Skip to main content

tv   Afghanistan War Transition  CSPAN  December 15, 2013 4:05pm-6:01pm EST

4:05 pm
agreement these numbers will drop lower. the remaining troops will have a limited role as they should. what will be our objective? what constitutes success? insufficient planning for this transition could put american lives at risk. it is questionable whether our diplomatic facilities are equipped, physically and staffing wise, to protect u.s. personnel. this danger will increase as troops withdrawal and transition planners better best figure out how to protect our personnel during this transition. unfortunately, corruption in afghanistan places our aid programs at constant risk of waste, fraud, abuse, and despite years of rule of law training, the afghan government has few workable safeguards in place to prevent the misuse of u.s. aid money.
4:06 pm
widespread corruption threatens the presidential and the provincial elections that are set for next april. free and fair elections are essential to establishing a stable government. a repeat of the widespread election fraud that we saw in 2009 would undermine afghan's faith in their government, setting back the country. corruption hinders afghanistan's economy. the mining sector could tap the posits of industrial metals by attracting foreign investment, but that will not happen with the corruption in afghanistan.
4:07 pm
on the security front, pakistan's military and security service continues to complicate matters by supporting the taliban. they are a double dealer. they undermine our primary objective of bringing afghanistan under the troll of a democratically elected government. iran continues to support the taliban and using the banking system to circumvent sanctions. just yesterday, it was announced president karzai had agreed to a long-term friendship and
4:08 pm
cooperation pact with iran. we need to counter this because our troops continue to be targeted. they will determine their future, not us. we can help them develop a stable and democratic government, one respectful of recognized human rights. that is what most afghans want it is in our interest, and is what our sacrifices demand we strive for. i will turn to ted deutch for any opening statement he might want to make. >> thank you for the panel for being with us today. we went to afghanistan with the goal of rooting out al qaeda and with the work and service of our nation's finest and bravest citizens, together with, it bears noting, the service and
4:09 pm
commitment of 48 of our allies and their greatest citizens, we have made tremendous gains. there have been gains in women's rights, education, and maternal and child health. 12 years later, we still have 47,000 troops in afghanistan with the potential for thousands more to remain for many years. i am concerned that president karzai is blustering over whether he will sign the bilateral security agreement risk of destabilizing afghanistan by destabilizing the security situation even further. it was the safety of u.s. personnel and afghans in jeopardy. i hope he understands he is risking afghanistan's future by playing this game on the bilateral security agreement.
4:10 pm
if he is committed to a partnership, he should cut that the actors. that includes the move to negotiate a security pact with iran. he should sign the agreement. the patience of the congress and american people is wearing thin. it is possible afghanistan will become a safe haven for al qaeda. i know continuing to achieve strategic gains is not going to be easy, but i fear that the potential of undoing these gains is far greater for u.s. and regional security. i look forward to discussing with our witnesses today. >> our chairman, ileana ros- lehtinen. >> thank you very much. we held two hearings this year that examine this issue. the transition in afghanistan and the way forward for u.s. afghanistan, and pakistan. i lead a delegation to cobble
4:11 pm
this weekend with mr. kennedy and dr. barra. we had the honor to meet with our men and women that serve our country in afghanistan. they do a tremendous job day in and day out. while in afghanistan, we had the opportunity to speak with mr. karzai and it seemed like he was pre-optimistic about the final security agreement. he was looking forward to its completion, now, however, he is balking at signing the agreement. it is grand council endorsed. as recently at this last weekend, he has lashed out at the u.s. and accused us of threatening him. karzai's flirting with iran is
4:12 pm
dangerous to our security interest. we are complex and concerned. >> we are pleased to be joined by representatives of the u.s. department of state, the agency for international development, and the department of defense. ambassador james dobson serves as the representative for afghanistan and pakistan. he has filled a number of senior positions at the state department and white house. we also have michael dumont. he is the deputy assistant secretary for the secretary of defense. prior to joining the office of the secretary of defense, he served as the federal prosecutor in the criminal division of the u.s. department of justice and managed the justice department programs in iraq. larry sampler, he currently
4:13 pm
serves as the assistant to the administrator. he has previously worked at the u.s. department of state. welcome. without objection, your statements will be made part of the record. we're going to ask you each to summarize in five minutes your statements. members here are going to have five days to submit statements and questions for the record that you might be asked to respond to. ambassador dobbins, we will begin with you. >> thank you mr. chairman. let me concentrate on what i think is the most topical and immediately important aspect of our situation in afghanistan which is the fate of the bilateral of greed meant and the prospects for longer term
4:14 pm
american commitment. as i think you know, president karzai called grand council to discuss the draft bilateral security agreement which we and he had concluded. this involved 2500 of that guinness can's influential citizens from throughout the country. after three days of debate, it was endorsed as written and urged karzai to sign it before the end of the year. this decision underscores the clear and strong desire of the afghan people to continue their partnership with the united states and the international community. dei states agrees with the afghan people. signing the bsa will send an important signal to the people of afghanistan to the taliban and, to our allies and partners into the region. for the afghan people, it will reduce anxiety and uncertainty about the future. allowing them to concentrate on
4:15 pm
the upcoming elections and to invest with confidence in their own economy. the taliban on may think that the end of 2014 may mean the end of international support and that their only path to pieces by ending violence and accepting the constitution. assigned to bsa will ensure the region that the united states will remain in gauged and will not abandon afghanistan as we once did in 1989 after the soviet withdrawal. to our nato allies and other international partners, a sign bsa will open the door for nato to begin negotiations of its own status of forces agreement. for all of these reasons, the administration is committed to expedited -- peer delay would add another element of uncertainty as afghanistan prepares for the april 2014 presidential elections. for the united states and our nato allies, delay means a lack of clarity needed to plan for the post-2014 military presence.
4:16 pm
that would jeopardize fulfillment of the pledges of assistance that nato and other countries and made in chicago and tokyo in 2012. as ambassador rice made clear during her recent visit to cobble, although it is not our preference, without a prompt signature, we will not have a choice but to initiate planning for 2014 in which there would be no u.s. or nato troops. lans are not decisions. we are not about to decide to abandon all we and the afghan people have achieved over the past 12 years. based on the results of the -- expressions throughout the country and discussions during my own visit to kabul, i don't believe there can be doubt that the afghan people want american and nato forces to stay and recognize that the bilateral security agreement is a necessary prerequisite. the agreement is also the keystone of a much wider
4:17 pm
international commitment involving over seven countries ready to provide economic and security assistance to afghanistan and beyond 2015 i understand president putin of russia and others have urged president karzai to conclude the bilateral security agreement. several of these leaders are no fans of the military presence in central asia, but all of them seem to recognize that without a continued international military and economic support afghanistan risks falling back into civil war. with the rise in extremist groups, outflow of refugees and instructions in commerce that would threaten the region as a whole. given this opinion, i see little chance that the agreement will
4:18 pm
not eventually be concluded. awaiting the arrival of the next afghan president to do so, will impose large and unnecessary costs on the app and people. already the exide because by president karzai's refusal to heed the advice is having that effect. i learned from the world bank and other sources that the afghan currency is slipping in value. inflation is increasing. capital is fleeing. property values are dropping. perhaps for the first time since 2001 the outflow of population exceeds the return of refugees. the longer this uncertainty about the future international commitment to afghanistan continues, the more anxiety among the population will increase. potentially dominating the upcoming presidential elections, threatening to turn these into a
4:19 pm
polarizing rather than a unifying experience for the country. prolonged uncertainty over the bilateral security agreement will erode international support for afghanistan. in tokyo and chicago in 2012 the international community pledged billions of dollars to support the afghan security forces and the afghan economy beyond 2014. fulfillment of these pledges is dependent on public support and parliamentarian approval. prolonged delay can only diminish the prospect that these pledges will be fully met. in some, mr. chairman, i continue to believe that the security agreement will be concluded, but i am seriously dismayed at the cost to the afghan people, that delay, that significant further delay will cause. thank you.
4:20 pm
>> thank you, ambassador. we'll go to mr. dumont next. >> chairman royce, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the upcoming year of transition in afghanistan. before turning our attention -- >> move the mic a little closer. >> before turning our attention to the upcoming year, i would like to review the status of the security transition. in june, the afghans reached a decisive milestone unassumingly responsibility for security countrywide. this milestone signaled the shift in the international security assistance force as primary mission from combat to training, advising and assisting the afghan security forces. the nsf are now successfully providing security for the people of afghanistan. this past summer fighting season was the first time that both clans and executed with the afghans wholly in the lead.
4:21 pm
the nsf proved to be capable and resilient, conducting all combat operations across afghanistan while taking the majority of the casualties. they successfully held the security gains in recent years and the insurgency failed to achieve his stated objective. they have an creasing lay maintain the gains made by a coalition of 49 nations. that is a significant accomplishment. the dod will focus on the key areas of support for a successful transition in afghanistan, continuation of the train, advise and assist mission, to develop the nsf into a sustainable force, and the drawdown and realignment of u.s. forces for a post-2014 train and assist mission. the mission will continue to emphasize developing nsf capabilities to conduct high level planning and execution operations.
4:22 pm
assistance will continue to be focused on organizing, training and sustaining the nsf. this will include acquisition contracting, strategy and policy development, human resources management, and financial and human resource management. he nsf can be a guerin tour for afghanistan, but not without progress toward developing a professional force. we will focus on improving accountability and increasing funding of the nsf. coalition forces are working with the afghans to finish up implementing automated systems that will increase accountability in the areas of pay, logistics, human resources and financial management.
4:23 pm
they're also focused on developing expertise necessary in the afghan security ministries to plan and budget transactions to sustain the nsf. although the combat leadership shift demonstrates a first and foremost the capability and resolve of the afghan security forces to secure their nation, and enables the united states and other partners to reduce our forces. as president obama announced in february 2013, the u.s. will reduce its force level to 34,000. they will do that by february 12, 2014. this will be maintained through
4:24 pm
the election period. this progression will enable effective assistance of coalition forces drawdown and allow for a smooth transition of the nsf to opt rate with reduced coalition support. the nsf will exercise greater economy and leadership of security operations while having access to support as required and as available. while the process is underway, nato will bring the isaf mission to a close. the mission for u.s. forces in afghanistan is shifting to a continued counterterrorism mission against al qaeda and its affiliates. as the president has made clear, the united states must secure an agreement that protects u.s. troops and must have an invitation to fulfill the promise of the post-2014 partnership discussed at the 2012 chicago nato summit. we are prepared to sign in
4:25 pm
remote. concluding the bsa promptly would be an important signal to the people of afghanistan, the taliban and and our allies. after more than decade of dedication, our coalition partners and the afghan people we have seen remarkable turnaround in afghanistan. the people have greater economic opportunity, access to health care, education, and freedoms it and individual rights. thank you for continuing to support the mission in afghanistan. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you. >> chairman royce, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to testify before you today. i have been working on and in afghanistan in both civilian and military role since 2002. in addition to having worked with the afghan emergency --
4:26 pm
i have served as chief of staff in afghanistan. after the fall of the taliban, i saw firsthand and afghanistan that have been devastated by decades of conflict. afghanistan improved its score in the index by more than 60%, more than any country. changes of this magnitude are not made overnight. especially in such a deeply traditional society. the results are significant, but fragile. in 2002, there were only 900,000 afghan children in school. virtually none of them were girls. today, there are nearly 8 million children in school and more than one third of them are girls. life expectancy has increased
4:27 pm
from 42 years to over 62 years. child mortality has decreased by almost 50%. in 2002, only six percent of afghans had access to electricity. today, the number is 18%. in 2000 two, there were very few fixed telephone lines and making a telephone call out of afghanistan required a satellite telephone. today, the combined phone networks in afghanistan cover 90% of the population and 85% of women in afghanistan have access to a cell phone. today there are over 3000 women- owned businesses and associations. 20% of afghans enrolled in higher education are now women. women are participants in the afghan political process. as we enter the transition period, the strategies are threefold. maintain and make durable the gains in health, education and the empowerment of women.
4:28 pm
second, mitigate the economic impact of the military drawdown and finally to foster improved stability by supporting legitimate and effective afghan governments to include the 2014 elections. there's a high priority and ensuring taxpayer funds are used wisely. while many issues are unique to that country, monitoring projects in challenging environments is nothing that our agency does well around the world. in designing the monitoring strategy, we are incorporating lessons learned in places like colombia, pakistan, and south sudan. i will know that these programs have been reviewed in six separate inspector general reports as well as through reports by the government accountability office. external audits provide oversight and discipline for our work and reinforce our efforts to ensure tax dollars are used effectively.
4:29 pm
there are over 100 audits going on of usaid programs afghanistan. the bottom line is that usaid will terminate programs if they see we are not producing development results. with regards to the elections, a credible transparent inclusive electoral process is essential for the government transition strategy and critical to afghan stability and democratic development.we remain focused on supporting inclusive and democratic process by supporting afghan electoral authorities in building the capacity of stakeholders in afghanistan to participate in a robust and informed way. we support domestic observers, civil society media, local , parties, helping them engage in the democratic process. we are supporting the participation of women in all
4:30 pm
aspects of the electoral process. we are promoting the hiring and training of female staff. promoting public outreach to women voters. and we are enhancing the ability of women candidates to campaign effectively. in conclusion, i have worked in afghanistan as a member of the department of defense, usaid and the department of state. i have attended ramp ceremonies for the fallen heroes of all organizations. i am personally aware of the enormous sacrifices made by americans to build a secure and stable afghanistan. we understand the need for constant vigilance, particularly during this transition. we are making tough decisions. we are prioritizing investments. we're looking for things that have the greatest potential for long-term success. as usaid navigates to the 2014 transition period, we are committed to safeguarding
4:31 pm
taxpayer funds and looking to make sure the progress is made and maintained. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you for your good work gentlemen on all of this. as you pointed out, about the steps being taken concerning the election, the reality is in 2000 nine, president karzai had in his hand in the fraud-plagued election, and the concern many had is what is being done to make certain we don't have a repeat. we already hear some of his commentary about possibly postponing an election. what steps are being taken to make certain that the international community has in
4:32 pm
place something that can stand up to his efforts to try to manipulate the election process? >> i think both state and a idr working on this. in 2009, there was no doubt who the winner was. that is despite the amount of fraud. even if you disallow for all of the fraud, karzai was still 20 points ahead. >> the fact that he was willing to commit the fraud is what is concerning because when this is over, afghans have to have some level of confidence and they know what he tried to do last time. >> that was preparatory to saying this time because the elections are more likely to be
4:33 pm
closer and the margin of the victory not be smaller than the marginal fraud. we are reasonably satisfied that the election preparations data is better than i was in 2009 or 2004. they are being taken into accordance with the legislation. the legislation has been fully followed with reasonable adherence to its provisions. the electoral commission seems to have a strong leadership. they have made decisions which are broadly accepted by most of the candidates as fair. the international community, the united states in particular will follow this closely. we will render support in a number of sectors. i think larry can expand on that. president karzai has not said anything today which would indicate a desire to postpone the election. everything that he has said is consistent with his desire to
4:34 pm
conclude this election on time. there is a lot of suspicion based on earlier experiences. many new democracies, that kind in any new democracy that kind of suspension is endemic. >> i want to ask about the election monitors. that is one area we are playing a pretty important role. the security forces, election monitors, particularly female officers because that is necessary to screen women voters as they come in. we want to make sure that all women have the ability to vote in the situation. that all afghans and young people have the ability to queue up and have their ballot cast. give us an update on that front.
4:35 pm
>> the u.s. is committing about $100 million to the election. about $55 million of that is going into a basket fund to support the election. that provides technical assistance that will help conduct the elections in a way that is free and fair and independent of fraud. the rest is going to be invested by laterally where we see need. voting monitors and polling station monitors is one of those areas. another is civil society engagement, particularly with respect to women's interest groups. we are investing in technology that we do not have access or sophistication to have asked us -- access to in the last election. i spoke yesterday about sms technology that women are using to collaborate and coordinate their approach to their candidates to make sure they are getting their issues on the platform to all the candidates.
4:36 pm
there are technological and technical assistance ways that we are investing our resources and supporting the elections. certainly areas, there continue to be areas that concern us. one of them is the access of women to polling places. i was in afghanistan a month ago. each time i visit, i get an update. they are aware of the problem and they're working to fix it. i cannot promise their solution will be robust, but having been engaged in there for 12 years, i am pleased to see they have an approach to how they are identifying these problems and pushing and addressing them. they're putting money where the problems are, their training women and their training women in polling laces. i think we will see a dramatic improvement in that regard. >> my time is expired. i am going to go to ted deutch in florida. >> in a recent foreign affairs
4:37 pm
piece, counterinsurgency strategies fail afghanistan. would you agree with the assertion? if so, why didn't it work? >> i would not agree with that. the reason i say that is we look at the gains that have been made to date in afghanistan since we arrived there. with the support of 48 coalition nations, it is to early for anyone to claim the counterinsurgency effort has failed. they have been consistent taking the fight the enemy. they have done remarkably well. they have adopted the training and tactics that have been provided to them and taught them. their police are stepping up to the plate more and more each day. quite frankly, they have gotten
4:38 pm
confidence and skill that they have not had in the past. they are exceeding our expectations and i believe that will continue for the future. to say that it is a failure, i think it is wrong. >> many of our constituents want us and the expresses clearly one is to bring home every last -- want us to bring home every last u.s. soldier. when the department of defense recommends a residual force going forward, what factor do you consider and what will the mission of those forces that might remain in afghanistan after 2014 be, and finally, to the extent you wish to comment how would you respond to so many americans who just simply think that it is time to bring everyone home?
4:39 pm
>> i understand the position of the american people and i served in combat myself on three occasions, including a year in afghanistan. i understand the concerns. our top priority is to prevent the return of al qaeda and any affiliate terrorist group second launch attacks from afghanistan. that is our first and foremost priority. i think the american people understand that. i can assure you the american military understands that. as far as what the mission well be after 2014, given a bsa and invitation to remain in afghanistan by the afghan people is a train, advise and assist mission to assist in further developing and advancing their skills and their capabilities into the future so they can assist with providing their own security and ensure regional stability.
4:40 pm
like any emerging country, a merging military force or police force, they will require training assistance and support generally as we provide with many other nations. our mission after 2014 will be a train, advise and assist mission, along with coalition partners who will and have offered to remain there. as ambassador dobbins said, bsa will be critical to that and the afghans are fully aware of that. >> thank you. ambassador dobbins, esther -- mr. sampler, if there were to be a negotiated settlement with the taliban on, do you think the taliban would accept the provisions of the constitution ? if so, would that be sufficient? >> we have laid down three conditions for successful negotiation with the taliban . they accept the afghan constitution, lay down their
4:41 pm
arms, and break ties from al qaeda. we would require all three of those. i don't see early breakthroughs in the negotiations. i am not sure that will even be negotiating in the next few months. we have made efforts in the past. we were consistent in support of a reconciliation process but it takes two to tango. the taliban have been willing to talk to us but not the afghan government. frankly, it is the afghans who have to negotiate peace. i don't predict early advances in this sphere. i would hope that there will be at least some procedural steps but i cannot promise that. over the longer term, we believe reconciliation is the only way the war is going to and. the quicker you star, the faster you will get there, even if it will be a multiyear process. >> thank you. i yield back. >> we go to ileana ros-lehtinen. >> as i mentioned when we met with president karzai, and our
4:42 pm
delegation, we raise the concerns about his neighbor, the iranian regime and the threat that it poses to our interest in the region. he dismissed the threat that iran poses no problem at all. but pakistan, that is the real threat to stability for afghanistan. it shouldn't come as a surprise that this past weekend, karzai and the leader of iran, rouhani, announced an agreement of a long-term strategic pact that ranges from political cooperation to economic and security partnerships, once again undermining and jeopardizing the u.s.- afghanistan relationship. what is karzai's calculus here? is he trying to hedge his bets by cozying up to iran. while in afghanistan and during
4:43 pm
our hearing, i expressed my concerns about the status of the counter narcotics operations in the post-drawdown afghanistan and we have been talking about that this morning. we were told that due to lack of personnel, these counter narcotics operations would be limited. the latest numbers indicate that this was a record year for poppy cultivation in afghanistan. this issue is not getting the attention it deserves considering that terrorist activities are typically funded through narcotics. if we can conduct the kind of operations needed to reduce the poppy production and if we don't have enough manpower now to fight the issue, what are we going to do next year and post 2014 to stop the illicit drug trade that generates over $100 million a year for terrorist groups?
4:44 pm
i have been concerned that we are allowing the post-2014 residual force size to be decided politically and that is purely numbers driven rather than focused on the task and what is needed, what is the mission that still needs to be accomplished in afghanistan. you testified that a significant accomplishment is the afghans have been increasingly able to maintain the gains made by our u.s. and coalition forces. although that may be true now, what about in the post- withdrawal afghanistan when they will not have a robust international force in support or possibly with no u.s. presence at all if the president goes with the zero option when the extremist no longer see us as an impediment to their goals and come to -- against the afghanistan forces in full force. will they be able to sustain those gains? what will happen? do you predict the white house
4:45 pm
in coordination with the state department, when do you think that we will get that troop level number from the white house and the state department? i will leave it open to all of you. thank you. >> on iran, they have provided arms and money to the taliban. it has provided a great deal more money to the afghan government. it has substantial aid programs. most programs are quite benign. iran has, in general, a bad relationship with the taliban . it almost went to war with them before we did. it is hedging its bets. it is hedging it largely as part of the competition with united states rather than because it has an inherent positive interest in the taliban and. karzai has visited iran once or twice a year since he became
4:46 pm
president. that was 12 years ago. i don't attach a special importance to this particular visit. they haven't negotiated an agreement. they have simply announced an intention. there is no draft. >> thank you, sir. i need to turn it over to the two gentlemen. >> i would say, first and foremost, we do continue working with afghan counter narcotics police. they have made significant strides in enhancing case management and prosecutions, including the ability to develop evidence, rests, conduct trials, and imprison those convicted. they demonstrate a determination to uphold the rule of law and are increasingly resistant to the influence of corruption. reasons for this, besides the training and assistance they get, they know the eyes of the contributing nations are on them and they understand that it is
4:47 pm
important upon them an incumbent upon them to make changes. they are making achievements in that regard. we work with them, also on developing good practices for sharing intelligence with the police forces so they can get at their narcotics trade and make strides. it is a work in progress and it will require them to assume some of the responsibility and ownership themselves, based on some of the good practices and training that they have received from us and other coalition nations. as far as the nsf continuing to uphold the security gains that have been made in the future the groundwork is therefore the gains that they have made. >> thank you. >> both as an institution and as a force. >> thank you so much. sorry. out of time. >> we go now to mr. joseph kennedy from massachusetts.
4:48 pm
>> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your service. i was fortunate to visit afghanistan several months ago and had an extraordinary visit. thank you for all that you do for our country. i wanted to speak first to special representative dobbins. if you could focus a bit of one program that has come up in a number of meetings that i've had and some constituents were concerned about contractors and translators. those who have performed an extra ordinary service to our military and civilian courts in iraq and afghanistan and are now subject to death threats for their work with us. these are programs that have run into fairly severe challenges. under the 2008 and eaa, congress
4:49 pm
created visas for iraqis that work for the government for at least a year. they created 25,000 of them. another 8750 were created under the afghan allies protection act of 2009. can you give me an outline to the best that you can, how many afghans are eligible for that program, how many have been processed to date, what that timeline is and what the backlog might the, the causes of the backlog and what we can do to try to help? >> i believe that we were slow in getting this process into gear. and for the first several years, the number of applicants who successfully completed the process was fairly low. over the last year, however, this has significantly
4:50 pm
accelerated. in fact, the last year we had 10 times more successful completions than any previous year. in fact, we are now approaching the legislative limit in the numbers available and we are looking forward to working with congress to extend our authority to bring in additional people. >> and how many more -- >> i think about 1600 have been approved over the last year if i remember the figures record. >> how many more of these would you be asking for help for congress? >> i'm not sure. i don't have the figures. there is an addition to the total number, i believe there is an annual number and i believe that runs out in march or april and we will need to work with congress to get that extended because there will be additional people in the pipeline who would qualify. >> thank you very much. i wanted to build a little bit off of the chairman's comments.
4:51 pm
when we were in afghanistan, the point was made over and over again. poppy cultivation was a point made over and over again. i wanted to see if you could outline any details given to enforcement strategy or mechanism to try to get that trade under control. >> we do have an interagency task force and coordination center that provides intelligence support, training and assistance to the counter narcotics police. they enable the afghans to target narcotics traffickers and connections with insurgent groups. they go after the movements, communications, and financing involved in groups involved in the drug trade. they are also working to provide support for investigations and for military operations that identify people who are involved
4:52 pm
in the drug trade, getting at their financing, getting at their cultivation, getting at their movements, eating at the delivery of those illicit drugs. >> thank you sir. sorry to cut you off. if i could, there is a piece of this which is an economic issue for the cultivation of the poppy for farmers that are choosing to cultivate poppy. it is because of the income i they can generate from that. imagine that falls under the usaid auspices. can you give a brief outline of the strategy and how you see it going? i appreciate you recognize that. the issue with counter narcotics is not purely of enforcement. usaid and the international donors are working to create value change for value crops -- value chains for other value crops that are as operable or
4:53 pm
-- profitable or more more profitable than poppy. poppy is a very resilient crop. it does well in afghanistan. furthermore, traffickers do the heavy lifter for the growers. until we can get the value chain for saffron, fruits, nuts, comparable to the poppy this is , going to be difficult and challenging environment for us. >> thank you, mr. kennedy. we want to recognize and thank you and mr. bera's trip of their in terms of the oversight of this committee and also the troops in afghanistan. we also want to recognize joe wilson for his trip there and his son's service in in the army in afghanistan. mr. wilson, it is your time. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for your interest in the security of afghanistan, american security even prior to 9/11. people need to understand and i want to thank each of you for the difference you are making. it originated out of caves in
4:54 pm
afghanistan. we should never forget that. that is why am grateful for our military service. i have had the opportunity, seen the progress that has occurred. i have been there 12 times. my national guard unit, former unit, they served their and led by general houston. -- general bob livingston. it was the largest deployment of troops from south carolina since 1600. they developed a great affinity for their afghan brothers. i appreciate the chairman referencing my youngest son. first lieutenant hunter wilson. he returned last thursday from his service this year in afghanistan. so as i talk about military service, it is quite personal. we are proud of the one 22nd -- 122nd engineer battalion army national guard for their service. i was glad to see representative kennedy raise the issue of the special immigrant visas.
4:55 pm
i've had two son served in iraq. they worked on bringing their interpreters back to the united states for opportunity, for security. i am grateful i have had a nephew in the air force, he served twice in iraq. i understand how important the interpreters are. i want to work with you and specifically hope we will find an extension agreement or proposal as soon as possible. we can give hope to the people in that country and thank them. i am also concerned about iranian weapons in afghanistan. in august 2010, the treasury department sanctioned two iranian officers for supplying funds and material to afghan terrorist. that was one example of iran
4:56 pm
playing an active role in fueling the conflict in afghanistan. what is the role that iran is playing, supporting the afghan terrorists? what groups does iran support and why? >> as i said a little earlier, ron supports both the government and the taliban and. its dominant support is to the government and largely benign aid programs, roads, and other things. it has provided money and arms to the telethon. -- to the taliban. the arms and money flow across the pakistani border are much more important than across the iranian border. they're playing both sides of the house. not that of a love for the taliban, they are doing it as part of competition with united states. it is an effort to demonstrate they can play tough if we got into a military conflict with them. they are hedging their bets and
4:57 pm
it is quite unhelpful but not be totality of iran's approach to afghanistan. with this exception, it has been historically been coincidence with our own. they were helpful in 2001, and as i have said, they have had a significant and largely benign aid program for afghanistan. memo you give real meaning to diplomacy. trying to keep an even balance on these issues, i want to thank you for your service. additionally, i am concerned about iran's sanction violations that in january was determined by the special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction that there had been purchase of fuel for afghan forces in violation of the sanctions here it has that been stopped? what can be done to make sure that the sanctions stay in place?
4:58 pm
>> i'm not familiar with the case. i assume this is a dod purchasing issue. i cannot give you a quick answer. >> i'm sorry, mr. wilson. i don't have that information either. i would have to take that back and get your response. >> that is very important. we have seen success of the sanctions bringing pressure on the irani and regime. iranian regime. i am hopeful that in particular, the sanctions have the potential of encouraging a green revolution. the young people of iran deserve to have a better life than what they have now. the sanctions have multiple purposes. one is to truly assist a positive change in iran. thank you. >> we go now to mr. eliot engle of new york.
4:59 pm
>> thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank our witnesses. thank you for being here. the three of you have what i consider to be some of the most complex and thankless jobs in the u.s. government and all of us appreciate your service. i share the frustration of my colleagues about the games that president karzai has been playing. he ought to sign the bsa and stop the nonsense. i just wanted to say that. let me ask ambassador dobbins, much of the resource planning is happening in the field, but i would like to know what how washington is doing similar planning. what is the timeline in which the afghanistan and pakistan offices are going to return to the bureau of south and central
5:00 pm
asian affairs and asian bureau and how our state and a id planning to address the new resource environment that will occur with these transitions? >> i would not say at this point we have a firm plan. there is an intention to look at the current bureaucratic arrangement and the state department in light of the transition at the end of 2014. i think even then, afghanistan is likely to remain a difficult enough and important enough to the united states that you're going to want more than just a desk officer handling it. i think there could probably be a closer association with the bureau south and central asian affairs. we would probably move to some such arrangement. i think the actual transition is
5:01 pm
not very complex to make. it is simply changing lines on an organization chart. it is not as if people are going to have to be fired or recruited. the fact that we have made a decision that haven't made the decision does not mean we will not be able to make a timely decision. >> the only thing i would add, i think the bureaucratic changes will be driven by the effects we want to achieve any agency. my two missions are the largest omissions that the agency has in the world. even if we were folded back into the bureau, it would have to receive particular and unique attention. you ask we do in washington to help the field team and i think the single greatest value that we add is engaging communities whether it be your staff
5:02 pm
the single biggest thing we add is an awful lot of valuable input and refining of ideas by engaging washington and in the field in that regard. >> thank you. a key element of the economic transition in afghanistan is regional trade, and a key barrier to getting afghan goods to market is the barrier that exists between pakistan and india. i know that india provided pakistan with most-favored- nation trading status in 1996. could you provide an update on where the pakistani announcement of giving india trade status currently stands and as a more general vision of the role that the region can have in stabilizing afghanistan? >> we have raised this with the government of pakistan on several occasions, and indeed, the governor -- government of india. it came up while prime minister sharif was here in washington during a visit month ago.
5:03 pm
the pakistanis have indicated their intent is to grant india. they didn't say so but i think they may be waiting until a new indian government takes office. they probably want to do this in the part of a context of other improvements in the relationship. the pakistanis government under the new prime minister has reached out and tried to improve that relationship. the indians for good historical reasons are approaching this very cautiously. they take the prime minister's -- they believe that the prime minister is acting in good faith, but they are skeptical he can deliver on some of the things that they need if the relationship is going to progress. m.f.n. for india would be a positive step. and indeed a general opening of the border more commerce would also be very helpful to afghanistan as you indicated.
5:04 pm
for all those reasons we continue to support it. >> thank you. we go now to mr. jeff duncan of south carolina. >> thank you. i would like to take a few minutes to point out some of the taxpayer dollars that have been sent to afghanistan and spent almost wastefully. i would like to put an article from bloomberg news in the record about planes park in the weeds after $486 million were spent. these are g-22 aircraft some of which are sitting in the weeds not being used. those are taxpayer dollars spent to purchase those. we also spent somewhere between $25 million and $36 million on a 64,000 square foot unoccupied building in camp leatherneck which may of 2010 the commanding general, general mills recommended cancellation of the construction. that was overridden by his superiors. then in may of 2013, the
5:05 pm
building is still sitting not used. the army regulation 15-6 investigation said we ought to convert that building to a gym and spend more money converting it to a movie theater. that was overridden. the building is still sitting unoccupied. thank goodness we didn't spend more money. $230 million in spare parts in an inventory warehouse. there was no good inventory or accountability for those spare parts. these are vehicle parts. an additional $138 million in spare parts were ordered just in october of 2013. i want to commend the work of congressman jason chaffetz of the oversight committee who's been working with the special investigator of afghan reconstruction. he's identified dual usage and fuel usage and waste and theft in afghanistan. he talked about the expenses of the hospital in kabul where u.s. tax dollars have been wastefully spent. we could go into the bank of kabul fiasco and allocation of
5:06 pm
dollars there, but infrastructure projects that are all over afghanistan, and there is no oversight. these are around areas that are inaccessible to civilian employees. i would like to point out, i know the panelists are aware of this, but this is the afghan oversight access in 2009. the shaded areas are areas that civilian contractors or u.s. employees have access to in 2009. to do oversight. on u.s. taxpayer dollars being spent. if i flip over to the projected 2014 oversight areas, you'll notice a stark contrast. i know it's difficult to see but these gentlemen are aware of this, there are just little dots there. these are areas that u.s. inspectors do not have access to for oversight. these are u.s. taxpayer dollars. how much money are we going to continue to spend in afghanistan without proper oversight?
5:07 pm
that's what it's about. i don't have any questions. i could go through a lot of other examples. i think the american taxpayers that are watching understand their tax dollars are being spent without a lot of oversight on the part of their government. i'd like to shift gears to ambassador dobbins, i'm interested in the special immigrant visa program and the delays going on there, because congress has recognized the unique dangers faced by iraqi and afghan civilians who work on behalf of the u.s. government by creating programs for these individuals become permanent residents here in the u.s. i have had an example of a gentleman i met in the kandahar the -- yes, the kandahar region of afghanistan about two years ago. he was embedded with the military there and acted as a translator. had taken up weapons to help defend the colleagues of the unit he was working with. and he was definitely threatened
5:08 pm
by the taliban. his uncle was killed. other family members were threatened. and went through a two-year process where officers from the unit he was embedded with, other folks that knew this gentleman vouched for his service to america there in afghanistan but yet it took over two years. he was actually issued a visa by the state department, and then it was revoked right before he left. and had to go through months of trying to understand why it was revoked. then it was reissued. i think it was reissued only after congress got involved questioning why. i ask why have there been so many delays in the after began -- so many delays in the afghan s.i.v.'s? >> i think we were slow in the early years to implement this program. over the last year, however, it's accelerated significantly. i think there were 10 times more visas issued this year than a year ago.
5:09 pm
and in fact we are approaching the limit of the program. we'll run out of numbers shortly and will want to work with congress for an extension of the program since there will be additional people who will qualify if we have additional numbers. on specific cases, i mean we have determined that they did work for the u.s. military. we have to determine that they are under threat. that depends in part where they live. and there are other security related concerns. i can't explain any particular case. i know the case that you're referring to, and within i think two or three weeks, maybe even less, of the visa denial it was then reissued as you indicated. >> i appreciate the assistance on that and got the gentleman here. mr. chairman, i did want to put this in the record. >> without objection. we go to mr. berra of california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to the witnesses. as has been mentioned previously, i had the opportunity over memorial day to visit afghanistan with congresswoman ros-lehtinen, as
5:10 pm
well as my colleague, mr. kennedy. when we were there we met some of the most remarkable young men and women in our troops. i do want to praise our troops for meeting every mission and for the wonderful job that they have done. we also have the opportunity to meet with mr. karzai. in that meeting, this is back in may, he unequivocally express add desire to get a p.s.a. done fairly quickly, and at the same time unequivocally said, he has no desire to stand for election again and wanted to see the elections coming up in 2014 take place without any interference. given that many, and now mr. karzai is backtracking, i would make the observation that this is -- he happens to be who we have to negotiate with, but he's not someone i would call an honest broker. an easy one to negotiate with.
5:11 pm
i also had the opportunity to visit india and chat with our allies in india who have made significant investments in afghanistan. over $2 billion investments in infrastructure and others also have had the opportunity to meet with business groups like c.i.i. and major indian multinationals that are interested in making investments and helping fill the void that will occur regardless of whether there is a p.s.a. or not as we start to draw down our own investments ever their major our own investments. their major concern is the security situation there. in addition, as i met with the indian government, indian dignitaries, there's also a very dignitaries, there's also a very real concerned that hardened trained jihadi fighters will start shifting over to the indian-pakistan border which we are already seeing flare ups and increasing instance.
5:12 pm
given that, maybe this is a question for ambassador dobbins what, can we do, working with india, to, one, continue to maintain an economic structure in afghanistan? again i do worry about as we draw down significant economic resources, as well as working with india on the indian- pakistan border as some these fighters shift over. i'm not sure pakistan has control over these fighters, either. ambassador, your perspective? >> well, we do work closely with india on afghan issues. i met with the indian foreign secretary yesterday on this, for instance. president karzai is visiting india later this week.
5:13 pm
and for a state visit, in fact. india has a significant aid program and significant investments, to the extent probably the greatest contribution india could make, and pakistan can make in afghanistan, is improving their bilateral relationship. improved relationships between india and pakistan will have two effects on afghanistan. one effect is it will greatly increase the access of afghan trade to india via pakistan. but secondly and equally important, it will reduce the competition between the two countries for influence in afghanistan in a way that's often proved highly destabilizing. we have been encouraging both afghanistan -- sorry, both pakistan and india to overcome their differences in kashmir their differences over afghanistan. and i think there is some hope with the new pakistani government. of course the indians have elections shortly. but it's an area that we are continuing to press. i don't think that there's any near-term danger of foreign fighters shifting from
5:14 pm
afghanistan to the border with india, among other things, because unfortunately the war in afghanistan isn't over. but the indian concerns are legitimate. and it's something that we do need to be careful about. >> do you sense in your conversation was the pakistani government -- sense the indian government certainly does want to see improved relationships with pakistan as a mechanism of stabilizing south asia as well. do you sense that same desire from the pakistani side? >> i do, and i think the indians do in regards to the new prime minister and his civilian leadership. in pakistan, traditionally the security sphere has been left largely to the military and they have been largely free of civilian oversight or control. the last time that type of control was exercised he was overthrown.
5:15 pm
he has to be careful how quickly he moves to assert the civilian control of the military and stronger civilian role in designing and implementing pakistan's national security policy. i think the indians -- he has expressed himself very clearly that pakistan can't be secure unless afghanistan is at peace and relations with india are improved. he's tried to move in both directions. i think the indian government takes him at face value and believes he's sincere. they are a little skeptical that he will prevail in exercising enough influence over the pakistani military. and we'll just have to wait and see. but we give him a fair chance of being able to do so. among other things because the pakistani military now realized that their biggest threat is internal and they realize that they need the political leadership to take responsibility for the kinds of sometimes harsh measures that
5:16 pm
will be needed to deal with that internal threat. >> thank you. >> we now go to adam kinzinger. of illinois, who served as an air force pilot in afghanistan and also served in special operations. >> thank you for being here and appreciate your service. as the chairman mentioned in his opening remarks, i just came back from afghanistan. afghanistan and pakistan. pakistan is quite a complicated relationship and one that i expect will probably continue to be complicated. ambassador, as you alluded to i believe and i hope that the pakistanis are starting to understand the taliban is their problem, too. and it's no longer a tool they can use to posture against india or whatever went into that whole calculus there. the point i want to make from this, the people of afghanistan, there is message that has not
5:17 pm
gotten out to the united states. the people of afghanistan are good people. the people of afghanistan want to live in freedom. the taliban's approval rating in afghanistan is something like 10%. slightly higher than congress, but it's still about 10%. which means the taliban are not popular in afghanistan. this is a message i don't think has gotten out. karzai, and in karzai's posturing to do whatever it is he calculates he wants to do, we met with him as well, and i got a very different view coming out of the meeting one on one with karzai and what i see in the media. i see a man who says we want the united states to be here. we want a long-term relationship for whatever domestic consumption he thinks he's doing, he's doing more harm than i think he realizes. but they are good folks. i'm hoping we learned our lessons from the complete withdrawal from iraq, which was a terrible mistake, and i think is being shown all over the world as a terrible mistake. i hope we continue to press ahead with getting this b.s.a.
5:18 pm
done and having a long-term commitment. couple quick points i want to make. as i mentioned the americans don't see the success in afghanistan. i think americans still think there's 150,000 troops marching up and down the hill, engaging in the taliban, and we are taking the brunt of the casualties. the afghan military is losing about 100 soldiers a week. they are taking the fight to the taliban when they find themselves engaged. they don't have the air support that american military has, but they are fighting very bravely. it's a completely different situation than what we saw even two years ago. secondly, so that's what americans think. my concern, i want to put this on the record, i can't think the last time i saw the president of the united states tell the american people why we are in afghanistan. i can't do that. i believe we are in afghanistan for a good reason. i believe us remaining engaged in afghanistan post-2014 is important. i can't remember the last time i heard the president say that. the president recently, fairly recently, went to afghanistan and did not meet with president karzai. i thought that was an oversight.
5:19 pm
so there's things along that line. let me get to my questions. we are looking the a residual force, 9,000 to 10,000 american troops and a few more nato troops in that process. what was general allen's recommendation in terms of a residual force? mr. dumont, maybe you can answer that, whoever. >> i'm sorry, congressman. i don't have that number off the top of my head. >> do any of you know what general allen recommended? i believe it was somewhere around 15,000 to 20,000 american troops post-2014? i say that to say i'm concerned that we are going to undershoot the amount of troops we have available in afghanistan to do both counterterrorism and support. both in building the afghan establishment and government and also in supporting their troops engaged in the field. i think it would be very unfortunate for 20 years from now for us to read the history books and say that america was 5,000 troops short of being successful in afghanistan we --
5:20 pm
-- in afghanistan. we visited the prison in afghanistan, and we visited -- i think right now 59 t.c.n.s in prison. mr. ambassador, do you have any idea what, are we going to do with these t.c.n.s? the afghans don't want them. i wouldn't, either. now we have to figure out what are we going to do with them as we reach the post-2014. are any of you familiar with that situation and have any ideas for what we do? >> in general we are going to have to do something with them by the end of 2014. some of them will be turned over to the afghan. some will be returned to the country of origin when those countries undertake to deal with them appropriately. >> let me ask one more question because my time is running out. now we are into this kind of reduction posture. i think the vast majority of american forces are now focused on withdraw instead of taking the fight the enemy. that's unfortunate. how do you think the offensive went against hakani?
5:21 pm
do you believe it was completed or do you believe we are leaving too quickly to finish that fight? mr. sampler, start with you? >> i thank you. i really don't have an opinion on the network. i have worked in afghanistan since 2002. they have been there decades before that. i don't have any opinion on -- >> they were gone, though, -- it would be nice if they were gone, though, wouldn't it? >> it would. >> mr. dumont? do you have any thoughts? >> it is something, obviously, we take seriously and we follow closely and fight against each day. it is something we remain focused on because it is serious to us. the afghans understand that as well. >> thank you for being here, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you. we go now to ms. gabbard of hawaii. who served as an army officer in rock.
5:22 pm
-- in iraq. >> thank you for being here. we have seen different opinions and different perspectives here today through the committee on the issues in afghanistan. i think these conversations reflect the conversations that we hear when we go back to our districts, we hear in the public about why there is an overwhelming public sentiment to bring all of our troops home is that there seems to be a lack of a clear definition on what our mission is. what is the end state that our troops are trying to accomplish or that we are trying to accomplish there? who is the enemy that threatens the united states in afghanistan? that our troops are fighting against. and when we say we need to accomplish the mission, what does that even mean? what does that look like? when we look back to why we went there in the first place, osama bin laden is no longer a threat. al qaeda has largely been decimated in afghanistan.
5:23 pm
we see now, of course, pockets and threats coming from other countries and other regions. from these terrorist networks. and we have also seen that because al qaeda has no allegiance to a specific flag or country, our best and most efficient way to deal with this threat is through. -- is through some of the quick strike force that is we have successfully used in the past with some of these areas. when we look at stability, people talk often about stability in afghanistan as being an end state. we have given many tools training, infrastructure to the afghan people. the afghan forces. in order to attain this end state, but we also talk about the corruption. the other challenges that exist within the country, the tribal influences which really lead us to understanding that this stability at the end can only be achieved by the afghan people. i've got three questions that follow kind of this structure. first is, with the bilateral security agreement, what are the
5:24 pm
next steps at this point given what karzai has said and his posturing in not looking at this until after the afghan elections? and how long do we wait for him to make up his mind on what he wants to do? if eventually the bilateral security agreement is completed and agreed to, the remaining forces that are being projected to stay in afghanistan are -- i have two missions or two purposes from what i have seen and that is to train and assist, and also counterterrorism element. i'm wondering what percentage of that projected -- how those troops are broken up between those two missions? and lastly, with that contingent that is left in afghanistan, i think the d.s.a. has kind after 10-year timeline. -- i think the b.s.a. has a 10 year timeline. what is the timeline for our u.s. presence there in afghanistan? is it a timeline? if it's not a timeline is it an end state we are trying to
5:25 pm
achieve and say once this is achieved then there will be no presence? ambassador dobbins, if you could start on the b.s.a. and mr. dumont talk a little bit about our forces there. >> well, we are there to prevent afghanistan from again becoming a country with a government that supports al qaeda and allows it free reign within that country. something the taliban did and which they would do again if they came back to power. we believe that concluding the b.s.a. as soon as possible is necessary to sustain the large broad 70-nation coalition that supports afghanistan. we believe it will begin to fragment. we believe the afghan people will become increasingly anxious the longer this goes on. but we haven't at this point set a date beyond which we are no longer prepared to wait. we simply believe there is a big cost in waiting, and it's a cost
5:26 pm
going to be paid for by the afghan people. i'll let mr. dumont comment on the relationship between the train and assist and c.t. elements. in terms of the timeline the assumption is this is going to be a declining presence over time. whatever decision is made for 2015 will be again reviewed in the course of 2015 with the hope that the number can be reduced in 2016, etc. the objective over time is an afghanistan that's capable of securing its territory and population without more than the normal level of external assistance that countries at that level of development receive around the world. >> thank you. mr. dumont, quickly. >> as you know the train advise and assist nato mission is to assist the afghans to become capable force, reliable c.t. partners so we don't have to do the c.t. that will take place over time. it will be a combined effort for some time i imagine.
5:27 pm
the percentage of who will do what i don't believe has been worked out yet. it will remain to be seen how quickly the afghans can assume more control for the c.t. fight in their own country and how much assistance support they'll require from donor nations. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we go now to mr. -- we go now to the gentleman from florida. >> i want to build on some of the statements made identify by made by my colleague from hawaii and mr. duncan in regards of the money being spent, how much money we spend. were you talking about $100 million for election, and another $45 million for equipment for elections. with what gabbard was saying. what is the end game? what are we hoping for? they'll have a stable government? one that's not wrought with fraud, waste, and abuse? and that will run a country we can be good allies with and trading partners?
5:28 pm
mr. sampler, if you would. define the end game. what are we looking to gain for success? what would you say that is? >> there's two questions. the larger end game i'll yield to ambassador dobbins for, that's a policy question. with respect to $100 million on elections, of which 45 is a bilateral part. what we are hoping for is an election the afghans are happy with. i get asked the question often . what are we doing in afghanistan? and the answer i use is nigh own. it's not government policy, but it's a secure, stable, and democratic afghanistan that governs its population justly and secures its geographic space. >> how much effective is that ansf right now? are they more effective? are they standing up? do they own the security and the it's like they are fighting they know it's their responsibility? >> yes, sir, they do. we have transitioned security to them.
5:29 pm
they are in the lead. they are taking the majority of the casualties. and i venture to say close to 90% of the operations the military is conducting are afghan-led, afghan-conducted afghan-planned. some other unilateral c.t. missions we do is also in conjunction with them. they do have a presence and are involved in the planning. they are doing the majority of the fighting and taking the majority of the casualties. >> how much of that is based on us being there and our presence there? >> to get them to the point that they are at it's been a long- term effort, obviously. now we are providing -- depending on the level of the unit, for instance, there are counterterrorism forces, we provide little assistance. we have a presence there but they are skilled, they are capable, and they are take the fight to the insurgent threat. the conventional forces are making strides every day and making great progress. we do have an advising mission with them, but they are in the lead.
5:30 pm
>> ok. are we looking at some point of being able to pull out of afghanistan? is this going to be another permanent u.s. military base around the world that we have? >> i don't envision a permanent presence as you speak about. i think what will depend on is >> i don't envision a permanent presence as you speak about. i think what will depend on is how well progress is made. how well stability in afghanistan is in effect over time and how well regional stability is in effect also. i think it will be a long-term focused effort that will take review over a period of time to assess how well things are progressing and what the enduring threat is to the united states, if any. >> going back to you, mr. sampler, you're saying the infrastructure is built up and a lot more women are voting, a lot more women are in colleges and school. that's a good thing. is that going to be sustainable
5:31 pm
without our presence there? is that something they believe in philosophically? or is that just an ideological feeling, an ideal of ours that we are instilling upon them in a muslim country? that they won't maintain after we leave? >> congressman, that's a great question. it's not an issue of islam. it's more an issue of afghan society. it is something that they are adapting as their own. that's the only way we'll be resilient is if they make it their own philosophy. >> without our presence. >> without our presence. the afghans appreciate what we have done for them. but the afghans themselves want to reach a point where they are self-sufficient and self- sustaining. not all afghans see it this way yet. that's the progress we are making. >> we have talked about the poppy fields. how we need to change the farmers and the whole production mechanism so there is a more profitable crop and get away from $100 million in poppies.
5:32 pm
yet we are giving $100 million for elections. we have talked about that for 25, 30 years. it goes back to 1992, even before that. that's just a way of life. is that realistic that we can change that without just changing the whole dynamics over there as far as the government and structure and all that? and western ideologies? >> congressman, i hate to speak in generalities, most afghan farmers don't choose because they want to. they would rather grow food it's just not profitable or sustainable. our job at usaid is to make possible for them to make laving to make a living off noncriminal activities. >> thank you. >> we now go to lois frankel of florida, representative frankel's son served in afghanistan and iraq. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i did have the privilege of visiting our troops in afghanistan. our folks from usaid with mr. wilson. i'm glad his son has returned home safely. as has mine. my son also served in usaid. he went back after the marines
5:33 pm
he went back to afghanistan. so i thank you-all for your service. i'm grateful for his service and everybody's service. i still have to say that i remain skeptical of the money we are spending there and the waste and the fraud and all that. but with that said i do have a number of questions. first of all you talk about education and it's heartening to hear about the advancement in education. but specifically i'd like to -- there is a saying -- i don't know who i'm quoting. a great teacher under a tree is better than an ignorant one in a new american built school. my first question is, what are the metrics we are using in terms to assess whether there is success? is it -- are there test scores? is it secular courses? is there any anti-west propaganda being taught? what's the metric used?
5:34 pm
if the agreement is reached and we do stay there, do you feel that you have a good understanding among all the agencies which groups are significant threats to the united states and which have goals that are only local? and in terms of the various programs, are we going to see the state department lead on diplomacy, usaid on development, i.c.m. intelligence, or will the military continue to drive those lanes? those are my basic questions. if you have time i'd like to hear also the answer, again, from some of the others i think ambassador dobbins did answer why we should stay. i'd like to hear the other gentlemen's response to that. >> on the education we can
5:35 pm
measure outputs or outcomes. i'm a proponent of measuring desirable outcomes one of the most positive things in afghanistan in recent years is the figure i cited in my testimony of afghans entering higher education 20% are women. that would be unthinkable a decade ago. because there were no women who had primary or secondary. they won't be rolled back to burkas or back corner of a compound. in temples outcomes, that's one in terms of outcomes, that's one of the metrics. >> what are they learning? do you know when they get through the system what they have learned? >> afghanistan has entrance examines for their universities. i'm not familiar with what they are. i am told by others that they are comparable to other universities in the region. i can get more information. >> let me add one point, twice as many afghans can read and write today as could 10 years ago. that number will go up to three times as many 10 years from now if the kids in school now stay in school.
5:36 pm
at a basic level literacy is the outcome. >> your other question in terms of western -- anti-western bias in their education. usaid did a $27 million contract with the ministry of education to purchase textbooks. we did have the right to fuse it. they were afghan textbooks, they designed the curriculum. we didn't interfere with that. we were satisfied it was not prejudicial to the united states or the west. >> want to say something about why we're there? >> i appreciate the question of why we are there. i think this is something all of the foreign service officers have to deal with. why am i leaving my family and going to do this? aim struck given my military time we can do this right or do it again. our hope is that we will be able to create and support a secure stable, and democratic afghanistan that governs its population justly and secures its geographical space.
5:37 pm
i use that quite often with the foreign service officers out and going out and it captures most of the reasons i think we are there. >> ma'am, with respect to the groups we know are a threat to the u.s. and one that is are local, while we have those identified, there is no guarantee that the ones who are focused on local activities will not merge and compile resources and personnel to attack ourselves or other coalition nations. that is of concern because some of these groups affiliate they have far-reaching effect than ever intended. >> what about driving the various programs? can somebody answer that? >> i think to be fair i think that there is a division of labor between defense, state a.i.d., and the intelligence community at the moment that's pretty clear. the collaboration, i have been in every administration since lyndon johnson's. i think the collaboration among agencies is pretty straightforward and amicable. as good as any administration i have seen. i don't see d.o.d. rolling over
5:38 pm
the other agencies. i think they are on the diplomatic side, there is quite a differential to the state -- they are quite deferential to the state department and we are to them on the military operations side. >> thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you. we go now to mr. dana rohrabacher of california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. don't know where to begin here. how much are we spending annually in afghanistan now? how much is it costing the american taxpayer? anybody know? >> each of us have somewhat different budgets. >> nobody knows the total budget what we are spending in afghanistan? it's a hearing on afghanistan. can i have an estimate? >> i'm sorry, congressman.
5:39 pm
>> i'll just have to say it's disheartening to have a briefing from our government people who are involved in a project and they can't tell me what -- how much we are spending annually. how many killed and wounded have we suffered in the last 12 months? mr. dumont, would you know that? >> sir, do i not. i'll have to get back to you. >> we don't know what the cost is and we don't even know how many killed and wounded there are and we are supposed to believe that you fellows have a plan that's going to end up in a positive way in afghanistan? holy cow. >> we do know that the number of afghan soldiers and police killed is 30 times -- >> i have to tell you something. i'm only interested in knowing how many americans have been killed because the afghans have been killing themselves for centuries. and my father fought in korea, and i remember when he told me he said, dana, all of our --
5:40 pm
these young men who are with me fighting in korea, they would never have believed that we would be there after 50 years. not one of those guys who went to korea to stop the communist takeover would have believed that this meant that we would have been committed for 50 years. we don't know how many are killed and wounded. we don't know what the cost s -- what the cost is. what will be the cost, you're presenting a plan now, what will be the cost to the united states per year annually after your plan is applied to afghanistan if they accept it? >> we haven't defined force levels there. i think the rough figure is probably about $1 million per soldier. >> how many soldiers are we asking them, pleading with them to let us send our boys into harm's way? how much -- how many soldiers is the plan to continue with our
5:41 pm
presence? >> the president hasn't made that decision yet. >> is there a proposal to karzai on that? >> no. >> i heard the number 14,000. is that out of the ballpark? >> if you were talking about a u.s.nato everybody together figure, that would still probably be somewhat high. karzai in fact has expressed no interest in the size of the residual presence. >> yesterday the secretary of state was here and he was telling me everything's -- what we can't do to make the mullahs mad. he wasn't putting it that way. i suggested there was a groveling going on. i think we are groveling again. maybe this is the grovel administration. we are groveling to karzai. i know karzai. i have known him for 20 years. and to suggest -- his family, we
5:42 pm
all know what his family's done. they have become filthy rich. and we are dealing with a group there now centered around the karzai clique. drug dealing, skimming of usaid, cronyism at its worst. and we are dealing with pakistan in order to make sure we have a presence there, meaning in afghanistan, and the pakistanis are doing what? we know the pakistanis are behind the i.s.i., who they are financing. we know that they spent money that we end up getting from us to kill american soldiers. this is insanity. then we have people who want to stay longer? it's time for us to get our butts out of that country. maybe not for their sake, for our sake. we don't even care enough to know how much it's costing or how many killed and wounded we suffered.
5:43 pm
that should be right on the tip of your tongue because that's a cost to everybody's kid. everybody has got a son there or has to know that our number one priority is that person who we sent over there we care about him enough. but we have some other agenda in afghanistan. i don't see what we are going to accomplish. we are asking what the goals are. if you believe that's accomplishable in afghanistan? i got a bridge to sell you in california. thank you. >> mr. connolly of virginia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me just say i do think, i say to the panel, mr. rohrabacher's right. how you can come to a congressional oversight hearing on this subject with your titles and not know how much we are spending every year and not know how many casualties we incur every year, or this last year, i
5:44 pm
will say to the chairman of this committee it's actually stunning, stunning development. i have been involved in foreign policy hearings and oversight for a long time. like that wouldn't be a question on the tip of one's tongue? put that aside, mr. sampler, what's going to happen to the oversight of a.i.d.'s projects in afghanistan post-2014? are you going to have -- is a.i.d. going to have to pull back from whole geographic chunks of afghanistan for want of security? >> congressman, thank you for the question. we hope not, but hope is not a plan. in most countries that we work in around the world we rely on host national security forces to provide areas secure enough for us to work.
5:45 pm
but there is range from what i would call regular aid missions where that's the case to afghanistan. and in between we have cases like pakistan, colombia, south sudan, yemen where we have to come up with creative measures to balance normal operations against conflict operations. in afghanistan post-2014, we have programs around the country. some will continue to operate. some may have to be adjusted. it will depend on the security situation in the specific microarea as opposed to the countrywide -- >> are there parts of afghanistan where you are operating now that absent something happening you have to plan for a withdrawal or significant curtailment because of want of security? that clearly the taliban is going to reassert itself in certain sectors of afghanistan? >> congressman, i can't name a specific area, but categorically there must be. there will be someplace in afghanistan we are working today where a year from now the
5:46 pm
situation will have changed and we will no longer be able to work. we'll have to readjust and pull back. >> one of the concerns i have when i went to afghanistan in 2009 was the emergence of serp as a parallel, unregulated, no oversight stream of development assistance, economic assistance entirely controlled by local commanders, our military commanders on the ground. i think it started out with great intentions but it ballooned. it became fairly substantial. and it always worried me that it didn't get the attention, say bilateral aid programs do. it's kind of ad hoc project- ized. it doesn't get the careful scrutiny and evaluation we would normally expect for any normal aid project.
5:47 pm
what is the status of that funding and the concerns i had in 2009, do you think they have been resolved or addressed in the interim? and i ask that of any one of the three of you, sure. >> your concerns in 2009 were not unfounded. commanders emergency response program money was to serve as a stabilization goal. i have been in the military and usaid. i can appreciate the value what they were attempting to do. one of the ways we with our d.o.d. colleagues remedied this is put senior development advisors at each of the regional combative command and embedding usaid officers all the way down. all the way down to the prt and the district support team level. from 2007, 2008, 2009, to most recent times i think we have addressed this. we no longer see programs that don't have a development eye cast upon them. that doesn't always mean that the programs are what i would consider good long-term
5:48 pm
development programs. that's not their goal. their goal is to satisfy something that that tactical commander needs at that moment. we tolerate that. we work with them to make sure it integrates even if at the moment it may not be a development with a sound -- developmentally sound project. it does serve a military goal. >> obviously it's dramatically reduced -- >> i'm sorry, mr. ambassador. i cannot hear you. >> obviously it's reduced as a result of reduction in u.s. forces, and i would guess as we move to a training advise and assist role, we'll be reduced to zero. whatever the problem was i think it will be resolved in that sense. i do agree with mr. sampler that over time a.i.d. and defense created a joint mechanism for managing the program that brought developmental considerations to bear on those expenditures. i might just mention in response to your earlier questions about total levels of spending, and
5:49 pm
casualties, that state and a.i.d. between them spend about $2 billion a year in afghanistan at the moment. it was about double that two years ago. casualties, about 2,100, 2,200 killed in action since the beginning of the conflict and about 20,000 injured. as to the cost of the troops, as i said it's about $1 million a day per troop. we currently have 50,000 troops there, if that was a custom -- a constant through the year, it would be $50 billion. it will be less than that because we are bringing those troop numbers way down over the next year. >> thank you. i know my time is up. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we go to mr. schneider of illinois. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the witnesses for your time here. also critically for the service you give to our country. i want to we pete what some of i want to repeat some of the sentiment that's already been shared.
5:50 pm
the supreme disappointment in president karzai's approval to refusal to sign the bilateral security agreement and game playing with it at a time as ambassador dobbins you said, time is of the essence here. it has an ongoing impact. being the last, one of the last to ask questions, ambassador dobbins you mentioned the war in afghanistan is not yet over. mr. sampler you said it most eloquently, we either do it right this time or we do it all over again. and the goal, the reason we have invested so much in blood and treasure, is to eliminate a threat, but also long-term to make sure we have a stable government that is working for the prosperity of its people and justly and regional security. that's critical. what struck me listening to that testimony today is that a common thread that you-all touched on. mr. sampler, you said, continued u.s. engagement is critical to
5:51 pm
afghanistan's stability and protecting the vital interests of our own country. mr. dumont, i think you put it a little differently but it can be a guarantor for securing a democratic afghanistan. but not without continued progress towards developing a sustainable, full, and professional force. i think that requires ongoing support. finally, ambassador, all recognize that without continued international military and economic support, afghanistan risks falling back into civil war. it becomes in some respect a self-fulfilling prophecy. as we sit here in december looking to a new year, we look forward to next summer and the summer fighting season again. i guess my first question after a long introduction, mr. dumont, maybe you are the one to look to for this what, do you -- what do you see as the critical success factors if the ansf is going to stand up and
5:52 pm
successfully make it through next sum earn continue down a path we are hoping to see? >> there are several things. one is providing for a safe and secure election. they are quite adept at providing a secure environment for voter registration to take place. there are no significant security interest during that time and i think that is a good indicator. but their ability to secure the elections will be critical and that will enhance their confidence going forward. i also think as we draw down and they realize that there is less coalition presence, how well they continue to take the fight to the insurgents will be key. they have been quite adept at doing it during this fighting season, so it has enhanced their confidence tremendously. what will be next for the nsf -- the ansf will be to equip and train their troops themselves, and the ability to sustain
5:53 pm
themselves on the resources they get both from donor nations and their own resources. those will be the key indicators in the months and years ahead. >> mr. sampler, outside the context of the military, and anticipated military challenges next summer, spring with the election, from your standpoint what is -- what are the greatest threats to your ongoing effectiveness in the next 12-24 months? >> it is something we discussed in the hearing yesterday. i have not heard it today widely. it is the hedging and current time of instability. if afghans have a sense there is a way forward and elections go well, hedging behavior will diminish. but at the afghans feel the international community will walk away from them and leave them to the devices, then hedging behavior will be things like, returning to futile warlords and ethnic war -- fuedal warlords and ethnic warlords. part of the job will be to
5:54 pm
encourage them that usaid's engagement in afghanistan is not a short term thing. we engage in countries for decades if there is a need and support from the u.s. congress. our goal will be to convince them that we are here to stay so we can minimize the hedging behavior on behalf of the afghans. but does that hedging behavior i am trying to -- >> does the hedging behavior, i'm trying to put it in context. does it lead to a more fractious afghanistan, pulling away from a more secure, just, and increasingly prosperous afghanistan? is that the challenge e >> basically, hedging behavior is where clan leaders and family members decide to protect their own. they do not make investments. they do not reach out to other ethnic groups. political decisions will be very clan centric. if we can convince them that there is some stability and an opportunity to move forward,
5:55 pm
they will be more outgoing and more entrepreneurial. >> i hoped to give you the final word, but i ran -- ran out of time. i apologize. i yield back. >> thank you. >> thank you. mr. schneider, thank you very much for yielding back. we thank our members. we thank also the witnesses for being before us today. as we saw in afghanistan early this morning, another car braum exploded, this 1 -- another car bomb exploded, this one outside the gate of the international airport at kabul, and the taliban claimed responsibility. those carrying out the tie -- the attack had ties to the have connie -- to the hakani network. in terms of the amount spent in afghanistan, it is about 6.7 billion per month by the united states and this committee has oversight over this issue.
5:56 pm
i want to thank the witnesses for their testimony today. there were a number of questions asked by committee members. if you can get back to those members with written answers to anything not asked today -- and there will be additional questions forthcoming from numbers of the committee. thank you again for your testimony and we stand adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
5:57 pm
>> centrist john mccain of arizona and chris murphy joined an anti-government rally in the ukraine today. about 200,000 protesters are in the central square after nearly four weeks of protesting. senator mccain appeared on cbs from the ukraine to talk about why he was there. >> i think there is no doubt about the strategic aspect of the ukraine. it is a large country, a cultured country it is the beginning of russia. what is happening here is not only a desire to be part of the european union which makes them look to the west and not be coerced into the customs union that the russians and putin are
5:58 pm
trying to push into but they are tired of corruption, tired of a bad economy because of that. they really want change and that change is minimized by a turning to europe and a relationship with europe that they think will benefit them and their lives. >> are you concerned that this could make tensions between putin and the united states work? -- worse? >> we have a long tradition of standing up for people that are freely and peacefully demonstrating. they have been peaceful. they were attacked for a while from the police which did not succeed. i think the other aspect of this is, this is a country that is in really bad economic shape. they need assistance. if they turn back to russia, i think the consequences they
5:59 pm
believe will happen will be a rather serious. there are several hundred thousand people. i have heard estimates between 200,000 and half a million that you can hear in the background here. i am telling you, it is cold here. collects the senate moved forward today on the budget deal and the defense programs budget bill. each passed last week in the house. the senate will return tomorrow at 3:00 eastern time to consider the executive nominations of and patterson and for jeh johnson for homeland security secretary. both are expected around 5:00 dirty -- 530. -- 5:30. the house will be in for a pro forma session tomorrow live here on c-span. >> c-span. we bring a book affairs events from washington directly to you
6:00 pm
putting you in the room at congressional hearings and conferences and offering complete gavel-to-gavel coverage all as a public service of private industry. c-span. created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local satellite provider. now you can watch us in hd. >> we want to welcome back to "newsmakers” house appropriations chairmen hal rogers, republican of kentucky. thank you, sir, for join us. >> thank you. >> two reporters here in studio to help with us, daniel newhauser is a congressional reporter for qc “roll call” and derek wallbank, congressional reporter with bloomberg news. derek, go ahead with the first question. question. >> mr. chairman, thank you for being here. as you know, the mood out of the capital is joyous right now practically. paul ryan and patty murry are both saying this will avert any shutdown fears for january 15 and possibly for october 1 as well.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on