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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  December 3, 2009 2:00am-6:00am EST

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witnessed president karzai call just as we have done in iraq, we
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will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground. a time frame for transition will provide a sense of urgency in working with the afghan government, but it should be clear to everyone that the united states, our allies and our partners will have an enduring commitment, a civilian commitment to afghanistan and pakistan. our resolve in this fight is reflected in the substantial new increase in troops, but also in the significant civilian surge that will also accompany it. the civilian effort is bearing fruit. civilian experts and advisors are helping to craft policy are helping to craft policy inside government providing development assistance in the field, and when our marines went into nawa provinces last july, we had civilians on the ground with them to coordinate assistance the very next day, as our operations progress, our coordination will grow even stronger.
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we are on track to triple the number of civilian positions to 974 by early in january. on average, each of these civilians leverages 10 partners, ranging from locally trained staff. it's a cliche to say we have our best people in these jobs, but it is also true. i met with an american colonel in kabul who told me he had thousands of outstanding soldiers under his command, none of them had the agriculture experience of the usda civilians serving alongside his battalion or the experts from the state department. the colonel said to me, i'm happy to supply whatever support these valuable civilians need, and we need more of them. that is part of our strategy. our combined civilian military strategy. we will be delivering high
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economic assistance and bolstering the economic sector. we will be helping to often the door to those who renounce the taliban and al qaeda. i will be going to brussels tomorrow to work with our allies, to obtain additional commitments of troops and civilian aide. we also know that a strong, stable, democrating pakistan is a necessity as a key partner in this effort. people in pakistan are increasingly coming to the view that we do share a common enemy. i heard that repeatedly during my recent visit there. we will significantly expand support to help develop the potential of the people of pakistan, and we will do more to demonstrate to the pakistani people that they must continue their efforts to weed out and defeat the pakistani taliban.
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as we are moving forward with our international efforts, we have a great deal of commitment to troops, trainers and resources that will be reported in the days and weeks ahead. ambassador holbrook, our special representative is already there consulting with our allies, and we are especially reaching out to muslims everywhere, to make clear that those who pervert a great religion do not represent it, and everyone has a stake in ensuring that they do not dominate the message and the narrative of what islam stands for. so let me conclude where i began. we face a range of difficult choices but the president's plan represents the best way we know to protect our nation today and tomorrow. the task is as complex as any national security challenge in our lifetimes. we will not succeed.
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if people view this effort as the responsibility of a single party, as a single agency within our government or a single country. we owe it to the troops and civilians who will face these dangers, to come together as americans along with our allies and international partners to accomplish this mission. i look forward to working with you to ensure that we do. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, madam secretary. secretary gates. >> mr. chairman, ranking members of the committee, thank you for inviting us to testify today. i would like to provide an overview of the strategic thinking and context behind the president's decisions. in particular, the nexus among al qaeda, the taliban, pakistan and afghanistan. and our objectives in how the president's strategy aims to accomplish them. as the president first stated last march and reemphasized last night, the goal of the united
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states and afghanistan and pakistan is to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al qaeda and its extremist allies, and to prevent its return to both countries. the international military effort to stabilize afghanistan is necessary to achieve this overarching goal. feeding al qaeda and enhancing afghan security are mutually reinforcing missions. they cannot be untethered from one another as much as we might wish that to be the case. while al qaeda is under great pressure now and dependent on the taliban and other groups for sustainment. it would strengthen al qaeda's message to the world. that extremists are on the winning side of history. the taliban and al qaeda have become siymbiotic. the lesson of the afghan's
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message is that time is on their side, with a western defeat, they could regain their strength and maintain a victory as long as their senior leadership lives and can continue to attract followers and funding. rolling back the taliban is now necessary, even if not sufficient to the ultimate defeat of al qaeda. at the same time, one cannot separate the security situation in afghanistan from the stability of pakistan. a nuclear armed nation of 175 million people now also explicitly targeted by islamic extremists. giving the extremists breathing room in pakistan, led to the resurgence of the taliban, and more coordinated sophisticated attacks in afghanistan. providing a sanctuary for extremists in southern and eastern afghanistan would put more pressure on a pakistani government already under attack from groups operating in the border region.
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indeed, the pakistan taliban in just the last year oar so has become a real threat to pakistan's own domestic peace and stability. carrying out with al qaeda's help escalating bombing attacks throughout the country. failure in afghanistan would meet a taliban takeover of much if not most of the country. and likely a renewed civil war. the taliban ruled area could ensure areas in short order could become a sanctuary for al qaeda as well as a staging area for resurgent militant groups on the offensive in pakistan. success in south and central asia by islamic extremists as was 20 years ago would beget strength. provide new opportunities for recruitment, fund-raising and more sophisticated options. it's true they can plot and execute attacks from a variety of locations, from munich to n
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london to denver. what makes the border area between afghanistan and pakistan uniquely different from any other location including somalia, yemen and other possible areas, is that this part of the world represents the epicenter of extremist jihadism. for them to be seen to defeat the sole remaining superpower in the same place would have severe consequences for the united states and for the world. some may say this is similar to the domino theory that ultimately pinned and muddied the thinking behind the military escalation in vietnam. the difference, however, is that we have very real and very recent history that shows just what can happen in this part of the world. less than five years after the
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last soviet tank crossed the bridge out of afghanistan, islamic militants launched their first attack in 1993 on the world trade center in new york. we cannot afford to make a similar mistake again. the president's new strategic concept aims to reverse the taliban's momentum and reduce its strength, while providing the time and space necessary to stabilize their own country. the essence of our civil, military plan is to clear, hold, build and transfer. beginning to transfer security responsibility to the afghans in the summer of 2011 is critical. and in my view, achievable. this transfer will occur district by district, province by province, depending on conditions on the ground. the process will be similar to what we did in iraq, where international security forces provided overwatch first at the tactical level, and then at the
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strategic level. making this transition possible requires accelerating the development of a larger and more capable afghan army and police, through extensive partnering with icef forces especially in combat. even after we transfer security responsibility to the afghans and draw down our combat forces, the united states must continue to support their development as an important partner for the long haul. we must not repeat the mistake of 1989 when we abandons the country only to see it desends into civil war and then into taliban hands. let me offer closing thoughts, the president believes as do i, that in the end we cannot defeat al qaeda without improving and stabilizing the security situation in afghanistan. the president's decision offers the best possibility to decisively change the momentum in afghanistan and fundamentally
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alter the strategic equation in pakistan and central asia. all necessary to protect the united states, our allies and our vital interests. and so i ask for your full support of this decision to provide both ambassador eikenberry and general mcchrystal the information they need to be successful. the men and women who volunteer and revolunteer to serve their cun in the uniform. >> thank you, mr. secretary. mr. chairman? >> mr. chairman, congresswoman and distinguished members of this committee, thank you for your time today. let me state up front i support fully and without hesitation the president's decision. i appreciate the opportunity to contribute to what i believe was a healthy and productive discussion. i've seen my share of internal
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debates about various national security issues, especially over the course of the last two years. i can say i do not recall an issue, so thoroughly or so thoughtfully considered as this one. every military leader in the chain of command as well as those of the joint chiefs was given voice throughout this process, and every one of us used it. we now have the force of strategy, more appropriately matched to the situation on the ground in afghanistan. and resources match more appropriately to that strategy. particularly with regard to reversing the insurgencies momentum in 2010. given the stakes in afghanistan for our own national security as well as that of our partners around the world, i believe the time we took was well worth it. secretary clinton, secretary gates have already walked you through the larger policy issues in question. i will not repeat them. from a purely military perspective, i believe our new approach does three critical
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things. first, by providing more discrete objectives, it offers better guidance to commanders on the ground about how to employ their forces. they will still work to defeat al qaeda and prevent afghanistan from becoming a safe haven. they will still strive to protect the afghan people who remain the center of gravity. they will still pursue major elements of the counter campaign, designed by general mcchryst by working to degrade the taliban's influence and by streamlining the growth of competent afghan national security forces. at its core, our strategy is about providing breathing space for them to secure their own people and stabilize their own country. it is about partnering and entering just as much of not more than it is about fighting. where once to believe that
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finishing the job meant doing it ourselves, we now know it cannot treat the or permanently beat them by anyone other than the afghans themselves. 1/3 of the troops are pregnant with afghan forces. i expect that number to rise again evidently. this new strategy his commanders on the ground the resources and support they need to reverse the momentum of the taliban burd. i have said before and i believe it, the region is the epicenter of global islamic extremism. it is the place from which we were attacked on 9/11. should we be hit again, it is a place from which i am convinced the planning and funding will emanate. al qaeda may be the architect of such an attack of the taliban will be the bricklayers.
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taliban groups have grown bolder and more sophisticated. we saw that a few months ago in the valley. taliban forces attacked outposts. layers. though hardly a uniformed body, the taliban groups have grown bolder and more sophisticated. we saw that just a few months ago where taliban forces attacked coalition alcoves using almost conventional small unit tactics. their fighters are better organized and better equipped than they were just one year ago. coalition forces experienced record high violence this past summer, with insurgent attack more than 60% above 2008 levels. through brutal retaliation, coercing the reluctant support of many locals and challenging the authority of leaders and state institutions.
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we believe the insurgency has achieved influence in 11 of the 34 provinces. to say there's no serious threat of afghan falling once again in taliban hands ignores the a audacity of the insurgencies most public statements, and to argue that, should they have that power, the taliban would not tolerate the presence of al qaeda again on afghan soil is to ignore the recent past and the evidence we see every day of collusion between these factions on both sides of the afghanistan, pakistan border. the cost of failure is then grave. that is why the president's decision for an extended surge to afghanistan of 30,000 additional forces is so important. it gets the most u.s. force into the fight as quickly as possible. giving general mcchrystal everything he needs in 2010 to
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gain the initiative. it validates our adherence to our counter surgencecy approach and offers the best possible chance to set the security conditions for the afghan people to see our commitment to their future, for the karzai government to see his promised reforms. for the afghan taliban to understand they will not, they cannot take back afghanistan. and for those beyond -- [ audio difficulties ] troops which have already made a huge difference in the southern valley. as i testified before, mr. chairman, no amount of troops, in no amount of time, will ever be enough to completely achieve success in such a fight. they simply must be accompanied by good governance and healthy public administration. this not troop numbers is the area of my greatest concern.
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like everyone else, i look forward to working with the karzai government, but we must have the support of the interagency and international communities as well. and that brings me to my final point. the president's new strategy still recognizes the criticality of the broad based approach to regional problems, he does not view afghanistan in isolation any more than he views the ties between the taliban as superficial. he has called for cooperation from pakistan, and whose support remains vital to our ability to eliminate safe havens, he has pledged and we in the military welcome renewed emphasis to the effort, more contributions by ornate toe nations and a realistic plan to transition responsibilities to the afghans. his is a more balanced, more
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flexible and achievable strategy than we've had in the past, one based on pragmatism and real possibilities. speaking of the men and women who must execute it, and who with their families have born the brunt of the stress and strain of constant combat, i support his decision and i appreciate his leadership. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i thank you, and all of you, we have two hours to go at our distinguished witnesses. as is the custom, we will -- the gavel will go down after five minutes. members can make comments, we can ask questions. as a matter of common courtesy, if we expect an answer to the question, we will give the witness more than 7.5 seconds to answer. i'd like to ask a couple short
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questions, and then a little more time on the afghanistan pakistan relationship. first. and you've made evident by your testimony, but secretary gates and add myrmiral mullen, do you believe the troop surge is an essential part? >> yes, sir. >> yes, sir. >> secretary clinton, do you know the resources you need to accomplish this? >> mr. chairman, we do not know specifically, but we will be submitting budget requests in order to achieve the numbers that are going to be needed. >> thank you. >> turning now to afghanistan and pakistan, that connection. the administration is described the current situation in afghanistan as detrimental to the stability of pakistan. elements of pakistan's
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intelligence service continue to have ties with a number of the insurgent groups that seek to destabilize afghanistan. don't many in pakistan see these groups as a means to maintain influence in afghanistan? what incentives does pakistan have to cut these ties? and join us in going after these groups? we do know that the pakistan military is conducting unprecedented operations in waziristan. the way it looks, these operations are focused on the pakistani taliban and not against those extremists and taliban that are using pakistan as a sanctuary to launch efforts against our troops. do you see evidence that pakistan will act against these groups? and for ever and how many of you care to respond to that? >> mr. chairman, i would say that first of all, there is one
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of the significant political developments in pakistan over the last seven or eight months, has been a strong shift in public opinion in support of the actions that the pakistani army is taking in first in s.w.a.t. and now in south waziristan. as i indicated earlier, there has developed over the last year a nexus between al qaeda, the pakistani taliban, the tariki taliban, pakistan, and the taliban in afghanistan. and they are mutually reinforcing. both in their narrative and in their operations. what we have seen is the pakistani army going after the taliban and other extremists in western pakistan. there is no question. but it has put pressure on some of the insurgent zbrgroups thate
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acting against the united states. the number of people that have fled to afghanistan. there clearly is a value to what the pakistanis are doing. the pakistanis relationship with these groups date back, frankly to when i was dealing with them more than 20 years ago, when we were taking on the soviet union and pakistan. these relationships between the pakistanis and these groups were established then as the vehicle for taking on the soviets. they have maintained some of those contacts and those relationships, frankly as a hitch, because of their uncertainty whether the united states would be a reliable partner and ally for them going-forward. and whether we would remain in afghanistan until we were assured of success in taking care of the extremists. i think as we make progress, and as they make progress, their incentive to change this approach, to opt strategically to partner with the united states becomes significantly
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more powerful. >> i would only add that as i've watched pakistan, mr. chairman, that they have made great progress and great changes, compared to 12 months ago, and that from my perspective, it is their view, how they will proceed will be based on, in many ways, how afghanistan turns out. that's why stabilizing afghanistan, having an afghanistan that isn't a threat to them, stability in the region, i think that offers great opportunity for them to continue to change and break some of these relationships or change some of these relationships overtime. and i just remain extremely concerned about the collaboration -- the collaborative aspect of what's happened over the last couple years with these separate terrorist groups, who have joined hands in ways we haven't seen any more. >> thank you very much, my time
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has expired. the ranking member is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, so much, mr. chairman, thank you, to our distinguished panelists today. in his speech, the president stated, "we will pursue a military strategy that will break the taliban's momentum and increase afghanistan's capacity over the next 18 months." how would we measure taliban's capabilities and what are the specific indicators that we are monitoring to assess the taliban momentum? and if the taliban momentum is not broken within 18 months, what are our contingency plans? and if you care to comment on reports that u.s. assistance has made its way into taliban coffers, what assistance do with we have to eliminate taliban
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assistance. would you agree that iran plays a stabilizing role -- we have seen an increase in the level of support that iran has provided to the taliban, and insurgent groups including lethal aide, and what is our strategy in afghanistan as it relates to the threat posed by iran. thank you, mr. chairman. >> let me take on the second and third parts of your question. first of all, there is no question -- with respect to your second question, the -- one of the concerns that i have. we talk about the narcotics trade being a source of a great deal of income for the taliban. and, frankly, also for corruption in afghanistan. and one of my concerns is that
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another source of corruption and support for the taliban i fear is the enormous amount of international money coming in to afghanistan through our own efforts and those of our partners, in garn stan. the 42 other nations that are contributing troops. the hundreds of ngo's and international organizations, and so on, will is a huge amount of money flowing into afghanistan at this point. and one of the things that we have to think about is the way in which we approach our contracting, and the way we deal with the afghan government and the way we use the funds that are available to us to reduce their contribution both to corruption and personally some part of it flowing to the taliban themselves. and the place we can start is the place where we have control, and that's where we write the checks, and so that's the place to start. now, i -- it's been a long day,
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remind me of your third question? >> the influence of iran, we talked about the pakistan -- >> that's good enough. >> i would tell you that we do have evidence of iranian involvement, particularly in the western part of afghanistan, but i think based on the intelligence and the information available to us from our commanders, it is still a relatively small and not significant -- making a relatively small they want to support the afghan government. they want to have a friendly relationship there is no question that they would like to inflict pain on us. they are targeting it in a way that is not aimed at the afghan government. >> thank you.
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how can we calibrate success at? >> it happens through security. it is so critical. in the routine travel around the country, the leaders tell him security is first. there that comes cheney and equipping the afghan security forces. -- training and equipping the afghan security forces. i think it is about momentum. we will know how it is working. we have a situation a couple of weeks ago. there were tens of thousands of taliban people that said they were dumb. they are people that are tired of fighting. >> thank you very much.
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n that, the point is,that will be a piece of this as well. >> thank you very much. >> the time of the gentle lady has expired. the gentleman from new york, mr. ackerman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. i'm really struggling with this. it seems a bunch of years ago, i participated in a clunkers for cash program. my president sold me a clunker and i paid for it with my children's and constituent's children and grandchildren's cash. we're still paying for that one, and i just want to make sure to the best that i can, that we're not buying another clunker. i'm trying to think this thing through. the best i come up with is that we have a shack that's on fire,
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but it's located next to the dynamite factory. and the question that i think i know the answer to, but my constituents keep asking, is it worth risking the lives of those who respond to the fire in a place that may or may not hold a lot of value in and of itself? and what's going to be the result, and what would happen if we don't respond to that. i guess the question i would ask is this, as of 8:00 last night, do we have a new war? or do we have an old war under new ownership. or is it the same war with a new management strategy to muscle up
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and have a more elegant exit plan. maybe we could start with that. >> i think we have inherited the same war, but it is a dynamic war, and frankly the situation is getting worse. the fire is getting hotter, the situation in pakistan as we have seen in the last year or so, a number of terrorist bombings, a clear intent on the part of al qaeda to work with the taliban in pakistan to destabilize the government of pakistan with nuclear weapons and a much larger population. we have seen the taliban becoming more bold and more
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aggressive. and it is clear that i think to the president and to the rest of us, that we need to do something to change the dynamic, and momentum. i think what the president has done is narrowed the mission. one of the concerns we had coming out of march, one of the concerns i had was that those decisions were interpreted by many as saying, we're going into full scale nation building, and we're going to try to establish a strong central government in kabul. i think what we have done in this process is figuring out how to narrow the mission so it is focused on the threat to the united states. how do we keep al qaeda and that terrorist nexus on that border from becoming an even greater danger to the united states, how do we disrupt them, how do we
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dismantle them, how do we defeet them? the conclusion is, we must stabilize the security situation in afghanistan first. we don't need to build a 21st century community afghanistan to accomplish that objective. the purpose of what the president has announced is to narrow our mission, focus in on our security, and as well, the future of both afghanistan and pakistan. >> i think congressman, the process that we have gone through has been aimed at testing every assumption, asking all the hard questions. i think it's fair to say that if the president could have concluded that this was an old war that could be wound down and walked away from, that would certainly have been an easier choice. he is, as we are well aware of
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the political, and economic and the loss of young men and women that this decision presages. but the dynamite factory is there. and unfortunately it's been stocked with more dynamite in the last couple years, and, therefore, we think we have to address it. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the ranking member of the subcommittee on south asia, mr. burton is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i believe that commitment is extremely important. and the civilian commitment is important, but they have to be covered by the military. today at 12:59 p.m. admiral mullen said, in part that by roughly the july time frame, we'll have 20 to 25,000 troops in theater, and there will be
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5,000 troops that will be over there very shortly. now, if the time frame is correct in my mind, the president is indicating he wants to start removing troops in july 2011. and you're telling us that they're not going to be there until july 2010. that gives one year before they start removing the troops. i understand that this can be adjusted and the witnesses have indicated that this can be adjusted. if the need arises, but what kind of a signal does it send to the taliban and al qaeda, when you know that the troops aren't going to be there until july, and you're going to have them out -- or start moving them out a year from then. even if you reassess, you've given them a time frame within which to work, i think that's a terrible mistake. and, you know, there's another issue i want to raise, last night i was watching my good friend representative poe on the
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floor. he raised an issue that's not been talked about in the media very much. back in world war ii, if the japanese had killed and mutilated four americans, hung them from a bridge and then we captured one of the people that did that, one of the ring leaders and they got a split lip and a smack in the stomach, i don't think they would have been court marshalled, i think if the germans had killed and mutilated american troops and hung them from a bridge and someone busted them in the mouth when they captured them, they wouldn't have been court marshalled, and yet right now, one of the ring leaders of al qaeda ham add havid was captured in operation amber. those navy seals that captured him on december 7th, the day we were attacked at pearl harbor
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are going to be court marshalled, i think that is insane. what kind of a message are we sending to our troops in the field when they do their duty, risk their lives, capture a terrorist that's wanted, one of the top 10 terrorists and we're going to court marshall him. i don't care if they broke the guys nose or both his arms and legs. this is insane, the troops need to know there's total commitment by the people of this country and the military leaders. and for us to start court marshalling people who capture a leader in al qaeda, who mutilated americans and hung them from a bridge and we're going to court marshall them for capturing this guy and punching him in the stomach and giving him a broken lip? this is crazy. we need to send a signal we're going to do whatever is necessary to protect our troops and protect the people of this country in this war against terror. and i hope that you'll be able to give me a satisfactory
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answer, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff as to why these gentlemen are being court marshalled. >> i have great faith in our judicial system. >> why are they being court marshalled. >> i have great leaders in the seal community that i have tremendous faith in. i await whatever that leadership recommends. i wouldn't be involved in anyway shape or form in those proceedings, it would be improper for me to get involved in anyway shape or format this point. >> let me follow up by saying, sir, i think it's improper that these men are being court marshalled. after capturing this guy in operation amber. and him having a split lip and was hit in the stomach. because that's what we were told happened. and if security's job one, then i think an artificial time line in afghanistan is improper as
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well. it sends the wrong signal in my opinion, to the taliban and al qaeda. >> the time line is one that gets -- the decision is one that gets forces there very very rapidly, the decision -- the time line in july is set to transition, transfer security responsibility start to do that, and transition and it will be based on -- it will be a responsible transition and be based on conditions on the ground. >> the time of the gentleman has expired, the representative from american somalia is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, madam secretary i would like to personally express the deepest gratitude and appreciation for you and your office, and the splendid assistance given to the recent crisis of the earthquake. i appreciate that.
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there was an article last month in the washington post which expressed some concerns that ambassador eikenberry had given to the fact that his feeling was that if increase our core structure in afghanistan, it will mean that the government will be more dependent on our support and assistance. and i guess out of frustration, president karzai was quoted from the same article in the washington post, and i quote, u.s. officials were particularly irritated by an interview this week, in which a defiant karzai said that the west has little interest in afghanistan and it's troops are only there for self-serving reasons, the quote from president karzai was, the west is not here primarily for the sake of afghanistan, it is
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here to fight terrorism. the united states and its allies came to afghanistan after september 11th, afghanistan will struggle before that too. nobody bothered about us, i guess the sense of negligence we had given because we were focused on iraq and the problems that we've encountered there, and that terrible conflict, what is your sense on this secretary gates? is there some sense of truth in the president karzai's sense of frustration, that after six or seven-years, absence all of a sudden, we focused our suggestion that afghanistan is now a very important issue for us to consider as far as our security, the national security is concern? >> i think the frustration on the part not just of the afghans but also on the part of the pakistanis, does not refer just to the last few years, but
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rather goes back to 1989 where one of the major proponents in this house of providing support to the i am talking about charlie wells him. there is no question in my mind that i was in the administration do. >> my time is so limited. >> do you basically agree? >there is some truth? >> absolutely. that is why there is the emphasis. >> general petraeus appear before a joint committee hearing that we had a couple of years ago. i express a concern about this
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severely strained the military force structure that we currently have. nobody wants to talk about the draft. we are going to put in an additional $30 billion for the 30,000 soldiers. are we still working on sending some. some say it as a more than a hundred thousand soldiers. >> fannie mae two quick comments. -- let me make two quick comments. this administration has increased the size of the army and marine corps. 27,000 for the marine care -- core. we tried to put in place measures that will relieve the strain. >> we have had to use 30% of our national guard to assist in the by in the war in iraq.
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is this the intended purpose of our reserve, to fight a war? sts to fight a war? admiral. >> the national guard reserves have contributed at some high levels, we would not be where they are, they are enthusiastic about this, we can't deploy them in some cases as frequently as we, i don't think we're that far off, i do think there's no question that the additional force structure that's been added over the last couple years has made a huge difference, an i think it's about right. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentlemen from california. >> i like to identify myself and the remarks of mr. burton concerning the court marshall of our military personnel who was
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involved in the capturing of terrorists, what we need to say very clearly, either we support our troops or we don't send them in, and quite frankly we shouldn't send them in to a no-win situation, i believe what i heard today and from the president last night is not a strategy that will bring any type of victory to our efforts there in afghanistan. let's note there was a quick defeat of the taliban after 9/11, that was a tremendous low-cost victory and it was not accomplished by u.s. troops. it was accomplished with only 200 u.s. troops on the ground when kabul was lib rated from the taliban, the rest of the fighting was done, and now all the fighting was done by the northern alliance, which was mobilize village militias, in the aftermath of that great victory, we, the united states government, forced a centralized
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kabul-based structure on the afghans, and then our military took over the fighting. it was a strategy that has not worked. and what we mar today madam secretary with all due respect opinion it seems to me we have the same policy, that has not worked with perhaps a few more troops, perhaps some more money, but basically, the same strategy that has not worked but we're going to send 30,000 more of our boys and women into afghanistan so do the fighting that should be done and could be done by the afghan villagers themselves, i wonder if any of you have read a report by major jim gant. have any of you read this report? he was embedded in the villages in afghanistan, what will not
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work is simply having more u.s. kbalt tro combat troops doing the fighting or -- this centralized afghan military, that's based in kabul, the karzai military establishment, we're going to bolster that and expect that that's going to bring the villagers and the tribal people over to our side? that's going to driving them into the arms of the taliban, just like if we send in more u.s. troops to do the fighting, aga again, what is different about what the president has said. i don't hear anything different. it's the same old policy, u.s. troops do the fighting, americans are war weary of doing the fighting for other people. we would not have succeeded originally in afghanistan had we sent in all of these major military combat units and done the fighting against the taliban
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originally. so if it wouldn't work then, how come it's going to work now? >> there is recognition in the president's decisions of the importance of working with the local locals and i personally think a big part of our progress going-forward in terms of being able to transition responsibility for the afghans is not necessarily the afghan national army or the police, but local law enforcement, local security people who are working with the government, they may not be in the chain of command if you will, but clearly a major part of the president's strategy is more attention to the sub national government to working with the tribes. >> that's good. that's -- >> and the second point. >> those are words, we haven't changed the structure a bit. the leaders are appointed by
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kabul. our state department insisted on a centralized structure that's totally contrary to afghan tradition, and we expect that the afghan people are going to swallow it? especially when their government is so corrupt, they can't even have an honest election? how can we expect our men and women to go over there and put their lives on the line when we haven't been willing to actually be tough with karzai and force the restructuring of that system so it's more consistent with what the afghan culture is all about? >> we have to build con sew nant with the afghan culture, and one of the things we talked about is focusing our efforts in dealing with the existing tribal and other local structures and trying to strengthen them rather than building something new. a figure part of the president's strategy is frankly training up the afghan army as quickly as possible so they can take over responsibility -- or security from our troops. >> the time of the gentleman has
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expired, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. paine is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much. i certainly would like to say that if we had done the right thing before, and gone into afghanistan and pakistan where osama bin ladin was and al qaeda, we would not be in the situation we're in today. we have shock and awe, we go into iraq, it had nothing to do with al qaeda, and now we find ourselves stuck in afghanistan. they criticized president obama for taking a long time to come up with this plan, and then secondly, criticized him for having a date to come out, president bush said that the mission was accomplished after three months, and we're still in
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iraq. at least president obama knows what he -- he has a plan, and it wasn't three months after we go into iraq that we get on an aircraft carrier and say mission's accomplished and are still there. i don't think there's any comparison, secondly, we talk about a policy that increases taxes. we wonder why we're in this them mark and all this criticism, i don't like the increase in troops, i don't think we could win a war in afghanistan. i think that we have to hopefully transition the afghans to be able to be trained as it's been indicated and fight for themselves, we have three choices, one, stay the course and go nowhere. two, withdraw and be criticized, three increase troops. you had to make one of the three. and so we've made this one, but we have to quickly transition into having the afghans take care of themselves, andpy hope that that will happen. i wonder finally, if there -- in
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your opinion, do you believe that this time up until june of 2011 is enough time? and secondly i'd like to mention that i would hope that we would also focus on other areas where al qaeda is coming in like in somalia, if we stay there and do not put any the assets, we're going to have the same problem with kenya and atria and ethiopia there. if we stand up to shareef's militia now, we can prevent hezbollah from taking over somalia. we could prevent a lot of money being spent and destabilize the area. what about the fact, do we have enough time and manpower to train the afghans to prevent our troops from being in harm's way and have them take over, because
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like i said, i just -- just feel very troubled that more american troops are going to be sent into afghanistan. >> sir, i share your concern about other places where al qaeda is growing. somalia and kenya are two in particular, their core leadership, and their heartbeats in that border between afghanistan and pakistan. that's why it's so critical. with respect to enough time, the entire military chain of demand believes -- and the joint chiefs -- we will know where we are by summer '11 and if we can succeed here or not. we know we have to get the horses in, we have to turn the security situation around. it's under that umbrella we'll be able to develop the afghan security forces. the army and the police, we've got goals set to do that, there's some challenges associated with that, there's significant risk associated with
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that, but we really think this is the right answer. and that, in fact, is the way we turned their own country over to themselves, actually, in many ways not unlike iraq. we don't underestimate the challenge, but that is the path. we think there is enough time between now and then, to really step out in that direction and know whether we're going to make it or not. >> just last question. is there anyway we can impress pakistan and india, is not their biggest enemy, and have pakistan concentrate more on pakistan and stop worrying about india and some indian/pakistan conflict? >> president obama in march, his strategy thenfocus, and i was a big supporter of this, on the region and greatly focused on afghanistan and pakistan but it really is the reason and india is a big player in that region as well, and i think all of us,
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international players, particular regional players vshs to take steps to stabilize and the relationship between pakistan and india is critical and leadership there must i think step forward to stabilize that border more than anything else and i think that would be a great step forward in stabilizing the region. >> the time has expired. gentlemen fra california. >> thank you, mr. chairman, very much. i would ask the witnesses this. general mcchrystal notes in his assessment that the afghan insurgency is clearly supported from pakistan, and that insurgent groups are reportedly aided by some elements of pakistan's isi. now, for the longest time as i can remember we've had a dysfunctional relationship with pakistan in which many of the presumptions that the pakistani isi or intelligence service made if not actually in the interests of pakistan such as originally training and recruiting the
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taliban. >> now we face a situation where the taliban not only is a threat to afghanistan, but its is a threat to pakistan. and since pakistan has 100 nuclear weapons that becomes quite problematic, since al qaeda wants to get its hands on these nuclear weapons. i guess at the end of the day the question is, what are we prepared to do to bring pressure to bear on that government in pakistan to assure that they do not continue this practice of allowing the taliban that kind of sanctuary or at least support for certain elements of the taliban inside afghanistan? >> congressman, that's an obviously critical question. here's how we see it. we think that in the last year, the pakistanis have really stepped up. their military action against the pakistan taliban in both
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swat and waziristan is prompt in policies and it's been a unifying policy supported by the people of pakistan. so they have taken an important first step, but they need they have killed and maimed so many hundreds of pakistani spend a all of the other element of this. we think al qaeda is not only the inspiration but the thunder -- undefunder and trainer.
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>> i'm just going to ask another question and make the point that i do nothing to date we have been very effective in bringing the type of pressure to bear on pakistan. i would suggest that all of us think about any strategy that might work. the other plumas touched on earlier. that is the report that navy seals secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in direct -- and i rearaq. air now facing charges because reportedly he told them he was punished by his captors and had a bloody lip to prove it. the three commando units have refused nonjudicial punishment.
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they requested a trial by court- martial. fotheir attorney does not know w they will bring the detainee to the united states and give us our constitutional right to confrontation in the courtroom. the united states and give us our constitutional right to confrontation in the courtroom, but, again, we have terrorists getting their constitutional rights in new york city, but i suspect they're going to deny these s.e.a.l.s their right to confront thags a military courtroom in virginia, which is what the s.e.a.l.s are requesting. the question i would put to admiral mullen and certainly to secretary gates goes to the issue of rules of engagement. when we are at war with terrorists abroad and you have, you have the types of rules of engagement being dictated to our troops and you have this kind of
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action against our navy s.e.a.l.s at a time when we're talking about trying to stop the insurgency in afghanistan, i do not think it's helpful and i would like to hear any commentary on your part about what could be done on the issue of bringing -- bringing terrorists to trial in new york city, while the constitutional rights of american servicemen in my view are being violated. >> the time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> hangs out there. the gentleman from florida, mr. wexler is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much, and first, mr. chairman, i want to thank you for your very kind words earlier in the hearing, and i very much want to acknowledge what i think is an extraordinary privilege for all
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of us to serve on this committee, particularly with your leadership and the leadership of congresswoman ros-lehtinen. both of you exhibit the kind of character that i think the american people justly deserve. i also quickly would just simply say i have cherished the opportunity to develop wonderful friendships not only with my fellow democrats but with so many republicans as well who i deeply respect and i think the american people should understand the degree of respect and com raadly that exists on this committee and that they are well served by it. if i may, to secretary clinton and secretary-- >> mr. chairman -- mr. chairman, i ask that the gentleman's full time be restored. >> yes. he's entitled to respond to criticisms i made earlier. go ahead. >> once you say you're leave,
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people are much nicer to you. if i may, to secretary clinton and secretary gates, this morning when you appeared before the senate and senator mccain, his usual eloquent and sincere fashion questioned you, he seemed to be making the point that the president's creation of a timetable for transition and the consideration of conditions on the ground are mutually exclusive points of reference. and it would seem to meep in the matt matter in which the president constructed his pan in fact that is no respectfully to senator mccain the case and the way the plan is constructed that both the creation of a timetable for transition and the consideration of conditions on the ground in fact will happen together, and i was wondering if you could explain that so that there will
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not be any confusion in that regard. >> the president was very clear last night that his decision is to, that we should begin the transition to afghan security control in july of 2011. the key word here is begin. this will be a process, and it will look a lot like iraq, where some districts and provinces will be able to be turned over fairly quickly with us in a tactical and then strategic overwatch, sort of a cavalry, if you will, for a time. and that that will spread in the country, and so you will have situations where security control has been, the responsibility has been taken over by the afghans and in one set of districts or one province while there is still heavy combat going on in other provinces that are more con techted with the taliban. the key here is, and one of the things that was central to our deliberations, how do you
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demonstrate resolve and at the same time convey a sense of urgency to the afghans that they must step up to the plate and begin to take responsibility for their own security? and to protect their own country against, against these extremists? and i think that, you know, the interesting thing for me appearing before the congress now on my second surge is that -- it's that the bush administration accepted firm deadlines for the withdrawal of u.s. forces in iraq. the president is suggesting, is proposing a timeline for the beginning of a transition of responsibility for security in afghanistan. we will review this formally in december of 2010. and make the, decide then whether our strategy is working and whether we think we are in a position, whether we need to make adjustments but the president's clear intent and his
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decision is we will begin that process, but the key is to -- to realize that i guess another point i'd make is that in iraq, as soon as the surge was clearly going to be successful, the iraqis wanted us out as quickly as possible. that's not entirely clear in afghanistan. the afghans live in a very tough neighborhood. they have been at war for 30 years. it would be understandable if they would enjoy having the united states army and marine corps there for a, an extended period of time to provide protection. we're not prepared to do that. and so what the president has tried to do is set in place something that demonstrates resolve on the one hand but on the other, puts the afghans on notice that they need to step up the recruitment of their soldiers and their police. they need to get them trained, experienced in combat partnering with us and then they need to begin to take responsibility,
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and we will do this in a gradual and conditions-based way. >> thank you, and if you could share with us the administration's expectation as to the participation of our nato allies given the president's speech last night. >> yes. we are encouraged by the response of a lot of our nato isap allies. we have 43 countries that are contributing countries working with the secretary-general of nato. i'll be going to nato tomorrow to be there on friday in brussels, we anti-a anticipate a significant commitment of additional forces by our nato isap partners as well as additional money because, of course, we want to establish a robust trust fund for both the national army and the police see that the funding needs can be not only carried out in the next couple of years but be
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maintained after that. >> thank you. it's time of the gentleman expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. paul. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i welcome the panel today. i wished i could promise you eloquent statement to convert all of you to annan intervention foreign policy, a policy where we're not nation building but i i don't think i it promise you that. i wish i could come up with pro found questions for the panel to point out the insistentsies not of the current foreign policy but the foreign policy going on for quite a few decades, but all i can think about are terms that come to mind that i've learned all the way back in the 1960s when i was serving as a, a military officer, an air force officer for five years. and i come up with thoughts, quagmire, perpetual war for perpetual peace. war is the health of the state. war is a racket.
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truth is the first casualty of war, and i think there's some profoundness to that and i had to plagiarize those are not my thoughts. but today we're in a mess and we're trying to fig are out how to do it. we've had a war going on eight years and i think it has to do with wait we get into the wars and try to justify why we're there later on. one thing that almost all debates of prempsed by is don't come of you as an extremist. can we have a military victory, 500,000 troops go in and win like we used to? no. that's off base. but you want to just come home? no. that's not allowed. we have to have this balancing act which guarantees the politicizing of the war. this is why woe end up with court-martials and arts that are justified. we end up with military tribunals and secret prisons, because we're not precise at what our goals are and why we're involved, and i think that is
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the biggest problem that we have, and what we need to do, i think, is try to be more precise about why we go into war. now, the question i have for the panel and i hope each and unone of you can answer this question, is i would like to know whether you -- whether or not you endorse the bush doctrine? ironically, last night the speech was given, which truly was eloquent, but it was given in the same place that the former president gave a speech, in 2002, and emphasized a profound, dramatic change in our attitude towards the world. and it's recognized now as the bush doctrine. i think it's something maybe one of the most important events in our history when it comes to down to foreign policy. so each and every one of you, do you endorse the bush doctrine of
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preventive war or do you reject it? >> i think that the term preventive war is, is a very important one, because it differentiates from pre-emptive war. a preemptive war in my view is one where you know you've about to be attack and you strike first. my personal view is that the standard for intelligence and for confidence for prevented war is an extraordinarily high one. and there are very, very few instances where i think it is justified. if the experience of the last eight years has taught us anything, it is the -- to
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reaffirm the historic lesson that war is inherently unpredictable. >> can i get the answers from the other two? >> well, congressman, i think that secretary gates draws an important distinction. there are times when it is appropriate for a country to protect itself from what it knows would be a devastating attack. but that standard should be so high and obviously we didn't see that standard met in the last eight years, but let me just add that is not the situation in afghanistan. we were attacked from afghanistan. so even if the doctrine is or is not an appropriate one, it is not applicable to the situation before us. >> we were never attacked by an
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afghany. >> that's not true. al qaeda was embedded in afghan society, 2 was given safe haven by amullah om ar and the taliban leadership and they were given a chance to turn over al qaeda and bin laden before we attacked them and they refused. >> the time the gentleman expired. the gentleman from california, mr. sherman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. our minimum objective in afghanistan is so uninspiring that no one will embrace it or acknowledge that we've actually achieved it. that minimum objective is to make sure that afghan territory is not used for successful major attack against the united states, and to achieve that objective one day at a time. it may also be our minimum objective to make sure afghan territory is not used successfully to destabilize pakistan and we have achieved that one day at a time for many years with a much, much smaller
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force than we have at the present time, let alone planned. there's a boulder objective and that is that we achieve our minimum objective without having to have troops there. that we have a functioning afghan army achieving that goal or those two goals for us, and then there's the maximum objective of a functioning, perhaps even democratic, afghan state. we've rejected the idea of a smaller number of troops for a longer number of days, because it clashes not so much with our strategic objectives but with our national culture. playing defense and having to do it for as long as you have something to defend may be the roman way. it is not the american way. i've got a number of questions and i'll ask for responses for the record, if time doesn't permit, but i'll start with the admiral.
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this plan is based on roughly 5,000 additional allied troops, which may or may not materialize. if we don't get but a small percentage of those 5,000 troops, do we need to abandon this plan? do we need to put in more american troops? or are those 5,000 really not essential? >> sir, every indication i have and i'm -- this isn't hope, this has been through a lot of work, but we're going to achieve some level of increased support from nato, sort of at the minimum levels ofa,000 and it could be more than that. and that's been worked by myself, secretary clinton, sent gates, the admiral and secretary-general rasmussen and so i'm confident that we will see some level at least some level around that number. >> are you relying on any french troops as part of that total? i. wouldn't speak to any specific country right now. they'd have to speak for themselves. >> okay.
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the risk of the strategy that's being announced is that we're telling the american people there will come a day when we don't need to have any troops in afghanistan fg. if the strategy works we'll have a functioning government in afghanistan sometime after the middle of 2011. and that will prevent the talib taliban's return. what is our b-- but the achievement of that strategy is outside of control of the united states. relies in large part on the afghan people and the karzai government, which may be as bad as the detractors indicate. secretary clinton, are we prepared to go to the american people and say, counter -- we tried counter insurgency, it didn't work. not at fault of the u.s. military. and that we're returning to counterterrorism, or are we promising the american people that by 2012, 2013, we will be out of afghanistan?
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>> congressman, i think it's important to draw the contrast between combat troops and between support troops, the kind that would be continuing to train and provide logisticses, perhaps intelligence, air lift. the support the afghans might need going forward. we have certainly dedetermined that we have to stand up the afghan security forces as quickly and effectively as possible so that the combat mission can transition. that is exactly what we are attempting to do. but there may well be in the -- >> madam secretary, if i may interrupt and rephrase my question. let's not talk, then, about whether we still have troop on the ground, whether we're still sustaining casualties every day, or every week. what if in 2013, 2014 the afghan government isn't doing what we want and the only way to have
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counterterrorism is to incur casualties? >> well, congressman, i'm not go to speculate about what's going to happen in 2013 or 2014. i happen to believe that as we implement the strategy that the president outlined last night we will change the reality on the ground. we will improve the chances s success in this mission. >> i can only wish you well and yield back. >> the time expired. gentleman from arizona. >> i thank the chair. i thank the witnesses. first, i want to complement the administration for taking the time to study this. i know there's been some criticism about the length of time that it took, that has not come from me. i think we would do well to study and deliberate more around here. having said that, when you look at the policy that was enunciated last night, there's an old adage in a camel is a horse designed by committee, and in many ways, i think this looks to be a policy designed by
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committee. a little something for everybody. for those who want to get out, there's the timetable. for those who want to get in, we is the surge, but it may not work very well. ho would you respond, secretary clinton to that assertion, that this smacks at the problems of a policy designed by committee? >> congressman, camels are very sturdy animals. they are patient and maybe plotting but they eventually get to where you hope they will arrive. i think that this -- this policy is the result of a, a very intense discussion that questioned every assumption that put everything on the table that invited the most vigorous debate. i think as admiral mullen said, for those of us who participated in, i think it was ten meetings
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with the president and probably three times that many among ourselves, it was an exhausting and thorough process that led us to the decision that the president announced last night. i don't think any of us believe that there were any easy or simple or quick options that we thought responsibly could be adopted. this is the best result of all of our efforts, and i'm sure that there are many who can, you know, pick at it, but i think that it reflects an extraordinarily honest assessment, and i think the time frame which is often at the core of the concerns people reflect, is intended to do two things, because there are so many audiences for this policy. it is intended to send a message
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of both resolve and urgency. the resolve that we are committed, we're going to put additional troops in. our young men and women. we want a long-term civilian commitment, but that there is an urgency to this, that we cannot just have the americans and our 42 other nation contributors bear this burdens. that the afghans governmentally and among the people have to step up, and that's what we are attempting to deliver here and we'll be abscessing it closely for the months ahead. >> thank you. in terms of that assessment, general jones said, just less than two months ago in answer to a question on cnn, this is one of the central issues the good news is that americans should feel good about, that in afghanistan the al qaeda presence is very diminished. the maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country.
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no basis, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies. he says the problem is with sanctuaries across the border. he said, but i don't, i don't foreseat return of the taliban and i want to be clear that afghanistan is no longer in danger, eminent danger of falling. now, if you have a statement like that, it might suggest caution in inserting 30,000 more troops and then a year from now, or 18 months from now, in july of 2011, what constitutes success? is it 50, a maximum of 50 al qaeda? operating in afghanistan? or -- and if we already acknowledge that afghanistan is not in danger, imminent danger of falling what constitutes success in july when we're going to decide whether we should pull troops out or not?
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sent gates? >> i think we have -- no one thinks that the government in kabul is in imminent risk of being overthrown, but it was certainly the conclusion of general mcchrystal's assessment that the situation was serious and deteriorating. and we have seen the taliban get more aggressive and more bold with each passing week. what we want to do is, in helping the afghans, make sure that that government doesn't fall and that we are able to sustain a friendly government in kabul that will help us deny al qaeda a safe haven. >> the time of the gentleman expired. the gentleman from new york, mr. engle. >> thank you, and i want to thank all the witnesses for testifies. i listened very carefully to the president's speech and i'm willing to give the president the benefit of the doubt, but my fear, as is the fear of so many other, is that we could easily
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get bogged down in an endless war. what happened if this doesn't work? do we leave in three years, as the president stated, or do we stay longer? what happens if general mcchrystal makes another public speech saying that he needs 10,000 more troops in attempting to back the president into a corner? what do we do then? we talk about afghanistan and pakistan. i noted that just last week, their representatives abstained in the recent iaea resolution. finally, all of these questions, i would like anyone to comment on anything i've said -- where is osama bin laden and why can't we seem to get him? if we're relying on our intelligence to tell us that this is what we should be doing,
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next in afghanistan, and our intelligence can't even tell us where he is? there was a recent senate report which says shortly after the war in afghanistan began we had osama bin laden and we let him slip through our fingers. how much can we count on our intelligence now when we can't even capture one guy in eight years? >> let me start with the last one first. actually, there has been a considerable diminishment of al qaeda over the last couple of years in terms of their leadership. obviously not bin laden or zawahiri specifically, and what i've learned over the years and particularly in the last several years is individuals like him and it's not unique, quite frankly, to him in this area that they, one of their, their job one for them is survival and they do it really well. so it's not -- we have good
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intelligence and good agencies and it's improved a great deal and i rely on them tremendously. that said, it's still a big problem, and it doesn't mean we're not trying to find him and the rest of the leadership. with respect to -- i'm sorry, the first part of your question? >> getting bogged down in an endless war. what do we do? >> it's not going to happen. it's part of the -- it's very clear, this plaed said it. the military leadership understands it, that this is not open-ended and we are not going to escalate. we believe that these troops, this strategy, the civilian surge that goes with it, the opportunity we have, because pakistan is making progress, we've got a new president in afghanistan. the right leadership on the ground. the right leadership in the embassy that now is the time, and we can actually turn this thing around. so i don't have an expectation that we're going to get bogged down there or that we'll be, in will be requests for any additional troops.
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>> secretary clinton? >> congressman, i think that your focus on bin laden is absolutely appropriate. i share your frustration that eight years from the attack that devastated new york has not led to the killing or capturing of bin laden and his principleless. as admiral mullen has said, we have degraded their leadership. we have been successful in going after a number of the mainstays of his organization, but we haven't gotten him and we haven't gotten zawahiri or mullah om ar and i think that has to be a primary goal of what it is we're doing. and it certainly is for me and i think it is for the president, and part of the strategy that we're unfolding we think will
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assist us and i would just add that this strategy has been largely on the military side, influenced by general petraeus and general mcchrystal. one of whom is our foremost expert on counterinsurgency, the other on counterterrorism and i think that there's reason to put a lot of stock in their opinion. >> i would add one thing. the president gives the orders, but every plan and woman that is deployed overseas is deployed over my signature. and if i came to conclude that we were bogged down and stalemated and we were sending young men and women into a mull with no purpose and no hope of success, i wouldn't sign any more of those orders. >> the time the gentleman expired. the gentleman from indiana, mr. pence, recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. i welcome the distinguished panel and thank you all for your service to the united states.
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and i greet you with respect. specifically i have a question i want to direct first to secretary gates and then to admiral mullen. having to do with some@@%&m @ z4
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embrace a timetable for withdrawal. of course, that was after the surge worked. when president bush announced the surge in iraq, he did not announce a timetable for withdrawal. the timetable was negotiated in i think the status of forces agreement following what was universally accepted to be the success of the surge. and so my question is really about this business of timetables, because my democrat colleagues i think made more than a dozen efforts in 2007 and 2008 to impose specific timetables for withdrawal on our efforts in iraq. fortunately unsuccessfully on the floor. and the president made reference to that july 2011 statement. secretary gates you said in april of 2007, with regard to iraq "i've been pretty clear i think the enactment of specific deadlines would be a bad a
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mistake." in september of this year you told cnn "i think the notion of timelines and exit strategies and so on frankly i think would be a strategic mistake." i'm someone who believes it never makes sense to tell the enemy when you're going to quit fighting in a war. and mr. secretary, just i wondered if you might elaborate and i have a quick question for the admiral on what's changed in your view here? what am i missing that sdishs your opposition to timelines in iraq, your opposition to a timeline you expressed here in september with regard to afghanistan to the president's enunciation of july of 2011? >> first of all, there may not have been a speck timeline associated with the announcement of surge in iraq, but it was quite clear that domestically it
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could not be sustained ind definitely. the reality is the surge in iraq lasted 14 months. the president is talking about at least 18 to 24 months with this surge. i would say that -- well, first of all, i have adamantly opposed deadlines. i opposed them in iraq, and i opposed deadlines in afghanistan, but what the president has announced is the beginning of a process, not the end of a process. and it is clear that there will be -- this will about gradual process, and as he said last night, based on kisses on the ground. so there is no deadline for the withdrawal of american forces in afghanistan. >> reclaiming my time. secretary gates, forgive me for the constraints of our time here. your line to cnn you oppose
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timelines and exit strategies but i'll leave that there and accept your response. admiral mullen, last night the president said in his speech "commanders in afghanistan repeatedly ask for support to deal with the re-emergence of the taliban but these reinforcements did not arrive." the secretary's predecessor donald rumsfeld this afternoon calmed that a bald misstatement, and former secretary rumsfeld said he was "not aware of a single request." i wonder, admiral, are you aware of a request for reinforcements from 2001 to 2006, or 2008 that was not heeded? can you tell the committee who made those requests? can you tell the committee who in the chain of command denied those requests? because i find the president's assertion having been a part of a very strong bipartisan support
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for afghanistan really astonishing. >> fortunately, another issue left hanging. the time of the gentleman expired. >> i would ask unanimous consent to permit the admiral to answer the question. >> any objection? >> just in my tenure here, sir, that general mckiernan specifically had a fairly substantial request for upwards of 20,000 forces which we couldn't meet because they just weren't there. they were in iraq. i spock out very early afghanistan was underresourced. from where i live, underresourced with military services. we didn't have them because they were pushed to iraq and we couldn't -- really didn't have the flexibility to move them nap was the priority of the previous president. we do what the president says, adds and that's what we did. >> the time expired. the gentleman from massachusetts. >> i thank you, chairman and would note in response to the
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answer by admiral mullen that i'd submit we're here today because over the course of past eight years we've been distracted from focusing on afghanistan and that's why we find ourselves in this terrible situation that we're discussioning here today. i think it was you, admiral mullen that talked about turning it around. we've been there eight years now. and we're still talking about turning it around. is 18 months going to be sufficient? we've been talking about training the afghan army. the afghan police. the rates of desertion have bee particularly disturbing the entire eight years and here we are in 2009 going into 2010
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talking about training and building an army. what has happened over the course of eight years? >> when you, in my view, when you underresource an effort for an extended period of time, when you, in many ways, starve an effort, the impact, i don't just mean with forces because we've done it you with training, intellectually. dimmatically, politically, you name it. we were focused on the other war and that was a priority and the impact of that i think is evident in where we are right now. i understand better than anybody that this is our ninth year of war and we're losing people. and every single one is a tragedy and i understand that, but in many ways, this strategy is a new strategy and it's as if we were starting over and i know we're not, but what i said earlier, with what pakistan has done, moved, we've got a new government, or i'm sorry, new leadership, freshly elected leadership in afghanistan. we've got new leaders on the
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ground and -- >> admiral mullen, let me interrupt you. that's a very difficult tale to tell to the american people that have been there, going on nine years, and here we are still talking about turning it around. i respect what you've said. i concur with what you said, and let me indicate all three of you have served your country very well, but we're here to make a policy decision at some point in time in terps of what opposition is going to be. the president talked about consultation in conversations with world leaders. with our allies in nato. maybe secretary gates, you can respond. have we got hard commitments from our allies in terms of dollars, in terms of the civilian side? do we have hard commitments in terms of incremental numbers of military personnel being assigned to this new surge, if
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will you? >> yes, sir, we do, and we will, and we anticipate getting more during the meeting that secretary clinton's going to tomorrow. and at the london conference in january. i would point out that the japanese have committed $5 billion for afghanistan. we have some firm troop commitments. those countries have not announced them to their own public so we're not in a position to announce them for them. >> okay. the president has also used t the -- used the figure of $30 billion in his remarks to the american people. i was unclear as to, is that additional monies that the american taxpayer will have to put on the table? and what period of time does that cover? and if we're talking about an 18-month surge, can you give us
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an estimate of the additional monies that it is going to cost the american people? >> the additional cost for fy 10 is between $30 billion and $35 billion, and it is additive to the overseas contingency proposal that the appropriations committees have in front of them of $130 billion. i would point out as a result, principally of our drawdown in iraq, the supplemental and fy 08 for afghanistan and iraq was $185 billion. this oco for 2010 will be about $165 billion. >> let me conclude by just commenting on an observation by mr. payne of new jersey regarding india. secretary clinton, if you have time, have we consulted with the indians in terms of their relationship with pakistan in reducing the concern that the
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pakistanis have relative to india? >> yes. >> the time of the gentleman expired. yes/no questions are very good for the last seven seconds. the gentleman from florida, mr. mack is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman and i want to thank our witnesses for being here today, and for your service to our country. i agree with many of the president's points in his speech. i, too, believe with every fiber of my being that we as americans can still come together behind a common purpose. nonetheless, i disagree with the president's decision to personally relay to our enemies when they can regroup and when they can retake afghan territory. i simply cannot understand and cannot agree with this approach. for president obama to indicate he has already made a decision that will take effect in 18
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months, irrespective of what the situation is on the ground, not only emboldens our enemies but allows them to prepare and plan. imagine if the taliban leadership telegraphed to the world that on a certain day they would reinforce a certain region and on another day, they would withdraw their forces. that doesn't make sense, and neither does president obama's decision to tell our enemies what our plans are. and, in fact, when the president says that we will begin to withdraw troops in july 2011, doesn't that in fact say to all of you to begin your plans to withdraw troops which in effect takes our eye off the ball? shouldn't our purpose, shouldn't it be what we're looking for is to win the war? i'll ask each one of you to answer. >> first, i think it is, we
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wouldn't be in this if we didn't think we could be successful and if success was not, and victory in terms of achieving our objectives was not possible. again, i would say that you know, are the taliban going to be more emboldened than they already are? because of this announcement? i don't think so. they are moving as aggressively now as we have ever seen them. and what are they going to do? are they going to lie low for 18 months? that would be terrific news, because that would give us open field running. are they going to go back to pakistan and wait for 18 months? terrific. it gives us the opportunity without opposition to help the afghans build. are they going to lie low in afghanistan if they are not attacking afghans? if they are not blowing things up? if they are not attacking our coalition troop, then, again, that gives us a huge opportunity. on the other hand if they're going to engage, if they're going to be as bold and as
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aggressive as the past year, in will encounter 150,000 foreign troops and a couple 00,000 afghan troop whose will root them out and we will reintegrate those willing to come over to the government side and we will take care of the rest, but the point is, they are going to confront a very aggressive and very capable military force, not just for the next 18 months. again, july 2011 is not a cliff. it is the beginning of a gradual process of turning over responsibility for security to the afghans over a period of time as conditions on the ground permit. >> mr. secretary, and madam, if i can just -- i'll probably, this is probably a sentiment shared by all of you. if i may, then, what is not terrific and what is not great is that if at the end of 18 months we begin to withdraw and this terrorist groups then begin to retake afghanistan.
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that is not something that i think the american people want, or the administration wants. but let me just say this, then. is well known@@@@@ h hsd@ r
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goals of about 134,000 for the army by the end of 2010. we got speck goals. we assess it annually. very focused what it's going to take to train them, retain them and recruit them and retrain them. we know those are concerns as well. we've got strong leadership in place to get at this. new leader sthop get at this. this is really for general mcchrystal after security his top effort. >> time of the gentleman expired. it's clear we will not finish all, giving members an opportunity to ask a question. so the panel has another 35 minutes. next week we be having a hearing with top, we hope to be having a hearing. it's not all tied down yet, with leaders in the field both on the military and civilian side. it will be the intention of the chair to start the questioning
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at that hearing where we leave off today. and i'm going to ask vice chairman ackerman to preside r for, while i -- >> mr. chairman -- >> and be right back. >> mr. chairman, with awe due respect on behalf of myself and the rest of the senior members. >> i'm worried. >> who chair subcommittees, we will defer down the line to mr. wexler to chair the rest of the hearing on this, his last day as chairman. >> and while he's walking over here, the gentleman from new york, mr. meeks is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, first, please give my heartfelt congratulations to the youngest clinton on her decision to make a monumental move in her life. >> thank you. it was a very long, thoughtful process.
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>> i also want to thank the president of the united states for, as he ended his speech last night talking about the american people coming together and being unified. i think that we have forgotten that right after 9/11 the american people and in fact this congress almost unanimously wanted to go into afghanistan to make sure that we start doing the work that's being done now. the only time that, when we became divided as a nation is when this president decided that afghanistan was not to be our focus, that iraq should be, and that's -- so i want to, and i think that part of what the president is trying to do is to bring this country back together so that we can refocus where we were in the beginning when this horrific act took place that killed so many american people,
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american citizens, and i think that's the direction we need to be moving back into and united as a country, democrats and republicans were together at that particular time, and we should be together again as we move forward to do what we have to do and not as secretary gates says, just abandoning afghanistan for several reasons. so i want to complement the president on that. with that being said i also know that secretary gates and admiral mull haven't indicated that we need to show the american people a shift in momentum with 12 to 18 months to ensure public support. and my question is, what do you think will demonstrate such a shift in momentum so that we can make sure that we have the confidence of the american people? >> i think it starts with
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security and the first individual available to tell us that is general mcconsistal. it is what they seek. what the afghans seek more than anything else as he travels throughout afghanistan, because it's going in the wrong direction. from security, that gives us an opportunity to train and transfer security responsibility to the afghan security forces. but i also think it's very clear we need to see progress on the part of the karzai government. this gets to the ministers provincial governors, reconciliation, reintegration, local governmentses, how that is going as well. we need to look at, and i'm optimistic, look at continuing contributions on the part of international partners as a measure and this is 43 countries. we're not in this alone at all. 4 3 countries are here. those are some of the areas we would look at for progress over the next 18 months.
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>> but let me ask, our current policy that president espoused, you described it as, are we moving, is it counterinsurgency or counterterrorism? >> it's principally counterinsurgency. it's very focused. it's focused on key population centers, key production centers, key line of communications. it's not focused throughout the country and, in fact, we're going to ask our coalition partners to focus on the north and west, because the worst part of the insurgency is in the south and east in the pashtun belt where we've sent marines in the south and will continue to put force there's to turn the tide there. but there is a counterterrorism piece of this, it will be part of operations throughout the country. >> the prior strategy, i don't know whether the it's the same, i guess general mcchrystal had indicated that we would need about 400,000 afghan security
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forces. is that figure still what we're shooting for? aiming for? >> well, there's an as separational goal out there somewhere in that number, but where we really are in this strategy is to look tat year to year. we know what we need. we know what we have. we know the thing swres to fix with afghan security forces right now and know where we want to be one year, two years from now and we'll assess that. that's a high-rick area for us. rather than put something out there we couldn't achieve, we'll look at it constantly but literally year to year and focus on achieving our annual goals. >> lastly, quickly, because about the payment of that, but i heard some of that. i know when we have it work with reference to the surge in iraq it was because the sunnis turned against the al qaeda. and i was -- that was the awa n awakeni awakening. any such mow meant um felt on the ground in afghanistan to show that kind of shift is about to take place? >> there is some of that.
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i would not say it's at the level of the sons of iraq at this point. >> gentleman's time is expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, secretary gates, admiral mullen, thank you foreappearing today. afghanistan is not america's challenge alone. it's the world's problem. and right now our ratio of u.s. troops to nato troops is 2-1. after this surge, 3-1 assuming no other nato input. the president wasn't exactly clear on the nature of the commitments that are going to be forecoming. many of the world's powers are consent to sit while america sacrifices on their behalf. you have touched on this today, but i think the question deserves further unpacking, i believe the secretary mentioned japan will contribute $5 billion. there is a move toward meeting with other nato allies to harden those commitments, but we're leading with our chin right now
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and the american people need to know this is not a disproportionate burden that we are undertaking. can you comment on that? and then i'll go to other questions. >> congressman, i think it's important to recognize that until relatively recently, the ratio between american and non-american nato i ssap troops was very close. because as admiral mullen was saying in response to, i think, congressman pence's question, we were at a level of 30,000 for a very long time. and the nato troops, bob, i think were about that, or a little bit more altogether. yeah. and so now, before this latest decision by the president, we at 68, they were about at 42 --
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something like that -- so it's been certainly a comparable commitment given the relative size of our respective force levels, and i think if, as add maria mullen said, we get the kind of response we have reason to believe we will, yes, we will have additional support from our nato isap allies. we will still be at the end of our troop commitments about 2-1, but there will also be a collective presence that is very significant, since it was the united states that was attacked and all these other countries under article 5 of nato, others like australia coming in have really seen this fight which was picked with us as their fight as well. >> congressman, i would like to make one other point. since 1941 the united states has borne a disproportionate responsibility for peace and security around the world. this is not a new development,
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and it has gone with our assumption of world responsibility along with our world power. >> let me -- thank you. let me pivot to another question. what is the definition of success and given this current plan, what is the probability of success? >> i believe that success in afghanistan looks a lot like, from a security standpoint, looks a lot like success in iraq. and that is the gradual transfer of responsibility for security to the indigenous forces and the local government and with the united states being able to pull back into first the tactical and then strategic overwatch troops point where we have a minimal presence. i think we ought to think about, if afghans want us, a prolonged partnership well into the future of training and equipping, but fundamentally, it is the
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transfer of this responsibility to an afghan security force that is able to sustain that security, and protect their own borders. >> and the probability of that outcome. >> i think if we did not believe that this -- this outcome had a strong probability, we would not have supported it. >> let's go back to the earlier point about international commitments. now, you mentioned that you're clearly trying to be nimble enough to allow other countries to manage their own internal political dynamics as they make these commitments. but how hard and real is the momentum toward burden sharing with us? >> i think it's very real. before coming into the hearing, i spoke with secretary gener general rasmussen, secretary nato. he has been working hard to
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shape the commitments that nato members will be making. >> other world powers, as well? >> and other world powers, as well. and it's not only the commitment of troops, which are very important, but also the commitment resources. and there will be a number announcements over the next days and weeks that we will be sure that this commitment has you. gentleman's time has expired. mr. karnahan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank all you here today. secretary clinton, you said this was one of the most complex foreign policy challenges you have ever seen. and admiral mullen, you said you have never seen an issue so thoughtfully and thoroughly reviewed. well, i want to thank the president, all of you, the entire team of the administration for giving this issue the time and the -- really the thoroughness that our troops, our values, and certainly our security deserves. secretary clinton, this past
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month, you were in afghanistan. you delivered a sharp message to president karzai about needing to clean up the corruption, to really address the needs of the afghan people. what is it going to look like? what kind of benchmark should we be looking for in the weeks and months ahead to see if we're making progress on that front? >> well, congressman karnahan, there are some areas where we can actually measure the progress. for example, in education there, has been significant progress. the united states has been quite involved in moving from a school population of a little less than a billion, nearly all of whom were boys, to a population of 7 billion, 40% of girls, 6 billion more, so we're going to be able to measure that. in terms of agriculture, which
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we think is a key strategic imperative, because it is the best way to raise income, to wean people from poppies, the united states and other allies have been@@@@@@t)ia@ @ @ @ @ @ü
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assistance program, support for governance, the anti corruption efforts we're undertaking are working, and what kind of expectations we have for them. >> thank you. and we also heard the president talk about these new resources that can allow us to make a final push since it's necessary to train the afghans so we can transfer responsibility. we've heard some of the same discussion in iraq. i i didn't haved there in 2005. we saw big claims about how quickly we were going to be able to train up the iraqi troops. we were way off on those estimates in terms of quality, quantity, in terms of the time to train. what lessons have we learned
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from that, and what kind of measure should we be looking for to be sure we are getting the afghan army and police trained in the numbers that we need? and for admiral mullen and secretary gates. >> i think we have learned those lessons. we see similarities in the sense that the police are not coming nearly as quickly as the -- as the army, for instance. that was the case in iraq. we really have taken those lessons and used them to focus on what we need in afghanistan. but it's a big challenge and i indicated earlier, that's a high risk part of this strategy, is training and equipping the afghan security forces. that said, it's a good fighting force. we have had a considerable amount of -- made a considerable amount of progress on the army. we're way mind blind on the police side. there are several programs to get, and i don't just mean brand-new. and then the fundamental shift, as i said earlier, about
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partnering with them in the field, getting them off the bases so they're in the fight in the villages together with our coalition forces. we think that will accelerate the ability to transfer that responsibility. >> and secretary gates. >> exactly what admiral mullen said. as he mentioned, we have changed the personnel, the leadership, the training program, and the key -- the key about the training that's important is the best part of the training is not the basic training where they learn how to march and learn how to shoot. it's when they partner with us in if combat. and it not only teaches them the skills, what we saw in iraq is it gives them confidence. and the more confidence they have, the more ability they have to operate on their own. >> the gentleman's time is expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me first say, secretary gates, texas a & m misses you, but we need you exactly where you are today, and thank you for
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the great job and service to our country. and secretary clinton and admiral mullen. i was over in pakistan/afghanistan last fourth of july when the conditions were starting to deteriorate. and i remember coming back and visiting with president bush about this, and making the recommendation that we need more resources. by now the transition team, this is one of the recommendations that was made, was to do exactly what you are getting ready to do, and that is a surge in forces. in my view, we either get all in to win, or we get out. and i think that's how most americans feel about this issue. to secretary gates and admiral mullen, the way you turned the iraq war around anders others, there are lessons to be learned about that. the surge, the sunni awakening. many of these actually turned it around so we could say we have won that war.
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the president has announced an 18-month time line before withdrawal. i essentialed sensed a best of inconsistency between with drawing based on conditions on the ground and a withdrawal based upon an 18-month time line. my concern is the afghan people and the tribal leaders are trying to weigh who their alliance allegiance is going to be with. and if they don't see a long term commitment or a sustainable commitment on our part, and if they feel we're going to abandon the mission at any point, that they're going to side with the taliban. because if we leave, they're dead. and that's a simple message. and i want to pose that first question. if you can explain to me the inconsistency between with drawing based upon conditions on the ground versus a withdrawal based upon an 18-month time line. >> i think the absoluteness of it is not intended. and i think withdrawal, exit
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strategy, we're done, goodbye, that's just not going to happen. it is a transfer and transition strategy that -- that the decision is shows strong resolve. this is a huge commitment. it's the right commitment. it gives us the forces to turn this thing around. we know we can do that. and at the same time, it creates an expectation where we're not going to be there forever. and to the discussion about telling then me what we're doing, i mean, this insurgency has gotten worse every year since 2006. it's not going to significantly get better or worse based on july of 2011. at least that's my -- so it's a signal that we're -- we are in, we can win this thing, and at the same time, afghanistan, you have to pick up on this. and we cannot win this if the afghan government and afghan people don't reach ow and share this. another 30,000 troops on top of
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this wouldn't make any difference. that's the message. so -- and that's got to happen over the next couple of years. and general mcchrystal, i'm sure he'll tell you this personally when we're here, feels this way, as well. we've got to turn this thing in the next 18 to 24 months. >> with respect to what we did in iraq with the sunni awakening, can you tell me what this plan proposes? because my view, winning the hearts and minds as we did with the tribal leaders in iraq is critically essential in afghanistan. >> great, great focus there. we have seen -- we have seen some of that. i think it's way too early to say that it's going to happen, per se. but this is -- this is -- part of the strategy is the reintegration and reconciliation aspect of it. senior levels, right down into the villages. and so we expect that will be a part of this, as well. but it's not going to happen until we start turning security -- >> with the last minute i have, there have been reports that -- i believe we'll win this with good intelligence. there have been reports that
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terrorists were captured on the battlefield in afghanistan, and are taken to the detention facilities and then read their miranda rights. the first line is you have the right to remain silent. the second, you have the right to an attorney. i don't know whether in fact that's happening. if it is, in my view, that cuts off the intelligence flow, because we can't get inside the terrorists' head like we did withca khalid shake mohammed. >> i don't think that's true. >> and perhaps there is misinformation out there that this is occurring. >> well, we will try to find out for you, but i don't have any reason to believe that. >> nor do i. >> that's good to have that answer. thank you. gentleman's time is expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the panel, the secretary, for all of your dedication to this country over the years.
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admiral mullen, secretary gates, you're going to be -- texas a & m, it would have been a lot easier. >> the most painful thing in this entire hearing. >> i was watching a report the other day, and it's -- the report on television, and it goes to the question that my colleague asked before. it's regarding our u.s. soldiers, whether they have a difficult time building trust and confidence with the afghan forces that they're supposed to train. if there's a lack of trust as an issue, of our soldiers working with the afghan, isn't that going to i am imperil our efforts over the next 18 months? >> i think one of general mcchrystal's central -- one of central themes of his new strategy is a genuine true partnering of isaf and afghan
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forces, where whether they were working together, living together, operating together. too often in the past, the afghans were set over here, and we did the fighting, or we did whatever was going on, and we didn't give them very much intelligence. they were starved for equipment. but mainly, they were -- they were kept apart by some of our forces, and by some of the other isaf partner forces. general mcchrystal is determined to bring them together. and it is in that relationship that the trust builds, and that's exactly what we saw happen in iraq. >> i think that's -- the stories that i hear, based on this shift of -- which is focusing on partnership, are very positive. but it's very early. i mean, a sick -- over -- about 80% of the afghan units right now, we are partnered with them, and there were none in june. so that shift is really
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significant. and that will build a trust. and it is basically living with each other, planning, fighting, all of the things that the secretary mentioned. >> thank you. i know the president mentioned the other day, we must -- quote, invest in our homeland secure and improve and better coordinate our intelligence. i certainly believe in this. what are we going to do differently now that we haven't been doing for eight years in terms of countering intelligence. >> well, i think it's just -- i think it's continued to improve. we have learned a lot since 2001 with respect to all of that, and i think our intelligence -- in particular, our intelligence has gotten better and bear. and i think we just need to keep that up. and i would -- i think our agencies -- there's i think 17 intelligence agencies, and they are much more integrated, and they share much bear than they have in the past. and we need to continue to do that. and this is an intelligence-driven -- these counter insurgency efforts is an
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intelligence-driven operation. and our ability to gather intelligence, teach the afghans how to do this, turn it around so that with that fresh intelligence we can continue to succeed in terms of countering the taliban, is a -- is core to our ability to reverse this momentum. >> i would also say that over the last 15 to 16 months, i have made it high priority to send more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets into afghanistan. so predators, reapers, warriors, all of the different kinds of collectors and capabilities that we have were flowing in now. liberty airplanes that are being put together in texas to provide full motion video. so there has been a huge influx of via sar assets.
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>> same in pakistan, in terms of intelligence improvement? >> we are in support of them, and in many ways in terms of training. we actually have had a relationship with their intelligence surface, and i recognize that, you know, there are views of that. but we have actually -- there is a very positive side of that historically and recently, as well. and these same kinds of things -- i think the secretary is talking about to work to try to share within on our mutual objectives is a big part of where we are and where we need to continue to go. >> thank you. thank you for your service to our country. >> the time for the gentleman has equitixpired. i think we'll have time for two more questions if that works. two more questioners. mr. bill raucous, the gentleman from florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, panel for staying, and appreciate your service to our country. i would like to address this
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question to all of the witnesses. i know we have touched upon it, but maybe more detail. a 34-page document signed by general mcchrystal and ambassador eikenberry outlines an integrated civilian plan which contains 11 counterin surgety transformative effects. does the plan president obama articulated last night, such as improving population security and reducingin surgent capability while advancing governments. >> yes, it does. and the difference is that it is focused -- our strategy is focused very heavily, particularly from the u.s. standpoint, on the southern and eastern parts of afghanistan. >> yes. and we have taken significant steps to actually accomplish e thethe
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integrated civilian approach integrated civilian approach that they have imposed.@@@@@@@
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i've seen in afghanistan the multiplier those civilians are. i'm not sure what the number is, but one civilian who can make a difference is just hugely impactful in terms of the overall strategy. i don't know if it's a company of marines or a battalion. but in an area of expertise, it makes a difference. agriculture, et cetera. so i justify can't say enough about the shift and the focus and the difference that it's making in this strategy, and it needs to continue to do so. >> thank you. one last question. is president obama's specific -- is this a specific plan, coun r countercounter insurgency plan outlined by general mcchrystal in august? >> i think it's fair to say that the assessment that general mcchrystal submitted in august was the basis of the entire
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dialogue that we have had for the last three-and-a-half months. and what we have been working on is how do we -- the assessment was based on his view of what he was being asked to do by the president's decisions in march. what troubled me fairly early on was that those decisions were being interpreted fairly broadly, as full-scale nation-building, and creating a strong central government in afghanistan, neither of which was our intent, nor was it our ability to do in any reasonable time frame and in any reasonable cost. and so a good part of the debate and the discussion we've had is how do we focus that, how do we narrow the mission so that we are focused on selective capacity building in the government, capacity-building that's essential to our success and the transition of security responsibility, and ultimately, the defeat of al qaeda. how do we protect the population, what populations do
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we need to protect, how much of the country do we need to do that in. and so on. and so that was a good part of the discussion. but i would say that the starting point was his assessment. >> thank you very much yield back the amount of my time. >> general mcconley -- i'm sorry, no. >> i'm sorry, you said? no. >> i withdraw it. mr. mcmahon, of new york. >> and that's not the first time the good gentleman from virginia has tried to do that to me. >> that you know of. >> hello, madam secretary, great to see you again, and secretary gates and admiral mullen, i'm a new member of congress from staten island, new york. we all remember september 11th with clear, vivid, sad memories. but for us in staten island and brooklyn, the tragedy really hit
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home. a third of the firefighters were killed that day came from my district, over 10% of the individuals. i'll never forget today because it was my first election, primary day in new york and we were out campaigning, heard the news of the first jet and got home to harbor and watched the second jet come in and the buildings fall. and it kind of felt like what it was like to be in world war ii, as civilians we rallied and set up triage sectors and blood banks and waited for the engine to come. a lot of people came. but we waited and waited, and no survivors ever came. and that was the most eerie feeling i think that any of us ever felt. i say that because i think we all realize on that day or the next day or the next day as a nation that we had a sacred trust, a mission that we had to complete, and it was simply, as you said here today, administratoral to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al qaeda
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and afghanistan and pakistan, and to prevent its capacity and the taliban's to threaten america and our allies from the other country in the future. unfortunately, eight years later, we're still sitting here talking about this, because we as a nation were distracted. wet led down the pernicious presently rose path, so many wonder why. and here we are back again completing this mission that it is indeed our sacred trust to do. i want to thank you on behalf of the people i represent for your resolve and present resolve to do this, and mad secretary, obviously from your testimony from your statement, and for the way you have answered the questions, you have not forgotten what we lost that day. it was a tragedy, and if we were here in november of 2001, we would not be having the distracting questions you're hearing today, like questions about individual cases of military justice. that's certainly point, but that
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should not distract us again, and issues of the time line, whether that should distract us again. we must be resolved. i'm so proud of you, that you have that resolve. i do want to ask a question, just from sort of a geopolitical wi point of view. if you look at the map of afghanistan, if you look around and you see the countries that surround it, many are muslim, including turkey. and clearly, the turks in particular, because they are muslim as well have had great success in afghanistan dealing with the people there and in gaining their trust. what are we doing to encourage more help from turkey and help from turk man stan and from china and from india and obviously pakistan, all of these countries that border afghanistan, which seem to me their responsibilities should be raised and their involvement should be raised. can you just tell us what -- is there hope there that a regional solution could be here as well as a global?
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>> congressman, thank you for what you said. and for your leadership. and we are certainly working to add to the list of countries who are working on behalf of this mission. turkey has been a great ally, and they have been with us from the very beginning. they're a nato ally, and they're a true contributing country in afghanistan. united arab emritz has also contributed troops and money. we expect that other countries will be, as well, and will be announcing some of those. i think that the regional picture is a little more challenging, but we have gotten a lot of good help from the central asian countries in assisting us with the transit of material, with the use of military bases. the administratively just reminded me, jordan has also been working with us. so we think that our renewed
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effort, the president's resolve, is actually going to bring more countries into this fight. i happen to agree, unfortunately, with the thrust of your comments that, you know, we just took our eye off the most important ball. and there is no doubt in my mind that had we stayed with it, had we, you know, paid more attention to our commanders on the ground in afghanistan, because it's a longer history. i know some of the people who did have command responsibility in afghanistan, and there were very frequent requests up of chain of command for additional resources. but we are where we are right now. and just because it's been a frustrating and challenging eight years, and it's unfortunate that this president has to face up to the hard decisions that we as a country have to make, doesn't mean we shouldn't be doing what we're doing. and that's why we're here today.
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>> time for the gentleman has expired. our three witnesses, you wouldn't know it by listening to them, but they had to do this for two-and-a-half or three hours earlier today. with superb advocates on behalf of the administration's position. we thank you very much for being here. we will start our second hearing on this subject with field leaders from where we left off in terms of questioning. thank you all very much for being with us today. velopment are continuing to
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press for further climate finance to be made available to help developing countries like bangladesh. >> order. questions to the prime minister. >> question number one, mr. speaker. >> mr. speaker, i'm sure the whole house will wish to join me in paying tribute to acting sergeant john amer from first battalion.
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we owe him a huge debt of gratitude as we plan a way forward in afghanistan, this loss in afghanistan reminds us of the risks and dangers our forces to have endure in afghanistan today and every day. and of the importance of securing peace and stability. mr. speaker, after talks with president obama i can also report that the london conference in afghanistan will make decisions on civil coordination in afghanistan. hear commitments by coalition partners on extra troops and from president karzai on afghan reform. this morning i had meetings with colleagues and others in addition to my duties in this house i shall have further such meetings today. >> in associating myself with the condolences by the prime minister for the family and friends of acting sergeant john amer. i know i am speaking for every member in this house. >> yeah. >> following recent events in
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the hospital trusts, does my right honorable friend agree with me and agree with the secretary of state for health and with the recent report of the health select committee that the major priority of the national health service must be patient safety? >> mr. speaker, patient safety is and has to be our number one priority. and there is no excuse other than for the best care and no tolerance of the failure of managements. i am sorry when any patient receives less than the best care and help in the nhs. as a result, we have introduced independent regulation and transparency so that information flows to the patients. we have set up the care quality commission, which from next year will register all hospitals and set clear safety standards that they will have to continuously meet. and i can say today that our objective is that that process will start not from april but from january. and we will do everything in our
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power to have hospitals deal with hospital-acquired diseases and make sure of the best care at all times. this has been a 7% fall in mortality overall in our hospitals a 50% fall in mrsa. we will do everything on our part to make our hospitals clean and secure. >> david cameron. >> thank you, mr. speaker. can i join the prime minister and everyone in this house in paying tribute to acting sergeant john amer who died this week in afghanistan. he gave his life to protect our country. we should honor his memory. we should care for his family. before i go on to other subjects can i ask a couple questions about afghanistan. following president obama's very welcome speech last night the british people will want to know what the u.s. surge means for british forces. i think we all accept that one of the problems has been that british troops have been spread too thinly over too much ground. will the u.s. reinforcement mean
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we will be able to have more of our forces concentrated in fewer places so they can protect the population more effectively and turn the tide against the taliban? >> mr. speaker, i think first of all, the whole house will welcome the announcement by president obama. both of the objectives of the mission in relation to the taliban and in relation to al-qaeda but also the numbers of troops a very substantial part will go into helmand province and will be dealing with the taliban there. i said on monday our troops would go in immediately so that they were more densely concentrated in the areas where there has been the greatest problem. i said that from january some of our troops would be involved in the vital task of partnering and mentoring the afghan forces. i believe that we have a situation where at the moment there are something in the order of 200,000 afghan troops and america and coalition troops in afghanistan by the end of next
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year, and by the beginning of 2011 that will be in excess of 300,000. it will make it possible for us to transfer the control of some of the districts and provinces to afghan security control starting in 2010. >> mr. david cameron. >> the prime minister specifically spoke about this transfer of provinces in 2010 and i want to ask him about this because at the weekend he said he was looking at transferring at least five afghan provinces to lead afghan control by the end of 2010 including parts of helmand. this was widely interpreted as a commitment to start the withdrawal of british troops in 2010. well, the prime minister shakes his head but that's how it was reported on every single media -- and this -- this is a -- well, this will be a good opportunity for the prime minister to clarify this issue. president obama said the process of transferring forces out of afghan would not even he begin till the middle of 2011.
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it is important that we don't give full expectations to british troops or mixed messages to anybody else. so can the prime minister clarify whether he would expect british troop numbers to start with reducing in 2010 or 2011? . >> mr. speaker, i made it absolutely clear at the press conference that if he read the full transcript of there was no question of us withdrawing our british troops until the point that we were sure that the afghans could take over security control themselves. now, even if one or two parts of a district or a province are transferred in 2010, we will continue to have our troops in afghanistan at that point. my point earlier was that by 2011, there will be over 300,000 troops both afghanistan, american, british coalition troops and that is the point in which the balance of afghanistan forces and british and american and coalition trends will start
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to trend. it's essential that the afghans take over and it's crucial that we are assured that the afghan troops are properly trained and, therefore, they are partnered with the british forces. that will happen during the course of 2010. i can assure him that we will stay and do the job that is necessary. i believe that when people see in britain the facts of the taliban threat and equally the problems with al-qaeda, that they will support what we the government have done with 43 coalition partners. >> mr. david cameron. >> thank you, mr. speaker. that does sound more like the 2011 that president obama was talking about. and i think the clarification is welcomed. turning to the economy, will the prime minister confirm that figures this week show that britain is the last country not just in the g7 but in the entire g20 to move out of recession? >> no, they don't confirm that. spain -- spain is a member of
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the g20 now and it is in recession. six european countries that are part of the european union or part of the continent in britain are part of recession. but i have to -- i have to say to him, the purpose of asking this question must be either policy that he wishes to put forward. so that we can do. -- so that we can do better or that he's talking down britain. >> the fact is that it is his policies that have given us the longest and deepest recession in our history. only this prime minister thinks that we should all be pathetically grateful for this recession when he led the world when he left britain behind. he's normally reading out lists of countries. australia, canada, turkey, brazil, they all went into recession after britain but they came out before britain. france and germany went into recession at the same time as britain. and yet they came out before. can the prime minister answer this.
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given that all those countries are now in growth and we are not in growth -- can he tell us what on earth he meant when he said and i quote we were leading the rest of the world out of recession? >> mr. speaker, not one policy from the leader of the opposition -- we have taken action to restructure the banks and nationalize northern iraq opposed by the party adversary. we have taken action for a fiscal stimulus and kept poverty down for jobs opposed by the opposition. they have been wrong on the recession. they will be wrong on the recovery. mr. speaker, the voice may be that of a modern public relations man. the mindset -- the mindset is that of the 1930s.
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>> i think that one must have sounded great in the bunker. the fact is, the one policy this country needs above all is a credible program for getting the biggest budget deficit in the g20 under control. that is the view of the governor of the bank of england and he says they haven't a credible plan to get the deficit under control. >> government backbenches need simmer down a little. mr. david cameron. >> it's not just back benches, mr. speaker, the children's secretary is up to his old tricks again. you would have thought -- you would have thought he would spend more time in his ultra marginal constituency. but perhaps he agrees with us that the more he meets people, the more likely we are to win it. the fact is, when you look at the prime minister's three central claims, the claim we were better prepared than other
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countries, that was wrong. our deficit was worse than other countries. the claim that britain was leading the world out of recession we're still in recession and the claim to abolish boom and bust absolute rubbish. isn't it the case his three biggest claims are his three biggest failures? >> mr. speaker, the more he talks, the less he actually says. nothing -- nothing -- nothing about policy. we have helped 200,000 businesses in this country. we have helped half a million people stay out of unemployment. we are helping people who have problems with mortgage arrears. mr. speaker, if he wanted to reduce the deficit, if he wanted to reduce the deficit, why does he persist with his inheritance tax policy that would cost a billion pounds? why does he have a domestic tax policy which is to help his friends with inheritance tax cuts and a global tax policy to
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help nondomicile candidates to avoid any tax, whatsoever. >> as the prime minister has raised inheritance tax, perhaps he could answer -- perhaps he could answer -- >> order, order. mr. bradshaw, you're a very senior member. i say to thee right honorable gentleman and all the members that the more noise there is, the fewer the opportunities for back benches to take part. mr. david cameron. >> thank you, mr. speaker. that's another one who should be defending his marginal constituency. let the prime minister answer this very simple question. the only person who has made of a specific pledge not just a pledge or promise but in legislation to reduce inheritance tax in the coming budget is the prime minister. he legislated to raise the threshold from 325,000 to 350,000.
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perhaps he can tell us now is he still planning to do that? we'd like an answer. >> mr. speaker, it's interesting -- oh, yeah, it's interesting this exchange started with the great ideas of economic policy and he's ended up having to defend his own policy on inheritance tax. mr. speaker, the question he has to answer -- oh, yeah. the issue -- mr. speaker, the issue that concerns the whole country is that inheritance tax cuts to millionaires will be cuts. are inheritance tax cuts for few? i have to say with him and mr. goldsmith, their inheritance tax policies seems to have been dreamed up on the playing fields of eaton.
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>> order. order. order. order. i'm glad -- i'm very glad members are avoiding themselves. they do all seem to have had a very hearty breakfast. linda? >> thank you, thank you, mr. speaker. will my right honorable friend congratulate avon international spokesman reese witherspoon who announced their speak out against violence campaign and will he reassure me that this government will continue to concentrate policy and resources to attack this most evil of crimes and cowardly of crimes? >> i'm grateful to my honorable friend. she has led the way in urging us as a government and our country to take seriously the issue of
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domestic violence. and last week the government launched its strategy to tackle all forms of violence against women and i believe we have made real progress but a great deal has to be done. there has been a 64% reduction in domestic violation. -- violence. we are bringing more criminal cases to court but we need to do more. i'm grateful reese witherspoon is leading this campaign. she spoke movingly at a funeral. >> mr. nick clegg. >> i'd obviously like to add my own expressions of sympathy and condolence to the family and friends of acting sergeant john amer of the first battalion who lost his life in afghanistan on monday. mr. speaker, president obama's speech last week on his new strategy in afghanistan is immensely important. he has set a very tight timetable. he has set a very tight timetable indeed for this new military strategy and surge to have an effect.
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given this tight timetable does the prime minister agree it's all the more important not to overrely on president karzai. president obama said last night the best way forward is to get tough on karzai but given karzai's previous record, given that two of his vice presidents are ex-warlords, does the prime minister not think that it'd be better to have a strategy working around president karzai relying -- relying on local and regional and political leadership instead? >> mr. speaker, president obama will be grateful for his endorsement. [laughter] >> he is absolutely right -- he is absolutely right that we have to both weaken the taliban and strengthen the afghan state. the action we are taking with troops to deal with the
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insurgency are important. but as he rightly recognizes, so too is building up the strength of the afghan army, its police and local and national government. and as president obama said last night, there is no blank check for president karzai. he has to take the action as necessary and that's why i said earlier today that the london conference on november the 28th which president karzai will attend will be a chance for president karzai to set out further reforms that he estimates to make the army and police more efficient to make sure that government is free of corruption and to build up stronger, local and provincial government. >> nick clegg? >> will the prime minister confirm at the london conference he just referred to whether the powers around afghanistan, russia, china and, yes, even iran might be involved? without regional backing it will be difficult to create stability within afghanistan. president obama was critical in his speech last night. will the prime minister tell us whether this is being taken forward and perhaps give us a feel for what steps have been
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taken to involve those other countries in the region. >> as he recognizes the military surge has got to be matched by a political and diplomatic surge and it will be no use for the future of afghanistan if there is no security around afghanistan with the neighbors of hassling that's why they have an important role in afghanistan's affairs and building up the links that are necessary for afghan trade and industry and afghan's commerce to flourish and stop the weapons into afghanistan. we will invite international powers. >> will the prime minister join with me in marking 60 years since the british surgeon commissioned my company to produce the first inter-occular lens and on friday received the
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queen's prize for enterprise in restoring sight? >> in her constituency there are many excellent companies and one of them is reyna and i want to thank all who contributed to the success. the inventions that have come from britain are truly wonderful. we should be very proud of our british scientists and engineers but also very proud of our medical researchers and our medical firms. >> mr. ben wallace. >> thank you, mr. speaker, recently revealed figures showed since 2001 140 inmates were allowed to die of cancer while serving in uk jails. under this government, is it one rule for british inmates and another one for libyan mass murderers? >> mr. speaker, as he knows, the decision on libya was made by the scottish administration. it was their decision to make.
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it was not our decision to make. >> roger barry. >> mr. speaker, my constituents are extremely concerned about the impact of global warming and wants speedy action to deal with it members opposite in their european allies. will my right honorable friend assure the house that he has been doing everything possible so that both developed and developing countries can look to a deal at copenhagen? >> well, we are in the happy position of being able to work with the rest of europe to get a climate change agreement and in the position to work as europe with the rest of the world to make sure that we can move forward. and the talks that are taking place now including at the commonwealth conference are a desire to bring together the richest countries who will have to contribute to a climate change deal financially as well as with bold and ambitious targets. and the developing countries whom we want to make progress but whom we will have to be able to help.
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i'm pleased that we have agreed and i believe america and europe will also agree with the commonwealth on a 10 billion pound startup to help the poorest countries to move on mitigation and adaptation. we have to make sure that the intermediate targets that the major countries are going to propose are sufficiently ambitious for us to meet our target in 2050, a 50% reduction but to be making big progress through 2020. britain will play its part. i know that the european union will play its part. we look forward to successful negotiations in copenhagen and i hope that despite droughts expressed about some parts of the opposition that there will be all-party support for that deal. >> ms. ann macintosh. >> in july, 2007, the prime minister promised no local authority would be out-of-pocket in recovering from the summer floods. collectively they had a shortfall of 50 million pounds. what promise will he give the people that they will similarly not face a shortfall in the recovery from the floods this year?
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>> mr. speaker, i understand from the secretary who is with me on the bench that 100% of the cleanup costs were made available but i also understand the environment agency and the local district council have developed proposals for a flood defense scheme and are working out proposals to secure funding for that scheme. i have to say investment in flood management is higher than ever. we saw the benefits of it in carlisle and in surrounding areas as a result of flood defense investment and the grants that we are making to the environment agency to tackle flooding have increased from 500 million in 2007 to 659 million in 2010, '11. i assure her our constituency case is dealt with but i think she should see the wider investment we are making in flood defenses. >> mr. speaker, does the prime minister agree with me that the policy of growing and not cutting our way out of recession is beginning to show results? and if we are -- i haven't finished yet. and if we adopted the policy of
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immediate and savage cuts then the economy -- abdicated by the dynamic duo over there the economy would be in an right old eastern mess? >> mr. speaker, the shadow chancellor has already recognized that we need to do more to get ourselves out of recession. and i believe the action we are taking to help small businesses to help those people who are unemployed back into work to advance capital investment so that we have big construction projects going ahead and, of course, to help homeowners is the action that every other country in the world including every other country in europe supports and it's only unfortunate that the leader of the opposition and the shadow chancellor are against the shadow shadow chancellor in trying to deal with this problem. >> malcolm bruce. >> when the prime minister goes to copenhagen next week will he not recognize that securing a commitment to the 100 billion fund that he's looking for in 2020 will be essential to securing a deal from the developing countries? but at the same time will he reflect that given the floods
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that we have in this country and in my constituency and elsewhere we need a partnership between government and the insurance industry to ensure we have the means to cope with climate change because local authorities won't be able to do it alone. >> i'm grateful he's chairman of the government select committee and i'm grateful what he says about the conference change conference and the need to help the poorest countries. i believe there should be no doubt about the scientific evidence before us that shows the need to act on climate change. and i thought we had moved beyond that argument to looking at what we need to do. at home we will continue to invest in a low carbon economy. and i believe he will see next week in the prebudget report action to move forward in that investment so that we are a low carbon economy of the future. one that can lead the world. abroad, it is important that we make sure that there is sufficient finance for developing countries to enable them to come to a deal in copenhagen in a few day's time. we've already got agreement on startup finance.
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we now need to get an agreement how we can move forward that finance over a period of years. >> tom harris. >> thank you, mr. speaker. does the prime minister believe that every candidate who stands for election to this house should pay taxes to this country? >> yes. >> for the first time in 50 years the key economic portfolio in the european commission has gone to france. president sarkozy has proudly told reuters the english are the big losers in this business. why did the prime minister fail to win it for britain? >> mr. speaker, if he looks at the policy that is being adopted by the european union at the moment and they're discussing today on the policy of financial services and look at the policy that is being adopted on the economy generally, it is british proposals, british influence, british policies that are making a difference. and i say to him that is the advantage of being at the heart of europe. if we took his advice and his
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party's advice we'd be on the fringe of europe isolated dealing with minority parties and unable to change the course of the debate. that is not the position we're in. >> my right honorable friend wouldn't know there's a need to change legislation for the civil service compensation scheme. he knows this is also used as an opportunity by the permanent secretary dining club to propose slashes to the entitlement of lower paid civil servants in the event of redundant si. that a strategy instrument which i believe is proposed to be tabled on the last day when we recess for christmas will be introduced into this house to operate such a scheme from the first of january and will he ensure that no legislation is introduced until a new agreement is established with the unions concerned. >> mr. speaker he will find there is indeed extra protection for the lowest paid civil servants as well as ensuring all
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the savings the government is committed to will be achieved but i cannot defend a system where there are six times the ordinary salary at the ver
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captionq" by the national captioning institute [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> tomorrow an" the next day we'll discuss this at the foreign miniáuq)'s meeting here in brussels. but we'll not discuss the mi
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military operation. we'll also focus on the broader political strategy and that includes what we expect from the new afghan government. good governing is the best way to suck the oxygen away from the taliban. and after all that we have committed this mission. we have the right to insist on it. president kar-ai has made some clear and welcome statements. i'm pleased to see corruption investigations are under way. it's a good start to help to establish the credibility, the afg$an people and international community need to see. the conference to be held early next month, i think it will be in january, actually, will be very important. in this regard as well to establish a new contract between
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the afghan government and international community. a few phase in our of in 2010, there will be substantially more forces on the ground focusing on defending the afghan people. we will start handing over lead security responsibility to afghan forces district by district where conditions allow. there will be clear commitments and i expect clear action guy afghan government to earn the support of the afghan people. there will be more development assistance starting with the five billion dollars left by japan and civilian sides of the whole effort will be stepped up
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as well, not least through the european union action plan. all of which is why, we will soon see new momentum in this mission. of course while afghaniáup' is the most important issue on our agenda at the foreign minister's meeting, it's not the only one. there's three other issue in particular under discussion. first, nato's open door. the open door policy has already helped to stabilize much of europe. and the allies believe that the contras of the western countries should all find they're home in nato and the european union when they meet the necessary standards. man be negro and bostonen o have
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both applied for the action plan. ministers will decide if each of them, based on their own individual merits has reformed uh in this to meet the standards and action plan requires and we'll take that decision tomorrow. and second, nato russian relations. foreign minister will join his 28 colleagues in the counsel meeting on friday. i'm confident this will be a substantial and forward looking meeting. my aim, as chair of the nato, russia counsel is we'll be able to agree to a joint review of the 21'st entry threats and challenges. that we will set out a concrete work plan to do more together to
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face those threats to the mutual benefits of all countriqj within the nato russia council and that we'll agree away forwards on reforming the work in the nato russia council. and then, third and finally, we will meet with both jordan and ukraine. the commitment made in both countries still stands. they will become nato members when they meet the standards and if they so desire. we will be discussing progress in reform which nato will continue to support. we'll also thank both countries for whpá they are contributing to our operations and missions and i would like to recognize in
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particular, georgia for t$e substantial contingent it's send "ttogether afghanistan. so overall, a very busy foreign minister's meeting in a very important week. >> united arab imrates. what was the meeting and why you don't inviteicvi ministers to attend the meetings. thank you. >> well, first of all we had a very successful seminary conference in the united emirates a few weeks ago, and i had a very productive bilateral meetings with political meetings in the country. as you know, i have made rá a
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priority to further develop and strengthen our partnerships within the istanbul cooperation and mediterranean dialogue. this is also the reason why we have organized and will plan meetings with our partners at ambassadors level in the very near future. i would not exclude the possibility o f having minister's meeting at the later level states but we have embarked on a very intense dip&ogue with the countries condition these partnerships. the reason why we have not organized meetings with all of our partners this week is that it is a very heavy agenda. i think you can imagine we have to focus in particular on
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afghanistan this week. >> polish radio, that's secretary general poland wants õto send 600 additional country soldierss. it important and important contribution in your opinion? maybe you expected a bigger number? and second question, what kinds of things they've promised from poland? >> i appreciate very much the polish pledge. i had meetings in warsaw recently. we had a very constructive discussion. and we look very much forward to an additional contribution from poland. i do not want to go into details about the specific elements in addition contribution.
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as you may know there will be a fourth generation conference organized next week where our military people will discuss how contributions from each individual allies could fit into the all over picture. >> lauren cook from,a fp. any speech president barack obama mentioned. you talked about a little bit about what the allies need to do in picking up their effort. after september 11th we energy invoked article five and president barack obama has take% a bold step putting his presidency on the line. i know you can't quantify in number of soldiers but isn't it time for leadership to make some of the commitments from european allies. >> this really an alliance
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mission. all 28 nato allies are in this together. - and in addition to that, 15 partners within the,ice f coalition contribute to the operation in afghanistan. so this is really an alliance i appreciate very much the u.s. lateral approach and this is also recent. by i have done a lot to encourage the nonu.s. allies and partners to make further contributions. actually, i think the non, u.s. allies have demonstrated a clear commitment to our operation in afghanistan. let me remind you that during
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the last three years, the nonunited states allies have nearly doubled. their troop contribution operation to afghanistan. as said in my introduction, i expect them to contribute further now. at least 5,000 and probably a that.housand extra on top of >> jim newinger from bloomberg. on that point which are the countries you expect to contribute these extra troops and "oes it give you any concern these countries have not come forward in right after the president's speech but appear to wait until the january conference and they're eyeing of condition for announcing further troop deployment? >> i have had a lot of meetings and talks during the past weeks,
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but i will leave it to each individual allies to announce they're country's contribution. but based on my talks i #eel confident that we'll see quite a number of pledges. that might be allies that's obstacle toob to be held on the 24th of january before they actually p'nounce their country's contributions for. me, the most important thing is not the time line here but the fact that they will actually contribute with an additional number of troops. so i think you will see some pledges right now. some at a later stage, but still at the beginning of 2010 and @%
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then you will see a build up of troops during 2010. >> yes, secretary general. could you clarify you mentioned at least additional 5,000. possibly several thousand more, how many of that number will include troops who are already on the ground and have sent in as election reinforcement? >> well, i'm not able to make that separation in exact terms right now. t$e fact is, that the number, 5,000, will be an additional contribution compared to what we had expected for 2010.
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and on top of that, i would expect some thousand extra. and i think that's what counts. i mean, if a country has planned to withdrawal a number of troops in 2010. then it would not be possible for our commanders in the field to override on the basis of these troops so we say stay. it's a fact that it is a strengthening of our operation in afghanistan. >> yes, secretary general, in almost all member countrys in europe. public opposition to the war has grown steadily as number of troops has risen over the last three years. how do you propose po help overcome this majority opinion
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and skepticism about the claims that the taliban are somehow an existential threat? >> it is of course a matter of concern according to opinion poles we'll see a decline in in afghanistan. i think people want to see a progress on the ground. so do i. this is also the reason why it is so important to ensure a áransition to afghan lead responsibility for security as well as development and security wise it means that we will and over a lead security responsibility to the afghan security forces. district by district. province by province as their own capacity develops and when conditions permit to do so it
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will be a condition based transition to afghan lead. but based on what we know about the security situation in different parts of afghanistan, i find it realistic that we will be able to transfer lead responsibility to the afghans in ten to 15 areas and districts already next year. but i have to stress that this transition will be condition based. we will not leave unless we feel sure that the after dpan security forces can actually take on responsibility for the security in that specific district or province. >> yes, brooks/tiggern er.
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change of topic. bosnia. if the alliance does extend the map to bosnia it will argue this is a stabilizing measure but one could argue this is a very risky proposition extending this to a federal commission that haves weak and casualties are very high. do you acknowledge that risk? thank you. >> well, let me stress, that no decision has been made yet and i will not pre judge the outcome of the foreign minister's meeting. i visiting last friday and, i'm encouraged by the fact that it is a unanimous decision not only within the bosnian presidency,
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õbut also across all community lines and a cross political dividing lines. it rj a unanimous decision to apply for a member ship action plan. i think that's encouraging thing. and r think there is a unified allied precision. that the long-term goal should be to see this as well as all other countries in the western õball kens. so the question is not if, but when the time is right for granting a membership action plan. but i'm afraid that i cannot answer your question without prejudging in one way or the q) the discussion among ministers and i'm not going to do that. i think we'll have a ve)y frank,
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open discussion, and i think ministers will take into considerations both prose and cons when the final decision will be made probably tomorrow. >> minister, you plan to pull off consenting the strategies. will ministers consider some kind of decisions concerning the georgia and ukraine joining the map. are these countries less prepared for a map example than bosnia and man be negro? >> i think ministers will reckon firm decisions already taken at, bukarest and others and we'll welcome the progress y the two countries withinress
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they're annual national programs. >> the situation in georgia, the territory is russian soldiers have kidnapped 11 russian citizens. what about consideration on the nato russian council meeting situation on georgians and the next question as you know, integration in nato is top of fallen policy agenda. what's the message of the nato foreign policy. thank you very much. "t i think two measures are important. firstly, we insist on respect for georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty and secondly, that's decision we
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took in buckarest still stands and we decided there georgia and ukraine will become members of nato provided they meet the cry tear. you i these are the core messages. >> [speaking non pp englthroug >> disappointed that they didn't agree to certain elements of afghanistan. are you going to persuade france and under what circumstances. thank you very much. >> well on the contrary i'm very much encouraged.
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encouraged by the comments made by the president of france. president barack obama announced that there would be a significant increase of the number of u.s. troops in afghanistan and in such, a situation, it is absolutely crucial to my mind thpá the other allies follow suit. and in particular, i would like to stress the following two points. first of all, the balp'ce of the alliance is at stake, our equilibrium among ourselves. it's crucial for the afghan
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operation not to be perceived as a purely and simply united states operation. secondly, we asked the united states to adopt eight multi-lateral approach. but i believe that the united states will begin to challenge, or have doubts about this approach if they consider that the other allies are not fully carrying their weight and sharing the burden. therefore, i would like to call on all of the allies to increase the number of their troops in >> secretary you have said that
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we're not talking today about actually strategy from afghanistan but president barack obama has already said he plans to start deployment of soldiers in mid 2011 and already the papers are talking, reporting that the united states is already thinking in leaving afghanistan. how do you score these two things of president barack obama saying that in 2011 we're going to be back home. do you say that we're going to stay there for along as it takes? >> i think it's a very important question and important to interpret this correctly. nobody is speaking about an exit date. but what we're speaking about is a transition.
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a transition to afghan lead. and i have repeatedly stressed how important it is to show the light at the end of the tunnel. to show clear progress on the ground and this is the reason why transition to afghan leads is so important. so we are not speaking about an exit strategy, but a transition% strategy which of course eventually when conditioned permit, will lead to, will draw international troops, but it's important to stress it is a condition based process. we're not just going to leave afghanistan behind. we'll stay an" finish our job, and the mission ends when the afghans are capable to secure and run the country themselves. and let me also remind you, that
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transition means that foreign troops will gradually be replaced by afghan security forces. so it will not be a weakening of "tprs is to train and educate me afghan soldiers and more afghan police so that they can take lead responsibility and we can um... move to a more supportive role in this transition process. so, this is what it is about. it is not a run for the exit. we will go for the transit. at transition to afghan lead. >> i do have the microphone.
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dutch radio. the dutch have scheduled to leave afghanistan by 2010. with the new appeal of president barack obama to sent more nato troops are your urging the dutch government to stay? >> let me put it this way. i hope all allies will take into consideration how important we keep this as an alliance mission, and that other allies follow suit. when the americans have decided to contribute a signi#icant number of additional troops, to our operation in afghanistan and i feel confidence that the dutch government, as well as other governments will take all this
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into consideration. >> about from military political dialogue with the taliban? >> i'm strongly in favor of area integration and reconciliation process in afghanistan. i think that's way forward but there are certain conditions which must be fulfilled firstly, that it is an afghan led "táhe afghan government must ben the driver's seat. we of course, ready to assist but basically it must be an afghan left proceááy secondly, i think it's crucial that those groups and partners involved in arqp integration and reconciliation process accept
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and abide by the afghan constitution. but provided that these conditions are fulfilled, i think that a reconciliation process would be beneficial for the whole society in afghanistan. >> you know that when is coming from [inaudible] they have a lot of corrections so we try to find some of the answers we're looking for. what about nato in the mediterranean division? and my second question, about the safe with the afghan people. how can you be safe and change the situation at the time when the casualties we see from day-to-day, civilians and mainly, civilians and children and women, nato strikes?
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>> first of all let me stress that we are in afghanistan to protect the afghan people. "tcivilian casualties. i know the soldiers do their best to minimize the number of % civilian casualties but let me remr'd you a large number of casualties by civilians are caused by the taliban. that's fact. as i have made very clear, right from the out set when i took office as new secretary general of nato it's one of my
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priorities to further develop our partnerships with the contraries in the mediterranean dialogue and eastern cooperation initiative. i've had meetings with all the ambassadors from partner countries to discuss how we can possibly further develop our corporation both by literally between nato and each individual country, and also multi literally within these two partnerships. in a couple of weeks we'll have a meeting at the ambassador's level between the 28 allies and countries within the mediterranean dialogue. i think it will be followed by a similar meeting with the country's within the eastern cooperation initiative, and by
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the way, we had a very successful seminary in the arab emirates recently. we're on a good track and i foresee further development of these partnerships during my 10-year as secretary general. >> television from pakistan. when the news come out of the western capital about the handing over responsibility to afghans or leaving districts particularly in southeastern afghanistan government in iásps get nervous and yesterday foreign minister said at least five next years nato should stay in afghanistan and prime minister said if you increase the troops it will example earth pressure on taliban fighters and they will not cross into pakistan. what measures are taken to stop the fighters coming in from
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this? >> let me stress, actually we have increased the number of international troops in the southern parts and also the eastern parts of an afghanistan during last year. furthermore, the chu procedure l focus on these parts of afghanistan. in particular, the south of afghanistan. next, let me say that it is of course of crucial importance to have a strong cooperation with pakistan and i would like to use this opportunity to commend the pakistan government and military for their determined fight againáu terrorists in the border region.
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as you rightly pointed out, wq cannot succeed unless we join efforts in the fight against terrorism and extremism in these regions. >> we have time for one more question. >> yes. mr. secretary general, yesterday the russian ambassador has said that blocking of the preparation of the documents for the minister of the russian council because nato doesn't want to make the main objective for the work the discussion on the consideration of european security. is this issue so difficult to discuss between russia and nato that we're really to risk or reduce they're first initial meet in the russian console in one year. thank you.
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>> first of all i'm not going to comment on internal negotiations and discussions within the nato, russia council. let me just say, that it's not fair to single out individual countries in this. we are, right now, in a netu)páion process. and it's quite natural that in % the run up to foreign ministers meeting where we're going to make important decisions that there will be some discussions. and we have some tough negotiations and can i confirm that. i feel confidence that all countries within the nato, )ussia council are committed to finding constructive solutions
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to that, so that's what i can say right now. we'll have the foreign minister's meeting on friday and i feel pretty sure that we will find the necessary compromises and make important decisions on friday. >> that's all we have time for. captioning institute [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> in a few moments the senate arm services hears about troop levels and strategy in afghanistan from secretary of state hillary clinton and robert gates and chairman of the joint chief's of staff. admiral mike mu lynn. "washington journal" is live with segments on the white house job summit and future of the federal reserve and house is in senate at 10 eastern. today's bill include ascent
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the senate banking committee holds a hearing on the nomination of ben bernanke to continue as chairman of the federal reserve. live on 10 eastern onp span 3, and c span radio. this week on q & a. our guest is malcolm glad well. writer for the new yorker magazine. he has currently four books top new york best sellers list. his newest book. what the dog saw is a compilation of stories for the new yorker magazine. q & a comes on, on sundays at 8 profit margins eastern. >> secretary of state hillary clinton and robert gates and joint chief's of staff told members of the senate armed õservices committee today the
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president's decision to send more troops to afghanistan is needed to prevent a taliban take over of the country. this hour and 15 minute portion includes opening statements and questions from senators. not just end it, but win it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain. i understand that the order that our witnesses desire to be recognized is secretary gates first and then secretary clinton and then admiral mullen. secretary gates, welcome. >> thank you, mr. chairman. actually, i think the secretary of state's microphone is the only one working so perhaps we should allow her to be the only witness today.
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mr. chairman, members of the committee, thank you for inviting us to testify today. last night president obama announce add renewed commitment and more focused strategy for afghanistan and pakistan. i would like to provide an overview of the strategic thinking and context behind his decisions, in particular the nexus among al qaeda, the tall pan, pakistan and afghanistan. our objectives and thousand president's strategy aims to accomplish them and the military forces required. as the president first stated in march, and re-emphasized last night, the goal of the united states in afghanistan and pakistan is to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al qaeda and to prevent its return to both countries. the international military effort to stabilize afghanistan is necessary to achieve this overarching goal. defeating al qaeda and enhancing
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afghan security are mutually reinforcing missions. they cannot be untethered from one another as much as we might wish that to be the case. while al qaeda's under great pressure now and dependent on the taliban and other extremist groups for sustainment, the success of the taliban would vastly strengthen al qaeda's message to the muslim world that violent extremists are on the winning side of history but simply the taliban and al qaeda have become symbiotic, each benefiting from the success and methodology of the others. al qaeda leaders stated this repeatedly. taliban success and retaking and holding parts of afghanistan against the combined forces of multiple, modern armies, the current direction of events has dramatically strengthened the extremist mythology and perceptions of who is winning
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and losing t. lesson's of the taliban revival is time and will is on their side. that with a western defeat, they could regain their strength and achieve a major strategic victory, as long as the senior leadership lives and can continue to inspire and attract followers and funding. rolling back the taliban is now necessary even if not sufficient to the ultimate defeat of al qaeda. at the same time, one cannot separate the security situation in afghanistan from the stability of pakistan. a nuclear armed nation of 175 million people now also explicitly targeted by islamic extremists. the two countries bound by ties of tribe and faith share a porous border of more than 1,500 miles. giving grooeting room in pakistan tloed the resurgence of the taliban in a more coordinated, sophisticated
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attacks in afghanistan. provide ago sanctuary for extremists in southern and eastern afghanistan would put yet more pressure on a pakistani government already under attack from groups operating in the border region. indeed, the pakistan taliban in just the last year or so has become a real threat to pakistan's own domestic peace and stability carrying out with al qaeda's help kaes lating becoming attacks throughout the country. it is these attacks and toward to islamabad that largely motivated the current operations by the pakistani army. and we know that pakistan taliban operate in collusion with both the taliban in afghanistan and al qaeda. a related point with respect to pakistan. because of american withdrawal from the region in the early 1990s, followed bay severing of military to military relations, many pakistanis are skeptical in
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the united states is a reliable, long-term strategic partner. we must change that perception. failure in afghanistan would mean a taliban takeover of much if not most of the country and likely a renewed civil war. taliban ruled areas could in shorter order become sanctuary for al qaeda and a staging area for resun gent militant group tons offensive in pakistan. success in south and central asia by islamic extremists as was the case 20 years ago would beget success on other fronts. it would strengthen the al qaeda narrative, providing renewed opportunities for recruitment, fund raising and more sophisticated operations. aided by the internet, many more followers could join their region and across the globe. it is true that al qaeda and its followers can plot and execute attacks from a variety of
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locations. from munich to london to denver. but what make it is border area between afghanistan and pakistan uniquely different from any other location including somalia, yemen and other possible redoubts is that this part of the world represents the epicenter of extremist jihadist. the historic place where native and foreign muslims defeat add superpower and in their view caused its collapse at home. for them to be seen to defeat the sole remaining superpower in the same place would have severe consequences for the united states and the world. some say this is similar to the domino theory that underpinned an ultimately muddied the thinng >> the difference is we have very real and very recent history that shows just what can happen in this part of the world when extremist have breathing space, safe heavens and governments supportive of their mission.
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less than five years after the last soviet tank crossed out of afghanistan new jersey 1993, islamic militants launched they're first attack on the world trade center in new york. we cannot afford to make a similar mistakes again. stable security situation in afghanistan and pakistan is sustainable over the long-term by their governs is vital to the national government. the current status quo in afghanistan. the slow but steady deterioration of security situation and growing influence of taliban is unacceptable and so too is the status quo. a largely ungoverned region controlled by extremist in which the united states had little ability to gain access on the ground. the president's new strategic concept wants to reduce it's strength while providing the time and spaceness for the
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afghans to develop enough security and government capacity to stabilize their own country. afghans to develop enough security and governance capacity to stabilize their own country. we will focus our resources where the population is most threatened and align military and civilian efforts accordingly. with six primary objectives. reversing taliban momentum through sustained military action by the u.s., our allies and the afghans. denying the taliban access to and control of key population and production centers and lines of communication. disrupting the taliban outside secured areas and preventing al qaeda from regaining sanctuary in afghanistan. degrading the taliban to levels manageable by afghan national security forces. increasing the size and capability of the afghan national security forces and employing other local forces selectively to begin transitioning security
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responsibility to the afghan government within 18 months. and finally, selectively building the capacity of afghan government, particularly in key ministries. the approach is not open ended nation building. it is neither necessary nor feasible to create a modern, centralized western-style afghan state, the likes of which has never been seen in that country. nor does it entail pass if iing every village and textbook counter insurgency one end of afghanistan to the other. it is instead a narrower focus tied more tightly to the core goal of disrupting, dismantling and eventually defeating al qaeda by building the capacity of the afghans, capacity that will be measured by observable progress on clear objectives and not simply by the passage of time. the essence of our civil military plan is to clear, hold, build and transfer. beginning to transfer security
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responsibility to the afghans in summer 2011 is critical. and in my view, achievable. this transfer will occur district by district, province by province depending on conditions on the ground. the process will be similar to what we did in iraq where international security forces provided overwatch first at the tactical level and then strategic level. even after we transfer security responsibility to the afghans and draw down our combat forces, the united states will continue to support their development as an important partner for the long haul. we will not repeat the mistakes of 1989 when we abandoned the country only to see it descend into chaos and into taliban hands. making this transition possible requires accelerating the development of a significantly larger and more capable afghan army and police through an intensive partnering with forces
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especially in combat. it also means achieve ago better balance between national and local forces. increasing afghan unconventional warfare capabilities, communities for more local security forces to protect their own territory and boltstering afghan-stead reconciliation efforts. at the strategic level, the president's plan will achieve a better balance between investments in the central government and sub national entities. at the national levelt focus is primarily on reforming saerk ministries and pressing for the appointment of competent and honest ministers and governors. at the local and regional level, there will be a shift to work through existing, traditional structures rather than building new ones. in all of these efforts, we must have a committed partner in the afghan people and government. that is one reason why there will be very clear and definitive time frames for reviewing our and their progress. as the president announced, the
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united states will commit an additional 30,000 troops to afghanistan for an extended surge of 18 to 24 months. these forces, u.s. contribution to the fight, will be deployed and concentrated in the southern and eastern parts of the country. the first of these forces will begin to arrive in afghanistan within two to three weeks. in all, since taking office, president obama has committed nearly 52,000 additional troops to afghanistan for a total u.s. force of approximately 100,000. we are looking to nato and to our other partners to send a parallel international message of strong resolve. our allies must take the lead and focus their resources in the south and west to prevent the insurgency from establishing new footholds. we'll see 5,000 to 7,000
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additional troops. let me offer a few closing thoughts. it is worth remembering that the security situation in afghanistan, though serious, does not begin to approach the scale of violence that consumed iraq and confronted our forces there when i was confirmed as secretary of defense three years ago this week. with all the resources already committed to this campaign, plus those the president has just announced, i believe the pieces are being put in place to make real and measurable progress in afghanistan over the next 18 to 24 months. the president believes as do i that in the end we cannot defeat al qaeda and its toxic ideology without improving and stabilizing the security situation in afghanistan. the president's decision offers the best possibility to decisively change the momentum in afghanistan and fundamentally alter the tra teenlgic equation in pakistan and central asia. all necessary to protect the united states, our allies and
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our vital interests. so i ask for your full support of this decision to provide both ambassador iken berry and general mcchrystal the resources they need to be success. this takes patience, perseverance and sacrifice by the united states and by our allies and as always the heaviest burden will fall on the men and women who have volunteered and in many cases revolunteered to serve their country in uniform. i know they will be upper "the new york post" drk uppermost in our minds and prayers with this arduous mission. >> thank you, secretary gates. secretary clinton? >> okay. thank you.
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chairman levin, senator mccain, members of the committee, i am grateful for this opportunity to testify before so many former colleagues and friends. my experience on this committee helped form my views on many of the issues facing our nation. and it's privilege to be here before you now in this different role. yesterday, president obama presented the administration's strategy for afghanistan and pakistan. today, secretary gates, admiral mullen and i will all be providing you with additional details but let me speak briefly at more personal level about why we are making this commitment. simply put, among a range of difficult choices, this is the best way to protect our nation now and in the future. the extremists we are fighting in afghanistan and pakistan have attacked us and our allies before. if we allow them okay stoesz the very same safe havens they used before 2001, they will have a
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greater ka pass toy regroup and attack again. they could drag an entire region into chaos. our civilian and military leaders in afghanistan have reported that the situation is serious and worsening. and we agree. in the aftermath of september 11th, i grieved with sons, daughter, husbands, wives whose loved ones were murdered. it wasn't an attack on our country and an attack on the constituents i then represented. i witnessed the tragic consequences in the lives of thousands of innocent families and the damage done to our economy and our sense of security. so i feel a personal responsibility to help protect our nation from such violence. the case for action against al qaeda and its allies has always been clear but the united states' course of action over the last eight years has not. the fog of another war obscured our focus. and while our attention was
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focused elsewhere, the taliban gained momentum in afghanistan and the extremist threat grew in pakistan, a country with 175 million peoplea nuclear arsenal and more than its share of challenges. it was against this backdrop that president obama called for a careful, thorough review of the strategy. i was proud to be part of that process which questioned every assumption and took nothing for granted. and our objectives are clear. we will work with the afghan and pab stan ickes governments to eliminate safe havens for those plotting to attack against us, our allies and our interests. we'll help to stabilize a region that we believe is fundament alto our national security and we will develop a long-term sustainable relationship with both afghanistan and pakistan so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. the duration of our military presence is not open ended.
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but our civilian commitment must continue even as our troops begin eventually to come home. accomplishing this mission and ensuring the safety of the american people will not be easy. it will mean sending not only more troops but more civilians and more assistants to afghanistan and significantly expanding our civilian efforts in pakistan. the men and women carrying out this military civilian mission are not members of a list or items on a powerpoint slide. they are our friends and neighbors, our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters and we will be asking them and the american people to make extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security. i want to assure this committee that i know it takes its oversight responsibility so seriously. that we will do everything we can to make sure their
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sacrifices are honored and make our nation safer. the situation in afghanistan and pakistan is serious. but it is not in my view as negative as frequently portrayed in public. and the beginning of president karzai's second term has opened a new window of opportunity. we have real concerns about the influence of corrupt officials in the afghan government and we'll continue to pursue them. but in his inauguration speech last week that i was honored to attend, i witnessed the new call for a compact with his country. he pledged to combat corrupt, improve glompb nans and deliver for the people of his country. his words were long in coming but they were welcome. they must now be matched with action. afghan people, the united states and the international community must hold the afghan government accountable for making good on these commitments.
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we will help by working to strengthen institutions at every level of afghan society so we don't leave chaos behind when our combat troops begin to depart. the president has outlined a timeframe for transition to afghan responsibility, something that president karzai assumed would happen. and which we took as a very good sign of a renewed understanding of the necessity of afghanization. that transition will begin in the summer of 2011 when we expect afghan security forces and the afghan government will have the capacity to start assuming ownership for defending their own country. as the president has said, we will execute the transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground. but we think a timeframe for such a transition will provide a sense of urgency and working with the afghan government.
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it should be clear to everyone that unlike the past, the united states, our allies and partners have an enduring commitment to afghanistan, pakistan and the region so our resolve in this sfigt reflected in the substantial contribution of troops and civilian commitment that will continue long after combat forces leave. that civilian effort is already bearing fruit. they're crafting policy inside "t when our ma)ines went into nowa we had civilians on the ground to coordinate assistance the next day. as operations progressed our civil coordination is growing even stronger. we're on track to triple the number of civilian positions in afghanistan to 974 by early next year. on average eac


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