isil. but our objective is to destroy isil. i'm concerned about the strength of what we have in syria.
we may run them into syria and then what if we're not succeeded there? >> that's exactly right, that we're looking at this from a borderless dynamic, that isil is a threat to all the nations of the middle east. right now they are focused in their safe havens in syria which is ungovernable in the eastern part of syria. with the strategy that we have laid out and we're implementing with partners, partners essential, strong, united, inclusive iraqi government, essential, we have that must have muslim arab partners essential as well as other partners in order to destroy isil. you are right. it isn't by borders. we are not dealing with that. each will play roles where they can. >> my time is running out. i would hope maybe in another setting, a classified setting we can find out what some ofgencie.
the good general has anticipated some of these things as a strategist. it's not necessarily something we want to expose >> i appreciate that and i yield back my time. at this time they have called votes and so we are going to break and we're going to return at -- after the vote. i can appreciate both of you for your time today. and i do encourage members to come back even those who are left and get them back. thank you. [inaudible conversations]
>> the c-span city stewart takes booktv and american history teach on the road traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary life. this weekend we partner with comcast 4822 -- a visit to st. paul, minnesota,. >> 's st. paul in the 1930s it was a very lively city because the gangsters, during prohibition you had the biggest jazz artists of the decade here in st. paul. it was a very lively place partially because the gangsters were welcome here. virtually every major gangsters, kidnapper and bank robber in america lived and worked within a three block radius of where we are standing today. john dillinger, abc's nelson, out in creepy corporate, all were here. people don't know that. there's no statute of these gangsters but this was the
epicenter of 1930s crime in the era of john dillinger. the fbi, the federal bureau of investigation with chip or hoover had this bill it as their headquarters. this is also the building where all of the bootleggers and bank robbers were tried and sent to address, leavenworth prison him and other prisons across america. it's where it began and where it ended. >> we are standing here at the historic fort snelling privilege over the juncture of the minnesota and the mississippi river. say paul is located up the mississippi river from fort snelling and the fort with you before the city was. the fort is connected in the creation of st. paul. in the 1830s there were groups of settlers that were living on the military's property. finallyproperty. finally, the army had had enough of competing with them for resources and they felt they should be removed officially
from the military property. the settlers moved across the river to the other side and they formed what became the nucleus of the city of st. paul. when you think about the story, the history of this region and to think beyond the walls of fort snelling. that's what i did at fort snelling is push people to think more about what does it mean when all these cultures come together, what perspectives do they have on these historic events. >> watch our events from st. paul saturday at 10 eastern on c-span2's booktv and sunday afternoon at two on american history tv on c-span3. >> this weekend on the c-span networks our campaign 2014 debate coverage continues tonight at eight eastern on c-span with live coverage of the arkansas governors debate.
>> watch us in hd, lik like us n facebook and follow us on twitter. >> today, armed forces communications and electronics assocation, or afcea international and intelligence security alliance are kicking off the conference focused on national security and intelligence issues intelligence committee chair mike rogers,
afcea international. while we wait for it to get underway we heard yesterday from attorney general eric holder. he spoke at the hispanic national bar association as they mark the 50th anniversary of the civil rights act. >> thank you for that generous introduction, and also want to thank the latina commission for inviting me to be here with you this afternoon. i'm delighted to be here today in washington celebrating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the civil rights act. and honoring the latino lawyers, past, present and future, whose struggles and successes represent the vitality and the fruits of the civil rights movement. and congratulations to our honorees, you're a credit to the trailblazing latino lawyers about him the professor will be talking after lunch.
and congratulations for putting on such a terrific conference. respectful of those have brought us to where we are today, inspiring to those of us who seek to lead it now, and supportive of those who will take us into the future. what an important reminder this is to us all. the civil rights movement is not a static event from 50 years ago recorded on a grainy black and white newsreel. it's part of our daily struggles and daily responsibility. in the words of one of our great latina leaders, supreme court justice sonia sotomayor, we educated privilege the lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice is for all, both legal and economic justice.
i think often about justice sotomayor's admonition as the agency i had, the federal trade commission, enters into his 100th year. the ftc is a bipartisan agency established at the height of the progressive movement by reformers who believe government should work to ensure a more level playing field in the marketplace. to focus at the ftc is on the consumer. our mission is to protect competition and marketplace so delivers the best goods at the best prices and to protect consumers so they can navigate that marketplace jewish businesses will treat them fairly and honestly. we have a number of tools we use to accomplish this. civil enforcement actions, research, policy making and education. and we readily and i think effectively deploy them all in the service of american consumers. of course as the civil rights
movement taught us and continues to teach us, there was no one face of an american, and there's no one face of the american consumer. and that's why it's crucial that arthere also be different faces among the leadership in washington, and around the united states. my own journey from where i was born and raised, the daughter of immigrants from mexico city, to los angeles where i practice law, and then to washington, d.c. and the helm of the ftc was largely unexpected. in fact, i never imagined i would be living in d.c., let alone that i would be the chairwoman of the ftc. until 2007, i followed a largely conventional route as a corporate attorney. following law school i served as a clerk on the ninth circuit, was an associate at one large law firm, and they became partner at another.
of course i did interact with more diverse california community through volunteer work within them of community organizations. but i did not step off corporate law tracks until the former law school classmate with whom i served on the harvard long review decided to run in the democratic presidential primary your i was given the opportunity to join the campaign and to serve as deputy political director and director of latino outreach in california. it was not an easy decision but i was a portrait and highly regarded law firm billing a job that i enjoyed and that is good at in my home state. my firm and managing partner were supportive but a leave of absence to work on the campaign of a candidate probably wasn't the best career move. but i did say yes and i'm so glad i did. and not just because working for
then candidate barack obama helped bring me to the ftc and washington, but because working on the obama campaign proved to be one of the most rewarding and valuable expenses i never had. during the campaign and reaching across california starbury's latino communities with their unique people, police and dreams, i learned to listen and hear the many voices of america. i learned to better appreciate and it reinforce that the guarantee of civil rights means nothing out of context. how a community speaks, where they live, shop, bank and work, all of this matters when it comes to making sure governments and business trade them fairly, honestly and with respect. so in 2009 when president obama nominated me to serve as a commissioner of the federal trade commission, and again last
year when he elevated me to chair, i said yes. and this time without hesitation. ready to take all i've learned over the course of my career and life experience and applied at the ftc, the only federal agency with jurisdiction to protect consumers and competition across broad sectors of the american economy. one important action i took as chairwoman of the ftc was to launch what we call in every community initiative. i wanted the entire agency to focus on how we can ensure our efforts, protect consumers and every state, city, town and neighborhood. how we protect the consumers who experienced the market differently, were hit hardest by broad and other illegal conduct, and he warned most challenging to reach. an important aspect of this is taking a hard look at the
prevalence and types of fraud, experienced in different communities. out economist report that in 2011 alone, 10.8% of u.s. adults, 25.6 million people, were victims of fraud. of these, nsa to 9% are non-latina whites, 13.4% were latino con 17.3% were african-americans. we also found that older americans are impacted by certain fraud, like lottery scams in greater numbers than other age groups. some scams like telemarketing fraud and unauthorized building scams are likely to affect certain communities in larger numbers, and that many scammers target specific populations like service members or seniors. we are continuing to study how broad -- how fraud affects our
nation. and we're examining similar issues regarding debt collecti collection. stopping deceptive and unfair and harassing debt collectors has long been a priority of the ftc. we receive more consumer complaints about this industry than any other. as part of this work were focusing on reports of egregious an unlawful debt practices aimed at spanish-speaking consumers can something we've also seen in our law enforcement. one scam we recently stopped first defied a spanish consumers and then followed up trying to collect money for faulty substandard or even never delivered goods by threatening to report the consumers to immigration authorities. aske..