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tv   ISIS and National Security  CSPAN  February 15, 2015 10:38am-1:38pm EST

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training for local forces on the ground including the moderate syrian opposition, preventing isil attacks in the region and beyond including by foreign terrorist fighters who try to threaten our countries. regional and international support for an inclusive iraqi government that unites the iraqi people and strengthens iraqi forces against isil. humanitarian assistance for the innocent civilians of iraq and syria who are suffering so terribly under isil's reign of horror. i want to thank vice president biden, secretaries kerry and hagel for their assistance. even as we meet this challenge we all agree that one of our weapons against terrorists like isil, a critical part of our strategy, is the values we live here at home. one of the best antidotes to the hateful ideologies that try to recruit and radicalize people to violent extremism is our own example as a diverse
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and tolerant societies that welcome the contributions of all people including the people of faith. the resolution we submitted today does not call for the deployment of ground combat forces to iraq or syria. it is not the authorization of another ground war like afghanistan or iraq. the 2600 american troops in iraq today largely serve on bases. and yes they face the risks that come with service in any dangerous environment but they do not have a combat mission. they are focused on training iraqi forces including kurdish forces. as i've said before, i am convinced the united states should not get dragged back into another prolonged ground war in the middle east. that is not in our national security interests and it is not necessary for us to defeat isil. local forces on the ground who know their countries best are best positioned to take the ground fight to isil and that
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is what they are doing. at the same time this resolution strikes the necessary balance by giving us the flexibility we need for unforeseen circumstances. for example, if we had actionable intelligence about a gathering of isil leaders and our partners didn't have the capacity to get them, i would be prepared to order our special forces to take action because i will not allow these terrorists to have a safe haven. so we need flexibility but we also have to be careful and deliberate. there's no heavier decision than asking our men and women in uniform to risk their lives on our behalf. as commander in chief i will only send our troops into harm's way when it is necessary for our national security. finally, this resolution repeals the 2002 authorization of force for the invasion of iraq and limits this new authorization to three years.
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i do not believe americas' interests are served by endless war or by remaining on a perptull war footing. as a nation we need to ask the difficult and necessary questions about when why, and how we use military force. after all, it is our troops who bear the costs of our decisions and we owe them a clear strategy and the support they need to get the job done. so this resolution will give our armed forces and our coalition the continuity we need for the next three years. it is not a timetable. it is not announcing that the mission is completed at any given period. what it is saying is that congress should revisit the issue at the beginning of the next president's term. it is conceiveable that the mission is completed earlier. it is conceiveable that after deliberation debate and evaluation that there are
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additional tasks to be carried out in this area. and the people's representatives with a new president should be able to have that discussion. in closing i want to say that in crafting this resolution we have consulted with and listened to both republicans and democrats in congress. we have made a sincere effort to address difficult issues that we discussed together and the days and weeks ahead we will continue to work closely with members of congress on both sides of the aisle. i believe this resolution can grow even stronger with a thoughtful and dignified debate that this moment demands. i am optimistic that it can win strong bipartisan support and that we can show our troops and the world that americans are united in this mission. today our men and women in uniform continue the fight against isil and we lute them for their -- salute them for their courageous service. we pray for their safety.
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we stand with their families who miss them and who are sacrificing here at home. but know this. our coalition is strong. our cause is just. and our mission will succeed. long after the terrorists we face today are destroyed and forgotten, america will continue to stand free and tall and strong. may god bless our troops and may god bless the united states of america. thank you very much, everybody. >> the question of whether to approve new authorization for military force against isis came up during a house foreign affairs hearing held one day after the president's request was submitted to congress. the hearing focused on threats
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posed by isis and the u.s. responds now and in the future. those testifying included jame jeffery who served as u.s. ambassador to iraq from 2010- 2012 and former obama administration official. this is 2 hours. this morning our committee continues the review of the threat of isis. yesterday the president requested that the congress formally back military action against this jihaddist organization which has, an organization which has beheaded americans and which has sold and raped thousands of women in syria. and this is not a new threat for the members of this committee. one year ago, this committee
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took testimony from one of the few administration officials then sounding the isis alarm that was ambassador who told us that that group's mission that isis' mission was clear as he said they wanted to carve out a zone of governing territory that would run from baghdad to syria to lebanon and of course at that point in time we were seeing a situation where isis was just beginning to expand into towns in syria. and members of this committee on both sides of the aisle called for air strikes against isis so that they could not begin that process of expansion. unfortunately, we went month after month after month, town after town fell to isis across syria and then across iraq. overt the past 12 months
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through a dozen hearings we've seen the isis threat only grow. now we have three american hostages dead including kalea mueller. not only have they been killed but isis has beheaded two japanese hostages and emulated a downed jor daneion pilot for the world to see. and this again is on top of what they've done in terms of raping as i said by now tens of thousands of women across syria and other noirlingts killing their husbands, raping the wives and the daughters. this group occupies a vast territory. it holds an estimated $2 billion in assets. i don't think there's ever been in history a terrorist organization as well-funded as this terror group. isis has used the virtual califate on the internet to recruit foreign fighters at an unprecedented rate. 20,000 foreign fighters from 90
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countries now make up the ranks of isis. and according to intelligence estimates this includes 3400 from the west and more than 150 americans on the ground fighting for isis today. over the past year, this committee has pressed the administration to intensify and accelerate its response. some pieces are being put together. but too slowly. of a 60-member coalition 85% of all air strikes are from u.s. fighter jets. and this air campaign isn't pummeling the enemy as it should. it is not intense enough. all of us were glad to see iraq prime minister maliki go. but with respect to reports of shiite militias wreaking havoc the jury is still out on the ability to field the government and security force there.
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the training continues to lag and we aren't likely to see the 12 iraqi brigades envisioned for several months. sunni fighters are becoming more supportive of the national force but the question is will they be in it for the long haul? and after six months of fighting the committee is still deeply concerned to receive report that is the kurdish peshmerga are outgunned on the front lines. occasionally running out of ammunition on the front lines under armed, under equipped by the united states. this has to change. last fall congress voted to train and equip the forgses but that is not up and running and assad looks more comfortable by the day. of course this has left key allies in the region distraught and questioning the administration's strategy as many here do. despite these problems, kurdish forces on the ground and concentrated air support from
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coalition forces in the air helped take back cobe anie, some 6,000 fighters there were killed isis fighters. the kurds have shown tremendous bravery. and they deserve more and timely delivered aid to their cause of fighting isis. jordan's tragedy is galvanizing the coalition. getting jordan to step up its role in the air campaign and to commit thousands of troops to the border area with iraq is a show of force. last week, the committee met with retired general john allen, the state department's lead to counter isis, and pledged our support to get jordan the equipment it needs in this fight. the uae has also recommitted fighter planes to jordan. it is these arab forces and voices that must be central in this fight. but they need to see and feel american leadership.
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i am pleased that the president has formally requested that congress act on an authorization for use of military force against isis. now he needs to make the case to the american people and this committee as we work to examine this proposal in depth. this won't be easy. but i am comforted by the fact that ranking member engle and i are united in our desire to see bipartisan backing behind a proposal that ensures that the commander-in-chief have the authority needed to decisively defeat the enemy. so mr. engle is joining us a little later. i would like to now recognize the ranking member mr. sherman of california for his opening statement. i thank our witnesses for being with us as well. thank you. >> i think i'm the second ranking member. i view this as our first
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hearing on the president's request for the authorization to use military force. i hope we focus on that request as the main duty of this committee and that we have not only hearings but that we move to a markup and perhaps prior to moving to a markup we move to a discussion where members can take five minutes to explain what they would like to see in an ultimate resolution. we are all aware of the evil of isis. isis almost asks us to take military action against them. if they had a madison avenue marketing firm and tried to say what can we do to provoke americans, this is exactly what they would do. what is interesting is that the shiite alliance, what i would argue is at least as equal a
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danger, has done everything possible to avoid america taking military action. whether they will bargain in good faith in geneva i have not seen it yet. but i know that going to geneva tampance down american concerns. and of course they were quite successful in avoiding bombing of syria by the united states and ultimately willing to give up most of their chemical weapons to do so. of course america calls out for the immediate destruction of isis. i think we will see again in these hearings that to achieve that goal would be extremely difficult perhaps impossible and certainly involved tremendous american casualties. we can contain isis, we can work for its eventual destruction. we can push things in the middle east in the right direction to some degree without enormous american casualties. but if we think we can remake the middle east in our own
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image we are certain to incur incredible american casualties and i am not sure that the middle east will ever be what we want it to be. mr. chairman, we had in this very room just yesterday hearings on iran. and i think that the shiite alliance led by iran and including many of the forces in baghdad including the shiite militias of iraq including assad and hezbollah is more dangerous and more deadly than isis. they have killed far more americans starting with the bay route marines back in the 19 0s. they have carried on operations on virtually every continent. they are more capable of killing americans in the homeland than is isis. they have killed far more people in the middle east. assad alone has killed nearly 200,000. and if we are going to focus on
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quote destroying isis, we shouldn't just focus on that. we need to ask what comes next. who fills the physical space the ideological space, and the cyber space. al qaeda is well positioned to fill the ideological space. they are an older organization. but they may also learn social media to the level of isis. and as to the physical space, we see a shiite alliance from tehran to southern lebanon that would be emboldened by the destruction of isis. believe it or not i don't have a longer statement. i didn't -- i expected mr. engle to be here. i will look down the road to see if someone wants me to yield them a minute. i see no one. and i yield back to the chair. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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we go now to one minute to ms. ros-lehtinen. >> thank you. we all are deeply saddened by kay la's apalling murder by isil terrorists. she made it her mission to care about humanity in a region that seems to no longer value human life and our prayers go out to her family. the brutality of isil truly knows no bounds and this cancer continues to metastasize throughout the region. the president has finally given us a draft umf that may actually limit our engagement in the region. so i look forward to a row bust debate here in our committee on it. but i firmly believe that no matter what happens with the aumf solving the problem of isil cannot happen without simultaneously solving the problems of assad, and iran and the partnership continues
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syria will be a terrorist breeding ground and we will never be victorious that way. a big part of the administration's isil strategy is to train and equip a program that seeks to enhance the capability of moderate syrian opposition leaders yet mr. chairman that program hasn't really started yet. the administration has said these fighters will be trained for defensive not offensive action and we're not engaging the assad regime directly. only isil i worry that this policy is not going to be victorious. thank you.
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>> my prayers are with her loved ones at this time as i think all of us on the committee feel very strongly about. along with kay la, our country has lost james foley, steven sot love peter casic. while our allies overseas have lost david haines, alen henning, aruinia yock volve, and others. all of these people died tragically. and going forward will be important for our continued response to contain a well developed and multifaceted strategy with the support of our trusted partners within an international coalition as we now turn to the question of a new authorization for the use of military force these are the metrics that i expect to be debated and continually reviewed and never forgotten. it is critical and it is clear that we consider this matter as the most serious of decisions that all of us make as a
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congress. thank you, mr. chairman. with that i yield back. >> thank you. we go now for a minute to judge ted poe chairman of the subcommittee on terrorism and nonproliferation. >> thank you, mr. chairman. there is not a comprehensive strategy to defeat isis. the training and equipment of modern -- moderate rebels whoever they may be, has not even started. but when it does start it will not be enough to make a difference. the rebels will probably end up fighting assad not isis. the air strikes on isis have taken a toll but no one believes they alone will enough to defeat this group embedded in the local population. the effort to turn sunnis in iraq against isis has also not shown any real progress. the kurdish forces are the only group that has a record of battlefield success against isis. they don't cut and run. for some reason we refuse to give them the adequate weapons they need to fight against
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isis. we seem to be more concerned about baghdad and turkey and what they think than helping the kurds. my strategy to defeat isis, as we debate to give the president to go to war it would be nice to know exactly what the strategy was to win that war. what's the plan? i yield back. >> thank you. i will go to mr. deutsche later when he joins the committee for his opening statement. but in the interim this morning we are pleased to be joined by a distinguished group of experts. ambassador james jeffery is a visiting fellow at the washington institute for near east policy and he previously served as ambassador to iraq, turkey, and to albania. dr. rick brennan is the senior political scientists at the rand corporation and prior to joining rand he served as a senior adviser to the military
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in iraq for five years. dr. daffna rand is the lee on panetta fellow in studies at the center for new american studies. she served on the staff of the national security council. she was a professional staff member on the senate select committee on intelligence as well. and we welcome them all. and without objection the witness' full prepared statement will be made part of the record and the members here will have five legislative days to submit statements and questions and any extraneous material for the record. so ambassador jeffery if we could start with you and ask you to sum rise your remarks in five minutes. thank you, sir. >> members of the committee, first it is very important to note what we are doing today as you said considering an authorization for the use of military force. it is fitting and just that the congress as well as the
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executive branch undertakes such grave decisions as this and i am proud to be here today to provide whatever help i can. let me start with isis. and there, i've already gotten a lot of help from those who have spoken. isis is a unique threat for all the reasons isis is a unique threat for all the reasons you laid out, mr. chairman, i won't repeat them again. we haven't seen anything quite like this before, particularly the old on military, conventional military capabilities and appeal to the regional people. similarly, isis is a threat in a unique sense, because it's coming at a time of even more unusual disruption in the middle east. it reflects the longer term and dangers in that region. a state system under extraordinary stress with its legitimate massey questioned by the region's population and loyalty for these people. it will require time and great effort for the governments of these people to free themselves
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from isis and of the thinking that is behind it, as mr. sherman discussed a few minutes ago. in the end, they have to do this. we can't. we can't tell them what their religion preaches and doesn't preach. we can't reach into the social structures of that part of the world. we tried that. it didn't work very well. there is a point here. we can't expect them, much as they want to help us, to do all that much, because they're engaged in conflicts and struggles, ideological and sometimes physical within their own societies. thus, it's the president's role to degrade and eventually destroy isis with america taking the lead is the correct mission. the campaign, which the u.s. and coalition of some 60 countries is implementing is basically sound. the campaign has had catastrophic success of late from the -- had considerable success of late from the push back of isis and near success in the near future is actually quite possible.
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still, this campaign could well face tough sledding when the coalition begins major ground offensive operations and it hasn't done that yet. a lot of questions remain open. as representative ross la-lehtinen said, we have a lot of questions about syria. what we learned from vietnam forward is you cannot defeat an insurgent group if it has a refuge in a near country. you can't do anything about syria without a better policy towards assad. you don't knows who boots on the ground will dig these guys out of the places like fallujah and mosul. we don't know what the day after will look like. these are pretty tough questions. in sum, we should not assume time is on our side. given this extraordinary threat i urge the administration to move faster, take more risks and apply more resources.
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if our commanders on the ground want it, and that's the question, they should have the weapon system this is a need. if they need more observers on the ground, need advisory teams with local force they should get that despite the higher risks and costs. likewise if our diplomats need top level u.s. pressure on various partners and players including iran, we should follow their advice. in considering this authorization, i urge the congress to give the administration maximum flexibility in timing and the use of force. as one who spent four years in vietnam and iraq, i am totally opposed to any enduring ground offensive presence, if that means long term counter-insurgency campaigns. we've tried them repeatedly. they haven't worked. if necessary to meet the president's very valid mission of defeating isis, we should not
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rule out operations, such as u.s. ground action to liberate najaf and fallujah in 2004. while i hope it doesn't come to that, such a step could become necessary. we need actions that lead to us defeating isis. that could be seen as a victory against the u.s. and west as international international ardor and stimulate support for this around the world for this organization. >> chairman royce and ranking member engle and members of the committee. thank you for inviting me to speak to you about this important subject regarding the strategic threat of isis. my argument is straightforward and can be summarized in four key points. first, the key strategic threat we face today is not from isis. al qaeda or any other group that's committing acts of
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violence or even genocide. rather, it this is radical islamist ideology that gives these groups pause. for this, we need a grand strategy that apply sies all means of u.s. national power to address it. to understand the scale of the challenge, one can look at the rapid expansion of the number of sunni inspire edd jihad groups during the last 25 years. in 1988, only three groups existed. by 2010 the number of groups had expanded to 32. then as a result of the turbulence created by the arab spring, the number rapidly increased from 51 or to 51 by 2013. a 62% increase in just three years. it's also important to highlight that the islamist movement has a shia variant. the islamic republic of iran. the the logical interpretations of the iayatollah khamenei continues to inspire actions against the united states,
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israel and sunni led nations around the region. iran continues to be the largest sponsor of state terrorism in the world. overall after the invasion of iraq, iran engaged in what could be could a covert war against the united states, military and civilians operating in iraq. using their proxy militias working at the behest of the force. according to one military estimate, iranian supported militias likely caused as much as 50% of u.s. casualties in iraq the eight years we were there. my second point, isis is much more than a terrorist group. it is a revolutionary insurgency organization that seeks to establish new social political and economic order without regard to internationally sanctioned state boundaries. its rapid success in iraq and syria has caused an explosion of volunteers from around the world who have journeyed to fight in places such as syria, iraq
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somalia, libya, afghanistan and pakistan. by 2012 with eight years of experience fighting u.s. and iraqi military force and two years experience fighting syrian military and iranian proxy militia, isis has become an experienced and hardened military force. in january 2014, isis used the growing sunni alienation within iraq as an opportunity to seize control of fallujah, located just 50ed miles west of baghdad. following early success, isis began infiltration in iraq that set the stage for the june offensive. by august 2014, isis was in control of approximately 35,000 square miles of iraq and syria. a land mass that's approximately the size of the state of indiana. it had begun to establish structures to governance and now calls itself the islamic state. my third point is that a number
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of factors contributed to the failure of the iraqi military in 2014. many of these were known in advance. one key factor was prime minister malaki's efforts to consolidate and control the iraqi military and security force and replacing competent officers with officers personally loyal to him. a second factor was the endemic corruption that permeates iraqi system and military establishment. finally, it's important to highlight from 2009 to 2011, the u.s. military had consistently reported that the iraq military had significant short falls in virtually all areas needed to conduct complex military operations without direct u.s. military assistance. in part, this was a reason that general lloyd austin and general madison and michael mullen recommended a residual force remain in iraq. my fourth point, the u.s. initial response to isis was a
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necessary first step to blunt the assault. however, in my professional opinion as a career army infantry officer and career planner who spent five years in iraq between 2006 and 2011 as senior u.s. military advisor are insufficient to allow iraq to gain control of its territory and mosul. and defeat isis both either in iraq or syria. i believe in addition to what the u.s. military is doing today, the following would be required to achieve success, first, develop a more robust and advised system using conventional force. the force we have there now are insufficient to do so rapidly giving isis time to develop. seconds, enhance the size and scope of the command and control mission. third, employ u.s. special op rangeses force with attached tactical air control parties and other coalition ground force down to the battalion level to
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enable them to assist in the conduct of an enhanced air campaign. finally, to deploy u.s. special operations force to conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions in both iraq and syria. in conclusion, is there an understandable reluctance to once again put american ground force in iraq. but if the threat to the region and the united states is as grave, using the wording of the anf, as the president indicated in the proposal, it is a mission that must be undertaken, as ambassador jeffery said, we should not have constraints and we have to being willing to use grounds force if we're going to have success. >> thank you, dr. brennan. >> chairman and members of the esteemed committee. thank you for having this hearing and inviting me to testify to time and topic. i'd like to discuss three key questions americans are asking today about the threat isis
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poses. the questions are pretty simple. they come down to what, why and how? what is isis, they are asking? although isis has its roots in al qaeda off shoot in both its brutality and battlefield success successes it represents a new type of threat. i will mention a few characteristics because many have been articulated by members of this committee. first, the savagery is at the core of the ideology. while al qaeda justifies individual suicide bombing attacks against civilians through fatwas exexplanation the conditional necessity, isis adapted an entirely new ideology. manipulates select stories from history and modern jihadi text to redefine jihad. it has generated a blanket justification for violence including against women and children. second, the group, as already mentioned adopted a military doctrine not based on the typical terrorist logic of the
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weak fighting the powerful. instead, isis aspires to fight states and their militaries as a peer. it believes in the necessity of full-blown military campaigns and seek to control as much territory as possible. finally, isis is not bound by the same political concerns or need to appeal to the public. we just saw that with the horrific images of the jordanian pilot last week. with the violent approach that has little regard to political strategy, isis is now a decentralized diffused aspirational social movement that follows few orders and few chains of command. the second question americans are asking, why does this matter to us? to our interests, to our role in the world? after 14 years of deep u.s. military engagement in the broader military east americans have a right to a strong, clear and convincing answer to this question. why should our resources and our u.s. military be deployed in this fight? the best answer is that we are
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trying to degrade and destroy isis to achieve three specific national security objectives. to prevent isis attacks against the united states and our direct interests abroad. to degrade interest's ability to control populated areas from which it can recruit foreign fighters. and to protect the sovereignty of u.s. partners against isis. the third question is the most complicated. we will discuss it today. the question is how, how do we defeat isis or at least how do we degrade this threat enough to achieve the three basic goals i just enumerated. the overwhelm strategy to defeat and degrade isis will necessarily entail coercive and non-coercive tools of u.s. state craft. in other words, the use of u.s.
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military power is just one tool. it must be integrated with a set of other tools, particularly multi-lateral and bilateral diplomacy. perhaps the greatest success we have seen against isis is this administration's ability to mobilize a diverse and significant international coalition. over 60 nations have not just committed to fighting the threat in words but they are acting. they are participating in the air strikes, countering isis' financing, stopping this flow of foreign fighters and responding to the humanitarian catastrophe. the use of military force is therefore a necessary but not sufficient part of the strategy. the draft language offered by the president yesterday in my view suggested a carefully tailored strategy based on the advice and council of military leaders that is working so far in the past five months. what have we seen in the past five months effectively degrading isis' capabilities in iraq and syria. we have seen evidence in september we are making significant success by using a combination of air strikes by the coalition coordinated with force on the ground. through this partnership approach we eliminated 6,000 in iraq and a thousand in syria and diminishing supply lines and
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manpower and decreased the group's momentum. we have three main military partners on the ground. the iraqi security force, the kurdish fighters mentioned associated with the krg, and then we have our syrian opposition force which include both arab and kurdish factions. these groups are committed to fighting isis and have deep connections with the local populations in the region. their best place to understand the sociopolitical contacts that allowed isis to ink cu bait itself and thrive in the areas in the first place. in conclusion, i believe a limited taylor use of u.s. military force in this operation reflects a larger strategy one that has been working, a strategy that prioritizing the role of the partners on the ground ultimately defeating isis and filling in the vacuums left behind upon isis' retreat. the limited tailored approach suggests to the war-weary
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american public and muslim world we are not interested in another decade long u.s. presence on the ground in the heart of the middle east. degrading isis and reducing the threat it proposes simply does not require that kind of approach. in conclusion, force is one element of our strategy and we should use it wisely and ju dishly effective. it is insufficient to sustain in a long term manner. even as congress is focused on the appropriate use of force it must not lose sight of the long range strategy and work necessary. i look forward to talking about the northern military objectives that differ across three distinct theaters iraq, syria and a broader con treastrast to diminish globally. >> you raysise the question.
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isis has taken mosul. who is going to dig them out of there. this committee raised the issue before they got to mosul we should have used air power while they were on the open desert to decimate that force but that wasn't done at that time. so, as of this morning, the pesh peshmerga force had surrounded isil on three sides working to cut isis' ability to maneuver in the area. the greatest problem is the area south of mosul where iraqi government force and where the sunni tribes are struggling to gain control of saladan province. when we look at the authorization just sent down to the committee, we're the committee of jurisdiction, from the white house they sent to congress an authorization that would provide the flexibility to conduct ground combat operations in limited circumstances.
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we go through some of the lists, the use of special operations force to take military action against isil leadership. for intelligence collection and sharing and missions to enable kinetic strike, in other words on the ground, in order to call in air strikes. i guess there's about 3,000 special forces involved in that right now. where the provision of operational planning and other forms of advice and assistance of partner force. i want to get to this question of assistance for our partner force, because i am concerned about the situation that the kurds face. we've had numerous meetings with them in which they have called repeatedly for anti-tank weapons that they could use, for artillery, for long range mortar, armor. mrk that has not been done.
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so, as they surround mosul, this gets to the question of what kind of leadership on the ground would be given, what kind of weaponry would be given and what kind of air strikes would be called in by our spotters on the ground and maybe we can open with that, ambassador, would you like to give us your thoughts on some of this? >> certainly, mr. chairman. it's to some degree two separate questions. arming the kurds is an important issue. and there are two elements to it. one is what they need and secondly, the political ramifications in the longer term because there will be an iraq and there will be a lot of problems in the middle east after we defeat isis. one of the problems is keeping iraq together. so the administration's position, and it makes sense, it was a position we had when i was there, is to give these weapons, through the iraqi government, at least with a pro forma check to the kurds. we just have to try a lot harder
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to ensure weapons go to the kurds. it's easier for what i call defensive weapons, m-wrap and humvee armored vehicles basically for counter-insurgency, anti-mine equipment, night vision goggles, armor and all of that thing. the question is long range artillery you mentioned and armor. that cannot only be used in an urban situation against isis also can be used in a conflict with baghdad. that's a tricky question. for the moment, i would focus on giving them better equipment to do what they're doing now, to ensure they have the ammunition, they have the armor to move around the battlefield. i'm not sure giving them artillery and tanks is such a good idea, assuming they can hold the ground now, and they have been, including in a quite difficult attack in kirkuk last week. in terms of the kurds, the
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measure peshmerga taking mosul part of mosul was always considered kurdish in the sense there was a kurdish element to the population in east mosul. and they may be willing to fight in or near that. i'm not so sure they would be willing to take heavy casualties and they would take heavy casualties to fight and take over. >> they're taking heavy casualties now, taking it against artillery when they don't have artillery to match. only 25 of the 250 m-wraps we sent through baghdad got through. i'm just pointing out the weaponry is not getting through to the kurds. i think on both sides of the aisle here, the fighting is going to be done. by kurdish, by jordanian, by sunni tribe, arab troops and kurdish troops on the ground. if we are not giving them the
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assistance they need, you know this allows isis not to be rolled back. we need to see them decisively rolled back. let me go to dr. brennan just for a minute in terms of some of your thoughts on this. i know that you've written about peshmerga and coalition ground force, the this necessity to help them on the ground. would you like to elaborate? >> thank you, mr. chairman. my view is that in order to assist these organizations whether they be the peshmerga or coalition force that we bring on the ground, we have got to put u.s. force with them. that is a perfect mission that we have the united states army special forces. i would be putting eight teams down at the battalion level to help them plan intelligence, to help them organize and to allow
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them to bring in the type of air support that's necessary at the precision level. the problem you will have as you go into cities, there will be a great reluctance to use air support in there because of potential for collateral damage. having our troops on the ground gives a sense of competence of them bringing those weapons where needed. not putting our boots on the ground to do that would be extremely difficult to win this battle. >> you have about 3,000 special forces now on the ground in theater. they are calling in air strikes right now. you're saying as you get into these cities they need to be forward deployed in order to make certain that the isil targets are the targets that are hit. >> exactly. they need to be engaged with all the coalition military so we have an integrated air campaign, enhanced air campaign something much greater than we have right now. >> my time is expired.
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i'll go to mr. engle, the ranking member of the foreign affairs committee. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman and thank -- i want to thank our witnesses for their testimony. our hearing today takes place in the wake of president obama sending his hirschhorn for the use of force to the congress yesterday. the aumf lands squarely in the jurisdiction of this committee and i look forward to working with chairman royce and all our colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the overall strategy to defeat isis in the days and weeks ahead. we're obviously trying to deal with the appalling humanitarian situation including the 3 million syrians and hundreds of thousands of iraqis driven from their homes as well as the spillover effect in jordan turkey, lebanon and egypt. we worked to cut off isis' funding stream cracking down on their efforts to smuggle oil and kidnap for ransom and i'm working on legislation to provide cultural properties so a an organize like isis cannot steel a country's heritage and
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work working on foreign fighters that when we remove an extremist on the battlefield there isn't another from england and the u.s. waiting to take its place and the violent ideology preached in isis propaganda. coalition military operations are making some progress under the cover of coalition air strikes, seeing some reversals in isis gains. as the chairman spoke about, we continue to advise and assist the iraqi security force and kurdish peshmerga. i share the chairman's thoughts on the peshmerga and the kurds. isis has been driven out of kobani and we continue to prepare and train and equip syrian opposition although this effort is slow moving and long long overdue in my opinion. the coalition is working on a multi-laerl multi-lateral effort the way it should.
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when questions arrive, we're trying to meet concerns. we're able to bring the uae back into this effort as one of our most reliable allies in the region and why jordan doubled down on its commitment after the aftermath of the horrific murder of its pilot. i want to start by talking about the aumf. the president put his language as a starting point on the aumf. so i'd like to hear from our witnesses what their thoughts are, should this aumf be limited to a certain gi graph ing area should it limit u.s. -- limit u.s. combat troops on the ground? should we consider a sunset clause for an aumf? why don't we start with ambassador jeffery?
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>> i would urge the committee to give as much latitude as possible to the administration particularly on timing. i'm very concerned about the three years, because having been in the administration, it's going to be very difficult, as they come in, the next administration comes into office and they're just getting their people confirmed in may or june of 2017, to have to think about a resolution, while also thinking about what their overall strategy is going to be. if there has to be a time limit on it, i understand why people would want it, i would urge a broader one. i'm also a bit concerned about the enduring offensive ground operations because that can be interpreted to mean no ground operations. certainly, the kind of operations by special forces advisory teams and such that dr. brennan has talked about are very feasible and the normal procedure in such campaigns. we've used them many times before.
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if the commanders on the ground need them, i think they should. i would not rule out using american ground troops to take territory if that's necessary to defeat isis. what i would rule out myself but that's a political decision is long term american presence on the ground, as we saw in iraq, in afghanistan, in vietnam. it does not work, mr. engle. >> isn't enduring people on the other side worry that enduring might be allowing troops for a longer period of time that people would like. you've got people on both sides of te divide worrying about the nebulous term enduring? >> it's a bad idea to have enduring ground troop presence almost anywhere in the middle east. we have traditionally not done that before 2001/2003. that's a good rule to get back to generally, with exceptions.
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advisory teams, air power, perhaps, in the long term, but you don't want to keep a large groundteams, air power, but you don't want to keep a launch on ground presence because that's perceived as a threat. >> the other point i'd like to make is that limiting the president of the united states to not allowing him to have enduring ground operations sends a cig issal not only to our friends, but to our enemies. we have to go into this, if this is a grave threat to the u.s. national security, i believe the congress ought to authorize a president to do what's necessary and more importantly, while there may be no plans of doing an operation, we don't know where the war is going to evolve in six months and we have to have the flexibility of the president and commanders on the ground and i see this with
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somebody who's been with troops on the ground to say the lawyers are going to be wrestling with this every day, trying to understand what the enduring offensive operation, defensive it is then going to cause so many problems that i think it would be a mistake to keep a clause like this in the amf. >> thank you, dr. ryan. >> overall, i think the aumf strikes the right tone in terms of balancing between the flexibility requirement and reflecting the strategy. that's working in a preliminary way. the most important clause here i think is the sunset provision because as my colleagues mentioned, so much is dhanging and is fluid on the battlefield that the question of how extensive the forces need to be, the question of the geography, the question of what is an affiliate or associate of isis these are questions that in two, three year, we will have to reevaluate, so i see that as the most important limitation on the use of force because it demands
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a reevaluation that congress will require based on reporting requirements in here. the only financial question i'd add is the geographical scope in terms of the global authorization for the use of force. that might need to be clarified. >> thank you. >> we go now to florida. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. the obama administration states that the training of syria and moderate fighters is is a large part of our strat squiegystrategy, but as of yet we have not seen much evidence of this success. robert ford said in our middle east subcommittee that the administration doesn't bother to koord coordinate or discuss strategy with syria's moderate fighters at all and won't strike isil near aleppoaleppo. if this force does eventually get up and running, what should
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its mission be and who will set up the strategy? the united states or the coalition partners? can these forces fight against assad and isil sim ul tan yously and jeffrey, you testified that iran's policies almost drove iraq apart between 2012 and 2014 and also, that we won't be able to defeat isil over the long-term without a more forceful u.s. policy. what can you tell us about iran's goal and the activities in iraq and the region and how does this impact our fight against isil? do you suspect we are not going after assad because we are negotiating with iran on nukes and lastly, when iran violates iraqi air space, did or will prime minister abadi, the u.s. and our coalition, turn a blind eye because it's not convenient?
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>> thank you. first of all, i agree with you that we need to do much more to explain how syria fits into this whole equation. the campaign is correct in putting the pyrety on iraq because there, we have allies. there, we have, we're engaged in syria is along the turn of question, but that doesn't mean you can not now answer questions. our allies in the region, most of them want us to do more against assad. assad contributed to the creation of isis. assad is a live with iran. as my colleague dr. brennan said, we're dealing not just with one one extreme violent movement. one is the side of the iranian establishment, the religious establishment.
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it's both a country and a cause and a poster boy for the cause is -- who's done a great deal to drive iraq into this disunity that isis was able to exploit in 2014 by allowing in some cases encouraging maliki and other members of the shia governing coalition to oppress the sunnis and disagree with the kurds, such as the country was not holding together well, thus, isis came on the seen and we saw what happened. we have to deal with all of these problems. we have a lot of friends in the region. i can't say that the administration doesn't do more against iran or syria because of the negotiations. i hope that isn't the case. but i think that we need to separate the two out. that negotiation on nuclear weapons has to rock, has to rest on its own merits, whatever they may be. and our policy towards providing
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security in this region with our allies has to be moved forward without consideration of other exterior questions. >> thank you so much. the other witnesses. >> we need to approach this region, develop a regional strategy to address this. as jeffrey said, we've got a lot of partners in the region that are being threatened by what's taking place. if you look at the rapid expansion of what's, what ra won da has done recently, currently, they have hezbollah and lebanon, the large number of shia militias in iraq, perhaps as many as 5 to 10,000 and when we look at the success in iraq, a lot of the success is being done by the shia-led militias and iran inside iraq that will tend to distort iraqi politics in the long run.
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you've got the -- in yemen and assad in syria. you herbalsyly have the creation of a shia crescent threatening our allies in the region and it's no wonder these allies when we ask them to join us, come to us and are concerned because they see iran as a primary threat. we have to come together and develop a strategy that takes consideration of our ally's concerns and moves on from there, rather than just trying to look solely at the issue of isis. isis in iraq has got to be first priority. >> thank you. sor rry i ran out of time. thank you. >> the ranking member of the subcommittee on terrorism. mr. brad sherman of california. >> mr. chairman, i've now become the ranking member on asia. >> congratulations on the promotion. >> for purposes, but i believe isis is a lesser threat.
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ground troops, if necessary, to take territory will be necessary to hold the territory. the peshmerga are not going to be welcomed in sunni arab areas and the iraqi army we saw what they did. it was the greatest transfer of weaponry to a terrorist organization in history. the shiite, the iraqi government, has some effective fighting units. they are the shiite militias that have engaged in murderous ethnic cleansing of sunnis under reported in the american press and so, it's, so i don't see who we have that will be a ground force to take sunni areas. i do know that i don't want to vote to have american soldiers going house to house in mosul in
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a bloody, hand to hand combat role because no other ground forces are available. as to the aumf, we've got the texts the president sent over, leave leaves in place the 2001 aumf. in effect, republishes reaffirms it. what is that that we would be reaffirming 15 years later? unlimited in time. unlimited in what weapons or tactics or ground forces it authorized over 100,000 forces soldiers in afghanistan. last decade, it would authorize 100,000 u.s. soldiers to be deployed on the ground next decade and of course, unlimited in geography. so, if we repeal that, it's hard to say that the president doesn't have enough authority to do all the things many of us hope he does not do. and then as to the timing issue, it would, if congress is doing
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its job and there's a three-year aumf, after two years, we passed something else rather than wait waiting for two days while we have soldiers in the field wondering whether congress will pass the bill. but i want to focus with my time economics. this is the richest terrorist organization in history. they got a huge quantity of iraqi currency. i don't know if our witnesses -- you know, you're blue money is has got to be void because you've got to change it for purple money. this inconveneiences the corrupt. which may very well describe baghdad.
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do any of you, are any of you qualified to talk about whether iraq should do a currency exchange designed to invalidate the many billions of dollars worth of iraqi currency isis seeded in the mosul bank? >> well we'll move on to another question. >> for what it's worth, ranking member, i think it's a good idea. and i would suggest maybe after a you reflect on it, if you could have a written response to the congressman's question. that would be helpful. >> and let me establish just a policy for this committee. i will yield automatically to any member who wants to say i have a good idea. >> won't happen all the time. >> it's unlikely to interrupt me very often. in world war ii, the french lived under any occupation and we regarded those areas as areas to be bombed and constricted.
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obviously, you couldn't, the government wasn't allowed to buy argentine wheat and just bring it in by ship across the ocean. we regarded france as an asset of the nazis. yet, i'm told in news reports that indicate ha the iraqi government is paying the civil servants in mosul and of course, isis then takes as much of that money as they want. do any of you have a comment about that and whether it should continue? >> certainly, mr. sherman, that's a tough question. i know that the embassy is focused on that. they saw the news reports as well. it gets also to the question of can you just change the currency. we did that from time to time in vietnam. when i was there, it had a lot of second and tertiary level impact on a lot of people.
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i think that the reason that the iraqi government is continuing these payments is first of all you know, it's hard to explain this, but it's, there are legal obligations of the government to their civil servants. >> somehow, the government and exile of france did not feel it necessary to pay the teachers of vi shia. go on. >> right, but the government in exile of france was not considered the legal government of france. that's a whole other complicated question. iraqi government is and i think that's important, but the most important thing is it gets to the questions you've asked about who is going to do the liberating. the answer is much of it by the sunni population, the tripes the members of those communities. they need to feel a certain loyalty to baghdad. i'm not so sure if cutting off their money is going to give them that loyalty.
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>> every penny that goes to isis controlled areas scooped up by isis, but just take 30 seconds to say anything, there are news reports that we are providing free electricity, the iraqi government provides free electricity to the isis areas, so in world war the 2, we took it seriously here, we the mosul dam i believe provides electricity to mosul, the mosul dam was retaken by iraqi forces, so it's not free electricity because the consumer has to pay. they pay isis. i yield back. >> think we go now to mr. smith of new jersey. chairman of the subcommittee on africa and. >> thank you very much for leading this important hearing. i want to thank our three panelists for their extraordinary service to our country and providing this committee and by extension, the american people the benefit of your insights and recommendations.
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if i could ask, you say you do not think a campaign of strategic patience is appropriate. how do you think president obama defines that? you also point out that in your testimony, that the stress when the coalition begins a major ground offensive operations would occur, talked about day after scenarios and that a containment michelle that would eventually crater the coalition or lead to new isis threats and then you say time is not on our side. and that the administration has to move faster. has the administration moved fast enough years to date and does the president's aumf meet the criteria to move faster? >> thank you very much. first of all, the administration moved not at all after my colleague came up here and talked to you over a year ago and that has led to a strategy ji.
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first, falluja, then mosul in june. i will say, having worked with his administration, that i'm surprised at how rapidly the administration responded in august when i shallr bill was threatened. since then, i think that the administration and central command has done a fantastic job of putting together this administration and stopping and in some cases, pushing back isis. my problem is what's going to happen next. this gets to the question of strategic patience. president obama laid this out last week in his national security strategy and with fareed zakari and in his state of the union speech. the president is clearly very nervous and the use of military force, particularly ground forces without a lot of allies without a lot of legal backing without the support of you and
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everybody else. sometimes, that's necessary. sometimes, that's smart. we could have useded a little bit more of that a decade ago, but there are times when action is necessary. i'm concerned we may not be moving fast enough. >> how do you think isis, the isis leadership and other interests who are completely anesthetic to our interests in the region look at what is happening at the white house and what is happening up here? >> that's a very good point and i was about to use it saying any restrictions on the authorization is going to encourage the enemy, but fair is fair. these guys are so busy dodging right now that i don't think they're going to spend a lot of time. what i worry about is iran russia, china. all of our conversations members of this committee that we talk about with isis, we have to take this in the context of the whole extraordinary variety of challenges we've seen over the last year.
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china, russia, al-qaeda elements on the march, particular lyly in north africa. isis itself. syria. and iran. they're all watching us. isis probably won't respond the most to any signs of weakness, but others might and i'm concerned across the board with all of these challenges. >> i have repeatedly ask they designate boka ha ram a terrorist organization. after we were having another hearing to both -- we were getting ready to mark up the bill. the administration announced it a day late and a dollar short, but never the less, the parallels, we don't train in my opinion and secure the cooperation of the nigerian military, i was in jose. i saw how they had fire bombed so many churches. they're going after christians with a vengeance, but also muslims who stand in their way.
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your thoughts on the parallels. again, isis -- human rights measures soldiers. >> i would go back to -- basically you have to find allies if they're willing to fight, i wouldn't worry that much about vetting them. i would give them weapons. in the case of iraq, it's complicated about sending the peshmerga into different areas. but they deserve more support from us. people the same kind of support we're giving the folkses in iraq. with many enemy and i think that if you are a day short and a dollar behind and only at the last minute, you take action.
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obviously a terrorist organization, you've just defined strategic patience. >> thank you for your testimony and your leadership. >> mr. meeks of new york ranking member of the subcommittee on europe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the witnesses for their testimony today. i look at these hearings as i did back in 2001 when you were in endeavoring to try to decide what was the best thing to do there. understanding what took place in 2001 so that we could learn from it. sometimes, what i think the president is talking about when you say patience, et cetera, we didn't have any patience. we thought that and sometimes, we think it's a quick hit. i remember when shock and awe happened and then a few days later, we heard the president of the united states say, mission accomplished. we thought that was going to be it. many members of this committee said once we got in there, that
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individuals would be waving a flag and saying thank you, america, and we're bringing our values to them and they would just embrace it. ten, 11 years later, we still have troops on the ground. we've committed more in the region than anyone else. no one has lost over 6,000 lives in military combat. it's us. and then i still hear, i've heard some before, our allies, you need to get back out there and get more folks and yet in their region, they are the ones that are the threat. we want to help our allies because they are in our strategic interest, but the ones in immediate danger are the ones around there, so we need to back out and say, look, y'all got to do something, too. we're losing our lives. we put our lives on the line. we're ready to give you all the strategic help we can. the president was clear.
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if we find there's somebody out there from isil, their organization and some of our allies cannot get to them, that's when we're going to use that limited number that's in the aumf so that they can go oof those guys and absolutely destroy them and i think that you know, clearly, and i think that became more evident than that one, that this is not a religious group because if you see what they did to the jordanian pilot, that's so anti-islam. these are thugs and terrorists so we've got to make sure that is out there with reference to delegitimize their ideology. i think someone else said what they're doing with their pr folk, maybe they're just asking for us to come in. because i think they do. because they would love for us to have people on the ground on a continuous basis. why? that's their best recruitment. if it was us on the ground, they could recruit more folks to
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fight because it's them against us and that's why we've got to resist that temptation because otherwise, when people, when we start to delegitimize their ideology, their recruitment will begin to resend. now, i happen to agree i think dr. rand with your testimony, i think we've got to do a whole lot of things on a multilateral basis. diplomacy, it's not all about. we've got to do some other things. i did agree with dr. rand and her opening statement. ambassador jeffrey, what was wrong with dr. rand's testimony this morning? >> nothing at all. it was really good testimony. and i agree with it. what i would say again, getting back to a strategic patience means not making the mistakes of the last decade. i'll sign up for strategic patience, however, means and it's not only this administration who's looked at
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it this way, it means no casualties norris k of. >> casey: nullities. it means assuming that the people in the region not only have more at stake than us, but assuming they can carry a big part of the burden, i don't see anything in our history. at the beginning of this meeting, hearing, chairman royce talked about us doing 85% of the stripes, i believe. i would say if you look at libya four years ago, barack obama niosnia, if you look at kosovo where we had nato, you will find, you look at the korean war, other than the koreans themselves, you will find similar statistics for the last 70 years. we can complain about that, but that's how we've maintained international security. where we've run into trouble and three times going into vietnam and iraq, have been when as you pointed out, we thought we could do regime change and change populations. we're not going to do that, but
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i don't think anybody up here today is suggesting that. what we are suggesting is that we at least consider if our military commanders and if our diplomats need it, a more aggressive policy militarily but as i said, a more aggressive set of diplomatic actions. >> dr. rand, what do you have to say? >> just to clarify, i'm not advocating for more aggressive use of more than that has suggested. i also look at the lessons learned from the past ten years and the fact, this is the 25th year that the u.s. is involved in some operation in iraq. if you count all the operations in the 1990s, so it's quite remarkable we're still talking about iraq and the proper use of american force. the two lessons learned and i would agree with you congressman, don't make americans part of the story. you're not leading from behind taking a backseat role, but you don't want to insert our presence to create an insurgency against american power.
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that was clear in the 2003, 2004 situation. the second situation is the importance of the isf being sustainable. most of the isf, govrt and security forces need to be multisectarian, professional and less susceptible to the penetration by the shiite militia militias. that is the only way to sustain and protect iraq as a sovereign country over the long-term. we've had the sons of iraq, the awakening, problems with the sunni region and its connectivity. this is the second time, third time this has happened, so we need to create a force to really think of representing the force and that is part of the strategic and that's what the trainers are doing and it's better and more effective to train them with our arab and european allies. we're training 12 brigades as you know.
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thank you. >> we go now to mr. rohrbacker of california, chairman of the subcommittee on europe, eurasian and emerging threats. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman and i want to thank the witnesses for coming here. we have, this is a discussion between us and the witnesses about what direction we should go and we appreciate your advice. dr. vernon, let me note that i agree with your basic assessment that we are not just talking about isil orris isis, whichever we want to call it, that this is an enemy that's been ten years or 15 years around us and it's radical islamic terrorism groups that are willing to use terrorists to terrorize the western world and this goes back
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all the way to even before 9/11 when we lost 3,000 americans murdered to try to terrorize our country. so, these groups, whether we call them isil, whether they're burning somebody to death out there to try to say, show us how mean and nasty they are, or whether they're trying to bring down buildings in new york it's, it is that the same enemy. whatever they want to call their organization, whatever particular moment. so, with this, i would suggest that this is the primary threat that we face in the western world faces today. that is our primary threat to our security and our safety and united states needs to recognize that and figure out how we defeat these type of o enemies. let me just note that i personally will not and i can't
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speak for my colleagues, but i don't believe that i will be giving the president of the united states, i don't think the congress would give the president of the united states a blank check on the use of american military force in the arab world or in the gulf, whether it is and by the way it's maybe not specific enough in the territory, much less the timing of this. we're not going to give them a blank check for a given period of time, we need to know exactly if that means that he would be willing to commit major forces on the ground or not. that needs to be part of any agreement that we have. so, i don't see this just being oh, the president's asking, he's going to get whatever he wants. we need to work it out and work out the details.
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work out the details. i personally don't belief this is going to be settled by the military. when we eliminated the soviet union, which was then the ultimate threat to peace and stability in the world, it was done by not by deployment of large numbers of troops and we need to create a dynamic that will end with, with the defeat of this threat to western civilization. we need to create that dynamic and that means what we did to defeat communism, we made that our number one goal. and we worked with anybody who would work with us to defeat that goal. and that made it by the way, possible for us to defeat them without conflict, direct military conflict with the united states.
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let me just note that i think this president has not reached out, we've heard about the kurds and to other people and other groups in the world and especially in that region, who should be our best friends and mobilize them in this effort. whether it's general cici or the people we're fighting against, who marched against radical islam in tehran where the president couldn't get himself to say anything about that and support of those kids earlier on. so, we need to have that dynamic created rather than just having the president come to us and asking for military for a military blank check. and the question i have, i know we're just about out of time here, but let me just note this. i'd like to ask about shouldn't we be working with assad? we worked with stahlen to defeat hitler, shouldn't we work with assad? shouldn't we be working with putin in order to defeat this threat that you have capsulized for us of radical
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fanatic islam? and that's my question to you. >> thank you, the gentleman's time has expired. >> once it's out there, it's there for everybody to answer. >> no objections. gl i think we need to be able to talk to all the regions of the country. i think we need to be able to talk to all the regions of the country. assad is actually part of this broader islamist movement that is supported by tehran. so, we have in the middle east today, what is the equivalent of a sunni shia civil war that's taking place and at one level, we need to determine which side of this we're on and how are we going to pull together these various countries in order to address the issue. you're right. it's radical. it's a radical islamist ideology writ large, sunni and shia, but we need a grand strategy for it.
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military is just one component of that. that's where we need to be going. if there's one thing that comes out of this committee, could be a process of thinking about how do you move forward to confront this global threat, not justice is or one of the other groups. >> thank you very much for your service to the country and for being here. every time i sit here and i hear witnesses talk to me about training the iraqi army, because of the experiences that we have had with this idea, i don't know where we get the confidence that if we train this army, it's going to solve our problem. we've spent billions, we took a shot at them, they ran. so, to go back and start training people again and spending all their money, you know, i'm just concerned at the end of all this, people are
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going to say that the only people who can solve the problem are us putting troops on the ground and i would never vote for that. you lost 6,000 lives. countless people coming back. we have soldiers coming back committed suicide and for what? we saw one group another one pops up. i don't know the answer. obviously. i just take your word for it. you know, what you're saying. i do agree that we should fund the kurds and we should give them the weapons they need and i'm wondering where a few years ago, president biden said -- i wonder how viable that is. all these groups, i'm concerned about jordan. more and more people keep coming and are we doing enough to make sure that jordan is well enough prepared to deal with what they're dealing with now. they have stepped
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forward. the things i may be wrong about -- i got to tell you, it's hard for me to accept that. trz trz. >> the iraqi troops in mosul the iraqi army did not really run in anbar province. maliki pulled the troops out of falluja in january because of a political dispute and they rushed in and took over the police, who were in many cases much weaker than the military. the military, they have some bad days in anbar province, but they haven't up and i have a good bit of experience on laws including out there trying to train them is that you can train forces to do well. it helps a hell of a lot if you have american troop, advisory teams with them. the vietnamese ran in 1972 when the vietnamese came in until we put in massive air strikes and had our advisory teams out there fighting with them and the
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result was they turned the tide and pushed the vietnamese back. i've seen this also in iraq in 2010, 2011. iraqi troops did well against al-qaeda, but particularly when they had american advisory teams with them, so that's the first question. in terms of puffing up, having
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been spending much of my license, the 1974 yom kippur, it was almost deployed to the region with a lot of other american troops, i have a feeling of popping up, too because history of my life of the last 40 years is constantly being redeployed to the middle east and wondering on the capacity. my take away is this is something we're not going to fix. we can provide multipliers to
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the people fixing it and the most important is assuring that really radical violent elements do not get a hold of large territories. that's the ukrainianrain irans, al-qaeda, assad and to beat back those forces so that the people of the region have the chance to move on away people in the balkans, in central america and the way people in other places where we've been successful have moved on, but you're right. this is a long struggle and it's frustrating and we shouldn't tie a lot of troops down in a high
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casualty effort to fix this because we won't. >> biden's idea. >> i'm sorry. he's recanted, first of all. and secondly, the problem with that is i know of no border in the middle east and frankly no board border i've ever been stationed in the balkans elsewhere, that you can just break up into three parts because there are overlapping groups.
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what these people will do, they won't agree to a piece of paper. they'll fight. you change one border in the middle east, they're all going to start being shaky and we'll have yet another bigger problem. >> thank you. >> condolences of all the residents of arizona for kayla. >> thank you very much. appreciate that. i guess my question is to anyone on the panel that would like to
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take a stab, ambassador, i'd appreciate your, let me say that i very much support a very robust aumf given to the president which gives maximum flexible the i the to our general so they can prosecute this effort until we win and we do it qukly as possible. that they believe they have full legal authority under the 2001 aumf to prosecute isil. my question is submitting to congress or asking congress to give us an aumf that ties his hand. i've never heard of a president sending that kind of a request to congress, please tie my hand and give me a time limit and also, you know, limit my ability to use ground forces. i get really frustrated. i marvel in fact, i can't imagine franklin roosevelt standing up saying here's the five things i'm not going to do to the
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japanese. it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to telegraph what we're willing to do and what we're not. if the president believes he has authority and i believe he's said that many times, so have his advisers, why would he want to further limit aumf? >> he does have the authority, but it's an awkward fit and he's absolutely right to come back here and ask for more specific from all of you. in terms of why would he limit it, that's his flosphilosophy and i have to be fair to him. i've worked for him. he doesn't think that military force can often be a solution and he thinks that we have gotten very committed almost like a drug to using military force.
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rather than other means of national power. i disagree with him, but it's an honest position. he can point to areas from marching into north korea from vietnam to iraq that others have cited where we have gone astray and it's something to really worry about, but while i wouldn't support that position myself, i mean, i
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understand why he has it and a lot of americans agree with him. >> let me just modify that before you speak. i also believe that one of the reasons for the conflicts you cited that we were not very successful is that politicians micro manage the whole damn thing. dr. brennan. >> we need to put something on the ground that's wide enough, gives the president the ability to make the decision. he may choose he doesn't want to do that, and that's a legitimate choice. but i think that the issue is, i've been portrayed in my testimony and the others have, this is a great thet to u.s. national security. if it is a grave threat as the president put in his aumf, we need to be giving the president everything he needs and you don't know what's going to happen six months from now and how going back and forth on this idea just ties his hands and i agree with you, that it makes most sense to look back and perhaps the 2001 aumf could be cleaned up or amended to the types of capability. it's not a perfect fit, but whether or not we need to restrict the hands, i'd be concerned about that. as a commander as well as going to look about the country on this. >> i'm going to run out of time and i have one other question. because i'm deeply concerned that the administration isn't very serious about this fight, with only 250 coalitions a month versus the roughly thousand air stiks a day we flew in previous conflicts in the region, could we do more with the air power that we have to at least degrade isis and couldn't additional air power further attack isis and funding strength they're using to support their -- >> i believe that we ought to be having a much more robust air campaign, but to do that, you need to have more targetable intelligence and you get that by having troops with our allies and without having that, i think you run the risk of having collateral damage, which will run counter to our policy strategy and the interests we have in iraq. >> so, it gets back to the ground forces and support again. >> i believe so. >> thank you. mr. higgins, new york. >> it amazes me in all of these hearings how quickly we just kind of bypass the fact that the united states paid about $25
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billion to build up an iraqi army and the first test of that army was against the islamic state of iraq and syria.
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and they essentially ran. and we are told that reason they were not committed to the fight was because the previous prime minister al maliki was not inclusive, the shia sunni population and therefore, didn't feel as though it was a fight worth committing to. and now, we're told that there's a new prime minister who's also a shia, but more inclusive of the sunni community and therefore, we should have confidence again in the iraq national army. $25 billion. who had the most effective fighters in iraq today? peshmerga and shia militia. the new prime minister had said there are about a million shia militias that are trying to fill the void, the ineffectual iraqi army. mr. brennan, you said earlier, you talked about the shia militias who recently experienced success against isis. you also made reference to solomoni, is iranian forces leader who really negotiated the second term of al maliki with one condition. that the americans leave.
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that the americans leave. and now, we have a president with a resolution before congress asking for authorization to engage nen militarily. the shia militias are are not there to prop up the iraqi government. they're there to do what solomoni and others in asymmetrical warfare try to do. that is create a prop city in places they want to control. via in southern lebanon, in syria or be it in iraq. my concern is is if we commit american forces and there's no passive wing of the american military. everybody has weapons and fights and die courageously when they do. we are continuing a situation in this country that has been going on for way too long. tom friedman, the author and "new york times" columnist once said iraq, the way it is because saddam was the way he is or is saddam the way he is because iraq is the way it is? i think it just speaks again to
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the sectarian, tribal nature of a place that we are trying to impose a political solution to. we are told that the american military, extraordinary courage, extraordinary commitment. extraordinary effectiveness. could only do one thing. create a breathing space. within within the shia, sunni and kurdish community could achieve political reconciliation including the sharing of oil revenues. it's all a hopeful sign. that that was occurring between the central government in baghdad and kurdistan with a 17% sharing of the national refr knew knews and also, a billion dollars to equip and train the peshmerga, but where our investment has been made financially, where our investment has been made morally has been an abject failure and what we're proposing to do with
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this resolution by the president is continue that failed policy without any clarity about what it is we're going to achieve because when there's no political center, here's what we know. when there's no political center, there are only sides to choose and right now, there's no political center and doebtn't argue the changing of a shia prime minister in iraq is going to mund mentally change the will and commitment of the iraqi national army. now let eets just acknowledge that our investment of $25 billion in the iraqi national army failed. failed miserably because when you say they all ran, 250,000 of
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them in the face of 30,000 isis fighters, well, certainly because iraq is a majority shia country. many of those fighters would be shia, so at least they wouldn't run, so i don't know really what's going on here, but i know where this is leading and i think most americans know where this is leading. it's not noin a good place
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because again, mesh is essentially going it alone. for the third time in two different countries. and unless there's the recognition of minority rights unless there's a recognition of the pluralistic nature of iraq there will never be peace there. >> gentleman's time has expired. thank you. >> thank you, madam chair. being this far down the dayous is of some help because a lot of good questions have been asked. one that i don't think has been covered because we are considering the authorization for use of military force is sort of what we have and what we need. let me just run through it quukly. 2001, the aumf basically said global war on terror al-qaeda. go anywhere, get them. 2002, it was lib rat iraq. i think it's fair to say whether we like the way iraq is is or not, it's been liberated. any new problem in iraq very clearly is a new iraq. that's where i have some real challenges with the president's belief that he has any real authority. but leaving that aside, they're both obsolete. al-qaeda as we knew it is no longer al-qaeda as we knew it.
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as we defined it in 2001, it's really a different organization. is that fair the to say? and anything we do in iraq and syria and other areas in which derivative organizations including isil or dosch is in fact at least fundamentally different or expanded and fits a slightly different definition, so we all agree on that part, i think. so, let me ask the broader question. aren't we dealing with two idea logical group, both of whom are a threat to regional security, to democracy, and to the west to a certain extent? one of them, dosch, is a radicalized derivative of what we once knew as al qaeda. the other, the shia activists, whether it's hezbollah, tehran directly or various groups at any level, are ultimately a group that looks at the 12th imam and his proclamation of what you have to do, which is more or less take the holy lands and bring back all the glory and peace and i listen to the former president of iran at the u.n. in 2012 and he may be crazy, but that's what he was saying is the 12th imam is going to bring this
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all back and it was a call for jihad for the shia. question. and i'll start with dr. brennan, but all of you can answer it. aren't we really dealing with the need to be targeted against both as appropriate and at the same time, and i'll use syria an area i've worked a little bit in, as the poster child. we have if you will, the 12 imam crowd on one side backing assad. and then we have isil. aren't we in a position in which we have to make sure that we give a nimble authority to the president, but one in which we weighs the comparative balances? one in which he clearly does no harm to one group, however reprehensible, that simply advances the other and isn't that really the shia and doctor to you first, the shia sunni
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conflict that we're now in the middle of. it's not just isil, assad, hezbollah. we have me tas sized into a conflict in which many many cases, we're fighting on one side and empowering our enemy on the other side. doctor? >> congressman, i agree with your assessment on that. i think that as we're looking at the conflict between sunni and shia, we have to be understand that this islamist movement is is a cancer that has evolved from various elements of islam and we need to go back and take a look and reenforce those people who are really helping out. king abdullah has made some courageous stands.
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the president in egypt. this has got to be done through them and we have to be politically to encourage them and all of our neighbors, all those neighbors have been our allies over the last ten years 30 years. so, the gulf state saudi arabia arabia, they need to change internally to stop what's going on. >> let me narrow the question. i think you said it well. isn't the president's obligation with whatever authority we give him to work with those who will be forces for moderation or at least tolerance in the region and you mentioned president -- who had been disrespected by this administration in an amazing way. they were quick to recognize the muslim brotherhood and slow to even call the president after he
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was legally elected and obviously, king abdullah as an example of a sunni leader who is simply trying to bring back a moderate sunni border to his near jordan. but quickly, i know my time is expired. this, for me, is the important part. i don't want to topple a syria that iran has power in to get at isil, but i don't want to defeat sunni extremists only to empower a shia aspiration paid for out of a -- iran that since 1975, '79, has consistently managed to ruin country after country and continues doing so. >> thank you, mr. issa. >> thank you to the witnesses for your testimony. and for your excellent written testimony as well. it was very helpful. i want to build for a moment on gentleman from new york's last questions.
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one of the thipgs i'm concerned about is that i don't think we have a clear understanding of what the end game is is or what success even looks like and i think it builds on what you were saying, that it's more than just defeating and killing individuals who are members of a terror terrorist organization, but it's do we have the ability to kill an ideology or radical ideology. i have deep skepticism that continued our deepening military engagement is the solution. real questions about whether it will make it worse because of what you raised in your testimony. but if you think about the role of iraqi security forces and you think about the money we spend and now, we've embarked on a training of the syrian opposition, so-called moderate syrian opposition, who can we have confidence that there will be any different result and over
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what period of time? we're talking about beginning this training process now, presumably isis and isis fighters will not standstill while we sort of get up to speed. so, how should we tell the american people that we should have any confidence after $25 billion of training after training sols that somehow, this time, it's going to be different. that's my first question. my second question is that we talk about the role of our international partners and then learn that 85% of the air strikes are by the u.s. is it just impossible to imagine that the uae and saudi arabia and jordan and egypt who are in the region will take on the chief responsibility for this ground operation and for the air
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strikes? do they just not have the capacity, the interest because of the political context? but everyone seems to suggest it's going to require air strikes and ground operations to be successful. whatever that means. but nobody seems to have identified who the ground troops are and we talk about peshmerga, which is great and they're doing a terrific job, but there are these allies who have real armies. i'm interested in why they're not playing a role. i have one more, but want to make sure you have time to respond to those two. >> the reason the united states provides so much air support is because we have the capacity to do that. the other allies in the region jordan being a stronger one, has capacity, but it's limited and i think what they're doing now is probably as much they can. in terms of ground forces as the
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ambassador commented earlier each one of these countries has an islamist problem in their own country and those armies that are there that they have are being used to maintain security of those countries, so they came to some, but still need to maintain security with its own borders, so that's a challenge for them. >> first of all, i have a lot of sympathy with that you've said because i've been out there and lived this. again, it's not just in the middle east. since world war ii, we have had conflict after conflict, where the number of saudis, the number of infantry companies on the ground have been somewhere between 50 and 90% american. allies often flee or leave behind their american equipment. they were doing that, as i said, in june of 1950 in south korea. we've seen it ever since.
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we've also seen, though including in korea, including in vietnam, i've seen it with my own eyes, including in iraq, where they turn around and go back. often we, including small numbers of we, can make and do make a difference. but there i will agree with mr. higgins. particularly in the middle east in my 18 years, countinger it turkey, that i served there, i never felt one day that i was in a good place. >> i want to give dr. rand a moment to also respond, please. sorry to interrupt you. >> these are two excellent excellent questions. i think the answers are actually linked. what is different about this enterprise right now is actually the partners that are involved. if you consider november and december the reformation of the iraqi government, these arab neighbors were not at all interested in the formation of
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the iraqi government post-saddam. they were not there. the ambassador can attest to this. they were distancing themselves from iraq. they sent no ambassadors, had no themembassyies embassies. it was really unprecedented that all the neighbors were involved in the prime minister getting started. to me, none of this is particularly promising, but that is a source of promise, suggesting there could be a chance for this new iraqi government that will be
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different than the mistakes of its predecessors. thank you. >> thank you. i yield back. >> mr. brooks of alabama. >> thank you, madam chairman. i want to follow up on some of the comments of my colleagues of rhode island and california and some of the responses. plus, some of the written testimony we've had the benefit of. dr. brennan stated in response to a question that the islamic state has, quote, metastasized from various elements of islam, end quote. further, in dr. brennan's written testimony, i'm going to read some quotes. quote, while the threat is often portrayed as terrorism, the true danger is the ideology that provides the logic of extremism, violence, and acts of inhumanity, end quote. next, another dr. brennan quote. whilekilled, the ideology of jihadism is great rer than ever, end quote. again from dr. brennan. quote, while the tactic of
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terrorism is frequently the immediate threat, i think it is critical to know that the ideology underlying these actions seeks revolutionary change of the existing political and social order. thus, the strategic challenge of our generation isn't one particular group of insurgents of terrorists, it is the ideology that gives them cause defeating this ideology will require development of a grand strategy that employs all elements of national power and influence. finally, dr. rand, i'm going to quote from her written remarks. quote, isil's savage tactics are at the very core of its ideology. while al qaeda justifies individual suicide bombing attacks against civilians and
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civilian areas, isil has adopted a new ideology, manipulating select stories from islamic history and modern jihadi text to redefine jihad and to generate a blanket justification for violence, including against women and children, end quote. if we take these remarks of dr. rand and dr. brennan on face value, dr. brennan, can america permanently defeat the islamic state and other islamic terrorist organizations without also defeating the underlying ideology that attracts so many fighters to their cause? >> short answer to that is no. what we find is that the -- this is an ideology of revolution.
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and if during the late 20th century we had marxism, today this is it. we have to confront the ideology. >> dr. rand, do you concur the answer is no, that we have to defeat the ideology that breeds so many reinforcements to the islamic state and other islamic terrorist organizations? >> certainly, congressman. and we are. this is one of the nine pillars where the coalition is working on the counterradicalization countering violent extremism. what's promising in this regard is some of our arab partners are beginning and starting programs in their own countries to counter this ideology. recently in egypt, for example they issued against that. >> with respect, how can america
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best conduct itself to defeat the underlying islamic ideology of the islamic state and its breatheren islamic terrorist organizations? whoever wants to answer. >> i'll start. i agree with the problem. i would be very skeptical of the idea of we, the united states, or the western world, defeating a philosophical concept or distortion of a religion. that's a very tricky thing. the vast majority of muslims around the world are not our enemies. they look at their religion differently than the isis people and the people around. >> ok. i'm not asking for an overall
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picture of what's going on. i'm asking for what has to be done to defeat it. i have limited time. >> fair enough. stop the military manifestations of it, which is what we're doing with isis, which is what we're trying to do with iran on nuclear weapons. and give the people of the region the space and support those who are strong in fending off this threat among themselves. >> dr. brennan? a few seconds left. how do we defeat the ideology? >> continue to work with people like king abdullah and president sissi so we have the cure from this, of this cancer coming from within islam.
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>> dr. rand? just a few seconds left. any additional words? >> i would add the people in the sunni heartland across iraq and syria, they're mostly tribes. they don't necessarily inherently subscribe to this' diology. what we're trying to do is give them a chance. they have been exploited, too, by the isis groups that are in there midst. so we're trying to help them. >> thank you, madam chairman for the additional 15 seconds. >> thank you, mr. brooks. dr. berra. >> thank you, madam chairman. thank you, witnesses. dr. brennan, was i correct in hearing you say we've been involved in 25 years of continuous engagement in iraq? >> to clarify, on and off for 25 years. i was counting the time at beginning of the gulf war. >> on and off. as we look at this current engagement, it's accurate to say we're not talking about years we're talking about prolonged periods of time, perhaps decades. no one disagrees with that. dr. brennan, in answer to my colleague from rhode island, when asked about who can provide the numbers of ground troops in order to maintain stability to create that open space, i think you characterized it as our allies in the region have limited capabilities, limited ground troops, and those ground troops largely are tied up within their own countries. is that accurate? >> they are tied up, but that doesn't mean they can't provide some. what i think we have to have is reasonable expectations about what they can do based upon their own internal security interests.
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>> so in this larger debate, much of the debate is, you know, what the united states involvement is, what our troops' involvement is. no one is discounting that, you know, isil is -- these are monsters. these are despicable individuals. these are folks that are distorting a religion, and we do have national security threats and we do have an interest in, you know, ridding the region of this ideology. but it's not going to be easy. and it is going to be prolonged. and it is going to take decades. you know, i disagree with my colleague, mr. salmons. i think it's our responsibility as members of congress to be engaged in defining the context of what this engagement looks like. not in prosecuting this. that's up to our military commanders, our diplomats and so forth. but engaging. i think the public wants us to be engaged in this definition. so i think that is a good thing. this is not going to be easy. there clearly is a scenario.jeffrey, you talked about some of the bad guys here. assad, iran, others. you can clearly see a scenario where you defeat isil, you drive them out, where you see this chain from iran to a shia-dominated iraq to assad to hezbollah to hamas. we have to be conscious that you know, that is one outcome here, which is not an outcome i desire. i think it's an outcome that, you know, puts some of our closest allies in a very precarious position. and maybe even creates a worse seecenario in this. as we members of congress engage in this debate, we have to be very conscious of all possible scenarios.
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ambassador jeffrey, you touched on, you know, the lessons from vietnam that -- i can imagine a ground campaign in iraq with shia my shia militia, with iraqi forces, a prolonged ground come pain that drives out iraq. but what happens in that bordering country in syria? there isn't a moderate syrian force that can cut off that line of retreat. that then draws us into another rabbit hole. and another prolonged scenario. so, you know, i guess in the minute i have, i think starting with dr. rand, these scenarios that i'm laying out, are they inaccurate? and the questions we should be thinking about asking. >> sure. obviously none of this is clear and the outcomes are not predetermined. this is a very difficult region. it's undergoing generational change in the form of the popular uprisings that have weakened state authority across the region. we don't need to get in to all the factors that are making this an unprecedented moment in the region. of course, there's dangerous potential. but, you know, the strategy is trying to figure out the political end game, as i said in the written testimony, in each
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of these particularsyria, the idea of inserting a trained moderate opposition faction, 5,000 fighters, is smart because this is the type of fighters that we could ally with. these are the type of fighters that have a chance. >> but it will take time. it will take time to train, to equip, to create this capable fighting force. ambassador jeffrey? again, as i'm thinking about this, am i thinking about this in the correct context? >> thank you, doctor, but your time is limited. mr. perry of pennsylvania. >> thank you, madam chair. i'd like to thank the panel for your service. dr. brennan, additional thanks to you for your time in uniform. i'd like to associate myself with my colleagues brooks and higgins in their remarks. and just before i get started, regarding the contention that none of what we've tried in this arena has worked in the past and we tried to provide the breathing space, i think you must acknowledge that america was providing the support for the breathing space. of course it's not going to work when you walk away and no longer provide the support. that having been said, to dr. brennan, i think we've already agreed that isis is a symptom of a portion of a larger challenge. would you agree with that? i mean, i think we've said that before, but i want to clarify. and you said it should be the first priority. you particularly said that.
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would it be fair for me to characterize -- i think everybody is looking for a way to characterize it as a global violent jihad movement. could that be a way of characterizing it? >> i think it is, but i think when you do that, you also need to ensure that it addresses both sides of the equation. >> sure. absolutely. we also have acknowledged that we're in the middle of a shia/sunni civil war, sharia dogma. but let me ask you this. they fight each other, they hate each other on occasion, what have you, but they see us, the west, the united states as a common enemy. they will getting to and fight us. is that true or not true? >> i think if we're there in a large capacity, then we will attract those forces to attack us. we had that situation in iraq where we were both being attacked by the shia -- >> but even if we're not there in large forces, i mean, they travel the globe looking for us and the west. >> we don't need to do anything for them to attack us. >> right. we've already proven that right.
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and people say we've incited this and caused it. i think that's a little is a peeshs. for dr. brennan, we've already kind of broached the question the aumf why now, article ii powers, the first aumf. i look at administration's track record. look at it from a member of congress' standpoint. libya, syria, yemen, the side they chose in egypt, what's happened in iraq. we declare, he prosecutes. in my mind, he hasn't prosecuted very well. no disrespect intended, but i just went down through the list. is there some rationale of thinking that the president might be looking for a compliciter? an ineffective policy, strategy. i don't want to call it a strategy. a plan, an execution, a something. i don't see a strategy, but we're going to get to that quickly. is that a fair rationale? i mean, i'm not saying it's not the end result, but is it reasonable to think that people could feel that way?
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>> not going into the motivation of the president, it is fair to say that he is looking to have congress as a participant in this process. >> agreed. can i stop you there? ambassador, i agree with you that military force is not the only answer. tediously, i'm a student of clause. it's an extension of diplomacy. that having been said, what about -- and where is the appropriate place for the associated actors here in this country and abroad that enable that fund, that support through fighters and material? how should they be dealt with in an aumf? and if not, where? >> you mean the people who are supporting the isis movement? >> the people that support the global jihadist movement. >> i think that -- >> and the organizations that have vowed publicly that we let walk around among us, that we have in this building and down the street. what about them? where do we deal with them if we're in this fight committed to winning? and where is that in the strategy? >> it is in the strategy, as my colleague pointed out. it is actually a nine-track strategy, which internationally is a five-track strategy. but it's actually -- it includes of all that. the problem is some of this is political, some of it is legal. pursuing some of these people
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requires american laws and judicial action. >> we have a couple hundred maybe or more unindicted co-conspirators in the holy land foundation trial. they're walking around among us here. if you say this is a strategy that includes going after these people and that american laws are stopping us, there's one person that's stopping us. it's the attorney general. because he refuses to prosecute them. how do you explain to me that this is an authorization without a strategy? the strategy is an aspirational goal of defeating the enemy. that's it because in reality we aren't going to do the hard things that need to be done. >> i think the congressional record of declarations of war and things like declarations of war including this one have not tried to expand into these very complicated ideological, legal and other things but rather authorize the use of military force as part of that strategy. you need an explanation of that strategy. you knead anneed an explanation of why those people
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have not been arrested and what we're doing about them as part of your analysis of our whole process here, but i wouldn't stick it in the legislation. >> appreciate your thoughts. >> lois frankel of florida. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you to the panel. let me just start, there have been many folks on this panel who served our country. i want to thank them. i come from a little different perspective because i have a son who i saw go to two wars. sorry if i babble or get emotional. but i wanted to say that i'm lucky he came home safely. i cannot tell you how horrific it was for his family. i don't even -- so when i went to -- and i think of the families who have lost their children, their loved ones, the morbidity of the thousands of soldiers who return and we have to say what for? so for me, so make a decision of whether to send someone else's child into harm's way is, i think, the biggest decision or most important one that i will make in congress. and i feel like we have been given this huge jigsaw puzzle where the pieces do not fit. my colleagues today have made a lot of -- asked a lot of good questions, a lot of good comments. i can't repeat all of them, but i have a number. you could just pick which ones
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you want to answer. i feel like we're in conflict all over the world. and we have to have some strategy. what is the most important enemy to be focused on? we're trying to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. obviously they're a player against isil. we're trying to weaken russia. obviously they're a player with assad. that's just two examples. you've identified that we have to go after al qaeda as well. how does the past aumf affect that and repealing that? what about -- is military action the only way? how does humanitarian aid fit into this or educating women? i mean, is this the only way out? and where does it leave us? who fills the void if we get isil? i mean, i could ask a lot more questions. so start with those and go at it. >> while i cite sized earlier,
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the president's national security strategy does talk about that. it does a pretty good job. you know, while i'm a doom and glad guy, because that's where i've been deployed for many years, i'll have to say this is a much safer, better world now than it was when i started in this business as an army lieutenant in 1969. and that's largely because of the united states, the executive branch, the congressional support, and the american people and what we've done. so even though it's a jigsaw, we don't like working in this jigsaw any more than you do observing it. we wish we could give you a clean, sensible way forward. we're painfully aware we're not. but that's how we've lived with it. and what we have seen in our lives, in my case almost 50 years now, we've seen a lot of progress and we've seen that smart use of military force with all of the other things you said combined working with allies actually does work. we usually don't have the end game spelled out because we never know. we didn't have it spelled out
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with come youmunism. we thought we would contain it bush it back, go against it and hope for the best and it worked out. that's about all i can tell you. but i'm pretty optimistic in the long run. i share your frustration at the jug jigsaw. >> i agree with the complexity congresswoman. i think you raise a lot of good -- i like the image of a jigsaw puzzle. i think that's apt. in this particular aumf with the isisayeisis threat, in some ways there are three different theaters. it helps for me to think of them separately. the third, which is the global con testation of ideas, where there's a marketplace of ideas and change and social movements and twitter and all kinds of youth bulge all over the world not just the arab world that are leading to some of the radicalization causes. the tools need to be refined and
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specific to each of these three domains where our partners will be different, where our foes will be different, where the patrons of the foes will be different, et cetera. >> and i'd just add that it is a jigsaw puzzle. it's a very complex issue, but i think that leads back to a piece i put in the paper. we need to be thinking about how do you develop a grand strategy that moves us for the next 30 years as we address this issue. we had the strategy of containment that came out in nfc-68. we need to be doing that same type of thinking about this current world that we're in. how do we carry this forward using all elements, not just military? military is just one piece. >> ok. we go now to mr. reid ruble of wisconsin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this has been really an insightful hearing. i thank all three of you for
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being here. i would like to start with dr. brennan. we've heard from some of our colleagues here today that almost an implicit idea that we should just leave this to the region. if we leave this fight to take care of isis to our regional partners and just step back out of it, one, what do you think would happen as a result of that strategy, and would the u.s. homeland be put at risk implementing that strategy? >> thanks for the question congressman. i think that if we -- since president carter, the united states has taken on the responsibility of being the guarantor of regional security in that part of the world. we have vital interests both with our partners as well as europe and our own economy that are at stake here. if we pull out, it'll create a huge power vacuum that will be filled by these very organizations that we wish to stop.
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so i think that would be the exact worst thing to do. and the perception unfortunately from the withdrawal of u.s. forces in 2011 by many of our partners in it the region is that we are disengaging from the region. we have to convince them that's not true. part of the ways of doing that is by being more active in what we're doing in iraq, showing that we're committed. the argument i made on putting troops on the ground, unless you put troops on the ground, you aren't showing commitment. i think if nothing else, that's one of the big benefits we'll get out of this. >> thank you. ambassador jeffrey, in your written testimony, in the second paragraph, you talked about the campaign with our coalition partners and its strategy. i'm going to quote out of here. building up political capacity with our partners in iraq and syria is one thing you wrote. then you wrote, combatting the violent extremist ideology that fuels isis.
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could you give us some specific ways that our partners along with the united states are combatting the violent extremist ideology? also, could you tell us how successful our political capacity efforts in syria are. >> to start with the latter, they're not very successful. we don't have a good argument for the sunni arabs who are fighting against the assad regime and simultaneously against the isis people. our long-term program to train a few thousand people is not an answer. what is our long-term vision of syria? we have a long-term vision for iraq. i mean, i can spell it out. it's not too different than it's been since 2003. and it's sometimes one-half one-third, 60% there. that's a unified iraq with the
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three groups living in something approaching harmony. the people we're supporting in iraq, the kurds, many of these sunni tribes, many of the other sunni politicians i know are working together to some degree, better than in the recent past certainly, and they are all opposed to this kind of violent extreme perversion of religion that we see in isis and that we see in iran. and they are our allies. but they need a lot of support because if we did just walk away, the bad guys win, as dr. brennan said. >> is there a specific strategy, though, that you can use to combat the extremist ideology? or is this just flowery language that ended up in a strategy statement because it sounds good? >> it's kind of like only more complicated, how did we respond to communism? there that was different because it was an alternative vision of how we should live. this is how these people should live and what they should draw from their religion. the basic -- the first thing is fight those people who are coming out after us and coming out after the moderates. secondly, make it clear that this is not a war against islam. we're not trying to take anybody's territory. we want to live in peace with
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the 1.4 billion muslims around the world. and support people who understand and get that. support them politically support it through our propaganda by other words, support it through our economic assistance and our diplomacy. and i think that this will work. >> thank you. dr. rand, a question specifically for you. you seem fairly supportive of the president's language in the aumf. why would it necessarily be bad for congress to give broader authority than the president is even asking? because he then would still have the ability to choose to restrain himself or not. why is that a bad idea? >> the aumf is filling a lot of roles. we've talked about a lot of them today.
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>> could you please move that closer to you so we can hear you? >> the aumf is serving a lot of roles. we've talked about a lot of them today, policy and legal. we haven't really hit on one of them, which is the legitimizing role it's playing and the message it's sending to our partners in this coalition and to the people in the region. so -- and to the american public, which by the way public opinion polls show majority are opposed to more extensive use of ground forces in this fight. so i think it hits the right target. it balances between the need to send the message that we're not going to re-enter, re-engage the same kind of engagement, boots on the ground we've had for the past ten years. that was deeply unpopular here at home in the united states and in the region. >> mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you. we go now to mr. jerry connolly of virginia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome to the panel. by the way, ambassador jeffrey where are you from originally? >> just north of boston. >> where? >> saugua. >> i'm from boston. thought i heard something similar. all right. dr.
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brennan, i want to make sure i understood what you were saying about boots on the ground. where and how many? >> what i've suggested that we be able to do -- >> and again, if you could pull the microphone closer. thank you. >> what i've suggested is that the commanders in the field be allowed to have the types of capabilities that they need. >> which field are we talking about? >> i'm talking about iraq today. and i believe what we need is to put -- have a greater advise train, and assist role. we need to be able to put special operations forces down at the tactical level using a teams and b teams. we may need to put supporting elements that are out there. in my view, we're probably looking at a package of somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000 troops. again, that's kind of a general range. but the bigger issue is that's
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today, based on today's situations and conditions. as we get into the situation of having to take back mosul, there might be a different need and different determination that's necessary for that mission. i think the commanders need to be able to have the flexibility to come back and say, this is what we need for success. >> got you. thank you so much. just a real quick question for you and then i want to go to dr. jeffrey. and do you agree that an aumf is in order, that the president is and do you agree that a amf is in order? >> i think it is very useful to go through this discussion. if so, how they should utilize it.
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let's all work together, muslim and non-muslim alike against the insanity perpetrated by the script. that certainly sounds good to an american audience. but are we somewhat unwittingly the handmaidens of the creation of isis in that way so long supported the maliki government and was perceived as absolutely hostile by the sunni population. and it continues to support -- even with the barbarity of isis and the violence of isis in this sunni population. they're looking at what are my choices? they are looking at where do i
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throw my lot? where's my future. and it's a hostile shia government that is exclude me which is worse or at least a sunni group that is fighting on my behalf allegedly somehow violent -- set -- however violent it may be? >> you are right, that is how a lot of sunnis think about they malecki government and how a lot of the sunnis think about us. it is centered in your phrase supporting them. a lot of the pundits and the media had given the act that we make or break governments.
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for its own reasons wanted to form a coalition with the shia coalition that led to malarkey being in power. maliki being in power. the question is will we with draw arson or to overthrow it? how are we going to do it to -- i was there. i tried to find alternative. we all saw problems with maliki. we have problems with people in the middle east that we have to do business with says there are other people that are worse. x thank you.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. i think it is good that the president has brought a use of force against isis. my litmus test will be absolutely simple. . when he was talking about dropping bombs and iraqi enforcement's -- to get them to show up to work. expecting no threat that day, to get them to show up on a precinct that is a quarter-mile from the house relying on elements from the ground that has no morale, no patriotism, no training node will for
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something that we have to take into account. in that speech the resident said that it would be different from past is because there will be no boots on the ground. in the same speech, he said i am sending additional true to iraq. someone shows me a picture of the grandson and he is wearing boots. those boots are on the ground. use of boots on the ground here in washington, the reality is we have done the ground right now and i think we need to not worry about 12 polls say or what worry sound that's what wording sounds the best. we has some of the greatest special operations forces in the world. army rangers, green berets navy seals, delta force, when we took about its on the ground, we are
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not talking about an enduring occupation. no one is talking about that. i don't support that. but i tell you what i do want. for a member of isis to sleep with one eye open. the fear of putting a lat -- a round of lead between their eyes. logistics, command and control. they need to have the funding streams to cut them out. we need to increase our funding abilities. these are increasingly important. american exceptionalism isn't about strategic patience ran out. it's about excess solution that only respects strength. if we wait five years, l what we are going to be up against the will be 500 times greater than
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what it is right now. i want to support the president's use of force. i also want to do my due diligence. i want to know how many troops. what are their missions? who is in charge? the president talks about necessary and appropriateness. to him, what is necessary and appropriate? i received a letter from someone who is watching and their people at home watch these hearings. he says as a parent of a lieutenant come i have no doubt he will do his duty with valor and distinction. however, unless the president can articulate our goals the resident explain strategies specifically designed to achieve those goals and include the utter destruction of isis were with a function and the troops are given whatever they need
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however long they need it without imitation in terms of weapons attack x i've suggest you vote against the documentation. it is an attempt to audit why a failed strategy to prevail. it is something that congress will not let him. i will be dammed if my son will risk his life for a failed strategy. war is an all or nothing thing here either authorize the full force or do not send our troops into harm's way. either fight to win or not fight at all. lives have been lost. limbs have been lost. mr. earth days, missed anniversaries, missed holidays. we are not looking for conflict
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but conflict has found us. it's time for us to defeat isis. we need to go all out and get the job done for not send our troops into harm's way. >> we go now to ms. grace ming of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, ranking member rangel and for all of our honorable witnesses for being here today. i sort of want to piggy back off of what mr. ribble had previously asked about what coalition members should be prepared to do to continue delegitimizing isis' ideology. for example, a recent report indicated that around 4,000 foreign fighters have joined isis since the air strikes began. are there specific strategies that coalition members should be employing to further prevent the flow of foreign fighters into syria and iraq? part two of that question is often talked about. isis calls
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themselves an islamic state. what name might you suggest we in america and around the world and in the media use to describe this barbaric group so as not to confer any undue sense of legitimacy? anyone can -- >> those are excellent questions, congresswoman. i would just add that i'll defer the second one to my colleagues. the first one, it's very interesting the types of political capital that's needed to be invested by leaders in the arab and muslim world to fight to counter radicalization. some of the examples i mentioned earlier were the leaders of saudi arabia and egypt have helped their clerics issue fat whats condemning isis' violence. there's also the importance of social media. the united states government is not the only government that has a technical capacity to tweet against isis. in fact, this is one sort of less reported part of the technical capacity that's being done. we're helping our coalition governments build these anti-social media websites, et cetera.
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it's a small thing, but it's an important thing given the percentage of the youth who are being radicalized in many of these societies. on the foreign fighters, my understanding is that the foreign fighters flowing into syria and iraq has been slowed in the past three or four months based on a couple of factors. one was turkey. we've increased our diplomacy or the coalition has increased its diplomacy and its technical capacity building efforts with turkey, and turkey has improved its border security. so there's a lot of this that's technical that you need to do with partners. it's better if it's done in a coalition so it's not just the united states telling people how to do better border security how to fight foreign fighters. finally, i'll just mention the u.n. security council resolution that the president introduced in september that was basically condemning and urging all member states to stop the flow of foreign fighters. >> let me just go back to your question on the name. i think we should join our arab
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friends in the region and start calling them daesh. they are not the islamic state. they do not represent islam. they are an offchute of that religion, but they do not represent it. and i think that would be a good way for us both in the government and academia and others to try to show solidarity with our arab allies. but defeating the ideology, it goes back to working with those leaders in those countries helping them, supporting them, giving them the type of support they need. in the case of iraq, iraq has a lot of problems. i'm not certain where it's going to go. half the time i think it's going to survive, and the other half i think it's going to fracture. but the reality is that we've invested a trillion dollars and million man years of labor and there's a possibility that this may be saved. if that's the case, we should continue to work on it. let me just take a little bit off for a second.
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we missed a great opportunity in 2006 when the maliki government needed us the most and we did not push for reconciliation. i think at this point in time when the iraqi government needs us, that a part of our strategy has got to be and our support for them has got to be honest to goodness reconciliation that is not going to walk away from as soon as the problem is over. >> thank you. i'll try to answer my last question fast. secretary kerry previously testified that the u.s. would be iraqi, kurdish, peshmerga going through baghdad so as not to undermine the central government. has this prevented them from getting what they need to effective will i fight ayeisis? and how will the central government in baghdad view an effort to provide military equipment directly to the kurds? >> it did prevent the transfer of equipment when i was
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ambassador. i don't have the straatistics now, but the kurds certainly believe it has. they cite, as we heard earlier only 25 of hundreds of armored vehicles that have been provided to them. while there's some pretty good reasons why we're careful on what we give them, the point is they're fighting. they are the allies of baghdad. and a lot of these weapons systems are no threat to baghdad, but they are a threat to isis, and they should be flowing. >> we'll go now to mr. tom emmer of minnesota. >> i'll try to be brief. i apologize for going back and forth. there seem to be a whole bunch of things going on at the same time. and i don't want to cover old ground, but i'm afraid i might touch a little bit. my understanding, first we're here because the president has requested renewed authorization for military force. and it seems everything that i've read and everything that i've been listening to including your testimony
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everybody agrees that isil must be defeated. there seems to be absolutely no disagreement. i heard today, and i think this is for you, dr. brennan, if you would. the others can certainly expand on it. you must first start by stopping the military manifestations. we've had reference to you got to cut off the revenue sources. you've got to -- i just wrote another one down listening to the testimony. we have the ability to interrupt or interfere with internet social media, the like. i'd love to know to the extent this new authorization of military force. is that something the administration is planning on doing on every level? and how are we going to know what the strategy is? i'll tell you, i agree with my colleague from new york. i would offer that the executives should have all the
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authority that he needs to make sure that whatever the situation is, as fluid as it may be, you can deploy whatever resources are necessary to take the action that's necessary to win, not just hold something at bay. and i guess i'll add this for the ambassador. i thought i heard you say earlier that we've never ventured into -- that our country has never ventured into combatting such a complex ideology. all that came to mind was fascism and marxism. i would just ask you to help me with that because you've got that background. so dr. brennan, could you fill us in? what needs to be done?
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>> i think the first thing that we need to do is -- and i think the president is doing this correct. this is an iraq-first issue. how do you defeat isis in iraq? go after their finances to the extent we can. much more complex than it was when we were there earlier. you use the internet, social media. you attack the ideology. >> continue the air strikes? >> enhance air strikes. i think we need to do much more in the way of air than we've been doing. but that will require, again back to my point, you got to put boots on the ground, our forces with those four leading elements. not necessarily do the direct fighting, but to be able to reach back and pull the resources of the u.s. government. one of the things on the aumf that said the president was going to use our unique capabilities. i believe that as being air. i've got to tell you, u.s. ground forces capabilities whether it be special forces conventional forces, or army or marine, are unique. it's not that one individual you put out this. it's that joint capacity that
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you bring to the battle tooeld. if we're going to make certain our allies are going to be successful, we got to be out there with them. >> so my question then, dr. brennan, because we are so limited on time, is if congress is going to authorize the additional military force that the executive is asking for, why wouldn't congress authorize the executive to take whatever action with whatever unique resources are available? because this is such an immediate and dangerous threat not just to this country, but the entire globe. why wouldn't the authorization be that broad? >> i personally think it probably should be that broad. again, the president can restrict what he chooses to do but i think this aumf is going to continue beyond this presidency. what we shouldn't do is limit the next president based upon what this president may not want to do. >> last question. mr. ambassador, i'm sorry if i'm getting pinched. that's what i would expect as
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the answer, just common sense would tell me, not necessarily the experience because i don't have yours. but the only limitation i'm going to ask you if this is accurate or if you would disagree with this. the only limitation, if there was one, should be in the amount of time so that it has to come back to congress for reauthorization and a discussion of what the strategy has been, where it's been. would that be the only -- >> i think that would be perfectly acceptable to put a period of time. >> how long? >> i would go beyond the three years. maybe four years so the next president has time to look at it, to revise the strategy, and make the changes he needs before it comes back. >> thank you. my time is expired. >> representative from florida. >> section 2c of the president's draft authorization for the use of military force reads as follows. the authority granted in subsection a does not authorize
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the use of u.s. armed forces in enduring offensive ground combat operations. ambassador jeffrey, what does enduring mean? >> my answer would be a somewhat sarcastic one. whatever the executive at the time defines enduring as. i have a real problem with that. >> dr. brennan? >> i have a real problem with that also. not only because -- i don't know what it means. i can just see the lawyers fighting over the meaning of this. but more importantly f lyimportantly, if you're looking at committing forces for something that's vital or an important interest to the united states and you get in the middle of a battle, and all of the sudden are you on offense or defense? what happens if neighbors cause problems? wars never end the way that they were envisioned. so i think that's really a terrible mistake to put in the aumf. >> dr. rand? >> enduring in my mind specifies an open endedness.
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it specifies lack of clarity on a particular objective at hand. >> dr. rand, is two weeks enduring? >> i would leave that to the lawyers to determine exactly. >> so your answer is you don't know. >> yeah. >> how about two months? >> i don't know. again, i think it would depend on the particular objective. enduring in my mind is not having a particular military objective in mind. >> so you don't really know what it means. is that a fair statement? >> enduring in my mind means open ended. >> all right. section five of the draft authorization of the use of military force reads as follows. in this joint resolution, the term associated persons or forces means individuals and organizations fighting for, on behalf of, or alongside isil or any closely related. ambassador jeffrey, what does alongside isil mean? >> i didn't draft this thing but -- >> nor did i.
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>> but i would have put that in there if i had been drafting it. the reason is i think they went back to 2001. of course, this is the authorization we're still using along with the 2002 one for this campaign. and these things morph. for example, we've had a debate over whether isis is really an element of al qaeda. it certainly was when i knew it, as al qaeda in iraq in 2010 to 2012. and these semantic arguments confuse us and confuse our people on the ground in trying to deal with these folks. you'll know it when you see it if it's an isis or it's an ally of isis. >> how about the free syrian army? are they fighting alongside isil in syria? >> no, they're not fighting alongside isil. in fact, often they're fighting against isil and isil against them in particular. >> what about assad?
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is he fighting for or against? it's hard to tell that score card, isn't it? >> it sure is. >> yeah, what about you, dr. brennan? can you tell me what alongside isil means? >> i really couldn't. it might be -- the 9/11 commission uses the phrase radical islamist organizations. i think maybe if we went to wording like that. it includes all of those 52 groups that adhere to this type of ideology that threaten the united states. but we're putting ourselves in boxes. as you said, congressman, i'm trying to understand what that means, what the limits are, who we're dealing with is very confusing. >> dr. rand? >> first of all, i believe that the confusion is probably a function of the fact that this is an unclassified document. it's not going to specify exactly which group or considered associates. that would be for a classified setting. but second, as i said in the testimony, the nature of the alliances within isil are changing and are fluid. those who are targeting the military experts know exactly who is a derivative or an associate or an ally of isis at any given moment.
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>> why are you so confident about it? seems to me it's a matter of terminology, not a matter of ascertainable fact. >> based on my public service i've seen some of the lawyers and some of the methodologies. >> here's the $64 billion question for you, ambassador jeffrey. then if we have time, for you others. if you can't tell us, you three experts can't tell us what these words mean, what does that tell us? ambassador jeffrey. >> that it's very difficult to be using a tool basically designed to declare war or something like war on a nation state, which has a fixed definition against a group that morphs, that changes its name, that has allies and other things. do we not fight it? we have to fight it. are we having a hard time define it? you bet.
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>> dr. brennan? >> i agree with the ambassador. i think the issue that we need to be looking at is trying to broaden terminology and understand that it is -- that organizations or groups that adhere to this ideology and make it broad enough that if one pops up in a different country that is doing the same thing, that is a sister of this organization, the president has the authority to act. >> dr. brennan, i think you just described a blank check, which i'm not willing to give to the president or anybody else. but thank you for your time. >> we go now to to mr. ron from florida. >> the white house said he had authority to act based on the 2001 and 2002 aumf. so the media is reporting that he's asking congress for authority, but by their own view, he's asking congress to restrict and limit the authority, both by whatever -- and i agree these terms are
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nebulous, but having some prohibition on the use of ground forces and having a time limit -- and i agree with the witnesses. i don't think that's an effective way to fight an enemy. i think you need to determine the enemy, determine the strategy, and then bring all force to bear or be willing to do that. obviously the commander in chief needs to make these decisions. so i'm trying to figure out what is motivating this. i think it's because if you look at the way things are going, if you look at the strategy that's in place or lack of strategy this is not going to succeed. and i think everybody understands that. so i think the president is looking to get congress on his strategy so he can point the finger at us and say these guys limited me. we all thought this was a good idea. right now he's kind of out there. congress is urging him to do different. and he gave an interview this week where he said, look terrorism, the news makes a big
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deal about it. it's just something, like a big city mayor. you got to deal with criminals and stuff. i'm thinking like giuliani when he used to get these guys with the squeegees. is that really how you're seeing it? so i'm skeptical of the motivation for doing this now. let me ask you this, dr. brennan. i think that it kind of informs where we're going. is the problem a group of violent extremeists who happen to go by the name of isis or whatever you want to call them, or is this a global jihad that presents national security implications and threatens our national security and our allies, not just in this part of syria or that part of iraq, but really in countries across the globe. >> i think it's useful to look at this as not as a terrorist organization. it is a global phenomena we're seeing. and i think you can also look at it as a global insurgency where you have sister organizations sprouting up all over the world, fighting in support of the same ideology, even though they may not have direct linkage or direct command and control. again, if i may use loosely the
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analogy of the 20th century when we had marxist revolutions all over the world. many of them didn't like each other, but they supported each other in different ways. >> dr. rand mentioned, i think accurately, that a lot of these sunni tribesmen in iraq, certainly when i was serving there, they're really not jihadists. they're sunni arabs, and if they they back then aqi was better than the deal they get with the central government, then they were apt to do that. and if they think it's a shiite government, that's going to push them further. i guess my question is, if you look at the administration's policy, there's a clear attempt to have a major reproachment with iran. if to you look at yemen now potentially an iran client state, the assad -- i know we've been through different
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machinations there, but i think the administration is content to leave assad there. and so if you're just the average sunni arab wanting to figure out should you kind of work with the americans and whatever forces we may be supporting or should you work with some of the sunni jihadist groups, if they see us as as a facilitating shiite domination of the region, isn't that going to push some of these sunni arabs who are not necessarily jihadists into the arms of the more radical sunni groups? ambassador? >> absolutely, which is why we can't pick a side in the sunni/shia struggle any more than we can pick a side in the christian/muslim struggle in the balkans. we have to have a set of values and friends who accept them and go after everybody who's violating them, whether they're coming out of mosul or they're coming out of tehran or they're coming out of damascus. >> so if you have, for example isis fighters threatening the
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outer baghdad belts you have shiite militia groups which we have considered to be terrorists when we were in iraq and that are supported by iran's cudds force, some said there is an alliance with the u.s., you know. we were supporting some of the anti-isis forces and other parts of iraq and we're essentially relying on the iranian backed forces to keep isis out of baghdad. is that a sustainable strategy? >> in the long run, no, but there is a saying you slay the wolf closest to the sled. right now when isis is moving forward, we should be working with anybody that can stop them. but they have really not moved forward anymore. now we have to figure out how to go get them. >> mr. ted deutch, ranking member of the middle east subcommittee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to the witnesses for your willingness to come and stay through all the questions. i would like to associate myself with many of my colleagues'
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comments on the tragic death of kayla mueller. i welcome the president's request for an authorization to use military force against isil. we deserve to have a real and robust debate to make sure our mission is clear and to make sure past mistakes are not repeated. i would like to follow up -- the last two members, both of my florida colleagues had said, and i want to start by asking ambassador jeffrey, in this discussion about whether ground troops are needed to combat isis, we talk about the president has spoken a lot about letting our partners in the region take the lead. question is what would be the impact of having jordanian or emirati troops on the ground what would the united states role be in getting back to the -- back and forth that all of you had a little while ago, how would our -- would our
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role serving aside those troops in a -- in something less than an enduring -- or could our role be described as anything less than an enduring and offensive role? >> i think that, again, i didn't draft this thing, but the draft is probably wanted to link enduring and offensive because we have an enduring presence in the middle east. we had combat troops in kuwait for over a decade, since i was there in the mid-'90s. it isn't the question of enduring. it gets to could we use jordanian troops, absolutely but there are lots of political problems and frankly we have never seen arab troops on the offensive in any of our earlier wars, not in iraq and not 2003 with a few exceptions, not in afghanistan and not in kuwait.
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there are huge taboos about that in the arab world. some of them might be broken with some countries. my -- >> excuse me, i'm sorry, do you think they have been. do you think in light of recent events we wouldn't face those same political -- >> if i were advising the president, i would say be very careful about that because the main value of these allies is their political support, which plays well here, and the what they're doing in their own societies to deal with this violent islamic manifestation. if they start taking a lot of casualties in ground combat against isis and they will, look at the curedkurds, 500 or 600 killed. they have lots of problems internally. >> do you think, given the concerns ambassador jeffrey just laid out it is realistic to believe that a ground war could be fought by those troops without u.s. troops? usthink u.s. troops have got to be there.
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as we push into anbar province and some of the ski cities, and most importantly mosul, it will be critically important to have our troops with them. exactly what that composition of troops is depends on the situation at the time and the commanders' analysis. i think if congress looks at this, and believe that this is something worth fighting for, we need to give the commanders on the ground some flexibility. >> let me ask something else, i home have a minute left. this amuf only deals with 2002 amuf. it doesn't touch the 2001 amuf. the real question i think a lot of us have is as congressman desanto said earlier, if the argument is that everything we're doing now we can pursue pursuant to the 2001 amuf, then should we assume that whatever
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the limitations are that ultimately might be included in this amuf, however broad those limitations are, that ultimately we could wind up doing anything we want pursuant to the existing 2001 amuf anyway. >> i don't believe that's the intention. i believe the intention is to -- >> i understand. i'm not talking about the intention. i'm asking whether you could still rely upon the amuf to conduct whatever operations regardless of what is contained in here. >> i sense a different threat than al qaeda. the 2001 -- >> i -- so you think no. ambassador jeffrey, you think yes. >> of course. the president has done everything he's done up until now, air strikes drawing on that and it is a very broad thing. i like it but i'm having to give you an honest answer an, yeah, that's a problem.
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>> thanks. >> we go to mr. ted yeho of florida. >> i appreciate you all being here. dr. brennan, you said since carter's presidency, the u.s. have been the guarantors of peace in the region. i look at israel and palestine syria with 220,000 dead, plus, and we know the situation in afghanistan, iraq, libya, yemen, lebanon, jordan is a bright spot, and let us not forget iran. how do you assess we have done since the carter administration? >> well, i think our success rate has not been high. >> ok. and i heard our president the other day say that if a failed policy like cuba has not worked after 50 years, it has to change. i agree with that statement. i'm not going to go into the cuba debacle right now.
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our whole process in the middle east has to change because where did isis come from? dr. brennan, you go ahead. >> originally came from al qaeda in iraq that morphed into isi and later into -- >> if we go back to what the president is saying here, that we're going to degrade and defeat isis, i remember those statements in the iraq war mission accomplished, but we weren't done. i remember this president saying al qaeda is on the run, they're the jv team, they're gone. and the question i have for all three of you is what is a definitive definition of defeat of isil. it is an ideology, we're not fighting a nation state, it is like fighting a tumor that metastasizes and we're going


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