tv U.S. Northern and Southern Command Leaders Testify on the 2023 Budget... CSPAN April 8, 2022 3:53pm-6:00pm EDT
all this month, watch the top 21 winning videos from our c-span student cam video documentary competition. every morning before washington journal, we'll air one of our student cam winners whose documentary told us how the federal government impacted their lives. you can watch all the winning student cam document ris any time online at studentcam.org. the heads of the u.s. northern and southern commands testified about southern defense, the influence of russia and china, north korean missile tests and the 2023 budget requests. this senate articled services committee is about two hours.
>> good morning. the committee meets today to receive testimony from general, commander of the public command and north america aerospace defense command, and general richardson, commander of the united states southern command. general richardson, i would like to welcome you to your first hearing in your current command. i want to thank you for your service to our nation. on behalf of the committee, i want to thank the women and men serving for their service. the united states is faced with a wide range security threats, but we are finding these threats
edging closer and closer to hem. as well as through advancements in long-range missile capabilities and offensive cyber tools. at the same time, this competition is unfolding amidst a global pandemic, environmental degradation from climate change and a an emergence of highly disruptive technologies. that north ynkom has been tackling for decades. we must calibrate to these regions carefully. i expect today's hearing to help inform that approach. general, your command is responsible for protecting the homeland. importantly, north kom is task ed with operating our homeland missile defense, to defend the united states sbens ballistic
missiles and hype sonic missiles. the rapid advancements that we have seen from north korea are concerning. as the nature of hypersonic defeat with technology we currently use. i would like to know your assessment of the next generation interceptor program current schedule and if light of recent missile test, your confidence in the current interceptors. to civil authority mission. by which the u.s. military to a request from civil agencies for domestic assistance. this mission was highlighted recently by northcom's leadership of operation allies welcome. which housed and cared for 84,000 evacuees from afghanistan
when personnel from northcoh and the national guard distributed vaccines, ran testing centers and food banks and supported federal health efforts. general, i would like to know whether your command and other federal agencies from the preparations in place to manage the next pandemic outbreak or humanitarian crisis should they arise. turning to southern command, southcom has focused on transnational criminal organizations. even with limited resources, including minimal intelligence, surveillance and recognizance platforms, south kom has thought to leverage nontraditional approaches such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
in the countries of honduras and el salvador. the instability in these nations presents a situation in china, russia and other state actors are now seeking to exploit to increase their own influence. short of armed conflict, a critical task of south come is to find ways to counter malign activities coercing our partners. this includes identifying and addressing sources of insecurity and vulnerabilities a along our partners that our adversaries seek to exploit and gain leverage. it's also important to strengthen the resilience of u.s. partners security forces including by building defense institutional capabilities that adhere to the rule of law and respect human rights. general richardson i'm interested in your assessment
from the south come area and how we might work with partners in our neighbors to bill resilience to china and russia's malign activities. i want to thank again our witnesses. i look forward to your testimony. as a reminder, there it will be a closed section immediately following this hearing. met me turn to the ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and welcome to our witnesses. we know very well for a long period of time. our attention is rightly focused on russia's unprovoked invasion of ukraine and the chinese communist party's constant march toward dominance in the pacific. as we discussed, given putin's
threats against our homeland during the ukraine war and china's threats of a military conflict with the united states over taiwan. i hope you'll candidly speak about your requirements. i'm also concerned about the situation on the southwest border. it's a situation that somehow got moved off the front page and people are not as concerned about that as you would think they should be. we have had 12 straight months of 150,000 plus illegal immigrants being stopped at the border.
many of my good friends on the other side of the aisle strongly oppose president trump when he employed troops to assist the cbb at the border in 2018, but given the scale of this current crisis, i wonder whether more border support might be necessary in the near future or currently. general richardson, as we discussed in my office, i'm concerned about the growing threat in your area of responsibility. what china is doing in southcom reminds me of what they were doing 15 years ago. they are using those practices. to build up their military presence and limit united states access and influence. i hope you'll explain your strategy for this very daunting
task and i thank you very much for being here. >> thank you, senator. let me recognize the general for his testimony. >> chairman reed, rank member inhofe and distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear today alongside general richardson. it's my honor to represent the men and women of the united states northern command and aerospace defense command. as we defense the united states and canada, united states northern command face the most dynamic and strategically complex environment in their respective histories. they face multiple challenges. to hold our homelands at risk to advance their own interests. today strategic competitors, rogue nation, nonstate actors
possess the caabilities to strike institutions and krut call infrastructure in the united states and canada. our country is already under attack every day in the information space and the cyber domain. our competitors, especially russia and china, are spreading disinformation, actively sewing division and internal discord with the intent to undermine our nation, our democracy our the world. we're saying this play out with russia's invasion of ukraine. those same competitors have have informsed in the delivery platforms which russia is displaying to the world. their intent is to hold critical infrastructure in the homeland below the nuclear threshold in order to disrupt and delay our ability to project power globally while attempting to undermine our will, intervene in original overseas crisis. i believe the strategic deterrent is the foundation of homeland defense and that it is necessary for the united states to maintain a reliable and
effective nuclear triad. at the same time, i'm concerned that deterrence by cost imposition is currently overweighted and does not adequately account for the conventional capabilities our competitors have already fielded. this overreliance increases the risk of miscalculation and escalation because it limits our national leaders options in crisis and in conflict our competitors advance conventional capabilities make it necessary to balance deterrence by cost imposition with a model of deterrence by denial. it employs all elements of national influence, leverages our asymmetric advantage of our. partnerships and provides leaders with a wide range of timely deterrence option ps. we must continual lir demonstrate to potential aggressors that in an attack on our homeland will result in failure. we do that by demonstrating homeland readiness, responsiveness and resiliency. and by displaying a range of
kinetic and nonkinetic capabilities to defend the homeland. support of civil authorities are security cooperation relationships with allies and partners are critical to integrated deterrence as is the mission to provide warning and defend the approaches to north america. this strategic environment is the new normal. this operating model that we assumed we could project power has been eroding over the last decade. to provide leaders with options that they need to achieve favorable outcomes, our homeland defense design are focused on four key principles. that starts with all domain awareness from undersea to on orbit and everywhere in between to include cyber domain. all domain awareness is required to achieve information dominance, which is the use of advanced capabilities like machine learning and artificial intelligence to quickly analyze, process and deliver data to decision makers at the speed of relevance.
by doing so, we will increase senior leader decision space, enable decision superiority over our competitors. finally, today's problems are our global and all domain and demand globally integrated strategies, plans and actions. these principles are vital elements of our ability to execute a layered defense and integrated deterrence and they are critical to our nation's ability to deter in competition, deescalate crisis and, if necessary, defeat in conflict. i'll end by thanking the committee for all you have done to support our soldiers, sailors, marines, guardians and the fy 2022 and the recent passage of the appropriations omnibus continue to advance our priorities and the mugss of northern command and no rad. today's strategic environment calls for sustained, sufficient and predictable funding in order to prevail. persistently operating under continuing resolutions over the
last decade has contributed to the erosion of our nation's competitive advantage. i join my fellow commanders, the service chiefs and the secretary in expressing my appreciation for the resources provided in the omnibus and in urging the on time passage of both the ndaa and a full-year appropriations bill for fy 2023. thank you for the opportunity to appear today, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, sir. general richardson, your testimony. >> chairman reed, ranking member and distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you alongside my most important teammate this keeping the western hemisphere safe. i'm horned to be here with you represented the men and women of u.s. southern command to discuss the damages we share with our neighbors in this hemisphere and the opportunities that we can unlock together.
today more than ever, america's fate is linked to events beyond our shores. this region our shared neighborhood is under assault from a host of trabs boundary challenges that directly threaten our own homeland. i have been in command almost five months now and the biggest eye opener has been the extent to which china and russia are aggressively expanding their influence in our neighborhood. latin america and the caribbean are experiencing insecurity and instability that has been greatly exacerbated by covid-19. the people's republic of china are a long-term strategic competitor continues its relentless march to expand economic, diplomatic, technological, and military influence in latin america and the caribbean. and challenges u.s. influence in all these domains. without u.s. leadership and
modest investment, negative prc influence in this region could soon resemble the self-serving predatory influence it now holds in africa. let's be clear. the prc doesn't invest. they extract. meanwhile russia, a more immediate threat, is increasing its engagements in the hemisphere as putin looks to keep his options open and maintain relationships in our near abroad. the foreign minister said he could neither affirm or exclude military assets to cuba and venezuela. just days before the russian unprovoked invasion of ukraine, the russian deputy prime minister visited cuba and venezuela, countries that maintain close ties with russia and offer a foothold in our hemisphere. finally, recent visits between the presidents of brazil and argentina with putin in russia demonstrate a concerning potentially broadening of russia ties in the region.
in this hemisphere, criminal organizations operate nearly uncontested and blaze a trail of corruption and violence that creates a wedge and allows the prc and russia to exploit these countries. they threaten security, undermine government institutions and drive irregular migration to our homeland. these tcos traffic opioids and other deadly drugs into the u.s. fueling both drug overdoses and drug-related violence. in my initial travels to latin america and the caribbean, it's become obvious to me that our partners are our best defense as we work together to counter our shared threats. we must use all levers to strengthen our partnerships with the 28 like-minded democracies in this hemisphere. multimat lateral exercises and
the fmf and fms programs to educate, train and build capacity that our partners use to stand shoulder to shoulder with us. columbia, our strongest partner in the region, exports security by training other latin american militaries to counter transnational threats. u.s. south is putting deterrence into action every day using innovative methods to work seamlessly in all domains with the other commands, allies and partner nations, congress, the u.s. interagency and the private sector. now more than ever, the u.s. must load in this hemisphere and that requires consistent focus and a sustained investment to help build a shared neighborhood that is free, secure and prosperous for our generation and generations to come. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, general.
thank you also. the north korean missile activity is quite disturbing. hours ago they launched a missile which from analysis of the flight path could hit the united states. given this behavior, what are your thoughts about the current 44 ground based interceptors and their current capability? >> chairman, i'm comfortable with where we are today based on the intelligence i have with the current capabilities and capacities of north korea. going forward, i do believe they could exceed my capacity and capabilities. that's why it's crucial to keep next generation interceptor on time or early. in my discussions with admiral hill, he's confident right now that they are on that path. as far as the total number of 44
interceptors, that's a policy decision. i look forward to seeing the missile defense review and the policy it provides in guidance to me to get after the capacity and the challenges that you allude to, sir. >> so you are at this point confident that the next generation interceptor is on track? i think the plan is by fy 2028. >> that is correct. i'm confident that it is on track for that now. or slightly early. >> very good. you have a made your input into the national defense strategy, which is yet to be announced. are you confident that your contribution will be forwarded to us? >> i'm confident that my input will be included.
they have been very transparent in the department as they worked this. >> thank you very much. general richardson, southcom because of a lack of resources, which as a veteran, i can tell you has been the case for many, many decades, is now relying upon artificial intelligence and other new technologies to compensate. could you comment on what you're doing and how successful they are? >> absolutely. so the advanced isr or nontraditional isr that we utilize since we're not given a lot of resources, we look for other ways of being innovative and using other capabilities that either the department of defense has or the other services are trying to use. and so we'll use that all different kinds of capabilities that use the ai and ml a lot with unclassified data that can
rapidly sort through that data and use it to tip and q what limited assets that we do have to help out with our challenges and the aor. >> you're working closely with the department of defense to essentially test some new innovative prototypes in a whole range of both the air, land and sea? >> absolutely. and we have five joint capability technology demos that we have in the aor. i would like to highlight in a permissive environment, i offer that because where our adversaries maybe aren't paying as much close attention to us, we can put that to real world use in our area of operations. and then it helps me with domain awareness to find our threats, see what our threats are doing, because the aor is so big. >> i want to thank you. i know you have been in
contact with civil society groups, the sisters of mercy and this whole of government and beyond approach is necessary everywhere, but particularly in southcom. and particularly honduras, there's a need to support the recent elected government and to begin seriously isolating individuals who are either involved with criminal activities or other appropriate activities and support a more vibrant constitutional order. i thank you for that. any comments about the situation in the triangle? >> first, chairman, i have had two meetings so far with the human rights leaders and sisters of mercy being one of them. human rights watch and a couple of others they have such an important perspective of the region. they have been traveling there
for decades. they have been working in those countries for decades. certainly, taking their perspective and their insight of what they have seen over that period of time is truly valuable. we bake human rights into everything we do. i have a human rights office in southcom. it's not about having an office. it's what you do with that capability and how we make that a priority in everything that we do in the aor. >> thank you very much. let me recognize senator inhofe please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as i said in my opening statement, the crisis at the border has worsened considerably under the current administration. we have had 12 straight months of over 150,000 illegal migrants, which is a 63% increase from february 2021 and
a dhs record for the month of february. according to the internal border patrol estimates, from january through august, over 273,000 migrants avoided apprehension and entered our country illegally. these are new records. this is not happened before. i'm deeply concerned that the crisis would soon get worse as we discussed in our office if the biden administration ends the title xlii border policy in april, illegal immigration will surge even beyond the current record setting levels. so general, given the worsening conditions and the crisis at the southwest border, are you aware of any discussion within the administration or dhs that could result in any requests for
additional troops at that border? >> senator inhofe, there is a request from the department of homeland security. it's in the planning stages right now of the department to provide additional capability or capacity based on the potential for additional immigration or folks coming to the southwest border. i don't have the details and i haven't been tasked to provide any additional support to the department of homeland security. >> i understand that, it is a reality that's in discussion. general richardson, it's clear that south com counties to be underresourced despite all the threats in your aor. that's something we need to take a closer look at as we develop our ndaa. we'll have to do that. china, as we discussed in my office this week, i'm concerned about their growing presence and
consequences for our military. so general richardson, what do you find most concerning about china's growing presence in your aor and how could it undermine their ability to operate? >> so thank you, senator. my concern regarding china in the region is just the presence and the access that they have. they have been able to create partly due to the covid-19 pandemic. and the economic rollbacks that this has had in the region. so 8% of the world's population is in southcom. 33% of the world's covid deaths were suffered. so they have had a hard time with that. the economy has contracted. so when these 28 like-minded democracies in the region out of
31 are trying to deliver for their people, it's hard. when china has the initiative, 21 of the 31 countries in the region have signed up and our signatories. they need to show they are delivering for their populations in infrastructure projects is probably the best way with the bri that shows progress, but as we know, the work is not done to standard. a lot of times it leaves these countries with even more debt than when they started. a highway in jamaica, jamaica has six loans as a result of this. they lost 1200 acres of land. and the highway has a toll on it. the most jamaicans can't even drive on. the chinese don't bring in and don't hire host nation workers. they bring in chineses. they take, extract and have
strings tied to what they offer. >> you and i talked about this in the office. it's so similar to what the chinese have been doing now for about 15 years in africa. no surprises here. but it's important we get into the record what is happening now. it's happening in your aor. something that you didn't anticipate, none of us anticipated the fwravty of that situation. i'm glad you were there at the held the. >> what i would like to mention that's with the panama canal. the projects that the chinese have around the panama canal, which is a strategic line of communication that we want to keep free and open for the global economy. but also for our global war plans. also the strait and the presence of china and projects is and
things like that. so that's what bothers me most are the two strategic global lines of communication, areas that the chinese have projects in and around those areas. >> with everything going on now, i think it's important that we and you particularly need to keep reminding us of that. that's something that people are not aware of. but thank you. >> thank you very much. let me recognize senator gillibrand. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, just to continue the line of questioning that senator inhofe started. given the investments that china is making regardless of how extractive they are, what do you think our best response is? in particular, can you talk about how we're engaging with elected governments in the region to counter authoritarian actors. are we collaborating with agencies and other institutions, with partner countries like
legislatures to support human rights and democracy? and further, i do want to get a sense of china's also adopted a partner force training model that is of some concern for me and i'd like to assess how effective is china's partner force training in those countries that participate and how do we ensure these relationships are not enduring. >> so the way i would look at it, senator, is in terms of our partnerships, the u.s. has partners. china has clients. they don't have the partners. and our partner nations want to partner with us. i go to these countries. i have visited columbia, brazil, belize, where i got to visit with leaders from seven central american countries, honduras and you look in their eyes and they want to partner with us and they are having a hard time
delivering for their population. i will tell you that the prc is using our playbook in terms of how i do security cooperation and the other combat and commands. to train and equip, the exercises, the chinese don't have exercises like we do. when we have exercises, the u.s. bring 21, 29 different countries together. as i said, they want to partner with us and we have partners. a great relationship with the department of state in the aor, i'd like to highlight, i have my deputy who is a former ambassador for el salvador sitting behind me. and i will tell you we're so lucky to have an ambassador from the department of state who can help bridge and communicate and help us work more collaboratively with our chiefs of mission in the aor. we have 12 more to go for ambassadors to fill those seats. eight have been nominated. so thank you for your support in getting those ambassadors in there as quickly as possible.
>> one final question before i move on. southcom has played an important role in humanitarian operations. where u.s. support was needed not only after the natural disaster, but after the political crisis. can you explain how you foresee any changes to the posture to continue providing humanitarian assistance, especially as climate and other issues continue to increase migration. >> we'll continue to watch this aor. haiti, all of the challenges that we have in this aor that are on going, and work very closely with for a whole of government, a democratic solution and to instability and insecurity in the region. we take that very seriously. we bake in human rights, the rule of law, everything that we do in our security cooperation programs. everything that i do, my main
lever because i don't get assigned forces, i get very limited gift map resources that are assigned to me as well. so i really rely on that triple three security and cooperation funding to work with these partner nations to help them increase the capacity and capability of their militaries or their defense forces. >> that's helpful. thank you. general, china attempted to establish a foothold in the arctic through economic relationships with smaller arctic states like iceland. they grant access to their vital natural resources. this strategy is coupled with an increase in china's arctic capabilities to create something like a polar silk road. do you see these relationships as leading to an eventual movement of assets into the region? and further, newark national guard conducted several missions with the national scientific foundation in the arctic. can you speak to the importance
of our missions in the arctic and how it supports our overall strategic goals when it comes to that region. >> thank you. first, absolutely, the chinese are active in the arctic. each of the last five years they have sent a vessel under the resource vessel into the arctic for military purposes. so they are there. they are influencing nations. they want to change and influence international norms and behavior as well. i would also point out the arctic is a strategic location and being able to operate persistently in the arctic is something we need to do so the research you're talking about is crucial in the investments. i understand my time is up, but they are active in the bahamas or in mexico as well. i would point that out. >> thank you. >> senator wicker? >> general, let's keep talking about the arctic then. during your posture hearing last year, i asked about the coast guard's authorization to build
six new ice breakers. i appreciated your response in support of these ships, but as we all know, they cannot operate in the high north without fuel and supplies. currently, the farthest north deep water point is dutch harbor. on the other hand, nome, alaska, nearly 800 miles north, has been granted money to dredge and develop a port in order to provide services to deep draft ships. how would additional ice breakers and the development of the port of gnome enable them to establish your mission in the arctic? >> thanks, senator. first, the six breakers on plan for the coast guard are crucial to enabling persistent to operate within the arctic. persistence is enabled by having fuel capability further north than currently in dutch harbor. that allows either the coast guard as cutters or ice breakers or navy vessels to remain more
persistent. that's important to that location. i would like to clarify one thing. the infrastructure and jobs act that was just passed provided about $250 million for the port of gnome. the dredging portion of that is not currently funded. it would require that dredging from a 30-foot depth to 40 foot for these vessels we're talking about for these vessels to get in there we're going to get that funding for that persistence i need. >> so the additional funding is not adequate unless we get the dredging done. >> it is certainly adequate for commercial operations, benefit from a local communities, indigenous people, absolutely. we have to get the additional dredging. that's correct. >> let me switch to general richardson. the navy small craft destruction and technical training school provides training to partner nations from every combat and
command today. they have trained 13,000 students from more than 120 partner nations. what's the importance of keeping it? what is the risk of international support and partnerships? should its capacity be reduced? >> thank you for the question, senator. it's a force multiplier. 123 partner nations utilize this school. over 13,000 trained. this school has been open for 52 years. and quite honestly, what it does low level, it's opinionnys to operate. you talk about a low cost, high return on investment, this is it. and quite honestly, if you think about it, the navy has big ships. other nations few have big vessels most of the other navies and coast guards from the other partner nation militaries as well as coast guards have
smaller vessels you talk about the amazon. they don't have highways. they have rivers. and they need the training. they need their smaller vessels to get this training. it's critical to our security cooperation and helping build our defense forces and our militaries and maritime operations. >> i do appreciate that. let me follow up on an engagement that senator inhofe and senator gillibrand had with you. i think the discussion with senator inhofe was like-minded democracies in south working with us. senator gillibrand asked about engaging with elected governments. let me just mention that the organization of american states is based here in washington, d.c. is the only multilateral organization that includes every country in the western
hemisphere except for cuba. i would point out to my colleagues in 2020, president trump signed into law the organization of american states legislative engagement act. we were leaders in this effort, just as we have tried to enhance our participation with european parliamentarians, both in and out of majorities in government and europe through the osce. do you agree that moving to a parliamentary assembly, as the trump law anticipates, would be a positive and could promote cooperation in a variety of government and security issues. >> senator, i think that increased engagement in this aor can be nothing but good.
i can only cover so much. our department of state can only cover so much. with the program, a focus on this area, as i said in my opening statement, can only be more goodness. out of 31 countries and 16 dependencies in the caribbean, it's a lot of ground to cover. and i would certainly welcome the focus and the attention. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator wicker. now since a quorum is present, i ask pending military nominations. all of these have been before the committee. is there a motion to report this list of 2,766 pending military nominations to the senate? is there a second? >> second. >> all in favor, say aye. thank you very much, the motion
carries. let me recognize the senator. >> thank you, mr. chair. thanks to our witnesses for your service. general richardson, i want to echo a point that senator inhofe made. i continue to believe that south com is underresourced. you talked about the value of the security cooperation program. describe the kinds of activities that you engage with our regional partners and through the security cooperation program. >> so we have a myriad of things that we do in terms of the training and the equipping. we do things from small teams, 8 to 13-man teams. we do it in all the domains, special ops, cyber, information ops, we do big exercises, as i mentioned before. it's a defense of the panama canal exercise. 29 countries from this aor participate in that with us.
we have trade winds. that's been a name that's been around for decades. and that's a security operation in a contested environment that we train to. that will bring 21 countries together. my components will do units this year. brazil will host that. that will bring 19 countries together and when you see the picture of all the different vessels, the ships and vessels from the other countries it's just really impressive. >> general richardson, just to give the committee a magnitude, you have nearly 30 countries in your aor. i believe the admiral last year testified that the total security cooperation budget for southcom to do the activities you describe with that many nations is $120 million. so that's sort of what we're talking about, right? >> that's correct, senator.
i know that seems like a lot of money, but when i don't have assigned forces and capabilities and that's my main lever for engaging with the partner nations, that's really a low cost, high return on investment. >> let me ask about the imet program. that's another security cooperation tends to be in the aor, but imet we bring leaders from southcom military nations to the united states for training. that's also very small budget. but describe to the committee the value of the imet program in southcom. >> that's huge. that's the professional military. that's where they get to come to our war college. which is at the lieutenant colonel level. right now i have 17 chiefs of defense and 6 ministers of defense that have been to school in the united states. they know they get the best education and training when they come here. they want to come here. and what we try to work with at
$13 million annually is to have sustained, consistent personnel from their militaries attending our professional military education. >> these are both relatively small investments in southcom. a region without assigned forces, as general richardson says. and i'm going to suggest to watch this space. i think there's going to be a budget submitted to us soon. and look at the dollars. i have grave concern that challenges elsewhere in the world are going to take these investments and shrink them even more. and if that's the case, i'm going to be advocating strongly we don't do less, but we do more in the region. my understanding is also with respect to cyber assets. i know nations are dealing with a lot of cyber attacks and misinformation from actors.
they get particularly active around elections. there are many elections happening this year. cyber command has so much on them. you're making use with the guard. good on them and good on you for using them in an effective way. but cyber command does not have many assets can currently allow to be used. am i right about that? >> they are higher priorities in the region. and so i would like to thank the senators for the support of the state partnership program, which is a huge force multiplier. >> we're not paying attention to this region. we're not paying attention to them on diplomatic circles. we're not paying sufficient attention to them in terms of vaccine distribution and not paying attention to them in the military area.
but other nations, especially china, are paying a lot of attention. thank you for your testimony. >> thank you. senator fisher? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you for being here today. general, in your prepared testimony of hypersonic threats, you state, quote, the impact is the loss of critical decision space for national level decision makers regarding continuity of government and the preservation of retaliatory capabilities resulting in an increase in the potential for strategic deterrence failure. you make a similar assessment of cruise missile threats saying, additionally these advance cruise missiles and platforms will limit national leadership
and my ability to provide threat warning and attack assessment, which directly influences my ability to support government operations and provide support to missions. again, the potential consequence is an increase risk of strategic deterrence failure. can you elaborate please on what you mean about the threat to continuity of government and the risk of deterrence failure? >> senator, sure. so one of my biggest challenges is domain awareness. they challenge my ability to conduct my mission of providing threat warning and attack assessment. what you can't see and what you can't deter and defend from and they will significantly challenge me. why i primarily do that is exactly for to support continuity of government and the survivable of the nuclear forces as well. and when you can't do that, then you have to make some
assumptions that those threats might be nuclear threats that will be inbound and that increases a risk of miscalculation and the risk of strategic deterrence failure. that's my number one priority to gain that domain awareness to provide that threat warning and attack assessment. i'm currently not tasked to defend against hypersonics. i look forward to seeing the review. i am tasked to defend against cruise missiles and that's a tough mission for me right now without domain awareness. >> thank you. you mentioned norad. could you update us on our partnership with the canadiens there please. >> the canadians are ab outstanding ally. militarily, i have hundreds of them working for us at the headquarters. i have met multiple times the chief of defense staff, my boss on the that side is coming to visit me next week.
the minister, i have met with her in person in canada. great allies. canada is in the decision making process to support norad modernization. i look forward to seeing where they go. i think the world requires us to think hard about modernizing the forces to operate across the entire aor, which includes the arctic and the infrastructure and communication capabilities as well. i look forward to seeing what they come up with. >> thank you. we saw this morning that north korea did another long range missile test to demonstrate that their ballistic missile capabilities continue to grow and the threat to the homeland, i believe, is continuing to increase. with this if mind, is it your view next generation needs to be fielded as soon as possible? >> absolutely, senator. as soon as we can get that here, i'm confident the contract
mechanism rewards fielding it faster. >> to be clear on this when you say it's on track right now, to be clear, do you think delaying the schedule or changing the requirements would put us at a serious risk of being unable to pace ballistic missile threats to our homeland? >> senator, i am very concern canned about my ability to pace the capacity of production we assess and the capability that we assess the north koreans continue to adapt to. that's why the funding for the service life extension program for the current ballistic missile defense capability is so crucial. thank you for that funding. and that's why next generation interceptor is crucial as well. it will help both get after the additional capacity problems and the capability problems. >> thank you. general richardson, in the time we have remaining, can you talk about the role that you see that china and russia are playing in your aor and, specifically, how do we improve the relations we
have, the quality of our engagements to better compete. i know we're friends, and they are clients. can you be more specific on what needs to be done? >> the way i'm on the field, i don't need to outspend china to outcompete them, but i do need the funding to do security cooperation to help build the capacity and capability within the militaries and defense forces, which helps them secure their borders, which helps them with internal security in their country and then also be exporters of training to other latin american countries. then in peace keeping operations around the world too. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator fisher. senator king please? >> thank you, mr. chairman.
with regard to northcom, my concern is in a moment of crisis is a question of who is in charge. are you satisfied with the coordination level between the three combat and commands and the canadiens in case of some kind of crisis in the arctic? >> senator, i'm comfortable with the way unified campaign is currently laid out. we have outstanding relationships with canada, outstanding relationships with ucom. i do think we need to look at based on threat changes how we would command and control those capabilities. so for example, the threats to the homeland today to not reside in my area of responsibility. they are actually existing in other areas of responsibility. such as the responsibility in the ucom area of responsibility. i do think there's potential gaps and seams that we need to
make sure that we close those in a time of crisis and conflict to ensure we don't have challenges that were unaccounted for. >> that's exactly my question. i hope that there will be work done actively done to close those gaps and seams. we don't want to be working on that in the middle of a crisis we want the structure ready on the shelf. can the current missile defense system that we have defend us against hypersonics? >> i'm not tasked to defend against them, but it can't because we don't have the domain awareness at this time. >> we also don't have the technology to deal. so i think that's important to understand that we do have missile defense. it's important for ballistic missiles, but it will not suffice when it comes to hypersonics.
general richardson, could you estimate what percent act of isr resources we have to utilize in the southcom aor. >> senator, about 1% or a little bit less than 1% of the global isr. >> that's what i was afraid you were going to say. and i frankly am just can't believe that. because we're talking america is under attack. the principle attack is drugs. 300 people a day. that's one 9/11 every two weeks. and yet we're treating it as if it's some kind of domestic problem. this is an attack and the fact that you have 1% of the isr to keep track of this threat to me is a gross misallocation of resources.
i realize it's not your responsibility, but my next question is why, in your opinion, are we so short of isr? if we need it in a particular area, why don't we build more global? i don't understand why this is not something we can't budget for and deal with. >> so senator, all my fellow combat and commanders will always say we don't have enough to see and be able to see the threats in our aor. >> the budget ought to reflect that fact so we can fill that gap. that's a pretty straight forward mathematical question. >> well, i certainly appreciate congress gives me a little extra funding for isr so we have some contracted owned assets for airplanes that actually help me with isr in the region be able to look for threats and look for counternarcotics.
>> let me ask you the same question that i asked the general. one of my principles of management is that you always want to have one throat to choke. who is in charge of the antidrug activities in latin measuring? activities in latin america? who's in charge? >> senator, i am in charge for detection and monitoring. and that is to get actionable information about illicit drug trafficking. >> who's in charge of interdiction? >> that would be dhs and our law enforcement agencies. >> but there's no one individual who can be held responsible for the overall dealing with this issue, is that correct? >> i would say that that would be our department of homeland security, senator. >> i think that's something we have to strengthen and clarify. i'm not going to pursue this but
for the record i would hope you would give us more detail on what you mentioned earlier about the panama canal and chinese activity i understand at either end of the panama canal as well as the straits of magellan. >> i was troubled by the brief comments you had with senator inhof about all the things you described china is doing in your area of responsibility. i think the strategic investment along the panama canal is most striking. i know this is primarily a state department and treasury matter. can you tell us a little more about what's going on around the canal and how southcomm deals with the threat?
>> thank you, senator. we work very closely with panama and our corps of engineers just was able to negotiate a water tender contract with panama, which i think is huge because it's been 15 years in the making. so we have a lot of ground to make up with panama. in terms of the investment, china and the strategic investments that they make, you know, just like the panama canal, when you enter and exit on either side you have chinese state-owned enterprises. what i worry about are chinese state-owned enterprises that have capability there, they can be used for dual use, which means civilian and also military. if you look at where the 29 port projects are in the aor in 17
countries, these are very methodically thought out, in my opinion. i worry about the access they get under the guise of infrastructure and looking like they're helping economies when they're really not. the resources in this aor are off the charts. 60% of the world's lithium in the lithium triangle in south america, argentina, bolivia and chile. you have 31% of the world's fresh water. you have the amazon. you have the oil reserves in venezuela, the light sweet crude discovered off the shores of guyana. there are a lot of resources in this region. again, it's not an investment by our competitors. it's there to extract in some way, shape or form. >> what do you think china is up to there in all those investments around the canal? is it more about advaning their own interests or holding at risk
and threatening ours? >> i think it's both. >> we depend on the canal more because of our geography than does china, right? >> i would say yes, but the panama canal as well as the strait of ma gel lan, in my aor, those two very strategic global lines of communication must remain open. >> i agree. should we ever have a conflict with china, the decisive effort would be somewhere in the western pacific, not in the caribbean basin or the eastern pacific. it's the very essence of strategy to try to force your adversary to defend what he has no choice but to defend far removed from the theater of decision. that's one reason i'm so worried about these investments around the canal. the panama canal treaty was
actually two treaties. we retain under that neutrality treaty -- >> that is correct. >> good. one area i want to discuss was agriculture. as we heard, you have no assigned forces and a lot of what you do is with interagency partners and looking at non-military, nontraditional ways to cooperate. sometimes people overlook the importance of agriculture. i don't think china overlooks it if you consider their investment in south america, especially targeting crops like soybeans. i think this investment seems to be creating alternative markets for them to buy as well as to crowd out our exports. fortunately for us, brazil's soybean crop didn't compare so well to ours, especially in arkansas. can you give me thoughts on how you can work with agencies like aig and the trade representative
to dissuade countries in your area of responsibility from continuing down the path with further entanglement with china in the agriculture domain? >> we work very closely regarding the folks that we have that work in the western hemisphere. we have a close relationship with usaid. i met with director powers previously. she travels the region as well. none of us have the resources, so that helps us work together more collaboratively across all the interagency and work to figure out how we can invest in this region. i'd also like to highlight that china gets 36% of its food source from this aor as well. the aor has a lot of resources being eyed by our competitors. >> i think this is going to be a
matter of growing importance this year given the war in ukraine and how much grain ukraine and russia provide to the rest of the world as well as fertilizer or other agriculture inputs, not only increasing prices on our grocery shelves here in america but also threats to stability in your region and africa and the middle east and places that have pretty fragile governments and limited food supplies. thank you. >> senator blumenthal. >> thanks, mr. chairman. thank you both for your service. thanks for being here today. this morning president biden announced that the united states will welcome 100,000 ukrainian refugees who are fleeing an absolutely intolerable situation in ukraine. i recently visited the border of ukraine and poland with a number
of colleagues, a bipartisan trip, and saw the women and children. they are almost all women and children fleeing the horror and terror that putin has caused to their country. they'll come here through a variety of legal pathways and likely follow the same general program as the afghan refugees did. i continue to call on the administration to enable more of our at risk afghan allies to escape the taliban. they have targets on their backs. they helped americans, our troops, our diplomats while we were there. and they are under dire threat from the taliban. but i also applaud the president for his efforts to welcome ukrainians in the united states, and there's much more to be
done. the 3.5 million refugees who have already fled ukraine and the 10 million more internally displaced have added to an already burgeoning refugee and humanity crisis around the globe. literally last year 26 million refugees were displaced from areas as diverse as syria, venezuela, afghanistan, south sudan, myanmar and other countries. these refugees represent a threat as well as an opportunity, literally an opportunity because they have a great deal of talent and skills and potential for contributing to countries that they may be
moving to, but also a threat in so far as the failure to aid them will lead to potential terrorism and other adverse activity. i've seen the tremendous support that northcom provided to allies last year in finding capacity on u.s. bases and efficiently housing and processing afghan refugees fleeing the taliban. and i hope that northcom will play a role as well in welcoming and resettling the ukrainian refugees. general van herk, have you been given instructions on the role from northcom with respect to ukrainian refugees? >> senator, i'm aware of the president's announcement. i do not have any direct mission task to plan for that yet. as we did with operational lies
welcome, we stand ready if directed by the secretary of defense to do that. it was an honor to support nearly 74,000 afghans as we processed them through eight installations from d.o.d. if directed, we'll move out, senator. >> are there lessons that we should learn from the oaw experience with the afghan refugees? >> there are absolutely lessons that we have incorporated that we learned during that that would make us better prepared if we had to stand up to do this mission again. >> what kinds of lessons? >> interagency coordinations, lessons to make more efficient use of data and information and the ability to track, categorize, whether it be medical or security screening, all of these things were worked closely and we are in a much better place today than when we started last july. >> i was tremendously impressed
when i visited quantico, which is only one of those eight, with the enthusiasm and dedication of the marines who were involved at quantico at welcoming and aiding the refugees there. most of them had never served in afghanistan or iraq. for them, this was their deployment, so to speak, and they loved doing it and provided a real american welcome to these new americans, and i think we can all be proud of the work that was done by our military at those bases in providing that first american experience to the afghan refugees, and i hope the same is done with respect to the ukrainian refugees. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator blumenthal. senator rounds, please. >> thank you both for your
service to our country. i would like to continue with general vanherck. with regards to your mission and your role in keeping our country safe, could you share with us what activities our southern border and the challenges we face at our southern border right now with regard to transnational criminal organizations, and the violent extremist organizations and so forth and the porousness of that border right now, can you share with us what impact that might have on your responsibilities in that role? >> i am directly in support of the department of homeland security providing national guard troops on title x status.
they're monitoring detection of monitoring analysis and aviation support. we're really treating the the symptoms, you know, counter narcotics, migration, human trafficking, those kinds of things are symptoms, in my mind are part of a broader problem, and that's trans national -- not conducive to success. and we see that happening on our border in mexico. my concern with that, senator, is the instability it creates, the opportunities it creates for actors such as china, russia and others who may have nefarious activities on their mind. to seek access and influence in our aor from a national security perspective. >> do you see evidence of that at this time? >> there are actors, and i would include bahamas and mexico, china and russia. i would point out that the largest portion of the gru members in the world is in mexico right now.
those are russian intelligence personnel. they keep an eye very closely on their opportunities to have influence on u.s. opportunities and access. >> general richardson, this is your aor. would you concur with the general's assessment? >> yes, senator. >> does that impact your ability to do your role or how does that impact your ability to complete your assignments there? >> so we work very closely with our partner nations, and as i have said how important the lever is, to have our jersey on and have our number and work shoulder to shoulder with our partners. they really want to work with us. everything -- and all the levers that i have that you all provide and i get from the department of defense and the department of state go into action. a little goes a long way in this aor. again, i don't need to out
compete my competitors, our out spend them to out compete them, but we do have to be present and we have to be there with them. >> today we fight war -- or at least we have to be able to defend war that comes from air, land and sea, space and cyberspace. i understand that right now with regard to cyber capabilities, there's a limit to the number that we have. general richardson, can you share with us the challenges you face in meeting your responsibilities with the limited cyber defense capabilities that we have? >> so we do our best in terms of the small teams, the subject matter exchanges, subject matter expert exchanges that we do with our partner nations. we will go with a cyber assessment team to help with an assessment of their network, maybe a 13-man team that works
with the partner nation. we work over the shoulder. we cannot -- we can provide direction and subject matter expertise, but we can't get to the keyboards with them and go to work with them. >> let me ask this in a different way. if -- in order to do your mission, are you able to receive the number and types of cyber mission teams that you request? >> we are able to do that through our national guard state partner program. cybercom does not have the capability to support all the combatant commands. we see that paycom are the go priorities. >> demand exceeds supply? >> yes. >> can you briefly describe to
us how critical cyber is and the challenges you face and getting the resources that you need? >> senator, cyber domain awareness is critical. the vast majority of that exists in the private sector. i am comfortable with where we are in the department of defense infrastructure, and sissa with other federal networks, and domain awareness outside of that is relatively an unknown. many of those municipalities companies, their reporting is all we get. they are actually voluntarily playing. so from a domain awareness perspective we don't know exactly what we don't know. >> thank you. my time has expired. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator rounds. senator sullivan, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
i want to thank both the witnesses. i think you both are doing an exceptional job and don't always get the attention they deserve. general vanherck i appreciate our meeting the other day. i want to follow-up on the discussion about the provision that senator king and aiko sponsored in the ndaa on the arctic security, and there's a bipartisan group of senators that are very focused on that. as you know it authorizes the establishment of a security initiative and that's modeled on the pacific deterrence initiative, and the european deterrence initiative, and i think pdi and edi have been quite prophetic saying, hey, pentagon, focus, europe, asia,
taiwan, and now the arctic. can you please provide a status on the update regarding the assessment, any conclusions you have drawn as you know the arctic security initiative that was passed into law directs you, the north com commander? >> senator, we are in progress with the assessment, and what i commit to you you will get an honest assessment from me, and i will coordinate that across the department, and the coordination will begin, and i am likely going to ask for an extension. i believe it's crucial to not do this fast but to do it right and
i hope to have it done by early summer at the latest. i would point out real quick if you don't mind, i would look forward to see what the budget comes out with next week with regards to arctic. >> are there other things you can highlight already with this committee in terms of your assessment? >> senator, without seeing the '23 budget i can't give you an assessment of what we will see with infrastructure and support, and i believe we will be domain awareness capabilities, but i look forward to seeing that. i would assess there may still be work to do with regards to the strategies each of the services have funded -- not funded but put out, but when the budget comes out i will give you the final assessment. >> let me ask specifically on that when secretary austin was here for his confirmation hearing, i asked if he would commit to work with this
committee to ensure the arctic strategies from the different services are fully resourced. he said, quote, you have my commitment to do that. that's what he told the committee. do you believe funding for the arctic security initiative in a similar manner that has been done for pdi and edi? are you seeing that funding? i am not talking about the upcoming budget but what you have seen in the last year? >> to answer your last question, we have not seen the funding that i would like to see with regards to the arctic.
>> the strategies are coming together. i think they are all coming together well. they are serious. that's a big change from a couple years ago. but you are not seeing the funding as of yet? >> in the past, that's correct, senator. i look forward to seeing the 23 budget -- the arctic is strategic in nature and we must be persistent to compete, and that's part of the deterrence you mentioned as well. >> for the pentagon folks watching, it's not just forces but as senator wicker talked about, it's infrastructure, and i know it gives some people a. vladimir putin has said he's going to own the arctic, and he's going to create the suez canal. >> we do need a presence, and
communications capabilities and infrastructure would do that. i look forward to working with the canadians on their part, and they need to be part of it as well and not only the department of defense especially on the infrastructure piece. >> i think this committee has been very strong on this over the last several years in a bipartisan way, and i think the pentagon needs to wake up. they need to wake up. they need to recognize this is a strategic issue for our nation. and just like the europen deterrence initiative, and i look forward to working with you and this committee and seeing it soon. >> thank you. >> i couldn't agree more with senator sullivan on the strategic importance and investments in the arctic, and it's a consensus in a bipartisan way in this committee that we
need to be focused on that. senator sullivan did a great job of addressing some of the questions that i had, and maybe just pick up one thing, the national guard bureau, to what extent are you working with them to ensure they are ready to conduct cold weather operations in that region? >> we work with all the services, including the national guard to be able to do that. i am highly reliant on the national guard bureau to execute my day-to-day campaign, and i couldn't be more proud and appreciate the support because i don't get access to the forces and i don't have the assigned forces to do that campaign plan. i would point out we need ready, trained and equipped forces to operate throughout my entire area of responsibility and that includes the arctic. that's part of the services strategy and it's something that we have to work on. i just concluded an arctic edge exercise which included some of the national guard and many of
the services and joint exercises and allies and partners in a classified environment i will share more on that, but the arctic is a challenging environment to operate in and we have work that remains. >> appreciate that. general vanherck, u.s. intelligence indicates that russia may be positioning itself to use chemical weapons in ukraine under the guise of a false flag, and our hearts go out to the ukrainian who are fighting for freedom, and we must use this crisis as an opportunity to consider our own preparedness for such an attack. my question for you, do you believe the united states is properly prepared to contain and respond to chemical attacks in the homeland and are there any short falls regarding that
enterprise? >> i think we are prepared for a small event. for a long-scale event in the homeland i think there's much work that needs to be done, and there could be additional resources applied to, senator. >> thank you. >> general richardson, in your reply to senator kaine, the question senator kaine offers, you talked about the importance of small engagement with our allies and partners, and every nation in south com participates in the national guard, as you are aware, and how do you plan to employ your units to deepen the defense relationships we have in the region? >> this is a huge force multiplier, and in some cases
two or three decades of relationships that have evolved, and we see the impact with that with ukraine and california and that relationship that they have. so there's a creation a few years ago, the bilateral affairs officer which is a national guard officer that is embedded in the embassies with the dod team there. in my campaign plan and strategy for the region, and as was brought out in other questions, you know, i don't have all the resources i need but that is reach back into the national guard and the capabilities, especially with the cyber battalions to help me with operations in the cyberspace domain. >> an area that we need to have increased focus on without question. another question for you,
generals, are you seeing the chinese or russian militaries copy these types of efforts in collaborating with regional militaries for opportunities? is this something they are picking up as well? >> i do, senator. i see them using part of our playbook against us, actually, and they don't have partners but clients. when we do big exercises and bring 20 something countries to the region, they don't do that but they have a lot of funding to bring large groups of personnel from the military forces to education in beijing for either a year or two years. if they do that, and if i take the country of guyana, for example, they can get to their defense force in about, you know, five years. so we have got to -- as i said before, i don't need to out spend china to out compete them, but i need to have the funding
and a little bit goes a long way. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator peterson. senator scott, please. >> thank you, chairman. general richardson, first off, thank you both for being here, for your service and the men and women that work with you. can you describe what you have seen from our enemies over the past six months that you have had this commend and what do you believe their goals are in our northern hemisphere? >> frankly i am surprised at how much our competitors have been able to expanded within the region and how they have done that with the proximity to the homeland. what i find myself doing is a lot of educating and informing about my aors. i travel around and speak to different groups and go to different places to offer the message and just educate folks. we tend to look east and west and not necessarily south. i can fly to 80% of this aor --
it's huge, and it looks huge and far away, and i can fly to 80% of it from two to three hours from miami, and we have forgotten about that. with the investment in infrastructure over the last five years by our long term strategic competitor, china, an investment of over 50 billion. i have a corps of engineers, and that's not it, usaid is there, and there other businesses and corporations that are in the region, and there's a huge investment by our long-term strategic competitor in the region. some of these countries as well, as i look to levers, levers that allow me to out compete my adversary, foreign military sales, foreign military financing, and security cooperation, and being able to have responsive levers. we can't take a year to two years when our partner nations are asking for capability, a couple hilos, fighter jet,
weapons, vehicles, and we take two years. our process has to be able to evolve with the times and we have to be faster. >> do you see in our hemisphere that russia and china have become -- clearly no question about it, they are adversaries? >> they are definitely competitors and i look at them as adversaries. >> when you see people do business with the chinese government and military, does that make your hard harder or less hard? >> they come under the guise of infrastructure and doing a good thing for that particular country and they look like they are investing in and they don't do a good job on the project in
the first place, and that generally becomes evident, and they don't hire host nations and i would say from my perspective, i worry about the civilian and duel use with the military and them being able to switch something over from a state enterprise to military use. >> do they leave their labor there? >> i think it depends. i think they actually do both. >> do you see signs of our enemies actively supplying weapons to any state or group in latin america? >> yes. >> is that increasing, decreasing? what is happening? >> i think over recently, probably over the last couple years that has increased. again, it takes whether they can do it faster or cheaper than us is -- that's why i say our levers and our ability to be able to deliver has to speed up,
and our processes have to get faster with the times. >> what type of weapons are they sending into our hemisphere? >> fighter aircraft, air defense systems, small arms, vehicles. >> so south com had an office that supports trade and support small businesses in the region. how is that doing? >> we have the small business director actually attend the chile inauguration for the president. in terms of small business, i will tell you what i have done, senator, we were able to bring the business executives for national security and coordinated a trip in panama with ten ceos, and i just took the out brief weeks ago as organized under my predecessor, and seeing the value, and when
you talk about the investment levels the prc has when they go into these countries across the aor, and i am looking at opm, other people's money. >> senator ernst, please. >> this is right here as your predecessor used to say, in our own neighborhood. if you could talk about what you see going on around the panama canal with the chinese influence that exist there?
we have many from pennsylvania avenue all the way here, we just don't give enough attention to our own neighborhood. many of my colleagues have already stated that. i think it's imperative that we must give you all the tools you need but we also need realists in the d.o.d. policy shop and at the state department that will actually acknowledge the
significance of a great power threat emanating through our area. general richardson, i know senator cotton focused heavily on the panama canal. i had a line of questions as well but i'm going to skip over that. i think there were about 14,000 transits through the panama canal. the united states is the number one user of the panama canal. 60% of what goes through the panama canal either originated in the united states or is headed to the united states. of course i come from a very ag heavy state. a lot of those commodities are products that do transit through the panama canal. so it is extremely important for us. if we could hammer down a little bit more just briefly general richardson, if you could talk about what you see going on around the panama canal with the
chinese influence that exists there. >> thank you, senator. certainly i would like to highlight that our country does 740 billion in trade with latin america and the caribbean. it's huge. the importance of keeping that panama canal open and free and for global economics and the economies, not just the war plans, which i worry about as well, is extremely important. but the strategic way of the investments and the proximity and the continued investment with other projects that they make in and around the panama canal is very concerning. so 6 billion additional. in addition to the -- on either side of the canal having stayed on enterprise companies along the canal.
>> yeah, it is very concerning. about a week or so prior to the benz group, and the group, and go into the panama i travelled with other congressman, and it's extremely concerning. that's why i am so thankful the benz group is engaging. we do need that economic support in that region so that we can also be a good partner. if there are ways that the united states may be won't investf we can find other allies and partners that do have the type of supports that might be necessary in that area, i think that we should facilitate where we can. i would like to focus on little bit on the mining activities that occur in south america as well. this is an area where we have seen a number of businesses from
the united states attempt to get into places like chile where they have lithium resources, but who beat us to the punch? the chinese. if you could talk a little bit about mining activities and how valuable that would be to the united states if we were able to engage in those types of activities? >> the region is just rich with rare earth minerals. as you talked about -- i mean, i just took my granddaughter to the history museum on the mall a couple weeks ago and got to see just all the minerals and the pressure metals and things like that, resources from the region, the rubies and emeralds and all those kinds of things, and when
you talk about illegal mining, it's illegal mining and illegal logging and illegal fishing that happens. i know you asked about the mining, but any given day, they follow the fishing migration patterns. you know where they are going to be by the migration of the fish. this is about 3 billion in lost economics productivity that those nations desperately need that the chinese are taking away. so it's all three of those things that are extremely prevalent in this aor. >> yeah, i appreciate that very much. i am glad you brought up all of the other resources. it's just incredibly important that we pay attention to our own neighborhood, and not only through our military but also through our state department and also economically as well. i really appreciate your presence here today.
thank you, general vanherck and thank you so much, general richardson. i yield. thank you. >> thank you, senator. senator hawley, please. >> thank you both for your service to our country. let me say, it's great to see a fellow missourian here, of course, as always. you said america's reliance on deterrence by position is overweighted and significantly increased the risk of miscalculation by limiting our leaders' options following an attack. that thought my attention because i have been arguing a while for the deterrence. s. >> cost and position.
the nuclear deterrent is the foundation of homeland defense. we must form a triad. we also must have a strong conventional force, and that must be balanced by deterrence by denial, and that's the capability to deny a potential adversary, and it's the ability to demonstrate readiness, resiliency across the whole of government, and responsiveness. we do this everyday with hurricanes and wildfires, and we demonstrated with allies welcomed. all of those contribute to the overarching integrated deterrence. i don't want to start with defense kinetically in the homeland. i want to keep us out of defense.
>> when you say that one of the dangers of over relying on deterrence is that it increases the risk of miscalculation and limits options. can you explain that piece of it? >> absolutely. without the deterrence by denial and the belief in a potential adversary's mind that they can't be successful, they may actually believe that because the homeland is vulnerable and they could bring us to our knees that that may be the emboldening factor that leads them to the decision to attack, and whether that be in taiwan or another place, because they believe they could disrupt, delay or destroy our will in the homeland. we want them to believe and understand that we have the capability that they could never do that to us by defending the key critical infrastructure and having the resiliency and readiness to respond. >> very good. thank you for that. let me shift to the situation involving the drug supply at the southern border and particularly fentanyl, which is in our state, absolutely devastating. we are seeing mass quantities of it.
can you give us an update on northcom's efforts to help dhs stem the flow of drugs and particularly sent nil at the southern border? >> north com is providing 250 guards men in various states doing detection and monitoring and intel analysis and aviation support. the request for support for fy 23 is in the department as well and being adjudicated at the department level i don't have a tasking yet for '23. >> the mexican government, have they been helping with the flow of drugs and the human trafficking? has it gotten better or worse in the last years? >> the mexicans are extremely good partners. i have great relationships with admiral sandoval. we are very grateful for their partnership. >> what are you looking for them to do in the year ahead?
>> continue to partner and provide additional security. they have port security now. for fentanyl, those precursors often come into ports. we want to interdict much of the precursor chemicals that come into mexico. >> with my remaining time, you mentioned taiwan a second ago. it's no secret beijing would love to seize taiwan, and we also know that if they attempted to do that they would seek to prevent us from deploying forces from the west coast into the theater. tell me about your concerns about china's ability to strike military targets in the homeland using cyber capabilities. >> china possesses extensive cyber capabilities. they reside with sissa, and
general easterly and my role is to provide defense supportive civil authorities in the case of municipalities and what we don't know is the unknown. we don't know where the vulnerabilities are because of the way we are set up across multiple agencies, across multiple industries and that we rely on volunteering their information for cyber vulnerabilities. >> got it. thank you both for your service again. general richardson, i will give you a few questions for the record. thank you for being here. >> thank you, senator hawley. senator rosen, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to thank generals richardson and vanherck for testifying today and your
service to our country. thank you. i want to speak a little bit about iran's presence, and during your confirmation hearing we discussed iran's presence, and it's involvement in the tri-border region. over a year ago brazilian authorities extradited a leading his financier to paraguay. just a little over two months ago an iranian official was wanted by interpol for his role as leader of the revolutionary guard corps in the bombing in argentina. to hold iran accountable and his
boll la'sctiity for the work that we do partnering with our partner nations is so important to the security cooperation of the hezbollah. >> they look for coaching, teaching and mentoring, and this is how we make them stronger to handle their own issues internally as we work together to counter the threats.
they want to partner with us. they look for help, assistance, coaching, teaching, mentoring. they want to come to our schools. this is how we make them stronger to handle their own issues internally as we work together to counter the threats. >> thank you, i want to continue on this line of questioning because we know there's also chinese surveillance technology in south america.
so i asked you at the confirmation hearing about chinese state companies deploying that smart city safe city technology in latin america and, of course, you said countries don't like that in the region. i am concerned about the national security ramifications of this. i know i have a short time left but can you provide us an update on the countries who are trying to get rid of the technology implemented in their countries by china and what can we do to help the widespread of chinese surveillance? >> we do our best, and not just the dod, but the state department, and the cooperation officials down range that are embedded in the embassies and working with our partner nations to advise them about the technology and a backdoor of get into the defense of networks and things like that, and possibly 5g, and in nations get 5g and then our inability to work with
them because of the cyber threat. >> i want to keep on the cyber threat and i move over to general vanherck about missile defense cyber security. i am concerned we might not be taking potential cyber vulnerabilities serious enough before fielding new systems. software is mentioned only once in the review, and this is a key way hackers get in. and the 2020 reports none of the cyber security task planned for were not conducted, and i would like to know what steps norad is taking to address the vulnerabilities? i will take that for the record. my time is up. >> thank you, senator rosen. senator tuberville, please. >> good morning. saved the best for last. we are hearing title 42 is going to expire march 30th. are we going to prepare for it? >> i would refer to dhs.
that's their mission. we are actively planning at the question of dhs, and i don't have a task to do that at this time but i understand the department is working through that with dhs. >> one of my favorite movies, is we were soldiers. mel gibson and in that movie they are getting run over. the code was broken arrow. in other words they're up on top of us. i saw a facebook page from
border patrol hollering broken arrow. we have huge problems, and i know we have huge problems all over the world but it doesn't seem like we are addressing this enough, and we are going to have to because it's affecting our country as we speak with the drugs and all that. just wanted to bring that up. given your 3200 hours of flight time, is there anything you have not flown? >> i have not flown what general richardson flies, helicopters. >> a former commander jay vennable wrote that a fighter pilot needs at least 200 years or two sorties a week. in coaching we call it practice. but the navy's flight hours have fallen to historic lows. is that concerning? >> from a readiness perspective, it is concerning to ensure that every force that we receive is
ready to execute the missions that i'm tasked to do. best answered by the services is specific to their actual training but it would be concerning if the trend continues to drop on the flight hours. >> i'd like to submit mr. vennable's report for the record please. >> without objection. >> last week i met with a colombian ambassador, good guy. they're huge allies. what inroads and relationships have you made down there? even from my state we have a lot of input down on what goes on in colombia with their business dealings, minerals, those things. what have you seen from colombia? >> our number one security partner. i look to them as a key linchpin to the security and stability of the region, quite honestly.
it's really hard in this aor to take a snapshot in time of a country. but in 1999 and where they were then to where they are now, it's really tremendous. i have the chief of defense jenna var -- general navarro visiting on monday. >> good. >> we had our staff talks, south com, columbia south talks, and it was the first country i visited in the aor when i came into command, so our relationship is excellent. it's strong. we share information. we are constantly communicating. again, as coaching, teaching, mentoring. i look at our partners. they are there on the ground. they see the threats. they are dealing with the threats every day. we have to have the good relationships with them in order to increase our domain awareness and to make up for what i don't have in domain awareness and things like that, and the partnership gets you the trust and access and trust with your
partner nation. >> it's going to be a big key for us in your aor, but thanks to y'all. i will cut my time short. i yield. >> thank you very much, senator tuberville. senator kelly, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you generals for being here. i held a hearing in this panel on emerging threats to focus on how our military can work with other partner nations to improve security conditions in our hemisphere that in turn impact the u.s. border and our national security. throughout the south and central america criminal elements china and russia are seeking to destabilize the region for their own gain. this is a national security challenge and we need to treat it as a national security challenge. with that context in mind, i would like to touch on northcom's mission at the
southwest border. the national guard plays a critical control in this mission provided much needed relief to over stretched border patrol agents and local law enforcement. i have been to the border many times and i stay in close contact with local elected leaders and law enforcement. i have also delivered additional federal resources. and the assistant secretary of defense for homeland security and hemispheric defense committed to me that national guard troops would be well resourced during these missions. in your view, is the national guard's border mission properly resourced to significantly assist in addressing the crisis at the border? >> first, i share your assessment of the national security imperative is a challenge for us in what is going on at the border. the national guard forces that are working for us on a title x
status are not only resourced by d.o.d., but they're provided resources for dhs. they could have additional resources for observation, detection and monitoring, those kinds of things from dhs. i think long term this is not an enduring mission of the department of defense. we need to fully fund and resource dhs to do their mission, and the dod should be used in extremist times for support on the border mission. i would like to make sure that our mission is understood. we are not there enforcing the laws that dhs can do. we are supporting them to free up capacity so they can do that mission and we provide support, detection, monitoring and aviation support to help monitoring. >> until dhs is fully resourced to do this, let's make sure the guard and reserve have the resources they need in the interim there. general, are you in regular
communication with customs and border protection and local enforcement partners on this issue? >> me, personally, yes. not daily or anything like that. i have been at the border many times and i was at the border i have been to the border multiple time, i was there last month as well. i met with both the customs and border patrol agents and discussed. we had eight in the room as well. i visited in your state as well. and been to the border. so we do that. i have multiple liaisons from 40 government agencies that work in my headquarters, that speak with dhs on the border. >> that is good to hear. this is a comprehensive and challenging problem and we need to all have all agencies working together to try to deal with this crisis. so general richardson. in your posture statement you had mentioned the insecurity
and instability that's been exacerbated by covid-19. now we know that transnational criminal organizations routinely exploit poverty, and have corruption to get criminal power. this is bad for stability, bad for partners, and we're trying to sustained democratic societies. it's bad for our own interests. when we spoke earlier, earlier this, week you mentioned that criminal organizations are using the instability brought about by the economic impacts of covid-19 to create a wedge that russia and china are taking advantage of. can you elaborate on the relationship between russia and china, the criminal organizations of their region, and how does the instability cause criminal groups and opportunism of countries like china. and allow them to expand their reach. >> overall senator, i just look at the insecurity and
instability, the cycle of vicious threats. this ledge where the tco's can create. that allows our competitors like china and russia to flourish. and look like the heroes of the day right. they come in with their projects, their money and equipment or capability and things like that. so, as we talked about as well, the chinese money launderers, that take the money from these t ceos, when these tco's have all this cash. it's huge. 310 billion dollars a year annual revenue. and root it back and turn around and the -- that they send back for the tco's to be able to sell. and it's all cleaned money if you will. so we have to know, this isn't just a dod, or dhs, we have to actually get after this money. and, in terms of what our whole
of government approach is to follow the money, and to be able to crack down. but i know it's very difficult, these are complex cases. treasury and justice have to deal with. and i think we get out and we get after that specific problem, we can't -- our way out of this we're not going to be able to do this. we have to get out after there and get after the money. >> well i want to thank you for the comprehensive answers from our phone call the other day. that your staff sent over, i really appreciate that. and those were really helpful. i also want to make sure that you have the resources that you need to tackle this challenge. so i'm interested to see what the president's budget looks like. it looks like for south calm for northcom as well. and since i am over, thank you mister chairman. and i have some additional questions for the record. >> thank you very much senator kelly. and thank both of you generals,