tv Today in Washington CSPAN June 24, 2011 6:00am-9:00am EDT
reconstituting so that i'm going to be ready when they're gone. i know they're working very hard to improve the security forces and the police. they're trying to make the mayor of cabal the president of afghanistan but these gains are all very fragile and reversible. and with the forces that i'm going to hold in reserve from this fight, they'll be easily reversed when they're gone. do you think we have the ability -- you know one sees depends on where one sits. do you think that we have the ability to see the world through the prism of the taliban? >> we see that world a lot more clearly than we used to, mr. bartlett, as i'm sure you can appreciate because of the fights and because of the sacrifices.
we also see the eyes in the afghan villages eyes because we're in so many villages with them. i just disagree that the gains are going to be reversed. i see a stream of taliban in significant disarray. many who live in pakistan as well as in the field. >> sir, i was just repeating what i am told by general petraeus and others and every testimony, read it in the congressional record, they sit where you are and they say the gains are simply fragile and unpredictable. >> what you said they're easily irreversible and i just disagree with that case. they only become irreversible if we get it is afghan security forces in charge of their own
destiny. that's the goal over the course over the next few years. four years ago they had no effective forces. that's the challenge. that's the path home. and we all know that. we see that through their eyes and look at it through the taliban's eyes. the taliban had a really bad year last year. they're having a really bad year this year. they're going to have another really bad year next year. it's for them to decide how long they want to just sit on the side and i certainly understand that. that's less, as far as i'm concerned -- that's more than just blink in the eye, even in their eyes and they've been fighting this for many years. they are also tired. and i see that routinely. so i guess -- i come at it from a different position than how
you see it. i certainly understand what you're saying but we have just seen great progress and there's an opportunity here to succeed against the objectives we have, which have been limited and get to a point where afghanistan is in charge of their own destiny and we have a long-term relationship with that country that puts them in a position to be a lot more peaceful and stable than they'd been in the last three to four decades. >> thank you. mr. reyes. >> thank you both for being here this morning. i think at least from my perspective and this is after having a conversation with former ambassador about the region in general and the challenges that we may face given the decision that the
president made. the -- and we were -- we were there -- it was part of the trip with the chairman and one of the anecdotes that stands out in my mind speaks to the -- just the comments you're making about the advances that we have made. some people categorize it as fragile but we were told about one of the soldiers that had been trained, was intending to be deployed and what was significant about that was his idea was, once he completed his term was to go back in the -- go back to his village and work on the next generation in the context of literacy. we all know that's one of the big challenges we have faced as the rate of illiteracy in the
general population. so my question is, given the decision that has now been made in terms of starting the drawdown, one of the expectations that we have is that the civilian leadership will set the direction, and that the afghani national security forces are going to provide the security. so my question is for both of you. is the civilian leadership at a point to where they can provide that direction, that oversight? and how are we -- where are we and how are we ensuring that both evolve at the same time because we are also very troubled by the amount of corruption that exists, the control or lack of control
that's exercised by the central government. so it seems to me that those are still questions out there that we need to take into account, as we do the drawdown. and then the last point is, we're being told that even once this is accomplished, just for the ansf, the security forces it's going to take somewhere between 6 and $8 billion a year to sustain them. the central government does not have that kind of -- at least at this point, we don't have the expectation that they'll have that kind of income so where's that money coming from? how much and how long are we on the hook for either 6 or 8 billion we'll have more if you take into account the civilian government as well? >> thank you, congressman. on -- we are certainly investing in developing afghan governance and institutions as well as the
ansf. the greatest progress we have seen so far has really been from the bottom up, starting at the local and district level, moving to the provinces. i think -- i would say that something like 75% now of the district and provincial officials that are in place are now merit-based appointments. these are capable people who are qualified to do the jobs you are doing and you are seeing a dramatic change at the local level where most afghans have their most direct experience with their government. so that is the good news. i think when you move to the national level in terms of ministries that can provide basic services, an accountable justice system and dealing with corruption and so forth, we still -- this is a work in progress. and there are many challenges that we still have to work through but we are working through -- we have partnerships with each of the major afghan
ministries working with them to develop capacity and go after corruption. on your question about ansf sustainability, we share your concern. the president shares your concern. we are currently working with the afghans to scrub our long-term model for the ansf, to better understand as the insurgency comes down, what will the needs of that force really be, how can we bring down costs, do things in a way that gets us into a more sustainable range in terms of what the afghans together with the international community can support over time. >> thank you. mr. thornberry? >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, you said in your statement that there is -- the commanders have flexibility inside the deadlines which tells me there is no flexibility to extend the deadlines.
and you also said in your statement that the president's decision was more aggressive and encouraged more risk than i originally was prepared to accept. interesting choice of words, prepared to accept to me. but what that tells me is your best military advice was something other than and less aggressive withdrawals than what the president announced. so i guess the first question that comes to my mind, is there a military reason to have a man dated withdrawal in september rather than november or december? [inaudible]
>> i honestly believe that within both numbers and timelines, given that we will have vast majority of our -- [inaudible] >> that we are on the margins here that have an impact. as i said earlier there's not a commander on the ground, there's not a military man who wouldn't want one. that's normal. that's not my decision. it's for the president. and i would reemphasize that inside that deadline which is nonflexible, i understand that, that the commander on the ground, the president has been very specific about that has all the flexibilities so he can move the forces where and when he wants to. >> well, as you referenced there are other people who are concerned about the military effects of this. now, as you know, there's speculation that politics plays a role in this timetable. i'm trying to focus on the military aspects.
i'm looking at today's "new york times" where michael hanlon -- if the troops have to be out in september they'll have to spend on the downside rather than arguably where they should be spending their time and that is in the fighting season and it quotes general bar know who was the ground commander there in afghanistan and is now affiliated with the center for new american security saying that the 10,000 body december is more than the military wanted but doable. but putting a september, 2012, expiration tag on the rest of the surge raises more concerns. that's the middle of the fighting season. >> i know that both commanded years ago and the focus from the perspective of the military
leadership rodriguez, petraeus and myself and how we both remitted and integrated -- but had discussions about this decision. certainly, we were focused on the military piece of this. again, at the end, it increases the risk but not substantially from my point of view. and that, you know, o'hanlon's view that we're going to be focused on logistics is not from my perspective, we have to meet the deadline but it's not going to divert it. that's my view. he and i differ on that and i assure you that's coming from the commanders as well. >> let me ask you another one, some of my colleagues have recently been there focusing on the stability operations. it looks like one of the great successes that is spreading but the key determ -- is manpower.
so does this decision put at risk what seems to be one of the most promising things going on in afghanistan to allow them to stand up and provide for their own security? >> it's the afghan local police and the village operations which have been enormously successful and have stood up as recently this week to about 6400 afghan trained in this program and the discussions that i have theories no intent to slow that down and that this decision shouldn't be that. >> i worry about that, but thank you. >> thank you. ms. sanchez? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you both for being
before us. i have three questions because i think they are very important for us to be able to leave afghanistan and not have to return. and as you probably already know i have been one of those people who have been saying let's get out of this because i can't seem to get -- and you've before us many times so has secretary gates and others. i haven't seemed to really get from any of you or from general petraeus or the others what's the real endgame and what it really looks like other than stability and the afghan people able to do this on their own. so i think that's dependent on three things: education of the population, because we know that it's very undereducated, secondly, the leadership of that country and, third, a strong afghan army police force, whatever you want to call it. so my first question is, when
did we start training the afghan -- what year i can't recall now did we start training the afghan army and police? secondly, how many have gone through our training or nato's training or our allies' training program at this point? >> i mean, i can speak to that and certainly secretary flournoy as well. the exact year would be hard for me to pin down but there's been a training effort almost as long as i have been there. my own personal experience is, it was well underway underresourced in 2006/2007. so it's been a number of years. >> and how many would you say we have trained -- who have gone through the training program that we have had or our allies have had in total during this time? >> about 300,000. >> 300,000. >> 302, 300,000.
>> according to the information that we have in front of us, we have 305,000 total target end strength for this year of the ansf. >> right. >> so there's been -- so we've trained 300,000 and we still have 300,000 so nobody's gone away, like in iraq where they walked away with arms. they walked away -- they didn't come to the fight. they went back to their villages. you're saying we have 100%, admiral? >> certainly, we've had retention programs -- >> but i asked you how many have we trained during the total time? >> i'd have to go -- >> okay. i would like to get that number when you get a chance. >> yes, ma'am. >> okay. my second question comes to the whole issue of a corrupt government. and i start from the standpoint that the first time i met president karzai, told him i thought -- i was reading a
"newsweek" article that had been written that day that called him the mayor of kabul and that's about it. in my last visit there, his own parliamentarian said, a type of an election where he won a second term should never happen again in that country. someone of his own party. so they don't even believe that was a good election. so my question to you is, what are we doing about leadership there? what have we done to try to cultivate leadership? who are we identifying? are we just leaving it up to these corrupt people to take advantage of their own country as they currently are doing? >> i would just say what i mentioned before. we have worked bottom-up to systematically work with the afghans to ensure, first, at the district level where afghans
experience government most directly, then at the provincial level and then at the national level that we replace corrupt and incompetent leadership or that the afghans replace them. i think we are 75% of the way there at the district and provincial level. i think you are starting to see president karzai, who is our partner in this effort -- >> corrupt i might add but go on. >> but make the connection between corruption -- the need to fight corruption, to be able to gain and sustain legitimacy of the government in the eyes of the people. and one of the things that he has begun to do with our support and counselorment is start to make those replacements so, for example, dismissing a number of officers from the ansf who he found to be corrupt. a lot of the work we're doing on the police, again, historically one of the most corrupt
institutions in the country, the reveting, retraining, refielding of those units with a totally different philosophy about what their job is in terms of serving the communities that they protect. those are all concrete efforts towards dealing with the corruption problem. that said, we certainly have a long way to go and we are pressing our afghan partners every day on this issue. >> thank you and thank you, mr. chairman, for the time. in would like to add to the record, i think when all is said and done about this effort of ours, we'll find that a corrupt government is what really brought our efforts to naught there. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, i'd like to pick up on a line of question that mr. thornberry began with your statement you made both in writing or orally. when you said what i can tell you the president's decisions are aggressive and incur more risks than i was originally prepared to accept. risk to whom?
>> risk to the overall mission. risk in the strategy. >> not in the troops? >> certainly. it's -- i think it's increased risk across-the-board. but, mr. forbes, it's manageable risk. and we know where we stand. >> but, admiral, i'm taking your words that it's more risk and let them ask you this question, i noticed from your website that you state that you're the principal military advisor to the president. and as such, you present the range of advice and opinions you've received along with any individual comments from other members of the joint staff. what's your role when you come before us? is it to do the same thing or is it to support the decisions of the administration? >> it is -- i think the website says joint chiefs not joint -- >> joint staffs. >> it is certainly to provide my both assessment and advice, if
you will, views based on the questions i get. >> is it the same type of advice? >> no, sir, it's not exactly. >> i looked through your testimony as you've appeared before, both the senate and the house during the administration's time. can you tell us one time that you have in any of your testimony not supported the decision that the administration's made before any -- >> i've worked for two presidents and i've supported those presidents. >> so when we come here, we know we're going to basically have the support of what decision was made. my question then comes back to this, in may of this year, you said you think we'll have a better picture where to go in afghanistan towards the end of the year. you then said on may 30th, i think it's very difficult fighting season right now. this is going to be a tough year. then in june, i think you said, we shouldn't let up on the gas
too much at least in the few months. and my question to you today is, what has changed between that original acceptable risk that was risk to our troops as well as our mission, that was not acceptable then and today? have you reassessed your position and were you wrong when you thought it wasn't an acceptable risk or has there been something that's changed on the ground, something that's changed militarily that makes that a more acceptable risk today? >> what i have said for many months is this is going to be -- i back up to what i said earlier, a very difficult year on the taliban last year. it is going to be and continues to be a very difficult year with respect to the taliban's goals this year. and my recommendations and the risks that's out there is very focused on achieving those objectives. and while there's more risk, i
don't consider it significant and i don't consider it in any way, shape or form putting the military in a position where it can't achieve its objectives. >> is there -- were there any of the joint chiefs or any of the commanders on the ground that recommended this action that the president is taking? >> i'm not going to talk about individual recommendations. >> and admiral, i'll just close with this, it just astounds me when we had don't ask, don't tell you were willing to come to the committee i'm willing to state my opinion and this is what i think it should be but yet when we're talking to the potential risk to the troops, which is our number 1 troops, that you're not willing to say what those individual commanders are willing to say or your personal recommendations and with that, mr. chairman, i yield
back. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral mullen, it is an honor to be in the process as someone who is unimpeachable both the quality of your voice and the strength of your character and madam secretary, thank you for your terrific contributions here. madam secretary, i think you've succinctly stated our purpose in afghanistan that we ultimately leave behind an afghanistan that will never again serve as a base for terrorist attacks in the united states and our allies. i've always thought that al-qaeda was the parasite and the taliban was the host in afghanistan. and our military mission essentially has been focused on destroying the parasite and either weakening the host or making the host unwilling to become the host for the parasite. and i note admiral mullen says
we should to support an afghan political process that includes reconciliation with the taliban who break with al-qaeda, which i think is a wise and understandable view. so with that framework of what we're trying to accomplish, it's my understanding that when the administration took office, madam secretary, that we had about 34,000 troops in afghanistan. the surge built that up to 98,000. and when the present withdrawal plan is completed, we'll be at 68,000. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> and at present, there are 47,000 troops from allied countries that are in country. what do we know about the plans of the allies to withdraw those 47,000? how many and when? >> well, i think in the discussions we had, i think they are -- we have an in together-out together principle.
a very strong sense of withdrawal in my satisfy. and as we talk about some of the forces, some of the allies are thinking about bringing down their surge contributions but we should remember -- >> in that context, in that context, i'm sorry, of security for afghanistan, the target number of ansf forces is 305,000 and as of april, we were at 286,000. and the public reports indicate that by about a 3 to 1 ratio those units were deemed to be effective as opposed to dependent. let me ask you a question that's not a rhetorical question. given the strengthening of the ansf, the presence of allied troops we don't expect a precipitous drop in we expect it to be on par with ours, what will the mission of the 68 million remaining americans will be after september 30th of 2012? why are they there?
>> i think they are there to continue the implementation of the strategy on the road to successful transition, which will be completed, you know, at the end of 2014. we expect that afghans will be fully in the lead across the country. we are on a glide slope towards that lisbon goal and this drawdown is totally consistent with that and the strategy and the mission will keep aiming for that goal. >> admiral, or madam secretary, either of you can answer this. in terms of that our constituents would understand, and that we would understand, what will these troops be doing in the country after september 30th of 2012? what will their mission be? >> first of all, it will be to sustain the transition but, specifically -- and this is from my perspective a rock solid principle from iraq. it is the partnership piece. what we see in iraq today and what we've seen throughout the
shift in our mission is the enormous impact of partnership and that's where we are even w now -- it will be that if you will, a significant part of the main effort, but that doesn't mean we won't have forces still involved in combat, to continue the gains, if you will. >> admiral, when the day hopefully comes when the afghan security forces are at their optimal point and can control and defend their own country, what will the appropriate u.s. troop level be then? >> it's indeterminate right now. dramatically reduced clearly, the model is still iraq. and then that gets into what's being worked right now in this strategic partnership approach
between afghanistan and the united states and what does it mean long term in terms of any u.s. footprint i just don't have the answer. >> thank you very much for your testimony and your integrity. >> thank you. mr. wilson? >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, madam secretary, thank you for being here today. and, admiral, i appreciate your testimony bringing up the extraordinary progress by the american military their service in afghanistan. and i'm just so grateful, too, of your reference to winning in afghanistan. the american people need to know that progress is being made and we can win. and, madam secretary, i appreciate your referencing how important it is that we do win and that we're successful in afghanistan. i wish the american people knew, really, the level of achievement such as the security forces and you've provided the information today, and i appreciate congressman andrews referencing it too. and that is at the end of this year, in the last three years
we'll have doubled the number of afghan police and army personnel up to 305,000 personnel, trained personnel. and general bill caldwell has certainly done extraordinary work. i've had the privilege of visiting my former national guard unit, the 218th brigade as they were training afghan forces and i don't think they get the credit, our military or theirs, for the professionalism that's being created in that country. with that said, i'm very concerned about conditions on the ground. and for each of you, the president did not reference any conditions on the ground that would justify withdrawing 10,000 troops by december, an additional 23,000 next summer. every witness before this committee has previously testified that any withdrawal would be conditions-based. the first question, what specific conditions on the ground justify withdrawing
10,000 troops by december? >> we are literally starting transition in seven districts next month. in this overall transition process, which is agreed to by -- it was the lisbon agreement, certainly nato and other countries who are contributing. so this is the very beginning of it very specifically and the condition on the ground in those provinces support that transition. that is the approach. the other transition provincess if you will, in great part it will be tied to violence levels and tied to the ability of the afghan security forces and we get a lot of credit on the military side for the gains. there have been considerable gains on the diplomatic we've surged over the years with those who have made a difference. so the idea in the various
provinces or districts, if you will, sorry, to transition these as conditions allowed. and inside the numbers and the dates that you specifically cited, mr. wilson, any movement, any changes that will be associated with where the troops come from are going to be conditions-based. there's no question about that, that the president has given us that flexibility. >> and certainly looking at level of violence, the establishment of a civil society within those districts, what are the future conditions that are anticipated to merit the remove an additional 23,000 of troops? >> the improvement in the security conditions. i mean, the most representative example clearly is in the south in helmand and kandahar, specifically. it's actually -- and we've enabled this, we have allies fighting in the north and the west. it's turning -- it's not turned, i wouldn't say it. it's better than a year ago. there were grave predictions about losing the north because
of what was going on there. and we talked earlier today about the challenges in the east and there are challenges there. but general petraeus has a strategy that i've seen and believe in, in terms of being able to create the kind of conditions where we transition there as well. so we're committed to not transitioning until it's ready and we're working our way through this with the afghan security forces who have dramatically improved in size and in quality. that doesn't mean we don't have retention problems. and attrition problems although they are particularly in the police force much better and, in fact, on the attrition side for the police force, they -- we exceed our objective, meaning, attrition is lower than it needs to be to sustain that force. >> as decisions are being made in terms of troop withdrawal, is it being considered the effect on the morale of the taliban and the extremists -- are we not
giving false hope to them that they may prevail, that we don't have resolve, madam secretary? >> i do not think we're giving them any comfort. if i were a member of the taliban and i'm looking out, where will i object next year, two years, more three years, i'm going to control less territory. i'm going to have less support from the population. i'm going to face more forces in the field and more of them afghans who will be there for a very long time. i'm going to have less access to finances. i'm going to have more internal diversion. >> and we will not abandon our allies? >> absolutely not. >> thank you. >> thank you, mrs. davis? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you both for being here and admiral mullen, i know you'll continue to give your extraordinary attention to the issues in the next few months, as you have in all of your
tenure and i appreciate your leadership and your service. we had a hearing yesterday and i think the comment was made that it's -- the numbers are probably less important than how our troops are utilized or which troops actually we would be -- would be leaving and which certainly which troops would be staying. can you break that down in terms of support troops, in terms of combat troops, in terms of training troops and whether or not that decision has been made? i think just a follow-up question to that really is, when we think about the afghan forces, how are they going to be sustained financially into the future? and how do we envision our help and support to them as we move forward? >> with respect to the afghan security forces and the bill that's associated with that, i
think president karzai and his people recognize and certainly we do from our side that at the current level of 6 to $7 billion a year, you know, it's not sustainable. and so there's a lot of work going on, on both sides right now, to figure out what is sustainable. what will be needed. including a view that do you need 352,000 in 2014 or 2015 and i don't know the answer to that. but everybody recognizes that the current level from the financial standpoint is not sustainable and solutions have to be -- have to be taken with respect to a way forward there. and what was the first part? i'm sorry. >> the way that the remaining troops and, of course, there are large numbers we're talking about, 68,000 but in terms of breaking down with support troops versus combat troops, training? >> i think those three
categories where i commander on the ground i would focus combat and training troops first keeping them as long as we possibly could but i just don't discount the need for the kind of support troops if you will and i include in the first group the enablers. and that general petraeus and general rodriguez are going to have to determine the specifics. and i think on the -- on the 23,000, i think knowing exactly where they'll come from, it's far too soon to know that because that will be conditions-based and the conditions are going to change between now and when they really have to focus on executing that. i think in the near term clearly that general petraeus and general rodriguez had some expectation, obviously, there would be a withdrawal here over the course of this year and specifically what that might entail. and they've done a lot of that work. i have not seen it although they will certainly come in, in the near future with how to do that. >> thank you. if i could i want to follow up on the reconciliation,
reintegration, reconciliation issue. and we know -- if we look around for success, i think a lot of that is defined by the number of young women that are in school, girls that are in school. i've had a chance to visit at those schools as well as the number of troops that we've taken for mother's day to visit with our troops, but also to engage with women in villages as well as in leadership. a number of those women were here in the capital this last week. what role are we really playing to make sure that it's not just a lot of rhetoric about the fact that they're important to the development of a civil society there? how are we moving forward to be certain that their voices are a meaningful voice in this process? and at what point would we consider that the reconciliation is not even working or moving forward? and what role would that play as
we continue to look at troop withdrawal? >> i think secretary clinton and many other members of the administration have consistently raised the issue of female participation none of both the reintegration community-based processes but also the larger reconciliation process and we've raised that issue with our afghan interlocutors, continue to press the point. i think you see a gradual expansion of women involvement in the peace council, for example, involvement in more of the community-based oversight efforts that are emerging. so when we talk about the key criteria that those who reconcile must meet and we talk about respecting the afghan constitution, the key element of that is respect for minority and women's rights, and that's been a key plank in our policy from the get-go. it's something we continue to
try to translate into concrete improvements with our afghan interlocutors. it's very important. >> thank you. mr. turner? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you both. and admiral mullen, i want to go back to a topic that i think goes to the heart, really, of what we see in the conflict in afghanistan, which is the issue of opium production and the drugs that are fueling and funding taliban and other insurgent activities. frequently when we have these hearings, i hold up this chart that's a congressional research service bar chart that shows the opium production that has occurred during our time period and historically in afghanistan. if you look at this chart, you can see in the four years of '06 through '09 opium production
almost doubled. that is the time period when we saw that we needed to go in with a surnl. the period beforehand that was at historical levels of opium production. i used this chart both with president karzai and general petraeus with we need to do more to lower the opium production and the narcotics trade. general james jones said that he believes that these funds go directly to fund the taliban and he, of course, says it goes to fund the issue of corruption. now, when general petraeus was here the last time, i held up this chart he kindly told me new information out there. and he showed me a new chart. in 2010 there was a 48% decrease as a result of our counternarcotics efforts, also there was disease among the crops. but also that there's been a 34 warm-up % increase in our nationwide drug seizures in
afghanistan, clearly egg showing that this was the result of activities of increased focused. admiral, with our reduction in troops we'll go back to our eye off the ball and we may again see a surge in narcotics. what assurances can you give us with the lowered number of troops that we'll be able to maintain a counternarcotic strategy to reduce opium production and the funding of the taliban? >> well, i think we will continue to press on this issue. you've looked -- just showing the charts, you showed the levels over the years. and in many ways, it's a way of life that isn't going to go away quickly. there have been considerable improvements and we continue to keep pressure on that. i mean, one of the challenges -- and this is going on obviously, it comes principally from helmand. and the landscape, the dynamics are changing in helmand by no means is it gone. and it is -- the long-term goals
is obviously to produce a better way to provide for one's family than what has been -- what has happened to date. i think it actually happens over the long term on the security environment and having, you know, profitable crops that are able to do that. but i don't think that's going to -- that's going to mean we're going to dry it up overnight. the focus -- a critical focus here on the taliban is where they get their finances from. as it is for any terrorist organization. i've seen many estimate of how much money they actually get from it but it's substantial and we need to continue to focus on that as well. so there's a near term peace here but there's a long-term appears and from an overall strategy standpoint, the view -- my view would be that we would have the conditions in the south, and helmand in particular
is a place where they couldn't sustain that kind of production over the long term. >> admiral, i'd like to yield the rest of my time to joe wilson. >> thank you. and admiral, a question i want to conclude in regard to conditions based, the success of the surge, the ultimate reduction in violence, the development of civil society, if, in fact, violence increases, if we're unable to promote a civil society, will the president change his course or is the timeline of withdrawal more important than conditions? >> i think that's for the president to decide. but what i said earlier, mr. wilson and i go back to mid-2009, we put 10,000 marines in helmand and my view then -- if this isn't working within 18 to 24 months we really need to re-assess our strategy. i think from the standpoint of the next 18 to 24 months, given the transition -- and it doesn't just include the military side
either. the issues of corruption, the issue of governance, the issues of pakistan, they are significant, inherent risks in this overall strategy so i think certainly from my point of view after a period of time, if it's not working, that a reassessment is in order but that's not for me to decide. >> thank you. mr. cooper? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, chairman muller. i appreciate your extraordinary service. it's not easy doing your job and the toughest part is maybe the patient you have to demonstrate in committees like this so i appreciate your forbearance. one of the most important factors as you well know better than anyone is the pakistan reaction. and i assume that the pakistan situation was taken into account when this decision was made? >> it was. >> what is that reaction>> well, you mean the pakistan reaction
or the -- or pakistan itself? >> pakistan's reaction to the decision to have a slight troop drawdown. i actually haven't gotten it yet. i spoke with my pakistani counterpart yesterday, as we made many contacts and so we agreed to talk in the near future as he's sort of able to absorb it. i mean, from a standpoint of how pakistan views the future and it's consistent across their government. they see a stable, peaceful afghanistan as a goals they, too, would like to be a result of this overall strategy. they live there, seeing is believing and over time exactly how they view this will be determined how this works, i think, personally. i also think they're clearly going through this -- you know, a very difficult time right now, from a strategic standpoint, i and many others believe,
including the president, that we have to sustain this relationship as difficult as it is. this is a country who has a significant terrorist problem. it is a country whose country is very weak and it's a country with nuclear weapons that's in a strategically very dangerous part of the world. not just the united states but the regional country's need to continue to focus on this so that stability is something that is the output of all of what we do there, not just -- not continued instability. because i think the continued downward trend is dangerous for all of us with respect to pakistan, afghanistan and the region writ large. >> i know it takes a great deal of patience and expertise to deal with folks like that. i find that my constituents don't usually realize that pakistan has more people than russia, for example.
>> yeah. they're projected to have over 200 million here in the next 20 or 30 years and be the fourth -- fourth or fifth largest nuclear power, if you consider weapons -- i think the fourth in roughly the same time frame. >> uh-huh. >> so it's not -- it's just a country, i think, we have to continue to engage with. and be frank with. and at the same time, you know, i think, we are paying the price? afghanistan and pakistan for walking away in 1989. and that's a model that just runs in my head 20 years from now, whoever is sitting here -- or sitting in your seat we're we to walk away but it's much more dangerous than it is right now. >> when increasingly pakistan has itself been the victim of terrorist attacks, in karachi and other instances. so they have felt the wrath of the taliban and the haqqani
network and other groups. >> they have lost tens of thousands. they've lost, specifically, over 3,000 of their military. they've had tens of thousands wounded. they've sacrificed greatly for their own country. sometimes that sacrifice gets lost, and they have some enormous, enormous challenges. they face them. they will continue to face them. and i think we need to help them, not hurt them. >> uh-huh. as you say they're a reality that we're going to have to deal with regardless and we might as well face and that not push the problem to the side or ignore it. general west wrote a book recently called the wrong war, talking about the war in afghanistan and he said one of the chief problems is hamid karzai's unwillingness to police the gaps in the mountains, the valleys and actually terminate flow of folks who cross those treacherous borders along the durand loin. is he mistaken?
this -- is this a mistake? >> general petraeus made along with general rodriguez and general campbell who basically ran the campaign in the east for the last year to refocus it, to layer it from the border at pakistan, to kabul and, in fact, to pull forces out of those very remote places which none of us thought was strategically significant. that doesn't mean we didn't have bad guys out there. we do. but that this layered approach to ensure that we could protect the capital -- the haqqani network which is the one that flows most of the fighters in there was a better strategy. >> thank you. my time has expired. >> thank you. mr. hunter. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
admiral, you're here during an interesting time and secretary flournoy, you've been back here month after month and i just want to say thanks for both of your service. we don't always see eye-to-eye stuff but you're out front and you're doing what you believe what's in the best interest of the nation. i haven't heard anybody talk about our strategy. people ask what we think about the troop numbers, i have no idea what the troop numbers are supposed to be. i'm not a military planner. but i know what our troops are capable of. and i know that higher numbers are better for a big counter-in your own si operation. if we had 10 year and the00,000 troops we could make san diego into san diego. it would be a nice place to go fly fishing and sheep hunting but we don't have 10,000 people on the ground. i haven't heard any change in the troop numbers? >> well, i mean, the short answer, the strategy hasn't
changed. >> we're at the low ball numbers of mcchrystal asked for. >> mccrystal was talking about troops. this is two or three years ago. it's changed. it's changed dramatically on the ground since then. clearly it's something we look at all the time. it's interesting in overall numbers 'cause -- i mean, i spend a lot of time looked at who's there and who's making the difference and who isn't? and, you know, we have a culture of putting in a lot of numbers, all of us. we've learned a lot with that. i was with a meeting with general odierno and we had excess forces in iraq just because we were moving them so fast. so we literally take those lessons into account as we look at how we do this. and despite the pressure on numbers, that's also forced us to not adjust our strategy but
look at how we focus this, prioritize and still achieve success. you talked about the military. i mean, it's an unbelievably innovative, creative, capable military that we have. it hasn't put me out of the risk envelope if you will, of getting this done. if it's not working we'll have to, would on the strategy. >> you don't think -- >> the strategy is, you know, still a counterinsurgency focused, properly resourced and we could probably get into a debate about that. i think it is given the mission and the objectives that we have right now and the progress that we've made. if it's not working, in a year or two, you know, my recommendation would be it needs to be reassessed. >> we probably have different interpretations of counterinsurgency. it can be an all-encompassing
thank you very much for your service. i know you worked long and hard on extraordinarily difficult challenge is and it's much appreciated. i want to just confirm. i think i heard d.c. at brummel and the mission remains a counterinsurgency mission. is that correct? >> is a counterinsurgency strategy. >> and that involves all that was said, all of the cleaner and all that goes with it. nationbuilding is very much a part of it. >> from my visit is very much a part of this. it is a counterinsurgency strategy focused on his secretary laid out, limited
objectives, which is what the president talked about him his speech in 2009. >> the notion of counterterrorism is to focus on the terrace wherever they happen to be around the world seems to be secondary to this mission in afghanistan. >> i think it's not secondary doll, senator. i've spoken about that before. that's also how it's being executed. and i just don't separate the two. >> if you look at the region at large, afghanistan and pakistan at the progress we've made in terms of focusing pressure on al qaeda senior leadership, the osama bin laden rate is the latest example, but the pressure continues, looking at it globally.
there is only an intensification of counterterrorism alongside a complementary to campaign. >> are other talent in the same? that is targeted in herat, kandahar, and so forth? fidelis images at the same click >> they are not of the same. see diverse commits symbiotic network of groups that align women out another bit have overlapping but sometimes distinct goals. >> semi-describe afghanistan is a five or six sided civil war. do you agree or disagree with? >> i would disagree with that. i think what is happening in afghanistan is really the emerging -- emergence of the nation from 30 years of water and the rejection of the taliban and by the population. and the, reduction of the threat
to ask because as the population rejects that this meant them as they built their own national capacity, afghanistan is less and less likely to become a safe haven for al qaeda in attacks against the united states and allies. >> this border area we have obviously focused on and al qaeda receives the focus and ms. trant teiresias symbiotic. i watch terrorist organizations merge with each other, increase their horizon in terms of object it is, and so l.e.t. is now in the last mail has transnational operations. so terrorist organizations are a in support of each other.
and this place, is the epicenter of terrorism in the world and that's one of the reasons to focus on both afghanistan and pakistan is so important. >> what is the cost of the strategies which you describe to us today? the cost in 2011, 2012, team, 14 clicks >> if you look at the cost overtime, what we do see hat mean is this, actually coming down. >> must be very specific. surely you have figured out what the cost of your strategy is. >> 2011 request for afghanistan was 33 billion. >> i'm sorry. >> the request for afghanistan. >> we are running right out about 10 billion a month.
the 2011 request a thank us for 117 billion. we look at it coming down about 30 or 40 billion a year based on the strategy laid out. >> 2012 will be how much? >> less than 120 billion for 12. it was 160,000,000,011. it's about $40 billion decline from 11 to 12. >> could you please give us those numbers? thank you very much. >> thank you. >> admiral mullen, secretary flournoy, thank you for your dedication to this country. counterterrorism and counterinsurgency are not absolutes. it's really more of a continuum. how would you gauge the current strategy clinics are we then shifting a little bit more to
add more counterterrorism elements as we drive down forces? how would you state that, admiral mullen? >> again, where we are a year from now can determine how it goes this year. it's heavily focused on both as we speak. i mean, the counterinsurgency strategy is significant in general petraeus asked for and got more forces to do that. so will there be a different balance year from now? probably. how much is hard to say. again, what force is the commander on the ground recommends taking out next year will be determined by what happens this year. they were not even halfway through this fighting is in. so it's really difficult to say exactly how it's going to look year from now.
in a counterinsurgency firepower's grandfather. could you tell down a little bit on what does that mean? >> well, you have to cut people out there engaged. in this case the afghan people. what's important is this goes back to the success of the bills that the afghan security force. the army for sure, the police absolutely. not unlike the, but police flag the development here, although it's going better and better. so in the end, is the protection of the people, security for the people and there's going to be in numbers a larger number of people focused on missing 2012 than 2011 just because the continued buildup of forces. it's not just u.s. manpower
coalition manpower, it's the totality. in fact, vss has gone so well in their 6400 as i indicate, and a nurse lee successful situation. we'll continue to build that. >> admiral mullen, in lisbon conference that i believe the policy decisions coming out was that we would transfer operational control to afghan security forces by the end of 24. can you be more specific as to what that really will look like? does that mean we'll have some boots on the ground than in support of afghan security forces quiet >> the model certainly is very much in the front of our minds as iraq and we will clearly continue to have forces there and the lisbon commitment is to
have afghans and the lead and throughout the country every single district by the end of 24 team. that's where heading. as much of eyes and assistance support as is necessary at that point. what we've watched as an terms of the growth rate and a great, then a pretty good glide slope right now in terms of asendin to be able to do this with the afghan security forces. >> mr. chairman, i yield that. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we flow along the lines of what mr. wilson brought up earlier in this database talking about the job done being determined by conditions on the ground, movement towards the afghan security forces, police been
able to take over security. my concern comes from the future of this operation at an economic level. the afghan security forces are taking over more geography. but are we creating a situation where we've created such a large afghan army that the afghan economy just will not be able to support that? i think we have to look at this if the crystal ball says we will be drawn down to a condition sort of like what we have in iraq right now by 2014, what is the dollar amount the afghan government has to generate in the u.s. support is still going to be there in a financial sense? >> that is something we are looking at in great detail. one question is the level of
threat is degraded. how big of an army of police force do you need? they may well be smaller than what we are currently planned. they may be experiencing their own search rates now. maybe they will settle at lower level. akamai, were working hard with the afghan government on revenue generation, without substantially increasing border revenues, growing economy, working on extractive industries to gain from strategic mineral and mining resources, but ultimately we have to get this on a more sustainable footing and it has to cut last, but we are working through that now and we do believe we can get there, but it is going -- let me be clear. this is going to be a substantial assistance effort and not the levels currently projected, but this is going to
be -- afghanistan will require international development assistance for many, many years and will remain one of the poorest countries for quite some time. >> obviously for this committee. support for military personnel are doing is second to none because besides being more fires, their educators can account for some apparent and doing more than probably any military has ever had to do. the support is very strong. again, it seems that we've developed a model that's just not sustainable. of course many of the lord and the shrinking of the security forces, well, in this country we call them layoffs and that inspires people not working and obviously with an economy the delta is so large. i'm really very concerned about this, as a lot of people, that we're setting ourselves up for
either many decades of support just to maintain this or something that's just not functional come down the road. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. young. >> thank you, madam secretary and admiral mullen for being here. i want our shoots to come home as soon as possible. everyone does, but notwithstanding reassurances, admiral mullen, i'm not yet comfortable decisions related to this strut down for future decisions related to the force posture in afghanistan are in fact going to be merely based upon conditions on the ground. so i hope to get comfortable with that. what are the conditions on the ground as i see it is very important as we consider existing forest postures. of course conditions on the ground in pakistan, where there
are elements of various extremist elements, they reside in a relatively safer haven in afghanistan. you acknowledge that yourself, admiral that the situation in pakistan is a significant inherent risk to our overall strategy. these elements come extremist in pakistan threatened to create the very condition -- destabilizing conditions that just as i presence in afghanistan. regardless of our progress by six components articulated in the presidents west point speech. laying the groundwork and conditions on the ground in pakistan have improved to such
extent the government in afghanistan. the extremists have diminished to a significant degree. >> is important to remember the cortical of the president's strategy was to distract the mantle and defeat al qaeda and al qaeda is very much on the ropes right now. i don't say that the tenets of it because they still would like to kill as many of us as they possibly could and they have aspirational goals to do that. secondly is to make sure afghanistan can turn into al qaeda, which would threaten its long-term. that's really what he afghanistan piece of this is. >> i'm going to be the energetic, which is the euphemism for interject on the
hill. so we're trying to create conditions of course for afghanistan can become a safe haven, but it seems pakistan is a relatively safer even already. >> that's where personal targeting significant leaders and other organizations of the afghan, tyler van, haqqani network, et cetera within many cases pakistani partners, which is problematic as a part of this. what the strategy is intended to do is buy space so there can be political reconciliation across the board. >> it seems we are urging pakistan with the very limited strategy when we're implementing a counterinsurgent t. strategy over at chemists and. >> i think her approach with
pakistan is to engage them to try to partner with them, support them in training so they can deal with the threats, which are both internal to dennis for extra and all. that's a very, very difficult strategy and execution because of what both the history, lack of trust. >> admiral, in your estimation we can never -- we can never send in enough american troops to afghanistan to create conditions where the extremists across the border in pakistan would not present a threat to the afghans, conceivably a thread -- all of this depends on the pakistanis playing ball. >> there's great risk in the strategy tied to pakistan. >> finally, as do many
presidents presence on the ground in part a hedge against or deterred to future efforts in pakistan to regions of that country as an unfettered training ground and take control of pakistan's nuclear arsenal perhaps through violent means. >> to pakistani eyes, they are very concerned about an unstable afghanistan that could threaten them with the much larger orders. that's like getting to some level of stability and peaceful outcome. i believe we can, pakistan will come to that. >> we should in no way factor in that our troops are playing a productive role in perhaps deterring those extremist -- gentlemen, taking control of the nuclear arsenal.
>> admiral, for to get that question on the record, i'd appreciate it. >> thank you, mr. chairman, admiral mullen, secretary flournoy, appreciate your service to our country and all that you're doing to keep america safe. admiral, let me just say we're reaching a point of diminishing returns in afghanistan. clearly the war is costing billions of dollars and thousands of life lost or wounded. mindful of that past tuesday when i went to walter reid to visit some of our wounded soldiers are.
other emerging threats here yesterday, absolving terrorists at, dr. sebastian gorka noted that al qaeda no longer exists in afghanistan and any reasonable number we deploy to afghanistan to eliminate al qaeda and tonight the region as a source of terrorist activity they are. troops clearly have performed the mission incredibly well. al qaeda has gone from afghanistan, but obviously do terrorists at their cultivated and other troubles do not like yemen and north africa. the president and his strategy that he released last night is going to bring home 33,000 troops by next summer. my question and i know you've talked about that the reason into the bad numbers bear and
ensure we have enough troop of support for hate and violence in afghanistan so claimed victory will be lost. i have to say i really remained unconvinced by both member of the armed services committee and house intelligence committee. a transparency into both world and the gains that that have been made that would be justified the additional 23,000. can you further convinced me what is the real rationale for bringing 33,000 troops by the end of this year. i know my constituents and my need to have it as well. >> from a military standpoint, it is the focus on on the
firepower, the manpower to the fighting season and certainly by the end of september is that next year. and obviously putting the commander position to where he may or may not take troops ran. secondly, get al qaeda, no al qaeda in afghanistan. that is not the case in pakistan and i've never looked at this as a single country roche. from my perspective, you can't do that. it is the region and the other court just is other strategies to make sure it in his van is stable enough and then return to get up to where some other out dates and there's growing numbers of those. and that's not where we are in pakistan. that's where we are in
afghanistan. al qaeda is tightly wound with the haqqani network and take over that government. and i'm hard-pressed if the taliban will get back to that position that they will be the host with organizations like al qaeda in the past. >> the focus again is to have enough combat power to this fighting tooth and we talked about that and the importance of getting passes to an exciting season as well. back to me is the time to bring the troops -- the surge troops out. >> atreides from another day of. i hope quite frankly they will bring more troops than what he has planned next year.
binary not cutting our forces and have the next summer? what is the margin utility of having the extra 17,000 troops there that the president must bring home and the number of 15% and next to 70,000 troops by this summer. >> we undo all the gains that have occurred since he put the surge in. the strategy has absolutely no chance of succeeding. >> i know my time has expired. we obviously have tough questions in tough roads ahead, but i appreciate the work you're doing. thank you. >> admiral, a couple questions but i was down around.
i'll be brief so we can move on to the other numbers. my concern after been there a couple weeks ago, generals and intelligence community congressman cooper and if we walked away now would be right back here in 20 years. i recognize we weren't talking about -- we were talking about pakistan as for not mistaken. >> again, goes to the regional roche. i wouldn't be so specific. we watched from afghanistan in 1989. >> yes, sir. i concern and if you speak to this business is that there is somebody that we would land to help us make decisions and your statement was al qaeda is on their heels and a talent in this
chat, does that actually reflect your statement? >> taliban has been checking this out. they are not in check in the east. >> so, i hear we have them on our heels with one group and check on our heels with one group and check. why would we draw down until he had them in checkmate? >> good judgment that we can restart the risk associated with the draw down both the evil to succeed in the overall strategy based on the gains of the surge over the course of the last -- since the president announced 18 months ago. >> my understanding is germany, france and britain have fallen a troop that draws somewhat simultaneous with hours along a similar schedule is ours, is
that correct as was reported at the news? beanbags they are very, very modest and not uniform at all. i would say they are more modest in general than what we have proposed. for the most part, allies, australia, others are committed and send it to the list in the end of sticking with. i haven't heard anybody talk away with what we all agree it was in. >> is a public what the total nato fours will be u.s. and coalition forces or is that classified information by the strata are anticipated? >> i don't think we have particulars yet to calculate where that will be a year from now, but we certainly released the numbers of where we are today. i don't think we've heard enough details from partners to know where we'll be at the end of next summer. there will not be dramatic increases for people to party in
the coalition. >> as we have that information, i appreciate a good update me in the committee because it's important what the total forces as well as the u.s. force. i'm going to yield the remainder of my time and we've got missed in the senate. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you, undersecretary of admiral for being here. i question whichever one of you can answer as i think the public's have been confused about what 2014 represent spirit given the amount of numbers bear was trying people are construing that as the dave by the end of 2014 the wood of which are on our troops. and reading both of your testimonies, 2014 is clearly been identified as the time that
afghan or afghanistan takes over basically the whole military after. so given that, what are the numbers anticipated? undersecretary community state and that if peace is achieved in the numbers that are currently planned may then be reduced. a senior senators ended up where were going to be in 24 team. what is that number? >> at the end of 2014 we expect afghans will be in security. we'll be able to shift our mission focus more towards advice, says, training, continuing to partner in counterterrorism, intelligence and so forth that this is a lot of what was flesh out about enduring strategic partnership. the expectation is numbers will be substantially lower, but i don't think until we know what to say that the taliban and is, with the state of the thread,
stated the nss, it will be hard to protect the numbers will be. we can tell you they'll be smaller. the mission will become increasingly more focused on supporting and enabling afghans in the late across the country. >> i saw an interesting chart on the news. for example, the number with the strength was in 2008 and then after president obama came into office and outlook click on almost a doubling of those numbers if i remember correctly. so we were like a thirtysomething thousand offense rebounds and having out to 100-cent a thousand. we're going to shot down 33 passing by the end of next year. and then the question becomes from the 70,000 we have left to what you're considering to be not inspired just whatever it is, what does it look like in terms of where we are in relationship to this numbers?
>> again, we'll continue in the curve towards 2014. 15 president obama has said from the beginning of the strategy is that this administration will commit to periodically reviewing where we are, is the strategy work income is it not? had to adjust the alignment of resources to that strategy? i would anticipate the regularly process of review over the last two years will continue through this administration certainly and i would hope on through to 2014 and beyond. >> undersecretary, somebody who doesn't understand this wants to know in plain english, are we going to have troops in afghanistan or were not going to have chips in afghanistan at the end of 2014? the answers with troops in dan. we just don't know how me they're going to be. >> i believe we will have troops of a different mission focus in much reduced numbers supporting the gas cans who are going to be
able to be leading their own security at that time. >> this undersecretary, the bottom line is for going to have troops that guns who are going to be in sunlight and harms way and that's what the people are concerned about. the bottom line, irrespective of what their mission or objective may be, we are going to have men and women in uniform who are going to be potentially in jeopardy after 2014. >> again, that is not -- the president has not decided on the chair or numbers of art presents beyond 2014. i think it would be unwise for someone to do that this point in time for me given that allots going to happen between now and then. i'm just giving you my personal best judgment that there will still be a mission for the united states that will be in our interest to support counterterrorism operations, intelligence and supporting the
afghan as they take the lead for security in their own country. >> i understand all that. the bottom line question is simple. if they're going to be in uniform and it may be a potential for harm's way, somehow protect which i don't see happening, those who are in afghanistan would still be men and women in units on a day so have potentially been insured that potentially killed. is that a fair statement? >> again, i think we anticipate a residual force, but i don't want to worsen the president's mouth that he is not made decisions on the nature of composition or cared her of anything beyond what we've announced beyond 2014. >> thank you. my time is that. >> mr. platt. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admirable in common undersecretary, were certainly grateful for both of you and
your dedicated service and great leadership and a whole host of issues and especially strategy in afghanistan. i'll try to be quick. i first associate myself with mr. cooper and the impact of our dealing with on pakistan in the privilege to visit troops in afghanistan eight times. as well as visits to pakistan are important for them partnering with us in that we don't send him a message that they focus on the issues they think are a threat to them versus a guide much of afghanistan and asked if they continue to partner with us. i think we raise this issue as well and appreciate your answers on this question. they overawe main concern is if i was sad in iraq and afghanistan, facts on the ground guiding eyes was an important part of a the second 2009 when
he laid out plans for the search, which i commended him for doing and his hope to begin to this summer, but important caveat is facts on the ground. i understand where today the ability to serve a drawdown based on the facts come unconcernedly get ahead of ourselves say we know what the facts on the ground will be next or so they can draw down another 23,000, rather than waiting to see what facts are next to your cannot be premature. that's a concern i have. specific areas of questions i want to address is important to training the afghan national security forces. a visit with general caldwell and he and his team are doing an outstanding job in really transform the training mission in the last year, including the literacy aspect, which is specially with it believes, a
key aspect to what they're doing. madam secretary, you talked about the importance of them being trained up as part of the calculation is drawdown we're going to see. i guess first you assume you calculated were still seen about it 30% attrition level, that that was factored into the numbers, not just that we have this many being trained, but will probably lose 30%. is that an accurate assessment? >> ask him i think our expectations about quality are based on what we've experienced today, but also the progress i'm making on bringing some attrition down, bringing attention up improving the quality. imported man performance and tco, as more and more units are most all of the unit in the south, south west and so forth are partnered with eyes and were able to get a very good sense of how these units are performing
in the field. >> in that release to a follow-up question. i guess a concern i have is for training them up or basics because of me were putting them right out there without the additional opportunity to kind of honed their skills. i think that leads to the 30% desertion or attrition rate. to counter that, we have to continue to partner. the fact there will be 33,000 fewer u.s. forces there to partner with, isn't that going to create a challenge is how do we do that partnering with that in the last u.s. forces for them to be partnered with? >> i think the details on how this affects are doing will be worked through, but i don't anticipate a significant short while in that regard. part of a break giddiness the of forests is more time to whole unit out where we training. more time to send leaders to
further develop it. admiral mullen mentioned specialty schools were not developed in the afghan national versus the enablers and specialists and so forth. this is all about peace, but i don't think anyone has access to jot down to sentimentally assessed by race. >> the best treatment he gave they're out there in the field with the most professional, best qualified most capable force in the world, the american soldier, marine, personnel. and that's when we look at the numbers and afghan national security force individual to a military because obviously there's a huge difference. as i run out of time, i hope is the administration is to get to next year we get the 23,000 at the facts and the ground are not what we hope they will be put to
jot down at the facts don't justify it. a final comment, mr. chairman is admiral mullen, what a record of service to this nation. i am my family are indebted to you and your family for your heroic service and wish you great success in all you do. thanks for what you've done for all of us. you got. >> mr. johnson. thank you, mr. chairman. the president just can't win on this one is going to have one's i've seen that you are withdrawing too many troops at a time when we need to have done stay the course. on the other side you're going to have folks they look, we're tired of war. when the troops home. osama bin laden has been neutralized. let's close the door, bring
troops home and put all the money into reducing debt. so the president just cannot win. there is another way. first of all, at the mall and its secretary flournoy, i appreciate you all being here today. i want everyone to remember that president was clear in its 2008 campaign, he said he would drive down u.s. versus from iraq and he pledged to refocus on the neglect to cooler in afghanistan. he's made good on both of those commitments. in the spring of 2009, we had 130,000 troops on the ground in iraq. we now have 61,000 on the ground
with morley being every day. by the end of this year, will have less than 130 department of defense boots on the ground in iraq unless there's some change in the security agreement with the addition of 30,000 troops and renewed focus on afghanistan, we've been successful by all accounts. we've degraded in searching groups. we've denied them territory while mr. lacey and disrupting transnational terrorists who can immediate threat to us and our allies. the president has also made perfectly clear when he pledged additional forces to afghanistan , the 30,000 person search, dirty dozen troop surge
that he would begin to return those troops home in july of this year. last night true to form, the president made good on that commitment. 10,000 troops by the end of this year and over the next year, approximately 30,000 troops to return from afghanistan. now what would it look like if we left right now? if we just decided to close the book on this painful error in our history? close the book and get everybody out of there like we're doing in iraq in just the, what would the area look like? but with the future look like
for americans? could we be snug as a bug in the road and think that we don't have to worry about what's being fermented in these ungoverned areas? what about pakistan, a nuclear country right next door to india? a nuclear country, india having been to the in the moon by attack of a terrorist plot hatched in pakistan. you know, what would we do if we left that area and just totally destabilized by withdrawing our troops from what afghanistan? i had met at the knowledge pretty in the lunchroom. we would have to recommit true,
probably a larger number in it at greater expense at a time when we would at least be to afford it. and so, i reprint here alluded to that kind of the situation that that's the situation we're in. i regret that, but that's where we are. so what we do from here? i think the president has made the right decisions and i want to bring every soldier home affected right now today, but it just would not be the responsible thing to do. so i went to encourage the people to support the president. thank you. >> mr. white men. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
admiral mullen, thank you for joining us today. admiral mullen, thank you for your service to our nation. i know the sacrifice it takes to have a loved one served this nation and we deeply appreciate his service in that sacrifice to our nation, so we appreciate that. i want to assess. we've heard a lot about numbers. we've heard a lot about timelines. we've heard a lot about generalities about we start about, coin strategy and continuing along the same lines of effort while we're trying down troops. it seems to me that there is another element here that should be asked turning as the operations in afghanistan and that is what's currently occurring in pakistan. my concern is that we can mount the greatest effort in afghanistan, but if we don't have an equal effort in pakistan, then we're going to not be successful in where we all went to be in the long run.
i know not long ago general rodriguez said even if the pakistanis do nothing more than what they're doing today, that we would be okay enough genistein. let me ask this. and mind of the current conditions in pakistan, with the relationship between pakistan and the united states and with the current projection for straw down in afghanistan, do you believe that we will still be as general rodriguez says i'm in good shape with operations in afghanistan and at first to defeat the taliban and am also willing villages face al qaeda with the current situation in packets dan and the proposed shutdown? >> i think pakistan's drive down will depend on how things go and at the same time they're going through an incredibly difficult time right now, not just in the relationship with the united states, but also internally,
particularly their military because of what they've been through. and i said euphoria never just eat the entire chain of command in the united states for the president thinks it's important we sustain this relationship even through his most difficult times. i'm actually heartened by the fact that we been through -- we are going through difficult times and in fact the relationship is still there. i'm just chastened by the past but we said no when the relationship is broken. i think we all just have to be moderate, frank, careful about how we perceive in this relationship as they go through this introspection of what's happened to them. in the long run, is the region. i think pakistan peace that this is a very risky part of the overall strategy, which is why we've been engaged salon. but it's not just afghanistan pakistan because they said india
peace to this. all of that, which gets to the point is should we walk away now, i just worry -- i worry about will be back in adobe much more challenging and much more dangerous. >> i would agree wholeheartedly that we really have to look at this region in a very integrated manner that we have to pass -- reinvest in the relationship pakistan to secure the cooperation we need from them on counterterrorism, but also in help being to reach the goals of stability in afghanistan. >> let me ask this then. are you there if you both both of you confident that we can get to the point where the relationship between pakistan
and the united states in relation to a retailing within afghanistan would get us to the point where there after it's will be on the level of where we believe they need to be quiet i know how to just travel there there were many concerns about current level of the kurds, especially on many of the networks wherever they may be. the concerned as we do our part and safe harbor on the other side in pakistan, do you see in mind at the difficult relationship we have right now, gcs been able to get to a point and have a knack gives government and army combating the taliban in in their country in a way that helps us overall strategically in the region? >> i think as we succeed in afghanistan, and think pakistan will face some real strategic choices in terms of what they want to end up when this comes to a successful conclusion?
i think the real question for them is what role will they played politically in helping get to a political endgame in afghanistan that is where key decisions while i am absolutely have a huge impact not only on the relationship with afghanistan, but also their the relationship of us long-term. >> mr. larsen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks for sticking around and helping us out to understand the president's announcement last night. admiral mullen come in your cv said we're going to continue to build a strategic target ship with afghanistan, one based not on the military footprint but a mutual friendship. i think if there's something lacking in the president's speech last night was further
defining what that relationship is going to look like. i wrote a letter to you, secretary flournoy a few weeks back on the very question about but the transition from troops to trade as a shorthand does in fact look like. i think we need to maintain a substantial commitment to afghanistan, but it's going to change and not to nature and i think most americans wanted to change in nature. that's not a matter of a drive down. it's what does that look like in the future. i'd be curious in hearing about what the relationship is in fact look like. what does the strategic readership with afghanistan look like, the sentiments that were not leaving like we did in the 80s and the american people were not staying any longer militarily than we need to be. >> i think the strategic partnership between the united
states and afghanistan will have many, many dimensions. one is going to be a very sustain political and diplomatic engagement. i think there will be economic investment opportunities. some of those in the early days of authority been seen sunset is that the mindset there, the i.t. side care, telecommunications agriculture and so forth. i think there will be a security cooperation component that will be very important to continue to press our counterterrorism interest and continue to support development of the afghan national security forces over time. so i think dubya multidimensional. there'll be people to people developments and so forth. but the key message here is that even as we achieve our military goals in the military tried dynasty possible and ask him to
stand up and take more responsibility for the security, were not going away in a relationship sense. we recognize we had interests in this region. we have the object is to disrupt team, dismantling and defeating al qaeda is one that is not going anywhere and were going to stick with this. that means we are going to stay with the partnership and afghanistan, even as the means by which we do that will change every time. >> admiral, anything to add? >> and is tied up into the whole idea of transition and focused as the secretaries pointed out multisite are. there are ongoing negotiations right now about what this strategic agreement would look like from my perspective. i'm not involved in this. it's talking about the right
things. the president of the united states and president in afghanistan are both committed to this. so that will be the framework for how this and it's based on the assumption that we get to a point where we have a successful transition. they're in charge of their own security. the footprint is to radically reduced and there is a commitment to the long-term relationship. i summed up in friendship, but a long-term relationship that sustains a level of stability in that part of the world that can grow, the economy can improve. it has an impact not just in afghanistan, the next-door in pakistan. >> i think honestly i'd think the responsible and delivery track down can be more deliberate and more responsible. it can have a faster to more folks. i don't want us to think that. i know you do not think this. talking to folks at home we get
out of afghanistan. if we do that, which we have left? their answer is no, we don't think about that. well, we need to think about that. what does that look like in the future? i want to be sure in the future that you are all talking about what this looks like in the future. what model of which relationship we have with the current country is the f. genistein u.s. relationship going to look like? >> we are actively discussing that with the afghans. at that matures i'm sure will be coming back here to talk with you about that in more detail. >> we had a hard stab at 1230. we have two more members of questions. i understand witnesses have agreed to stay. i would ask members to keep it brief if possible in thank you
for agreeing to continue with this another 10 minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. madame secretary matt brock on the thank you for service in being here. just quickly want to ask you, looking at afghanistan in the history of afghanistan and its difficulty in establishing central control and a strong central government, what changes have you seen over the past few years, if any, in terms of the people at afghanistan willing to accept a strong central government and be a part of a one nationstate, if you will? can you comment on not at all? i believe the answer to that is directly related to our chances of success long-term in
afghanistan. >> i do think that afghans increasingly to have a sense of common nationhood, but i think the government -- the level of government that matters the most and where we see them investing greatly, participating great week, holding people accountable is that the local district and by extension provincial level. a lot of afghans don't worry too much about what's happening in kabul. they focus on is my district are listening to our priorities in my community, meeting basic needs are the mechanism or instruments of government not preying upon me, not being predatory, corrupt, et cetera? the first place we have to help them get them right that that provincial level. working on the national government, making progress in terms of capacity, but that
project is going to take quite some time. in the meantime, to the stability is coming at the local level. >> i would mention i would mention i was in afghanistan about three weeks ago and was able to visit not only some of the larger areas, but was able to go and observe first hand some of those village operations for special forces and was struck by this success at the local level and particularly the progress has been made in the last 18 months couple years. i was able to see that firsthand and was able to be flown around in a c-130 from my district. mac thornberry who had scheduled a trip assured me that he did not plan b-based c-130 for me, we enjoyed it nonetheless.
thank you all for your time today. appreciate it. >> the gentleman yield that. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for staying two extra minutes. i was struck listening to your testimony today. yesterday we had a hearing update on iraq and the drawdown in iraq. again, it was actually amazing to hear the story of how we are going to be at about 157 military by the end of this year. having sat through a number of those hearings, going back to seven and not bill mullen has just done stellar service in terms of helping guide our country. first of all i should tip my hat to you about the fact that what we heard yesterday that the real amazing accomplishment of your leadership, but also struck at
the fact that when we had hearings which sent the glidepath, frankly there is angst in this committee about whether or not military bases being set aside in whether or not it was getting too fiery to a high margin of risk, which he talked about. i guess this is probably going to be one of her final appearances before this committee may wonder if maybe want to share little perspective about that experience. obviously these are totally different parts of the world and conflicts, but certainly there should be some confidence we can draw better success in that drive panama were contemplating here today. >> what we have a tendency to forget is how bad it was in 2006 and 2007. we are -- we were in freefall from the standpoint of our strategy until the surge in iraq
than there is certainly uncertainty whether at the time that would work. a lot of that with the external pressure from the point of outside forces, but also about was internal. a different country in so many ways and we certainly understand that. the overall model come is certainly how we assist them, develop sources is one were trained to follow now. different voices from scratch in afghanistan. i actually believed that they are will be limited -- we focus in afghanistan and a limited way on some of these ministries, finance, minister of interior, not across the whole government official government of afghanistan and in the long run this is a decentralized country. how do you make of slowing work? model is a powerful model from my perspective that's where we
are. i guess the question is how many will be left? we don't know. right now it's 157. it's 157 in iraq unless we reach some agreement to the contrary, based on what the leadership in both countries want to do. we want a strong partnership with iraq for the future for lots of reasons and they are little more evident now than they were in 2006 and 2007 given the turmoil in that each and every seat the same kind of relationship with afghanistan long-term. in that regard it's very instructive. there are huge differences in the car to take into consideration both the similarities and differences. ..