tv [untitled] CSPAN June 8, 2009 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
yeah, tom, only because you have a proprietary interest here. >> after the briefing to the secretary comment on the desire to tighten up the ttp's or change the rules at all? is centcom looking at that? is the air force in the central command looking at that? >> the head to head to another meeting. i think general mcchrystal, who is taking over into spoke i think at length about this in his confirmation hearing last week talked about his desire to make sure that we get a better hold of the civilian casualty problem in afghanistan. and i think the secretary has every confidence that general mcchrystal is precisely the guy to put this in a better place. we have taken a number of measures, as you know, to greatly restrict our use of close air support as it is, but i think general mcchrystal is
desirous of finding a way to further reduce the number of civilian casualties we encourage. i can only point to the numbers the secretary has, just as a constant reminder of what we are dealing with here, and since the beginning of this year civilian casualties in afghanistan are down 40%, whereby american casualties and coalition-- that of our coalition partners and afghan security forces have shot up 75%. so we are taking extraordinary care, but we are still finding ourselves involved in incidents in which there are civilian casualties and we are constantly looking at ways to try to limit and ultimately, hopefully, avoid them. but, we are after all involved in a war that is difficult and oftentimes confusing. and i think we can never-- i would be foolish to stand up here and say we will ultimately
eliminate civilian casualties that were going to to make every effort we can to reduce them. jennifer. >> why would you ever be using a b-1 bomber for close air support? white size bombs were they dropping? >> we use an array of their craft in support of our troops on the ground. i thank fa-18's were involved earlier in the incident. eventually they had to come off. this was an incident that went off over several hours and requires a number of aircraft to come in. not one aircraft could do it for the time this left it. i would direct you to the air force and direct you to afghanistan to speak from a tattoo perspective about why the deployed which aircraft at which time, but i think given the amount of time this entire incident lasted, it required calling upon available aircraft to provide close air support the troops on the ground needed. yeah, joe. let's finish this up. >> to specify, was there any
other incident or part of this incident or the investigator found fault, or was it all about the bee one's actions in this? >> you know, i think i have probably spoken more than it is fair to the investigator at centcom in terms of them to terminating when and how they are ultimately going to roll this out. i am going to leave it now andrew, and i am sorry about that. i am sure they will share in greater detail all of their findings. nancy, on this? >> was general mcchrystal of part of this? >> general mcchrystal was a part of all this, as these briefings, yes. >> did the bee one hit the wrong house or have the occupants in the house change in the interim? >> as i said there is no indication that the p1 breaking off from a positive i.d. on its target resulted in the civilian casualties. that was not part of the briefing we received. it was just noted as one of the
problems associated with these events. not that it was the cause of the civilian casualties. i am going to let them speak to the incident. >> what about the video? is that going to be released? >> i don't know what their determination is going to be on that front. i can tell you the video was part of the presentation that was given to the secretary today. >> i have one follow-up then i do have a question when you come back around on a different subject. by virtue of you saying that the crew took-- i think your words were great care, are you foreclosing then, any possibility of charges for further investigation of these people? is that off the table? what is the next up? >> that is a chain of command issue but i got no sense from any thing i heard today that charges are imminent or warranted in this case. >> is the matter considered closed or does it go to the next
step? >> i would let centcom speak to this but i did not get any sense there would be follow-on behind this-- beyond this, beyond general mcchrystal taking additional measures, once he hits the ground, to determine how we can do a better job with regards to civilian casualties. then it is it on this? >> pakistan? north korea? >> what is the pentagon's assessment of the swat valley at this point in their offensive? >> well, you know, i think it has been three or four weeks now if not longer. i think i spoke to you three weeks ago, as hard as that is to believe and i think we were at least a week or two into it then so maybe it's been five or so weeks since the operation has been underway. we are greatly heartened by the fact that it has gone on as long as it has.
one of the key things we were looking for in terms of pakistani military operations is sustainability. clearly this operation has been sustained and in doing so i think they have enjoyed great success. so, we are pleased, we are encouraged, and we are hoping that the offensive continues to the point that these militants in this region are defeated. and we are working with the pac's to provide the pakistani's rather-- to provide them with whatever they need within reason, to ultimately prevail in these efforts. >> are you encouraging that pakistani army to move now into north and south waziristan areas, to actually go after al qaeda? are they sustaining this operation to the point where you think they are ready to do that? >> listen, i'm not going to into what the conversations are with the pakistani military leaders about what their strategy is to take care of their threats
within their midst. obviously, where there those threats exist we would encourage the pakistani military taking into them head-on and defeating them but i'm not going to go through a strategy. we want them to go here next and there after that. they are an independent sovereign nation that makes decisions on its own, in terms of self-defense. but were clearly encouraged by the fact that ever since there was this encroachment on islamabad by the taliban and associated other militant groups, that we are seeing an aggressive and sustain military operation in response. >> you don't think this is sustained enough though, that they could actually open a second front? >> i am not going to be an armchair general up here and make determinations about whether or not there in a position to open up a second front. i think there are people you can talk to about a military perspective.
they have continued these operations and they showed no signs of letting up at this point. yeah. >> on north korea. last week president obama had mentioned the united states would take stronger measures against the nuclear test by north korea. does the u.s. have any military options rather than diplomatic measures? >> well, our focus is now and has been and likely will continue to be on coming up with diplomatic and economic pressures that will persuade the north from abandoning its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the platforms to deliver them. so, that is what we are focused on. obviously we never take anything off the table in terms of what our options are issued to the north not be dissuaded from
entering-- pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, but that's not where our focus is right now. the focus is on working with the u.n., it's on trying to resume the six-party apparatus to exert pressure and ultimately to talk, but as you heard from the secretary when we were in singapore, he, like the president and almost everybody else involved in this is sick of buying the same course multiple times. sick of responding to a north korean provocations by making concessions that get you back to the status quo ante only to see this all unfold again, so while we are pursuing diplomacy and well we are pursuing economic sanctions, we are simultaneously working with our allies, the japanese, the koreans, and the chinese, others who may be amenable to this on trying to devise additional defensive measures, prudent planning in
the event that the north continues down this reckless path. yes. >> in this regard, is the pentagon exploring ways to forbid north korea, for bid north korea sea and air shipments suspected of caring-- >> eyes saw secretary clinton made that point this weekend. all i would say to that is we are looking at a number of options. in fact i have not, you were with us last week daphne and you heard this question came up after our meetings with the trilateral with the koreans and japanese. we were asked, what specifically is the secretary talking about when he says additional defensive measures? the truth is he did not have anything specifically in mind. we are in the process right now of thinking about possibilities. and i have not heard him articulate to date interdiction as being one of those possibilities.
i am not saying it's not forget he has cast his policy team with trying to figure out creative and prudent ways to bolster defenses and the event that the north continues down this route. yeah, elizabeth. >> need to be additional defensive measures with south koreans and japanese? >> we were talking about this, on a trilateral bases would be ideal and on a bilateral basis if necessary and if it comes to that in allegro. but what we thought based on the conversations that have taken place this last week with deputy secretary steinberg of the state department and our representatives, a.s. the gregson as well as admiral when phil from the joint staff to travel to the capitols in the region this past week, they came back very encouraged particularly from seoul and tokyo about their willingness to pursue this on a trilateral basis. i think they came back feeling
as though, in fact this was sort of a historic opportunity to work with the koreans and japanese on a trilateral bases on matters of national security like this. >> it is not about raising-- increasing u.s. forces in the region? bead this secretary is never talked about adding additional personnel and we have a lot of personnel as it is in the region. i think we have got 28,000 in korea and roughly 35,000 in japan. we have significant force presence as it is in those countries, not to mention the rock forces and japanese forces, so that is not as yet a part of the discussion. yeah, anything else on north korea? >> to what degree is the u.s. policy with regard to trying to denuclearized north korea being held hostage to the fact that there are these two journals being held there and they have now been convicted and sentenced to 12 years at hard labor? >> i don't get any sense that
the policy is being held hostage by that unfortunate decision by the north koreans and verdict by its courts. but, i have not heard it-- jennifer, frankly entering into the calculations within this department about how to proceed with the north. ob this is the state department has issued some very strong remarks about her government's disapproval of the way that incident has been handled but i have not seen it into into our discussions here. >> pan how do you read the intercepted message from the north koreans asking the waters to be cleared off of the east coast from june 10th to the 30 it? are you concerned? >> are we concerned? you mean in terms of a potential missile launch? i mean, obviously the secretary acknowledged that we were in mattel lovette-- manella we have seen signs that the north is preparing for what appears to be another missile launch. what kind, what range i think is
not clear at this point. so, that, do know, that would be yet another sign that the north is going to undertake another provocative action which of course would not help diffuse or the deescalate an already tense situation. so, we would obviously from upon that as well. yeah. >> is the goal of these talks that you mentioned that the defense officials were involved then, is that absolutely to prevent north korea from getting nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them at all costs or is about planning how to respond if and when they do get nuclear weapons and the ability to deploy them? >> you are talking about the steinberg trip and talks? >> u.s. policy in general. >> i think the steinberg effort, and you should talk to the state department for more specifics because it was their trip which
we were participants in, but i think that effort was primarily focused at a high-level delegation visiting state, a visiting capitols in the region to try to work out the way ahead, first and foremost economically, diplomatically through multilateral sanctions. i think secondarily, there was this discussion which we alluded to in support of bellock should that effort failed, we all need to be prudence about our planning for defensive measures. so, if we cannot multilaterally figure out a way to deter the north from pursuing this that, it is only prudent of us to figure outweighs we can, on a trilateral, unilateral, a unilateral basis enhance our
defenses and be protected against that threat. yeah. i will come back to you barbara. >> different subject? >> different subject. anybody else on north korea? i won't forget you. >> it is just for my own criticism of north korea's treatment of those journalists, those american journalist. i just want to talk about the case of the abraham jassim, the iraqi journalists being held in baghdad since september of last year without charge. i just wanted to know why is he still being held and also, are there any indications that he might be charged with anything? >> i am not up to date on what his exact status is so i either urge you to talk to mnf-i or come back to me afterwards and we can look into it for you. i can only assume he is being held because he is still regarded by the coalition as a
threat to the stability of iraq, but let me-- let's look into that and tell you precisely the ground for which he is still being held. yeah, go ahead. >> thank you. regarding air force f-22's, senator daniel inouye sent a letter to the secretary gates about export virgin f-22. so how will the pentagon response to that idea? >> i don't know what the precise response will be in a letter form from secretary to senator inouye or if there will be a call. allah can tell you is, when this question has come up in the past and frankly, it came up in the secretaries polis side with the japanese defense minister when we were in singapore. the answer has always been the same. right now there is legislation, there is a lot, the ob of amendment which prevents us from
exporting that technology to any one. so, as good an ally is japan is and as much as we may like to provide that capability to allies such as japan, the fact is it is prevented, were prevented from doing so according to the ob amendment so unless there's some sort of legislative remedy to this, unless it will repeal, our hands are tied on this issue. that is why the secretary made the further point to his japanese counterpart that, that the of 35 is the plane which we are pursuing and it plain that we would recommend the japanese focus their efforts in terms of procuring in the future. >> some reports say the air force did estimate 200 and 50 million each, export versions. it is that correct. >> i didn't quite hear you, i'm
sorry. >> sorry. some reports say u.s. air force already estimates each export version, $250 million. >> that cost 250 million to buy in f-22? >> no, no, no. >> that there was an export version of the f-22-- >> that it would cost 250 million? it would not chris but-- surprised me. it's a very expensive aircraft. i don't know precisely what the cost would be. sorry about that. >> you have any update, regarding the process to shut down the tensions? how far are we from closing the facilities there and another thing, any plan to transfer the detainee's to some european countries? >> okay, any update? as far as i know, and we were on
the road for a while. i checked when we got back and i don't think there were any significant update's in the time that i then away. i think the changes that were made to the military commissions act were made prior to our departure. with regards to how much longer, the president's executive order states we have a year, so we have got about six more months in which to figure out a solution to this problem. i can assure you that our folks here are hard at work at it with the justice department, with the white house, with others who are involved. finally, whether or not detainees may be sent to europe, i think we are trying to figure out right now countries to send this detainees back to, who we can. so i think we are in talks with countries in europe, were in talks with countries in the middle east. obviously if we could ever come to an agreement with yemen that was to where mutual satisfaction and could come to our
satisfaction, provide for a security basis for the hundred or so yemenis that we still have an detention, that would go a long way to alleviating this problem but that is part of the ongoing discussions that are taking place. >> do you expected detailed plan regarding the detainee's and within the next few months like-- >> we have six months so i hope it is in that time period. i don't mean to be fresh with do you cho but this is a work in progress. the longbrake takes, the more complicated it becomes, the more pressure there comes on this organization particularly to figure out the final disposition of these individuals, so we above all are encouraging of a fast buck responsible process. we are in the midst of it, and i don't have anything to report to you in terms of any breakthroughs in terms of where these guys will go and when they
will go there. yes, let me go to this gentleman. >> regarding the cluster bomb convention in june in germany this month, is the d.o.t. interested in sending a delegation independently or with another agency of the u.s. government? >> i don't know if we are sending a delegation to the convention. obviously we are a military that believes in the utility of cluster bombs. they have a very specific military purpose that we still think there has a valid reason and can be very effective in dealing with certain situations. but i don't know of any plans for us to send a delegation. we can certainly check into that for you. yeah, okay. barbara, i promise. she's been very patient. >> i was very interested in reading the column in "the washington post" over the weekend were apparently secretary gates reached out to the column this because he wanted to talk about the general jones management of the
foreign-policy process in the obama administration. i just want to ask you about it because this article says that secretary gates actually himself reached out and proposed the interview to talk about the general jones and the gossip going on in the administration about general jones. south-- this seems pretty extraordinary. is the writer accurate, mr. ignatius that the secretary reached out? >> he is accurate in the sense that i reach that to david ignatius and arrange the interview because the secretary firmly believes, as the articulate to mr. ignatius, the general jones is doing a terrific job, and in fact is he characterized it to ignatius, jones he believes is the glue that is holding this team together. he is the one who he thinks is most responsible for the fact that it has chilled and come together as quickly as it has, that this is not a team of rivals as it was originally billed think as to jones's leta
maggette is truly a national security team. there is, as you are all no doubt aware, a lot of chatter in washington about the job that he is doing and the secretary felt strongly enough that he wanted to be on the record as a guy knows a lot about how the industry works and his work with the great many national security advisers over the course of his career, in sync its misestimation at this point jones is up there with the pesty is work with. >> is it a little unusual for the secretary of defense to actually engage in even addressing as you call it, the chatter around washington about how another senior official may be fairing? its scenes extraordinare the secretary gates of all people, wedded keach and addressing that kind of chatter. >> i think he felt strongly enough about the job that general jones is doing and felt it was important enough that this team continue to work
successfully together given all the crises on our plate, that he wanted to be loud and clear in his support of general jones and to dispel all of this nonsense chatter that exists out there. is it unusual? sure it is unusual that he felt it was warranted based upon how the general jones was being treated. >> well, i mean for those of us who don't cover-- >> you can read the stories as well as i can read them. >> i think i have said it, i have addressed this that a few different ways barbara. there is a lot of chatter that he finds on helpful that has been sniping and undercutting general jones and he wanted to make it clear that in his estimation at least, as someone who has a great deal of experience in working with the nsc that general jones is doing a heck of a job. yeah. >> secretary gates with the
israeli minister of defense, ehud barak. can you give us like, how was the meeting and do you think both secretary gates and minister barack are on the same page regarding how to deal with the iranian nuclear program? thief i think they meet with great frequency. i think it was another in a string of good meetings between those old associates. and, i think that yes, i think they are-- have a very open and honest dialogue about the threat posed by iran. i think each is unafraid to express his concerns, his views to the other and as a result, i think they have a good understanding of where each of them stands and that is the foundation for a good working relationship. i think you'll see them continue to meet with regularity and continue to work together to address this problem.
>> so are they on the same page? >> no, that is not what i said. what i said was they know each other stansted they are committed to working together to address this problem. somehow there is gaining momentum here. >> shortly after the administration announced this-- >> ayman golding because i haven't been out for a while. >> shortly after the administration announced its new kennison strategy with bruce riedel's white paper k, undersecretary for policy michele flournoy and others promised benchmarks, metra said success. why haven't those cannot yacks? are they waiting for general mcchrystal to craft them? bead i can tell you this. when he and general rodriguez, should the senate confirmed the two of them, go over to afghanistan to undertake the 60 day review of the situation on the ground there, to try to get their feet on the ground, get a
ground eye view of what is going on and report back with they believe to be the situation, what they think should the changes in the strategy-- what changes in the strategy should be made and particularly from a personnel standpoint, from a manpower standpoint trying to determine the needs and what can be done to try to consolidate and get the most we can from of resources we have on the ground. the president has authorized as you know, 68,000 personnel. i think we are up to 55,000 on the ground right now. that is-- its rapidly growing operation and the secretary wants to make sure that everybody is being utilized effectively because he doesn't want to become-- he doesn't want headquarters. he wants to make sure that there are as many people operational, outside the wire, working, engaging as possible.
and, by sending in general rodriguez as the deputy commander for u.s. forces afghanistan, he doesn't want to see necessarily huge additional headquarters staff being developed and wants to make sure that all of our resources are being used to their optimum efficiency and effect. >> could you talk-- you talk about a change in strategy. shoed if we expect another white paper? >> the aftab strategy that was released from the white house was primarily focused on the civilian side. with that, the secretary has always talked about how their needs to be, once we get in a commander on the ground, they are the ones that will put the meat on the bone and determine what if any changes should be made to the military strategy. ????????????????