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tv   Defense Secretary Austin and Gen. Milley Testify on the 2022 Budget Request  CSPAN  August 13, 2021 8:01pm-11:13pm EDT

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millie. then john kirby again on the situation in afghanistan. after that, rnc chairwoman mcdaniel speaking at the rnc summit meeting in nashville. later, mississippi governor tate reeves gives an update on the states response to the pandemic cash on the state's response -- on the state's response to the pandemic. announcer: other topics included the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan, threats from china, russia, and iran, and the military's response to sexual assault allegations among service members. this is just over three hours. >> he's going on to do three more of these.
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>> like to call this hearing to order. the committee meets today to receive testimony in the presence of the defense budget request for fiscal year 2022. witnesses this morning are secretary lloyd austin, secretary of defense mr. michael mccord under secretary offense defense comtroller and secretary mark milley chairman of the chiefs of staff. thank you for your service and willingness to appear before us today. two weeks ago president biden released his defense budget request for the fiscal year 2022 with a top line of $715 billion. the request focuses on several key areas, defeating covid-19, prioritizing china as the pacing challenge, addressing advanced and persistent threats, innovating and modernizing dod and tackling the climate crisis. the president's defense budget
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request is a starting point for congress and must always be viewed in the broader context of the national security and fiscal challenges we face. it is important that we ensure we have the right strategies and resources to keep the american people safe now and in the future. but the keen eye towards evolving threats around the globe. i'm pleased to see this budget request places a priority on taking care of the men and women who serve in uniform and the civilians who serve alongside them in the department. by including an across the board pay raise for military and civilian personnel of 2.7%. while this pay raise is required by law for military personnel, too often dod civilians have been overlooked. this increase in civilian pay sends an important mesage to the work force and years of pay freezes and benefit cuts. notably the budget request includes $112 billion in research, development, tests and
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evaluation funds. the largest ever requested in this area. this includes modernization areas such as microelectronics, artificial intelligence, hypersonic missiles and 5g. building our strength in these areas will be critical to the modernization of our national security. but as the recent solo wins microsoft exchange and colonial pipeline server breaches painfully illustrate our cyberdefenses are simply inadequate to deal with sophisticated adversaries that are clearly advantaged in this hyperdomain. i hope our witnesses will expand on what activities dod is taking to accelerate and expand our cybersecurity and what resources are needed to accomplish them. with regard to the president's transition strategy in afghanistan, the budget request includes $3.3 billion for the afghan security forces fund. this will ensure our continued support for the sustainment,
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infrastructure, equipment and training requirements for afghan security personnel. i ask that our witnesses update the committee on this transmission. last year this committee led the way in establishing the pacific defense initiative or pdi to serve as a means for improving the capabilities, design and posture in our joint forces in the indo-pacific region. strengthen the presence and resiliency of our armed forces, improve logistics and maintenance capabilities, support exercises, training, experimentation and innovation for the joint force and build the defense and security capabilities in cooperation of allyis and partners. i am concerned the budget request takes a centrist approach to pdi and look forward to working collaboratively to more aligned resources in the dod budget with our intent for pdi. similarly the budget request
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poses an $800 million reduction to the european deterrence, the edi. the initiative which was also established by this committee, has seen budget decreases for the past three years. the department has suggested that this is part of transitioning to a steady state in the european command aor. i would ask that our witness further explain the reasoning behind the produced edi budget and specifically whether you believe this level of investment in infrastructure and capabilities is sufficient to deter russian aggression. with regard to our nuclear strategy, i understand the budget request before us supports important steps towards nuclear modernization. our allies and partners depend on the u.s. nuclear umbrella and modernization of our strategic forces is needed to reassure them of our dependability. one thing i think everyone would agree on and often gets lost in discussion is the fact that arms control and the modernization of our nuclear forces are
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inherently linked together. even as we modernize, we should seek ways to remote strategic stability like the extension of the new start agreement and follow on talks to cover new strategic weapons and further reduce nuclear stockpiles. lastly, i would note that fiscal year 2022 is the first year in ten years that we will not be constrained by the budget control act. eliminating arbitrary spending caps means that every department's budget can and should be on its merits. taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for programs or systems that are wasteful or ineffective and congress must not shrink its responsibilities to get rid of outdated systems in favor of more advanced, effective new technologies and capabilities. belt tightening in any department, particularly defense, is always a challenge but it is also an opportunity to evaluate what is necessary and what drives innovation. the department has taken the first difficult steps in proposing $2.8 billion worth of
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devestments and retirements and platforms and i'll work my colleagues to evaluate these propoals and make hard, but necessary charges. finally as we progress, the committee will tackle important policy issues and none bigger and change is coming to the department and military services. more than anything, cultural change when the force is critical to reducing the number of sexual assaults and related offenses. the president directed a review earlier this year and i know the department has been hard at work. i look forward to receiving the administration's recommendations to incorporate into the committee's important work on this issue. again, i thank the witnesses for their participation today and i look forward to the testimonies. now, let me recognize the ranking member senator inhofe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to thank all three of our witnesses for them dedicating their lives to securing our nation. secretary austin told us along
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with every witness who has come before this committee, china is our pacing threat. it is a global, long-term competition. and it's across every arena of the national power that the military balance of power concerns me most. in 2018, the national defense strategy gave us a blueprint for pushing back on china and bipartisan commission said that 3% to 5% real growth is needed to implement that strategy. it doesn't look like we're going to get that. since then the threats have gotten worse, administration gave us a budget that cut spending when we need real growth. they want the military to do more on climate change and pandemic response and more emission but with fewer resources. we've been asking our military to do too much for too little for too long. president biden's budget cuts
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would make it even harder. it barely treads water while we face all these threats. this budget cuts shifts aircraft munitions and we have nearly $25 billion of unfunded priorities. these aren't wish lists, these are risk lists. the budget cuts, aircraft procurement by 20% and backslides on army readiness and starves navy ship building. this budget forces our military leaders to choose between being ready for today's fight or the fight of the future. the chinese military leaders they're not making that choice. on tuesday, i read in the press about the memo by acting secretary of the navy on the next year's budget. he says the navy must choose between modernizing ships, subs and aircraft. does anyone think the chinese have to make that decision?
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the chinese defense budget has grown by 450% since 2001. they added, they added $200 billion in the last decade while we cut $400 billion. so, we're behind in some of the areas and we're falling behind in some of the other areas and as a result, i'm more deterrence it will fail. maybe today or five years or ten years and when it does, the cost will be much higher than any investment we could be making today to prevent that. we're not making hard choices. we're making bad choices and short sided choices. the administration tells us that the pentagon budget is cut because of fiscal realities, but they're spending trillions of taxpayer dollars on everything else under the sun. we all agree that even the administration agrees that a strong military improves all other tools of national power, i just can't understand this short
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cited underfunding of our troops. we make sacred compact with our service members. we tell them we'll take care of them and their families and we do that very well. we also tell them that we'll give them the tools that are necessary to defend the nation and come home safely. but we're not holding up our end of the bargain with this proposed budget. we're failing to give them the resources they need to implement that strategy and, mr. chairman, we need to do better. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, secretary inhofe. secretary austin, please. >> chairman reed, ranking member inhofe and distinguished members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity for the budget request of 2022. i am pleased to appear alongside you along with general milley
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whose advice has been crucial and as we continue to defend this nation which is our chief responsibility and my top priority. i'm also glad to be joined by our comcomptroller. our budget request will help us match strategy to policy and policy and informed by the president's interim national security guidance and my own mesage to the force, it funds the right mix of capabilities that we need most to defend this nation now and in the future. it invests in hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, microelectronics, 5g technology, space-based systems, ship building and nuclear modernization to name a few. in fact, this budget asks you to approve nearly $28 billion to modernize our nuclear triad and
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$112 billion for research, development, tests and evaluation. the largest rnd request ever put forth by this department. our request also gives us the flexibility to devest ourselves of systems and platforms that no longer adequately meet our needs including older ships, aircraft and irs platforms that demand more maintenance, upkeep and risk than we can afford. we commissioned a global posture review and a new national defense strategy which will further inform and guide our resource decisions. the department must be ready to meet and keep pace with our competitors and, if necessary, to fight and win the next war and not the last one. that's why this budget stays true to our focus on matching the pace, the pacing challenge that we clearly see from a people's republic of china to include more than $5 billion for the pacific defense initiative. and i would just add that our china task force has also
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completed its work and yesterday i issued an internal directive kicking off several department-wide efforts that will among other things help bolster our deterrence against the prc and revitalize our network of partners and accelerate the development of cutting edge capabilities and new operational concepts. however, we recognize that china is not our only challenge. our budget also includes $617 million to counter the damaging effects of climate change and additional funds to prepare for future challenges like another pandemic. it also helps us counter the belligerence that we face from russia, especially in the cyberrealm. and you'll see more than $10 billion here devoted to cybersecurity, cyberspace operations and cyberresearch and development. with this emphasis on space, missile defense and more sophisticated sensors, our
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budget will also help counter the increasing ballistic missile capabilities of nations like north korea and iran. it funds a true presence and counterterrorism capabilities in the middle east and south asia to meet the threats posed not only by iran, but also by terrorist net, withes like isis and al qaeda and in africa like those posed by elshabab. i'm confident that this budget will help us maintain the deterrent energy capability and global posture necessary to back up the hard work of our diplomats and demonstrate our resolve in leadership all over the world. alongside our allies and our partners. i know that afghanistan remains a that top of all of our minds and today i can report that the retrograde remains on pace. we have accomplished a mission for which our troops were sent to afghanistan 20 years ago. i'm very proud of the men and women who made it possible and of those who gave their lives
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for this mission. i'm also deeply grateful to the families of our service members who have endured as much as they sent their sons and daughters and husbands and wives into battle. and so we will now transition to a new bilateral relationship with our afghan partners, one that continues to help them meet their responsibilities to their citizens. but one that will not require our u.s. footprint larger than what's necessary to protect our diplomats. and that's one reason why we're asking to move overseas contingency operations funding inside the budget. this will give us and you greater transparency, accountability and predictability in the budgeting process. this is the right thing to do and, frankly, it's overdue. now taking care of our people is also the right thing to do. our budget requests increases funding to support in-home care and support, which has become
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increasingly important during the pandemic. we'll also be seeking funds to improve military base pay, retention bonuses and other incentives that will help us attract and retain the best talent. and we'll be working hard to combat challenges that make service in the ranks more difficult for the men and women of the department. from getting a better handle on the extent to which we experienced extremist behavior to combatting sexual assault and harassment. as you know, my first directive as secretary of defense issued on my first full day in the office was to service leadership about sexual assault. i made it clear then and i still believe that we must not be afraid to try new approaches and to change our minds so that we can truly and fully address sexual assault in our force. and clearly what we've been doing hasn't been working and one assault is too many. the numbers of sexual assaults
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are still too high and the confidence in our system is still too low. the independent review commission that we established has provided me with an initial set of recommendations starting around the issue of accountability. in this line of effort is focused on how the crimes are investigated and prosecuted. i've shared these recommendations with general milley and the civilian and military leaders of the service branchs and i'm reviewing the feedback they provided me. there will be additional recommendations coming to us on prevention, culture and victim support and i look forward to receiving them as well. and making my full recommendation to the president later this month. as i've said before, what we're doing is not working and we need to fix it. and i want to be sure that whatever changes we make to the ucmj or whatever changes to the ucmj that i recommend to the
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president and ultimately to this committee that they are scoped to the problem that we are trying to solve, and have a clear way forward on implementation and ultimately restore the confidence of the force in the system. you have my commitment to that and my commitment to working expeditiously as you consider legislative proposals. whatever changes we make we need to focus on implementation and resources. i know i will need your help. we feel the greatest military in human history, made up of the finest men and women who have donned the cloth of their nation. we enjoy a civilian workforce deeply committed to every mission that they take on. and for all the things we know we need to do better, no adversary can match the quality of our people. i'm proud of them and humbled to be of service to them and privileged to be able to serve again with them and their
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families. i know the values they espouse and the oath they took. i know what they're capable of. and i believe i have a very good sense of what they need to do their jobs. and i can assure you that the president's budget request for fiscal year '22 fulfills that obligation. i look forward to answering your questions. and thank you for the steadfast support that you continue to provide to the department of defense and for all the efforts that you make every day to ensure that we remain ready to defend this nation. thank you, sir. >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. before i recognize general milley since a quorum is present i would ask the committee to consider seven nominations, the nominations of frank kendall iii, heidi shoe, ms. suzanne v. bloom, ms. jill m. ruby,
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mr. frank a. rose, ms. deborah g. rosenbloom, and mr. christopher p. mayor. is there a motion to favorably report these seven nominations to the senate? is there a second? all in favor? >> aye. >> the motion carries. thank you very much. general milley, your comments, please. >> chairman reed, ranking member inhofe and distinguished members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today, it remains my honor and privilege to represent the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and guardians of the united states joint force.
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our troops are the best led, best equipped, and best trained force anywhere. i want to thank secretary austin for his steady leadership and wise guidance. your joint force is standing watch, protecting american interest in all domains around the globe. alongside our allies and partners, troops are training or conducting combat operations or other operations in 165 countries to keep america safe. we're conducting major exercises as we speak in europe. we are monitoring the dmz in korea. we're conducting freedom of navigation operations in the water ways of the global commons. we are sustaining operations in space, in cyber space. we are supporting our allies and partners in africa, asia. and as we speak our joint force is conducting a safe, responsible and deliberate retro
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grade from afghanistan in good order while ensuring continued support to the afghan security forces. the purpose of the united states military is simple. it's to protect and defend the constitution of the united states of america against all enemies foreign and domestic. with that comes two tasks, ask one is to fights and win america's wars if necessary. and key task two is to prepare to fight and win america's wars. the united states military is a critical component of national power which in concert with our diplomatic efforts, economic engine and overriding hope of the message, that will deter adversaries and preserve the peace. we are prepared to fight, fight and win if those who seek to attack the united states and our allies or partners are undeterred. but force must always be the last resort when other means of achieving our ends have been
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exhausted. we are in an era of increased strategic competition. the current strategic landscape is witnessing rapid change and the potential for increased threat to the peace and stability of various regions and, indeed, for the world. states and non-state actors are rapidly transforming technologically, and we are bearing witness to a fundamental change in the character of war. in particular, china is increasing its military capability at a very serious and sustained rate. and we must ensure that we retain our competitive and technological edge against this pacing threat as secretary austin has directed. readiness, modernization, and combat power are key to deter war and maintain the peace. and equally important are the combat multipliers of team work, cohesion and well-led units.
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we must resolve the issue of sexual assault and confront the issue of extremism. both are corrosive to the very essence of what it means to be in the military. and they destroy cohesion, they destroy team work and they reduce combat power. additionally, we must continue to invest in leader development and talent management required for the future operating environment. and finally, we must continue to nurture and sustain, a key strategic source of our strength which is our network of many close allies and partners around the world. the joint force appreciates the work that our elected representatives do to ensure that we have the resources needed to train, equip and command the sources to be ready. repeated continuing resolutions that eroded readiness are hopefully behind us for good. the joint force will deliver
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modernization with this budget of our armed forces and security to the people of the united states. at the fy-22 budget request of $715 billion. while it is a modest increase from the enacted fy-21 budget it is a significant commitment of treasure of the american people. and entrusted to us and we will work diligently to ensure it is spent prudently in the best in the interest of the nation. the fy-22 budget is a result of hard choices in a year which the nation has suffered economic hardship due to covid-19 pandemic. in alignment with the international security strategic guidance, this budget delivers a ready, agile and capable joint force that will compete to win across all domain and which is postured for continued dominance in the future. this budget prioritizes nuclear modernization, artificial intelligence, ship building, micro electronics, space fiber
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and 5g, these investments will pave the way for joint force of the future. the pb-22 budget request increases the readiness of the force by developing the joint force of the future. ensuring our people are our number one priority and positioning us to achieve through team work. many enemies, historically, have grossly under estimated the united states and our people. they've under estimated our national resolve, our capability, our skill and our combat power, and each in the past has made a fatal choice which ended with their enrollment in history. the same will be true of any enemy that makes that mistake today and tomorrow. we are ready now and remain so in the future and also facing tough strategic choices and being challenged with adversaries acting in opposition to our interest.
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consistent, predictable budgets informed by the will of the people are critical to our nation's defense and the passage of this budget in a timely way is important. the fy-22 presidential budget strikes an appropriate balance between preserving present readiness and future modernization. it's a downpayment with investments for the future with a bias toward the future operating environment. it is now that we must set ourselves on a path to modernize the joint force and this budget contributes to doing that. our job is your joint force. our contract with the american people is we the united states military will be able to fight and win when called upon. we'll support and defend the constitution always and forever and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, general milley. i understand michael mccord does not have a statement, is that correct? >> um-hum. >> thank, mr. mccord. we are in the process of
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withdrawing our combat forces save for embassy protection personnel. it is going rapidly. the projections i read is perhaps july we could have all forces out. i think also, too, the taliban are aware if they would encroach upon our forces that would not only delay the departure but reengage us in active operations. so i think the questions now are, after the departure of our forces, do you believe you have the appropriate authorities and funding to continue to support the afghan national security forces and to conduct counterterrorism operations after? >> what we said is that we intend to maintain a good and productive relationship with the afghans post our withdrawal or
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retrograde. and that entails making sure that, with your support, we can continue to provide funding for their military and support for their government as well. i think that support is critical in ensuring that the government remains -- retains the ability to function and that the military remains intact. and so, again, we'll need your support to be able to do that. in terms of authorities, i do think that we have the authorities that we need to be able to focus on a discreet set of threats. and that threat is -- those threats that could conduct operations against the united states of america that would emanate from that space in afghanistan. so our ct threat is focused on al qaeda and we are confident
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that we will have the authorities to continue operations. >> i also -- are you also confident that given the significant draw down of personnel that you'll be able to effectively distribute the resources to the afghan national army and other security institutions? >> as you know, senator, we are -- our plan is to keep our embassy there, and hopefully as we work -- we continue to work with the afghan government, we'll establish those capabilities and procedures necessary to be able to effectively distribute funds and track the movement of those funds and capabilities. >> at any point in your review as the situation develops and you feel you need additional authorities, please do not hesitate to contact the committee. i think both myself and the ranking member would be very eager to provide those authorities.
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you mentioned in your opening statements the scourge of sexual assault in the military. and the ongoing efforts to reform the ucmj. the last time we did a major military reform, in 2017, the defense bill required a two-year implementation time frame and -- every bit of which was used. critical to the process was the fact that the president must republish the court marshall and making sure that prosecutions are not rushed by implementation. when you forward the recommendations will you include your assessment of the time, resources and qualified personnel necessary to implement those changes? >> we will, chairman. to your point, any proposed change to the ucmj is a very serious issue.
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we'll need the adequate time to implement the change in a very responsible way. we'll also need resources to make sure that we can effectively implement it, and we'll need flexibility to ensure that if there's something that needs to be adjusted, we can adjust. >> thank you, very much. mr. secretary. thank you general milley and mr. mccord. >> because of the interest we have here, i have two brief questions. one, general milley, in 2018, you testified that it's hard to compare the u.s. and chinese defense budgets because china's budget is very different. and for a better comparison we need to make some adjustments, and we have done that. little things like the cost of labor and all of that. making those adjustments is not easy. that's why we required, in last year's defense authorization bill, that the pentagon do a study to try to make this
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comparison. china and russia combined probably spend more than we do. i made that point in an op-ed piece last may. so i'm going to ask you, general milley, the chinese and russian economies and defense spending are unique and given this, do you think that their relative combined effort is similar to ours and do you think that they understate the spending that they're doing? >> senator, the -- both of our analysis -- dod's analysis and the intelligence community's analysis for budgets for both russia and china are classified. at an unclassified level i would tell you combined the russian and chinese budgets exceed our
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budgets if all the cards are put on the table. both governments do not put their cards on the table when it comes to the budget, it's a difficult thing to discern that which is being spent on defense versus other priorities. with respect to china, they have put significant levels of effort of their economy, and, of course, their economy is second only to ours. significant levels of resources into building the chinese military. and the chinese military as we've noted many times before, is on a significant increasing rise in capability over the last 20 or 30 years and they continue to invest heavily in that. >> that's right. and secretary austin, during your confirmation hearing in january you said, quote, i see china in particular as a pacing challenge for our department and that you need our help to deter china. i'm worried that if we underfund the military, our military, we will undermined our alliances
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and weaken deterrence. in your opinion -- well, let me state this. we have felt for some time and have said that when we -- we have countries that -- and happened that we -- senator rounds and i went six different countries last week, one of those was romania and they reminded us that we talked to them about 2% -- they should get to 2% for defense spending, they did that and they told us they did that. and yet, they're looking at us, actually reducing our funding. and i'd just like to have you comment on what kind of effect that might have to other countries, too. >> thank you, senator. i would say that when you look at our overall contributions to
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nato, we contribute a substantial amount to the nato effort and we'll continue to do so going forward. i think the budget gives us the right mix of capabilities in flexibility to be very effective in our efforts to deter china going forward and russia or anyone else who would want to take us on. so i'm confident that this budget will allow us to match our resources to our strategy and our strategy to our policy. >> my concern has been that our insistence in the previous administration, which i agreed with, that we reach the 2% and these other countries and they see -- it appears that our expectations are much less in this administration. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, very much, senator inhofe. before i recognize senator
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shaheen. we have a room reserved for a closed session after this open session. so if there are any questions that the panel feels would be best addressed in a closed session, we will retire there. if there are no such questions, then we'll conclude with the open session. senator shaheen, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you to all three of you for your service to the country and for being here this morning. secretary austin, there's an interesting article out in the "the new york times" today that suggests that our plan in afghanistan is to not just provide for some sort of over the horizon troops to address counterterrorism but we might also be looking at ways to provide air support to the afghan forces if they're in danger or if we're in danger of
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losing kabul or another major city in the country. and it also quotes afghan officials as say they've been told by their american counterparts that the u.s. would stop any takeover of a major city. who knows what the source of that is. but can you tell me if we are, in fact -- first of all, where we are in our plans to develop an over the horizon ct force and if we are, in fact, contemplating any other actions in support of the afghan troops should the taliban be in danger of taking over kabul? >> thank you, senator. as you know, we continue to provide support to the afghan security forces as we retrograde. once we have completed our retrograde, that will be very difficult to do, because our capabilities will have diminished in country. i really won't -- i won't
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speculate about any potential outcomes or any potential future actions. i will just say that the president has been clear that our mission in afghan has been accomplished and we are focused on retrograding our people and equipment out. and again, going forward, in terms of our ct efforts, those ct efforts will be focused on those elements that can possibly conduct attacks against our homeland. and in terms of our efforts to establish over the horizon capability, i would just point to the fact that, you know, as we have retrograded a lot of our capability out of country, we are doing a lot of things over the horizon now. isr is being flown from gcc, a lot of our combat aircraft
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missions are being conducted from platforms, you know, in the gulf. and so, we have the capability now to do that. what we are looking for is -- is the ability to shorten the legs going forward by stationing some capability in neighboring countries. that is still a work in progress. >> so do you have a timetable for when that plan might be completed? >> i don't have a timetable. i will tell you that we will move as quickly as we can. in conjunction with state department efforts. >> in talking with some of the women leaders of afghanistan in the last weeks, one of the things that they have asked and said they thought was very important would be for high level american officials, the president, certainly you as secretary of defense, to speak out against the taliban's attacks against women and girls in the country and to make it
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clear that that's a violation of international norms of behavior and human rights. i would urge you to do that along with other members of the administration. i think that's the least we can do at this point, is to make a point of the violation of norms and human rights that the taliban are conducting in afghanistan, especially when it comes to women and girls. i want to go on to another issue in my time that's left, because one of the things that you talked about in your opening statement was the importance of taking care of our people. and as we know, one of the challenges that we're facing, not just among dod employees but intel agencies at state, has been attacks of what has been -- come to be known as the havana syndrome, the national academy of science report released in
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december calls these directed energy attacks. it's my understanding that dod is the department taking the lead on treating individuals suffering from these attacks. can you tell us if that's the case and if you have the resources that you need to continue to do that, and then what steps you're taking to protect dod personnel from future attacks? >> the health and welfare of our people is of utmost importance to me. and we are working with -- we are working as one element of a larger whole of government effort to really determine the cause of these -- try to determine the cause of these injuries and also we're working as hard and as fast as we can to expand our medical capabilities and we've done that and expanded our capabilities to treat tbi
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and ahi injuries, and so, we'll have the ability to treat more people going forward. but again, we'll remine sighted on this and we're working as a part of a whole of government effort. >> you factored that into your budget request? >> we did not ask for additional funds for this specific, but we have sufficient funds to do what's necessary. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator shaheen. let me recognize senator wicker. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we had a subcommittee hearing just this week, and the navy's vice admiral witness before that subcommittee said this, and i quote, we've done many studies over the last five years that say we need a larger navy.
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the navy we can afford now is roughly 300 to 305 ships. so if we're going to pace the adversary, we need to have a bigger navy. mr. secretary, did the vice admiral misspeak in saying that? >> what i would say, senator, and, you know, i think certainly we have the most capable and dominant navy in the world, and it will continue to be so going guard. when you talk about naval power, certainly size matters. but what also matters is having the right mix of capabilities in the force. and so, our goal is to make sure that we remain -- that we maintain a ready, capable and sustainable force in the future. >> okay. did the navy vice admiral
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misspeak in saying that we need a larger navy? he said that two days ago in testimony before the subcommittee. can you just answer that? >> what i will say, senator is that for some time we've had a goal of 355-ship navy. i think that goal is a goal -- a good goal to shoot at. so i think that's probably what he's referencing. >> and this budget doesn't get us anywhere near back on the path to do that. i also have concerns about the navy's plans for amphibious warships. last year congress authorized, in the ndaa, multi ship procurement bundle for three lpds and one lha. this would result in a $700 million cost savings. and that hearing on tuesday, acting secretary of the navy for research development and acquisition testified that
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although the navy had reached a hand shake agreement to execute the block buy, the department of defense was unlikely to approve it. why does it make sense that knowing that we're going to have to buy these amphibious ships, why does it make sense that the department of defense might oppose saving the taxpayers over $700 million by procuring the ships in a block buy? >> as we said at the top, senator, and you well know, we're always faced with making tough choices. and so, as we looked at what -- what we could do in this budget and what was best to do in this budget, we're making those choices. >> all right. let me just say this, this is an inadequate defense budget. and i -- i sit here and while i
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very much admire our constitution and the fact that we have one commander in chief, and so the military members no matter how many stars they have on their shoulders, under our constitution, they salute that commander in chief and he appoint gs a secretary of defense, cabinet officials and based on the best advice that you and others give him the commander in chief makes the decision. and the omb that he appoints, apparently has decided that we can do just fine in a world where china is expanding in the pacific, where hamas is still raining rockets down on jerusalem, where russia is not quitting at all, and where we've just heard that their combined
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budgets are of -- of russia and china are greater than ours, we've decided, based on what somebody in -- what some budget crunchers in omb, and bean counters in omb have decided that we ought to be able to do and that we can have massive increases in domestic spending but a cut in purchasing power for the national defense budget. let me just say to my colleagues, the constitution of the united states also gives us the power of the purse. and while we appreciate the suggestion by omb budget crunchers, it is our obligation to defend this nation and this proposed budget does not do so in the two respects that i have mentioned. in the respect that the ranking member mentioned earlier on, and it is incumbent on us to reverse this and to get our troops and our nation the national security
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budget that they need. thank you very much. >> thank you, senator wicker. let me recognize senator gillibrand, please. >> thank yo mr. chairman. thank you to our witnesses for our service and integrity. i've been fighting against sexual assault in the military for the last eight years. i along with now 66 cosponsors on legislation from the u.s. senate are proposing that we draw a bright line at all serious crimes take them out of the chain of command and that one change we believe will create more transparency, accountability, a higher professionalism and create less bias in the system. general milley i'd like to ask you about this thoughts on this proposal. it's my understanding that you are now open to removing sexual assault and related crimes from the chain of command. can you please confirm that to the committee today? >> thanks, senator, and thanks for your leadership on this
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issue. i said publicly before and i'll say it here, i think this issue has been out there for quite a long time and we in uniform, generals and the members of the chain of command, have not moved the needle in many resolving sexual assault. and in addition to that, i have some evidence, some studies, some anecdotal evidence that junior members of the chain of command, or junior members have lost thought in our command. so i'm open minded to significant and fundamental change in the area of sexual assault and sexual harassment. you mentioned the bright line of all the other -- all felonies, for example. i think that requires some detailed study before we completely overhaul the entire ucmj but the focused area of sexual assault and sexual harassment, completely open minded to significant change and
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that's true for most of the senior leaders in uniform. >> thank you, general. as you and i have discussed, in recent years we've seen chilling statistics about bias in the military justice system against people of color. black service members were 1.9 times and as much as 2.16 times more likely to have disciplinary action taken against them in the average year against all branchs in 2015. these disparities did not improve and in some cases got worse in the recent years. the 2020 air force inspector general's review found that black service members lacked confidence in processes. three in five service members said they would not receive the same benefit of the doubt as their white peers and they believe the military justice system is biassed against them. the problem is more chilling
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when you look at military capital cases. one 2012 death penalty found 40% of defendants were people of color but 57% of those that received the death penalty were people of color. the reason why we wrote our bills eight years ago to draw bright lines against all serious felonies, crimes, was not just to professionalize the system and remove bias for survivors of sexual assault but also to remove biases across the board and to professionalize the entire military justice system. that is what all military experts in criminal justice recommended and what our allies did over the last 40 years, uk, germany, israel, canada, netherlands, australia. so we mirrored that in our legislation and carve out uniquely military crimes. so i'd like to know, general milley will you remain to have an open mind as you review these
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statistics and data before making your recommendation to the committee? >> totally. as i said upfront in my opening statement, the united states military has a singular purpose to support and defend the constitution. we have two tasks to fight nation's wars and prepare to fight and win our nation's wars. and unit cohesion is probably the most important contributor to combat power and sexual assault and sexual harassment, any kind of deviance from any sort of good order and discipline rips apart at that. central to the concept is also the commander's personal responsibility and accountability for the good order of the unit and discipline. so i am open minded to suggestions to improve the system because what we want to do is fix the problem and improve the combat power of the u.s. military. >> secretary austin we've also had the benefit of having a conversation about these details. and i'd like to ask you the same
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question. will you remain an open mind as you look at new data about racial disparities as well as the data you will receive from the panel that you requested advice on, specifically sexual assault related crimes? i ask that you remain an open mind as you look at the full version of the details and facts that the dod has compiled over many years and the work of this committee over the last eight years. >> before i answer that, senator gillibrand, let me thank you for your incredible work that you have done over the years to -- on this issue. on the issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment. whatever changes occur going forward will be largely due to your incredible dedication to this issue. so on behalf of the department of defense, thank you for what you've done. as you know, senator, first of all, yes, i always have an open mind to solving any tough problem. but as you know, the commission
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that the president tasked me to stand up and that has stood up and provided me some initial recommendations and still owes me more recommendations, is -- has been focused on the issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment. so those are the problems that we are trying to resolve and improve. and so, but yes, i always maintain an open mind with any tough problem. but we're focused on the issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment, and again thank you for all the work that you've done on this issue. >> thank you, secretary. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator gillibrand. now let me recognize senator fisher, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome gentlemen. i too want to thank you for your patriotism, your years of service and your years and years of caring for those who serve with you in protecting this nation.
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secretary austin, i appreciate the way the budget is prioritized nuclear modernization and kept important programs like gbsd, lrso and the columbia class submarine on track. i'm also happy to see it invests in nc-3 and finally begin moving forward on replacing the e-4b with survivable air force center. you talked about the need for our nuclear postture and modernization programs. has the department begun a formal review and when do you expect it to be complete? >> we have not begun that review yet, senator. but it will begin very shortly and it will take us several months to conduct the review. >> i think that review process is so very important. the systems are the most important military capabilities
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that we possess. and decisions about our nuclear policies and programs must be considered in a thorough, dlibive process that allows stakeholders from across the department of defense, as well as other federal agencies like the department of energy and our allies to provide their input so that decisions can be made with a full understanding of consequences. we can't be careless about this. which is why i was very concerned to see a news story that put forth a copy of a memo from the acting secretary of the navy, thomas harker. in which he directed the navy to defund the sea launched cruise missile program. this memo was signed june 4th, that's just one week after the department of defense submitted a budget request that asked for $5 million to continue to study
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that concept. and nnsa requested $10 million to conduct its own assessment. based on what you said, it seemed like the decision was made outside of any kind of posture review process. is that correct? >> senator, i have not seen the memo. but i would say that, you know, all of us, all the services and the department, again, making tough choices in terms of what to prioritize and where to accept risk. that memo has to be predecision because of where we are in the process. so i don't feel comfortable commenting on his memo. i would just say that again i am committed to a posture review to make sure that we adequately analyze what our capabilities
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are, what's needed in the future and that we maintain the right balance in our nuclear forces going forward. >> so you were not consulted on that at all? >> that's an internal department memo, i believe. based upon what's been said. >> general milley, were the joint chiefs consulted at all, to your knowledge? >> i'm not familiar with the memo, nor was i consulted. but as soon as we're done here i'll find that memo and get consulted. >> thank you, sir. i find it very concerning that an acting service secretary, who hasn't been confirmed by the senate, is making a decision like this. outside of any review process without analysis or input from osd policy, from nuclear matters, the joint chiefs or
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strat com and without any discussions from our allies. the alternatives for the missile is still ongoing, so it would seem very, very premature to reach any conclusions about it being feasible or infeasible. i don't think this is the right way to make decisions about nuclear policy. do you agree with that, secretary austin? >> i do, senator. >> should a decision like this be made through that review process? >> i have every confidence that it will be, senator. >> thank you. i hope you will follow-up with the acting secretary to make sure that it's -- it's a posture review that makes a decision on this. does the department still support the president's fy-22 budget request for this program? >> it does. >> thank you. happy to hear that. thank you, again.
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>> thank you, senator fisher. let me recognize senator kelly, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to secretary mccord and secretary austin and general milley for being here today. general milley this question is for you. it's specific to the a-10. i think you would agree that properly balancing the need to sustain america's military with the need to modernize is paramount to ensuring our adversaries are unable to outpace the united states. having the right equipment to our troops on the battlefield is critical. which is why i'm very concerned by the proposed divestment of 42 a-10 aircraft in the fiscal year 2022 budget. as you know, the a-10 is a combat proven asset that is
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unmatched in its ability to provide close air support to troops on the ground. the air force has not been able to establish a convincing replacement to carry out this mission. and it certainly has not demonstrated a replacement that can match the a-10's cost-effectiveness. budget analysts have estimated a modest cost savings if the a-10s are divested. but those savings are quite small when you consider the scope of the department's $715 billion budget. and it's critical that we consider the real cost of what we would be trading away if we were to take this action before an effective close air support replacement is in place. american troops rely on close air support in the most dire of circumstances. the a-10 has saved the lives of many men and women because of its unique capabilities.
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everyone i speak to. everyone who has had experience with the a-10, in combat, wants that to be the plane that shows up when they're in trouble. so when i think about the trade offs we'd be making by divesting, i just don't see that the risk has been properly accounted for. and i expect that you've had some of these same conversations and experiences as you talk to our troops. so, general, do you feel that we have adequately assessed the risk that these retirements could pose for our troops on the ground? >> thanks, senator. as a ground soldier who's been in a lot of fire fights and know exactly what you're talking about with the a-10 or attack helicopters or any other munition delivered by air. it's a very, very important
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capability. i'm a big fan of the a-10 personally. however, we're talking about 42 aircraft. we'll still have 239. we have enough for five squadrons. what we have to do, we collectively, we have to recognize and begin to shift toward a future operating environment and changing character of war. and we must shift the capabilities that are going to be relevant, survivable and effective against a tier 1 adversary sometime in the future. this is a modest decrease in the number of a-10s, i think it is acceptable risk and i support the air force's recommendation. >> general we often think about these things as what does day one of the world look like, i'm concerned about future conflict day 30, 60, 180. i used to be a test pilot, flown close missions myself in an airplane that does not do the
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job well. i don't see another airplane in the inventory that can do the mission like the a-10 can. when you combine the fact that it is far superior in that role, and protects troops on the ground when they need it the most, and at the same time is is cheap compared to the flight hour costs of an f-35 or f-16 even. and we don't have an airplane that can do this mission like the a-10 can. i am seriously concerned that if we go down this road and we remove 42 airplanes from the inventory, that if we wind up in a conflict and we wind up day 30, 60, 90, we're going to be regretful that we don't have that platform. so thank you, general, and i yield back the remainder of my time. >> thank you, senator kelly. now let me recognize senator
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cotton, please. >> mr. secretary, i received, along with congressman crenshaw, several hundred whistle blower complaints about pentagon extremist and diversity training. i want to share a small selection of what your troops are saying. i have a longer list immediate like to submit for the record. >> would objection. >> this is a few examples. one marine told us a military history training session was replaced with training on police brutality, extremism and racism. another unit was required to read white fragility which claims and this is a quote, white people raised in western society are conditioned in a white supremacist world view. a member told us they are being instructed, quote, the u.s. special operations community is racist. one officer relayed to us the
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words of his officer who told him the entire u.s. army is racists. a mid shipman said classmen are calling america a racist place and this sentiment is not contested by administrators. an airmen said they were placed in a privilege walk where members were forced to separate by race and gender. one african-american officer disparagingly said, and i quote, the navy thinks my only value is as a black woman and not the fact that she is a highly trained military specialist. soldiers have come forward to tell us they are forced to watch videos about racism and documentaries that rewrite america's history as a fundamentally racist and evil nation. one officer told me two guardians left his ranks in a short period of time one was a young african-american who said after the training she never
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would have joined the military if she knew it was so racist. another one said he didn't sign up to be indoctrinated and filed separation papers. we're hearing growing mistrust between the races and sexes where none existed six months ago and separations based on these trainings alone. these are not my words, these are the words of your troops. i want to ask a few simple but vital questions. mr. secretary, do you believe that our military is a fundamentally racist organization? yes or no, please? >> i won't give you a yes or no answer on that, senator, because it deserves more than a yes or no. the military, like any organization, will have its challenges but i do not believe it is a fundamentally racist organization. >> thank you. i'm sorry to cut you off, but our time is limited. i think it is a pretty simple question, i'm glad you agree it
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is not fundamentally racist. do you believe any member of the military should be treated differently based on their skin color or sex? again yes or no will do. >>
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>> diversity, equity and inclusion is important to this military, now and it will be important in the future. and so, we are going to make sure that we -- you know, our military looks like america and that our leadership looks like what's in the ranks of the military. i appreciate your support on that. >> i agree with that. the military has always been one of the most diverse institutions in our society, where you can get ahead irrespective of the color of your skin or who your parents are or where you came
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from. this is not about diversity in general, this is a specific anti-american indoctrination seeping into our military based on the complaints we have received. thank you, my time has expired. >> thank you. let me recognize senator cane, please. >> i want to give you a chance to explain the context, senator cotton asked you a question about your own career and you indicated that your career is an indication that the military can be welcoming to all kinds of people, but you were then going to explain the context of what your own personal experience has shown you during your time in the military, about why we need to take seriously these issues of diversity and inclusion. the senator had other questions, but i'd like to hear how you were going to answer that question, giving the full context. >> i think the leadership has a responsibility to create a climate where everyone -- first of all, it should be, we should
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be welcoming to everyone who is -- who can qualify and who is fit to serve and who can maintain the standards. and secondly, you know, we ought to look like the america that we support and defend. and our senior leadership should look like what's in the ranks. and where we've done a great job in recruiting very highly qualified capable people, i think we need to do a bit better in terms of making sure that we're absolutely inclusive and making sure that we create pathways or pathways are available for everybody that's in the ranks to achieve the -- you know, to realize their full potential. so that's what diversity, equity and inclusion is all about. it's about cohesion, about making sure that we remain the most effective and lethal fighting force in the world. and we have been in the past and we will be in the future.
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>> when we moved toward diversity, the military it's always made us stronger. when president truman integrated the military, it was not uniformly popular. i believe the secretary of the army ended up resigning after refusing to desegregate units a year after the order but moves like that where the military has often led society in building cohesion, the military does it well. they're not always immediately popular but they pay dividends not just for the military but american society. it has to be done sensitively, carefully by people who understand it, but i applaud you and other leaders trying to do that. let me ask you questions about the top line of the budget. i've gotten handouts from folk that is haven't asked questions, so i see more questions on this are coming. general milley if i recall you became head of the joint chiefs of staffs in late 2018. >> 2019. october. >> and so, were you involved in
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the discussions around the submission of president trump's fy-21 budget which came to this committee in february of 2022? >> sure. absolutely. >> so i guess i want to just compare the biden proposal, president biden's proposal for defense to president trump's proposal. and my argument is, to some of my colleagues who are trying to attack the biden budget, it's exactly what president trump proposed. president trump gave us a future year defense plan in february of 2020, february of 2020, and it called for a top line of $721 billion for this year. now, president biden has submitted a top line of $715 billion. so it would suggest that maybe the trump budget projection for this year was $6 billion higher than the biden budget but that's
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actually not the case. because under the trump administration, there was a practice of taking money out of the pentagon budget for non-military emergencies. over a 13-month period between -- i'm sorry, an 11-month period, between march of 2019 and february of 2020, the trump administration took $10 billion out of the top line. so that straddled two fiscal years so divide that in half. about 5 to $6 billion a year was taken out of the pentagon's budget by president trump. so the difference between the 715 and 721 is essentially erased, so long as president biden doesn't take money for non-military purposes. i have asked the omb director, i have asked everybody i know in the biden white house is it the intention of this white house to take pentagon dollars for non-military purposes. and the answer to that is no.
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president biden said, if congress appropriates, i'm going to respect the appropriations and not spirit money out of the pentagon over a year ago. and when those numbers were submitted to us, i didn't hear anyone on this committee complain about president trump didn't have a high enough top line. we ultimately control what the number will be. but in terms of the difference between the two administrations and their budget submissions to this body, i would argue that they're identical. president biden has submitted a top line that is essentially identical to what president trump would have submitted based upon the documents they gave us a year ago. with that, mr. chair, i yield back. >> thank you very much, senator
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kane, and let me recognize senator brown. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for your service to our country. i'd like to follow up a little bit and continue the discussion that senator kane has begun, and that is with regard to the top line on the budget. i do believe that this defense budget request on the whole is moving in a very similar direction that we had before with regard to trying to follow through with the national defense strategy, the nds. i think, and i would like confirmation, and i'll begin with general milley, that this particular budget is focused on achieving the goals found in the nds from 2017. general milley, could you share a little bit in what terms those major goals are in the nds that this particular budget is trying to achieve? >> sure, senator. the nds was written under
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secretary madison. i was at that point chief staff of the army and all the joint chiefs participated in that. that's a rigorous document and we all still use it as a guiding light. we're under review by secretary austin and we'll see how that comes out. there would be modifications. the document is four or five years old now. but it's still good and the fundamentals of it represent readiness, allied partners, irregular warfare. it calls out china, russia, iran. the main structure of it is still valid and perhaps china is a little more advanced than they were, say, five years ago. it's still a fundamentally solid document. but i will tell you, as i said in my opening statement, the $715 billion budget requires hard choices in terms of prioritization, but i think it
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adequately meets the needs in terms of the current nds and the one we're working on to occupy with secretary austin's signature. i think we can operate as the department of defense on a $715 billion budget. >> i understand that your involvement has been in the forming of this budget, but i think nautical control would be recognized in this, would it not? >> yes. >> and the continued development and modernization of the nuclear triad would also be involved, would it not? >> absolutely. in fact, the capitalization of the nuclear triad is the number one priority in terms of the actual programs, programmatic spending. it's critical that we have the air, sea and land components of the triad in order to maintain the security of the united states going forward. >> see, general, i think that the basic goals of the nds are
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represented within this. i think -- i do not disagree with that. my concern that i will express is it's based on being able to handle those goals but also being able to maintain and not expect the members of the armed services to continue to do the day-to-day operations if we have increases in inflation, whether it be for fuel or supplies or health care. there were some hard choices made, and i guess my question to you, sir, and i don't intend this to be a gotcha question, but the hard things that needed to be achieved in order to reach the goal of the nds, what are the reductions or limitations that have to be recognized when we do have a similar -- in terms of the total number of dollars when we do expect that
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inflation will run between 3% and 5%, and the nds expected to have, in order to meet its goals, an ongoing increase between 3% to 5% overinflation, which clearly is not reflected in the budget and i know is not news to you, sir. >> you can do the numbers all different ways, and we have mike mccord here and he knows it better than anyone else. but this budget is about $11 billion more than the fy-21 enacted budget. if you factor in inflation, i normalize the dollars, it's more or less flat. i think it's .5 less or something like that. it depends on the way you look at the numbers. senator kelly mentioned 42 a-10s. we had to make a choice between buying two subs, one destroyer and a friggot versus two destroyers and things like that. there are hard choices in all of
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the domains and this is my sixth budget. in every single budget i've seen, we're always making hard choices. we always have ways to spend more money effectively in defense of the country. but in my professional opinion, a $715 billion budget, as long as we are disciplined in its application, and if we adhere to the properties established, will serve the united states. >> thank you, gentlemen, my time has expiredexpired. thank you for service to our country. >> let me recognize senator kane. >> mr. secretary, i want to discuss just a moment one of those hard choices. the top navy undefined priority was a destroyer that was eliminated from the budget that was already committed to during the multi-year procurement.
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these top three adg destroyers are a workhorse of the navy, eyes and ears of the world that are important assets, but it also sent a shudder through the industrial base. it's precedented that a multi-year has been breached and would also cost the government money in penalties. i hope, mr. secretary, that you and admiral gilday can work with us to help with that ship. the symbolism of a breaking year and pulling back on our commitment to the capacity of the navy is, i think, a very important priority. that's not really a question, it's an entreaty with you to work with you to try to find the funds to restore that ship and restore the navy's number one unfunded priority.
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will you commit to working with us on that? >> absolutely, senator, we will do everything we can to make sure we have a good working relationship with congress, and i appreciate your tremendous support throughout, especially now. we want to make sure we maintain a ready, capable and sustainable force. we also want to make sure that the industrial base has the ability to produce what we've asked them to produce. and current plans are to buy that ddg in '23. >> thank you. the importance of the industrial bases, i live within eight miles of the industrial base in maine, and the industrial base is not something you can just turn off and on. it's got to be something that's
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sustained and maintained over time. let me turn to a different topic. i believe one of the most serious risks this country faces today is accidental conflict with china. some kind of conflict in the south china sea, the strait of taiwan, and the danger of escalation from that accidental conflict of some kind. it's concerning to me that we don't seem to have an effective hotline, direct line, whatever you want to call it with china. officials at your level and also the presidential level. i understand the chinese are reluctant about this, but i believe this should be a national security priority, and i looked up yesterday and i find that amazon has 11 copies of the guns of august in chinese, and i think what i might do is buy those and send them to the bureau in beijing.
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this is a very clear and distinct danger. do you agree with me that a better deconfliction link between meal to meal and government to government with china would be an important mitigation of this risk? >> i absolutely agree with you. as we look at some of the aggressive behavior we've witnessed from china in the indopacific, i'm concerned about something that could happen that could spark a crisis, and i think we need the ability to be able to talk with both our allies and partners, but also our adversaries or potential adversaries. i think there needs to be a direct line of communication between the military and also between government officials as well. i share your concern and i absolutely agree with you that this is critical. >> thank you. one other area that's come to my attention. in fact, we had a hearing yesterday on missile defense,
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and general van herk said he had to pry the data out of another agency. we have goldwater nichols which has enabled major joint operations. we don't necessarily have a joint capability acquisition, particularly in the area of software. i hoped that we might work with you and general milley and others on how to rationalize, if you will, the joint acquisition of things like software so we don't have silos within the military that are analogous to the silos that we had pre-goldwater nichols. is that something you would be able to work with us on? >> absolutely. i think it's critical and you have my commitment to do so. >> general milley, i'm sorry i didn't get my questions to you, but perhaps we'll have a second round. >> i'm okay with that, senator. thank you very much. >> thank you, senator king.
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senator ernst, please. >> thank you, gentlemen, and thank you very much for being here today and for your continuing service to our great united states of america. superior weapons personnel and technology ensured that we won the 21st century, but now our adversaries have adapted their technologies, they've improved their operating concepts and they've expanded their challenges to new domains of cyber and space. in fact, president biden has stated the world is at an inflection point with shifting global dynamics and emerging crises that demand attention. we, of course, know that we face emboldened adversaries such as vladimir putin in russia and xi jinping in china. both are actively seeking to disrupt a stable and prosperous
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global order, and then, of course, we have other actors like iran and north korea presenting their own significant threats. and as we are withdrawing from afghanistan, we don't see the removal of a terrorist threat. instead we see, as the president has stated, the threat has become more dispersed, metastasizing around the globe. so, of course we want to make sure we are funding and resourcing our troops appropriately, but going along with taking care of our own troops is working with others, allied nations, and secretary austin, in a march editorial in the "washington post" you wrote about the importance of joint partnerships with other nations and called them force multipliers. i do agree with you, secretary. you wrote, it would be a huge strategic error to neglect these
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relationships, and it's a wise use of our time and resources to adapt and renew them, to ensure they're as strong and effective as they can be. yet the president's defense budget guts our joined exercise budget compared to the pre-covid levels by over 50%. so how do you square your advocacy for improving our interoperability with our allies with those proposed cuts? >> we're working with members of nato to help their defense and also to contribute to nato overall. what we've been focused on is making sure that -- you've heard me say that china is our pacing challenge. so we really weighted our main
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effort there to the indopacific region. you'll note that my first trip overseas was out to the region along with secretary blinken and we visited south korea, we visit japan. also made a visit to india as well. again, we truly value the importance of strong relationships with our allies and partners. i think there is great capacity that can be leveraged there, and so in some areas, those partnerships, while still strong, are not as strong as they could possibly be, so we'll remain focused on that. >> i do hope so, secretary. i think this is a really important area to focus on, making sure that we are able to leverage them and continue to use our allies as force multipliers. mr. secretary, i also just wanted to make a brief
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statement, too. i do appreciate that you've stated your commitment to making changes to how the military handles and prevents sexual assault, and i'm concerned about the continued delay that we continued to face, though. certainly if any of our adversaries were attacking members of our military, as we have seen within our own ranks, members attacking other members within our own ranks, if it had been an adversary, we would have responded immediately. we must respond immediately as well. so i'm encouraging both you and the chairman to continue to push on this issue to make sure we bring resolution and justice for our members of the military, those very important survivors. just a brief statement, and i'm sorry, general milley, i didn't get to my questions for you, either, and secretary mccord, i'll follow up with you later on
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the audit, but i do want to echo concerns that were raised by senator fischer about the navy's intent, whether it was an interoffice memo, whatever it was. i do also want to stress my concern that the navy intends to cancel the cruise missile. i think this is very, very concerning, especially coming from an acting secretary that has yet to be confirmed, and i hope that that is truly not reflective of the overall attitude of the department of defense. thank you, mr. chair. >> it is not, senator, and we will -- as we've said, we will be true to our posture review and make sure that that drives the process. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator. i now recognize via webex, senator warren. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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thank you all for being here today. secretary austin, during your confirmation process, you disclosed that you were on the board of raytheon technologies, one of the nation's largest defense contractors. and that caused me to ask you for some commitments about ethics issues that you would face. existing ethics laws already require some commitments but they don't go nearly far enough. and this matters a lot because the pentagon spends $360 billion every year on goods and services provided by contractors, and those contractors have a revolving door with the d.o.d. so that's why i've introduced legislation to strengthen ethics rules for all public officials. it's also why i asked you during your hearing to extend your recusal from matters involving raytheon for the duration of your government service. i asked you to pledge not to receive or not to seek a waiver
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of that recusal, and to refrain from seeking compensation from a giant defense contractor within four years of leaving government service. and you agreed to make those commitments, and i want you to know, i appreciate that. i think the american people appreciate that, too. secretary austin, as i recall, you explained that you voluntarily made these commitments because you think it's important that the american people have concrete assurances so they never doubt that you are working for them and not for giant defense contractors, right? >> yes, that's true. >> good. and i just want to say i also asked several trump nominees to make the same commitments, and they refused. you, by contrast, demonstrate a considerable leadership in making those commitments. now, since your confirmation, the senate has confirmed five additional nominees to go to
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work at the pentagon. not a single one of them was on board as a major defense contractor, none of them reported that the bulk of their income came from our most powerful contractors, and i appreciated that and i supported all of their nominations. but this committee is now being asked to consider nominees who don't meet that test. and in these cases when nominees report the vast majority of their income for major defense contractors, either through direct employment or consulting, or when they're on those companies' boards, i plan to ask nominees to make the same voluntary ethics commitments that you did during your confirmation. so let me ask you, secretary austin, do you agree that the people working for you who have similar or even more extensive ties to industry should be living up to the same ethics commitments that you made. i think it's important that the american people have confidence, as you put it, that these
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pentagon officials are working for the american people and not for their former employers in the defense industry. >> senator, you've heard me say on a number of occasions that sound ethical behavior is important to us, important to me and important to the department. i have every reason to believe that those who have been nominated to serve will conduct themselves properly and exercise sound, ethical behavior, and i truly support your -- i'm truly appreciative of your support in getting our nominees confirmed as quickly as possible. we absolutely need them on the team. >> well, let me say, though, i recognize the importance of filling these important defense
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department positions, but i'm asking for commitments that they are going to avoid conflicts of interest, and i've laid out what they are and you've agreed to them. so the question i'm asking is whether you think that the people who are going to be working for you who have these ties should make the same kinds of commitments that you made? >> senator, again, i believe that they will conduct themselves appropriately. i have no concerns about their ethical behavior. i think that they are committed to doing the right things. >> well -- look, i appreciate that you don't want to step into this, but this is what leadership is about. i'm still in conversation with the current nominees where i think these commitments are warranted, and i hope that we can come to an understanding as their nominations progress. if we can, i will support their nominations. but in these cases going
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forward, if nominees with significant ties to the defense industry refuse to make the commitments you made, then i will vote no in this committee on their nominations, and i will ask for a roll call vote on the floor where i will vote no again. so let me be clear. i'm asking for these commitments not because i'm challenging anyone's integrity, but because i think it is critical that the american people have total confidence that our public officials are truly working for them and not for the defense industry that has paid them so well. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator warren. the chair recognizes senator tillis, please. >> i want to go back to the umj and what's described as the military sexual assault. it's an area i'm familiar with.
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i've spent a majority of time with general gillibrand. i'm concerned that when we talk about sexual assault people only think it's sexual assault, but we're talking about any sexual crime within the year. i'm also concerned about technical aspects that haven't been spelled out in the bill, it's more about a framework. we haven't seen the details, but one of the things i'm most troubled by is the six-month implementation time frame. in your judgment, to the extent you know the details of senator gillibrand's proposal, is that even possible to be implemented? >> i don't know all the details of her proposed timeline, what i will tell you, and i would he can -- echo what i said to the
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chairman a couple minutes ago, any changes we make, i would hope we would be provided the ample time to make sure we properly and appropriately implement these changes, because a change to the ucmj is a very significant issue in the military. we want to make sure we get this right, and we will get it right if a change is required. >> general milley, do you think maybe taking crimes that could be barracks larceny out of the chain of command is a good idea? it would put us in a position where good order and discipline on the part of the command would be undermined? >> as i mentioned to senator gillibrand before and some others earlier, i think the commander is essential to maintaining good order and discipline in the military. we're a military built to fight the ucmj's combat power. at the same time cohesion is critical, and i am very, very
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open to significant change in the area of sexual assault/sexual harrassment. when we get beyond that, i need to study it more, i'm open-minded, but it needs a lot of due diligence before we bundle all the one-year felonies and take it away from the commander. i think we have the right to study it further. >> general, i think you've heard from some of us about the need for a timely report back on the commission findings and the dod recommendations. with the markup coming up next month, i think it's important to get that feedback if it's important to what may likely be in the end mark.
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>> the independent review commission is still reviewing lines of effort that include prevention, victim care and also climate. i'll get those back shortly, and when i do, i'll make my recommendations to the president and those recommendations will be based upon what i get from the irc plus my consultations with the leadership of the services. >> thank you. jumping to budget matters, the hezbollah attacked our embassy in iraq, and the reports i've got on the ground there is the folks from the 82nd airborne that would be a part of the response spent pretty much the day of what you know is complex
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briefings and preparation. thetegic deployment complex is not yet on the priorities list. why is that? >> i'll look into that, senator. i don't know why the army hasn't but that on their unfunded requirements list, but i'm sure that the army's choice is based on the input they've gotten from the 82nd airborne commander. >> we'll submit a request for the record, because i'm concerned that in an instance where we may have to, once again, send out an immediate response deployment request,
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they're not prepared for it. i'll submit my questions for the record. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you, senator tillis. senator rummell, please. >> thank you, mr. chair. i've had a number of opportunities to raise questions about the fact that the missile defense radar for hawaii has been zeroed out over the last two fiscal year requests. in response to some of my requests about this radar which was told to me it's very important as part of our system to protect hawaii, and i'm told that under the current situation, currently protected against today's threats, that is the response i've gotten, secretary austin. but we need to protect against future threats, i.e., 2025 threats.
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so i'm going to want to have further discussions with you and your team as to what the projected dangers are going to 2025. i recognize that hawaii is protected under today's threat, but not necessarily 2025. and that was the time frame in which this radio was determined necessary for our national security. i don't want to get into further discussion with you on the explanation as to why it was zeroed out. let me move on to support for the specific deterrent initiative. it was initiated last year to ensure that they deploy an often
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overlooked readiness. they identified five areas of focus in the pdi. one, a joint force fatality, two, joint fosters, three, and four, security enablers. looking at your budget request, i do not see requested items in the five areas admiral davidson had identified as being supportive of pdi. in fact, your request identifies platforms like a navy destroyer, oiler and items related to the f-35 aircraft as pdi investments. so i'd like to know, why is the vast majority of funding identified to support pdi unrelated to the lines of effort outlined in the paycom 1251
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report? >> senator, let me say off the top that our intent was to align our pdi investment with congressional intent. so my staff is currently working with the committee to clarify and adjust any perceived misalignments, and, in fact, make sure that we answer any and all questions. so we'll continue to work that. as you know, we've dedicated some $5.1 billion to pdi, and again, our intent was to align our investments with congressional intent. i will go farther to say that a great deal of the department's budget is invested in capabilities and responsibilities that deter raid on china. i'm committed to working with
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the committee to make sure we get it right and answer the needs of the commander out in pako. >> mr. secretary, i agree with aligning the intent with what the commanders are requesting, and i think that alignment needs to be much better. for example, the dod is only partially funding the top three that are important in deterring china, since you mentioned it just now. moving on to military construction, and funding is very critical to what we need to be doing. i've had conversations with your team regarding the need for a a shipyard modernization and infrastructure support, including a new dry dock for hawaii. i know that there is request for
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dry docks in port smith, and there is a request for water in norfolk. this is a request for moving a dry dock along. i would suggest that you take a look at that, and it is very clear that the dry dock in hawaii is very necessary for the hawaii pearl harbor shipyard to be able to take care of the original class submarines that are there. we have no capacity to do that right now, so that dry dock needs to be moved along. so i request that you look at the funding requests and to see whether you can move the appropriation requests for the dry dock in hawaii along. my time is up, but i hope that you will continue to discuss that particular concern with us. >> i understand, senator.
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we're committed to making sure that we maintain the ability to maintain and sustain our force. we'll take a look at that. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator hirono. let me also recognize senator cramer and remind my colleagues there will be two votes beginning at 11:30, and i also believer the panel sought a break around that time. in talking with the ranking member, we'll figure out a strategy to accomplish all those objectives. senator cramer, please. >> thank you all for your service. good to see you. i want to start, secretary austin, by following up from an answer that you gave to senator shaheen earlier about further support for the afghan forces, and you specifically mentioned isr support from the gcc. i'm wondering if you could tell me specifically what kind of isr
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support that is. what system? >> certainly we're flying our m-29s, and essentially the vast majority of isr is being provided from other places outside of afghanistan. we've had to -- as we've retrograded, we had to make sure we protected our key platforms and systems. >> are global glock 30s part of that? >> that's correct, yes. >> you realize the block 30s are slated for budget? i'm concerned about a lack of a bridge between where we are today and where we're going to get to eventually with new systems, and you have tough choices, and we've heard about the different priorities you have to set. but every man is worried about the retirement of black 30s too early, but i think afghanistan
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presents a rather unique example of the threat. with that, general milley, could i ask you, are the combatant commanders getting all the isr support they need in every theater? >> i would tell you as chief sergeant, they have not gotten what they have wanted. it's one of those commodities in high demand all the time, and nobody is completely satisfied. isr feeds you with knowledge, but we'll never get enough isr to feed the demand. having said that, it's all a function of risk. do you take risks, what your priority is, are you supporting the main effort and what are you doing, so on and so forth? in this budget i think we are adequately funding isr as we go forward for the main effort relative to china and with respect to the block 30s and the mq-9s, again, it has to do with
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pivoting to the future. the change in environment, change in character and the changing pace of the threat with china. that's not saying we'll stop everything with regard to mq-10s and other decisions. we've got to make that turn. >> if you could list the top three threats, what would they be? >> from a military standpoint, i think china is the number one military threat as we go forward, but i also acknowledge that russia is a considerable great power protector. there are many, many threats, but from a military perspective, i put those two up there. >> i understand. one of the things i want to get at, i believe it was just yesterday president biden, when he announced america's back in europe to military men and women
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air force in the u.k., according to military leaders, the number one threat to national security is climate change. six weeks ago today, the european union parliament, speaking of nato allies who is part of your testimony in this budget, the parliament passed a resolution, 569 to 607, urging the member states to do everything to stop the completion of the nordstrom pipeline. three weeks ago today, president biden lifted the sanctions on completing the nord stream 2 pipeline. i'm just kind of wondering, that falls to america's back, rebuilding as the budget document states. i'm not sure which ones we lost, but i'm sure there are at least eight european allies who strong the oppose nord stream 2, and
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certainly climate change if climate change is the number one threat facing national security. allowing nord stream 2 is a threat to the climate. i'm not sure how nord stream 2 helps our alliance, other than maybe with the current chancellor of germany. >> sir, if i could just add to your piece about threats. climate change is a threat. climate change has significant impact on military operations and we have to take it into consideration. climate change is going to impact national resources, for example. it's going to impact increased stability in various parts of the world. it will impact migrations and so on. and we have impacts at home.
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climate change is a threat. the president is looking at it from a much broader perspective than i am. i am looking at it strictly as a military standpoint. that is not with the conflict that climate change or infrastructure or educational systems. national security has a broad angle to it. i'm looking at it strictly from a military standpoint. >> climate change is definitely a threat. with that my time has accident -- expired. >> in collaboration with the ranking member and the request to have a break at this
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>> the ships are thought to be
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carrying weapons that will for fill a deal that ran -- iran and venezuela made a year ago. we do not know the types of weapons. there are reports that venezuela was considering purchasing missiles, including long-range, on commercial satellite imagery on one of the ships shows attack boats loaded on the deck. it is unclear whether those were aboard when the ships began their journey. the administration state that the delivery of these weapons would be a provocative act, and understood as a threat to our partners in the western hemisphere, and that the united states would reserve the right to take appropriate measures, both in coordination with our
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partners to deter the transit or delivery of such weapons. secretary austin, allowing the ship to dock seem significant to me on many levels. it will be the first time that an iranian vessel has made the transit and the president is allowing around to provide weapons to the region causes me great concern. how would such delivery affect the region, in your view. -- in your view? >> i am absolutely concerned about the proliferation of weapons, any type of weapons in our neighborhood. i share your concern. >> can you tell me whether the
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administration knows exactly what is on those array and vessels? -- iranian vessels? >> i would like to take that conversation and another form. >> i would be glad to do it in another setting. have you had any communication with your colleagues in other nations in this hemisphere? >> i've not had a discussions with any other nations in our hemisphere on this issue. >> on the topic of white supremacy and violent extremism, what you and i have discussed, both in your confirmation hearing and --
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i understand that there will be a task force report. can you tell us when that report will be released? >> i am sorry, i did not quite hear the question? >> can you provide an update as to the status of the extremism task force that you announced recently, and when this committee can expect to be briefed on the results? >> early on in my tenure, i asked the force to conduct standdown to discuss the issue of extremists in the ranks. let me preface this by saying
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i'm totally convinced that 99% of our troops are focused on the right things, and doing the right things and embrace the right values each and every day. as i may have mentioned earlier, i believe small numbers could have an outside effect regarding this issue. we did gain some insights from the standdown. it was a great opportunity for leaders to have discussions with other leaders and with subordinates and talk about those behaviors. we are focused on behaviors, those that are not supportive of the values that we embrace. in addition, we stood up a counter extremism working group which routinely monitors our efforts across the department in terms of what we are doing to make sure we counter extremism
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or extremist behaviors. they are refining our policies and gaining a better understanding of the complete challenge. i can have the leadership of that working group come to brief you upon request. >> i would appreciate that. i applaud the efforts you are making against that less than 1% , i think it is a more overwhelming majority that adhere to basic values and are dedicated patriots. the focus on that less than 1% is well warranted. they may have an outside effect -- outsized affect.
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i would like to hear from your task force when it is appropriate. i will be in touch with your office. >> i agree with you. it is less than 1%. we will gain better insights, and also equip our force with better policies and definitions. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator blackburn, please. >> i appreciate that you all are here today. secretary austin, i want to come to you. on the issue of nuclear deterrence. when you went through your confirmation hearing, we had a discussion about this. in your advanced policy questions you made a statement, i am quoting you, the tipping point will be to simultaneously overhaul these forces is now here. that was your comment in reference to nuclear deterrence.
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while we are looking at this budget, we see that modernization is fully funded, but when you look at deferred maintenance, you see that it cuts hundreds of millions of dollars from the enacted level in deferred maintenance budget. we know that more than half of the nsa facilities are over 40 years old. 30% date back to the 40's. to me, this sounds like we are at the tipping point when we discussed these facilities. was not deferred maintenance cut coordinated with dod and realistically, what effect will have on the ability of the nnsa to meet the dod
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requirements? >> to my knowledge, it was not coordinated with dod. what i would say, it is very important to me and our department to make sure we work with the department of energy to ensure that we achieve our common goal of maintaining a robust nuclear deterrent. you have my commitment to make sure i remain engaged with the doe to make sure the right things are happening in this regard. >> what are the consequences if we do not modernize and bring this infrastructure -- maintain this infrastructure? >> i am absolutely committed to the modernization of the triad. we have dedicated 20 $8 billion in this budget to that effort.
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-- $28 billion in this budget to that effort. in respect to nnsa, we will engage -- remain engaged with doe to get a better understanding of their objectives. >> infrastructure is a part of what you need to retain talent. i would expect that the enterprises in valuable workforce as we look at 21st-century warfare, that it is difficult for them to continue to work in dilapidated and sometimes unsafe conditions. i would assume that is a concern to you, also. >> it is a concern, for the issues that dod controls, i am sure is that a concern for doe
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as well. >> senator fischer brought up the action of the acting secretary of the navy canceling the new lear -- nuclear cruise missile, why was this decision made before completion of the nuclear posture review? >> i have not seen the memo, i will see it shortly after this hearing. as i understand, the purpose of that memo was to issue guidance for planning and evaluation to the navy. i'm committed to conducting a nuclear posture review, that will be conducted and drive our activities going forward. >> i think that memo sent a
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message we did not want to send to russia and china when it comes to great power competition. i did appreciate the department being on pace to fully fund the pdi. the concern is the number one pdi ask was the system to be fully funded at $355 million. the funding totals for the procurement -- warm procurement and defense items in the budget was $118.3 million. that is less than half of the money that is required, which is
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the number one on funded priority. -- unfunded priority. i would like to hear you speak to that. no these fusion centers are vitally important. i have done good deal of work on these multilateral fusion centers. they serve a critical function of enhancing our intelligence, our information, our adjustable coordination and future fusion centers are the number 11 unfunded priority. these also support investments in mission partner environments, the number two unfunded priority. it seems we have a pattern here. i would love for you to address that. i am over, there are others waiting. i would be happy to take that response in writing. >> we will most certainly get it
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to you, thank you very much. >> i recognize senator -- >> thank you for your service and being here today. i want to start by saying how disappointed -- actually quite angry at a recent decision made by the air force to not award -- international airbase the f-35 training mission. my feelings are based on the data and criteria that was presented by all the installations that competed as well as what the air force put forward. it is clear from my review about and others that selfridge was the superior choice in the matter. this is clearly a problem as we've seen before with the air
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force. the gao is now investigating strategic basing decisions being made by the air force over the last few years. without question, this committee needs to retain confidence in the choices made by the u.s. air force based on diet -- data and criteria, not a whim, whatever may be behind it. do i have your commitment that you will review the trading desk training mission decisions and we will have an opportunity to talk about that? >> you do have my commitment but i will review it as i do all those types of decisions over time. i also offered to have the air force come in and brief you on their decision. the air force typically uses a
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detailed process to make those decisions. i would offer that politics has no place in this decision-making process. if you desire for the air force to come and do a late album for you, -- lay down for you, i'm sure they would do that. i've had some of those discussions already. >> it is critically important there's full transparency, so we can see not only how selfridge ranked based on that data and criteria, but also help the one that was selected ranked. so there can be true objective comparison of that criteria. i want to make sure all of our questions are asked. that is something i assume you would support. >> my guidance and requirement is that we always try to be as transparent as possible. >> i appreciate that.
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i understand the budget contains -- continues to fund remediation. the reality is that the funding requested is not anywhere close to being sufficient to address the contamination we continue to find in michigan. and unfortunately, hundreds of other sites across the country. price tag to -- contamination comes on top of an already staggering backlog of environmental remediation needs facing the department. this is why i am drawing my ella armed services committee members, introducing legislation to expedite cleanup of some of the most contaminated sites, i will continue to implement clear standards to guide those. how does the department's budget address the management challenged by these chemicals, that we will not be able to
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solve now, but sooner -- the longer it takes to solve these toxic contaminations, the more it costs the taxpayers. >> to address remediation for contaminated sites. this will extend well beyond this budget. you have my commitment to continue to work this going forward. i recently met with the epa administrator couple of weeks ago. to focus on this and a couple other issues. it was a good meeting, we committed to working together and making sure we met the standards of remediation and had good procedures for remediation. this is a significant challenge,
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as you pointed out. dod is an element of a larger challenge. we are not the only source of this contaminant. i will tell you that dod is can -- committed to doing its part to remediating whatever damage has been done in every part of this country where we have contributed. >> thank you. i appreciate your attention to both of the matters and look forward to working with you. >> thank you for your service. general milley, you know how much respect i have, especially coming here to defend a budget you probably do not like or did not support. that is a tough job. let me mention, budgets are a reflection of an administration's priorities. look at this chart.
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the bind administration and its -- the biden administration at $6 billion budget blowout clearly prioritizes homeland security dead last. in terms of inflation-adjusted, it is a cut. i think a lot of us here, democrats and republicans think national security should be prioritized first, not last. i think you gentlemen probably believe that. how can we tell the troops that you are leading that you are prioritizing their mission, which is defending america, when it is clear that the biden administration's prioritization of their mission is last. a declining defense budget, when a most every other agency in the federal government is getting a massive double-digit increase? mr. secretary, do you want to
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take that on first? >> thanks, senator. what i will tell our troops and have told them is that i truly believe that the president's budget gives us the flexibility to go after the right mix of capabilities to defend the nation and deter aggression. >> i understand that, i've been watching the hearing. it is a tough question for you, you are not in charge of these other agencies. but they are clearly not prioritizing the military and national defense relative to any other agency. look at this chart. they are putting the national security mission dead last in terms of the prioritization of budgets. how do we tell our troops that we will put you first?
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our troops are always first. >> they will always be first going forward. i do believe we have what we need to go after the right capabilities. >> sunder kremer talked about climate change, clearly our country needs to address this. i am always puzzled how our military is tasked to organize to do this. i had the honor of serving with uscentcom, we overlapped briefly in afghanistan. i don't think inane of my military service i heard climate change mentioned once. i heard tell bank, a rack, a rand, i.e.d.'s --iraq, iran,
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ied's. i was just in south korea and taiwan. you also mention china as our pacing threat. what is the more immediate threat to our national security interest, that dod has the capability of responding to, particularly in the age of a chinese communist invasion of taiwan or the challenge of climate change? i think it is a simple question, i think it is a simple answer. i do not recall >> i do not recall mentioning climate change 15 times. >> i think it was in your written statement. >> let me be clear. lethality is important. this is the most lethal force that has ever occupied the planet and will remain so going forward.
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that is what we are focusing on, we will go after the capabilities required. >> taiwan invasion by the chinese communist party or climate change, i think it is very simple. what is the most immediate threat? >> the most significant military threat, you've heard me say this is china. it is our pacing challenge, that's what we've asked you a number of times to help us resource our efforts on that challenge. i appreciate what you have done thus far. i know you will continue to help us. >> let me ask one more question. i have one charge here, it shows -- chart here. our budget compared to the chinese. they have increased their budget
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annually as much as 6%. we increased hours during the trump administration. it was dramatically cut under the biden administration. what message does this chart send to china and our allies in the region, and can we sustain our declining comparative advantage over china militarily if these trends continue? >> the message i'm concerned about is the message that we send to the world. that is that we are going to continue to go after the capabilities and develop the operational concepts to be able to defer anyone -- deter anyone who would venture to take on the united states of america. we will have the capabilities necessary to defend this nation. >> general?
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>> a couple of things. on the budget. we will get $15 billion if this is passed, as a lot of money, 50% of the entire budget. one out of every two dollars in discretionary spending of the federal government. that is not a small amount of change. the increases on your chart are wrecked, but relative to the overall context on a we are getting a lot of money. that is first. second, relative to prep -- climate change. in paragraph one, paragraph -- we always consider whether an climate change as weather at the strategic level. it has military impact, but we are not going to change climate change. we must consider it in our strategic calculations all the time.
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it is going to increase instability overseas. climate change is real. the military threat, china is our pacing threat. we are calculating all of our -- the third piece, relative to the china versus u.s. spending, this is a disturbing trend. they have made a major economic investment in developing their military, it has been going on for 20 or 30 years. the gaps that used to exist, today are smaller. the chinese have a deliberate plan to be a global challenger to the united states of america militarily by mid century. we've got to continue strong investments in our military. i think this budget is an adequate investment right now. we have to set the conditions to pivot to the future character of war with the pacing threat of china. >> let me now recognize --
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>> thank you for being here today. thank you for your service to our country. while responding to the covid-19 pandemic, seamlessly integrating our overseas operations, the national guard have and reserve component continued to -- over the past years, but -- operational force. last june, over 120 thousand national guard units were mobilized. more than a time since will war two. in short, our nation relies on reserves and national guard to defend the united states and fulfill the dod's national security responsibilities. they are not receiving the same
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pay and benefits as their active-duty counterparts. the complexity of the -- the disparity between pay and benefits between different duty statuses can often result in manipulation of orders to minimize service members' access to benefits. to ensure national guard and armed forces receive educational pay and benefits for the work that they do. service members who do the same job in the same place should not turn different pay and benefits based on their duty status. can you update me on dod plans to address reserve component duty status reform? when do you anticipate releasing your findings?
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secretary austin: we have a commitment -- general milley: we have a commitment to ensure fair pay and benefits to our troops and reservists. the reform effort is underway. we are reviewing that. i can't give you the date when we will have that to you, but we are working it very hard with both the national guard bureau and each of the services. we do recognize the need to ensure that it is evenly applied in terms of pay and benefits to the soldiers and troops in the reserve component. senator: will you commit to making sure the proposal is appropriately shaped, regarding manipulation of current pay and and if it disparities?
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general milley: sure. our commitment is to make sure everybody wears the cloth of our nation no matter where they are, active or reserve come are treated equally in all respects regarding pay and benefits. i will commit that to you and get an answer on the exact date of when reform proposals are due. senator: service members are required to maintain the same proficiency as their active-duty counterparts even though they didn't put on -- don't put on the uniform every day. this is especially true for pilots. get they only receive incentive pay at a fraction of the amount of active service members. i believe i we service members whether active or reserve duty deserves to be fairly compensated. the rand corporation showed incentive pay can improve retention and is more cost-effective than training new service members to replace those who separate.
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as we continue to strengthen our national guard and reserve forces, i introduced the bipartisan national guard incentive pay act to ensure service members in high-skill roles are compensated at the same rates as their active-duty counterparts. secretary austin, will you commit exploring options for incentive pay to improve retention, especially among service members with critical skills? secretary austin: i will come a senator. our guard and reserve have done amazing work. the skill sets you are talking about in many cases are war fighting or combat-related scales. so it is absolutely important that they are proficient. and they should receive the same proficiency pay. senator: thank you. i have a final question i will submit for the record having to do with modernization efforts across the joint force, and
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wanting to know whether dod is factoring in program performance in decisions about how to prioritize budget requests for programs such as future vertical lift. i will submit that for the record. thank you. chair: thank you. i recognize senator scott. senator: thank you. i want to thank each of you. you have significant roles for our country. probably the most important thing we can be doing is making sure we defend our freedoms. would any of you disagree that we are dealing, when you think about coming as china, you're thinking about a party that either wants world domination or in the worst case, wants to control the indo pacific? secretary austin: i believe their goal is to control the indo pacific. and i also believe that they desire to be the dominant or
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preeminent country in the world. i think they are working towards that end. senator: would you agree their goal is to take back i want, a great american ally? secretary austin: i would not disagree that they have a goal of eventually uniting taiwan with china. senator: d believe we will see more surveillance by the communist party of citizens around the world? -- do you believe we will see more surveillance by the
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communist party of citizens around the world? secretary austin: it stands to reason whatever level of surveillance is ongoing right now will continue and possibly increase going forward. senator: use what senator sullivan brought up, year after year, they are investing more in their military. the goal is to have an economy bigger than ours. and you seemed to agree that if they have an economy bigger than ours, they are going to increase defense spending. as general milley says, it is getting closer. so, if china is able to pull this off, then our opportunities all over the world for american citizens, and our way of life, is going to change, right? if they can fulfill their goals, our opportunities will be diminished. would you agree? secretary austin: i would describe our relationship with china currently as one of
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competition. you mentioned they desire to be the preeminent country on the planet, and that is the case. there long-term goal is to do that. they look to compete with us not only militarily, but across a spectrum of activity. and what you see us doing, the military and other sectors in our government, is making sure we remain competitive, economically, making sure we are developing the best scientists in the world, and we do the most comprehensive research. so, it is a comprehensive -- it is a spectrum across a broad sector of activity. senator: they want to be either indo pacific or world dominant.
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if they build an economy than ours and continue to invest in their military as they are, then what are you doing to, number one, inform americans of the risk? because we do a budget based on what the american people think our priority is. that is how we elect leaders. what are you doing to inform the public on the risk of coming as china and making sure we have the budget that we need to make sure that in 15 years we are not sitting here wishing we would have done more, we saw this trip but did not do enough? secretary austin: just about every time you hear me speak, senator, you probably grow tired of me talking about the competition with china. but that is my focus. my number-one focus is to defend this nation and protect our interests. our challenge will continue to be china.
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and we are going after the capabilities that can batch the operational concepts that we are putting into play, and allow us to be not only competitive, but accurately dominant in this competition. so, that is what the department of defense is doing, and i think you see activity across the entire government that is focused on making sure that we not only can compete with china, but maintain our edge with respect to china. senator: do you think it is important that in your role, you inform the american public of the risk of communist china, so everybody will be more focused on making sure we have the military budget we need? secretary austin: we do so routinely. and we will continue to do that, senator scott. senator: thank you. chair: thank you, senator scott. senator: thank you, chairman.
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i would like to think the witnesses for your service to our great nation. thank you for being here today. before the break, senator cramer was talking about our isr requirements and his concerns, and i am concerned as well about the m q nine. -- mq9. it is critical to our surveillance on recognizance requirements. a key part of the mq9 is that nevada's creech air force base. last year, the funding was included at the top of priorities end in april, the committee was told of the mq9's importance of the need for more. the air force lacks capacity to meet combatant commander requirements contained in the 20 18 national defense strategy. despite this, the department
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previously proposed cutting the platform, the most cost-effective, without a program of record to replace it, which would further risk widening the isr capability gap. secretary, what is the department plan for the mq9, and cost-effectiveness, and the requirement by commanders for more ion's are -- more isr? secretary austin: thank you, senator. you heard general millie talk about the late combatant commander's view on isr. having been a combatant commander, i agree, there is never enough isr. i always want more. the air force is committed to taking off a number of lines of isr, but they are not reducing the tales of the aircraft -- the
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tails of the aircraft that go with those lines. they are making sure they upgrade and modernize their aircraft were possible so that they can network the aircraft better. so, the number of tails is not being produced. the number of lines is being reduced slightly. senator: can you get us information about that, so that we know with the program of record will be going forward and how it can impact us? secretary austin: absolutely. senator: thank you. i would like to talk about iranian aggression, how we combat that, because iranian-backed militias are increasingly targeting u.s. installations, service members in iraq. iran continues to be the world' is leading state sponsor of terrorism, threatening u.s. and allied interests across the world via its ballistic missile
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program, support for terrorist proxies, so according to a recent annual threat assessment of the u.s. intelligence community, i quote, "i ran-supported iraqi shiite militias will continue to oppose the primary threat to u.s. forces in iraq." with the threat to forces in the mideast by iran and iran-backed militia groups, what are we doing to counter them? and how are we proactively protecting our forces and personnel? do we have what we need to do that and prevent them, these militias and terrorists, from targeting u.s. troops in the region? secretary austin: we continue to demand iran sees its malicious
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behavior in the region. in terms of its support of the iranian-back shia militia groups, and we demanded that they cease providing them modernized activity so that they conduct these attacks. we are doing everything with our capabilities to make sure that our troops that are forward deployed have adequate protection. we are engaging the iraqi leadership to make sure the iraqi leadership does what is necessary to protect, help protect our citizens who are there to help the iraqi government. senator: so in addition to everything the secretary desk general milley: in addition to everything secretary said, defense, where they are, with the hardening of the sites, we are doing all those measures.
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in addition, we have air defense capabilities. and systems that were put in place. those have proven quite effective against shia militia groups. we will continue to reinforce that. on the offense side, i can can -- i can discuss it in a classified session us to what we can do, and what we have done. all of that in combination, we think, is mitigating the risk. it doesn't reduce it to zero. it is dangerous. recognize that. but we have to continue to working through the iraqi government because they are the first line of defense for the protection of our forces in their country. senator: i want to make sure we have assets on the ground to defend american installations. general milley: we do. chair: senator hawley? senator: thank you. mr. secretary, i asked earlier
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this year if you agreed with the national defense assessment that the u.s. military needs to be postured to deter and prevent a fate to calm plea by an operative -- a fait accompli by an operative. you said yes, a forward deterrent posture is essential to deny a fait accompli scenario. i assume you still agree? general milley: i do. senator: i assume this would apply to our ability to maintain a chinese fait accompli against taiwan? general milley: that is correct. nobody wants to see a unilateral change -- secretary austin: that is
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correct. nobody was to see a unilateral change of the status quote regarding taiwan. we are helping taiwan defense itself and accordance with the taiwan relations act. our position hasn't changed in that regard. we will continue to help them develop the capability. senator: general milley, would you agree the u.s. should maintain ability to defeat a chinese fait accompli against taiwan if necessary? general milley: i am not sure what a chinese fait accompli in taiwan is. if you're talking about an invasion with the military they have in the population they have, that is an extraordinarily complex and difficult operation, even against an unopposed force. but i can assure you that we
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have the capabilities, if a political decision is made in accordance with the taiwan relations act and so on, but we do have military capability. senator: to defeat such an attempted invasion? good. would you agree, secretary, when we think about the touring china that we need to be focused on deterring china and the next 3, 5, 7 years, as we are 10 to 15 years from now. the context is, we have heard from the outgoing commander, from the incoming commander, we heard earlier this week from the former deputy national security advisor that china is increasingly aggressive and that the window to deter that aggression may be shorter than we thought. would you agree that we need to be focused on deterring them in the short to intermediate term including the longer-term? secretary austin: we do. those issues are not mutually exclusive, senator. they complement each other.
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while we are developing future capability, we have to bridge to that capability. and that is absolutely our focus. senator: great. general milley: the key is deterrence. we are in a position of strategic right power competition. it needs to stay at competition. and deterrence is key to making it go from competition to incident or war. senator: if i can follow up on that, general, the competitor in this case, china, knowing we have the ability to deter them, to do what you said, that if they should choose military aggression, we have the ability to deny that aggression. that is an important deterrence, is it not? general milley: deterrence is a very complex thing, but in simple terms can be you have to have the capability. your pony test -- your opponent has to know you have the capability.
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you have to communicate that capability to your opponent so they know it. you have to communicate your well and both doctors have to be rational. if all those components are there, you achieve a state of deterrence pre-thus, it is achieved. senator: thank you -- you achieve a state of deterrence, and it is achieved. senator: $24 million for foster design improvements out of the $2.2 billion that is required, i am trying to understand how providing our forces of the pacific 1% of the funding they need for foster improvements to support the forward for foster we are talking about, how can we do that and say we maintain the ability to deter? secretary austin: i would flag for you a couple issues. the first issue is, as i said earlier, our intent is to make sure that, with respect to the
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pdi investment, that we meet congressional intent. and we believe we have invested in a number of things that meets that intent. and we will meet with your staff and explain where the investments are, to make sure the language isn't confusing. second, we have invested $5.1 billion in the pdi. the third thing i would like for you is that much of what we are investing in in terms of capability and -- is really focused on our efforts to counter the challenge presented by china. and i would also say that when we speak of deterrence, we are not talking about just air, land and sea. we are talking about using every capability across all domains,
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to include cyber and space. we are talking about integrating the capabilities of our allies, which i believe is very important. and we are talking about using every lever the united states government has available to the fact that deterrence. senator: thank you. i have more questions, i will follow-up with you in writing. i appreciate the opportunity to engage with you. chair: senator tuberville, please. put your microphone on, please. senator: hello? hello? does that work? thank you. i thought mine was worn out. i want to take a different angle. i have been a team builder all my life. i am on the veterans committee, the affairs committee and my first six months i was talking with recruiters in the military.
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i am a huge military person. military brat. grew up in a military family. we talk about missiles and bombs at ships and you got to have all those, but if we don't have the people, the best people we can get, we are going to be in trouble. it is like winning a football game. the best players win games. i have no doubt the same thing with the military. we have always had a strong military. i am hearing a lot of comments about, why should i get into the military? they didn't look out for the people in iraq and afghanistan on the burn pits. we have got a huge problem. we are getting ready to spend hundreds on hundreds on hundreds of billions of dollars for veterans who have gone over and breathe the smoke and chemicals and all those things. you have got to make better decisions. all that money we are going to get ready to spend could have gone to you guys for defense. to me, it is good to be hard to recruit good people, the best
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people. i hear all this extremism stuff and i have dealt with people all my life. you don't have to like each other to be on the team. a lot of my players could not stand other guys on the team. they had personality conflicts. but you have to earn respect. you have to earn the trust, dedication, and all of that, from your teammates. so, i hate for us to get off on this tangent of the people we have in the military. in football, it is your coaches. when you ring players income you have got to bring a team. same thing with the military come you have captains, sergeants, corporals, all those. everybody's responsibility is to bring the team together. and the things i am seeing and hearing and military bases i am going to end talking to recruiters, we are having a tough time.
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and then, we have to face the people in big tech of taking our best and brightest, because cyber technology. we talk about all this equipment on the budget and all that and i understand we got to have that come about if we don't have the people, it doesn't make any difference but we had the selective service here. they sat right here and they told us that if we had a graph today, we would have 35 million people we could draft from. 35 million. only 35,000 -- only blank of those 35 million are -- -- only some of those 35 million are eligible to be in the military. we have to build a killing machine. we have to kill the enemy when they come at us. that is just something i have watched and listened and i have been on the road talking and i
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want us to have the best military in the world and we probably do. i want us to fund the best military, but we have got to fund our young men and women that are going to get in the military. and they have got to want to come in. they have got to want to be there for the simple fact they want to fight for the best country on the face of the yard -- face of the earth. secretary austin, i wrote you a letter, me and senators wicker and kramer and our concern was disturbing about training materials coming from our military. let me be clear. like you, we want good order and discipline in the ranks for the military to remain the nonpartisan institution that americans trust more than any other. but what emerged from some of the services revealed that this partisan slant defining first amendment rights for military members. this year, we have seen local
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senior military leaders in uniform, from official dod channels, criticize individual members to the press. that ain't got nothing to do with the military. you got to go about your business. we have seen the national guard march on elected officials just down from this building. we asked you, secretary, to provide a report on what steps you will take against officers who engage in inappropriate hader regarding stand down orders issued by your office. we haven't gotten it. i know you are busy, but we would like to know the steps we are taking to clamp down on people who don't deserve to be in our military. i don't want to get up here in ranch, but i have been a recruiter all my life and we have got to be able to recruit people to spend this money we are going to appropriate you in
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the right way. because we are in dire straits. can i get that commitment? secretary austin: you certainly have that commitment. i would like to offer a thought on what you just said. and thanks for your continued to support of our great military. i don't want anyone in this country to be confused. our forces the most lethal organization on the face of the planet that will remain so. and it will remain the most cohesive organization on the face of the planet. you know, when i came in as secretary of defense, i issued guidance to the force of the guidance included three things. my focus is on defending this nation and protecting our interests. the second thing is taking care of our people. in the third thing is teamwork. like you, i have put a couple teams together and i have employed those teams in combat
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and i have watched these youngsters do amazing things in support of their country and in support of each other. it is unbelievable. so, i have a good feeling terms of what it takes to create that kind of cohesion. and cohesion is what is most important to me. just like it is to you, senator. i know you understand that i do have demonstrated you understand that with tremendous success over the years. regarding the burn pits, the welfare of our veterans is foremost in my mind. that is something me and the chairman both really care about. and the secretary of the v.a., secretary mcdonough, shares that concern. he and i worked together closely on a number of issues and we have vowed to make sure we don't lose our veterans as they transition from active duty to
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retirement, or get out of the military and go do something else. i have inhaled those fumes from burn pits, the chairman has inhaled those fumes, we know it is important to take care of our troops i do have our commitment to remain focused on that. but i would also say this is not the army's problem. this is not a military problem. the issue is for the united states of america. and i know the great resources and authorizer's that are in this room share that same commitment. and we felt that commitment going forward. and i know that it's the reason that you asked that question. but the question you have, are we committed to it? senator, i am absently committed to making sure we do what we can to ensure that this issue is addressed. and i know that secretary mcdonagh has worked on this issue hard, as well.
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>> id' ask both of the questions and responses be as concise and eloquent as they've been all morning. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first, just a very brief observation. there's been a lot of talks about budgets and comparisons of budgets. i yield to no one in terms of my determination in my success to compete with china on all fronts. i will point out, even if they had significant increases, their budget is still less than one third of ours. i think that's important just to have that context because we've been talking about growth. they were showing significant growth for a much lower pace. general milley.
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i am gravely concerned about the men and women in afghanistan who supported and aided our troops, and that we're not moving fast enough to be sure that they are brought to safety. i think this is essential, moral commitment to the country, and a practical one. if we leave these people to the tender mercies of the taliban, i don't know who's ever going to cooperate us in another setting. so, i hope that both the pentagon, white house, and all the agencies of the u.s. government are committed to this as an urgent priority. and that if we can't repatriate all the people in this country, we at least make arrangements to get them safely out of afghanistan. could you give me your thoughts on that, please? >> senator, first, i think the
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president, sect f, secretary of state, myself, others have all commented on the importance of making sure that we keep faith with those who have supported us the last two decades in afghanistan. that, clearly, is our attempt, and we will do that. in terms of specific actions, department of state has believed, on the special immigrant visa program and other programs, with respect to those afghans that have supported us. that planning is working through the system right now, and i can commit to you that it's my belief that the united states government will do what is necessary in order to ensure the safety and protect those who have been working with us for two decades. >> thank you. the term working through the system is what gives me some concern. this is an absolutely urgent primary over the next six to eight weeks, i would say, as our
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troops drawdown. i appreciate your commitment on that. mr. secretary, i assume you make the same commitment. >> you're correct, senator. this is very important to us, and we're as hard as we can -- pushing as hard as we can on our end to move as fast as we can. secretary blinken has asked for an increase in authorization in terms of numbers to move through the siv process. and i would ask for your support in providing that authorization. and again, anything that you can do to expand our current capabilities in terms of authorizations would be very, very much appreciated.
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>> i'm sure the members of this committee will work to that. >> gentlemen, i share your commitment. a growing area of competition with russia, certainly, but also china is our strategic interest in the arctic. and mr. secretary, as you know, and general, each of the military services, in some ways prompted by this committee, has now published a strategy. i think all of us view this as a positive development. and both of you, during your confirmation hearings have committed to focus on this area of our national security to fully resource each of the service arctic strategies. deputy secretary hicks, through her confirmation process, did the same in a strategic forces subcommittee hearing yesterday. i had the chance to ask the commander in his role as the
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designated advocate how he saw each of the services implementing their respective strategies in the president's new budget submission. and he told me dod resourcing for the various was "inching along," but that dod "didn't move the ball very far down the field with the fy 2022 budget." do you share this view? and how can we work to fully resource the service strategies that have been put out, the dod strategies that have been put out in this important area of great power competition? >> thank you, senator. when we talked before, i indicated to you that the arctic and the arctic strategy was important to me, and that hasn't changed. as you know, we're working on
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developing our national defense strategy overall, and also working through to refine our fourth -- forced posture globally. as we develop the national defense strategies, certainly the arctic will be an area that we will take into consideration and make sure that we have the right emphasis, the right focus. and that strategy will drive our resourcing. >> thank you. general milley, do you have a view? >> absolutely, we're committed to the arctic strategy. this is a classic example of the strategic military impact of climate change. as this melt and the ice packs melt, it's exposing for the resources. the russians and chinese are realizing that, so they are clearly trying to exploit some of that. and we're going to see increased , not decreased competition in the arctic overtime. and we do need to fully resource the arctic.
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>>. thank you you, mr. chairman >> thank you. i'd like to associate myself with the senator's questions. it's an incredibly important strategic area. with no further questions, and i understand the decision has been made not to go to an additional closed session, so i want to thank our witnesses for their testimony today, for your forthrightness, for the information that you shared, and most of all for your service to our country. with that, this hearing is adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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