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tv   Pentagon Officials Testify on Security in the Indo- Pacific  CSPAN  March 14, 2022 12:02pm-2:01pm EDT

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>> military leaders testified on u.s. national security and military challenges in the indo-pacific region before the house armed services committee. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> go ahead and call the meeting to order. full committee meets today on the national security challenges and u.s. military activity in the indo-pacificc region. through witnesses they the honorable doctor eli rattner, assistant secretary of defense for indo-pacific affairs. admiral john aquilino, and general lacamera, commander for united nations command forces u.s. forces korea. i realize yesterday searing i did not read our little hybrid statement, which is very tempting by the way, because everything seemed to go just fine even though i didn't read it. but i will read this morning. we have hybrid he hearing. with some members remotely and
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platform chat feature to t maket with staff regarding technical and physical support issues only. pilot tested committee staff member if necessary to mute unrecognized members to cancel background noise that may disrupt the proceedings. i what you think the witnesses for being here, look forward to the testimony and questions and answers. the t indo-pacific region is a crucially important region to the national security of the u.s. and to the peace and stability of the world. obviously we have learned that the entire world is a challenge russia's unprovoked and devastating invasion of ukraine. we have been reminded we can't just focus on one part of the world, but the indo-pacific region is clearly one of the most important parts of the world, important as we go through all of these hearings from all the different regions, how interconnected everything is. it's not just, you know, great power competition with russia, dealing with china. russia and china as we know are actively engaged in many parts of the world, and the competition here really is to
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build broad support amongst partners. and that is a global endeavor, to basically show that partnering with the u.s. and the west, is the better option for, frankly, all countries, than partnering with russia and china. and the indo-pacific region gives us an outstanding opportunity to do that. it has been described as the pacing threat, however you want to put it, china is without question the country most capable of competing with the u.s. in terms of their economic strength, in terms of growing military strength, in terms of their global reach. now, we all want a world where china and the u.s. peacefully co-exist and that's what we're working towards, but over the course of the last decade at least, it's become clear that president xi in china intends something more combative than that. they are trying to push us out and advance an authoritarian way of looking at the world, that has very little respect for free human rights or anything other than the blunt
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force of what they want economically. we need to compete against that. we need to convince the world to go in a different direction, and to do that, we need a robust presence in the indo-pacific region. it's just that simple. and our military is a huge part of that. we have an important defense relationships, certainly with japan and south korea, but with a number of other countries as well. we must maintain and strengthen those relationships, and we must attempt to be a balancing force to keep the peace in asia. obviously nowhere more important than on taiwan, the belligerent language that china has been putting out recently is, you know, very, very dangerous. we could easily see a china-taiwan situation in the same way we now see russia, ukraine situation. we need to constantly remind china that that is not the way global powers are supposed to behave, whatever dispute and differences they have with taiwan, they should be resolved peacefully not through the use of military force, but a big
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part of making sure that happens is to have an adequate deterrent. it's to build partnerships and have a presence in the region that lets china know that that is not an acceptable or doable option. and that requires us to have a robust presence. i am particularly interested this morning in, well, two big things. one, how are our relationships and partnerships going in the region and i think that's incredibly important. india in particular, you know, the largest democracy in the world, the country that's had a history in the past of being closer to russia in many ways than to us, but is now moving in our direction. if we can enhance that relationship and strengthen it, i think that makes the world a better and more peaceful place and then second, this committee has been briefed repeatedly the last six, seven years, everything that china has done and military modernization to try to counter us, to basically put our systems and our forces at risk, and to in essence, push us out of the region. we've known about that for some time.
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i know that we are working on how to adjust to that, how to, you know, change our force structure to better deal with what china has done. we need to put meat on those bones. what is it we're doing? what is it we need to be doing? what are the most important things to fund? to me, it comes down to two words, as a starting point, and that is information and survivability. china is very focused on improving their command and control information systems and also, equally focused on making ours vulnerable, not making our vulnerable, on taking ours down, on being able to basically blind us and shut us down by shutting down our communications systems and our information systems. how are we improving that. and survivability, it's the platform that can get into the region and survive, with china's missile technology, cyber technology and ability to shut down our information systems. as we've talked about add
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nauseam. the pentagon, needs to find the best technologies, best use of them. available faster, quicker, better. something we're looking forward to hearing from the witnesses on those topics and to that i'll yield to the ranking member mr. rogers. >> thank you, and i would be remiss if i didn't acknowledge the entrance of one of our colleagues from qualm. guam. good to see you again. [applause] >> thank you, mr. chairman, i do thank the witnesses for being here in the time it took to prepare for this. the conflict between the chinese communist party and american democracy will be one of the greatest tests this nation has ever faced. the modernized military and lethal taiwan are essential to countering china, but we also need operational concepts that are execuexecutable.
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and in the past year, asked about indo pacom. and few answers on accelerating new infrastructure and few answers on delivering new technology to the battlefield. the secretary announced monday the intention to close the red hill field depo within a year. they have problems, but without the resources to replace that capacity. that's extremely short-sighted. the response from the department has been the same, the answer is just one policy announcement away and that's unacceptable. what i would like to hear from each of you today is exactly how you will employ new operational concepts and build new systems and ensure logistic supports through new through the indo-pacific and most important how you intend to do na within the next five years. we know at that china is not
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going to give us 10 or 20 years to prepare for conflict. we cannot procrastinate any further. the issues like red hill presents, an opportunity to modernize beyond world war ii logistic model. i'm worried about the cycle of indecision and procrastination at the pentagon and worried about getting the important work done in a time frame that we have to act. this committee has tried to provide the department the capabilities it needs to deter china and ensure that we prevail if conflict arises. but we can't move with purpose if the department can't define its requirements. we've tried to nail those down in the pdi. congress created the deterrents initiative to highlight and expedite the essential capabilities, but the pentagon kneecaped with poor guidance and unclear plans. i hope they can rectify that in the budget submission. on top of that. we've tasked the general
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withholding off north korea. in any other year, the north korea missile tests would be front page news. general, you've picked an interesting time to deal with challenges over there. south korea are allies and deepening cooperation with them makes us safer and we need know know what you need in the coming decade. we're hearing that, and i hope the department is ready to hear the same. with that, mr. chairman, i'll yield back. >> mr. rogers, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and it's a privilege to be here with admiral aquilino and general lacamera. we remain committed for a free and upholding regional order. the region faces mounting
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security challenges from people's republic of china, and north korea's weapons of mass destruction and missiles program is a threat to the united states and our allies and partners. mr. chairman, secretary austin described the prc as the top challenge. that will be reflected in the national defense strategy and fy23 budget as we continue to update our can september capabilities and enforced partner for the homeland and deter aggression and prevail in conflict. we have prioritizing capabilities relative to the china challenge for a joint force lethal and able to strike forces and systems at range. resilience and able to gain information advantage and maintain command and control through adversary disruptions, and seek to reduce combat power
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and mobilization speed. enable for sustainment for operations in a highly contested environment. alongside these capabilities we're building a combat credible force posture in the indo-pacific working toward a lethal and resilient forward posture essential to addressing the full suite of challenges we sways in the region. we're doubling down on one of our greatest strategic advantages, our networks. and see it growing at a rapid pace. with the u.s.-japan cornerstone, we are having the defense forces, upping our alliance force posture and integrating the alliance into a broader regional security network of like-minded nations. we're continuing to strengthen the u.s. rok alliance, the linchpin in the indo-pacific region focused on deterrents and alliance readiness. the u.s.-australia alliance is
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surging forward with considerable momentum. last year we announced several new initiatives to substantially deepen cooperation in land, air and maritime domain, and we announced the historic august tri lateral security with australia. and with the philippines and thailand as well. we're proud for the revisiting forces agreement with the philippines and steps we're taken to strengthen with our thai allies. and historic process in our defense relationship with india as we operationalize our day-to-day defense cooperation and logistics, enhanced information sharing and grow our bilateral cooperation in emerging domains such as space and cyber space. and we'll strengthen our ability, with partners, including singapore, vietnam, indonesia, malaysia and timor.
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we remain committed to aussie centrality. consistent with our one china policy, three joint communiques, and six assurances, focused on maintaining peace and stability in the taiwan straits. with the prc with pacing challenges, taiwan is pacing scenario and we determine to deny aggression through taiwan's defense,s, its partnership with the united states and growing support from like-minded democracies. i'd like to close by thanking all of you for your strong bipartisan support for the indo-pacific. it is my firm belief that this bipartisanship should be nurtured i look forward to your
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questions. >> thank you. admiral aquilino. >> it mr. rogers and distinguished members of the committee new for allowing me to appear today and having a conversation and appreciated our closed session yesterday, thank you for that. i'd like to thank all of you for dedicated support to the indo-pacific command, our service members and their families. the people's republic of china is the most consequential strategic competitor that the united states has faced. they are executing a dedicated campaign that utilizes all forms of national power in an attempt to uproot the rules-based international order to the benefit of themselves and at the expense of all others. russia also presents a serious risk as evident from their own provoked and unjustified attack on the ukraine, russia has no regard for international law.
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its own commitments or any principles that uphold global peace. similarly, the democratic people's republic of korea, the dprk, as well as violent extremists organizations, also pose acute threats to peace and stability in the indo-pacific region. to address these threats, secretary austin has articulated clear priorities. defend the homeland, deter our adversaries and strengthen our allies and partners. these priorities are advanced through integrated deterrents, which is are the department's approach to preventing conflict through the synchronization of all elements of national power coordinated with the joint force across all domains together with our allies and partner.
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indo-pacom integrated deterrents, should the deder rents fail we must be prepared to fight and win. seize the initiative describes indo-pacom's approach. this requires the joint force to think, act and operate differently by realigning our posture, advancing our war fighting capabilities, in order to provide the president and the secretary with options across the entire spectrum of competition, crisis, or conflict. effective deterrents require significant investment to defend the homeland, protect the joint force, operate in contested space, and provide all domain battle space awareness with an integrated fires network that synchronizes a joint force.
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these initiatives are incorporated into the theater campaign plan. they are facilitated and supported by agile logistics, a robust experimentation program, as well as exercises, and constant collaboration with our allies and partners to promote peace in the region. we must take concerted efforts to increase our resilience and strengthen our capabilities through sustained investments, utilizing predictable budgets, a strong industrial base and reliable supply chains. i'm optimistic we will see a strategy based fy23 budget, that takes the appropriate initial steps to address key adversarial challenges and increase our war fighting advantages. the resources we commit now and in the future will preserve a
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free and open indo-pacific and strengthen our posture and provide us the ability to fight and win should deterrents fail. thanks to the committee and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. general. >> chairman smith, ranking members rogers and distinguished members of the community. thank you for the opportunity to appear with you today. i appreciate your leadership and dedicated in supporting our total force and our families who work with our korean allies in the united nations sending states in order to maintain the stable and secure environment on the korean peninsula. i'd also like to thank president biden, secretary austin, and general milley for their support along with admiral aquilino and the functional component commanders and our interagency colleagues. it's easy to stand on freedom's frontier with this tremendous support and thank our korean hosts and their professional military. i'm please today update you on the great work for the
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dedicated who serve in korea. expecttively executing the combined forces command and the united states-south korea alliance during the battle while the democratic people's republic of korea continues to pose multiple threats to the region and international security this alliance remains a linchpin of regional stability and prevented the resumption of hostilities from 72 years ago. it remains iron clad along with our korean military ready to respond to a provocation and crisis if called upon. our three command, united nations command, combined command and united states forces must be prepared and ready. and they're maintaining a stabilized security environment for the republic of korea our regional allies and our partners. we have international
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legitimacy through united nations command whose mission is to enforce the 1953 armistice, and to execute assigned function directed by the united states national authorities through the joint chiefs of staff to preserve peace and security on the korean peninsula. we're proud of the combined teamwork of the u.s.-korean alliance, the forces command is a combined war fighting headquarters in the bilateral military partnership. formed in 1978, it's a unique entity that has admissions from the combined committee ap governed by and subject to by national decision making and concensus. we maintain our strong u.s. commitment to korea. the u.s. forces korea is the premier joint force committed to defending the security of the republic of korea. it's disciplined, trained in fighting to win in combat. the strengthening of our force
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and best possible care of our families. i'm grateful for your leadership in these no-fail tasks. i know you're aware of south korea's powerful military and technical standings. no doubt you're aware of their social impact. all this have is part of the hard work and discipline and dedication of the korean people. all done under the security umbrella of the u.s.-korea alliance. the republic of korea is an incredible ally and it's a privilege to move into the future together with them in the land of the morning calm. modern and command with the multinational combined in joint force in one of the dynamic regions of the world. those who serve there are committed, capable and well supported and the posture to deter aggression, protect u.s. interests and if needed defeat any adversary. as long as the threat presents, the u.s. korean alliance remains vigilant. determined and steadfast across the region. as the command of the incredible service members, i
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appreciate this committee's continued support to fully prepare them to fight and win, in the most dangerous piece of ground. the last 100 meters of sand, sea and air. under one flag we go together and fight tonight. thank you for the opportunity to provide an opening statement. i'll look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. one programming note before we get going with questions, there are going to be votes at some point, it's my intention to continue the hearing through the votes because it would be impossible if we had to take that delay in a half hour, 40 minutes between the two votes. so we are just going to rotate people in and out and figure out how we're going to do that, but we are going to keep going. general la camera, we talked a little about the alliances and the different pieces out there, from south korea and i think, just completed their elections as we're sitting here in the middle, and if you've heard. how do you see south korea not just in terms of north korea, though i want to hear about that as well. fitting in the larger
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partnership. we've talked about the quad that we've developed with japan and india and other partners, how does south korea view the competition with china in the region and how can we best use them as a partner and ally in the region for that? and then i would be curious to get your sort of latest take on what north korea is thinking about with the latest missile threat and how you evaluate that threat at the moment. >> thank you, chairman. i think the challenge with the republic of korea, first thing they'll tell you, their economic partner is china. their security partner is the united states. and that's-- that can be a little concerning because as we go forward, the concern is always that, are they or the north koreans, related to your second question, are they trying to drive a wedge between us, the united states, and the republic of korea as a way of winning
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without fighting. a perfect example in 2017, they put some economic pressure on the republic of korea and we've seemed to come out of that and running and we have thad running and move forward. i look alt the republic of korea and quite frankly, the united nations sending, and australian alliance or japanese alliance as an opportunity to get the koreans off the peninsula to do additional training as training becomes a little restricted, but to expose them to other militaries. when it comes to dprk, i think he's solely focused internally on protecting his regime and that's what the nuclear testing and the missiles is really about protecting his position in the world. >> thank you. >> and dr. ratner and admiral aquilino, when it comes to the big question how we present a
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legitimate deterrent to china given what they've done in the last decade. i know it's not just one thing. could you sum up how we need to change our military capability in terms of where we should spend our money and what programs we should put the highest priority on. what are the capability or capabilities that we most need to get better at and develop to counter what china has done? >> thanks, mr. chairman. i'll go first if it's okay with dr. ratner. first of all, i think we must look through the prc issue as not just today, right? so it's a short-term problem, it's a medium-term problem and it's a long-term problem. so i can tell you what we're doing today as applies to adjusting our posture both in places we operate from, the amount and position of forces, where we put it is important. that power in a place that matters with the right capabilities today is the
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deterrent factor. combine that with the exercising operations with our allies and partners presents a pretty good deterrent force today. on the capability side, in the mid and longer term, i appreciate that the department's support for some of the asks, and i highlighted a couple of them in my statement. so the ability to operate in contested space, consistently and survivablely as you highlighted in your statement, the ability to have persistent battle space awareness. >> i guess we kind of know that part. the question is, what does that mean? okay. so to do that we need to build this. and not build that. we need to develop this technology. we need to develop that technology. what's going to survive in that environment? what do we need to put our money in? >> yeah, integrated and resilient sustainable isr capabilities. a network that links all of that together and displays it for all forces on the battlefield in a consistent way and ultimately, the ability to
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close those kill chains with the correct weapons and fires. >> thank you, dr. ratner. >> mr. chairman, the only thing i would add is, in addition to the capabilities that admiral aquilino mentioned, we have the optional concept and more distributed force posture and building our allies and partners into the framework as well. we have to make sure we don't have a few big, rich targets. we need to have redundancy spread out so no matter what china does we can continue it communicate and operate. >> i would say the characteristics of the source that i described in opening statement are the ones that drive the capabilities, investments. lethality, resilience, sustainability. survivability and being agile and responsive, exactly as you describe, mr. chairman, in your opening statements. >> thank you, mr. rogers.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. general, never did get the answer to the chairman's question. who won the election or do we know the results? >> oh, when i came in here, congressman, i-- it's too close to call right now. so-- >> sounds familiar. [laughter] >> we've had that problem around here for a while. you talked about the stepped up testing by north korea. how does a maturing north korean missile capability affect your posture? >> ballistic missile defenses is a top priority, protection, making sure that admiral aquilino just brought up on isr, you know, typically we say isr is won now, but to me it's reverbs, making sure we can see what he's doing and can we get
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after a kill web to interdict, prevent it from, you know, from striking south korea or striking any u.s. interests in the region. >> do you have adequate isr, in your opinion? >> currently, i do. the challenge right now is placement and access, given the comprehensive military agreement between the republic of korea and the dprk. >> when you look at your posture and your responsibilities, what is the one thing that we could help you most with in addressing capabilities and issues? >> and one of the things that i'm always mindful of is the huge number of rocket launchers he has near seoul and how you would defend against that onslaught. >> yeah, there's two threats to that. there's the conventional threat, his long range
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artillery that can range seoul from the north and ballistic capability that he's developing. so, it's the patriot, thad, and making sure that we have the redundancy and the resiliency and the number of arrows, but to me, it more than just trading arrows for arrows. we've got to make sure we can get after the entire kill web to get into his systems and i can provide a much better description of this in a secure environment. >> i understand. well, we need to know because we want to give you what you need, so, get it to us in whatever fashion you need to. dr. ratner, we need to convince our allies and our partners that we're in the pacific for the long haul. i think that we on this committee, you know, genuinely mean that. how can we build that credibility in the region, in your view? >> thank you, sir.
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i think there are a few elements that we can do to ensure that the region believes that we're going to be there for the long haul. primarily, many of those occur outside the military domain and certainly the jurisdiction of the defense department, including active diplomacy and active trade and investment strategy and relationship in the region, the most important thing we could do. from a military perspective, i think maintaining our forward posture and continuing to invest. our alliances and working with partners on issues that are important to them, not just issues important to us are the right formula. >> great. and admiral, closing red hill is going to impact your operations. can you tell me or tell this committee how you intend to address that closure? >> thank you, sir. absolutely. as we look and developed options for senior leader decisions with regard to red
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hill. again, we had three criteria that we had to make sure we were getting right. number one, clean water for the people of hawaii, service members and their families and meet the war requirements and third, obviously look at costs and ensure we're good stewards of the taxpayers money. we developed a plan that actually goes in alignment how we talked about a more distributed plan both forward and land based. combined with a sea-based component to allow for a more distributed, survivable, resilient network of fuels as well as meeting the security and strategic fuel reserve requirements. so, as we looked at this, i think we're actually going to be a better place and we meet all three requirements as i laid out. >> what time frame is going to be needed to make this transition? >> congressman, i think we'll go in coordination with the
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members that are working this, that's the epa, the hawaii department of health, and the department of defense. we'll go as fast as safe allows. we have to make sure the facility is safe to transfer that fuel into the places we're going to send it, but we're certainly not waiting. as soon as we can get it done, we'll be ready to move and as soon as we're obviously to contract some of the other facilities, as well as the sea-based option. >> so you're not closing red hill until you have the new capability in place? >> we will close red hill, i think the secretary's announcement was within the year and that just allows us to be able to distribute that fuel with the contract requirements, the sea-based requirements, and the needs-- the need to put it in the correct spots. >> that's my point though, i want to make sure that you're going to be able to fuel your oil plans, when you close that place. >> yes, sir, we'll be able to do it and we'll be able to do
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it fairly quickly. >> that's all i have, mr. chairman. >> mr. larson is recognized for five minutes. >> thanks. thanks chair. admiral, earlier this year, the army began developing testing a tactical cloud system that would be deployed in the indo-pacific region. can you, in this setting, explain why that would be important for the indo-pacific? >> thanks, congressman. so first of all, the ability to make sure that our data is safe, secure, in a cyber environment is critical. so that's one portion of it. additionally, it's going to help to support one of our primary initiatives called the mission partner environment, which is the ability in a cyber safe environment, to share information with all of our partners, to be able to coordinate events, operations, exercises through a single capability mechanism. it really comes down to the ability to defend our
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information and our data. >> so, i want to build out from that for dr. ratner, and how-- because this gets to the importance of distance and closing through secure communications among friends and allies. building that for using that hub and spoke model that we used post world world war ii to build our friend and alliances in the indo-pacific. how are we going to assess what countries are, you know, earn their way into this communication network and into this one as well as the others we're trying to set up in that region? >> yeah, thank you, congressman larson and admiral aquilino may want to say another word on some of communications networks he wants to build in the region. i will say we're in careful analysis and consultation with their information security. both assessing them. helping them improve and clean up networks, and moving in ways
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that are deliberate and ensure that we're not building that network so fast that it's going to be compromised. so, this is something that we take quite seriously. prc penetration of networks throughout the region is quite severe and something we need to manage. >> admiral. >> yes, thanks. we're obviously concerned about everyone's networks, our own and all of our allies and partners. this mission partner environment, you know, allows us to work together with them, to be able to develop the maximum security that we have access to, and then align it with all of our partners, so, it's really kind of a two-wins here in this objective. >> yeah, let me take one more step on this conversation, dr. ratner. alludes to it. with china: prc is doing, in the last several years, we have talked about this and further last year, about the call to reorganize pla to include strategic support forces and so
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on this point, not to tell us what's in the budget, 22 years i realize that would be a waist of time to ask you for the budget got here. could you generally say, perhaps, that the budget investment reflects the need to be responsive to the development of what it's doing and what the pla is using the strategic support forces, as well as getting ahead of that. as well as the investments regardless whether or not it existed? >> congressman, without getting into details about the budget. i can assure you that the department is focused on the issues. we had an opportunity earlier this week to do a table top exercise with members of this committee in which we focused specifically on some of these areas, including space and cyber. and you'll see in the secretary's concept of
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integrated deterrent, which admiral aquilino mentioned. part of the rational, we ourselves need to be inter grating across the domain in space and cyber as we move across this competition. >> a little time left. have you-- if you can share this, given the unprovoked, puth's unprovoked invasion of ukraine. have you seen a difference in the russian force posture in their east? >> thanks, congressman. they pushed out 20 ships and submarines as we can count. they've placed them in defensive positions and postured other forces to be able to defend their eastern flank. so we absolutely have seen a change and we continue to monitor those like we do every day. >> thanks. i'll ask the question and take it for the record, but it has to do with india's ambivalent
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role relative to the u.s. security interests with regard to the ukraine. and in the pacific for the record. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. turner is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, in your written comments, you referenced the united kingdom and joint exercises that were held with both the u.s. and others, and you also mentioned that the f-35, i want to read to you the provision that's here in that. i have two questions with you, one is can you tell us about the partner nations outside the indo pacom and the role of the 35. you said u.k. demonstrated in the region, and queen elizabeth embarked u.s. and marine corps f-35. i assume we both had f-35's,
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escort ships from the netherland and the united states and you also cite the acquisition by the republic of korea for the f-35-a. can you tell us your work with other partner nations and the role of the f-35 in the area? >> thanks, congressman. the importance of the f-35 can't be overstated. when we talked in the beginning, that the prc has developed a set of systems of systems, in an attempt it keep the united states out of the pacific. the f-35, from the air domain is critical to be able to operate in that contested space. that fifth generation airplane with the highest technology available. >> you're reference, china's f-20. >> i'm referencing our f-35. >> when you reference china as a pure threat in the area, you're looking to their equipment as additional need for the f-35? >> yeah, absolutely, sir. they've begun production of the j-20, fifth generation of
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airplane, which ups the ante and with the capability of the f-35, that's why it's so critical. as it applies to being able to operate in that contested space, the technologies that come with that airplane allow it to happen. >> and then joint exercises, you reference the u.k. and netherlands? >> so when we talk about integrated deterrents, that's a pretty good example of one operation that we've done. the u.k., as you note, have built and have now deployed one of their aircraft carrier strike groups. we did an operation with seven nations. four big ships, the japanese provided one of their large deck ddh's, and the queen elizabeth was there and as well as the ronald reagan and the u.s.s. carl vincent and that was combined with all of our domain capabilities in terms of bombers, ground forces, cyber
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capabilities and space capabilities and worked together with seven nations. the netherlands, australian, canadians, and again, i think that the friends and partners outside of region also understand the importance of the region. and we see them operate with us hopefully more frequently. the french comes to the region most recently read about the germans deploying to the pacific. i'm hoping and working to get more of that and with those partners we operate with them all the time. >> my next question relates to exercises and also with republic of korea. general, you mentioned trying to get people out of the area because of restrictions with respect to exercises. as part of our 2021ndaa, and part of the pacific deterrents, an actual plan to be provided by your command admiral and in it, it listed exercises as one of the primary focusing goals, it also unfortunately includes
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information that your funding was cut for exercises in 2022. i'm aware that there have been, i believe, some overconcerns about the issues of provocation of exercises. when it's one of your primary goals of exercises and we know our partners that are in the region need exercises to be effective, what are we doing to ensure that the-- that we're able to conduct exercises in the region and that we're investing appropriatery and we're ensuring that the republic of korea has the ability to exercise without an overconcern of being provocative in the region? then i'll let all three of you answer that one. >> thanks, congressman. for the exercises, we do over 120 exercises every year. covid has impacted some of those, we've scaled some down. we've reduced or postponed some because of the covid piece. the bottom line, we haven't reduced any of the exercises.
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matter of fact when i met with the chiefs of the defense across the region recently in july, what we've agreed to is actually to try to expand those into more-- >> mr. secretary, do you have concerns about exercises in the region? >> congressman, i do share-- >> the gentleman's time expired, if you can finish in about 10 seconds, thank you. >> i would share admiral aquilino's view, i have concerns about the readiness of our forces on the korean peninsula and i know that's something that we're working on. >> the chair representative representative courtney for five minutes. >> thank you. and thank you to the witnesses for being here today. dr. ratner, david ignatius who has been covering foreign policies and military policy for many years, in terms of hard power, the alliance with australia and britain is the most important strategic moves in decade and congratulations to the administration for
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helping to make that come together. the response in australia, as you and i have discussed is very positive. 60% approval in public opinion polls. the governor announced that a few days ago that they are moving forward for an eastern navy base on the eastern side of australia to compliment sterling which is on the western side near perth. so they clearly -- it's all in and that's a long-term, that's a long game commitment that's there. and i know admiral caldwell, at naval reactors, is hard at work and it's a big job to figure out the industrial base challenge which is huge. in the meantime, there's another piece of this, helping the australian navy sort of make this transformation, and it seems to me and a number of us that, you know, having joint training at the nuclear power school in south carolina for australian sailors and officers, and we have to do it, why don't we start? it's a good visible, tangible
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way to really show, you know, our allies in the world that this is real, that it's not just a press release, you know, back in september. admiral, you're nodding, admiral aquilino. what's your thoughts on that? >> congressman, this is really an important set forward, i do concur with that. but i want to remember that the submarine piece is one portion of it. so we're cooperating in other doe mains-- domains, with the australians and brits in cyber and developing posture from there. i'll be in australia with good partners, to start on that space in cyber improvements. on the submarine piece, as you know, they're studying the best way to go forward. big decisions and they want to go about it methodically. i spoke to general-- or admiral caldwell last night. we're on the same page.
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as soon as they're ready to start, admiral caldwell is ready to start on schooling and to bridge, how do we operate together with australian on u.s.-british submarines. safety is clearly a concern about from admiral caldwell, but we are doing everything possible to move this as fast as possible. >> well, that's good to hear. and i think, certainly, this committee is going to do everything to enable the success of that in terms of whether there's i-tar issues or whether there's again, mcmahon act issues in terms of just clearing any legal obstacles. admiral, you talked about, again, the pivot away from red hill and the at sea component and sort of spot lights the importance of sea lift. again, in a few hours we're going to vote on omnibus, which adds 10 u.s.-flagged ships to the fleet. bringing to about 90. again, these are not new
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construction, these are used ships that are going to be u.s.-flagged with a stipend, and able to do that. and it still seems like it's still a big enterprise, you know, to have that dispersement which i think makes sense. can you talk about sea lift in terms of just sometimes overlooked in the grand strategy discussions. >> yes, sir, it's critical to the approach and the position to be able to be more distributed in many different locations, both ashore and at sea. you're talking about the sea-based component of that and i thank the committee for the support for the tsp, a great partner general von ost in her command in a previous study that there was risk with regard to the number and access to u.s.-flagged tankers. this is a great step to start in that direction and again, i believe it will contribute to the way forward on red hill. it's important across all sea
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lift not just fuel. >> can you comment on what sea lift means in terms of the north korean peninsula? >> yes, we've had this conversation, when does strategic become operational maneuver? at what point is he responsible for deliver to a certain point that i've got to secure it and bringing it in. now, there's tremendous capacity on the peninsula right now for the korean people, but we have to-- we're going to rely on japan to bring supplies in and forces and we're going to rely on sea lift and airlift to bring, to build our combat power for any crisis or conflict. >> thank you, mr. lambbert is recognized for five minutes. thank you, mr. chairman. secretary ratner in the last ndaa i offered language and the committee supported it asking for a report on asymmetrical defensive capabilities on the part of taiwan, ground-based
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anti-ship cruise missiles. ground-based cruise missiles and anti-ship mines and i believe that got caught up in a larger report request that the secretary is supposed to produce for this committee. and is that coming along satisfactorily? the importance of this report to make sure 0 our industry partners are producing these arlaments sufficiently and that they're getting into the hands of our taiwanese partners and friends. will that report be forth coming soon? . congressman, i'll have to check on the exact timing of the report. i was before this committee probably about six weeks ago and did an in depth, classified briefing on taiwan in particular and we discussed these, each of these capabilities in depth. the department is extremely focused on ensuring we can get these in the hand of taiwans, as quickly as possible and be happy to provide your office.
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>> thank you. admiral aquilino, there's a concern by us about hypersonic weapons, and how china, russia, north korea are doing what they can in this area. what are your concerns about their progress and what do we need to do better on our part? >> thanks, congressman. so the real concern is the speed and pace at which they're showing up. as you articulated. so, that's the issue. we have security challengers that are working towards capabilities that are challenging. we're getting after it through my number one unfunded request as articulated is a defensive system to get right after this issue. now, it's complex. we're coordinating with the department. but we need to be able to defend both our people, right,
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defend the homeland and that's the secretary's number one priority as well as the forces and where we place them to be able to operate. >> now, you mentioned guam. and you said it in your posture statement that guam's strategic importance is difficult to overstate. can you elaborate on that, please? >> absolutely, congressman. the area in the indo-pacific is expansive. half the globe and a lot of it water. so to be able to posture forces and places that matter with the right capabilities, we've focused on guam as a strategic hub, as you would expect. senator-- or excuse me, governor guerrero is a wonderful partner and a patriot and as you know, about 11 billion dollars worth of construction, as we work through posturing of our forces, that will end up on guam. so we have to protect it.
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>> and lastly, can you enlighten us regarding the department's progress and this is for secretary ratner. the department's progress and prioritization of missile defense funding for guam? >> yes, congressman. the department is currently in the final stages of the missile defense review which will layout strategy and priorities and that should be forth coming alongside the national defense strategy hopefully in the coming weeks. >> okay, new. that's all i have for now, mr. chairman, i'll yield back to you. >> thank you, mr. keating is now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. question, just two days ago, u.k.'s foreign minister said to parliament there in london that the reason that india abstained in the u.n. recently on the
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vote about russian aggression is quote, economic and defense oriented. could you enlighten any of us as to why, what areas of defense she could have been alluding to and what is your opinion on how is inability to vote at the u.n. in favor of condemning russian aggression, how that could be defense-oriented on their part? >> sure, thank you, congressman, i can start on that and there was a there was a reference earlier to this issue as well. what i would just start by saying is from the u.s. perspective if and india is an absolute essential partner as we think aboutin our strategy in bh in terms of how we are building coalition partners as well as dealing with potential adversaries. we recognize that india has a complicated history and
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relationship with russia that the majority of their weapons they buy from the russians. the good news is that they are in a multiyear process of diversifying their arms purchases away from russia. that will take some time. they are clearly committed to doing that. including i increasing the indigenous eyes nation of their own defense industry. that is something we should support. in terms of the overall relationship and their relationship with russia, the trend lines are moving the right direction. >> you know, advancing their own technology. i am particularly interested in unmanned underwater technology that they may have. can you talk to us about what they are doing and what you think we should be doing to expand our footprint in this kind of technology. >> thank you, congressman. as we have watched, this is the
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largest military buildup that we have seen since world war ii coming out of the prc. that includes all domains. it also includes all types of technologies. the congressman and i had a conversation yesterday about some of those. we should not be surprised to see them advancing their unmanned capabilities in all domains. we continue to watch it and we continue to have additional conversations at a classified level. >> is it an area where we ourselves are stepping up the game on? >> we absolutely are. as you know, we have been leading the path for unmanned spirit i think i saw the cnl last week talk about a fleet that includes manned and unmanned. as you know we already operate other types of unmanned domain. it's an opportunity we have to continue to explore and expand.
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>> thank you again, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you. recognized for five minutes. >> thank you for joining us today. i want tou, go back a year when admiral davidson was here. he talked about the erosion of strategic deterrence in that region and how incredibly important that is to make sure that we keep the chinese out day. i know that you spoke about the battle force as it exists today with the pla navy with approximately 350 ships and submarines and more than 130 of those are major surface you also spoke about having a fleet of 420 battleships. by 2030, probably about 460 ships. that is very, very different than the course we are wrong
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with the number of ships that we have. not just the number of ships we are building, but also the ace elbow. operational availability for the ships we have. often times it is extended or time at sea extended so we are wearing them out faster because we are double pumping them on deployments. from your perspective, if we are unable to accelerate and maintain the vessels that we have, to have a high level of ace elbow, operational availability, what do you think will be the primary risks going forward in the next five years? >> thank you, congressman. you highlight one of the things that we are watching very ndclosely. capability and capacity of the security challengers inng the region as it compares to our spirit let me start by saying we still have the world's greatest
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navy. we need to maintain and keep that advantage. there are a variety of ways that you can get to it. the cnl just the other day talked about the unmanned capacity and how does that plug-in. in regards to the ace elbow, through the global forest management system were operating through a supply base model. that accounts for the sustainability in the near, mid and long-term aspects. we have operated in the construct and we have to continue to watch the capability and capacity differences. >> to take that a step further, not just u.s. capability and capacity and presence in the asia-pacific, but also the ability for us to leverage much more in-depth relationships with friends and allies in the region. it's a bigat place. lots of d things to do. if we don't have friends i can help us in certain ways, our
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risk calculus becomes much much more complex. getting your perspective about what you think we need to be doing, and i would love to hear doctor ratner's thoughts on this. how we work with allies, like japan, like vietnam, like australia, i wanted to get a sense about how we do that. how do we get to the point where we are not just having that relationship on paper. that has to be manifested and how we operationalize that agreement. the highest level so that if something does happen, you talk about and communicate those sorts of things. >> i concur. you don't just come together and operate. over 120 exercises a year. all of the got together in our discussions. the intent was we needed to increase complexity of these to
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be able to be interoperable enter dependable. some examples, we just finished with the japanese. my partner general and i met every day for 10 days and coordination with our forces. really important spirit very high-end. as we sit here today, the army and the marine corps both on the ground in i the philippines andn thailand. those relationships are solid. the largest maritime exercise on the planet. i think over 27 nations coming together. we have increased the complexity every c year. those are the big ones. on the small front, every day we come together, if we come in contact with our allies and partners, we will ensure that we can quickly come together, be instantly interoperable and work together at any point any time. that is the approach that we have taken.
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>> doctor ratner. >> we have a very wide spectrum of partners. some of which we operate at a very high level. others which -- and i do apologize, your time has expired. i should have said that upfront. five minutes is the limit and then we move on to the next member. we will have to take that last piece for the record. mr. kim is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i wanted to talk to you about allies and partners. the importance of what is happening in the asia pacific. we've seen in the european theater right now what allied partners mean when it comes to the response of ukraine. i feel like it is an important moment to take a step back and engage what it means. especially when it comes to the prc. just talking about india for instance.
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you talked about some of the challenges there when it comes to the relationship with russia. do you feel like that is moving in a better direction? do you assess that india is the reliable partner that we need? are there any concerns on your end about india moving forward, in terms of their actions when we will need them in the future? >> congressman, i perceive the u.s. india defense relationship as one with incredible momentum. we will hold our highest most senior level engagement with them in early april. that is two plus two. that meeting will discuss a number of activities that not only are unprecedented, but the kinds of things i would have been unimaginable 10 years ago or even five years ago. obviously, there are challenges with the relationship with india, but i think that they are
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manageable and we are moving forward very rapidly and deepening t partnership. having that dialogue to exercise the what is the means for the allies and partners under direct spirit what does it mean to have this a tested? in the events of conflict, i wanted to ask you what specifically are the object of spirit coming to fruition when it comes to our allies and parks. a how do we test what that would look like under those types of fstrains that we see right now n europe. >> congressman, it is obviously a very context dependent question. in the case of india, we have seen a test case of this in ther last several years when indians were facing aggression on the lines of china actual control where thehe united states provid
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capabilities and intelligence in the context of trying to improve trust in the nature of the defense relationship. that was ans defining moment. this is about them being ready to support our efforts but also us being ready to support their spirit this is precisely the kind of conversation we are having an up political military levello. >> with the arrangement that we have when it comes to our partnerships in the pacific, am i correct. none of these have any military requirements in the case that any of these other members get attacked. doing what we can with nato. is that correct? >> neither the quad is a mutual defense treaty. we do d have mutual defense treaties bilaterally in the indo pacific that are akin to nato. >> when we were talking about, you know, some of the situations
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that may have occurred, the one we have talked about most is chinese aggression upon taiwan. i wanted to ask what your confidence level is that partners inie the allies we have in the indo pacific. now stepping up in the way that we need. >> congressman, again, that varies from partner to partner. i'm confident that some of our closest partners would be with us in a taiwan contingency. >> in terms of the overall, i guess trajectory in the health of our partnerships in the region, how would you graded the i'd like to get a sense of your baseline right now and what were trying to get towards. >> congressman, strengthening our alliance and partnership has been an absolute centerpiece. in the indo pacific i think we have made considerable strides including building upon the progress that was made during asthe trump administration. partner after partner after
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partner, i see relationships that are stronger than they've ever been in that are on an upward trajectory. >> mr. chairman, i willl yield back. >> thank you. mr. scott is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. i want to start with you. the illegal fishing from china is not limited, it goes all the way around africa. general townsend had suggested that the illegal fishing in africa would lead to political unrest. is there a legal fishing, is not about money or is it because they need the fish to feed their people? >> both. an industrial interest as well as protein for their citizens. >> okay. >> i want to point out to you that, and i hope that the biden administration is paying attention to this, i hope we are all paying attention to this. ukraine imports 50 million
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metric tons of corn and wheat. over a fourth of that goes into the indo pacific region in asia. i think that we need to do some type of analysis on what the disruptions look like when that food is no longer hitting the global supply. they would normally be planting their crops right now. i think that it is unlikely that that food supply comes as a global network for terminology. i do think that they need to be looking at a reduction in what that means for their particular area spirit their two primary sources of belligerence in this world right now. they are russia and china.
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admiral at the end of world war ii, soviet union blamed they owned the carrero islands. my understanding was they belong to japan. the dispute has been going on for years. not one that is talked about much. i do think that it is important that we own territories that we talk about all of them. can you speak to what the united states can do to assist our japanese ally again in that territory? is this sovereign russian territory or do these islands belong to japan? >> oisir, i'm going to defer tht first part to secretary ratner. u.s. does not take policy or osposition on who owns what. what we would like to do is ensure that any of those disputes are taken peacefully and in accordance with international law. there are multiple disputes. the japanese are also worried
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about the islands to the south. and, you know, there are hundreds of disputes throughout the south china sea. the position is to ensure a peaceful resolution of those disk units in accordance with international law. i don't't know if secretary ratr has anything else. >> let me move to another area then. china is responsible for the majority, if not an extremely significant portion of the drugs coming into the world. what is the biden administration doing to stop the chinese and the fentanyl that's coming into the world that seems to be unrestricted by the chinese government? >> congress, that is outside of the purview of the defense department, but i will be sure to get you an answer to that. >> all right. >> germany and other countries
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have been resistant to increasing their defense spending. d japan is one of our allies that has been spending about 1.3% of its gdp on defense. what we see in countries like jajapan based on the recent aggression from russia, are we seeing them move to increase their defense spending the way we see in germany and others recognize the current threats? >> congressman, we will see. i know they are current discussions on that. in tokyo, these are obviously sensitive issues given some of their constitutional issues and otherwise. clearly, a threat and challenge for the prc. >> i think as we see increased spending from those that share our interests and values as americans, i think that we need to make sure that we are coordinating with them so that we get the most for the dollars that are spent. with that, chairman, i yield the
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remainder of my time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. doctor, could you briefly describe the united states role in the 1962 border conflict between china and india under president kennedy. >> congressman, i'll have to get back to you on that. >> supporting india in that conflict. and then when there was a border conflict in the june of 2020 when china violated the line of control. could you briefly describe the united states role at that point? >> yes, congressman, i was not in the seat at the time. as i recently mentioned the united states did rapidly
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provide certain intelligence and capabilities. >> did russia do anything to protect india when china was violating the line of control, to your knowledge? >> not to my knowledge. >> did russia to your knowledge do anything to protect india 1972 when china violated the line of control? >> congressman, i would be happy to get back to you on that. >> to my knowledge they did not. both timesre when there has been an order of dispute with india and china, it's united states actually that is come to nds defense. why india has abstained three times from the security council. unwilling to condemn putin's on provoked aggression into ukraine. do you. have a view on this and has it been raised at the highest level of the indian
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government? >> congressman, i know that we have been engaging with indian leadership about this issue and as i mentioned earlier, in response to a question, we are aware that india has a long historyco and security partnersp with the russians. they receive a majority of their weapons from russia historically and it's something that they have been working hard to wean themselves from. they can speak on their own exact decision-making on this. >> 60% of weapons from russia. let me ask you this. do you think the united states or russia is more likely to come to nds defense if the chinese were likely to invade. >> the united states,s, congressman. >> has appellees been made to india? >> congressman, we are in deep strategic conversations about the future of our partnership. we have our most senior level
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dialogue with the indians next month. they will have an opportunity to speak with their counterparts about theseti critical issues. >> what is the plan to get off the 60% reliance on russian arms and how fast can that happen if they wanted to switch getting weapons from the united states european allies. >> this is a sovereign decision for the indians. what we are encouraging them to do is to purchase more americana capabilities as you mentioned. work with other third parties. europeans and others and improve their own and dig in eyes asian sector. those trends together are l already together. a particular day on the calendar for when they reach is there an?
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>> putting aside what their own decision-making is, how quickly could this happen? we want to switch as fast as possible. what is a reasonable target saying they wanted to do it. >> i'm happy to get a more precise answer. the pacific capability all the llway up to much higher and capabilities. >> i appreciate that. i will conclude by saying that i think that it is obvious that the united states would stand against chinese aggression on the line of control far more than russia or putin would get we really need to press india to not be as dependent on russian defenses. to be willing to condemn putin's aggression in ukraine just like we would condemn chinese aggression beyond the line of
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control. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> doctor ratner, the tension between chinese and taiwan as we know the world is watching ukraine and russian conflict as we speak. last october, president biden made headlines when asked whether the united states would come to taiwan's defense of china attacked and the president sireplied in the affirmative and said we have a commitment to do that. is this the department's official position on the perspectiveec of the china taiwn conflict? >> congressman, the department's position is that the united states policies have not changed in terms of our one china policy the three joint communications in the six assurances are the foundation of our policy. >> okay. a lot of people seem to have
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mixed feelings about what exactly theho united states shod be doing in ukraine. what is our commitments there? contrast our response in ukraine to what it would look like in china. we know that china has been unpredictable and probably expedited and most of what we predicted about their capabilities and their advancement of their military forces with that in mind, if we see an unfortunate escalation in that region, what would americans expect to see in our response there versus what they see in our response to ukraine at this point? >> congressman, we could spend all day talking about the differences and the molarity is between ukraine and taiwan had and there are some of both. what i would say is when i look at the conflict in ukraine, the
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lessons that i draw are the importance of taiwan developing its own capabilities. that is something that we are working withh them on. the power of the unity of the left in the international community coming together around this kind of aggression is an important signal to aggressors in the pacific. also, some of the economic measures that the united states and others have been willing to take to raise costs on russia in this instance is also an important lesson. >> admiral, on that same line, what can we do to learn from if there were mistakes in ukraine. what can we learn from that and how can we better prepare deterrence from attacking taiwan in terms of what do you need for defense and what can we do better? >> thank you, congressman. similar to what the secretary
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articulated i, this is a real wake-up. there was a surprise over in europe. i think that, number one, we have to look at this and say, hey, this could happen. i haden a sense of urgency to execute the mission which is to prevent this conflict. it goes back to what we talked about before. there is some posture and initiatives. we need to be more forward. we need to be more robust. thatpa capability forward is the best way today. >> do we need to enhance their defense capabilities now? >> absolutely, sir. that is something that we are doing at every opportunity. >> let me finish with the disturbing aspects of china's modernization and specifically hypersonic spirit going into the nda cycle, what do you need and what you would be focusing on in terms of research and
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development in terms of us building both offensive and defensive hypersonic capabilities? >> the guam defense system is the number one priorities as i put the unfunded list. that is, on the defensive side. in order to deter the defense of component andpo the offense of component. some of our long-range capabilities are also critical to ensure that we have both of those capabilities to deter. >> i have just a few seconds. my first question, on what would it look like did not get answered. if the conflict did arise entire on. it is different than what we do for ukraine.
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>> before i recognize representative bolton, there is a vote on the floor of the house. 4000 people left to vote. a motion to adjourn. we will continue per the chairs instructions. the chair recognizes for five minutes. >> thank you. do you agree with the marine corps strategy to maintain pressure on china in the pacific >> yes, congressman, ideal. as a part of deterrence against that competitor, it will take the entire joint force. i credit both the commandant as well as the chief of staff of the army to adjust their forms for the regimen concept to be able to be expeditionary forward and provide support from the land component. >> do y you think the navy has
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adequately resourced it? >> the department of the navy? i know they are moving very quickly.y. >> the marine corps feels like you don't have enough amphibious shipping devoted to this. when the navy does their planning for this, they have used a readiness factor of 80%ai availability. the marine corps looks at historic operational availability which is more like 63%. it's beenue about 43%, literall, half of the planning number that you used in the past year. so, i'm not sure how we square the wheel here. >> thanks, congressman. i'll go back and see where they believe that they are. the initial set up of the marine flook to oral regimen is self deployable as they work through -- >> i understand that. doctor ratner, how do you plan
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to help solve this agreement. it is pretty fundamental. we do not need to leave marines stranded on pacific islands because we don't have enough shipping. >> congressman, it's an important point. these are important capabilities. i know they are beginning to stand up. >> how do you plan to resolve the dispute. it seems like a fundamental disagreement if we don't have enough ships. >> i'd be happy to get back to you and that context. >> just going back to you, 20 years ago, china had the largest land army in the world. a cold war relic. we barely paid it any mind because we were not concerned about its effectiveness. hayou probably took some solacen the fact that china was spending so much money to maintain it. they have radically transformed their military. rather than making investments they cut it. making investments in intelligence and commuting.
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they were probably invented and manufactured in china. they clearly lead us in a lot of these areas. i do you believe that the navy is transforming itself quickly enough to meet this rapidly transforming threat? >> thanks, congressman. i have a sense of urgency and we need to move faster. i do believe that the navy has been focused as the primary challenger. there are some things that certainly could move faster. >> i appreciate that answer. they have not been enough leaders that you do need to move more quickly. if the chinese attack us with an enabled force and an economist weprin system, we need that with american manned alternatives, this is a highly theoretical question. >> you are aware in a recent
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assimilation if he wanted the air force's top f-16 pilots five-zero. maybe navy pilots are that much better. that is not a good statistic. >> yes, sir, i have heard of that but i'm unfamiliar with the details of the scenario or how it's applied. >> i think we all need to be familiar with these details because this is the fight of the future. if the chinese beat us because they are more willing to invest in the town of his capabilities and it proves that the autonomous capabilities p are me effective than our manned force as much as we love our manned force, we'll be on the side of that equation. >> making the largest ever investment in research and development and testing and evaluation on these advanced
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abilities. tjust last month. what percentage of the budget is that, doctor ratner. >> i don't't know the percentage off that he had it would be interesting to know what china is investing in these w capabilities. we are transforming our force quickly enough. >> the chair recognizes for five minutes representative kelly ofe mississippi. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my first question, we are in march already, can you guys tell me the true impact that these continuant crs that we do all the time have your ability to maintain readiness and what equipment do you have or don't have specifically in this current fiscal year. what deprivations has it caused you? >> thank you, congressman. i articulated the need for predictable and sustained
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budgets. again with china being a near, mid and far term problem. there's a ton of loss of buying power as it applies to the crs. those impacts are well known. from my perspective, though, it also prohibits any new starts. when ihe talk about the guam defense system and our ability to link our ranges, those are three top priorities that we are unable to start on based on that impact. >> general, real quickly. >> it is the same, sir. we've had challenges with some maintenance issues. i will keep stomping my foot until some of these people around here listen to me and understand that the disastrous consequences it has for our department of defense and all of our agencies, but especially the department of defense. i want to talk a little bit about fleet management and especially when we are talking
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about the ability to resupply net region. they have been flown and gone to that region. it is a long haul. what things, if you could ask, what do we need to get fuel, supplies, troops, equipment, all of those things to make sure we can have a steady flow of equipment to maintain any type of defense whether it be in korea or taiwan or japan or any of our allies in the region. >> thank you, congressman. the nature of the posture we are talking about, working with our allies and partners to be able to set up places for exercise and interoperability as well as logistic support is critical across this broad area. additionally on the airlift side, we need to make sure that we can both sustain it and keep it deliverable. dthe tsp programs that the congressmen talked about before
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was really a good first step looking at the refueling piece. we need to look through that lens for all capabilities. >> i am a an army guy. so we always forget. we don't really plan on that. and then we missed by two hours because we did not plan on that. i think that our logistical chain to that regioneg specifically, we've got to pay attention on the left side of war, not the right side of war. otherwise we will find out what the russians are fighting in a very hard way right now. my next question is, and, either of you all, do we have the right ships and types of ships and number of ships to do an indo pacific plan. do we have the right ships, combat ships to execute this? >> as i said before, absolutely. i am concerned about the growing
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capacity of the competitors in the region. so we will have to continue to look at that. >> and then, i guess my final thing is double tapping. we are much better ally for india and i hope that the administration and everyone working know they are are working as hard as they can to convince them that we are there best ally and we will be their friend in a time of need. whatever we can do to hurry that along. what other allies in the region, admiral, are we not exercising that we could exercise better? whether it's vietnam or the philippines that we used to have a great relationship, not so much right now. what othern countries in the region can we get something four. >> congressman, thanks. we engage with all of them. but, the specific focus on the
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five mutual defense treaty alliances, we are doing a lot with those teams. those are relationships that are critically important as well as the other multinational relationships that are in our region. the trilateral relationship of the u.s. japan korea is extremely important as we have identified the quad and. continuing to strengthen those and others. >> your time is expired. >> thank you. my first series of questions is really rapidfire short answer questions because i want to spend the most time on the last question. yesterday the director testified that russia does not want to direct conflict with the united states. in your opinion, if ukraine was a nato member, do you think russia would have attacked ukraine? >> congresswoman, again, i think
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that that is a better question for general walters since it's out of my ao are. >> this is not necessarily an opinion question, but does the president have authority to put service numbers on the ground without coming to congress for authorization. >> again, some of that is a policy issue.ol i would differ that to general walters. >> in your military opinion, is it easier to rappel or stop an invasion in progress rather than to come back later and try to expel in occupying force? >> boy, i wish i could give you a yes or no. this one is really complex. i will tell you my opinion is it would be very difficult to remove a force. >> okay. do you think that china wants a direct conflict with the united states? >> everything that has been articulated by china is that
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they would prefer or are working towards a peaceful resolution across the strait. i also believe that they said that they have not ruled out the use of force. again, while i do not have the ability to inject their calculus, my task has been to be ready should they choose the latter. >> with regards to taiwan, does the abilityct to act quickly to deter an invasion make a difference to you as the commander? >> it absolutely does which is why the posture we have talked about is so important for forces in the region. >> if china invaded taiwan, how long doho you think congress wod take the authorization of the use of military force. 140 nautical miles across the strait. do you think that they could do iit in the time necessary for u to react? >> congresswoman, again, i would never volley a question to the
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chairman, but based on that question on how fast congress would react -- >> okay. in my three plus years here, i don't think we could react that quickly. do you think the united states will defend taiwan with u.s. forces? if they were to use force against taiwan. >> i think that t i would take that for a classified conversation. it happens today n invasion of taiwan without seeking authorization of congress. >> i will differ that one is a policy question to secretary ratner. >> okay. perhaps we can follow up on that. i want to get to the last part of this. this has been a debate that i think has been elevated recently the united states changed its policy towards taiwan to a policy of strategic clarity, i guarantee it would come to the
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defense of taiwan to maintain the status quo. would this be a deterrent to china? >> i think as this conversation continues, ifo i were to look at the alternative between strategic ambiguity and strategic clarity, there are some belief that it would be a deterrent and there are some that would believe it would be an accelerant. i think that it is worthwhile, a deep thoughtful conversation as we look at that option. i think that there are pros and cons to both, but we ought to look very closely. >> okay.n i know you did not fully understand the earlier question. china thinks that the united states will come to the defense of taiwan. and you described they are sort of two camps in the strategic clarity, strategicic ambiguity, can you explain why it would be viewed as a provocative act for
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us to provide clarity to say the united datest will come to the clarity of the united states to maintain status quo. >> i would say that based on the one china policy and the prc's articulation of the importance, in thec academic world, any movement towards the independence of taiwan would bet feud very strongly by the prc. >> i think this is a very important debate. a debate that we need to be having now. >> recognized for five minutes. >> if the president came to you and said, my top national security concern is preventing a pla invasion of taiwan. i think that it will happen in the next five years.
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but i'm having trouble understanding how and whether the bureaucracy is executing my top priority. i need your help developing some metrics. help me understand it for making progress. thanks i could ask every morning whether we dealing xy and z. those top measurable metrics, what would you do in that scenario? >> we tried to do it all the time. the assessment of where you sit is really complex. there are a ton of variables. army postured in the right places? i would try to do that type of measurement. it could be missiles, could be
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ships, what are the most important things? the president needs to be trackingng to gauge our process. >> i think, again, i don't want to make it -- well, first of all, it is really complex as i see it. i cannot just say x missiles compared to why missiles and we are good. it's aab capabilities of those missiles. the survivability. the abilityd to understand the target that you are going after. so that is why go back to it would be a comparison of how do i execute compared to the challenge and each domain. giving me a decent sense and we try to a do that all the time. >> your first response was basinger access. as i look at your ao are i see a lot of u.s. flag possessions. american samoa, if we were to invest in hardening these
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territories, how would that contribute towards your ability. >> it would absolutely allow us to both move further forward. west of the international dateline. in place with the right capabilities to be effective. it gets to the agile logistic ease that many of the members brought up. s the ability to sustain forward such a long way from home. it is one of our asymmetric advantages. we are seeing at play in ukraine. nobody else that can do what we have done. looking at what would happen in the middle east, it is a critical advantage and we have to continue to mold it. that posture directly contributes to that. >> we started to simplify complex reality. we could measure the extent to which wehe are hardening our possessions or getting access agreements where we do not currently have them. in terms of that latter issue, what is at the top of your priority list in terms of what you need to access that we do
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not currently have? >> it's not necessarily where we don't have, it's to where we may want to expand. i could start with the five treaty allies which are criticallyly important. japan we are in a good place and we have to maintain those places the philippines critically strategic terrain and we need to expand in the philippines. we are expanding in australia as the secretary talked about. thailand also importance. we have logistic support there from our ally. new places. india. working towards logistic support in india and additional cooperation that's been articulated. singapore. we have three ships they are in a logistic site. to expand is the focus. >> another thing we could measure quite easily is what the taiwan's are buying and investing. what you want, to questions, what do you want them to buy and
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would a security systems program similar to what we have in ukraine beyond foreign military sales, help you accomplish your mission of defending taiwan. >> yes, sir. it left out korea earlier becaue i don't want to step on my buddies toes. a critical treaties ally. the people of taiwan bought 100 harpoon systems. the focuswa there, we need to gt them there quickly. the other capabilities are we need to make sure that we have programs and ability. whatever mechanisms that can be delivered to produce those and deliver them more quickly under the current environment would be helpful. >> time has expired. itrecognized for five minutes. >> thank you for being here today. i would like to thank you for
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calling me two days ago to share the decision and shut down the storage facility in hawaii. admiral, real simple. do i have your commitment to work with myself and the congressional delegation to make sure it is safely diff you alt and the time you are set forth by secretary austin? >> yes, congressman. >> specifically developing regional partnerships. answering a question from my colleague about sustaining that posture forward i understand that you are justin -- earlier this year. contract negotiations with our other freely negotiated states. the u.s. national security policy and our compacts with them address economic assistance very important to these nations. continuing that is important as
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a national security matter. also, a moral matter and light of our shared history and the continued role that our nation plays in the defense. given the strategic importance to our country, how important is it that these agreements arete expeditiously greeted before they expire and what is the dispositionn on investing in their critical infrastructure such as the compact role which into disrepair. >> the agreement of the compact free association team is really important. i do want to highlight that the lead for that event is the state department supported by department of the interior. a dod representative on it, but it is critical. these are areas that we have people to people ties. we are responsible for the
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defense of those nations. owe need to work through these. they become renegotiation. it needs to be done and 23. dod is supporting that event. it would be critical to get those agreements worked through as soon as possible. >> any thoughts on the investment and critical infrastructure? is it advisable to improve runways in these countries as well as their very important deepwater seaport for the u.s. military? >> absolutely. as a part of the posture improvements in distribution we have talked about, there are many of those that are on our list. the marine corps actually extended one of the runways based on our own capabilities to start some of that work. others we can deal with other funds appropriated and we continue to work to improve those places.
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>> thank you for the answer. the white02 house strategy document highlights the importance of building connections within and beyond the region. people to people exchanges. what are some of the soft power support systems and institutions that can help support this national security requirement? >> thank you, congressman. i would defer to the state department and other agencies on specific programs. we are certainly looking to build economic linkages, people to thank pink -- people to peope linkages. people to people exchanges that are necessary to build capacity and expertise in the region. and its challenges. the dod can dedicate more resources to these types of professional exchanges and that's within the pacific island
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region and that is duly warranted. >> congressman, happy to get back to on the resource question. as a matter policy and strategy it's in our interest for those types of relationships. >> thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you for the dedication aired india is the world'snd largest democracy, america is tthe largest democracy. my father served their during world war ii. i developed a great fondness for the people of india. the success of india america. it's become shocking that such a great country has abstained on the issues of the mass murder in ukraine aired i'm concerned a lot of this is because of foreign military sales in the
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different technicalities and whatever. what is being done to address issues to make sure what is already been brought up of their fondness for india that we are not their main support of military which is in the interest of the people of india and the people of the indo pacific. >> congressman wilson, we've had a chance to talk about it this morning. we share the view of the relationship 100%. we understand and recognize we have a long complicated history and security partnership with the russians. they been systematically diversifying away from that. we've been engaging with them to purchase more u.s. systems, more european systems and develop their own indigenous capabilities as well. i think that the trend lines are in the right direction.
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>> it just seems so unnatural. the relationship with the prime minister should be with the united states. b not in any way associated by way of extension by putin and putin's war. again, i saw our colleagues, democrats, senate republicans that there would be an extension by the great company of india. i appreciate the questions from grcongressman gallagher concerng the defense of taiwan. others serving the flying tigers having a great affection for the people of china. anand out of that i have such an appreciation. my concern is for chinese lives, taiwanese lives. we haves. got to build up the defenses. i like the concept of a porcupine. that it would just be not in the
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interest of the ccp to attack taiwan. the different levels of equipment, you did, too and i appreciate that if which is being purchased. should we look into a land lease just as we provide a land lease to stop the nazi siege which was successful for the people of russia that some of them have forgotten. but a land lease as being proposed for ukraine to defend from russian or putin aggression aired should we look for that to expedite to providing military equipment to taiwan. >> congressman we are currently in the process of evaluating all tools and authorities possible to expedite the provision of the necessary capabilities to taiwan to reinforce the type of deterrence you are talking
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about. >> general, i had the extraordinary opportunity in 2003. i am the only person left to have been on that delegation to the prk. north korea. and, the comparison, if you ever want the greatest comparison between free-market capitalism and socialist totalitarianism, obviously, itri is the korean peninsula. the success of south korea. i saw the village, sadly, the horror of the people subject to totalitarianism. this is a dictatorship that had been set up by joseph stalin and now we are in the third generation. i t share the concern of congressman turner and others about the artillery capability, particularly against soul. how could this be addressed. >> thank you, congressman.
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part of it is it will be addressed enclosed air support. how we would strike against it. but he does not just have the long-range, he has a 360 threat to the peninsula right now whica is concerning. >> i share that concern about the great territory of guam. >> your time has expired. >> thank you. you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for joining us today. touching on the conventional capabilities that china is talking about. the threat in the gray zone. allies of ours are to quick for an adversary or too quick to swallow. i've kind of discusses about
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regular warfare. i think that it is very crucial training. n the special operation forces to collaborate with allies in regular warfare and where can we further deepen or expand the regular worker programs with them in the indo pacific? >> maybe i will defer to talk a little bit about some of the work wef are doing with partners currently in the region. >> thank you,gi congressman. as you know, we do many j sets. the command is extremely valuable. it is in many, many countries. yworking to improve training capability and to support their special operation forces. at this point, i don't believe i need additional authorities. you don't believe you need additional authorities. to be more pacific do we have the authority to do joint training with vietnam, for example. >> we do.
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to do our exercises and training, absolutely. >> okay. admiral, you described these initiatives, the first step, maintaining a robust posture in the indo pacific region must be one of those priorities. i look forward to leaving next month to conduct oversight of defense equities. sharing your perspective in this unclassified forum.ou what do you see as the biggest gap in the region. what steps should we take to keep it for northeast asia to the really associated states. >> thank you, congressman. i look forward to meeting you and hosting in person. .... .... about before, this persistent battle space awareness is enabled by all domain isr, and while from what we've watched over the past 20


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