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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  February 18, 2011 5:00pm-7:00pm EST

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we continue to fulfill through the constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense. and i've noticed now that the difference between defense and nondefense discretionary spending terminology seems to be fading and i think we do that at our peril. so does that mean obviously that everything -- everybody at the pentagon wants we are going to say yes to or we can tolerate wasteful spending? wasteful spending? ..
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much more directly and act more boldly on the most expanding part of our national deficit and debt which is the entitlement programs that are nondefense, so with that invocation, i will now proceed to say that i just want to pick up on what senator mccain said earlier about the input we got at the munich security conference this year. it was quite significant to me on afghanistan. the first i thought there was a real change in opinion from our european colleagues that we really army can progress in afghanistan, and they feel good about it. and normally we have been concerned that -- i have been that they would lead the fight before we get.
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they turned the tables on us this time. and they said, we are committed now through nato to the 2014 exit date from afghanistan. we are worried that you in america are going to begin to leave earlier and they still have in mind notwithstanding all the transition to 2014 this july of 2011 date, so i would ask you if you would care to respond to that and of course part of that is just to urge that whatever we do in 2011, july of 2011 be mindful of the effect it will have not only on the afghans in the region but on our european allies. >> i would just make two comments. first, i had a nato defense ministers meeting last december, and it was really quite extraordinary, because i don't think i have ever seen so many ministers so optimistic about
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how things were going in afghanistan. i didn't encounter a single one who was pessimistic or who felt that the effort was for not, and that we weren't headed in the right direction. so there was a level not just of sort of grudging support, but as a general feeling of cautious optimism that we finally had all the parts write in this thing, civilian strategy, the military strategy, had the resources they are. when i take this took this job there were 17,000, 12 or 13,000 europeans or other partners in afghanistan. there are now 50,000. they have really stepped up to the plate. we are carrying the bulk of the burden, but they are doing a lot as well. by the same token, i am -- one
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of my missions in next month's defense ministers meeting is to ensure that in fact, whatever we do in july does not start a rush for the exit on the part of our allies, and i would say particularly those who have the largest contingents there. there are a lot of countries that have -- bear make it a real contribution but they have very limited numbers of people there. i think that our principle allies and those who are the principle contributors are probably okay. but i need to be able to reassure them that this is going to be conditions based and that it will be gradual. the other aspect of this is, i don't think -- the other point it will make to them is that it should not be mathematical. if we take out 1% or 2% of our troops or whatever the number
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is, that doesn't mean everybody gets 2% because some of them to present you know when you have only got 10, you get a problem. and, so, i think that we need to ensure that their force are taken out on a conditions based arrangement as well. and i think this is the challenge for general petraeus. what we have been thinking about, the way i think he is thinking about it is that when we turn over security responsibility sort of three things will happen to the foreign troops that are there. a few will stay to continue to provide a strategic overwatch and safety net if you will. subwill be reinvested in the neighboring district where the security isn't as good yet and then some portion would be allowed to come home. and so i think that is the approach that he is taking and frankly i have not seen from the defense ministers at least signs
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of nervousness or a feeling that they would, that they would be compelled to make significant withdrawals themselves. but for the timing that they have already announced. >> i appreciate that reassurance. what you founded the defense ministers meeting is exactly what we found in terms of the cautious optimism at the munich conference. the other thing i would say and i appreciate, i think you are right on target and your focus for the next meeting coming up because it sounded to me is that they need that reassurance and i would just say that none of the defense side but one of the people high up in one of our major nato ally foreign ministry said that they were worried that if we withdrew a small proportion of our troops in july, that there would be a tendency of their political community to take it an absolute mathematical numbers. you know what i'm saying. okay for us it is only 1% the
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let's say it is 1000. they are worried that at home their parliament is going to say well how about taking out 1000 of our troops as a result? >> the interesting thing about particularly the europeans who are in afghanistan, most of them are in coalition governments and most of their publics are opposed to their participation. and i think it needs to be said, these governments have shown some real political courage in being willing to commit to the alliance and to afghanistan the forces that they have in the absence of political support at home. >> i couldn't agree with you more. my time is up at the other thing i found very heartening is that i think our nato allies particularly following the meetings you have referred to, have stepped back and understand not just that we are doing better in afghanistan but this is the first time nato has gone to war. and a failure in this first time at war interestingly outside of
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the geographic areas of nato would have terrible consequences for nato's credibility and nato's credibility at this uncertain dangerous time in the world is critically important to the stability and security of a lot of other places far from the lot of other places far from the u.s., europe and afghanistan. so i think we are at a point where the alliance is really moving together in a very positive way. i thank you very much. >> thank you senator. senator inhofe. >> thank you mr. chairman. i'm glad to hear that statement secretary gates what you said about the 17 to 50,000. somehow i missed that but more will be coming to the table. senator hagan and i sit their seats with the troops in afghanistan and had a chance to spend a little time to get out to the training area. when we talk about what is going to happen in reduction and so forth, a lot of that is going to
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be dependent on the success in training of the ama and how they are coming and i was very pleased. i was here a minute ago but we were both surprised at the kabul military training center. the segregation of the infantry and artillery and how they are doing it and we are used to seeing how we did it in this country. i was most impressed with their training and to accommodate some of these potential discussions on withdrawal, i would just like to know your opinion as to how we are coming with that training is that it ahead of where you thought it would be or arias he was u.s. impressed as we were when we went over and witnessed it? >> i think we should both address that briefly but i would say what general caldwell has done in the last year or so i would characterize as merely a miracle. and it is not just the numbers. they have taken a year ago 35% of the recruits or the new
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soldiers, afghan soldiers qualified on marksmanship. it is now in the '90s. they have a literacy program going for officers, for ncos and even for some junior enlisted that is going to make a huge, long-term difference in afghanistan. so i think, i think that the quality of what they have been doing and the speed with which they have been doing it and the ability to accommodate the significant increase in the numbers being trained and getting quality training has just been really quite extraordinary and i think is played a big part in the progress that we have had over the last year and a half. >> i would say very briefly sir, i think the number saw the other day was 24,000 trainees in training right now. that number was minimal a year to two years ago. i mean literally in the hundreds because all you did is he recruited and you put a soldier
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or a policeman in a field. what also gets lost here is sometimes as we focus on the military side of this there has been an extraordinary jump on the police side as well behind the military as it was in iraq, so we are making a lot of progress there. i would commend general caldwell and else's people that they put in the structure. you have seen for yourself the kind of training. has been in exceptional effort over a short period of time. >> we had an opportunity to talk to some of the ones that were being trained to be trainers. they are excited. they are looking at careers. i was very shocked and very pleased. as you know from previous meetings i always bring up the 1206, 1207, 1208 peace programs that i have been very enthusiastic about and i think have has been very successful. i was pleased that the 1206 funding was increased in this from 350 to 500 million.
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the thing that i'm confused about, it because i'm not sure what it means, is this pooled funding. because when i first read about this, i thought this is returning back to what we are trying to get away from. in other words having more concentrated commanders in the field, having greater authority in this type of thing. how does the pooled funding work is that -- would either be like to share that with may? >> this is supported and 50 million. this is actually a 50 million-dollar approach -- appropriation should be approvee department's money with an opportunity to reprogram upwards of 450 million between us. there is no specificity that says how much they would reprogram at this point or how much dod would. what is really critical here and this goes back to your support of 1206, seven and eight is it gives us the flexibility and the ability to meet and emergent
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this year, and maybe maybe even this month need, which heretofore we just haven't been able to do and we see it year after year in country after country. so it actually is very consistent with what happened in 1206, seven and eight in terms of the mechanisms. >> that is good and i'm glad to hear that because i didn't want to dilute the program that i think has been very successful. you know recently we hear more and war about china and russia and their further advanced than we thought they were on the fifth generation fighters. 50 j. 20 or whatever that is over there, and the decision that we had made to move backwards a little bit or move the 124, f-35's out of this five-year period were delayed. was that decision made before we realized that they perhaps were a little bit further along in developing a fifth generation fighter in other countries that
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might be sold eventually to people that could be our enemy's? >> i think that first of all the way i characterized it senator is that when i was in china president hu rolled out the red carpet and the pla rolled out the j-20. we have expected them -- they may have flight tested it half a year or year or so before our intelligence estimated they would, but the truth is it will be quite a while before they have any numbers. the latest estimates on the chinese side with the that by 2020 they might have 50 deployed and by 2025 maybe a couple hundred. we will have 30025 -- 325 f-35's by the end of 2016 even under the revised program which the
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f-22's give us over 500 fifth-generation aircraft. we will have 850 at 35's by 2020 or fifth-generation aircraft by 2020 and about 1800 by 2025 so there is still a huge disparity in terms of these aircraft and frankly i don't want to get into it too much in an open hearing. this is their first low observable aircraft and given the challenges that we have had and we have been at this now better than 20 years, frankly i think they have got a long road in front of them before this becomes a serious operational aircraft in any numbers. >> i'm glad to hear that. my time is expired but i want to ask you a question for the record and it might be more appropriate to respond to it for the record. you commented about your visit to the far east and at that time you were talking about north korea who developed an icbm within five years.
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we hear about our intelligence estimate talking about iran's capabilities and 2015. i would like to have an update on those estimates for the record if i may. >> mr. chairman if i could -- back to the specific on the f-35 the secretary's decision to move those aircraft, those are still opal aircraft. i actually think. >> those are the marine version? >> that exit puts us in a better position to deliver the navy and air force version sooner because those two versions are doing pretty well and testing in development so i thought it was a wise decision to give the navy an opportunity to work on this airplane for the next two years. it was at the front of the queue and actually was holding up the other two. the development of the other two airplanes. >> i was going to say the first air force f-35 will go to england in may and others will
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flow through september to begin training and the navy variant will be at england air force in 2012. >> that is very helpful. thank you. >> senator nelson. >> thank you is your chairman and thank you gentlemen for your service to our country. secretary gates, for the past several years the need for a new u.s. strategic command headquarters has been under consideration. it has been a parent and identified as a requirement so i've been extremely pleased with the progress made toward addressing this vital need. the existing facilities shortcomings and problems that put stratcom's mission and its personnel at some risk. stratcom's existing headquarters with built in 1957 and it has weathered five decades with little renovation. within a combatant command of course these problems would be challenging if they continue to
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have electrical service and cooling water and other problems but for u.s. stratcom, these facility maintenance matters are just untenable and stand in way of some of our most important national security missions. general chilton, the retiring commander of u.s. stratcom said it best that the u.s. stratcom headquarters as the nuclear command and control mode for the u.s. and we must make the appropriate investments so i am very pleased that this budget represents bad and i wonder if you might have any comments on it and is well admiral mullen. >> i just have one comment and that is admiral mullen and i were there a couple of weeks ago for the change of command at stratcom and the building looks a lot like it did when i walked in as a second lieutenant in 1967. >> well, the electrical systems are probably the same as well but thank you very very much. in addition to the concerns that have been raised about
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continuing our relationships in the middle east right now, the fy12 budget presumes that the military in terms of iraq will depart in december as plan. we have had a a lot of sex -- discussions here about whether or not it is important to do that or appropriate to do that in and what kind of assistance and advice will we continue to provide the iraqi's. but as we are looking at our budget and trying to find ways to economize in the department of defense, is there a plan to have the iraqis pick up more of the cost of any retention that we might have of our personnel there to provide the advice in the training that will be required? >> not at this point, senator. to tell you the truth we haven't really done much in the way of
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the budget, looking beyond the 31st of december because we are assuming that he will come to december 31 and that will be at. so we would have to revisit that issue. i think that, i think we would have to take a look at whether the iraqis could do that. they are running about even with the price of oil where it is. they are devoting about 14% of their gdp to security and they are running i think a 15 billion or thereabouts, 10 to 15 billion-dollar deficit this year. we should be so lucky. but we really haven't gone down that road yet. >> but if we are in a position to where we are requested and we make the decision to continue some relationship there, would it be possible to look at that from the standpoint of the budget? it is not that i want to drive
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their budget into the ditch anymore than i want us to continue to be there. we have got to find a way to balance it for them and for ourselves as well. >> understand and we will certainly take that into account. >> i appreciate that. in terms of isr assets, the department has put for spending about four-point 8 billion on procuring another 110 airframes for the budget. can you speak about what the infrastructure and personnel would cost? maybe this is for admiral mullen the personnel cost and infrastructure costs for adding these additional isr assets? >> well, i would have to get back to you with a detailed response. certainly the infrastructure and personnel costs are incorporated into the budget and that is how the service is actually brings it forward and it has become more and more significant. but i was all say say senator
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nelson has become a critical part not of just what we are doing now but what we do in the future. we oftentimes, we oftentimes think about the future out there by itself what is going to happen in five or 10 years. one of things that is happened in these wars is there are a lot of capabilities that we have developed rapidly that will be every bit as relevant in a few years as they are right now. isr is probably leads the pack with respect to that. >> in that regard we are living the future right now as we see it develop around us and i hope that as we do that we will continue to find a way to do it and obviously as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. but not be short on personnel, simply because we may end up with fewer pilots. the pilot is often -- piloting is obviously done a different way so i hope you'll consider that and also secretary gates, in growing the forces capacity of the afghan national security
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forces, we have talked about the numbers increasing and you mentioned sustainability of the numbers and the range from the lower and we are adding 40,000 looking at a higher rate of 378,000. could we establish what we think would be a sustainable number as we look forward because obviously that is a pretty sizable percent of the population. is good to have people working there is no question about it, fully employed, but do we have some idea of what the afghans could support and sustain into their future? secretary gates? >> this sustainability issue at least for the next number of years is more what the u.s. can sustain because the afghan ability to sustain a military force would be a fraction of the size of what they already have,
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much less what they may increase to, which is why i think of it more in terms of their forces, the size of their force more in terms of the surge like ours and so that once we have defeated the taliban or degraded them to a point that a smaller afghan force can keep control, where almost a local -- like the afghan local police or smaller numbers of the army can manage to keep the taliban or others inside the country down to the point where they aren't a threat to the stability of the government or to the people of afghanistan. they cannot afford a forced the size that they already have, and so i think the only way we can think of it or the way we ought to think of it is something that
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we would be willing to support for a few years, but then it seems to me particularly if there is a political solution to this war as we all believe there needs to be alternately, that they could get by with a significantly smaller force. we probably would have to help them even then but it would eat a dramatically smaller bill than it is now and if it is a smaller bill we may be able to get other countries to help us as well. >> hopefully the nato support would extend to providing help for this sustainability into the future because until we secure the country, a political solution is going to be very difficult. >> well and just as an example, the japanese basically pay the salaries for the afghan national police. that is their contribution. they don't have troops there but that is not a small thing they are doing. >> thank you mr. chairman.
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>> thank you senator nelson. senator ayotte. >> secretary gates and admiral mullen i want to thank you for being here today and commend both of you for your long and distinguished service to our country. before i ask any questions i just want to say that i believe our government is most important responsibilities to protect the american people and this is a deeply held personal bully for me from a military family. my husband is in the guard and is a veteran of the iraq war, so i applaud your efforts to ensure that our brave men and women in uniform have everything they need to fight and win our wars. supporting our men and women in uniform is certainly a solemn and sacred responsibility that we have. as a drawdown in iraq and our country confronts the fiscal crisis i think it would be a mistake to drastically cut the size of our military readiness. that said, you realize, you appreciate and i know based on admiral mullen's comments that we face a fiscal crisis in this
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country and that we face great challenges in balancing the need to protect our country and to make sure that we serve and provide for our troops with the need to cut back and i'll areas. i want to commend secretary gates for proactively going forward to look for efficiencies and billions of dollars in savings and is a new member of this committee i want you to doubt that i look forward to working with the department of defense to bring reforms forward and efficiencies to fruition and also to look for additional cost savings. i have a question based on having the appearances of secretary vickers for his nomination. and that is that he testified that 25% of the detainees that are being released from guantánamo are going back into theater and engaging in hostilities again.
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i wanted to ask secretary gates whether that is an accurate figure and how that is informing our release decisions from guantánamo. >> that is about the right figure and based on the latest information that i have. and, we have -- i would say that we have been very selective in terms of returning people. one of the things we have discovered over time is that we are not particularly good at predicting which returnee will be a recidivist. some of those that we have considered the most dangerous and who have been released or who we consider dangerous and potentially going back into the fight have not, and some that we evaluated as not being much of the danger or much of a risk we have discovered in the fight.
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so, and then i would say that the national defense authorization act of 2011 imposes some additional restrictions on who we can release and the congress put me in the uncomfortable position of having to certified people who get returned, that they are no longer a danger, so i will tell you that raises the bar very high as far as i'm concerned. >> one of the concerns that i think this raises as well is, if we are able to capture a target in an area where we may not currently be engaged in a conflict, a direct conflict, where are we going to put these individuals if the president still goes forward to attempt to close quandt?
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>> i think the honest and true that question is we don't know. for capture them outside, outside of the areas where we are at war and are not covered by the existing authorizations, or authorizations. one possibility is to, for such a person to be put in the custody of their own government. another possibility is that we bring them to the united states. after all we have brought a variety of terrorist of the united states and put them on trial and article iii courts here over the years. but, it will be a challenge. >> would that cause you to make a different recommendation to the president on closing guantánamo, given the challenges that it presents? >> well i think we are in a position frankly that the prospects are closing quandt, mom as best i can tell are very
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very low, given very broad opposition to doing that here in the congress. >> we also aren't using it to add additional detainees there that might he appropriate for holding at subseven either are we? i wanted to ask you about the reset goodman for combat within the budget. i'm concerned about the lower funding levels proposed in fiscal year 2012 to reset equipment for combat units returning from deployments and i wanted to get your thoughts on that part of the budget. on september 112010 and new hampshire national guard deployed the largest number of guardsmen and women since world war ii for our state and these troops will be returning in the second half of this year. i know that reset is more than just buying equipment and includes manning time and time
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to train readiness levels takes time but he also know the national guard units have historically been at the end of the food chain in getting new equipment and resources for training. this can impact their readiness for federal missions but also can impact their responsiveness to state emergencies. so with this in mind how confident are you and that the amounts included in the fiscal year 2012 budget for the services to reset will allow all of units in the active and reserve components to be able to address big critical readiness needs that we have going forward? >> one of the things that has happened over the past four years that i am very proud of is when i assumed this position, the historic equipment on hand percentage across the board for the national guard was about 70t was at about 40%. it is now on a national basis had about 77%.
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and what has changed now compared with the past, just to your point about the food chain is the guard now is getting the same kind of equipment that the active force has, so they are getting much higher-quality equipment and at the same time they are getting more equipment. how fast we can do this for units that are coming back from conflict is going to be a challenge because it is a lot of money, and one of the concerns that i have about the continuing resolution is that there is some reset money in their. and it is going to be very typical for us to execute. one of the things that we will have to do, if we get a year-long continuing resolution, we will have to pretty close to shut down the recapitalization of the humvees as red river and lira kinney d. pose. and so all of these things are tied together, but it is going to be a challenge and our
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general, until a year or two ago we would have testified to you that we will need reset money for at least a couple of years after the conflict ends. and we think that is probably now a longer period of time, longer than two years. the problem is that it when the conflict is then, that reset money for the most part has come out of these overseas contingency operations budgets. and finding the brown, finding the dollars for a significant reset after the end of the conflict if we are not getting any oh funding i think will be a big challenge for us. >> i know that my time is up and i thank you very much secretary gates and admiral mullen. appreciated. >> thain senator ayotte. senator akaka. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and a low haas
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secretary gates and admiral mullen and secretary ayotte. i want to thank you 04 your leadership and service. secretary gates, if this is your final budget testimony before the committee i would like to say that i appreciate the excellent job that you have done leading on the military. i want to also thank the brave men and women of our armed forces and their families for their service. secretary gates and admiral mullen, i applaud the steps taken to care for our servicemembers mental well-being i believe taking care of those defending our nation is a responsibility and not a choice. i also believe that the healing process should also account for
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families as well. i am interested in hearing your thoughts on the progress the department is making and helping families as a whole as they work through the challenges of ptsd, tbi and other stress inducing situations for families? >> thank senator akaka and i know that you have focused on these issues and all of us greatly appreciate that. i think we are in a much better position than we were a few years ago but we also have a much better understanding of this size of the problem and increasingly and i will speak specifically to families first, while early on there was a great deal of focus on spouses, that
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has in terms of the stress that they have undergone, what i have seen certainly over the course of the last couple of years is an increasing awareness and understanding of the need to address the whole family, including the kids, as they have been stress. if you are at a high and high rotation unit and you were 10 years old when these war started, and it is mostly your dad that mom and dad are on their fourth or fifth deployment, you just went off to college and you basically almost haven't seen your dad. there are issues associated with that but i think we are going to have to deal with in the long run. a 15-year-old in one of these military families, their whole life has been at war. that is something a lot of us have never been through. so there there has been an extraordinary amount of effort placed in terms of prioritizing
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inside each of the services to get at the major issues and it is not just the stress in the mental stress. we are short health care providers although we are up dramatically from where we were in 2001. we were in the 1000 range in 2001 and we are over 7000 now. we have got tricare health providers that are almost 50,000 but we are still short, the country a short and we have to figure out a better way to break through, to join with the d.a.. another committee that i know is near and dear to your heart as chairman and work together with the va and quite frankly with communities throughout the country to get at this. the last thing i would say is the initiative that the first lady has undertaken and announced with the president about a month ago extraordinarily important issue focused on military families across a number of issues to include this is wellness
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education, childcare, signed by all the secretaries from other departments, 16 of them. there is a huge step forward in terms of giving this visibility and a way that we just haven't had before so i'm more optimistic than i have been but we have got some substantial steps that need to be taken. >> i would just like to mention a couple things senator. one is, one of the significant changes i think we have made in the last three years or so, we have moved virtually -- we used to pay for most of these family programs associated with those who are deployed and the challenges that they have been facing have been in the supplementals and in the funding. we have over the last three years moved virtually all of that money into the base budget so that long after the war
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funding and, we will be able to sustain these family oriented programs. this year, we will have, i think we have $8.3 billion in the budget for these programs and that is about a 200 million-dollar increase over fy11. >> i know you are concerned goes back to the tricare program, probably needing more resources than they had before. secretary gates, i believe that an electronic medical record system would be very beneficial to current and former military families and members as well as the health care providers. mr. secretary can you provide an update on where the department is on the electric health
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records? >> we have made -- we will do you an answer for the record that has the details. i will tell you we have made a lot of progress but it is not fast enough as far as the secretary shinseki and i are concerned, and he and i met, just the two of us, about two weeks ago to try and accelerate this effort so he and i will meet again with our staffs in the middle of april, or in the middle of march rather, to assess where we are and what needs to be done to move this forward and get it done and then we will have a follow-up meeting at the end of april. i have found, unfortunately, with these huge bureaucracies whether it is veterans affairs or the department of defense,
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that things like this that are big projects don't move very fast if they don't get high-level attention so secretary shinseki and i are both committed to making fast progress, as fast as possible progress on this. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much senator akaka. senator collins. >> thank you mr. chairman. secretary gates, admiral mullen i very much appreciate the fact that you have opened your testimony, highlighting the damaging effects of a year-long cr on the department. i am very concerned about these impacts and senator bill nelson and i recently wrote to our leaders, suggesting that we should be working on the defense appropriations bill right now. i made a similar suggestion to our leaders last fall that
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unfortunately they did not take. but i will say to my colleagues that it is inconceivable to me that we have sent the past 10 days -- spent the past 10 days debating the faa reauthorization, not to say that that's not important, but it pales in comparison to the urgency of the defense defense of prep rations bill. so i hope our senate leaders heard you loud and clear tonight, and that we will return next week and make that our first order of business. and certainly the impact that you have outlined is a disaster and there's just no need for us to be debating a bill that isn't urgent when we should be doing a high priority bill and certainly
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the passage of the defense appropriations bill is the highest priority so thank you for your testimony on that. admiral mullen, your testimony, you stated that one of the greatest success stories this year has been the growth and development of the afghan national security forces. he went on to say that has gone incredibly well, and i understand that is going well generally and i also understand how imperative it is that we build up those forces so that we can eventually leave afghanistan. but i want you to know that i am concerned that the focus on so rapidly increasing the number of afghan security forces is shortchanging the vetting of those recruits. recently, six u.s. military
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personnel, including private first class buddy mclean of maine, were killed by an afghan border police officer and the press has reported that in the past 13 months, afghan personnel have attacked our military personnel or a coalition partner six times. what are we doing to better that that -- those afghan recruits to ensure that tragic incident, attacks like this, do not occur? >> certainly it is senator collins. each one of them is a tragedy and to go to the overall structure when i go back 12 months or 15 months with general mccullough, what what we had them versus what we have now, we have moved incredibly quickly
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but we have also focused on the quality of the move and by that i mean the quality of the instructors, the quality of infrastructure, a substantial training program that was virtually nonexistent there before. secretary talked earlier about the improvement in literacy. we are now focused very much on the needs to both train in specific skill sets, and all of this, while we are obviously fighting a war, moving pretty quickly, moving very quick lead to ensure as best we can that nothing like that, either in the security forces or the military police occurs. i would assure you there is a tremendous amount of focus on this with respect to the leadership. that said, tragically these things to occur on occasions. they did in iraq because they do
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in afghanistan. and while we would do everything we can to eliminate them, i would not sit here and tell you that we will be 100% successful with respect to that. every one of these is investigated early. everyone of them. in fact, the one, the one to which you refer, you know i went through this with general campbell specifically. what happen? what do we know about this guy? what was the background? there wasn't a lot there with respect to his background that would have led him to specifically take that action to kill our six troops. so we take that, we investigate that and we certainly integrate that back in to what we are doing but it is a big challenge. >> secretary gates, i applaud you for holding accountable both military and civilian personnel who have failed to perform adequately.
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on tuesday, senator lieberman and i met with one of the victims of the fort hood massacre, sergeant alonzo landsberg and he was accompanied by friends and family members as well as other family members who had lost loved ones in this attack. and the very first question that they asked senator lieberman and me, and the one that i pose to you today, is when will the supervisors that filed such misleading officer evaluations reports regarding major hasan be held accountable? these evaluation reports ignored his increasingly erratic behavior, his poor performance as a physician.
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we know from our investigation that one of his commanding officers told the people at fort hood, you are getting our -- and yet when you read the officer performance evaluation, they are blowing by and large. so, this attack occurred 15 months ago and what the victims and their family members are asking us is, when will these individuals be held accountable? >> at my request the secretary of the army has undertaken an investigation to address this specifically, and the latest information that i have is that he is nearing decisions on this, so i think -- i don't have a precise time on it but i think in the very near future he will
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be reaching his conclusions and taking whatever actions he needs appropriately. >> thank you. my time has expired. i'm going to submit some questions for the record. admiral mullen, i do want to mention to you that i am very concerned about the increase in suicides among the national guard. i recently had the honor to welcome back a company of maine national guard men and women who spend a year in afghanistan, and it seems to me we are doing a better job than helping at the active-duty force, which has those resources more readily available. but i'm really concerned about whether we are providing that same kind of support to the guard and reserve? >> i have said this many times and we would be nowhere close to where we are in these wars
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without the extraordinary performance of the guard and reserve and they deserve every bit the attention that everybody else has gotten. i am, we are certainly on the suicide issue it is a huge concern to all of us. services are working and in particular the surge over the last year on the guard side so there's a great deal of effort to try to first of all understand it and then address it as we have been the services as well. >> thank you. >> thank you senator collins. i think senator collins speaks for all of us on that issue of suicide. senator reed. >> thank you mr. chairman and let me begin by associating myself with the remarks of chairman levin and senator mccain and others about your extraordinary cases -- service mr. secretary throughout your tenure in difficult times in making difficult judgments. thank you for what you have done and we continue to wish you well as you continue to serve. and admiral mullen, i know in
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october you will finish your tour and i will add that accommodation for your extraordinary service, 43 years and to all your colleagues at the defense department. let me emphasize what you all have emphasized. it is actually critical to fund the defense budget going forward in a nun ad hoc every 60 days but over the long period of time so certainty for program and certainty for strategy but there is another aspect of our national strategy that is increasingly important and that is the role the state department will play in iraq and afghanistan. mr. secretary i would assume that you would stress the same urgency of the need to find fund those types of state department programs in iraq and afghanistan, otherwise what you have accomplished and more specifically what young men and women in our military forces
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have accomplished could be severely jeopardized and our national security severely threatened if we don't follow through. the concern that many of us have is that you are able to almost reflect the response by the american people when you talk about helping men and women in uniform. at the same response is not elicited with people criticizing foreign aid which this could be labeled and i just think it would be helpful if you would comment on this issue and the need also to support that effort. >> first of all i would say that for the entire time i have been in this job, i have been an advocate for more money for the state department and actually this state back in my days in in the cia when we had case officers collecting information that any good political officer in the foreign service could get, but there weren't enough.
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and, so it has been a concern of mine all along. i would say that right now, it is a critically urgent concern because at the state department doesn't get the money that they have requested for the transition in iraq, we are really going to be in the soup. we have spent probably close to eight or $900 billion, perhaps more importantly more than 4000 lives and here we are at the endgame and it reminds me of the final scene in charlie wilson's war. we have spent aliens to drive the soviets out of afghanistan and we couldn't get a million dollars to build schools in afghanistan in 1989 and 1990. the same thing is going to happen in iraq. if we can't have a transition to the state department and the
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police training function, if they don't have a presence in various places throughout iraq, much of the investment that we have made in trying to get the iraqi's to the place they are is at risk in my view and so the money that -- i mean the chairman mentioned the need for state department funding in his opening statement but you would find a think extraordinary support across the entire defense department for their budget, but more importantly, our real worry that all that we have gained as potentially at risk if we don't have the kind of state department presence and the state department activities in iraq come and here is the other piece of the problem. and it goes to the continuing resolution. the state department can't spend the money to get ready right now. getting toward the end of
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february, there are facilities to be built. there are people to be hired and they can't do any of that, and so we are going to run out of time in terms of being able to get this accomplished. so i hope that the passion and this reflects just how strongly we feel about this. this is really, really important. >> senator reed just quickly you talked about iran and afghanistan. this is a global issue. this is not a lot of money invested in places around the world that prevent conflicts. the military does this. we have to do it with our partners in the state department. otherwise we are going back for a lot more investment and a lot more casualties. let me offer a brief additional point. for the first time in fiscal 12 state will requested budget under the contingencies operations. will be important for congress to enact back and isolate the
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money associated with these cooperation so i hope that is favorably received. >> that is an excellent point mr. secretary. with afghanistan to mackey mentioned charlie wilson's war. we learned a very expensive lesson about not spending a million dollars in 9/11 and frankly, particularly with afghanistan we are at a point we might have to relearn that lesson because the threats that are being organized against the united states and our allies are still emanating from the border regions of afghanistan and pakistan unless i'm mistaken. is that a fair judgment? >> absolutely. the chairman refers to it as the epicenter of world terrorism and while al qaeda has metastasized and has branches in yemen and north africa and elsewhere, the reality is that border area with
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afghanistan and pakistan is still the heart of the problem. >> let me make one follow a point about afghanistan because of the chairman mentioned we were there recently. we are building an increasingly incredible force there but it is a force that the government of afghanistan cannot afford indefinitely. is much cheaper than our troops but this is not just a two or three year commitment. this has to be a multiyear commitment to support their forces in the field. not singularly the united states but the international community and we have to start now and build that in. is that another point you would agree with? >> i made the point earlier. i mean, think the international community and afghanistan cannot afford a force of 375,000 ansf indefinitely. we have to think of this i think more as a search for the afghans
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and with a political settlement and with the degrading of the taliban perhaps the size of the ansf can come down to a point where it is more affordable for us and for everybody else but we have just as an example, our fy12 budget has in the occo $12.8 billion to support the ansf for one fiscal year. we can't sustain that for many years. years. and so, a lot depends on being successful by 2014 and getting the transition to the afghans and even if we have to support it for a little while after that, if we are most of our troops out of there it is still going to be a lot less money for the american taxpayers. >> thank you very much. >> thank you senator reed and when you go to your nato meeting i hope you would also see what support we might be able to get for the continuing cost of an afghan army some -- from some of our nato allies.
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it would be very very helpful as well. senator graham. >> thank you mr. chairman. any chance you will reconsider leaving secretary gates? >> no, sir. >> i didn't think so but i just can't thank you enough for what you have done for the country and admiral mullen. i just want to say something about this administration here. i know we have our differences but when it comes to iraq and afghanistan i think the policies you have created and the policies the president has supported have been very sound and we are about to reap the benefits of operations that have been tough, difficult, sometimes mismanage but that's the nature of war and we are very close in iraq. i just want to build on what senator reed said. i would like for you to put in writing to me and senator leahy what you said about this account. let's give a real-world example.
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.. and no account is a bug's scrutiny, but the $5 billion that are flowing to pakistan, iraq and afghanistan on the civilian side, the overseas contingency operation -- what are you telling us basically that should be seen sort of as
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emergency spending, not counting their baseline quiet >> certainly some of it tied to the military, but kerry-lugar-berman is a site easier program. that isn't military and nasa were talking about earlier, sustaining that will be critical, not just now, but in the long-term. >> we are surging on the civilian side as they drive down our troops and the civilian military partnership essential to holding the building. their offense going to pakistan, iraq and afghanistan on the civilian side that i think will be just as important as any brigade and i would like to treat those funds as the national security asset and i will do everything i can on the republican side to make sure we protect those funds and you can't hold it go without. so here we are talking about fiscal austerity at home. what is the percentage of gdp spending on the fence when you count all appropriations?
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>> two facts. first, the base budget allowed his 3.7% of gdp. if you take on the war funding for fy 11 plus the base budget, it's about 4.9% of gdp. but there is another fact that is worth noting and that is that as a percentage of federal outlays, with the exception of the late 90s and early 2000 at 18.9%, it is the lowest level of federal -- percentage of outlays since before world-weary two. >> we need to understand that as a congress here. the secretary of defense has just told us since world war ii turns on or in the very low end and there's times that i think threats to our nation are going exponentially. as we pulled down in iraq, it is believed that if the iraqi
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government would ask for american troops to be left behind the functions you suggested, it would be in our national security interest to say yes. now there's a fourth component. security for those who are going to be in the latecomers state department, to prevent justice from agricultural department,, police trainers. my concern is if we don't have a set to ship military footprint in the state department literally has to live his own security apparatus, which will be in excess of $5 billion. if you think all things being a goal would be better for u.s. military to continue to provide security? >> yes, sir, i do. partly because we would also have the helicopters and things like that. the private security contract is that states have to hire to perform that role will not have some of the quote unquote enablers that we have. >> see, we need to know this in because the state department
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needs to build capacity. today by helicopters? em raps? is it wise to hire a contractor army to replace the military if they will allow the military to perform that function. the sooner we know the answer to the question, the more likely we are to be successful because i have grave concerns about noting the state department army. and so, that's just my 2 cents worth. detainees. admiral mullen, our special operators are all over the world as they speak, is that correct click and the threat from terrorism. while legally do as a nation if we are able to capture a high level al qaeda operative in any country outside of iraq or afghanistan, let's say smalley or yemen as examples. what would we do with that
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detainee? >> we don't have an answer to that question. >> see this as a big deal to me. we are in a war and capturing people as part of intelligence gathering and an essential component of this work. do you agree with that, admiral mullen? it is better to capture someone than to kill them in a lot of cases, is that correct? it's hard to capture someone if you don't have a jail. and all of those on the other side you want to stop revision, we need to come up with an american jail is the only alternative is to go to renditions. i hope, mr. chairman, that sometime this year, republicans and democrats can have a breakthrough on this issue to help our men and women fighting this war because it is a very tough spot for special operators in. our cia doesn't interrogate our cia doesn't interrogate terrorist suspects any longer. these are things we need to talk about and get an answer to.
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afghanistan. not only is it miraculously general caldwell has done. it is stunning to me that we are in 2009 and 30% of the nco corps and afghanistan to reach. when he took over, he tested the afghan army for literacy. on paper, every nco should read up a third-grade level. when they tested the nco corps, 70% could not reach the third-grade level and he's going about six of that. we need to know after eight of involvement, 90% of the afghan currently could not shoot to make a standards 18 months ago. after all these years, we are finally getting it right. in many ways, we've been in afghanistan with the right formulation for about eight months. is that a fair statement? >> that's a fair statement. and that's a very difficult discussion to ask because it was 10 years ago when this started. >> i want the american people to know that we've made mistakes,
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but when 2014 pounds i am very optimistic that there will be a better afghan police and army to return there soon. but i've been discussing among my colleagues and others about what an enduring relationship with afghanistan would look like. it is my belief, mr. chairman got a political economic for the afghan people at their request would be incredibly beneficial to the long-term national security interest and could be a game changer in the region to both of you. what do you believe the effect of an enduring military relationship with the on the future security of afghanistan in the region as a whole if the afghans requested of us to have joined airbases past 2015?
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would that be something you think would be wise for us to talk about and consider? >> absolutely, senator. i think to go to admiral mullen's comments about pakistan a little while ago, there is a big question the whole region whether we will stick around. and it's in afghanistan, pakistan. it's all over the area. and a security agreement with afghanistan that provided for a continuing relationship and to some kind of joint facility in the land for training counterterrorism and so on beyond 2014 i think would be very much in our interests. i think it was serve as a barrier to the iranian influence coming from the last. i think it would serve as a barrier to a reconstitution of the taliban and others coming from the border areas in
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pakistan. so i think it would be a stabilizing -- have a stabilizing effect not just in afghanistan, but in the region. >> one final thought. i hate to bend over. would you also agree that it would give an edge to the afghan security forces in perpetuity over the tyler beard and you might with that kind of relationship get by with a somewhat smaller army? >> absolutely. >> thank you, senator graham. senator hagan is next. we have a vote now senate scheduled for 1210, going to try to work around that vote and to work through that boat. i'm going to turn the gavel over now to senator udall because i have to leave for a few minutes as well, but we're going to try to keep going right through that the best we can. senator hagan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i will cut my own question short because i have to preside on the
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senate floor admin. but i too want to say to all three of the individuals here come the thank you so much for your service and your testimony and the excellent work that you do for our country. and i just want to agree with senator reid and senator graham on the concern and secretary gates inoperable and how can learn about the funding for the state department. i think it's critically important and it certainly was evidence to what has taken place just recently in egypt. i did want to talk a little bit about the help of the special operations forces. admiral mullen, in your prepared remarks to his knowledge to continued support on the dangers of conflict. last week admiral olson, u.s. command told in industry group the difficult and repeated deployments of specialized operations personnel are causing some fraying around the edges of the force. and admiral olson also made the
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point that demand for national operations forces will continue to strip supply for the foreseeable future. given the demand for the special operation forces not only at centcom, but other parts of the world for partnership in capacity building activities, how does the department intend to address the readiness issues identified by admiral mullen and secretary gates? >> i think actually the forces expanded from wendy's were started around 30,000 underway to upwards of 56,000. there are insatiable appetites for special forces. validly its icon. they are in many countries around the world and they are making investments for the future, so we don't have to go to war and other parts of the world. i think his statement about fraying around the edges is right. they've been on significant number of deployments.
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i think in iraq -- actually in iraq and afghanistan, they'll typically be the last forces out. so the pressure is going to continue there. we have worked, you know, a very hard on increasing ties to increase time, but as we do that, quite frankly, petraeus asked for more because they have such an impact. so where extraordinary in their performance and execution. i consider the care coalition, i consider the care coalition, which is the group that takes care of wounded families -- families of the fallen to the gold standard in our military, with respect to how we approach that. that said, they are pushed very hard. her readiness standpoint as they come back, i think we'll be fine in terms of giving them the time and to be able to disperse them to other parts of the world,
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which we have not been able to do and the kinds of numbers and request because they've been so tied to centcom. so i think we will be all to meet that, but it's going to be a while until we get on the downside about these conflicts. the mac i would just add that with the increase in centcom and their higher level of activity, another one of the aims that we've tried to do is move a lot of though, any, the special forces money into the base budget so that was the spores and, were able to sustain a larger special forces that we have improperly equipped them. >> the international security environment, particularly in cyberspace continues to evolve cyberthreats are electrical. comment military networks, critical infrastructure in the financial system posed serious
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concerns for national security. secretary gates and admiral mullen, what is the department strategy to recruit, train and retain highly specialist and that is the way forward to centralize the military cyberspace operations and cybercommand and synchronize the defense network? >> i think we've made a lot of progress on the issue of cybercommand was an important step. i directed the service secretaries about a year ago to consider training and cyberand to be there. one of their highest priorities and to ensure all the spaces we have in our schools for teaching cyberskills be filled out a priority level. i think they've made a lot of headway. we have a lot of money in this area. this budget for fy 12 has half a billion dollars for cyberresearch and darpa.
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and i think we are in pretty good shape in terms of the type seen .mil world. this last summer, secretary napolitano and i signed a memorandum of understanding that begins to move us in a direction begins to move us in a direction where we can begin to do better the reality is there was a big debate that went on in the bush administration and continued in this administration as people who did not -- did not want to make use of the nsa into mastic cyberprotection because of civil liberties and privacy concerns. i'm a secretary napolitano and i did was arrive at an agreement for dhs senior officials are now integrated in to nsa is senior leadership. they have their own general counsel, their own firewalls, there are protections that they
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can exploit and task nsa to begin to get coverage in worlds. this is really important and i think it is a start, but we still have a long way to go. >> thank you. admiral mullen, anything to add to that click >> ditto. i mean, it is a huge earned, growing threat. a lot has been done. schools are filled, but we've got a long way to go. >> i think it's good the schools were filled. thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator chambliss is next. >> is very much, mr. chairman. i don't know although this conversation is about same great things about you because you're leaving. were planning on you both being around here for a while longer to help us make some very critical decisions. and whether it is voluntary in your case, secretary gates for your time is up, whatever,
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admirable in to both of you. you provided a very valuable service to our country over the flash short term and i am not even counting the years and years and years that both of you have given. the thank you rematch for that service and whether we've agreed or disagreed, you always responded to me in a very professional way and i'm very appreciative of that relationship. and i want to act out what graham said about this detention and interrogation issue. we've got a real problem there that needs to be addressed in the short term. i'm sure you've probably seen the way in which director pineda responded yesterday to a responded yesterday to a question i asked him about if we did capture bin laden or his alighieri and not just highlights the fact that we don't have a plan that we really do have to figure out something here. without bagram might be an
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answer, but looks like it's another thing not long term so we look forward to working with you on that. i continue to have, secretary gates, the attacker issue that really bothers me with respect to where we are now. and the further we get into the up 35, the learned about this. in may of 2009, just go back a little bit, general schwartz, chief staff of the air force testified that the military requirement for the f-22 was 240 or 60 more than dod was going to purchase. that summer, there was a concerted effort made to strip funding for seven additional f-22's out of the fy 10 and ultimately, obviously and taken a lot of credit with the fact in your budget that the f-22 has been terminated and there's a huge savings out there.
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first, there was an argument that the 35 would be more affordable than the f-22. secretary gates on july 16, 2009 in a speech in chicago, you personally state-of-the-art 35 would be less than half the total cost of the f-22. since that time, the 35 experience the breach due to cost increases than dod has recently restructured the program again, delay in deliveries and driving a cost. last month, you your own cost assessment program evaluation assessment program evaluation office estimated that the unit cost of the joint strike fighter average over variance has doubled since the program began approximately $160 million per company in fy $10. and things may even get worse. i note the price for the copy of the last f-22's purchase was
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130 billion. second regarding the threats the u.s. may face in the future in our ability to maintain air supremacy downplayed the threat and stated again on july 16, mr. secretary, 2009 in the chicago speech that china is projected to have no generation aircraft by 2020. well, i heard what she said earlier in response to senator inhofe, but the fact is that last month china for the first fifth generation fighter vijay 20 how much of that intelligence experts predict will reach ioc with 20 aircraft squadron will be for 2020. also over a year ago russia flew their fifth-generation fire, but packed essay, which began from your own intelligence experts will have an ioc date well before 2020. thirdly, this very room in dod was in the process of notifying congress of them have 35
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nunn-mccurdy breach. you adjust by idf 35 program manager and asked you if you were going to revisit the issue of additional f-22 prediction. you responded aye, no commissary because the ioc based on information that i was given in preparation to this hearing, the pious is for the services for the arrival of the training squadron at eglin all remained pretty much on track. well, even though we do have a plane he said it's on schedule going to eglin in may, though several test airplanes. in a few months after he made that statement, the ioc date for the air force version slipped from 2013 to 2016 in the ioc date for the navy version but from 2014 to 2016 in the marine corps version has gone from a projected ioc date of 2012 for next year to being on a two-year probation and not even having an
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ioc date. in light of all of these developments, i hope you can understand why i am extremely concerned as they go into this budget about where we are headed, gentlemen. in light of general shorts military requirement, any to ask you one more time, mr. secretary, as the department considering the purchase of any additional f-22's? >> no commissary, we are not. >> will come in dod spending billions of dollars to buy a hundred more fourth-generation fighters. if he teens. and dod has blinked away some of these additional f-18 purchases directly to delays in the 35 program. and i can understand that. can you explain why it makes sense to invest billions of taxpayer dollars in buying fourth-generation f-18s, which are basically useless whenever there is contested there is a rather then buying additional
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f-22's, which can fly anywhere, anytime in any airspace? >> welfare, first of all, let me say about the have 35 that the new program manager left, probably the best acquisition person we have in uniform has completed a comprehensive technical baseline review. i think we have now -- he took several months to do this. i think we have greater understanding and granularity in terms of progress on the have 35. the reality is that the navy and the air force variants have made substantial progress over the last year. the air force version flew twice as many flights have as had been originally planned. it is training aircraft that are going to eglin and, both for the air force and the navy. we are investing money in
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upgrades to the f-22. there's hundreds of millions of dollars in the fy 12 budget to upgrade the f-22. some of the lessons learned from the have 35 and the f-22 are being put into upgrades for our existing fourth-generation aircraft that our people believe what those up. can take on the adversary's best aircraft. i finally would say that this is china's russia's first low observable aircraft are good but 20 years. i think that they are likely to run into a number of the same challenges we did earlier in our self programs anything better to go air situation will be in good shape. in addition, the air force's going back to -- they've realized that they cannot create some of their 400 f-16s to give them additional capability and sustainment as well as the early
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black f-16s and they are upgrading the most recent at the teams. all these different programs we have in modernizing taxpayer was getting on with the 35 with new getting on with the 35 with new management, new leadership i think we are in reasonably good shape. and i would finally say, the last procurement that has been negotiated with lockheed martin actually has resulted in a fairly substantial decrease in the price of the have 35 for that particular by and we hope we can continue that trend. >> there's no question that you're increasing the risk, mr. secretary and i hope we don't get down the road and realized it was too far of a reach for us from a risk standpoint. i have a question i'd like to ask admiral mullen for the record and if i'm a little bit different type. as you know, we are struggling with this issue of the deficit
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as well as debt reduction might turn. i have quoted you several times as have a number of us in the end of one national security interest in the united states is a long-term debt that we face. a long-term debt that we face. would you mind just sending us a written statement, amplifying on that record because your opinion, i can tell you, resonate around the world with reese back to that issue. and i'm thankful that you step forward and made that comment and i just like you to input type for the record. the mac well, i tried to stay out of trouble and that country and doing that, but in its simplest form, it focuses on but i would leave to be a shrinking national security budget. and we are now involved in, as we should be, looking at ways to save money and do it more
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efficiently and effectively, but at some point in time, it will have a germanic -- it could have a dramatic affect literally on the size of our budget is not going to have a germanic effect on the size of our -- on our force structure and that's the danger that if they are given the national security requirements, which seemed to be growing, not reducing. thank you. >> thank you, senator chandler's for your work with senator warner on this very important challenge related to her annual deficits in long-term debt. i know there are many senators who are eager to work with you on this important issue. thank you. senator blumenthal, you are recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i join the chairman and ranking member in thinking you and others on the committee for your extraordinary service, both admiral mullen and secretary
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gates. in particular, for your continued commitment to the jss and the single engine in the sub building program, which i know was reiterated as recently as yesterday remarks in florida. so i assume that will continue and i want to express my thanks. in particular, i like to focus on one area of your prepared testimony, admiral mullen, relating to the injuries on the part of many of these young men and women returning from his conflicts in iraq and afghanistan. tonight brain injury, that are new in their magnitude and number. and i see perhaps to specifically what is being done in terms of the treatment both
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in service and veterans and perhaps what can be done to list the growing number of private efforts, the woodruff foundation that could provide resources. >> one of the areas we've struggling throughout the words his statement issue. my most recent trip into afghanistan, which was december, i was at the command sergeant major there for the 101st. and he relayed to me does that warrant concussive abandons. essentially they were 98%. we have put in place procedures if you are in main them to teenagers, et cetera come he got pulled out of a fight. one of the reasons that the return to duty rate is so high is because we are treating them literally in the battlefield as fast as possible. and because they are not going
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to get sent home, they are willing to raise their hand and you need some help. now, we've got a long way to go, cigna and posttraumatic stress, et cetera, and families the same families, but we have made some progress there. at the same time have suffered germanic brain injury. the most serious or when i become very obvious, but is the mild ones often times that you don't see your symptoms for months or you don't admit you have them. and it is those are her in the military and those who transfer out of the military back to the communities in the country. but i've been also struck if they use the comparison. when you look at walter reid or balboa for the imputation -- for the amputees and where we are -- i would maybe be in the world with respect to that. that's not the case in dramatic
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brain injury because there is a lot of newness to this that surprises. we know a lot about the brain, but we talked a lot about how these injuries affect the brain. so we've tried to reach out not just -- to reach an understanding inside the military, but reach experts throughout the country who are contributing in ways. there's a brain center at ucla, which has attributed significantly. and to get the best minds to help us work our way through this. but i am the rear in the nation stages of this, even in the share in so many ways. >> is there a specific command or a structure within either the pentagon were dealing to the va that is coordinating this effort?
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>> there is not a single point of contact. this obviously significant effort inside the pentagon and we have taken steps to try to work with those va and also understand capabilities than the country as we've engaged, for those who are transferred back home. but there's enough a lot we still have to do to make those connections. so we are all working together, which i think would be the most effective and were just not effective and were just not there yet. >> agitator related subject, i'm sure you are familiar with reports about the dangers of combinations of different pharmaceutical drugs and treatment of posttraumatic stress and similar kinds of phenomenon. and i wonder if you are secretary gates could describe efforts being made to address those dangers. >> sometimes we are slowed to need because we have gone through a time where we have
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been too many cases. on the battlefield when they get back, but also in the va. it was put in place in much more aggressive multifaceted treatment regime, which it then be on drugs to yoga, to acupuncture, to other forms, which have proven positive to support those who've been through the kind of combat that they've been through. so i'm actually encouraged by the significant effort put forward to kind of back off that overmedication. that is going to take us a while, but certainly it is a concern we all have. >> i'd say there are two additional problems here that we have to deal with. one man's service members.tiling prescriptions. and the second is the frequency
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with which service members will go outside the military health go outside the military health care system and get prescriptions. we don't have any visibility into that in terms of just how much medication they are taking or how those drugs all interact with one another. but these are all areas we are aware of and trying to work on, but we've still got a ways to go. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, senator blumenthal. senator shaheen. [inaudible] >> the lights on. [inaudible] can you hear me?
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is that better? all right. i won't touch it. i'm new here, you know? what do i know. i want to add my concern to those that have been expressed already about the joint strike fighter in what is happening with that program. i appreciated your comments about the efforts to get the program back on track and i certainly hope that that is correct and that the program will go forward and it will be affect his with those two readjusts this. i also want to commend the department on your decision to cancel the plan, purchase and production of the medium extended air defense system program needs. as i said come i am new here, so i'm still getting the acronyms down. but i think it is important as
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the department found that we can't afford to purchase needs and make critical investments that we need to make in the patriots over the next two decades. and so i certainly hope congress will support her decision to press for the continued petrie at modernization. admiral mullen, during a house hearing yesterday, he touched on something that you just referenced a little bit just now and your exchange for senator thurmond. and that is about research into what we need to know about brain injuries. he talked about the importance of consistent and sustained support for research and development in our military budget. can you talk about whether you feel like the budget that has been submitted yet adequately addresses us to compare for the future and what has been the
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most good efforts that the military has used to leverage r&d in the budget? >> i've got to be very specific to focus on secretary gates because he spoke earlier his frustration that you're a leader of one of these bureaucracies, the things that if you really want to get it done, and a half to focus on a personally. this is another area of probably two years ago, three years ago that he made a priority to ensure that he actually -- we are growing in smt and r&d. i said yesterday true r&d. what has happened over the course of the last two decades as many of the programs were talking about, i'll use jss has r&d money. what it really has become his program money and it's not true r&d. so i think are particularly as budgets tighten and they look to capabilities in the future we can't hide all, we can't protect against everything.
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having a robust smt-based 61365 and six is really important in terms of being ready for things in the future. so even in these times when there's an extraordinary amount of pressure on the budget and i think that will increase. we have to continue to get that right. he talked about most effective. i mean, the investment and this is not -- sometimes a noncontroversial investment, but i watched arpa over many years work. and they really reach to get some of the most difficult problems and i think we need to be mindful of sustaining that investment as well, for example. and one other comment is the smt for the rad investment of the medical field to get a brain research. and as i understand this budget,
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that is actually in pretty good shape as well. >> i would just amplify that by saying that in this budget there is $1.1 billion for tbi and ptsd research. >> thank you. in new hampshire we have a very significant defense industry that is doing a lot of cutting-edge research and i know that darpa's role has been important in permitting the research. the national guard and reserve as you all have said a huge road and allowing us to be effective in iraq and afghanistan. in new hampshire as senator leo pointed out, we've seen the largest appointment of our card since world war ii. and i appreciated everyone's expressed commitments began to the health and well-being of all the servicemen and women and their families.
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one of the things that we have done an admirable and again, i think you've been briefed on the full cycle programs do we have in new hampshire that is a model to help families both as preparing for deployment and when they return as well as the member who is being deployed. this program has been supported by congressionally direct spending, it earmarks, which are not likely to continue. and so, are you looking at models like this as you think about developing ways to be most effective in supporting guard and reserves who are deploying? and are there ways in which the congressionally directed spending and we can continue to support these kinds of programs that have been so progressive? >> senator, when you see to this -- and the way you have
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spoken to it, i'm immediately reminded of the need to build resilience of our people and families, literally from the first day they came in, guard reserve on active duty and all services. we've come to understand that. with actually making significant progress, but we still have a long way to go. we felt more of it and are members than we have in our families and we need to build in the families as well. i would need to get back to you with a more specific answer. and i want to know more about where your program -- where the new hampshire program is. because we try to do is canvass the field for much of the best programs out there and inspire others to grab those. in particular be happy to do that and get back to you and as i speak i don't know where the resources site is with respect to -- with respect to the program in new hampshire.
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>> i would very much appreciate you getting back to me. my time has expired. >> thank you, senator shaheen. senator mccaskill is recognized. >> thank you is always for being here. want to say secretary gates and the president has a lot of hard decisions to make issue. one of the hardest decisions he has to make is always going to replace you. let me start with a topic that is very difficult at ink for you while to get your arms around and that is the incredibly serious allegations made about assault within the military. i'm not assuming that the allegations contained in a lawsuit are true. if you take them as factual, then we have a real serious problem that a woman and our military was by more than one member of the military and the video shared around the unit
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that this occurred. a woman raped by a chaplain she needed to go and attend church more. the rape kids are only kept for a year. i can't interbay police department in a country that would only hold onto a sub one for a year. i just think that we have got to look at this problem in a systemic way in terms of do these women have a safe place they can go, are we gathering evidence quickly or do we have experts available in terms of prosecuting these cases? but if someone rape a woman and the evidence is there and that person doesn't end up in prison, then we have failed. and i know that she will feel probably a strongly about this
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is ideal, but i'd like you to address this and tell me who i address this and tell me who i should deal with within the military structure to follow up and make sure that we make some obviously very important changes that are needed. >> well, senator, it is a problem and it is a serious problem. i have zero tolerance for any kind of sexual assault as do any of the leaders. i've worked with admirable and an service chiefs and service secretaries to ensure that we are doing all we can to respond to sexual whistles. i've engaged and had a number of meaning with the senior leadership focused in four areas, reducing the stigma associated assurance assistant commander training and resources
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and training and ensuring trial counsel. we have made progress we have hired dozens more investigators, field and start yours and mine examiners. we spent almost $2 million over the past two years training our prosecutors better. defendants go to some of specialized in some kind of this allegation or crime in our prosecutors tend to be generalists. and so we don't do very well in the courts, so we spent this money to try to make prosecutors more effect if. moravec dems are stepping forward. we have had improvement or an increase in the number of court-martials. we've gone from about 30% of alleged violators being
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court-martialed to about 52% now, so at least it is headed in the right direction. we have expanded the sexual assault response corps nader and advocate program tenfold from 300 to 3000. we now have an advocate at every base and installation around the world, including in iraq and afghanistan. i heard some suggestions in comments yesterday in the house hearing that i take very seriously and would like to do. one of them is insuring the confidentiality of the relationship between the own advocate and if it done. ensuring -- or providing a military lawyer for victims. commanders have the authority to move somebody out of the unit. i am worried by the press
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accounts that hasn't happened. and so, they are can agree on the house side legislation that would create this is the rate for somebody who has been a big so they can get out of a unit, where the person who attacked them is in the same unit. and so, i think there are some ideas that i heard in the hearing yesterday that are definitely worth pursuing. so we do take it seriously. i have taken this seriously frankly because sexual assault is a problem on university campuses. in texas and am just like every other big public university and one of the suggestions as h.r. folks are, since you get in touch with some of the universities that have the best prevention programs in the country to see if we can learn some and from these universities. so i think we have a broad
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program to try and tackle this, but there is no question that there is more to do. i just invite admirable it to comment. >> i testified over here as vice-chief of the navy on this subject. and there is a lot of work that needed to be done. it was very obvious that all the services. i testify with my advice cheese. and so, i think what the secretary -- i agree with what the secretary said in terms of we've made progress. it not enough. it's completely intolerable. and it has to be answered i think i'm sort of the scale side as well as the leadership side. and i still hear too many anecdotal stories, where it is ongoing, including in theater. we visited, with my wife, we visited the house bills and females talk about trying --
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having come in the military, previously assaulted before they came in, come in the military for a safe haven and finding out it's an intensity that certainly is not expected. this is, as you know senator a vastly underreported offense. and so, we can see the statistics we have, but it's what we don't have the we've got to get after as well. the we've made a lot of progress. there's a lot left to do. >> in the civilian population at large. i would make one suggestion. having spent many, many hours and days in court rooms prosecuting sexual assault cases as a young prosecutor, i relied heavy for people who had prosecuted those kinds for my training and advocacy network we had in terms of rape victims and
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in any major city you have a large group of people with great expertise. i know they would volunteer their time to train and mentor pete all that you need to have the or teas, whether it's people at the emergency rooms gathering someone's word that john advocate where the rape kit is gathered. i think you could find them as mentioned to general contacted that i would be happy to assist in getting in touch with this expertise that exists out there and i think the people who do this aren't rape prosecutors because they are making big any. they are true believers among to help in this regard, same thing but the victim advocacy. this is one we might be able to get free training to get you guys up to the point where the civilian population has gotten over the last 20 or 30 years.
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thank you for your interest in this. i know i'm out of time. i just want to let you know to questions that i want to do for the record. when obviously is continuing the problem for having auditing the pentagon. i cannot see how we can to continue to give you what you continue to give you what you ask for if we can't even measurable progress. and i'll have a series of questions about the financial management system that's in place. the last thing is plain out for the record and questions for you for the record that i know the gdp of afghanistan is not large enough to pay for the military we are building. i think it's time we be very honest with the american people that we are building the military for the afghan -- for the afghanistan nation ended his 12 billion a year and their gdp isn't that high. so once were gone, i think we're going to be on the hook to help pay for the military for a long
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time. cheaper than our folks be in there, i think we need to begin to talk about responsibility for to talk about responsibility for paying for this dilatory down the line because clearly afghanistan can't up for the army were building. >> ui circlet stanley, personnel and readiness. >> thank you for being there. >> thank you, senator mccaskill. i think we would both agree, mr. secretary, you could take those off the desk if you would reenlist for a year or two more, but will leave that decision to you. you. but i too want to thank both of you and secretary hill for your leadership and courageous decisions you continue to make it for telling the senate of the united states the truth as you see it. i did want to follow-up on what senator mccaskill mentioned about the gdp in afghanistan. i think you both know that the
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fy 11 national defense authorization act requires the president to the offices of the pentagon and state department to provide economic strategy for afghanistan. could you speak to where we are with that process and how important you think such a strategy would be to the overall success? and specifically, we've got the task force for business and stability operations. what further role which you see for that particular task force. i'll take the second part of your question first. this is one of those things. it doesn't fit anyplace. i think it's an honest answer to say that without an effective
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protection the secretary of defense, this operation could not be sustained. my belief is that paul brinkley and his team has made a huge contribution, both in iraq and afghanistan. it was politick the team to afghanistan private-sector geoscientists and others and were able to do the abstinence of the extraordinary mineral wealth that exists in afghanistan if only there was a security to exploit it. and so i think they've made a contribution and i hope they will continue to do that. but i think it's fair to say that they face a lot of your chronic resistance in doing that. in terms of -- you know, we talked earlier about the cost of the afghan security forces. and that is why i believe -- and we talked about before in this hearing that we essentially need to look at the size of the air
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force as a surge as well. and once they have a political settlement inside afghanistan and the taliban is degraded in terms of their capabilities, the need for the afghans to have a smaller military than they have now because we can't sustain 12 when a billion dollars a year for very long. the economic strategy for afghanistan and the task force really go hand-in-hand. and i think there's a significant effort out in foreign investors to invest in afghanistan. afghanistan. but where i have to -- i have to admit for the economic strategy stands, i'm not 13. i have to get back to you.
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in that admirable one, do you have any comments to add? >> i would add only what paul brinkley and his team have done has truly been extraordinary in both countries. and under incredibly difficult circumstances in the countries, although the circumstances back here may have been more difficult. so how to sustain that is an open question and i think we do need to do that. and that becomes the heart of the longer-term investment they are, not just nationally, and internationally. i too would like to add my compliments to mr. brinkley. i heard many stories about effectiveness, how dedicated he is. so i hope he understands many of us here on the hill know what the accomplishments are. >> into admiral mullen's point about the conditions in which they work, several members of brinkley's team, including brinkley have been wounded in attacks, so they have been really out there in the frontline trying to work these
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problems. >> could i move to the questions about the popular uprisings in the middle east we are seeing in algeria, bahrain are coming out for various reasons. how do you command their security services? easy for me to ask the detailed answer, i'm sure. >> well, i think it varies from country to country. and we talked at the beginning of the hearing about the discipline and the professionalism of the egyptian military in the restraint that they exercise under some fairly difficult to come stances. in tunisia, the military also stood aside and basically did not defend ben ali.
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and so i think in each of these countries though, the circumstances are going to be different. but the one thing that these armies seem to have in common, certainly any judge in tunisia is as a sense that they are a national institution and even though somebody may have been in power are a longtime, they see themselves as having his national relationship with their people. i know in my conversations with minister can tally, we talked often about the relationship that the egyptian army had with the egyptian people and that it would protect its people because they were the people. and he delivered, i think, in exemplary fashion. >> you know, just to defend our intelligence, folks a little bit, i think they've done a pretty good job of d


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