tv Washington This Week CSPAN March 21, 2015 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT
world changes, and we have to keep up if we're going to continue to have the best military in the world. rep. wittman: general dempsey, your perspective on what we can help with the acquisition process. the chiefs would like a threshold heightened so they can be more involved in the decision-making process. give me your perspective, too, on how do we get, as secretary carter said, how do we get technology ideas, innovation more quickly to the war fighter? perspective, too, on how do we gen. dempsey: i align myself with both what the chief said yesterday about increasing their role in this process. there is a very bright red line right now that probably needs to be dotted as we say so there can be much more collaboration across it. in terms of the technology, i think it's a combination of shortening our programmatic time horizons. i recall the days of the future combat system which was conceived in 2003.
it was going to deliver in 2017, which to my way of looking at it doomed it to a graceless death from the moment, because that's seven cycles of the congress of the united states. i just think we have to take a look at the pace at which we try to develop -- i think as the secretary said, commercial is outpacing government at this point, and we can either fight that or find ways to conform to it. rep. wittman: secretary carter just your perspective, it seems like what you're advocating is putting more authority but also accountability in the hands of decisionmakers so making it more away from process, which is more of a process driven effort to more of a person or individual driven effort. kind of give me your perspective on where you think the balance is there. because it seems like we're too much of a process-driven effort today. gen. dempsey: i think that's right. we have gotten to a point where there are as many checkers as there are doers. and we need the doers to be
enabled and then held accountable. so today you have the worst of all worlds. there aren't enough doers. when something goes wrong, you can't tell how it happened or what its causes were or who is responsible for it. rep. wittman: very good. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. rep. thornberry: thank you. ms. graham. rep. graham: thank you mr. chairman, and thank you. secretary carter congratulations on your recent confirmation. general dempsey, thank you not only for your generosity of time but with new members in general, you have been very, very kind. thank you. first i would like to start, secretary carter, in 1915, 100 years ago this year, the mark 5 dive helmet, the trademark of diving, was created. military divers are located at a number of military installations around the country, including at
the naval support activity center in panama city which is in my district. i had the opportunity to visit recently, and it's just phenomenal. with the 100th year upon us, mr. secretary, i would much appreciate if you would support the designation of 2015 as the year of the military diver, to honor those who are serving and have served and will serve as military divers for our country. gen. dempsey: well, first of all, thank you for hosting our folks and for supporting servicemembers in your district. we don't take it for granted, we're very appreciative of it. and that sounds like an excellent way of commemorating the significance of the diver community, so thank you for that suggestion. rep. graham: thank you, i really appreciate that support. and i know the men and women who serve as military divers do as well. so thank you. a separate question, yesterday -- to both general dempsey and
secretary carter, i asked the service secretaries about their wounded warrior care programs. as the congress debates a new authorization for use of military force, one of my priorities is knowing that should we engage in military, in current or future conflict or -- our military in current or future conflicts -- that our military servicemembers go into this fight with confidence that this country will take care of them, especially the most severely injured when they return home. so i would like to learn what is the department of defense's -- what is the department of defense doing to insure the transition from active service to v.a. for our most injured and ill servicemembers, and what can we do to make sure we identify every service member that requires -- recovery care?
i appreciate your answers. sec. carter: i'll start and chairman, if you want to join in. first of all, thank you for your interest in that, too. we are fortunately at a period right now where the chairman and i on a weekend at bethesda won't find 10 new wounded warriors as was the case for many years when i was serving in the department and chairman was serving in the department. we're very grateful for that, but we can't forget that those who have been wounded will -- in many cases are 20 years old. they have a long life ahead of them. that means we have a long obligation to them. and i am concerned that our country remembers the sacrifice of these service members in all of the years that they'll live. and i think we owe them that. and, of course, we hand them off to the v.a., and your question goes to how good is the transition program for their
care, to the v.a. and in general to civilian life. that is something that we have done a lot of work on in the course of these wars, but i think there is more that we can do and should do to smooth that transition and prepare them for the life ahead. but to me, it's really something from the heart that we need to remember, these are young people. they have a long life ahead of them. it can be a productive, happy, and wonderful life for them, notwithstanding the sacrifice they made at a young age. but we owe them the help to make sure they can do that. chairman, you want to add anything? gen. dempsey: thanks, mr. secretary. yeah, we've actually -- the service chiefs and i, and with the help of the department, have included in our budget two aspects of this. one is the care of those who
have already been wounded, through the life cycle of their care. secondly, importantly, we're taking a look at -- there are three areas where we have developed incredible expertise. we can't let it erode. one is amputees, burn victims, and brain injury. so we're looking to the future now that we don't have a population, thankfully, that is suffering those injuries, we got to make sure we can sustain our expertise that we have developed. that's also put into the budget as well. rep. graham: thank you. our hearts are in the same place. i yield back the time i don't have left. rep. wittman: mr. hunter. rep. hunter: three things. the first is this. when it comes to acquisition reform, one of the best ways is instead of doing a process or a policy change, which we do every year, part of the -- you can use technology and change the system itself.
for instance, you have testing. it takes months to test our systems. it takes forever. there is now a programmatic line in your budget request we will match and hopefully put money in. it is a new way to test. you can test your cruisers on the spot, literally on the spot as they are in the water and see if they are going to work or not. that has met with fierce resistance even in san diego where we have entire departments testing. testing departments that's why they do. you have departments that spend years simply testing. they are not happy about things like this that disrupt the system and cause reform, just because of the nature of the technology, if that makes sense. i would encourage this committee and you to instead of just doing policy reforms, working within the system and technology to put
in systems that reform no matter what, because people cannot stop it. right? if it is faster, it takes fewer people. there will be major push backs because you have tens of thousands of people within dod who test. that is their job. they don't like it. that is the first thing. we talked about isis and our coalition partners. i've talked to jordan and written the president letters. we have weapons in warehouses. even if -- and we have the exportable predator 2, the xp. even if you change the itar rules and state approves this, it will take a year or two to get these in the hands of the jordanians. you have to deal with the qualitative military issue with israel because the jordanians would own the aircraft. a fix to this, i think, is to take aircraft in the warehouses and let jordanians find them and
-- fly them, and have the contractors that make the predator -- have them recover and launch, and have them do it. the jordanians do not own them. there is no qme problem. and they are able to use that now. they are requesting this now. the king has requested this. his ambassador has requested this. their military liaisons have requested this. i want to run that by you. what do you think? sec. carter: thank you. that is one of many forms of assistance to the jordanians and other coalition partners we are looking at. no decision has been made about that. the logic you describe and the possibility you describe is a real one. to get back to your testing thing, i think that is a good point also. technology can transform the way we do tests and therefore the cost of the test systems.
both good points. chairman, do you want to add anything? gen. dempsey: after king abdullah visited, the secretary chartered his deputy to run a group to look at all the coalition members. because there are many requests coming in. there is a thing called the war fighting sig that the secretary directed that is getting at things like that. your letter is getting addressed at the department of state right now. rep. hunter: i will have a piece of legislation due to the hostages we have taken. it is on an unprecedented level to have so many hostages taken in places where we don't have a big fbi contingency.
the fbi still has purview over hostages anywhere in the world. even if they only have three agents at the embassy in iraq, they don't have the ability that our special operators or the army or marine corps. i think there needs to be a "buck stops here" person. your predecessor put in mike lumpkin. he became the hostage guy during the bergdahl case at our recommendation. we also recommend there be a "buck stops here" person that answers to the president. that person, whether they choose the fbi, cia, or dod whoever has the most resources to bring to bear for that hostage case, i think that is the way we should go, and we can maybe recover a few of these hostages. which we have not done yet. i wonder if you can comment on that. sec. carter: my only comment would be that you are right. this hostage rescue is an example of something that can only be done with a whole of government approach.
we need, obviously, things to be done in a way that is law enforcement sensitive. but in many cases, we have the assets or the intelligence community has the assets, or it involves homeland security. this gets to the point i was making earlier. i have to take a view of security and the future strength of our nation that looks beyond the department of defense itself to all of the instruments of national power and everything that will carry us into the future. and these kinds of operations are a perfect example of that , where you need all those parts to come together. you are right. we do need a choreographer to bring those pieces together. it is essential. but the times in which we live require for most problems that there be the defensive instrument and other pieces of the government as well. whether it be technology personnel, or operations.
rep. wittman: mr. moulton. rep. moulton: thank you for your service to the country. there is tremendous bipartisan agreement on this committee we need to move past sequester. i just came from a budget committee hearing. there's frustration with the way the budget is being handled. how do we get there? how do we figure that out? one question debated much this morning in this committee is, is there a role for nondefense spending cuts under the budget control act in ensuring our national defense? secretary carter, you have made your view clear on that. general dempsey, i was wondering if you could offer your own comments. gen. dempsey: look, everything we do around the world in terms of security is done with other government partners. whether it is dea, homeland security, fbi, cia yes, there is
, a role on the nondefense site for security. rep. moulton: thank you. if you could both comment on this, and i want to be specific to cut through the rhetoric. what are the top five programs or weapons systems you want to cut, to take that money and better invest it in ensuring the safety and success of our troops on the ground, or more broadly in our future national defense but are prevented from cutting by congressional politics? secretary carter, perhaps we can start with you? sec. carter: there are more than five, i am sorry to say. some of them are programs. some of them are older platforms. there has been a lot of discussion and debate around the a-10 for example in the air force, which the air force wishes to retire. not because it is not an excellent airplane, but because
their budget does not provide room for it anymore, compared to other things that are a higher priority. that is one. there are a number of those we have enumerated in past years. we are willing to work with people. we understand. i want to find common ground with people. but we can't just continue to be frustrated year after year in these program areas or in compensation areas, efficiency areas, and so forth. i would be happy to provide to the committee a list of more than five items of initiatives we have proposed in past years. this is before i was here. but that we thought on balance and sometimes with great regret as in the retirement of older
systems, we needed to do, and we have not been permitted by congress to take those steps. rep. moulton: thank you, secretary. if you could provide that list i would appreciate it. general dempsey, if you could as specifically as possible outline what things would be on your list. gen. dempsey: i can't, congressman. recall my role. the services build their program to deliver service capabilities which then we integrate into a joint force. what we submitted was what we believed we needed to accomplish a joint force to execute the strategy. i am not in a position to tell you there were ways we could have done it otherwise. we have given you our best advice. and i can't help you decide to find the money to do it. we need the capabilities we have described in our budget. rep. moulton: fair enough. thank you. i yield my time.
rep. lamborn: thank you for being here. secretary carter, as you know, qatar is an important partner of ours. we have troops stationed there and they have played a role in the counter-isis fight. however, they are playing both sides. there are a number of u.s.-designated terrorist financiers operating openly in qatar. the leadership of hamas openly operates there and they have been financing some very bad islamist extremists. how can the u.s. hold them accountable and how can we make it clear that played in sides is -- that playing both sides is unacceptable? sec. carter: thank you for the question. qatar, as with other of our coalition partners in the fight
against isil, are being very helpful. in the case of the qatari, in terms of the airbase we use, indispensable. at the same time, not everything our coalition partners do in the region are things we support or think are constructive with respect to the isil fight or other things. all of our partners, we are trying to work with so we get their support for the fight against isil, but we can continue to work with them on areas where we disagree. and there are disagreements we have with almost all of our coalition partners helping us with isil. we just try to work through them. rep. lamborn: i understand we may disagree on this or that issue. but when the policy is cutting against what we are trying to accomplish in that very fight, i have a real problem with that. sec. carter: we have problems with that, too, in some cases. we explain that in our view their policies are contradictory in that way, but we have these
disagreements with them that we try to work through while at the same time benefiting from their help where we can agree. but we don't agree 100% of the time. rep. lamborn: thank you. also, secretary carter or general dempsey, on the aumf, i have a major problem with the two limitations the president has put into his proposed language, a limitation on time and a limitation on scope. is it right to be tying the hands of this president or a future president in that way? sec. carter: i will start first. rep. lamborn: if you have already addressed this, i apologize. i was in another committee. sec. carter: i did not.
on the scope, a proposed aumf gives us wide scope to conduct a campaign we are anticipating against isil. the time limitation has nothing to do with the length of the campaign. i cannot tell you the campaign will be over in three years. i don't think anybody can tell you that. that feature is included for reasons not military related. they are related to the fact -- they are derived from the fact that we will have a new president in three years. and the aumf provides for a new president and new congress to revisit this issue. that is not something that comes from the secretary of defense or i would say from our thinking, but we understand and respect it. it derives from the way the constitution regards use of military force as a grave matter in which both the congress and the executive branch play a role. so i understand that. i respect that. but the number three does not come from the campaign. it comes from our political
system. and again, i understand and respect that. i hope the result is the aumf tells our troops we are behind them in this fight. that is the key thing to me, in addition to having the flexibility to carry out the campaign that will win. gen. dempsey: congressman, i was consulted on the aumf before it was submitted to you. i believe it does allow us to execute the campaign we anticipate against isil. i think what you are sensing is the difference in using military force against state actors nationstates, and these groups of nonstate actors, which have a very different character to them. i think the last time we were handled an unconstrained authorization to use force was probably eisenhower's orders on the eve of the invasion of europe where he was told to take the armed forces of the united states, deploy them to the
continent of europe, and defeat nazi germany. that is probably the last time we have had a completely unconstrained aumf. mr. aguilar: thank you. good to see you again. i want to talk about the aumf just discussed and the wide scope you mentioned. one of the questions i had was the hostility. if the hostility -- it does not say anything about the termination of hostilities at the three-year period. is it your feeling that hostilities could continue and we could have actions against isil beyond the three years as currently written and implemented? sec. carter: again, the three years is not a prediction about the duration of the campaign to defeat isis. it is a recognition of the way our political system works.
and the recognition that a new president and new congress in three years may wish to revisit this issue. as i said, i understand and respect that, but it is not a prediction about the duration of the campaign against isil. rep. aguilar: general? gen. dempsey: my military experience and judgment suggests the answer to your question is it will likely extend beyond three years. rep. aguilar: could hostilities extend beyond a new aumf buy a -- by a new commander? gen. dempsey: if i understand your question, the enemy gets a vote in how long hostilities extend.
i guess i don't understand the question. rep. aguilar: as it is proposed, if congress gives the authority to use military force, we have this three-year window which you both said offers flexibility but is more of a political discussion that allows the new president to make that determination. absent a new discussion about aumf, could hostilities continue in perpetuity the on three-year -- beyond a three-year window? gen. dempsey: i think the aumf the president proposed would require action by a new president and congress in three years, beyond the circumstances at the time, which we cannot foresee. rep. aguilar: one of the things not discussed is detention
policies. this was discussed at another hearing this committee had. could you provide us with examples of what u.s. forces could and could not do with respect to detention policies under the proposed aumf? sec. carter: under the aumf, the law of armed conflict and all the applicable u.s. and international law would apply to detention operations, as they would to all aspects of waging the campaign. gen. dempsey: i have nothing to add to that, congressman. rep. aguilar: thank you. i yield back. rep. fleming: thank you for your service and coming before us today. you know, the president has said his goal is to destroy isis. he has submitted a proposed aumf.
in the aumf, it says a limitation is, no enduring offensive ground combat operations. that suggests no significant boots on the ground, sort of a colloquial expression we use about that. so my question to both of you gentlement is, can you give examples of wars america has won with sustained success and peace without substantial ground forces in relation to the foes? sec. carter: excuse me. i am sorry. i'm not an historian so i am not sure i can answer your question from an historical point of view. i can give a logical answer, a commonsense answer to the boots on the ground question as it applies to a campaign like the one against isil. it has to do with who sustains the victory after isil is defeated, because we seek not only the defeat of isil, but the
lasting defeat of isil. rep>. fleming: if i can interrupt you -- sec. carter: if i can just finish the thought, that means there are local forces involved who control the territory after it is won back. that is our strategy. otherwise, we have boots on the ground for a long time. rep. fleming: many experts believe the reason we have the isis problem today is we did not have a status forces agreement and didn't have a stay behind force. i will ask you, chairman dempsey, can you name the wars america has won without sustained boots on the ground against a significant foe? and i do believe -- remember that boko haram has given its allegiance. forces are growing with isis. we know how barbaric they are. can you name some examples of wars we have won without boots on the ground? gen. dempsey: historically, we have had several campaigns against insurgencies, in the philippines for example, back at the turn of the last century.
generally, actually, our campaign strategy has been the same as it is today, which is to find a coalition and indigenous forces, as we used to call them. now we call them regional partners, to do the lion's share of the lifting. unless they own it, they will often require us to own it. rep. fleming: can you tell us who these forces are going to be? i get that we are trying to stand up an iraqi army that fell apart because we left. can you explain in regions outside of iraq where we are getting these forces, where they are coming from, and when they are going to take action? gen. dempsey: i will, but i don't want to align myself with "we were the cause of the current crisis." i think the secretary mentioned earlier that iraq had an opportunity to demonstrate to its population it would work on its behalf of all groups, and failed to do that, which provided the environment in which this challenge arose.
we have got a 20-nation coalition. two members of which are the kurdish and iraqi forces. we are working to develop a moderate syrian opposition. we are hardening regional allies. you heard some of that discussed moments ago. the reason the campaign has a defeat mechanism is the coalition, it's not because of our activity. rep. fleming: who are going to be the core forces in syria? we hear about the free syrian army, which nobody seems to know who they are. they were referred to as doctors and pharmacists before. and we are going to off-line train them someplace, maybe in kuwait. isis is growing everyday. they are killing people in brutal ways, specifically going
after christians and jews. my question is, who is this core force that will go up against isis in the near future? i am still very vague on who this force is. gen. dempsey: they are forces. it depends on what side of the border you are talking about. sec. carter: on the iraqi side there are forces -- rep. fleming: i'm talking about syria. sec. carter: on the syrian side, as the chairman indicated, we are trying to build. rep. fleming: so we don't know who they are. sec. carter: you have the forces of the assad regime and the forces of isil, neither of which we want to align ourselves with. they are the largest forces on the ground in syria.
that is the circumstance in which we find ourselves. we are trying to create a moderate syrian force that will be able to defeat them and own the future of syria. that is our objective. rep. fleming: i just have to say we are not finding out who these people are. there is no answer to this question. rep. ashford: thank you. i will bring it back to the university of omaha. i agree with you about president ghani. there is a lot of hope in his ability to start reforms in the armed services and open up discussions with pakistan which are meaningful. when we went to visit with the president, one of his first comments with me was about tom. he started the afghan studies
program 35 years ago and is a friend of the president, and they communicate. that was nice to see. also the peter kiewit institute at the university of nebraska at omaha is doing research into isis and has been doing some of that research prior to june of last year. and the ebola work done at the nebraska medical center is significant, and we are very proud of all of that. having said that, i guess my question is when i visit those institutions and talk to the principals, it is clear all over the country there are partners at that level who are sophisticated, significant partners in the mideast. can you comment on how you foresee those partnerships continuing to develop and evolve
and move forward? sec. carter: it is critical because we depend for our technology, all the research and development that underlies our system, we depend on private institutions to do that, whether they be our excellent universities, university affiliated r&d centers industry. i have to remind people we don't build anything in the pentagon. this is not the soviet union. our way of doing things is not to do it in the government. it is to contract with private entities because we think that is the best way to get excellence, so we depend on those institutions. our great university systems our great laboratories, and our great defense industry, to make us the best military in the world. rep. ashford: i think that is right. it does differentiate us from
everywhere else in the world. we are proud of what we have contributed in nebraska. but every state has similar experiences. thank you for that answer. this goes back to congresswoman graham's question. this is something i'm trying to figure out. your comment about transitioning the military back to civilian life and roles in administration. i know in nebraska, we have had an infusion of veterans with problems unique to the middle east and higher degree of disability claims and all of that. what we are trying to think about doing in nebraska is to think about developing outpatient clinics because we are seeing a real need of the
veterans coming back now needing that sort of outpatient mental health, women's health issues not being addressed in traditional mode. i don't necessarily need a comment on that because it is a different department. if you have any thoughts on the new way of delivering health care? sec. carter: i would echo something that chairman said. by sad necessity over the last dozen years, we have learned a lot and in a sense pioneered techniques in treating amputees, burn victims, t.b.i. ptsd. we need to make sure, as the chairman said earlier, we remember those lessons and transfer that knowledge to society more widely, which i think is happening in our medical system, including the medical system of the veterans
administration. rep. ashford: i agree. clearly in our area of the country where we have a robust medical system is being able to develop new options as we move forward is part of our strategy in the mideast generally and everywhere. thank you. rep. gibson: thank you. i greatly appreciate the panelists. thank you for your commitment to our nation. general dempsey, in your opening remarks you laid out a case for continued forward presence and put some passion behind that. some of us, myself included, have been arguing for thinking and acting differently certainly recognizing the need for some forward presence, particularly with naval forces with open ceilings and access to markets.
in places like korea, there's going to be a need for land forces there for the near-term at least. but that when we rely on this, as we have since the end of the cold war, we end up with free rider problems and friends and allies that do not fully ante up to what they committed to. i have been arguing for a peace through strength approach, particularly the restoration on the global response force capability. we deal with nationstates and transnational actors. i'm talking about the former not the latter. this idea of deterrence, deterrence being defined by capability and will. here is where i get to the point on the global response force.
we have the service secretaries and chiefs here yesterday. they gave a response to this. i'm interested from the secretary and chief as it relates to restoring the global response force and how you see that factoring into our posture going forward. sec. carter: i will start. we do have something called the global response force. we provide carefully for just the reason you describe. namely, it is the most ready force. it is the one that has the greatest deterrent value because it has global reach and is highly ready. one of the things that is concerning about this whole budget drama of sequester year after year and its effect on
readiness is if it continues, it is going to affect our readiness, even at the g.r.f. level. that is not good for deterrence. it is not good for the picture of american strength so necessary to avoiding conflict in the first place. gen. dempsey: you touched on two things near and dear to my heart. one is the g.r.f. we do have to restore its readiness. because of increasing demand and reducing supply, we have to reach into it and send it forward, which is not the intention. but we are forced into that position on occasion. there is the issue of presence. we have our forward stationing right. we are looking at how we can be less predictable to our adversaries, more reassuring to our allies, and maintain readiness through a thing we are
calling dynamic presence. we are very much interested in pursuing that idea. sequestration makes both of those almost impossible. rep. gibson: i appreciate those responses. even the vision i am laying out requires the world's strongest military deterrent to those who would do us harm. this vision also includes american leadership. it is a different conception of power and how we would array it. it would look for contributions from our friends and allies at the level we would expect, and also recognize the moral strength of our country as evidenced through diplomacy, commerce, and trade, and in the way we are able to strategically maneuver our forces with a real capability. that strengthens the hands of our diplomats that will allow us to reach a level of security we are striving for. thank you very much for everything you do for our servicemen and women and their
families. i will yield back. rep. courtney: thank you for your service. when historians write the book on this administration, one of the overlooked achievements was the new start ratified on a bipartisan basis. in the wake of it, we have heard a lot of testimony about the fact that triad is going to change as a result of realignment the treaty created in terms of the leg of the triad that will carry the heaviest burden. that is the sea-based deterrence, about 70% according to navy witnesses. in the wake of that and aging out of the existing ohio fleet they made it crystal clear the ohio replacement program is at the top of the list because the timing even with the president's robust funding for design work
which is another reason we should support the topline there is no margin for delay in terms of making sure we will be able to implement new start. mr. secretary, i was reading your testimony and others. we have been hearing about this for years, what the impact is going to be on the shipbuilding account. last year's defense bill, when we created the sea-based deterrence fund, we thought it would use well-established precedent which was an effort to take pressure off the shipbuilding account for a once in a multigenerational investment, missile defense, etc. i wonder if you could talk with us about what your thinking is.
there is no question something is going to give when resources are needed to build those boats if it has to all come out of there. sec. carter: thank you for that. the triad is part of our future planning. nuclear weapons are not in the news much, thank god, so they are not the answer to the isil crisis. but they are a bedrock of our security. we are going to need a safe, reliable nuclear deterrent as far into the future as i can see. we need to provide for that. the sea-based leg is essential because it is survival on a day-to-day basis. that has long been a tenet of strategic ability. it is true the ohio class replacement is expensive. we are trying to give the cost down like all our other programs
as much as we can. we have to pay that bill. i think it is more complicated than how we label the money. the money has to come from somewhere. we are going to have to make difficult trade-offs particularly in the decade between 2020 and 2030. that is just a fact of life if we are going to have an ohio class replacement. as they said, it was the highest priority. they are right. it is something we have to do. we have to find room in the budget. there will be trade-offs that will not be alleviated by calling the money this or that. gen. dempsey: the only other thing i would add is the joint chiefs and i firmly believe the triad, all three legs, are necessary to make our deterrence credible and survivable. just because it is an
unfortunate happenstance of time that the three legs are all requiring modernization at some level over the next decade, but we have been kept safe. this is our strategic deterrent responsibility, and we are going to have to find a way to do it. rep. courtney: no quarrel with your comment. when you look at the size of the legs, it is a funny looking stool because one is longer than the others. general, thank you for your service. the first time i met you was in iraq when you were in charge of retraining the iraqi forces. i know you are probably more passionate than anyone about trying to rebolster that force. we had a national guard unit leave a few nights ago out of hartford. the expectation was the reserve force was going to stand down as
the troop drawdown took place. for some people, it was jarring to still see national guard forces going over. i hope you're keeping an eye on those guys because it caused a lot of dislocation for the families to have a 60-day call-up when people's expectations changed with the drawdown. i yield back. rep. franks: secretary carter, some of us were surprised at your appointment. i have to say it was a pleasant surprise. i am gratified you are where you are. i think it is a good thing for the country. sec. carter: thank you. my wife and i were surprised also. rep. franks: as you know producing fissile material is the most challenging component of developing nuclear weapons. i know you also know that once the 4.5% enrichment level has
been reached, about 75% of the work on enrichment has been done to gain weapons grade material. requiring iran to dismantle its mechanism to enrich uranium or produce plutonium was the centerpiece of nearly a dozen u.n. security council resolutions. we considered that in many ways the whole ballgame. in direct contradiction to that reality, mr. obama's interim agreement with iran astonishingly provides a protective protocol to enrich uranium. if you will forgive the political importunity of the question, do you believe a long-term agreement with them to enrich uranium or produce plutonium is in the best
national security interests of the united states? sec. carter: that is an excellent question. i think it is the key question for such an agreement. does it provide insurance against breakout in the development of a bomb by iran? i'm not involved in the negotiations. i can't discuss an agreement that has not been concluded yet. but that has got to be an underlying principle. i think that is the underlying principle with which negotiations are conducted. i associate myself with the phrase that no deal is better than a bad deal. the only other thing i would say is for me and our department, we have some other obligations associated with this. one is to continue to deter iran's other detrimental behavior in the region and protect allies and partners, to include secondly our critical partnership with israel as a very strong ally. that is important.
the third is our general presence in the gulf. those responsibilities reside to us and are also related to iran and iranian behavior. those are responsibilities that fall on the department of defense and that we take seriously. i know the chairman does also. rep. franks: i wish you the best in everything you do. general dempsey, let me express personal and collective gratitude for the whole country for the gallant service you have offered to the human family. this has been an amazing thing you have done, and we are grateful to you. with that, i always ask you a
tough question. gen. dempsey: can i go on for 25 seconds thanking you for the kindness? [laughter] rep. franks: what is the current cap on troop deployments in iraq? i think it is around 3100. is there additional justification for that or is it an arbitrary policy decision? in your best military judgment do you believe that policy represents the best policy to expeditiously defeat isis? gen. dempsey: my military advice on the best and most enduring way to defeat the islamic state is through our partners with a coalition and using our unique capabilities, whether they be training or precision strikes or working to build institutions, so that the iraqis understand, and other regional stakeholders
who have more to lose and gain by the defeat of isil, are in the lead. therefore, that number is not arbitrary at all. it is purpose built to that effect. rep. franks: i will yield back. thank you both. rep. nugent: mr. carter, first of all, i want to thank both of you. general dempsey, i appreciate your service to the country, particularly the uniform you wear of the united states army. it means a lot to me. secretary carter, first time i get to meet you. where i am perplexed is what is going on in iraq today. we have the general of the force leading the charge. i get our reluctance to have boots on the ground. my kids have been there. i don't necessarily want to see
them go back. i hate to see iran has taken the lead, particularly when you go back to the history with us. when i was there, we had five servicemembers killed the night i was there by an advanced i.e.d. supplied from iran. now we are allowing them to take the lead. we had our forces in iraq, the drawdown. we had american troops being killed and ambushed because of the status of forces agreement particularly as it related to iraq. they kept us from hunting, capturing, or killing these guys killing our troops. we know where they were laying their heads at night. the fact is these are the same
people taking the lead now in iraq. do we think we will see a different outcome of the iranian regime today than what it was then? i don't know how ghani is going to operate in that with the iranians are saying we will give you back your country. how do we deal with that? sec. carter: that is a very good question. what defeated the iraqi forces last summer was sectarianism. if the fight against isil becomes purely sectarian and not an iraqi fight, we are not going to -- rep. nugent: isn't it going to turn back into a sectarian fight and have iran providing leadership and training to the troops that will push isis back out of iraq?
sec. carter: it is a complicated situation. in many places, the iraqi security forces, including with sunni elements and the support of sunni tribes, are participating the recapture of ground. in other places, it is our air power and iraqi security forces entirely. in tikrit, you are right. there is a heavy presence of popular mobilization forces which are shiite and sectarian in organization and getting support from iranians. that is concerning to us. it is a very mixed picture. the side we are on is the side of the iraqi government operating on a multi-sectarian basis. that is the only way we will have success. rep. nugent: i don't disagree with that. when you talk to the forces that were there in 2011 and the
training with the iraqis, it was evident then we had good brigades in the iraqi military and then we had some that were sectarian split off that were incompetent. i think that is what we saw happen. i think that is the remarks you have heard. having an enduring force would have prevented it, i don't know but we what have had a better chance of preventing it if we have been there to keep pressure on the iraqis at the time. i want to make sure we don't do the same now in afghanistan. sec. carter: i will say something about afghanistan. maybe the chairman wants to say something about iraq. fortunately at the moment, we have a different situation in afghanistan. a bilateral security agreement in place that is welcomed by the government of afghanistan and a partner in the government of afghanistan in the national
unity government that is not sectarian in nature. that is welcoming of the american assistance and training, so it is a very different situation from iraq. as i said earlier, we may well be achieving our objectives in afghanistan in a way that a few years ago when i was working on that campaign i would not have predicted we would get as far as we did. it is a very different situation fortunately in afghanistan today from iraq a few years ago. rep. nugent: general, i would love to hear from you, but i have been gaveled back. dr. wenstrup: it says the use of special operations forces to
take military action against isis leadership. this is the proposed aumf. does that include capture or is it kill only? sec. carter: that includes capture. dr. wenstrup: we talk about strategies of war. i had visions of how we could form multiple coalitions and work together with command and control, good versus evil. i think that is the message the world should hear. when it comes to holding, i have some ideas about holding those recapture and how we try them and involve the nation of incident, whether isil or the global war on terror, and the nation of origin. are they going to be part of the process?
my question is, if we capture, what do we do with them? sec. carter: thanks for that question. let me go back to the logic of capture. obviously, our objective where possible is to capture rather than -- dr. wenstrup: have we been capturing anyone in the last couple of years, especially since we reengaged in iraq? sec. carter: our coalition partners have been capturing. they have been doing that and detaining. in afghanistan, they are detained by the afghans subject to afghan law. dr. wenstrup: our special forces are to capture and kill. if we capture, what are we doing with them? sec. carter: it depends on the circumstances and location. the willingness of the host country to take custody of them, to prosecute them.
i'm not an expert on this. you would have to talk to the justice department about that. your question concerns captures outside of u.s. territory, there are laws respecting that. dr. wenstrup: are we capturing and then hands-off, we turn them over? are we involved with what may happen? the collection of intelligence is what i'm getting at. can you answer on what our current posture is? sec. carter: the answer is it depends on the circumstances of the capture. to get to the point you are
making which is interrogation and intelligence value, that is an important value to us. it is important whatever the ultimate disposition of the detainee is that we have the opportunity to interrogate and debrief. that is very important to us whatever the ultimate disposition of the detainee is. the chairman can answer that if he wants to. gen. dempsey: this is an important enough question i will have my legal team work with the secretaries and provide you with a longer answer for the record. i will say in places where we are in support of the host nation, for example iraq, we are literally in support of them. they will do the capture operation. they will give access for us to conduct an interrogation as well as sensitive site exploitation which is where you get more. when someone is a direct threat to us or the homeland, we have conducted operations with the department of justice represented.
those individuals, there have been a handful, have been brought back to the country for trial. dr. wenstrup: i appreciate that answer. could i ask you to finish this sentence for me? publicly stating we will not use ground troops, although i may agree with the policy of using troops, but "publicly stating we will not use grounds troops -- ground troops is a good idea because" -- if you could finish that sentence for me. sec. carter: i am not sure what you are getting at. dr. wenstrup: i'm wondering why we are saying in the aumf why would say that. sec. carter: the aumf says in the campaign against isil we have a wide range of authorities
to wage that campaign, including those we anticipate necessary to conduct the campaign. there is one limit to that which is an afghanistan or iraq-like long ground campaign. that is not foreseen so the aumf does not request the authority to conduct that. dr. wenstrup: that does not explain why it is a good idea, but thank you for your answer. i yield back. >> it brings back to my mind the issue of gitmo. do you support the president's plan on the issue of gitmo? do you support the president's proposal to close it by the end of the year and transfer the
terrorists back to u.s. prisons? sec. carter: thank you for that question. i don't think the president has a plan to close gitmo and return the detainees to this country by the end of the year because there is a law that prohibits that. the president does have the stated intention to close gitmo. i am in favor of the safe closure of guantanamo bay. rep. walorski: does that include the u.s. prison system? do you support them coming back to the u.s. prison system? sec. carter: there has to be some final disposition. that is an option available. just a moment.
it is now forbidden by law to do that. rep. walorksi: this president has been known to override the law. what is the other alternative? if the u.s. prison system is not the final destination, where would they go? sec. carter: i think we need to work with those of you on capitol hill to find a lawful disposition for people who cannot be transferred or released safely from guantanamo bay. the reason i think it is desirable to close gitmo although i realize now it is unlawful to transfer people to the united states, is i think it still provides a rallying point for jihadi recruitment. i think that is unfortunate.
we need to find a way to safely close it. that needs to be lawful. that has got to be done in cooperation with you. rep. walorski: this committee has undertaken the transfer of the five in 2013. based on a review of this important subject, will you commit today to continue the department's engagement in ensuring all the requested materials provided and work to require all requested information is provided? sec. carter: you bet congresswoman. rep. walorski: our president said in his state of the union address is the number one threat is climate change. admiral mullen a few years ago said he believes the number one national defense issue in our nation is the debt in our country.
do you believe the debt this nation is carrying, nearly $18 billion, is more of a threat to this nation's national security than climate change? sec. carter: there are a number of serious dangers to the future of our country. representative: we are going to be voting on a huge leap on this budget. you believe that the debt is a greater issue than climate change, as our commander in chief has stated? secretary carter: i think they are both serious problems and there are others that are not those, and we have to do with this challenges is at the same time. you are naming two of the problems.
representative: i am saying he says the greatest threat to our nation is climate change, and we are trying to make an argument that says the greatest threat to this nation in trying to rallying people is we have an issue of debt that an admiral went on the record to say. do you agree? secretary carter: i think to the extent that the deficit drives budget behavior, like the year-to-year struggle with sequester that we face, that is a challenge to our national security, because of the challenge to our national defense. i think we have threats around the world that are very dangerous to us. i think to get back to an earlier line of questioning, the strength of our nation depends upon other instruments of national power that our military power. i think the strength of our
nation depends on our ability to educate people and have scientists and engineer. there was a discussion of our scientific base earlier. there are many agreements how we can strengthen our country. chairman thornberry: mr. zinke. representative: mr. secretary, i thank you for taking this chapter we have heard the testimony of general abizaid and others, and both have said, it is not a snowball's chance in
hell that our operations are going to degrade and defeat isis. given the recent success of iran, they have embedded commanders in their force, even though it is a shia force which has great ramifications. i was never a flag officer. i was a deputy commander of special forces in iraq. but i have always in my career looked at protection of our troops and making sure they have the right equipment, training, and rules for engagement to win decisively on the battlefield. having said that, if we are to embed, and if we are going to look at general abizaid's and general conway's senior vision, we would not embed with just a few.
an individual who is captured will die a heinous death. embedding is going to take a force package of relative weight, and we will have to medevac. we will have to bring him at and it will be a u.s. -- if our guys get pinned down, that is american armor, american forces that we do not want another somalia war or benghazi. and we have to have a logistics arm to make sure our allies we are fighting with, sunnis and kurds, directly, and the centralized government have the ammunition, food, fuel everything it takes to win because now we have committed. my question is, do the current
authorization, as proposed, does it allow the flexibility for you should the decision come to embed -- does that authorization that you are asking, does it include the flexibility to embed that package to win? secretary carter: thanks for your service and thanks for bringing what is evidently a great store of knowledge to this committee. so thanks for that. the answer is, yes. the president, when he first described the aumf, he enumerated a few things that were specifically permitted by it, which include many of the items on your list. the answer is yes. representative: thank you, mr. secretary. i yield the remainder of my time.
representative knight: thank you, mr. chair, but not least. i will talk about airpower since it seems like over the last 15 or 20 years we have diverted a little bit away from technology, put it to a little bit different phase of different exploration. now we are in a phase of flying the wings off an aircraft after 40 or 50 years and not going on to the next generation, and it seems to me to be a quicker phase to stay up with technology. everyone has talked about the iphone today, and i have a 16-year-old at home that does not know anything different. in the time of the 1950's when we had five or six fighters through the program, and the century series and an eight-year program, now we are looking at
sixth-generation fighters that will go through 2050 or 2060. it is that a concern that we can do something quicker. we always talk about how we acquire things i get through the acquisition phase quicker. if we could do that, with technology, say, we could do a sixth-generation fighter today it would be more advanced than our raptors in the air. but how could we do that in a quicker phase of 15- to 20-year period and fly them for 40 or 50 years? secretary carter: if we do not have agility and all our programs take 15 or 20 years to develop, we will not have the best military in the world. on the other hand, but in addition, it is a case that
aircraft remain in our inventory for a long time. they're not disabled aircraft. there continually modified armaments are changed, and so forth. but few realize, but i am sure you do, that 70% of the cost of a military system is not buying it in the first place. and so as we talk about acquisition reform and cost control, as we began this morning discussing, we must pay attention to sustainment costs. in the fifth-generation aircraft, f-35, and so forth, we are trying to be very attentive to sustainment costs because they are going to be the lion's share of the lifecycle cost of the airplane. representative knight: i do not argue with you, but in the phase of an aircraft before fifth
generation we are talking about armaments and how we could change the aircraft, some of that with the onyx. today it is changing yearly with the advancement of what aircraft can be, how we detect them, how far they can get into the battlefield without being seen. those are the things that our young airman should be worried about, because the advancements are coming so quickly. for about 50 years, those advancements were not there. if we were faster than you and could shoot first, then we beat you. secretary carter: i'm with you and i'm very concerned we keep up in the electronic warfare field, which i think you are referring to.
in that, some of our potential opponents have made advances in that area, enabled by the spread of technology around the world so if we are going to keep the advantage that we have had, we need to keep up in those areas. so i completely am with you. representative knight: i am just going to say that if there is some way we can do this in dod companies do this all the time and we talked about one today that talked about how quickly they can get in into the field because the quicker they get it out there, the quicker they make money. the quicker we can do that in dod, the quicker the war fighter is safer or is ahead of the technological curve. we have seen that with the young soldiers on the field, where they are able to see the enemy where they could not see them. i would ask that we do something like that in dod that might replicate what they do in private industry. secretary carter: there are a number of initiatives that have
that intent, and i would be pleased to provide you with more information on them, but i think you are on to something that is terribly important. it is one of the areas where we are trying to make investments and we need the funding to make those investments. representative: thank you, mr. secretary. and, general, thank you, and i appreciate your service and commitment to our country. chairman thornberry: representative mcsally? representative mcsally: i was a master's of public policy graduate, so you were one of my instructors. good to see you again. secretary carter: thank you. you make me proud. representative: i look forward
to working with you. i want to talk about search and rescue capabilities in iraq and syria. i was 26 years in the military an a-10 pilot, and ran a joint rescue center in operation some -- southern watch and the early days of the afghanistan war where if they get shot down, we are able to rescue them quickly. also in the environment we as seen with the fate of the jordanian pilot, to be able to immediately be overhead to locate and protect them while we are moving the forces to pick them up. we have got to get them right away. i have gotten a brief and will get a more detailed brief tomorrow by the joint staff on our posture, but i'm concerned. we will have to talk more classified about our capability and posture and whether it is limited by the 3100-person on
the ground limitation, because we have to make sure, especially guys flying single-engine airplanes, that if they have to eject, we would do everything it takes, and sometimes it takes tremendous resources to protect them so we can get them out. can you speak to that, and i would like to follow-up. secretary carter: i will speak generally, because, as you know full well, thank you for what you did, we need to talk the details about this in a classified session, which we can do. but in general, it is not the 3100-men that in any way paces the search-and-rescue effort. it is time and distance, and we are very attentive to that. i do not want to say more here but you can imagine what i mean.
very attentive to that for our air operations over iraq and syria. general dempsey: thanks. speaking to you about combat search and rescue is like talking about nuclear issues sitting next to a nuclear physicist. i will do so nevertheless. we are not limited. the bomb does not limit our ability. you know generally where we are postured. my staff will articulate that tomorrow. if we think the mission is high risk, we can put the package airborne as part of the air tasking order. we are attentive to that. you will find our staff relieve your concerns tomorrow. representative mcsally: i wanted to follow up on the a-10 issue. this was dealing with our allies, related to the aggression that we have seen come out of russian, and we have a-10's deployed to iraq and syria.
the president's plan requires mothballing them. i asked the secretary yesterday if that was a budget decision, and she said yes. i wanted to hear if that is a case, because we have heard different armaments over the last two years, all over the map, that if you have the resources, would you keep the a-10 flying through its lifespan, 2028? secretary carter: i agree with the secretary. it is strictly a budgetary issue. we are squeezed on all directions, and we are doing our best to get the country the defensive needs for the amount of money that we have. the a-10 is a very proud aircraft and has done a tremendous amount for us over the years, and we have tried to find common ground with those here on the hill. and very important to me, which
is not a money issue, is to make sure that are close air support from the air force to our ground forces is a real and enduring capability. i am sure it is. the secretary said the same thing yesterday. general dempsey: we have got aircraft providing closure support from the apache helicopter to the b-1. we are faced with a budget issue and try to make sure we keep enough capability that can operate in contested and uncontested airspace. representative mcsally: thank you. for the record, i have a question i will be following up with. we are talking about making sure that women can be fully integrated into all jobs in the military, but i want to hear if there are deployment positions that are male-only positions. we've seen issues pop up in gitmo. there are specific decisions in saudi arabia that were male-only.
i would like to follow up on if you have male-only positions in the military. thank you. chairman thornberry: thank you. i want to come back on the audit issue, because we had two service secretaries yesterday that said the biggest impediment to meeting the deadline in 2017 for their service to pass a clean audit was the defense finance, accounting service over which they had no control. are you aware of the problem and are you going to fix it? mr. mccord: thank you, mr. chairman. we have a lot of hard work to do on audit, and we're making good progress. you probably heard both of those thoughts yesterday. an audit is a team effort and works with the military department to work with service providers. the second way is it requires
the collaboration of people throughout the department, people who do audit as a primary function, is a primary responsibility, but requires decisions of the personnel community, people who do not think audit is not my primary job to work, and we cannot make it work the because it requires information from those systems. it is much like if the secretary were to turn to general dempsey and ask him to accomplish a task and some up a task for some it would require people in a different sphere, all the things that support. very much the same with our audit task. it requires financial managers that i am in charge of, but the statistician and that community that own the information across the department. with respect to the issue yesterday, desk with was the issue yesterday, it is an entity
of itself. as reporting entity can it has passed clean audits 15 times in a row. they are doing contracting for all the military departments to get people on contract to do the independent auditing. in the role of the service provider, they have had four areas where they have had a clean audit, which is their bread and butter areas of military, civilian, paying contractors, and disbursing. the issue that came up where they did not pass was called financial reporting, the most involved, complex, spread across the whole department issue. they were given 10 areas where they did not -- where they were examined, and there were nine that do not pass. they were given 12 items to work on. 10 will be done by the end of this year. two will require more time. this is why you do audits, just to find out where you are good and where you're not.
i wanted to say that -- it is a capable partner. they have a problem here financial reporting is not strictly an -- issue. this is one of the real hard parts of audits for us. chairman thornberry: all this talk about budget up here, and this makes a big difference. and those of us who believe we need to spend more on defense, if we cannot improve the accountability for how we spend that money, it makes our job much more difficult. i appreciate how complex this is, but as an editorial comment, it makes a big difference in getting budget support. if we can meet those deadlines for an audit. if we cannot, it undermines that effort. i know you know that, but particularly in the middle east -- middle of these budget
discussions, is very much on my mind. mr. mccord, let me ask you, you have heard some of the discussion about where we can use oco for. my understanding is there is omb guidance and perhaps some department guidance that helps direct the uses for oco funds versus base funds. my understanding and my memory is that congress can also designate oco funds for procurement. am i on the right track here? mr. mccord: yes. there is an agreement between omb and the department of defense. i was involved in negotiating that early in the administration. we felt it needed to be tighter than it had been when we got here. that agreement dates to 2010 and has got geographic aspects to it, things that happen in this country, things that happen in countries not in the agreement
may not be, and we have had modifications to that. you are correct in that congress plays a role in general. oco funding has to be designated by congress and the president as oco, emergency spending, and that procedure was followed by this and other administrations. both parties have a voice, and you mentioned f-35's that have been an issue of contention. a few months ago we requested to buy some are placed aircraft that were destroyed at kandahar. there was division and remains rex -- >> would you do me a favor and submit in writing how oco works now. as you have said, this is not the best way to run a railroad
your help -- run a railroad. i hope we can have a better way to run the department as we move in the budget process, if however, we have oco to make up for gaps, i want to understand what those restrictions administrative or legislative, may be. those are things we can address in the authorization bill. i do not know how this will go, but i want to be ready and you can help us understand that. mr. mccord i will provide the information. rex -- text the last thing we want to discuss is about ukraine. the last thing is providing assistance so that they can defend themselves. what we have been told in our previous hearings from the administration, is that we are
studying it. every day that the white house dinners -- wait about this, more equipment is coming in, and it renews the defensive. can you let me understand what the timeline is for decision on providing lethal assistance to the ukrainians. mr. mccord: you are right, our support for ukraine as it crack -- tries to support a place for it self europe, situated as it is between europe and russia is very important. i know you are asking about the military side of it, but the side i press is it is principally an economic challenge, because the economy
of ukraine is in serious trouble. i think the assistance of western countries to the economy of ukraine is the most important thing. i just want to say that that is the most important thing. we are supplying military assistance to the ukrainian military. the president just announced that we could go about, a military system and a number of categories vehicles, so forth will be of material assistance to their military. there are also, under consideration, additional categories of assistance which are defensive lethal assistance. those are being considered and should be considered. i said that before. but it is a complicated decision that involves other kind of assistance that we are giving and the paramount fact, that is we, we need to support the
ukrainians economically and politically. our nato partners and european allies need to support them that will be the key, keeping an independent ukraine and innocent -- and it isn't this -- pushed around by russians. chairman: what concerns me is as we study to death, and don't provide them the means to defend themselves against artillery attacks and so forth, the positions in the eastern rebel held areas are strengthening. last point, countries around the world are watching how reliable a friend we are. i am concerned that this has tremendous detrimental effects
encouraging the cost aggression -- didn't -- putin's aggression. i realize that this is the white house call, but there is tremendous bipartisan support in both the house and senate, for providing this assistance. i really think the administration is isolated on this issue and that is also something that is not good for the country. unless you have something to add, i will cut you off. >> i would simply say that, from personal observation, i was in budapest in 1994 when the agreement was signed that the russians have violated, so i am
very alive to the -- to the possibility that we had been -- and then need to stick up for independent ukraine, so they can find their own way politically and economically. it is terribly important that that occur. no one should mistake that -- ukraine is a very important country to us, it is not a nato out why and i want to make -- nato ally, and i want to make that known. anyone who is considering encroaching upon an ally should think about it. chairman: thank you all for
being here. mr. secretary, welcome back. thank you all for being here. this is adjourned. clicks -- not clicks -- >> here is more from the modern news gathering. >> not every story needs to get the same amount of traffic, that is the most important thing to understand. for me, what i think about most is this story reaching the people. so, if we are doing a story on chronic fatigue syndrome and it goes to 60,000 people, then you do a quiz on moments that restore your faith in community -- inhumanity, and i goes to 4
million people, that is ok. because people who read about chronic fatigue are still e-mailing you and asking you to translate it. there are so many things to touch on, thinking about everything as traffic -- it can be detrimental to the soul and bad for business. >> to have expectations on how well a story will do, or is that refined? >> i think i have a general idea , depending on the story, what a success looks like. but we do not have traffic goals. >> that was part of a discussion held on modern news gathering at the university of chicago. he can see the entire even tonight on -- event tonight on c-span. >> next, a discussion on security concerns.
from washington journal, this is 45 minutes. host: fred burton was the chief of counterterrorism for the state department bureau on diplomatic security. good morning. can you tell us a little bit about your previous job when you worked for the state department, and what it means for the world of protection and safety for those diplomats serving across the world. guest: i was hired as a special agent with the diplomatic c security service in 1985. this was a study done after the horrific embassy bombings in beirut in 1983-1984, as well as the bombing in kuwait.
the state department realized they needed many agents in order to combat international terror. host: tell us a little bit specifically then what that bureau does. the contours that takes on when it deals with the mac security. what issues are we dealing with? guest: the organization today is not the same as it was in 1985. from a historical perspective, the state departmentt's office of security has been in existence since 1916. in essence, it was the first global international federal law enforcement agency that was responsible for everything from espionage to terrorism to crime around the globe. today, the mission has morphed into a paramilitary kind of operation where we are protecting diplomats, and very high threat environments, such
as pakistan, afghanistan, and this past week in saudi arabia which appears to be facing a whole range of different terror threats. in essence, any place where you have a u.s. embassy or consulate, you have a state department special agent in their responsible for security. host: you mention saudi arabia. we heard instances of south korea, death threats against the ambassador to japan. tell us about those instances, diplomatic security, what it tells about the level of security going on. guest: it shows you the range of threats that diplomats face today, and the challenges the -- of protecting them. you have places that are historically considered as low threat environments, such as japan, or south korea. yet, these threats are constant. if you move into some of the high threat areas like iraq or pakistan, you will have an endless threat stream where various terrorist groups are
planning to conduct terror operations, specifically against diplomats. the challenge is how do you protect these diplomats that are required to get out, mingle in certain areas, and yet, ensure that they can be adequately protected. it is a daunting challenge. in many ways, it is very very difficult to try and evaluate this because you're looking at it on a tactical basis for moved -- move to move. when things go bad in this business, they go really bad, as evidenced by benghazi. host: did we see a change in how diplomatic security is done, or at least a change in philosophy , did benghazi change any of that? guest: they desperately need, in my assessment, to create an
undersecretary for diplomatic security. if your viewers can think of the organization on the same kind of playing field as the fbi or u.s. secret service, where there is a directory that runs the organization, predicated upon the threat, resources, and need, and yet the state department has historically played that position under an administrative management code. i'm not optimistic that bub will -- that that will change in the foreseeable future. the other problem is the diplomatic security service lacks a dedicated training center. if you think about this in context, the fbi has their own the secret service has their own, and yet the diplomatic
security service does not. there's no other organization that has the same sort of threat overseas. that is something that is desperately needed as well. host: fred burton joining us from austin, texas. the topic is security at the diplomatic embassies across the world. if you want to ask him questions about it, (202) 748-8000 is a line for democrats. (202) 748-8001 are line for republicans. for independents, (202) 745-8002. mr. burton, doctors about when security threats are being evaluated in these world wide spots. one of the questions that need -- what are the questions that need to be answered? what is asked? what kinds of things they looking at on the ground to determine what level of security is needed? guest: there is a two minutes -- a tremendous amount of oversight today post benghazi with threat assessments created in-house with intelligence c
ommunity. specifically, there's an office called the intelligence and threat division. they look at every threating telephone call, bald threat, -- bomb threat letter, e-mail , that is threatening an individual. they work with the host government where these threats originate from to try and identify the threat involved. with the ambassador in tokyo this is the kind of case of work behind the scenes, and usually there is a public press announcement once it reaches a level of where an individual will be arrested for this kind of act. host: we have seen pictures of the first lady in japan and we know the securitien tragedy she -- the security entourage that she travels with.
do diplomats to get that kind of security on the ground? guest: it depends on the protech d. -- protectee. in years gone past when we protected the likes of yasser arafat on visits to the united nations it would be similar to a head of state kind of protection detail. but you raise a good point with some of the presidential first led visits overseas. the burden is on the respective u.s. embassy and predominantly the regional security officer who is the diplomatic security service senior agent in charge is responsible with working with the u.s. secret service advance teams and local police to ensure from logistics perspective everything is worked out.
host: if we see these kinds of efforts going on, how much responsibility does a host government have in these reparations when it comes to security echo -- security? guest: first and foremost, the lost -- the host nation is responsible for the safety and welfare of all official diplomats. that is where the state department works very closely with local law enforcement to ensure that there is adequate security. the challenge becomes in some
environment how do you operate in the hostile environments when you look at resources like we saw in the benghazi, to make sure you have contingency plans and advocate -- adequate backup. because in many places, backup in some areas can be an aircraft carrier, or other things. many times, nothing ever happens , but when it does happen, it unfolds very quickly and it is critical to have the awareness to be able to identify that that is unfolding, or at least to identify individuals like a threat, at that specific venue. host: fred at burton is here to answer questions. you can see the numbers on the
screen if you would like to call in. fred burton, we have called lined up for you. we haven't donna on the democratic line. caller: my question is, it is evidently a tough job to do, however, i am looking at where the world is now. the anger and hostility that is out there. how much is this costing the american people or these foreign countries, to deal with diplomats who really are unsafe in the first place even in the united states, to go to these foreign countries. to me, it is unthinkable that we would put those people in that position and second, how much
are we spending to protect them? and what is it worth to america nowadays to even deal with anything in another country? host: thank you for those questions. guest: donna raises a good point. it is a large budget, on a turf perspective. that has been a road with the state department authorizing the creation of an undersecretary that could manage this amount of money and resources. inside of washington, whoever controls the budget controls everything else that falls from that. that can be a challenge. but it does cost a tremendous
amount of money. i do not know the latest figures to actually do this around the globe. but it will vary. the cost of attacking diplomats and places like afghanistan or pakistan, that is one figure compared to what it would cost to protect the u.s. ambassador to japan or south korea. host: does the host country contribute as well, when it comes to security measures? guest: yes, if you can envision the embassy in london, you will have the perimeter protected by british police and security. typically you will have a contract guard service paid for by the state department diplomatic security to protect that facility. then you have agents inside, like i used to do, working to
ensure that these programs and procedures are being followed and so forth. host: what were some of your posts? guest: i was in the counterterrorism department where i spent many years doing nothing but response to attacks that took place in those facilities, or on those diplomats or americans overseas, maybe in hijackings or other terrorist attacks. i also investigated the last u.s. ambassador killed in the line of duty, that was ambassador stevens in benghazi. and ambassador ray full -- raefold. he was unfortunately a board a
flight that crashed in pakistan. if you look at this in context and i know a lot of the media gets the strong, but before ambassador stevens was killed, the last ambassador killed in duty was in 1988. host: we have a call from georgia. caller: congratulations on your career, mr. burton. i find it unfortunate that you have to investigate incidences that have occurred and you don't have the intelligence on matters where you could have rejected these people. i am concerned about these guys that are going over to foreign countries, former soldiers, and fighting with different groups against isis. you have any comments on that, thank you and have a good weekend. guest: thank you for the kind
words. in essence, the state department and domestic assignments, they have special agents that are assigned to different things in the country, and part of their job is to do protection domestically, visiting dignitaries, these fraud, and many are assigned to joint task forces around the nation. your concern for the foreign fighters is very much a real one. in essence, that is factored into the threat matrix overseas as you protect diplomats. it is an issue that we face domestically. it is a challenge to try and keep track of passport holders that have traveled abroad and perhaps kerry -- comeback to carry out a terrorist attack here. host: there was a headline yesterday about the fears of the
united states in libya. this was a report circulated by the diplomatic security bureau talk about that role, the report gathering when it comes to hotspots in the world. guest: this is an intelligence community product. if you look at it and i sent how it pertains it to diplomats, it falls upon the diplomatic security service to assess. in essence they do not operate in a vacuum. you are looking at intelligence from the cia the dod, the fbi they are looking at assessing on a very granular basis as it pertains to a specific venue or city, or to a country. they are closely monitoring crime, because crime affects the safety and security, not only of tourists but travelers and ex-pats and so forth.
if you look at libya, it is a country that is lawless at the moment and the state department very much will have to evaluate whether it is safe and secured to try and go back in to open up a diplomatic mission. there lies the rub. when you look at what happened to ambassador stevens, you have locations that are stood up under expeditionary diplomacy and they are put in places like benghazi, where you have to put diplomats in these areas and the diplomatic security service is saddled to protect them, but physical security standards of the locations where they are housing the diplomats are ones that aren't up to snuff, because you do not have months, years to build a physical security structure that meet standards
that surfaced after the bombings in beirut in the 1980's. there is a balance in essence to the foreign service, they are going to say that the diplomats need to be out in the field to do their job but there is nobody left to protect them, the diplomatic security service. so they are constantly moving resources from location to country in order to protect the diplomats. it is a daunting challenge. don't get me wrong, the agents on the front line are the best and brightest, but that takes its toll when you are consistently working and living in these high threat environments, it is no different than being on a battlefield and the same kind of challenges that the u.s. military face. host: from california. caller: i just want to say thank
you for the work that you do there with security. i know that you guys have a lot on your plate and i have respect for the work that you do the tireless hours that you put into it. thank you, as a citizen. and with respect to caroline kennedy, that threat is it going on and you are trying to map the whole world and get out there. i just ray every night that you guys are protected and i know you guys are doing it for the united states. thank you for all the work that you do. thank you. guest: thank you for those kind words. host: a caller from texas.
caller: sir i looked at the time that you served and i was kind of back in that time. that you are working. the question that i have, back in the day, we had more ground intelligence. we had more active ground intelligence because we were in the area a lot more. the situation that is going on in the world, we do not have the same ground intelligence. we rely on technology intelligence. do you find the situation, if there is a guy in the same position that you had, do you find it is more difficult for the same guy that is holding your position now, than what it was back when we had more real-world intelligence, i guess that is what i am trying to say? guest: you raise a good point. it has been my experience when you start unpacking the success
rate of these attacks, whether it was benghazi or other bombings in the middle east, they have a failure of two points. you can boil it down to, a lack of human intelligence, meaning you lack sources inside the terrorist organization that can specifically let you know exactly what is coming down the road emma because once the attack starts to unfold, it is difficult to try to prevent it from occurring. you can look at that in beirut or in the streets of boston. you need human intelligence to tell you what is going to occur. the second failure point is the lack of technical analysis. has been my experience that after the attack has occurred, whether it is september 11, or the attack of ambassador stevens in benghazi, the intelligence that was collected before the attack, it is difficult to make sense of what is coming down the
road. that takes you back to the first point of having human resources. this is a dirty business. nobody likes to talk about that. you need to penetrate these organizations, and if you can't, the other thing you are left with is trying to rely upon your technical aspects -- assets, such as other kinds of communication, intercept, as well as foreign liaisons, which is critical. you need a very robust foreign intelligence liaison. for example, you make a good intelligence from organizations such as the jordanians or the egyptians or in some cases the israelis, these can help you make sense of the puzzle and fill in intelligence gaps. host:
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