tv Senators Told Diplomacy Must Be Exhausted First Regarding North Korea CSPAN April 26, 2017 5:30pm-8:01pm EDT
[ applause ] >> president trump will mark his 100th day in office with a rally in harrisburg, pennsylvania on saturday night at 7:30 p.m. eastern. you can see it live on our companion network c-span. for the first time since ronald reagan was shot, the president is not attend iing the white hoe correspondents association dinner. our coverage begins at 9:30 p.m. eastern saturday. the senate armed services committee yesterday heard from former government officials about u.s. strategy until the asia-pacific region. tensions on the korean peninsula was one of the topics. this is two and a half hours.
victor cha, erin friberg, who is professor of politics at princeton, university, kelly -- help me. former principles tal deputy si of defense. and ashley tellis senior fellow in tata. i'm having trouble with my enunciation this morning. i apologize. senior fellow and chair for strategic affairs at the carnegie endowment for international peace, an old friend of the committee. for the past 70 years we've worked with allies and partners to uphold a rules-based order based on principles of free people's in free markets, open
seas and skies. the rule of law and the peaceful resolution of disputes. these ideas have produced unprecedented peacened prosperity in the asia pacific. now a throthe most immediate che is a situation on the crane peninsula. kim jong un's regime has thrown its full weight behind its quest for nuclear weapons. unfortunately, the regime is making real progress. a north korean missile with a nuclear payload capable of striking an american city is no longer a distant hypothetical. but an imminent danger, one that poses a real and rising risk of conflict. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses today about u.s. policy options on the crakorean
la. for years the u.s. has looked to china to bring the regime to the negotiating table and achieve progress toward a denuclearized korean peninsula. china has repeatedly refused to exercise that influence. instead, china has chosen to bull bully south korea. in response to the alliance decision to deploy the fad missile system to the crane peninsula, china has waged a campaign of economic retaliation against south korea which has inflicted real damage. china is doing all of this to stop the deployment of a missile defense system which is only necessary because china has
aided and abetted north korea for decades. i welcome the trump administration's outreach to china on the issue of north korea. but as these discussions continue, the united states should be clear that while we ernestly seek china's cooperation on north korea, we do not seek such cooperation at the expense of our vital interests. we must not and will not bargain over aligns with japan and south korea nor over fundamental principles such as freedom of the seas. as its behavior towards south korea has indicated china has acted less and less like a responsible stakes holder and more like a bully. its rapid military modernization, provocations in the east china sea, and continued militarization activities in the south china sea signal an increasingly assertive pattern of behavior. depilot u.s. efforts to
rebalancest asia pacific, they've failed to adapt to the rules-based order and that failure has called into question america's commitments in the region. i believe there's strong merit for an asia pacific stability initiative. this initiative would enhance pacific command power through targeted funding to realign u.s. force posture in the region, improve infrastructure, fund additional exercises, and build gas with our allies and partners. these are important steps that should be taken as martd of a new comprehensive strategy in the asia pacific.
i hope our witnesses will describe their ideas about what an apsi, senator reed. >> thank you for calling this hearing and thank you to all the witnesses for agreeing to testify this morning. this hearing could not come at a more critical time as the north korean regime has engaged in an aggressive schedule of tests. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses. is a military strike something we should consider given the scope of retaliation from the regime? i would also like to hear whether there are feasible military options on the table
and how they should be coordinated. we've heard concern that the administration has not yet articulated a comprehensive asia pacific strategy. for example, what is the administration's maritime strategy to deal with excessive, unlawful maritime claims. and most important, how will it balance cooperation and competition with china? especially given the importance of china's inkorm race issues ranging from north korea to terrorism. mr. chairman, thank you for holding this important hearing. i look forward to hearing the testimony of the witnesses on all the of these witnesses and more. thank you. >> before i call on the witnesses, we have a housekeeping -- what's that? all right. we just lost one. so we'll wait. dr. cha, welcome.
>> thank you, chairman mccain. so there used to be a time when north korea and their actions were considered isolated acts by a lonely dictator who was harmless and looking for some attention with really bad hair. i don't think people think that way anymore. between 1994 and 2008 north korea did 16 ballistic missile tests and one nuclear test. since january of 2009, they have done 71 missile tests, including four nuclear tests. the leader in north korea has made no effort to have dialogue with any other country in the roimg, not just the united states but that includes china,
strae, russia. absolutely no interest in faulking. all of this translates to one of the most challenging strategic environments for the united states and its allies and a very dark strategic cloud that is starting to dominate the skyline with regard to east asia. having said that, i think there are -- there's a silver lining to every dark cloud. and in this case i think there are four that could help to ininform an asia pacific security initiative as the chairman mentioned. first, the north korean threat provides opportunity for closer coordination of policy between the next government in south korea which will be elected may 9th, and washington. new south koreian government cannot afford indulgences in the sunshine policy. it would be unwise, for example, for a new south koreian
president to declare that he or she is reopening the kay song industrial complex. this would only serve to further margin marginalize the south koreans. the u.s. is not averse. however, for it to be effective, such engagement must be utszed 9 strategically and coordinated with an overall u.s. strategy for negotiations and denukization. the second silver lining has to do with trilateral corporation. the united states should welcome a meeting with the u.s. president and south korea and japan presumably before president trump's scheduled visit to the region in the fall. the goal of alliance coordination should be a collective statement among the three allies, the united states, jaech and korea and an attack on
one constitutes an attack against automatic. the third silver lining relates to china. beijing is unlikely to let off on the economic pressure on south korea over the defense system for i think at least another one or two financial quarters. this will hurt south korean businesses and tourism even more, but it should also spark serious strategic thinking in the united states and south korea about reducing the rok's economic dependence on china. the two allies should think seriously about new bilateral partnerships that could reduce south korean dependence on china and the middle east. washington and seoul can work together to work out a strategy for engaging india as well as
asean countries. this should be a serious efforts in creating new markets for u.s. products and investment. the chinese have proven with their coercion over the thad issue that the south koreans' welfare cannot be left in other hands. in particular, as part of a new engagement strategy with asean, the united states with support will show stronger will to control the south china sea. this would be a distinctly positive platform for the united states and its allies in the region. thank you very much. >> thank you, dr. friberg, before you we go to you, we have a quorum now.
550 nominations. is there a motion in favor to support these military nominatio nominations? second. motion carries. >> senator mccain, senator reid, thank you very much. members of the committee, appreciate very much the opportunity to express my views on these important subjects. in the time available i'd like to try to make three main points. first, as snoerlt mccain, i think, has already indicated, i don't think the united states currently has a coherent integrated strategy for the asia-pacific region. what we have instead are 2 remnants of a strategy first put in place over two decades ago. some aspirational goals and a set of policies and programs intended to achieve them that are now in varying states of disrepair and which are in any
event largely disconnectsed from one another. second, china does have such a strategy, not only for the asia-pacific. the goal of beijing strategy has become increasingly clear in the last few years is to create a yuration order that's different from the one we've been trying to create since the doled war. china has many weaknesses and liabilities. we and our allies have many strengths. i do think we've reached the point where it's essential that we reexam our goals, review our strategy and adjust our policies accordingly. the start of a new administration would be the time to attempt such a review. it becomes more difficult as time goes on. let me try to expand on each point. when the cold war ended, the united states set out to expand
the geographic scope of the western liberal and institutional order and by accelerating the integration of china, a process that had begun a few years before. as regards china, the united states pursued a two-pronged strategic on the one hand seeking to engage china on all domains, and at the same time, working with our allies and partners in maintaining our own forces in the region to preserve a balance of power that was favorable to our interests and to the security of our allies. the goals of that policy were to preserve stability, to deter the possibility of aggression. the u.s. hoped in effect to tame and ultimately to transform china to encourage its -- and
leading eventually to the economic and political liberalization of that country. as in europe, so also in asia, our ultimate aim was to build a region whole and free, an open liberal region in an open and liberal world. since the turn of the century it's become increasingly apparent that this approach hasn't worked. engagement has not achieved its intended results. china is far stronger and richer, but it's more repressive domestically since anytime in the cultural revolution. it imposes costs on other countries including ours and its behavior has become assertive and aggressive in the maritime domain. and balancing has become more di for us and our allies because of the growth of china's military
capabilities. so second, what accounts for this recent shift in chinese behavior? the short answer to that question is that beijing's increased assertiveness is mix bid a mix of optimism and arrogance on one hand and also deep insecurity. for roughly the first 15 years or so after the end of the cold war china's rulers followed dung choip ping that said that china should hide its capabilities and bide its time and advance cautionly towards eventually achieving a position re-establishing china as the power in the region. things began to change in 2008 with the onset of financial crisis and these changes have been accelerated and become institutionalized since twirtd with the election of xi jinping. strategists have concluded that
the united states was declining more rapidly than had been expected and that china was therefore able to rise more quickly than had been hoped. it was time for china to step up, to become clearer in defining its core interests and more assertive in pursuing them. at the same time, however, the crisis also deepened the chinese leadership's underlying concerns about their prospects for sustaining economic growth and preserving social stability. so china is behaving more assertively because its leaders want to seize opportunities presented to them and because they feel the need to bolster their legitimacy and to rally domestic support by courting controlled confrontations with others whom they can present as hostile foreign forces, including japan and the united states. china's actions aren't limited to pursuing its claims and trying to extend sits zone of
effective control in the maritime domain. beijing has unvabld a hugely ambitious set of plans which aims transform the economic and geography of shall of ur asia. china's leaders have become to articulate their vision of a system of networks, regional free trade areas, new rules written in beijing and mechanisms for political consultation with the united states pushed to the prefer rry. democracies would be divided from one another and relatively weak and china would be surro d surrounded on the continent by friendly regimes.
if in the 20th century they're using and trying to coordinate the instruments of policies to achieve these ends. military domain, building up conventional capabilities and modernizing nuclear forces in order to deter possible u.s. intervention and to raise questions about the viability of our security guarantees and developing other instruments, little blue men, island construction to advance towards their goals, create facts without provoking confrontation. economically they've been using the growing gravitational pull toward their economy and i've become open in using economic threats and punishments to try to shape the behaves of others
in the region, including u.s. allies including korea and the philippines. china has been engaging in political warfare, attempts to shape the perceptions of leaders and elites and publics by c conveying the message that china's growth well and power present an opportunity rather than a threat to its neighbors while raising questions about the leadership capacity of the united states. it's important to note that china is wagging political warfare against us, holding out the corporation on trade and north korea which is going to be a part of that process even as they work to undermine and weaken our position in the long run. finally and briefly, how should the united states respond. as i stated i think the time has come for a fundamental reexamination of our strategy towards china and the
asia-pacific. a serious effort along these lines would look at the various instruments of power and the aspects of our policy which are fragmented and dealt with separately and consider the ways in which they might be better integrated. in a useful model here would be the so-called so larum project, a review of approaches for dealing with the soviet union that was undertaken in 1953 during the early months of the eisenhower administration. to my knowledge in the last 25 years there has been no such exercise regarding our policies towards asia and china. we are running on the fumes of the strategy was put in place a quarter of a century ago. congress can't do an assessment itself, but it might consider mandating a review as it did in
requiring a general statement of national security in 1986. i'm afraid my clock isn't working so i'm sure that i've gone over time. i can't claim to have conducted such an exercise myself, but i'd like to close with a few thoughts about some of the issues that it might address and perhaps some of the conclusions towards which it might lean. first and most basic is what is it that we're trying to achieve. if an asia whole and free is out of reach, at least for now, and if a region reshaped according to beijing's vision would be threatening to our interests and values, how should we define our strategic goals. part of the answer here i think is likely to be we'll need to rededicate ourselves to defending those parts of the asian system that remain open and liberal, including our allies, the rules with which they abide and the comments that
connects them. it's sometimes said in order to accommodate china's rising power and avoid conflict we will need to compromise and that's true, but there's some issues where it will not be possible to split the difference and we need to be clear about what those are. in the economic domain, if we don't want others drawn into a chinese co prosperity sphere, we need to provide them with the greatest possible opportunity to remain engaged in beneficial trade investment with us and one another. tpp had strategic benefits in this regard and it's not clear at this point what, if anything, will take its place. with regard to military strategy, a great deal of energy has been devoted to figuring out how to respond to these chinese initiatives in the so-called gray zone. as important as this problem is, it seems to me that it's sush order nate to the larger
question of how we and our allies can counter china's strategy and we're in kind of an odd position now of having raised this issue in a very visible way back in 2011 with the creation of the air/sea battle office and then seeming to back away from it. while there's obviously a limit to what we can and should say in public, we're at a point where we need to be able to explain to our allies and ourselves how we would fight and win a war in asia should that ever become necessary. finally, there's this delicate issue of political warfare. what is our counter to the narrative that the chinese are now pushing across much of asia in which we're portrayed as internally divided and unable to solve our domestic problems and unreliable and potentially dangerous while china presents
itself as the wave of the future. economically, dynamic, efficient shs nonjudgmental, loaded with cash and eager to do business. in this regard it seems to me it would be a serious mistake strategic as well as moral to drop the subjects of hum rights and universal values from our discussions with and about china. our commitment to these values and our demonstrated willingness to defend them are still among our greatest assets and being seen to abandon them in the face of china's growing wealth and power will embolden beijing and other authoritarian reregimes, discourage our allies. thank you very much. >> thank you for convenienci co
important hearing today. i want to thank the committee for its leadership on all matters of peace and security in the asia-pacific and to the men and women in uniform. thank you. thank you to my fellow panelists here whose counsel i drew upon while i was in government. let me try to summarize my testimony that i've submitted for the record. bottom line up front, while some may prefer the rhetoric of the rebalance, we need to follow through on its strategic intent because if we don't, american primesy in the most consequenceal region in the world is at risk. continuity of american effort is not enough to stem the tide. we need to encourage the new
administration to avoid ad hoc approaches. this needs to start with a clear view of our interests and the necessity of preserving our position through any means necessary to advance our interests. so with that theme in mind, i'd like to highlight what i see as the top three challenges and students facing the united states in the asia-pacific. of course, the first most urgent chl is north korea and its pursuit of ballistic missiles and nuclear program, it challenges that has faced multiple administrations. the bottom line here is that we need a new play book. first, we need to increase the pressure on north korea as a necessary predicate to any other option. china is central to that, but we can't rely only on chinese pressure. we also need to be realistic. kim jong-un is not going to
unilaterally disarm because of pressure. pressure alone is not going to solve the problem. second, military options should remain on the table, but they are extremely high risk and should be a last resort. we should not kid ourselves here. a conflict on the peninsula would be unlike anything we have seen in decades. north korea is not a syria. it's not an iraq. the consequences could be extremely high. so where does that leave us? after and only after a sustained period of significant pressure and keep coordination with our allies, we need to ready a diplomatic play. for diplomacy to succeed, however, its goal has to be achievable. this won't be popular, but denuclearati denuclearization is unlikely at this point at least in the near term and at least under this regi regime. we need to develop some diplomatic creativity. we in close coordination with
our allies should develop a road map short of denuclearization that would limit the threat in a meaningful and verifiable way. finally, we really need to turn up our defense game. we need to accelerate improvements in regional missile defense of our allies and our homeland so that we're better prepared in the event diplomacy fails or even if it succeeds. this brings me to the second challenge and this is the most difficult challenge. china's strategic intend is to chip at american supremacy in asia. to ignore the fact that china is already competition with us would be tantamount to strategic malpractice. so i agree with aaron on his
comments earlier about the need for a big look at our china strategy. i do not mean to suggest we should enter a new cold war or cast aside areas of corporation that benefit our interests, but we need to be clear about our long term interests in preserving the american position and that should be our north star. the united states needs to invest in our strengths and our credibility. we need to get our own house in order to address this pure scale of this challenge. necessary budget investments, human capital investments, which is something that is not talked about enough, and overall strategy. we need to move to the next phase of increasing u.s. presence, posture and capabilities in the region and that next phase is going to be harder. in this regard i'd like to thank you chairman mccain for your idea on the initiative which i hope the trump administration will support. it will not only improve our ability to fight and win wars,
it will improve our ability to keep the peace. this brings me to the third challenge, an enduring and persistent one which is terrorism in the region. with the emergence of isil the terrorist threat is evolving and we need to get ahead of it and we have time to get ahead of it so we need to take more preventative action on terrorism in asia. let me talk about opportunities which tend to get lost in the noise. first, i'd say the biggest strategic opportunity is india. here the united states and india increasing share a common strategic outlook on the asia-pacific, especially a concern over the chinese military modernization. the question is can we reach a new level of corporation to place limits on chinese ambition. i believe it is possible, but only if the united states and india together persist in overcoming the suspicions of the
past and build stronger habits of corporation and this will require u.s. and indian systems which are not naturally compatible to demonstrate mutual flexibility and ambition. the second opportunity, which is a near term and high reward opportunity, is southeast asia. the demand signal in southeast asia for u.s. defense engagement is on the rise and we need to meet it. while we can do more through defense engagement, we need to do more on diplomatic, economic, commercial private sector engagement in southeast asia, whether it's in vietnam or burma or sri lanka, there are cou countless opportunities for the united states in asia. we need to be central in our strategy and i would recommend secretary mattis continue the efforts to host the defense ministers in the united states at the earliest opportunity. finally, this committee's
leadership on southeast asia has been essential, whether it was by your engagement every year at the zhang ra law dialogue or whether it's following through with action in the case of the security initiative, a much needed timely injected american effort to fill a critical capacity gap. finally, the big one, the long term strategy, the real opportunity for the united states. to retain our primesy, the united states needs to weave together its security and economic efforts into a broader strategy. we need to fashion a networked security architecture to help us do more over greater distances by a shared set of principals. we need to present a vision for an equivalent economic architecture that promotes
sustainable and growth for all countries, including the united states. in the absence of american -- of meaningful american economic state craft in the region, china is filling the void. that has dangerous implications for our relationships setting up false choices for our allies between our security and their prosperity. besides the strategic implications, the lack of an economic strategy will leave americans with an economic disadvantage. without urgent american leadership and government investment, the united states will not be able to rise to them and decades of relative peace and prosperity that american leadership has enabled are at risk. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. good morning. thank you members of the committee for inviting managee
testify this morning. i have submitted a longer statement. i would be grateful if that is entered into the record. in my remarks this morning i want to highlight five themes drawn from my written statement. first, the challenges posed by north korea and china obviously remain the most dangerous problems facing the united states. the challenges emanating from north korea are obviously real, dangerous and in the near term. the challenges emanating from china are long term, enduring and aimed fundamentally at decoupling the united states from its asian partners. in my remarks this morning i want to focus primarily on china and i want to thank my colleagues for spending time on speaking about the issues relating to north korea. the first want i want to make in this connection is as we think
about china as a strategic competitor, it is important not to think of china as merely a regional power, but increasing as a global challenger to the united states. china is already a great power in the pacific asia. it is increasingly active militarily in the indian ocean. it is seeking facilities in the mediterranean and along the african coasts. within a couple of decades the size of chinese military capabilities will begin to rival our own and it is likely china will begin to maintain a presence in the atlantic and arctic oceans as well. we've got to think of china in a new way. not just simply as an asian power, but as a global power. the second point i want to make is that it becomes increasingly important for the united states as it deals with the emerging chinese challenge to reaffirm its own commitment to maintaining its traditional
pre preemness both globally and in the pacific. the asian states are uncertain about whether washington can be counted on to balance against china's quest for regional power and whether washington can be lured away from the attractions of condominium with china. the president should use the opportunity offered by his appearance at the east asia summit to clearly affirm america's commitment to maintaining its global primesy. words alone with not enough. i think it would be very helpful for the administration to support your initiative with respect to the asia-pacific stability initiative. in fact, urging funding at levels that approximate those
offered for the european reassurance shall intiv reassurance initiative. third, the resources i believe should be allocated should focus increasingly on restoring the effectiveness of u.s. power projection because that capability has been undermined by china's recent investments. in the near term, this will require shifting additional combat power, remedying short falls, expanding logistics capabilities, increasing joint exercises and training and improving force resiliencesy by enabling a more dispersed deployment posture, but the longer term is just as crucial and the demands of the longer term cannot be avoided indefinitely. here i believe bipartisan support will be necessary for developing and rapidly integrating various revolutionary technologies into
the joint force, technologies that will emphasis stelth. fourth, building better capabilities alone will not suffice for effective power projection. if the united states lacks the will to protect the international regime that serves interest, an important element of that regime, protecting freedom of navigation, is now at serious risk because of china's activities in the south china sea. it's time for the u.s. to push back in the way we do sensitive operations in the pacific today. these operations should be regular, unpublicized, undertaken by discretion and should not be constrained by the
promise of chinese good behavior on other issues. fifth and finally, we will not be able to tame chinese power without strengthening our friends and partners. there are diverse initiatives that are required for success and i'll flag a few. the united states should first begin to seriously think about working with its partners to replicate china's access and denial capabilities. the united states cannot afford to put off the aid and enhanced training to tehran for much longer as we out to urge military spending and reforming concepts of military operations.
as a matter of national policy, we should affirm our strong support for trilateral corporation whether or not the united states is party to these activities. as kelly emphasized, we should not give up on the nations of southeast asia either. we are currently at the receiving end of chinese assertiveness and therefore our engagement plan is something we need to reinvest in because it gives us the opportunity to provide critical reassurance to the smaller southeast asian states for ways that will limit chinese intimidation. finally, we need to reinvigorate the balancing of china by doubling down on our strategic partnership with india. this is no longer simply a political necessity. it is an urgent operational necessity as well.
as chinese military activities in the indian ocean begin to gather steam, the partnership becomes more important in the ocean and. in short, managing the rise of chinese military power will be the most difficult challenge that the united states faces over the longer term. managing that challenge will be demanding, but we have no choice but to be res owe lut in doing so because our security and the well-being of our allies is at stake. thank you very much for inviting me this morning and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very much. would the witnesses agree that the abandonment of tpp was one of the biggest mistakes we have made? >> yes, i saw tpp as not just being a trade agreement, but
having broader strategic kbri occasi implications. it's one of the three legs that the united states stands on in asia. it's unfortunate, yes. >> i agree. in addition to the harmful effects of not going forward with the agreement, the signal that it sent i think was deeply damaging. so the fact that we place such emphasis on it, tried to encourage others to do it to try to persuade their legislators to accept this agreement and then pull the rug out, it is really a perfect storm it seems to me and damaging and it's going to take a while to work our way back from that setback. >> yes, because a siit's having practical effects on our security. it's making harder for us to
engage with countries about access agreements because the chinese are lining the pockets and promising lots of investments and infrastructure, et cetera. it's making our job on the defense simuch harder. >> the first business of asia is business. if we cannot engage in matters that are really important to the asian states enhancing their own prosperity, our ability to enhance the security is diminished. point number two, we really cannot cede to the chinese the ability to create new rules in asia. we have divested ourselves of that opportunity. three, there was every promise
we could add close to 1% u.s. gdp growth through strayetrade. even if you do believe in america first, you need to find ways to increase growth. >> right now we have increasing tensions as we all know between us and north korea with the most unstable ruler that they have had and the testing of nuclear weapons and missile capability is dramatically escalated. at the same time, we have north korean artillery in place at a degree where at least they could launch one attack that would strike seoul, a city of 25 million people as i recall, and
obviously the key to some of this is china and china had taken some very small steps as far as coal is concerned, put they have never taken any real steps to restrain north korean activity. it seems to me that we're in a probably one of the most challenging situations since the cuban missile crisis in some respects. certainly not expect parallels, but maybe it rhymes a bit. >> i think that's a very accurate assessment of the situation. there is nothing that i see that suggests north korea is going to slow down the pace of its testing. in fact, i think it's going to
increase given the elections in south korea. and china still subsidize 80% of north korea's external trade. china is definitely part of the solution in trying to stop north korea, but it's also part of the problem as you suggest in that they are not willing to really put the sort of pressure that will impose economic costs on north korea for going down this path. >> china's been playing a game with us for at least 15 years on this issue. when we get especially concerned about what the north koreans are doing and we go to the chinese and ask them for their help, what they've done in the past is to apply limited increments of pressure. they did it in 2003 to get the
north koreans to sit down with six party talks, but at the same time they're enabling the north korean regime to continue by allowing continued economic exchange across their boarder. the chinese have also allowed or the chinese authorities have at least looked aside as chinese based companies have exported to north korea components that were essential to the development of their ballistic missiles and other parts of their special weapons programs. i'm not optimistic that the chinese are going to play a different game with us now than they did in the past. one thing i would add, though, aside from military pressure, which for reasons that you suggest is questionableab plausibility, there are ways to increase pressure on the north korean regime by imposing
further economic and financial sanctions. we did that in the bush administration. i think it was actually something that caused a good deal of pain. we backed away from it for various reasons. i think it was a mistake to have done that. one of the reasons my understanding that we haven't been willing to push on this harder is that it probably would involve sanctioning entities that are based in china and i think we've been reluctant to do that because of our concerns about upsetting the relationship with china. i think if we're going to be serious about this, we probably are going to have to go down that road. >> military option being extremely challenging. >> yes. i was in government in 2003, 2005. at that time my understanding was it really was not -- there was no way of dealing with the conventional counter deterrent that the north koreans had. i don't have any reason to think it's gotten better and the nuclear targets have become more
numerous. the north koreas are starting to develop mobile ballistic missiles. the problem in attacking in a preventative way is getting worse and nothing really has been done to deal with the conventional threat to south korea. >> i agree on the china front. i think there are going to be limits to what they'll be willing to do. their biggest fear of course is destabilizing the peninsula. now is the time to try to make china understand that the status k quo is worse for them than all other scenarios and to do that i think we need to hold their interests at risk and what i mean by that is we need to think hard about secondary sanctions on chinese banks. i think we should go out and do it now. i don't think we should actually wait. i don't think that holding it in obeyance is going to induce
chinese corporation so now is the time to demonstrate to china that we're serious in that regard. >> i agree with the witnesses about the importance of the u.s. india relationship, which is something that i think has enormous potential as well. >> i concur with what has been said before on the challenges with north korea. i think china has to make a strategic decision. if the current status quo services its interests and it seems to because it immunizes china from the threat of chaos and provides a buffer from the u.s. military presence and the chinese boarder, so if this status quo continues to advance chinese interests, there is a small likelihood that they will be more helpful to us with respect to managing north korea. so the issue for decision in china is whether the trump administration's increased
pressure might change the game sufficiently that the threat of war becomes real enough for china to move. and to that degree i think creating the set of steam which the administration seems to be making an effort towards would be helpful because it would motivate the chinese to cross lines they haven't crossed before. >> thank you very much. thank you for your excellent testimony. just a quick point. you suggest that at the conclusion of the election that whoever emerges victorious will take a harder line on the north koreans. they want to open up the facility across the boarder. is that matched by the rhetoric? some impressions we're getting is it's a race to who is the most sensitive to the issues. >> thank you for the question. i think the -- certainly the
political spectrum has shifted in korea during this seven-month impeachment crisis further to left of center and the leading candidates seem to espouse use that calls for engagement with north korea, but i think often what is said in campaigns is different from when the individual takes office on the first day. >> you've noticed. >> i think in the case of south korea they will find that they will -- they will be in a position where their primary ally, the united states, is not of a similar mind. neither is the partner across the sea, japan, and arguably china is not in that position as well. so while i don't think engagement is necessarily completely wrong with north korea, but now is not the time. when i was in government, we
were dealing with a progressive government in south korea. we fully respected the fact that they weren't just engaging with north korea, but there was a right time for it and a wrong time for it, not just by u.s. policy preference, but by what would be deemed effective edge gau engagement. i think the previous government understood that. >> let me ask you all a question. there's deep skepticism that the chinese will apply economic pressure of a significant degree to compel changes in behavior. a variation on that is even if they did, do you believe that the north korean regime would abandon their missile programs and nuclear programs? >> i do not believe that to be the case. i believe the north korean regime will continue to persist with its nuclear program because it sees that as indispensable to
its survival and i do not believe china will exert the pressure required to force north korea to make those changes. >> that leaves us at what point in the future? >> we essentially have to prepare for a north korean capability that will ultimately reach the united states and if it comes to that point, we have only one of two choices. we continue to hope in the reliability of deterrence, which is dangerous because of the unpredictability of this regime, or we will be forced into military actions which will be costly and painful. >> no, i don't think kim jong-un is going to voluntarily give us up nuclear weapons, even with significant chinese pressure. i also agree that the chinese aren't going to go as far as we need them to go to make that strategic choice. where that leaves us is
essentially what i said arearli, which is after increasing the pressure and running the china play, we do need to think carefully about whether or not we should proceed with a diplomatic effort to limit the program as best we can. i think we are going to face a stark choice at some point in the future probably in the next five years about an icbm reaching the united states. that's going to present some pretty stark choices. i think our challenge now is to find a way to avoid having to make that choice at the end. >> i don't think first that the chinese will apply all of the pressure that they could conceivably apply and in part for that reason i don't think it's likely that the north korean regime would agree to give up programs. it seems to me some years ago it might have been possible to put the leadership in a position where we could make them an offer they couldn't refuse where they felt their own personal survival was at stake. i think we're past that point. so i agree with both my
colleagues on two points. one, the question now it seems to me is are there things we can do working with china perhaps to try to slow down the progress of the north korean program so if they don't test as often as they have tested, presumably that will make it more difficult for them to field the reliability capability testing both missiles and weapons. it's not inconceivable that the chinese might join with us in applying sufficient pressure to try to slow that down. i think that's the best we can hope for. then the question is how do we prepare to defend against this. in the long run, i hesitate to use this term because it's fallen into disfavor for good and bad reasons, but the ultimate solution to this problem is regime change. unless and until there's a change in the character of the north korean regime and the identity of the current leadership there's no prospect that i can see that this problem will get better. i don't think there's any active
way in which we can promote that, but we ought to think about what conditions might lead eventually to that kind of change. >> i agree with my colleagues with i don't think chinese pressure will necessarily stop north korea's program, but i think what chinese pressure can do is force the north koreans back to a negotiating table. the theory of the case of that is i think in 2003 when china temporarily cut off oil, the north koreans agreed to the six-party talks and then again in 2007 when the treasury department undertook actions that led to a seizure of north korean assets at a bank in china, they came back to implement an agreement. i agree with my colleagues i'm not sure how much china is willing to put that kind of pressure on north korea, but one
could argue that the situation is a little bit different now because the chinese are desperate for some sort of diplomacy to take place. they really don't understand what president trump might do and they feel they have no control over north korea. so they may be more receptive than they were in the past. >> thank you. >> thank you. first of all, these hearings are very significant. we get people like you and there's no more qualified panel we could have to advise us to reflect on it, but also these are public meetings. i see the other value is to uniforming the public of things we assume they know about and i'd like to concentrate on just the north korea because i've had this bias that's really where the serious problem is. we're talking about two things here. we're talking about their
development in the technology over a period of time in developing a weapon -- a bomb, a weapon. then secondly a delivery system. just real quickly, let me go over that. in the delivery system, north korea goes all the way back to the 1970s. in the 1970s they had the scudby and then came 1990 a test fire range was 1,300 kilometers. then a few years later in 2006 the test fires long range missile that had the capability of traveling 15,000 miles and then the missile was satellite launch. december of 2012, north korea launches a rocket that puts the
first satellite into space. we've watched their progress all the way through to 2016. north korea launches a solid fuel ballistic missile from a submarine. lastly, kim jong-un declares that north korea is in its final stage in preparations to test an intercontinental ballistic missile. going back to the bomb in 2006 we had one an explosion that was one kiloton. in 2013 a test with an atomic bomb with an estimated explosion of 6 kilotons and then the fifth
and latest nuclear test registered 5.3 magnitude between 10 and 30 kilotons which was the same in nagasaki. when we talk to the military and we will have them in on thursday, i understand, i know that they'll say that the two big problems that distinguish the threat that comes from north korea from other threats is that first of all, you're talking about a mentally deranged guy who is making the decisions and secondly this country has been more consistent in both developing its weapon and the delivery system and come to the conclusion that as i've come to i believe there's an argument that could pose the greatest threat to the united states and i'd like to kind of get a response if you would to that.
first of all, are we accurate in terms of the development over a period of time and does that relate to the threat? >> thank you, senator. i think what you've described is entirely accurate in terms of a systematic plan by the north koreans over the past decades to develop a capability that seeks to threaten the u.s. homeland. i think there is no doubt about it that that is what they are after. as i mentioned earlier, they have done 71 of these tests since 2009, which is a step increase from what we've seen in the past. they've done seven tests since the election of our current president. tle ha they have over 700 missiles. the pace of their development shows that they want to be able not just to field one missile that could range the united states, but a whole slew of
them. this is a very proximate threat. you're absolutely right. >> any other comments on that? is it unreasonable that as a result of this we could consider north korea as the greatest threat facing the united states? >> i think it certainly -- it's the most imminent. i don't know it's the greatest in terms of the magnitude in the long run. i think china presents a greater challenge, but it's the most imminent. one thing to add, just to make the picture even worse, it's conceivable that the north korean leadership may believe not only as they acquire these capabilities that they'll be able to extort more economic goods from the world and be able to deter action against them, but that they might believe at some point they had an option for reuniting the peninsula.
they might believe that japan would be deterred from an attack to support operations on the peninsula. they might believe that the united states would be deterred from coming. >> my time has expired, but the military also says it's the unpredictability we have there. we look back at the days of the cold war when things were predictable and we knew what they had and they knew what we had. mutual assured destruction doesn't mean anything anymore. that unprediblt is what the military is going to tell us is the main problem. >> given all all of that discussion given that the neighboring problem, china, continues to be very aggressive,
so you're advising us as policy makers and people who pass appropriations bills what to do, so what to do to deter north korea and further chinese aggressiveness. >> so this gets back to a point earlier. we really need to double down on our regional ballistic missile defense. there's more to be done. i think for example we could consider putting thad in japan. there are additional things we can do with the japanese and koreans together whether it's more corporation on the air and sea. we should consider a whole range of options. even including potentially
strengthening our extended deterness commitments to the koreans by rotating dual capability aircraft to the peninsula which would be a big move. there are things we can do on the posture side that would be relevant and politicabapplicabl threat. >> you don't think that would deter the north korean leader, do you, from continuing this development of nuclear welcomes and missiles and marrying a nuclear weapon to a long range icbm? >> no, i do not, but i do think it would help reassure our allies and put us in a better position in the event diplomacy fails. >> do any of you have any reason to think that diplomacy would succeed with this north korean leader? >> even if it doesn't, we cannot do anything else without
exhausting the alternatives offered by diplomacy because dealing with north korea at the end of the day will require a coalition effort and we have to satisfy the expectations of our coalition partners that we've made every effort in the interim to deal with the challenge. and so we have to think of it in terms of a multi-step game. the immediate objective should be to get the north korean regime back to the negotiating table. the ultimate objective must be to hope that there will be evolutionary change in the regime. between those two book ends, we have to think seriously about what is required fordeterrence, what is required for defense and denial. >> anybody else? >> the only thing i would add to the list that kelly enumerated
is that i think those sorts of posture moves and strengthening of deterrence and defense, they're good for our allies. they certainly increase the cost for china of allowing the situation to continue as it is. it might make them more receptive to putting pressure on the regime. in the end, the problem we have is that north korea feels no pain for what the direction which they're going. their people are feeling pain, but they don't care about their people. so the immediate tactical effort is to try to get the regime to feel the pain and that requires china to stop subdiesing the external trade and leadership funding. that's the tactical goal to get at least some leverage on the issue because right now we have none. >> describe the aftermath if we saw that he was readying an icbm that could reach the u.s.
alaska, hawaii and we decided to preemptively take out the assets that we knew where they were, which is more difficult because they are now moveable, describe the aftermath of what would happen and what would be their retaliation. >> we don't know for sure, but i think the assumption is they would begin with a military barrage against seoul. the north koreans have for years exercised and tested special operations forces, chemical and biological weapons, the fear would be they would unleash all of this. i don't know that they would necessarily because the next step would be the inisleation of
the north korean regime, but the fear is that's they're capability and they might. just a note on that, it does seem to me that north korean leaders have been irrational in their behavior. it appears odd, but it's consistent. i think for that reason it's important to remain focused on what it is that would deter them which is the threat of personal anileation. the threat that we and our south korean allies would if we need to and could destroy the regime and destroy the leadership, i think that's a message they understand. >> just to add to the question on the aftermath, we've got 28,500 u.s. troops on the peninsula. that's the troops. that's not their families.
so there's thousands, hundreds of thousands of dependants. there would be significant economic impact. and the regional actors like the chinese would move in. they would not sit on the sidelines and watch the united states trying to rearrange the peninsula in their favor. they would try to intervene at some point and that could catastrophic consequences. in terms of an aftermath of a u.s. strike, there are particularly high costs. >> if i may add to that, obviously the most confident thing we can say is we don't know how the regime would respond, but i think it would depend on whether they saw the strike as a discrete effort made at resolving a specific problem
or whether that is the leading edge of a larger effort at replacing the regime itself. if it was seen as a discrete effort in resolving a specific problem, one could hope their response would be more restrained, but if is seen as a leading edge of an effort to replace a regime, then i think all hell breaks loose. at this point whichever the choices are, i agree completely, the chinese cannot afford to sit on the sidelines, because it under mines their co-interests of preventing the rise of chaos and keeping military forces as far away from their boarders. those two variables change dramatically if the united states engages in action on the peninsula. >> senator, to add to this quickly, i think it is absolutely true that the north
korean dictator's number one goal is survival. if the united states were to carry out a strike, the north koreans may feel like the only way to survive is to respond, retaliate and as my colleagues have suggested what would follow from that. the other way to think about it is if they don't -- if they do not respond, that could also threaten the survival of the leadership and the regime. i'm still looking for the intelligence analysts who can tell me which of these things the north korean leader will do because i haven't been able to find one yet. >> our government is almost certain that a strike is eminent. in that case, if our response was a discrete strike to prevent that, might it not be worth it?
>> first i don't know the basis for the judgment that is a danger that is eminent, but if we assume the premises of our question, it may be worth it if we could be assured two things. one that the north korean response will be limited and that the effects of our strike will be permanent. that is we will be able to cap the north korean capability at some level and not go beyond. two, that the chinese will actually intervene in ways to force the north koreans to reach some sort of a diplomatic understanding. i'm not confident that either of those two conditions would be attained. >> i'll take that answer. you say that the united states doesn't have a coherent integrated national strategy for
asia-pacific. instead all we have are the remnants of a two-decades old strategy and yet the defense department's 2012 strategic guidance said we will have necessity rebalanced towards the asia-pacific region and the qdr two years earlier said essentially the same thing. was rebalanced asia-pacific words only? >> well, with definirerns to my colleague, it was not what it should have been. we talked a lot and did some things and didn't do nearly enough. for a variety of reasons i think the administration was preoccupied, became preoccupied with other middle in the middle east and russia. continuing constraints on defense spending. some issues arose outside
asia-pacific to our surprise. >> yes. and this continuing constraint budget constraint. so i think for a variety of reasons not enough was done. i agree that the general concept, the idea that we need to focus more of our resources on the asian-pacific was the right one. many of the things that the previous administration started were worthy, but for various reasons they didn't or weren't able to follow through adequately. >> let me shift then back to north korea and there's been mention of regime change. i'd like any of you to comment about the scenario in which that might happen. also it was mentioned evolutionary change within the regime and i suppose you could say at the end of the cold war there was certainly an evolutionary change in moscow, which gave us hope for a little while. but what do we know about the
decision making process within the regime in north korea and who has a great -- who has a good decision-making team surrounding kim jong-un? i will start with you, dr. friedberg. >> i don't think our knowledge is very good. i think the assumption of most people is that the decision-making is concentrated very heavily in the hand of the current leader and maybe a small circle of people around him. as far as this evolutionary versus revolutionary, over in the latter part of the kim jong-un regime, and i think in the very beginning of the kim jong-un regime, there were people who hoped that there might be a greater willingness to open up. the chinese, i think, had some hopes they might be able to persuade the north korean leadership to follow a path more
similar to their own. retaining tight political control, but opening up economically. the chinese may have had some hopes that there were people around the leader who they could influence. many of those people have been executed by kim jong-un, i think, precisely because he feared they were chinese agents of influence. so the prospects for evolutionary change seem grim in part for the reason that dr. cha mentioned. i think this has been a mistaken assumption that people in the outside world have made, if we offered the right kind of endeucements to the regime, economic, the opportunity to joined the world, to improve the lives of north korean citizens, we could influence their policies. problem is leadership doesn't care about those things and sees opening as threatening. i doesn't see much prospect for evolutionary change of this particular leader. >> any other panelists have observations about the decision-making team?
>> right now, it is almost wholly in the hands of this one individual. i think there were others in the past who were around him, but as aaron said, they've been systematically executed. unprecedented. the level of purging is unprecedented. the military, army chief of staff, deputy chief of staff. there has been unprecedented fluidity there. so all of this suggests that there's significant churn inside the system and that the leadership is facing certain challenges and he's dealing with them in one way, which is just to purge everybody. the chinese would have had the best insight into what's going on inside north korea, but i think after the leader executed his uncle, the chinese have lost all, really, windows into north korea. and i think it's a mistake, we
often hear in the press how the chinese are upset with the north koreans, that's why there are no high-level meetings. we did a study looking at all chinese/north korean exchanges. the difference is that there are none, because the north koreans don't want to talk to the chinese. they are not interested in talking to the chinese, to the united states, or anybody else. that's what's so worrying about the current situation. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you all very much for being here. you have all pointed out that china is not -- does not want to see instability on the korean peninsula. that it's not in their interest. and dr. cha, you pointed out that china is not willing to take action. i think everybody has made that point. against north korea. do you then agree with dr. tellis that the more uncertain they are about the potential for
president trump and the united states to engage in war on the peninsula, the more likely they would be to weigh in and to try and help address the north korean situation? >> yes, senator, an argument could be made, i think, that in terms of what is decades' old u.s. treaties for china to do more, that there may be marginally more leverage today than there has been in the past, largely because i think the chinese feel the situation is getting out of control and i think they feel like they don't have any ability to manage either side, the united states or north korea. i think xi jinping wants a good relationship with the u.s. president. this u.s. president does seem to signal some unpredictability when it comes to north korea. we might have marginally more leverage than in the past. again, it is all tactical and
it's not a strategy yet. >> i think i would feel better if i felt like what we were doing right now was part of a strategy towards north korea and asia. in that context, what does a mess-up like we had with the carl vinson carrier strike group do in terms of the signals that we might be trying to send to china and to you're allies and to everybody in asia about what our intentions are? >> i would say that was a pretty big screw-up. i also think it really undermined our credibility among our allies, the fact that you're seeing south korean commentators and politicians commenting, that it shows the united states isn't
reliable. i don't know how it happened and how it occurred. i would be curious to hear what admiral harris has to say about that on thursday. but it had a serious effect. in texas, we have a saying, all hat, no cattle. so you don't want to show up with all hat and no cattle. >> everybody i assume agrees with that. along the lines of how can we better send signals of what our intents are, what does it say to both our allies and our adversaries in asia, that we're right now, not able to get a budget agreement here domestically, that we have divisions in congress about how we are going to fund defense in the next year? what kind of messages does that send to those people for whom we want to project strength? dr. friedberg, i think you
mentioned that as part of your -- when you were talking about what our allies are looking at in the united states versus china. >> yes, well, it certainly doesn't help. on the other hand, it's not entire entirely new. people have been watching us and the unfolding of our political process for a while. i think there is an undercurrent of concern that has been present for some time about our capacity to mobilize the necessary resources to do the things we are talking about doing. i do think those concerns have grown since our election, or in the course of our election and since the election because, at least in terms of rhetoric, the current administration, or the candidate trump before he became president, raised questions about all of the essential aspects of our global posture. our alliances, our commitment to free trade, to universal values and so on. now it may number the long run that the policies he follows
thata won't deviate as much as the rhetoric seems to suggest. all of that has added to the sense of anxiety about where the united states is going. >> along the lines of escalated rhetoric, to what extent does that escalation of rhetoric against north korea then produce a response in north korea that not only height eens the situatn but provides attention that kim jong-un may be interested in having from the world? >> i think there is a window. there is only so much unpredictability that you can pull off. there is some leverage that may come from appearing to do things that may have appeared unlikely than before. that's why in 2003, the chinese did step in, right at the time of the run-up from the war in iraq. we were still hurting from 9/11. there was a perception that the united states might do all kinds of things to reduce the threat
and similarly now because of the rhetoric and behavior of the new administration, i think there's a moment at which there's a lot of uncertainty. the chinese aren't sure. the north koreans aren't. i suspect that has a half life. it is going to diminish over time. i think that's what the chinese are playing for, waiting to see. i'm not sure that they believe at the end of the day that for all of the tough talk, we're actually going to do something as risky as launch an attack on the north koreans in the near term. whether the north koreans believe that, it's another question. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the panel's wise counsel on a lot of these very important issues. let me talk about the importance of our allies in the region and globally, but particularly in this region. would you all agree that one of the most strategic advantages that we have as a nation is that we are an ally-rich country and
our adversaries or potential adversaries whether it is china or russia or iran are ally poor? >> absolutely. on the strategic allies, our alliances are on the asset column. >> and that the countries that don't have all the allies are consistently trying to undermine our alliances whether it's china or russia, would you agree with that? >> let me ask a broad-based question. a number of us try to get out to the region. we go to the shangri-la dialogue on a regular basis. there is this discussion about how china has this great long-term strategic vision and they have the ability to see around the corners of history and we don't have that capability. but when you're in the region, it seems like their aggressive actions in the south china sea are actually driving countries away from them, towards us.
and this isn't just our traditional allies, but it's cunning like vietnam, countries like india. i think initially, i certainly and some of our colleagues here had some concerns whether the trump administration fully understood this strategic advantage when you watched the campaign. now that they are in office, whether it is general mattis' first trip as secretary of defense to the region or the vice-president's trip that he is finishing up here to the asia pacific, it certainly seems like they are focused on it. are we doing enough? what more can we be doing to bolster this very, very important strategic advantage we have with regard to our deep network of allies, deepening it, expanding it and making sure the chinese don't try to fracture it? what more can we be doing? i'll open that up to anybody. >> i think we need to be doing at least two things to start.
first, we need to publicly commit to protecting the regime that we have built in asia over the last 60 years. that this regime is not open for negotiation, that the united states will not walk away. >> we need to put out red lines. the chinese put out red lines on taiwan, taibet. but yet we don't seem to put out our own strategic red lines in the region. you are saying with regard to our alliances, that should be a strategic red line. >> exactly. the second thing, we need to think of our alliances as assets, not liability. and the third thing that i would emphasize is that the u.s. needs to avoid appearing wobbly. to the degree we create uncertainties about our commitments to the region, it only opens the door for the chinese to do exactly what you described. >> any other thoughts on allies real quick before i turn to my next subject.
>> certainly, consistency is key, clarity of message from the united states is key. bipartisanship on asia policy is important. >> i think you have it for the most part. >> it is actually pretty good. initiatives like maritime security initiative that this committee initiated the last couple of years, those kinds of physical demonstrations of american commitment and interest in the region, but also really the united states needs to present an actual vision and a strategy. at the heart of that, our goal needs to be that we want to ensure that the region is able to make choices on the economic side and on the security side independent of coercion. that, for a lot of countries in the region, is the key. >> let me turn to -- and dr. cha, i'll let you address this one first, but speaking of coercion and allies, the issue of china's actions in the south china sea, have been a concern of many of us on this committee.
secretary carter put forward a good policy. we will fly, sail, operate anywhere international law allows. the problem was, the execution in my view was weak. it was inconsistent, it undermined credibility. this committee had to push, push, push. when they did do their first, they seemed embarrassed. the secretary of defense is right here. he wouldn't admit it to the chairman. what do we need to do with regard to fawn ops? my view is they should be regular so they are not news worthy and done in coordination with our allies and not the way the obama administration did them with regard to innocent passage. we are nothing asking for innocent passage. we don't recognize these built-up land masses. what should we be doing to make sure we don't fall in the trap, good policy, bad execution, undermine our credibility in my view.
with the new administration, what should we be doing on our policy with regard to fawn ops? dr. cha, start with you, sir. >> senator, you provided the solution right there. which is that we need to approach these things as standard, as non-political, as not big statements of policy. we should just do them quietly -- >> we've been doing them for upon 70 years, right? >> on a consistent basis, absolutely. and on your other question, i just finished writing a book on the history of the u.s. alliances in asia and they are very unique, historical assets as dr. friedberg said. the only thing i would add, we need to network better our alliances. they are largely bilateral hub and spokes. we need to build a tire around that hub and spokes whether it is in the term of missile defense or collective security statements, things that would be great value added for our
alliances. >> great. anyone else on the fawn ops? i look forward to reading your book by the way. >> i'll send you a copy. >> on the fawn ops, i completely agree, we need to make them more regular and they become a little less peaked every time we do them. but they can't be the measure of our strategy in the south china sea. freedman navigation is important to reserve but it can't be the entire strategy. we need to think about the long game and that goes back to the maritime security and capacity issues that we have. we need a real regional diplomatic strategy so that the ash tral tribunal ruling has effect. opportunity last year with the that is where we missed a huge opportunity last year with the ruling and not really pursuing a real diplomatic effort at the regional level. we backed off, tried to cool the waters. which was important at the time, but we never really followed through with an actual diplomatic game. >> i think we need to do three other things. the first is, we need to
conduct front operations at the discretion of the bay comcommander. i don't think they should be centrally controlled from washington. that gets you to where you want, regular unpublicized and so on and so forth. we need to stay away from innocent passage. the moment you talk about innocent passage, you are reaffirming a particular chinese view of its rights, which we have never accepted and which the western world in terms of the freedom of the seas has never accepted. we need to stay away from that like the plague. and the third is, as part of the strategy, we need to provide tangible reassurance to our partners, which means actually building up their capacity to stand up to them, which might mean enhanced training, which might mean providing them with weapons required, and ultimately backing it up with a constant u.s. naval presence in the area. it doesn't have to be every day. it has to be regular enough that the regional states begin to
feel comfortable that the u.s. is at least always around the corner. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> on behalf of chairman kane, senator hirono? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to focus on our chairman's focus on this part of the world. he has proposed a budget, an appropriation amount. this has to do with at sea. so $7.5 billion of new military funding for u.s. forces. perhaps this is a question for miss magsamen and possibly one for dr. cha. u.s. forces and their allies could be used as the chairman noted in his opening to boost operational military construction and increase ammunition procurement and enhance capacity building with
allies and partners and expand military exercises and other training activities to help combat the movement towards chinese influence throughout the asia pacific region. miss magsamen, how can this fund, money and initiative impact the u.s. role in the region? how can we incorporate this initiative into a larger, more wholistic asia strategy that includes maintaining regional stability and improving diplomatic ties? >> certainly. i am supportive of the initiative in part because we need to stem the bleeding. we are woefully behind in terms of what we need to be doing in the pacific in terms of our presence and our capabilities, our ability to fill critical munitions gaps, prepare runways that are going to be necessary in the event of a conflict, i mean, it's stuff like that. this initiative is hugely
valuable and fills a very important budgetary gap for the pacific. i would be supportive of it. but i think it goes back to the larger point of, the united states needs to be seen as strategically investing in this part of the world. they're signaling value to the initiative as well as our commitment to peace and security in the region and our willingness to use that kind of funding to do more work, to network the allies and partners as victor was suggesting in this principaled security network is what we called it in the obama
administration. the reality is we need more funding, presence and capability. >> senator? >> dr. chow, would you like to -- also, how important is it? you are a korea expert. how important is it to use the whole of government to maintain stability in the region? recognizing full well that we don't have very much information about what goes on in kim jong-un's mind, and it's hard enough, it's challenging enough, regarding our complicated relationship with china. so in terms of stability in this part of the world, would you also support this initiative by the way, at sea and how we can do more of a whole of government approach? >> i think those two questions are completely connected to each other in the sense that our effectiveness in being able to get china to do more or to signal to north korea the credibility of our deterrents or any of our policies, greatly depends on whether the region sees us as committing to it and having staying power. as aaron mentioned in his
testimony, there is a grand game taking place in asia where the chinese are trying to erode u.s. credibility, reliability and resiliency in the region and replacing it with the fact that they are there, they are big and they have a lot of money in their pocket. >> they really do engage in a whole of government approach in this area. >> yes, yes. so there could not be a single more important signal of u.s. staying power in the region than something like ap sea that is investing in the things that constitute the u.s. security presence in asia. i think that will then resound positively in terms of the credibility of our north korea policy, the credibility of what we say to china. >> would all of you agree that maybe our staying power is really continuing to show up? i think it was important for secretary mattis to visit japan and south korea as his first official secretarial duties. but the continual emphasis and
showing-up part of the message that we have a commitment to this part of the world is an important aspect, as well as the practical parts about funding and resources, would you agree, all of you? miss magsamen, you mentioned the carl vinson issue was a big screw-up. how is the united states viewed in this part of the world? you can respond as well as the other panelists. vsh very briefly. >> i wouldn't say the vinson issue should be determinative of how we are viewed in the region. but our credibility is our currency. the minute you undertake actions that undermine credibility, that has a profound effect in the region in terms of how we are received. the vinson was just one incident. i am sure there are very good reasons for why it happened but the reality is it created a perception of lack of credibility.
>> so if we have a change of, i hope you don't mind, mr. chairman, that we're viewed credibly, 1 to 5, with 5 being we're viewed credibly, where would you put the u.s., how that part of the world views us, including the fill speephilippih korea, japan, australia, where would we fall in terms of our credibility? 1 through f5, 5 being the highet credibility? >> i think that's a question for them. i think the united states has been a credible power in the pacific. the question now is, can we o becone? >> anybody wants to weigh in very briefly. give me a number. >> i would say we were probably below 3. we have seen a series of trips by the administration when secretary mattis, tillerson and the vice-president, i think have helped to send a very positive signal to the region, taking us over that threshold.
>> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator cruz? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to each of the witnesses for being here. i think the importance of the asia pacific region has been well highlighted by this testimony and also by the well justified public focus on the threat of north korea. i want to start by focusing on north korea specifically and ask the panel to assess the following hypothetical, which is if tensions were to escalate to the point of a targeted military strike against north korea's nuclear facilities, how would the witnesses assess the probabilities of four potential outcomes? one, a retaliatory strike with north korea with nuclear weapons, two, a retaliatory strike with north korea with conventional weapons.
three, the attack precipitating a collapse of the north korean regime, and four, the attack precipitating direct chinese military intervention? i would ask it to any of the witnesses on the panel. >> i think it would depend i guess in part, on exactly the character of the strike. we talked a little bit about that earlier, whether the regime would perceive it as something that was intended to be surgical or as the forerunner as an attempt to overthrow it. the more the regime worries that the united states and south koreans are coming to get them, the more likely it is that they will let loose. >> let's assume the strike was targeted at taking out nuclear facilities. >> i don't think the prospect in the near term of collapse would be very great, because there wouldn't have been anything directly done to weaken the regime. i would think the likelihood of
conventional response would be very high. the likelihood of a nuclear response somewhat lower. all bets would then be off. as far as chinese intervention, i would think that that would be unlikely unless and until the chinese leadership believed that the regime was about to collapse and north korea was about to fragment and south korea and the united states were moving forces towards their border. i don't think they would do it unless those conditions had been met. >> senator, i used to think that the response would be conventional, that they would have 10,000 artillery pieces, that they would use those. these days, looking at the character of north korean missile testing, my guess is that the response would actually be on japan to split the
u. u.s.-korea alliance from the u.s.-japan alliance. the character of their testing recently has been focused on demonstrating an ability to target with ballistic missiles all u.s. bases in japan. flying missiles within 200 kilometers of the japanese shoreline. that's what i think they would do. i'm not clear if the attack itself as you describe it would be able to eliminate all of their nuclear facilities, because i don't think we know where they all are. >> i would agree with victor. i think they would go after japan. i disagree a little bit with aaron on the chinese intervention point. i do think the chinese could potentially try to intervene just to preserve stability on their flank. what that looks like and how that materializes, i don't know. i don't think the chinese would sit back, even if it was a targeted strike. the thing that would change that might be whether or not in advance we could get the chinese to hold back. but i still have extreme doubts
that they would do that. >> i suspect the likelihood of a nuclear response is relatively low. we would still have the capacity to have escalation dominance in that scenario. i think a conventional retaliation is inevitable. it would be aimed both at south korea and japan in order to communicate the credibility of the north korean leadership and its determination to protect its survival as well as to split the alliance. the key question about china hinges on whether the chinese see the targeted attack as really being the first phase of air-ground action to follow. and if they perceive air-ground action to follow, then it's almost certain they would intervene to try and prevent this from escalating. >> in y'all's assessment, short of military action, how much positive impact could china have
in reining in north korean hostilities and what would it take for china to exercise its influence and power? >> well, i think what we are talking about china going someplace it has never been before. unfortunately, i think the only way that's going to happen is if they think the united states is going to go some place it has never been before. i think based on my experience as a negotiator on this issue in the previous administrations, i feel the only time china ever responds is not in response to anything north korea does, because they just assume it's a constant. it's the variation of u.s. behavior is what i think they take notice of. and which is what i think the current administration is trying to leverage right now.
>> what u.s. behavior do you see as maximizing china's beneficial influence on north korea? >> i think the united states right now is trying to signal a combination of muscularity, unpredictability and decisiveness all at the same time, largely because they feel like the past administration was eight years of predictability and indecisiveness. that's a hard thing to manage. it is hard to manage all those things, because they are conflicting signals. they seem to be trying to walk that line right now. >> if you ask what would be the out ter limit of what china could do assuming it was willing to do almost anything, it could bring the north korean economy to its knees. it is pretty close to that already. it could cut off the flows of funds that go across the border into china -- into north korea partly from the so-called illicit activities that the north koreans engage in. it could intradict components that flow into north korea through china that support the special weapons programs.
it could do a lot. now the question is, what might induce them to do that? it seems there are a number of possibilities. one is the prospect that the united states was, as victor suggests, going to do something really drastic that could have catastrophic consequences, they would have to believe that. i don't think at this point they do. another possibility would be somehow to persuade them that the entire relationship with the united states was on the line including in particular the economic relationship. we were willing to do things that imposed costs and pain on china that would be so great that it would be a danger to the chinese regime and, therefore, they might do something to press -- something we would want them to do to pressure north korea. i don't think we are willing to do that. it is theoretically possible. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to our panelists for a very interesting discussion. i want to pick up on the comment about the economic relations between these two countries.
it seems to me, between us and china, this is a new paradigm when it comes to international relations in that we're dealing with a country that we actually have very close economic relations with, and it's not a situation where you can impose sanctions on china and not have some of that blow back on the united states. we're not talking about unequal partners here in the equation. when you think about the conflict with the soviet union, we had a closed economy, not really tide to -- tied to the u.s. it was a completely different dynamic. some of the thinking, i heard about a change in strategy from each of the panelists, we thought about engaging in trade and engagement, that would liberalize the chinese culture or the society. that has not been the case. that theory didn't play out. the theory is, if you are more engaged in trade and more engaged in engagement, you are less likely to have an armed conflict. is that theory not going to play
out? so maybe if the panelists could talk a little bit about how we have this mutual dependence between china and the united states and how that limits some of the tools that we have in order to engage with the chinese with some of these behaviors that are becoming quiet troublesome to our national security? >> i think you are right it is a new paradigm but it is not unique historically. in fact, what's unusual was the situation that prevailed during the cold war, where we engaged in strategic competition with the soviet union, but traded very little with them. historically, it is more typical for countries to have both economic relations and strategic interactions, and it hasn't always prevented war. before the first world war, britain and germany were close to leading trading and investment part nerds, but in the end, geopolitics overwhelmed
economics. the other thing i would say, the economic relationship between the united states and china is not entirely equal. in certain respects, it appears china has been getting the better side of that deal. the chinese have also been exploiting the relationship to promote not only the growth of their economy but the development of their military capabilities. the last thing i would say is that in the long-run, the chinese hope to diminish their dependence on economic interaction with the united states so as to increase their strategic independence. they can't entirely eliminate it. but i think they believe they passed through a period when, in fact, they were so dependent on american capital and american markets that they were constrained strategically. they would like to move away from that. >> i'd just add a couple points. i think would be a mistake to set the bilateral relationship with china above our interests. we can not make the preservation of that relationship our objective.
so that's the first point, which i think, you know, it has created complications for american policy on china for quite some time now. the second thing i would say is that we should avoid issue linkage in the relationship. i think that is very dangerous. for example, getting the chinese to put pressure on north korea. therefore, we back off on, say, the south china sea, or pick another issue set, like taiwan. that would be a tremendous mistake. the region is watching that and looking for signs the americans are going to sacrifice their interests. so in the context of the broader relationship, i think your point is right, it's a big relationship with a lot of elements of competition and cooperation. we have to be clear-eyed of what our actual interests are in the context of that. >> let me just add one other point to that. security competition is complicated in the context of economic interdependence. there's no getting away from
that. but the fact is, the balance of risks that north korea poses to the united states and china are different. the risks to the united states as the result of north korean behavior are far greater. the balance of interest are concerned, they're parallel. china has an interest in avoiding an explosion on the peninsula. the united states has a comparable interest. because the balance of interests -- balance much risks are greater for us, it really behooves china to do whatever they can, to push the north koreans, at least in the near term, to the negotiating table and then give diplomacy a chance to figure out what can be put in place to at least buy some time until we can get our hands around more permanent sorts of solutions. >> the only thing i would add to these very good comments is you mention said in your question the role that potentially greater economic interdependence could have in mollifying state's policies in the region, and i think while many of us teach
those theories in the classroom, what's been very clear in asia is that china's growing economic interaction in the region has not had a mollifying impact, but it's actually made them leverage economic tools to their benefit in very draconian ways, whether it is economic sanctions again south korea over thaad, or tropical fruits from the philippines, or rare earth minerals to japan. there's a very clear pattern of how china uses economic leverage in ways that one would not consider very productive for overall peace and security in the region. >> thank you very much. >> dr. cha, if nothing changes, is it just a matter of time until north korea has an icbm that can hit america with a nuclear weapon? >> yes, sir, i think that's true. it is just a matter of time if nothing changes. >> why do they want to achieve that goal?
>> i think there are a couple of reasons. one is a desire for their own domestic narrative. this current leader has none of the mythology of his father or grandfather. so he needs some big thing that he can point to, because he doesn't have the economy or anything else to point to. the other is that it's part of a military strategy to be able to deter the united states from flowing forces and aiding our allies in the region. >> do all of you agree with that assessment? >> let the record reflect a positive response. so in many ways, the korean war is not over for north korea in their own minds, is that fair to say? >> i think that's right, sir. >> they literally believe we are going to come in on any given day and take their country away from them? is that fair to say? >> i certainly think that's the justification to their own audience of what they are pursuing, yes. >> how would you say the regime treats its own people on a scale
of 1-10, 10 being very bad? >> 100. i think it is the worst human rights violator in the world today. >> here is the dilemma for the united states. we have the worst human rights violator in the world about to acquire a missile to hit the american homeland. do you trust north korea not to use it one day? >> i think there is always hope that deterrence works, as it had worked during the cold war, but that assumes rationality on the part of all actors, and we can't sum that in north korea's case. >> in terms of threats to the united states coming from asia, what would be greater than north korea with a missile and a nuclear weapon that could hit the homeland? >> i can't think of a more proximate threat to our security at this point. >> do you believe that if the north koreans believe that military force is not an option
to stop their missile program, they will most certainly move forward? >> i will be happy to give my colleagues a chance to answer. but i think that -- >> dr. tellis, is that true? >> i believe that's true, sir. >> everybody believe that? i believe that's true too. because if i were them, why would you? if you get there, you would have an insurance policy for regime survivability. all of you agree china has the most leverage of anybody in the world regarding north korea? is that a fair statement? is it fair to say they have not fully utilized that leverage up to this point? do you believe that if china believed we would use military force to stop their missile program from maturing, they may use more leverage? affirmative answer. what do you believe that north korea's view and china's view of the trump administration is regarding the use of force? is it too early to tell?
what's your initial impressions? >> i think it is too early to tell, from the point of view of china, this is part of a larger set of questions that they pose for themselves about which direction the new administration is going to go. and they have two views of it. one, it's a reckless administration that's bound to get into conflict and even conflict with themselves. on the other hand, there are those and i think this is now a prevalent view, who believe that the president of the united states is a deal maker, he's interested in business and it's possible to get along with him, but they have to get there. and they are concerned and uncertain. >> i would also add that i think, i hope that the chinese also understand that the structure of this situation is very different now. north korea, as you said, senator, is now approaching a capability that compels the united states to make choices it has never had to make before. whether it is president trump or
anybody else who is president, they would all be forced into a situation today, when they are making choices they never had to make before because there's a homeland security threat. my hope is that the chinese understand that the structure of the situation is very different regardless of who is president. do you believe that north korea's missile technology, if not changed, will mature by the time of 2020? they will have a missile if nothing changes? affirmative response. all right, so we're all going to the white house tomorrow night to be briefed. no good choices when it comes to north korea. do you all agree with that? would you agree that if there was a war between north korea and the united states, we would win? do you think north korea understands that? >> we would win ultimately but it would be extremely costly in the near-term. >> more costly to them than us? >> not where regime survival was
concerned. obviously. more costly to them where regime survival is concerned. >> i'll end with this thought. no good choices. but if there's a war today, it's over there. in the future if there's a war and they get a missile, it comes here. thank you for your time. >> may i add one other thought, senator. >> absolutely. >> we ought not to forget the prospects of further north korean outward proliferation beyond just -- >> i didn't get there because that bothers me as much as the missile. they could give it to somebody to use it in a different way. on that cheery note, we will end. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to thank all of you for being here today and for your very helpful an informative testimony. right now, we have nuclear
submarines in south korea. dr. freedland, how persuasive to the north koreans are that kind of gesture or show of force, for lack much a better term, along with the carl vinson being in the area? do they matter? are they simply more provocative because it provides a larger platform and more visible show on their part? >> i think the north koreans have shown a great deal of sensitivity to our military activity in conjunction with the south koreans around the peninsula. they get very upset with military exercises and so on. they are paying close attention and they notice what we do. the question is, how do they interpret that and does it cause them to change their behavior. i think in the short-term, probably these gestures have caused them to pull back a little bit. maybe they would have gone ahead with the test a week ago if not for all the talk of u.s. force
flowing into the region. in the long-run, i'm not so sure they actually believe we are going to use those capabilities. >> i think they do have an effect on the north koreans certainly. this morning, you saw that they had a big artillery exercise, live artillery exercise. they are reactive to some of what we do. i do think, though, that the accumulation of it over time can have kind of a numbing effect on the dynamics. so they do react. it does get their attention. but they have also gotten a little bit used to some of these moves. >> dr. freedland, you made the point that the chinese have played us, i think, to paraphrase what you said for -- to quote you for at least the last 15 years. is there any prospect of these military exercises changing china's view? >> i think if the chinese became persuaded, convinced that we
actually were on the verge of initiating military action against north korea, then they might behave differently. they might apply greater economic pressure, for example, to north korea. but i don't think they are convinced of that. they're uncertain. >> i also think that if it is perceived that we are making a big bluff, that has really serious credibility impacts for our strategy. >> sending our fleet to exercises with australia rather than to the area where we said they were going to do might undermine our credibility, correct? >> it was not a shining moment, senator. >> there is another aspect to this. dr. cha would be an expert on this. but that is how our actions are perceived in south korea, and the extent to this people there become fearful that in fact we might do things that would cause
a war that would induce or produce great suffering in south korea. we have to be very careful that we're communicating our intentions with people in south korea, the leadership, but also the public perceive that accurately, otherwise we're going to do damage to one of our long-term relationships with one of our most important allies. >> dr. cha? >> i agree. for many, it is sort of a dual-edged sword. on the one hand, they would like to see a stronger u.s. posture with regard to the north korean threat, but then they don't want too strong a posture, because then it looks like you're preparing for something else and not just deterrence. i would agree with what kelly said as well. i think whether it's the submarine or the vinson strike group, these things, either as part of, or related to the two sets of exercises, the major exercises the united states does it the rock in the region are good. they show muscularity.
they do have a numbing effect and then you are compelled to think of other things that would negate that or create more of a sense that there is more than just posturing here. one of the things that i have heard talked about is flowing more forces to the peninsula. as i said, that could be a dual-edge sword. it could be seen as strengthening deterrence or seen as preparing for something else. so there are a lot of very difficult angles to the problem that i think the current administration must deal with. >> behind all of it, there is the danger of miscalculation, which is most frightening, because it means that any kind of military conflict would not be on the terms that we want it, not consistent with the plan that we may prepare. it is precipitous and unexpected and, therefore, even more dangerous than military conflict would be otherwise? >> i entirely agree with that. >> thank you.
>> on behalf of chairman mccain, senator warren, please. >> thank you and thank you all for being here and for this detailed and very helpful hearing. i just want to probe a couple more points in a little more detail if i can. dr. tellis, the u.s.-india relationship has evolved from one of distance to a close strategic partnership. and in just the past few years alone, the department of defense has named india a major defense partner and established the defense technology trade initiative. but india famously values its non-alignment in foreign policy, and it has a long standing relationship with russia. even today russia is india's primary arms supplier. and whereas the united states emphasizes restrictions on the use of force, russian arms come with very few strings attached.
so, dr. tellis, some have recently suggested that india is playing the united states and russia against each other for its own benefit. do you think that is true? do you believe that this is something that the united states should be concerned about? >> i think india will always have a relationship with russia independent of the united states. for a very simple reason. that the russians have been far more willing to provide india with strategic capabilities and strategic technologies of the kind that we would not, either for reasons of policy or law. but our objective with india has been more subtle than i think has been expressed often in the public commentary. the u.s. has approached india with a view to building its own capabilities, rather than seeking to forge an alliance. the reason we have done that is because we believe a strong
india aids in the preservation of a balance of power in asia that serves our interest. so our calculation has been, if india can stand on its own feet and help balance china independently, then that's a good thing for us irrespective of what they do with us bilaterally? i think that policy is a sensible one, and we ought to pursue it. let me say one other thing about russia. the indians have come around to the recognition that russia today no longer has the kind of cutting-edge capabilities that it did during the days of the soviet union. and two, that the russians are not particularly reliable with respect to providing advanced conventional technologies of the kind that the u.s. has. while they want to keep the relationship with russia in good repair, because they have a substantial human military capital stock from russia, they want to diversify and the united states is number one on the
diversification plan. >> that is very helpful. i very much appreciate your perspective on this. india is the largest democracy in the world and an important partner for us in the region. i think it is incredibly important to continue to grow the relationship in the years to come. thank you. i have one other question if i can. that is, ms. magsamen, earlier, you mentioned the missile defense when we were talking about korea. and thaad is clearly a critical part of our layered missile defenses. but what are the additional military measures, specifically, that we should be taking with our allies in south korea and japan in order to deal with the north korean threat? >> actually, i think the most important thing we can do is encourage tri lateral cooperation, especially in the maritime space and the regional missile defense space. we have been doing some of that over the last year.
we have made a lot of progress. south korea and japan still have historical concerns with each other that have inhibited a lot of progress. i think that's changing. the think the more the united states can get south korea and japan operating together, getting our systems talking to each other, it is only going to improve our ability to defend ourselves. i think that's the most important thing we can be doing right now. you saw the carl vinson is doing exercises with the japanese, getting ready to hand off to the koreans today. there is sequencing there that is important. but we need to move past a sequenced set of cooperation. we need to be doing more together on the water in particular. >> that's very helpful. >> i have a few seconds left. would anybody like to read to that, dr. friedberg, dr. cha? >> the only thing i would add, we need another thad on the -- thaad battery on the peninsula. just by the way north korea can angle their missiles in a certain way. i think we need more than one.
>> i see lots of nodding heads. i take it that's a consensus position. that's very helpful. i think we need to signal to our allies that our commitment is firm, that it is unshakeable and that we are going to pursue appropriate ways to demonstrate that. thank you. >> senator kaine. >> i want to follow up on senator warren's question about the u.s.-india relationship. two of you mentioned in your opening testimony the importance of the relationship. senator mccain echoed that. one of you only talked about the endo pacific, not the asia pacific. dr. tellis, i thought that was interesting. the title of the hearing is about the asia pacific, but you used the phrase indo pacific. about two years ago, virtually all of our dod witnesses switched over to using indopacific. largely in their testimony. the indian military does more joint exercises with the united states than they do with any other nation. that's an important trend, that's a recent trend.
i view prime minister modi being a bjp, the congress party has had that traditional non-alliance. this is a little bit of an evolution for them. talk about what we should be doing to deepen that relationship, not only militarily. but it seems that a similarity between china and russia is, they both would like the u.s. less involved in the region, and they both seem to have an interest in undermining the brand of democracies generally and suggesting that authoritarian nations are just as good. we're the oldest and largest democracy in the world. both of our nations have some motive to demonstrate the strength of democracies. there doesn't seem to be an institution in the world now that's effectively promoting the strength of the democratic model. i'm curious to have you talk about what the u.s. and india might do together either security issues in the region or more generally to promote the democratic model against this assault from authoritarian nations to suggest it is losing its vigor?
thanks. >> i would say practically speaking with the indians, we could be doing a lot more in southeast asia together and south asia. in particular, the building capacity of our partners. the indians have taken a recent interest in getting more engaged in the asia pacific, part of modi' act east. there is more we can do at the strategic level to find ways to build capacity with the southeast partners and south asia. as a way to check chinese ambitions a little bit. also, more cooperation in the indian ocean region for sure. historically, that's been india's space. but i think there and more the united states and india could do together in that area as well. we have a very successful exercise called malabar, that we do with india that we invite the japanese to. i think going back to the point i made earlier about networking our security relationships, we
should really try to press the indians to also include allies like australia into that exercise. the more and we and india can work together to expand this hub and spoke approach to the region, i think, the better. in terms of your question on democracy, the united states and india share a strategic view on the importance of a rules-based order. it is what drives our cooperation at the strategic level. the more that the united states and india are seen partnering together in initiatives in the region, the more it kind of has a bank shot on the democratic aspects. there are more ways we can speak together with a common voice about the importance of the rules-based order together. >> senator, let me start by giving you a sense of what i think the fears and the uncertainties in delhi are right now. they are concerned that the u.s. will not make the investments required to protect its
preeminence in asia. if that concern grows roots, then their willingness to bet on the u.s. relationship diminishes. they are also concerned that the u.s. for tactical reasons might reach a condominium with the chinese and if that happens, then india will find itself in a sense, losing out. so the immediate challenge that we have with india is to reassure it the u.s. remain the guarantor of the space writ large, and that i include the indian oceans and asia pacific. the second they see the challenges arising from china, so whatever we can do to help them cope with those emerging strategic challenges are those that advance our common interests, and i endorse everything kelly said in this regard. so the indian ocean area becomes an immediate point of focus. southeast asia becomes an immediate point of focus, and i
would also say central asia and the persian gulf, because india has interests in afghanistan and the gulf. there are millions of indians that work in the gulf, importan who work in the gulf. it's an important source of exchange and so n and so forth. those are three areas where we can continue to do work in terms of broader defense cooperation. the defense technology has already been alluded to. i think we ought to pursue that because it meets an important need and i hope the new administration doubles down on support. the final point i would make with respect to democracy promotion, the indians are very eager to work with the united states in democracy promotion, but not at the high end, at the low end. they're more interested in working with us in building insurance tugsz as opposed to changing regimes. they know she can't affect our choices with respect to how they deal with wra regimes but getting the mechanics of
democracy right. so helping countries conduct elections, having training programs for civil servants. helping them put together the institutional kapts capacities to demand democracy. they have been quite willing to help with us and in the dush administration. they worked with us in the global administration of democracy. it would be unfortunate if we lost our appetite for democracy promotion at this point when you have a prime minister who is quite eager to work with us on democracy promotion around the world. >> senator king, please. >> thank you very much. there are eight other countries in the world other than north korea that have nuclear weapons and many of them have had them for many years. they've never been used principally because of the principle of deterrence. so the question, based upon your testimony today, which is that a continued pursuit of nuclear weapons by north korea is virtually inevitable, it will be
very difficult to derail with anything short of devastating military confrontation which we can discuss in a moment. will deterrence work with north korea just as it has with the rest of the world to keep from us nuclear confrontation? dr. cha. >> i think the hopeful answer is that it will. north korea has been deterred from invading the korean peninsula again with armored divisions. so the u.s. are okay alliance in terms of conventional deterrence has worked. so one hopes to assign some rashlt to north korea rationalizations because of that outcome. but two things that are different, one is we're talking about nuclear weapons now and two we're talking about a ditch leader. even if we assume that deterrence holds, nuclear deterrence holds, we still have two other problems. one is as senator graham and
ashley mentioned is outward prolive for operation. north korea is a serial proliver ratetor. every weapon they've developed they've sold. >> and it's nonstate actors obtaining nuclear weapons for whom deterrence would not work. >> that's absolutely correct. and the second concern is because if deterrence holds at the nuclear rung of the ladder, there's also the possibility that north korea will feel united states is deterred there for it can coerce more at the conventional level, something that's known as the stability, instability paradox. and so there's a lot of concern that north korea even if it's deterred will actually feel like it has more tlons take actions. >> you all have testified about the consequences of some kind of preemptive strike in terms of -- and i think it's important to reels realize that seoul ises
about as far from the dmz as we are from baltimore. we're not talking about nuclear strike, we're talking about artillery. but let me ask the question another way and perhaps this is best addressed to the intelligence community but you may have views. could we take out their nuclear capacity with a preemptive strike or would there be enough left you can't bomb knowledge,ed there be enough left to the reconstitute it and think they would be even more determined at that point? ms. magsamen. >> i mean, the shortancy don't know. but i do think that the question of permanent unanimous is important and what the objective of the strike would be. if it it was to take out program, there is, as you mentioned, the knowledge issue. >> during our debate on the jcpoa, the intelligence committee informed us an all-out strike on the nuclear capacity of iran would delay their program for two years. that was a very important part of the debate because that
really makes that alternative less appealing, particularly when you layer on the response and the danger of confrontation with china. any of the others have views on the fees ability of how far a military strike could do in terms of eliminating the capacity? dr. tellis do you? >> i don't believe we have the capacity to eliminate the program in its entirety, which essentially means that there will be both residual assets and the capacity for reconstitution. >> and certainly the will, based upon having been struck. >> correct. >> to change the subject slightly, one flt things that really concerns me about the situation that we're in now which is one of the most dangerous i can remember in my adult life, is accidental escalation, misperception. we move the carrier group, we believe that's a message. they believe it's preparation for an invasion. and you get a response.
is that -- you're all nodding, the record won't show nods. dr. friedman, your thoughts. >> i think that's an additional danger even if you assume a certain level of rationality on the part of the north korean leadership, they're not insane, there's a real problem of misconception and miscalculation. the view that as nearly as we can tell the north korean leadership has of the rest of the world, of the united states is extremely distorted. i think they do believe that we're out to get them and there are possibilities for interaction between things that we do and things that they do that could have unintended consequences. >> do we have any direct communication with north korea? >> the channel that the u.s. government usually uses is from the permanent mission from the u.n. to new york, but it's largely a mess abling channel. >> it strikes me that would be an important issue when you're in a situation where you don't want misunderstandings, that's
when wars start. is misunderstanding, misperception of each side's moves. >> i agree, and i think to add to what aaron said, it could be miscalculation that comes from some place completely different. in other words, we have data that north korea likes to target both u.s. and south korea elections with provocations and we have an election in south korea may 9th. so it's entirely plausible the north koreans could carry out something that's nonballistic missile, nonnuclear directed at south korea that could also spin out of control. so miscalculation could come from a variety of different places. >> well, i appreciate your testimony and needless to say we focussed a great deal on north korea, we didn't really talk as much about china. graham alison has a new book "definite continued for war" that i think we all need to study with regard to china. we could have an entire hearing on that. thank you very much for your testimony. >> thank you. let me thank the panel for very
tonight on the c-span 3 the senate confirmation hearing for cia general council nominee courtney simmons elwood. then today's session prime minister's questions from the british house of commons, the supreme court hears oral argument in the rhee religious frooim freedom case of trinity luj rap church versus comb her. and angela merkel and ivanka trump are part of a conference in berlin on women's rights. courtney simmons elwood has been nominated as general council of the cia. today she testified at her senate confirmation hearing and answered questions about russian interference in u.s. elections, cia surveillance operations,