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tv   Defense Secretary Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Testify on Presidents 2023...  CSPAN  April 7, 2022 9:26pm-12:16am EDT

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debut, martin luther king had never given a public speech or sermon. he was not a large figure yet. what we think of in that era, the civil rights movement had not begun. jackie was a pioneer in that sense. when you think about, dr. king, probably with generosity but being true to fax, said he would not have been accepted if not for what jackie had done. sunday night at 8:00 him eastern on c-span's q&a. you can also listen to q&a and all of our podcasts on her free c-span now app.
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. >> good morning. the committee meets today to receive testimony on the
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president's budget request for the department of defense for fiscal year 2023. witnesses this morning are secretary of defense lloyd austin, michael mccord andgeneral milley. thank you for appearing before us today. extend the committee's thanks to the civilian men and women of the defense department who serve the nation. last week president biden released his defense department budget request with a top line of $773 billion. the request focuses on several key areas, including prioritizing china as a key strategic competitor, addressing the acute threats posed by russia and other adversaries and modernizing the defense department. our national security challenges have never been more stark. one month ago, russia unleashed its illegal and unprovoked and barbaric attack on ukraine, upending peace and stability in europe. putin's invasion has inflicted horrific suffering upon innocent civilians in ukraine, threatened
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european security and caused serious consequences to the global economy. the ukrainian military has performed heroically in the face of this overwhelming violence. the ukrainian people have shown the world what true courage looks like. if putin thought his actions would drive a wedge between nato and members and within the international community, he was badly mistaken. the conflict has reinvigorated the nato alliance. since the start, the international community implemented economic and energy sanctions against russia. increased military and humanitarian assistance to ukraine and reinforced nato's military presence along the eastern flank. the international community united in a way not seen in decades and are potential adversaries around the world are taking note with that in mind, this recognizes china and russia as the key strategic competitors
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for our military. concurrent with the release of the budget, the defense department submitted to congress classified versions of the national defense strategy, the national nuclear posture review and the missile defense review. these along with other strategic documents yet to be released will serve as key guide posts for this committee as we take a clear-eyed approach to what's necessary to succeed in our long-term strategic competition. an essential element going forward is the need to build the joint capabilities of our armed forces across all domains, including space, cyber and information operations. i'm interested to hear from our witnesses how this budget support joint capabilities to ensure our military remains the world's premiere fighting force. i am encouraged that this budget includes the largest request for research, development, testing and evaluation. a total of $130 billion or 9.5% increase over last year's levels. the budget includes funding for
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modernization areas such as microelectronics, artificial intelligence, hypersonics and 5g. which will be critical for our natural -- national defense. our strategy towards china and russia should not be defined in dollars by how much but rather where and why to achieve the greatest comparative advantage. i'm pleased to see this budget request places a priority on taking care of our men and women in uniform and the civilians who serve alongside them. by including across the board pay raise for military and civilian personnel of 4.6%. while this is required by law for military personnel, too often defense department civilians have been overlooked. this increase in civilian pay sends an important message to the workforce. keeping our strategic competition with china front and center, this budget request includes $6.1 billion for priorities covered by the pacific deterrence initiative. or pda. -- or pda -- or pi -- or pdi.
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although we are awaiting the specific details of the request, i'm encouraged by the progress. this committee will continue working to help improve the design and posture of the joint force. including by improving logistics, modernizing infrastructure, conducting excises and training and building the capabilities of our allies and partners. this budget includes $12.1 billion for military construction projects. i'm pleased to see increased in the energy resilience conservation investment program. the improvements to our facilities will go a long way towards the joint force's readiness. this is further supported by the budget request initiatives to weapon platform propulsion efficiency to save fuel. with regard to our nuclear strategy, i understand the budget request supports important steps for the modernization of our nuclear triad. given the reckless statement biz -- statements by boudin, --
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statements by putin including an , out of psych many nuke we must be aware of this. modernization is necessary to reassure not only our allies but deter any attack on our homeland by either of our nuclear armed competitors. we should seek ways to promote strategic stability. to cover all types of nuclear weapons and if possible reduce nuclear stockpile for all parties. given the strategic threats, the proposed investment, it is a prudent decision. this budget -- budget supports supports the development of a new long-range stealth bomber, strengthening the fleet and building up the defense duster base -- industrial base. keeping the nature of strategic competition in mind it is necessary to divest of platforms
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and capabilities not necessary or insufficient for supporting our strategy. belt tightening in any department, particularly defense is always a challenge. , there's an opportunity to evaluate what is necessary and what drives innovation. the department has taken the first difficult step in proposing $2.8 billion worth of divestment and retirements of platforms. i will work with my colleagues to evaluate these proposals and make hard but necessary choices. amidst the global pandemic, climate change, economic uncertainty, renewed aggression in europe and disruptive technology, we have to recognize the interconnected area of the threats before us. congress must make thoughtful decisions about how we transform our tools of national power. now that president biden issued the request, the committee can convene our work of crafting an ndaa that meets america's needs. now in the future. i thank the witnesses for their participation today and look forward to the testimony. let me recognize the ranking
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member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you. i join in welcoming the witnesses. for four years, this committee has been using this 2018 document, the national defense strategy commission. i don't recall ever having one document hang around for so long. the 12 who got involved with this to start with did a good job. last week, we received the classified version of the biden administration's new nds. that's this. from what i have seen so far, it appears the new strategy document does a good job expanding our understanding of the scale and scope of the threat from the chinese communist party and its military modernization. there are some things that will
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probably have disagreement about. we have done that in the past. we continue to consider the new strategy, for example, there may be some areas of strategy the administration is willing to take risks and congress may or may not agree. it's clear. i can't stress this enough, the chinese threat is beyond anything that we have dealt with before in our lives. general milley, last year, you told us that the chinese and the russians combined spend more than us on national defense. this year, beijing announced an additional 7.1% increase in the defense budget. this is a scary thing. this is a big deal. mr. secretary, i do appreciate based on the new nds that you went to the white house to ask
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for more resources. i appreciate that very much. but even then the budget just , doesn't rise to the moment. it doesn't deliver the real growth our military needs. it says very clearly in this document, in the very beginning of the document, that 3% to 5% range is where we need to be. that real growth is a recommendation and comes from the bipartisan committee. the budget also doesn't go with the record high inflation, we are seeing today, in the realm of 7% to 8%, and on the bipartisan basis, congress tried to give our defense budget real growth in 2022. the military will end up losing buying power due to the inflation.
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this historic inflation, i call it the new sequestration. for me, this isn't just about how much we spend on defense. this is about how we spend the money. we need a higher top line. what's in this budget is not nearly enough to make up for lost time. this budget shrinks both our naval fleet and our air force, aircraft fleet and cuts end strength. it has been very disturbing to all of us. i'm glad to see the investment in research and development. some good things are out there working. we're all doing it together. the reason i took so long in this opening is that this is the first budget hearing of the season. people don't realize this goes on 12 months a year. that's what this is all about. we're going to do a good job. thank you, mr. chairman.
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>> thank you very much, senator. thank you, mr. secretary. the chairman and secretary. we have been informed there's a vote that will commence at 10:00 a.m. there will be three votes in order. we will be slipping out ones and twos. but we will continue the hearing throughout the morning. then we will go into the classified section at the conclusion of this open session. with that, let me address a question to secretary mccord. i'm trying to anticipate the votes. so i jumped ahead. secretary washington, let me recognize you for your opening statement. >> thank you, chairman. good morning. chairman reed, ranking member inhofe, distinguished members of the committee. thanks for the opportunity to testify today in support of the president's budget request for
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fiscal year 2023. it's great to be here with general milley who has been an outstanding partner. i'm also glad to be joined today by our comptroller and chief financial officer, mike mccord. mr. chairman, we are still focused on three key priorities at the department of defense. they include defending our nation, taking care of our people and succeeding through team work. the budget request that we have submitted to you helps us meet each one of those priorities. our budget seeks more than $56 million for airpower platform systems and more than $40 billion to maintain our dominance at sea, including buying nine more battle force ships. almost $13 billion to support and modernize our combat credible forces on land. the budget request funds the modernization of all three legs of the nuclear triad to ensure
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we maintain a safe, secure and , effective strategic deterrent. of course, none of these capabilities matter without our people and their families. we are seeking your support for a 4.6% pay raise for our military and civilian personnel and other special pay and benefits. we also plan to invest in outstanding and affordable childcare in the construction of on-base child development centers and ensuring that all our families can always put good and healthy food on the table. we are also focused on a terrible problem of suicide in the u.s. military. i will keep on saying it, mental health is health, period. we are increasing access to mental health care, expanding telehealth capacities and fighting the tired other
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stigmas against seeking help. with your support, i just ordered the establishment of an independent review committee to help us grapple with suicide, to better understand it, to prevent it and treat the unseen wounds that lead to it. at the same time, we are still working hard to implement the recommendations of the independent review commission on sexual assault. we know that we have a long way to go to rid ourselves of the scourge. our budget seeks nearly $480 million for that enterprise. sexual assault is not just a crime, it's an affront to our values and to everything that we are supposed to represent to each other and to this country. this is a leadership issue and you have my personal commitment to keep leading. while i'm on the topic of leadership, let me briefly address our military's role in the world. as i have said, we succeed through team work. as i witnessed myself in the last several weeks, countries around the world continue to look to the united states to
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provide that sort of leadership. with help from congress, we have been able to rush security assistance to ukraine, to help the ukrainian people defend their lives and their country and their freedom. last october, i visited kyiv to meet both my ukrainian counterpart and president zelenskyy. we discussed our deepening defense partnership and our unwavering support for ukraine's sovereignty in the face of russian aggression. even before russia's unprovoked and illegal invasion, we provided ukraine with a billion dollars worth of weapons and gear through presidential drawdown authority. now, we are delivering on another billion dollars pledged by president biden. our budget includes $650 million more for security assistance in europe. including $300 million for the ukraine security assistance initiative. just a couple daze ago, the president authorized an additional $100 million to send more javelin systems, weapons
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that will provide critical support to the ukrainians as they continue to resist russian offenses in the east and south of the country. we are helping to coordinate delivery of material from other countries. which continues to flow in everyday. let me thank you for your strong leadership toward our goal of helping ukraine defend itself. since the invasion, i have spoken and met my counterpart. including on monday. i have assured him we will continue this effort. we will give him and the troops the tools and inventory they need most and that they are using most effectively against russian forces. we have also reinforced our nato allies. we sped combat power to the alliance's eastern flank, raising our posture in europe to more than 100,000 troops. these reinforcements include dozens of aircraft and areatwo
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-- an aircraft carrier strike group and to break combat teams. as part invited made clear we , will defend every inch of nato territory if required. we are making good on that promise. mr. chairman, as you have heard me say many times, we need resources to match the strategy and strategy matched to policy and policy matched to the will of the american people. this budget gives us the resources to deliver on that promise as well. it reflects our recently submit -- submitted national defense strategy, which highlights the challenge of china. and that's why we're investing $6 billion of this budget in the pacific deterrence initiative. it's why we're realigning our posture in the end of pacific toward a more distributed footprint. we're going to enhance our force posture, infrastructure, presence and readiness in the endo pacific. this includes the missile defense of guam. it's why we're making broad investments in such key areas as
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undersea dominance and advanced weaponry. including hypersonic strike. many of these will pay dividends encountering the acute threat of russia as well. which our strategy underscores. at the same time, we must be prepared for threats that don't observe borders from pandemics to climate change. we must tackle the persistent threats posed by north korea, iran and global terrorist groups. now the national defense strategy advances our goals in three main ways. forging integrated deterrence, campaigning, and building enduring advantages. an integrated deterrence means combining our strengths across all war fighting domains to maximum effect to ward off potential conflict. campaigning means day-to-day efforts to gain and sustain military advantage and to counter acute forms of coercion
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buyer competitors and complicate the preparations for aggression. and to build enduring advantages, we need to accelerate force development. acquiring the technology that our war fighters need and so our budget seeks more than $130 billion as you pointed out mr. chairman for research, development, testing, and evaluation. that's the largest r&d request this department has ever made. it's nearly a 10% increase over last year, which was a department's previous high water mark. this includes $2 billion for artificial intelligence, $250 million for 5g, $28 billion for space capabilityies and $11 billion to protect our networks and develop a cyber mission force. -- through the president's budget and with the help of this committee, we will continue to innovate.
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with your help, we will continue to defend this nation, take care of our people and support our allies and partners. with your help, i know that we will continue to lead. innovate. with your help, we will continue to defend this nation, take care of our people and support our alloys and partners. with your help, i know that we will continue to lead. thank you, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. general milley? >> chairman reed, ranking member, members of the committee, i'm privileged to represent the soldiers, sailors and guardians of the joint force. our troops are the best led, best equipped, most lethal and most capable military force in the world. long side our allies and partners, approximately 400,000 american troops are currently standing watch in 155 cloexs
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locations around the world conducting operations every day to keep americans safe. currently, we are supporting our european allies and guarding europe's eastern flank in the face of unnecessary war of aggression by russia gns the people of ukraine and the assault on democratic institutions and rules based international order that have prevented war for the last 78 years since the end of warld war ii. we are now facing two global powers, china and russia. each with significant military capabilities. both of whom intend to fundamentally change the current rules based global order. we are entering a world that is becoming more unstable and the potential for significant international conflict between great powers is increasing, not decreasing. the united states military comprises one of the four key components of america's national power.
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to protect the homeland and sustain its systems. in coordination with the other elements of power, we develop a wide range of military options for the president as commander in chief and for this congress to consider. we are prepared to deter and if necessary fight and win against anyone who seeks to protect the united states or allies or our significant vital national security interests. the joint force appreciates the work that our elected representatives do to ensure we have the resources needed to train, quip and manage the force in order to be ready. we thank this congress for increasing last fiscal year's level of funding and we look forward to your support for this year's budget. the joint force will deliver modernization and radiness for armed forces and security to the people of of the united states at the fy '23 budget request of $773 billion. this will enable the modernization and the
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transformation of the joint force in order to meet the conditions of the operating environment that we are likely to face in 2030 and beyond. the character war we discussed many times in the past, we will work to ensure the resources entrust to us are spent in the best interest of the nation. in alignment with the forthcoming national defense strategy, the classified document is out. and the national military strategy, this budget delivers a ready, agile and capable joint force that will defend the nation while taking care of our people and working with our partners and allies. we are currently witness to the greatest threat to the peace and security of europe and perhaps the world in my 42 years of service in uniform. the russian invasion of ukraine is threat account to undermine not only european peace and stability, but global peace and stability. that my parents and generations of americans fought so hard to
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defend. the islands of the pacific and the beaches of normandy bore witness to the incredible tragedy that befalls humanity when nations seek power through military aggression across sovereign borders. despite this horrific assault on the institutions of freedom, it's heartening to see the world rally and say never again to the speck tort of war in europe. your military stands ready to do whatever is directed in order to maintain peace and stability, a peace that ensures global stability where all nations can prosper in peace. we are also prepared and need to sustain our capabilities anywhere else on the globe as well as our effort in the asia pacific region measured dpens our pacing challenge of the people's republic of china. and in defense of our nation, we must maintain competitive match in all the domains of war, space, land, sea and air.
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the united states is at a very critical and historic geostrategic inflection point. we need to pursue a clear-eyed strategy of maintaining peace through the capability of strength relative to china or russia. this requires that we assignment tint ously maintain readiness and modernize for the future. if we do not do that, we are risking the security of future generations. i believe this budget is a major step in the right direction. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, general. and mr. secretary, my first question. can you explain how it was taken into account in this budget request in terms of personnel and a major contract? >> yes, chairman. we pay just as much attention to this as we did to the program
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content that we're going to spend most of the hearing discussing. so when we saw prices changing last year, we jumped on it. at the same time, we were doing our program review. we took all the information available to us at the time we had to finish, which was basically the end of last calendar year, built that into our budget. what did that mean? the gdp deflated. it does not reflect what we buy. we weren't chasing 7% but an increase up to 4%. we built that into the proising of what we buy from contractors and then we also the pay rates that you describe, we took the increase in wages into account. the result of both of those things, added $20 billion a year to our program from 23 through '27 working with the white house. the secretary made both points to the president and on the cost of the program. on top of the 20 to $30 billion of program content we added.
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we added to catch up on this pricing increase we saw last year. then comes the tricky part. the world keeps changing it spiked energies prices. we do not have that in our budget. so the world keeps evolving. the global economy let alone the u.s. economy are hard to predict what's going to happen next. what we saw happen last year. with all the information we had when we finished, we caught up so we would not start behind on our pricing. we had a letter with the details set of questions. that will be another opportunity for us to explain this in more detail going forward. >> thank you very much. secretary austin, could you highlight for us some of the key
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capabilities that are included in this budget that will implement the national defense strategy that you have just proposed and the president's proposed? >> thank you, chairman. one of the tenants of this strategy is, as you heard me say earlier, this con suspect of integrated deterrence and the principle here is that we maximize capability capacity in every war fighting domain, air, land, space, sea, cyber, and that we're able to network those capabilities in new and different ways. so you see from this budget that we were investing in space in a significant way. $27 billion. cyber is $11 billion. missile defeat and defense, $24 billion. long range fire is $7 billion. and so a significant investment
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in the types of capabilities that we know we'll need to be relevant and dominant in a future conflict. >> thank you. and i indicated in the my statement that the difficult choices you had to make with respect to retiring platforms, et is et ra, which i presume i'll ask you is essential to being able to have the efficiency to continue operating, to have the innovation to anticipate problems going forward. you and general milley talk about the need for this disinvestment. >> absolutely, chairman. as you know, it becomes very difficult and costly to try to maintain platforms that will not be relevant and effective in a fight with peer competitor. and so because these platforms
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in many cases are difficult to continue to maintain, we need to choose to off ramp those capabilities and invest in capabilities that we know that will provide us what we need in a future fight. >> thank you. general milley? >> thank you, senator. the divestment to invest strategy retires a variety of platforms, mostly navy and air force, that are quite expensive and the cost benefit analysis to sustain them over time doesn't add up. number one. number two, the technologies this those systems are old. so we are trying to modernize the force for the future operating environment 2030 and beyond. that's what the investments are in this budget. >> i appreciate that. i think looking at not just the fighting in ukraine, but also the fighting recently in
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armenia, the impact of drones, and the future where large systems that we assumed in the past were difficult to defeat have been handled by the ukraines. but with that, let me republic news senator inhofe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the chairman asked a question and lead off with, which i was going to do. currently now, the question would be in 2022. do you want to expand a little bit on that year? >> on inflation in 2022, the gdp deflated was the budget that you got last year at this time was built on 2%. we now saw the year ended at 4. that's what we caught up on. so that that pricing going forward building into our
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program going forward would not be behind. the tricky part is assessing what's going to happen in '23 going forward given how hard it is to predict these things and whether oil price spikes will persist or not persist. >> which ily thi they will be. secretary austin, some say we shouldn't be talking about the top line. we should be talking about how the budget aligns with strategy. i think we need to talk about both. we only have a classified defense strategy. we have no national security strategy. so how are we supposed to connect the dots between the strategy and the budget? is there any timeline for the white house to release the national security strategy so we can have a debate in public about this strategy? >> thank you, senator. i cant offer you a timeline on
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when that's going to be released. i would only say that as we constructed the national defense strategy, we use the guidance that was available in the very detailed national security strategy guidance that was published very early on in this administration. that was very helpful to us to allow us to map out the strategy that you now see. if you look at that strategy and you look at the budget, you'll see direct linkages between the budget and the strategy because we use the strategy to fabricate the budget. >> that's good. thank you very much. general milley, i'm going to ask you one question. i already know the answer because i know you. i think it needs to be stated in this hearing. i want to follow up on this congresswoman turner's question
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from the harg earlier this week. your position on the sub launch nuclear missile hadn't changed. i just wanted to confirm. admiral richard and your best military advice is to continue development of this missile for deterrence purposes. >> that's correct, senator. my position didn't change. i think it's important to have as many options as possible for this president or any other president. i do want to state also that we have lots of options. we have a significant nuclear capability. i don't want any foreign adversary to misread what i'm saying. i happen to believe this president and every president needs lots of options, which we have. but i think more options are better. >> great. >> thank you, senator. senator shaheen? >> thank you, secretary austin, chairman milley and
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undersecretary mccord for being here this morning and for your service. secretary austin, the senate observer group which i cochair sent a letter to president biden. one of the things we raised in the letter was in view of what's happening in ukraine, whether we should have a more strategic and comprehensive approach towards the black sea region, which as we're watching russia is freely using to attack ukraine and has the potential to shut off that region. as we think about our future strategy, how are we factoring in efforts to address what's happening in the black sea region, particularly? >> thank you, senator. this unlawful and unprovoked aggression by putin has had the effect of of changing the security architecture in the region for some time to come.
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so what nato is now doing is taking a look at what has changed and what nato will need to do to make sure that we can continue to do what's necessary in protecting our nato countries, defending our nato countries. that work is just commenced. it's ongoing. i expect that we'll have a robust discussion as we go to the summit in june. but again, it's ongoing work. we recognize, however, that the change has occurred and that change needs to be accounted for. >> well, again, the black sea region is particular vulnerability right now given what's happening. and are we working with our allies in the region on what that strategy should look like? >> absolutely.
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well prior to this, we were working with the countries in the region in terms of their capability and capacity and what they needed to do to evolve that. that will all be a part of the ongoing discussion. but clearly, they will have a voice in that discussion. >> as we pointed out, the architecture going to be different because of this war. it appears that we are right now locking at a much more robust presence in europe. how do we think that's going to affect our long-term military posture in europe? >> i wouldn't care care to speculate. as we look at this pois postture, we'll look at all capabilities across nato. we do expect that it will change our footprint in terms of how much it changes the u.s.
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contribution that's left to be seen. and whether or not it includes permanent basing forward or additional rotational forces in and out of the eastern flank or a combination of both. these are things that have to be worked out. we'll work with nato on this and to your point, it no doubt will be different going forward. >> chairman milley, would you like to speculate? >> i won't speculate, senator. we're developing options for the secretary and president to consider on the force posture in europe. >> i was pleased to see that the president's budget included $4.2 billion for the deterrence initiative, but in view of what's happening in ukraine, do we not think we're going to have
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to increase that request? i don't know if that's for undersecretary or you, mr. secretary. >> certainly there's something that we'll look at. thank you for what you did in the past to provide us with that. that enabled us to rapidly flow forces into theater. fall in on equipment and we're ready to go in a very short period of time. that in addition to a number of other things you helped us with created some great capability. but to your point, i think we'll need more of that going forward. exactly how much, ub nope. >> thank you. i'm almost out of time. i want to raise the issue around
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pfas because the 2022 and the omnibus budget bill cob tand contained funding and testing. and for those of us who have constituents who are affected by what's happened with pfas exposure at military installations, it's nice to say help is on the way. are you committed to ensuring that all of the initiatives that are funded as part of both of those bills get out on time and as quickly as possible? >> i am absolutely committed. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator? >> in your opening statement, you talked about the acute threat we're facing. you termed the challenges as being stark in the statement by general milley. he said the danger is increasing, not decreasing.
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certainly, senator shaheen is correct about a more robust presence in europe. of course, that's going to require more funds from the congress. the branch of our government that has the power of the purse. i don't see how we can view the current climate as one in which budget tightening is appropriate. so i would just challenge my colleagues on this committee and in the house and senate to acertificate our authority as the appropriators and as the branch of government charged with providing enough funds to provide under the constitution. secretary austin, let me talk about amphibious ships. you assured us that you would
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fund the need for amphibious ships to conduct missions. you did this in the department's fy '23 budget. it calls for full funding and funds. so thank you for working with us on that. however, i have significant concerns for the future of amphibious ships the department of defense has not delivered the 30-year shipbuilding plan for congress. when are we going to get that? the department of defense has not delivered the ship study to congress. again, when will we get that? yet, even without these two documents, the department is proposing to end the lpd construction line after lpd 32. now by contrast, the marine corps has been clear. the math is simple. if you end the line after 32,
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you cannot reach the 31 traditional amphibious ships the marine corp. even included funding for an entire lpd 33 as its number one unfunded priority in fy '23. secretary austin, why did you not include funding for lpd 33 in the fy '23 budget? how do you propose filling the operational gap this is going to cause? and do you think we should take note of the fact that the marine corp. chose lpd 33 as its top choice for additional funding? >> thank you, senator. let me also thank you for what you have done to continue to support us and continue to support our navy and our marine corp. there'sthere are 2.8 billion in the '23 budget focused on am
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fibs. they will be important to us going forward. there's $5 billion allocated across it. as you know, we're based upon a common vision of the future core. we will track along with a common needs. we will continue to work with them. we're also investing in an amphibious warship, which is a loigter version. and we will make those investments.ighter version. and we will make those investments. those two reports that you mentioned earlier, the shipbuilding plan and also the study, those are forthcoming in the next several weeks. >> in the next several weeks. very good. let me ask you this. with regard to ukraine, you said
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on tuesday it's the objective of the government to deter putin, but as general milley described, it's difficult to do so unless you put forces on the ground. in the omni, congress provided $3 billion in authority to further arm the ukrainians. yet, we have only used $900 million of this. less than a third of the amount authorized. this could be used to back fill nato partners. why hasn't the administration provided the full $3 billion? does the administration not want to send it yet? is it not available yet? are there throughput problems at the pentagon and how do we fix these problems to get our friends in ukraine the equipment and weaponry they need to defeat the russians? >> we communicate with ukrainian leadership routinely.
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as i indicated, i just talked to the minister on monday i'll talk to him again this afternoon. the chairman is in close contact with his counterpart as well. those needs are identified and engagements we are flowing resources into ukraine faster than people would have believed conceivable. from the time and some cases that authorization is provided, we see real capability begin to show up. >> you're not suggesting they're receiving everything they are asking for. >> if i said that, i didn't mean to is a say that. we are providing them with capabilities that are relevant and effective in this fight. you have seen us provide a
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tremendous amount of anti-armor, antiaircraft and also communications as well as uavs and we are also looking to help them in a number of other ways. we are providing those capabilities that have proven to be absolutely had effective in this fiepgt. >> thank you, senator. senator gillibrand? >> thank you, madame chairwoman. general milley and secretary austin, i want to commend the fine work you're doing in ukraine with regard to being supportive of the ukrainian people's will to fight and win. i went with the delegation with senator ernst a few weeks ago and we were able to meet with the 82nd air bourn and our troops in poland and troops doing exercises in germany. i can say it was extremely inspiring and something i think that you should be very proud
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of. do you believe our current strategy is sufficient for ukraine to win the war against russia? if not, what shifts and strategy would you suggest? and second, we have talked about how this conflict could ultimately be resolved. i want to know if you are engaging with any russian counterparts or whether any nato allies are doing so? >> in terms of engaging, we have frooktly reached out to our counterparts in russia to try to ensure that we maintain dialogue that's in the last that's not
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been very successful because the russians have not responded. in terms of whether or not this is the right approach, our goal, our objective has been to make sure that we help ukraine difd itself, protect its sovereign territory. they have done an incredible job of doing that. because they have the will, the determination to defend their sovereign territory. that's been really impressive. but you also need the equipment as well to do that. so we provided them the armor and antiaircraft and weapons and also the uavs that have been really somewhat decisive for lack of a better term in a number of these fights. putin thought he could rapidly take over the country of ukraine. very rapidly capture the capital city. he was wrong. he was wrong in part because he made a number of bad assumptions, but also in part because of the stiffness of
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resistance that he encountered. i think putin has given up on that effort to capture the capital city. our goal is to make sure we give the ukrainians everything they need and we can possibly get to them as fast as we can get it to them. we're pushing it very quickly. so that they can be successful in that fight as well. that will be our focus going forward. >> general milley? >> i would say that what does winning look like. ukraine remains a free and independent nation that it has been since 1991. that's going to be very difficult. it's going to be a long slog. this is not an easy fight they are involved in. the first part of it is probably successfully waged in the last six weeks they have managed to defeat the russian onslaught on to kyiv, but there's a
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significant battle yet ahead down in the southeast, around the donbas region where the russians intend to mass forces and continue their assault. i think it's an open question right now how this ends. ideally, putin decides to cease-fire, stop his aggression and, but that right now that doesn't lock like it's on the immediate horizon. >> do you believe we need any shifts in strategy or do you believe the current course is the best course? are there any concerns about escalation that you need to mitigate? >> yes, i do think the current strategy is the right strategy, which is number one, do not engage in armed conflict with russia. the united states forces don't engage with armed conflict with russia. and second, to continue to support the ukrainian people and their government with sufficient weapons and arms so they can help defend themselves.
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third, maintain the cohesion of nato because nato is very powerful organization. it's an alliance in many many ways. it acts as a deterrence. those are the three main objectives that the president has laid out for us. we'll continue to execute those. that's the right track. >> thank you. i have expired my time, but i want a question for the record. secretary austin, the people's republic of china had rapidly advanced their information warfare capabilities and russia's ongoing cyber attacks against ukraine are an indication of how this dimension of warfare is bound to become more complex. what are some broad strategies and approaches that we should be considering to recruit more civilians in uniform personnel to improve our cyber readiness. you can either to a short answer now or submit kwlr answer for the record. your choice. >> i'll take the question for the record, senator. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you.
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senator fisher? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to begin by noting my frustration with the timing of this hearing. we're here to review the department's budget, but we have no detailed budget justification data. my understanding is the jbook will be released mid-april. we can't talk about any strategy either. the administration's national defense strategy, the nuclear posture review and missile defense review were submitted to congress last week. but all of those documents are classified. last year and in 2017 and 2018, this committee delayed the secretary's testimony so that there was ample time to review the budget and have a meaningful oversight hearing. i'm disappointed that that is not the case. be respect to the npr, i would note that the previous administration release these documents publicly in early 2018
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and the committee had almost three months to review them before secretary mattis and general dunford appeared to testify. secretary austin, in your opening comments you said that in this budget, resources are matched to strategy, matched to policy, matched to the will of the people. i think having this hearing without any detailed information about the budget and when we are unable to openly discuss any of the administration's strategy documents directly undermines the committee's ability to conduct its oversight work. it is contrary to the spirit of transparent government that these hearings are intended to support. i will be deferring most of my questions to the classified portion. but i do have a few we were able to glean from the top lines that we were given.
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secretary austin, in section 1684 of the 2017 ndaa, it was directed that the department would designate an acquisition authority to be responsible for defense of the homeland from cruise missile threats, but the department has still not made such a designation. what's the status of this? does the department intend to make a designation and when or can we expect that to happen in the near future? >> thank you, senator. we do intend to make a designation and we will move out smartly on that. in terms of being transparent, when the budget is released, i'll invite mr. mechanic cord to
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make a couple comments there. it's our goal and our desire and mandate to be as transparent with you as possible and we will do that. >> i would like to continue with my questions since i will run out of time here. i would point out one of my missions, and i have talked to you about it and all the service chiefs, the joint chiefs, to be able to declassify much of the material that we see as members of congress. i think there are ways to do that. we have to be able to do that so that the people of this country understand the threats that we face so that when they have the information and can review that for themselves, they will support our national defense. they will support our national security. i feel that we have gone backwards here in making these classified documents and not
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being transparent. but if i could continue, given the increasing cruise missile threat to the united states, again, i think it's important that we make this dez ugh nation. it was in the 2017 ndaa. and that was a long time ago. also the air force is divesting 369 aircraft this year and buying 87, which is a net loss of 282. the five-year plan projects by 467 air kraflt and divesting 1,468. a loss of 1,001. the navy's battle force shrinks as well under this budget dropping from 298 ships today to 280 in fy 2027. i'm open to the concept of
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divesting of legacy platforms, but i think that is dangerous way to put stress on the force that we have. so how are we expecting to deal with that dilemma? >> thank you, senator. first, let me just highlight there will be an unclassified version of the strategy that comes out a bit later. in terms of divestment and investment, we are investing in those capabilities that will enable us to be decisive in the future fight. in those capabilities that are not survivable, in that fight, i think if we have to divest it and also because they are expensive to maintain. we can use those resources to invest in future capabilities
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that we need for the next fight. so that's our strategy. and again, as you match the budget to the strategy, i think you'll find a direct match there. >> i hope you remember it has to be matched to the will of the american people as well. >> thank you. senator blumenthal? >> thank you, chairman. thank you for your service. i will say on my own behalf that we're very fortunate this very dangerous time in our history to have one of the most inl impressive national security teams in recent history. so thank you for your service to our nation at this very perilous time. i have visited ukraine as well as more recently poland, the border with a number of my
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colleagues. i have very vocal and vehement in support of more lethal arms delivered more quickly to ukraines while they have lost their men and women in this fight for close to a decade against the russians. now i must say we continue to do more and do it more quickly. i agree that it's going to be a long slog. it's a protracted war. but we need to be there for the ukrainians in the midst of this long slog. you have said that the outcome is an open question. but what troubles me is that
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saying it's an open question is a prediction. the objective is to enable the ukrainians to win. it seems to me that often our strategy seems somewhat schizophrenic. we want the ukrainians to defeat the russians, but we're afraid that pushing putin into defeat may provoke escalation. we need to address those fears and provide ukraines what they need to win. so let me ask you whether you feel that we can do more to train the ukraines in anticipation of that long slog to use more advanced weapons systems that we can provide.
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number two, can we provide provide systems that we are, in fact, diminishing in use in our own armed services. can we provide more naval assets to be more effective in the kinds of aerial defense that will stop putin's reign of terror. can you give me an assurance that we will do whatever it takes to enable ukraines to win wild avoiding the escalation into nuclear confrontation. >> thank you, sir. first of all, i got to tell you providing the ukrainians what they need is at the top of my list of things to focus on every
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day. this is a thing that the chairman and i talk about with our commanders every day. we are personally involved in engaging countries in the region and around the world, quite frankly n trying to make sure that we not only provide what we can but we're getting assistance from other countries. there's some 30 nations that are providing assistance in addition to us. and that's the part that you don't see on a daily basis because we don't talk about it very often. many of these systems are systems that ukrainians are used to using. they have been very effective thus far. we'll continue that work. can we provide the training? our focus right now is to provide training where necessary on no systems that we are providing them and welcome get that tone in short order.
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they are in a knife fight. so taken large number of peoples out. i will had invite the chairman to comment on this, but again, this is a high threat air defense environment. and the a-10, we have to do the analysis to ensure that if you did that t could survive. i question whether or not it would survive in the current environment. . >> let had me ask you this. shouldn't we be using now the defense production act to produce more of the javelins, the stingers, all of the stocks thaterer we are using and diminishing and running low on and our allies as well. shouldn't we be amoying the defense production act? >> we are pushing hard to engage the industry to make sure that we move the production of these items as quickly as we can.
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that's not an easy task with at least one of the items. but we will move this in terms of additional production as fast and efficiently as we can. >> are you alarmed that the russians are not returning your call, that they are not communicating with you? shouldn't we be alarmed? >> disappointed for sure, but based upon what they have done, nothing surprises me. and it didn't mean it will stop reaching out to engage them. i think we have to have the ability to talk to the leadership. >> thank you. >> why will you not say when and victory when it comes to ukraine? >> they just gave the impassioned speech. it's clear what both parties want. you talk about deterrence 29 times. you never used win or victory in
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reference to ukraine. nor does the secretary of state, the national security adviser, the vice president or president. have the words been purged from the administration's vocabulary when it comes to ukraine? >> do you want ukraine to win or do you want this war merely to end? >> i think the chairman pointed out very accurately what a desired state would be. ukraine maintains its sovereignty and its ability to protect its country. it maintains its government. russia is weakened militarily and it has a pariah.
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some of that will happen. a free and independent ukraine with sovereignty and control over its own territory. does that include the territory that russia control in the donbas, the day before the invasion? >> i think it's appropriate to let president zelenskyy and the government of ukraine define what that is going forward. >> are you or anyone else in the administration discouraging president zelenskyy on attacks on taking back crimea? >> no. >> are you providing them intelligence? >> we are providing intelligence to conduct operations in the donbas. that's correct. >> the donbas territory that
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russia or its proxies control before the invasion. offensive operations to reclaim their own territory. are you providing that? >> we want to make sure it's clear to our force. the update guidance goes out today we'll make sure that's clear. >> updated guidance. that means that the current guidance has said don't provide that information? >> certainly, the fwoi dance was not clear in that regard. we'll make sure it's clear. >> i think this is part of what you have heard from both parties in this committee. as much as we have done, we're still engaged in too many half measures and tentativeness in our posture towards this war. and i just want to talk about our own posture. admiral richard testified to the committee that he advised we should go forward with a normal routine, regularly scheduled test of our icbms. that was postponed and now it's been cancelled.
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why did you cancel that test, mr. secretary? >> we postponed it so that, again, we're at a very ten wous point. we. ed to make sure we were doing prudent things and managing escalation. we reached a point where i made the decision that we postponed it to the degree that it was best to go ahead and cancel it. i would tell you i'm confident in our ability to maintain our programs and to stay on track and to provide a credible deterrence and to protect our allies and partners. >> i'm confident in it as well. i'm confident because we conduct these routine tests. we don't cancel them because vladimir putin decided to invade a neighbor. we postponed it because it's etc. ka will toir says to me to vladimir putin that we are nervous about what he's doing go to do opposed to making him nervous about america and nato is going to do next. >> if we were concerned about
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him being nervous -- >> the chairman has said this war could go on for years if a missile test is escalatory, is it going to be escalatory in '23 and '24 and '25? >> it really depends on what's going on at that point in time. if you'll look at -- i know it's not lost on you that we have rapidly deployed forces to the eastern flank. we have pushed in tremendous amount of security assistance to ukraine. and none of those actions indicate that we're afraid of putin. >> one final question for the chairman. general milley, i hear concerns about professional military education across the services that it's not focused enough on rigorous operationally focused education. there's too much things that are beyond the core war fighters domain like international studies or development economics. you put out a very strong memo
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on this in may of 2020. i still hear that some of the schools are not implementing that fully. could you talk to me about your concerns in a that memo and what plans you have to make sure that that's driven down to the lowest level of our education? >> the u.s. military has two tasks. prepare for war and fight and win wars and that's it. it's designed to do that. we issued that guidance in 2020 to emphasize that. operational skills, strategic thought and we do periodic reviews. i just got a report a couple weeks ago that i said how many contact hours do you do in war colleges and staff colleges. it comes autoto 5,000. did the math. my guys did the math. and 80% of that time was spent on war fighting operations and strategy. the others are spent on things
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like engagement, public affairs, administrative tasks that you have to do to run the military. so it is focused 80% of the time on the war fighting skills necessary for command and leadership at the staff level of different organizations. >> i would really like to take it to 100%. i bet the one thing you'd like to strike is congressional engagement. >> no, it's important. >> senator? >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary austin, i want to commend you for reaching the decision that you did to defuel and perm nntly close the red hill storage facility. ensuring the health and safety of our citizens has been my number one priority. this decision not only protects the island's drinking water, but will ultimately benefit operations as we look to expand our ability to operate in a distributed manner.
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i also would like to particularly thank katherine hicks for her work on this issue and communicating with me personally. and the closure is going to be a multiyear, multiphase endeavor. there's a defueling process, the closure of the facility, the cleanup of the site. the entire effort will require significant planning and resources for years to comp. i ask you to work closely with the hawaii department of health and the epa as we go forward and the funding in the president's budget shows dod's commitment to the long-term closure and cleanup of red hill. and demonstrates very importantly to the people of hawaii that the environmental remediation will not fall to the wayside. secretary austin, would you like to add any comment to that? >> just a couple. first of all, i want to thank
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you personally for your leadership and that of your colleagues in doing the work that you did to help us work our way through this. and we remain grateful for that. i would also highlight that the safety and security and the health of our troops, our families, the people in the community, it's absolutely important to the department of defense. you are correct, we have allocated funds that will help us begin to address the critical components here going forward. the defueling process, remediation will be no doubt carry a significant expense. i certainly hope that congress will continue to support us, as you have done, to this point. >> thank you for your continued leadership. secretary, it is my
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understanding that this year the national defense strategy and missile defense review were developed simultaneously for the first time to ensure alignment of decision making across these documents. one of your priorities is defending the homeland, will ch will make sense to ensure missile defense is in line with that priority. though the budget justification books are not out yet, one concern i have is for the defense of hawaii from missile threats and to date the department hassen spent significant resources on hdr hawaii, which i have supported because we were told many times that this was required by the operational commanders. while we wait for greater detail on the department's decision relating to the future of hdr, i would like to understand the department's position on defense
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of hawaii and how if hdr hawaii is not funded, how the department plans to upgrade radar discrimination capability for the defense of hawaii. the question is what is your plan for the future defense of hawaii for missile threats? >> in terms of defense of hawaii right now, we are absolutely committed to defending this it country. hawaii is a key part of that defense. certainly is defend as we speak. going forward, senator, you'll note that we're investing $24.7 billion in missile defense and defeat. so we're developing the next generation interceptor. our goal is to stay two steps ahead of our adversaries emerging technologies and hawaii will absolutely be a key part of so just to be clear then, if we're not going to be continuing
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to fund hdr hawaii that you are developing, as you mentioned, the next gen interceptors to make sure hawaii is defended against missile threats. >> absolutely. >> thank you. i just want to add my voice of concern regarding senator wicker's line of questioning relating to amhouse ships and that there will be only three of the planned purchases. i just want to add my concern that 31 that you are continuing to work with general burger so i hope we can come to the positive resolution he had for those ships. >> thank you. >> gentlemen, let me begin by saying thank you to all of you for your service to our country.
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general austin, i think it's important that we want the ukrainians to win and we will support them with the intelligence information and weapons so they can regain the territory that has been lost to russia, and that includes the area in the donbas. i think that's a very important clarifying point, so i thank you for that, sir. and mr. secretary, if this is an issue which you would prefer to have mr. mccord address, that's fine with me. the industry base we have in the united states is one particularly that the -- the defense industrial base is something that comes into question with the long-term capabilities, and it's something that has been of concern to this committee and i think that the joint chiefs have expressed their concern in the past about our ability to respond and build the weapons and maintain the weapon systems that we have.
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i want to point out one that we have in the past, and while it did not start on your watch, sir, i think it's critical that we fix it as soon as possible. what i would like to talk about is an example of what i have talked about before. the ability of the navy -- i will use the navy because we have used the navy in the past, and the ability of the navy to manage vessels is beyond concerning, and the "uss boise" is a los angeles class nuclear attacked sub, and it was commissioned in november of 1992. "the boise" has not been on patrol since 2015 and lost its dive certification in 2017. we have had some of our folks, and they were on board in 2019 as the crew executed premaintenance procedures.
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here we are seven years plus later since it was last on patrol and it's still awaiting its engineered overhaul. there is no funding to allow this to happen until at the earliest, fy 24, but probably fy 25. multiple captains of "the boise," they are in limbo, and the taxpayers are continuing to pay for that when it has not executed its mission in seven years. we asked tough questions of navy leaders for at least the last five years and nobody in the navy has been able to solve the problem. now i am hearing "the boise" may be decommissioned without receiving an overhaul. i think this is simply not acceptable to have the taxpayer funded nuclear attack submarine
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with those capabilities out of service for more than seven years and we can't seem to get to the bottom of what the problem is. mr. secretary, i am not sure if you are prepared to discuss this or if you would like to have mr. mccord attempt it, but i would like to hear your thoughts. >> yes, sir, and i certainly invite secretary mccord to make comments as well. as you have heard me say, we continue to invest in our sub capability, especially the columbia class and that will continue going forward. we think it's critical. the issue that you raise, i think, is an issue of capacity in our shipyards, and this budget invested $1.7 billion in the shipyard and the industrial base, and i think it's critical and we will continue to do our part to make sure we are helping
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the industry create the capacity to take care of our capabilities here. >> mr. secretary, thank you. perhaps rather than spending the rest of my time on this particular one, could i ask, would you get back with us and let's find a solution to this problem? >> thank you. >> general milley, i have one question for you, and i know you have been an army officer and commanded ground troops and you understand the need to have all possible systems available for their use. there was and there continues to be a question as to whether or not land mines should be a part of our systems of operations, and yet sometimes i think people get a phrs misunderstanding of land mines, and this is a needed capability for our armed forces to have the ability for the land
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mines to be able to be used in certain situations. you understand that. the army has been developing land mine alternatives for over 12 years yet the objective capabilities is not scheduled to be fielded until at least fy '30 or '31. could you share the capability for the need for land mines and how it's critical to our land forces. >> yes, i think land mines are important in order to shape enemy operations, and land mines are being effectively used by the ukrainian forces to shape the approach by russian armored forces and puts them vulnerable
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to the anti-tank systems that we are providing the ukrainians. that's one of the reasons why you see column after column of russian vehicles destroyed, and anti-tank or anti-personal mines are effective for use in combat. the reason we are developing a newer one is so they time out and don't present harm after the conclusion of hostilities, and they would not be a danger after that. >> thank you. senator king, please. >> thank you mr. chair and thank you to our witnesses and services. as russia moves the focus of their military operations to donbas and the south, how would you characterize north and west
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ukraine now? is it battlefield or nonbattlefield? >> i would still categorize it as part of the operating environment, the battlefield, the battle space. there's no telling what mr. putin will decide to do going forward, and so in my view it's still part of the battlefield. >> general? >> same thing. the main effort, if you will, of the russians is positioning south to donbas as is reported in the news, and that goes all the way up there kharkiv with the main effort in the vicinity of issiam, and there's air and missile strikes that still go on and russian special operation forces are still operating in
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that area. >> as the war ratchets up in the south and east do you agree with me it's likely that ukrainians in that region in some numbers will try to flee the region to other parts of ukraine or to other countries? >> i think for civilians the answer is -- you know, the human instinct to survive is very powerful, so they recognize the danger they are in there will be a high likelihood the refugees or internally displaced persons will leave, and i think 5 million are displaced and well over 10 million right now and i imagine more will leave that area. >> as a general matter, i think ukrainians would like to stay in their own countries. if we could shape it, wouldn't it be better for those fleeing the east to go into ukraine rather to go into other
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countries? >> sure. >> if president zelenskyy were to appeal to the united states, nato, the u.n. and say the ratcheting up of the war in the east is going to create such a pressure for people to flee, these people want to stay in ukraine, can you as our allies and nges flood humanitarian relief into western ukraine, shelter medical capacity, food, so displaced persons in large numbers will be able to come to a place in ukraine rather than flee across the borders and president zelenskyy were to ask for the united states' assistance in doing that, should we seriously entertain that request? >> that is a policy question, but as far as humanitarian aid, there's a lot of humanitarian aid move into ukraine in addition to military, and it's
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more appropriately a policy question. >> secretary? >> i agree, one of the things we need to consider is what we need to do if we are going to put people in there to protect that area, and that's a decision that takes you to, you know, to fighting the russians. so that's a pretty significant decision, but i would emphasize what the chairman has said. usaid are flowing a lot of other humanitarian assistance across the border now and the europeans are providing that too. >> there's other economic trends other than inflation, historic job growth, historic growth in the gdp and historic growth in wages and salaries this morning, and new unemployment claims were
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announced and it's the lowest number since 1968. in january of 2021, we were seeing 965,000 unemployment claims a week, and it's 166,000 now. many of us met with admiral and secretary this morning and we asked about that, it's fantastic and the job force is great and it creates workforce challenges and how are you tackling the workforce needs when the unemployment rate is dropping so quickly? >> it certainly does -- one of the things that creates headwinds for us in terms of recruiting, and not only uniformed personnel but getting the right kinds of talent that we need to fill our ranks here. we will continue to devote resources to making sure that we're doing the right things in
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marketing and advertising and outreach, but these are challenges that we have faced before and we are going to have to double down and make sure that we are active in the right -- in the right areas and we are committing the right resources to make sure we get the quality people we need to be successful. >> thank you, senator. senator joni ernst, please. >> thank you for your continued service to our great country. we are appreciative. secretary austin, there has been a lot of discussion about ukraine and russia this morning. in your opening statement that you -- you did say that u.s. security policy must reflect the will of the american people. the american people right now are calling on the administration to do more and to be tougher on russia and bring
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more capability to bear for ukraine. "the washington post" just this morning in one of their polls found 56% of americans think we have not been tough enough on russia. so whatever the hesitancy to say win for ukraine, victory for ukraine, i will say it, and i know a number of my colleagues will say it. i feel very firmly about victory for ukraine and maintaining its sovereign integrity as a nation. they are a democratic form of governance and it's very important to so many americans, because so many americans see themselves reflected in the ukrainians. they are a first-world country and have come a long way over the last 30 years. success to me is still a free and sovereign ukraine, so i do hope that we will continue to
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press very hard to make sure, as you stated, things are speeding up, delivery of lethal aid, but we must ensure we are doing everything we can for the country of ukraine and the citizens there. i will turn, because we focused a lot on ukraine and russia, and general milley i would like to jump to central command if we can. i am concerned about the budgetary cuts and some of the flat lines that we are seeing across our operations budget, and there's four terrorists organizations operating now in afghanistan and yet we don't have a u.s. footprint there to make sure that they are not pushing threats against our homeland. how have your gulf state
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military counterparts particularly egypt, saudi arabia and the abraham accords country reacted to our reduced military budget? you have had any input from them? >> not about the budget per se, but there's concern because -- the department of defense, we are making adjustments to the footprint and the ukraine situation is a new development since we began that review sometime ago. there's concern in the cencom operations, and we are continuing to work with our allies and partners. we clearly recognize the terrorists threat and throughout the region, and we think that we do have over rising capabilities that we can discuss in the classified session, but we think
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we are effective to find a fix and when necessary strike any potential threat to the homeland. >> and it's been said that the emirates will not accept the president's phone calls. >> i have not had an issue contacting the counterparts. >> thank you. it's important that we maintain relationships in the middle east, so i appreciate that. with the administration continuing the negotiation of the iranian nuclear deal and then pair that with the reduced footprint that we have in the middle east, is that driving some of the gulf states' neutrality when it comes to the russian/ukrainian conflict? your opinion? >> i actually don't know. i would have to ask them
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pointblank. i have not asked those questions pointblank to them. i think they -- i don't know, i would be speculating. >> i appreciate that. then just very briefly as well, we have not talked about this today, but it's something on my mind and that is recruiting for our military and we have found that the americans between the age of 17 to 24, only 29% of them would even be eligible to enlist. very briefly, your thoughts on that? >> yeah, about 29% are eligible to meet the standards, and even less than that have the propensity to serve, less than 5%, and we know propensity to serve goes up once you make contact. making contact is the key for the propensity to serve. it's a tough recruiting
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environment, and the army is behind, and the navy and navy are meeting their marks. i think at the end of the year the army is projected to come in a point or two below 100%, and the other services are at 100%. >> thank you. >> senator warren, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in the new budget the pentagon is asking for a lot of money. $773 billion. but some lawmakers say this is too low, and last week they proposed adding as much as 90 to 100 billion more. the claim is that the extra money is needed because of inflation. there's no question that inflation is raising costs across the country, but we have also seen big companies taking advantage of inflation to jack up prices and pad their profit margins. that's a particular problem in industries with lots of
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consolidation. the defense industry, which had 51 major companies competing for defense contracts 30 years ago, today as five. that is concentration. price gouging by defense contractors has been a big problem for a long time. inspector general reports have found that defense contractors charge dod $71 for a pen that should have costs less than a nickel, and $80 for a dream pipe segment that should have costs $1.41. ceos are already bragging to their investors that profits will be even higher this year. that kind of profiteering hurts the budget numbers. we have to account for cases where suppliers are increasing
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prices to cover higher costs elsewhere in the supply chain, and we understand that. but these companies are doing very well for themselves. should taxpayers be expected to subsidize profits for companies when they raise their prices above and beyond what is justified by an increase in expenses? >> short answer, senator, is no. you have my commitment and the commitment of my entire team that we are going to do everything within our power to make sure that we are managing contracts and monitoring behavior so that we enable the people of the united states of america to get best value for its investments. >> i very much appreciate that, secretary austin. one of the things defense contractors love to do when they are flushed with extra cash
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courtesy of the taxpayers is to goose their stock prices. the top contractors spent $15.5 billion on net buy backs last year sending their stock prices zooming. that's the most of any year on record ever. but it's not just members of congress who are using inflation as an excuse to ask for more money from the pentagon. i was actually troubled to hear some pentagon officials doing the same earlier this week. secretary austin, let me ask you directly, are you comfortable with the figure in the president's proposed budget? >> i am comfortable and here is why, senator. you may have heard me say earlier that we went through great pains to develop the national defense strategy and we -- we knew that our budget would have to match that strategy, and so we went through
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great pains to make sure that was the case. this is a robust budget, and i think it allows us to get the capabilities that we need to support our operational concepts. >> you are good on this number without adding another 90 or $100 billion to it? >> we certainly want to have the buying power to get the things that we need, but, yeah, this is -- i -- this budget gives us what we need to get the operational capabilities. >> look, i think that $773 billion to the pentagon is already way too high, but the notion that we need to increase the total by another 100 billion or $400 billion every year invites contractors to pick taxpayers' pockets. the american people are willing to defend the country but they
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are not going to sit still being gouged by the contractors. i am almost out of time. mr. mccord, you owe this committee on a backlog of reports of european -- >> senator, we will get those reports. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, senator warren. senator sullivan, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for your hard work and i know you have been burning the midnight oil and this committee certainly appreciates it. i will agree with senator fisher on the nds and getting that out, and i read the classified version. there's not much in it that is classified, actually. i think you could get that out publicly pretty soon, you know, maybe remove a certain element to it, but that would be important. i was struck by pretty much
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everybody here, the chairman, all of you gentlemen, talking about how dire the global security challenges are, great power conflict increasing, more likely, general milley, you said the greatest threat to global peace in your lifetime right now, so national security threats have increased since the last time you were here, a year ago, isn't that correct, secretary and general milley? >> certainly we have been focused on our pacing challenge of china. russia is an acute threat. >> yeah, but i mean, i don't want to be rude, but since you testified last you would compare your testimony today, both of yours with last years, the security threat has been significantly heightened. that's what you both said, correct? >> tensions are certainly heightened, correct. >> general milley? well, you already said it.
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>> that's correct. >> i am stunned the president put forward another budget that actually calls for real defense cuts. 4% increase with 8% inflation is a 4% real inflation adjusted budget. i think it's irresponsible and dangerous when you think at shrinking the navy and air force. there is no doubt in my mind that gives our enemies comfort, and i think that this budget doesn't align with your statements about the severity of the national security challenges we face right now, and what is likely to happen -- and it's sad -- is once again we will have to push the president to increase the budget in a bipartisan way, the way we did it last year. it's sad. the commander-in-chief can't reject some of his far left members and say we need a robust budget. we put forward a budget that cuts defense spending. i will have problems with that.
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general milley, i want to compliment on your speech in 2016, and you gave a prophetic speech in 2016 as far as russia and putin, and you were right on. there is a source of frustration to what is happening. i know you are working hard on ukraine, but i think when the intel committees were briefing us prior to the invasion they got it right, and so did you, what was going to happen. then there was a notion, we were briefed on it, the ukrainians were going to lose within seven days, and they got that wrong and a lot of people got that wrong. i think the shift we need to do now is to senator blumenthal and senator cotton and senator joni
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ernst, and keep nato cohesion, support the ukrainian people is the key objectives, and doesn't it make sense to have as our number one objective imposing a strategic defeat on putin? we have the opportunity to do right now, and i think that's the source of frustration for a lot of senators. we are not hearing that language. >> yeah, i think -- well, i have heard that language many times, actually. >> i mean, you just led us to three objectives and they are all defensive sounding, here's what we won't do, here's what we won't do, and here is what we will do. this is bigger than ukraine. >> if i may, the national
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security team should impose severe costs and do not let putin win. >> i would respectfully recommend you put that as your number one objective. you didn't mention that in your three objectives. >> those severe costs are being done by other elements and not the u.s. uniformed military. the u.s. uniformed military has a different task, which is to prevent war from expanding and escalating and ensure that ukraine gets the means necessary to defend itself so it can remain free and sovereign and maintain the cohesion of nato. >> i have one final question. the press reports the jcpoa consideration, one of the big red line debates is for us to agree, the united states, to
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release the -- the iranians want it, and you, gentlemen, unfortunately have led troops, some of our finest, over 2,000 wounded and killed with the weapons they supplied to the iraqis, and i am sure hundreds under your command were wounded, and the irgc have been responsible for missile attacks against uae civilians, our long-standing allies in the region, and is there where the two of you could say you support the delisting of the terrorists organization with blood of american soldiers on its hands recently and d list them as the state sponsored terrorists because iran wants it?
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we should tell iran to go pound sound. there is no way they should be delisted. >> senator, i respectfully won't comment on the negotiations that are ongoing and speculate on what my advice to the president is going to be. i will -- >> in your personal opinion we have asked you before that you could give us even though it might conflict with the administration's view, that's what you committed to do with this committee, so i ask you again, both of you, of your personal opinion. >> my answer remains unchanged. >> senator -- general milley. >> i have to sign a document that requires me -- >> you are right. i am sorry, mr. secretary, i didn't mean you. i meant general milley. >> in my person mill, i do not
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support them being delisted. >> thank you for your honesty. >> thank you. >> mr. mccord, you have not had such fun this morning so i want to get you into this discussion. the ukrainian aid that we have supplied thus far and we are planning to supply and will undoubtedly supply in the future, where does that fit into the defense budget? we don't have oco anymore. is this coming out of the defense budget? are there extra defense appropriations? >> the javelins and the stingers and body armour, all of those things have come out of the funding that was provided in the supplemental omnibus -- >> so there is going to be a replenishment as well. we will have to replenish stocks that we are supplying and also replenishment to some of our
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nato allies. will that come out of the future defense budget? this is not a argument question, i am genuinely curious. >> well, the funds were to replenish the drawdown materials provided to ukraine. the first of that was notified last friday that $1.5 billion of that will start flowing. were it to continue, that might be something we need to look at going forward. >> two other questions. you wrestled with inflation as you were preparing the budget, you said the general cpi rate doesn't necessarily apply to the things you buy, is that correct? it's not accurate to say if we have 7% inflation, and the military budget doesn't have 7%
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increased, then it's a cut. please explain the inflation as it applies to the military budget. >> that's correct. about 60 to 65% of our budget is buying goods and services from our industrial base and 25 to 30% goes to military pay and then we have a couple other factors like fuel. we have different inflation rates that apply to each of them, but by and large the gdp deflator, that went up 4% last year and not 7%. that was the point i was making. >> how are we doing on the audit? that has been something that has been going on as long as i have been on the committee? are we making progress towards a clean audit? >> we are making progress, but the progress is not where it needs to be. the secretary has been clear on that that the progress made last year was not where it needed to be, and it's a transition year to covid.
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we have been making progress a little below the radar screen that has not translated to the pass/fail grades at the heart of an audit. we need to double our efforts -- >> i would appreciate it. the prior administration made progress on that, and i hope that momentum won't be lost. this is a responsibility we have to the american people. secretary austin, there's several wars going on in the world right now, and one is in ukraine and one is also within the united states where about, i think 100,000 people died of overdose deaths last year. that's an attack on our country. my concern is when we had south com in here, they have 1% of the resources, and we don't have the resource through the limited irs.
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-- isr. i hope you pay attention to that. and also setting up in a way where there is somebody in charge. you have dea, and you have the coast guard, and you have partners, and you have the cia and you have the defense department, and nobody is in charge and the result is two people a day in my state are dying. i understand we have to work on the demand side, but it's very frustrating when i have testimony year after year that we are only interdicting 25% of the shipments that we know about. that's inexcusable. mr. secretary, i hope you will recommit to this war. >> two things, senator. certainly we will make sure that south com commander has what she needs to be effective in these efforts. i have discussed this with her before, but clearly, you know, the limiting factor is isr and we will work with her to make sure that where possible we give
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her more capability. >> let's put it in the budget and buy more. isr is something, and that's an engineering problem and we should be able to solve it. i am out of time, but mr. secretary, i want to commend you in the rnd budget, and that's an area where we have fallen behind. hypersonics and directed energy are two game changers that i think our country is behind, frankly, and so the additional resources into rnd is absolutely critical. wars often turn on the utilization of new technology. the english at the battle with one-third of the french army won that because of the long bow, and that changed warfare in
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1415, and it's technology that will win the next war. i want to commend you for the commitment to rnd, and stand fast on that because i don't think there's a more expenditure in the budget. >> senator kramer. >> thank you, senator. thank you both for being here and for your service. mr. secretary, last month your deputy said that the department as corrected by president biden aims to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and then she mentioned the danger posed by china, and illegal russian aggression in europe, and persistent threats from iran and other state actors. you both and others that work with and under you consistently and appropriately reference the
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importance of modernization. my question is do you think china, russia or north korea are going to be slow in their development by climate change concerns? >> i don't believe so and i don't believe we will either, senator. >> do you know if they have plans to reach net zero, any of them? >> senator, i -- again, i have asked you for $773 billion to support the capabilities that we think we need, and i certainly appreciate what you have done for us in the past. i think there's also things that we can and should be doing to address the climate issue as well. it affects our installations. it causes problems that cause mass migration and other things in the areas that we operate in, and our forces are committed to
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fighting wildfires and helping in the aftermath of severe storms on an increasing basis, so i don't think this is a thing we can discount and i think the defense department has to do its part. >> i appreciate that. frankly i hope we can give you a lot more than you asked for to do those things, mr. secretary. as you are talking, i am imagining the calculation that would measure the negative impact of say our failure to deter the russian invasion of ukraine. in other words, i appreciate you have this concern, but i also hope we can keep the main thing the main thing, because just like more energy development in the united states and providing that energy to our allies bring down greenhouse gas emissions detouring the same polluters, they would also do the same, and
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i hope you have the resources to accomplish all those good goals. general milley, maybe i could ask you. you don't mention it much, and in fact you didn't at all, but the secretary mentioned climate change five times in his written opening comments and it's referenced in the national defense strategy and sort of highlighted. we will see if it's in the national military strategy when you provide that, but do you think climate change is a objective the department should be focused on tackling? >> it's a departmental objective, and for the military it's a condition under which we will operate and it's something we have to take into consideration in the operations, and if you look at lake chad, the reason there's a lot of instability in that region is because there's no water and resource struggles, and it's
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going to be a predictor of where likely instability will be in the future. it's a condition we look at opposed as to something we can fix. >> the fear of escalation. we hear that a lot. it seems that many times the fear of escalating the situation in russia depends on us, and a lot less on vladimir putin. i just think we made too many -- my personal view is we made too many decisions based on how we think vladimir putin would respond to the situation, things like limiting the kind of help we would provide ukraine, and how quickly we provide that help. postponing and then canceling a minuteman test that was scheduled, a minuteman 3 test, and not transferring migs, and just a few examples, and do you have examles where vladimir putin is worried that the
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killing of citizens and children and women would be escalatory? >> i don't know what is in the mind of putin and a lot of people don't either. you use the word fear and putin in the same sentence, and it's my job, one of my key responsibilities to manage escalation and make sure that we don't find ourselves in a nuclear contest if that's avoidable. again, there's nothing about mr. putin that we fear. you see the evidence of the kinds of things that we have done and rapidly deploying combat power to europe and the eastern flank, and what we have done and continue to do is provide assistance to ukraine. you know, not a military issue but the sanctions that we have imposed on mr. putin are going to have a significant impact on his economy for years to come.
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>> thank you, senator kramer. senator rosen, please. >> there it is. thank you, chairman reed and thank you for being here as we appreciate how accessible you are to this committee and others. general milley last month i traveled to poland and several other members of the committee to, and we received briefings from commanders on the situation in ukraine and seeing firsthand the security assistance and training nato is providing the ukrainians, and this trip was horrific -- horrific is too light of a word to use, but it underscores for me we can and we
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must do more what vladimir putin is doing. president zelenskyy continues to ask for greater american support to close the skies and allow ukraine to defend itself. i do understand the arguments as to the mig-29 might not make sense for the ukrainians' battle, and is there something else that could provide closed support? i understand we are not in the classified setting. are there other forms of lethal assistance you could talk about here that might help ukrainians defend themselves against this brutality. >> the most effective is what we have been providing is the air defense systems. the russian air force has not even today established air superiority let alone air supremacy, which is another reason they are having great difficult on the ground. it's because of the survival of
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the air defense systems, both stingers and the like from other countries and the longer-range sams that have been provided that they already had. and it's not to say russia air is not getting through, because they are on occasion but they are not being very effective, the russian air force. the best methods -- i talk to my ukrainian counterpart every few days, and they are thankful on the system that is effective, and 25 anti-aircraft systems that have been sent by the united states and our allies, and those are the two systems proven most effective, and the one in the air the best way to provide the soviets -- the soviets, or the russians, the airspace is through that system.
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>> given the losses the russian military suffered in ukraine, they are repositioning and we are giving them the support they need, and how do you assess their situation as they are repositioning and -- >> the russian ability? >> the russian ability and their attack on eastern ukraine as they position themselves more towards the donbas? >> the russians have been struggling with their resupplying, fuel, munitions and food, and the ground line of communications they have are at risk by the ambushes, and they have had a difficult time with logistics. >> on the other side of that, we know if they are repositioning, ukrainian military and the ground forces there have to reposition as well. looking ahead, do you think the
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ukrainians have the right equipment and logistics in place to defend against this repositioning that russia seems to be doing? >> they are asking for and they could probably use additional armour and artillery. we are looking at our ally partners to get those systems with no training, and we have armor and artillery, and they do not have training for that and it would take them months to get them into that system, and we are looking to help them out with the allies with the artillery. the training in the north is more open and lends itself to armour mechanizing operations on both sides and those are the systems they are looking for and that's what people are trying to help them out with. >> thank you. i will submit my next questions for the record, but they are very important, and it's for
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secretary austin and secretary mccord. it's about the troops housing, and they are transitioning and the cost of house something expensive and they are not getting reimbursed in the way they should be, and we also have issues for those on creech that have to travel a far way to go to las vegas and go to work, so i will submit those for the record. i see my time is up. i look forward to speaking with you about that. >> senator, senator rosen. senator tuperville. >> thank you very much. secretary austin, as we all know in the near future we are going to get the i.g. report and hopefully move into huntsville, and we had a lot of great comments from you and the acting
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secretary of the air force, and of course, general james dickenson, all positive comments. any thoughts about the future? >> thanks, senator. as you know i will never comment on an ig -- on a subject under ig scrutiny. when that report comes out we will make sure that we get -- analyze it as quickly as possible and take on the recommendations. >> thank you. general milley, last year's ndaa 2022, we got a jump-start on the system in guam, and hopefully we can continue that in the next few years, and it will take a while to get that done on the land base, and we have an iron dome there, and that's -- to me after visiting guam that would
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be like swatting flies. what do you think in the near future we could do with the iron dome? >> the iron dome is an effective system. let me take a step back for the ballistic defense in that region, and it's a layered system that starts literally over in japan and comes through the entire pacific and includes radars and various missile systems that include guam, hawaii, alaska. the iron dome is an accurate system and there's all kinds of utility for it and a wide variety of environments so i am a fan of the iron dome. >> secretary austin, extremely concerned about the situation at the southwest border. according to the latest data, the border control is encountering more than 150,000 illegal immigrants a month, and it's estimated at least 500 illegal immigrants have evaded
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the border just recently. i am especially concerned about the trafficking of drugs, fentanyl and the new drug people are not familiar with that is more potent than fentanyl. you have ordered more dod -- >> they did submit a request for our support and as we have done in the past, i approved the request. we, again, dhs is the lead federal agency in this endeavor. we provide enabling support to dhs when and where we can and where legally possible. >> it's possible we need help especially if we do away with title 42, which looks like it's coming. you have done any assessment -- or has the secretary given you
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any assessment about how many we would need down there if we did do something in your purview? >> secretary mayorkas will work up his requirements and assessments and provide those to the president. you know, he certainly has not provided that assessment -- >> has he talked to you about it, maybe in the future? >> not about future requirements. he only talked to me about current requirements. >> yeah. okay. i want to pick up where senator ernst was at the end of her questioning. anybody can answer this, but we are going to spend all this money on all this great equipment, and we are all good with that, but it takes people -- it takes people to do that and you all know that. i would love to see a better recruiting effort of spending some money, because we are fighting big tech. we are fighting a lot of areas
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now. being an all-volunteer army, i think we have to put a larger foot forward in getting the best and brightest young men and women in whatever part of our military. i think it will be one of the most important things we will do, and we can't fight a war or have a deterrent until people understand we have a fighting force sold out on this country and wants to lay their life on the line. both of your thoughts on that real quick? >> i absolutely agree with you, sir. we need to continue to invest in the quality of our force. that's exactly what you have heard come from our army leadership, the secretary and the chief. it's what you will hear coming from all of our secretaries. it's what we need. it's what has made us dominant and the best force in the world and what we will need going forward to continue to be the best force in the world.
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>> i want to assure you and everybody listening that we have tremendous standards and tremendous people in uniform today, and as we go forward our recruiting does need to be adjusted and we need to up our game and look at different recruiting bases to get to a different era in warfare and we have to adjust our recruiting to match that future. >> thank you, thank you for your service. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you, senator. senator kelly, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to all of you for being here today. secretary austin, i want to discuss pfas, this is a big challenge in arizona, both tucson and phoenix have pfas
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blooms, and ground water -- ground water will become a more important source of drinking water for our communities, including military installations. the department has -- the department of defense has remedial investigations into the pfas contaminations towards luke air force base. i understand the investigations can take time and rely on scarce resources, effective communities can't move forward on permanent solutions until the investigations have concluded. with conditions on the colorado river degrading rapidly -- we're in a 1200-year drought -- or the worst drought in 1200 years, and this one we are in has been going on for 20 years. it's significant. i am worried we may need to rely on the ground water sources as
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drinking water. mr. secretary, as the department makes determinations about which remedial investigations to prioritize, how sit accounting for the needs of communities in regions that have a prolonged drought and because of that has a higher likelihood of a future need of using the ground water? >> thank you, senator. i would just like to emphasize to you that the health and welfare of our troops, our families and the people in the community are very, very important to me. i certainly -- we will continue to focus on getting these assessments done and work with the appropriate regulatory agencies to make sure that we're doing the right things and we will move out as quickly as possible. in terms of, you know, where we
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go, how we go forward, i think what you have raised is an important issue. if you are dependent upon that ground source of water, then that needs to go into the equation there in terms of what we address first and we will apply -- comply with the regulations, you know, work with the regulatory commissions, and certainly take into accounts the things you just raised. >> well, thank you. the fiscal year 2022 mdaa requires that dod produce a schedule, so it would be really appreciated if you would consider the drought situation as that schedule is being developed. secretary austin, i also have a question on tricare eligibility with the remaining time. with a 4.6% increase in pay and basic needs, and bhs, housing allowance that i pushed for,
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this budget goes a long way to addressing the needs of our service members and this builds on the work that the department in congress did last year on addressing suicide and sexual assault in the military, and i commend your attention on these issues, and then when it comes to pay and benefit, that relates to health care. i am concerned about the fact that military families don't have the same health care coverage americans enjoy. i introduced bipartisan late legislation on this to bring tricare plans in line with private insurance plans, and the military families act would allow the children of service members to stay on their parents' insurance until they are 26. that exists in civilian life. it does not exist currently under tricare. mr. secretary, can i get your commitment you will work with my
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office and this committee on efforts to bring tricare in line with private insurance plans? >> yes, sir, senator, you can. >> thank you. i yield back the remainder of my time. >> thank you, senator kelly. senator hauley >> thank you. i want recent invasion. i want to ask you about that, what we can draw with regard to taiwan and over in paycom. if congress enacted a similar mechanism for taiwan, do you think that would help strengthen taiwan's ability to defend itself against a potential invasion by china? >> i do, yes. >> and from a military perspective, is it fair to say
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that strengthening taiwan's defenses would help bolster deterrence against china, number one, but also reduce the operational risk to american forces who might be called upon to help taiwan in the event of an invasion? >> absolutely, yes. >> i agree with you and thank you for those comments this is why i think it's important to take that action now and not to wait and get behind the eight ball. modeled on what we did in ukraine those years ago, i think -- i hope the committee will take it up. i think it's an important initiative. if i could switch to you, secretary austin. mark harlon wrote prior to her confirmation that deterrence by denial should be prioritized when it comes to china and taiwan in particular, and she went on deterrence by cost implement can complement when it comes to deterring china and
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assistant secretary of defense said something similar. he told the committee with china as the pacing challenge taiwan is the pacing scenario and that's driven by a strategy of denial. with that setup, here is my question to you. when it comes to the 2022 nds and the nds priorities, and i'm aware we're in an unclassified setting here, could you -- can you tell us that we will see in the unclassified summary of the nds a commitment to deterrence by denial especially when it comes to china and taiwan? >> our defense strategy accounts for the things you just highlighted, senator, which is why both of my assistant secretaries have highlighted that. that's in the strategy and we'll make sure that the -- you know, our unclassified version of the strategy appropriately reflects
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what's in the strategy. >> good. to make sure i understand, when you say it's in the strategy, you mean -- >> accounted for in the strategy. >> deterring by denial, deterrence by denial when it comes to china and taiwan is in the strategy, have i got that right? >> that's right, and then i can entertain your other questions in a classified setting. >> great. fair enough. but just to close the loop on this, you said we would see that reflected in the unclassified summary. >> i said you'll see it reflect what's in the classified summary. we need to be mindful of what's transportable, what's -- what we can move to the unclassified session. >> good. staying on this theme here. assistant secretary ratner testified taiwan is the pacing scenario. i think you've testified to that effect, mr. secretary, i think. i know that general milley has.
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>> i said china was the pacing challenge. >> great. i think general milley has said the taiwan scenario, the fait accompli, correct me if i'm wrong, i know dr. ratner has so let's stick on that. >> i've said it before. >> go ahead, general. >> i've said it before and that's one of the scenarios we use for force development and so on and so forth. >> thank you. >> it is clearly the most important. >> thank you. so here is my question then, mr. secretary, will we see that, the taiwan scenario, the danger of a fait accompli, will we see that in the summary of the 2022 nds? >> i will say the unclassified summary will reflect what's in the national defense strategy. in terms of specific wording, i won't commit to specific wording. >> would you echo what general
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milley just said. i assume your assistant secretaries reflect your views. >> that's right, they do. >> could you tell me in your own words -- let me ask you this way. i don't want to put words in your mouth. is it your view the taiwan fait accompli is the pacing scenario as china is the pacing threat? >> it is the pacing scenario and our china policy has not changed. >> my time has expired. i'll have a few more follow-up questions, thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. peters, please. >> thank you for being here today. i understand as part of the u.s. deterrence measures up to and after the invasion of ukraine there are now three u.s. armored brigades forward deployed in europe. that's the most since early 2000s when the u.s. made a strategic decision to move its
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heavy armored forces out of europe and bring them back to the united states. recently army senior leaders have said the strain on the army's 11 active duty active duty brigades is at a high point, noting the rotational units need a 3 to 1 rotation to avoid operational tempo and 11 active abcts falls short of sustainable ratio. i note that while congress has consistently provided funding for at least one brigade of tanks each funding cycle, only three u.s. army brigades have been fielded the most modern abrams tanks including one brigade set in army pre-position stock in germany that is now being forward deployed to poland. so my question for you, secretary austin, do you think that we need more armored forces now than we did last year as this budget was being developed
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in terms of the armored brigades forward deployed to europe and those which we could rotate worldwide? >> thanks, senator. i truly believe we have what we need currently as we figure out the future footprint in nato especially on the eastern flank. if we have additional requirements then certainly we'll come back and ask for additional resources. i would remind you that we have over 100,000 troops in either stationed in europe or operating in europe's waters, and so we have a robust capability there now. we were able to do what we did recently, as you heard me say, senator, because of what you did earlier to provide us with the resources and edi. you saw that armored brigade
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combat team deploy rapidly from fort stewart, fall in on pre-positioned equipment, and then rapidly move to germany and, again, that was all possible because of edi. we've been able to train heel to toe along the eastern flank because of the resources you provided us as well. as we do our analysis going forward, i'll work with the second of the army and the chief of staff, the chairman, and come back and ask for more resources if we need them. >> great, thank you. general milley, do you think the uptempo that we have will be sustainable all over the long term given russia's apparent expansionist goals in europe? >> senator, i think with 11 -- the 3-1 ratio, you have three over there, 3 to 1 get you nine. we have one rotating back and forth to the peninsula in korea.
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i think it's about right. i will go back to the chief of staff of the army to make sure my analysis is correct and get you a better answer if there's some sort of stress on the uptempo of the armored force it hasn't been brought up to me yet. now long haul that depends on how long the long haul is and that's not known right now. we're taking a look at that and will adjust as we go here. >> and general milley, the recently released national defense strategy describes china as, quote, our most consequential strategic competitor and the pacing challenge for the department, end of quote. and certainly the department will have to bring the full light of our joint force to bear in order to compete with this challenge. now indopacom is in the domain. the air force and space force will play a vital role. i would like your thoughts as chairman of the joint chiefs of
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staff and a decorated army officer, i would like your view as to the role of the army in the indo-pacific. >> the army has a very important role in the indo-pacific. and just go back to world war ii there was, i think, 15 or 20 divisions, the army and marine in the indo-pacific. our largest land wars of the united states fought in the indo-pacific with vietnam, korea and the world war ii campaigns. the ground forces have a very significant role. i would say that in any sort of future conflict, if there was one, hopefully there will never be one with china, my estimate is that the maritime forces and the naval forces will be the predominant player. the military forces that are on the ground, army special forces, marine forces and army ground force, will be really significant especially in areas like air defense, long-range fires and special operations. in addition to that the amphibious forces of the marines will be key, so there is a very
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important, very significant role for ground forces in the pacific. the predominance will likely be maritime or air forces. >> great. thank you, general milley. senator scott, you are recognized for your questions. >> thank you, senator peters. i thank each of you for being here, for your hard work. i know this is a tough time to serve. this is probably, in my lifetime, one of the most difficult times to serve with all of our enemies. president biden budget request does not meet our needs. after years of under spenting we began to grow in line with the threats we face. still just last year we had to increase the president's budget by more than $25 billion and have been urging the administration to increase our defense spending so we can meet our modernization needs to defeat our enemies and overcome the terrible inflation this administration has caused with
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reckless spending. we're living in some of the most difficult times with communist china, iran, north korea, flexing their muscles, increasing hostility to us and our allies. you wouldn't know it based on this budget request. to me it's disappointing the president didn't request a budget to do a better job to deter our enemies and take care of our service members and their needs. i was disappointed the administration wants to decommission 24 ships and weaken our navy's power and capabilities. i know the administration said this is enough. general milley, i think you've previously stated if you combine commuist china and russia they spend more than the u.s. dozen now. i think you testified that this budget assumes an inflation rate of 2.2% but we all know it's 8%
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plus right now. all the manufacturers are saying it's more than that. so while inflation could go up and go down, i don't think the budget is enough and doesn't seem that you think it's enough. how does this happen? you seem to be pretty persuasive so how does this happen we end up with a budget that doesn't stay up with inflation and doesn't do more to deter our enemies especially communist china? >> first on the inflation piece i would ask mr. cord to talk about how they do the calculations, et cetera. i support this budget. $773 billion is a lot of money it's and our duty, those of us in uniform, to make every cent of those dollars count and to deliver for the nation a force capable of defending it. we can do that on 773.
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there's always elements of risk and elements to mitigate. we have to focus on the future. we have to focus on modernization. this budget does that. we put more in this budget than has been done in any defense budget and we have to focus on the pacing threat of china with russia. there are areas of risk, we recognize those areas of risk. i do think this budget will allow us to move forward and take the next steps in protecting the united states. >> can i ask each of you how comfortable are you this budget will do enough to deter communist china? why do you think -- what in the budget and what are the things we're doing you think will be the key things that will deter communist china from trying to expand, first would be into taiwan? i will start with secretary austin. >> thank you, senator.
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>> i think when we look at the challenge of china we consider china to be a now and forever problem. we want to invest in those things that help keep us ready, capable and dominant today but recognizing the challenge will evolve over time. investing now in those capabilities that will be relevant down the road as well. you've seen us invest in technology in this budget. you've seen us in space-based capabilities, cyberspace, undersea capabilities. all those things are focused on not only the china set but great capability with the accuse threat we're experiencing right now and that's russia. >> senator, i would add with respect to deterring china and taiwan i think senator holley
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hit it right on the head. the best defense is done by the taiwanese. we can certainly help them, as is being done in ukraine, for example, and a lot of lessons are coming out that china is taking seriously. crossing the taiwan straits and conducting an amphibious and/or air assault. taiwan is a defensible island. we need to help the taiwanese to defend it better and we can do that. that is the best deterrent to make sure deterrent by denial to make sure the chinese now it's a very difficult objective to take. >> thanks to each of you. i don't think we've ever had a threat like we have now with what putin is doing and xi says he's going to do. thank you for what you're doing. >> thank you, senator scott. the chairman is still voting, so i get to recognize myself. sevg is truly a selfless act and
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i want to thank you. that service comes with honor and strength as well as pride and humility. it makes our military the most combat credible force in the world. you already know this. to ensure this continues long into the future we must take care of the military's most important assets, our people. each of you have spoken to this. as leaders we must remove barriers in supporting their families as well this is an important readiness issue knowing that their family is safe and healthy relieves a burden on service members so they can focus on the mission and, if necessary, fight for the safety of others. that is why i hope the department will work with me to solve a critical issue facing our men and women in uniform along with their families and that is food insecurity. advocacy groups that serve military families report an increased demand for support during the pandemic and, secretary austin, i appreciate your leadership in guidance to the dod late last year to
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address military hunger challenges. however, despite your leadership there appears to be a hesitation to fully engage on this pressing readiness issue department wide. and we're still hearing heartbreaking stories of less senior members of the military struggling to pay their bills, to put good quality food on the table for their families. these stories are still met with skepticism and denial that the problem even exists. i think that's why it's vital the dod meets its mandate and provide congress with a comprehensive report examining food insecurity challenges experienced by service members and military families. secretary austin, will you commit to me you delivered it by the end of the month? if you can't do it by the end of this month, when can you deliver it? >> we'll deliver it as quickly as we possibly can. senator, let me thank you for
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your leadership in this area. i've really set out to tackle the issue of economic insecurity across the board. that's why you see the pay raise, the elevation of bah and other things. i appreciate the support you've given us and i know you will continue to give us. we'll move out and get up the report as quickly as possible. >> thank you. i have no question the commitment of each of the witnesses here today to making sure we address this issue. the issue i have is that there's still resistance across the department. secretary austin, when you first addressed this in november, you tasked for personnel and readiness to establish a road map to strengthen food security within the force. would you commit to sharing that strategy with congress once it's developed to help us better understand how dod is addressing military hunger?
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>> i will, senator, thank you. >> thank you. and last year i led the bipartisan effort to authorize a new basic needs allowance under fy-2022 nda and i'm encouraged the services will have this assistance in their budgets. however, the questions still remain on how the department will rule out this new allowance. a compromise that allows to you not count -- so you have the discretion to not count bah as income. when determination who is eligible to receive the basic needs allowance. families are going to need to opt in so they must understand how to opt in to the food allowance which is much easier said than done when it comes to program participation for anything you have to opt in for. secretary austin what is the status of implementing the basic needs allowance and can you share actions the department intends to take to ensure all
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service members are made aware of this support and reply if eligible? >> we're still working our way through this. i will tell you, senator, i am predisposed to making sure we provide as many benefits to our troops and family members as possible. and as we work our way through this we will make sure that it's streamlined so that it's easy for people to understand what they need to do to qualify. and, again, i am predisposed to making sure they get as much as they possibly can. >> thank you. will you commit to using your discretion to not count bah as income to the maximum extent as possible? >> i will do everything i can that's legally possible and feasible to give our troops greater capability, greater resources. >> thank you, general.
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with that -- >> thank you. senator blackburn, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary austin, why don't we make our intelligence reports public? >> we share as much as we can from our intel reports, but, as you know, we have to be careful about protecting sources and methods so that we don't lose capability. >> would you agree giving adversaries access to our reports is a poor decision? >> exactly. i think that's something we work to avoid. okay. so why did senior biden officials hold nearly half a dozen meetings with top chinese officials to give them information on russian troop movements? >> i don't know -- i don't have insights on any occurrences like
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that. >> okay. it seems the chinese called up their comrades in russia and sent moscow the intel biden staffers provided them. and it appears u.s. officials knew beijing gave the intel to moscow. so i would imagine you do not support giving russia our intelligence. >> i am unfamiliar with the issue that you raise, but you are right, i do not support giving our adversaries -- >> all right, general milley, under what circumstances, if any, have you advised intelligence sharing with beijing? >> zero. never. >> thank you. given what we know now about how that subsequently shared information, this intelligence, went to moscow, what would you advise for similar scenarios going forward? >> i don't think you should give intelligence to your adversary,
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period. >> thank you. what senior leader is ultimately responsible for this decision of intel chairing? is it you? is it secretary austin? is it jake sullivan? is it the president? who is it? >> i'll let -- my opinion is -- i'll give you a couple answers to that. one is the director of national intelligence is responsible for all the intelligence agencies -- >> national intelligence. >> dni. so that's the person technically responsible but the president is responsible for everything the government does, the executive branch does and then each of us are responsible. >> under what authorities would we share our intelligence with beijing? >> i would ask that you ask these questions of the dni, however, my knowledge of the system is that the president and/or the director of national intelligence or perhaps the director of the cia does have authorities, but i don't know what those are and is not
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something i can answer with accuracy. >> so it's not a practice you approve of but we do know it has happened, correct? >> i don't know that it's happened. i'm not aware of what you're talking about, actually. >> we've talked a good bit about afghanistan today. so did biden's precipitous withdrawal from afghanistan, which really fed perceptions of america in retreat, did that play a role in shaping putin's decision to invade ukraine? >> from the intelligence i've read, it's not clear. i think it certainly is possible but i also know putin had aims on ukraine long before the end of the war in afghanistan -- >> i think we all know that. he saw his opening, right? >> well, the forces were building up in september or october. in order to do that they would
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have had to have the plans or approval before september or october. >> they have a habit of moving forward at the end of the olympics. they did it in '08, they did it in '14. we were watching and the white house chose not to move forward. you have both failed, and this comes to each of you, to share with us the budget line items for diversity and inclusion initiatives and much less any way that you would tie those initiatives to war fighting. we have insight into what is being spent and how some of that money has been spent and, secretary austin, earlier this year there was a report that said the department of defense is studying the issue of allowing gender nonbinary people
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to serve in the military. is that true? >> i am supportive of allowing any person that's eligible to serve their country. >> who is involved in the study? are uniformed military personnel involved? >> i can't speak to who is involved in any of the studies that we have ongoing. i will certainly take the question -- >> and what will the living aroundments be made for nonbinary service members? are you all going to come back to us and ask for an appropriation for housing? >> senator, any study that we do will certainly be transparent and will be made available to you. >> and what about gender fluid individuals, a member who identifies as male on some days and female on other days or poly gender individuals? >> i don't care to speculate on what we're going to ask you for or what we're going to -- how
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we're going to qualify people. again, some of this is in litigation in various states. it's best to take your question for the record. >> okay. i have some questions, mr. chairman, that i will submit for the record -- >> thank you, senator. >> i do have some questions on hyper sonics. >> we will be going immediately into a classified session and those sessions i think would be answered there. let me thank you for your testimony. we will adjourn the open hearing and reconvene -- reconstitute the committee and sb-217 at 12:30, and at this point i will adjourn the open session and join you at 2:30. thank you.
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