tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN May 18, 2011 10:00am-1:00pm EDT
concerns. 10 years beyond september 11, every day, it becomes more problematic. they state and international economy has really affected the private sector in terms of their ability to maintain investments in securities. the resources of the federal government. the budgets are shrinking. making sure we get the most bang for the buck. those remain the most significant challenges moving into the future. and the capabilities of our adversaries. as some time, will they obtained their goal of obtaining weapons of mass destruction and using them on the united states of america? that is something we never need to take our eye off that prize. host: thank you for your time this morning. host: two more days of our
series. security technology and how it is used and how it might change over the years. by of terrorism and preparedness will be our topic friday. that will take place in 9:15 a.m. every day. a fresh edition comes to you starting at 7:00 tomorrow morning. we will see you then. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> a full day of live events on c-span. coming up in about half an hour, a hearing looking at the army's $216,000,000,000.2012 budget.
the senate appropriations subcommittee hears from john mchugh, army secretary. due to start at 10:30 a.m. eastern. defense secretary robert gates will brief reporters today. he will be joined by the chairman of the joint chiefs. that is at 1:00 p.m. eastern live on c-span. later, the energy department's 2012 budget request. secretary chu will answer senators' questions. also live here on c-span. and we are live online. book tv will have author gordon would -- wood, examining the underpinnings of the american revolution. taking us up to the army hearing, talking politics from this morning's "washington journal." with the "washington post" store. bumpy start raises doubts during
a democrat is up first on this discussion. has it in the past impacted your road? caller: it is actually lewis. that is ok. for me, and for the electorate i believe, private peccadilloes and personal affairs it should have no part in how we vote and how we view these public officials. what matters is their views on issues and of substance, the loss become the etiology. it is very simple. i do not care if some candidate did drugs. i really do not care much what their religious preferences are. i do, however, care in their
policy viewpoints, and if they want to impose their religion on the rest of america. and that is what i have to say. host: what about the issue of trust? does it make you think that you might trust these people s? caller: well, no, because i think it is a part of human psychology and human nature. what went on behind closed doors is their private life. and that is not necessarily congruent and the same as how they are at work, as public officials. i 19 use that as a tool against them in terms of my own trustor lack thereof. i do not feel that it would affect my level of trust. host: here is the "national
journal" website with recent and past political sex scandals. at the top is gov. arnold schwarzenegger, and below that is president bill clinton. he was being asked about monica lewinsky. and then there is the national journal featuring eliot spitzer, a democrat from new york, former attorney general. a low that, the senate ethics committee announced an inquiry into john ensign's extramarital affair. the report came out last week. below that, mark sanford, and also larry craig featured in this rundown of recent political sex scandals. we will go to massachusetts, bob, a democrat as well. does this impact your vote in should it? caller: it will lend it should,
especially when the person who has transgressed in any way has made a career of talking against these particular transgressions. the defense of marriage and what marriage are they talking about? the first, the second, the third, the fourth? someone who is anti-gay and makes a big to do of it, and number one campaign issue, and it turns out they have a boyfriend on the side. it goes on and on. it seems that in a lasting years these people that are caught morally transgressing are the ones who are making a career and causing a lot of pain to whatever it is that they are campaigning against. i also feel that -- and this is just a hair -- with regard to all of these budget cuts.
i think people had better start thinking. one of the things that should be considered for budget cutting is congress itself, the bloated congressional staff. they are costing us billions of dollars. congressmen are using the office as a flophouse, living there. we're paying for all of that. all of these junkets all over the world. host: we will live it there. mona, and independence in baltimore, what do you think? are you with us? mona, are you there? go ahead. we can hear you. you are on the air. caller: i think that all we have to go by as voters is character. the successful politicians today get elected on campaign contributions. they do favors for the people that paid for them to get reelected. until we wake up and realize that the successful politicians today continue to divert from
their character on to their dreams and speeches, unless we want to research the voting records of all the people we are voting for, the only thing we can rely on is their character. host: gabrielle is an independent as well. caller: i think i quite agree with the last caller from baltimore. character is the best thing that anybody can have. [unintelligible] you are going to change, you're going to do something else, your point to come up with previous thoughts. soap character is very apparent. we need to see what they are doing. will he be a liar? those of the problems you are having now. you cannot trust them because when they get into the office they fail to do that. thank you. c-span.org pendleton, indiana, wanda, a democrat. we want to hear from republicans as well. we want to hear your perspective as well.
want to come and go ahead. caller: i believe that is the person and what they say when they are running for office is not what they do when they get into office. and i think what they do behind closed doors is their business. it is not the public's business on how they run the country. they were selling some of the president's that headmistresses and stuff like that. even the candidates had mistresses. nobody said nothing about that. it has been proven back to george washington who had a mistress. whatever goes on behind closed doors is their business. i think it is up to who you think is best. and i do not just vote democrat, i'd vote for the person. host: the "washington times" this morning. after an impressive comeback in 2010, republicans are unsure of
times" about gov. arnold schwarzenegger. he acknowledged on tuesday he fathered a child with a member of his household staff a few years before running for office. and then a senior adviser to mr. davis, who mr. schwarzenegger challenge, said at the time that they're all sorts of rumors flying around like this at the time of the campaign. mrs. shriver has always benefited from an image management. one of the last public events that they attended together was the funeral of her father.
alexandria, va., a republican, what you think about this? does this affect your vote? caller: yes, absolutely, and thank you for c-span. people need to perform good conscious as by making good decisions in their public and private life. they will have a huge impact on how they're going to be a in office. and i think we are seen that in people when they get into office and they feel they are better than they are and make some bad decisions. and unfortunately they pay for them. host: jeremy, what you think about new gingrich's past, that situation? you are republican. would you vote for him?
he has converted to catholicism and that his wife will be out on the trail with him as a witness to his family values. what do you make of all that? caller: it is quite challenge. you have to think -- just how onerous is see? this is the third time, is that the charm? but as my father frequently has said, we cannot this about miracles. i myself am a catholic. i probably have had sent more than newton gingrich has, but i did before i was married. i do want to take him for face value that he has changed and he is going to be faithful in his marriage. i certainly would like to believe that because i think he is a strong candidate. but i cannot tell you he is my choice. host: let me ask you this -- can
his wife serve as a character witness for you on this issue? caller: absolutely. to ignore the spouse would be not a good idea. host: so you think spouses have a role in this as well. caller: yes, look at maria shriver, which i am making the assumption that she was so offended by what her husband did that she had to leave the marriage. and yet hillary clinton, bless her heart, who was standing by her man after i think being dragged through the mud. marriage is supposed to be for better or for worse. and we should not forget that the sense of the flesh are not as bad as the sense of the mind. it is my pop -- completely beyond the pale that men make these mistakes against the women that they should love so
fully. host: what do you mean by that last point? caller: the sins of the flesh verses the sins of the mine, the mind is where you are fundamentally twisted in your thought, but when you get involved with sex or drugs or things of that nature, those are more of a pull on your -- the person, i cannot, with a better term that is a flash, your animal instincts, let's say. and one last thing i will say is that if anyone should listen -- want to cheer their addictions, they should listen to c-span because it is so awesome. host: another story about the situation with the imf chief.
dominique strauss-kahn, considered the leading party for president of france -- yes, i like women, h so what? he had great intellect and restless energy being attacked because of his accomplishments. let's go to hawaii, a democrat. what do you think? caller: i am an independent but i call the democrat line. i think that your previous caller is correct. i agree with him on almost every point. elected officials have a relationship with the public, the voting public, and they should take an oath to stay within the boundaries of conscience. however they are human.
i think it does matter of -- this question does matter. it is a matter of intellectual honesty, and as far as sexual infidelity and things that have to do with a more personal nature, i really think the press exploits that and create a sensation in a way that is against public interest. what i thought many years ago with bill clinton, and i cannot say that i have sympathy for bill clinton, but it really was the press that exploits the public mind. what can i say? i blame both officials and the press. host: did you vote for bill clinton both times? caller: quite honestly, i did both times. and the second time, there were a lot of -- there was a lot of joy and trusts in some of the
policies that he had created. his lack of discretion and his inability to fully acknowledge that he needed to take some personal responsibility for the public, he created such a catastrophic loss for those working under his policies that i cannot say that i would be able to forgive him as a voting member of the public. i am not his wife so i cannot speak for her. host: you said you were an independent. has a politician's private life ever swayed your vote? caller: not really. it does make a difference and they need to be accountable to the losses to the public. but before office, we all knew bill clinton was someone who practiced infidelity. it was obvious to everyone. it was the strength of his intellectual and political
capabilities. but i cannot say that i would support someone with his self- destructive tendencies again. i think that he should have been held accountable in a way that did not damage the public. so i'd bring the press. host: ok, let me show you a piece from the "new york times." this is about the imf chief.
that is stephen clark's piece about dominique strauss-kahn. let's go to crapo, tenn., and get your take on this -- could impact your vote? caller: i look at what jesus said in the bible. brought him a woman caught in adultery. the pharisees and the hypocrites came before him and said, and of course, with their laws at that point in time, there were stunning her to death. and jesus got up and said, he that is without sin, let him cast the first own. then he told the woman after, he said, go and send no more. so forgiveness is a possibility. of course the lord jesus christ can forgive people what they did wrong. many do not like the idea of it, but people like yonewt
gingrich had great ideas when he was in the house. host: let me ask you, do you forgive him? caller: i do, and i think sometimes, a lot of people out there that are very successful in their business life or politicians, but there may very much failures and their personal life. host: let me get reaction to this. this is susan estrich in the "reno journal." how can you impeach the president when you're under -- engaging in the underlying conduct? caller: bill clinton was not impeached for his sexual act. it was because he lied under oath. host: it is about honesty.
caller: newt gingrich never denied his affair. host: it was a secret at the time. caller: i do not think it was a problem. he did not actually deny it. he was able to say that i did this. and he did resign from his seat. it was a difference between him and bill clinton, a really big difference. host: in arkansas, an independent. caller: there is no difference between newt gingrich and bill clinton, the way that this is come out to be. you should hold them accountable for the way they act in their private life. it speaks to how they will act behind closed doors, you know. i think it is important. host: we move on to boston. mike is a republican, you are up next.
caller: about 89 calls ago, a lady stole my thunder. she won all the way back to george washington. this is -- she left out franklin roosevelt, who when he died, he was with his longtime mistress. even jimmy carter admitted to moments in time in his life he had lost in his heart. my gosh, we are killing ourselves. we just want people to have no skeletons in their closet. your lines would go totally silent. we have so many problems and to worry about someone's mistress or private life and what they do when they're in the confines of their home, it is their business. what we care about and should care about is how they bowed. how they say and how they vote.
host: international headlines for you today. repeated excursion into pakistani airspace -- we'll talk about this issue later on at 8:30 a.m. what tom udall, a democrat from new mexico loses on the foreign relations committee. the front page of the "new york times," about the japanese reactor. the vans that did not work at the crippled plant are also used and american systems. that is the front page. and then inside the "new york times," this headline about mubarak possible life in egypt. wife in egypt.
back to your phone calls -- it should a politician's private life but that your vote? go ahead, wanda. caller: i do not think it should have anything to do with it. ivo for the person and i try to trust that person. -- i'd vote for the person and i tried a trust that person. i voted for obama because i did not think we have anyone to vote for. host: you vote for the person -- does that include their character? caller: yes, i vote for their character, but i do not think when they get into office, what they do extramarital affairs, that is up to them and their white. hillary clinton proved that. she stood behind her husband and that is the only one that should have been able to forgive him. she did him and she is one heck of a lady. she should have been our presidents.
erode your trust in these politicians, their private lives, their past? caller: not at all, not all, because once they get in office, whatever they do in office on the marital thing, i am talking about the marital fine. host: ok, d w in seattle, washington. st. louis, missouri, jane, an independent scholar. caller: i have a problem with the hypocrisy that goes on in politics. once the republicans to run on family values and then they turn around and find out they have done these the other things, cheating on their wives, trying to impeach a sitting president -- where does it stop?
either you're going to be what you say you'll are or you are not. but do not run on those things and then turn around and we come to find out that you are doing the same thing. host: fayette bill, n.c., ed, a republican -- good morning. are you there? i think i have the wrong someone. we will try to get back to him in just a minute. let me give you a few more headlines. this is the international section, those mississippi floods. flooding takes of fast economic toll and it is hardly done. and about a dozen interviews, they expect hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, including crop and infrastructure along the hundreds of miles of rivers that meanders along. one person put the cost in the
one mitt s that he wants to keep his rivals at bay by frightening them with his fund rising, advisers say. we will go to ohio, nancy, our next caller, a democrat. caller: i also want to show you before i get to the subject, you have become one of my favorite moderator's. you have come a long way. host: thank you. caller: regarding new gingrich, he is the biggest hypocrite. here he was, the car out of
clinton's allies, terry was trying to impeach him. how many lies has been bridge told what he has been cheating? a lie is a lie and i do not care if you tell it to your wife or if you tell it to the nation. it is a life. and all of these hypocrite's calling in here saying, of, they do not care about that, that is all you heard when this came out about clinton. my sister called me from virginia. she lived right around the sea and she says, what do you think about this? i said deep in my heart i think it is true. i think clinton did cheat. i think he was having a trust and the white house. and they ate him up, and not only that, but they ate hillary up, too, because she stood behind him. host: robert is a republican in
georgia. you are on the air. robert? good morning. go ahead, sir. what are your thoughts on this? caller: i just believe that if you are in the public view, you should do your best to do what you say you will do and do what's right, most of all. because if you do not do that, then you cannot have that trust, and nobody will trust you if you are doing the wrong thing. and i know >> follow us any time on c- span.org." week continue live as the senate subcommittee holds a hearing for the army's budget request for 2012. witnesses are army secretary john mchugh and chief of staff martin dempsey. the army requested almost $145 billion with an additional $71 billion for were spending. senator daniel inoye of hawaii,
the chair. >> the committee for the second time decided to welcome for the first time general martin dempsey, army chief of staff. thank you on behalf of the committee for being here with us today to review the budget request for fy 2012. the department of the army's fiscal year 2012 based budget request is $144.9 billion. an increase of $7.2 billion over last year's base budget. the army is also requesting $71.1 billion for overseas contingency operations for fiscal year 2012. which is a decrease of $30.5 billion from last year's request. and it reflects the ongoing drawdown of the forces from iraq.
as part of the fiscal year 2012 budget bill, secretary gates said a goal for the department defense to achieve overall efficiency savings of $100 billion over the next five years. the army share of this initiative is $29.5 billion, with only 2.7 billion of those savings programs in fy 2012, which the army plans to achieve through aggressive plans to streamline headquarters, reduce overhead, reduce weapons systems. the budget request comes at a time when the army is at a turning point and is examining its post-war role. being challenged with sustaining an army at war, building readiness and strategic
flexibility required to respond to future conflicts and accelerating the fielding of urgent war fighting capabilities, while modernizing for future conflicts. unfortunately, the army does not have a good track record with its modernization efforts. a recent study noted that since 2004, soldiers have spent between $3.3 billion and $3.8 billion -- here on programs that we eventually canceled. i look forward to hearing from me today on some of the army's modernization plans to develop and field -- affordable mix of equipment to allow soldiers and units to succeed both today's and tomorrow's operations. along with challenges modernizing the force, manpower
issues are just as critical. the army has been in continuous combat for 10 years. which puts a tremendous burden on stress, and soldiers, and their families. the army has made progress in finding ways to mitigate the stress of multiple combat locations and long family separations. the current size of the army allows more time at home before being deployed, however, in a speech earlier this year at the u.s. military academy, secretary gates indicated that it will be increasingly difficult for army leaders to justify the number, size, and cost of the -- today i hope to hear your views on what the future army force makes should be after operations in iraq and afghanistan wind down.
finally, i look forward to hearing from you both on your assessment of the army's readiness to respond to unforeseen future military contingencies. we are all aware of potential threats from nations such as china, north korea, and iran. but there are many more unknown flashpoints around the globe that of the u.s. could be called upon to engage. within the army continuing to support operations in iraq and afghanistan, efficiency initiatives and potentially large defense cuts to help reduce the national debt, and difficult manpower decisions, i would like to get a better understanding of your concerns regarding the army's readiness to respond to other contingencies are round of the world. we sincerely appreciate your
service to our nation and your dedication and sacrifice is made daily by men and women in the army. we could not be more grateful for what those who wear our nation's uniform do for our countries everyday -- country every day. i look forward to working with you to ensure that fy 2012 appropriations bill reflects the current and future needs of the u.s. army. we have received your full statement and i can assure you they will be made part of the record. now may i call upon the vice- chairman, senator cochran. >> mr. chairman, thank you. i am pleased to join you in welcoming our distinguished witnesses before the committee this morning. we are here to review the budget request for the next fiscal year. the request proposes a number of significant changes hands important budgetary issues for
us to consider. we look forward to working with you during the appropriation process as we reviewed the budget request for the department of the army for the next fiscal year. we appreciate your service and we welcome you to the committee. >> i call upon senator shelby. >> mr. chairman, i would like for my opening statement to be made part of the record and i look forward to hearing secretary mchugh and general dempsey. >> senator mikulski? >> mr. chairman, i just want to echo your remarks and that of the ranking member in the thanking both secretary and general dempsey for all that they did to keep our country say that their troops safe and i look forward to hearing their testimony in these few -- frugal times how we keep our commitment to the military.
and they keep their commitment to us. >> mr. chairman, i could not say it better. a big ditto to all of that so we can get to the hearing. >> mr. secretary? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. a distinguished vice-chairman. senator cochran, members of the committee. as always, it is a pleasure to be back here in the halls of congress where i have the honor of serving for some 17 years. but especially appreciate, as you know, my second opportunity to appear before this distinguished body and to discuss the status today as well as the future of the world's greatest force for freedom, the united states army. but before i begin, with your indulgence, i would like to recognize -- not introduce because i know you all know him. to express my appreciation to
the senate as a whole for acting expeditiously on the nomination that i think president obama made wisely of general martin dempsey, our new chief of staff, 37 the chief of staff of the army. his is a career that expands some four decades and at every level at which he has served our new chief, has made incredible contributions. and i can say safely having observed him and now approximately a month into the job, he has already begun to lead and shape our force for the future challenges that we may face. simply put, he is an exceptional leader, he is a scholar, and i do believe a friend. and i and the entire army family are truly excited he is on board. with that, i want to thank each of you on these deede on this critically important committee
for your steadfast support of our 1.1 million soldiers, 279,000 civilian police, and as always, their families will also serve compared with the leadership and assistance of the united states congress and in particularly, all of you. america's army continues to be at the forefront of combat. counter and chirred -- counterinsurgency, counter and terrorism and security assistance in 80 countries around the world. in iraq, soldiers and civilians began one of the largest and most complex logistical operations in our nation's history. as we continue to draw down our forces to meet the december 31, 2011, deadline, which already closed or transferred over 86% of the basis that we formerly occupied to iraqi authorities. we reduced the number of united states personnel by over 75,000 and redeployed more than 2.3 million pieces of equipment.
having just visited iraq in january i can tell you firsthand the enormity of that are retrograde operation and the exceptional high morale of our remaining forces as they continue to advise and assist and trained iraqis to support what we all recognize is still a burgeoning the rock -- democracy. simultaneously with the drawdown of operations of iraq, the army surgeon and additional 30,000 soldiers in afghanistan to defeat the al qaeda network and its taliban insurgency. this surge enable our soldiers and afghan partners to seize -- seized mobile sanctuaries in southern afghanistan. additionally in the past year forces trained 109,000 afghan national army soldiers as well as 41,000 afghan national police. two weeks ago i visited those great soldiers and their leaders in afghanistan, and bell operating, as you know,
extraordinary austere and dangerous environment against a determined and and you -- and me, our soldiers, your army, alongside afghan and nato partners are defeating the afghan insurgents and al qaeda terrorist. each day they are taking back emmitt -- enemy stronghold while protecting and providing for the afghan people. although we have seen extraordinary success in recent days, including the growing grade against a key al qaeda leader, we should make no mistake, the stakes and afghanistan are high. our forces remain vigilant and committed to defeating the enemy's, supporting our allies in protecting our nation's security. overseas contingency operations are only one part of our army's diverse requirements. soldiers and our civilians, all the components are committed to protecting our homeland not only from the threat of enemies who would harm us but also from the ravages of natural and man-made disasters.
from national guard soldiers assisting drug enforcement and border security, to the army corps of engineers has to -- as we have seen in recent days responding to the catastrophic floods along the mississippi. america's army has been there to support local, state, and federal partners in saving and protecting and saving citizens. as the army continues to fight global terrorists and regional insurgent we must be mindful of the future -- hostile state actors. it is vital therefore that we have a modernization program, one that provides our soldiers with a full array of equipment necessary to maintain a decisive and manager of the enemies we are fighting today as well as the terror and defeat tomorrow's threats at a price that we can afford. our fiscal 12 budget request is critical to achieving this goal by supporting the extraordinary strides being made an army's state of the art network tactical wheeled vehicle and
combat vehicle modernization program. regarding the network, this budget request $974 million in procurement and to london $90 million in research and the telephone or five information -- $298 million. cornerstone of battlefield, vacation system. also $2.1 million for big herman of joint and combat communications systems, including joint tactical radio system toward jitters. as a look to modernize vehicle fleets we are asking for $1.5 billion for tactical wheeled vehicle modernization and over 1 billion to support vital research and development for combat vehicle modernization, including $884 million for the ground camp combat vehicle and $156 million for the modernization of stryker, bradley, and abrams. the army is seeking new methods
to use and secure our scarce energy resources. clearly, future operations will depend on our ability to reduce our dependency, increase our efficiency, and use more renewable for alternative sources of energy. we have made great strides in this area. the army established a senior energy council, appointed a senior energy executive and adopted a comprehensive strategy for energy security. based on this strategy we are developing more efficient generators, and power distribution platforms. factoring in fuel costs as part of our equipment modernizations. and what instituted a net zero pilot program to holistic addressed our energy, water, and waste needs. moreover, we are changing how we do business by undertaking comprehensive efforts to reform our procurement methods. in 2010, general casey and i commissioned an unprecedented blow ribbon review of army
acquisition systems and did it from cradle to grave. currently analyzing the insight will report and we would use it as a guide over the next two years to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the army acquisition process. but we didn't stop there. to ensure that we purchased the right equipment to meet soldiers needs, we instituted a series of capability portfolio review -- reviews to examine all existing army requirements and terminate the programs that are redundant, do not work or just too expensive. these broad base reviews helped us to identify key gaps and wasteful redundancies while promoting good stewardship of our nation's resources. i assure you, we remain committed to using every effort to obtain the right systems, supplies, and services at the right time and the most cost- effective streamline man -- manner possible. our soldiers and a taxpayer deserve no less. we look forward to working closely with the committee as we continue to implement the
sweeping changes. throughout all, and it's hard, our army is people. although our soldiers and devoted the better trained, and more capable than any before, our forces are clearly stretched and a personnel are strained by a decade of war. this is evidenced by yet another year of discouraging rate of suicide and high risk behavior. not only among the regular army but the reserve components as well. in response, under direct supervision of states of staff, the army completed and unprecedented 15-month study to better understand suicide and related actions among star soldiers. in july we published in the first ever health promotion risk reduction and suicide prevention report. a very frank and candid assessment designed to assist our leaders and recognizing in reducing high risk behavior as well as a stigma associated with behavioral health care.
the lessons from this holistic review have been and used in every level of command and inc. in our efforts to strengthen resiliency and soldiers, families, and civilians. moreover, our fiscal year 12 budget request provides $1.7 billion to fund of idle soldier and family programs to buy a full range of essential services including the army campaign for health promotion, risk reduction, and suicide prevention, sexual harassment, assault response and prevention and comprehensive soldier fitness. it goes beyond mental, physical, emotional help. we are committed to protecting their safety both at home and abroad from internal and external threats. as part of our continuing efforts to learn and adapt from the fort hood shooting, the army instituted a number of key programs to enhance awareness, reporting, prevention, and response to such threats. for example, we implemented
iwatch and isalute programs to improve the ability to detect, my great, and mitigate compared to enhance interoperability with local, regional, and federal agencies, army installation will fully implement the national and incident management system by 2014. we will feel that the fbi guardian system and require all installations do have emergency management equipment like e911 and massive warning communications systems. let me close by mentioning my deep appreciation and admiration for all of those who wear the aren't -- army uniform as well as the great civilians and families who support them. daily i am reminded that these heroes make enormous sacrifices for the defense of this nation, sacrifices that simply can't be measured. moreover i know -- he plays a key role in the success of our army. your efforts and support ensure our soldiers, civilians, an army
families receive the critical resources that they need and we cannot do it without you. thank you. i deeply appreciate the opportunity to be before you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. now may i call upon the new chief of staff of the united states army, general dempsey. >> thank you very much, chairman, vice-chairman cochran. thank you for the opportunity to discuss our army with you this morning. and thank you, mr. secretary, for the vote of confidence. since i assumed the duties of the 37th -- a staff of the army i it worked to get a feel for where we are and help and for my thoughts of where we need to go in the future. one of the very first thing they did was to go to iraq and afghanistan to visit our troops and to see firsthand their accomplishments and to thank them for their coverage, their sacrifice, and their service. i visited soldiers and families
back here in the continental united states as well and the this week and i will visit the corps of engineers who are working tirelessly to combat the historic flood level along the mississippi river valley. and then i will travel to fort carson, colorado, to hand out awards. what we are able to do as an army at home and abroad for soldiers, families, and the wounded is a testament of the sustained support of this committee. we have our challenges the where it matters most, on the ground, around the world, american soldiers -- active, guard, and reserve -- are getting it done and achieving the nation's objectives in ways that -- that should inspire all americans. to make sure we continue to provide what the nation needs from his army i've begun to the articulate where i intend to focus as chief of staff and i would like to share a few thoughts about that this morning. we recognize our responsibility to prevail in the wars that we are fighting, prepare for the challenges of an uncertain
future, prevent and deter threats against the united states, its interest, our allies and partners, and preserve of the all-volunteer force as the past are laid out for as in the national security strategy in the quadrennial defense review. to do that we must maintain appropriate and strength, force structure, and an array of capabilities. we must train and equip a forces to over match any adversary and meet obligations to soldiers, families, and wounded warrior -- one the warriors who sacrificed much over the 10 years of conflict. we recognize we must not only be good stewards of the resources you provided a look for smarter and better ways to ride the nation the capabilities we need. we must find the right balance between and strength and operational tempo. to preserve our options we are considering how best to reduce the 27,000 temporary and strength increase we received two years ago and the 27,000
permanent end strength reduction plan between now and 2015. all of us have come to realize the impact of end strength and demand on army operational tempo and always assessing force generation models and boots on the ground, time at home. we are currently examining whether we can transition to a nine-month deployment with a 27- month of the well at home as our objective for the active component. we assess this would alleviate some of the pressures on the force while still meeting demands of combatant commanders and fulfilling obligations to the nation. our obligations to the soldiers, families, an army civilians, active, guard, and reserve are simple -- it them what they need to win, provide them and their families with support and services that recognize their sacrifice. the secretary discussed several of our modernization programs. with his support i also initiated an analysis of the --
as the fundamental finding element. as an army no one can challenge as at court level, division level, brigade, or the town in level. i want to insure we have done as much as possible to make sure that same degree of overmatch existence of what level. we decided to take a look at our army from the bottom up and see what we learned. this doesn't mean we will stand even more gear on the individual soldier who is already strained by the load they have to carry in combat. it would look at the squad as a collective whole, not nine soldiers, and enabling them from bottom up to make sure it has the training, leadership, doctrine, power, energy, protection and lethality to win when we send them into harm's way. i assure all of you this nation has never had a better organized, better trained, or a better equipped army. of course, that is in large measure because we have never been better resource. for that, our army owes you a great that added to --
gratitude. as resources changes we will adapt as we have done many times in our history. but we will be adapting from a position of great strength, and i couldn't be prouder of what our soldiers have done and what they continue to do to support our nation's interest around the world. i look forward to working with secretary mchugh and the members of this committee to make this army smarter, better, and more capable what the resources we are given. we remain an army at war and we will be for the foreseeable future. we would do whatever it takes to achieve our objectives in the current fights and providing the nation for the greatest number of options for an uncertain future. thank you very much, and i look forward to taking your questions. >> thank you very much, general dempsey. as noted by both of you, the secretary of defense has indicated a plan to reduce our active army forces by 27,000 by fy 2016 or 2015.
first, i would like to know what you consider this a reasonable plan, and secondly, how do you propose to do it? >> mr. chairman, as i know you and the other members of the committee understand, we spent a lot of time with the secretary and the people at osd to make sure the way forward makes sense, that we are not buying an unreasonable amount of risk. the two phases i think need to be considered a very separately. the temporary end strength, 22,000, is something we always assumed would be coming down in the near term rather than the far term. we were concerned that we not have to begin that process immediately. we felt at that time the discussions were ongoing that indian the ops temple was such
that 22,000 continued to serve a purpose and the secretary, it is fair to say, understood and agreed with that and allowed us to hold the 20,000 until march of next year. we think the typically given the ongoing drawdown in iraq that we can take that reduction in force structure it in stride, and in fact, do it in a way that produces both savings and a responsible for us at the end of it. as the secretary also said it with respect to the second tranche, due to begin in 15 and 16 on the 27,000, that is conditions-based. on the 27,000 that is conditions based. and based upon what the president has spoken about and our nato allies with respect to drawdowns of some yet to be
determined number this summer based on general petraeus' number time' sure will be received by the white house in the future, you can start to look for a path forward. beyond that, as our nato partners have agreed, they expect to have major operations begin to cease in 2014 in afghanistan. and if conditions on the ground allow that to continue we feel very comfortable that the 27,000 is a very achievable target as well. i think the question for us frankly is, how do we shape that drawdown and what is the ramp in which we assume it? so we're looking through our total army analysis that we do routinely with respect to how the army looks as to where the numbers should come from, how the ramp should be structured in a way that can go forward reasonably in a way that does not place ourselves at greater risk. >> yeah, i would simply add,
senator, i think it's a reasonable plan, and like any plan it's based on some assumptions and if those assumptions play out then the plan will be prudent. if the assumptions are changed, anyway, then we have to come back and redress them. as i mentioned to you earlier, we also want to look at not just this immediate challenge but we want to look beyond and say what does the nation need of its armly notionly in 2020 and make sure these changes are building toward that army so we don't end up making these adjustments on an annual basis. >> mr. secretary and general, the united states army has been rather unsuccessful in fielding major acquisition problems in recent years. it includes future combat systems, the army reconnaissance helicopter, could he maveragey, and many -- could he marchy and many, --
comanche and many, many more. manpower issues are just as critical. the army has been in continuous combat for 10 years which puts a tremendous burden on stress, on soldiers and their families. the army has made progress in finding ways to mitigate multiple -- and long family separations. the current size of the army allows more time at home before being deployed. however, in a speech earlier this year at the u.s. military academy, secretary gates indicated that it will be increasingly difficult for army leaders
>> regulatory. i had a meeting in fact this week with our acquisition people, including some to talk about those recommendations to see where we are in implementing them. it was indeed that report that pointed out the failures of the various platforms that you mentioned and the significant cost to the taxpayer and i think the number one thing -- and it was obvious on its face but how we respond to it is another matter that our inclination in the past does not control requirements and we've seen that in a number of programs and that's the poster child for it as is the presidential helicopter where requirements keep getting built on and built on. the time of the acquisition stretches out and pretty soon the sky has skyrocketed and you
have an underperforming program, to state the least. so we tried to do a better job in stating the requirements keeping them less reliant on immature, unavailable technologies. we've introduced competition, for example, through the ground combat vehicle program so that we can have that cost containment influenced there. i think the ground combat vehicle is a very good example of how we're doing better. when the r.f.p. for the combat vehicle went out there were 991 tier one requirements. that was at the outset, before we'd actually seen a spiral of increased requirements. to the corps' credit and the acquisition side of the equation, they looked at it and said to themselves, here we go again. and it was a tough decision but they recalled that r.f.p. and as a result of the re-examination they reduced the tier one requirements by 75% and put the rest of the
requirements up into a tier two and tier three where you can trade, as the development goes forward, for costs. so a tough decision but one at the end of the day i think was very soundly supported by the industry and will serve not just the army but the taxpayers more fairly as well. so we want to do a better job. we're implementing the studies' reports and either we've implemented or taken steps right now to implement all by 13 of the 76 recommendations. we're taking a more careful look at 13 of those. so we're going to do a better job and it's not just the matter of the army's responsibility. it's a matter to the army, it's a matter of our responsibility to the taxpayer. >> thank you, sir. the real challenge for us is to figure out how do we do so well in some of these rapid acquisition procedures and not so well in the d.o.d. series of
acquisitions. i think we'll learn we have some work to do of merging the requirements with the procurement objectives. i think we'll probably find ourselves in position of believing we should pull the future toward us and not have aspirations to deliver programs much beyond seven, eight, nine years. when they stretch beyond that they get to -- by definition -- incredible. i think it's the recommendations, i think we have to look at the acquisition regulations, particularly for the long lead time procurement programs and we got to merge requirements and procurement and senior leadership integration much sooner in the process. >> we'll have to continue our discussions on this, but now may i call upon senator cochran? >> mr. chairman, i think it is disturbing to review the difficulties that had been faced, not of their own making,
but the current leader of the army is confronted with replacing helicopters, doing something about aging tanks and so it seems like a lot of things are piling up at once that costs an awful lot of money. i'd listen carefully to your responses to senator inouye's question, and i'm not exactly sure what you said in terms of what is the plan for replacing the helicopters? has the army agreed on what it wants or what it needs? or is there a contract in place now that will replace helicopters and the same thing for the tank? >> well, we do have an ongoing need for an armed reconnaissance helicopter and we do have a plan by which we
are going to approach that challenge. we are not as yet in an acquisition program. we have a, what we call a cockpit upgrade program in the near term for the kiowa warrior i think with high reliability will extend the viability of that platform probably until 2023. in the interim we have to begin to look at the analysis of alternatives and develop an r.f.p. for a follow-on to the kiowa warrior. so when the comanche was canceled it did not end the enduring requirement. so we have a plan, but we don't have answers yet as to what exactly the next platform will look like, but we have laid a process forward. as to the tank, actually, the abrams platform is amongst the most modern of any system in our army. the average year of the a-1-a
and a-1 abrams is about two years but the ground combat vehicle is our -- is our critical development program to really provide the survivelt of an mrap with the manumblete of a stryker and also the bradley. as you know, senator, this budget requests $884 million for that program. we think the g.c.b. is on track. we do have, as you noted, a lot of platforms out there that are aging out. what we're trying to do is align ourselves in a responsible manner so we can use the dollars we have for the follow-on developments wisely and most of those cases we have a way forward that we'd be glad to talk to you in greater detail at your convenience. >> general? >> i have nothing to add. i have nothing to add to the secretary's response. >> ok. thank you, mr. chairman.
>> senator shelby. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the secretary, in the area of army ballistic offense, i want you to comment on two programs in particular. patriot and the integrated air and missle defense battle program, or icbs. can you describe to the committee the importance of those programs to the war fighter and how are those programs performing budget and schedule-wise? >> it would be hard from the army perspective to overstate the importance of those programs, patriot -- >> would you say they are the utmost importance? >> i think that's a fair description, senator. they obviously are -- the pac-3 is our system against ballistic, air-breathing threats. we are very comfortable with the capabilities it provides. all of our launchers now in the
army have tac-3 capability. in the near term i don't see that changing. >> it's recently come to our attention that the army is considering, perhaps, transferring its missile defense budget and program responsibilities to the missile defense agency. i'm concerned that patriot and ibcs, which as you said are critical to our war fighters in performing well, could be used as bill payers for programs that m.d.a. considers a high priority. could you explain to the committee -- to the committee the status and the details of this proposal and where it is and how can you assure that the budget for patriot and ibcs will be protected if m.d.a. controls the funding? >> if that were to go forward and we do think there are some efficiencies and some logic behind that in fact occurring,
but if that were to go forward there would be army representation within that organization at the highest level, and as i just said to you, the army would be very, very ill-disposed against using patriot tac-3 as a bill payer. we'd have to fight that battle as we go forward. at this moment i don't have any indication that that would be the case. >> general dempsey, in the area of the space and missile defense command which conducts space and missile defense operations for the army, as you well know and in support of the u.s. strategic command, as we look into the future, how would you think cmdc's mission will evolve and grow? will it be a vital part of the army and be part of stratcom and fulfill the mission as you envision for the command? >> yeah, i'll begin at the
latter part of your question, senator. i do think that the budget submission is adequate to the task that -- the current task of smbc. i'd also agree with the secretary that the role of space in support of the ground -- ground military operations is vital. as you know we've done some war gaming on a day without space and what that means in terms of globaling positions, precision weapons and all of that. so we clearly understand the importance of it. and i'm quite confident that cmbc as an army subcomponent of strategic command is well placed and well represented but we'll keep an eye on it. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator coates. >> mr. chairman, i just want to state from the outset that we're all going to be facing
difficult decisions in the days and months and years ahead relative to budget. i'm hoping that we can work on sensible efficiencies within the military. it's clearly our number one constitutional responsibility. as we want to make sure we're adequately prepared and adequately funded to do that. yet, at the same time i think all of us have to stretch a little bit and some more than others to find those efficiencies and do more with less. so i look forward to working with the department of army and department of defense and finding that right balance. general, congratulations to you. great compliment to your service and had the pleasure of knowing you before and serving together -- not together but working with you on a number of items in germany when i was there. so highest congratulations. great honor and i think the president made the best
selection he could possibly make. congratulations to you, also, mr. secretary. i want to get just a little bit parochial here and ask a few questions. just more for information purposes. the -- it's my understanding that darpa is now conducting ballistic tests on the new multipurpose vehicle, one with a stovepipe which provides protection for our troops. it comes in at less weight, considerably less weight, more mobility, third of the cost, so forth, of the mrap. how do you see that one, that playing out relative to burget situation and relative to your needs? -- budget situation and relative to your needs? without getting the mobility of the mraps that we need to get around in afghanistan, a lot of them are not being used for
that purpose. we now have something under test and at evaluation that perhaps can give us that mobility at less cost and still provide security and safety for our soldiers. so could you commernt on -- comment on that? >> yeah, i could. i have not seen the tests in person but i've seen the video and watching it is pretty impressive. and as you know, senator, one of the problems we have with our humvee fleet is the reluctance that commanders have had sending out the -- outside, we say, the wire, because of the problems on the surviveability and this stack defeat system holds a great deal of promise and it's exciting. as you noted, it is an analysis and testing right now so we're not sure exactly how it would fit but it's something that we're very, very interested in
and we intend to pursue it to its fullest. i'm not necessarily suggesting we should limit it to a humvee system. if it works in one configuration it may work in others. so we want to take a broad base look at it and the company that brought the technology first to us is working with us and we appreciate that and as i said we're excited by it. >> general, could you comment also but also relative to the question of the mobility and accessibility and need for something like this in afghanistan vis-a-vis the mraps? >> well, it is, senator. we have approximately 150,000 technical wheeled vehicles in the army. some of them intended for deemployable purposes, some not. -- deployable purposes, some not. we have to balance the existing inventory of the mrap vehicles and what they bring. they did bring a considerable
amount of protection at a very important time. and then the humvee. and the other program, of course, that we're involved with the joint light tactical vehicle, the jltv. what we need to do is army the of 2020, what is the capability that it needs and then have essentially a menu of options so that based on the threat we anticipate we can employ the right capability. i think humvee will be part of that in the future but i can't today say what part of that. >> thank you. one more question. the abrams tank, m-1-a-2, is scheduled -- in my understanding it's scheduled to end production in 2013. could you comment on -- there are some concerns have been raised with me relative to maintaining skills and industrial base necessary to produce this type of component
for -- can you give me some thoughts on that and where we might be going with those programs? >> and those are legitimate concerns and we share them. the decision on the future production of the tank was simply made on the business case. the business case was clear. we, as i mentioned earlier, have an abrams tank inventory that is amongst the most modern of any of our equipment. the average age just being over 2 years old. and our acquisition has been met. moth balling the plant, including the cost of rebuilding the employ base was far more economically sensible than maintaining the minimum production necessary through the period until we develop a follow-on for the abrams platform. having said that, we are looking very carefully and
working with d.o.d. and dr. ash carter and his acquisition folks to see what, if anything, we can do that can help preserve that expert force. these are not folks that you just find on the street. they have a developed expertise. we recognize it. we value it. they have contributed as many of our contractors have over the years in incredibly important ways. we want to do right by them as well. as you noted in your opening comment, senator, we have to make some hard decisions but we're looking at it very carefully. >> thank you for that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator. >> it sounds like an olympic boxing team representing the united states and listening to you two, you have a one-two punch for the army. secretary mchugh, you come from the battlefields of conquest
which really takes a lot of know-how. of course, general dempsey, you are your incredible service, plus your most recent deployment in iraq. let me get to my question. this goes for the resiliencey and well-being for the troops. one of the most important things to deal with the mental health problems is the time at home. now, i believe, and this is where i'm going to get to my question, and also the surgeon general of the army, general schumacher, said the same thing. if you want to reduce pstd, stress, the terrible strain on the femalely is have them home -- have them home for a longer period of time. well, you know how the way the old wars were. you went off to war, usually for five years at most and when you came back the war was over. we had surrenders and so on. that's not the case. so here goes the question. you are deployed -- you,
meaning our government, is saying we're going to shrink the number of member and women in the army. is that correct? >> i would say that's right, senator. >> i would say a year ago that makes sense. now we have the jasmine revolution. now we have some of our colleagues who are calling for new deployments. i was at an international conference some months ago and one of my colleagues said, let's go in iran and take out the, you know, the guard, etc. they put on cameras for a day and they think they are it. then, there's been this whole thing with libia and the president has made a -- libya and the president has made a decision to leave boots on the ground. i say, what is the possibility? then we have syria. then we have -- there are so many unexpected consequences
and dynamics in the world. my question is that as we look at -- we thought when we were out of iraq, pulling out of afghanistan in the way that general petraeus and all and the president are recommending that could be kind of let's come home and get on with it. i'm apprehensive that maybe we're going to need a larger standing army to not only meet unintended things in the world but that we have no elastiesity any more. so, one, what are you doing for the unexpected? would you caution congress to think twice before we shoot off our knockout before we ask you to shoot off the guns? what we do with the national guard who is really stressed and ask for one third of the work force are supposed to return to civilian jobs after nine years of deploying them from everything from tornados
to overseas? so the unexpected and how do we make sure we have not only resiliencey, which general dempsey, i really want to do everything i can to work with you to do that and i tpwhreeb we speak for that. but what do you think about what i just said, secretary mchugh? >> i think you point out very accurately the challenge we all have as we make very important decisions in this 2012 budget and in the years that follow on. as to what we call about dwell, as the chief mentioned and you did, i don't want to simplify it because i had think the issues of stress on the force and suicide are more complex than a silver bullet. the answers aren't going to be like turning on a light in a darkroom. it's going to be more like lifting the shades slowly. we know without any doubt that one of the key drivers of these challenges is the very short
time that troops have had over the last decade at home and depending what kind of job you had, most of these troops were coming home for a year and then going back out for a year. some of them in certain high demand, low density m.o.s.'s were getting less than a year at home for a year deployment. and one of the things we've done and concentrated on was to stretch that out. and because of a large measure the drawdown in iraq we're now about on average about one year deployed and about 1.6 years back home. we think at a minimum we need to have two years back -- pardon me -- two years back. >> i understand that and i support that. given the numbers that you're having here in the budget, do you think that there's enough elasticity, enough -- you don't want to use the term redundancy
in the troops but enough of the manpower for -- and this is all based on the assumption that nothing new will happen. >> that's true. >> and that the nation will not ask them for nothing new to do or congress doesn't go off on yet some urging of them to undertake a mission. >> that's exactly true. >> so my question is, is there that elasticity there to do that or are we just making a plan that will be unrealistic and then we have to ramp it up and place an even further intense stress on them while all of us in this room want to work with you on that mental health care, the right pstd, the help for the families which are so essential to recovery and resetting and resiliencey? >> i would -- >> do you think you have that? >> i think it's our responsibility to provide it. and i think we have chartered a way forward by which that will
happen. i can't predict the future. as you said, it's uncertain at best. secretary gates mentioned in his speech at west point that we have a perfect record in predicting the future. we've been wrong 100% of the time. but what we do know is that under the current conditions and under the way that we now know forward the drawdown we have planned, beginning with the temporary strength next year and the 27,000 drawdown beginning in 2015 and 2016, it will be doable that we think is necessary and hopefully we believe sufficient to return to normal stress levels at garrison. if conditions change, then we're going to have to re-evaluate. that's why, as you mentioned earlier, the chief and i and the entire army staff are looking through total army analysis of how we ramp those drawdowns in the months ahead so that if conditions change we
have the flexibility to stop and then to build up to whatever levels. >> but conditions are changing. they are a changing by the minute. they're changing by the tweet. i know you. you're an outstanding public servant. and you are a mab of honor and i believe you are all putting your best thinking in it but these are theseo events. i know my time is up. i think we need to talk really about this issue so that we are prepared. we can always buy more equipment but you can't always buy more troops as if you can pull them in off the shelf. we've already pulled them off of the shelf for nine years. so my time is up. unless general dempsey -- >> no, i just want to add very briefly. if you ask me the question today, yes, we are both elastic. we use the term expansable. this budget gives us the
flexibility we need. as we look forward we know there's changes coming. the key for us in making those changes is to have time to balance what are essentially three real stats in maintaining a balanced force. if decisions come to us precipitously oftentimes we'll lose one of those three re-estats. it took us 10 years to builder the magnificent army we have today. it is not something that can be disassembled overnight. >> we don't want to. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary mchugh and general demptiony, good to see you both. -- general dempsey, good to see you both. secretary mchugh was my neighbor across the lake for years when he served in the house and enjoyed -- and i
enjoyed very much my work with him during that time. found to be extraordinarily dedicated, not only to his district but to making government work right. it's nice to see you here. >> good to see you, senator. thank you. >> i want to thank both of you for all the work you do to improve the lives of soldiers not only the arm eye national guard but across the -- army national guard but across the entire army. you know 86 deployed to afghanistan the last year, members of the brigade returned home, usually my wife and i would be there to greet them. i saw the warrior transition system designed for active duty soldiers was not meeting the needs of our guard and we worked together to do pilot programs. at fort drum and that was a big
step forward. a month ago i asked general schumacher if he'd help me to continue the national guard outreach programs in vermont and around the country. so important for mental health services for our guard and my colleague, senator sanders, helped establish. it has been extended to fiscal year 2011. it's an impressive example of what the army can do and what it has done. i should also mention, i hear from my staff, among your liaison officers, lieutenant colonel kelly laurel, represent both you and the army on these issues. there's been extremely -- has been extremely helpful. i want to thank you. when we brought up issues that you've been there to help and we're two hats.
one as a member of this committee but also along with senator lindsey graham as co-chair of the guard caucus. we've called on you for help. you've always been there. secretary mchugh, i want to ask you about the medium extended air defense system, or mads. they need another $80 billion from 2002 to 2013. i understand it will not be purchased even after it's developed that somehow we are in international agreement to obligate spending. we're having to peso many cuts both in the civilian life and social safety net but also in the military. why don't we just cut out money for meads? do need to renegotiate what
those international agreements? >> that would be ideal if we were successful in getting our international part nerts to renegotiate. this -- partners to renegotiate. this was a litany of bad choices. the reality is based on the negotiated agreement of 2004 that i wasn't are a part of so i can't speak to the motivations, any one of the three partners -- and as you know, senator, our two other partners are italy and germany who unilaterally withdraw are said to pay the set closeout cost, which in the caves meads it is some $840 million dollars. if we were to cancel the program today unilaterally we would bear a bill that would be almost identical to the budget proposal that the administration has put forward. now, the difference is for the
$804 million that the president has requested and that the army fully supports is that will fund our participation through and into 2014. rand at that time we will be able, along with our international partners, to at least reap some of the technology that has been developed under the years that this program has been going forward. i can't tell you at this point what that technology package will look like, but we know it will be of some substance. we'll probably have applicability to 360-degree systems that right now are beyond our current capabilities. but it will be far more than the nothing we will get if we were to cancel unilaterally today. >> other countries must be spending money and asking themselves whether they want to continue too. is there a case where they'll
see who goes first or sit down with them and say, hey, look, guys, all this money we're spending, if we want to do something why don't we spend something -- 360 or whatever -- have something very specific that might work? >> i can't -- i can't speak to the motivations of our partner nations. i can simply -- it's important to note that the army is the executive agent here. we don't negotiate it. it is a department of defense and a department of state lead on those things, but my understanding is, according to what i've been told through o.s.d., is our two partner nations for whatever reasons are not interested in coming to an agreement of early termination prior to 2014. >> i raise it and please keep it on your radar screen because i worry about we're cutting out some other things. it is a big hunk of change. >> senator, could i add in response to -- related to
another question about the importance of their defense, i mean, what we do get out of this besides the technology is a better increased capability by our partners at a time when our particular air defense community is at any given time 50% deployed. so 50% of our air defenders are either in a deployment cycle or forward deployed. anything we can do to improve the capabilities of our partners would be a good investment. >> my last question. secretary mchugh, we had two years the army national guard has been without a full three-star director. last year kit bond and i, when he was in the same position, now senator graham has sent a letter to secretary gates asking the position be filled. i understand there have been two nominees. a second nominee is waiting for
full administration clearance before his name is sent to the senate for confirmation. general has been doing a great job. can you prod him -- i'll use a different word -- encourage him to get this moving? >> i think i can do better than that. i had a meeting with the vice chief of staff of the army on this. he's a guy to kind of spear head it. it's been an administrative problem and certain issues that the current nominee had to work through. i have been informed this week that we're at the very end of that process. hopefully you'll have you a nominee up here in the very near future. >> that would be very good. again, thank you both. i agree with so many others who said here, very proud of the service of both of you and i'm
delighted to see both of you there. thank you, chairman. >> senator collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all, general, congratulations on your new position. recently i welcomed home a company from the maine national guard which had returned from nine months' tour of duty in afghanistan. and it was a great day, celebration and happiness, but when i was looking at these men and women i couldn't help but think about the mental health challenges that many of them will face. particularly in light of the alarming increase in suicides among our national guard and reserve members. i know that in your budget you have proposed a new prevention program, and i believe it's
called the army campaign plan for help promotion, risk reduction and suicide prevention. my concern, however, is how is this program going to reach the reserve and national guard? obviously those that go back to an active duty base have support structures already built in, easily accessible, readily available. they have people in the command sector watching out for them. but those who are going back to rural towns in maine, resuming their civilian lives, don't have those kind of support structures. and i think that's one reason you're seeing this alarming increase that is not present in the active duty troops. could you comment on how the program you proposed will reach
those guards men and women, those reservists, who are going back to their civilian lives? >> yeah. thank you, senator. what i'd like to do is someone would come over and actually brief you on the entire program so you can -- we can show you where we think we're probably going to hit the mark and show you where we may miss the mark slightly. this program was designed and developed from the ground up from its inception to address all three components of our army. active guard and reserve. so going in we recognize the different challenges that each of those components have, and we'd like to brief you on that. >> thank you. i do think that it's absolutely critical that we recognize that there are a lack of mental health care providers in rural areas of my state, and i suspect throughout the country,
and i'm just really worried about getting those individuals who are going back to rural communities, to their old lives who lack that kind of support structure, those services. >> may i respond briefly, senator? >> yes. >> and it is a huge problem. as you noted, if you're in the active component we can get our hands on you far more easily than when we go back. the interesting thing about the reserve component and guard soldiers, 50% of these soldiers who commit suicide in the guard and reserve have never deployed. so we have other issues. i comment earlier about we don't want to look for the one silver bullet. i think particularly applies to the guard and reserve. and what we're trying to do in one part, as you mentioned, is overcome this nationwide challenge in both the civilian as well as the military sector to get enough behavioral health specialists so that everybody, all three components have
accessibility to that to extend through distance technologies, i.t., into the homes so that we can provide them first of all predeployment resiliencey tools. second of all, those resiliencey tools as follow-up and also continue to assist their mental health when they've gone back home. in states like vermont and other places, the guard units and those have stepped up enormously. we're looking at everything from the yellow ribbon program and reintegration programs. but the distance challenges are going to provide hurdles that frankly we don't know yet how we're going to get over. >> it is something that we are going to have to keep working on. secretary mchugh, i want to bring up an issue i know you're aware of a tragic case that i have been working directly with you on of a 33-year-old
sergeant who has a.l.s., lieu gehrig's disease. he has three young children. he's now in the advanced stage of the disease. it has to be the saddest constituent meeting that i've will had -- had in quite sometime. as you're well aware, numerous studies funded by d.o.d., the v.a., n.i.h. and the institutes of medicine, have found a link between military service and a.l.s. and that link led the d.a. in 2008 to establish a presumption of service connection regardless of whether there's a gap between when the a.l.s. manifested itself. and yet d.o.d. takes a different approach. in this particularly tragic
case, first, we received a letter saying that the sergeant was going to qualify for benefits and that his a.l.s. was the result of military service. we then just a week ago subsequently received a letter that said -- and i want to continue to work with you about that. but on a broader issue. i'm troubled that the v.a. and the department of defense have different standards in this area. the v.a. assumes there is a presumption of connection between military service and a.l.s. and yet as this latest letter in this case shows the army concludes otherwise. we have been trying to have a better integration between d.o.d. and the v.a. and the
conflicting rulings in sergeant kennedy's case seem to run completely counter to the intent of the new integrated disability evaluation system and the recommendations of the dole-shalala report. so my broader question for you is, wouldn't it make sense for there to be -- for there to be more consistency between the system used by the v.a. and the system used by d.o.d.? >> it would make the soldiers, sailors, marine, coast guard lives a lot easier. as i visit warrior transition units -- and the case you had been, to your credit, if i may, so, so aggressively trying to advance and remediate is a particularly tragic example of it. but every time i go to a
w.t.u., i don't hear about -- usually -- about bad medical care, bad food. i hear about this disconnect in the disability rating system between the military and the v.a. and this is something that secretary shinseki and gates had a meeting at the pentagon about three weeks ago in an effort to take it to their level to try to see what they could do to finally overcome the hump. even when we had the ides program, there are places where we have enacted it at fort carson, for example, where it actually expanded the disability rating system rather than helped it. so it's been very, very problematic. when i received your letter to narrow it down now to the case that you spoke about i asked that our army folks -- and there is a d.o.d. equity here, so we have to kind of work at a higher level -- but i've asked our army folks -- i told them i
have a personal interest in this and see if there's any possible way to work this out. i can't make you a promise but i promise we are looking at it hard. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator mikulski. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, secretary, thank you for being here. your testimony. i want to thank you, senator collins, for bringing up not only the suicide issue which we're keyed in on but the issue of a.l.s. and the connection within the military. it's something i have been following for for a period of years now, as i have a relative that is struggling with this terrible disease. but what we are learning in these past few years about the connections to those who are serving and to end this horrible disease is quite significant. i think most of us associate lieu gehrig's disease with someone that's older.
what we're seeing with the number of veterans that are contracting this disease at an early, early age, i was at the a.l.s. conference here in washington, d.c., a couple weeks ago, and they had brought in -- i think it was about 30 different veterans from around the country who are relatively young, who have a.l.s. and how we -- how we reconcile what senator collins has been talking about but, again, i think appreciating perhaps what is going on with the nature of this disease that we know so little about. so i understand your commitment to senator collins here to look into this one specific case, but i do believe we need to look much more broadly. we do have the research program that d.o.d. helps to fund through the disease-specific programs. we need to encourage that. but it's an issue i find very,
very troubling. general, i want to ask you this morning about where we are in terms of improving how we deal with i.e.d.'s. i think this has been so frustrating. over the years we recognize this is the number one killer on the battlefield and yet our sources are indicating our ability to detect and really to defeat these i.e.d.'s has remained relatively level versus improved. i was out at walter reed on monday and met with an airman who was an explosive ordnance disposal technician and i found it absolutely fascinating to learn that his position, his job requires that he go and render this i.e.d. safe but he does that through a paintbrush and a knife on his belly. and we talked about the robots and whether or not the robots
were as effective as they might be. i will tell you that when look at what we're able to do on mars with the robot, when we think back to a year ago underwater with the deepwater horizon and what we were able to defect a mile below the surface, it seems incredible to me that we really haven't made the progress that we would hope when it comes to how we handle the i.e.d.'s. can you give me an update, give me a little more optimism? >> as long as there's one soldier at risk for the technology, you know, i think we all should remain sort of pessimistic. i can't speak to that one airman's experience, but the technology is actually progressed remarkably. and in some ways actually we've moved away from technological solutions and back to things like bomb-sniffing dogs. so, for example, our brigades in southern afghanistan, which are the brigades taking the greatest number of i.e.d.
strikes, are all now outfitted with tactical dog teams. we give them an acronym, naturally, teds. we have other technologies to seek to have sensors to identify the different kind of explosives and triggering devices. some of that's classified, of course. and our state of training and partnership with the joint i.e.d. difeet organization has reaped a lot of benefits and not only defeating the device itself but defeating the network, the supply chain that delivers it. so actually in my time in afghanistan which spans roughly from 2003 and 2010, i mean, we've made exponential improvements but we should never be satisfied with them. and we defeat the device when
it explodes, an mrap technology and so forth. so we've made a lot of progress. i wouldn't sit here and express optimism. >> well, and i appreciate that. i guess i was just more in a little bit disconcerted that still with a milk jug and some fertilizer and some diesel they can continue to do the kind of damage and inflict the death and the mutilation that we continue to see. i was a little bit concerned, though, about what i learned about the robots that in order to really be effective and be able to dig through the earth you've got to have a heavier one but you can't carry the heavier ones. are we doing more with that technology or is that not -- is that going away as we get more dogs? >> no. in fact, we continue to look
for opportunities with robotics, not only in counters i.e.d.'s but the technology that might somehow produce vehicles that are robotic so we don't put soldiers on roads that we know are susceptible to mining and i.e.d.'s. so we're prosuing robotic technology aggressively. >> good. one last quick question, if i may, and this is the joint pacific, regardeds as one of the best joint range in the nation, perhaps the world, certainly when it comes for preparedness for cold climate battlefields. when i flew over afghanistan i looked down and it looks like home. it looks like alaska with the mountains and the terrain there. we have been doing a pretty good job with the alaska troops in terms of training on the range but i'm a little bit disappointed that the army does not make broader use of this
tremendous resource for training a larger number of troops to fight in our cold climate. and i guess i would just ask if , a, you agree that in fact we do have superior training range capability up there when it comes to the cold climate? and if that is the case, what we can do to perhaps encourage the army to perhaps make more extensive utilization of what we have up north. >> right. i couldn't argue against the fact you have the best cold. we can't replicate cold the way you can anyplace else in our country, that's for sure. and we are excited about the potential that that facility brings and the joint capability that it brings as well. as you know, part of our challenge in using it, especially to deliver cold weather training right now, is we are consumed in a cycle of deployments and preparation for deployment that really is based on the exact opposite climate
challenges. and so as these particular conflicts wain i think we will seek opportunities to expand our training, and i would certainly be open to the use of that facility. >> we look forward to working with you. thank you. thank you both for your service. >> thank you very much. senator insurey. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you both to our witnesses today. apologize for being late. i was chairing a veterans' affairs committee. we talked about the transition units and we are seeing a lot of delays and seriously concerned about the high percentage of suicide rates on our warrior transition units and people still waiting so we are working. but i would say to the chairman and to senator collins who brought it up, we are seeing the -- both the d.o.d. and v.a. work together better today than we have in the past. i do want to thank you and commend you for that. one area that i'm really
focusing on at the v.a. is the high unemployment rate for our service members who are exiting much higher than their peers. 27%. and i recently reduced the hiring heroes act to start to address how we can better transition our service members with these tremendous skills that they learn on the ground for us, whether it's a mechanic or driving a truck or whether they're working health care or whatever their service is they have tremendous experience but they come out and they can't translate into a skill in the civilian side. and end up unemployed at very high rates. in my legislation, i mandate that the transition assistance program become mandatory for all service members. that effort will go beyond the required preseparation counseling that we currently see -- many soldiers see but say, what did you do in the service and what are the skills and experience you have and how
can we translate into a career once you leave? i wanted to ask you, general dempsey, today, what percentage of soldiers currently use the program that is available? >> well, again, one of the -- one of the realities of the pace of operations is that we haven't been using our programs and other transition assistant programs to the extent that we should. so we've got to find a way to jump-start, if you will, or rekindle the interest in it because 15 years ago it was mandatory. and we met the gates necessary to transition. and i will just tell you, we feel an obligation to do better at this not only because we owe it to our transitioning cost to us to pay the unemployment costs. >> i'm startled by the rapidly
increase of the cost of unemployment insurance for the army alone, it's gone from $500 million in 2010 to $-- it's a cost we all have to pay for. it's a cost in lives, too, for these young men and women to come out and don't get a job and become disillusioned and we see the results and everything from drug and alcohol abuse to divorce rates to suicide. so it's a cost to society as well as the cost to the services. so this is something i'm very focused on. i'd like you to take a look at my legislation. would love to see your support in getting that done because i think it's an obligation that we have to meet. i do know that the army recently conducted a holeistic review of the acap transition program and i am looking forward to see the results of that review in a timeline for implementing it and wonder if you could share with me the timeline is for completing that assessment and when members of
congress will be briefed on that. >> thank you for your efforts there. we've often -- always recognized our responsibility to take care of soldiers when they're in the army and service. we're beginning to recognize we got to go beyond that and -- >> and the nation pays a lot for the experience that they get there. we should be benefiting from it. >> well, absolutely. and we need to do a better job helping employers understand the incredible talent that these young -- largely young soldiers bring to the field. it is our intent to put out an rfp this october. we would look for it to establish three main locations and 15 satellite locations for the acap program for the demobilization locations.
we're looking how we can nail some of the acap initiative with some of our existing programs and bring them together for what seems to us like a very large bowl place -- very logical place. you should begin to see some real changes this fall. >> ok. i look for to that. i am very supportive of the joint model. they provide 70 hours over 12 months. they are actually looking at what they're doing a year before they leave. you say you may need to do something additional if you want to get a job in the civilian world. i think that is a very smart investment. can you tell me when the pilot of that model begins by any chance? >> as an said, we have to set
out and make the contract this fall. once that is done, do not expected to be too long -- if i may, let us go back and get you more detail on that. >> ok. i do not want to lose anybody else on that. i look forward to working with both of you. i would love to have your help and support with that. >> gentlemen, i have a lot of questions to ask. 10 years ago, the army sun's board did a study. after that study, they recommended that no shoulder should carry more than 50 pounds of gear -- no soldier should
carry more than 50 pounds of gear. the soldier carries 125 pounds. as a result, muscular and skeletal injuries have increased tenfold in the last four years. the cost of medical benefits or disability benefits exceed this annually $500 million. john hopkins just made a study that indicates that injuries from muscular-skeletal-spinal injuries double that of combat injuries. do you have anything to say to that? >> only that this is a constant issue on our minds and on the minds of training and doctrine
command as well as the acquisitions side of our army. we're looking added in parallel. one, you know the work of lightening the individual soldiers load. we made some progress with plague carriers, the weight of the helmet, the weight of optics, all the way to the boos. frankly, those are marginal changes. they are important changes, but they tend to be marginal. the others to do what i said in my opening statement -- look at the army from the bottom of. what does the squad need, to take an example, in terms of our energy? we have introduced so many new emitters that we have increased the burden because of the battery is required to run the emitters. it requires power and energy to maintain it. by looking at the squad, we hope to find out what are these wants power it energy needs and not
just the individual -- what are the squad's power and energy needs and not just the individual soldier. we look at what it happens to be, robotics or some sort of got a live mule. i can assure you that it is a weekly issue for the chief of the army. that lends to the gravity of the issue that you would expect. >> i feel for them because i believe my combat gear never exceeded 20 pounds, including my rifle, boots, and hope that, grenades -- and helmet, grenades and all that i carried. what shocked me was that johns hopkins's reported that
muscular-skeletal injuries exceed combat injuries twice. >> may i add something to that? part of the reason that we have discovered is that young men and women coming into the army today are not as fit or as skillet lead sound as you were. -- skeletally sound as you were. even in basic training, before we load the soldier with the gear they would learn to bear, we have the same kinds of muscular-skeletal injuries. it is really a generation of americans that have this problem. but it is exacerbated by the love we ask them to bear. >> i thank you very much, mr. secretary and general dempsey. we thank you for your service to our nation. we look for to working with you with all the problems that you
>> our live coverage will continue later today at 1:00 p.m. eastern. there will be a meeting with defense secretary gates and admiral michael mullen. that will start at 1:00 p.m. eastern. back to the 2012 budget at 2:30 p.m. the energy department had secretary chu will be here to answer questions. the senate is in session today. they continued today on a republican-backed energy bill that would expand opportunities for oil. it will concern permits and lease sales and opening offshore drilling. it needs 60 votes to move forward. thursday, in the senate, we expect to do the nomination of
the ninth circuit judge. that follows the debate live on c-span 2. we had tom udall of new mexico on this morning's "washington journal." e 5. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we begin with "the washington post." they categorize the future of the relations as make or break. what you think this story does to theelationship? guest: i tnk we're in a very delicate phase, no doubt about it. the trip that senator carey took, some of the commitments that he got -- i think there was took, some ofrry go
the commitments that he got. just after he left, there was a brown strike, which i think was a very unfortunate -- drone strike, which i think was a very unfortunate set of circumstances that happened after the high- level meeting. it is important to stay focused on how important they are in terms of what is happening in afghanistan. 50% of our supplies come through pakistan. that is very important. host: the senate foreign relations committee had a hearing yesterday, looking at their relationship with pakistan. there was testimony from general jones. your republican colleague at the hearing had a bit to say about our relationship with pakistan and tried to explain that to h constituents. i want to get your reaction. >> i have a difficult to explain to the people back home in idaho what we're doing spending
billions of dollars in pakistan, particularly on civilian matters. they do not like us. they do not like us. here, they have this terrible tragedy with the floods. we went in. we were the first ones there. we helped them. we saved people's lives. after we spent hundreds of millions of dollars rebuilding bridges that were washed out, i get asked, why are we spending our kids and grandkids' money to do this in a country that does not like us? host: senator tom udall, your thoughts? guest: i think that this is a very troublesome partner, no doubt about it. the capture of bin laden, people are wondering, it is pakistan really an allied? many of the things he is saying -- those questions are being
asked back home. we have to look in the larger context. we have to look at how we get our supplies to our troops in afghanistan. we have to look at al qaeda and how they c assist us. they did help us with some of the things that led up to the capture and killing of bin laden. i am not here to apologize in any way for them or to say that many of the things that they do are good things, but they are a strategic partner. we need to try to reset the relationship and move on down the road. host: $27 billion to military and economic aid to pakistan from 2000 to 2011. what have we gotten for the ne host: -- guest: that is an excellent question. i do not think we have gotten what we need.
the most worrisome thing to me is that, as we move down the road in afghanistan, we need to try to do everythinge can to wrap it up and bring people home. the only way we are going to be able to do that is to de with this safe haven situation which has been going on in afghanistan from the very beginning. they have ties -- they have had ties over many years with the taliban. we have the leadership of the taliban. the people come over, get dressed, get trained -- get rest, get trained. we hope after this meeting that senator kerry had, that they will change the situation. it may well be that this relationship is broken to the point where we are just going to have to make decisions in afghanistan to move down the
road -- this accelerated transition, handed off to that and do -- the afghani's, everything we can to maintain a good relationship while we have troops there. host: does anything you have heard, read, or seen since the capture and lling of osama bin laden change your mind? guest: everything that i have seen since the capture of bin laden and way before tells me that we should be moving in the direction of having this be an afghan-led security operation. we need to turn -- the excellent things we're doing there on the ground, we need to now say this is the time -- it is coming up in july -- within 12 to 18 months, we should be ae to tu this over to them. that is what i would like to see. to me, that is an accelerated transition.
this three year timeline is way too long. i think we need to be moving down the road in a very aggressive way. it has been 10 years. this is america's longest war. it is your time to step up to the plate and take this over. host: if that happens, do you have any concerns about headlines like this in "the new york times." guest: part of what is happening in this whole region is that china is going to be there, russia is going to be there. they will try to be in afghanistan -- and they were trying to be in afghanistan and were thrown out. we need to stay focused oour national interests. our national interests have reached the point where we turn this over to the afghanis. it does not mean we're leaving
the region. it does not mean this is not a strategic region to us. it does nomean we do not have ties. it is time for them to step up to the plate. host: your first phone call. senator udall. caller: two months ago, i was in kandahar. i spent the last several years in iraq and afghanistan as a civilian contractor. as yogi berra used to say, it ain't over till it's over. we're going to have to have a substantial political, military, economic presence in that part of the world for some years to come. we cannot afford to quit the scene too early. host: before you go on, why were you in that area? caller: i'm a contractor. host: what about your experience
there makes you have this opinion? caller: because the situation is so fluid, so delicate. there are so many different parties involved. the insurgency is thoroughly entrenched. they have the logistical support, the military support. the elimination of osama bin laden is great. i have no problem with that. i am glad he is off the scenes. the organization that he founded thahas been running this terrorism is not finished yet. host: senator? guest: the thing that troubles me -- we have been there 10 years. this is america's longest war. the boots on the ground presence is what we do not need any longer. we have trained their troops. we have trained their police. we put ibillions of dollars in this training. at some point, you have to say -- and i think the president was
right when he said that we would have an accelerated transition -- i personally think three years is to go along. i think we could be able to do that ia ratiol, rsonable way within 12 to 18 months. i think that is what i would like to see happen. it does not mean we leave the region. we are going to have our ships in the region. we're going to have our diplomatic mission there. but it is important that, at some point, they step up to the plate ando the job. host: ronnie, an independent in corpus christi, texas. caller: i am a first-time caller, so forgive me for nervousness. guest: do not worry about me. -- it. caller: the middle east since the pakistan, afghanistan -- the
pakistanis have nuclear weapons. the india-pakistan relationship, the israel-pakistan relationship. host: senator? guest: that is another important point. greta and i have not talked about that yet, but pakistan has a large number of nuclear weapons. they have a nuclear arsenal that we are sometimes concerned about. i am not so sure that what we have going on in afghanistan necessarily makes it more secure. and there is a lot going on between the two countries. i tnk that many of those issues would be resolved and worked out if we did not have such a large footprint right now in afghanistan. host: newport beach, california, marilyn. you are on the air caller: my name is mary-lynn.
i probably talked too fast. good morning. i am a democrat, but i guess i am sort of conservative when it comes to foreign relations and our military and stuff like that, so i will probably sound little off base to you. do you think that going back to our relations with pakistan -- do you think act maybe our -- that maybe our relations and the the world works out of kilter when president obamaame in and he seemed -- were set off kilter when president obama came in and he seemed to have a very wimpy take on our place in the world? notwithstanding the killing of osama bin laden, which ihink most of the world sees as in the air military did,ot our president or secretary of state
-- sees as in the military did, not our president or secretary of state'. host: let's get your thoughts about how the president is perceived to. guest: i think that president obama's started off with speeches in various placesn foreign policy. one of the major speeches he gave was in cairo, which i think uplifted people. they felt closer to america. we still have real prlems in this area at in terms of the people feeling good aboutur country. if you look at the polls that are taken on a regular basis in the middle east, tre is a real suspicious attitude towards us. i think a lot of that has to do with the large footprint that we have, with the way we carried t foreign policy the last 10 or 15 years.
it is not all just president obama. there is a lot that has happened since 9/11 that has convinced these countries that we are not necessarily a good partner for them also. i would not fall president obama -- fault president obama. i think he idoing everything he can. one couple you made is at people do not think this capture of bin laden was about president obama. he was in on every step. he made this decision. it was a very tough decision. people were split at the cia. i have to give him all the credit for that. caller: as far as afghanistan and pakistan, i say, let china have them. it is nothing but a huge money ghole. it is time to get out of that stupid war. host: ok. guest: i agree with you on ending the war. as you heard earlier when you were listening, within 12 to 18
months from the july deadline, i think we could give a signal to the afghanis to a separate the transition, start handing it over. -- to a accelerate -- to accelerate the transition, start handing it over. we will have a diplomatic presence. no doubt many of our companies will be operating in these areas. it is not like we're completely ending all ties to the middle east or in particular to this region. host: hank is a democrat in manhattan. you are up next. guest: good morning. how are you? caller: i am doing well. it is great to see you on the program. i agree with what you're saying. i think it is almost a spiritual cotruct -- we really have to
keep the focus on ourselves when we get involved with other countries. i have one question with our economic interest in pakistan. i firmly believe that, when we get ourselvesnvolved -- embroiled with other countries, often, there is an -- i would like to know your take on the realities of the situation. what companies are there rooted in pakistan thate need to be concerned about? oftentimes, i find that policy and government follows economic interests. guest: i think that is true. unfortunately, when you focus on the region, this is a very, very poor region of the middle east. there is not lot going on economically. there is a huge amount of agriculture. people are living -- especially
in afghanistan -- in a tribal way. our efforts have been coming in the past, to give aid, the build projects, to build dams, to do things that help people out. that is something i think we need to continue doing because we want to try to bring them up. that is spread of where it is. is.-- kind of where it host: help me with your name. gohead. caller: id'd was back in the 1700's -- i think it was back in the 1700's when president james monroe enacted the monroe doctrine. i would like to know -- guest: i think we lost him. host: you have to turn your television down. weill go on to mike in
oklahoma. you are on the air. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. how are you? caller: i am well. i gradued from the college of lost princess -- of las cruces. guest: it has changed a lot, no doubt about it. caller: there was an article about columbus, new mexico, where several police officers were arrested for running guns down to mexico. related tovewhen >> was project -- i was wondering if that was related to product gun runner by the atf. they were instructed to proceed with questionable and illegal
sales to suspected straw-buyers. i would like to get your opinion projectject beg-- on gun-runner. guest: it is a stain on law enforcement. they started getting information on these purchases. a number of agencies work on the border to try to prevent guns from coming across, guns from being run from the united states and mexico or the other way around. they found out that these officials were involved in in it. in fact, the police chief was involved. they followed it and they cracked down on them when they thought they had the evidence. i amot so sure this relates as much to the program you're talking about. it is just a good effort by law enforcement at the border to talk well -- tackle a serious
problem. it is in the legal system now. host: richard is a democrat in canton, illinois. welcome to the conversation. caller: i have three quick points i would like to make that i would like the senator to answer. the ma reason we're in afghanistan was to get bin laden. we got him, now let's get out. we're getting ready to give pakistan almost $3 billion in aid. why do we not tell them to give us the nuclear weapons in exchange for the aid? as low as they have the nuclear- weapons, we will be browned -- as long as they have the nuclear weapons, we will be bound to protect them for eternity. iraq is the second- largest holder of oil in the world. why don't we ask them to give us their oil in return for paying for their freedom? guest: those are great points.
you have noted one of the things that we went into afghanistan -- bin laden. we also went in to topple the government that was sponsoring bin laden and to destroy the training camps and destabilize al qaeda. those things have been accomplished. that is why i believe we should be on the road to this exonerated transition -- accelerated transition. there is a real question as to what we have gotten for the aid we have givenoakistan. i do not think that is a deal we can make in terms of aid for the nuclear weapons. these countries that get a nuclear-weapons do it for very specific reasons -- get nuclear weapons and do it for very opposite reasons. in this case, it is because of the india-pakistan situation. i just do not think we can do it. i wish iraq was doing a lot more
to pay us back. they are in a very unfortunate situion whe their oil is not as high as it could be, but i hope that they will do everything they can to give us breaks there at the local level while we are there for the res of the year. it looks like we will end up with strong and our troops fm iraq on the president's schedule by the end of th-- withdrawing our troops from iraq on the president's schedule by the end of the year. i think we have to look at the broader issue of al qaeda and the other terrorist groups in the region. they are spreading out other areas. we are stuck in one area with our allies, 140,000 troops on the ground. we should be more flexible.
we should be pulling back and doing this accelerated transition. then we will be able to work with other countries all around the world on the counter- terrorism effort. that is the course we should be pursuing. i think it makes a lot more sense to pursue that course and then having such a large footprint -- course than having such a large footprint that is really not getting us anywhere. host: scott, washington, d.c. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. want to talk about our government getting involved in the middle east. we get involved in these countries and we take so much of a financial, military, political burden upon ourselves. we ask so little of the countries in that region. specifically with iraq, it was often touted as security for the
region -- one of the several reasons to get involved in that part of the world. then, the coalition fighting in iraq seemed to be made up of countries that had a presence there from around the world -- philippines, great britain. i wonder why it is that the u.s. government -- congress, the president, so on -- as always found it acceptable that -- has always found it acceptable that we americans take so much of the burden than many of the other countries that are likely to be involved in the region itself. saudi arabia -- they have their reason why does the u.s. government fined those reasons acceptable? guest: these are some tough foreign policy questions you have raised. first of all, i do not think we should have gotten into iraq and
the first place. i voted against going there -- in the first place. i voted against going there. i think it has been a real disaster for us. finally, obama, with the endg the policy and the troops out by the end of the year, i think that has us where we need to be. as far as afghanistan --e have talked about this. we went in there to get the mastermind of 9/11. we've got him. we went in to take the government out that was sponsoring his type of terrorism. we have done that. we have destroyed the training camps. we. had a -- w have had a devastating impact on al qaeda. i think all of those things that we have done our major accomplishments. we should feel now, we can turn this over to them in
an accelerated away in the next 12 months to 18 months and mainta a smaller footprint and work with oth countries in the region on the counter-terrorism effort. host: silver spring, maryland, joyce on the line for republicans. caller: we cannot mention afghanistan without mentioning the drug problem in our own country. we are begging for help to get information out to -- especially -- young people on this medical marijuana issue. there are over 25,000 studies out of the university of mississippi and not one of them says marijuana is good for anything. new mexico happens to be one of the states that pass it. my own state of maryland. i think there are 25 states now. it's the biggest lie that has been perpetrated on the skids in the story of the drug issue, i guess -- on these kids in the
history of the drug issue, i guess. 18 nations have linked marijuana to schizophrenia and other testimony before the maryland legislature -- it was talked about that marijuana causes schizophrenia. the maryland secretary of health and hygiene was asked a question --the sponsor of the bill asked the doctor, if he were in his place, would he vote to allow their one as a medicine. the doctor said absolutely not. host: will have to leave it there. go ahead, senator. guest: i think you have raised some important issues d the one i would like to speak to about the mexico -- about new
mexico is the we do have a medical marijuana program in place. it is targeted specifically at people who have terminal illnesses and have problems where doctors believe that marijuana or the ingredients in marijuana can make a difference. i think our program is a good one. i do not think it endorses drug use outside of the program. that is the way i think a medical marijuana program should be focused. all of the other things you said may we be true. i thi a good, solidly supervised the medical marijuana program can work and is working in a state of the mexico. host: louis from fort myers, florida, a democrat. good morning. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: i have a question for you, senator. i noticed the elections -- i
hope rublicans sometimes. it depends on the person. in the future, i would never vote republican again. i think it's good to vote across the line. i think we should have a clear mind. i noticed the attitude of the republican party in the last few months and years since obama has been elected. their attitude -- you notice the things they say and how they come off and the negative use -- a lot of my friends have really turned off to the republican pty. i am 72 years old. i never thought -- could tell you a lot of things. host: what is your question for the senator? caller: my question is why no one has come forward and condemned the attitude of some of these senators and some of the people running for
president. why doesn't someone come forward and say something about it? guest: if you tune into c-span every day and look at the covers nonstop on the hou floor and the senate floor, people are getting out there and condemng each other, and fighting over these programs, like the ryan budget and what ever is. unfortunately, we're in a real gridlock situation. i think we need to pull together for the country and look at the important things we need to do in energy, education, and foreign policy where we can all agree and start moving the country forward again. we just had a ve yesterday on big oil -- trying to take back those subsidies. we will have another vote today. both of them are failing. we ought to be designing an energy policy that moves us on the path to independence. i think you are right in the
sense that your question seems to say to pull us all together and forget the parties. that's where we need to head. there's no doubt about it. . host: cottonwood, idaho, cornelia, a republican. good morning. caller: good morning, everybody. gut: good morning. caller: good morning. i dislike to say that i think america has been very foolish in the way we have pursued the war in the middle east. i was not sure about iraq. i have now come to believe that if we leave those countries to early -- countries too early, we are inviting other countries to come in that are not friendly to america. if you stop to think about this, who wants us out of afghanistan and pakistan? al-qaeda wants out. china wants us out. iran wants us out. the muslim brotherhood and the radical muslims want us out of
afghanistan and pakistan. host: ok. senator? guest: are large military presence in afghanistan right now is hurting our ability to carry out american interest in the region. we have been there for almost 10 years. i believe the very best policy is to stick with the president's accelerated transition deadline starting in july and turned security over to them. that does not mean we cannot be involved in a business and economic sense. we will certainly be involved diplomatically. we need to be involved in helping bring the region together. host: here is "the baltimore sun." it says, "the president will cast the u.s. as a facilitator rather than an instigator of
that change." as a member of t foreign relations committee, have you heard thathe's this view in the middle east that we have instigated this? guest: i think the contrast that may be drawn here is how we went in so dramatically into iraq when we should not have. i think that was president invadingpinion, that when we did not have the support in the region and when we did not have the real justification to do so. what he has done, since we've seen the uprising and people wanting more freedom and wanting their govnments to be more accountable and they want people to be able to get work in these countries -- we have really acted in our foreign policy and i hope we keep doing that, encouraging that kind of thing to happen. i am looking forward to the
speech. i think the president has had some good, solid foreign policy wins. i hope he continues to support democracy and human rights throughout the world. host: here's the front page of "the new york times." guest: we have a great cnce at this point in time to learn from what happened in japan. i think our regulators ve been asked to take a look at the japanese situation, review all of our nuclear siting, review our plants, and that's what they're doing right now. i hope we will do the oversight and congress and they will step forward and make the changes needed to make nuclear power safe in america. an, a democrat in
blueidge, georgia. caller: i wanted to callnd talk about afghanistan. i wrote up a policy paper two years ago for what we should do. how do i get it to you or the people who change policy? guest: well, if you have it on the internet, you can get on our web site. my websites tomudall. senate.gov. if you do not, you put it in the il. some of the best ideas i get are from my constituents back in new mexico about policy initiatives that are occurring in the congress. host: senator tom udall is our guest, democrat of new mexico, foreign committee member.
rosemary is next. guest: good morning. caller: when is our president and congress going to stand up and have the backbone to say " no more money is to be given to any more countries, especially to those who hate us"? the bottom line is, we do not have the money thank you for your response. guest: thank you very much. if we follow the policy i'm talking about in afghanistan of an accelerated transition and handing off of security, that's a significant amount of money. billionlking about $120 per year that could be dediced to deficit reduction, reducing the national debt, and you are right. that is what we should be focusing on. peopleant to see us growing jobs in america and they want to
see the government moving towards a balancedudget. we are not doing either of those things very well ght now. . host: james is a republican in virginia. good morning, james. guest: good morning, james. caller: we're spending billions of dollars over their giving pakistan an aid. 90% of the afghan soldiers are illiterate. they cannot even read. we have to show them how to shoot their own weapons, even though they have been fighting for thousands years. i am on social security disability. they are talking about cutting my medicare. with all the money they're wasting over there -- they caught one of the warlords here leaving afghanistan with millions of dollars in a suitcase. host: let's take your first
point about literacy rates in afghanistan and teaching the soldiers to take over. guest: there are huge difficulties. there's no doubt about it. i remember when one of the top u.n. officials left and he made the statement when he was asked the question, "can we get this done in 10 more years?" he said he did not think we could get them up to the level we would expect of a police force in 100 years. a pretty strong indictment. that tells me we're in a ibal society. we will be much better off when we turn over the security to them and let them deal in their local communities. that's why i e support an accelerated transition and moving out of afghanistan. host: we have a few minutes left with senator tom udall. we go to robert, a democrat in indiana. go ahead, robert. caller: yes, my name is robert. i'm sorry. i'm a little nervous.
guest: just fire that question away. you will be fine. caller: the opium trade in pakistan and afghanistan, how come we do not address that in our problems with those countries? guest: we are trying to address that and it is a big, big problem. i remember being in afghanistan and flying over some of those poppy fields and asking the question you are asking. there are not any good answers. unfortunately, you are dealing with a very poor society, a trib society. the money is really the drugs and the poppy. we really need to have done more in the past. we need to do more in the future on this. the best way i think to deal with this is not have this large of a footprint as we do right now in afghanistan. move in and exhilarated way to hand over security to them and
then wcafocus on some of these other problems on an international basis in the reon. host: last phone call for senator udall. charlotte, north carolina. sandy on the line for independents. caller: yes, i think both of you democrats or republicans are cut from the same cloth. you are not honest with the american people. it's nothing but a money- laundering scheme over there in afghanistan. they have trillions of dollars of natural resources. in essence, our military, our taxpayer dollars, and our sons and daughters are being used for the best interest of these corporations to pillage those natural resources and run off with the profits. host: we got your point. let's get a reaction from the senator. guest: first of all, look at what the average afghan citizen makes. we are talking about a couple hundred dollars per year. that is wh they make in afghanistan. this is a very poor, tribal
country. the best thing we can do over there is reduce our footprint and try to work with them on developing their resources. they have large water rources where they could put up dams and help irrigate fields. they are primarily an agricultural society. it is true that they have natural resources. they have some minerals. they have not really been developed very much. i think american companies and other countries around the world may do that in the future. i think the best way to go is to try to hand th off to them, stay there diplomatically, stay engaged in the region, and stay focused on our counter-terrorism efforts. we want to be looking for al- qaeda that are around the world that could do harm to us in the united states -- not every little jihadi
>> in about 10 minutes, we will take you live to the pentagon for briefing with secretary gates and admiral michael mullen. that is settled for 1:00 p.m. eastern. until then, part of the week- long washington journal series on homeland security. journal" continues. host: we are looking at selected aspects of the department of homeland security. on monday, we tackled the issue of airport security and looking at the various technology and people involved in that brief yesterday, civil rights and civil liberties. tomorrow, we will focus our efforts on border security technology. friday, we will look at bio terrorism. today, our topic deals with the larger topic of what is known as critical infrastructure
protection in the office of homeland security. our guest today is the former assistant secretary at dhs for infrastructure protection from 2005 to 2009. what does this phrase mean for the folks at home? guest: thank you for the invitation to be on your show. critical infrastructure is important because it represents the fiber of our government, our society, and our economy. it represents millions of miles of cable communications, electricity, the power grid. dams, water systems, food and agricultural production facilities, medical, public health facilities, commercial facilities, religious facilities. it is an immense problem to deal with because of the distribution, the complexity, and the nature of who owns the protection responsibility across that fabric of infrastructure
across the country. host: the definition of the of this kind of encapsulates what you have done. one of the things they look at as far as food, drinking water, national monuments, transportation systems, chemical facilities, and much more. these are things we would normally probably ignore on a daily basis. what makes the department of homeland security look at these things from a terrorism or security aspect? guest: infrastructures represent target sets. i have a military planning background. i spent 24 years in the u.s. air force before i joined the department of homeland security. i think of our infrastructures as targets that require protection. infrastructures reach out and touch everyone in america. when you turn on the light switch, you expect electricity. when you go to the tap, you expect clean water to come out. when you turn on your furnace, you expect heat to come out.
that part and parcel of our everyday life. you take it for granted, except when it is missing or disrupted. for a terrorist organization, infrastructure targets are very juicy targets because they represent a way to get to america, down to the individual household level. terrorists can focus on infrastructure targets as a direct attack. everything you could possibly attack that is an infrastructure target that is connected to something else. for example, the twin towers went down in terms of electricity, public health, and safety, and then there were cascading impacts with respect to the tourism, aviation sector. also, infrastructures can be
used as a means to get to tremendous public health and safety issues. it talked-about hijacking an airliner to fly into a public elated -- into a populated center. host: the specific office, in light of everything you say, what's their day to day job to make sure these kind of things do not happen? >> two things. my former office has statutory coronation of authority and the budget to pull together this national team, conduct planning, training, exercises, risk analysis, and real-time information sharing. in 2007, there was a regulatory slice added to my portfolio with respect to regulating security from the perspective of high risk chemical facilities around the united states. host: so the department itself works with other agencies to
coordinate these efforts? guest: other agencies of the federal government and dozens of others, such as the department of energy, the department of defense, the department of commerce, of the environmental protection agency. the real key players are state and local government authorities because there are 87,000 local jurisdictions across the country where these infrastructures. exist on a daily basis. 85% of the targets called critical infrastructure is owned and operated day to day by the private sector of the united states. host: what's the relationship between dhs and state and local entities? guest: mostly, across the country, we now have a homeland security effort of the state and local level across the united states. there are people designated with the critical infrastructure and protection portfolio.
we have a connection between the policy, plans come in programs at the federal level and the state and local government level. state and local is tied to the federal grant process. host: not only are they trained, but they also receive money. guest: yes, and the homeland security grant programs are ones that i more or less controlled. it's targeted at high risk facilities and making sure there are state and local law enforcement and first responder communities tied into the emergency response plans of certain specific target sites we are really worried about. there's a component in the federal grant program that take critical infrastructure presence in a jurisdiction into account in terms of how much money is allocated to that particular jurisdiction from the various homeland security grant programs. host: our guest is with us until 10:00 a.m., if you want to ask questions about various areas of the united states that need protection under the rubric of
infrastructure protection. here are the numbers. you can send us an e-mail and also on twitter. on footer, this question -- on twitter, this question. guest: a fusion center is an intelligence or information gathering and analysis entity. it is normally set up at a state or local government level to bring in different types of suspicious activities, a law- enforcement information relative to identifying terrorists. the idea is to has a central node across a variety of threats. the one i was focused most about was terrorism coming to a
central place. different agencies have seats at the center. different types of information is analyzed. it is pushed out to allow those that have protection responsibilities to take aactio. host: our first call, iowa on the line for democrats caller: according to my computer, there's an electromagnetic pulse weapon that could wipe out our entire electric system. wouldn't we have to set up generators in every little town and country in the country? i would like to make a comment on our last show -- the last guest. when are people going to start talking about the fact that we are in afghanistan because -- host: we will leave it there and you can