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tv   Defense Secretary Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Testify on Presidents...  CSPAN  April 5, 2022 9:30am-2:15pm EDT

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good morning. call the meeting to order. it's a full committee meeting for the defense budget request. the committee is honored to have the secretary of defense, lloyd austin, with us as well as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, mark milley, and the comptroller, mike mccord, the guy's job it is to keep track of the money. it's an incredibly important time in this country. we watch what's happening in ukraine. the horror from the violent attack that vladimir putin and russia have brought down upon ukraine. we see the world that we do not want, unquestionably. this committee and the
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department of defense have a huge role in trying to figure out how we create the better world that we do want. as a starting point, our ability and our allies' ability to get aid and weapons to ukraine has been crucial in the early days of the fight. russian has struggled greater than just about anybody expected. there are a lot of reasons for that. certainly, the biggest is the will and courage of the ukrainian people. but it has crucial that our alliance, the nato alliance and others have come together to offer that support to ukraine. one of the biggest questions we are going to have in this committee for you three gentlemen is, how can we make sure we get everything we can to ukraine to help them defend their country and defend themselves? we will be focused on that and stand ready to do anything we can to make that happen. the larger question as we look at this is we have to make sure russia does not succeed. the implications it has for
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ukraine, but for the larger world as well. we do not want russia or other aggressive countries in the world to think that by force they can simply expand their territory and attack their neighbors. we need to build a robust deterrence to make sure this kind of thing does not happen again. we have been working on that for a long time. obviously, on our national security policy. it comes into sharp focus as we see the war in ukraine. deterrence is many things. it's important that we build those alliances. where would we be if we were trying to do this on our own or divided in the west? we would be in a terrible place. making sure we build alliances across europe and the world is enormously important. we also need to understand that russia and china are the principal threats here. we now have the national security strategy. we have the 2023 budget. we see that president biden and
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his team recognize that and prioritize those threats is what we need to deter going forward. we face a stark choice in the world. the president has outlined this clearly. we can push for greater freedom, greater economic and political freedom, or we can face the autocracy that russia and china is trying to bring down upon it. it's crucial we build a defense budget that reflects that. i believe the budget submitted gets us headed in the right direction. there will be discussion about the top line. we had a fairly robust increase last year. we have an increase this year. we will have that debate about what that top line number should be. that is fine. what i hope we also really focus on is, where do we spend the money? spending that money efficiently and effectively in a rapidly changing environment to me is the most important thing that this committee and the pentagon can do. it starts with recognizing the changing nature of warfare. i have come to sum it up as
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information and survivability, which have always been central to warfare. it's just they are changing. you can look and learn from how the russians are struggling in ukraine. they can't communicate with each other. the large tank columns are victims to cheap, inexpensive missiles. we need to figure out, how do we build a force that can survive in today's word? we have to make sure we can protect our information and distribute it. we have to make sure our systems are not just single points of failure. large, exquisite systems that can be shut down by a cyberattack or missile. we need to rethink how we approach the military. our biggest focus has been that innovation. sadly, the pentagon is not the most innovative institution in the world. it is slow to adopt new technology. reforms and changes have been made to address that. but it's crucially important that we figure out how to develop new technology first.
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more crucial, we figure out how to use them. ai, missile technology, drones, these are critically important. how do you employ those? how do we make sure we are making the best use of the technology and innovation that we are doing? i would recommend to all of you an article that former secretary spencer sent me that's entitled "the pentagon's office culture is stuck in 1968." that might be a slight overstatement. but when you read the analysis of how you structure a company to adopt to the innovative economy that we face, the technology we face, versus how you build a company in the assembly line industrial age of the 1960s, you can see a stark contrast. really want to see that change. we have a pentagon that can take advantage of the changes. without question, when you look at the world, you have the u.s.
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in the west and our involvement and then you have china, russia, iran, north korea and transnational terrorist groups. we want to deter the adversaries. all of them. we get into a ranking issue occasionally. certainly, china is the biggest economy, the biggest alternative out there. russia clearly is committing violent acts as we speak. they all matter. we need to build an alliance that promotes economic and political freedom. we need to do it with a very, very strong military and a robust involvement in the world in diplomacy, in development and in alliances. we have to build that. the pentagon is a huge part of that. the decision this morning is looking at how the budget affects that. i look forward to the testimony and questions and answers. with that, i will yield to the ranking member, mr. rogers, for his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the witnesses for their attendance and their service to our country.
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the threats that we face now are more formidable than any point in the 20 years i have had the privilege of serving on this committee. chinese military modernization has allowed them to leapfrog us. they control the largest army and navy in the world. it has more troops, more ships and more hypersonic missiles than the united states. with each day, more and more clear their interest are -- it's more clear that they diametrically oppose our interests. to make matters worse, president xi has entered into a partnership with putin. putin's invasion of ukraine has proven to the rest of the word he is not nothing more than an unhinged crackpot.
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emulating putin's desire to undermine democracy are the leaders of north korea and iran. both continue to aggressively pursue nuclear weapons and conduct destabilizing activities in their region. the president's decision to unilaterally withdraw from afghanistan has offered terrorists the opportunity to regain footing. our capability to keep an eye on them and strike them before they strike us has diminished. these are just a few of the growing threats confronting our nation. how we respond to them is the biggest test we will face as americans. many of us here regardless of party believe we should respond with increase investment in the men and women of our arm forces and modernization of our deterrent. unfortunately, the president doesn't see things the same way. for the second year in a row, the president sent us a budget that fails to keep pace with
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china and russia and with inflation. despite predictions from leading economists, the record high inflation will endure, the white house directed the pentagon to assume a rate of 2.2% for fy23 regardless of this inflation. we are now at 8% inflation. to get an average of 2.2% next year, would require months of unprecedented low inflation. everyone here knows that's not going to happen. that means every dollar of increase in this budget will be eaten by inflation. very little if anything will be left over to modernize or grow capability. the president may claim this budget bolsters our national security, but that's far from the truth. the budget cuts the number of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines below authorized levels. it slashes ships and aircraft in our arsenal. at no point over the next five years does the size of the navy
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grow. instead of moving toward a ed t china, it shrinks. it cuts procurement for the army and marine corps, delaying modernization efforts. it slashes funding for next generation aircraft, nuclear deterrent capability and modernized ground combat vehicles. according to the president's co comptroller, it was completed about the invasion of ukraine. no funds have been added for the cost of reinforcing nato allies or to continue to provide lethal aid to ukraine in the next fiscal year. this is extremely short-sighted. the problem is that the president refuses to spend it on defense. the budget proposes massive increases in funding for the epa and department of education and hhs. in all, non-defense spends grows
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by 12%, three times more than defense. using gdp as a metric, defense spending will total 3.1% of gdp, non-defense will total 18% of gdp. nearly six types more than defense. i know the numbers are inconvenient to many people in the white house. what the president is proposing is far from what's needed to maintain a credible deterrent. under the old strategy, we needed an increase of 3% to 5% over inflation to stay ahead of china. the new national defense strategy departs little from the last one. i suspect the new commission we are appointing to review the national defense strategy will recommend at least that level of funding. if this budget was truly driven by risk, 5% above inflation is the level of growth we would see. that's not the case. this budget fails to account for the record inflation the
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department is facing and severely underestimates its impact over the next year. it robs us of capabilities to carry out missions. most regrettably, it gives china more time to enhance their military advantage. address the needs of our national defense. with that, i yield back. >> thank you. secretary austin. >> good morning. chairman smith, ranking member rogers, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the chance to testify today in support of the president's budget request for fiscal year 2023. it's great to be here with general milley who has been an outstanding partner. i'm glad to be joined by our comptroller and chief financial officer, mike mccord. mr. chairman, we are focused on three key priorities at the department of defense. defending our nation, taking care of our people and
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succeeding through team work. the budget request that we have submitted to you helps us meet each of those priorities. our budget seeks more than $56 billion for air power platforms and systems. more than $40 billion to maintain our dominance at sea, including buying nine more battle force ships. almost $13 billion to support and modernize our combat credible forces on land. the budget request funds the modernization of all three legs of the nuclear triad to make sure we maintain a deterrent. none of these capabilities matter much without our people and their families. we are seeking your support for a 4.6% pay raise for our military and civilian personnel and special pay and benefits. we also plan to invest in
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outstanding and affordable childcare in the construction of on-base child development centers and in ensuring that all our families can put good and healthy food on the table. we are deeply focused on the terrible problem of suicide in the u.s. military. i will keep on saying it. mental health is health, period. we are increasing access to mental health care, expanding telehealth capabilities and fighting the stigmas against seeking help. we your support, i have ordered the establishment of an independent review committee to help us grapple with sue site to better understand it, prevent it and treat the unseen wounds that lead to it. we are working hard to implement the recommendations of the independent review commission on sexual assault. because we know that we have a long way to go to rid ourselves of this scourge.
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our budget seeks $408 million for that enterprise. sexual assault is not just a crime, it's an assault -- or an affront to our values and everything we are supposed to represent to each other and to this country. this is a leadership issue. you have my personal commitment to keep leading. while i'm on the topic of leadership, let me briefly address our military's role in the world. because as i have said, we succeed through team work. as i witnessed myself in the last several weeks, countries around the world continue to look for the united states to provide that sort of leadership. with help from congress, we have been able to rush security assistance to ukraine, to help the ukrainian people defend their lives and their country and their freedom. last october, i visited kyiv to meet both my ukrainian counterpart and president zelenskyy. we discussed our deepening defense partnership and our
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unwavering support for ukraine's sovereignty in the face of russian aggression. even before russia's unprovoked and illegal invasion, we provided ukraine with $1 billion worth of weapons and gear through presidential drawdown authority. now we are delivering on another $1 billion pledged by president biden. our budget includes $650 million more for security assistance in europe, including $300 million for the ukraine security assistance initiative. we are helping to coordinate the delivery of material provided by other nations. which continues to flow in every single day. let me thank all of you for your strong leadership toward our shared goal of helping ukraine defend itself. since the invasion, i have spoken and met frequently with min minister resnikov. we will give them the tools and
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weapons they need most and are using effectively against russian forces. we enforced our nato allies. we spend combat power to the eastern flank, raising our posture in europe to more than 100,000 troops. these reinforcements include dozens of aircraft, an aircraft carrier strike group and two brigade combat teams. as president biden made clear, we will defend every inch of nato territory if required. we are making good on that promise. mr. chairman, you have heard me say many times, we need resources to matched strategy and strategy match the policy and policy matched to the will of the american people. this budget gives us the resources that we need to deliver on that promise as well. it reflects our national defense strategy which highlights the challenge of china. that's why we are investing some $6 billion in this budget in the
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pacific deterrence initiative. it's why we are realigning our posture in the indo-pacific toward a more distributed footprint. we will enhance our infrastructure, presence and readiness in the indo-pacific, including the missile defense of guam. we make investments in undersea dominance, fighter aircraft modernization and advanced weaponry, including hypersonic strike. many will pay dividends in countering the threat of russia as well. which our strategy underscores. at the same time, we must be prepared for threats that don't observe border, from pandemics to climate change. we must tackle the persistent threats posed by north korea, iran and global terrorist groups. the national defense strategy advanced our goals in three main ways. forging integrated deterrence, campaigning and building
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enduring advantages. integrated deterrence means combining our strengths across all war fighting domains to ward off potential conflict. campaigning means our day to da. campaigning means our day-to-day efforts to gain and sustain military advantage, counteracute forms of coercion and complicate their preparations for aggression. and to build enduring advantages, we need to accelerate force development, acquiring the technology that our war fighters need. so our budget seeks more than $130 billion for research, development, testing and evaluation. and that's the largest r&d request this department has ever made. it's a 10% increase over last year, which was a previous high water mark. this i want cluds $2 billion for
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artificial intelligence, 5g, $28 billion for space capabilities, and another $11 billion to protect our networks and develop a cyber mission force. this budget maintains our edge, but it does not take that edge for granted. quite frankly, in the 2st sench, you either innovate or get left behind. through the president's budget and the help of this committee, we will continue to innovate. with your help, we will continue to defend this nation, take care of our people, and support our allies and partners. and with your help, i know that we will continue to lead. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. chairman milley? >> chairman, ranking member rogers, distinguished members of the committee, i'm privileged to represent the soldiers, silors and marines and guardians of the strike force. best equipped as trained, most lethal and most capable military
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force in the world. alongside our allies and partners at any given time, approximately 400,000 american troops are currently standing watch and 155 countries in conducting operations every day to keep americans safe. currently, we are supporting our european allies in guarding the eastern flank in the face of the unnecessary war of aggression by russia against the people of ukraine and the assault on the democratic institutions on the rules based international order that have prevented great power war the last 78 years since the end of world war ii. we are now facing two global powers, china and russia. each with significant military capabilities, both who intend to fundamentally change the rules based current global order. we are entering a world thatis
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becoming more unstable and the potential for significant international conflict between great powers is increasing, not decreasing. the united states military comprises one of the four key components of national power. diplomatic, economic, informational, and military. to protect the homeland and sustain a stable and open international system. in coordination with the other elements of power, we constantly twop a wide range of military options for the president as commander-in-chief and for that congress to consider. as the u.s. military, we are prepared to deter and if necessary fight and win anyone who seeks to attack the united states or allies or significant core vital national security address.
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we thank the congress for increasing the last fiscal year funding and look forward to this support for this year's putting. the joint force will deliver modernization and readiness for armed forces and secure the people of the united states at the fiscal year '23 budget request of $773 billion. this budget will enable the appropriate decisions for modernization and transformation of the joint force in order to set and meet the conditions of the operating environment that we will face in 2030 and beyond the so-called changing war we have discussed many times in the past. we will work diligently to ensure the resources of american people and trust to us are spent prudently and in the best interest of the nation. this alignment with the fourth coming strategy and the national military strategy, this budget delivers a ready, agile and capable joint force to defend the nation while taking care of our people and working with our partners and allies.
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we are witness to the greatest threat to peace and security of europe and perhaps the world in my 42 years of service in uniform. the russian invasion of ukraine is threatening to undermine not only european peace and stability, but global peace and stability that my parents and the generation of americans fought hard to defend. >> bore witness to the incredible strategy that befalls humanity when nations seek power. despite the assault and the institutions of freedom it is heartening to see the world rally and say never again to war in europe. your military stands ready to do whatever is direct. and and international order where all nation can per in
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peace. we are also prepared and need to sustain our capabilities anywhere else in the globe as well with our priority effort and in the asia pacific region measured against our pacing challenge of arising people's republic of china. and in defense of our nation, we must also maintain competitive overmatch in all the domains of war, cyber, space, land, sea, and air. to con cloud, the united states is at a very critical and historic geostrategic inflection point. we need to pursue a strategy of maintaining the peace this requires we maintain readiness and modernize the force for the future. it we do not do that, then we will be risking a security and future generations. i believe this budget is a major step in the right direction. i look forward to your questions.
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>> all of you know but want to reiterate, we have five minutes. when we're done, we're tone. even in the witnesses are are in the middle of answering the question, i will cut them off and move on to other members. the secretary and chairman have generously said they will be here to get through all members questions. so we'll get through them. you want to ask questions, make a speech, i'm going to try to make sure no one badgers the witnesses. you have to give them a chance to answer. for cutting off the filibuster is fine. with us make sure they have a chance to speak. i don't want this to turn into badgering session. we passed the budget a couple weeks ago. in addition to the number that we have, we have $14 billion to specifically address ukraine.
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it's wrong to say that the president or this congress has ignored the situation in ukraine. what's most important in that $14 billion? what are you using it for? how is that helping the fight in ukraine? >> thank you, chairman. and thank you for the support that you continue to provide to our efforts to provide security forces assistance to ukraine. i speak with my counterpart frequently. as i said earlier, i just spoke with him yesterday because we do want to make sure that we are meeting their needs and we're provide them the things that are most useful to their fight and the things that we have provided them, as you have seen, have been very, very instrumental in their efforts to blunt the advance of an overwhelming russian force.
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so what has been very helpful is the antiaircraft capability we provided them. also the uav capability that has been pushed in as well as we have over the years provided them the ability to communicate through tactical radios that we pushed in over a number of years. and they have been able to maintain command and control over their forces throughout. that's enable them to do things that have provided them an advantage in certain cases. so we will continue to focus on those types of things that have been most useful to them as well as emerging needs that the minister of defense identifies. >> thank you. for both of you, what lessons have we learned as we have
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watched the last month plus of the fight in ukraine. you have russia, a global power going up against a much, much smaller, less armed, less resourced foe and struggling light mightily in doing that. as we look at how we need to think about deterrence, we all want to be ready for the fight if it comes, but the main goal of what we're trying to do here is to build a force that will deter adversaies. iran, china, russia being at the top of that list. what have we learned about what we would need as you see -- obviously one of the lessons is the isn't what it used to be. how is that informing for both of you what you think is most important to fund to make sure we have that deterrence for the battlefield that we face today with the technology that is available? >> we have learned armed with the right capabilities, a determined force can do
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tremendous work. ukrainians demonstrate that each and every day. we have seen them again blunt the advance of a far superior force with respect to the russians in terms of numbers and capability by using the right types of techniques have proven to be very, very effective in this fight. we have also learned that just because you have the capability, it doesn't mean that you're going to overwhelm another force easily. russians have significant capability, put as you look at the techniques and tactics that they used, they were not very effective. so you question the training, the leadership at the noncommission officer level and
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their ability to provide baic logistics to a force that size. those are the things that have given them significant problems over the last several weeks as well as their ability to link air power to the ground effort. there are a number of lessons learned. i think because the russians have not been effective in using their armor, it does not mean that armor is inive on the battlefield going forward. it means they were ineffective because of the things they failed to do in this fight. >> thank you. >> just a couple comments beliefly. one is the importance of intelligence. we have had extraordinary intelligence throughout and the intelligence sharing we have enabled ukraine to see. so i wouldn't suggest that it's at the level of the ultrasecret thing from world war ii, but the ability of us to transmit
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information that is useful to ukraine has been enormously helpful to them. and i talked to my counterpart several times a week. he's reiterated that. second is the importance of leadership. that's been pretty clear. ukraine has been trained by the united states since 2014. and they have given me feedback personally saying the training has been effective in terms of the concept of mission command distributed union level leadership, the juior officers with initiative. that's not president of the russian arm. and you see the effects of mission command and that is working out extraordinarily well on the battlefield. the third piece is focusing on that which gives you the best effect on a battlefield. which in this case has been antitank and air defense weapons to deny the ability to maintain air supremacy. and one of the things we know is
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by mid-century, roughly speaking, 90% of the people that will inhabit the earth, they will be living in highly dense urban areas. the character is going to shift. we have seen precursors of that in the battles of mosul. we have seen kyiv, kharkiv and these urban battles. you're seeing forces that are optimized to fight in wooded terrain are going to have very difficult times in urban terrain. that proved true and that's one of the rons russians are withdrawing because they couldn't match the combat power to seize kyiv. and that will then also drive our use of helicopters, our use of radios and tanks and armored vehicles, so on and so forth. there's a lot of lessons to be learned. that's just the tip of the iceberg.
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>> thank you very much. >> the commander testified before us and he stated that it was his best military judgment to reallocate european troops to permanent basing in poland, romania and in the baltics. your best military judgment, is that a good deterrence for us to pursue? >> it's a good deternlt. ternt. with respect to what general said, i have a slight modification to my view. my advice would be to create permanent bases, but don't permanently station. so you get the effect of permanence by rotational forces, cycling through permanent bases. and you dwoent have to incur the cost of family moves, housing, that sort of thing.
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you cycle through forces through forward deployed permanent bases. i believe a lot of our allies, especially those such as the baltics or poland or romania, they are very willing to establish permanent bases. they will build them and pay for them. for us to cycle through in rotational basis so you get the effect of permanent presence of forces, but the actual individual soldiers are not perm innocently stations for two or three years. >> thank you. secretary austin, we asked about the basing issue. she said they are working on it. can you tell me something with more clarity about when we can expect an issue on this issue? >> as you would expect, nato is going through a process right now to really kind of assess how
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we expect the security architecture in the region is going to change for the foreseeable future. with had that in mind, then we'll look to work with nato to if nato deems it's appropriate to change its footprint, then certainly, we'll be a part of that. our goal is to make sure that we continue to reassure our allies and partners. especially those on the eastern flank and especially our allies that are in the baltic area. so this is a work in progress as the secretary said. and i suspect that we'll -- i expect we'll discuss this as we go into the june summit with nato. >> i can't think of a better signal to send to our allies and putin that we are committed to nato and this basing issue. i am concerned that with the budget that it only had one
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patriot battery in it. and my position, in my view, we need at least three. i know we have a manning issue with that. but general milley n your opinion, could we with need more than one patriot battery in addition to what we currently have in inventory? >> thanks, congressman. the patriot is one of those sls that's in huge demand worldwide. we've got 15 battalions in the army and one of those is really an experimental training unit. so call it 14 for deployment. we have several spread out in the middle east. ash kr and in europe. and they are in a very high tempo in the force. so additional patriot is always a good thing. having said that, patriot is extraordinary expensive and takes a long time to train on it. so one method could be to produce patriot, sell them to allies and partners.
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that would be a technique that could work. we have done that in the middle east. another one is to produce patriot and long allied partners and train the soldiers from the other countries because our soldiers in that particular in the u.s. would have to expand the numbers significantly of those troops that man patriot. but there's a couple ways to go about it. it's one of the systems that is worth investing in. >> great, that's what i would like to see us do. i would like for us to instead of buying one additional, i would buy three. and then use at least two of those along the european flank on a loan basis and let them man them. but for our needs alone, we need at least one more outside of eastern europe and so i hope the budget that we come up with does reflect that. last question i would have, and i know it's hard to answer, but would be for secretary austin.
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we have just given this current year fiscal year a 6% increase. i know you just got the omnibus bill in the last couple weeks to fund it. but do you have any idea how you're going to keep up with inflation given that we just plussed you up but we're living in an 8% inflation world? >> i would say that this is a very robust budget that we have asked for. and i think ranking member rogers that we can address our needs with what's in this budget. and clearly, we snap the chalk line when we built the budget. inflation was at a different point, but i think this budget gives us the capability to go after the types of things that we believe we need to support our strategy and give us the war fighting caabilities that we need. >> thank you. >> on the patriot battery issue, i absolutely agree with you.
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we do need more. if you take a look at what we're doing across the fight up, we are going to invest in additional patriot batteries going forward. we expect to have three batteries by the end of '26. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, i want to thank the witnesses for your testimony today. and thank you for your service to our country. i put everything we're doing to put weapons in the hands of the ukrainian people. thank you for making that happen. and to president biden's leadership, obviously, they have shown incredible resilience and effectiveness of the weapons that we have given them to push back against the russians and the javelins and the stingers in particular. because we all want to do more, you and i had a conversation at the pentagon not long ago about what weapons accept s.s. you did respond saying that it doesn't do us any good to give
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the weapons that they aren't trained to use. but now that we have the luxury of time, we are identifying those lethal weapons systems to help them to be more effective at fightsing against the russians with the minimal amount of training to give them and get more sophisticated weapons systems into their hands. >> yes, we are doing that. and i think if you look at the latest inventory of the latest assistance we provided them, their uavs like the switchblade that we discussed earlier that is a higher level of technology, but provides them additional capability to go after armor formations and that sort of thick. and we continue to work with with our allies to see what they may have in their inventory to be able to kind of up the game there in terms of additional capabilities. so again, we continue to
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interact with them on a daily basis and endeavor to meet their needs as a situation evolves. >> thank you. let me turn to cyber for a minute. secretary, last year's testimony i asked a question that i can revisit. the department of defense recognizes five war fighter domains. and the case of four of these, the senior civilian responsible for this domain is a service secretary. however, in the cyber domain, the senior most civilian official is four rungs below in that hierarchy. obviously, this seems like an imbalance. can you explain to us why this does or does not make sense? >> thank you, sir. cyber is a war fighting domain. there's not a cyber force like there is with special operations forces, with so there's not a
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secretary designated. the head of the cyber command reports to and is also supervised by the undersecretary for policy and so we have a number of checks and balances that provides civilian oversooigt. because he's not a separate service, there's not a service success tear designated. >> i remain concerned about this structure and it's something we'll have to continue to look at. especially since the u.s. cyber command and missions force, which can be highly effective, i still think that we need to elevate the civilian oversight on this and involvement. lelt me turn to something else. the so-called makes it
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impossible for technology to transition from non-traditional organizations to programs of record to support the far fighter. what is the department doing to solve this problem and how does this budget request reflect that effort? >> we have established an initiative and that encourages joint entrepreneurs to colt in and bring their capabilities forward and hopefully using initiatives like that we can help bridge this valley of death you mentioned. that's available in terms of technology and capabilities. fpz it's really important to
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make sure that the small entrepreneurs have a chance to get their products in the inventory. >> we the to make sure they have that opportunity to do so. i'll yield back. >> thank you. mr. turner is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for jr. service and your leadership. we were all very concerned as the war broke out in ukraine as to the concern about weapons getting into ukraine. we advocated for the administration to give lethal assistance to ukraine before the conflict occurred. after the conflict occurred, we were very concerned about how quickly things would get in, both of you had given us assurances you were doing so. i think we have seen the evidence of that on the battlefield. so you want to thank you for your efforts. i think the whole world is seeing the effectiveness of u.s.
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lethal aid being provided to ukraine. and that brings me to my area of question. the ranking member raised the question of the budget in the top line and that is certainly important, and two other components under your responsibility are also cost. cost structures, how do we manage the overall cost we give you more money, but don't manage it effectiveness or buy more. another issue is the rate of production. how quickly things get where they are going. i think one of the lessons from ukraine to our allies is going to be the need for them to stockpile weapons. we have a number of weapons that have been used that have to be back filled and then our whole inventory concept is going to have to change as we look to the fact that we now have an aggressive are russia. how do you view this issue of what we need to be doing specifically in the areas missiles and ammunition so that we can get the defense industrial base to ramp up production and lower overall our costs. >> thanks.
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this is obviously a very important issue for us and my staff is working hard to ensure that we have engaged industry and we have highlighted what our requirements are and we're working with them to speed up the process to replenish those stocks that you mentioned. i'm optimistic, but this is important. we have to replenish and make sure that those allies who volume tiered to provide capability to the effort and if it's u.s. capability, we're able to replenish those stocks as well. >> i appreciate you mentioning because the timelines we're
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hearing from you are certainly very concerning. to some extent, i think the defense industrial base looks all the some of these systems as annuities rather than contributions. because when we need to turn that dial, they need to be able to respond. that takes me to the next topic you called in the defense industrial community that were involved in the hypersonics. development to have a discussion as to how we can speed that up. we're behind our adversaries. can you tell us how that's turning out? >> when we say we're behind our adversaries, i think we have to be careful. hypersonics is a caability, but it's not the only capability. >> i seriously we have a short period of time. i want to hear how you're meeting. they need to speed it up. you can tell me there are other systems, put we're talking hypersonics. >> there are other systems we
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look for a balance of capabilities that match our war fighting concepts here. and so yeah, i have engaged industry and asked them to make sure that they are leaning into the issue of hypersonic development. most importantly, i have asked them to make sure that they are working with us on how we're going to defend ourselves with respect to hypersonics. and my staff is working with them to ensure that they have good visibility. >> i appreciate that. general, i have a question for you. the launched cruise missile was zeroed out. you have previously stated the importance of the low yield nuclear weapon and that you supported it. i'm assuing you have not changed your position. >> i have not. that's correct. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. >> thank you for coming today.
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maybe turning to some other issues in the defense budget. perhaps for the secretary on the generally on the research and development and science and technology across the enterprise, how would you characterize that? the budget proposal? >> it's the largest amount that we have ever asked for in our budget. it's $130 billion. so that's a substantial amount. >> and is it -- how would you characterize how it's allocated? not by service, but by the timing of the investment to get a result f you will, to meet this speed of of relevance and catching up with peer competitors in certain areas. >> i think as you know, you recall in the '22 budget, we invested heavily in rdt and e as well. so there are a number of
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capabilities that we're going after that some of them will take time to come to reality. but investing in things like ai and those kinds of things, space-based capabilities, long-term in some cases long-term investments, but investments we need to make now. >> i know you probably came here to talk about today's head loins and such, so i appreciate your answering these questions. there's one particular program of interest of mine that nato and the nato alliance developed. it's the defense innovation accelerator for the north atlantic. i don't think we have committed yet to participating in the alliance's efforts for investment into these developing and sharing emerging disruptive technologies. can you give ab update on that? >> i would just point to some of the things that we are doing
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like you'll recall what we announced here this last year. not only includes the development of a submarine capability, it also includes working with our partners in other areas like hypersonics, like long range strike and those kinds of things. and that is coming along really, really well. i agree with yo you. those types of investments are really important. >> general milley, the secretary mentioned artificial intelligence and so on. to what extent are we starting to incorporate a knowledge-base and professional mill education on how to use ai, what to expect from at official intelligence, not to create a bunch of coders, but to ensure the folks going through pme understand how they can be used as well as the
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ethics around them. >> artificial intelligence, in my view s what i sayis the mother of all technologies here when it comes to military operations because what that will enable you to do is to go through the decision making process at rates of speed far greater than your opponent. so that pseudothat masters artificial intelligence and applies to military operations is going to have not decisive, but it's going to be a significant advantage over your opponent. we are teaching those techniques and giving essentially introductory level information about artificial intelligence at the war colleges. not so much at the lower schools, but the war colleges for sure. this is a significant amount of investment, and i think it's $15 or $20 billion in artificial intelligence in this budget. that's a real critical area of
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investment. now years ago, the department of defense was the innovative leader in technology many decades ago. now it's the commercial industry. so we've got to leverage commercial efforts and artificial intelligence for military application. that will be an enormous advantage in future combat. >> great. do you anticipate injecting this type of education into the service academies in the near future? >> actually the service academies now are on the cutting edge of that. they are younger, they are digital natives. they do an awful lot of technical or technological courses. they are at the cutting edge of the programs. >> appreciate that. thank you very much. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. lambert is recognized for five minutes. you're either muted or we can't hear you.
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>> can you hear me now? >> we got you. go ahead. >> thank you so much. i have a concern i want to express and then i have several questions. many of president biden's national security failures feature an unwillingness to listen to military and subject matter experts. the atrocious withdrawal from afghanistan and its tragic consequences was the first alarm bell. at that time, military advisers testified to congress that in their opinion, the united states should have kept a troop prengs in afghanistan past the withdrawal date, but this was not listened to. the second alarm bell was when russia invaded ukraine. here the failure was the inability to deter vladimir putin and a misunderstanding of what it meant to deter. throughout president biden's response, the only constants have been reaction and assistance provided later than needed. and i'm concerned about what might be a third alarm bell.
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the flaws in the nuclear posture review, a possible decision to reenter the iran nuclear or others. with those concerns in mind, chairman milley, i have some questions for you. last week and representative turner started on this line of questions, but we heard from general walters that his recommendation was to proceed with the nuclear cruise missile and its associated war head. general heighten was a big proponent of ensuring sure funding. yesterday the committee received a letter where the current situation in ukraine and china's nuclear trajectory convinces me a deterrence and assurance gap exists, unquote. he goes on to state that to address this gap, he needs a low-yield weapon a non-ballistic trajectory. however, it seems that the biden administration has chosen to
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cancel the nuclear posture review. what was your best military advice on the during the npr process? did it mirror that of admiral walters and general heighten? >> thanks. as i have stated many times before, my best military advice to this president or any president is a matter between me and that president. i will say to you as members of congress who have oversight responsibilities, my position on that has not changed. my general view is that this president or any president deserves to have multiple options to deal with national security situations. and my advice is listened to. and i have an opportunity to express my voice on a continuous
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basis many times. >> general milley, was any of this put in writing that we would be able to get a copy of? >> my best military advice is almost always put in writing. whether or not the committee requests that, there are rules on how we do that. so it's all classified. but i'll defer to the chairman on that. we give up stuff to the committee all the time or individual members upon request. but there's procedures to do that and it's writing. >> thank you. for both of you, i see that there is full funding in the budget for the ground base strategic deterrent w-87 war head and the solution for producing pits. that is excellent. i applaud that. now i am curious as to why the department of defense cancelled a flight test last week. these are regularly scheduled tests that are scheduled months in advance. secretary austin, how could this
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have been perceived as escalatory when it's a raw teen test that's scheduled months in advance. did the white house exercise and provide input over cancellation? >> to answer your question on the second part of your question, no, we did not get a directive to cancel that from the white house. it's my assessment based upon the current state of play with respect to escalation management that it was the best thing to do in terms of postponing and then canceling that test. we will certainly be able to continue to make progress in the program, and so that is not an issue. and by the way, thanks for your concern on your investment and nuclear triad.
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i would just point that we have invested $34.4 billion in the modernization of the triad in this budget. i think that's very significant. >> i apologize. the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you to the witnesses. i'm going to continue down this path, secretary and general. actually, on june 4th we are going to have the u.s.s. columbia, which is the first boat in the reization of the ballistic missile program. the budget that came over and, again, we look at it pretty closely. it's $6 billion for columbia. again, that's the biggest number since this journey started in 2008. so the commitment by the administration and your department in terms of really the most critical leg of the triad, which is the c-based leg, that's 70% of our strategic
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deterrence is caried on those platforms. and the schedule is knife edge. there's no really margin for delay in terms of moving that forward. and this budget certainly reflects that. i would also note on page 7 of your testimony, you noted the fact that the budget invests in the industrial base to support fleet modernization and on-time delivery of the columbus marine. there's $538 million for supplier development, as well as $227 for submarine workforce development, which means they are trying to boost welders, lek trigss, pipe fitterers. when we look at the challenge being faced for columbia and frankly shipbuilding across, it's a workforce issue. i have been around for awe while. those numbers in terms of dod investment into workforce, we have never seen anything that robust.
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i just want to maybe enlargen your comment in the testimony in terms of that initiative. >> i would underline that our submarine force in the joint force as we look to the future, changing war and operating environment in the 2030s and beyond, the submarine force is the most lethal, the most capable and survivable part of the joint force that's out there. so continued investment in the sub force is fundamental to the nation's security. >> and reaching beyond really just the navy's box in terms of reaching out into the industrial base in a way this budget does, the president back ins december designated the submarine workforce as essential in defense production act executive order. it was at the end of december, which again, i don't think i have ever seen that any other production platform that we have.
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one point i just do to go back to the question of the low yield missiles. i would note that the nuclear posture review does provide that low-yield missiles will be deployed on ballistic submarines. the question is really whether they are going to be attack to submarines. i would just tel you representing a lot of district with a lot of submariners, that issue of changing is in dispute. i think the min made the right choice in terms of focused on their main mission, which is to have a month mobile, the queen on the chess board. i think putting tactical weapons on there really changes it in a really clungy way in terms of moving forward. i would note that the budget that came over in terms of shipbuilding is about $28 billion. that's the first time in six
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years we have had a president's budget that's come over higher than the prior year's enacted level. that may sound like a green eye shade comment, but the fact is we're not beginning underground or below zero with this budget this year in terms of of the committee. this is the first time we have seen investment in ship construction that's higher than the prior year. that shows you're committed to really making sure we have the fleet of of the future that's there. it's not perfect. i think the general made a good argument for the lpd program to get locked at. and i know that's on his unfunded requirements list. and again, i think that's something we're certainly going to take a very strong look at. lastly, the c lift component, which is mentioned in your testimony, it's only two boats. we have to do better than that. you know from the army that c
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lift is not just a navy program. it's really for the whole service and maybe you could respond to that questions. >> certainly it is important. and we acknowledge that and you'll see if you look at the budget, the investments that we have made begin to reflect that. >> i apologize. we'll have to get that for the record. the gentleman's time has expired. mr. wickman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you for joining us today. thank you for your service to our nation. secretary austin, last march the commander phil davidson saw china is making every preparation for a confrontation over taiwan by 202. the current commander said the same thing. former secretary of state mike pompeo agreed. in fact, general milley has previously stated this. we're going to have to have a much larger fet
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today. if we're serious about great power competition, if we're serious about dominant capability over something china. secretary austin, do you agree that we should be preparing for a showdown with taiwan in this decade? >> i agree that we should have the right capabilities to be able to not only be relevant in deterring future adversaries, but dom on a future battlefield. we are investing in those capabilities. >> very good. thank you. general milley, the navy today has 297 ships. and this budget request will reduce our fleet to 280 by 2027. if you look at where we are in relation to the chinese, our budget and number of ships have slunk over the past two decades. we have gone from 318 ships down
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to 297 today. during the same period of time, china has gone from 210 ships to 360 ships. dod's budget will further shrink that to 280. dod's own china power report projects that china will have 460 ships by 2030. in this latest budget request, the navy proposes to retire 24 ships and build 8 ships. i'm not a mathematician, but it seems you can't do addition by subtraction. this seems to be grossly irresponsible and completely denies the reality of what we are facing. in your professional military judgment, does our shipbuilding plan accurately reflect the need we need to make that we need to deter the chinese in the years and decades to come?
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>> let me make a couple comments. thank you for that. first, i think it's important to focus on capability. as a capacity matter, mass matters. the navy has assessed us very high maintenance costs, high to sustain and the cost is exceeding the benefit of those ships staying on active duty. and the nine ships procuring, the capability of those ships is the most modern in the fleet. the capability versus capacity is there. i'm always in favor of great numbers. i think that's great. i would bias towards capability rather than just shear numbers. it is a fair argument about the number of ships the chinese have and it gets worse if you think about our global commitment versus say the u.s. fleet that's in the western pacific or the pacific to the numbers are even worse.
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but it's capability versus capacity. i would caution folks to go to the detail about what our ships can do, what the training of our silors can do, what our technologies are on our ships. i think there's a fundamental and significant advantage to us relative to china on that capability. >> i don't deny our ships are great, our sailors are great. but you have to lock at this in terms of magnitude. if we're going down to 280 and they are at 460, our great ships can only be in one place at one time. i have a hard time figuring out how the trajectory of china going in this direction and the trajectory of the united states going in the opposite direction, it's almost impossible to make an argument to say we're going to build enough capability in nine ships to displace the chinese and that nine ships are going to be able to replace the capacity and capability in 24
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ships. i'm not a mathematician, but it seems like to me you can't do addition by subtraction. >> i'm not going to get in a big argument because i'm on the side of mass matters, quantity has a quality. but you can't buy everything. you can't be everything to everyone at all times. there has to be a balance in the budget. i think this particular budget is divesting -- the navy has done a quality assessment. marginal utility against china and investing in the nine ships that do have great quality. >> the time has expired. we also on this issue shipbuilding capacity matters. basically, do we have the industrial base to support that. even if we put them in the budget. my understanding is we don't. so that's a different challenge as well in terms of workforce. >> thank you. let me start with a thank you for the good work you have been
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doing with regard to ukraine. pushing the necessary equipment into ukraine. it's an extraordinary piece of work and you're to be congratulated and thanked for that work. also secretary austin and general milley, in rebuilding our relationships with nato, they were virtually destroyed in the previous four years of the previous administration very rapidly rebuilt and i think that may very well be secretary austin, part of your deterrence strategy. is that correct? >> it is part of our strategy. integrated deterrence means using all of the capability and capacity that's resident dant in all of of the war fighting domains, air, land, space, cyber, sea, and networking those
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capabilities in new and different ways that really give us tremendous power and also make sure that we remain a dominant combat capable force. and a big part of that is using the capability and capacity of our allies as well. and you're seeing us do that in nato as we speak. you'll see us continue to do that in the endo pacific. but i think we have done that in the past certainly, but we want to increase our efforts going forward. i think i point to that again as one of the types things we're doing to leverage the capability of our allies. >> building on that and on what they were raising with sea lift, it's clear that we are in a position now to not be able to support our efforts in the
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western pacific, should it be necessary. and doesn't appear to be based upon the previous discussion, money to build the ships to provide the lift capacity. a quick comment, if you would, on a strategy that would utilize the current jones act fleet in its fullness making it militarily useful, subsidizing adding to the strength of the ships when necessary and making them available. much as we currently do with the craft program. if you care to comment on that strategy, that would be using all of the assets of the united states, including our maritime assets. >> absolutely. and that's what we would hope to do in the case of need. you have seen us do that, as you pointed out, with aircraft. that's a thing that gives us the
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ability to punch above our weight class. and our country has always responded to our request in times of need. >> we'll be working on that. a national maritime security program in the coming months ahead of us. a final point has to do with maintaining and repairing all of the things that we have. we don't do that so well. i'm looking for the investment in that and also in the depots mentioned earlier, the issues of the arsenals. if you care to comment on that, general milley or secretary? >> thank you, that's a great question. i think you'll see in this budget a $1.7 billion investment in our public shipyards. that begins to get after some of
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the things that you have mentioned. this is really important to make sure that we have the capability to not only build the kinds of ships that we need going forward, but also sustain them as well as you pointed out. >> the we're not there yet. that level of investment in the government yards or the public yards would probably not be sufficient to maintain the ships that we need to keep them at sea. we can build more and more ships, but if we cannot keep them at sea because they cannot be maintained in an orderly and quick way, it doesn't do much for us. >> i absolutely agree with you, sir. and that's why i said this is a good start, a good couple of steps forward, but we need more investment going forward. >> for the committee here, we may want to consider this how we're going to invest in maintaining our ships at sea.
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>> the gentleman's time has expired. mr. scott is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for being here. i want to speak briefly. it is over half the world's population. ukraine puts 50 million metric tons of corn and wheat into the export markets. russia is responsible for a tremendous amount of wheat going into the global food supply. russia has prohibited the export of sun flower seed. it seems that russia is using food as a weapon of war. i just want to make sure that at the dod, we're paying attention to the potential for a significant reduction in the global food supply and what that means for the endo region where ukraine is the largest supplier of the world food program. are those assessments being done by any type of analyzing agency
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with regard to the potential unrest and instability in the region? >> those assessments continue to be done, sir. and this has been a feex, it is a focus of our government. across the interagency, a number of agencies are looking at this, but we certainly share your concern. >> i just want to that part of the world and really the global economy, the black sea region is something that the united states and nato seem to have a strategy for. i do hope that as we push forward, we will develop a strategy for the black sea region. the importance of that with regard to the world food supply i don't can be overestimated. there's another country in the region that i'm concerned about. that's the country of georgia. they have a partnership with the national guard, one of the many
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state partnerships that we have. what are we doing with regard to those partnerships to make sure that over the long-ter those partnerships are strengthened and using their ability to help fund putting the weapon systems in the region where we need them. in other words, as we talk about going to fight, we fight through partners and you want to make sure that we are using those partnerships to get the weapons in the region in such a manner that the u.s. does not pay all of the cost. >> we can continue to do great work in countries like georgia. i was there a couple months ago. i did get a chance to go out and visit with our troops that are actually doing some of that training that you mentioned. this is invaluable.
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it provides us great capabilities. so we will continue to invest in this. in terms of specific needs of countries, we'll work those on a case by case, individual basis. cannot be overstated. they are doing a tremendous job. >> one of my concerns, mr. secretary, is when we divest equipment in the united states, i think the a-10 is the best example. this is a weapons system that the dod has requested that we divest from over the last several years, at least as long as i can remember being a member of congress. yet when we look at the european theater it's clearly a weapons system that if people who share our interests and our values had them, they would be doing even better in the war against russia. the dod's position in the past
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you just get rid of the weapons system. has dod changed their thought process on that so when we divest from a weapons system, are we now going to allow people who share our interests and values the opportunity to purchase and maintain that system? >> we have over time provided capabilities we no longer use to other countries. and in every case in terms of a high-end capability, i think you have to start with a threat. and if they use this equipment or this system or capability in that environment, will it be relevant? as we look at the air defense systems we expect georgia to encounter, the training that's required, we look at the maintenance capabilities, all of that goes into an assessment to
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see whether or not it makes sense to actually do that. you make a great point. >> the gentleman's time has expired. ms. speier is recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, thank you. thank you to both secretary austin and general milley for extraordinary work. first, secretary austin, last year you made a commitment that you would deal with the issue of sexual assault. thank you very much for the military justice reform we've seen. as you, i believe, agree sexual harassment needs to be taken out of the chain of command as well because sexual harassment begets sexual assault. and it appeared to be taken out on the senate side because they were getting signals from the department. i hope this year that we can count on you to make that case to our senate colleagues about the importance of taking sexual harassment out of the chain as well. >> as you said, i think the entire issue is one that's very
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important to us, and we'll continue to do the right things in terms of making sure that we provide the right environment for our troops to operate in. and we'll continue to work to achieve the objectives we've outlined in terms of the reform of our ucmj, and i really appreciate your support in the past year or two. >> thank you. let me move on. i am troubled by the 41% increase of deaths in suicide by our service members in the past five years. i know you are as well. there are many factors including toxic climates and financial insecurity. but having talked to the widows, talked to the parents of those soldiers and airmen in particular who have taken their lives, the biggest problem is the lack of behavioral health expertise in the system. we are woefully underserved in that regard.
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and i'm going with senator sullivan to alaska this month. i know we're going to hear that's part of the problem. you can't wait two months when you are exhibiting suicidal ideation. your defense health agency said it will take them to 2024 to come up with the number that is necessary to provide these services to our service members. imagine if kaiser or providence told their board it was going to take them two years to determine what the number of providers it was necessary to serve their patients. they would be fired. what are you going to be able to do to light a fire under the military health system leadership to get a plan in place and the numbers identified? >> well, as you heard me say in my opening statement, this is something that's very important to me, and the department remains focused on it. as you know, with your help we
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stood up an independent review commission to look at how we're doing across the department. and to look at the resources that we need and how we can speed up resources to make them available to our troops and our families. in the meantime, we're going to use every resource that's available to us. we're going to increase our use of telehealth care and, again, i think this is very important, and we're going to stay focused on it. >> thank you. general milley, the office has shown the navy is critically undermanned. and some 6,000 sailors undermanned. the navy is decreasing end strength and requesting more ships. the gao reports sailors are working 80 to 100 hours per week and sleeping less than six hours a night and are struggling with mental health. we saw it on the "fitzgerald."
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we've seen it in the ship that was destroyed, the $4 billion ship, in san diego. what are we going to do to get the navy to take this seriously? >> congresswoman, first, i think the navy does take it seriously. the solution is not a simple solution. it has to do with uptempo. the navy has -- i don't know, they're just under, one to two, so they're running hard. we ask an awful lot of our navy as we do the army and air force, et cetera, but the navy is particularly stressed because we extend ships and they're out there for extended periods of time, et cetera. and, as you note, the numbers are lower. their manning numbers are lower per ship than optimally manned. so that's a problem. they are taking it serious. it's not something the chain of command of the navy leadership is not taking seriously. with respect to the behavioral
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health piece. i couldn't agree with you more. behavioral health specialists are critical to solve the problem. i would emphasize the chain of command. there is a specialist in every squad, every team, in every small group and squad leader -- >> the gentlelady's time has expired. mr. burke is recognized for five minutes. >> this past year we've seen an afghanistan withdrawal debacle. russia invade the ukraine. if japan helps defend taiwan against the communist attack and that brings me to my question for general milley and secretary austin. in your professional opinion over the past year is the world a more dangerous place, a less dangerous place, or about the same? general milley? >> thank you, congressman. as i said in my opening statement, it is my observation, my analysis, that the world is becoming more unstable, not less
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unstable. >> secretary austin? >> we're trending towards greater instability. >> now the consumer price index is increasing at a 7.9% rate according to the official federal government statistics. of course that's an estimate. my personal belief it's probably worse than that. certainly talking anecdotally to the people in my district, they believe it's worse than that. what is the inflation rate for our national defense cost? manpower, bullets, fuel, everything that comprises national defense? what is the inflation rate for those items? general milley? >> first, i would defer to mike mccord as an expert. this assumes an inflation rate of 2.2% which is obviously incorrect because it's almost 8%, and it might go up, might did down, but most forecasts indicate it will go up and could level out at 9% or 10%.
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who knows? it's clearly higher than what the assumption was in this budget. >> when you say it assumes a 2.2%, are you talking 2.2% consumer price index inflation rate, which is what we commonly look at, or a 2.2% increase for national defense costs? >> it's the cpi. the budget assumes 2.2% inflation rate. cpi inflation rate. >> when the official rate is 7.9% why are we assuming 2.2%? >> the budget was produced a while ago. those calculations were made prior to the current inflation rate. i would ask mike mccord to make a comment on those specifics. >> you would agree, would you not then, the assumption, at least according to the official federal government inflation rate is over 5% wrong? >> we have never used the cpi as to what is relevant --
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>> all right, mr. mccord, let me ask you the question then. what is the inflation rate for the things the military has to purchase to provide adequate national security? >> what we saw was 4% and that's what we built in was to get that 2% up to 4%. >> so what is your degree of confidence that the 4% rate is going to hold true? >> that's an unknown, congressman. the fiscal year calculation that you're citing and general milley is discussing starts six months from now and ends 18 months from now so a lot can happen up or down to affect that. >> let me add some comment and then some data. if we don't know what the inflation rate is for national defense procured products, then we can't really know whether the president's budget strengthens or weakens america's national security in an environment that both general milley and secretary austin, i believe, is
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becoming more dangerous not less or the same dangerous. i looked up a couple of items that i hope you all would take into account as you determine what ultimately will be the budget that the president would support for national security. over the past two years from january of 2020 to january of 2022 crude oil has gone up 137%. now that's a big ticket item in national defense. wholesale gas, another big ticket item in national defense, has gone up 39%. wholesale diesel has gone up 37%. there are probably other fuels like jet fuels or what have you that have gone up significantly. so i would hope that you all would take all these things into account and increase our defense spending in order to at least hold our own in real purchasing power. and then i will add this final note. if i recall correctly you're
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looking at about a 4.6% pay raise for our military personnel. is that what i heard? >> that's correct. >> well, if 4.6% is it given that the consumer price index has gone up 7.9%, do the math, that comes out to a 3.3% pay cut for our military personnel. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. norcross is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to follow up on the previous conversations when we start having the conversation of what we have available to us in our stockpiles. there is probably not a day that goes by since the russian/ukrainian conflict started that we're not talking about sending javelins and stingers. but i want to back up a little bit. we have a strategic stockpile that has been formulated based on risk over the years. general milley, your assessment with respect to the weapons that we continue to supply ukraine,
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the level of lethal aid that we can sustain, are we anywhere close right now to depleting what we need as an assessment of risk for our own protection or potentially? >> no. what we've supplied is a wide variety of small arms munitions, machine guns, grenades, grenade launchers, et cetera, and the two weapons systems most in the news are the javelin and the stinger. the stinger doesn't get produced. with respect to javelin, we're still meeting our mission requirements for javelin, so we're not breaking any of those red lines. >> so when we look at our single point failures or critical materials that go into the
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explosive accelerants, our committee had a hearing earlier last week that talked about the army's ongoing efforts to modernize the ammunition production facilities which it would be kind to call and certainly over the next five years half a billion dollars that has been looked at is something we understand is minimum given that critical supply chain. one of the other issues in that supply chain is the human efforts and, secretary austin, this is where i like to get your feedback. buying america has been a motto most of us adhere to. it has shown us over the course of the pandemic how important that is for a variety of reasons. you heard about the naval ship building areas but across the board we led a task force about the critical supply chain and
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bringing up the workforce. as you know, the soldiers do not get born and trained overnight. it takes time as does our industry for workforce. what are we doing to onshore some of those critical supply chain issues and build up what's made here in america versus across the globe? >> so this has been -- thanks for the can he. for the question. it's been a point of emphasis over the last year. as you know the president has really -- is really working hard to onshore some of the key capabilities that have caused us some concern with respect to our supply change, micro electronics. we're working with industry to help try to see what we can do
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to help onshore those capabilities and make sure we have the ability to create critical things like microchips and that sort of stuff here in the states. we're far too dependent on foreign supplies, sir. >> and we should be sure to point out our allies and partners are not the problem. it's those in third and second chain that create the problem. we have to build this industrial base and the way is to signal the industry how critically important it is we give them the assurances that's not just a one year. with that i yield back. >> thank you. dr. desjarlais is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, purchase. general milley, you began with the fact we have the greatest military force on the planet and we are prepared to defend
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ourselves and our allies and detour against aggression. that didn't work in ukraine. what lessons have we learned in provocation of vladimir putin and how can we apply that to the chinese threat to taiwan? >> with respect to the russian invasion of ukraine, it's been a long-standing objective of putin and, be candidly, short of the commitment of u.s. forces into ukraine proper i am not sure he was deterrable. this has been a long-term objective of his that goes back years. i think the idea of deterring putin from invading ukraine, deterring him by the states,
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would have required the use of u.s. military forces and would have risked armed conflict with russia, which i wouldn't advise. >> the president's strategy, at least publicly and his administration was to impose economic sanctions to deter russia. did you advise him that was probably not going to work and this invasion was inevitable? >> it's not my lane to comment on sanctions per se but sanctions have a poor track record of deterring aggression. the objective is to impose significant cost if he invaded those significant costs in combination with the export controls as we speak. >> secretary austin, several members brought up hypersonic weapons and you mentioned we have other options but russia, china and the united states, who
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is leading in that capability? >> i don't know what the inventories of the chinese -- [ inaudible ] all three countries are -- >> okay, you must not be attending the same briefings we are because clearly china seems to be out front. we don't have a current capability that can defend against hypersonic threats. is that correct? [ inaudible ] >> and that gap -- or that's the gap the glide phase interceptor is supposed to fill, correct? [ inaudible ] >> i heard the white house and the department may be slowing the department of the glide phase interceptor. can you confirm? >> we are on track with our program --
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we remain on track with our program. as you can see from the budget we're investing a significant amount of money for the defense of -- for missile defense. >> we brought up under sea capabilities and russia has a nuclear capable submarine launch cruise missile, correct? >> russia has -- i'm sorry -- >> they have a nuclear capable submarine launch cruise missile, correct? >> that's correct. >> president biden suggests we cut our capability and that's correct as well, right? >> you can see what we're investing in is $34 billion. >> general milley, you commented that we should keep this capability. general walters, i think has mentioned that. secretary austin, do you agree with your colleague this is is a capability we should focus on to
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help limit the asymmetry we have when it comes to delivery of low yield nuclear capability? >> -- that you're referring to? >> yes. >> the marginal capability this provides is far outweighed by the cost. >> do you disagree with your colleagues? >> we provide options to the president with a number of means. >> one thing that we hope is regardless of which party is in power in the white house that our military advisers like yourselves look at this through an objective lens. focusing on more of a woke military. i hope that's not the case. it seems we are in agreement but president biden is not listening. >> this is the most lethal force on the planet and it will remain that way. we will continue to invest in the things that we need to remain dominant on the battlefield. >> the gentleman's time has expired.
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mr. gallego. >> secretary austin, can you explain integrated deterrence in more detail and are there any examples we would have seen it succeed if there's any nato examples. >> i think you heard me say earlier integrated deterrence really means using all of the capability and capacity in all of the war fighting dough mains -- air, land, sea, cyber, and space. linking and networking those capabilities together in new ways to provide, to create synergies. and you're seeing us do that in a number of areas. it also involves leveraging the capability and capacity of our allies and, again, i mentioned earlier that we've done that in the past but we need to do that a lot better. not only air, land and sea, but also in space and cyber. and many of our allies have significant capabilities.
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>> one of the things i was happy in your remarks are the steps to bolster the eastern flank. an authorization for the baltic to provide systems to lithuania including c-4 isr. are there particular areas where you would like to deepen defense cooperation between the united states and baltic countries? and which do you think are most important to prioritize?
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>> you referenced multiple times in your written testimony noting our competitors activity in it. one of my greatest concerns is russia's ability to exploit the gray zone and conduct operations spreading putin's propaganda and blatant lies. i'm concerned about the lessons china is drawing from russia in the space itself. how can our forces operate in the gray zone of conflict, what short and long-term steps to count they are malign influence from russia right now and from china, too, as it becomes more adept at spreading decision information operating in the gray zone? >> we have been very active and before the onset of hostilities here with the ukrainianser the
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in the gray zone this is a learning process we continue to learn. we've been effective in helping them and they have been able to push back on a number of unhelpful narratives and stay ahead of the power curve. there will be a number of lessons learned coming out of this. i think we've grown in our awareness in terms what have it takes to be able to begin to be effective in countering unhelpful narratives in the information space. >> thank you. and then lastly, i would like to talk about the mitigation plan. civilian harm caused by u.s. operations, legitimacy overseas, including what we're seeing with the reaction to russia. my understanding is that the review is still ongoing under the 90-day window you directed. would you share any insights
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you've learned? >> i'm not prepared to share insights. the only insight i have is the folks that we've assembled to work on this are very detailed and committed to doing this the right way and these are people from a number of communities to include the active warfighters. we still have work to do and the review is about 30 days out in terms of the brief filed of the review. once that's done i will be happy to share any insights and lessons learned from this. and, also, prescribe our way ahead. >> thank you. i yield back my time. >> thank you. mr. kelly is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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one of the things i'm concerned about, secretary austin and general milley, is that across the dod i hear of people and future capabilities and, general milley, i've heard you say this, i learned this from you, we have to be able to fight tonight with the things we have right now. and so i see that we're talking about the marine corps says they need 41 but we're only giving 24. we're building nine ships and divesting of 24. it's a sliding scale of risk. they are not providing the capabilities in a timely manner but we're talking about divesting of the kc-135s. so we continue to divest in things. the same thing with the slick-em. we need to do that. i know everybody's heart is in the right place but i think we
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have to be very careful. now we have a war with russia and ukraine, relooking to see do we have the capability? should the world ask we fight two wars on two fronts, whether that's ships and current capabilities or refueling aircraft, the other thing i'm extremely concerned about, secretary austin, our merchant marine fleet, to move ships, troops, equipment, fuel, all kind of logistics, we keep pushing that. that's not just a navy function. it's the army that has to have those goods, the marine corps. we have to look at this and invest in our merchant marine fleet to get what's we need. what are you doing to get our merchant marine fleet set? services will always say the other one needs to pay for it. >> we have not invested any moneys in this budget to the
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merchant marine fleet but you make some good points. >> you would agree that logistic -- the reason the russians are getting their tail kicked is a logistical failure, and if we don't plan to do logistics, i promise you it will not happen. i want to go back with kc-135s. are you willing, general milley, secretary austin, to relook the divestiture of kc-135s until we have ability to refuel to both endo pacom until we have capabilities replaced? >> i would be happy to look at anything in the budget you want me to relook. and understand the divestiture logic and the production rates of kc-46.
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>> we do have the capability to produce those ships but it's about keeping the workforce engaged and we don't change that so they can plan out having the right industrial base at the right time. i haven't seen it and we need that in order to do our job. >> and that's forthcoming and also they've done an amphib review. i think we'll have greater insights into what the secretary of the navy believes the requirements are. we're investing $2.6 billion in amphibs. >> mr. secretary, i hate to interrupt but i have one more minute. you are the adviser to not just
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the president but the nation in making sure we have the right risk of fighting today versus future capabilities to win future wars and i just hope that we'll relook some of those things. final point, there's a little bit of movement and i ask that both of you all weigh in on this. to make gold star families -- to include a gold star to make them someone who dies in service. if i die of a heart attack, my family is not a gold star family. i shouldn't get a purple heart for having an atv wreck down range. that is not to denigrate anyone from not doing that. we love all our service members, however they die, but i hope you'll look hard in making sure our gold star families are gold star families lost in combat. >> and i am doing that, personally doing that, and today is gold star spouse's day, gold star family day, by the way. and there's nothing probably more important or sacred than to make sure we honor those fallen
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in combat in defense of this nation. i am looking at that. >> the gentleman's time has expired. mr. carbajal is recognized. i apologize. hold on. the witnesses need a 15-minute break which we'll take at 11:30, so we'll go to mr. carbajal, the next republican, and take a 15-minute break after those two question he is. mr. carbajal is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, chair. thank you for your leadership throughout russia's unprovoked war on ukraine. i want to take a moment to highlight california's national guard's unique and exceptional support to the ukraine military through the national guard state partnership program. california has been partnered with ukraine since 1993 and since 2000. california and ukraine soldiers have participated in over 330 military events including training exercises in my
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district. general milley, how has california's state partnership program with ukraine helped improve the capabilities of ukrainian forces to fight against the russian invasion? >> i mentioned it, i think, up front about the training effort going on since 2014, the california guard is intimately involved in that. so what's the result of that? over eight years the ukrainian military's reformed itself, developed a nonofficer commission corps and adopted the u.s. doctrinal concept of mission command, decentralized decision making at the lowest level capable of making a decision. that's a direct result of the california guard and what they've done with ukraine. more recently -- i will use this one vignette as an example of the program, the connective tissue, the human connection between the ukrainian military and the california guard has proven extraordinary to the
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point the tag of california still maintains almost daily contact with his counterparts though they're half a world away. that's been an invaluable source of communication, intelligence development and transmission of information back and forth. it's things like that that are intangibles but prove valuable in the conduct of war. >> thank you. the men and women serving in uniform appreciate the department's increased investment in personnel needs. one issue both of your statements touched upon that i have been working on to address is available and affordable child care for military families. construction of child development centers is critical one deficiency i hear when visiting installations is the lack of providers to meet the demand. secretary austin, how is the department seeking to address the shortage?
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>> thanks. if we need additional authorities, we won't hesitate to ask for them. this is something i have my p&r director taking a hard look at and working with the services and canvassing installations. this has been identified as an issue to us as well and we're trying to identify incentives that will help attract the right people and help us train and equip the right people to provide quality child care. >> secretary austin, your testimony touches on the department's needs to improve its ability to attract and retain an innovation minded workforce. for high-skilled positions such as those that require specialized skills and credentials to meet digital and cyber security needs, how can the department better compete against private industry?
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>> the skill sets that you mentioned, sir, this is tough because obviously, you know, we can't compete with the compensation packages that some of the big tech offers, but certainly that won't stop us from going after the right -- people with the right skillsets. this is a point of emphasis for us. we will continue to stay focused on it. to include bringing on people who are currently employed by those companies to serve in our guard and reserve forces as well. >> this committee has been very focused on the ongoing audit of the department of defense taxpayers. taxpayers deserve to know that while the top line has increased the department is effectively executing its funding. secretary austin what material weaknesses has the audit identified that have been the
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hardest to address department wide, and how are you working to address those? >> you've seen me, i think most recently, put another letter out emphasizing the importance of making sure we have a clean audit going forward and this is very important to me. something secretary mccord and i have worked on and will continue to work on. i'm not satisfied that we're there -- >> i apologize. the gentleman's time has expired. mr. gallagher is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, gentlemen. we have limited time so a yes or no question unless otherwise indicated. secretary austin, last week general walters told the committee in the months leading up to february 24, he considered himself part of an interagency effort designed to deter and dissuade vladimir putin from ukraine. did you share general walters' goal, yes or no? >> i hope he shared my goals since i'm secretary of defense.
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and my objectives were, number one, to defend this nation, number two, make sure we did everything possible to unify and defend nape toe if required. number three flow security force assistance to ukraine. and number four, manage escalation. >> so the goal was not to deter putin from invading ukraine? >> i've just laid out what my goals were -- >> which did not include deterring putin from ukraine. >> it was an objective of the government to deter putin. it's very difficult to do unless you put forces on the ground and that's a decision we made early in the effort here that we're not going to put forces in ukraine to fight russia. >> it was an objective of the government, you have reminded us that you are an important person in that government apparatus as secretary of defense. was it the goal of your policy or the government's policy for which you work, the president of the united states, to deter
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putin from invading ukraine? >> it was a goal to deter him from invading ukraine and if he did invade it was a goal and still is a goal to impose significant cost on putin. you are seeing that play out in ways putin never imagined and the ukrainians resist in incredible ways because we provided them some capability to do that but also because they have the grit and the determination to fight and defend their country. >> i totally agree with the grit and determination which is remarkable. the goal is to deter putin. he invaded anyway on february 24. do you share the assessment general milley gave perhaps putin was undeterrable and, therefore, our campaign was bound to fail? >> i do not believe our campaign has failed this is still in
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progress. >> got it with respect to the invasion. >> and the price to be paid by putin for what he's done. >> got it. we failed to deter putin from invading ukraine. i'm interested if you think there is anything we could have done, hindsight 20/20, to successfully deter him from invading ukraine? perhaps there isn't. i'm just curious to get your opinion. >> as general milley pointed out, if we put forces into ukraine to fight putin this would be a different story. but we made a decision we weren't going to do that and we made a decision for the right reasons and i suppose those reasons. >> i think that's a very important point that perhaps if we had put hard power that would have been the only thing that would have deterred him. would putting american forces on taiwan increase or decrease that
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xi jinping would invade? >> it's hypothetical. it's not advisable to make direct comparisons between ukraine and taiwan. these are two completely different sken air yos, two different theaters and so -- >> do you think then what has happened in ukraine is not connected -- has not impacted xi's calculus with respect to taiwan? >> i'm certain that i don't want to speculate what's in mr. xi's head. certainly i think as the world looks at this they've been impressed by the commitment, the resolve of many countries in the world to resist that kind of behavior. >> so would it be too far to characterize your view as the commitment and resolve on display by the ukrainians and
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nato allies has made an invasion of taiwan less likely than it was prior? >> the commitment of the people of taiwan? >> no, no. the commitment that you just referenced with respect to nato and ukraine had any impact on xi's calculus in taiwan and made an invasion more or less likely? >> well, again, i don't want to speculate whether an invasion is likely or less likely. i would say we just need to be careful about making direct comparisons what's going on in ukraine and what could happen in taiwan. >> we are going to take a 15-minute break. we will be back at, i guess, 11:47. mr. khanna is next. at 11:47 we'll go to mr. khanna and will proceed from there. we'll be right back.
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this hearing is taking a recess. we'll be back with live coverage when the hearing resumes. until then, some of this morning's "washington journal." "the washington post" this morning under the headline from president biden making these statements yesterday when it comes to the issue of bucha, also in that reporting near kyiv, calling it a war crime or should be looked at as a war crime. here is the president on yesterday responding. >> you may remember i got criticized for calling putin a war criminal. the truth of the matter you saw what happened in bucha.
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he is a war criminal. we have to gather the information. we have to continue to provide ukraine with the weapons they need to continue to fight and we have to gather all the detail so this can have a war crimes trial. this guy is brutal, and what's happening in bucha is outrageous, and everyone has seen it. [ inaudible question ] >> no, i think of it as a war crime. >> more sanctions on russia? >> i'm seeking more sanctions, yes. i'll have time to announce that. >> that's president biden from yesterday responding from coming back from his weekend in delaware. nbc reporting that the ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy will address the united nations security council today as russia faces growing condemnation over those alleged atrocities in bucha. he said on monday at least 300 people killed and tortured by russian forces before troops pulled out of the besieged town.
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when it comes to that security council meeting you can see that and follow along on and c-span now when it comes to several speakers addressing the council including president zelenskyy. one of the people responding yesterday from the state department was jake sullivan -- or from the white house was jake sullivan. as far as the national security issues, we'll show that you in a bit. again, you also could take a look at issues concerning the defense budget today. you'll see two of the top leaders at the defense department there. defense secretary lloyd austin and brigadier general mark milley talking about issues of defense but also will probably address the issues coming out of ukraine as well. you can see that live at 9:30 this morning on c-span3, and ou c-span now app. jake sullivan, the national security adviser at the white house talking about the issues and what's expected in the
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following days when it comes to investigating. >> the ukrainian people backed resolutely by the united states and other nations have held firm. kyiv and other cities still stand. the ukrainian military has performed exceptionally well. and many ukrainian civilians have joined local militias in addition to using nonviolent means to resist. vladimir putin also believed the west would not hold together in support of ukraine. russia was surprised that president biden and the united states were so effective in rallying the world to prepare for and respond to the invasion. and after president biden reinforced and reinvigorated western unity in brussels just 11 days ago, the russians have now realized that the west will not break. at this juncture we believe that russia is revising its war aims. russia is repositioning its forces to concentrate its offensive operations in eastern and parts of southern ukraine
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rather than target most of the territory. all indication are that russia will seek to surround and overwhelm ukrainian forces in eastern ukraine. we anticipate russian commanders are now executing to the region around the donbas in eastern ukraine. russian forces are well on their way of retreating from kyiv to belarus as russia likely prepares to deploy dozens of additional tactical groups with tens of thousands of soldiers to the frontline in ukraine's east. >> so when it comes to the united states and nato and a response, according to these atrocities being reported on, what should be the u.s. and nato response? 202-748-8000. in the eastern and central time zones. 202-748-8001 for mountain and pacific time zones.
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202-748-8003, concerning the events of the last couple of days. representative jason crow starts off saying ukrainians fight for freedom and democracy is a fight they must win. they'll need more support. his colleagues also were asking for increased military support in ukraine. he adding this is a watershed moment in the battle for democracy and we must win. representative adam smith, strong leaders uphold the rule of law and preserving human life. weak leaders treat people with cruelty. russia's callous violence exposed vladimir putin as a weak leader. he must be held accountable. representative frank pallone, the world is at an inflection point where we make a decision. putin thinks he can bully ukraine. the united states and western allies will continue to stand together against his reign of terror and merkley adding these images coming out of bucha and
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ukraine are horrific. these gruesome war crimes cannot go unpunished. mass graves must be investigated and putin held accountable. the atrocities committed by the russian military. again, to your thoughts as far as response is concerned from the united states and nato, this is tom in lancaster, california, starting us off. go ahead. >> caller: let's look at the big picture. hillary clinton delivered a yellow geranium -- >> caller, we're going to stick to the topic. what do you think of the last couple of days and what should be the response? >> here's the big picture -- >> no, caller, stick to the topic at hand, please. >> caller: ukraine getting attacked during the biden/obama administration, we had mueller and hillary state department
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deliver -- >> okay. that's tom in california. you heard from some of the republicans responding to the events of the last couple of days, senator mitt romney of utah saying we are witnessing through these horrifying images more evidence russia has no concern for protecting civilians or human rights. amid the war crimes and april atrocities must strip on the u.n. hrc immediately. this is brian fitzpatrick saying give ukraine exactly what they are asking for. genocide is happening right before our eyes. never again must mean never again. actions not words. he goes on to say it doesn't get any more provocative and escalatory than this. some of the responses there when it comes to members of congress. you can add yours to the mix.
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202-748-8001 and you can text us 202-748-8003. one of the people tracks what's going on, one of the groups, human rights watch saying this is "usa today" reporting that the atrociies committed by russian forces have not only been witnessed by reporters but that nongovernment at organization. hrw said interviews with victims, witnesses and residents of ukrainian territories occupied by russia yielded amounts of several war crimes, against civilians. it goes on to quote one of the representatives saying the cases we documented amount to the rult and violence against ukrainians. rape, murder and other violent
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acts against people should be investigated as war crimes. that's just one of the groups investigate and investigating this process. in ohio we'll hear from don. go ahead, sir. >> caller: yes. what happens over there is terrible. we should just -- if we give them tanks, give them the migs and get it over with. we don't hear this every day, the tragedy that happens in another country and they do nothing about the border and 100,000 people get killed by the drugs. >> going back to your first point as far as the migs are concerned, why do you think that's the solution? >> caller: get it over with so so many people don't have to die. >> do you think that will resolve the issue without causing escalation? >> caller: i think we're fearing putin too much. we need to get rid of biden if
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he can't do it. >> that's the caller from ohio. we'll hear next from cheryl in manassas, virginia. go ahead. >> caller: well, i want to begin by thanking you for waiting out these whacko callers of yours which is a sad state of affair in their country. i think we need to give ukraine everything that they need. and nato needs to step it up. we know what's coming ahead once mariupol, the videos coming out from there. thank you for taking my call. >> cheryl, before you leave, let's start with give them everything they need. what do you mean by that specifically? >> caller: if they need planes, give them the planes. if they need more ammunition,
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give them more ammunition. we cannot led this continue to happen when we see what came out over the weekend in bucha. we know several other areas are a lot worse. thank you for taking my call. >> i'll ask you what i asked the last caller in concerns of escalation from vladimir putin, are you concerned if planes are put in the mix? >> caller: i'm more concerned about seeing dead babies on the side of the road. i'm more worried about seeing mass graves. >> okay. >> caller: i'm not a military person. again, whatever they need. should be no question at this point. thank you for taking my call. >> let's hear from richard in new york. go ahead.
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we will reconvene and get back to members' questions.
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mr. khanna is up and is recognized for five minutes. he is appearing virtually so he will be on the screen. mr. khanna, do we have you? >> yes. thank you, mr. chairman. i want to use my five minutes for three different parts, one to follow up on the chairman's comments about the article on china and on yemen. they said the pentagon should look more like apple computers, and i was, of course, struck by that given that i represent apple computers and apple parts. one of the reasons that i think the article made that point is the technical change so fast and so rapid we need to be adaptive and silicon valley beats incumbents with huge, larger bank balances because they're innovative. i guess my question for you, secretary austin and chairman milley, do you agree that
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critical to leading against china is having technical superiority? and have you spent time with tim cook and pachai and are you going to do that? >> i have spent time with the ceo of google. and while there are parts of us that really seriously need to be more streamlined and more adaptive which i really embrace that, i would say that the department of defense turning into google is not something i would envision. i clearly -- >> i'm not suggesting that, secretary austin but we take the best parts of the culture. i think that's what the article suggests. >> absolutely. i agree with that. >> i would secretary that. our need for innovation is critical. we are an inheritor of an
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industrial age system that goes way back. not only the building but the process, our programming systems all date back to the '50s and '60s. updated, and i think getting some of the best practices out of not only silicon valley is definitely worthwhile. when i was chief of staff in the army, it helped in the concept of the command and other initiatives. so i do think that's a very valuable use of time to go out and take a look at best practices in the commercial world and apply them to the defense department. >> thank you, general. and if i can be of my help, let me know. and i also think tech companies have an obligation to be doing more to assist our military. so it's reciprocal. on representative gallagher's point, i share his concerns with china's potential invasion of
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taiwan. i guess my question is, wouldn't the situation with russia actually be a significant deterrent to china? i mean, the crushing sanctions on putin, you've got to think if you're xi jinping, they would be devastated if they thought about aggressive action. wouldn't you think that he's having second thoughts given that he's seeing president biden rally the world and the economic impact a move would entail? >> i certainly would, and i certainly think that he also values the economic opportunities that are present there in western europe. >> let me ask two questions and then you can answer both, hopefully. one on taiwan. is there anything we can do to expedite arms sales? i understand they've been stuck because of supply chain issues. and then the second on yemen,
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secretary austin, one of the reasons i was strongly in support of your nomination to be the secretary, and you've done an outstanding job as you were an early critic of the war in yemen. you were right. i'm encouraged by the recent cease-fire. could you comment on what the united states will do if the saudis violate the cease-fire and whether we would be willing to not provide spare parts to the saudis if they violate it? >> we certainly hope that they don't violate it and we don't have any reason to believe that they will. and, again, every situation we'll have to treat on its merits there. but i think it's really a good first step and we need to continue to encourage our allies and partners to stay focused on the right things here. >> and on the timeline of arms sales, is there anything we can do to expedite that? >> thanks.
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this is a point of focus for me, making sure that we're doing everything that we've said we're going to do in terms of providing the ability for taiwan to defend itself. >> thank you. the gentleman's time has expired. mr. gates is recognized. >> why should american taxpayers fund lectures at the national defense university that promote socialism as a strategy to combat china? >> the national defense university is an academic institution and i don't know of any such lecture. >> that is surprising because it was widely reported, the national defense university had a title of a lecture, responding to china, the case for global justice and democratic socialism. so now that you know that they did this, would you agree that embracing socialism is not an
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effective strategy to combat china? >> well, i certainly don't agree with embracing socialism. >> so that means -- >> i'm sorry. we're not going to do this. we're not going to let him say four words and then cut him off. >> i control the time, mr. chairman. >> but you also have to be fair to the witnesses. >> i got the answer i wanted. my follow-up question, if we don't embrace it, why did the national defense university put out a statement saying in this talk he will argue that the right answer lies in ending western arrogance and promoting a new gallatarian horizon on a global scale, a new form of ecological and post-colonial socialism. so why would we invite people we don't agree with to evangelize views and values that we don't share at the national defense university when we should be learning strategy about how to combat our enemies and make
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assessments that are accurate? >> and we do learn a lot about strategy and about the military and about joint force development, and so that is our focus in these institutions. i don't know what the context of this particular -- or content of this particular speech was. >> mr. secretary, i've shared with you the context. the context wasn't to better understand socialism so we can defeat it. the context wasn't learn about it so that we can offer countermeasures. the concept was that it's time for socialism. and the reason i know that's the context is because the lecture was pulled from a book written entitled "time for socialism". >> so your question was whether or not -- >> i control the time. you guys have been blowing a lot of calls lately on matters of strategy, mr. secretary. you gus told us that russia couldn't lose, that the taliban couldn't immediately win. i guess i'm wondering, what
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about the $773 billion that you're requesting today is going to help you make assessments that are accurate in the face of so many blown calls? >> you've seen what's in our budget, you've seen how the budget matches the strategy, and so i'll let that speak for itself. >> i mean, i've also seen that we're behind in hypersonics, we failed to deter russia. >> what do you mean, we're behind in hypersonics? >> who is ahead in hypersonics? >> how do you make that assessment? >> i don't know. i make that assessment because china is fielding hypersonic weapon systems and we are still developing them. i make that assessment because russia -- by the way, your own people brief us that we are behind and that china is winning. are you aware of the briefings we get on hypersonics? >> i am certainly aware of briefings we provide to congress. >> it's all over the world. it's in taiwan where china flew
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more than ever before, it's north korea on pace to shatter prior records, the number of missiles they are testing. while everyone else in the world seems to be developing capabilities and being more strategic, we've got time to embrace critical race theory at west point, to do mandatory pronoun training. >> you know, again, this is the most capable, the most combat critical force in the world. it has been and it will be so going forward. >> not if we continue down this path. >> the fact that you're embarrassed by your country -- >> i'm embarrassed by your relationship. i am not embarrassed for my country. i wish we weren't losing to china. >> that's what you're saying. >> that is so disgraceful that you would sit here and conflate your failures with the failures of the uniform service members. you guys said that russia would overrun ukraine in 36 days. you said that the taliban would be kept at bay for months. you totally blew those calls.
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and maybe we would be better at home if the national defense university actually worked a little more on strategy and a little less on wokism. >> has it occurred to you that russia has not overrun ukraine because what we've seen and our allies have done. >> that was baked into your flawed assessment. i saw that the obama administration tried to starve our military and it seems the biden administration is trying to starve our military by force-feeding it woke-ism. i field back. >> the time is expired. mr. kemp is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you to the two of you. i just want to say on behalf of this committee we have a tradition of respecting the people that come before this committee in a bipartisan way, make sure that, yes, we may have some disagreements about our policy, but all of us here are committed to our national security, committed to our service members, and certainly committed to recognizing that your leadership is the leadership across the entirety
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of your military, not just in terms of -- and certainly not in terms of any political discourse or political party. so i just wanted to thank you, all three of you, for coming before us today. secretary austin, i did want to ask you -- you know, i was, as well as many others, horrified by the images we saw coming out of ukraine over this weekend, what we saw in bucha. our military has had extraordinary abilities to see where the russian forces have been in ukraine and where they're going. i want to ask you, do we know what russian units were in bucha that may have committed these atrocities? >> that is a thing that we continue to research and there will be significant effort going into matching elements that were present with the time that these events probably occurred. but we don't know for certain, but we'll continue to research. >> there's another element, too, where we see these units being
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redeployed. certainly we want to make sure we're dealing with the accountability of this, but also i have real fear about where these units may be redeploying and whether we will conduct similar times of atrocities against ukrainians in other parts of ukraine. i just ask for your attention on that as well. >> absolutely. >> with these horrific attacks, we see there was redeployment of russian forces, their decision to pull away from kyiv. secretary blinken this weekend said we may well be entering a new phase in this war. i think that's something that i agree with in my sense of it really does feel like where we're at now is different than five to six weeks ago. i wanted your thoughts on that. does this feel like a new phase in the war? >> i think that's right. i think as the russians thought that they could very quickly move into ukraine, capture the capital city and install their
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leader of choice, and they weren't able to do that. and so now we see them reposturing and refocusing their main effort in the south and east. and so as they enter this phase, it will probably be a lot more deliberate, they'll be able to amass fires and the violence will probably go up a notch there in terms of the types of things we've been seeing. >> so on the russian side, they are recalibrating, redeploying. looking through your testimony to this body, you know, you talked a lot about the need for us to be changing and adapting the ways that we operate, adapt and fortify our defense, have resilience in the adaptability in terms of our defense. with this new phase of the war, with the shifting goals that we've seen from russia, does that give us space to reassess what the ukrainians need? you talk about how we may see
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greater levels of violence and fire power from the russians. does this give us that space to reassess what they need? >> yeah, i don't know if i would describe it as space. we consider the ukrainians to be in a knife fight and they're working hard every day. we're giving them what they need to continue to be successful, but we need to also look ahead and we're doing that. >> well, they are in a knife fight but they're in a fight with all sorts of different weapons being directed towards them. i guess my more direct question to you, if this is a new phase of the war, do you feel like there's space for you and the administration to reconsider, for instance, the fighter jets and the transfer -- facilitating the transfer of fighter jets to ukrainians? is that something that we're in a new phase that you would reconsider? >> if you're talking about the transfer of migs, countries have the ability to do that now. and contrary to popular belief,
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the united states is not standing in the way of that happening. >> i agree with you on that front, but certainly the countries that we're talking about, they've expressed challenges in terms of how they transfer and facilitate that. is this time for us to reconsider that? >> well, this is a time for us to continue to focus on those things that will be effective in this fight, and even amping up, you know, the capabilities that we provide in terms of those things that are most effective. >> i would like to work with you as we enter this new phase to figure out what we can do for the ukrainians. thank you for your help. >> thank you, gentlemen, for being here. i have four questions so i'm going to try to get through them rather quickly. my first question is on the proposed budget, which has military spending under inflation, which is going to necessitates cuts to production.
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my first question is to general milley. we're going to reduce our aircraft inventory by 250 and add 75 aircraft, so basically for every three we're pulling out we're putting one in and reducing our ships by 24 and bringing in nine ships, so a little better than one out of three replacement. are we taking too much risk, general? >> i don't think we're taking too much risk relative to russia and china, which is the focus of the budget. i recognize the numbers go down in ship building and in aircraft, but, again, i want to focus folks' attention on the capability that is being bought versus just raw numbers. a lot of the aircraft that are coming out, for example, a-10s, they have very little utility in a high end war fight against china. they may be useful to give other countries, but for all purposes relative to china, no. so the other systems that are
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divesting are going to capabilities that will be useful in the future environment. >> i realize some of it is going to have to happen. secretary austin, when i talk to the baltics countries they say the most important thing to them is a permanent u.s. presence. would you commit to at least considering a permanent presence in the baltics? >> i think you know that i just recently met with three ministers of defense from the baltic region, and heard their concerns and we'll stay focused on their concerns. i heard the same thing from them, that they really value a u.s. footprint. i will tell you, i will commit to you that we'll continue to work with nato to assess what the requirements will be going forward and we will be a part of
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that solution. where appropriate, we will commit forces. >> thank you. my question concerning ukraine, when i've worked with some of your leadership, as well as some of the ukrainian members, we provided some good capabilities. there's one area i keep hearing they're lacking and that's the ability to have tanks and convoys behind the line of fight. they have good materials at the line, but to hit tanks 10, 20 miles back, and there's weapons that could do that, are we committed to helping fill that niche, mr. secretary? >> there are a number of ways you can do that. i'm personally working to ensure that, you know, we can get them as much as we possibly can. the use of uavs have been very effective as well. so we'll continue that work. >> i hear they have some, but not enough in that particular area of the spectrum of warfare, so thank you. my final question is about
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taiwan. obviously the day of an invasion, it's too late for deterrence. i think a strong capable deterrence starts, hopefully ten years ago, but clearly now after ukraine. it seems to me they need anti-shipping missiles and also long-range air defense capabilities. what are redoing to make sure the deterrence is effective in taiwan? thank you. >> we continue to work to do what we've advertised, and that is to help taiwan provide for its defense, help it defend itself. there are a number of things that we're looking at across the board. >> when i've traveled out there, sometimes they're asking for weapons that look like our military, but it seems to me, for them, they really do need the anti-amphibious capabilities and long-range air defense. those two capabilities seem to be key to deterring china and so
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i hope we're working hard in that way. general milley, do you have anything you would like to add? >> i think those two systems are important. the other thing that's important to draw from ukraine is a nation in arms. so if your opponent tries to invade you and every military aged man or woman is armed and they have a little bit of training, that can be a very effective use, and if it's decentralized operation where there's local initiative with junior offices, et cetera, taiwan is a very complex piece of terrain, lots of mountains, high density areas. there's a lot the taiwanese can do. >> i apologize. the gentleman's time has expired. mr. keating is back with us and is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i thank both the secretary and general for their service. some of the greatest experts i think on russia that i've talked
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with over the last several months in particular were people that have had long-term experience with russia. they include high ranking foreign officials, and they pointed out to me that february 17th response by the russian federation to what they termed the bilateral treaty and security guarantees that they had wanted was critical to come back to. in that response they required a u.s. withdraw of all military personnel, as well as a ban on armaments and related agreements. they cited in particular as red lines that cee countries, central and eastern europe, southeastern europe, including 12 nato nations, and i think it underscores the fact that this is much larger than a russian/ukraine conflict. when i look at this commitment,
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what i would like to ask, perhaps, general milley is, what is the timeframe you foresee, given that kind of understanding of the way russia thinks and acts? could it be something as long as a decade or even longer that we're involved in this type of conflict? >> that's hard to tell and it's a bit early, still, even though we're a month plus into the war. there is much of the ground war left in ukraine. but i do think this is a very protracted conflict and i think it's at least measured in years. i don't know about a decade, but at least years for sure. this is a very extended conflict that russia has initiated and i think that nato, the united states, ukraine and all of the allies and partners that are supporting ukraine are going to be involved in this for quite some time. >> secretary austin, could you reflect on this as well? you know, the breadth of what their requests are and their demands are, how is that reflected in our policy?
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because, indeed, this is far more expansive than just russia and ukraine. >> yeah, the asks -- i agree with you, they were very extensive. having said that, much of that we couldn't possibly do, but having said that, we're going to always look -- we're negotiating with countries and we're going to always look for things where we can find common agreement and work from that, build from that. so you are correct that the initial tranche of demands, for lack of a better term, was something that was not acceptable to ukraine, most importantly, and to nato, and to us. >> also, i mean, what could we do in terms of policy for our
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partners right now, two examples, georgia and finland, that aren't nato countries, what can we do to help support their concerns with the russian aggression that's taking place? >> well, we can do a lot -- we can do more of what we're doing in terms of you heard us talk earlier about our engagement in helping them build air forces, and as they look to acquire different types of equipment to defend themselves, we can do that as well. and i know that there are aspiring -- countries who aspire to be a part of nato and nato should continue to engage them. >> given the fact there's one minute left, i would just like to ask you to amplify, if you could, some of your comments you made in the opening about under sea warfare and research, making sure we have the proper
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investments in that regard. what do you see as specific threats and how can we address them in about 45 seconds? >> i think the threats continue to evolve. china does have substantial capability under sea, but russia does as well. so we want to make sure as we look across the landscape that we're able to meet any emerging threat. >> great. thank you. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you. mr. banks is recognized for five minutes. >> secretary austin, "the new york times" this morning reported the daily average for covid-19 cases in the u.s. is at 27,573. much less than the 0.0001% of the total u.s. population. with covid cases at all-time lows, why are we still enforcing the covid vaccine mandate on our military personnel? >> we've seen variants of this
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virus, you know, wane and then grow again, and so this is a medical readiness requirement and it will remain so. >> general milley, during a moment of increased action from russia to china, is it worth it? is it worth sacrificing our end strength for vaccine mandates? would you rather have a few extra battalions of unvaccinated soldiers or not have them at all because of this? >> congressman, i don't think it's an either-or. you're a veteran yourself. we get a lot of vaccinations. anthrax is very, very low out there and we still get anthrax vaccinations. so i think getting vaccinated is part of the readiness issue of the health of the force. the numbers are very low, by the way, of those refusing to be vaccinated. it's tiny, the numbers that are actually being asked to process out. so i think it's manageable and i think that -- i would prefer
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that everybody just go ahead and get vaccinated. >> according to a cnn article on january 18th, the army national guard missed its goal by over 8,000, adding only 34,658 recruits. the budget just released by the administration reduces the size of the army by 12,000 soldiers. is the army cutting their numbers because they know they can't recruit enough people to meet their quotas? >> i've talked to the general about it a couple times. two major factors, one is the population at large, those that are eligible to enter the military, those numbers are actually pretty low. that's one point. the second piece is that they want to reduce manpower in order to save the money and recoup that into modernization efforts. those are the two fundamental reasons that the army is doing what they're doing. >> general, is it a coincidence
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that the army is moving forward with now involuntarily separating our soldiers and then offering a new $50,000 signing bonus to recruits who want to join the army? how much additional costs are we going to incur because of the increased recruiting bonuses to combat projected losses for unvaccinated military personnel? >> i would have to get back to you on a cost analysis in terms of the actual dollars relative to the bonus you mending, the $50,000 bonus. again, i checked with general mcconnell just yesterday. the numbers are actually being compelled to depart the military, very small, in the army. and i think it's likewise in the other services as well. there is a recruiting challenge for the army. other services are meeting their recruiting goals, but the army is challenged, both guard and active. >> general milley, on march 18th the u.s. army discharged three soldiers, the first time it has booted troops for failing to comply with the covid-19 vaccine mandate. it's projected that 2,692
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soldiers, the size of a couple army battalions, have not taken the vaccine and will likely be separated from the army. once again, how is this loss of personnel going to hurt the overall end strength of the army? >> i think if 2,000 are kicked out that will hurt. i think there's an issue of education and persuasion and making sure these soldiers are making informed decisions. >> as of march 3rd, army commanders have relieved a total of six regular army leaders, including two battalion commanders and issues 3,183 general officer reprimands to regular army soldiers for not making the vaccination. how has this loss of leadership and focus on administrative burdens improved readiness and combat power? >> again, congressman, i think that the idea of the health of the force, the readiness of the force in getting a vaccination is a contributing factor to that. i think it's fundamental to the overall readiness of the force. i regret that commanders are getting relieved for things like
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that. i didn't know the numbers you mentioned. i'll go back to the army and get the actual data. but we are an institution that has a sole set of requirements in terms of the health of the force and shots and et cetera, and there's a policy and our job is to enforce the policy. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you to all of you for coming in for your service to the country. real quick, under the prior administration they made a decision to move space command from colorado to alabama and there's significant allegations of improper process. the gao and doig are conducting views of that process and if either reviews find the process was not credible, will the department commit to revisiting that and doing it in a fair and transparent way? >> if there had been things that were improperly or illegally done, then certainly we'll
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revisit that. >> next on the ukraine front, a bunch of my colleagues have already talked about ukraine and the evolution of support, but can you just very briefly, mr. secretary, talk about how should our support evolve as this goes from a short-term fight, us providing things that are needed and can be used now on the battlefield, to transitioning to a longer-term fight like the national security adviser indicated yesterday? how does that change the nature of our support? >> yeah, i believe that what mr. solomon was describing was a fight that's going to take place in the south and east of the country, and it will take, as he described it, probably weeks for that to play out versus days. and so we continue to look at what we think -- we don't think, we know the ukrainians will need, because we're talking to them on a daily basis. and it will be a lot of the same things that we've provided
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already, but we look for things that also can provide them an advantage in this fight. and you've seen us begin to deploy some of those things. >> we appreciate your work very much. we know this has been a herculean effort by the department and i thank you for that effort because it is saving lives. you know, this committee does have a long tradition of bipartisanship, there are people who have served, many people who have served in uniform. but there are a very small handful of folks that don't understand service, don't understand sacrifice, the attack you and your service who has dedicated your entire life to service, who sometimes will compare our military to other militaries, call us woke, make up these contrived boogeymans of socialism or pull out lectures from universities. i have known you for some time and i've seen the pride you take in our service men and women and the pride you take in this work
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and your entire life has been focused on this. can you just take, with the two minutes remaining, could you just paint a picture for this committee and the american people about what makes you most proud of the men and women of your military and what life is like on a daily basis for the men and women that you lead? >> thanks. as you've heard me say a number of times, you know, my focus 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is on defending this country. and i'm proud to be able to serve alongside the men and women who occupy our ranks. they are committed to this, and i've been with them, most recently in poland and other baltic -- in baltic states and other eastern flank countries. i've been with them in the indo-pacific. they are all focused on the task at hand, training, being ready
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to perform their missions, and all of those missions contribute to the defense of this country and protecting our interests. and i've just got to tell you, i am incredibly proud of them. day in and day out they volunteer to do incredible things on behalf of this country. and we owe them a debt of gratitude that we can probably never repay. we owe their families a debt of gratitude as well. but they are smart, they are fit, they are focused, and they spend 99% of their time focused on defending this country and developing additional capabilities that they'll need to be successful on the battlefield. so any notion that they're woke or that our military is woke, i take issue with that, because it's just not true. it's a false narrative and they deserve better than that. >> i couldn't agree more. they do deserve better than that and they're getting better than
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that in your leadership and, frankly, the leadership and the focus of most people on this committee who take this work seriously, who are engaged in difficult policy discussions and know the threats we face. i appreciate your leadership, chairman millie's leadership. mr. mccord, you are more appreciated than this hearing probably indicates, but we appreciate your work as well. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you very much. mr. bergman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. one of my colleagues asked general milley that you would commit to ensuring that the gold star family criteria remain the same, and i believe i heard you say yes. >> i am very committed to that. >> okay, secretary austin, i would like to hear it from you. >> yes. >> very good. that is probably one of the most solemn duties that we have, is to appropriately honor not only the men and women who die in service of our country in combat, but also their families
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as well. let's talk a little bit about recruiting. general milley, you opened up your statement, and i think accurately so, by saying we have the best led, best trained, best equipped, et cetera, et cetera, military in the world. do we have the best recruited military in your estimation? >> the best recruited? >> yeah. >> i think all militaries are a reflection of the societies they come from, and we have a particularly challenging recruiting environment as the former chief of staff of the army and it was true then and now and true for quite a long time. the military has very high standards to get in, and, unfortunately, the amount of eligible military age men and women have gone down in terms of the standards over time. i think we're in a challenging recruiting environment. i think those that do get in are
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the finest and the best and i think we recruit the best of our society. >> we've got roughly 70% who are ineligible for various reasons, so we've already knocked that down to 30%. has the department of defense spent any, i guess, research dollars, to determine what is going to be the propensity of that remaining 30% to serve, to get involved at whatever level? i mean, is there any data that you guys are accumulating to enable us to better? >> there is. there's a lot of data, there's a lot of money, there's a lot of research that goes into that question, propensity to serve. we can get you that. i don't have it at my fingertips. we can get you the data. >> this committee is bipartisan, and i don't think there's one of us that sit in here that don't
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want to see the men and women who are eligible to serve get the right message so that they will get over that hump, if you will, of why or why not. and you mentioned that this year the army and the guard is not going to meet their recruiting numbers. now, is that air guard or army guard or both guards? >> army guard. >> air force, marines and navy are meeting their goals right now. army is not, both active army and guard. >> okay. so if we're just talking about the army and the army guard not meeting their end strength, is there any plan, have you asked any of the other services to maybe up it? if they're meeting their goals, do they have room for more? are we looking at increased capabilities? i'm not sure what's going on with the army and army guard, but do we have people waiting in line to sign up for the air force or the navy or the marine
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corps? >> the navy -- i think it's the navy is actually at 102%, so they're actually over their objectives. air force and marines are meeting their objectives. army is about, i want to say it's about 10 to 15 points below the objective right now. the year is young, we're four months into the year. typically this data will change significantly upon high school graduation, come, you know, june, july timeframe and that's the big months at which there's a huge data correction. what the army is projecting over time is they'll come in at a few percentage points below objective for the year. >> are we sacrificing any quality to make those numbers? >> no, not at all, congressman. what they're doing is ensuring that they're enforcing the quality of the force coming in. >> and just for the sake of discussion here, we know we have a significant number of men and women who are no longer in service because of their refusal to take the covid vaccine. if, for whatever reason, any or
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all of them decided they wanted to refill yat re-a affiliate with the service, would they be given an option? >> if someone wants to get the shot and come on back in -- >> we've got millions and millions of dollars of training in those people we forced out. >> comply with the rules and regulations. >> your time has expired. ms. slotkin is recognized for five minutes. >> thanks for being here. i know we're about to start hour three of this hearing and i want to associate myself with the comments, the respectful comments on both sides of the aisle for those who apologized for those who aren't respectful as you come up for these hearings. i think there's a lot of the issues that are affecting the average american, particularly around prices and budgets and supply chains, now we're seeing really affect the u.s. military.
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so my questions are going to focus mostly on that. i'm going to give you a chance to get in the game here. first and foremost, actually i'll start with secretary austin on supply chains. i represent a district that has two gm factories, one has been off and on dormant for the last year because they can't get a 14 cent micro cls chip. myself and congressman gallagher led a task force on dod and highlighting the issues on supply chains the department had. you picked up the rug on some of our supply chains, and there were a lot of creepy-crawlies under there, a lot of dependencies on places like china that for the u.s. military we still had. we had some prescriptions in the last ndaa, but help give us some comfort that, like our private sector companies, dod is actually kind of getting in the game and looking at this as a vulnerability. >> we are in the game. as you know, it's been and is an
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area of emphasis for the president and for the government at large. so dod is doing its part. this is especially important to us as we look at components of our critical weapons systems that use micro chips, that use strategic materials. we want to make sure that we are not vulnerable. >> right. because i think that while a gm plant can shut down, the u.s. military doesn't have that privilege of being able to shut down and just taking an economic hit. it's the protection of the country. mr. mckort, on the budget, we've talked about whether the budget keeps up with the rate of inflation and you said you crafted the budget with a 4% inflation rate. we know that has largely gone
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up. i know that on a bipartisan basis people are interested in at least making sure the department is keeping pace with inflation. would you be willing to consider coming back to us and keying the budget to the rate of inflation? very short yes or no. >> congresswoman, yes. i think we're going to need to work with the committees going forward to look at what's actually happening on the ground and as the secretary said, we to finish the budget you have to make assumptions and move on. we normally revisit our own situation internally, which generates what we send to you. we'll do that as soon as possible this year as well. >> i think there's nowhere that's more clear where inflation is really kind of a punch in the gut, at least in a district like mine where people drive 40 miles one way to work, the price of gas. as i see it, the department of defense is one of the biggest consumers maybe in the world of
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gasoline and i think you noted it was about $12 billion we spend a year on gas. what, if anything, has the department of defense done advocating with the white house to do more to try and affect the price of gas? >> congresswoman, we consume a lot of gas, but we are small compared to the market. we're about 15% of the jet fuel market, so we are a significant player there, but we are ultimately at the mercy of the markets the way most entities are and our budget was done before putin's invasion of ukraine spiked oil prices. of course that spike may come down, slowly may come down or quickly. that's one of the many variables. we are going to have to adjust for that. >> as one of the biggest consumers at least in the united states of gas, that your voice in the conversation of doing more to try to lower the prices of gas would be helpful. lastly, we passed on a bipartisan basis an amendment in
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the last year's ndaa that helps to try to examine the amount of pork, and i mean congressional pork that is in the department of defense budget. the things that you all have tried to kill, the legacy weapons systems you don't want anymore, the facilities you've tried to shut down. that amendment required a report. what is your assessment? i know the report isn't done yet. what percentage of the department budget are things that the u.s. congress has required you to provide? >> congresswoman, again, the report is not done, but i think in most years it averages in the 3% to 5% range. so it's not overwhelming, but it's significant. >> the rest of us we'll have to take for the record. >> thank you. secretary austin, a year ago the rise of extremism, particularly white supremacy within the military, within your ranks, was a top priority for you, in fact it was your first memo. yet the department released a study this year, a year later,
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showing that 100 members of the military participated in some type of extremism. that's 100 out of 2.5 million, by my math, and that shows that 99.996% of our military members have not participated in any form of extremism. so with that data, now data driven, is that still a top priority for you? can we move on? >> you made a couple of points that, and let me say that my top priority is defending this country. it has been and it will always be. on the issue of the percentages of people that are participating in extremist activities, you've heard me say that 99.9% of our people are doing the right thing every day, and i'm proud of them for what they do. but a small percentage of people can have an outsized impact.
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>> thank you, mr. secretary. forgive me, i have a few questions. i think we have to be very careful. we're also seeing in polling a record drop in public confidence in the united states military. so i think we have to be very careful about narratives. we even had a hearing here in this committee on the rising tide of white supremacy within our military, and we need to keep those narratives data driven. i appreciate 99.96%. one is too many, absolutely, and we always have to be vigilant. but we have to be careful about our narratives. i need to move on. chairman milley, we are providing more sophisticated to the ukrainians, the latest package, finally, i would argue that this is belated, they should have had it last year. my concern is that the nato commander, general walters testified as a policy matter
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we're not conducting any training on this new equipment. my question is, why not? >> we're not conducting training in ukraine. >> we're not conducting training in poland, outside of ukraine. that's what he testified. there's literally a handoff, and so my question is you know the training on this equipment is critical. >> i think he said we were not conducting training in poland. but as you rightly point out, some of this gear does require training. >> okay, then that drives my question. are we training the ukrainians outside of ukraine in any location? >> to use some of the gear, certainly they have to have training, and we're doing that. >> great. that's fantastic. thank you for clarifying that. >> there's training right here in the united states in our school system. >> so the ukrainians are sending their soldiers off and we're -- >> imet is what i was talking about. >> so the latest variants,
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things we're providing, we're training them how to use it. >> and the ukrainians that are already here to leverage them as well. >> fantastic. on the switchblade 600 variant, your assistant secretary for isa testified last week that there's a memo on your desk, mr. secretary, to give it the correct procurement authorities that we need or the designation to get that thing moving. are we cleared up there? can we move that? >> the switchblade 600 and 300 will move as quickly as they possibly can. >> okay. general walters also testified that the ukrainians would have been more effective if they had had stingers pre-invasion, if they had them on day one, trained up, ready to go. general milley, do you disagree? >> i think their air defense system, the larger air defense, the s-300s, stingers and all the
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other varieties that the european countries have, the more that they had prior to the invasion, the better off they would have been. but i would caveat this, russia has not, even today, established air superiority because of the effective use of man pads and the s-300s. >> absolutely. but you wouldn't disagree that more would have been better, and i do think there's a lot of parallels, mr. secretary, to our approach to taiwan. i respectfully disagree with you there, there are a lot of parallels and a lot of things we should be learning, the effectiveness of sanctions as a deterrent and giving them the weapons systems they need pre-invasion, not having a tough response, a robust response post-invasion. final question, general milley, is the iotc a terrorist organization? >> you'll have to take that for the record because the gentleman is out of time. >> thank you, mr. chair, and thank you, secretary austin, general milley for appearing before us today.
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i very much appreciate the challenging times that you and the department are in right nows that we are witnessing the horrific events of the war in ukraine unfold. i know the budget request this year is focused largely on modernization and transformation of the force and in your written testimonies you have mentioned how the department has to modernize from legacy platforms that may no longer meet the needs of the force right now here in this country. president zelenskyy has repeatedly called on the united states to transfer aircraft and other weapons systems to ukraine and so here we potentially have supply with a known demand. is there anything that is preventing the department of defense from transferring legacy weapons systems, and i'll just give an example, as the a-10, and other excess defense articles to ukraine or are there things that are preventing the training for those? is there any additional authority that you need to be able to expedite or approve transferring of weapons systems to ukraine? secretary austin.
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>> at this point there are no additional authorities that we need and certainly if we need additional authorities, we won't hesitate to come ask you for them. >> thank you. and with my next question, as we do identify weapons and systems that we are interested in divesting in, is there a process by which we can conduct due diligence to identify possible items for transfer to ukraine, or to be more thoughtful about the future of other possible conflicts? >> it will be based upon their request and our assessment of what we have available. also, the threat and the environment plays a big part of this. the ability to maintain the capability that we give them is also very, very important and the ability to train on that equipment is also key. >> and so using just as an example, and knowing we originally anticipated this war would be a matter of days and
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hours rather than now months and possibly years, using the a-10 as an example, is there a possibility of what is the department planning for the 21 a-10s that are in the plan right now and what is the condition of those aircraft? >> again, it's not just exporting the a-10s, it's also whether or not the aircraft can survive in that environment, which is a key issue, and then, number two, whether or not they can sustain the aircraft once we provide it to them. it is completely different, as you know, from any platform that they have or are currently using, and so this is a big step. and then training, it's not a matter of days, it's a matter of months. >> yes. and i actually have done some investigation and i think we're on the same page that our understanding is on the order of magnitude of a couple months. and i know the anticipation was that this would not last that long. and, again, the a-10 is just an example of something that we
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might be looking into. with the remainder of my time, we are in the fifth week with no apparent end and we need to make sure we're coming to terms with the fact that this could be longer than we anticipated. i'm interested in the planned reduction of end strength across the army, navy and marine corps. the navy is already short of personnel and the air force is suffering from a critical shortage of pilots. how is the department forecasting and planning for this prolonged war in ukraine? maybe general milley, we could ask you that particular question. >> well, first we are not directly engaged in combat operations in ukraine. we are conducting deterrence and assurance operations in the peripheral countries, the article 5, nato article 5 countries. having said that, in terms of the end strengths and the modest reductions in end strengths of each of the services, what the services have opted to do is reduce end strength a little bit in order to recoup savings and modernize the force, aiming towards the 2030 timeframe, 2030
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plus. and that's where you see these modest reductions in end strength. and what we're trying to do is focus on china, and russia secondarily as the two threats in order to modernize and upgrade their force. >> yeah, and i think that -- i think where my interest is that my understanding is that we don't have -- we haven't accounted for what might be a continued and increased presence in europe in our force reduction planning. >> yeah, the force posture, the long-term force posture in europe is yet to be decided. it's under debate right now, it's under review. nato plays a big part in that and general walters will be making his recommendations on that. but clearly, because of the war in ukraine, there's at least a possibility, if not a probability, of an increased force presence over a lengthy period of time. that doesn't have to be stationing. that can be rotational, a lot of things. >> thank you. i yield back. >> mr. johnson is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, we need to
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understand the recruiting and retention challenges that the department of defense faces this year and i'm not sure if all the answers provided thus far clarified it. i have a couple questions on that. the army has decided to cut active duty strength by 12,000 soldiers in fiscal year 2023. the secretary said last week, quote, like every other employer in the economy we're facing challenging conditions in terms of our ability to recruit and attract talent. given the particular conditions of a very tight labor market, our ability to meet all of our projected recruiting goals were a little challenged. do you agree with the secretary's assessment that it's the tight labor market that's the primary driver of recruitment challenges, at least for the army? nks thanks, congressman. i think there are a number of things that go into this equation. the fact that unemployment is below 4% is a key issue. but also if you take a look at the impact of covid over the last couple of years, as you know, our recruiters recruit a
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lot of kids out of high school, and those high schools have been in session on an infrequent basis in terms of actual physical presence there, so it's made things more complicated. the chairman mentioned a smaller population to recruit from. so as we combine all of those things, then there are headwinds, and it will be -- there will be headwinds for all of the services going forward. >> i think that's true but i want to acknowledge here that the objective facts, if we review the objective facts, i think the largest headwind is inescapably the reaction the dod took to covid. right before the pandemic struck we had the greatest economy in the history of the world. there are rekrurmt challenges, there have been more many years, but we didn't have budget requests requesting to cut 12,000 soldiers from the army. what's changed over the last 24 months? it's the department's covid
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vaccine mandate. some have alluded to it. but requiring young men and women to take the vaccine has disqualified a huge portion of the population from military service. nationwide, more than 40% of males age 18 to 24 have chosen not to become fully vaccinated, and as a result they're ineligible to join the military. off the bat, that's 40% of the target demographic that's immediately ineligible to serve. this is just a fact. in the southeast portion of the country where i'm from, the number is greater. according to cdc, 52% of 18 to 24-year-old men in that region have chosen not to take the vaccine. under secretary of defense for personal until and readiness, southern states produced nearly 47% of military enlistments in 2019. fertile ground for dod recruiters. but these states send their sons and daughters to serve the nation at drastically higher
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rates than other states do. they contain only 38% of 18 to 24-year-olds in america but they account for nearly half of all the enlistments. i understand what's being said about the tight labor market and the inability to meet fitness standards and all the rest. but it's plain if we look at this that dod is having a recruiting or retention crisis because it has disqualified over half of the male population from serving and nearly 40% of men and women nationwide. then we're adding fuel to the crisis because there's a charade about the religious exemption process for service members and i believe it's unconstitutional. let me ask you quickly. in light of the obvious impact on recruitment and retention does the department in any plans to modify the current covid vaccine requirement. >> i do not. >> let me ask you, if you can tell us, how many religious exemptions to the covid vaccine have been granted across all services? i'll note in february 15
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exemptions were granted out of 16,000 applications. >> okay, i'm going to take that question and other covid questions for the record. as you know, this is an issue in litigation and so i'll take your questions for the record. >> well, in the 40 seconds that i have remaining i'll just state the obvious, what a lot of people back home are asking me and all of us, and that is if it's so obvious that a vaccine mandate is causing this deficit in the number of troops, then why don't we just change it? covid seems to be behind us. >> i certainly disagree with your premise. >> i know you do, but obviously it's having a direct effect on our numbers of recruitment and retention and readiness, which is of grave concern to all of us. i know you're not going to change your mind today, but i'm registering the concern of my district and many millions of americans we represent who share this opinion. and i hope that you'll take it under advisement. i yield back. >> thank you.
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>> general milley, secretary austin, thank you for your commitment to our armed forces and this country. both of you touched on long-range precision and hypersonic fires in your testimony and the important roles it would play in deterrence and enabling success in multi-domain operations. as we work swiftly to modernize the force, more specifically our long-range fires platforms, what ground-based platforms can commanders depend on to provide that capability and how, if at all, has the range displayed by russian artillery and their war of aggression in ukraine changed that thinking? how is the department planning to increase our range without increasing our vulnerability to ground-based missile defense systems? >> thank you, congresswoman. we've got a number of long-range systems in the inventory today, but what the army in particular, but also the marine corps are working on are experimental
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long-range fire systems. those are rocket, some are hypersonic, and some are tube artillery. these go very, very long range. we can have a team come over and give you a classified give you briefing on some of the experimental things that are going on. we recognize that long range precision fires, i would even put that caveat on it, are critical to the future operational environment. that's proven true over and over again. we're a maneuverability based military. it gives you maneuvers at the lower level of the tactical level. we want to make sure we have dominance in fires. that's one of the critical areas in each of the services but particularly the ground services. >> and general milley, would you consider the strategic long range cannon an asset that would
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enable combatant commanders to succeed? >> yes, it's the basis of what army is calling multidomain dafk stories and what marines are calling littoral members, that's a cannon system. let's use the scenario of the south china seas, long range precision munitions, they should be able to do damage to any surface fleet, perhaps a chinese surface fleet. the point is that system, that particular system you mentioned, is one of those in experimental development and it will be a key to a future war fight. >> and as the army modernizes its indirect abilities, can you speak on the importance that further developing a capability like that will have towards establishing a modern force? you spoke a little bit about, for example, in china, how important that is. >> yes, so i think this will be a lengthy conversation, but we
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have to start with the operating environment we're going to operate in and the changing character of war that chairman smith mentioned up front. once we fully analyze that and understand that, what we derive is a set of attributes that come for each of the services in particular and the joint force combined. >> speaking of that, would that be appropriate for the marine corps as well? >> absolutely, yes. and what the marines are doing is upgrading, i'm aware of the debate ongoing with the marines, but what they're trying to do is tailor the marines to optimize their capability as part of the joint force in a future operating environment under changed character of war. and there's a lot of nuance to that which would be much beyond the time available here. but the key here is the development of the doctrine, the organization, the personnel, the training, all of those things in combination to set us up for operations in the 2030s. that's what this budget is all about, actually. >> well, thank you, i appreciate
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that. and with the army's extended range cannon artillery system that was designed to close the capabilities gap between the u.s. and our adversaries, is there a plan to field a towed extended range version of the m777? >> the m777, there is also a 155 extended range towed system. we're talking about the long range precision fires that the army is developing. that's not fielded yet in its scale. there are some experimental units that are using it right now. they did some recent tests at white sands where have proven quite successful but that's not yet in the field. >> and then as we work to build the capabilities within our hypersonic suite, is there not a need for a land based long range surface to surface artillery asset that is more cost effective than the hypersonic glide body and is readily available to combatant
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commanders looking to strike -- >> i apologize. the gentlelady's time has expired. >> yes, the army is developing that. >> mr. green. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i thank the ranking member and thank you to the witnesses for being here today. i don't want -- your previous unit you commanded and a unit i commanded, they're doing fantastic work and so is kevin sharp, the brigade from 101st, they're just doing outstanding stuff. brief comment. 4% raise for troops is in an 8% inflation environment isn't a raise. i wish we could rethink that, certainly there will be amendments that address it. also on the top line number already 4% in an 8% inflation is really a cut. i just want to make that comment. mr. mccord, a quick comment for you, i saw a statement that you had made, the budget was written prior to the ukrainian invasion and could not be adjusted to
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include that. i want to tell you that -- and i'm talking specifically about making adjustments due to what's going on in ukraine. there's not a company in america where the board of directors would allow the ceo to say that. the speed of business is the speed of now. and the pentagon's got to move at the speed of business, the speed of now. and so, you know, in the few weeks that this thing has been going on, i would think the adjustments could be made. secretary austin, quick question for you. who is advising the president that it's a good idea to allow the war criminals in russia to build a nuclear reactor for iran? in the jcpoa, the current negotiations would allow russia to build a nuclear reactor to the tune of $10 billion. these are the guys that, you know, have done these horrible things in ukraine and we're here letting them at least right now considering letting them build a nuclear reactor there.
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>> there are a number of people that are leading that process, of course. our national security adviser plus, as you know, the state department is leading the -- >> let me ask you, i mean, is there somebody at dod saying that's a good idea? do you think it's a good idea? >> no, that's -- no, i have not provided any counsel to the president on building -- >> i would ask you to do that. i think it's a really bad idea. i want to talk legacy systems, general milley, with you if it's okay. we've had discussions before about phasing out legacy systems, bringing in new systems with the capability to overcome those and amplify them. i'm a little concerned about j stars, we're army guys, we love that program recall it helps us, and there's i guess talk in this budget of, umm, the air force wanting to get rid of j stars. i would love to hear your thoughts on and maybe we have to
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go into a classified setting, is there going to be a capability gap if that thing goes away? >> first, like you, jstars is a great system but this budget and the national defense strategy is optimizing for the pacing threat, the most significant strategic challenge to the united states, china. and then the acute challenge and acute threat which is russia. jstars is not a survivable aircraft in that type of environment against that high end threat. so that's point one. point two, in terms of the capability that jstars does bring which is the ability to battle track movements, et cetera, on the ground -- >> targeting too. >> targeting, that's right. that capability will exist in a different form and from a different platform but for that i would have to take you to a different session. >> so there's no capability loss with that, with jstars going away? >> i don't -- no, no significant capability loss relative to china and russia. if you wanted to use jstars in
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a lower environment. >> one quick thought about this legacy fall-off and the i am sorry -- implementation of the new systems that are five or six out. congressman wittman has talked about this challenge. i'm aware there's a strategic deterrence fund that hasn't been used for years. we could protect the guys across the aisle who don't necessarily want to see massive increases in the budget, we could fund some of the r&d for new projects, similar to the way we did the oco and put money over there. i would ask that be considered. and even speaking to some of my democrat colleagues, they think that would be a great idea, but future systems so that we can maintain the capabilities in
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that gap period, keep legacy systems around long enough, afford them in the new budget and pay for new systems in a different strategic funds. if you could look into that. thank you. >> the gentleman's time has expired. ms. escobar is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for this important hearing, thank you, general austin and general milley, for your time before us today. i had the honor and privilege of representing el paso, texas, home to fort bliss, america's second largest military installations and the largest joint installation in the army, home to the first armored division and joint modernization command. i'm so pleased to see $15 million in the budget for a new fire station at fort bliss and will work to ensure that that funding is included in this year's ndaa. fort bliss, its people, and infrastructure are critical to our military's readiness. from my first day as the
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congresswoman for this great military installation i've advocated for the investments needed for our assets and missions. i'm going to do it again here today. there are two infrastructure priorities that we need to fund critical to our readiness. the first is a modest investment in a railhead. the current rail infrastructure and design is a limiting factor in efficient movement of military equipment in support of deployments. punting on providing funding for the railhead further degrades fort bliss's ability to mobilize and demobilize troops that come from every corner of the country because of the installation's mission as a joint mobilization force generation installation. fort hood has a similar number of assets and missions but a larger railhead. bliss is doing the best they can but a larger railhead will allow them to better meet the dod shift to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, namely china. the second is the need for new barracks. i've been in the barracks at
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fort bliss and can tell you they are in poor shape and inadequately cooled. in a desert environment like el paso where we've had more record breaking triple-digit temperatures each year as a result of the climate crisis, the barracks can become so hot, i can easily see someone passing out as a result. i know there's some 3d printing innovation going on but i want to emphasize that degraded living spaces and substandard facilities at our installations lowers morale, increases health and safety risks, and negatively impacts retention which in turn affects our readiness. i provide these two examples in order to make sure that fort bliss remains top of mind to you and also to point out that our readiness is directly tied to the infrastructure we have here at home at key installations like fort bliss. secretary austin and general milley, could you talk about where you see fort bliss fitting into the department's plans for addressing the pacing challenge
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with china and modernizing our military? >> well, as you've said, fort bliss has -- houses some of our most capable forces there, the armor forces and also some air defense capabilities. so it is an important installation to us. and i share your concerns with making sure that we have the right facilities for troops and make sure that our troops are taken care of. that's very, very important to me. we'll make sure that we go back and work with the army to see where things stand in priority and get a better understanding of when and how these things are funded. >> and i would just echo what the secretary said. fort bliss is a strategic platform for the deployment of
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some really significant combat power and the armored division that's there and as mentioned through many previous member comments about the importance of air defense systems, patriot and so on, that's all done at fort bliss. you know as i do that fort bliss is adjacent to white sands missile range, a lot of testing is there. we want to make sure the barracks is squared away to ensure the force itself is being taken care of so we can achieve those objectives. as former chief of staff of the army, i wasn't tracking that the barracks had deteriorated that bad but let me get back to you with an answer on that. >> i appreciate it. as we've heard some of my colleagues talk about legacy systems, it's really on congress, it's important to us that we heed the advice that you've given us in classified and unclassified settings, about the need to invest in the right
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way. my time is up. i yield back. thank you both. by the way, i invite you both, i would be honored to host you at fort bliss. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you. mr. karl is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen, for coming here and being willing to speak thousands of you know when you get to me, you're at the end of the line, that's the good news. i personally am tired of the defense budget process that does not supply our troops or meet our global defensive needs. for example, reducing our naval fleet to stretch fewer personnel across fewer ships shows how backwards it has become. our withdrawal from afghanistan indicates a completely avoidable failure of leadership and has made the world and our homeland less safe rather than more safe. and the third point, our
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refueling capability is essential. especially given the challenges presented by the indo-pacific. last year in this same setting we had this conversation. i asked you both, general milley, i asked you both where we are essentially on the circumstances with the kc-46. we were briefed last week that the kc-46 is capable of refueling 86% of our aircraft. would anyone in this room buy a car with the idea of it working 86% of the time and not 100% of the time? so my frustration is really with this kc-46. and my question, general milley and general austin, i ask both of you, why are we not moving forward with the next generation tanker, the lmxt, which i understand is serving us quite well in europe?
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>> yeah, thanks for that. well, first, on your comment about refueling in general, that is a strategic capability that we've got to sustain, improve, because the legs of aircraft, especially over the pacific, are too short on a single tank of gas to be involved in a chinese war fight, given that the chinese do have antiaccess capabilities, point one. point two is, the survivability of those aircraft is every bit as important as the ability to refuel an aircraft. so those are particularly vulnerable aircraft. those two things have to be worked on. in this particular budget, if memory serves me right, i think there are 13 kc-46s as part of this. we are phasing out some kc-135s.
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the lmxt is the next generation, i agree, that is more survivable and handles a greater ability to refuel a fleet. i'm not disagreeing with any of that. but refueling is a critical capability we have. if you take it back to the american way of war, what makes us so much different than many other countries is our ability to project combat power very rapidly at great distances from continental united states and refueling, along with the maritime fleet and many other capabilities, are what enable us to do that. so that's a key area of investment we need to continue to do. >> thank you, sir. >> i agree with what the chairman said. refueling capability as a significant part of our strategic advantage. and we have to make sure that we maintain the capability to fuel or refuel all of our aircraft. so for a period of time, we'll need to make sure we have a
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blend of capabilities. so until we get some of the problems fixed on the 46. but investing in the next generation is the right thing to do. so i agree with what you've raised here. >> thank you, gentlemen. i yield my time. >> mr. golden is recognized. >> thank you, secretary austin and general milley, thank you for being here today, thank you for your lifetime of service to the country's defense. you know, sitting here for now three hours, the way that you two have, it occurs to me that these hearings are obviously very important, it's why we do them, the oversight is critical. the debate i think can be a real source of strength in the policy making process when done correctly and done i think in a general act of good faith. we've also seen some examples where perhaps it's not helpful
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with regards to the message it can send to the world, to our friends and our foes. and most importantly, to the american people. in regards to that, i want to talk about something we really haven't talked about today, and that's a recent opinion piece in "the wall street journal," you may have seen, written by a former member of congress as well as a former secretary of a cabinet of a different presidential administration past. and what's concerning about it i think is the message that it sends to the american people and to others who are paying attention. and this has to do with the commandant of the marine corps's current force redesign. i wanted to ask a couple of questions about this. and i'm going to start with general milley. it says here that there are people out there who are feeling that it is unclear, particularly for people with experience in military planning, what formal review and coordination was
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required of the commandant before, his words, the author of this opinion piece, before the commandant unilaterally announced a policy that would alter the marine corps. it goes on to say that the law doesn't give the commandant carte blanche to make significant changes in force structure but rather title x provides he performs his duty under the control of the secretary of the navy who is subject to the authority and control of the secretary of defense and finally, the president retains ultimate authority as commander in chief. the next paragraph here says that there is a problem, and a restructuring of this scale, having moved through without full consideration and debate in front of the proper offices within the pentagon, such as the defense source board or others, and that a formal approval by the secdef should have been
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conducted before it was sent to the white house for further review and then sent to congress for oversight hearings. lastly, i would point out that the opinion piece asserts that this announcement was made during covid, making it difficult for congressional oversight to take place. and i think perhaps for you, general milley, most concerning, it asserts that due to the chaos that existed in the pentagon during the 2020 campaign year and post-election turbulence that perhaps this proposal has just floated through, through improper channels. so i wanted to ask, you've been around in this position since october of 2019. do you have any concern along the way, having had this restructure announced, in march of 2020, that the proper process has not been followed? >> i read the piece by senator webb. and i have enormous respect for senator webb, by the way. >> as do i. >> a navy cross, tremendous navy secretary, et cetera. i read the piece.
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and dave berger, commandant of the marine corps, general berger, he thought this through with the marine corps staff and the navy staff. and he did brief it up through various elements within the department of defense. i can't say about the white house piece. i assume he does hearings as well, i'm assuming that the oversight committee has heard it many times, about the restructuring of the marine 2030 plan. let's take a look just for a second. what are they actually doing materially, what are they physically doing? reducing by three infantry battalions. that certainly -- there's only 31 infantry battalions in the marine corps, it's not a large force to begin with. >> we're almost out of time. you're aware that the -- >> absolutely. >> -- that they had been in front of congress for oversight. >> we were aware and i'm also aware the alumni community of the marine corps is quite upset about it. >> the secretary of the navy
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under multiple administrations approved this, it was green lighted. >> i believe the answer is yes to all that. >> and you're committed to making sure the proper process is used going forward? >> of course. >> the marines are making adjustments and learning lessons. >> totally. that may not have come clear to the senator and others in the alumni community but inside the pentagon, it's my belief, because i saw it, i think that part of the process -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. mr. rogers. >> madam chair, i ask unanimous consent that all committee members have three legislative days to revise and extend remarks and include extraneous materials into the record. >> without objection, so ordered. mr. moore is recognized. >> thank you, chair, thank you, ranking member. the f-35 giant strike fighter powers economic growth across our nation.
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i agree with air force chief of staff brown that the f-35 is indeed the cornerstone, it remains the most lethal fighter in the world, giving pilots advantage against any adversary and executing their mission to come home safely. in utah our 388th fighter wing is the air force first active duty lightning unit. right now f-35s from the base 34 squadron have been deployed to germany. however i am concerned these fifth generation aircraft have not consistently been accompanied with equally modern weaponry. the weaponry must include cyber and electronic warfare capabilities, superior radars and sensors and the ability to defeat rapidly relocatable targets. from my understanding jasm and lorasm can help the f-35 reach its potential as fifth
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generation fighter. secretary austin, thank you for being here and for your service. can you provide an update on the implementation of advanced weaponry of the f-35 with what is needed to address increasingly adversarial threats? >> we're working hard to make sure that, you know, we do in fact achieve the upgrades going forward that you mentioned and we are able to integrate the capabilities for cyber and information that you mentioned. that's a work in progress. we will continue to invest in precision-guided munitions because that's really, really important to us. you've seen us invest in the upgrade of those precision guide ed munitions to ensure survivability. >> as i dig into this with my team and stakeholders back home, you make a comparison, $80 million plane that we are
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putting 50-year-old weapons technology into. important piece, especially as we talk about the budget today. do you think there has been enough attention given to the weaponry available to the f-35? >> one of my priorities is to ensure that we continue to invest in the upgrade of our pgms and that we have sufficient quantities of pgms on hand. so we're going to continue to invest in this. >> thank you. my last question is related to the number, the number of f-35s. the dod is insistent, it still plans to seek a total of 1,763 f-35s. that would take half a century. how is the decreased f-35 buy justified to meet the needs of pure competition in, you know, the very apparent and obvious
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adversarial aors that are increasing across our globe? just comment on, are we doing enough on the f-35 buy, and by decreasing it, are we ready for the next fights? >> peer competition is what we have in mind and we want to make sure we have the right mix of capabilities in the inventory going forward. as you look across the fight-up you see we invest in f-35s in a significant way. but the f-35, the f-22, have specific roles in the fight. and they are very, very capable aircraft. but other aircraft are also relevant. and so we want to make sure we have the right mix. >> i've been impressed with, you know, one of the highlights of this role, i'm in my first temple congress and one of the highlights is getting -- interacting individually with the pilots back on our air force base. i think a lot of us have that chance, to go and hear their
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perspective. and they have such incredible ideas and such closeness to these weapons systems. and i know there's a real strong desire for their voice to be heard and the airmen as they work on these every day and just will constantly encourage -- there's no question here, i just want to constantly encourage our leadership and our committee about how important that base level input is because they have amazing ideas and i just wanted to take this opportunity amidst the turmoil going on in the world to thank them for their service, from every base but particularly where we have assets deployed from ogden, utah right now and layton. thank you. i yield back. >> mrs. luria is recognized. >> thank you, general milley. i noticed earlier in a comment to mr. bacon, you said that i don't think we're taking too much risk with regards to china and russia. so one of the things that when
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we look at the budget, we look at what's in it, what's not in it, the things that are unfunded requirements, there's risks associated with each of those choices that are made based off the top line and what you included in the budget coming over to us. i know in title x it requires a chairman's risk assessment which would normally be submitted annually by february 15th. have you submitted the risk assessment this year? >> i have not. typically in sequence it goes national strategic strategy, the national defense strategic, the national risk strategy, then the chairman's budget. it's in draft, it will be submitted shortly. let's talk risk for just a second. the way i do it, the way we've done it as a department or the way the joint staffs has done it, take a look at a specific event, evaluate against time and the cost to troops, what are you going to lose in terms of
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bodies. >> so when was the last time the risk assessment was done? >> it was two years ago. >> right. so august of 2020, asking also perhaps why it wasn't done last year. but i've reviewed the previous risk assessments and they don't really follow the format that you're stating. and also they don't really follow the format as required in title x and include all of the elements in them that are necessary, which i think was written that way because that allows us to make decisions, perhaps adding additional resources to the defense budget. >> sure. >> so go ahead, please, i'm sorry. >> i'll do better on rewriting it in accordance with the formats. but my point being is the substance of any risk assessment that we do is relative to that. so the probability, we're evaluating risk in this -- for this budget, in this nds, relative to china and russia. and specific to china, when i said in my comment, mr. bacon
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earlier, about i don't think it's too much risk, i think we've mitigated risk relative to china and i think the probability of armed conflict with china, the consequence will be high but the probability is not high in the near term in terms of this particular budget. as you get in the out years -- >> what do you define as out years? >> out years is beyond five years. >> that does not concur with what we've heard from admiral davidson. >> what they said was the probability or the capability of china to attack taiwan is going to be 2027. capability, not probability. >> okay. >> and that is exactly what president xi charged his military to do. >> i would say myself and many others on this committee interpreted admiral aquilino and admiral davidson's words differently. >> what they said was the capability was to be developed by 2027. that's not the same as a
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decision to attack. >> i think they said there was a high probability within the next six years, now five years. i've had that conversation directly with admiral aquilino. just to get through the conversation about risk, you've said the risk changes with regards to the budget submitted. so with the budget priorities, the tradeoffs, we're delaying the laws for the marine corps to come to the fight in the pacific, we're not maximizing our shipbuilding capacity, we're only building ten gdps, we're pushing out the unfunded requirements list. what are the things that can prevent an invasion of taiwan? you know, it's the bottom of the unfunded -- these things are in my mind priorities to accomplish goals and some of them not funded or not funded sufficiently. you've made decisions to unfund this or put this on the unfunded
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requirements. there's a risk. i feel that's not being communicated to the committee. and you're here requesting $773 billion and i foal like you haven't provided the most basic information necessary to understand what this budget will or will not do for the defense. >> there's 30 seconds left, so as quickly as i can, i don't think that decommissioning ships that are 30 years old, that have no relevance to a fight against china, or limited relevance -- >> we don't time in 30 seconds to cover this topic, but i do think that i'm looking forward to reading about that in the risk assessment when it's submitted soon. >> i don't think it's excessive risk. >> mrs. bice is recognized. >> thank you. thank you to secretary austin and general milley for spending an extraordinary amount of time with us today. i understand the air force plans to begin phasing out the century e-3 aircraft in 2023. as you know, this is an important platform for and hand and control, target detection
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and battle management. i am concerned that if we phase out this aircraft without the replacement of the e-7 online, then we will lose critically needed combat capability. i'm also concerned that bases like tinker air force base would experience a decline in associated institutional knowledge, readiness, and workforce efficiency if we can't transition this workforce to the e-7 concurrently. secretary, can you tell me how the department plans to fill the capability gap of the e-3 aircraft if they are retired without a replacement in hand? >> we'll need to manage the transition to make sure that we have adequate capability on hand, as we bring on new capabilities. >> but at the current time, we're talking about taking out e-3s before those e-7s are even being built. >> yeah, so -- and there are other platforms and ways to give us the situational awareness that we need. and we'll leverage those
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platforms. but we'll continue to manage, you know, the transition to ensure that we have what we need to be relevant in the fight going forward. >> are you suggesting that there is some other platform that's being considered to replace the capability of the e-3? >> there are a number of platforms that will be used to create the situational awareness or provide situational awareness that you've alluded to. >> but an aircraft may not be it? >> a number of capabilities. >> thank you. like many of my colleagues, i feel that the defense budget in some cases inadequately addresses the threats that we're facing today. i very much appreciate the pay increases for our service members in the budget. but as has been mentioned many times over, the pay increase does not actually cover the current cost of inflation. that's essentially a pay cut for our service members and their families. with the recent technological breakthroughs made by china and the growing military budgets ever foreign adversaries, do you
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think the president's budget fails to keep pace with inflation is adequate to counter these rising threats? >> this is a significant budget and it provides us the capability -- the ability to go after the capabilities we need to support our war fighting concepts and our strategy overall. a significant budget. >> i want to piggyback off of representative lurie with the risk assessment. and general milley, if you would like to comment on this piece of this, the conversation has focused on military readiness and/or military equipment. how much emphasis are we putting on cyber in space? i think that's a piece that in some cases is maybe being put on the back burner. i remember in the opening testimony, i think there's $2 billion that's being invested. but how much are we really focused on ensuring that we have the proper capabilities from a cyber and space perspective?
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>> this budget is putting in $27 billion, i think it is, into space. that's space-specific. there's probably specific monies throughout the command, the space force. i think it's 11 or $12 billion into cyber. i think that's pretty significant investments in both those domains. >> any comments, secretary austin? >> the chairman has got it exactly right, $27.6 billion in space and over $11 billion for cyber. >> do you think $2 billion for ai is adequate? >> i do. i do. >> thank you, i yield back. >> mr. panetta is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. gentlemen, good morning. thank you for your service, and of course thank you for being here. obviously i think the invasion of ukraine is pretty much -- i believe it's revitalized
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democracies. as the administration and president said, it's strengthened nato's resolve. we've seen that, basically, in the fact that you're seeing other nato countries beefing up their forces. and that includes what we're doing in regards to the defense budget that you submitted, the $813 billion, very, very large on its face. however, when you look at it compared to this year's budget it's just 2% more. also, you take into account inflation and the 2.5% of our budget, which is sort of an optimistic number. some are actually saying that it's going to be a real terms cut in regards to defense spending. and that congress is going to have to do what it did this year and add probably close to $30 billion. moreover, the budget does not take into account what's spent on nukes, what's spent on resettling of afghans, and our help with ukraine at this point.
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additionally, the release of this budget is before the release of the national security strategy. so just quickly, combined with the inflation rate, one, do you think this is a cut, this is going to be a cut in defense spending? and two, because it doesn't take into account the national security strategy, will we need to review this budget at a later time? >> thanks, congressman. we actually built this budget based upon our national defense strategy. and a national defense strategy, as you know, has been released. and again, we would make significant effort to ensure that this budget gave us the capabilities that we needed to execute this strategy. so to answer your question, yes. and i do think, again, this is a substantial budget. it gives us the ability to go after those capabilities. >> understood. in regards -- and thank you for that, mr. secretary. in regards to nato, looking at the diana project which i'm sure
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you're very aware of, which i believe will reinforce the trans-atlantic cooperation in important areas like hypersonic weapons and space technology, secretary austin, do you believe that the diana project offers the type of framework that we need to improve and refine nato's capabilities to design, build, and validate our missile defense programs? >> i do. it's one of a number of things that will provide nato the ability to be forward looking. of course we'll go in and -- nato will go in and review its requirements and concepts going forward. so -- but in terms of us, the united states of america, we routinely work with allies and partners to -- as we develop additional capabilities. and i pointed to aukus earlier on. that not only is focused on development of a submarine but also working with our partner in
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developing technologies and ai and hypersonics and other things. >> great. and in regards to -- obviously you've heard a number of questions in this hearing and in other hearings or at least i have heard many of my colleagues talk about the deterrence. do you believe that diana will help our nato allies as we continue to face obviously the challenges but fortify a collective deterrent? >> what will help us most going forward is our ability to remain united and committed to defending nato territory. again, there are a number of things that go into this equation, sharing of information, for example, is one of those things, which enabled us to create transparency and bolster confidence and led to what we're seeing in nato right now.
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and that's largely a part -- that's largely a measure of what the president's decision early on, to do things to help us be able to share insights and information with our partners. and that transparency has really been helpful to us. >> thank you, mr. secretary. thank you, gentlemen. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you. the gentlewoman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to follow up on ms. luria's question. as it pertains to risk, when do you think we'll have the risk assessment piece done? >> that's my responsibility to get that done, get it submitted to the secretary and the president. probably my guess is in the next couple of weeks. >> okay. if you go through -- >> and that gets submitted to you as well, it's not just to the secretary and the president. >> thank you. if in that risk assessment we find some glaring risks that
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maybe we didn't foresee, at that time i'm assuming we'll make some changes to the budget? >> that's part of the idea, is for -- to submit it to the secretary and the president and to the congress, that if there are errors or glaring errors -- >> not errors but significant risk? >> yeah. >> i'm trying to wrap my head around -- >> significant risk has to be covered by the mitigating factors of the budget. >> i'm trying to wrap my head around how we put together a budget, if we don't really have a good risk assessment. am i not understanding that correctly? >> no, we do -- well, i participate in the budget and my staff does as well. so there is an iterative process of risk assessment. >> so we have a general idea. okay, thank you, sir. then i need clarification from both of you on the president's budget request for combat vehicles. can you explain the army's rationale for the precipitous drop in vehicle procurement,
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specifically the abrams tank, and what risks are we incurring with that drop in procurement of the abrams tanks? >> first, we've got about 4 or 5,000 tanks in the inventory. so again, it's relative to the national defense strategy, and we are optimizing the military for a fight that will occur sometime, if it occurs at all, hopefully it never does, in the 2030s. and tanks may or may not, probably not, play a very significant role in a war against china in the 2030s. what will play a really significant role will be space and cyber but also air defense systems, long range precision fires, naval capabilities and air capabilities. >> so we just don't see a ground war, so to speak? >> with china? the ground will have -- the ground forces, marine and army, will play an important role. but the dominant role will be
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played by the air and maritime forces. >> with that, then, the air force is the oldest, smallest, and least ready in its entire history. the air force leadership has repeatedly explained they need to procure at least 72 fighter aircraft. however, in '23, dod budget cuts the aircraft new tactical combat aircraft to only buy 57. so with the future being in air and space where we really need, why are we not fulfilling the 72, why are we only procuring 57, if that's the future? >> i thought it was -- minor point, i thought it was 61. >> let's even say it's 61, it's still less than requested, right? >> yes, the air force opted to want to buy and purchase and return to money to build the block for f-35 which is the most advanced of the versions. so the ones that are being chosen not to buy, those are
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block threes. so we want to get the most advanced versions of these aircraft. the f-35 is going to be the quarterback of the joint force in a fight in the western pacific. that aircraft is critical and we want the most modern capabilities and that's what we're purchasing. >> so we're taking the same money, we're just deferring it to a different -- >> that's the idea behind what cq brown and secretary of the air force have decided to do. >> okay. and just an overall question in my last minute, is, it appears with inflation being 8% and our budget being less than inflation, we've all talked about it and we're not keeping up with inflation. one of the risks that i'm assuming that we're assessing is the risks on how we look to our adversaries and our allies in terms of our budget weakness. and i say that, if i look at
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china, for example, which is one of our major adversaries, right, they are spending -- maybe even overspending, some could argue. we are cutting back. what message do you think that sends to our allies and adversaries, sir? >> so -- >> either one. >> i don't think we're cutting back. i think this is a substantial budget. three-quarters of a trillion dollars is a lot of money. the chinese are spending about $560 billion or so on their announced budget. if you factor in things -- >> i apologize, the lady's time has expired. mr. horsford is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you to our witnesses. secretary austin, it's my understanding that the air force intends to submit a legislative proposal this year requesting expanded usage of the nevada test and training range located in my district. this new proposal would come amid the ongoing effort by the navy to reach an accessible compromise with local stakeholders regarding modernization of the fallon
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range training complex. i am deeply concerned and i want to bring to your attention that the nevada delegation has still not been consulted on the nevada test and training range proposal or been given details regarding the air force's plan. so my question is, when will the air force share their proposal with the nevada delegation and our constituents, and can you commit to ensuring that the department works collaboratively with our delegation as well as our local state and tribal leaders to develop an accessible proposal for joint use in the nevada test and training range? >> on the first part of the question, in terms of when they intend to share, i'll take that for the record and get back to you on what their plan is. and yes, we -- you know, you have my commitment to make sure that we're transparent in what we're doing. >> thank you, sir, i look forward to working with you.
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i would like to shift now to the small community of remotely piloted aircraft crews shouldering the burden of over the horizon operations in the middle east and around the world. as the air force works to identify ways to improve quality of life for our p.a. crews, i want to ensure that the department of leveraging all available tools already at its disposable. secretary austin, has the department considered expanding the combat zone tax exclusion to our p.a. crews flying in support of named combat operations, giving their direct participation in these operations, would you support this expansion? >> in terms of expanding the combat zone, that's a thing that's -- you know, is relevant to the area that we're actually fighting in, and that's physical space on the ground. as to whether or not we provide credit to the troops that are engaged in activities there, that's a different issue. i know it's one that the air
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force has taken up before. i certainly support rewarding and awarding those airmen, soldiers, sailors, that have participated in meaningful ways, appropriately. >> thank you. general milley, given the unique burdens and stressors faced by our p.a. crews would you commit to exploring the expansion of this program, the special operations commands preservation of the force and family program to include our p.a. crews flying in support of combat operations? >> i'll absolutely take a look at that along with the secretary. absolutely. >> thank you. changing subjects, in recent months, we've seen a concerning rise in attacks on lgbt rights in state houses across the country. these include efforts to deny lifesaving medical care to our most vulnerable youth and a range of other potentially deadly policies. secretary austin, what steps is
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the department taking to shield active duty service members and their dependents from these hateful attacks and are state laws denying or restricting gender affirming care considered during the pcs process for service members with impacted dependents? >> so there are some -- there is some litigation ongoing with respect to a couple of states and this particular issue. and so i won't comment on that. what i will say is, and you've heard me say this and demonstrate this before, that all of our troops are important to us. they're at the top of my priority in terms of their health and wellbeing. and we want to provide opportunity for everybody who is qualified to serve in our military. and everything that we've done, you know, up to this point reflects that. we'll continue to do everything within our power to take care of
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our population. >> so just related to that, in my time moments, it's my understanding that in 2021, dod issued only about 4,000 prescriptions for p.r.e.p. despite the fact that hiv infection rate among active duty service members has nearly doubled. so what steps is the dod taking to improve access to p.r.e.p. to our service members? >> i can't answer that question. but i will take it for the record, i'll get back to you on what we're doing or not doing in dod. >> thank you, i yield back. >> thank you, the gentleman's time has expired. mr. wilson is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you for being here today. as a 31-year army veteran myself, the father of service members who have served in iraq and afghanistan, i want you to succeed. that's why i'm concerned, we're
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at day 234 since the murder of 13 americans, service members in afghanistan, as we left american personnel -- americans behind. i hope that you both can by immediately providing help to ukraine now, the most advanced military equipment for victory for the people of ukraine. we need to show our resolve and show our success for the very brave people of ukraine who are just remarkably pushing back against putin. with that in mind, general austin, the front page of "the washington post" provided on february 28th, it speaks for itself, that putin is threatening -- he said, war criminal, i believe, the families of our allies with nuclear weapons. modernization of our strategic nuclear stockpile should be a
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top priority moving forward. we cannot expect to deter putin when the nuclear capabilities are lagging behind theirs. putin's recent invasion of ukraine which included threats of first strike nuclear attack toward america and our allies elevated nuclear modernization on the department's priority list. can you explain the importance of modernization for deterrence? >> thanks, sir. it's absolutely critical. you've heard me say before, the triad has served us well over the years. and my goal is to make sure it continues to do so. that's why we've invested over $34 billion in this budget towards modernization of our triad. >> and indeed, what you're saying, peace through strength works. and also, general, in may 2018, nnsa announced that it would pursue a new approach for the plutonium pit production split between the facilities at los alamos and the savannah river
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site. the war criminal putin has the ability to produce plutonium pits yet the united states currently lacks this ability. does the department of defense -- how can we reasonably expect that this vital program will be adequately supported when the department's budget request does not even exceed the rate of inflation? >> i can assure you that we're going to make sure that we have the capability that we require to make sure that our triad remains functional and safe. and so this is a thing that we'll continue to invest in. but we'll maintain the capability to do what needs to be done. >> and the two-site solution with the capabilities of los alamos and savannah river, that's critical, that it be two sites? >> what's critical is that we maintain the capability that we need. and again, as we look at things going forward, you know, we'll
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make the right decisions. my commitment to you is that we'll make sure that we have the right capability, adequate capability to be successful. >> and the american people need to know, many of the pits that we have are 60 years old and so this is something that's just got to be done and in the two-site solution would really work to the benefit of the american people. and a final question, general, gruesomely, our treasured ally india, the world's largest democracy, is choosing to align itself with the kremlin by choosing russian weapons systems over american and allied options. what weapons platforms could we offer through the military sales program that would incentivize indian leaders to reject putin and align with its natural allies of democracy? >> well, as you know, we have the finest weapons systems in the world and the most advanced weapons systems in the world. so we have a range of capabilities that we can provide or offer. we continue to work with them to
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ensure that they understand that, you know, it's not in their -- we believe it's not in their best interests to continue to invest in russian equipment. and our requirement going forward is that, you know, they downscale the types of equipment they're investing in and look to invest more in the type of things that will make us continue to be compatible. >> i look forward to you continuing to work with the great people of india and what a great ally they can be. if we eliminate some of the restrictions on sales. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. ms. jacobs is recognized for five minutes. >> well, thank you, mr. chair, and thank you, secretary austin and general milley, for coming to the committee to talk about the fy '23 budget request. i know there's been a lot of conversation about the budget and whether it's what we need. in my initial assessment i believe this budget is more than adequate and i look forward to
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working with you on what an adequate budget looks like moving forward. we've talked a lot about how much money we're spending and i want to talk a little bit about what we're spending money on. i think it's clear that so many of our doctrines and policies and weapons systems were designed for threats and challenges that happened in the past but not necessarily the ones that we're facing now and into the future. and so i actually think the current war in ukraine has shown the utility of low cost weapons over large, expensive legacy systems. and so, secretary austin, what do you think the main lessons are for the u.s. in how successful ukraine has been in fighting back a russian force, and how do you think that should impact the way dod does business? i know chairman smith touched on this in his opening but i really want to drill down if, in light of ukraine, you think the department should focus more on weapons and less on overly complex weapons that aren't
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survivable? >> many of the weapons that have been effective are not necessarily low cost, but we have been able to provide them in sufficient quantities to make a significant difference. a lot of credit goes to the ukrainian people for, you know, their will to fight, their determination, their willingness to sacrifice. but given all of that, you know, they had, when the time came, you know, the elements -- the right kinds of equipment to be able to make a difference on that battlefield. and we've been pouring it in on a daily basis, and increasing not only the quantity but the quality of capability that we've been providing. so there are some lessons to be learned in terms of commitment, leadership, tactics, techniques, and procedures, logistics, integration of different types of platforms, a number of lessons across the board. but a key lesson is, if you pay
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attention to the right things and do the right things, armed with the right equipment, you know, a smaller force can be very, very effective. and that's what we're seeing today. >> >> well, thank you, and i do think they're low cost relative to some of the high cost we're talking about today and shows for instance what russia had. so moving on to the next topic, secretary austin, i and many other members of congress are looking forward to reviewing the report on civilian casualties and glad you called for a thorough review. two quick requests related to that review, first my colleagues sent a letter first remoted to the strike first reported by new york times which took place in syria in 2017, can you confirm a
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prompt response to that letter given to the concerns raised by reporting? >> yes. >> thank you very much, and second, general mckinsy, couple weeks ago, mentioned 10 concrete steps taken to reduce civilian casualties, personally promised me at the hearing we would receive that report shortly but have not received it so could you confirm to urge sencom to send that report to the committee. >> i certainly will do that. >> thank you, and finally, based on information from ngos in the media such as new york times civilian casualty filed is d.o.d. going to report cases likely due to faulty initial assessments? >> at this time, we don't have intent to relitigate cases from before. >> okay, well i think it's
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important you do so since in so many of these instances we've seen horrific instances where the initial assessment was declined so we were unable to get additional information on that and with that, mr. chairman i yield back. >> thank you, mr. fallon recognized five minutes. >> thank you, secretary austin, court, you know, inflation at 8% and the president's proposed $813 billion, 4% increase over year, and, you know, where the taliban is ruling in afghanistan after a humiliating withdrawal, we're witness to largest land invasion in europe since world war ii and the rattling of the communist chinese, particularly over the last year, where they increased their defense spending by 7% and also using evermore increasing and aggressive rhetoric when it comes to as they see it their renegade
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province and taiwan, given these and other threats, to embark on a path of increasing navy vessels over the next 25 years, reducing aeft duty force by a point percentage and a and a half, i don't think that's the right path and it's concerning to me, secretary austin, at the beginning of last year, ranking members rogers and turner led a letter that myself and a total of 15 members of this committee signed, this letter here, signed on urging the president and your administration to do two things. considering the massing that we saw of troops in open source reporting of the sizeable russian presence on the ukrainian border and their equipment, and i think any level-headed, fair-minded observer would have seen that if invasion wasn't imminent, it was highly likely, we asked for two things, one, send a significant amount of leegtdal aid to the
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ukraine immediately and two, deploy presence in the black sea, so secretary austin, what was the total dollar amount of new lethal aid, because i know the administration sent i think $60 million in september of last year. what was the total of new lethal aid send to ukraine in november of last year? >> i'll tell you, prior to the invasion, the total amount, over time that we provide to ukraine was a billion dollars and, since the invasion, provided another billion dollars. >> okay. you don't know in november? >> i don't know how it breaks out in november versus any other month, but -- >> it was my concern that that letter wasn't heeded and we dragged our feet in for no reason, secretary, what is the total number of ships we currently have in the black sea? >> current u.s. ships in the black sea? nothing. >> okay, because we historically
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kept a presence in the black sea, is that correct? >> i mean, the presence ebbed and flowed over time, not a permanent presence in the black sea. >> in 2021, is it total we had 20 ships in the black sea for total aggregate -- now my concern is we have no presence in the black sea and no presence at all, like we cut running rather than deter an evil man in the actions he's taken and our actions since last november have come to pass. >> if i could -- >> i don't think your microphone is on, mr. secretary -- >> yeah, if i could. >> that's what critics would say, i'm not saying, you know, we i think in a large measure are allowing putin to deter us
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and not deter him. >> so what you've seen, you know, in the day after he invaded, you know, we had forces flowing to the baltics, states, the eastern flank, you know, within 24 hours to reassure and deter. we had aircraft flying policing missions in romania and poland right away, within 24 hours. and so putin, in his best estimate was going to take months for nato to react or respond, to move forces to the eastern flank, but we were there within, you know, 24 hours so that's far from cutting tail and running, not to mention the incredible capability we've been providing to the ukrainians who have taken it at the assistance we've provided along with allies and partners and used it to get ahead. >> and with the little time i have remaining, so we have no
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presence now in the black sea, that's the bottom line though. i went just recently, i found it interesting the romanian prime minister said that when i asked him should we keep our bases in eastern europe permanent he said he didn't think we had any choice, i'd like you to comment on that if you could. >> general's time has expired. so we got one more question here, i have some questions i want to get before we have time and then we're done, mr. molton will be the last question so we'll be done shortly after 2:00. i want to follow up on the sub-launched cruise missile. we'll probably have an argument over this and i understand the general position is more is better, but i don't -- mr. courtney may think, pretty well had thought-out dements of turning submarines into nuclear launch submarines and how that would undermine other missions,
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complicate the ability to get in there, to do what they're designed to do, also potentially has an impact on the aucus deal because the australias are pretty clear on the fact they don't want to be launching nuclear weapons off a submarine and we are building the long-range stand-off weapon, granted that's up in the air, not under the sea, but it has a very similar capability. so other than just what the hell, we may as well have more, how do we overcome the concern on the impact it would have and what the a attack submissions already are in building this missile. you already stated your position you want the missile so how do those arguments not undermine that? >> this, those are 50, 50-some odd attack subs in the system so we're talking about building, developing a piece of munition,
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ammo, granted it's nuclear. so the weapon itself wouldn't necessarily be on each of those subs so some of those subs, a small percentage may have a mission change, the others would not. so i think it's a fair comment from congressman courtney about it but i don't buy that as in terms of the overall. it's also a moot point. i'm here to defend the president's budget, president's already made a decision -- >> it's not actually a moot point. we're still going to fight about it up here, so that's why i'm trying to make sure we have the argument. >> look, i support the ndr which is part of the nts and we have a lot of nuclear capability. so no foe of the united states should under estimate our capability, because of a slick amend, decision to produce or
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not produce a slick, our nuclear capability is much bigger than that, as you know, a triad and the amount of throw away, the amount of yield we have in all kinds of different nuclear weapon systems is enormous, so no adversary of the united states should under estimate our capability. will is a different matter and whether use it or not is a different matter, those decisions, but our nuclear capability is significant, and this budget, future budget, or past budgets we are going to recappalize that system so i wouldn't get overly hung up on the slick amend, the triad is very capable to defend the united states. >> and i will point out this, there are members of this committee who will get overly hung up on it so trying to work through that and make sure we have the arguments clear and in front of us and i'm not a submarine person by any stretch of the imagination, but from what i understand if you're talking about handling nuclear
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weapons on a submarine, that is an entirely different things in terms of how to train and prepare the crew and even if the nuclear weapons aren't on that particular submarine. >> it would have to be certified. my only point is i'd like all presidents to have as many options as possible. that's all. >> fair enough. mr. molten, five minutes. >> thank you, sir, your service to the country and your stamina. you have the weight on your shoulders of protecting freedom around the globe while preventing a nuclear war every single day, a weight not many could bear. i'm aware of the criticism of the handling from withdrawal from afghanistan but i think the last two months of putin's war in ukraine you handled brilliantly so i want to sincerely thank you for your leadership, it's been critical to our priorities and the success of the ukrainian people. the only consistent criticism i've heard in a bipartisan way
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in the effort in ukraine is the speed at which things are moving. you've done all the right thing, some people say it could of moved more quickly and i think that reflects a broader concern i have about the bujtd that we're transforming the force, modernizing, reinvesting into development the question is are we moving quickly enough so a couple questions on that. mr. secretary, you testified about the various innovation efforts and d.o.d.'s investment in technology, but defense innovation university leveraged 25 million in dyd, has been cut in its budget for fy 22, why is that, and is that a wise move for the future? i think they've been incredibly successful. >> as we look across the landscape, want to make sure we're putting up dollars where we get good return and d.y.u. has done amazing work for us over time and want to make sure
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we're using other means to encourage initiative and bring new capabilities on board, and get the input of entrepreneurs and small companies and that sort of business. but dyu is important to us. it will remain important to us. it's not a signal that we're phasing dyu out if that's what -- >> no, mr. secretary, it's hard for me, especially as a cochair of future defense task force a couple years ago to you, imagine not increasing the budget for dyu given the returns so i'd like to have a more detailed answer for the record, please, on that, and if there's an opportunity for us to increase the budget, that's something we'd like to do. in china, gentlemen, we've seen heavy divestment from the traditional land army. it was a good thing for us china wasted a lot of time and effort on the million man army because it was not very effective. they've been pretty dramatic in taking money out of that,
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downsizing the force and putting it into other capabilities. as you think about the overall structure of d.o.d. and the balance among the services, are you adapting that balance to meet the threats from china and russia or does each service within your budget essentially get the same amount of money? >> i can assure you that each service does not, and that's always an issue of the great debate. we're really going after the capabilities that we need, that are relevant to this fight that we could have in the future. and so you've seen significant investment in naval forces and also air forces. if you look across, that trend continues. but it's not a cookie cutter approach by any stretch of the imagination. >> mr. secretary, on the same theme, could you just -- i know the chairman asked this question at the beginning of the
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hearing -- but could you give me two specific lessons we learned from ukraine and explain how the lesserns are reflects in changes in the budget, so changing the amount of money invested in artillery, armor, drones or something like that, given the lessons we've seen on the ground the last several weeks . >> again, it's still early, a month into the fight and there will be lessons that we take away from this. but in terms of how it. impacts our structure and war-fighting capabilities, we don't -- there are no changes that we would desire to make at this point. again, we'll see how this plays out over time. >> mr. chairman, may i ask you the same question, do you think we should be making changes in the budget based on what we're seeing in ukraine? i might add that azerbaijan gave us a lot of lessons along the same lines. >> two things, not necessarily change to see the budget, but
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the fundamental significance of air defense systems in order to deny an opponent to achieve air superiority, that's been done by ukrainians and done with a huge amount of help from the united states with stingers, et cetera. but also our intelligence feats so the second big lesson is intelligence. i won't go in open hearing about the intelligence we collected and all that, but this war has arguably been the most successful intelligence operation in military history and it's really tremendous and some day that story will be told. i guess a third thing is to reinforce the united states doctrinal methodology of mission command, power down, decentralize decision making to the lowest level possible. ukrainians have been trained on that in the last six years, longer than that, eight years. >> time has expired.
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good answer. and this is a good place to close, i think, because in the president budget is president's budget but it's a starting not an ending point so a lot of the things we talk about here and as we try to react to the lessons learned from ukraine conflict, you know, we have a number of months here to work our will legislatively in cooperation with the department of defense and the president to get to the right answer on this, but i think what mr. molton and a number of other people are talking about is really important -- modernizing the force. we've talked about it a long time, how do we put ourselves in a position to take advantage of innovation more quickly and recognize how the battle field has changed within the pentagon budget. as you know, it's a big process, like painting the golden gate bridge, it's constant, budget gets introduced, requirements locked in and pentagon built a system around the five year plan and one of our frustrations on dyu is dyu does great research
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on ideas and if they find something that works, they got to wait two years before they can buy it in many instances, i know there is some fundable money for that but the length and process involved undermines our ability to rapidly react, in terms of pro curement, how to prioritize things. we are working to try to help you speed that up and that will be a lot of what we do in the next process. single more important thing, if we can get this done by october 1st, that would help you as well. gentlemen, anything to say for the good of the order, i will allow you closing comments if you have them. >> my only closing comment, chairman, i want to thank the committee and all your colleagues remarks for the tremendous support you've given us, the speed at which you moved to support our efforts, especially here in with ukraine here in the recent past and
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we'll continue this work. this is not -- this is something chairman and i talk about everyday. and so this is not something that's been passed off to a staff officer at lower level. this has our continued focus, and we remain in contact with our counterparts in ukraine. they perform magnificently and i think they'll continue that work. i would also point to the fact that, you know, what you're seeing with nato right now is no accident. the president, and all the cabinet members have really leaned into making sure we are transparent with nato, we do everything we can to keep nato unified and i think, well, i don't think, i know, that our colleagues in europe really appreciate our leadership and what we've done to help them. thank you, sir. >> thank you, we -- sorry, go
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ahead. >> i would like to thank the committee for your continued support as well. and i want to reemphasize what i said in the opening statement. we are at, literally, in my view, a pivot point in the geostrategic history of europe for sure but perhaps the globe with this invasion of ukraine and got to do everything we can that's possible without going to war with russia to ensure the ukrainian people remain free and sovereign, that's really critically important to global security and the third and last important is i'm enormously proud of what this joint force is have about, every single day these guys come to work, work hard to defend their country and doing a selfless service for the defense of the nation and support of the constitution and nothing could make me prouder than what our soldiers, marines, guards do everyday day in and day out. >> i want the emphasize the points made, the hard work gone
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in from secretary austin and the entire biden administration to pull this coalition together, to have the response, and second, what you have in ukraine, we've been working to train the ukrainians for a very long time. it shows, so we should be very proud of that. and i do also want to thank the committee with one notable exception, this was a very, very good discussion of the issues and what we're looking for. as far as that notable exception goes, i looked it up, sadly, i don't have the power to simply take a member's time away, so if they're going, they're going, but other than that, i think we did a great job analyzing the issues. like i said, this is the start of the process, look forward to working with all of you to get that done to the best of our ability, and with that, we are adjourned.
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>> defense secretary austin and joint chiefs of staff chair, mark milley will be back capitol hill thursday, it this time testifying before the senate arms services committee on the pentagon 2023 budget request, live thursday 9:00 eastern here on c-span 3. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government, funded by these television companies and
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