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tv   Defense Secretary Mattis Secretary of State Tillerson Testify on War...  CSPAN  October 31, 2017 8:22am-9:26am EDT

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apps. we hear from james mattis and rex tillerson who told the senate foreign relations many a new war authorization is not legally required to carry out military operations against isis, al qaeda and the taliban and. on capitol hill, this is about an hour. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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♪ chanting] >> stop, and the war! stop, end the war! stop end this war! [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> thank you very much, gentlemen. [inaudible conversations] >> we are going to write this.
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getting a good point. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> the relations committee will come to order and deal with two housekeeping issues. a number of people in the audience, some of whom express themselves, for being here. in the past when there have been interruptions, i have had
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people arrested but we stopped that. please don't do anything as it causes you to be escorted out of the room because in the process, being arrested is fairly unpleasant and i would hate to see you go through that process. secondly, we have a vote, two votes today. what we talked to the floor about doing is adjourning the hearing in seven minutes, everybody rushing down and voting on the tail end of the first voted beginning of the second vote, no speaking by the second vote. if we could help them back and keep going, general mattis has a meeting he would like to attend. others want to complete our work in an appropriate way. with that. i would like to think secretary tillerson and secretary mathis
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to share the use of military force authorization. we are grateful to both of you for your service to our country and your willingness to come here as we continue this critical discussion on behalf of the american people. oversight and debate of the 2001 au mf is something this committee has been engaged in a long as i helped lead it as ranking member in 2013. at that time many of us thought to craft authority to enable the president to address the threats we face from terrorism while ensuring appropriate role in congress. president obama submitted it in february 2015, our committee again held a hearing and debated the issue but there was no effort on the part of the white house to enact a new authorization.
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this year we held two fool committee hearings on this important topic, public hearing in june with private witnesses and a classified briefing with secretaries tillerson and mathis in office. we have been working to schedule this public hearing since that time. numbers of members on and off the committee have raised questions about the executive's authority with respect to warmaking. the nucleus of nuclear weapons, the use of nuclear weapons. from a diplomatic perspective entering into and terminating agreements with other countries. as i mentioned publicly, this is the beginning of a series of hearings where our committee will examine those issues but today we will remain focused on the topic at hand, the 2001 au mf and the 2002 au mf for iraq. the president's ability to initiate conflict has grown in an age of advanced technology
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including use of unmanned drones and war from a distance where large numbers of boots on the ground are not necessary to conduct significant military engagement. examples of significant military action by recent presidents, relying solely on the article 2 of the constitution include airstrikes in coso vote, regime change in libya and the april missile strike against the assad regime in syria. his last war powers resolution letter to congress the president clarified the following 19 countries, where it deployed and equipped for combat. afghanistan, iraq, syria, yemen, somalia, libya, kenya, niger, cameroon, uganda, south sudan, democratic republic of congo. ..ypt. cuba. kosovo. as this month's deadly attack in
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is meeting the responsibilities to decide when and where our country can use military o force. as i stated previously, in this hearing we will focus primarily on two current authorizations: for the use of military force. unfortunately the use heof legal force against isis, al qaeda and other terrorist groups will remain necessary for the foreseeable future to prevent attacks against americans and our allies.
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americans like president obama believe he has the legal authority he needs under the 2001 aumf to fight isis, al qaeda and other terrorist groups and i agree. i agreed with the obama administration and i agree with this administration that they currently have that authority. it is clear that congress is united in its strong support of the fight against al qaeda, the taliban, isis and other terrorist groups and the congress as a whole would agree the president should continue to act against these threats. congress has regularly notified of troop deployments around the world including the buildup in nigeria and has responded consistently funding the department of defense and its operations against isis and around the world. at the same time, i also t believe we should update the aumf to reflect the current conflict and reassert congresses constitutional role, but we cannot risk
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undermining the legal foundation of this critical fight. we must also be mindful that moving aumf without significant bipartisan support could send the wrong message to our allies and our adversaries that we are not united and committed to victory. so far congress has been unable to bridge the gap between those who seek a new aumf as primarily an opportunity to limit the president, and those who believe straining the commander-in-chief in wartime is unwise. the inability to record file this divide iowithout threatening the existing operations has allowed the status quo to prevail. this committee has always recognized we have a special responsibility to try to speak foreign policy.on we have a great tradition of working together in a bipartisan way to advance the national interest. it's my hope that we will be able to do the same on this
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issue. i thank both of our distinguished witnesses. members of this committee for the seriousness with which they approach the topic before us today and i hope that together we can have a productive discussion about a way forward. our distinguished ranking member, senator cardin you mister chairman, i thank you in welcoming our two witnesses and join you in our strong desire for this committee to operate in a nonpartisan way with the other men of our national security. i thank you for conducting this hearing. this is one of the most important topics the united states senate and this committee could ever consider. under what circumstances and legal authority should the united states send men and women into war? i'm pleased you are read asserting this committee's prerogative in this issue.
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i hope that we will soon be considering the repeal of the existing overextended authorizations for the use of military force in the iraq war and a new aumf tailored to the current terrorist threats. america faces unprecedented crisis around the world both from isis in multiple countries and al qaeda affiliates continuing to plot attacks against the united states to a worsening nuclear crisis with north korea and a newly manufactured crisis with iran. i am concerned about president from inclination to go to war rather than find diplomatic solutions to these prices. it seems we have us troops deployed almost everywhere in the world. in addition to deployments in iraq and syria, major deployments in south korea, japan and europe, us forces have been engaged in counterterrorism operations in yemen, somalia, ethiopia, libya and chad with extensive
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capacity building efforts and many more. two weeks ago we learned that more servicemen were killed in niger and in circumstances that are still unclear. the e mission of what many may be as many as 800 us troops in niger. it's also unclear sthe loss of these four courageous soldiers, sergeant juan david johnson, david m wright, staff sergeant brian black, sergeant jeremy w johnson shows the danger faced by men and women employed around the world when they are deployed with expectation of combat. our hearts are with the families of the soldiers. they served their country courageously and their families deserve the respect and appreciation that all men
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and women should receive after losing a loved one. during this hearing i'm going to be asking the witnesses specific questions about the niger incident. the mission these soldiers were performing, the legal authority for their deployment. that's our responsibility moving forward. if our witnesses are unable to answer these in open hearings, i'm going to ask that you provide this committee a classified hearing. i think we are now asking, the united states is by fighting and dying in niger, where else are us forces put in harm's way. no explanation has been providedto this congress . but there's an inadequate explanation of what activities are being done under what legal authority. that is our responsibility to deal with an authorization. expecting the american people from terrorism extending threats around the world is certainly important, but i think there needs to be more public discussion in light of these activities because i do not think the american people want the united states
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conducting a global endless set of wars under the radar, colbert and beyond me. there have been develops since the committee first conversation on this topic in august. first, isis is control of continued territories in iraq and syria have been broken with hundreds of isis fighters killed and hundreds more surrendering. the crisis with north korea has gotten worse with north korea testing both the icbm with a capability to reach the united states and a thermonuclear device amid a better war of words between presidents trump and president kim jong un. president trump has even threatened the use of military options in response ve to the crisis in venezuela. finally, i'm aware that we cannot discuss all the aspects of the use of the authorization for military force in this meeting. the foreign relations committee had jurisdiction over the iaumf and an
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obligation to provide oversight as to how they can be used. secretary mattis and the secretary tillerson, i will be asking you to come to this committee and response in a classified setting only use in the 2001 aumf including for counterterrorism purposes. as i said at our hearing in june, 911 and iraq's aumf have become mere authorities of convenience for presidents to conduct military activity anywhere in the world. they should not be used for legal justification for the administrations military activities around the world. i am not convinced the evolving threat of isil necessitates committing more about brave men and women to ground combat operations. under the rubric of the trend 2001 aumf, i'm going to
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repeat what i said. the 2001 aumf says the president authorizes appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons he determines planned, authorized or aided terrorist attacks that occurred on september 11, 2001 or harbored such organizations or persons in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the united states . as one who voted for that aumf when i was in congress, i never intended and i think all of us never intended to be used today to justify the use of military force against isis. one last point if i might mister chairman, and that is i think it's very clear that under this authorization there is no authorization for the use of military force against north korea, unless there is an internet attack upon the united states or on the horses or allies in this region and i'd be interested in hearing the secretary fully as to what authorization exists today for military operations against north korea. it's important for congress to better exercise its
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oversight over the use of force. united states has received at first response to problems of terrorism abroad and this administration wonders whether it's become the first' and only response, it has proposed a dramatic increase in the defense budget while the foreign affairs but it had been slapped by 30 percent. soon the only tools left will be the massive use of force applied everywhere for lack of better options. we need to authorize and set limits on the use of that happening.though to the administration will rediscover the necessity of diplomacy, and support human rights as the build a safer world for everyone, especially the united states. i know our two witnesses share a commitment to our national security, the importance of diplomacy and the use of our military. i look forward to their testimony. >> thank you senator cardin. we thank both of you for being here today.
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we have tremendous respect for almost every member of this committee. we support your efforts around the world and if you could limit your comments to about five minutes or so, you are going to have a lot of questions and i know any written material you'd like to have entered into the record will be done without objection and i guess we will start with you secretary tillerson. we thank you for your extraordinary efforts on behalf of our country. >> iq mister chairman. chairman corker, ranking member senator cardin, distinguished members, i appreciate the opportunity to you today. i know the senate's desire to understand the legal basis for military action is grounded in your constitutional role related to foreign policy, national security matters. i understand your sense of obligation to the american people well in this regard.
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in the 2001 authorization for use of military force or aumf, congress authorized the president to quote, use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons he determines planned, authorized to commit or aid in a terrorist attack that occurred on september 11, 2001 or harbored such organizations or persons. congress granted the president the statutory authority quote, in order to present any future acts of international terrorism against the united states by such nations, organizations or persons. the 2001 aumf provides a statutory authority for long us military operations against al qaeda, the hollow man and associated forces i including against the islamic state in iraq and syria. the administration relies on the aumf as a domestic legal authority for our own
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military acts against these entities as well as the military actions we take in conjunction with our partners in the coalition to defeat isis. the 2001 aumf provides the domestic basis for our detention operations at guantcur detention operations at guantanamo bay, where the united states members ofetained the taliban, al qaeda, and associated forces. members of al qaeda, the taliban and associated forces. the 2001 aumf although authorizes the use of necessary and appropriate force to defend us coalition and partner forces engaged in the campaign to defeat isis in iraq and syria. in syria, the efforts of the us-led coalition are aimed at the defeat of isis. the united states does not seek to fight the syrian government or pro-syrian government forces. however, the united states will not hesitate to use proportionate force to defend us coalition or partner forces engaged in the
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campaign against isis. the president's authority to use force against isis is further reinforced by the authorization for use of military force against iraq or in more plain terms, the 2002 aumf . in addition to the authorities granted to the president by statute, the president has the power under article 2 of the constitution to use military force in de certain circumstances to advance important us national interests including to defend the united states against terrorist attacks. as an example, president reagan relied on his authority as commander-in-chief in 1986 when he ordered airstrikes against terrorist facilities, military organizations in libya following a terrorist attack in west berlin which killed and wounded civilians and us military personnel. the united states has the
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legal authority to prosecute campaigns against the taliban and associated forces including isis and is not currently seeking any new or additional congressional authorization for the use of force. the d 2001 aumf remains a cornerstone for ongoing us military operations and continues to provide legal authority relied upon to defeat the threat. however, should congress decide to write a new aumf legislation, i submit several recommendations that the administration would consider necessary to a new aumf. first, a new aumf must be in place prior to or simultaneously with the repeal of old ones. failure to do so could cause operational paralysis and confusion in our military operations. diplomatically speaking, it
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could cause our allies in the global coalition to question our oucommitment to defeating tran isis. repeal of the aumf without an immediate replacement would raise questions about the domestic legal basis for the united states for a range of military activities in iran, al qaeda and associated forces including against isis as well as our detention operations at guantc new authort authorization should not be time constrained. legislation which would arbitrarily terminate the authorization to use force would be inconsistent with a conditions-based approach and could unintentionally embolden our enemies with the goal of outlasting us. the oversight mechanism in a new aumf also would have allowed the united states freedom to quickly move against our enemies that was constrained by a feedback loop. third, the new aumf must must not be geographically constricted as is the case under the current aumf, the administration would need to retain the statutory
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authority to use military force against an enemy that does not respect or limit itself based on geographic boundaries. as isis fraudulent caliphate in iraq and syria has has tried to gain a foothold in new locations, as was discussed with the senate during a closed briefing in july, the united states has a limited military presence in the lake chad basin to support partners including france and their counterterrorism operations in the region. this information is being conveyed to you and multiple periodic reports submitted to congress consistent with the war power resolution. lack of isis so-called caliphate means it will attempt to burrow into new countries and find new safe havens. our legal authorities for heading off a transnational threat cannot be constrained by geographic boundaries.
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otherwise isis may reestablish itself and gain strength in svulnerable spaces. the united states must maintain the proper legal authorities to make sure nothing delays our ability to respond effectively and rapidly to terrorist threats to the united states. secretary mattis and i along with the rest of the administration are completely aligned on this issue. we fully recognize the need for transparency with you. we respond to what will be a dynamic regional and local issue. we will continue to regularly update congress and to make sure you and the american people understand our foreign policy goals, military operations and national security objectives.we wathank the committee for supporting our efforts and look forward to your questions thank you. secretary mattis, we thank you for being here and your extraordinary service not only as secretary but through the many years in our
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military. we appreciate the fact that the two of you work together constantly to deal with issues in a unified voice and weappreciate that . thank you chairman corker, ranking member senator cardin.mb it's appropriate we appear before you today to explain what we are doing , a dod perspective in our counterterrorism campaign and why. this is been a long 15 year global conflict characterized by a different form of warfare. this typically, terrorism. extremism marked my innocence around the globe. additional campaigns to protect our people must adapt to the reality of today's ra nontraditional transnational character of the fight. the 2001 and 2002 authorizations to use military force or aumf made a sound basis for ongoing us military operations against the mutating threat.
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the aftermath of the deadly 9/11 terrorist attacks and to prevent it international terrorism against the united states, commerce past the 2001 aumf binding the president has and i quote, authority under the it constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the united states. the 2002 aumf provides the president with authority to, and i quote again, defend the national security of the us against the continuing threat posed by iraq. previous administrations have cited these statutory authorities to address the threat of terrorist groups in iraq atand syria. as demonstrated by presidents from washington to lincoln, wilson, fdr and their successors, it lies firmly within any president's authority and responsibility as the elected
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commander-in-chief to designate who presents a threat to our country. to date, this article to authority reinforced the 2001 and 2002 aumf has been used to take action against al qaeda, the taliban, isis and associated forces. following the december 2011 pullout of our forces from iraq and the outbreak of civil war in syria, al qaeda in iraq regained strength, rebranded itself as isis. in 2014 under its new w name, isis unleashed mayhem in the heart of the middle east, building its self-described caliphate and attracting legions of terror groups from the sol to southeast asia. groups with planned and asked conducted external attacks throughout the globe, that includes san bernardino, paris, orlando, london, the philippines to name only a few.
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a statement of continued congressional support would be welcome and a new aumf could not legally required to address irthe continuing threat posed by al qaeda, the taliban and isis. part of two of our constitution and the 2002 aumf provide sufficient legal authority for us to engage in and defeat the current threat which we are doing right working through our allies . >> that said, any new congressional expression of unity whether or not a aumf, could present a strong statement to the world of america's determination, demonstrating as senator kane has stated, an important message of resolve to the american public's and our troops that we stand behind them in their mission." with that for background, i would like to note that these successfully prosecute counterterrorism campaign,
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any debate on a new or revised aumf needs to incorporate the following factors. first, the 2001 and 2002 aumf should not be repealed. after numerous court cases and debates, there appears to now be a general consensus by all three branches of government that these two aumf's provide sufficient authority to operate against al qaeda, the taliban and isis.ns repealing the 2001 and 2002 aumf would only cause unnecessary policy on uncertainty which could lead to additional litigation and p public doubt. the uncertainty of accompanying that situation could only signal to our enemies and friends that we are backing away from this fight and install our appellations and immediately reduce allied commitments and support and create significant opportunities for our enemies to see the
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initiative. additionally, repealing the aumf without new authority would deprive us of the ability to detain dangerous enemy combatants who could then be released to fight again. second, any new aumf must not be time restricted. for example, president trumps asia strategy is conditions based, not time base or is fundamentally unpredictable. you cannot put a firm timeline on conflict against an adaptive enemy who hope that we haven't the will to fight as long as necessary. instead we must recognize that we are in an era of frequent skirmishing and we are more likely to end this fight sooner if we don't tell our adversary the day we intend to stop fighting. conditions based aumf would not lessen congress authority .
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however, the verse remains firmly vested in your hands should the executive branch not present a persuasive case for continuing the campaign. lastly, any new aumf not be geographically constrained. as has been stated, these are not traditional threats. this is a fight against a transnational enemy, one that does not respect international borders and does not play geographic limits on their areas of necessarily to defend our country we must be prepared to swiftly engage in this global enemy in conjunction with our allies and partners.regardless of the adaptations we must make for the common defense, i recognize that it is incumbent on the department of defense to keep congress fully informed to fulfill its constitutional role and i will continue to do so. accordingly as our troops on the battlefield carry out the last 300 meters, american foreign policy to protect our
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way of life, i orasked congress for your continued support and commitment to ensure we retain the necessary authority to take our own side in this fight. >> thank you very much, i'm going to reserve my time for interjection. and deeper to our ranking member and move down the line. for those of you thathave stepped in late, i know giving guidance to senators is a useless effort , but we are going to have a whole series of hearings. this one hopefully is mostly focused on the 2001, 2002 aumf but we will have a series of war ranking powers whether it's north korea, we have members on the committee and off asked about these issues so just know that, but i know you're going to ask whatever you want to, senator cardin. >> i want to welcome secretary corker, i would ask consent that the statement from human rights first be made part of our record.
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>> without objection. >> thank you. secretary mattis and secretary tillerson, i think we all agree that we are not anxious to repeal the 2001 authorization without new authorization being enforced, that's been the game plan but i would point out that there is significant differences here about whether the 2001 authorization covers the military operation, counterterrorism operations against secretary mattis. many of us believe that is not included area that we do believe agree that congress needs to make sure there is authorization to pursue our counterterrorism efforts. as i indicated in my opening statement, operational decisions on the use of the aumf or counterterrorism, i understand would not be appropriate in an open setting , so my request is
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that you responded that you would be willing to return in a closed session in order to committee jurisdiction to better understand how the operational decisions are being made . >> center. >> absolutely sir, i appreciate that. i understand the chairman's admonition about north korea but i want to put on the record, do you agree there is no congressional authorization for the use of military force against north korea? i understand the president authority under article 2, there's an imminent threat against the united states has certain powers but as far as congressional authorization, there is no authorization, is that correct? >> that's myunderstanding, yes . >> i believe the president has article 2 authority only. >> i want to get to what happened in niger and
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understand where we are. but because there is also limitations on the introduction of troops under the war powers act, limited to 60 days and as i understand it, our troops in africa have been there longer than 60 days. can you explain very briefly what our mission was in niger when the tragedy occurred and under what legal authority those troops were there? >> drugs i can, senator. the troops are there under title 10. in a train and advise role. the letter from president obama and the 13 to the president pro tem of the senate, then speaker of the house, talks to the full number of u.s. military deployed 100. in 2013 was in furtherance of u.s. national security interests was president obama's report to you. that continues to be the case at
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this time. >> but the specific mission they were participating in as i understand it when beyond that. am i wrong and that? >> the mission of those troops on that intro was a combined patrol which means they were with niger troops. they were on a patrol. >> they're teaching them how you do key leader engagement. i'd have to wait until i get the full investigation in before i give you a more complete answer. they're with the niger troops consistent with the tests, sent there under the previous administration, to be the intent today. >> so this is not 2001 authorization? >> no, sir, this is under title 10 and requires us to report to you under that authority. >> i understand. thank you for that answer. i want to know how far we would go in pursuing military options
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in that region of the world. boca haram is a horrible group. do you have the authority under 2001 to pursue boca horam? >> they've pledged allegiance to isis, or al qaeda. either way, they have associated themselves with the very group that that authorization is targeted on. >> so without any further authorization from congress, you believe you have authorization if determination is made to deploy whatever force is necessary to go after bo bo bo bo boca haram.
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. i believe he would have the authority to designate that group, yes, sir. >> the threat is related to the 2001 threat is what you're saying? this is a group that is -- terrorist activities endangering. >> if it's an associated group. >> he could declare that would be an associated group? >> no, he didn't. >> no, boca haram claimed-- >> and he could use the full force of our military group. >> right now our troops are there under title 10. i don't want to speculate about that i'd have to go back. i believe a group declaring allegiance to al qaeda or isis, that would be part of al qaeda or isis. >> me he question is really, how far he could commit our
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military to these types of campaigns. when we were attacked on september 11th, we recognized the need tore to military response and understood that american troops would be called upon to protect our country. and i'm not sure that they would have trps in africa. i'm not sure unless we modified this aumf, you would feel you'd have adequate authorization to commit american ground trips in africa? >> senate, if the president determined they were a threat to the united states and if they say they are aligned with al qaeda or isis, yes, sir, i believe so. >> thank you. >> senator johnson. >> mr. chairman, first, thank both secretaries for their service to the country. let me think upon the point of
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ground troops. secretary mattis in your testimony you talked about 16-year global conflict, totally different than anything we witnessed in the past. i remember we had this discussion a couple of years ago with the advent of isis, trying to rewrite a new authoritization to use military force, discussion about limiting ground troops, no ground troops. secretary tillerson, i think you said in your testimony, you talked about the caliphate has basically ended, is it not, or really darn close? >> we have liberated a large area of iraq in syria, but that fight is not over yet. >> secretary mattis, is there any way we could have done what we've done so far with the caliphate without ground troops? >> i don't believe so, senator. >> and yet, two years ago we were debating in this committee replacing the authorization of
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military force one that would have restricted president obama and his successor, his or her ability to use ground troops. that would have been a big mistake, wouldn't it? >> senator, generally speaking you don't tell the enemy in advance what you're not going to do. even if you don't choose to do it, there's no need to announce that to the enemy and relieve them of that concern. >> you know, in the 2001 authorization, i personally don't think the 2001 applies to this situation, i really don't, when you read it, but by precedent, it does. but doesn't restrict the president's use of force, it says to use all necessary appropriate force, and it goes on to describe what those nations, what those organizations really are. in a real declaration of war against japan and germany, congress declared that the
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president's authorized to deploy the military of the united states and carry on against this, in this case the government of germany and successful termination of all resource are hereby pledged by the united states. both in 2001 authorization and the declarations of war against both germany and japan, there were no restrictions. we pledged all necessary resources of this country to defeat our enemy. in both of your testimony, you laid out three conditions. one thing i want to clear up, secretary mattis, you said we should not be -- we should not repeal the 2001-2002. later on you talked about with new authorization, there's no change in your testimony. >> no. >> you can reveal as long as you have something else in its place. >> there are some lawyers who say it's good to hold onto what
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you have even if you pass a new one, that perhaps changes it in some way, but-- . >> so is there a slight difference between your two testimonies then? you would prefer keeping the 2001-2002 aumf in place? >> i'd have to see what comes out, senator. but yes, we've had a difficulty trying to et go the three branches of government aligned with this. >> i'm not disagreeing with you in any way, shape or form. you said if there's a new aumf it should not be time restricted, you both side it should not be geographically restricted and i was for the fourth. and should there be operational restrictions, as we encountered a few years ago, no ground troops or that type of restriction? secretary tillerson. >> no, i don't think we can
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restrict operations, the way that this particular enemy morphs, changes its tactics. as we saw with the emergence of isis, we start with what might be a fairly limited group of terrorists who then are able to overrun territories and essentially their own armies of tens of thousands. that requires a very different use of force than trying to chase and defeat terrorists that are making their way through the jungles in smaller numbers. this is an enemy that changes its names, it moves across borders, it is a nonstate actor and it has morphed and changed over 16 years which is why i know this is such a vexing issue. it does not fit a declaration of war, certainly doesn't fit the criteria that congress has used in the past for declarations of war. >> it's a totally different enemy than we've faced in the past. it's a 16 year struggle and i
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don't think it's going to be over anytime soon. secretary mattis, can you describe what has changed in the administration that allowed us to defeat the caliphate in relatively short order relatively than the past few years? >> what we did, we changed the tactics, we accelerated the number of partner units that had american forces with them, not to do the fighting, but to call in air support. the change in it can particulars was one where we could, we would surround the enemy first so they could not fall back and reinforce the next site, thus making it harder and you saw the surround tactics in mosul, in raqqa, and those are the big changes as we accelerate the campaign and lessen the chance that foreign fighters could escape to return home or to reinforce the next
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position. >> would you say it's true that we've allowed the commanders on the ground to make the decisions to defeat the enemy, rather than from washington d.c.? >> i have delegated authority to the appropriate levels, yes, sir. >> both of you seem to indicate that continued congressional support would be welcomed, if it's a statement of unity, but it has to be an authorization that does not restrict the military's ability to defeat our enemy, is that correct? >> that's correct. i agree, senator, assuming strong and very robust feedback to the congress to keep you fully informed. >> i have no questions, again. thank you for your service. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you both for your service and thank you for being here today. secretary mattis, the existence of multiple local militia forces in iraq remains a major problem, as isil has driven out
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kurdish aspirations, might be the tip of the iceberg and i'm concerned we're ending up on multiple sides of a conflict and opposed isil, iraq and syria. how many different groups are the department of defense advising and assisting in iraq? >> sir, we advise and assist the iraqi security forces only in iraq and i would just mention that secretary tillerson just returned from there and this issue was brought up with the prime minister. mr. secretary. >> yes, the prime minister is asserting authority himself over other various militias, including a popular mobilization forces, pmf which are by and large iraqi forces. they are iraqi citizens fighting under militia arrangements, including the peshmerg
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peshmerga, during the wars to defeat isis, to deliberate mosul and other forces and they're under prime minister iba ibadi. so there are multiple forces, but as the secretary indicated our support is through the forces working under prime minister ibadi and his authorities. >> i'm glad you brought that up because, secretary tillerson, it was reported that the iraqi prime minister was pretty blunt in his response about shia iranian backed militias in iraq stating that they're already home and they're not going anywhere, and that maybe u.s. forces should leave. if u.s. forces are told to leave, will we depart iraq or will we stay uninvited as our forces are doing in syria and under what legal authority will they remain? >> senator, the prime minister,
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i never heard the prime minister say u.s. forces should leave. what he did clarify is that, as i said, many of the pmf forces are iraqi shia forces so they're iraqi citizens. my comment was regarding foreign fighters. foreign fighters that may have come to iraq, we know there are foreign fighters in syria and my comments were that any foreign fighters, particularly those from iran, needed to leave iraq and go home. certainly pmf, iraqi citizens, this is their home. they will remain. but i think the prime minister has also made it clear as to his expectations of how these forces will organize themselves, or put their arms down and just rejoin their villages as citizens, but we've reached, we've reached this new phase and i think this is a real possibility that i'm asking you about. if u.s. forces are told to
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leave, will we defeat iraq or stay uninvited as our forces are doing in syria and under what legal authority? >> we will remain in iraq until isis is defeated and we are confident that isis had-- >> under what legal authority? >> under the 2001 and 2002 aumf's. now, having said that, we are there, also, at the invitation of the iraqi government and prime minister ibadi has given me no indication that he is in any i cparticular hurry to haves depart. >> secretary mattis and secretary tillerson, do you agree with the assertion that this fragmenttation of security forces will pose difficulties to the iraqi government maintaining order in united states that the u.s. government recently regained control of? what is your advice to ensure that these areas do not see resumed sectarian violence now that the fight with isil is
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nearly over, does this necessitate u.s. troops on the ground? >> senators, areas have been liberated. we are working with the coalition partners and with the united nations and other nongovernmental organizations to create stability around liberated cities in particular, as well as villages. and that means having the military forces, the armies, pull back out of the villages. >> allow the coalition to enter those villages, undertake demining so it's safe for them to return, and retaining local police forces. and we have a number of coalition partners that have undertaken that activity. so, as we are liberating areas, we're preparing security forces, local security forces to transplant the military forces. prime minister ibadi made this direct observation to me. he said i have to get my armies
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out of the cities. they're not policemen. they're not trained to be policemen and they're not equipped to be policemen and i have to replace them with trained security forces to carry out police activities and provide security for the civilians if they return. there's a lot of work to do to stabilize these areas, but that's how we will lock in the military gains achieved with the liberation. >> secretary mattis, do you have a comment on that issue? >> it's the iraqi forces and you know, operate under prime minister ibadi that have liberated these areas. it's not any other armed groups. now, there are pmf forces that are engaged with them, but his insistent that they fall under the authority of his field commanders, had it been imperfectly done. i'm not saying it's happening in all cases, but you've seen the successes enjoyed so far and we're moving now against al
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qaeda with iraqi forces to restore the border against syria. so, you see it unfolding in that direction. the next step is exactly what the secretary of state has laid out. >> thank you, both. thank you, mr. chairman. >> and senator flake you're next, maybe we'll go with about with three minutes of your questions and come back and resume if that's okay. >> fine. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here. i think that here, you know, in the senate we aspire to be more than just one cog on a feedback loop. this is the body with article one authority to declare war and to authorize the use of military force. i understand the importance and in looking at your three items that shouldn't put a new aumf in place-- or shouldn't repeal the old one until the new one is in place, no time constraints, not
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geographically limited and aumf that senator mccain and i have introduced the bipartisan aumf i think meets the conditions of one m-3. time constraints, anyone want to hazard a guess how many in this body, the senator foreign relations commission were in the senate when the 2001 aumf was passed? not one. not one member of this panel was in the senate when the 2001 aumf was passed or the 2002, for that matter. seven of us were in the house during that time and voted on it and not one has an opportunity to weigh in on it 16 years later. i would argue that the concern about giving our adversaries notice that we have to vote on something may be an issue, but it's overwhelmed in a big way by not having congress buy in
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and not having us have skin in the game. it simply allows us to criticize the administration, republican or democrat, if we don't like what they're doing, because we haven't weighed in. we haven't said our piece, we haven't voted on this. so i would simply say that any concern about having to come back. we have a five year sunset on ours, five year. that's pretty long. but congress needs to weigh in. we have to make sure that our adversaries and our allies and most importantly, our troops, know that we speak with one voice and so, i hope that as we go along, we can-- we can talk about the relative importance of signaling that we might leave or might not finish and not having congress weigh in at all, go for 16 years before we actually weigh in or have any skin in the game, we,
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as i said, ought to aspire to be part of a feedback loop. article one authority is more than that. so with that, i'll hold back. >> thank you, if you'll keep four minutes and 15 seconds on senator flake's time. if we can all sprint over and sprint back, we'll start again as soon as we get back and recess for about 14 minutes, i hope. thank you. you're welcome to come into the back or do whatever. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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he [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> representatives from twitter, facebook, and google testify before congress today and wednesday, as part of the investigation into russia's influence on social media and the 2016 election. complete live coverage is available on the c-span networks. today at 2:30 p.m. eastern live coverage on c-span 3.
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general counsel from twitter, from facebook and richard salgado from google testify before the senate judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism. on wednesday, two hearings live on c-span 3, the house select intelligence committee hears tomorrow from sean edgett and colin stretch and kent walker from google. watch all three hearings on-line at or listen live on the free c-span radio app. in a little over 30 minutes, the senate will return to debate the nomination of amy coney barrett to the 7th circuit court of appeals. they voted 54-52 to limit debate on the nomination yesterday. three democrats, joined the republicans in voting yes.
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ahead of that vote, several republican senators and religious liberty advocates spoke out about ms. barrett's nomination on capitol hill. here is a look. >> well, thank you for joining us today. for eight years we had an administration that had a particular approach to judges that could best be described as the


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