tv Admiral Harry Harris Says U.S. Must Remain a Credible Deterrent to North... CSPAN April 26, 2017 10:01am-12:35pm EDT
media really ticks me off. the way they try to embarrass me by not editing what i say. well, let's get things going or i'll never get to bed. >> thank you, mark. i'm absolutely delighted to be here. >> you can see the rest of that event on our website at cspan.org. we'll leave it here to go live now to capitol hill for a hearing on -- with the head of the u.s. pacific command admiral harry harris. this is just getting underway. >> recent weeks have witnessed provocative words and actions from the north korean regime. we're all concerned that the decades of self-imposed isolation of north korean leaders and especially the cruel erratic behavior of its current
leader make confrontation potentially more likely. in my view, we must work even more closely with our key allies, japan and the republic of korea. we much continue to encourage china to help put north korea on a different path and we must increase our military presence and capability in the region, enhance missile defense is essentially important. of course, none of us wants another military conflict on the korean peninsula. we must also remember the lessons of the past. as written in this kind of war, storm signals have been flying for more than four years but the west did not prepare for trouble. it did not make ready because its peoples in their heart of hearts did not want to be prepared. end quote. well, whether we want it or not,
we have to be prepared. of course, north korea is not the only concern in the area, china continues to build islands in the south china sea and to militarize them. the future direction of the philippines is unclear and we're moving toward a closer relationship with new and developing allies like vietnam. all of this and more are on the plate of our paycom commander, admiral harry harris whom we're pleased to welcome today. i'll yield to mr. smith for any comments he'd like to make. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for being here. i agree with the chairman's comments about the importance of the region. u.s. presence in that region has never been more important. our presence working with our allies can be a calming influence in what is a very unstable place as the chairman described. most disturbing, and most concerning obviously is north korea.
i would say i don't care -- i don't think we're ignoring it this time. this is not like the first korean war, there's been a great deal of attention paid to this problem in north korea for several administrations. that's helpful. the number one biggest thing we need is a clear deterrent to north korea. we're not going to made kim jong-un a leader. nor will we stop them from having some military capability. we are aware that they've already developed a nuclear bomb. but the one thing we can do is make it clear that we stand with our allies in the region with south korea and japan in particular. and we will be a credible deterrent to any military action in north korea . that's the most important thing to do is make it clear that kim jong-un that if he does anything, we have the power and the will to respond and destroy him. because the only positive thing
i can think about north korea is there is no evidence that the regime is suicidal. they don't want to be taken out. so we have to make sure we maintain a credible deterrent. and china fits into this as well. china wants increased influence in asia and on a certain level that's understandable. they are a growing power. they want to have influence. but we need to work with them to make sure that influence is for positive instead of for ill. and north korea is a very, very good place to start. they could be more helpful than they have been being in calming those tensions and it's in their best interest. they don't want war to break out in north korea anyone than anybody else was. there are a lot of challenges, i'll just close by saying i think there are also a lot of opportunities. the chairman alluded to some of those. we have a lot of allies in the region and a lot of those relationships are growing.
i would also mention -- well, not sure -- india and south asia is certainly an ally and one that could become even more so. australia, there are a lot of countries in that part of the world that want to work with us and give us an opportunity to work together to make that place in the world a more peaceful place. i look forward to the admiral's testimony. i thank him for his leadership and attendance today. >> admiral, again, thank you for being with us. you're recognized for any comments you'd like to make. >> thank you, sir. thank you chairman, representative smith and distinguished members. it's an honor for me to appear again before this committee. there are many things to talk about since my last testimony 14 months ago. i do regret i'm not here with my testimony battle buddy, commander brooks. i think you'll agree he's where he's needed most right now on the korean peninsula. unfortunately that means my opening statement will be a tad
longer. thank you for your reference to the book, this kind of war, which is on the pay com reading list. i requested my written statement be submitted for the record. >> admiral, without objection, it will be part of the record. i have to say, not to you, but to other folks, we got in about 9:00 last night. which means nobody's read it, as well as general brooks' statement. again, not directed to you, but to all of the layers that such written statements have to go through, they need to be more timely for this committee if they're going to be relevant to our hearing. if it's just putting words down on paper, then, fine. but we need to do better in the future. and i needed to say that, again, not directed to you, but at those who seem to not have a sense of promptness.
without objection, so ordered. please continue. >> i have the privilege of leading 375,000 sailors, airman, coast guardmens serving our nation around the globe. they're doing an amazing job. and thanks to them america remains a security partner of choice in the region. that's important because i believe that america's future security and economic prosperity are indelibly link today the endo asia pacific region and it's a region that's poised at a strategic nexus where opportunity meets challenges of north korea, china, russia and isis. it's clear to me that isis is a threat that must be destroyed now. the main focus of our coalition's efforts is rightfully in the middle east and north africa. as we eliminate isis in these areas, some of the surviving fighters will likely repatriate to their home countries in the
endo asia pacific. they'll be radicalized and weaponized. we must eradicate isis before it grows. there is north korea which remains the most immediate threat to the security of the united states and our allies in the endo asia pacific. this week, north korea threatened australia with a nuclear strike. a powerful reminder to the entire international community that north korea's missiles point in every direction. the only nation to have tested nuclear devices in this century, north korea has vigorously pursued an aggressive weapons test schedule with more than 60 ballistic missile events in recent years. with every test, kim jong-un moves closer to his stated goal of a preemptive nuclear strike against u.s. cities. he's not afraid to fail in pull. defending our homeland is my top priority. i must assume that kim jong-un's nuclear claims are true. i know his aspirations certainly are. and that should provide all of
us a sense of urgency to insure pay com and u.s. forces korea are prepared to fight tonight with the best technology on the planet. that's why general brooks and i are doing everything possible to defend the american homeland and our allies in the republic of korea and japan. that's why the iraq u.s. alliance last july to deploy thaad which will be operational in the coming days in order to defend south korea against a growing north creathreat. that's why the uss carl vinson is back on patrol in northeast asia. we must continue to debut america's newest and best platforms in the endo asia pacific. we continue to emphasize to our lateral cooperation between japan, south korea, and the united states. our partnership with a purpose if there ever was one. and that's why we continue to call on china to exert his
economic influence to stop pyongyang's unprecedented weapons testing. recent actions by beijing are encouraging and welcome. the fact remains that china is as responsible where north korea is today as north korea itself. in confronting the reckless north korean regime it's criticcri critical by driven by resolve both diplomatically. we want to bring kim jong-un to his senses, not to his knees. we're also challenged in the endo asia pacific by an aggressive china and advancest russia. neither of him respect the international agreements they've signed on to. the tribunal in the hague ruled last year that china's claim is illegal under the law of the sea convention. china ignored this legally binding peaceful arbitration.
in fact, china continues a methodical strategy to control the south china sea. i testified last year that china was miltererizing this waterway by building naval and air bases on seven chinese man made islands in the disputed spradlies. despite assurances they would not militarize these bases, china's militarization of the south china sea is real. i'm not taking my eyes off russia which just last week flew bomber missions near alaska on successive days for the first time since 2014. russia continues to modernize its military and exercise its considerable conventional and nuclear forces in the pacific. so despite the region's four significant challenges since my last report to you, we've
strengthened america's network of alliance and partnerships. working with like minded partners on shared security threats like north korea andize is a key component to our regional strategy. our five bilateral defense treaty alliances anchor our joint force efforts in the endo asia pacific. i rely on australia for its advanced military capabilities across all domains and its leadership in global operations. as vice president pence and secretary mattis reaffirmed during recent trips to northeast asia, our alliance with south korea remains steadfast and our alliance with japan has never been stronger. even with turbulence this past year with the philippines i'm pleased we're proceeding with our agreement. i'm looking to performing an exercise with our allies next months. i visited thailand to reaffirm our alliance and communicate
that we look forward to thailand's reemrgergence as a democracy. india and malaysia, indonesia, new zealand, singapore, vietnam and many others, all with a view toward reinforcing the rules based security order that has he helped to underwrite peace and prosperity for decades. there is more work to be done. we must be ready to confront all challenges forom a position of strength. i ask this committee to support continued investment to improve our military capabilities. i need weapons systems of increased lethality speed and range that are networked and cost effective. and restricting ourselves with funding uncertainties, reduces war fighting readiness, so i urge the congress to repeal sequestration and to approve the proposed defense department but. i'd like to thank the congress for proposing and supporting the asia pacific stability
initiative. this effort will reassure our regional partners and send a strong signal to potential adversaries of our commitment to the region. as always, i thank congress for your enduring support to inmen and women of paycom and to our families who came for us. thank you, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, admiral. let me just remind all members that immediately upon the conclusion of this open hearing, we will have a closed classified session with admiral harris. it will happen immediately after this open hearing has concluded. when we've done this before there's been some confusion about time, apparently. when we finish here, it will be upstairs as we usually do. admiral, i appreciate your very
strong comments about budgets. obviously, that's a key importance to us this week. and no one suffers the consequences of our failure to do our job than you do on the front lines. i want to ask my questions on defending against missiles. i want to ask it in two different areas. you described some additional force said that we are putting into the region. i know there have been some press reports that say that somehow those forces are not able to defend against missiles launched from north korea. let me just ask, can american military forces in that region defend themselves against missiles launched from north korea? >> mr. chairman, absolutely.
there was an article that came out this morning from one of the outlets that suggested that the carl vinson strike group -- i think it's appropriate we're talking about carl vinson in this room, the carl vinson room. the strike group with his incredible capability to include destroyers and the cruiser, that somehow that that carrier strike group would not be able to defend itself against ballistic missiles. i believe that article and the articles like that are both misleading and they conflate apples and oranges if you will. we have ballistic missile ships in the sea of japan that are capable of defending against ballistic missile attacks. north korea does not have a ballistic missile anti-ship weapon that would threaten the carl vinson strike group. the weapons that north korea would put against the carl
vinson strike group are easily defended by the capabilities resident in that strike group. if it flies it will die if it's flying against the carl vinson strike group. i'm confident in that strike group's ability to defend itself and project power if that's the call we receive from the president and secretary of defense, sir. >> then let me ask you more broadly about missile defense. we have some limited interceptors in alaska and california. you mentioned some ships. we are with the south koreans installing thaad. so there are several pieces of this. but would you agree with my proposition that we probably need to amp up, to increase our missile defense capability in this region? >> i agree with you, completely,
mr. chairman. i believe that across the range of integrated air missile defense, iamd, that we can and need to do more. i believe that the interceptors that we have that defend our homeland directly in alaska and california are critical. i have suggested that we consider putting interceptors in hawaii that defend hawaii directly. and that we look at the defensive hawaii radar to improve hawaii's capability. i believe that the flight nine ddg's destroyers that are coming on line are what were needed in the ballistic missile defense space, if you will. and those are coming online and i'm grateful to the congress for funding those. >> thank you, mr. smith. >> thank you, mr. chairman. focusing on the chairman's question in terms of domestic defense, the missiles in alaska
and in california. what greater capability do we need in those missiles? do we not have enough? are we not confident the ones we have are going to work? what capabilities is it you're focused on? >> i'm going out of my range of expertise. that's a question that norad is concerned more with. but i do believe that the numbers could be improved. in other words, we need more interceptors. and then i believe that for the defensive of hawaii, which is covered, also, by those interceptors, could stand strengthening itself. and that's in terms of the defensive hawaii radar and potentially interceptors. so that's something we need to study much more deeply, but i think it certainly merits further discussion. we have one of our key systems that's deployed now in the
pacific, the sbx radar. it's x band radar that's on an oil platform that's self-propelled with a golf ball-like antenna. we use it a lot and we have to be concerned with the condition of the platform itself which is old and the civilian crews that man it. >> what actions do you potentially see north korea, kim jong-un, taking that are most concerning? by that, i mean, putting aside for the moment what sort of capability they're building. what might they do offensively militarily, a few years back i believe they sank a south korean vessel. they launched some missiles at a south korean controlled island. do you see several things north korea could do? i don't think anything of us anticipate they'll do a full scale war because they know the cost of that. but are there places where they
would try to push the envelope? if so, what are your concerns about with what they might do militarily against either our assets in the region or our allies'? >> sir, i'm not as certain about this as you are. that north korea won't do something precipitous -- >> i'm not saying i'm certain they are. i'm asking what it would be. >> it could be what we've seen before. which provocations like the sinking of the chonan, or attacks on an island and the continuing evolution of their nuclear and their ballistic missile testing. all of that. >> just to be clear in the purpose of the question, i'm not at all certain they're not going to do something. i'm confident, admiral, i'm not certain of anything at this point in my life, it's just the nature of the world.
but i am reasonably confident that north korea sees the threat of launching a full on war against south korea or japan and the consequences of that. what i'm worried about is that they will do these sort of little small things thinking they can get away with it, and be wrong. and i'm trying to get a greater clarity of what those small things are, which is why i cited those two previous examples. in the current environment, what are you worried about? are they likely to once again, you know, try to sink a south korean ship? are there disputed territories they might try to take over? where should we be looking for that small thing that could lead to the larger, much more dangerous war? >> first off, sir, i don't share your confidence that north korea is not going to attack either south korea or japan or the united states or our territories or states or parts of the united states once they have the
capability. >> unprovoked? >> i don't -- i won't say that they will, but i don't share your confidence that they won't with absolute certainly that they won't do that. >> not absolutely certain, just playing the percentages here, but go ahead. >> all right. but i believe that we have to look at north korea as if kim jong-un will do what he says. and there is a -- right now, there is probably a mismatch between kju's rhetoric and his capability. he has threatened by name manhattan, washington, colorado, australia, hawaii. there's a capability gap, probably, in whether he can or not. >> i'm sorry to belabor this point. he's threatened those things in the contest of don't mess with
us. are you saying he's simply threatened as he's going to do it no matter what we do? >> i can't read his mind. >> i'm not asking you to read his mind. >> all i can do is understand what he says. when he threatens the united states, then that's one level. when he threatens the united states with the capability of realizing that threat, that's a different place. and when that happens, that's a inflection point and we'll have to deal with that i believe. >> i'll let other folks get in here. this is probably more for a classified setting but understanding why he threatens the united states is enormously important. granting your point there is no certainty, there is still things we can learn to understand why those threats are made. and it would definitely inform how we would respond to those threats. so we can do that when we're in the classified setting. i'll yeield back to the committee, thank you >> mr. lanborn.
>> admiral, thank you for being here and for your service to our country. if this needs to wait until the classified session, please say so. but one of the needs you highlighted in your written statement was more munitions. we're running short of some critical munitions. would you want to elaborate on that or should we be more specific when we go up to the classified -- >> sure. i can elaborate on it in general here. then i would ask that we reserve the details for the classified session. in general, we're short on things like small diameter bombs. these are not exciting kinds of weapons, these are mundane sort of weapons. they're absolutely critical to what we're trying to do, not only in north korea, against north korea, but also in the fight in the middle east. and so we have a shortage of small diameter bombs throughout
the inventory. the spotockpile of bombs, we se them to the fight we're in, and rightfully so to centcom, central command. that's the fight we're in and they need them. so we send them there. and they use them. which is a good thing. that means they're going to be short again and we'll send some more. that's the fight we're in. we're also short in aaw anti-air warfare weapons like aim 9 x. these are weapons that our fighter aircraft use in air to air. i can use more of those. and in a bigger sense, the submarine issue itself. i think our submarine numbers are low and getting smaller. and so the number of submarines, without going into precise detail here, the navy can only meet 50% of my stated requirement for attack
submarines, these are ssn's. by the end of the 2020's -- that's based on a submarine force today of 52 ssn's. by the end of the 2020's, that number will be down to 42. the requirement i have is not going to get smaller, but the percentage against the total number of submarines we have is going to be exacerbated because of that. and so those are the kinds of munitions i worry about. also, mach 48 torpedos is and all of that. >> thank you. i hope we can address those issues in the upcoming fiscal year and appropriations bills. what kind of leverage does china have over north korea? i don't think it's well understood how much -- they don't, i think, admit to having a lot of leverage. but to outsiders, i think we could benefit from your insight.
>> sure. north korea is china's only treaty ally. so that says one thing right there. right, so we have five bilateral defense treaties that are in the endo asia pacific a. china has north korea, they're obligated by treaty to have this kind of relationship with north korea. 80% of north korea's economy is based on china. exports primarily. so 80% of their economy is based on china. so i believe that's a significant lever that china can employ if they so chose to against north korea. >> thank you. i appreciate your service once again. mr. chairman i yield back. >> mr. larson. >> thank you. thanks mr. chairman. admiral harris, good to see you again. thanks for helping us out last year. you were able to come talk to
several of us last year. i appreciate that. i want to explore anybody more based on mr. lanborn's comments. specific to the military side. we discuss sanctions a lot, state department role, treasury's role. and with regards to north korea. but i'm wondering if you have any assessment about china's relationship with dprk on the military side and if there's influence or if you're aware of any influence that pla can play on dprk with regards to pursuing both the more advanced nuclear weapons program and missile testing. >> sir, i'm not aware of any direct relationship between the people's liberation army and its various subunits and the new people's army. >> okay, thanks. related as well to what we're trying to achieve on the
peninsula, are you having -- do you have any advice on whether or not you feel like you're in the position to sort of play every role, that is not just the pacific commander, but also somewhat of a diplomatic role because we have secretary of state position but we don't have deputy secretaries of state, rolling out getting ambassadors without having anyone, so there's a gap in that policy making structure and that out reach structure. are you having to fill that gap? >> thanks, you know i've been accused of many things, but not for be diplomatic. >> all of us here, too. >> part of the role of the commander is to have relationships with our -- not only our military counterparts but also the leadership in the countries in the regions over which we exercise some degree of authority in and influence. i do have relationships with our
partner nations, our allies in the region. but, you know, i think the state department has a key role to play here. you know, i would defer in every case to secretary tillerson. >> yeah. and my point isn't that you want to fill that role as much as for whatever reason the senate hasn't confirmed, the administration hasn't put up people in those spots and you're left filling the gap. >> i'm happy to do what i can in that regard. you know, just recently, i was in thailand and asked to deliver some messages about their return to democracy, which i was happy to do. and i think that's part and parcel of one of the roles of a geographic commander in today's military structure. >> sure. it's also the role of ambassadors and assistant secretaries of state who aren't
in place. i don't know if you can answer this here, but -- which is probably a prelude to you can't answer it here. yeah, but i have to ask, right? there's issues of nuclear test and the issues of the missile test, both very concerning. but i guess i'd like to hear your assessment maybe a little later, is it more concerning to have missile tests or nuclear tests, what's the difference between a sixth nuclear test from north korea based on the fifth nuclear test as opposed to advances in missile testing? >> so i view them both very seriously. the difference between the sixth and fifth test is if we notice an improvement between the two. as i said, kgu is not afraid to
fail in public and he failed a lot. i think edison failed a lot before he got the light bulb to work. he continues to try. he's experimenting -- experiment is probably not the right word. he's developing missiles that have solid fuel propellants. i can talk in the other hearing about the implications of that. we have that weapons development going on, longer range weapons going on. he has a ballistic missile submarine, an ssb. it's not nuclear powered, but it's an ssb that's troubling. and then he's doing the nuclear testing. so all of that if he puts all of that together, milters aitarize nuclear weapon, puts it on an icbm he's testing over here and figures out how to survive
reentry and we have a serious problem on our hands to go back to carson smith's comments earlier. >> your assessment is very important, i appreciate it. thank you. >> mr. kaufman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. could you talk about the value of a joint military exercise with south korea? it seems that whenever we do them, it seems to excite north korea. is there an advantage in terms of doing those? >> absolutely, congressman. i would say it's critical, right. so we are obliged to defend south korea by treaty. and so south korea is one of those treaty partners. they have a very strong and capable military as we do. if we're going to defend them or if we're going to fight with them on the peninsula, then we have to be able to integrate with their military.
we have to be able to work with their military. we have to understand their military and vice versa. so we share a lot of common systems. anti-submarine warfare aircraft. weapons systems on their destroyers and our destroyers and cruisers. and on and on and on. and so we have to be able to operate together in peacetime so that we can operate together in wartime if it comes to that. so we're in armistice now with -- on the peninsula. and that's what we have to do. we have to maintain our degree of readiness, but also our combined and joint readiness with our brothers and sisters in the military. >> would you say there was pressure by the chinese government on south korea to put pressure on them not to accept the thaad system? >> there is clear pressure from
china, economic pressure against companies which owns the place that thaad is going to go into, samsung, and other companies, big corporations in south korea. and so, you know, i find it preposterous that china would try to influence south korea to not get a weapons system that's completely defensive against the very country that's allied with china. if china wants to do something destructive they ought to focus less, in my opinion, on south korea's defensive preparations, and focus instead more on north korea's offensive preparations. and, you know, i think we're in a good place and i'm reasonably optimistic now that china is having an influence and they're
working in the right direction in regards to north korea thanks to the efforts by our president and theirs. >> do you believe that china holds all the cards in any kind of negotiated settlement to defuse tensions on the korean peninsula? >> sir, i don't think they hold all the cards. but they hold a good number of them. and important cards. because regardless of whether i think that china's influence on north korea is waning, it is the country that has the most influence on north korea during peacetime. if it came to a harder place, we would exert the most influence. in peacetime china has the most influence on north korea. >> am i correct that the south korean -- or i guess republic of korea security forces have taken
operational control of joint military operations and that we do not have forces on the demilitarized zone? >> no, sir. the transfer of operation control, that is now pushed to the right and it's a conditions based transfer. so the rok does not have operational control of our forces. but the general brooks, who is the u.s. forces commander, is also the united nations commander and the combined forces commander. he's the commander of all the forces on the peninsula, including the korean forces. in terms of war. >> is that a goal, though? >> ultimately transfer is a goal but it has to be conditioned based. it has to be when they're ready to do that and all other conditions are met. >> can you speak to whether or not -- if you can speak in this
setting -- do we have conventional forces on the demilitarized zone? >> i can go into more detail in the other session. >> i yield back. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, very much mr. chairman and thank you admiral harris, i enjoyed meeting you recently in hawaii. on guam, admiral, you know we are directly and uniquely impacted by national security and foreign policy decisions in the region. so we seek to understand what, if any, strategy this administration has for the endo asia pacific. we are in the process of realigning marines from okinawa throughout the pacific, which as you noted in your testimony, is critical for modernizing our force posture in the region. could you briefly discuss the military necessary, particularly the movements of marines to guam for which the japanese are
contributing over one third of the cost. you highlighted funding levels, but i'm especially interested in not just the financial, but also the political capital for the government of japan has expended for its part? >> thanks congresswoman, the whole issue of moving marines from okinawa else where is important to our alliance relationship with japan. and so the movement involves -- today we have roughly 20,000 or so marines in okinawa and ultimately we want to get to a point around 10,000 or so. and part of that is to move about 4,000 marines to guam. about 3,000 or so to hawaii. and about 1,300 or so to australia. so that's sort of the rotation. we're looking at, as you know,
the movement of the bulk of the marines to guam would occur in the 2024 to 2028 time frame and then to hawaii after that. and we're already rotating forces through australia now. and japan has invested a lot in this. this is all about for everyone else's benefit, to reducing the footprint in okinawa and also closing fatinma air base. that's an air base in an incredibly populated area. so the japanese have asked us to move that air base. it's a key base of operations for us in that region. so what we told the japanese back in the 90s, that we would do that. but their obligations under the treaty is to provide us a place in which to operate. our obligations under the treaty is to protect japan. their obligation is to provide a place.
they selected a place called huh noeko, and that's kind of where we are. ultimately, when it's ready, we'll shut down fatinma and move. until then we have to operate somewhere. and then part of that agreement was to remove a large number of forces from okinawa and that's where the relocation to guam, hawaii -- >> i think, admiral, what i'm trying to get is everything is on target, is that correct? >> i believe things are on target. i think it is delayed a little bit. that's something we'll have to ask the japanese about. but they have said they would have it ready by 2022. i testified last year that i thought that that was in question. so now i'm going to have to defer to the japanese for a better year estimate. >> well, we've waited a long time for this, so we wanted to
continue. and we do have a visa problem on guam now, a labor shortage. so i'm working on that. but what importance would you give to the fifth ssn in guam? related, would your forces be better enabled by robust ship repair facilities? just a yes or no. >> i'm a big fan of moving the fifth ssn to guam. it's a navy decision. and consultations with admiral richardson and the navy on it. i believe it's important we move that capability forward because it gets it closer to the fight. on the ship repair facility i don't know. i would defer to the commander. it's a navy issue on whether they need a ship repair facility in guam or if the facilities in hawaii and eastward are adequate. >> okay. i have one last question, admiral. as you know, a decade ago,
pacom, congress has funded an acquisition to field this capability. with significant munition shortfalls i presume the requirements continue to grow. can you discuss the risk we take with the shortfalls in the munitions? could you just briefly -- >> sure. i believe it's as relevant today as a decade ago. i'm pleased and grateful to the congress for funding weapons systems like long range anti-ship missiles, putting money against advanced tomahawk and sm 6 and the anti-ship mode. these are helpful. this is good. and i'm grateful for that.
>> thank you, admiral, and thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> mr. rogers. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, how many of china's land based crews and ballistic missiles have a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. >> i believe that number is about 95%. in other words, 95% of china's land based cruise and ballistic missiles, 95% are -- fall in that range and would be precluded by the intermediate nuclear forces treaty if they were signatory to that treaty which they're not. >> how many land based cruise and ballistic missiles do you have in your pacom arsenal? >> i have none in my arsenal, nor does the u.s. military at large have that. because we are the signatory to inf. we follow the rules religiously. >> in your opinion, should we
consider renegotiation of the inf treaty of declaring russia in material breach of the inf treaty? >> that's a policy question that i know is being looked at. and i believe that there are aspects of the inf treaty which are salatory, the nuclear part of that that reduces the nuclear weapons and all of that. i am concerned that on the conventional side both in terms of ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, we are being taken to the cleaners by countries that are not signatories to the inf because there's no expectation. we should have no expectation that china follow the inf because they're not signatory to it. a general has recently testified that russia has violated the conventional part of the inf. the treaty is just us and russia
and a few of the other soviet successor states. it's really about us and russia. so russia doesn't adhere to it as strictly as we do. china and other countries, iran, for example, don't have an obligation to follow it. and they're proceeding at pace in their weapons development, the df 21 and 26 both would be precluded by inf. here we are without a weapon in this 500, 5,500 kilometer range. a critical range to be able to conduct ware fare in the endo asia pacific. >> my understanding is you're saying we're basically unilaterally disarming when it comes to that capability? >> i would say we're not being creative in developing our weapons. >> thank you. >> mr. courteney. >> thank you, admiral harris, good to see you again.
i want to follow up on your comments regarding the need for submarines to fill the requirements you have out there. again, you mentioned we have a fleet today of 52, going down to 41 in the 2020s, your testimony on page 16 actually tallied the number of submarines between russia, north korea, and china today which is 160. which, again, i think helps sort of frame your comments even more sharply. and last december, secretary mavis came out with his four structure assessment, which called again, for an increase in the fleet sized 355. mr. whitman and i just got back a report from cbo a few days ago that talked again, about the sort of fiscal challenge of trying to achieve that goal. if you had to prioritize again in terms of fleet architecture, as we find out way forward to hit that target, you know, what
end of the fleet would you really want to emphasize in terms of new platforms to be available? >> so i'm not a fleet any more. i'm a joint guy. from a joint commander perspective, i need more submarines. and the navy's plan to build up to 355 ships, 66 of those are submarines. and right now we're at 52, going to 42. and that's completely in the wrong direction. and if we go from 52 to 42 to 66, that would make me a happy commander. because i would think then that in that number of 66, that i would be able to meet more of the requirements than i am able to have met now. so i'm really -- right now i'm at 50% of my stated requirement. that will be worse, exacerbated when we go down to 42. if we go up to 66, that would be better. but that number is -- is an important number.
because it highlights the shortfalls that we are at -- that we are currently in with regards to the not only submarines, but other assets. so in that 355 ship is a 12 aircraft carrier and all of the ships to go with that. i think these are really important as we move out to face the threats that are going to confront us beyond those that already are exigent now. and while we're doing this, china and russia are significantly improving their submarine capabilities and their anti submarine warfare capabilities. so today there is no -- there is no comparison. i mean, it would be like -- comparing a -- i don't know, a model t to a corvette. but there is no comparison between a u.s. virginia class submarine and anything that china can field. but that's not the point. the point is that in 20 years or so, china will work hard to
close that technological gap. and if we don't continue to resource our submarine fleets and our military in general, they will be able to close that gap. and that will put us in -- i think in a bad place. >> another point in your testimony, on page 10, again, talking about russia's -- you know, more aggressive posture in asia pacific. again, the pacific fleet now is a new development in terms of, again, you know, this whole question of your ability to meet requirements. isn't that correct? that they're now back in business. >> yes, sir. it is. >> thank you. last week i had an opportunity to go out and visit one of our sea wolf class subs, part of the pivot to asia, the "u.s.s. connecticut," believe it or not. i raise that point, because that sub actually was supposed to be in for repair availability. it was a big job. it was supposed to be about two years. and ended up being four years.
it's because of this whole question of, you know, the navy's strain in terms of the public shipyards. i mean, again, that's another part of this story in terms of your ability to get your requirements met when -- again, the pipeline in terms of repairs is just not moving fast enough. and, be again, that obviously was a pretty key platform that you could use right now. i'm assuming. >> it is. and so, you know, the numbers are affected. the numbers that i get as opposed to the numbers that i've asked for in terms of submarines are given not only by the number of submarines. that's the easy answer. 52 spread across all of the commanders. but it's also driven by availability. and the availability is driven by industrial base. and its capacity to repair the submarines going in for overhauls and all of that. >> thank you. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> ms. hartzler. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good to see you again, admiral. >> yes, ma'am. >> i would like to home in the
questions on china some more. and also readiness. so china has been investing in several next-generation military technologies, including hypersonic missiles, directed energy weapons, autonomous weapons, systems and space-based weapons. are you concerned about the progress china is making in its development of these technologies and how can the united states maintain its edge? >> without going into classified, i'll answer yes to all of that. i am very concerned about their development -- their developments in these systems, particularly hypersonics. what we can do is to develop our own hypersonic weapons and improve our defenses against theirs. one of the problems we have, though, is -- is this inf treaty issue before us. so hypersonics, you know -- that can match the chinese weapons will be precluded by inf. so we're precluded from developing land-based weapons
that can match the chinese land-based weapons by -- by treaty. >> okay. yeah, that's an excellent point. i'm glad my colleague brought that up. we need to address that, for sure. what is your assessment of china's use of hybrid warfare methods, and how does china influence or otherwise affect our asian partners and our allies? >> yes. so i believe that china is a learning machine. they're a learning organism, and they have watched the russian example in the ukraine. and they are applying aspects of that in the south china sea, particularly with their maritime militia, which is a compilation of fishing boats, merchant ships and other small ships and entities that roam throughout the south china sea. and they're using these in lieu of military ships. and i think they're having some effect with them, and we need to continue to monitor that activity.
and to call them on the carpet when they do something that would be counter to good seamanship and the like. >> in addition to their economic strategy, which i'm very concerned about, too, very shrewd on their part. i want to move to readiness. so we have heard from the service chiefs and vice service chiefs of all of the military branches, and there are a few common themes, such as due to the ability to modernize forces. they also shared the quality and quantity of training opportunities have declined significantly over the past several years, which has decreased our readiness. and they have talked about how our forces are undermanned. so i'm wondering how these factors have affected you in pay com. >> so today i believe i can meet the strategy in terms of fight tonight forces. so that involves, you know, principally we're worried about north korea. so my forces are ready to fight
tonight if called on to do that. what the readiness shortfalls and the challenges that the services have, and how that affects me is on follow-on forces. so, you know, fight tonight is -- literally, it's tonight. but a lot of those forces, though, come from the main land united states. so that's an issue. and then the follow-on forces, search forces, how good is our airlift? how good is our sea lift. how can we get all of this stuff out there? and i worry about that quite a bit. and i think the lack of a budget is going to hurt us if we don't get one. >> hopefully we will address that this week. now, you've talked a little bit about the south china sea, and what they're doing. and china's attempt at land reclamation expansion, coupled with its military capabilities, as you know, are causing tension across the globe. if these tensions continue to rise to the point where military confrontation is necessary, are you confident in both the quality and quantity of forces
you will receive from the services, and will you have enough weapons and assets with access to the threat in order to reduce the risk to our forces and maximize their capability? >> so i can get into more details in the classified hearing on that. but i am concerned about china's bases in the south china sea. that complicates the anti access air, the now problem we face if we're called upon to conduct operations against china. >> great. i'll look forward to visiting with you in the classified setting. i yield back. thank you. >> mr. muscleton. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, thank you very much for joining us here today. i was the gentleman who asked admiral -- vice chairman selva about the intermediate nuclear forces treaty, the treaty that president reagan signed in the mid 1980s with the soviet union. i wanted to start with that following on my colleague's
questions. what has been our response to russia's violation of the treaty? >> sir, i don't know what our -- >> i'm not aware of a response, either. >> i know that someone brought it up. >> i'm not aware of any response, either. typically, when one party to a treaty violates the treaty, what do you try to do? you try to hold that party accountable. so there are other options than simply with drawing from the treaty ourselves, is that right? >> right. >> have we thought about having such a treaty with china, as well? >> i have not. and i'm not aware of discussions that would bring china into either the existing inf treaty or a separate treaty with china. you know, when the inf treaty was signed back in '85, it was a bilateral treaty in a bipolar world. now we're in a multipolar world
with threats we weren't thinking about in 19 85. >> i agree. i think president reagan would be pretty shocked to hear our initial response to a violation -- to russia's violation to the treaty would be simply to abrogate the treaty ourselves. but i want to go back to north korea. the trump administration has said that, quote, all options are on the table regarding a preemptive military strike. what range of options do we have? >> we have the full range of options. whether it's continued negotiations, continued -- >> so sorry, admiral. specifically military options. what effective military options would we have to counter the north korean threat with a preemptive strike? >> the full range of options on the military side. whether it's president's operations, pressure operations or kinetic operations. >> i'm asking specifically about a preemptive strike.
>> okay. >> not about continued pressure, not diplomatic pressure. not the presence of our submarines or carriers. but what sorts of preemptive strike options do we have against the north koreans. >> i'll just say, sir, that we have a lot of preemptive options, but i couldn't begin to talk about them in this hearing. >> and what would a typical response be, do you think, from the north koreans be? would we take out the artillery aimed at seoul? >> i believe that we would have the ability to affect north korea's military calculus in preemptive strikes, depending on the type of strike. but i'm really trading on -- >> i'm not asking you anything classified. there has been a lot of unclassified material about this. >> nothing from me, though. >> my concern, admiral, is that when you look at the options that we have in terms of a
preemptive strike, there's not a lot we can do about north korea's artillery. and this has been well-discussed in the open press. that a lot of south koreans and americans in south korea might die if that option were exercised. would you agree with that assessment? >> i would say that what we're faced with is that on one hand, and a lot more koreans and japanese-americans dying if north korea achieves its nuclear aims and does what kgu has said it's going to do. >> i agree with you. i agree with you. just to be clear, in that scenario, a lot of south koreans and americans in south korea would be in trouble. >> sure. >> what -- are you concerned about a conflict between north and south korea escalating into a conflict between united states and china? is that a risk? >> it is a risk. i think it's a manageable risk. and i think that we would work
hard to manage that risk. >> how would we manage that risk? >> i think communications with china, a relationship with china. i think the relationship between president trump and president xi is positive and encouraging. and i think that will go a long way to -- >> so you're basing that off their recent meeting. >> no, not just a recent meeting. i'm basing it on the idea that if we have a positive, productive relationship with china, then -- >> i agree. the trump administration's idea throughout the campaign and until that meeting was to have an unproductive relationship with china to call them a currency manipulator, et cetera. thank you, mr. chairman. >> sure. >> mr. wilson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and admiral, thank you very much for being here today. and two years ago, i had the extraordinary opportunity of visiting with you in hawaii. and i saw firsthand of your capabilities and the briefings that you provided us.
your rapport with your personnel. it was just very, very inspiring. and your personal history and background is equally so inspiring to the american people. and i want to thank you for your service. i particularly say that as a grateful dead of the lieutenant commander in the u.s. navy today, serving in buford, south carolina. hopefully maybe in pay com sometime in the future. as we face these issues, north korea continues to be a significant threat to the security of the american people. and our allies in the region. can you explain how important it is the recent deployment of the fed system is to the people of south korea? >> yeah. i think it's very important. i mean, this system is -- is a defensive system that will help protect south korea from missile attacks from north korea. it is purely defensive system. it's aimed north, not east. or not west, rather.
it is -- it poses no threat to china, and it's designed to protect our korean allies and our american service men and women and their families and businessmen and others who live and work in korea. >> and i want you to be aware that congress voted two weeks ago, 398 to 3 bipartisan, obviously, to support the fed deployment and your service and back you up. and so you've got obviously an incredible bipartisan support here in congress. as north korea continues to develop and test ballistic missile technology, can you explain who is supporting these activities with resources, specifically as their iranian collaboration? >> sir, i don't know if there is iranian collaboration or not. but i'll find out, and get back to you on that. or i'll have an answer by the classified area. >> thank you very much. >> sure. >> and admiral, the president
has recently stated that all options are on the table, concerning north korea. as correctly cited by congressman seth milton just now. as chairman of the readiness subcommittee, i'm concerned of noted shortages and funding, required munitions and backlog maintenance on our ships and aircraft. what readiness concerns have you seen in the pacific command? >> yeah, just what you said, sir. i'm concerned about munitions shortfalls, maintenance backlogs and development of weapons that will keep us ahead of our adversaries, principally china and russia. but that would have an effect in north korea. >> and are there specific shortfalls, munitions that we can help address here? >> there are. small diameter bombs, am-9x and aaw anti-war fare weapons, and
torpedoes. >> thank you very much. >> mr. car ba hall. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, mr. harris, for coming here today. the administration has sent the "u.s.s. michigan" to south korea as a show of force and continues to escalate its rhetoric against the current leader of north korea. there is no question as to the significant threat north korea poses on the region. especially as it continues to pursue its missile and nuclear ambition. however, i am extremely concerned about the provocation and direction this administration is taking to address the north korea threat. it seems the united states has now developed a -- has not developed a coherent national strategy when it comes to north korea. and yet we are deploying military assets, increasing tensions, and considering military options against north korea. when dealing with an unpredictable regime, empty
rhetoric can be dangerous. and i think this committee would be interested to hear why there was so much confusion as to where the "u.s.s. carl vincent" was deployed to or not. admiral harris, what is the feasibility of the u.s. taking on north korea without china becoming involved? what type of coalition effort would be required to take military action against north korea? denuclearization at this point seems unachievable unless the u.s. wages an outright war against north korea, or north korea undergoes a regime change. what are other options, other than denuclearization are you and the administration looking at in order to limit the north korean threat. >> quite the question. >> thanks. that's quite a number of questions. i'll try to get through them. first is, i disagree we lack a
strategy on north korea, sir. i believe we do have a strategy. i believe the president has the strategy. and my job is to provide options and as a military commander, my job is to provide military options. and that's what i do and that's what i have done. with regard to the carl vincent, that's my fault on the confusion. and i'll take the hit for it. so i made the decision to pull the carl vincent out of singapore, turn indicate the exercise it was going to do south of singapore, cancel the support visit to australia, and then proceed north. and where i failed was to communicate that quadly to the president and the media. that is all on me. but we have done exactly that. so we cancelled the -- pulling out of singapore, truncated the exercise, cancelled the visit, and then moved north. and today it sits in the philippine sea just east of
okinawa, in striking range and projection range of north korea. if called upon to do that. and then in a few days, i expect it will continue to move north. you started your questions by talking about the michigan -- "u.s.s. michigan" and ssgn, guided missile, nuclear submarine, is, in fact, in bu son, korea now, as a show of solidarity where there are korean allies. it will be there for a few days. and then it will leave port and be operating in the area. this is a show of solidarity with our south korean allies and a -- a flexible deterrent show of force to north korea. should they consider using that -- using force against south korea. with regard to coalition effort, i believe our biggest coalition
partner in this effort, if it comes to operation on the peninsula, is korea itself. naturally, south korea. and then, of course, we -- japan and our other friends, allies and partners in the region. i feel, would support the united states as we support our treaty ally of south korea. >> i guess the only question i continue to have is it's been difficult to discern that strategy. and i'm hoping that at some point we can hear a little bit more, whether it be in a classified hearing or not. but to date, i don't have the confidence to feel good about the statement you just made, that we do have a coherent strategy. >> thanks. >> mr. chair, i yield back. >> mr. byrne? >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, i'm over here. >> thank you, sir. >> it's good to see you again. before i get started, i just
wanted to tell you, there are 15 of us that met two weeks ago with general brooks in seoul. and i think we all came away from there understanding the seriousness of the situation. but we had 100% confidence in his leadership, and the troops he has under his command and where he's going with that. and i just wanted to say that after having an hour and a half with him that day. last year, you and i visited in hawaii at the rim pack exercise, and i think two hours, you spent with the eight of us that were there. i just got to tell you, that was a tour de force. rarely in my lifetime have i been in a room with somebody who had such complete command over everything that you were talking to us about over an incredibly broad and diverse theater. so i wanted to compliment you on that. you and i had a little bit of a co locate kwee about the combat ship. and you were telling me about how it helped you increase and distribute. and you reminisced about the
days when you were a young naval commander and you were dealing with the soviet corvettes, a little smaller vessels that the soviets had. they could put a missile on. and you were very good about going over with me and others there about having that small combatant out there, particularly now that we can put harpoon missiles on them and add to what you're doing. two months ago, i was in singapore. and i noticed that you had an lcs and some epfs there. last week, admiral gabeson stated we're ready and excited to welcome multiple lcss to the region and put them to work and there is no shortage for meaningful work for these ships. can you discuss the impact of having the lcss and the eps in the theater? >> yes, sir. so i've gone on record as being a fan of the combat ship and both its principle forms.
and i am a fan of it. i would be a bigger fan of the upgunned, if you will, lcss -- >> the frig got? >> the frigate. and i think it's important. i want to acknowledge our great friend in singapore. or singapore as our great friend, that is. who allow us to rotationally deploy these ships to their country. so i'm grateful for that. i think the navy and rhoden, surface forces, are on the right track with this theory of distribution. and i think lcs has a role to play in that. so i'm a fan of lcs. the story i told was when i was an officer of the "u.s.s. saratoga" back in the '80s, one of my job was to keep track of all of these little ships that their soviets had. tools and ocean boats. these were small, small patrol
boats. the reason we had to keep track of them. the reason the captain and admiral, were on my case all of the time, where are these guys, is because each one carried a sticks missile or more. so they carried a missile that could threaten the carrier and the carrier strike group, punching far, far above their weight. and i think that lcs should do that, and i want the chinese every day to worry about where the lcs is, just like i used to worry about the tools back in the '80s. >> well, i think the proposal from the navy, or at least the way they're working on it today, both variants of lcs -- upgraded to be a frig got would be able to respond the way that you said. so just to make sure i'm understanding what you're saying, you want them to have the sort of missile capability that the navy is trying to get
to with the new frig got design. >> absolutely. and i'm agnostic on the type of missile. that's a service decision. but i want them to be equipped with missiles that can sink ships. >> and that -- in having multiple numbers of those, not just -- only have the coronado out there right now, but having more than one, having several out there that you can place around wherever you want, that adds to what the chinese or any other adversary has to worry about with the placement of our fleet out there. >> right. on a combat side, absolutely. and on the everyday noncombat peace operations, humanitarian assistance, the whole range of operations and missions that the navy has in the region, the lcs adds to that. >> well, i really appreciate your comments on that. but once again, your leadership, general brooks' leadership, i have a high level of confidence that we have the right people and the right things in place to do what we've got to do if
something bad happens there. and i appreciate your leadership and his leadership. and i yield back. >> mr. swazy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, thank you so much for your testimony today, and thank you for your service to our country. you said that the "carl vincent" is now in the philippine sea. god forbid you had to fly to north korea. how long a flight time is that? >> about two hours, well within their capability. >> and there wouldn't be any need for refueling to get there and back? >> there would be. but a modern carrier strike group has its own refuelers. >> on -- >> on the ship. >> okay. >> when you talked about the basic munitions like small diameter bombs, is that a problem throughout the navy, or is that a problem for just the pacific command? >> no, it's not a navy problem. it's a joint force problem. and it's a shortage across the joint force. and so, you know, we are sending them out to cent com, central command now, because they're
needed in the flight in the middle east. so, you know, i have an allocation of the combat absent -- >> so you're sharing your allocation. >> except they don't share them back. hopefully they don't share them back but use them. and then they'll need more. >> so how would i go about finding out what's the status, what's the inventory overall and where they are and that kind of thing? >> you just ask the question and i'll get back to you, sir. >> i'm asking that question. >> i'm get back to you. >> and what were the other two weapons you mentioned before that were your priorities, other than the small diameter bombs? >> anti air warfare missiles, aaw missiles, am 9 x, am 120 d, and mark 48 torpedoes. >> i would like -- i'm trying to develop -- i'm new here. i've only been here for 100 days. i'm trying to develop an inventory of the different equipment we have and understand where things are and how much we use of what. >> sir, i'll get that to you. >> okay. thank you very much. >> sure. >> mr. kelly.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, admiral harris, for being here. one, just again, it is a joint problem the number of munitions and the lackage of stock spil we have, is that correct, admiral harris, in your opinion? and then i want to go back just a little bit to the leader of north korea. and to the ranking members' questions. i, like you, don't share the same confidence that he understands the cost benefit analysis of any actions towards united states. and i thank you for being on the front lines. you and all our service members, for being on the front lines every day. do you know of any source, other than, i guess, maybe china. but does -- do you think, based on the news sources and the people around him that are his advisers, do you think he gets any advice that he cannot totally annihilate the united states? do you think there is any source
that he gets that from? >> i do not. on -- in his circle of advisers. you know, they pretty much, you know, follow his line, or he pretty much eliminates the source of distrust or questioning. >> i was with some friends when i was on the district work period, and i mentioned -- i said, you know, some people think that god controls our actions or districts their actions, or that they're in link with god's actions. it's almost like he's a little more than that. he may even think he's god, based on the number of advisers. and if you in any way go against what he says is right, he has you killed, whether you be his brother, his uncle, anyone else. would that be correct? >> that would be correct, sir. >> the number of ships -- and i know, but how does that impact pay com directly in an unclassified area, the lack of submarines and other surface ships?
>> well, so as i've said before, the navy fulfills about 50% of my stated submarine needs. and so the submarine force, in an unclassified way, for example, deal with the russian submarine threat, the chinese submarine threat, and they're also involved in surveillance missions and other kinds of missions themselves directly for pacific fleet. for the fleet, if you will. and so because of the numbers of chinese submarines that are under way and the types of submarines and the same with the russians, you know, i need to be able to keep track of those submarines in every way that i can. and by not having the number of submarines that i need to do that, then i have to make risk calculations and risk-based decisions on which ones to maybe not -- maybe not keep track of.
or what surveillance missions we're not going to do, because i don't have the submarine to do that. i needed to do something else. so those kinds of calculations are being done in real-time every day. not only by me and by the pay com staff, but by admiral swift and the pacific fleet staff, and on down the chain. so that's just one example. you know, right now the "carl vincent" is on deployment. i extended the "carl vincent" by a month in order to ensure we have a carrier available, should the president need one. because the carrier that's based in the western pacific, the ronald reagan, is in maintenance right now. and so, you know, i wouldn't have a carrier there right now, were it not for the ability to extend "carl vincent." so, you know, that's just two examples for you right there. >> and when i first got into the military many, many years ago,
we always had a five-paragraph operations off order. and lately, ten years ago, we started adding risk. and that is a risk that we as congress can source to reduce some of that risk, but it is a -- we had the same -- ought to be doing the same risk assessment. if we don't source this, then you take risk, and that means lives and material and equipment and treasure. would that be correct, admiral harris? >> absolutely correct. >> and then final question. we hear quite often about the funding at the joint chief level. the crs and the impacts of crs, the joint fund -- at the joint level. but at your level as a commander, the pay com commander, how significant is it to have funding that you can plan on to make sure we have the right strategic plans in place? >> sir, it's very significant. and, you know, you just -- in broad brush, because of time, if we don't get a budget or if we go into another cr, the services are going to start to enact in
some draconian measures in order to balance their books, right? and that includes things like they're going to cut back on carrier air wing training, which means that the pilots that deploy won't be ready to deploy. the air force is going to cut back over 100,000 flight hours across the air force. their army will cut back exercises, important exercises, like pacific ways and things like that in order to balance those books. and that will have an effect on the combatant commanders directly, and on me directly in the pacific. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> ms. davis. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and admiral harris, thank you very much for your service and for being with us today. i wanted to ask you, and this is somewhat in line with some of the questions that people have been asking. partly because i think it's what the public right now is looking
for. in your testimony, you said that your goal is to bring kim jong-un to his senses but not bring him to his knees. in light with that, what are you and general brooks doing to reduce tensions on the peninsula specifically, and prevent what some people are concerned could be an overreaction on our part? >> so i believe the best way to reduce tensions on the korean peninsula is to provide credible combat power 24/7. so if you -- if you are a weak country or you have a weak military, and i think that encourages adventurism and puts us in a place with countries like north korea that we wouldn't want to be in if we had a choice. so we have a choice. and general brooks and i provide those options up the chain of the president. but within our own areas of authority. then we provide that credible combat power to our allies in
japan and korea. so bringing the vincent up is one example of that. bringing the "u.s.s. michigan", a guided missile nuclear submarine is another example of that. these b-1 and b-52 flights that we fly throughout the area are another example of credible combat power, which i believe has the effect of ameliorating kim jong-un's worst impulses. >> is there anything else you could share with us regarding your own work, essentially, with the white house through some of thesisca legislations? >> no, ma'am. i would be hesitant to share with you discussions that i've had with the national command authority. >> thank you, sir. i also wanted to turn to the budget discussions that we have been having here, which are critically important. in fact, in your testimony you listed budget uncertainty as a note worthy challenge next to china, russia, territorial
disputes, north korea and isis. and when general milley was here just a few weeks ago, he talked about the fact that -- what he views here in congress, actually, is professional malpractice if we don't pass this budget and get on with this important work. i suspect you probably share that sentiment in some way? >> i wouldn't be quite as forthcoming as general milley is, ma'am. >> uh-huh. but it's a real critical need. and -- >> well, i'll say that the need is there without criticizing the congress by name. but the need -- >> but sometimes that's appropriate, right? >> that -- >> okay. >> please know that i'm silent on that. the need, though, is real. we must -- i believe we must have a budget. and i believe we must repeal sequestration. otherwise it's going to put us in a very bad place. and those signals i was talking about earlier, the signals that i talked about earlier with north korea and all of that, the
kju will interpret that in a bad way. >> yeah. one of the things you just said in response to my colleague is that you think that commanders are going to start taking some draconian measures. >> i think the services -- when i say -- it's services. because they have to man train, equip. when i say the services, i mean, the navy, army, marine force and the -- >> is there something you see in some trends that we continue to do that, in fact, given some other technologies or changes, that we don't need to do any longer? >> i have to think about that a little bit. i think that in terms of r & d, research and development, that we are, in fact, looking at new ways of doing new business. and i think the third offset, for example, is getting at some of that.
diux -- i don't know what that stands for, but it sounds cool. the diux is another way to try to jumpstart some ideas. and i think these are all helpful. so i would say that the department -- the department of defense is looking at innovation as a means to -- to overcome some of the challenges we face. >> can i ask you just briefly, because time is almost up. is the fact that we have struggled so much to have an audit out of the pentagon, is that an issue for you? >> no, ma'am, it's not for me. >> so no audit is not a problem. >> no. i don't want to imply that. but if there is a problem with an audit in the pentagon, that doesn't affect me as a combatant commander directly. >> thank you, sir. >> yes, ma'am. >> mr. bacon. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and admiral harris, thank you for your leadership and what you're doing and your diplomacy and tact. i thank you for that. i would say, it would be
professional malpractice if we don't get a budget passed and take care of our military right. i wanted to get your professional opinion for the committee here, just how hard it is and challenging to defend south korea with the location of seoul and the number of artillery that north korea has. could you just go into a little detail, just the challenges that we're going to face if kim jong-un becomes aggressive? >> yeah, it's a very dramatic challenge. so seoul is, i believe, the most densely populated city on the planet. 25 million people in a relatively small area. within artillery range of the dmz and the heights north of the dmz where kim jong-un has a vast array of rocket forces and artillery. so it does pose a significant challenge. >> it's an extraordinary hard challenge to counter.
>> right. >> do you think we have enough long-range strike aircraft, air to air, force enough that deters kim jong-un, or do we need to add additional presence in japan, guam, so forth? i know we have rotating forces. is it enough to make clear to kim jong-un, he will lose across this line? >> i believe that the military forces we have are sending the right signal to kim jong-un. so we routinely fly b-1 and b-52 flights. just two days ago, we had an operation where we had -- a ship in the east sea, sea of japan, and on the west sea, with the koreans. the japanese were involved, and we had a b-52 fly through there. the japanese handed off to the koreans who then escorted the bomber through the korean peninsula to the other side. so this is pretty complicated operation. and it demonstrated to our
allies and friends, and also to kim jong-un, we have this capability that we can bring these forces to bear from all around the pacific, to focus on him if need be. so i'm pleased with the array of forces that we have. in terms of fight tonight forces. but as i answered previous question, i am concerned about follow-on forces and the means to get them there. all of which is affected by readiness, which is affected by the budget and on and on. >> seems to me, part of this is a whole government response. are we doing enough in the nonmilitary instruments of power? for example, in the '90s we used banking sanctions that i thought were very effective. are there other things we should be doing to help put pressure on north korea? >> yeah, sir, i believe that it is a whole government effort. and the whole government effort would be required. and i believe that different parts of our government are
involved in the north korean problem set. >> should we go ba back to the banking sections? seems to me that worked. >> i'm not smart on banking. >> one last thing. thinking of kim jong-un, the grandson of a dictator, son of a dictator, surrounded by people his whole life that tell him what he wants to hear. so rational decision making. how would you interpret his strategic objectives? what is he trying to pursue? what's his goals with his behavior? >> so i believe that there is an element of respect that he's going after. i believe he wants to be considered a nuclear state, a nuclear capable state. i believe he seeks unification of the korean peninsula to his favor. and i believe that he seeks to have that dominance in that part of the world. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman, i appreciate the time. i yield back. >> ms. gabbert. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral harris, aloha, welcome.
>> aloha. >> i've just returned back to washington yesterday. after holding a whole string of town hall meetings across the state of hawaii on each island. and the question and concern raised about north korea's threat, yes, the united states specifically to hawaii, was a constant question, and theme that came up on each of our islands there. given hawaii is home to your headquarters, how do you characterize the threat of north korea specifically to hawaii and how confident are you in our current bmd capabilities against that threat? >> yeah. thanks, congresswoman. and i am concerned about it. i believe that our ballistic missile architecture is sufficient to protect hawaii today. but it can be overwhelmed, and, you know, if -- if kim jong-un or someone else launched ballistic missiles, icbms
against the united states, and then, you know -- somewhere we would have to make the decision on which ones to take out or not. so that's a difficult decision. i think that we would be better served -- my personal opinion is that we would be better served with a defensive hawaii radar, and intercepters in hawaii. i know that that's being discussed and i don't want to get ahead of those discussions. but i think we ought to study it for sure. and then make that decision as a department, what the best way forward is. but kim jong-un is clearly in a position to threaten hawaii today, in my opinion. >> thank you. and in what you're suggesting, having a radar, as well as interceptors in hawaii specifically, how confident are you in that technology that's being discussed in being able to effectively intercept an icbm coming towards us? >> it depends on the systems. you know, we're getting ahead
of -- i'm getting ahead of ourselves just a little bit. because i'm suggesting that we study the basing of interceptors in hawaii. the type of interceptors, that's the next level of detail. which i'm not -- i'm not part of that discussion. i think that the defense of hawaii radar is coming. i think the interacceptors piece is something that is yet to be determined. but i believe we should certainly look at it, and i think we would be somehow not doing our job if we didn't look at it. >> and could you expand a little bit on what you mentioned on the current bmd capability being sufficient but if overwhelmed would create a situation where difficult choices would be made? could you maybe spell out a scenario? >> yeah, in this hearing room, i'll just say that we have x number of interceptors that can shoot down y number of targets.
and if the opposition fired y plus one, then that's at least one. that we'll get through. >> thank you. recently, i think about a month ago, the acting assistant secretary of state made a statement basically saying the pivot to asia is effectively over. have you -- what is your take on that statement, and how have you seen the practical implications of that? >> yeah. so i believe that the phrase was -- well, you know, the -- the term "pivot" and the term "rebalance," those are just words that describe what america is doing. and i believe that what we are doing is continuing to place an importance on the asian region. i think that secretary mattis' first trip was to the region. the vice president, i was with him when he returned from the
region through hawaii. i believe that these send the right signal to our friends, allies and partners and others that the united states remains steadfast in our placing of the region as the most important region for america's future. and i think the president's relationships with prime minister abe in japan, with president xi in china, and all of that are positive. and demonstrates to the folks out there that we do value what's happening in thein dough-asia specific. even though the terms pivot may be out of vogue, i think our nation remains focused on the region. and as we should. >> it's what's actually happening that matters. i appreciate your leadership. through your long tenure of service based in hawaii, but really always bringing to light
the challenges as well as the opportunities that we face there in the region. thank you. >> thank you. >> ms. cheney. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you, admiral, for your service to the country and for your very frank answers and helpful answers here today. i wanted to follow up first on some questions about the inf treaty and see if you could elaborate a little bit on the extent to which that treaty is now only in fact prohibiting the united states. only binding us in many ways, if the russians are violating it, and if the chinese are moving ahead in the production of weapons that we can't produce under that treaty. >> yeah, i think you've said it all. in my concern. the inf treaty doesn't affect china's weapons development or any other country's weapons development with the exception of ours and russias. because they're not signatories. it's a bilateral treaty signed
in 1985 during a bipolar world, us and the soviet union and now russia and some of the republics that have come out from that. i don't know if russia is wholesale violating the treaty. i do know that general selva testified that they have violated it in certain aspects. so we should hold them to account for that. on the nuclear side of the inf treaty, i believe it's holding, and i would be hesitant to call for a -- for us to pull out of the treaty because of anything you could do to limit nuclear weapons is a good. but the treaty not only governs nuclear weapons, but also conventional weapons and the ballistic and cruise missile regimes. and that's what i'm worried about. so i'm worried about chinese weapons and what we're going to do about it. so we can't stop the chinese from developing weapons around
counter inf, because they're not signatory to inf. but we can develop weapons that can match those, because we are a signatory, and we follow it like you would expect america to follow a treaty, to the letter. >> thank you. and in particular, one of those kinds of weapons that they're developing that we are precluded from developing are the hypersonic weapons, is that right? >> that's correct. >> and could you talk a little bit about missile defense against hypersonic weapons, in terms of what the capabilities are, if anythi, we might have today. >> i really don't want to get into that in this hearing. happy to discuss it in the classified section. >> okay, thank you. in terms of missile defense, and our allies, is there more that we could be doing, for example, with respect to the sale of shore sites or thad to japan? >> i believe that there is more that we can do. and we should make available, i think, those systems to countries that are our allies and close friends that would
want them. i don't want to get into a discussion with japan, for example, on what's better. i think they can make that decision. but we should encourage them to go down that path. i think that it's -- that within our treaty structure, our alliance structure in northeast asia, for example, one of the things that could be done, which we can improve on, is the relationship between japan and south korea. right? they both have eveningis weapons systems, ballistic defense ask, they need to get along better. and i'm happy to report that they are. that we're having an effect in that and they recognize the need to do this, and the relationship between both of them and the trilateral relationship is improving, which is helpful. >> and then just a little bit more on china. it has long been the policy, including in the previous
administration, the bush administration, the obama administration today that we need to get the chinese to put pressure on north korea, as you discussed it at some length here. but could you talk a little bit about what you see as their real interest? i mean, if you look at the developments that they're making to prevent us from access in the same area, you know, how much do we really think we could count on them in terms of some of their interests seem very aligned with the north koreans' interest. >> i think that in regards to the peninsula, the korean peninsula, china's interests include they don't want to see a regime that -- north korean regime that collapses and have a refugee problem from the millions of north koreans that would probably head into china. so that's one problem. they don't want to see a unified peninsula that's unified with seoul -- seoul, korea, as its core. they don't want to -- an
american ally on their borders. so that's problematic for them. so those are their -- i think their historically their big concern with what's happening on the peninsula. and that has driven their actions. that has driven them to be helpful in some points and less helpful in others, both in terms of actual things and in the temporal expen temporal sense. but i think that president trump has convinced presidency that there are other benefits to having a denuclearized north korea. and it's to china's benefit that it be that way. and then we'll go forward and see where it goes. and i think in its early days, for sure, but china seems to be helpful here. and, you know, i want to acknowledge that and be optimistic. >> thank you. i yield back, mr. chairman.
>> mr. o'halloran. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral harris, thank you for being here today. and really want to thank you and all of your women and men underneath your command. i'm going to get off of the subjects that we'll deal with in the classified meeting. but i wanted to go back to isis for a second. you had mentioned that there were isis-inspired terrorism in bangladesh, indonesia, philippines. they don't have the best history as far as being able to adapt to those types of situations. and their countries also that are on the -- within your area that could be helpful in the future. how do you see this developing as far as if isis does get in there, how do we address that situation, and how confident are you that they are able to address it themselves or need our help?
>> so i'm encouraged by the -- by the activities of those countries, the philippines, malaysia, indonesia, bangladesh. principally because they understand their problems, and one of the subordinate commands to pay com, special operations command, is involved in advising and assisting the militaries of those countries. and i think that's important. so soc-pac is in the southern philippines, for example, helping the armed forces of the philippines go after the problems themselves. so this is a philippine problem set. the philippine authorities are the ones taking direct action, and we're helping them where we can, and where they want to have help. so i think that's the approach that's good for the pacific, and it's working, i think, right now. >> and do any of these
countries, admiral, have the ability to assist in anything that would occur in the south china sea, or if they don't, what do we have to do in order to get them up to that level? >> yeah, i think they're reluctant to be involved in activities in the south china sea that would put them in a position of confrontation with china. it's the philippines, though, that we have to remember is the one who started the arbitration case, which got us in the place we are in legal framework. but, you know, these countries are subject to economic pressures and other pressures from china. and they all have issues -- not all of them, but malaysia, for example, has issues in the south china sea with china, as does indonesia and an area north natoona. and all of the issues that we
know about with the philippines. so i think that we need to encourage them to stand up to china, and we need to back s.t.o.p. them where we can, especially with countries that we're allied with, like the philippines. they are a treaty ally of the united states. >> but the philippines also have some internal problems. that can cause us some problems. i guess from your remarks i'm going to take it that depending on them for substantial help in that area is probably minimal. >> right. >> okay. mr. chairman, i yield. >> mr. banks. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral harris, thank you for being here today. in 2010, a republic of korea navy ship was sunk by what is believed to be a north korean torpedo. the same year, the u.s. navy issued an urgent operational need to accelerate the development of the navy's
surface ship torpedo defense system. which provides advanced torpedo detection, classification and counter measure system to protect the high-value surface ships and aircraft carriers from increasing torpedo threats. since then, torpedo threats have continued to increase with adversary submarines operating within torpedo range of carrier battle groups as evidenced in 2015 with the "u.s.s. ronald regular" battle group and today highlighted by the current and aggressive threats we face from north korea. i understand that four systems have been successfully tested and stalled and deployed since 2014 to help counter this threat with over 20,000 operational hours on board, high-value units. however, i also understand that budget constraints may be threatening the further development and deployment of this system on all cvns. this is particularly concerning, considering the recent prove kaths occasions from our adversaries and specific threats this week from north korea stating their intent to seek --
to sink a u.s. navy strike group led by "u.s.s. carl vincent" with $350,000 million tested to date, is there a renewed priori ensure this system development continues and is rapidly deployed on every high value unit in our fleet? >> sir, i'm not an expert on the system, but i will say that the budget constraints are such that the navy will have to make difficult decisions, and this will likely be one of those decisions that will be made. the system would be cut if we don't get, you know, the budget or if the navy doesn't get the resources as asked for. >> can you defend the priority? >> i don't know what the navy has put above this in terms of other systems that they would keep and this they would cut, but i'll entrust the navy to be able to prioritize all of the systems they have and they are going to have to take cuts.
you know, in a -- in a finite fiscal environment, then you can't have everything. and i think the navy will make those difficult decisions. >> thank you, admiral. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, welcome and thank you for your testimony here this morning and most especially thank you for your great service of the nation. so, we've recently seen an increase in military operations by the new administration such as the cruise missile strikes in syria and the bomb dropped in afghanistan. while i certainly think both of those actions were appropriate, if we move the action over to north korea, i fear that employing similar actions without broader, more strategic goals in place may have disastrous effects on the 24,000 u.s. troops living within range of north korean army artillery. how is paycom ensuring the
implications are being weighed when planning action on the korean peninsula? >> i think it's a great question, sir, and as i talked earlier, i believe that the best thing that we can do as pay-com, the best thing that i can do, is to ensure we have credible combat power available all the time to face whatever threat comes out of north korea. i think the lack of a strong, credible combat deterrence is actually an encouragement to kim jong-un to do things that are provocative or dangerous, or both. and so if we don't have that capability, or if he thinks we don't have the capability, then that would make him, i think, adventurous and that would, in fact, then threaten those millions, 25 million people who live in seoul.
that would then require a response by us and our south korean ally, then we'd be at it again. so i believe that the best thing i can do is to provide that credible combat force in the face of kim jong-un's provocations. >> thank you, admiral. on another topic, i strongly believe that multilateral exercises with our partners and allies are critical to achieving a unified front in the face of some of our more aggressive and challenging adversaries, whether they be in the indo-asia pacific region, in the u-com arena, or elsewhere. unfortunately, we constantly hear these exercises are at an increasing risk of being cancelled because of budget constraints and uncertainty. what actions do you fear we're at risk losing if we're unable to work with our allies, and
will these partnering countries seek or be approached by other powerful nations in the region to fill the void that the u.s. leaves? >> clearly, the exercises are important on a number of levels. for those countries that are -- that our military appears, you know, the high end militaries in the region, japan, korea, singapore, australia, new zealand, these are high end militaries that we need to exercise with, because we might be in a position to have to rely on them for some operation or they might be in a position to rely on us for some operation. and if we don't know how to work with them, then it will be unproductive in the early days. and then there are countries that seek to be better and exercises with us and countries like us are desired. if we can't provide that level
of exercise support, then other countries will step in and do that in lieu of us. and when i say other countries, that's a euphemism for china. so china will step in and they will become, or they will try to become, the security partner of choice, if you will, for countries that we are security partners with today. that's because we invest time and resources and equipment and american people reflected in the soldiers, sailors, marines, coast guardsmen. we invest in our relationship with these countries, and if we don't do that because of budget restraints, and exercises are clearly on the table, services will cut stuff and i'll cut exercises in order to make my books balance. and the end result of that is we'll have a lesser capable military alliance structure, not
only because our allies will be less capable, we'll be less capable, then we'll also have less professional relationships with our friends and partners in the region. >> thank you, admiral. you've confirmed a lot of things that i fear and have concerns about. so thank you for the work you're doing. i have other questions i'll submit for the record, but admiral, thank you for your service and extraordinary work you're doing. i'll yield back. >> mr. franks. >> well, thank you, mr. chairman, thank you, admiral, for being here. always appreciate people like yourself that give your life to protecting the rest of us. admiral, you know that some of the times when we ask you questions it's not just to be enlightened, it's sometimes we even have some idea what the answer is, but we're trying to inform policy decisions, sometimes even use it for leverage for policy decisions, so that might reflect some of my questions here today. so the first one is a general question about in general how
much did we spend to field the shore test site at the pacific missile range facility? >> sir, i don't know. but i'll find out for you. >> that would be fine. >> then the follow-up, does it make sense to defend hawaii from alaska instead of using this particular site? >> yeah, in -- in response to an earlier question, i believe we should do both. we should consider doing both. >> redundancy. >> i think so. and while i'm not advocating for interceptors in hawaii, i'm advocating we study the issue of putting interceptors in hawaii, which i think is prudent. >> sure. well, we have the navy's new spy-6 and the radar pacific missile range facility. can we use those radars to add to the defense of hawaii today? >> i believe we can, but i'm
advocating for the defense of hawaii radar, different radar, different kind of radar. i think that there are two different -- or a couple of defense contractors that are interested in providing that, so, you know, i don't have a view as to which radar is better or all of that, but i think we need to have a defense of hawaii radar system, and then we should look at the interceptors that would naturally go with that. >> would it be better in terms of some of those mechanisms to wait several years to conduct environmental impact statement process and analysis of alternative processes to build a brand new radar? >> i think we have to follow the rules, right, and so eis, environmental impact statement and all of that is important, and i think we must follow those rules. that said, there is a sense of urgency here. i mean, kim jong-un just last --
a few days ago threatened australia, so, you know, so we have a sense of urgency and the rules, and i think we can bring them together in ways that don't violate the law, but also move this thing forward. >> are you suggesting that if a warhead landed, that it might have an environmental impact? >> it might have that, sir. >> should we evaluate the capability of the sm-3 block 2a to defend hawaii from north korea and its icbms? >> i think we should evaluate that. that should be one of the systems that we look at to see what's best for the defense of hawaii. >> in terms of hawaii's defense, and specifically with north korea in mind, is there anything that you would tell this committee that you think is a priority that has not been essentially elaborated on here today? >> no, sir. i think i've been pretty clear that i'm advocating for a
defense of hawaii radar. i'm advocating for a study to see if it's worthwhile to put interceptors in hawaii to improve hawaii's capability against north korean missiles, or anyone else's missiles for that matter. >> well, admiral, thank you, and we'll save any other questions for the classified moments. thank you, sir. >> thank you, mr. chair. hello, admiral harris, good to see you. and i'd like to thank congressman franks for his concern over hawaii. some people think we're just an island, and it's good to hear that my colleagues are concerned about the safety of our islands. congressman franks also brought up prmf, which i've always felt is an essential to the defense, not only of the pacom or indoe-asia pacific area, but also the rest of the united states, and i think what we're
getting at here and if we can't talk about it except in a classified setting, i would understand that, and that is really the land mass that we have, the question is whether we can have a permanent intercept sor in hawaii versus still not sacrifice the missile ranges, now what it tends to do, which is to do all the testing. do you have an opinion as to whether the two can coexist? because i've heard the use of the trade "conditional permanent" versus an actual permanent structure. >> yeah, i believe they can coexist, and i also believe that pmrf, the pacific missile range facility, is a national treasure. >> i agree with you. i think you can't duplicate it anywhere, else the undersea components of it. >> the whole thing, the size of the air space, the size of the range space, it cannot be replicated. it's a national treasure. >> i guess on that note we should tell our colleagues in hawaii that they should be very receptive to extending the lease
surrounding pmrf, because that, of course, is kept in the position that it's in. i'm also interested in the concept of the undersea warfare that you wrote about in your -- in your testimony, and if the fact that out of the 230 of the world's 400 foreign submarines are in the indo-asia pacific region, 130 belong to china, north korea, and russia. i guess my other question is, who do the others belong to, but in addition to that, what -- what is the capabilities of these submarines that we find? >> so the, the others are friends, allies, partners, japanese, koreans, indonesians, indians, you know, so they all add up. the capabilities are varied depending on the country. some are very, very capable, the
japanese submarines, the french submarines that australia's going to buy. highly capable submarines. others are not so capable, the north korean subs, for example. china has a range, so they have capable submarines at the high end and less capable older ones, but they are trying to make the capable submarines even more capable and close the gap with us. they have -- china has the full range. diesel, boats, nuclear boats, guided missile submarines, icbms or ssbns, gen class ballistic missile submarines, and so on. so that kind of covers the range. russia's most advanced and newest class of submarines are now in the pacific, the class ssbn is now in the pacific. so these are dramatic improvements in capability of
competitor submarine forces. >> we hate to say this, but how do they compare to our submarines? russia's newest top grade submarines? >> as i've said before, i believe that there is no submarine on the planet that can touch an american submarine, virginia class submarine. that said, that gap between the next best, third best, is closing. they want -- their competitors are working and investing hard to close those gaps, and we have to continue to resource our submarine force in order to keep that gap a gap. >> in the testimony or the statement by general brooks, he talks about a successful testing of north korea's developmental submarine launch ballistic missile. now, i'm curious as to whether it launched from north korea's
submarine and how many of them do they have floating out there? >> they have one. designate tor is ssb as opposed to ssbn, because it's a conventional submarine. it's the gorae, and that's the rudimentary ballistic missile capable submarine that north korea has. >> but it can launch, nonetheless, a ballistic missile? >> it can. it is a rudimentary submarine, but it can launch a ballistic missile. >> thank you. mr. chair, i yield back. thank you, admiral. >> dr. abraham? >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you, admiral, for being here and your very informative answers and direct answers, and i would postulate that save the north korea and chinese border being heavily armed by their militias and armies, that china would already be having a significant refugee crisis from
north korea under kim jong-un's leadership. you answered most questions, i just have one. for your intelligence surveillance, reconnaissance requirements in your command specifically, your command is so vast, are those requirementing being met on the isr platforms? >> they are not, sir, but i believe any combatant commander would sit here and tell you that his or her isr requirements are not being met. >> you could use, certainly, more drones, more aircraft? >> right. all of the above. you know, i'm -- i call myself -- i'm a insatiable need for stuff, because i think you all have an insatiable need for security. >> thank you so much. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> mr. mcsally? >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, good to see you again and thanks for your service. i served 26 years. my squaw drop was on the hook to support your theater if needed.
i'm deeply concerned about the north korean threat. it certainly didn't come overnight, but i think there's a sense of urgency, the grave nature of it, for them to be heading towards a potential to hold hostage the united states cities with a nuclear weapon. for my view and many of us here that's a nonstarter and i'm sure you agree with that. but as you've talked today eloquently about some of the options of how to address that, they are not easy options, right? and some people would argue whether we're dealing with a rational actor or not, trying to manage that escalation potential, while we ensure we have the combat power that you need to have a real deterrent, because deterrence means you have to have capability and intent, right, in order to stop his action and whether he's rational or not, these are all the factors needing to be considered. china's often considered to be in a critical role here, and some people think that maybe they are stepping up finally, but they have really not acted
in good faith in the past. they support u.n. security council resolutions but don't really enforce them. they are trying to have it both ways. i wonder in your perspective as a sailor/statesman and your strategic mind and your understanding of the dynamics in the area, has something shifted recently with china realizing that it's in their best interest to do whatever it takes to stop this threat from happening? and if so, could you just share some of your perspectives on that? >> so, on the question of china being helpful now in the current framework, i think it's early days. and so president trump had, i believe, an excellent meeting with president xi, and china is doing things. whether they continue to do things or not, we're going to have to wait and see. as you say in the past, china has said they were going to do things and not done them or not said and then done them and all of that.
so it's early days. so we just have to see how this goes. i'm encouraged. and i believe that kim jong-un has noticed that there's a change of foot with regard to china, and i think that's important. with regard to the issue of whether he's a rational actor or not, i think the term rational or crazy or irrational, i don't think those are helpful, because he is what he is. this is what dr. perry said a long time ago, you have to deal with korea as it is -- >> not as we want it to be. >> he is what he is. rational or not, he is in control of his country. he's in absolute control of his military. >> that matters for our deterrence. >> it does. he's on a quest for nuclear weapons and stated threatened american cities, australian cities, and the like. i believe that part of deterrence is also signaling, you know, so you've got capability times resolve times signaling, and the signaling
part is what we're doing. i think that's where your military comes into play. so all that together comes down to what i responded to earlier, that my job is to provide options to the president, but also to provide credible combat power visibly, so that k.j.u. will think about that when he does the things that he does. >> thank you, and in your testimony i'm also concerned and you laid it out pretty clearly about the aggressive increase of china's activity in the south china sea, east china sea, these are things we talked about the last few years. a lot of the public is not aware. they've created islands where they've previously not existed before, seven military bases, capability for 72 fighter hangers, they are closing the capability gap. are our options in the area militarily complicated by the fact we're now sort of pressuring china to deal with north korea in addressing their aggressiveness in the region? that seems we've got to look at it all together.
>> i believe, congresswoman, that we can walk and chew gum at the same time and great powers can have disagreements in one area and agree in another and can do both. and i think that we should encourage china and be appreciative of what they are doing with us with regards to north korea, and we should also be willing to criticize them for their aggressiveness and coerciveness in the south china sea. >> thanks, and these bases they have created, you've talked eloquently about the destruction to the marine ecosystems and how this has been an environmental catastrophe. are you hearing since last year when we talked about this any outcry from environmentalists, international groups? this is a major -- a major destruction. are you seeing anything shift? >> i'm not seeing anything from the environmental community. dr. mcmanis and his team down at
the university of miami say this is the worst ecological disaster in human history. the u.s.-china commission, which is an arm of congress, has written about this in their 2016 report about the damage that china's done to the fragile ecosystems in the south china sea. >> thanks, i'm over my time, but the silence is deafening, i think. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, admiral harris, for your service. as you know the history, president clinton in 1994 through 2002 got north korea to agree to freeze plutonium production, and the fact is, that we had a deal where we were going to buy all of their medium and intermediate missiles, and then president bush came and disregarded both of those deals and labeled north korea as part of the axis of evil. isn't it a fact that if president clinton's approach had
been followed and those agreements had been followed through on, that we wouldn't be in the situation we are in today? >> you know, as i review the history, i don't want to be accused of, you know, being a revisionist historian, but i believe that, you know, agreements have to go both ways, and i don't know that we could have believed with certainty that kim il-song would have followed that agreement. we know kim jong-il and kim jong-un -- kim jong-il in 1992 and kim jong-un have raised the level, especially k.j.u., has raised the level of threats against us and our treaty allies, and that's what i have to focus on when i think about where we are today. >> but we know, sir, that for eight years there was no plutonium production.
do you believe that direct talks, the kind that president clinton initiated where we had a plan to buy the long and medium size missiles, would be an approach, and do you think it was a mistake in 2002 to label them part of the axis of evil and give up on both diplomatic efforts of the clinton administration? >> again, sir, you're asking me to grade the horn of a commander in chief and i'm just not going to do it. >> the other question i had is, the recent ballistic missile launch in north korea was launched with prime minister -- the japanese prime minister's visit. and i'm sure you're familiar with the prime minister's grandfather. the prime minister's grandfather was under the united states labeled a war criminal. and the north korean, k.j.u.'s grandfather, fought him in world war ii. do you think the north korean
missile launch may have had something to do with the fact that prime minister abe's grandfather, who was a war criminal and fought the koreans, fought his own grandfather, had something to do with the history? the reason i ask these questions is, i feel our foreign policy needs to be pidictated with the complexity of history and president clinton's approach, which in my view was successful. >> sir, i'll just say that my father fought my mother's relatives in japan. my father was an american sailor, my mother's family are japanese, and they fought each other, but that doesn't change the fact that japan and the united states are the closest of allies today, and i don't think that -- my personal opinion is i don't think k.j.u.'s grandfather's history with prime minister abe's grandfather, i don't think that that affects how k.j.u. acts today in
northeast asia. >> do you -- i mean, he's been making these threats, and i agree with your testimony, sir, about the crazy threats against australia and new zealand and he's been making these threats for the last number of decades, but you would not -- would you be open to at least exploring direct talks again of the kind we had in the clinton administration? and do you think there's any possibility to get to the buying missiles? and the reason i say this, because you understand better than any of us, and i admire not just your service, but your family's service to this country, that the nuclear missiles there, as i understand it, there are 15,000 underground sites that have this. north korea is not, they have 200,000 special forces, an army, it's not an insignificant country, so when we're looking at what the options are, shouldn't one option be the type of diplomatic approach that president clinton took?
>> i believe that as the president has said that all options should be on the table, whether they are all kinetic options where i come in, or whether there are other options where the state department can come in, treasury, commerce, and the like. i think we need to have all the options on the table, but because -- simply because north korea is getting stronger militarily is no reason for us to turn our back on our allies and on ourselves and acknowledge and roll over and suggest because they are stronger we should do nothing. >> i appreciate your service, sir. >> thanks. >> mr. conway? >> i'm over here. >> yes, sir. >> thank you, appreciate you being here and for your service. franks' comments about self serving questions, i'm a co-sponsor of the 12th carrier authorization work, would that make life easier in the pacific if you had another carrier or
two at your disposal? >> in the pacific? yes, sir, it would. >> all right. you mentioned a couple of times that you've got to balance your books. turning to the little more mundane issue that arise to the level of criticality of some of the other things we're talking about but, nevertheless, important. you mention balancing your books several times. sequestration's impact, cr's impact. i'm concerned that the navy cannot audit its books and records as everyone in the system is concerned. are there any issues on your team, not directly responsible for auditing, but do you buy a lot of stuff? have a lot of internal controls that have to be functioning in order to be auditable, anything going on in your command that you can't get fixed in order to allow the navy to reach their audit capabilities? >> sir, i'm not an expert on the audit issue, and combatant commands, we don't buy a lot of stuff. we don't have -- the services
get the budget. they are part of the budget. they are the ones that go out and buy ships, airplanes, submarines, tanks, all that kind of stuff. >> but you buy fuel, ammunition, you're responsible for keeping track of fuel, ammunition, other things that do ask -- >> services are, and through the service components underneath pacom, but i'm not charged with auditing with what pacific fleet does with fuel and that kind of stuff. >> but you're in charge of those who do. is it an issue that if it came to your attention you'd weigh in on? >> i would. if i could understand how my weighing in would have an effect or if it could move the process along. i believe in auditing. i think it's important that not only we have enough money to buy the things that we need, that we buy them in ways that comport with the law and -- >> sure. >> and no wastage. >> at some point, though, americans, taxpayers' support for getting you enough money
will be a hinge on whether or not we can prove to the american people we keep track of it properly through these audits. turning back to north korea, elections next month for a new president. any sense of what impact that will have on our alliance, our relationship with the country? >> i don't think it will have any impact on our alliance or our relationship. i think that the north korean threat is so big that the korean people writ large appreciate the alliance and what the alliance does for them and for us. it's a two-way street, and i believe the major candidates, you know, we're down to five candidates now, and the front-runners are -- have come out strongly in favor of thad, strongly in favor of the alliance, and i think that it's -- it will be good no matter who wins, and i think that's a tribute. we should acknowledge what this is. here you have an ally, a
country, south korea, that's under this enormous threat. the president was impeached, they have a strong military, and yet they are proceeding a pace with a democratic process, which i think is just terrific, and they are going to elect a new leader here, new president here, the 10th or the 9th or so of may and i think we'll go forward from there. >> well put. i think the strength of that democracy and the republic there is shown by the ability to handle these crises that are going on right now and we're proud of those folks, but, obviously, i want to make sure that they continue to know that they know we have -- they have our support to make sure that whatever that threat is up north is handled. again, thank you for your hospitality when i was in your area a couple years ago, and appreciate that. thank you for your service. i yield back. >> mthank you, mr. chairman, thank you, admiral.
luckily, this was just brought up. what is the current communication and decision making process considering that south korea is going through a political leadership vacuum right now? who is our comport? who is helping at least the south koreans make the civilian military decisions? i am concerned, obviously, that we're going through an election and glad that, obviously, it's going to continue going forward, but in these tough times, who are we talking to within the south korean leadership right now on the political side and on the military side also? >> so, on the political side, excuse me, on the political side they have an acting president. they have an acting president. they have a strong minister of defense, and so i think on the political side things are working fine. on a military side, even more so. i mean, my counterpart is general lee, the chairman of the iraqi military.
general brooks, u.s. army, u.s. forces commander is in country. you know, he would normally be here, except he's busy right now, and so he has daily, if not even hourly, contact with general lee and with the folks, the military folks and with minister hahn, the minister of defense there in korea. we have an affair there in lieu of an ambassador, and the general brooks and he are closely connected so that the military and the diplomatic dimensions of american power are in place and operating with their south korean counterparts on the peninsula against the north korean threat. i'm very confident in general brooks and his team. >> thank you, admiral, but it does scare me we don't have a south korean ambassador, while at the same time south korea doesn't have a fully vested president. does the acting president right
now have the -- the full confidence of its military leadership or at least the political backing of the parties to act -- act in concert for whatever needs to occur in the next couple weeks, should something occur? >> absolutely. as i mentioned to the previous question, i think south korean democracy is very strong, very vibrant, and the military in south korea understands its place in the civil military structure and the civilian control and military is primary there, just as it is here in america. >> i yield back. >> admiral, let me just touch on a few things we haven't gotten to yet. maybe one or two sentences on our mill to mill relationship with some other countries, so, for example, philippines.
>> we have a great relationship with the philippines, despite some of the permutations we've talked about over the past year. we have a strong relationship with them, with our arm forces in the philippines and all the areas we've had before, we still have. so we have bilikitan, we have a new exercise, we're continuing with edca, enhanced defense cooperation agreement, and working on those sites with the philippines. socp is deeply involved in the counterterrorism operations in the south, in support of, not in lieu of, but in support of the armed forces of the philippines, so i'm positive about our relationship in the mill to mill space and i'm encouraged by it. >> vietnam? >> vietnam is a great opportunity for us. i believe that the work that's
being done in maritime security is positive, and we have this theory, this approach called sense, share, and collaborate. it's where we're now building out the ability to sense what's going on in the military in the maritime domain. soon they'll be able to share that with each other and other countries in the area and coordinate with us and other countries with what they find in their maritime domain. so i'm very positive about where we are with vietnam. >> how about india? >> india presents, i think, the biggest opportunity for us. we share values, both large democracies. a lot of cultural commonalities with indian-americans here in the united states and americans who live and work in india. their military is strong and
growing. i think that we could be helpful to them in terms of jointness and demonstrating to them the value of jointness within their military. they are a major defense partner of us. we're helping them across the space in the defense realm, so i'm very pleased with where we are with india. i've had the chance to address the dialogue and its first two iterations, and i hope to return to india within a year to continue the relationship so we built up with the indian military. >> and finally, we haven't really talked about the freedom of navigation operations in the south china sea. how frequent do you command those? can you talk a little about that effort? >> yeah, so i command them
through pacific fleet, so the pacific fleet commander, who does the same with 7th fleet, so generally it's a navy operation, and so that will go through the fleet. i command them from a combatant commander perspective. i take direction and guidance from secretary of defense and the national command authority on the operations. i think we'll be doing some soon, but that's kind of where we are on that today. >> okay. ms. murphy, do you have a question? >> yes, thank you. admiral harris, thank you for being here today. i had the pleasure of working for admiral fallon in the cag, and i appreciate your assessment of the security challenges in the region and how these conditions compare to my time at pacom years ago. i wanted to know a little more about your vision for strengthening and modernizing
our alliances and partnerships in the region. you describe the effort in your testimony as partnerships with a purpose. what does partnerships with a purpose look like, and where are there opportunities for growth? and i'm asking you this today because i'm introducing two bills to try to get back the enormous security challenges in the asia pacific region by strengthening both our inner agency and international commitments to the region. the first bill would create an interagency intelligence integration cell, which would synchronize intel on north korea so u.s. national security policy makers would have the best information possible to make decisions. and the second bill would authorize the president to create an asia pacific defense commission comprised of the u.s. and willing partner nations to deepen cooperation between the united states and its regional allies to improve our ability to address some of the security challenges in the area. i think you may agree that the strength of our relationships in
the region comes from trust, credibility, and across time. and these measures were meant to send a clear signal to both our allies and our adversaries that the u.s. is committed to the asia pacific region in a credible and enduring manner. >> i think that on the partnerships with a purpose and you'll recall from your time there that almost all of our relationships here to forehave been hub and spoke relationships, bilateral relationships with all the countries we have relationships with. i get it that our treaty allies by nature are bilateral. that's what they want and that's what we want. for treaty allies, but i think that we need to go beyond hub and spoke to have partnerships with a purpose. and i'll give you three quick examples. our two treaty allies in northeast asia, japan and korea, we're really about defending
northeast asia, so that becomes a naturally forming trilateral relationship. there's no way, i don't think, that japan and korea are going to have an alliance, but we should have a trilateral relationship focused on defending northeast asia. i think there's a naturally forming democracy centric multilateral, kwau dri lateral relationship between japan, united states, australia, and india. i think there's a naturally forming partnership focused on counterterrorism, philippines, indonesia, malaysia, bangladesh, us, and australia and new zealand. so these are some of the ideas that we're trying to advocate for and forward and push these partnerships with a purpose. and i think the legislation that you've described, i think they are excellent. and i'll need to study it more to get into the eaches of it, but i think on the surface based on what you've just said, that
they are committed to it. >> well, i appreciate that, thank you. and what do you think some of the resource challenges or opportunities in actually resourcing the ability to do partnerships with a purpose? >> yeah, so i think that in the resources world, all i face are challenges. there's no glut of resources. but i think that the work of the congress to forward the asia pacific stability initiative is terrific, if that comes through. the last two years we've had the maritime security initiative. about a half -- about $500 million or so spread out over a number of years, and i think that's helpful. but the asia pacific stability will help significantly as we go forward over the next few years. >> great, thank you. >> you bet. >> yield back the remainder of my time. >> admiral, thank you.
for what it's worth, i think y'all made the right call in keeping general brooks on duty, given what's happening in the world. i appreciate your answers. the committee will reassemble upstairs in classified session in approximately five minutes or so, and with that, this hearing stands adjourned. >> thank you, sir.
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