tv Pentagon Officials Testify on Security in the Indo- Pacific CSPAN March 31, 2022 1:38am-4:24am EDT
>> .. >> call the meeting to order. full committee meets today on the national security challenges and the u.s. military activities in the indo-pacific region. through the witnesses honorable dr. eli ratner, indo-pacific affairs. admiral john aquilino, pacific command. and the commander for the united nations command combined forces, u.s. forces korea. i realize that at yesterday's history i didn't read a hybrid statement which is very tempting by the way because
everything seemed to go just fine even though i didn't read it. i'll ride read it this morning. we have a hybrid meeting, some remotely. and those remotely should be visible remotely and establishing a quorum. participating in the proceedings and voting. and those most use the video software unless there's connectivity issues or problems unable to participate on camera. if a member experiences technical difficulties, contact the staff for assistance. and video will be broadcast in the room and via television internet feed and those attending virtually, they must be acknowledged before speaking and on mute. members may leave and rejoin the proceeding. if the members leave for other than another meeting, they should leave the software on.
and if they're leaving exit entirely and rejoin as they return and members may use the platform to chat with technical or logistics onliment and mute the microscone to cancel any other noise. and thanks to the witness. the indo-pacific region is important to the peace and stability of the world. obviously we've learned that the entire world is a challenge, with russia's unprovoked and devastating invasion of ukraine. we have been reminded we can't just focus on one part of the world, but the indo-pacific region is clearly one of the most important parts of the world, important as we go through all of these hearings from all the different regions, how interconnected everything is. it's not just, you know, great power competition with russia,
dealing with china. russia and china as we know are actively engaged in many parts of the world, and the competition here really is to build broad support amongst partners. and that is a global endeavor, to basically show that partnering with the u.s. and the west, is the better option for, frankly, all countries, than partnering with russia and china. and the indo-pacific region gives us an outstanding opportunity to do that. it has been described as the pacing threat, however you want to put it, china is without question the country most capable of competing with the u.s. in terms of their economic strength, in terms of growing military strength, in terms of their global reach. now, we all want a world where china and the u.s. peacefully co-exist and that's what we're working towards, but over the course of the last decade at least, it's become clear that president xi in china intends something more combative than that. they are trying to push us out
and advance an authoritarian way of looking at the world, that has very little respect for free human rights or anything other than the blunt force of what they want economically. we need to compete against that. we need to convince the world to go in a different direction, and to do that, we need a robust presence in the indo-pacific region. it's just that simple. and our military is a huge part of that. we have an important defense relationships, certainly with japan and south korea, but with a number of other countries as well. we must maintain and strengthen those relationships, and we must attempt to be a balancing force to keep the peace in asia. obviously nowhere more important than on taiwan, the belligerent language that china has been putting out recently is, you know, very, very dangerous. we could easily see a china-taiwan situation in the same way we now see russia, ukraine situation. we need to constantly remind china that that is not the way global powers are supposed to
behave, whatever dispute and differences they have with taiwan, they should be resolved peacefully not through the use of military force, but a big part of making sure that happens is to have an adequate deterrent. it's to build partnerships and have a presence in the region that lets china know that that is not an acceptable or doable option. and that requires us to have a robust presence. i am particularly interested this morning in, well, two big things. one, how are our relationships and partnerships going in the region and i think that's incredibly important. india in particular, you know, the largest democracy in the world, the country that's had a history in the past of being closer to russia in many ways than to us, but is now moving in our direction. if we can enhance that relationship and strengthen it, i think that makes the world a better and more peaceful place and then second, this committee has been briefed repeatedly the last six, seven years, everything that china has done and military modernization to try to counter us, to basically
put our systems and our forces at risk, and to in essence, push us out of the region. we've known about that for some time. i know that we are working on how to adjust to that, how to, you know, change our force structure to better deal with what china has done. we need to put meat on those bones. what is it we're doing? what is it we need to be doing? what are the most important things to fund? to me, it comes down to two words, as a starting point, and that is information and survivability. china is very focused on improving their command and control information systems and also, equally focused on making ours vulnerable, not making our vulnerable, on taking ours down, on being able to basically blind us and shut us down by shutting down our communications systems and our information systems. how are we improving that. and survivability, it's the platform that can get into the region and survive, with china's missile technology, cyber technology and ability to
shut down our information systems. as we've talked about add nauseam. the pentagon, needs to find the best technologies, best use of them. available faster, quicker, better. something we're looking forward to hearing from the witnesses on those topics and to that i'll yield to the ranking member mr. rogers. >> thank you, and i would be remiss if i didn't acknowledge the entrance of one of our colleagues from qualm. guam. good to see you again. [applause] >> thank you, mr. chairman, i do thank the witnesses for being here in the time it took to prepare for this. the conflict between the chinese communist party and american democracy will be one of the greatest tests this nation has ever faced. the modernized military and
lethal taiwan are essential to countering china, but we also need operational concepts that are execuexecutable. and in the past year, asked about indo pacom. and few answers on accelerating new infrastructure and few answers on delivering new technology to the battlefield. the secretary announced monday the intention to close the red hill field depo within a year. they have problems, but without the resources to replace that capacity. that's extremely short-sighted. the response from the department has been the same, the answer is just one policy announcement away and that's unacceptable. what i would like to hear from each of you today is exactly how you will employ new operational concepts and build new systems and ensure logistic
supports through new through the indo-pacific and most important how you intend to do na within the next five years. we know at that china is not going to give us 10 or 20 years to prepare for conflict. we cannot procrastinate any further. the issues like red hill presents, an opportunity to modernize beyond world war ii logistic model. i'm worried about the cycle of indecision and procrastination at the pentagon and worried about getting the important work done in a time frame that we have to act. this committee has tried to provide the department the capabilities it needs to deter china and ensure that we prevail if conflict arises. but we can't move with purpose if the department can't define its requirements. we've tried to nail those down in the pdi. congress created the deterrents initiative to highlight and expedite the essential capabilities, but the pentagon kneecaped with poor guidance and unclear plans.
i hope they can rectify that in the budget submission. on top of that. we've tasked the general withholding off north korea. in any other year, the north korea missile tests would be front page news. general, you've picked an interesting time to deal with challenges over there. south korea are allies and deepening cooperation with them makes us safer and we need know know what you need in the coming decade. we're hearing that, and i hope the department is ready to hear the same. with that, mr. chairman, i'll yield back. >> mr. rogers, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and it's a privilege to be here with admiral aquilino and general lacamera.
we remain committed for a free and upholding regional order. the region faces mounting security challenges from people's republic of china, and north korea's weapons of mass destruction and missiles program is a threat to the united states and our allies and partners. mr. chairman, secretary austin described the prc as the top challenge. that will be reflected in the national defense strategy and fy23 budget as we continue to update our can september capabilities and enforced partner for the homeland and deter aggression and prevail in conflict. we have prioritizing capabilities relative to the china challenge for a joint force lethal and able to strike forces and systems at range. resilience and able to gain information advantage and maintain command and control through adversary disruptions,
and seek to reduce combat power and mobilization speed. enable for sustainment for operations in a highly contested environment. alongside these capabilities we're building a combat credible force posture in the indo-pacific working toward a lethal and resilient forward posture essential to addressing the full suite of challenges we sways in the region. we're doubling down on one of our greatest strategic advantages, our networks. and see it growing at a rapid pace. with the u.s.-japan cornerstone, we are having the defense forces, upping our alliance force posture and integrating the alliance into a broader regional security network of like-minded nations. we're continuing to strengthen the u.s. rok alliance, the
linchpin in the indo-pacific region focused on deterrents and alliance readiness. the u.s.-australia alliance is surging forward with considerable momentum. last year we announced several new initiatives to substantially deepen cooperation in land, air and maritime domain, and we announced the historic august tri lateral security with australia. and with the philippines and thailand as well. we're proud for the revisiting forces agreement with the philippines and steps we're taken to strengthen with our thai allies. and historic process in our defense relationship with india as we operationalize our day-to-day defense cooperation and logistics, enhanced information sharing and grow our bilateral cooperation in emerging domains such as space and cyber space. and we'll strengthen our
ability, with partners, including singapore, vietnam, indonesia, malaysia and timor. we remain committed to aussie centrality. consistent with our one china policy, three joint communiques, and six assurances, focused on maintaining peace and stability in the taiwan straits. with the prc with pacing challenges, taiwan is pacing scenario and we determine to deny aggression through taiwan's defense,s, its partnership with the united states and growing support from like-minded democracies. i'd like to close by thanking all of you for your strong bipartisan support for the indo-pacific. it is my firm belief that this
bipartisanship should be nurtured i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. admiral aquilino. >> it mr. rogers and distinguished members of the committee new for allowing me to appear today and having a conversation and appreciated our closed session yesterday, thank you for that. i'd like to thank all of you for dedicated support to the indo-pacific command, our service members and their families. the people's republic of china is the most consequential strategic competitor that the united states has faced. they are executing a dedicated campaign that utilizes all forms of national power in an attempt to uproot the rules-based international order to the benefit of themselves and at the expense of all others. russia also presents a serious
risk as evident from their own provoked and unjustified attack on the ukraine, russia has no regard for international law. its own commitments or any principles that uphold global peace. similarly, the democratic people's republic of korea, the dprk, as well as violent extremists organizations, also pose acute threats to peace and stability in the indo-pacific region. to address these threats, secretary austin has articulated clear priorities. defend the homeland, deter our adversaries and strengthen our allies and partners. these priorities are advanced through integrated deterrents, which is are the department's approach to preventing conflict through the synchronization of all elements of national power coordinated with the joint
force across all domains together with our allies and partner. indo-pacom integrated deterrents, should the deder rents fail we must be prepared to fight and win. seize the initiative describes indo-pacom's approach. this requires the joint force to think, act and operate differently by realigning our posture, advancing our war fighting capabilities, in order to provide the president and the secretary with options across the entire spectrum of competition, crisis, or conflict. effective deterrents require significant investment to defend the homeland, protect the joint force, operate in contested space, and provide all domain battle space
awareness with an integrated fires network that synchronizes a joint force. these initiatives are incorporated into the theater campaign plan. they are facilitated and supported by agile logistics, a robust experimentation program, as well as exercises, and constant collaboration with our allies and partners to promote peace in the region. we must take concerted efforts to increase our resilience and strengthen our capabilities through sustained investments, utilizing predictable budgets, a strong industrial base and reliable supply chains. i'm optimistic we will see a strategy based fy23 budget, that takes the appropriate initial steps to address key
adversarial challenges and increase our war fighting advantages. the resources we commit now and in the future will preserve a free and open indo-pacific and strengthen our posture and provide us the ability to fight and win should deterrents fail. thanks to the committee and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. general. >> chairman smith, ranking members rogers and distinguished members of the community. thank you for the opportunity to appear with you today. i appreciate your leadership and dedicated in supporting our total force and our families who work with our korean allies in the united nations sending states in order to maintain the stable and secure environment on the korean peninsula. i'd also like to thank president biden, secretary austin, and general milley for their support along with admiral aquilino and the functional component commanders and our interagency colleagues. it's easy to stand on freedom's
frontier with this tremendous support and thank our korean hosts and their professional military. i'm please today update you on the great work for the dedicated who serve in korea. expecttively executing the combined forces command and the united states-south korea alliance during the battle while the democratic people's republic of korea continues to pose multiple threats to the region and international security this alliance remains a linchpin of regional stability and prevented the resumption of hostilities from 72 years ago. it remains iron clad along with our korean military ready to respond to a provocation and crisis if called upon. our three command, united nations command, combined command and united states forces must be prepared and ready. and they're maintaining a
stabilized security environment for the republic of korea our regional allies and our partners. we have international legitimacy through united nations command whose mission is to enforce the 1953 armistice, and to execute assigned function directed by the united states national authorities through the joint chiefs of staff to preserve peace and security on the korean peninsula. we're proud of the combined teamwork of the u.s.-korean alliance, the forces command is a combined war fighting headquarters in the bilateral military partnership. formed in 1978, it's a unique entity that has admissions from the combined committee ap governed by and subject to by national decision making and concensus. we maintain our strong u.s. commitment to korea. the u.s. forces korea is the premier joint force committed to defending the security of the republic of korea. it's disciplined, trained in
fighting to win in combat. the strengthening of our force and best possible care of our families. i'm grateful for your leadership in these no-fail tasks. i know you're aware of south korea's powerful military and technical standings. no doubt you're aware of their social impact. all this have is part of the hard work and discipline and dedication of the korean people. all done under the security umbrella of the u.s.-korea alliance. the republic of korea is an incredible ally and it's a privilege to move into the future together with them in the land of the morning calm. modern and command with the multinational combined in joint force in one of the dynamic regions of the world. those who serve there are committed, capable and well supported and the posture to deter aggression, protect u.s. interests and if needed defeat any adversary. as long as the threat presents, the u.s. korean alliance
remains vigilant. determined and steadfast across the region. as the command of the incredible service members, i appreciate this committee's continued support to fully prepare them to fight and win, in the most dangerous piece of ground. the last 100 meters of sand, sea and air. under one flag we go together and fight tonight. thank you for the opportunity to provide an opening statement. i'll look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. one programming note before we get going with questions, there are going to be votes at some point, it's my intention to continue the hearing through the votes because it would be impossible if we had to take that delay in a half hour, 40 minutes between the two votes. so we are just going to rotate people in and out and figure out how we're going to do that, but we are going to keep going. general la camera, we talked a little about the alliances and the different pieces out there, from south korea and i think, just completed their elections as we're sitting here in the middle, and if you've heard.
how do you see south korea not just in terms of north korea, though i want to hear about that as well. fitting in the larger partnership. we've talked about the quad that we've developed with japan and india and other partners, how does south korea view the competition with china in the region and how can we best use them as a partner and ally in the region for that? and then i would be curious to get your sort of latest take on what north korea is thinking about with the latest missile threat and how you evaluate that threat at the moment. >> thank you, chairman. i think the challenge with the republic of korea, first thing they'll tell you, their economic partner is china. their security partner is the united states. and that's-- that can be a little concerning because as we go forward, the concern is always that, are they or the north koreans, related to your second
question, are they trying to drive a wedge between us, the united states, and the republic of korea as a way of winning without fighting. a perfect example in 2017, they put some economic pressure on the republic of korea and we've seemed to come out of that and running and we have thad running and move forward. i look alt the republic of korea and quite frankly, the united nations sending, and australian alliance or japanese alliance as an opportunity to get the koreans off the peninsula to do additional training as training becomes a little restricted, but to expose them to other militaries. when it comes to dprk, i think he's solely focused internally on protecting his regime and that's what the nuclear testing and the missiles is really about protecting his position in the world.
>> thank you. >> and dr. ratner and admiral aquilino, when it comes to the big question how we present a legitimate deterrent to china given what they've done in the last decade. i know it's not just one thing. could you sum up how we need to change our military capability in terms of where we should spend our money and what programs we should put the highest priority on. what are the capability or capabilities that we most need to get better at and develop to counter what china has done? >> thanks, mr. chairman. i'll go first if it's okay with dr. ratner. first of all, i think we must look through the prc issue as not just today, right? so it's a short-term problem, it's a medium-term problem and it's a long-term problem. so i can tell you what we're doing today as applies to adjusting our posture both in places we operate from, the amount and position of forces,
where we put it is important. that power in a place that matters with the right capabilities today is the deterrent factor. combine that with the exercising operations with our allies and partners presents a pretty good deterrent force today. on the capability side, in the mid and longer term, i appreciate that the department's support for some of the asks, and i highlighted a couple of them in my statement. so the ability to operate in contested space, consistently and survivablely as you highlighted in your statement, the ability to have persistent battle space awareness. >> i guess we kind of know that part. the question is, what does that mean? okay. so to do that we need to build this. and not build that. we need to develop this technology. we need to develop that technology. what's going to survive in that environment? what do we need to put our money in? >> yeah, integrated and resilient sustainable isr
capabilities. a network that links all of that together and displays it for all forces on the battlefield in a consistent way and ultimately, the ability to close those kill chains with the correct weapons and fires. >> thank you, dr. ratner. >> mr. chairman, the only thing i would add is, in addition to the capabilities that admiral aquilino mentioned, we have the optional concept and more distributed force posture and building our allies and partners into the framework as well. we have to make sure we don't have a few big, rich targets. we need to have redundancy spread out so no matter what china does we can continue it communicate and operate. >> i would say the characteristics of the source that i described in opening statement are the ones that drive the capabilities, investments. lethality, resilience,
sustainability. survivability and being agile and responsive, exactly as you describe, mr. chairman, in your opening statements. >> thank you, mr. rogers. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, never did get the answer to the chairman's question. who won the election or do we know the results? >> oh, when i came in here, congressman, i-- it's too close to call right now. so-- >> sounds familiar. [laughter] >> we've had that problem around here for a while. you talked about the stepped up testing by north korea. how does a maturing north korean missile capability affect your posture? >> ballistic missile defenses is a top priority, protection, making sure that admiral aquilino just brought up on isr, you know, typically we say
isr is won now, but to me it's reverbs, making sure we can see what he's doing and can we get after a kill web to interdict, prevent it from, you know, from striking south korea or striking any u.s. interests in the region. >> do you have adequate isr, in your opinion? >> currently, i do. the challenge right now is placement and access, given the comprehensive military agreement between the republic of korea and the dprk. >> when you look at your posture and your responsibilities, what is the one thing that we could help you most with in addressing capabilities and issues? >> and one of the things that i'm always mindful of is the huge number of rocket launchers he has near seoul and how you
would defend against that onslaught. >> yeah, there's two threats to that. there's the conventional threat, his long range artillery that can range seoul from the north and ballistic capability that he's developing. so, it's the patriot, thad, and making sure that we have the redundancy and the resiliency and the number of arrows, but to me, it more than just trading arrows for arrows. we've got to make sure we can get after the entire kill web to get into his systems and i can provide a much better description of this in a secure environment. >> i understand. well, we need to know because we want to give you what you need, so, get it to us in whatever fashion you need to. dr. ratner, we need to convince our allies and our partners that we're in the pacific for the long haul. i think that we on this committee, you know, genuinely
mean that. how can we build that credibility in the region, in your view? >> thank you, sir. i think there are a few elements that we can do to ensure that the region believes that we're going to be there for the long haul. primarily, many of those occur outside the military domain and certainly the jurisdiction of the defense department, including active diplomacy and active trade and investment strategy and relationship in the region, the most important thing we could do. from a military perspective, i think maintaining our forward posture and continuing to invest. our alliances and working with partners on issues that are important to them, not just issues important to us are the right formula. >> great. and admiral, closing red hill is going to impact your operations. can you tell me or tell this committee how you intend to address that closure?
>> thank you, sir. absolutely. as we look and developed options for senior leader decisions with regard to red hill. again, we had three criteria that we had to make sure we were getting right. number one, clean water for the people of hawaii, service members and their families and meet the war requirements and third, obviously look at costs and ensure we're good stewards of the taxpayers money. we developed a plan that actually goes in alignment how we talked about a more distributed plan both forward and land based. combined with a sea-based component to allow for a more distributed, survivable, resilient network of fuels as well as meeting the security and strategic fuel reserve requirements. so, as we looked at this, i think we're actually going to be a better place and we meet all three requirements as i laid out. >> what time frame is going to be needed to make this
transition? >> congressman, i think we'll go in coordination with the members that are working this, that's the epa, the hawaii department of health, and the department of defense. we'll go as fast as safe allows. we have to make sure the facility is safe to transfer that fuel into the places we're going to send it, but we're certainly not waiting. as soon as we can get it done, we'll be ready to move and as soon as we're obviously to contract some of the other facilities, as well as the sea-based option. >> so you're not closing red hill until you have the new capability in place? >> we will close red hill, i think the secretary's announcement was within the year and that just allows us to be able to distribute that fuel with the contract requirements, the sea-based requirements, and the needs-- the need to put it in the correct spots. >> that's my point though, i want to make sure that you're going to be able to fuel your
oil plans, when you close that place. >> yes, sir, we'll be able to do it and we'll be able to do it fairly quickly. >> that's all i have, mr. chairman. >> mr. larson is recognized for five minutes. >> thanks. thanks chair. admiral, earlier this year, the army began developing testing a tactical cloud system that would be deployed in the indo-pacific region. can you, in this setting, explain why that would be important for the indo-pacific? >> thanks, congressman. so first of all, the ability to make sure that our data is safe, secure, in a cyber environment is critical. so that's one portion of it. additionally, it's going to help to support one of our primary initiatives called the mission partner environment, which is the ability in a cyber safe environment, to share information with all of our partners, to be able to coordinate events, operations,
exercises through a single capability mechanism. it really comes down to the ability to defend our information and our data. >> so, i want to build out from that for dr. ratner, and how-- because this gets to the importance of distance and closing through secure communications among friends and allies. building that for using that hub and spoke model that we used post world world war ii to build our friend and alliances in the indo-pacific. how are we going to assess what countries are, you know, earn their way into this communication network and into this one as well as the others we're trying to set up in that region? >> yeah, thank you, congressman larson and admiral aquilino may want to say another word on some of communications networks he wants to build in the region. i will say we're in careful analysis and consultation with
their information security. both assessing them. helping them improve and clean up networks, and moving in ways that are deliberate and ensure that we're not building that network so fast that it's going to be compromised. so, this is something that we take quite seriously. prc penetration of networks throughout the region is quite severe and something we need to manage. >> admiral. >> yes, thanks. we're obviously concerned about everyone's networks, our own and all of our allies and partners. this mission partner environment, you know, allows us to work together with them, to be able to develop the maximum security that we have access to, and then align it with all of our partners, so, it's really kind of a two-wins here in this objective. >> yeah, let me take one more step on this conversation, dr. ratner. alludes to it. with china: prc is doing, in the last several years, we have talked about this and further last year, about the call to
reorganize pla to include strategic support forces and so on this point, not to tell us what's in the budget, 22 years i realize that would be a waist of time to ask you for the budget got here. could you generally say, perhaps, that the budget investment reflects the need to be responsive to the development of what it's doing and what the pla is using the strategic support forces, as well as getting ahead of that. as well as the investments regardless whether or not it existed? >> congressman, without getting into details about the budget. i can assure you that the department is focused on the issues. we had an opportunity earlier this week to do a table top exercise with members of this committee in which we focused
specifically on some of these areas, including space and cyber. and you'll see in the secretary's concept of integrated deterrent, which admiral aquilino mentioned. part of the rational, we ourselves need to be inter grating across the domain in space and cyber as we move across this competition. >> a little time left. have you-- if you can share this, given the unprovoked, puth's unprovoked invasion of ukraine. have you seen a difference in the russian force posture in their east? >> thanks, congressman. they pushed out 20 ships and submarines as we can count. they've placed them in defensive positions and postured other forces to be able to defend their eastern flank. so we absolutely have seen a change and we continue to monitor those like we do every
day. >> thanks. i'll ask the question and take it for the record, but it has to do with india's ambivalent role relative to the u.s. security interests with regard to the ukraine. and in the pacific for the record. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. turner is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, in your written comments, you referenced the united kingdom and joint exercises that were held with both the u.s. and others, and you also mentioned that the f-35, i want to read to you the provision that's here in that. i have two questions with you, one is can you tell us about the partner nations outside the indo pacom and the role of the 35. you said u.k. demonstrated in
the region, and queen elizabeth embarked u.s. and marine corps f-35. i assume we both had f-35's, escort ships from the netherland and the united states and you also cite the acquisition by the republic of korea for the f-35-a. can you tell us your work with other partner nations and the role of the f-35 in the area? >> thanks, congressman. the importance of the f-35 can't be overstated. when we talked in the beginning, that the prc has developed a set of systems of systems, in an attempt it keep the united states out of the pacific. the f-35, from the air domain is critical to be able to operate in that contested space. that fifth generation airplane with the highest technology available. >> you're reference, china's f-20. >> i'm referencing our f-35. >> when you reference china as a pure threat in the area, you're looking to their equipment as additional need
for the f-35? >> yeah, absolutely, sir. they've begun production of the j-20, fifth generation of airplane, which ups the ante and with the capability of the f-35, that's why it's so critical. as it applies to being able to operate in that contested space, the technologies that come with that airplane allow it to happen. >> and then joint exercises, you reference the u.k. and netherlands? >> so when we talk about integrated deterrents, that's a pretty good example of one operation that we've done. the u.k., as you note, have built and have now deployed one of their aircraft carrier strike groups. we did an operation with seven nations. four big ships, the japanese provided one of their large deck ddh's, and the queen elizabeth was there and as well as the ronald reagan and the
u.s.s. carl vincent and that was combined with all of our domain capabilities in terms of bombers, ground forces, cyber capabilities and space capabilities and worked together with seven nations. the netherlands, australian, canadians, and again, i think that the friends and partners outside of region also understand the importance of the region. and we see them operate with us hopefully more frequently. the french comes to the region most recently read about the germans deploying to the pacific. i'm hoping and working to get more of that and with those partners we operate with them all the time. >> my next question relates to exercises and also with republic of korea. general, you mentioned trying to get people out of the area because of restrictions with respect to exercises. as part of our 2021ndaa, and part of the pacific deterrents, an actual plan to be provided
by your command admiral and in it, it listed exercises as one of the primary focusing goals, it also unfortunately includes information that your funding was cut for exercises in 2022. i'm aware that there have been, i believe, some overconcerns about the issues of provocation of exercises. when it's one of your primary goals of exercises and we know our partners that are in the region need exercises to be effective, what are we doing to ensure that the-- that we're able to conduct exercises in the region and that we're investing appropriatery and we're ensuring that the republic of korea has the ability to exercise without an overconcern of being provocative in the region? then i'll let all three of you answer that one. >> thanks, congressman. for the exercises, we do over 120 exercises every year. covid has impacted some of those, we've scaled some down.
we've reduced or postponed some because of the covid piece. the bottom line, we haven't reduced any of the exercises. matter of fact when i met with the chiefs of the defense across the region recently in july, what we've agreed to is actually to try to expand those into more-- >> mr. secretary, do you have concerns about exercises in the region? >> congressman, i do share-- >> the gentleman's time expired, if you can finish in about 10 seconds, thank you. >> i would share admiral aquilino's view, i have concerns about the readiness of our forces on the korean peninsula and i know that's something that we're working on. >> the chair representative representative courtney for five minutes. >> thank you. and thank you to the witnesses for being here today. dr. ratner, david ignatius who has been covering foreign policies and military policy for many years, in terms of hard power, the alliance with australia and britain is the
most important strategic moves in decade and congratulations to the administration for helping to make that come together. the response in australia, as you and i have discussed is very positive. 60% approval in public opinion polls. the governor announced that a few days ago that they are moving forward for an eastern navy base on the eastern side of australia to compliment sterling which is on the western side near perth. so they clearly -- it's all in and that's a long-term, that's a long game commitment that's there. and i know admiral caldwell, at naval reactors, is hard at work and it's a big job to figure out the industrial base challenge which is huge. in the meantime, there's another piece of this, helping the australian navy sort of make this transformation, and it seems to me and a number of us that, you know, having joint training at the nuclear power school in south carolina for
australian sailors and officers, and we have to do it, why don't we start? it's a good visible, tangible way to really show, you know, our allies in the world that this is real, that it's not just a press release, you know, back in september. admiral, you're nodding, admiral aquilino. what's your thoughts on that? >> congressman, this is really an important set forward, i do concur with that. but i want to remember that the submarine piece is one portion of it. so we're cooperating in other doe mains-- domains, with the australians and brits in cyber and developing posture from there. i'll be in australia with good partners, to start on that space in cyber improvements. on the submarine piece, as you know, they're studying the best way to go forward. big decisions and they want to go about it methodically.
i spoke to general-- or admiral caldwell last night. we're on the same page. as soon as they're ready to start, admiral caldwell is ready to start on schooling and to bridge, how do we operate together with australian on u.s.-british submarines. safety is clearly a concern about from admiral caldwell, but we are doing everything possible to move this as fast as possible. >> well, that's good to hear. and i think, certainly, this committee is going to do everything to enable the success of that in terms of whether there's i-tar issues or whether there's again, mcmahon act issues in terms of just clearing any legal obstacles. admiral, you talked about, again, the pivot away from red hill and the at sea component and sort of spot lights the importance of sea lift. again, in a few hours we're going to vote on omnibus, which
adds 10 u.s.-flagged ships to the fleet. bringing to about 90. again, these are not new construction, these are used ships that are going to be u.s.-flagged with a stipend, and able to do that. and it still seems like it's still a big enterprise, you know, to have that dispersement which i think makes sense. can you talk about sea lift in terms of just sometimes overlooked in the grand strategy discussions. >> yes, sir, it's critical to the approach and the position to be able to be more distributed in many different locations, both ashore and at sea. you're talking about the sea-based component of that and i thank the committee for the support for the tsp, a great partner general von ost in her command in a previous study that there was risk with regard to the number and access to u.s.-flagged tankers. this is a great step to start
in that direction and again, i believe it will contribute to the way forward on red hill. it's important across all sea lift not just fuel. >> can you comment on what sea lift means in terms of the north korean peninsula? >> yes, we've had this conversation, when does strategic become operational maneuver? at what point is he responsible for deliver to a certain point that i've got to secure it and bringing it in. now, there's tremendous capacity on the peninsula right now for the korean people, but we have to-- we're going to rely on japan to bring supplies in and forces and we're going to rely on sea lift and airlift to bring, to build our combat power for any crisis or conflict. >> thank you, mr. lambbert is recognized for five minutes. thank you, mr. chairman. secretary ratner in the last ndaa i offered language and the committee supported it asking
for a report on asymmetrical defensive capabilities on the part of taiwan, ground-based anti-ship cruise missiles. ground-based cruise missiles and anti-ship mines and i believe that got caught up in a larger report request that the secretary is supposed to produce for this committee. and is that coming along satisfactorily? the importance of this report to make sure 0 our industry partners are producing these arlaments sufficiently and that they're getting into the hands of our taiwanese partners and friends. will that report be forth coming soon? . congressman, i'll have to check on the exact timing of the report. i was before this committee probably about six weeks ago and did an in depth, classified briefing on taiwan in particular and we discussed these, each of these capabilities in depth. the department is extremely focused on ensuring we can get these in the hand of taiwans,
as quickly as possible and be happy to provide your office. >> thank you. admiral aquilino, there's a concern by us about hypersonic weapons, and how china, russia, north korea are doing what they can in this area. what are your concerns about their progress and what do we need to do better on our part? >> thanks, congressman. so the real concern is the speed and pace at which they're showing up. as you articulated. so, that's the issue. we have security challengers that are working towards capabilities that are challenging. we're getting after it through my number one unfunded request as articulated is a defensive system to get right after this
issue. now, it's complex. we're coordinating with the department. but we need to be able to defend both our people, right, defend the homeland and that's the secretary's number one priority as well as the forces and where we place them to be able to operate. >> now, you mentioned guam. and you said it in your posture statement that guam's strategic importance is difficult to overstate. can you elaborate on that, please? >> absolutely, congressman. the area in the indo-pacific is expansive. half the globe and a lot of it water. so to be able to posture forces and places that matter with the right capabilities, we've focused on guam as a strategic hub, as you would expect. senator-- or excuse me, governor guerrero is a wonderful partner and a patriot and as you know, about
11 billion dollars worth of construction, as we work through posturing of our forces, that will end up on guam. so we have to protect it. >> and lastly, can you enlighten us regarding the department's progress and this is for secretary ratner. the department's progress and prioritization of missile defense funding for guam? >> yes, congressman. the department is currently in the final stages of the missile defense review which will layout strategy and priorities and that should be forth coming alongside the national defense strategy hopefully in the coming weeks. >> okay, new. that's all i have for now, mr. chairman, i'll yield back to you. >> thank you, mr. keating is now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. question, just two days ago, u.k.'s foreign minister said to
parliament there in london that the reason that india abstained in the u.n. recently on the vote about russian aggression is quote, economic and defense oriented. could you enlighten any of us as to why, what areas of defense she could have been alluding to and what is your opinion on how is inability to vote at the u.n. in favor of condemning russian aggression, how that could be defense-oriented on their part? >> sure, thank you, congressman, i can start on that and there was a reference earlier to this issue as well. what i would just start by saying is that from the u.s. perspective and india is an absolutely essential partner as we think about our strategies in the indo-pacific both in terms of how we're building coalition partners, as well as
dealing with potential adversaries. we recognize that india has a history and relationship with russia, that the majority of their weapons they buy from the russians. the good news is that they are in multi-year process of diversifying their arms purchases away from russia, that's going to take some time, but they are clearly committed to doing that, including increasing the inge-- indigenousization of their own, and something we should support. in terms of their relationship with russia, the trend lines are moving in the right direction. >> all right. china has mentioned its investment, advancing their own technology. i'm particularly interested in unmanned, underwater technology that they might have. can you talk to us about what they're doing and what you think we should be doing to expand our footprint in this
kind of technology? >> thank you, congressman. as we've watched, all right, this is the largest military buildup that we've seen since world war ii coming out of the prc and that includes all doe mains, it also includes all types of technologies. congressman molten and i had a conversation yesterday about some of those. so we shouldn't be surprised to see them advancing their unmanned capabilities in all domains and we continue to watch it. we'd have to have additional conversations at a classified level. >>, but is it an area that we ourselves are stepping up the game on? >> we absolutely are. as you know, we've been leading the path for unmanned. i think i saw the cno last week talked about a fleet that includes both manned and unmanned. as you know, we already operate global hawks, predators and
other types of unmanned domain. so it's an opportunity for us that we have to continue to explore and expand. >> thank you, again, mr. xharm chairman for having this important hearing and i'll yield back. >> and mr. whitman. >> i want to go to you, admiral aquilino and when admiral davidson was here as your predecessor and he talked about the erosion of deterrents in that region and how incredibly important it is that we keep the chinese at bay. i know you spoke with the battle force it existed today with pla navy approximately 350 ships and submarines and more than 130 of those are major surface combatants, and you also spoke about them having a fleet of 420 battleships by 2025 and i'll add that dod says that by 2030, pla navy probably
has about 460 ships. that is very, very different in the course that we are on with the number of ships that we have and it's not just the number of ships that we're building, but it's also the a sub-o. operational availability for the ships that we have. many times maintenance availability is extended or time at sea extended so we're wearing our ships out faster because we're double pumping them on deployments. from your perspective if we're unable to accelerate the new vessels and maintaining the vessels that we have, to have a high level of a-sub-o operational availability. what do you think will be the primary risks going forward in the next five years in indo-pacom? >> thanks, congressman, you highlight one. challenges that we watch closely is the expansion and growth in both capability and
capacity of the security challengers in the region. as it compares to ours. so let me start by saying we still have the world's greatest navy. ... we are operating from a supply base model. that supplied placed accounts for the sustainability in the near mid-and long-term aspects. so we've operated in that construct and where to continue to watch the capability and capacity differences. >> to take that a step further, not just u.s. capability and capacity in presence in the asia-pacific but also the ability for us to leverage much more in-depth relationships with
friends and allies in the region. that's a big place, lots of things to do appear if we don't have friends that can help us in certain ways, our risk calculus becomes much, much more complex in order to place that risk on the chinese. given your perspective about what we need to be doing i would love dear dr. ratner thoughts about how we work with allies to a greater extent like japan, like vietnam, like australia. we know august and we talked about agreement but how do we do that? had we get to the point where we are not just having that relationship on paper but that has to be manifested in how we operationalize that agreement. how do we jointly not only operate but trained together at the highest levels so that if something does happen it's not well let's figure out how we communicate in the search of things. give me your perspective. >> you don't just come together and operate but what we're trying to do again over 120 exercises a year and all of the
chiefs got together in our discussion, the intent was hey we need to increase complexity to be able to be and are operational and are dependable. so examples come we just finished with the japanese. my partner and i met every day for ten days incarnation with our forces. really important, very high end. as said are today right now the army and the marine corps are both on the ground in the philippines and thailand to do relationships. we are about to do rimpac and a couple of much, the largest maritime exercise on the planet i think over 27 nations coming together and again we've increased the complexity every year. those of the big ones. on the small front every day we come together, if we come in contact with our allies and partners the direction of given the team is we are going to ensure we can quickly come
together, be instantly interoperable and it worked together at any point at any time. that's the approach we've taken. >> dr. ratner? >> congressman, we have a very wide spectrum of partners some of which we operate at the very high level. others which have -- >> i do apologize. the gentleman's time has expired. i should've said that upfront. five minutes is the limit. we move onto the next member so we like to take the last piece of it for the record. mr. kim is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. dr. ratner, i wanted to talk to you about allies and partners come something all of you have raised in of the importance of what's happening in the indo-pacific. we have seen in the european theater right now what allies and partners need when it comes to response to ukraine. i feel like it's important to take a step back and gauge what allies and partners means in the indo-pacific.
especially when it comes to against the prc. dr. ratner you were just talking about the quad, some of the challenges there when it comes to india's relationship with russia. do you feel like that's moving in a better direction? i want to ask you the uss india is the reliable partner that we need? is any concerns about the quad, about india moving forward in terms of their actions when we will need them in the future? >> congressman, i perceive the u.s.-india defense relationship is one with incredible momentum. we're going to hold our highest most senior-level engagement with them in early april. that's a 2+2 with secretary blinken come secretary austin, their counterparts and that meeting will discuss a number of activities that not only are unprecedented but are the kinds
of things that would have been unimaginable ten years ago or even five years ago. obviously there are challenges with the relationship with india that i think they are manageable and we are moving forward very rapidly in deepening the partnership. >> i see those partnership strengthening our ability to communicate have that dialogue do exercises but i guess what i'd like to get a sense from you is what does it mean from the allies and partners underdressed? what does it mean to have this test? so an event of some type of conflict with china, i wanted to ask you what specifically are the objectives? what would we want to see come to fruition when it comes to our allies and partners? how do we test and assess what that would look like under those types of strains that we see right now in europe? >> congressman, it's obviously a very context dependent question. in the case of india we have seen a test case of this in the
last several years when the indians were facing aggression from china on the light of actual control where the united states rapidly provided capabilities and intelligence. and in the context we are trying to improve trust in the nature of the defense relationship, that was a defining moment. about them being ready to support our efforts but also as being ready to support there is and these are exactly precisely the kind of conversations that were having at a political military level with a number of our closest partners. >> with the military, or with the arrangements we have when it comes to our partnership in the pacific, aukus, quad, mi correct i just want to double check on this, that none of these have any military requirements to indicate any of the other members get attacked something that would be more akin to what we have with nato, is that correct? >> congressman, neither the quad nor aukus is a mutual defense treaty we do have neutral defense treaties bilaterally in
the indo-pacific that are akin to nato. >> so when we are talking about some of the situations that may have occurred, the one we talked about the most is about chinese aggression up on taiwan. i wanted to just asked what your confidence level is for partners and allies we have in indo-pacific as of now would step up in a way that we need. >> congressman, again, that varies from partner to partner but i am confident that some of our closest partners would be with us in a taiwan contingency. >> so in terms of the overall i guess trajectory and the health of our partnerships in the region how would you grade it works if i could get a sense of your baseline right now and where we're trying to get to. >> congressman, strengthening our alliance and partnerships has been absolute centerpiece of the biden-harris administration in indo-pacific. i think we have made considerable strides including
building up on some of the progress that was made during the trump administration and again when i look around the region partner after partner after partner icy relationships that are stronger than they've ever been at that are on upward trajectory. >> mr. chairman, i would yield back. >> thank you. mr. scott is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. dr. ratner, i want to start with you. i mean, the illegal fishing from china is not limited to indopacom. it goes all the way round pick up. general thomas suggested the illegal fishing woodley to political unrest. is it about money or is it because they need the fish to feed their people? >> congressman, both an industrial interest as well as protein for their citizens. >> okay. i want to point out to you that and hope the biden
administration is paying attention news, we're all paying attention this, ukraine exports 50 million metric tons, 50 million metric tons, of corn and wheat. over a fourth of that goes into the indo-pacific region in asia. and i think that we need to be doing some type of analysis on what the political and economic disruptions look like when that food is no longer hitting the global supply. they would probably planting their crops right now. i think it's unlikely based on what russia has done that that food supply comes to the global network come for lack of a better terminology, i do think all of ours responsibility to be looking at what a reduction in food supply means for their particular areas here there are
two primary sources of belligerence in this world right now. they are russia and china. admiral at the end of world war ii, soviet union claimed that they own the islands, by steny is long to japan. this dispute is been going on for 77 years. it's not one that is talked about much but reducing it's important that as we try to resolve these issues that we on territories that we talk about all of them. can you speak to what the united states can do to assist our japanese allies again and that territory? is the sovereign russian territory as the russians claim or to the islands belong to japan? >> sir, , i'm going to do for tt first part two secretary ratner visibly the u.s. doesn't take a policy or position on those who owns what, right? what would like to do is ensure that any of those disputes are
taken peacefully and in accordance with international law. but there are multiple disputes as you pilot. the colonels are really one for the japanese are also worried about the senkaku eisenstein the south. and there are hundreds of disputes throughout the south china sea. so the position is to ensure a peaceful resolution of those disputes in accordance with international law. know if secretary ratner has anything else. >> let me move to another area then. china is responsible for the majority if not an extremely significant portion of the fentanyl that is coming into the world. dr. ratner come what is the biden administration doing to stop the chinese and the fentanyl that is coming into the world that seems to be unrestricted by the chinese government. >> congressman, that's outside the purview of the defense department but i'll be sure to get you an answer on that qn
for the relevant departments agencies. >> all right. germany and other countries have been resistant to increasing their defense spending. japan is one of our allies that spends about 1.3% of its gdp on defense. are we seeing countries like japan based on the recent aggression from russia and the conduct of china, i we think the move their defense spending and as others recognize the current threat? >> congressman, we will see. i know that our current discussions on that ongoing on tokyo come in tokyo. these are sensitive issues for them given some of their constitutional issues and otherwise but clearly they are seized of the mounting threat and challenge from the prc. >> i think is with the increased spending from those that share our interests and our values as
americans, i think we need to make sure that we're coordinating with him so that we get the most for the dollars that are spent. with that, mr. chairman, ideal for the remainder of what. >> thank you. mr. khan is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. dr. ratner, could you briefly describe the united states role in the 1962 border conflict between china and india under president kennedy? >> congressman, allowed to get back to you on the precise history on that. >> the gist is president kennedy and the united states supported india in that conflict here and then when there was the border conflict in june of 2020 when china violated the line of control, could you briefly describe the united states role at that point? >> yes congressman.
i wasn't in the sea at the time but as i recently mentioned the united states did rapidly provide certain intelligence and capabilities. >> did russians do anything to protect india when china was violating the line of control, to your knowledge? >> not to my knowledge. >> and did russian come to your knowledge come do anything to protect india in 1962 when china violated the line of control? >> congressman, i'd be happy to get back to you on that. >> to my knowledge and they didn't. so both times when there's been a border dispute with india and china it's the united states actually that is, to india's defense. so i guess i'm perplexed why, i see this as an indian america, white and it has sustained three times on the security council and is unwilling to condemn putin's unprovoked aggression
into ukraine. do you have of you on this and has this been raised at the highest levels with the indian government? >> congressman, i know we have been engaging with indian leadership about this issue, and as i mentioned earlier in response to a question, we are aware that india has a long history and complicated economic and security partnership with the russians. they received a majority of their weapons from russia historically and that something they've been working hard to wean themselves from. but defer to them to speak on their own exact decision-making on this. >> 60% of weapons from russia but i guess let me ask you this. do you think the united states are russia are more likely to come to india's defense if the chinese were to invade the line of control? >> the united states, congressman. >> has that point been made to india? >> congressman, we are in deep
strategic conversations about the future of our partnership with india. like i said we have our most senior level dialogue with the indians next month and what secretary austin and secretary blinken will have an opportunity to speak with her counterparts about these critical issues. >> what is the plan for india to get off the 60% reliance on russian arms, and how fast can it happen if they wanted to switch to getting weapons from the united states or european allies? >> congressman, again, this is obviously a sovereign decision for the indians. what we are encouraging them to do is to purchase more american capabilities as you mentioned, work with other third parties, europeans and others, and improve their own and digitization of their own defense sector. so those trends together are already underway. if you look over the last
several years trendlines are moving in the right direction. i don't have a particular day on the counter as to when they achieve a certain benchmark. >> putting aside with her own decision-making is, , how quicky could this happen if they said we want to switch as fast as possible? i mean, what would you say is a reasonable rate of reducing russian dependence? could we get that number down 10% every year? what is a reasonable target if they said they wanted to do it? >> congressman, i'd be happy to get you a more precise answer to the question. i think it depends a lot on the specific nature of the capability from munitions all the way up to much higher into capabilities. >> i appreciate that. i will conclude by saying i think it's obvious that the united states would stand against chinese aggression on the line of control for more than russia or putin would, and we really need to press india to not be as dependent on russian
defenses, to be willing to condemn putin's aggression in ukraine just like we would condemn chinese aggression beyond the light of control. i yield back, chairman. >> thank you. dr. desjarlais is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. dr. ratner, let's shift our attention between chinese and taiwan. as we know the world is watching ukraine and russia conflict as we speak. last october president biden made headlines when asked whether the united states would come to taiwan's defense if china attacked, the president replied in the affirmative and said that we have a commitment to do that. is this the department official position on the perspective of the taiwan-china conflict? >> aukus and the department position is that the united states policies have not changed in terms of her one-china policy, the taiwan relations act, the three joint communiqués
and the six assurances is a a foundation of our policy. >> okay. a lot of people seem to have mixed feelings about what exactly the united states should be doing in ukraine, what's our commitments there. contrast our response in ukraine to what it would look like in china. as we know china has been unpredictable and probably expedited in most of what we predicted about their capabilities and their advancement of the military forces. so with that in mind, if we see an unfortunate escalation in that region, what would americans expect to see in our response of their versus what they see in our response to ukraine at this point? >> congressman, we could spend all day talking about the differences and similarities
between ukraine and taiwan, and there are some of both. what i would say is when you look at the conflict in ukraine, the lessons that i draw, number one, are the importance of taiwan developing its own capabilities. that something in his own defenses and deterrence and the something we're working with them on. the power of the unity of the west and the international community coming together around this kind of aggression is an important signal to the potential aggressors in the pacific. also some of the economic measures that the united states and others have been willing to take to raise costs on russian in this instance is also an important lesson. >> okay. admiral, on that same line, what can we do to learn from if there were mistakes in ukraine, what can we learn from that and how can we better prepare deterrence to china from attacking taiwan in terms of what you need for
defense and what can we do better? >> thanks, congressman. so similar to what secretary ratner articulated, this is a real wake-up. there was some surprise over in europe. i think that, number one, we have to look at this and say hey, this could happen. and i've a sense of urgency to execute the mission as the secretary which is a site which is to prevent discomfort but it goes back to what we talked about before. so this imposter initiatives. we need to be more forward, more robust pics of the posture positioning and the credible capability forward is the best way today. >> do we need to enhance their defense capabilities now? >> absolutely, and accords with the taiwan relations act, and that is something we're doing at every opportunity. >> admiral, let me finish with the disturbing aspects of china's modernization and specifically hypersonics.
what, going into the ndaa cycle, what do you need and what you would be focusing on the terms of research and development in terms of us fielding both offenses and defensive hypersonic capability? >> the long defense system is the number one priority as i put forward in my unfunded list most recently, , congressman. that's on the defensive side. but to your point, right, in order to deter there's both defensive component and an offense of component. so some of our long-range capabilities in the form of hypersonics are also critical to ensure that we both of those capabilities to deter. >> okay. i just have a few seconds. i will just note that my first question, dr. ratner, on what would it look like didn't get answered. i just didn't it's a complicated question to answer if a conflict did arise in taiwan, but just to prepare our country for what it will look like.
is the defense of taiwan different from what we're doing for ukraine? >> yes, i think would be different. >> okay. i'll yield back. >> gentleman gets back. before i recognized mr. moulton a reminder there's a vote on the floor of the house, 4000 people left to vote. the motion to adjourn. we're just going to continue through the vote per the chairs instructions. chair recognizes mr. moulton for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. 202-748-8001 agree with the marine corps strategy to maintain pressure on china in the pacific? >> yes, congressman i do. as a part of deterrence, against that competitor, it will take the entire joint force. i credit both the commandant as well as the chief of staff of the army to adjust the forms so the marine letourneau regiment
concept to be able to be expeditionary, forward and provide support -- >> do you think the need radically resource it? >> the department of the navy? i don't the commandant is moving quickly. there some capability we would like to master. >> the marine corps disagrees, feels that you don't have enough and he was shipping devoted to this and the reason is because when the navy does a plan for this they have used our readiness factor of 80% availability. the marine corps looks at historic operational availability, which is more like 63% 63% i guess it's been about 43% literally half the planning number that you used in the past year. so not sure how we square the wheel here. >> thanks, congressman. i'll go back to the cno and the commandant and see where they believe they are. the initial set up of the letourneau of the marine letourneau regiment is self
deployable via c-130 as they work through speed is i understandable. dr. ratner how do you plan to help resolve this disagreement? it's pretty fundamental. we don't need to leave marine strata because we don't have enough shipping. >> congressman, it's an important point. i agree with admiral aquilino that these are important capabilities. i know they're beginning to stand up speed as my question is how do you plan to resolve the dispute? it seems like a pretty fundamental disagreement if we don't have enough ships. >> congressman, i'd be happy to get back to in the context of fy '23 budget. >> admiral aquilino, going back to you. 20 years ago china had the largest land army in the world. it was a cold war relic and, in fact, we barely pay did in my because we were not concerned about its effectiveness and would probably take some solace in the fact that china was spinning so much money to maintain it. in the last decade and that they've radically transform the military, and rather than making
massive investment in the land army to actually cut it. they're making massive investment in artificial intelligence, quantum computing. drones. if your kids have drones are probably manufactured in china. they clearly lead us in a lot of these areas picky believe the navy is transforming itself quickly enough to meet this rapidly transforming threat? >> thanks, congressman. boy, as i articulate before i've a search of urgency and we need to move faster. i do believe the navy has been focused on the prc as a primary challenger but there some things that certainly could move faster. >> admiral, , i sincerely appreciate that answer because i think there have been enough leaders like yourself in the need to acknowledge that you really do need to move more quickly. if the chinese attack us with an ai enabled force, autonomous weapon system of some sort, and we meet that with an american
man alternative, who would you expect to win? i know this is highly theoretical question of entries of your view on this. >> my view is the united states. >> you are aware that in a recent darpa simulation -- be one of the air force top f-16 pilots five to nothing. may be navy pilots are that much better but that's not a good statistic. >> yes, sir, i've heard of that but i'm unfamiliar with the details of the scenario or as it applied. >> i think we all need to be familiar with these details because this is the fight of the future, and if the chinese beat us because they are more willing to invest in autonomous capabilities and proves that the eponymous capabilities are more effective than our manned force come as much as we love our manned force, we are going to on the losing side of that equation. dr. ratner i'm curious of your view on this situation, this matter.
>> i would just note the department in the fy '22 budget made its largest ever investment in research and development and testing and evaluation on these advanced capabilities. just last month -- >> what percentage of the budget, dr. ratner? >> i don't know the percentage of the top of my head. i be happy to get you that. >> it be interesting to compare to the percentage that china is investing in these capabilities to understand if we are, in fact, transforming our force quickly enough. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. the chair recognizes for five minutes mr. kelly of mississippi. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my first question and we did it with -- we're in march already there can you guys tell me the two impacts that these continuing crs that we do every time have had that onr ability to maintain readiness, and what equipment do you have or don't have specifically in the last, in this current fiscal year, what deprivations hasn't
caused you? >> thanks, congressman. so in my statement i articulated the need for predictable and sustained budgets again with china being the near mid and far term problem. it's even more critical. there's a ton of loss of buying power as it applies to the crs. those impacts are well known. from my perspective though it also prohibits any new start. so when i talk about the wall defense system mission partner environment and our ability to link our ranges, those are three top priority -- guam -- we're just unable to start a based on that impact. >> general, really quickly. >> it's the same. we've had challenges with some maintenance issues, repair parts and new starts. >> i'm going to keep stopping my foot into some of people around you listen to me and understand that the disastrous consequences it has for department of defense especially and all of our agency
but especially department of defense. i want to talk a little bit about fleet management and especially when we're talking about our merchant fleet under billy to resupply in the region. having phone and gone into that region it is a long haul which makes the logistical chain really, really tough. what things if you could ask, what do we need in our merchant fleet to get fuel, supplies, troops, equipment, all those things to make sure we can have a steady flow of equipment to maintain any type of defense whether that be in korea or in taiwan or japan are any nearby allies in the region? >> the distributed nature of the posture we're talking about, working with our allies and partners to be able to set up places that provide for exercise and interoperability as well as logistic support is critical across this broad area. additionally, on the airlift side when you do ensure we can both sustain it, refuel it, and
keep it deliverable. sealift, tsp programs that was talked about before was really a first step looking at the refueling peace. we need to look through that lens for all logistic capability. >> i think we have a tendency to hand way to get there and general i'm an army guy so we always forget that we have to uncoiled from the smb area to get there. we don't really plan on that and the witness ld by two was because we didn't plan on that and and i think our logistical chain to that region specifically, we got to pay attention on the left side of war, not on the right side up or otherwise will find it with the russians are finding in a very hard way what other people to win logistics win wars. my next question is, and either of you all, do we have the right ships and types of ships and numbers of ships to do and indo-pacific plan? do we have the right ships,, combat ships to execute this?
>> as i said before, absolutely. where the right ships but i in concerned about growing capacity of the competitors in the region. so we'll have to continue to look at that. >> and then i guess my final thing is just double tapping, dr. ratner, a mr. khanna. we don't agree on a lot but we agree on this. we are a much better ally for indy and i hope the administration and a point is working, i know they are, will work as hard as we can to convince them that we are the best ally and we will be their friend. and so whatever we can do to worry pray that along. what other allies in the region, admiral, are we not exercising that we could exercise better, that we could make better? whether it's vietnam or the philippines that we used to have a great relationship, not so much right now. what other countries in the region can we get some bang for? >> congressman, thanks.
we engage with all of them, but really we ought to specific focus on the five mutual defense treaty alliances. were doing a lot with those teams, right, those are relationships that are critically important as well as the other multinational relationships that are in the region. we work with asean, much, the trilateral relationship with the u.s.-japan-korea is extremely important as well identified the quad and aukus. so continuing to strengthen those and looking for others. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. ms. laureate is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you for all start with admiral aquilino. my first series of questions is rapidfire short answer question because what to build the spin the most time on the last question are yesterday the director of national intelligence testified that russia does not want a direct conflict with the united states.
so in your opinion if ukraine was a nato member do think russia would've attacked ukraine? >> congresswoman, again i think that's a better question for general wolters as it is out of my alr. >> and this is not necessary an opinion question but that is the president have the authority to put service members on the grant in ukraine or established a no-fly zone without, to caucus for authorization? >> again, congressman, some of that is a policy issue but it would do for that to general wolters. >> okay. in your military opinion, is it easier to repel or stop an invasion in progress rather than to come back later and try to expel an occupying force? >> boy, i wish i could give you a yes or no. this wonderfully complex, right? the environment, the adversary, the capabilities. i will tell you my opinion is it would be very difficult to remove a force. >> okay. do you think china wants a
direct conflict with the united states? >> everything that is been articulated by china is at a would prefer or that they're working a peaceful resolution across the strait. that said, i also believe they said they haven't, or they haven't ruled out the use of force. and again, , while i don't have the ability to inject their calculus, my task has been to be ready, should they choose the latter. >> okay. with regards to taiwan has the ability to act quickly to deter an invasion make a a differeno as the combatant commander? >> it absolutely does, which is why the posture that we've talked about is so important for forces in the region. >> so if china invaded taiwan, how long do you think congress would take to authorize the use of military force? put that in the context of its 140 miles across the street. do you think they could do it
within time for you to react? >> congresswoman, again, i never would volley a question to the chairman, but based on that question on how fast congress would react, i -- >> in my estimate, 3+ years or i think we we could not act that quickly. so do you think china believes that the united states will defend taiwan with u.s. forces if they were to use force against taiwan? >> i think i would take that for a classified conversation. >> okay. so under the taiwan relations act and the war powers act does the the president have the authority to intervene with u.s. forces? if it happened today during an invasion of taiwan without seeking the authorization of congress. >> i'm going to do for that went as a policy question to secretary ratner. >> okay. press we can follow up on that because i wanted to get to sort of the last part of this. so this is been a debate that i think has been elevated
recently. so if the united states changes policy strategic ambiguity towards taiwan towards clarity and guaranteed it would come to the defense of taiwan to maintain the status quo, would this be a deterrent to china? >> i think as this conversation continues, if i were to look at the alternative between strategic ambiguity and strategic clarity, there are some who believe it would be a deterrent and there are some that will believe it would be an accelerant. i think it's worthwhile of a deep, thoughtful conversation as we look at that option. i think there's pros and cons to both, but we ought to look very closely. >> okay. and then i know you didn't fully answer the earlier question and this is the part i wanted to get to come is that if china thinks that the united states will come to the defense of taiwan and you
described there are two camps, can you explain why would it be viewed as a provocative act for us to just be clear to provide clarity to say that the united states will come to the defense of taiwan to maintain the status quo? can you explain to people who achieve his provocative, that camp and their thought process? >> i would say that based on the one-china policy and the prc's articulation of the importance, in the academic world any movement towards the independence of taiwan would be viewed very strongly by the prc. >> i just want to reiterate my last few seconds that i think this is an important debate. i think it's a debate we need to be having a because -- >> time has expired. mr. gallagher is like a for five minutes. >> if the the president camu and said, my top national security concern is preventing
at pla invasion of taiwan. but anything can happen in the next five years that i'm having trouble understanding how and whether the bureaucracy is executing my top priority. so i need your help developing some metrics to help you understand if we're making progress, things that i could ask every morning when i get -- whether we're doing x, y and z. what with those top measurable metrics be? what would you recommend the president do in that scenario? >> i think, congressman, thanks. why, the truly complex and we try to do all the time, right? the assessment of where you sit is really complex and there's a ton of variables. first, i would articulate are we postured in the right places with the right credible force to be able to respond quickly? and then to dominate in all
those domains. so i would kind of do that type of measurement. >> things we can measure, doesn't need to be complex. could be missiles, could be ships, could be taiwan's own investments. what are the most important thinks the president needs to be tracking to gauge our progress? >> i think it's, again, i don't want to make it, well, first of all it really is complex as i see it. i just can't say x missiles compared to why missiles and we are good. it's the capability of those missiles. it's survivability. if the to get what you need to go to lunch, understand the target set you going after. so that's what i go back to it would be a comparison of how to execute compared to the challenge in each domain, would give me a decent sense, and we try to do that all the time. >> your first response was basing or access. could you talk about, as a look at your aor i see a lot of u.s.
flag possessions, midway, american samoa, how, if we were to invest in hardening these possessions and territories have that contribute to your ability to deter an invasion of the one? >> it would absolutely allow us to both move further forward, right, west of the international date line. i have to be in place with the right capabilities to be effective. second, gets to the agile logistics peace and many of the members brought up, the ability to sustain forward such a long way from home. and it is one of our asymmetric advantages. we are seeing at play in ukraine. there's nobody else on the world that could do what we've done. a look at what will happen in the middle east, it's a critical advantage and we have to continue to moldy. that posture directly contributes to that. >> we started to simplify a complex reality. presumably we come dod and the president could measure the extent to which we hardening our existing possessions are getting access agreements we don't
currently have them. in terms of that latter issue, what is at the top of your priority list in terms of where you need access that we don't currently have? >> it's not necessarily what we don't have. it's what we might want to expand. again, i start with the five treaty allies which are critically important. so japan were integrated place. we have to maintain those places. the philippines, critically strategic terrain and we need to expand in the philippines. we are expanding and australia as secretary ratner talked about. thailand also important. we have logistic support their from a our ally. new places, india, we are working towards logistic support in india and additional cooperation that's been articulate. singapore, with three ships there on the logistics site. so to continue to sustain those and expand is a focused. >> another think we could measure quite easily actually is
what the taiwan's are by interesting. what do you want -- to my questions. what do you want them to buy? and what a security assistance program similar to what we had in ukraine beyond foreign military sales help you accomplish your mission defending taiwan, and evasion? >> yes, sir. first, i left that korea before on because i don't want to step on my buddy toes, but it critical treaty i'll appear on capabilities, truly encouraged. people of taiwan bought 100 harpoon systems. the focus there, we need to get in there quickly. the of the capabilities that secretary ratner talked about we need to make sure we have programs and ability. whatever mechanisms that can be delivered to produce those and other work the more quickly under the current environment would be helpful. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. mr. halite is recognized for five minutes.
>> mahalo, mr. chairman. dr. ratner, admiral aquilino thanks for appearing here today. i want to thank -- and primly shut down the storage facility in hawaii here do i have your commitment to work with myself and hawaii congressional delegation to ensure that it is safely de-fueled within the time timeline set forth by secretary austin? >> yes, congressman. >> thank you. i would like to jump to admiral aquilino. i think your testimony developing regional partnerships. just answer the question from my colleague about sustaining that posture forward, and i understand you were just in -- compact negotiations with other freely associated states and allies has stagnated. these nations are a critical part of u.s. national security
policy and a comp accident address economic assistance, very important to these nations containing that assistance are not a import as nationals get them out in light of the regions competing geopolitical realities, but also as a moral matter in light of our shared history and the continued role these nations continued by international defense. admiral aquilino given the importance to our country, how important is it that these agreements are expeditiously complete before they expire? and secondly, what is the position on investing in their critical infrastructure such as the compact growth which has fallen into disrepair? >> thanks, congressman. as you and i've talked about before, the agreement of the compact of the free association team is really important. i do want to highlight that the lead for that event is a state department as supported by department of the interior.
it's got a dod representative on it but it is critical. these are areas that we have deep people to people ties and we are responsible for the defense of those nations. we need to work through these. they become renegotiation, needs to be done in 23. dod is supporting that event but it would be critical to get those agreements worked through as soon as possible. >> any thoughts on the investment in critical infrastructure? is it advisable to approve runways as well is very, very important deepwater seaport for the u.s. military? >> absolutely. and as a part of the posture improvement and distribution we have talked about, there are many of those that are on our list as a fact the marine corps along with the navy seabees extended one of the runways in palau based on her own capability to start some of that work. some of it is milcon.
others we can do with other funds appropriated and we continue to work to improve those places. >> thank you for that matter. dr. ratner the white house 2022 indo-pacific strategy documents highlights the importance of building connections within and beyond the region through people to people exchanges. what are some of the soft power support systems and institutions that can help support this indopacom national security requirement? >> thank you congressman. i would defer to the state department and other agencies on specific programs but we're certainly looking to build economic linkages, people to people linkages, youth exchanges and other areas. >> in hawaii the east-west center is uniquely posture to expand exact what you talk about the people to people exchanges that are necessary to build capacity and expertise in the region and its challenges do you believe the dod can dedicate
more resources to these types of professional exchanges and that within the pacific island region that this would be warranted? >> congressman, i be happy to get back to specifically on the resource in question, but as a matter of policy and strategy it's certainly in our interest to strengthen and making those types of relationships. >> thank you, and i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. mr. wilson is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and everyone, thank you for your service and dedication to dr. ratner i'm very concerned, as a friend of india, india is the world's largest democracy. america's the oldest democracy. my father served there in the flying tigers during world war ii so i developed a great fondness for the people of india. the success of india and americans, and so it's become shocking that such a great country has abstained on the
issue of the mass murder in ukraine. i am concerned, a lot of this is because of foreign military sales and the different technicalities and whatever. what's being done to address issues to make sure, as is only been previous he brought up by democrats and republicans, of the fondness india, that we are not their main support of military, which is in the interest of the people of india and the people in the indo-pacific? >> we've had a chance to talk about this a little bit this morning. my response would be that i share your view of the importance of the u.s.-india relationship 100%. and we understand and recognize that they have a long complicated history and security partnership with the russians but they have been systematically diversifying away from that and we been engaging with them on that question looking for that approach as
more u.s. citizens come more european systems and develop their own indigenous capabilities as well. i think the trend lines are moving in the right direction. >> it just seemed so unnatural. the relationship with prime minister modi's should be with the united states, not in any way associated by way of abstention with a megalomaniac putin in putin's war. again, our colleagues democrats and republicans are appalled that it would be abstention by the great country of india. additionally, i appreciate the questions from congressman gallagher concerning the defense of taiwan. my father and other served in -- and had a great affection for the people of china. and out of that i have such an appreciation and my concern is for chinese lies, taiwanese lives.
we've got to build up the defenses. i like the concept of a porcupine, that it would just be not in the interest of the ccp to attack taiwan. he was talking about the different levels of equipment and you did, too, and i appreciate that which is being purchased. should we also look into a land lease? just as we, , america, provided land lease to stop the nazis siege of leningrad which was successful for the people of russia that some of them have forgotten, but a land lease is being proposed for ukraine to defend key have from russian, putin aggression -- defend key have -- so we are looking for land lease to expedite providing military equipment to taiwan. >> congressman, we're currently in the process of evaluating all tools and authorities possible to expedite the provision of the
necessary asymmetric capabilities to taiwan precisely to reinforce the kind of deterrent you are talking about. >> and general lacamera had the opportunity in 2003, under only person left to a bent on that delegation to dprk, the democratic people's republic of north korea, to pyongyang. the comparison of soul. if you ever want the greatest comparison between free-market capitalism and socialist totalitarianism, obviously is the korean peninsula. gosh, the success of south korea, but i saw a village sadly, the horror of people subject to totalitarianism. of course this is a dictatorship that have been set up for the kim family by joseph stalin and now we're in the third-generation. i share the concern of others of
the artillery capability particularly against saul. how could this be addressed -- soul. >> thanks, congressman. part of it is will be addressed in close air support and if the fight kicks off and how we would strike against it. but he's not just got the long-range artillery developing of the capabilities that give them really a 360 threat to the peninsula right now, which is concerning. >> and i share the concern about the great territory of guam so please -- >> the time of the gentleman has expired. >> i yield back. >> mr. gallego is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. hankie to the witnesses for joining us today. my question is for mr. ratner,, dr. ratner. in your written -- touch unconventional capabilities -- increasing concern about the threat in the gray zone. drawing lessons an ongoing war
in ukraine -- dash -- i thins very crucial training. do believe that obama had the authorities about and needs for special operation forces to collaborate with allison partners in regular warfare? quickly for the deepen expand regular warfare programs with allied partners and forces in the indo-pacific? >> congressman, made i will defer to admiral aquilino to talk a little bit about some of the work we're doing with partners currently in the region. >> thanks congressman. as you know we do many special operations command which is extremely fallible, stop act command is in many, many countries working to improve training capability and to support their special operations forces. at this point i don't believe i need additional authorities. >> so you don't believe you need additional authorities, including or more specific to
have the authority or capability for us to do joint training with vietnam, for example? >> we do, to do our case that exercise and training, absolutely. >> okay. admiral, you describe the initiative is a first step -- [inaudible] i look forward to leading a codel next month to oversight equities. he extent you can share your perspective in this unclassified form what you see as the biggest gap in the region and what steps should we take from northeast asia to the freely associated states? >> thanks, congressman,, i hope you will come through hawaii. obviously as a talked about before, this persistent battle space awareness is enabled by all domain isr, and while from
what we've watched over the past 20 years, we never have enough. any capabilities, whether they be current, terrestrial, agassi, on the sea, above the sea, in space or cyberspace that that persistent battle space awareness are desirable. >> thank you, admiral. and then general i wanted ask about the pacific deterrent initiative as you know this effort is designed to strengthen our logistic and maintenance capability. it is also meant to enhance our security cooperation. how do you envision -- korea contributing to this -- [inaudible] >> thank you, congressman. our contribution or the pdi for the defense of the korean peninsula for me is our ability to train with allies and partners we talked about rimpac
and our ability or my ability to get korean forces and u.s. forces integrated as a combined element working with our allies and partners in the region. >> excellent. thank you. mr. chairman, i yield back my time. >> mr. walz is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to submit for the record a letter from the committee noting its concern about the lack of progress in the negotiations with micronesia, marshall islands, republic of palau, , particulary that there's not been a negotiator named yet, and we had a lot of discussion about how critical that is to you, admiral aquilino, and dr. ratner. but where's the negotiator? this is obviously a joint effort
with commerce and interior and the department. this is a letter to the white house to the president i like to submit to the record, mr. chairman. >> doing no objections so ordered. >> -- hearing no objections so ordered. >> general lacamera we had a lot of discussion about allies and i think we're moving in the right direction but we are not moving and the right direction fast enough. the threat briefs in terms of what china is prepared to do and overlaid with our pathway to get there to deter it are off come in terms of the timeline. but in the event of a conflict, general, understand come german-speaking it had a composition, is the government south korea prepared to allow u.s. forces to operate from south korean territory in the defense of taiwan?
in your opinion. >> i think he would have, we depend on if there was a threat to the korean peninsula. >> so mine is a threat to the korean peninsula, a threat to taiwan which would necessitate from chinese perspective attacks from japan are we going to be able to use those forces, 30,000 that are there plus the associated error assets from south korean territory? >> well, congressman, my best military motor advice would be what's the threat to the three korean peninsula what can we afford? we still require combat power to secure the peninsula. so i think it would be a discussion with the korean come south korean government, with admiral aquilino come with the secretary of defense on what our obligations are on the peninsula, and what's needed for the taiwan fight. >> sounds like a non-answer,
general. >> to me it's hypothetical. i don't know the incoming government speeded are we incorporated into our planned use of those forces, potentially? obviously with the acquiescence of the south korean government. >> are we? i have not been told -- .. >> what they are prepared to do. and in the associated question there is china going
to lean on the north korean government to ramp up tension and to tie those forces down in the taiwan strait scenario. doctor ratner, we talked about harpoons and currently harpoons are due to be delivered 2025, i believe. is that sufficient question at the time there delivered and we have the training and operational capability where looking at 26, 27 to have all capability. is that sufficient and what can the department do to accelerate that timeline? >> i wish they were arriving yesterday. i can assure you we are turning over every rock to see how we can accelerate provisions. we have dedicated personnel working across the department and in discussions with partners on how we might be able to do that .
>> how can this committeehope you do that ? >> i'll get back to you on that congressman. >> as you said yesterday i agree. the ukrainians needed harpoons that would have made a big difference in the variable right now. we didn't i don't think do what we did to get those to them and we're seeing the ramifications of that . i would hate to be having this conversation in 25. >> the gentlemen's time has expired. >> thank you gentlemen and sorry we've been popping in and out . i was in taiwan over thanksgiving. you guys have sponsored some really useful classified briefings and tabletop exercises that i've participated in and it just keeps coming to me clearer and clearer that while we have military options and it is our job to prepare, to counter china when and if we ever have a conflict that we
are just not using the other levers of americanpower . either economic power, our cultural power. just a whole bunch of other things and i don't want the pentagon to feel like they are the lead foot the in the engagement with china so tell me when are we going to have a strategy that you all can fit under. help us understand how we're going to leverage the other things because as you've seen where watching things play out with russia right now. ukraine, no one wants to see taiwan be the next ukraine but it's not just about you all sowhat's the plan and the strategy ? >> i fully agree with you that there needs to be a whole government approach and i think beijing is looking at ukraine and the conflict in the ukraine. it's important there seeing the kinds of economic
measures the united states is taking and that there are diplomatic and that military actions are being done in concert with such a large group of countries from around the world. i fully agree that there are a full ... >> we had a whole strategy around the sovietunion . the containment was our whole government strategy and the defense department was part of it but it wasn't the only part. i'm looking for that equivalent strategy on china. the country is looking for that equivalent strategy on china. i represent autoworkers that have been laid off for the better part of the past year because of a 14 cents microchip. when are we going to see the global strategy that wewill understand about what our plan is vis-c-vis china .>> my hope is that the national security strategy will be out
before too long. that's obviously not something the defense department controls and the defense strategy will provide both a public and a classified version of how we're getting after this particular challenge. there are other efforts underway along the lines wheredescribing that are currently classified . >> i would just say that the public strategy, the public needs to understand this issue watching what's going on and wondering what is the next shoe going to drop with china ? to that end we know cyber attacks on our infrastructure , that those kind of short of traditional conventional war steps are things we have to assume the chinese are thinking about if we get into conflict and the average american has been on the receiving and some kind of ransom where attack, cyber attack and they don't understand what the government is doing to protect them. i know that's largely homeland security but can you talk about cyber threats from china and what we are doing in an unclassified setting to show the american people we
are protecting them whenthey are on the front lines ?>> thanks congresswoman. that responsibility as it applies to dod is in cyber, commander general nakasone. for the dod critical infrastructure he's taking steps and he's got teams every day watching the defense and global information grid to insure militarily and as you are taking, the civilian aspect of that will behomeland security . >> i understand that's not your mission but it is going to be part of warfare. it is already part of warfare and we are the defense department here. where the armed services committee . i'd love to see everything on this classified or unclassified with the department of homeland security sitting right next to you. wouldn't hurt to get the state department in there something that shows the american people while we know we on this fighting force in
the world and we're going to kick butt abroad we are coordinatedwhen it comes to protecting back home . but with that i yelled back. >> mister banks is recognized for five minutes. >> i stepped out to go past a procedural so i missed a of the testimony so far today i want to ask immediately doctor ratner, it seems we have established the threat of a chineseinvasion in taiwan coming to the floor, is that fair to say ? >> i think there is a mounting threat of aggression . >> more than ever before. >> with the capabilities they have, yes . more than in the past so i wouldn't say more than ever before. >> more than in recent years. fair enough. would you say taiwan is safer in 2022 then say just pulling something out ofthat, summer 2019 ?
>> congressman, thanks. i think they are seeing exactly what we're seeing which is this increased aggression. i don't know how to measure whether they are safer or not but there's a growing concern based on what they watchedthe vrc execute over the last couple of years . >> this aggression is increasing, it's growing. jake sullivan debated michael elsberry from the hudson institute and he said quote, when it comes to the issue of taiwan, 30 months into the compensation is more likely for the us to be dragged into a war with china than 30 months ago. the trump policy towards china is fundamentally not productive. today coincidentally we are 14 months into the biden administration which mister sullivan is acting as president biden's national security advisor. i'll be less likely today to
be dragged into a war with china over taiwan compared to 2019? >> once again, i see increasing desire to build up and continue to grow their military capabilities . residents xi jinping in a public statement said he wanted his forces modernized 2027. he didn't articulate what he would do with them or when he would do it. but from where i sit, my responsibility is to ensure we are ready should that occur. so doctor ratner, what's changed? what's changed between the summer of 2019 and where recent today, what is the political difference in our foreign policy today that has led to an increased aggression as the admiral defined in china's posture towards taiwan, was different, why now. >> i don't attribute his growing aggression and assertiveness to the united states.
>> what's changed, what's changed, why now, why notbeen ? >> if it has anything to do with the united states. >> i be happy to share the assessment and classified setting. his capabilities are growing and his is decreased. >> you don't have an explanation about why question. >> if i could jump in. >> this is about what the prc has done, not what anyoneelse has done . they taken lives on the indian line of actual control . they have discounted their agreement as it applies to hong kong. they have locked up 1 million muslims in xinjang so the prc actions, not any other nation's actions on the things that you must concern. >> this is more likely to happen on donald trump's watch because if donald trump's foreign-policy.
but doctor ratner, you conceded that threat is more real today than it has been at any point in recent years. >> let me move on, north korea restarted. north korea restarted missile test in 2021 for your positive testing and in 2022 north korea conducted a record number of missile test . last saturday conducted the missile test this year. in addition recent satellite images have shown north korea needs to be building a nuclear testing. what factors do you think led north korea to resume these behaviors since 2021after a rather long hiatus ? >> kg you claims it's because of sanctions that we have to come to the table. i think it's more internal for him. i think it's fairly complicated when you think of the administrations transition and i think as we just talked about with china,
i think the first to china but he's also looking for it to theautonomous . while this threat is to the south and to the us. >> i'm sorry but the gentleman time has expired. you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you mister chairman, i appreciate that . in regards to, the other night at we thank all three of you for being here and appreciate your patience as well as her testimony at the informationyou're providing us . the other night i had a good conversation with a representative of taiwan and obviously we were talking about ukraine and talking about how inspired they are fiveukraine people . and how their population is all hands on this. obviously that. to the people of taiwan and talking of thenational guard and construction services they have their . obviously that's something i
think was going to play an important part if there is any sort of invasion by the prc. that being said is there anything we can do, anything but taiwanese to do in order to increase the capacity, increase the will of the national guard or those who are under construction services in regards to what they can do to be more involved in theirservice or in their will to respond to a prc attack ? >> thanks congressman. i believe, i know for a fact that this is an initiative that's being developed and implemented to ensure that there is a robust, whether you want to call it national guard reserved for support capability outside of the uniformed service to the to defend their nation so it's very important and they are working diligently to develop that system. >> are we involved in any way in helping them? >> as a part of the taiwan
relations act we contribute to the support of their defense and that includes both weapons via fms abilities that we talked about but also through services and training, yes. >> thank you. and admiral you talk about i think it was in your questioning to the chairman. you said number one we need a more integrated and sustainable isr. go into that a little bit please and how can we create a more robust exchange of our isr with our allies? >> thanks congressman. this persistent understanding in real-time of the battle space is critical via contributions from all domains with the ability to share it with our allies and partners through what articulated through this mission partner environment. my number two funding priority is you should have seen in myunfunded list . when you combine those together those have a very
strong capability as it applies to both deterrence and should deterrence fail to be able to fight and win. >> doctor ratner, anything to say on that? >> nothing to add, exactly what i was going to commenton . >> gentlemen, moving on to the violent extremist threat in the philippines and indonesia. after our withdrawal from afghanistan, did we see any uptick in either rhetoric or in capabilities by any of these groups in that area? and then subsequent that can you give an assessment of the e-groups at this point. >> thanks congressman, as you articulated, specifically in the southern philippines where we have helped our partner nation to ensure they don't have a terrorist problem, those efforts continued but i have not seen an uptick since the recent decision to depart
afghanistan. that said we are concerned aboutforeign fighter flow . the commander has been passed to ensure we maintain vigilance but i haven't seen a change of events. >> and indonesia, anything admiral? >> the area we are always concerned about any increase in violent extremist organizations. and we continue to work with the indonesians for and support them as they also watch this issue. >> gentlemen, thank youmister chairman, i yelled back . >> the chair recognizes mister johnson for his five minutes . >> thank you madam chair and thank you all for being here. in 2019 the us transportation command conducted a no notice of readiness exercise to test the organic capacity to quickly mobilize for war. our 61 shifts 27 were ready
for c after 120 hours. these vessels are over 40 years old and readiness lakes arelikely to decline . previously the department has indicated it plans to require rely on contract shipping so you think that international shipping companies now will miss gas test to the chinese market to support the us. as far as productive. >> this is admiral. if i could throw in your first. first of all i think i think congressman courtney and the committee for the support to the program completely effective. i also endorse general van posts and admiral newborns ability to go ahead and prove to us whether or not the system can respond. i think we highlighted challenges we have to fix. in my conversations with the cfo he's working towards increased sealift, the sustainability to readiness all those that come together
help us to realize the distributed nature and agile logistics that we need. so i don't know if i want to go hypothetically and question what i would say is we're doing the right thing to ensure those capabilities areany, available when we need them . >> doctor ratner, anything to that. >> i would say we received a number of questions at the hearing today and yesterday in a classified setting about these questions and contested logistics scenarios focused for the apartment and one that you'll be seeing reflected in both the national defense strategy and the 2016 budget. >> let me move on to something. i don't suppose any of the three of you could responsiveness but each of us we all regularly see how the combination of moving by western governments right now what our exposure to the prospective of specific missions is limited here so do you have insight for us on
how to invasion of ukraine has affected indo pacific perspectives on the american-led international order and the west's resolve to confront aggression in the pacific and i'm interested in nations of india, thailand, vietnam and its developing partners but also obviously we love to hear about our treat a allies in the philippines and i apologize. many of us have multiple agreement points. but withany of you want to jump in on that ? >> i can't tell you at this point what's the prc has learned from watching the european issue but what i would say is i think i'm seeing the right lessons that we like to learn. number one, the investments of blood in order to prosecute this illegal event. second, the international condemnation and
unwillingness to accept it and third the drastic economic impacts to their people. these are the right lessons should this switch over to the indo pacific region and i think i'd see it there. >> i can tell you ukraine has the military noncombat items and they provided $10 million in humanitarian assistance. and this economic impact is called what the russians are now where the boxes so there's $12.5 billion in energy resources from russia to the republic of korea so having an impact. >> yes one more question and i'll direct it to doctor ratner. i'm not sure how much time i
have left but i'm curious and i guess we all are interested in knowing what investments we need tomake in our allies and partners . to prevent them from offering our support for the conflict. and what specific investments in our industrial base can we make that can simultaneously reduce the dependence of our allies and partners on chinese technologies. finance and also enhance our readiness. >> time is running out here. i'll just say we are engaged on multiple discussions with allies and partners specifically on the types of capabilities we think they need to best deter and deny prc coercion. >> very good, i'll yield back . >> we are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you gentlemen. i really appreciate the chance to ask a couple of questions.one of mine has to do with china russian relationships and in my brief
reading understanding there have been multiple statements made between the two states multiple exercises and cooperation of serious form. was that a large the long and short of it is that we don't see a real formal alliance so to speak at this point in time. what would it look like if we were seeing a more formal alliance now? what certain signals or indications would be be seeing that would could or should align us and i was hoping you might be able to sum up that answer. >> it's previously been described as a marriage of convenience . there's issues on both sides whether or not they trust each other. but we need to look closely at what's happening right now and see if that's changed at all. that would be very concerning if those two authoritarian nations delivered or developed or went into something that looked like a
treaty alliance. we're watching it very closely. again we're on day 14 of this than in europe and watching it to try to understand what is that translate into. >> you were shaking her head, what does that mean it would translate into. are we looking at a formal treaty or something else? >> i think probably not a formal treaty in the short-term but as the admiral said we're watching very closely. at a minimum i think we've seen beijing's tacit support for russian aggression in ukraine. we seem diplomatic support there providing a home. they're censoring criticism of vladimir putin and support for ukraine so they we see what they're doing domestically, politically in terms of the question you have about what it would look like, i think if we saw china taking steps to support or try to route around some of the sanctions or give economic support to russia and the rest of the community it would to apply pressure that would be concerning and if they provided any military support and capabilities
otherwise that would be concerning . >> anything to add there. >> what i call it is third-party intervention so i don't separate korea, the prk, china, russia. there will be some kind of impact and any kind of possibility on the peninsula so we are paying attention. >> by next question is somewhat related, the dod has been trying overtime to rebalance the global allocation of intelligence and surveillance and reconnaissance assets . how is that going and what are the gaps that still exist if you or admiral might be able toelaborate . >> so the theme we watched over the last 20 years is there's never enough isr. the globe is a big place and we have multiple areas that we keep tracks on. what i would say is as we
shift towards a focus towards the indo pacific, some of those resources have come to the indo pacific but we're still not meeting the total requirements. we're not meeting the total requirements anywhere. what i will tell you is the secretary has not pulled any assets from the indo pacific based on what is needed inthe ukraine. so again the departments focus in the right theater , it's a complex world. >> in your area is there any sense still in isr? that you would like to talk about. >> most of it is accents given the conference of military agreement between the north and south and our ability to collect over dvr k. we cannot rely directly over. so we rely on the other events to develop the intelligence picture. >> and with my last-minute my question regards the philippines and any strategic importance of the philippines and i miss a lot of political uncertainty you mentioned yesterday. how are you doing that and
what can we be doing to i guess firm up our relationship in the face of uncertainty. >> thanks congresswoman. the secretary went to the philippines not long ago and as you know we were having issues with the visiting forces agreement and he got this problem corrected . so the trend is in the right direction. doing more with them. we can continue to develop that posture there through our exit sites. we're building out possible fossil interface. so is on theright trend and we need to continue to expand those initiatives . >> mister birdman is recognized for five minutes. >> mister chairman and thanks to everybody. this late in the hearing pretty much most of the questions have been asked so rather than duplicate that just for the sake of saying
it's not been said until i said it, i'd like to dig down a little deeper on the isr piece representative lamb just indicated. he said do you as in the department of defense, are you truly taking advantage while all of the capabilities that are out there that's a to use the term commercial off-the-shelf. are there any opportunities for increased robustness in isr using things like again, district systems. i'll give you one example. an empty 9b. that's just one example because we've gotten a lot of challenges and you cannot have too much visibility. any comments? >> we're certainly experimenting with anything
that could provide additional capability. i'll give you an example. a sales drone with an isr suite. with our experimentation program we'reworking to deliver those . maybe capabilities that haven't been applied militarily and figuring out how they deliver a war fighting outcome. those that are causing we will work to accelerate and get in on the isr side it's all the lanes undersea, above the sea, space and cyberspace . we're taking those opportunities to deliver an advantage . >> i think for the safety and security of not only american people but all our allies around the world we cannot waste time and money through our research last trying to get just a little bit extra edge when something that already existswill be good enough . so with mister chairman i'm going to yield back the
remainder of my time . >> mister landon is recognizedfor five minutes . >> are you with us there, jim ? [inaudible] >> yes i am, sorry about that . >> mister landon is recognized for five minutes. >> i appreciate your testimony. if i can start with admiral avelino, can you talk about the role of information operations. it seems there were a variety of information capabilities that were critical to our ability to compete in the region.
how is pace, doing in the information domain and howcan congress help ? >> thanks. as part of the initiative objective we talked about, it's certainly an area we have to get better in. through the processes we develop all of our operations for now integrated with the information space to ensure that we have the correct messaging. what we want to say, when we want to say whether we don't want to say. we agree with you with regard to the importance and we are working to try to strengthen that. additionally on the operations side, there are certain components that have i would articulate increased capabilities where working to pull those in. >> thank you. general, this clearly is a crisis across the world daily . i'm conscious of the fact
that our ongoing focus on the application of ukraine from north korea but general, can you please discuss with us the most pressing needs on the korean peninsula that we cannot ignore ? >> thanks congressman. for me the top priority is maintaining the alliance with the republic of korea. and then combat readiness is number two. we got an exercise program focused mainly on command post exercises but we need to make sure we are training tactical level all the way up to the operational level. based on the changes in the tory and any based on the changes of all friendly capabilities where in the process of rewriting our plan for thefinancial .
>> thank you and let me turn to doctor ratner. in your posture statement you mentioned that we are growing our cooperation in cyberspace with india . can you expand on this work more specifically and how has this cooperation been successful and have there been any roadblocks to getting it done? >> congressman the vast majority of that work is classified. i want to say we are working with the indians both to ensure we are able to communicate better and classified settings, information related space. cyber intelligence and we're alsoworking with them to help them better defend their own networks . >> and admiral, can you highlight those initiatives to advance cyber with our partners and allies in the indo pacific region ? >> yes congressman.
as part of the august agreement again, we will look at that we want to talk about summaries but it's really is advancing or improving our advanced capabilities. cyber space are clearly two of the areas we are working with australia and i'll be going there with general nakasone and general dickinson to frame and continue to move our capabilities. we do that wherever we can safely and securely with our high-end allies and partners. >> thanks. doctor ratner, china plans to complete the goals by 2025 and they continue to develop the capabilities across cyber and nuclear domains. in this unclassified setting and explain how the modernization effort compared
to our own ? >> thanks congressman. one update. presidents xi jinping has asked for modernization by 2027. that is concerning. again, we still have the greatest military on the planet. we need to understand his acceleration capabilities that he's developing cannot only stay on par but exceed and generate overmatched on those areas. >> thank you, i go back. >> thank you, miss mclean is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you mister chairman and thank you for being here today. historically india has me , has had significant ties economically with russia. there has been an expensive market for russian oil and gas sales and last year russia delivered the s 400
air defense system in india in december 2021, p2 +2 meeting between india and russia. indiana made it clear the future of the relationship with was dependent on russian investing and made in india projects. my question is for the admiral doctor is india clearly wanted to maintain its relationship with russia. however, now that russia has invaded ukraine do you see the scenario where you will have to take sides in that conflict and distance itself from moscow and become more aligned with other nations or do you see maybe india trying to stay neutral? i'm just curious your thoughts on that. >> congresswoman, a few of the other members of the committee have asked similar questions.
i think we recognize india as a long and complicated economic insecurity relationship with russia. the majority of their weapon purchases come from russia they also been systematically diversifying their systems for years now and away the need to you as a positive trajectory note that at that december summit that decided, there were very few announcements on new purchases. that was quite notable and just last week prime minister modi joined the leaders of the quad summit including president biden for a leaders call to talk about some of their priorities. i agree this is obligated. but the trendlines are moving in the right direction. >> so your confidence in your opinion that you see it scaling back, the dependency in the relationship? >> india on its own accord is a sovereign nation that and i
diversifying its arms purchases and development including our own digitization. is making substantial purchases from the united states as well i think the trendlines are in the right direction and the importance of this relationship i think cannot be overstated and we ought to keep our eyes on that important fact. >> yes ma'am, again we are seeing the right actions with regard to sales and capabilities and the leaning towards the united states. so that's key. military to military we operate. for capabilities and help in areas that they haven't before faced on what i believe is a common security challenge in the form of the prc. so as this plays out, again india gets to make its own decisions but i would articulate the same from my lane that is going in the right direction. >> with that high-yield
lifetime. >> you, mister spicer is recognized for five minutes. >> the good news is i believe i may be the last four questions. i want to say that i appreciated mister langevin comments and focusing on cyber. i think that is something we are looking at and want to make sure you are engaging with cyber, on a regular basis to foster a relationship there because it will become more and more i think important as we move forward. my question is somewhat specific to my congressional district which is in the metro area specifically that tinker air force base. this is directed at the admiral. a significant share of investment in weapons and acquisition modernization is not focused on securing china which makes its operational threats and capabilities especially important that i do understand we are in the process of reviewing those requirements for a number of
programsincluding next refuel or . casey wine. can you tell me about their engagements as possible processes. >> as it applies to the continued assessment of being able to execute our mission, there feeling is identified in and every one is critical. not only in across all the combatant commanders to include the strategic commander, especially with all the things that are in thinker that are under his realm. so we identify the requirements, we have to continue to ensure we have the capacity to execute all of our work plans so i do have input and a critical focus area. >> high-yield back. >> at this point we have no, if anybody else here wants to ask questions. before we're done i do want to thank you gentlemen for their testimony.