tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 1, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
i just ask for a short answers. syed farook to describe the kinds of improvements the foreign fighters surge team is helping belgians to implement? is there a possibility for these teams to be deployed to other countries in europe? >> yes. increased and enhanced information sharing and integration of watch lists, risk-based traveler screening techniques that we've developed in the united states that would be helpful to the belgian and other governments. .. extremist support isis missions through you called it talking. can you explain more detail how this works and how to counter this threat? >> thank you very much. that is the practice of taking the names and whatever
information is available about an individual and publishing the name of the information and as a target of terrorism and isil and other terrorist organizations they will take, information about military personnel they pick off a website and publish it and identify those individuals as potential targets. >> one last question, how would we with respect to soft targets protect soft targets, unsecured areas of the airport and how do we do so in a way that does not encumber the wait times for air travelers or a step or two taken toward that goal? >> soft targets have been an area of focus for quite some time. the area specifically before
brussels, i visited los angeles international airport a little over a month ago and met with the leaders of airport security to talk about how they secure the perimeter. this was post brussels which started long before they visited israel. a great deal of experience in airport security as a place of mass assembly and they instituted a number of safeguards at the airport. it was designed and built, had very much security in mind. we work through programs directorate, and acronyms, national protection programs. -- as do i. that organization under the leadership of caitlin jerk of
which in critical infrastructure arena has worked with moral areas, restaurant owners throughout the private sector to ensure that they are well-trained and well equipped to respond as soft targets to potential mass casualty event. >> devotion to the country and leadership with the department, a great hearing, will this threat be around in this country and around the world for a long time as long as we are around. and we have to change in response. >> when we get back, and a much
better partnership, the spirit of working together as a team, given our history there. if you want to go fast, travel alone. or go far, travel together. if you want to go far travel together. not just in our country, congress, executive branch, homeland security, folks know this is a cancer on our planet and we have to deal with it. if we go together, go together, work together, pull together it will go a long way and we need to. >> what you are saying is true, we will be living with us for
quite some time. it is unfortunate. we remember what the world felt like for global islamic terror and start slaughtering people. it is something i wish didn't exist, this hearing as i mentioned to witnesses beforehand the purpose of every hearing, the goal of every hearing is to deepen our understanding, layout the realities, and what they point out, this is the reality situation. and deal effectively with it. it is thoughtful answers. and shorten it. and and face it as a way of committed coalition of the willing. civilized portions of the world.
[inaudible conversations] >> coming up at 3:30 president obama will talk about the economy and outline his views on the president campaign at concourse community high school in indiana. it was one of the president's first thoughts after taking office in 2009. the city he said at the time was losing jobs faster than anywhere in america. unemployment their stance at 4% down from 20%. watch the president's remark live at 3:30 p.m. eastern on our companion network c-span. tonight at 8:00 the chief justice of the supreme court john roberts added judicial
conference speaking with judge j harvey wilkerson about finding consensus on the court, diversity among the justices and a number of other issues. here is a preview. >> you mentioned the unanimous nature of brown versus board of education decision 62 years ago. how would you describe your approach to consensusbuilding on the court and how would you compare it to your favorite chief justices in history? >> it is interesting. it was a great benefit. there is another side to that which it was unanimous in many respects because they left a lot of things and decided and you have a generation of litigation trying to figure out what does this mean? how does this work out? where does the obligation apply and on what basis, it was
unanimous and the warning. we get those things resolved to implement this. all deliberate speed. and there are pluses and minuses, sometimes when we have written opinions people have said particularly with lower courts they pay the price for that which is how exactly do we do this and spent more pages giving us a little bit more guidance. i tried to achieve as much consensus as i can, that is not something i can do on my own. we have to have commitment as a group, i don't want to speak for the others but we spent a fair amount of time, a little more than others maybe in the past
talking about things, talking them out, and a little closer together. it is subject to some congress -- criticism that just sort of put things off and you say let's not deal with this, in 5 years you get another case where you have to and some people think that is bad, i really don't, has something to do with judicial philosophy, we should be as restrained when we decide issues as necessary to do so, that is part of how to get the job of a judge in the system, how it relates to others i am not sure. big chunks of our history, john marshall, wasn't clear you could dissent because everything was unanimous and it had a lot to do with john marshall, the force of
his intellect and gregarious nature, the first big decision he made when he got to washington, we all live in the same boardinghouse. they had a lot of responsible it is outside washington, they very much functioned as a group, not because marshall imposed his will on others it but it was part of the exchange. other views were considered and became part of the unanimous opinion. >> watch that event with justice roberts on companion network c-span and on c-span2 with congress out this week we are featuring booktv in prime time beginning at 8:00. tonight 2016 pulitzer prize finalists and winners including authors annie jacobson, tj stiles and joe warrick. watch booktv in prime time tonight at 8:00 pm eastern on
c-span2. >> c-span washington journal live every day with news and policy issues, on thursday we are live in texas on the us-mexico border to talk about trade issues affecting the region and the country. and discusses the flow and volume of trade across the laredo border. texas congressman henry cuellar joins us to talk about trade benefits for the country. bob cash, state director for texas fair trade coalition and a nafta critic looks how the job deal moved from southern texas to mexico and how that hurts mexicans as well. watch c-span washington journal live from laredo, texas beginning at 7 am eastern thursday. join the discussion. >> british defense secretary
michael fallon at a parliamentary committee on efforts to combat isis and iraq and syria, joined by other military officials who spoke about ongoing strategies to stabilize the middle east and russia's role in the fight against isis. >> welcome. british military policy towards iraq and syria. welcome back, secretary of state, on the subject of russia, would your colleagues mind introducing this for the record? >> good morning. my name is mark smith. i have been serving here for the last 30 years and i am now director of operations in the ministry of defense for the last four weeks. >> i am the director of operational policy. >> thank you for coming here today. our numbers are depleted because
of the breakdown, i hope it will be augmented a little bit later on. our first question is from johnny mercer. >> i wonder if you could start by outlining the national interests. >> the middle east and north africa are fundamental to security, stability, and to manage threats in the region, crime, terrorism and the challenge of migration but we also need to ensure the energy supplies we rely on our secured, trade routes are secure, which is why we maintain in the region
a credible and assistant defense presents. this is a region that is extremely important to both our security and economy. >> a lot of groups traveling around, the west, collected strategy in terms of dealing with the challenges that come out of that product at the moment and we found in washington has a real struggle to understand the strategy. and we are engaged at the moment in that part of the world. and whether or not the government is working for that. >> the strategy is to help to
stabilize the middle east where there is instability. syria has been raging for 5 years now. stability in iraq is back much further than that. it is to stabilize the middle east which is one of the key regions of the world. to counter the global terrorist threat that daesh represents the we all have an interest in. the basis on which we have assembled this extraordinary coalition of 60 countries involved in one way or another in combating, and helping to support the government's of iraq and elsewhere. >> others -- that doesn't change, the all embracing
strategy for everyone, what is the end state, what are we looking at. not only to the uk population to get behind, supporting military operations but the areas -- what to look for. and what might success be the condition of? >> it was a key part, key advisor. in this work, a huge contribution in his period in office and we answered your earlier question across government, this is not the ministry of defense, where security is concerned and cross government and captured in the most recent strategic defense and security review. it is a situation in the middle
east where countries are stable again where we can rely on trade routes and energy supplies and partnerships we need to keep this country safe and which elected and legitimate governments are able to provide a future for their people which does not involve them. >> the aspect there, what is -- how we went off to this, how we did that. and the fact that this is what we are trying to do and how are we doing, how did we fit into that? >> so far as the campaign against daesh is concerned daesh was probably at its peak in the
summer of 2014 before i arrived. and to counter daesh in iraq where considerable progress has been made in pushing daesh back to the euphrates and up north up the tigris and liberating cities, to what they held, in syria the situation is more complicated but again daesh has come anderson pressure under the kurdish forces and moderate operation. and what mobilized, with united states leadership, and other countries are supporting the united states the coalition overall is making progress but the military strategy is part of a much wider strategy which
includes communications work in dealing with the way in which daesh has been able to promote its ideology led by the united kingdom by the communications team and foreign office working against daesh's finances and by work across security agencies to stem the flow of foreign fighters so this is a multiple effort. >> thanks very much. >> you use the word generational struggles. it takes a long time, that was involved. from somebody from a military background and cabinet office and the civil service on this
issue and military expression, had a nasty break. and other organizations, and civil servants in the cabinet office, and counter radicalization and don't understand what is happening in your department. can you reassure us if that is the case -- >> it might have been the case many years ago but we now have since 2010 the national security council and national security secretariat precisely based in the cabinet office with the key coordinating function and you see that reflected in the most recent -- and since going to the ministry of events, he was
surprised at the degree of coordination that there is but you see that not just in the middle east but to deal with ebola in syria. and alongside it we do that now in the work of stabilization of peacekeeping and operations and work closely on the stabilization that is going to be needed in each of these. >> if i can take it up, the middle east -- intensive lessons learned what we learned from the libya campaign in 2011, the impact on neighbor states. i am aware in relation to syria, huge destabilization in jordan. and iraq against saudi arabia
and libya, algeria and tunisia and egypt, we make conversations to make sure we were not deflecting the conflict and impact, currently many problems. >> there have been issues in many states in north africa in particular, indeed further south, east africa and west africa and i am not sure it is a military intervention in one state as increased instability in another but absolutely right to say the lessons that we learned and the principal us at the time, i would draw from the libya campaign which applies
today to iraq and syria, military progress has to be matched by political progress. and it is not going to be lasting. as we go to the political center, genuinely the trust and support of local people where the insurgency works. >> if i may, the importance of having a civilian settlement that builds a new state but in terms of that, the impact has been great as many in niger and mali and added to constitution states and in terms of that.
>> libya has been unstable for a very long time. we have been working extremely hard for a political settlement in libya, might have had more by now and we now have a prime minister in tripoli, and beginning to see the institutions of the state they are going to need for place around him. the defense minister on monday afternoon. the only way in the end, whatever the insurgency is is going to be defeated by a political setting that everybody libya can bite. >> we have had quite a few
witnesses, while we are conducting operations, the impact has been negligible. from your perspective the impact in all of these, international coalition, it appears straight. >> i will give you my answer, the more technical perspective, a huge contribution, i don't agree with your research. we made a huge contribution to the overall coalition effort, one of the very few countries providing the intelligence and surveillance aircraft flying almost straight missions daily, 6 days a week now from nearly
two years and we have made a huge contribution on the ground too in training a large number, the iraqi forces, progress the iraqi and kurdish forces are making would not have been possible without training and without close air support the coalition provides and i am proud that the raf has played -- perhaps general mark might enter in terms of the uk. >> thanks. we always described daesh and its proto-caliphate is having three dimensions, the principle being a manifestation of calhoun itself with that. the second being its wider virtual and substantive connection with an affiliate network and with respect to both
degrading and containing or sitting conditions for subsequent defeat of daesh in its core heartland in the caliphate itself, the trick was to grow, regenerate and train the iraqi security forces so that they could stabilize the security of the capital, secure the heartland of the sunni population in the and bar province, and the euphrates river valley and concentrate their tactical forces to some subsequent juncture, secure most of them which was effectively anyway -- acting as one of the twin capitals of the caliphate so the geography suggests that the irresistible momentum capturing daesh's advances have been positive.
>> a quick supplemental question. monday and tuesday. suggested england taking place in iraq, really haven't materialized and determining by that as well, moving between these pieces in safe zones, in any states, so water resource and making sure iraqi forces were in position to protect the state and full confidence but not able to keep that cycle maintained at that level or consistently go back and go
through the same process again and again. >> i don't think we reached critical momentum more delivered a tactical mass for iraqi security forces in 2014. they purported to have 180 to 200,000 on those books overnight. it takes a reasonable time to regenerate our capability to recruit from a base security apparatus, skill sets, the moral component. with resilient envy and equipment to undertake sustained operations into the second full year of this commitment and coalition commanders in the
theater would expect this to be a minimum commitment, three to four years. >> in terms of the precautions, it is slow but deliberate, the coalition, parts of the coalition not moving as quickly as you would have wished. what is your assessment of the military operation in syria and in the end a key component of the coalition that you want to accelerate, slow and deliberate,
at this stage, valuable resources and so on from our country and actually make sure part of the coalition, to see if you see any -- the tunnel. >> there was real momentum to the campaign. there is real momentum to the campaign, progress has been made, took months to liberate ramani and a week or so to liberate -- there is a real sense of momentum of iraqi and kurdish forces advancing, that needs to be sustained in the united states made clear to the coalition that this is the moment to stay up and they get
asked, members of the coalition to look and see what more they can do and we are looking to see what further -- announcing today for example mister chairman, out to hear it first, announcing today we are sending an additional air seeker aircraft into the theater to improve surveillance capabilities we have an aircraft as you know that analyzes intelligence which helps us to quickly identify and select targets, we are continuing to step up, regularly defense ministers of the coalition and urging other countries of the coalition to do the same and we see welcome announcements, from other european countries that are prepared to do more but you may want to add something.
>> there is a clear distinction between the coalition's contribution to the iraqi government and able to manage in syria. clearly in iraq a sovereign entity, a unitary military command against a clearly identifiable military threat. relative advantages in syria where we are marginally engaged in the air only across much less homogenous battlefield where identification of the multifaceted parties, agencies is much more difficult to determine. with respect to harnessing significant component might maximize the tactical advantage the coalition can provide clearly proves that much more
difficult. >> in terms of the statement made by parliament for the airstrikes, the cost of that progress has been to date from the parliament decisions. >> i don't think -- we do very carefully, i am happy to provide the committee with an estimate of that. i don't think we completely yet -- the cost -- i think it would be best. >> thank you, douglas. i would like -- if i may, unlike in iraq or syria, the words
marginally engaged from the air only and this is partly because of the question of who we are supporting on the grounds. one of our terms of reference is to ask the question will airstrikes be effective in degrading and defeating daesh? from the purely military perspective, give your opinion as to whether airstrikes on their own could defeat daesh or degrade them to some extent? >> my view is airstrikes on their own will not defeat daesh but they will degrade them and constrain their ability to continue to develop. materially they are already having an effect. our contribution over syria isn't exclusive, we are delivering substantial surveillance and reconnaissance which is even more essential than syria where it is far
harder to make precise targeting decisions without having a footprint on the ground so there are a number of particular target sets. the first is the ability of the caliphate to command and control itself. the second is to tackle the finances and reduce liquidity and the final piece is to destroy some of its critical infrastructure. it plays a vital role but insufficient without coordination on the ground. >> exactly. this is what i expected to hear. this organization has to be defeated by the use of air power in close support of forces on the ground that we feel able to support. can i run into the statistics that have been supplied in
various tables. in iraq, taking the figures from the beginning of december because that is the point at which we began airstrikes in syria as well, in iraq my understanding is there have been over 760 airstrikes in iraq against 1349 targets in iraq. over the same period in december when we began in syria there have been 43 airstrikes against 103 targets in syria. pretty much what we expect when we are working closely in cooperation with active fighting
forces on the ground, the same can be said of the other in syria and to complete statistics, my understanding is estimated number of enemy combat killed and an estimate for that period, beginning of december to the end of april in iraq, 518 sizable number, but in syria it is only 22, 22 i made up of 0 in december, 6 in january, 16 in february, 0 in march and 0 in april. would you like to comment on whether that is we would expect given different circumstances of having fighting forces on the ground in one theater that are closely supporting by airstrikes
but not having the same situation in syria? >> let me start by saying i think it is extremely misleading to look at statistics in that particular way. we are only able to estimate enemy killed in action, very crude estimates because of people on the ground where we can't investigate every single attack. the aim of these missions is not kill as many daesh as possible but to degrade them on occasion by their leadership, but in the end, tried to undermine their will to fight by attacking their command and control, infrastructure and so on. too simplistic to measure emission by the number of people killed, you -- many of these
missions are to gather intelligence rather than inflict casualties. it is the preplanned missions that are usually targeted infrastructure where we take great care not to kill people, we take care to avoid. perhaps you could add to that. >> you are statistics are currently characterized, the tactical campaign at the moment which is in the first instance focused on a strategy of iraq first and now in the game on the iraqi security forces and they are beginning combat operations on the euphrates and tigris and therefore it is a logical extension of efforts in terms of close air support provision in order to ensure a tactical overmatched as they come up
against opposition in the river valley towns and cities. by comparison in syria the object is to disrupt command and control and interdict lines of communication, that speaks to a target array that is principally infrastructure based. once you destroy infrastructure you don't need to revisit it as frequently as you do on the tactical battlefields. >> that is precisely what i expected to hear. i am trying to extrapolate too much, i only added that to the article, the secretary of state, in iraq we have 15 times as many airstrikes in syria. and i don't think that is open to dispute.
the question is already brought out that whereas many of these airstrikes in support of ground sources, not in the other. they are indeed in syria targeting infrastructure. let me know how many occasions out of the 43 airstrikes that have been carried out in syria in december, january, february, march, april, how many are in support, forces fighting on the ground and if there were some support of forces on the ground how many of those were in support of kurdish forces fighting on the ground or other moderate forces fighting on the
ground in syria. how many of their strikes in syria being in close support of non-kurdish fighters fighting on the ground in syria. >> yes they have and most recently in the last few days. and the raf engaged, the kind of information, the initiative to hand and we are part of a coalition, the selection of whose aircraft are part of each mission, something decided on a coalition basis but we will do our best. >> could i also amplify the sense that in terms of coalition
talks, much less of a distinction made between syria and iraq because the plan is to tackle daesh across its length and breadth and it is important to pressure it in its rear areas which in this respect is a job with syria. the battlefield geometry might suggest the coalition efforts in support of iraqi security forces, not necessarily doing our best in syria. we are pressuring the entire daesh network in those areas where they are most vulnerable. >> i would like to know if you can tell us which forces other than kurds they are strikes were in support of. the question in my mind is the much bonded figure, 70,000
fighters and if there were 70,000 moderate fighters downing airstrikes in syria in order to support one would be expected, a considerable number of airstrikes in support of the ground in syria, that doesn't seem to attract them. considering that there were only 43 in all against 103 targets for four months and a large proportion of those are infrastructure, they cannot be -- >> simply referring to airstrikes, the coalition is involved in this campaign. strikes by a series of aircraft every night striking and we will get you the figures, significant proportion even if there are airstrikes have been in support
of the syrian democratic forces and the figure of 75,000 when you say it is much vaunted and confirmed that figure. and there are still of that order, people fighting the syrian regime, fighting now for over 5 years. the testimony to the size of the opposition that there is. >> to what extent it is, in relation to what has been described as the head of the snake, the syrian defense forces largely by the americans but my understanding is that force which is going to launch an assault hopefully to defeat daesh is predominantly made up
of the kurdish forces, about 80%, made up of the kurds. my question is actually this. supposing the kurds and limited number of non-kurdish forces succeed in taking control, to whom will they then hand over control. i can't imagine kurdish forces would be willing or able to remain in control indefinitely. who would we be looking to hand -- under his government would rocca concede to? who would supply occupying forces? >> a number of assumptions, i would question some of them.
certainly be a strong arabic component alongside the kurdish forces that would eventually assemble and encircle rocca and going to be a long campaign. already we see kurdish and arab elements under pressure from the regime taking on daesh. in the northwest and the northeast. >> the military contribution of syrian military forces so far suggest they represent the single most capable maneuverable force within an exclusive focus on fighting daesh. and water opposition elements, and the multiple regime backed
foreign militia and the opposition itself. it represents the most capable and homogenous. and a tactical ambition in the first instance, traditional northern syrian kurdish -- >> the force to take control -- the headquarters of daesh and three quarters i made up. they will not be welcomed indefinitely even if they are successfully controlling rocca. the problem arises, what do we do after the initial military success with stability, the
problem is a part from that, we have assad on one side and a variety of fighting organizations on the other side. the majority of whom, hand over control in the long-term? >> medium to long-term we want to see rocca return to a legitimate authority in syria. you say all these different factions that have been doing the fighting they haven't been but they are now starting to do the talking and are now meeting part of the forum we started slowly to convene towards a new political center. does not contain a fad and can
start building. and the institution syria will need, not least its own moderate syrian forces. >> secretary of state, the written answer that you gave last year. and in october last year, islamist groups, incredible ground forces, fighting daesh in syria. a number of opposition forces focused on fighting the assad regime, many fighting isil in areas of strategic borders. and the vast majority of these groups are islamists and legal prime minister in evidence to
the liaison on 12 january said referring to this, 70,000 moderates, i repeat those -- some opposition forces are islamists, some are relatively hard-line islamicists and some are what we describe as more secular democrats. this seems to me something of a deconstruction of this idea that there are 70,000 moderate forces in support of whom we are waging a dietary campaign in syria. >> even now to cast doubt. and continue to confirm, very odd that a battle in the syrian regime. if it wasn't a substantial opposition number of opposition fighters, on the definition --
>> the question is whether they are moderate or whether they are islamists, the prime minister himself admitted a number of people he had been talking about our hard-line islamicists and several witnesses made it clear the overwhelming majority of opposition forces are islamists, in response to this. >> not residing anymore, and loose talk of battalions. there are -- >> 70,000, third-quarter moderates are in large part islamicists, and focus
battalions toward moderates. there are 70,000 moderates and the prime minister seems to admit -- are overwhelmingly islamists. >> are they prepared? the test, since their chances in october, they had to consider who is right, the right people to engage in talks. the test of all these groups is are they prepared to live within a plural political settlement that could in the end be democratic and take syria towards elections that is applied and should be applied. perhaps someone would like to say a word. >> make sure these islamists --
70,000 non-extremist opposition and we could imagine buying into a broader political settlement in syria. i didn't say they are all exactly the same or non-extremist. >> let me just say this, a different view from me, with what doctor frederick kagan sent to us in america, he said virtually all the opposition is islamist one way or another at this point. he went on to say -- and jihadists, and political islamist groups tied to the
muslim brotherhood, the likeliest source of acceptable allies. it appears to be similar evidence, appears to be fairly well conceded that the majority of the opposition fighters in your own written answer a heavy majority of them are islamists, a question of distinguishing between those islamicists beyond the pale, quite rightly such as jihadist and so forth and other islamists who might be affiliated with the muslim brotherhood. that seems to be what we get into experts, do we concur with that? and moderate islamists like the muslim brotherhood. >> we can argue for a long time,
a moderate muslim or islamist, the political pressure getting underway. and to make the choice. and with a democratic president, to my mind, under some form of secular and pleural settlement. >> insurance is to be believed. >> trying to repeat, to get the civil war stopped, to focus on the danger of daesh and give syria a future to which its own people can have confidence rather than be driven to make a
dangerous crossing. >> can i just ask you to comment on this? 17,000 is the percentage of the previous population of syria, 1.5%. i would be surprised if it were not that number of relatively secular individuals who, given the devices would be prepared to have activities in fighting daesh. the key point i would like to ask about is what are we talking about here? we are not talking about men on one side and civilians on the other. our activities in iraq and syria can be in support of a structured course or in support of alleviating pressure on two individuals with ak-47s
protecting their village. i think the committee would benefit from a clear understanding about what we are dealing with because this is a multifaceted conflict with individuals protecting their house, their village, their valley, their faith, in some cases, and in some cases a concept that might be wider than that. i hope you might be able to bring to our report a clear understanding about what friendly forces exist, accepting organizations in moderation, could mean degradation and moderation. i am sure there are syrian politics but it would be helpful to have a better understanding of that. ..
>> given the might of the syrian forces, and how it is they have been defined for over five years, since march 2011. i think it will reflect on how that civil war -- >> on the question of what it comes down to is non-extreme. we believe we are connected to an enduring, political settlement of things. and there are various groups within different levels of military capability and i think that is the question you are getting at. more organized than others.
>> i would say, i think, at this stage there is a struggle. they are fighting for their lives, freedom and families and therefore in the local tax code circumstances, in which many of these individuals and small pockets of organizations find themselves, also the compromises of marriage of necessity are made to survivor. whether they are more or less extreme, i would executive they demonstrate a kaleidoscope of loyalties and interest and objectives some that converge and some are distinct.
>> there is support in baghdad with some of them, but i have been concerned about concerned about the iraqi army and what are we doing to train them and are we exchanging in training on what is and isn't acceptable? >> absolutely. i will ask the general to talk about the training we offer. we start with assurances with the prime minister and from the kurdi kurdi kurdish regional government that allegations are made will be properly investigated and they,
too, are committed to respecting the rules of the armed on clikt. >> you make an important point. it is one that has been recognized by the coalition. it is fundamental to securing iraqi forces that we do this when the bases is compliant with humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict. those very specific syllabi take all of the training that is being applied to iraqi security forces. >> outside they have the most
spectacle in the case but also given we fit into -- what is helping with the fight? >> we hear about them, and we hear allegations that have been raised by the embassy in baghdad and with the government of iraq, raised by the general in yemen, and we do investigate these allegations. we have already had instances where the kurdish regional government has conducted
internal investigations. those allegations can be properly conducted or investigated. >> i think the key point is whether the allegations are held up and the kurdish remove the material support it is providing to those specific organizations. making sure they are not providing support to the grand organizations is important. >> thong. the dutch is now adopting these plans.
secondly, fallujah and mosul, is this going to allow them to -- >> the tax code effort will defend the grown against the iraqi forces who will only grow in strength and capability over time. we have to make a judgment as to which we see the job and territory of the caliphate in terms of preserving critical
combat, particularly in mosul and most of iraq. and secondly, it might allocate an indirect approach where why taking it to a higher insurgency. at the moment they are demonstrating a degree of dexterity and able to drop trap bombs in baghdad and that is effective in destabilililizlili iraqi forces and leads back to baghdad for protect the city. their ability to sustain both the conventional and the irregular effort is something that will become a balance of resource over time.
i don't know if it correct for activity toward mosul and up the valley to try to supply iraq and syria. i think it is important to view daish a wide network that includes overwhelming with with what it is confronted. it is difficult to allocate resources against these pressure points particular when they are being degraded. jen, you said troops are
[inaudible] >> they are threatening from the east, north and northeast and it is a perfectly feasible for the iraqi forces to manage that degree of unrest. yet, at the same time, across the border into syria, daish is having to deal with the prospect of having their roots through turkey being cut. >> going back to the political strategy -- >> we have been successful on the principle main lines of communication. so in february, the city that sits on the main route between
the two cities was recaptured by syria forces. it looks like they are cutting the main route in turkey today. and on thursday-fridayf of last we're, the iraqi army secured a nation sitting near jordan and baghdad. it looks as though daish is struggling. >> that is considered to be the lethal attack and the routes running north to turkey. >> the next point is is there a concern risk of daish's chemical weapon use in syria?
>> we think there have been credible reports. principlely from opcw -- that stands for the organization for the proliferation of chemical weapons. and they have independent reports that they grade in their words "with the utmost confidence". there has been isolated use by daish of improvised chemical weapons. the products they are reporting is predominantly sulfur mustard. it hasn't proved to be particular leo fefkt on the battlefield.
they put in land mines and the blast rendered the agent neutral. >> thank you very much. >> second gordon gave efrdz, and hesaid it worse than that. he had seen patients going to hospitals that his ngo runs, and he has been trying to find equipment. i want to raise quick questions. do you think we could provide more protection, particularly as difficult operations like the taking of mosul coming here and the possibility of improvised chemical weapons became part of the legacy. certainly the heavy machine guns we have given the kurds have been reported as battle winners, as well as with the training of them.
there is a shortage of ammunition and it would be a great shame if we are not able to continue tosupport that. the third question is about training. it was reported us that kurdish commandsers were saying that those troops who had gone through british army training programs were four times effe effective on the battlefield. and can you comment on whether those sort of assistance will be continued or forthcoming, particularly the ammunition point. as i saidal earlier, have been been asked by the american leaders of the coalition, each county has been asked to look at contributions it is making. we continue to see if we can offer more.
on your three specific parts, in terms of protection, this is something that has to be done across the coalition. it has to be done on a college bases rather than individual countries making individual offers. we are specifically asking the iraqis to use the coalition mechanisms so that we can determine exactly what they believe the risks are. that work is in hand at the moment. the heavy machine guns will be supplies, and we have seen in training, both have been proved to be effective. we are looking at a further package of ammunition to support them. that goes through various processes including approval by the -- and i hope additionalal ammission can be supplied in the next few weeks.
i think our training is highly valueed by the iraq and kurdish forces there. i think it is concentrated with selected ied training. i think we have the right pieces of training simply because there is so much ied by daish in the terms in which they have been driven. but general mark what do you add on training. >> the training issue is clearly progressi progressing. the question is the degree to which the soldiers are coordinated with water capabilities that is logistically sustainable and has the right communication systems, sufficient combat engineering support. the bulk of their activity is
actually static defense along the pesmmerga. we would expect to sustain the effort we are doing at the moment. coalition commanders are not yet refrequenting with the deficit in -- reflecting -- the capac to push through so there is cleary a minimal critical pass to the recruiting pool and reservoir of available manpower. at the momentx it seems to be in balance. people are not waiting to be trained. we are able to train all of those who present themselves. with respect to the evidence, i think there is a specific point as to the whether regime maintains chemical weapon capability. there is a significant portion of the barrel bombs have a
chlorine and there is evidence they mate have used others. storage and production facilities associated with that chemical weapon regime feature high on the coalition target list. >> we were very impressed by the training package. i think it delivers what all we want in this place. i think woo have to be diberate about what we want to facilitate and what the uncertainty does. can i say, sir, we want to talk about the spots on the map where daish's areas of control
diminish. what happens then? we touched on it before. but trying to get some idea about how we support whatever is emerging in that area, preventing it from being a vacuum in which other malign forces might move and making sure therestability and in fustruck and all the other things we take for granted nathaniel philbrick civilized society. what happens has they are pushed out of towns and villages and valleys? >> that is a key challenge. not just that they become peaceful but that the population has the confidence to return will be the essential of life provided and above all, there will be security and policing. that is where stabilization work that happens along with them. also, with our colleagues and it
requires continuing political reform in iraq. we have continued to encourage the iraq government to to crack on with the essentials that are needed in terms of the national guard and local governments and given the governors the power they need to organize the essentials of life. the state department mission relieus on the political reframework people buy into, it relies on the local security people have faith on they can buy intro, and it relies on the local services and the local and national levels. id would be a counter effort in terms of liberating is important. one of the shortfalls i think of the moment is that most ied capacity is in the iraqi
security forces who are clearing the areas and move on to the next battle and leaving potentially a number of ied's behind that we need to be able to clear to make sure the mechanisms. so we are working through the unm and the mine action service to ensure that is done. and that is part of the stabilization efforts that is absolutely essential. gaeg barack obama to the political strategy -- >> going back it the political strategy to try and understand what is being done across the board to try to make sure there aren't more malign political forces that want what we want to achieve which is a degree of stability in the country, and
whether military activity really is probably being backed up by on effort to encourage forces of moderatio moderation, to reoccupy areas to find a political solution. where recognize that is a wider issue. if you could give the committee some comfort there is a real political imperative in finding a solution? >> there is on our part and on part of the coalition. but you are right. my worry is that the military progress is actually getting ahead of the political progress we need. who is why we are looking to see what we can do help the economy of iraq, which has suffered quite significantly from the drop in the oil price. weave announced a package of assistance through the world bank.
we continue to urge political reform in baghdad and our diplomats have played an important role in trying to bring baghdad and opec closer together to encourage the return to baghdad. we continue to emphasis to the prime minister that this is not going to last until he can properly bind in the tribes of anbar and unless he can provide the degree of reasurance to the sunni population that they are not going to be exposed again to any of the mulevolence under the previous regime.
is there a role for other agencies whether it is ngo's or the private sector that can deliver the degree of stability we are going to need once the military phase is over? >> yes, some services will be provided by ngos. we putting money ourselves and working closely with the security. but the military campaign is being successful but our giveaway, the politics is lagging behind.
it has been suggested one of three things could happen. daesh become what the taliban in afghanistan. it could increase the number of terrorist activities. >> on the insurgency, as we are doing in afghanistan, and i imagine for a while, we will have to continue to support government of iraq and dealing with the counterterrorism effort even if daish is pushed out. as far as daish's expand abroad, we have seen daish grow rpdly in northern libya and that is obviously a concern. we are intensing efforts to support the new government in
libya. but also to to get to focus on what needs to be done to stop daish from spreading westward. i am sorae i am forgetting the third point. [inaudible] >> that is certainly possible that we see the increase elsewhere in proportion to be diminished in the caliphate and we will have to be vigilant about that. anything you want to add? >> i think it is worth reminding ourselves that daish is an evolution from al-qaeda in iraq which was an insurgency and terrorist organization. it will certainly revert back to those roots.
it clearly has the virtual dimension. and there needs to be no delusion to the international effort to continue to identify and defeat it in the internet space. thirdly, where it becomes displaced, we need to continue to reinforce the strategy of hardening regional neighbors in termentz of their ability to handleal this sort of low-level eband flow -- handle this ebb and flow of insurgency. of course, the success we are having on the ground in iraq and syria put pressure on daish and hair ability to engineer and
launch external attacks. there is an argument they find it harder to incorporate as well when they don't have the freedom, time or space to do the planning. >> [inaudible] what areee doing holistically to try to fight them militarily but financial, as well? >> it is a battle thad needs to be waged across the spectrum and they seem to be able to get revenue from selling artifacts, antiques around the world. that, too, is getting con strained so there is a lot of work to limit the sources of
revenue. on the strategic communications, we take the media in the uniteded kingdom, the foreign office is staffed by people from other countries, as well. we link up what we are doing to combat some messaging through social media to take down websites and reduce the amount of tweeting. there is a lot of work going on there to try and make it more difficult for them to get their message out. there is also work on to limit the number of foreign fighters joining them. there is some evidence now that the numbers are dropped off quite remarketedly from the western days. as western europe have been tightening their controls on
this. we are developing as we know a program at home. so the military part of it is just one strand. >> on the finance side, have we got any evidence of private donitions from individuals that are going into daish? >> i don't have information about private flows. that is harder. we have to make that harder. we are doing work to understand daish's particular financeal networks. we are working to understand and to cut down on some of the intermediaries.
>> what kind of analysis are we doing to find out how much of a threat they pose? we know about libya what about their facilities? what kind of analysis have been made of that and what kind of threats to they pose to the u.k.? intelligence agencies and joint terrorism analysis center have all done there kinds of analysis and there are very different kinds of groups and some affiliates have just taken the name, some brought into the ideology using the brand, some aspire to have more established links with daish in iraq and syria. there is a mix of individuals and groups at different stages of development, but the agencies
are keeping an eye on them all. the key to the strategy to in my opinion them in the bud is to get them before they expand. >> is there an affiliate sort of directing the united kingdom? >> clearly, it can happen very rapidly and we need to be aware exactly of that. i don't want to go further on that.
>> thank you. i would like to be ask a question. they are not the only threat that we face on the ground in syria and we have taken significant evidence suggests that actually the threat to kurdish forces will -- i wonder what preparations we have taking place, and at least the fact would know they are already attacking the allies in terms of supporting the free syria army, what addition support are we offering? >> well this is the one of the most extreme hardline groups and it emerged in syria in 2011 as an adjunct to daish which was iraq-centric then. it is probably the strongest aq
franchise globe globally. it has its stronghold in a province but it is a spoiler in the political process in syria, and it might represent a pea tree bish. it is probably not marginal at the moment. a significant portion are syrian focus and provide a wider wrapping to those much more specific aq aligned elements that might have ambition to use syria as a spring board for international terrorist attack planning. the ratios between the syria elements and the external element probably vary region to region. there is a potentially small element of briish foreign fighters associated with it.
the specifics are unclear. the strategy for us is to continue to provide the political and operational space and in clearing the communication platforms it has used in the past. and to encourage allies not to regard it as a tool that can be used in syria but to recognize it as a wider and joint common threat that we are not specificalty targeting the mosul front at the moment. although woo ewere to determine there was a very specific direct and imminent threat to the u.k. national security we would immediately be able to do so. >> it has been said, we did get some strong testimony to the fact that in the longer term
there could be a worse threat. tim marshall said it is much deeper than daish inside the opposition movement. and it is a stronger threat to syria than sis and it was said it be be a far longer-term entity in syria. so is the danger we face that while isis has been unusual in seizer territory and that is making it more visible, once the campaign succeeds in taking that territory back, we will then face a longer-term, more typical international terrorist threat without the haven't nl of being able to see what is happening and a lot more could depend upon
the nachfer of the government in syria as to whether or not this major al-qaeda-affiliate in syria is allowed to form a new springboard for worldwide terrorism. >> i think it will remain and abscess in the system. >> nothing more than that? >> i think much more than that is to speculate to what the endgame really looks like. the scenario where there is an induring and enforceable cease fire it sets the conditions for a political conversation and transition. the assumption is a political framework supports by security operations is afforded to be able to targett that specific
threat -- target -- that would only survive if it was left with a space to do so. >> in the back of my mind here is that we end up with the successful removeal of daish/isil, but with an islamist government in place. such as the brotherhood would be ill equipped to contain a lasting threat from effectively al-qaeda and syria and we know what al-qaeda can do when it has space. >> yes, but we know what the international community is able to do with respect to training senior leaders so i don't think the scenario is potentially quite as dramatic as you might have thought. >> that is very clear and
intelligent. >> thank you. >> in order to achieve that during cease-fire and political protest, the general just described, we have to do something that is very difficult. we have got to appease russia and work with them both strategically on the ground and in order to achieve that we might even have to row back some of our sanctions against russia for their act committees in places like crimea. what do you say about that? >> i think we touched on that on tuesday. it is perfectly proper to us to
engage with rusa where we have common while maintaining our sharm disagreements about what russia has been doing. now it is getting involved in libyan talks as well. so we would continue to urge russia to play role and use its influence constructively toward a future settlement in syria and that they need to do. it is their gift to do it. its certainly need linked anywhere else. is that what you were suggesting? >> yes, i think some people suggest we should be going much further and perhaps examining sanctio sanctions. >> the sanction are not there as a punishment. they are there as a condition and will continue to apply until
the agreements are respecteded. st it is specific how russia can get their sanctions lifted. >> on the ground, we see a team targeting in syria, and there are disexceptions at times in areas of activity -- deceptionss -- and it must be confusing when a country like russia moves in and starts operating across the field. >> there are more than discussions. there are arrangements to
de-conflicting to make sure there are sufficient gaps between aircraft. but there is not coalition of target. we are very clear on target. russia is not part thof coalition effort. >> should we be pleased or sorry that the syrian government with russia and the other outsiders have regained? >> yell, i mean, i would say that if it, you know, means we are no longer a nation of what remains on the historic site is preserved, then that is probably a net benefit. i think the strategic for daish
would be it is important that does not fall into their hands. so there can be circumstances under which the choice of the lesser of the two evils and in this case; if enough fighters to remain under the control of daish or be russian actors, it could be a mix benefit for the syrian government. cracks pretty concern that is a net benefit to the people who continue to survivor in palmyra today. >> do you think it is possible to stand up strongly against russ
russia, in one theater such as central europe and eastern europe, and our hardheaded tactical reasons, finding ways in which we can cooperate with russia when that is the only alternative sometimes to the continuing control of territory by territory? >> broadly i do. not just for hardheaded but for humanitarian reasons to bring this indiscriminate killing to an end. constructively and respect to cease-fire we thought that was organized. we will continue to encourage russia to koothat while taking
hardheaded nests on the other side. you mentioned a cease-fire. the cease-fire of course apply to daish. everyone sulowed to continue fighting and that means the syrian forces under the precof fighting anyone other than daish. the have been able to go on the defense rather than they have in the past against daish. the u.s. department of defense spokesman had this to see on the 20th of april. bh the russians claim they claimed they wanted to fight isis the reality is a small fraction of the airstrikes
against isis. they were against the opposition since the susation of hostility declared we have seen that shift. at one point in the last week, the russians were estimated more than 70% of their strikes were against isis. so doesn't this suggest that if could be some thought of hardheaded to this to the operation of russia, it would be easier to get rid of the isil members rather than trying to have a situation where we want isil to lose and the forces to lose as well. >> it would leave a force at the mercy of the regime. and we have seen indiscriminate
nature of the attacks and not respecting the laws. hundreds of civilians have been killed and perhaps general martin would give you a better military amalsis. >> i expect when they are appropriate, it is where we have been confronting the strategic national resources of the country and where the resources have been threatened by that. not as net contributor to the wider international effort to defeat daish. >> so we come back to the question of what sort of regime will be left at the end of this. perhaps it is a question of moderate the forces are. but this seems to be the key as to we end up with little
dictatorship once again or the islamist regime which might be unhelpful in the global fight against terrorist groups. >> i am not sure if the choice ought to be as spark as that. that is why why working for international syrian support to bring a better alternative. syria has had elections before. iraq has had elections. afghanistan has had elections. there is no reason why we could not lead syria after the fullness of time to support a wider plural government that iraq has. >> and we think russia might be willing to allow that? >> i hope so. there have been certain signs. >> thank you.
>> thank you, chairman. i want to come back to the broader sanctions. thank you very much for coming along today. i know the chalches are humbling and the scale and threat that you as a team are facing. to general mark, do you feel that it is difficult to grasp -- the destruction is difficult to grasp, but do you feel the men and women who are serving on this operations really get the bigger picture? do they get what we are going after? do they have entirely unencumbered?
>> if you recognize more than most the professional satisfaction those engaged in this struggle draw. and you have already heard the extent to which the regimen was founded and professionalally stimulating and challenging this. i don't thing the briting army per se feels that it either lacks for public support, materials, or indeed a clear sense of what the object of the goals and efforts in iraq and syria have been. they have a clear recognition now of the wider threat that daish represents and they are working in support of an international effort to help the government survive. thank you.
i think we are coming to the end now. but, people like me who, you know, have, you know, sort of a low-level understanding of engagement, we have seen we are made two fundamental errors after the 15 years of engagement. one of those is the failure to recognize the corruption and things like that. and, you know, and the second one is the credibility to really have the political summit we have seen. you know, we have often seen previously in the middle east, and afghanistan, we need to fundamentally look at how we go about these things and need to
have the stomach and the will to see thes things through. how do you think we can do that better both parliament and nationally? do you think we need have a rethinking of how we see these operations and tackleal these threats and corruption? you know the counterinsurgency? >> these are big questions. i will do my best and maybe the reports will give us further guidance on answering them.
on corruption, you happen to be right. we have to do far more to deal with the degree of corruption in these countries and the prime minister's have had anticorruption summits and gone for more transparency on how our aid is directed and the pressure that me and others have to put bear on the regimes to root out corruption in these countries. on the bigger questions, i think we have learned these are very long-term things to try to establish some of the values, not necessarily western valuse but the values we take for granteded here, the valuse of freedom and ability to get rid of the regime and the freedom of expression. to get these values rooted in
areas where they have not previously grown is a long-term undertaking. it takes years and millions of dollars. thirdly, we have learned in the end when you are dealing with insurgency it has to be done by local forces. simply putting western and british boots on the ground, as we learned passengerly, success in ask -- afghanistan is not the answer. >> from my spper spective, you have spoken if we have the indurance and sustaineded commitment, there is something about more strategic communication and the degree of commitment the nation should
expect and whether it is prepareded to match that with the resources and political stomach, as you termed it, to see this thing through. from the military rer spect, we learned that a campaign is finite dureration even if the problem indurs. -- dureration -- and there is a limit for political tolerance. we need to use the time that we do have to best effect in afghanistan, and i think we might reflect on afghanistan that we have been in their decades organizing our input rather than being clear out what the outputs are. we aurals also determined to get the root of the problem the key metric is mass and then discovered the mass actually was
subordinate. if there were reservations locally, one wasn't necessary a contributor and we deduced we needed an are proxy to engage. in those countries where that exists it is that much more difficult. one has to crete it. >> we are back to where we started about the whole government approach to these problems. in the 20 years that i have been here, and 20 years ago they felt like military problems where the ministry of defense deals with. it is different now. the construct probably because of the way the machines works they are truly interagencies problems and we approach them
that way. >> in our committee, your former colleague said that british governments could be criticized for intervening in countries or regions where we did not understand. we have been trying to achieve what he calls culture change on a management consultant timeline. what i take that to mean is the fact that in many cases, countries can be at a stage of development which might even be a 100 years or several hundred years away from the point of being able to make democratic institutions work.
always quick when they talk about the mother of democracy and all that i'm quick to remind them it is still less than 100 years in which women can vote in this commission and we've not been the perfect democracy. and i'm struck also by the changes that took place in west germany and in japan after the second world war. which was a collective effort by the west and largely by the united states of years