tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN February 1, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EST
eliminate hiring people illegally. have --you have got to i think you have got to have some system of human discrimination that says -- for example, there is a young man in texas who came here when he was 3 big be. he does not speak spanish. to say to them, you need to go back to mexico, strikes me as something that no common sense american would do. [applause] but everyone who ends up as an illegal guest worker has to go to the back of the line in applications for citizenship,
because we cannot punish those who have done it legally by telling them, you were dumb. you should have broken the law. anyone who comes to this country illegally should be deported within 48 hours. with so much nonsense regulating against deportation. most of the people here came in a legally, and then there visa expired and they stayed. but if we could build a majority and pass each of those building blocks, we could do an two-three years. >> this is why i became the object of consternation by a few democrats after i was misquoted. i am not going to disagree with
what he said. he said something i agree with. why deport someone that does not even speak spanish? but then, why didn't the congress passed the dream act? i think it is good for the country that hispanic candidates have been elected. i am delighted to have everybody's side with us, but then -- in general, what is good for the country does not always make everyone comfortable in both parties. the united states senate voted to make sure that to ural's you're dragged here illegally are going to be kicked out. -- two-year olds who were
dragged here illegally are going to be kicked out. the tea party was excited about the constitution until they read it. it says that if you are born here, you are a citizen. i think we need people to stand up and say what he just said, at some rest. but it is not the democrats that voted down the dream act. >> does the dream act provide for residency or citizenship? >> citizenship. >> that is why they voted it down. you cannot give citizenship to people -- he cannot jump past millions of people around the planet who have obeyed the law
and waited their turn to come here. i would support finding a way to do two things. one would be to have service and military count towards becoming a citizen. two, i would support finding a way for residency, with something like a red card, if here under certain circumstances and you are clearly a minor. a residency is different from citizenship. the dream act was created to be a political issue. it is unfortunate that harry reid wants to create political dialogue rather than create law. [applause] >> i take exception to that, and i will tell you why. that is blaming people that have done the right thing. if you come here at the age of 3
and you do not speak a word of spanish, you've done really well, you go to college or you serve in the united states military, why should you be a second-class none citizen? why do we have to do that? [applause] i do not go for this anti- immigration stuff. i agree with new. he is common sense. we obviously cannot open our borders, but i do not think we should demonize people who have come here and done the best they can. how many people here have a american indian blood in tampa -- in the them? everybody else is an immigrant. everybody else is an immigrant. [applause] the reason this country is such an extraordinary success is because we got those people who dared to leave their homes,
dared to do something different. every american family has a narrative of that, someone who worked hard, got year, and their children or grandchildren, or great grandchildren got to go to george washington university. those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. when the irish got here, no irish need apply. when the jews got year, the jews could not go to the ivy league. it when the italians got here, at the same type of thing. isn't it time we got past this? [applause]
>> i want to applaud governor dean. first of all, thank you for recognizing the much of what i said is reasonably thought through. [laughter] it is nice at a time when people are exhausted by partisanship to actually exchange ideas that we can chat about rather than scream about. [laughter] that was not a reference to howard. that is a sign that you have wicket minds. -- wicked mind. that was a wonderful emotional speech. i was personally deeply touched. [laughter] but it was the perfect example of the liberal democrats model. it was factually inaccurate, but
terrific emotionally. [laughter] i does want to challenge my friend over here -- i just want to challenge my friend over here, by whom i was deeply moved, my grandfather and grandmother -- my grandmother came from poland. they rode down to where she came from, what ship she was on, and they inspected her for help. they would have kicked her out if she had not passed the health inspection. we have this mythology of ellis island. i have two objections to the dream act. first, i do not think we should put people ahead of other people who have been obeying the law
for years. i think that is wrong. second, senator reid deliberately brought the act up in an amendable form in order to make a political point. i think that is tragic. it is not a healthy way to enter the 21st century. >> we need to move on. you said this would help you everywhere after i said this would not help you in iowa. are we making news? we really knew -- we really do need to push ahead now. i am going to ask each of them to answer a different question, a question tailored to them. i will start with senator dean. you have indicated that the democrats should close ranks around the president for the
2012 election. should that extend beyond that election? should 2012 candidates go for a more unabashed liberalism? >> look, there are disadvantages we have because we are not a parliamentary democracy, but there are some advantages. what advantages that you can run and say who you are. i am not the chairman anymore. i am not going to support everybody. i went around looking for people i agreed west -- i agreed with less time and raising money for them. there will probably be a few whose primary opponents i will support. but i do not think a candidate running for office has an
obligation to support the president or any of the stuff. their own pace will pick the candidate they think they should. e will pick the candidate they think they should. parties are important because they raise money. we go through reasonable exercises, but nobody pays much attention to them. we give you an idea of who the candidates are, and people are going to be in the spectrum. i am going to support the president. what i think the president will be better than the alternatives, no insult intended. [laughter] i think, in general, this is a nation of independent-minded people. >> mr. speaker, at some point, sooner rather than later perhaps
a republican wins the white house in 2012, the tension between two divergent political impulses in the republican party will have to be sorted out. the tea party is about federalism with a strong libertarian antipathy towards authority. successive republican presidential administrations, and much of the intellectual and bureaucratic apparatus surrounding them, have given the president and his administrative officers almost unlimited constitutional latitude. in which direction should the party turn? [laughter] >> let me start and say that i treasure most that governor dean made clear that he will support president obama to me.
i want to make sure that everyone in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, knows the governor dean prefer is president obama to me. [laughter] hiding there is actually a mixture of the two that would work reasonable -- i think there is actually a mixture of the two that would work reasonably well. i am a federalist in the sense that i believe in limited but very strong government. i do not believe in weak government, but it should be limited government. it should keep the dollar worth the dollar as opposed to having inflation. it should set the general framework for the economy in dealing with the world of large. there are a number of things that the founding fathers thought through pretty carefully. the federalist papers are pretty useful stuff. when it is an issue of national
security, as commander in chief -- this is a document written, presided over by george washington, who had been commander of the army for eight years. they want the commander in chief in award to be the commander in chief. in 1942, the nazis landed spies that were all captured within three weeks by the fbi. the president said, i want you to tell the supreme court said that they will be tried within three weeks. they will be executed. i will not accept habeus corpus.
he was acting in the spirit of abraham lincoln. he wanted to send a strong message of national security. so, faced with a threat to national security by a terrorist, would i be prepared to support a strong president? definitely. we need to understand that there is an enormous difference between fighting a war against an enemy and dealing with domestic civil liberty under the structure of peacetime. now, having said that, do i think that means we need to have a trillion dollar government that micromanage is everything? i do not think that.
i think things should go through it citizens, up through local, then that state government, then federal government. our current model goes from the top down. a deacon of the small government with a strong national security apparatus -- i think you can have a small government with a strong national security apparatus and they can work very well. >> we are going to take questions. going to the closing statements. >> i just have one message to
all of you. this has been the most extraordinary experiment in governance ever undertaken anywhere on the planet. we're the only society that put in our founding documents that your personal rights, from your creator. you loan power to the state. the state does not loan power to you. for four hundred years, this has attracted more people, created more opportunity, generated greater prosperity, and created more opportunities than any other society. we are now mired down in a cultural, bureaucratic, political and financial mess. are you prepared to pick up the
work ethic? to pick up learning about america? to take on the responsibilities of citizenship, not to tell the government, you should do it for me, but to be actively engaged yourself? are you prepared to lead an american economy capable of competing and winning? he will make these decisions much more than governor dean or i will. you face the toughest challenge of any generation in our history since our founding, and i think it might be the longest and toughest the goal of anything we've faced in the history of this company -- of this country. i am very optimistic we can do it. we will once again prove that a free people can outdo all the different leaderships in the world combined. [applause]
>> i think that was very well said. i also want to add a note of optimism. i think we should be focused on doing things locally. changing your own community is the way to change things. change really does come from the bottom up. also, change migrates from the extreme to the center. things they used to being considered extreme ideas are now considered the center. your generation is interested in doing, not just modeling. here is the difference that i have, and what i think it is the difference between republicans and democrats in general.
i do think that the government has become too unwieldy. it is a problem in china. the chinese worry about this a lot as well. the problem is, what responsibility do we have to assure people that they have their personal rights. you can say you have personal rights through the constitution, but if you're serving in iraq, you cannot exercise those personal rights. in the state of texas, 22% of children have no health insurance. in my state, 3% of children do not have health insurance. i cannot tell texas how to run their state, but i do believe that as an american, i have a
responsibility to the children of texas, not just the people of texas. that is why lyndon johnson put and medicaid, so that all kids would have some form of insurance. i do not think all democrats want big government and all republicans want no government. the battle comes in how are we all americans in this together. how much is too much. we have all seen societies where the tax rate gets too high and innovation is stifled. we have also seen societies where the government is corrupt. but we also know that the bigger the gap between the wealthy and the poor, a less stable country is likely to be. this is a legitimate debate. i have enjoyed the conversation.
but it needs to be a debate because it is a difference of opinion. i think it comes down to social justice or fairness. we live in a country where everyone ought to be able to enjoy at least some of the fruits. i do not think we should all have the same income, but i do believe that you can have a state where 22% of the children do not have health insurance and be happy with that. [applause] >> we will take questions from the audience now. it looks like people are queuing up. we have three microphone stations. >> my question is for speaker gingrich.
you recently called for the abolition of the environmental protection agency. the epa was founded by a bipartisan majority. every polls those -- every poll shows the great public support for the epa. can you explain how you think the epa arms business and why we need to overhaul it? >> i called for its replacement with an environmental solutions agency. i suggested that you needed an agency that was collaborative, not dictatorial. second, we need an agency that focuses on the entrepreneur is and study science and technology. if you look at the whole process of the cleanup of toxic waste dumps, we spend about two-thirds of the money on the administration lawyers and about one-third actually cleaning them up. it is taking far longer then it
should and it is far more expensive, and it is a field day for trial lawyers and bureaucrats. when i was speaker, we had virtually every african american mayor in the country to talk to being -- come to me to talk about brownfield's. on one side of my street was a huge bethlehem steel plant. the epa said, if you do not clean it up to a standard that would be appropriate to a kindergartner, the result was, the cost of doing that caused the company to leave the city and build on a green field elsewhere. the inner city lost the jobs and the internal lost another section of grain. i think there -- the environmental lost another section of green.
there is a linear, intellectual model. three or four years ago, the congress had to pass a law blocking the bureaucrats at epa from pursuing the question of methane gas from cows. i think the idea of trying to figure out, of all the major problems america has, where would we rank methane gas from cows, it would probably not rank in the top 300. that is still level of bureaucratic absurdity that makes no sense. as opposed to, how can we build a clean coal plant that has a carbon neutral output? we are still studying and think
we may get a bill by 2016. the chinese are already doing it. this should be of very high value and have a big incentive, because it would do more to clean up the environment than worrying about cows. >> good evening. thank you for coming out tonight and for your great discourse. i have enjoyed it. my question brings us back to the middle east. i have read in a couple of places a comparison between what is happening in egypt right now with what happened in iran in 1979. a popular islamic uprising in deposed a dictator, one that happened to be a close u.s. ally. i am curious really what you
both think the relevant parallels are, and also, as far as the current administration is concerned, what lessons could president obama draw from jimmy carter's experience with that situation? >> i spent about six hours on this today because i served on the board of the national democratic institutes which has people in the ground. -- which has people on the ground. i have talked to a lot of people involved in what is going on in cairo. at this point, i think there are no parallels' whatsoever between egypt and iran. first of all, of the crowds are showing an extraordinary amount of self discipline. with the exception of the looters.
secondly, the army is playing a relatively neutral role, and this is evolving, so we do not know where we will be two weeks from now. third of all, the islamic brotherhood, as of yet, they have joined the discussion, but they have not yet tried to take over the majority and they did not have much to do with starting this. egypt is a nation of 80 million people that have virtually no experience with democracy. to expect a smooth transition to democracy here is expecting something that is not going to happen. the question is, and if you go back to the soviet union, there was a democracy in russia for a short time. then the bolsheviks came in. that trumped everything. we know what the result of that
was for the next several years. 75 years. i remain optimistic, but it is a scary time. could this be taken over by an islamic group? yes, but i think the people of egypt at this 0.1 -- at this point are doing exactly what they need to do. i do not think they will have the same president a month from now. the question is, who will be their leader? there are a few people who are acceptable to the protesters. they have a shot, but they're going to design a constitution in a country that has no history of democracy, design of
parliament. this is a heavy, heavy left. -- heavy lift. i hope that the new majority in congress will really think about what our aid money does. we have been in egypt for a least 10 years and to media for five. -- tunisia 45. we have a dialogue with those people. we have worked with them for a long time. i think there are virtually no parallels a ball with the iranian revolution -- at all with the iranian revolution. we do not know where this is going, but we should be optimistic and also be prepared. we should make sure we do not
get hijacked by people with authoritarian principles. >> for those who are interested, the author of black hawk down wrote a remarkable book that is a very detailed study of the iranian crisis and how it came about. it is worth looking at because it gives you some sense of how the system worked in the late 1970's. the thing that is most bothersome to me, if you go back in love, the ayatollah khamenei had been kicked out -- if you go back and look, the ayatollah khamenei had been kicked out of iraq by the shot. -- shah. he clearly stood for a very anti-american model. for a long time, the carter
administration could not bring themselves to understand how dangerous this was. i think the muslim brotherhood would be a disaster. i think we are likely to get a military leader and are somebody who is acceptable to the military, someone who is open to exploring democracy, a greater stability, a more open society, but i worry about the kind of confusion that could allow the muslim brotherhood to take-over. >> first of all, thank you both of you for speaking here. my question is directed at mr. gingrich, but i would like mr. dean to feel free to respond as well. the republican party has long stood in opposition to gay- rights, specifically gay marriage. you wear speaker of the house when the defense of marriage
act passed. if you truly believe that lgbt people do not have the right to marry you they love, i ask you to tell all of my friends who are gay why you believe that right now. [applause] >> look, i am quite happy to say that i come out of the tradition that is several belsen years old the says marriages between a man and a woman -- several thousand years old the fed says marriages between a man and a woman. i defend that tradition. i have a right to believe then i believe i have as much right to the police as you do as yours. >> -- i have as much right to my belief as you do to yours. >> i do agree that you have as much right to your belief. the problem is, you have rights
when you are married that you do not have when you are single. the issue for me is the right to be treated under the law as any other american citizen. [applause] now, i have debates about the marriage-word. what i am interested in it is the right, not the word. here is why. as long as everyone has an equal right under the law, i do not much care what you call it. if you want to enumerate all 1700 laws -- in no, and it is founded on the notion, and i think most americans reject
this, that people do not choose to be gay. there is often a misconception that people have made a choice. but what 14-year-old and high school would voluntarily choose to be gay? especially among groups that are very tough. there is not a gay gene, but there is plenty of evidence that this is not a choice. as it turns out, which i think is interesting, when george w. bush decided to send tons and tons of americans to iraq, the first person to step on an ied and the previously injured was a
case staff sgt of the united states army. gay staff sgt of the united states army. if you're willing to give your life for the united states, i think you should have the same rights as everybody else. [applause] i think everybody deserves equal rights under the law. i do not get involved in the marriage debate, but i think everybody deserves equal rights under the law. if you can think of another way, i do not have a problem with the, but for now, the only way to do it is same-sex marriage. >> let me add one conundrum to the comment. in massachusetts today, there are no catholic adoption services because it was illegal to run a catholic adoption in
massachusetts. 80this city, after years, there is not an adoption service. it is important to weigh the balance of equity. as the democratic nominee for the u.s. senate in massachusetts said when asked if catholic doctors should served in the emergency rooms, she said maybe not. what she was saying was that a catholic doctor would not perform an abortion. we are at a complex point where freedom of religion is rapidly being subordinated to other values. you cannot say this. you cannot believe this. you cannot practice this. your institution cannot exist.
if there is going to be tolerant, and there should be a tolerance for religious liberty that comes from thousands of years of of belief that are equally valid. >> i do not think they are equally as valid. look, the bible is full of all of this. enough already. it is more than 2000 years old. [applause] if you have freedom of religion, you can practice it as you see fit, but you cannot practice it at the expense of my daughter's right. if you are a pharmacist, and you do not want to give the birth control, be my guest, but you better have somebody there when she goes to kill her prescription. if you do -- fell our prescription.
if you do not want to -- feill her prescription. if you do not want to perform an abortion, i believe that is your right. but the fact is that somebody might need to have an abortion, and they have the right to have someone who can do it. there was a story about a woman fired from a catholic hospital change because she gave an abortion to a woman who was going to die if she did not have one. when different people have different approaches to moral issues, you have to think about the rights of those people as american citizens. i would never ask a catholic doctor to perform an abortion. i think that is wrong and improper. your she has the right to follow upon -- he or she has the right to follow the teachings of their
church. but i also believe that individual citizens have rights that can not be impeded because of someone else's religion. if you want to create women as second-class citizens in your religion, be my guest inside your church or synagogue, but do not treat women as second-class citizens want to get out into the country. [applause] >> we have gone a little over time. one more question. >> this question goes out to both of you. in january of last year, the supreme court decided citizens united in which they affirmed
that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts cannot be limited under the first amendment. i know that speaker gingrich has been featured in several films under the citizens united production name. with that, what positive than negative impact would the case have on the future 2012 election? >> i believe this entire, highly regulated federally supervised bureaucratic model of citizenship is wrong. i believe it has put enormous power in the hands of labor unions, corporations, political action committees and a the like. i believe it has allowed some people to buy office that if you had (a real competition, you could not do it. it has given rich people an
enormous advantage. i think that any american citizen should be able to donate in any amount they want to as long as it is filed every night on the internet and everybody can see the support of everybody. i would rather have the money go back to candidates and parties and get out of this model where operatives of both parties create these organizations that are part of the whole underlying mess. i think things are going to get worse until we decide on a very clean, simple election system that allows the candidate to go out and raise the money directly rather than this say, i will take your $2,400, and my friend here would take $10 million because that is so works under the six system. -- how it works under this sick
system. >> i think this indicates the nature of the supreme court. nowhere have i found in the constitution anything that says a corporation is a person. that was invented by the right wing. [applause] here is what i think. i think one of the most interesting things about public financing of campaigns, which i think is a good idea, is that it was adopted by a vote in two states. one was arizona, arguably one of the most conservative states, and the other was maine, obviously one of the most liberal. i do not think corporations should have a right to personhood and be able to buy elections. i do not think the right wing things that is so good either, do have corporations running elections. i do not think money is the same as speech. if this, then people you have
$10 million have a whole lot more freedom than people have temples and dollars. i do not see how that contributes to what -- $10,000. i do not see how the contributes to what americans are all about. i believe unreasonable, thoughtful selection rules. i think arizona has a smart public financing system, but republicans and democrats, including the current republican governor, have said it is reasonable and thoughtful. this is a two-way deal. this is not just republican versus democrat. this is a big interest versus small interest and ordinary people. i am with the ordinary people as to whether we can make it work. hope >> thank you all, and thank again to our our
>> the egyptian president announced that he will not run again during the september elections. we will have his remarks next, and then get a response from president obama. we will get an update from the pentagon later. after that, the u.s. ambassador to iraq testifies but the transition there. in tomorrow's washington journal, we will get an update on the political situation in cairo. steven cook of the council on foreign relations joins us. after that, we will talk about the way the u.s. can improve innovation. we will also tuck about fannie mae and freddie mac.
there will be at 7:00 a.m. here on c-span. this week, a federal judge in florida ruled that the new health care law is unconstitutional. we will hear from two former solicitors general. our coverage begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> in this crisis, we simply have to learn to work together as californians first, members of a political party second. >> today, step-by-step, we are putting ourselves on a better, more sustainable path and putting ourselves on the road to growth. >> watch this year's state of the state addresses, as well as inaugurals of the governors online at the c-span library. search, watch, click and share every program since 1987. >> the egyptian president said
he will not seek reelection this fall. this comes after a week of anti- government protests. he has ruled the country for nearly 30 years. he was vice president went on our sadat was assassinated in -- when president sadat was assassinated in 1981. >> my fellow countrymen, i address you in a very difficult moment, where egypt is facing a threat and conditions that will take us into the unknown. the homeland is facing hard moments and difficult tests. this was started by honest men
who decided to demonstrate an expression of their concern. they have been manipulated and taken advantage of by those who wish to violate the constitutional legitimacy and to devour it. this has turned from an exercise of rights to an aggressive standoff. my political opponents have aimed to add fuel to the fire. they threaten the safety and stability of the nation by enticements and incitement, looting and pillage, arson,
between chaos and stability. we must lay ahead of us new circumstances and a different egyptian reality, which should be addressed by both our people and armed forces with absolute prudence and caution for the people and the nation. my fellow countrymen, i immediately started to form a new government with the new priorities and the new duties in response to the hot demands. i instructed the vice-president to engage with of the political forces on all of the issues raised for political and democratic reform. we've made commitments to but
the constitution and the legislation in order to realize stability and security. however, there are certain political forces who turn a blind eye to this invitation, simply adhering to their own agenda, turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to the defining moment we are facing. the invitation is still valid. i address you today, directly to the people of the nation, farmers, workers, muslims and christians, elderly and youth, and each and every egyptian men and women in the countryside, in the cities and the nation, i
never sought power, and the people are aware of the hard conditions where i served up responsibility and what i offered to the nation, underlying support and peace. i am one of the armed forces personnel. it is not my nature to be training -- to the tray or abandon that responsibility. my responsibility now is the security and stability of the nation, to ensure the peaceful transition of power in an atmosphere providing security and causing the people to pave the way for whoever is to be elected by the people in the coming elections. i tell you an absolute veracity,
regardless of the circumstances, that i did not intend to run for the coming presidency. i have exhausted my life serving the egyptian people. however, i am still very keen on ending my career in a way that guarantees handing over power in an atmosphere of security, and stability, regarding our legitimacy, and preserving the constitution. i tell you in great words that in a few months remaining in my current term, i will work to ensure a guarantee of a peaceful transition of power, in the power vested in me by the city.
i called both the house as of the parliament to amend articles of the constitution, to amend the requirements and qualifications for candidacy for the presidency, and to enable the parliament to handle these amendments. to ensure the participation of all political forces in these debates, i called on the parliament to abide by the judgment handed down by the courts and the objections filed by the parliament, and i will
continue to work on the coming government and the duties and instructions given to them in a manner that is in the interest of the people, so that its performance will reflect and respond to the people's aspirations, realizing the political, social and economic reform. fighting poverty and ensuring social success. i instruct the police to shoulder its responsibility and undertake its duties to protect and save the citizens in absolute dignity, respecting their rights, freedoms and dignity. i also called on the legislature to take immediate procedures
necessary to continue to identify those who perpetrated the security mayhem and the chaos, looters and those too intimidated unsuspecting citizens. there are very few months remaining in my current term. i pray to god to guide me to the right path, to end my career in a manner that is applicable to god and to the people. my fellow citizens, egypt will brave through the current circumstances more strong, more coherent and more harmonious. we will break through the crisis more cautious of what
materializes and halsted us to the future. -- hold steadfast to the future. take pride in the long years of i have spent serving egypt and its people. this is my homeland, as it is the motherland of all egyptians. i defended it so well -- defended its soil, stability and interests, and i will be judged by history. the homeland will live on. it is eternal. egypt will live on. power will be handed over, and
we should ensure this in absolute dignity and pride. may god preserve and save this nation and its people, and may god be with you. >> now we will get reaction from president obama that the egyptian president will step down in september. >> good evening, everybody. over the past few days the american people have watched the
situation unfolding in egypt. we've seen an honest demonstrations by the egyptian people. we have borne witness to the beginning of a new chapter in the history of a great country. all along with our partner, the united states. we have been in close contact with their egyptian counterparts in a broad range of the chechen people, as well as others across the region, and across the globe. throughout this period, we have stood for a set of four principles, first, we oppose violence. and i want to commend the egyptian military for the professionalism and patriotism that it has shown thus far in allowing peaceful protests while protecting the egyptian people. we have seen tanks covered with banners and soldiers and protesters embracing in the streets. going forward, i urge the military to continue its effort
to help ensure that this time of change is peaceful. second, we stand for universal values including the rights of the egyptian people the freedom of assembly, the freedom of speech, and the freedom to access information. once more we have seen the incredible potential for technology to empower citizens and the dignity of those who stand up for a better future. going forward, the united states will continue to stand up for democracy and the universal rights that all human beings deserve in egypt and around the world. third, we have spoken out on behalf of the need for change. after his speech tonight, i spoke directly to president mubarak. he recognizes that the status quo is not sustainable and that a change must take place. indeed, all of us privileged to serve in positions of political
power do so at the will of our people. for thousands of years, egypt has known many moments of transformation. the voices of the egyptian people tell us that this is one of those moments. this is one of those times. it is not the role of any other country to determine each of's leaders. only the egyptian people can do that. what is clear, and what i indicated tonight to president mubarak, is my belief that orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now. furthermore, the process must include a broad spectrum of egyptian voices and opposition parties. it should lead to elections that are free and fair. and it should result in a government that is not only grounded in democratic principles, but is also
responsive to the aspirations of the egyptian people. throughout this process, the united states will continue to extend the hand of partnership and friendship to egypt, and we stand ready to provide any assistance necessary to help the egyptian people as they manage the aftermath of these protests. over the last few days, the passion and the dignity demonstrated by the people of egypt has been an inspiration to people around the world, including here in the united states. if to all of us to believe in the inevitable it -- the inevitability of human freedom. particular the young people of egypt, i want to be clear -- we hear your forces. i have begun building believe that you will determine -- i have an unyielding belief that you will determine your future and sees the promises for your children and for your grandchildren. i say that as someone committed to a partnership between the united states and egypt.
there will be difficult days ahead. many questions about egypt's future remain unanswered. but i am confident that the people of egypt will find those answers. that truth can be seen in the community in the streets, if it can be seen in the mothers and fathers embracing soldiers, and it can be seen in the egyptians to link arms to protect the national museum. a new generation protecting the treasures of antiquity. a human chain connecting a great an ancient civilization to the promise of a new one. thank you very much. >> on television, on radio, an online. c-span, bringing public affairs to you. created by cable, it is washington your way.
>> a u.s. commander in afghanistan said he expects the taliban to increase the targeting of local political leaders this spring and summer. david rodriguez also talks about pakistan border operations and u.s. troop withdrawal. from the pentagon, this is about 45 minutes. [unintelligible] >> i would like to welcome back to the pentagon briefing room someone who is no stranger here -- lieutenant general david rodriguez, the commander of the international security assistance force joint command, also known as ijc.
he also serves as deputy commander of united states forces -- afghanistan. general rodriguez assumed his duties in june 2009, and he subsequently became the first commander of the ijc in october 2009. if previous so that, he was commander of regional command east for 15 months, and from january 2007 to april 2008. he has spent 34 of the last 48 months in afghanistan. the general most recently spoke with us last summer via satellite from kabul, and we're grateful that he is made time to update us today here in person on the situation in afghanistan. with that, sir, i will turn things over to you. >> thank you. it is great to be here in the pentagon briefing room. for those of you who know me, know there is a little tongue in cheek there. [laughter] thank you for your interest in afghanistan. this morning i will tell you where we have come from over the
last 18 months and give you a sense of where we're headed. 18 months ago, we wrote the first country-wide operation- level comprehensive campaign plan that included our afghan partners. that combined team of both isaf as well as the three security members -- the three security ministries all put that plan together. one important concepts was to concentrate and synchronize our efforts where it was most important -- population centers, commerce routes, and areas of economic potential. that is the shaded area on the map in front of you. at the afghans, they were the ones who told us and guided us to those key areas, based on their knowledge of the human and the physical terrain of afghanistan. the process started a yearlong effort to get everybody on the
same sheet of music, synchronizing efforts in time and space. our first foray using this strategy was down in the central helmand river valley, a coordinated civil-military effort on both the international community and the afghan partners. that is number one on your map. while there were almost immediate security effects through the partnered operations that we conducted there, the afghans, supported by the international community had a tougher time building government capacity in the wake of security gains. but the partnered team learned some significant lessons during those operations that they were able to apply in the summer and fall of 2010 in kandahar city and its environs. and that is number two on your map. several of these lessons included the need for prior planning to prepare government
activities in advance. we all had to improve the complementary effects of the convention and special operations forces. the minister of interior learned some lessons on recruiting and training police forces, which were much more effective in the follow-on operations. and we all learned that building local political bodies that represent the people is an iterative process. and that more and more people are mobilized, the representative councils become more representative and more effective. so now in arghandab -- a district just outside kandahar city that you know has been a tough place since the first time we will iran and there and stayed, beginning in july 2009, was a taliban stronghold, and people could not move around without fear. in that 18-month period, the
district governor was killed, the district police chief was maimed, and there were no government officials or police present any place but the district center, which some of the afghans described it as a combat outpost. i was there two weeks ago, and there were 16 government employees working with a new district governor. there is a new police chief who has a police force that is out and about. and the people on a friday afternoon, afghan family time, were picnicking in the arghandab river valley -- a significant change from 18 months ago. the threat this time, in other regions of the country, in kabul city, kabul province, as well as the east, the north, and the west, we made smaller but steady gains. in kabul city, number three on
your map, there were very few spectacular attacks in 2010. in fact we met -- we went almost seven months without one, the longest on record in the last several years. also several important high- visibility events, like the kabul conference and the peace jirga, that were conducted without incident with an afghan national security forces in the league. we started to expand the kabul security zone both east and south. in the east, we saw gains in discrete areas, in jalalabad, out and then the heart, which is at number four on your map, as well as pockets as lobar and wardak, just south of kabul city. the east as difficult, complex, and physical terrain, and there's much work to be done there. up in the north, we focused on baghlan. what is important in that area is the intersection of two of
the main commerce routes. the expanded security read that intersection and increased the freedom of movement in that area in the north. if you look good number six, going around counter-clockwise and your map, that is important because that is up last -- that is the last place that there ring road has to be completed. an important commerce route to connect the west and north. and we made security gains in both baghdis and faryab. herat, number seven on your map, is a bustling city, largely free from violence incidents and ready to transition to afghan lead very soon. in general, last year we saw the implementation of a plan that demanded focus and synchronization. we also that where we do that, we make steady progress. our immediate focus right now is to accelerate certain effects throughout the wintertime, the time that traditionally sees
less violence, when the enemy refits, rearms, retrains, and prepares for the upcoming spring and summer operations. and while this is going on, we are conducting shaping operations to make the environment of the enemy much more inhospitable than it was last year. and i can tell you more about that later if you would like. we did just finished a review and update of that plan that we began last year. and there is now expanded participation in those planning efforts. so the u.s. and u.k. embassies, other civilian players, as well as -- very, very importantly, the afghan ministries -- civilian ministries of the independent director of local governance and the minister of rural rehabilitation and development also for dissipated in that plan -- altogether helping to bring better coordinated effects to a common plan. we will stick with the current approach. we're going to continue to
expand the security areas outward from the central helmand river valley and kandahar city and its environs, connect these two secure areas and also connect them out to weesh- chaman, just southeast of kandahar city, an important commerce route from the central helmand river valley out to pakistan. we will also continue to expand the kabul security zone and continue the slow but steady progress in the north and west. important this year, to build the durability and the sustainability of the afghan national security forces. we put a tremendous effort last year to get the infantry forces fielded to increase the number of boots on the ground for the afghan security forces. and this year nato training mission -- afghanistan will focus on logistics to support the long-term sustainability of
the afghan army. there are tremendous efforts to be -- being made in both literacy as well as leadership training. all important things to this -- to sustain the afghan army in the future and add quality to the quantity that we produced last year, which was 70,000 new afghan national security forces. as you know, we focused much of our attention on the army. we will continue that army moving forward, but the police need more instances than we are adjusting heart emphasis to support those efforts now. we will continue to support the building of the local governance that serves the people. i am confident that we have the right approach, that where we focus our efforts together, we see progress, and that we're helping to set the conditions for the people to participate for -- more fully in building a better future for themselves. our challenge is to help the afghans, as the increasingly take the lead, make this progress durable. now there is still a lot of work
to be done, but i am confident, as are my afghan partners and the troops in the field, that is worth doing. and together we can continue to build on the progress we have made this year. now i will take your questions. >> general, there are two key areas where you will need success, one obviously being along the pakistan border from the pakistan is, and to, as you mentioned, the training up of the afghan security forces. can you talk a little bit about what progress you are making in working with the pakistanis to get this moving a little more aggressively there? and have you decided how many more security forces you will need as you move toward transition? and have you convinced other countries to help contribute trainers? >> on the pak military coordination, we continue to grow our relationships with the pak military.
we conduct combined planning with both the pakistan military, the afghan national security forces, and ourselves. we have increased that planning effort over the year. right now we are conducting planning conferences between the three partners on the complementary operations that will occur over the next six months. so we continue to be optimistic that that will move in the right direction. and the coordination between both the afghans and the pak military has continued to increase over the last year. on the afghan national security forces, that is going to the decision process right now. general petreaus and the isaf leadership is working hard to get that decision made. we will see how it turns out. >> when you talk about the pakistani effort, are you talking about joint operations between the u.s., or that
pakistan is, but on the afghan side at the border and on the pakistan site on the border? >> i meant to say complementary operations. there are significant operations going on in pakistan and the money and leisure areas up in the north. -- indeed -- in the mohmond and bajuer areas. we have complementary operations going on to squeeze them and take advantage of those operations. >> of the pakistan me -- if the pakistanis do not move decisively into north waziristan, taking on haqqani and other militants in that effort, how much of a setback to your efforts on the afghan side of the border will that be in the springtime? how important is it for the pakistanis not just to continue
into bajaur where they are, but the move into north was there a stand? >> all that has a positive impact. it also leads to the durability of what we have to build on the afghan side of the border. we're working to continue the operation, especially those that threaten the pakistan state. together we think that will move in the right direction. >> can you win without them? if they did not do anything more than they're doing now? >> i think that we can, but that gets back to the durability that you have to build in the afghan security forces and the afghan government. that is doable if it does not get significantly worse. >> there was a report in the british press this week about how taliban guys in sangin says specifically were going after their own rank-and-file as well as village leaders there because they were edging toward negotiating or dealing with isaf or nato forces.
is this something you have seen elsewhere? does it complicate the efforts to wind up the american presence if the taliban will neutralize its own elements that are willing to deal with united states and isaf? >> that has been their response in just about every cases. the things that threaten them are good security forces and good government. or that has happened, their response is to go after those leaders to prevent that from happening. that has been the tendency every place we have gone, and it will continue to be, because that is the biggest threat to their control of the people. >> they are killing their own? >> they are killing their run. they're around, you have got to understand that in that insurgency, there's a hierarchy of the most committed to the least committed. they have been going after the people who were part of their efforts, before, but are on a lower scale trying to turn over and support their government.
>> t get any evidence, any more information of whether the taliban will be able to reconstitute themselves for this spring? that is always been the big question. second question, what exactly is operation hope? >> that is the whole name of the plan that the afghans put together. >> which is what we see in front of us? >> those of the key areas that the afghan leadership believes they need to control to build stability in the country. >> this is not yet -- u.s. or isaf? >> it is combined, both afghans and isaf. it is an entire effort here. >> my first question is about reconstituting the taliban. >> that is when things -- one of the things we continue to work with the pakistani military to
decrease the regenerative capability that is over there. what we're trying to do is make the environment less hospitable than it was last year. right now, again, we are focusing on continuing the pressure on the leaders inside afghanistan. we're going after the support bases that have been there for many years. just an example of how effective that has been, in the last 12 weeks we have discovered and cleared 1250 cache sites, ok? now last year in that same time period, the number was 163. now those of the things we are trying to set the conditions in afghanistan to make it much less hospitable than it was last year. we are also working on the
afghan national security forces leadership and supporting the afghan government and their police outreach to the public to strengthen the public's stand against the enemy. >> do you know any more now than you in november? >> about the regenerative capability? no, we do not. >> it is still an unknown. >> gas, and this year also because of the different conditions that they're going to come back with a different type of strategy, the enemy is, which i believe is going to be focused on the leadership much more than it ever has, the political leadership. the people who are supporting the government and the government leaders. >> could you expand on that? when you say go after, are you talking about assassination hit teams? >> yes, the assassination hit teams, i edie's, indirect things. it will not be as direct as they were last year.
>> and the 1500 marines just put in their recently, as i understand, the time frame for them to be there is about 90 days. >> yes. >> does that extended to the springtime offense of? are they going to be brought out before, and where were they put their in the first place? >> they were put in there in the first place to seize on an opportunity to quickly expand the security areas into the upper geresk river valley. that is right on the edge of the central helmand river valley. has the afghan security forces continue to get built -- and remember, when we went into the central helmand river valley last year, there were five of us to every one afghan national security force. now there is one to one in that area. we're trying to get that expanded out as quickly as we can, build the durability there to withstand the challenges that will come in the summer, and then expand the security areas for the people. >> those 1500 marines are not intended to stay there through the spring offensive? >> no, they are not.
the upper geresk river valley is right north of the central helmand river valley. >> it is up near sangin? >> between sangin and route 1 and the northern part of the central helmand river valley. yes, sir. >> the new tactics which were expecting the taliban to adopt next year, are you basing that on firm evidence on an assumption that is the way they'll go? how will you be able to protect the leadership that are the ones that you think it will try and target? >> that has been their response in the local areas each time we had seen it over the past year, so that is what we think they are going to do this year. again, how we protect against that is the combination of things that we are doing. we will continue to pressure on the leadership. we will continue to build the capability of the afghan national security forces, and
again, work to mobilize the people as fast and effectively at the afghans can to make all that part of the solution to protect the leaders. >> last week, general, arnold fields testified before the commission on wartime contract and and he laid out very stern warnings, very stark warnings that the united states efforts to build infrastructure for the growing afghan security forces is lagging. it is lagging at pace that you could have many soldiers out there with no places to stay, basically. what is your perception there? is there real problem in terms of a long-range construction program? >> i have not seen that out in the field yet, but that question would really be for general caldwell who would know the precise information on that. i do not, but i'm telling you from my perspective, i have not seen that be a problem in the field yet. >> north waziristan, could you sharpen your answer? my impression is that pakistan does not need to go into north
waziristan to ensure u.s. success in arce's if you grow afghan security forces at the pace you're going, and things and i get significantly worse. is that inaccurate press to mark >> again, we need them to do more. we're going to encourage them to do more because that makes it easier on what we are doing. but it is still doable without them, you know, decreasing what they have been doing the past year, which is a significant. excuse me? yes, we continue to need them to do what they have been doing, and they have been doing counterinsurgency operations in the fata over the last year, and it is been very effective, whether it be in swat or whether they be in other areas. we need them to do that and we're working with them so they work that piece. >> but it is not military significant if they do not go into waziristan? >> it is about a whole thing. if they go everyplace but north
waziristan, that would be significant and be really helpful even if they did not go into north was harassed and. >> the thrust of the debate in washington is that pakistan needs to go into north was their stand. it is not necessarily militarily for the united states to win -- >> that is not a mission stopper in my mind. and everybody, whether it be the pakistani leadership, the u.s. leadership, or the international leadership is all focused on that issue about pakistan and encouraging in did do more and we are, too. >> the lead the sense of what the size of the withdrawal that you could approve for july will be? or is that all tied up in what happens in the spring? and secondly, in past years, pre-surge, pre-new strategy, progress and that can -- progress in afghanistan was very temporary. is there anything that gives you any level of confidence that the
progress you are describing will be more lasting? >> first of all, we think it is still too early to tell about what will happen in july 2011 about the size and the pace of the withdrawal. again, we will have to see how the enemy comes at the afghans this year. we'll again make those decisions as we get closer. on the second part, as you know, in many places before we would clear places and then we would leave. that is part of the difference and why this has an opportunity to have a more lasting effect. the other important part is that again the afghan national security forces are increasing lease -- increasing significantly in the board and places. -- in the important places. rather than the one to five that we were in the central helmand river valley, we're now one to one there, and we're actually
one to 1.2 in cannes are city, in its environs. so there are more afghan security forces out there to help with the hold. in the last 18 months, there has been a significant effort to train civil servants by usaid and the u.s. embassy. so rather than have one or two people in the district government trying to do something, they now have 10 or 15, in some cases more, to try to build that stability. and that is part of the situation that i talked about as being an iterative process. because as the security improves, as their confidence grows, then more of them will come out to serve. that is what has to occur, over time, to build the momentum so that they can maintain the hold to properly build this long-term stability that they desire. >> following up on the first part with the withdrawal, what is speaking, are you expecting a relatively small symbolic withdrawal of a few hundred or a
couple thousand, or something more significant in the 10,000 or 15,000 or 20,000 range? >> we will see how that comes out. we're not at that point of making those decisions or recommendations yet. we will make those decisions in the next two or three months. >> on the regenerative issue about the taliban, one of the key aspects at the strategy has been reintegration of the taliban and tribes. but last time i checked, that has been going extremely some -- extremely slowly. the afghans have gotten procedures in place but have not moved beyond reintegrating more than a thousand or so afghan -- sorry, insurgents. can you achieve what you want to achieve next year without a significant expansion of reintegration -- in other words, thousands of enemy fighters taken off the battlefield? >> and a thousand that we're at right now is about right. you have to understand that program has really started
kicking off. and it has got to earn the trust and confidence of the people. so those thousand have to be treated well, and the program has to be run effectively. but as that grows, we hope that that will accelerate. the other thing happening out there that we do not have a great feel for because it is hard to measure is what we call "silent reintegration." some of that is happening along the reintegration program, the formal program that has about a thousand in it right now. so we need to have reintegration. again, that is part of what we're doing with the encouragement to the afghans to outreach to the local communities to provide them the opportunity. and as those representative councils get built and as the government gets built and the security forces, more and more of them are increasing that confidence in a better future for themselves. >> honestly, you say it is kicking off, but has not been
around and under discussion now for certainly more than a year? and it seems the afghan government can never really get their act together and move forward without actually offering incentives to insurgents to come over to their side. why is it taking so long? and again, if they do not get it moving in a more robust way, can you achieve your goals for this year? >> yes, it has taken about a year. again, they have had a program for several years that nobody had any confidence in. now you have to overcome that lack of confidence in the past. now there are reintegration councils built throughout the country. the high peace council has started traveling out to the country to do that, all to inspire more confidence in the people. and the resources, both the international and the u.s. funds, are starting to flow through that process.
but i do not think it is unreasonable that it has taken a year to actually do that for the afghans as all the other things combined are happening. and again we do need that. we want that. the afghans want it. i think it is moving forward, but we have to keep the momentum and pick up the momentum over time to do effectively what we want to do. >> on the east, you talked about more work to be done in a difficult situation. can you give us an idea of how you see that evolving in the coming months and the security situation and what challenges you face? >> as you look in regional command east, that the major density population that heads right out of kabul over to jalalabad and out to torkham gate, a very important commerce route. that has continued to make progress in discrete areas like i mentioned earlier. also important, from kabul city out and down the south, which is route 1, important down to
wardak, logar are and ghazni. and then the other piece is out into the coast bowl -- khost bowl, another population density area. they're also working hard in the could are river valley, that comes right out -- right down into jalalabad. that is a number of employees. >> recently said senator carl levin said he would like to see an even larger afghan national army than what is planned for in hopes that that would speed up the return of u.s. troops. at roughly the same time, a gao study came out and so that the current number of trainers that are in afghanistan to train afghan security forces is not enough. that is creating questions as to whether or not once we leave, they will still be able to continue the mission of protecting that country. what are your reactions to those two question marks first, senator levin's idea of a larger
army, and gao's criticism of the current training for the current goals? >> i think that on the second part, the training has increased in effectiveness and it is very clear. so when we get the units out of the training base, they're much better prepared than they ever have been in the past. we will also continue to press to get more trainers to do that more effectively. but the other phenomenon that is occurring at the same time is that they're now more afghan trainers, and they're going through ntm-a and cstc-a the same transition process. so we're pressing that is to get more trainers, and the combined effort is what to can see on the ground, because i am the one who received the product of that training base. that has continued to improve. >> is it crunch time on the training in terms of a lack of training and are you hitting a
period where you're going to have asked for u.s. trainers if he cannot fill the gaps which are >> we have done that in the past. again, that is really a general caldwell question. i am just telling you the effects of what i see in the field. they continue to improve. on the size of the army, they are going to that decision process right now on the size of the army and the police and everyone is made their recommendations and we will see how it comes out. >> again, looking forward to july and your decision-making process regarding any kind of drawdown, can you elaborate on what factors will play into that decision-making process? levels of violence, security forces? >> the things that other measures of effectiveness and the metrics that we have been using all along. you have got the effectiveness of the afghan national security forces. the real question there is, can they do it with less of us were to march in reality, that gets down to the question. can they provide that security for the afghan people so that
they go about their daily business? is there sufficient governance out there that does not negatively impact on security? those of the things we will be looking at. you have to understand this is already occurring in different places, ok? so when you look at now zad, which is down in the helmand province, a year ago there were two marine battalions down there. now there is a company plus. and the afghan national security forces have been built sufficiently that the combination of a marine company, plus a few people and plus a few enablers, the afghan army and the afghan police can provide the same level of security that, again, it just over a year ago, took two battalions. in the central helmand river valley, the same thing is occurring. so there are less of us in areas where we have improved security
-- we are less density. and they are spreading out, which is how it has got to happen throughout the country as we move forward here. >> there is a lot of talk about partnership and expanding governance. in planning with your afghan counterparts, do they have a plan to establish an integrated district to provincial to national strategy and command structure, and how is that progressing pressure mark >> on the partnership, that goes all the way up and down, from the strategic level all the way to the tactical level. that has done many things for us. of course, the afghan team brings the local understanding to us, and then we bring some capabilities that be -- that they do not have yet, that they're developing that will take some time to build. it is the combination in the strength of the team together that is increasing the
effectiveness of our operations. now the partnership pieces that we talked about earlier, we always focused just on the army, a little bit less on the police. what is important over time is that the afghans build partnerships between their government, their security forces, and the people. so we're supporting those every -- we're supporting those efforts every which way we can. as far as the connection between the district and the province and the national, that has to be there to build the stability that is required. that is occurring. we would love it to go faster, but there are linkages between the districts and the provinces, and the province and the national in many places. >> you said that hearat is as good as ready for transition very soon. i think i am right in saying that there satellite 1200 american troops in that area, plus spanish and others.
would they be at the top of the list for potential withdrawal? >> there are several places like that. right now the afghan government is building its processes to initiate the transition process. it is one to be another month or to go -- until they get complete, until all that gets worked out so that we can officially start moving along the transition process. also, of course, where those soldiers are, there are a couple of options. one is reinvestment in different places. that is one of the alternatives to solve part of the training thing. if we can move out of the operational force and over to the training force, there are a lot of options on how about operate. we will have to see how that comes out in the future. >> the american troops there would just be redeployed somewhere else, either training or somewhere else? >> it is all reinvestment, redeploy and all that. those will get made based on the conditions on the ground.
>> following up on the reinvestment idea, as you look forward, it is that possible that when you do the drawdown in july, that the troops that come out could be headquarters or support troops, and that you would maintain your same level of combat and training power? is that possible? >> as you look, long-range, the things that require a longer time to develop are the command and control that the headquarters provides, the integration of a significant level of intelligence, access to joint effects, air being the most important one, but some artillery, and then logistics and medevac. those things take longer time to build than an infantry company. as we look over time, that -- those are the ones that will be there longer relative to all the
combat troops. >> we saw some reports at the beginning of the year that iran was stopping -- stopping shipment of fuel across its border into afghanistan, which does not affect your -- your soldiers and your vehicles have their own supplies and can operate as they will. how does that dynamic continue to affect the way afghan forces can work in the way the population can go about their business in the areas you are trying to protect? >> we did not see a huge negative impact on security from that, but it did make it harder on the people out there in the west to go about their daily activities. the afghan government and the iranian government are working hard to solve those issues, and there has been a decrease in the limiting of that fuel moving forward here, especially being tough in the wintertime. >> cannot fall on your comments about the east? you talked about pakistan not having to go into north waziristan in order for the military to have success.
>> it was not going to be mission failure, yes. >> but that said, doesn't the u.s. then have to at least either continue or increase its efforts there to avoid north waziristan become a region becoming a pretty solid safe haven? >> yes, absolutely. again, it is not that we do not want them to do any of those things. all the international community is focused on that because they know that we need more support from pakistan to make this easier. it is all linked. so, yes, there has to be some plan, some way, and some effect to decrease the impacts of that safe haven. >> u.s. obviously has taken some action in there in various ways. with the u.s. have to increase that in order to make sure that the militants just don't -- >> it depends on what they do. if it continues to get worse, that is a different situation.
>> going back to the spring offensive, can you give us more of an idea of what it will look like? around this time, it seems that we have a general who stands up and says we're. have a big offensive. what are we going to see this year? there are more u.s. troops there than there have been ever. you expect more of an offensive, more of a defensive on the u.s. part? >> we will continue to stay offensive the whole time. there are 110,000 more troops there this year than there was last year, 70,000 of them being afghans, ok? so again, what we need to do is support the afghans as they expand that public outreach, as they expand the security areas and as they prepare, you know, for the increase in violence that is going to occur. that is what has changed over time with the caches i just talked about, 1250 in a 12-week
period. and that occurred for several reasons. one of course is the high operational tempo that we continue to execute throughout the time, the increase in afghan national security forces that are out of places, in tough places that the taliban used to own, that are pursuing the support bases to limit them. it is also -- and one of the most important part -- the afghan people helping to provide significantly more tips because they see afghan security forces out among them more than they ever had because of the increase in the numbers. >> cannot fall on your phrase "increase in violence?" you anticipate just the normal seasonal increase in violence? would you expect an increase in violence over the violence we saw last year, which was the deadliest year for american service members? at this is a complicated question -- given the change you see in the taliban tactics,
would you expect an even larger or a fewer number of american casualties this coming year? >> that is hard to determine, jim. we will have to see what they do. but they will have to come again with a little different plan which will be focused on the afghan leadership and the afghan people who are supporting moving forward in a peace process. >> is the increase in violence the usual seasonal increase? >> the usual seasonal increase. >> despite the fact that they're more troops there, you still do not expect more -- there would be presumably more kinetic action. >> that occurs just naturally. with 70,000 more troops -- that is afghan forces, 110,000 total that are out in places that the afghans, that the enemy used an unknown. in zhari and panjway owned that. it is the same in marjah. they will continue to fight back, but guessing the violence level is just not possible at
this point in time. >> and the taliban change in tactics that you predict indicates that they will concentrate more on soft targets. does that mean that the taliban is weaker going into this spring offensive than they were a year ago, do you think? >> i can, we will have to see that. that is a hard question. i am telling you we have reduced the support bases inside afghanistan that will continue to keep the pressure on their leadership, all designed to reduce the effectiveness of the insurgency. how that will occur and how well they will become a we will have to see how effective both us and the afghans are doing that. that is what we're trying to do with the environment that they will sealed differently in the spring -- is the taliban on the ropes here? >> know, the taliban is not on the ropes yet. ok? thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> u.s. ambassador to iraq testified today about the u.s. transition in iraq. that is next on c-span. today, egyptian president hosni mubarak announced that he will not run for office again. we will have his remarks later, and in reaction from president obama. tomorrow, a deal on how tax policy can affect the federal deficit. live coverage from the senate budget committee begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. this weekend on c-span2, michael reagan on his father has this week marks his father's birthday. emily lambert on the history and purpose of the futures market. find a full schedule of our
website, including this week's in death. signup for our vote tv alert. >> now a look that the u.s. transition in iraq from the military mission to the civilian mission. witnesses include u.s. ambassador to or wrapped james jeffries and the commander, lloyd austin. this hearing is about two hours. the hearing will come to order. i apologize for being a couple >> and fighting the morning traffic. so we're going to get started.
when he gets here, if we haven't proceeded to the testimony, we will obviously -- oh, there he is. great. good timing. welcome. well, let me welcome everybody to the first hearing of the new session of congress. and i particularly want to take this opportunity to welcome, though we haven't yet adopted the rules or officially sworn people in with respect to committee proceedings, we are welcoming a number of new members to the committee. i'm delighted on the republican side to welcome senator rubio of florida. happy to have you on board. and look forward to working with you and your contributions to the committee. and also senator leavy from utah. and on the democrats' side, slighted to have senator udall,
tom udall, from new mexico, and happy to have somebody on the committee who is thirsty for the work that we do. and we're happy to have you here. likewise, senator kuhns will continue on the committee. delighted to have you back. look how fast you've risen in seniority. absolutely extraordinary. i remember sitting down there for years. and also, really, happy to have senator durbin, the assistant leader, who will be joining the committee. so we have five new members, and we look forward to getting together informally, as we did, beginning of last year, to have a chance just to get to know each other. this committee works best, as i think any committee does actually, but this committee certainly because of the issues that we deal with when they are nonpartisan and nonideological, and when we really take into account, the best interests of our country and work in a bipartisan way. and i congratulate the committee
for its leaderships and efforts with regard to the s.t.a.r.t. agreement and what we did last year. now, before we get started this morning, i just want to say one thing about the events that are now taking place in the middle east. we are witnessing an historic moment in the middle east. and it is impossible to predict exactly what lies ahead. but clearly, whatever transpires, it is going to have a profound impact, huge influence, on the region and on american foreign policy in that region for years to come. this morning, i have an op-ed in "the new york times" that expresses my point of view, a personal point of view, that the people of egypt and events in egypt, have in their own power and in the simplicity of their
sponeiety. and i think it is for president mubarak to help and transform the future for egypt. i think in order to do that it is imperative that he address the nation and announce with leadership his understanding that his people are making and of their aspirations and to embrace them fully and to make clear that neither he nor his son will be candidates for re-election, or for election, in the next elections. and to go even further, to move to put together a caretaker
governance over these next months, working with the army, working with the civil society, in order to avoid violence and help to transition egypt into the future that its people want and that it deserves. we have huge interest in this, the world does, obviously in the stability of the region and the avoidance of violence and conflict and in in helping to create a template for transformation for all of the region. so that's what's at stake. it's a subject that this committee will examine very closely over the course of these next days and weeks. we are also, obviously, gathered here today to resume discussion over an issue that, in all years since 2001, has consumed this committee and the debate in our country. but which, because of afghanistan, pakistan, the middle east and other issues, and also because of successes,
has moved off of the front burner, so to speak, but despite that fact, it remains as important as it always was, throughout all of those years. and i think our witnesses today will make it clear that it also remains a challenge with serious issues still at stake. all of which, together with all of the other issues of the middle east, require our focused attention which is why the committee is beginning this hearing this year. i'm particularly -- some people have referred to forgotten wars at various points in time. afghanistan was the forgotten war, now is not. and to some degree, some people have begun to assert that iraq is. but it's important to the
long-term stability to the middle east cannot be underestimated and that will be very clear today in the testimony of our distinguished witnesses. i'm particularly happy on behalf of the committee to welcome jim jeffrey and general lloyd austin. they are without question two of our most dedicated and capable public servants and that's why where they are, dealing with the issues that they are. the caliber of their leadership has been shown by the fact that our military in baghdad praises ambassador jeffrey, and our diplomats in baghdad are equally enthusiastic about general austin. they have forged a superb partnership, much in the brand of what ambassador cocker and general petraeus had previously. and their unity is something that the rest of us near washington would do well to
emulate. significant progress has been made in iraq in the last four years. more than 100,000 american troops have been withdrawn. and the security situation, although sometimes strained, that is not unraveled. forming the government was obviously a long and contentious process but the political factions kept their commitment to negotiations over violence. despite this progress, we face difficult choices this year. i want to particularly say at this time, i want to express my respect for and appreciation for the leadership that the administration, but particularly, vice president biden has offered on this issue. when he was chair here, he made more visits to iraq than any other member of the committee, or the congress even. and he has spent a long time building relationships and gaining a significant understanding of the issues. and i think a respect that leaders there have for him and
his understanding of those issues serves our country well. and i think he has been particularly instrumental in a public of negotiations and conversations in helping to bring us to this point that we're at now. but he would be the first to tell you that the job is not done. and questions remain. in accordance with the 2008 bilateral agreements that were signed and negotiated by the bush administration, american troops must leave the country by the end of the year. but these agreements also acknowledge, and it's important for people to focus on this, they also acknowledge the need for continued military cooperation. as in many countries around the world, our troops will be responsible for improving the bar defense relationship by providing security assistance. the size, scope and structure of
this presence, however, remains undetermined as we are here at this moment today. after our troops are gone, the diplomatic mission that remains will be of unprecedented size and complexity. the current planning calls for some 17,000 people to be under the chief administration authority, on roughly 15 different sites. beyond our embassy in baghdad, one of the largest in the world, these sites will include three air hubs, three police training centers, two consulates, two embassy branch offices and the offices of security operations sites. now, time is short. the civilian effort has to be fully operational by october. that would be complicated enough if we had a complete inventory of all of the moving parts, but there is still important unanswered questions which we want to try to address this
morning. does the state department have the capacity to support an ambitious military mission without american military support? in the still dangerous security environment what is the future of the u.s./iraqi relationship? and perhaps most importantly, are we as a nation, willing to commit the resources necessary to that civilian effort in order to ensure its success? today, the senate foreign relations committee is releasing a staff report that examines these issues in detail. i believe it sheds important light on the tradeoffs that are involved here. the report makes a number of recommendations which i hope the administration, in fact, i know the administration is already seriously considering. with so much uncertainty, we need to make sure that the scope of the mission is balanced with resources that are available. these include our civilian
capacity. the financial commitment from congress. a degree of u.s. military support and the backing of the iraqi government. if these elements are not in place, we may face a difficult choice between scaling back the diplomatic mission or accepting the degree of physical risks that's all too familiar for the military personnel but normally unacceptable for our diplomats. i think we can get the balance right. but it will require a whole of government approach. and that means maximum integration, better integration, between the departments of state and defense and frankly a greater willingness from congress to provide the financial resources necessary for success by supporting our diplomatic efforts with the same vigor that we devote to our military mission. in the coming weeks, i will explore the possibility of a multiyear authorization package
for iraq that would include the operational costs of the mission, as well as the security and economic assistance programs. this package could serve as a road map to the american public, so that our effort in iraq will end better than it began. before turning to senate luger, i want to thank those still serving in harm's way. those who did serve, but ti particularly, those who are still serving in harm's way in iraq. uniform and civilian alike. i think every member of this committee joins in expressing our gratitude as members of congress and those as a nation for their courage, their commitment and service to our country. you are not forgotten and nor will our debt of gratitude to you everen forgotten. senator lugar. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. it's a point of personal privilege that i congratulate you on your extensive travel
since last we met in this hearing room. and i know that we will benefit from your experiences and your testimony. by joining you this morning, reading our witnesses and welcome this opportunity with you to examine the united states policy in iraq. although the visibility of iraq is a foreign policy issue has been reduced as the american troop presence has been drawn down, we will continue to have profound interest in developments there. and the president has said that the american military mission will come to a close at the end of this year. but as our military presence diminishes, our civilian presence is being enhanced by thousands of personnel, engaged in diplomacy, development and security, as you mentioned. indeed, the united states embassy in baghdad is now largest embassy in the world. an office of security cooperation of nearly 1,000
defense department personnel is planned to mentor the iraqi military. despite progress in iraq, violence continues. and the most recent report on security in iraq by the departments of state and defense cites improved conditions but labels the situation in that country as, quote, still fragile, end of quote. although the united states should continue presences for winding down the military mission, the goal from iraq cannot be the sole driver of our policy there. we have strategic interests in iraq. it's important that our government is exploring ways to further those interests in the absence of significant united states military power in the country. we also know that what happens in iraq will have influence in many parts of the middle east. iraq's status, stability and relationships will affect,
balance the power calculations in the region. and these are particularly important considerations. giving the ongoing upheaval in egypt. our ideal for iraq is that it becomes a stable, pluralistic society that includes a genuinely representative government, maintains a self-sustaining economy and cooperates with the united states and other like-minded nations to resist aggression and terrorism. as we continue to work with the iraqis, we'll have to be judicious about how and when we exert leverage. even if the iraqi government prefers to maintain some optical distance from the united states, it has reasons to preserve a good working relationship with us, including our backing for its territorial integrity, our mediation services with some iraqi groups. our intention for expertise. our ongoing military training and other benefits that we bring
to the table. as we pursue goals in iraq, we face competition from iran which is does not wish to see a pluralistic modern american friendly society next door. at this stage, the iraqi government has demonstrated its intent to maintain relationships with both iran and the united states. but this is not a static situation. and iraq's alignment depends on much on the domestic political forces, as it does on calculations of its need for external support. iraq's ability to provide for its own security, to meet its budget demands, maintain basic services, including electricity and education will depend heavily on how it develops and manages its oil sources. currently, iraq is producing about 2 million barrels of oil per day. based on the 12 contracts, the government of iraq signed with
international oil companies to develop 14 oil fields. iraq expects increase production capacity by 400,000 barrels a day by the end of this year. the convex call for iraq to reach the extremely ambitious target of 12 million barrels per day by 2017. an authority at bfc energy stated that this would mean iraq would achieve in seven years what it took saudi arabia 70 years to do. the hurdles iraq must clear to make that happen are tremendous, however, and industry experts think the iraqis will be fortunate to reach 5 million barrels per year by the end of 2016. to reach even the 5 million per day figure, the equivalent of adding about a half million barrels a day per year, over the next year years, would require
absolute commitment by the government. it would require that a large share of oil revenues be reinvested into oil infrastructure. and require the security continue to improve and would require that oil revenues and investments be handled transparentsly, with a minimum lost to corruption. iraq will also have to overcome the brain frame that has occurred in the country over the last eight years seeking an infusion of human capital, such as saudi arabia did to help manage the massive efforts. iraq's capacity for sustaining democracy will depend greatly on the out out come of oil efforts. there will be less tension between factions and regions and more stability grounded in improved services in education. what should the united states do to encourage the iraqis to develop their oil production infrastructure, while
simultaneously, preventing the development of a petro-dictatorship, over the longer term, as oil revenues increase. how will our programs going forward help iraq withstand pressures from iran? is the lanned u.s. civilian presence in iraq sufficient to achieve our objectives and are we confident that the security arrangements at the embassy and others in iraq are adequate and will allow american personnel to carry out their mission. i appreciate very much the efforts of master jeffrey and general austin. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator lugar. gentlemen, again, we welcome you, we're glad to have you here. ambassador jeffrey, we were
commenting that you were here with condoleezza rice when she was testifying. glad to have you back. thank you. we go first with ambassador jeffrey and then general austin. >> it's good to be back, senators. chairman kerry, ranking senator, memberer lugar. senators, thank you for having this hearing and inviting general austin to appear before you to discuss the transition from military-led to a civilian-led withdrawal from iraq. we face a critical moment in iraq, and we will either step up to the plate, finish the job and build on the sacrifices made or we will risk core u.s. national security interests, be penny wise and pound foolish and fail to cede to al qaeda.
in a force of establishment and moderation in a troubled region, we cannot afford to let the games we have about sized so much for us slip away. the president has clearly articulated our vision for partnership with iraq. we seek there a country that is sovereign, stable and self-reliant, with a government that is just, representative and accountable that denies support and safe haven to terrorists, is able to assume its rightful place in the community of nations and contributes to the peace and security of the region. the u.s. military, as we all know have performed admirably, but they cannot stay in iraq forever. the department of state is ready to take the lead. but we need support and resources to finish the job. we need to have plat forms around the country to carry out key transitional missions for the next three to five years.
these include, work, political, economic, security and other officials throughout the country, especially in key areas such as kirkuk and mosul, where past experience has shown how a small number of americans, working daily, with their iraqi counterparts can have a disproportionately great impact on helping to defuse crisis. and also helping iraqis specialize their police, to provide security to help iraqis finish the job against al qaeda and other terrorist groups. to not finish the job now creates substantial risks of what some people call a charlie wilson moment in iraq with both the insurgence of al qaeda and the empowering of other powerful players. al qaeda, as we well know, is
still possible of making attacks. gutting out a presence in iraq could also provide iran increased stability. the u.s. has paid a dear price in this war. over 4,300 deaths, over 3,300 wounds among our military personnel, along with hundreds of embassy casualties, and a far greater toll among the iraqi security forces and civilians. as vice president biden states in his recent visit it is vital that we leave behind an iraq that is worthy of sacrifices that so many u.s. troops and civilians have made. while all is expensive in iraq, the civilian presence represents a significant reduction in expenditures. for example, between 2010 and 2011, the u.s. military withdrawal reduced the bill by approximately $15 billion. while the increase in state's budget was only $2.5 billion.
and while the state department's 2012 funding needs will naturally increase over that level because of the military to civilian transition, the overall cost for the u.s. will continue to decrease dramatically. moreover, u.s. development assistance to iraq is not open-ended. iraq has vast untapped oil resources but due to the devastated oil infrastructure, it will be a number of years as senator lugar described, where iraq will have meaningful time for revenue. again as senator kerry recently wrote to the secretary of state, getting the civilian transition in iraq right it will also demonstrate more generally, the ability of our country to transform security successes in war zones to long-term stability that goes beyond iraq, for example in afghanistan. in closing, i would like to thank the department of defense, the central demand and above
all, general austin, and his troops, for the support they are giving us in this mission. while our agreement is to go down to zero troops in the country, we have tremendous support from the u.s. military that will continue backing our office of security cooperation and over the horizon in cencom. ides also like to express my regards for those who risk their lives in a cause for what they believe in, the iraq i was just describing. thank you once again for the opportunity to appear before you today. i will be happy to answer any questions the committee may have. look forward to working hand in hand with you and our other congressional colleagues. >> thank you, ambassador.
general? >> chairman kerry, senator lugar, thank you for the opportunity to testify with ambassador jeffrey this morning. i'd also like to thank you for your support for men and women in uniform, as well as our civilian partners. ambassador jeffrey has the most professional team of diplomats that i've ever witnessed my career, it is indeed an honor to serve with him and his team. i'd like to give you my assessment on the current security environment and the capabilities of the iraqi security forces anded where i see them in 2012 and beyond. the security environment in iraq has been steadily proving over the past few years. most notably, during the delay in government formation from march to december 2010. it was very encouraging to us at that iraqi security forces remain apolitical and formed
admirably during that time. they provided the iraqi leaders the time and space that they needed, and their admirable work is paying off. today, iraq has the most inclusive government in their nation's history, and the security environment is the best it has been since 2003. security incidents in 2010 were 25% lower than the previous year, and that trend has continued following government formation. security is the foundation for continued progress in iraq. the security environment continues to improve, but as ambassador jeffrey noted, it will remain complex and threats to iraq's stability will remain in 2012. sunni extremist groups like al qaeda will continue to target the government of iraq. the iraq security forces and the iraqi civilians in order to garner media attention in an
attempt to demonstrate that the government cannot provide security for the iraqi people. shia extremist groups will continue to target u.s. personnel, the iraqi government and its institutions. while the iraqi security forces have a good capability to confront sunni and shia extremist groups, they will have gaps in their external defense capabilities in 2012. iraq will not be able to defend its sovereignty for some time. they will also require continued development on capabilities such as logistics and sustainment and intelligence, as well as new equipment fielding and more complex training such as combined arms training and joint forces training. united states forces, iraq and the embassy are joined at the hip and are closely working our transition. usfi is developing the office for security corporation, which will fall under the embassy and
assume responsibility for continuing the training programs and the $13 billion worth of foreign military sales programs that we have with the iraqis. this office will work hard and be dedicated to narrowing the capability gap s within the irai security forces. clearly, there is much work to do but i am encouraged by the progress that iraq has made over the last few years. and i'm confident that iraq can achieve its full potential if it stays on the path that it's currently on, a stable, secure, self-reliant iraq will provide stability to a region that has been historically unstable. the underpinning of iraq's progress has been the improving security environment, and the isf will be key to iraq's success in the future. we at united states forces iraq are doing everything that we can with the limited time remaining
to strengthen the iraqi security forces. the key to the successful transition from a military-led effort to a civilian-led one is the need to fully resource the embassy to perform these tanks and responsibilities. i'd like to take just a moment to publicly acknowledge the near 50,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guardsmen, as well as our corps of professional civilians serving under the united states forces in iraq for their dedication and perseverance. i'd also like to commend our families for their many sacrifices. we certainly wouldn't be where we are today without their unwavering support. mr. chairman, members of the committee, thank you once again for this opportunity to appear with ambassador jeffrey this morning, and i stand ready to answer any questions that you may. >> general, thank you very much.
again, thank you both for your leadership. what we will do is have a seven-minute round, for those of you new to the committee, we've always operated on a seniority basis. some committees do it on the early bird. but we have stayed with that. and we go back and forth, side to side. so hopefully it is a fair distribution of the time and effort. let me begin by, first of all, asking ambassador, your mission is supposed to achieve full operational readiness by october, is that correct? >> initial, in many things, it goes in layers, senator, depending upon whether it's police training of the osei, but by the october/december time period, we need to have the
initial operating capability up in all areas. >> and is it your mission that you're on track to achieve that? >> we are on track to achieve the initial capability, that's right, sir. >> now, for what degree do the outstanding political issues that have been outstanding for a long period of time -- i can remember we talked about this briefly before the hearing. when condoleezza rice testified us before, i think it was down in the first floor in dirksen. she said we were momentarily about to achieve the agreement on the oil revenues and the constitutional issues, et cetera. we are now three or four years later, and we still don't have those agreements at this point in time. to what degree does that -- i mean is that a signal that is a warning system to us about what may happen as we draw down and leave? or is that something that you feel is just manageable and it's the way of life, period.
>> frankly, senator, that's one of the things i'm more confident about. mr. chairman, what we've seen is not final resolution of any of these problems but we've seen dramatic progress over the last several years. for example, in the formation of government, it took a long time, but the formation itself is part of the political process. the various groups, the kurdish alliance, and the sunni/shia alliance, and the national alliance, primarily, of shia, basically came to an agreement on the policy-sharing issues. they decided they would make a fiber carbon law on priorities. and they've taken steps in this direction, both on wait that they have dealt with the problems be it the central bank and its independs the last few days, or for example, oil being shipped out of iraq from areas
of the kurdish regional government into the pipeline to turkey. this has been an issue in the past. they have reached an agreement the other day that will allow initially 100, and soon 150,000 barrels a day. this is to respond both to the i imf and their own internal needs. this is that step-by-step, if you will, slicing the salami that is to democratic policies around the world. it's slow, it's complicated, but it's hitting in the right direction and it's very, very different than what i was there in 2004 and 2005. >> general, how do you -- can you give us a sort of stronger personalized kind of evaluation, if you will, of the capacity of the iraqi army to respond, particularly -- i mean, most of the games that we've made, i gather, have been special forces operations jointly.
backed up, obviously, by everything else but the ability to sort of neutralize al qaeda at this point in time. in the absence of our lead on that, can you share with the committee what it is, on a personal level, gut level that gives you a sense, maybe some examples of the kinds of things that may have even surprised you about iraqi capacity that gives you a sense, that without our presence, they can hold on to those gains? >> well, thank you, senator. and as you know, this is my third tour in iraq. and so, i've watched this force develop over time. and we basically began with very little, and where we are -- if you look at where we are now, it is truly remarkable, in terms of the progress that has been made. my assessment is that the iraqis do have the ability, or will
have the ability to conduct internal -- or provide for internal defense. as a matter of fact, they are leading the effort today in addressing all of the issues, all of the security issues in the interior of iraq. so there are things that they need to continue to work on. things like logistics and sustainment. and intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination, but they made great progress. and if you look for any examples, i would say, there are two that spring to mind right away. the first is the fact that, you know it took about nine months to form the government. and in that nine-month period, the iraqi security forces held steady. not only did they hold and remain apolitical, but the security in the country was --
improved incrementally over time. the other thing that i would point to is that most recently, here in the last week and a half, we witnessed a pretty large religious observance in iraq. the estimates that there were about 9 million or so pilgrims that travel down and attended that observance in kabul. whereas, we did see some violence, it compares to what we saw last year, last year, there were only about 3 million pi pilgrims on the road. about the same amount this year, the iraqi planned and executed the security for that event on their own. and that's very, very encouraging. so there are a number of instances like that throughout, i think they continue to
improve. but, again, there are a couple of things that they will have to continue to work on. >> ambassador, with respect to the security situation, for your personnel as the military does draw down to negligible presence, how do you envision providing this balance between the right amount of security for people and not having them sort of bunkered into these various facilities? >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all, to do our job, we have to get outside the wire and go to the iraqis. not every day, sometimes they come to us. sometimes, we can use telephones, but you have to do that for many reasons, including to show them that you're out there with them. we're doing this now -- we're doing it under dangerous conditions. we had a vehicle from baghdad prt on the road hit by an ied this morning. no casualties, but this is a
common -- essentially a daily occurrence between incorrect fire ieds and other attacks. and we've been doing it for years. when i was there in 2004-2005, we had large installations, we called them rios in hillah, kirkuk and basra that we operated and secured ourselves. and we did most of our movement ourselves throughout those areas. again, we took casualties, but we got the job accomplished. what we will do -- >> you did that with a combination, did you not, of private security forces and military backup? >> well, we had no military backup, for example, in basra because there were no u.s. forces within hundreds of miles of there. >> british? >> they were british. as i said, let me just say we were on our own, senator, and we secured our own people. >> secured them with diplomatic security? >> diplomatic security and contractor security. our plan is, as much as
possible, to use the lessons we've learned from the military, for example, on dangerous moves using what are called mraps those are the vehicles that our people are in today. more heavily armed vehicles, receive something from the military in the months ahead. using route recon distance. the magnitude is different. we are very, very confident in this regard we can do the job. >> i appreciate that. i've gone over my time. let me just say, first of all, that i think we have to be careful in replacing the military presence we have today with the private mercenary presence, in a sense, adequate to the task. i think that's going to be a
delicate balance. we see while president karzai is responding to private security forces in afghanistan. and i think we're going to have to be sensitive to that and therefore get the right balance in the overall deployment. and i think those are issues we put out in the report today. and we can come back to that later. finally, let me just say, it's good to hear your message, it's influenced voice and accent here. it gives me great confidence. senator lugar. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me just follow up on some of the comments i made in my opening statement about oil developments in iraq. i have several questions. i'll put them all together in one composite and ask you, ambassador jeffrey, to respond. first of all, how great a success are the iraqis having, or are they likely to have eye with the international oil
communities, bringing in their industrial people from very diverse nations? and are they the iocs making investments in training iraqis, or are they likely to do so, as opposed to their own national personnel on the scene? secondly, how, if iraq does develop something beyond the 2 million barrels per day. and they've been stuck in this range for a while, what will be the reaction of iran to the northern gulf oil market dominated by iraq? it might be the case that the iraqis are as successful as they hope to be. thirdly, as a part of this, unfortunately, an old friend of mine has told me that he has been offered a direct sale of
iraq oil at a $10 per barrel discount. by coming along with that proposition, was demand that he pay the adviser, in quotes, $5 per barrel of the $10 discount. the whole problem of corruption and all sorts of dealings in various ways has plagued other countries other than iraq. but i ask you some composite feeling, first of all, how the international community coming in is going to impact upon iraqis, the training possibilities. the iranian influence competition or pressures. and finally, just plain corruption. is it possible? and what should our attitude be -- going to be now, probably among those who are attempting to buy iraqi oil, although most
of the initial contract seemed to have been elsewhere. but discuss, if you can, for us this overall picture in the confidence that you have. you h. >> thank you, senator lugar. first of all, we think that the iraqis so far have been quite successful. in fact, surprisingly successful given the difficult operating environment throughout the country in reaching what is the initial 10% increase in oil production. so iraq is now up probably well over 2.4 million barrels a day in actual production. exports are also climbing. right now, what is slowing things down is iraq needs to complete a major rehaul of its -- and buildout of its offshore terminals, the ecoi project by the end of this year to double the ability of export from the south, they export about 20%, 25% out of the north through turkey. once that is done, they and the
iocs will be on track to considerably expand to perhaps -- within a relatively short period of time in the order of 3 million barrels a day of exports roughly equivalent to what iran is doing. and move forward from there. they have the second largest reserves in the middle east, we think, extraordinary capabilities. the iocs are doing well. rather like us, in fact. i went down and visited several of the sites. they have large operating installations that those of you who have visited in iraq or afghanistan would find quite familiar. they have to do security. they do hire a lot of iraqis, it is something we're looking at in trying to do as well. it makes sense from several standpoints, ranging from costs to local awareness, security and relations with the local folks. the question of iran, i have a
hard enough time working out u.s. policies towards iraq. i don't know how iran would react, senator. that would just be hypothetical. i will say that as iraq's oil exports climb, this has a downward effect on international prices that is quite significant. and so not only iran, but other countries in the region will notice that. there will be some issues related to the quotas under opec, iraq remains an opec member state, but it currently does not have a quota on it at some point that will become an issue again. so there are several things that will arise, not just with iran, but with other countries. but i think that in the long run iraq's success is a success for everybody in the region because it will contribute to stability. and in terms of the $10 a barrel discount, there is a fair amount
of corruption as the iraqis are the first to acknowledge in iraq and we have various programs. it is one of the things we have been most active on. in terms of oil sales, these have been under the supervision and observation of the united states since 2003. we're transitioning with the recent lifting of several u.n. security council resolutions on december 15th to an iraqi mechanism for handling the sale of these quantities of oil, but in any case, they will still have to be transparent sales because among other things the iraqis still have to compensate 5% of their total sales to kuwait under u.n. security council resolutions. smuggling and other things it is a somewhat different story. in terms of the u.s., we, last year, imported almost $10 billion worth of oil from iraq. so we're a major customer, even though we don't have as large an
exposure among the iocs as other countries do. but still we have exxonmobil and we have occidental there and a lot of oil company -- oil service companies as well active. >> i'm glad you touched on the last point. many american citizens would say that we have given a great deal in terms of sacrifice to bring iraq to this particular point. how ironic it would be in a world fighting over oil resources if we came out very -- on the short side of this, granted that we want iraq to be self-sustaining, we appreciate this is the revenue that could make it a successful state. still, in our own way, we would like to play a part of that, having given as much as we have given. is there a sense on the part of the iraqis of some equity of that sort? >> i wouldn't put it in that direct an equation, senator. what i would say is there is great respect for american firms
and great respect for american technology and no-how. iraqis worked closely with us on a great variety of things, primarily to the military, but also on the civilian sector. the iraqis prequalified in their set of contract negotiations that you discussed earlier seven american firms. this was the largest number of firms from any country. in the end, only two american firms engaged in bids, but the reason for that was the firm's decision in terms of profit loss, engagement, other competing priorities, not that of the iraqis. i'm very, very confident that the iraqis, they talk about this all of the time from prime minister maliki and talabani an down. they want to see more american companies come. unlike some of the national oil companies, we and the political and governmental sector cannot really have much influence on these companies. they're international companies. they take their own decisions. but we'll do everything we can to make sure they're aware of the opportunities and the benefits of doing this. >> thank you very much. thank you.
>> thank you, senator lugar. senator cardin. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. and ambassador jeffrey and general austin, we very much appreciate your service and what you've been able to do on behalf of our country. at previous hearings including one with secretary clinton i raised the issues of the refugees and the internally displaced individuals and was assured that this is one of the highest priorities of our government is to make sure that these issues are attended to by the iraqis, and that there is attention given to the plight of the refugees. it is my understanding that there is still a large number of refugees in syria, in jordan and other neighboring countries. and that there are many iraqis that have been internally displaced that have not been able to go back to their original communities. the longer this issue is left outstanding, a de facto situation exists and makes it almost impossible for people to be able to return to their communities. can you give me a status as to
where we are and what the u.s. position is in regards to making this a priority in our relationship with iraq? >> give it a try, senator. this is one of our largest priorities. in past years we have put well over $300 million a year into refugee assistance for iraq. we also have several programs to bring iraqis' refugees to the united states over the past number of years we have brought at least 78,000 to the united states. last year it was approximately 18,000 and it generally stays at about that level. in terms of the numbers, the unhcr registered about 200,000 in jordan and syria. we and the iraqis believe there is considerably more there. these people have family, tribal, professional and other contacts with their neighboring arab countries and it is easy for them to move back and forth. so the number is considerably larger than that. in terms of internally displaced
folks, there is about 1.5 million that were displaced after the violence beginning in 2006 in samarra and there were about 1.2 million displaced again internally prior to that. so it is a very, very large number of people. again, we have many programs, health, food, direct grants and others through various ngos, unhcr, iom and other programs to help them. we're also working with the iraqis because as the oil revenues increase in iraq grows more prosperous, we would expect the iraqis to do more. they have recently increased substantially the amount of money that they're providing the internally displaced refugees. and we are working with them to over time take this over. >> well, i appreciate that answer. and i strongly support the relocation of iraqis who have assisted the united states here in america who are at risk in their own country. we have worked hard to get those
numbers up. and i also very much support the efforts of our financial assistance for -- along with the international community to help the refugees. but i guess my major focus -- the question is what are we doing so that people who want to return to their original communities can do so safely and that the iraqi government makes that a priority to allow the return of families to their community without fear of safety? >> the overarching reason why people do not return, senator, is concerns about security and when you have a feeling that security isn't there, even if security has returned and you're living some place else, you're very reluctant to go back. we're working with the iraqis through the efforts of general austin and the u.s. and iraqi security forces to improve security and at the same time to reach out to people.
there is also has been a political issue related to this. many of the people who fled to syria and jordan were not happy with the makeup of the iraqi government. they felt particularly if they were sunni arabs they wouldn't be treated correctly. we think the inclusive government that we have now with participation by all iraqi groups will be a step in the right discretion and will help convince those people that they should return. it is important to note several of the people who have high level positions in the iraqi government in fact were basically refugees not able to come back from jordan just a few months ago. >> well, i would hope that you would keep us informed as to the efforts being made by the united states with the iraqis and the neighboring countries to get more opportunities for people to return to their communities. i think that's in their interest, but it is also deals with the financial commitments of refugees that would ease that
circumstance. i would underscore the point that the chairman made as far as safety of our personnel as we do this transition, which we all support with our military presence being dramatically reduced. we want to make sure that our personnel are safe. so i hope that you will be very open with this committee as to what we need to do to ensure the safety of u.s. personnel as we move forward with our -- more of our programs to assist in the development of the country rather than the security of the country. but on that same side, the chairman talked about a long-term commitment in iraq. i think we all understand that we're going to be there from the point of view of helping to rebuild the country. what can you tell us is being put in place to make sure that u.s. funds are being used in the most cost effective way that we have protections against u.s. funds being used to help finance corruption, local corruption in the country, how do we avoid that and what are we doing for
promoting u.s. values including gender equity issues, making sure we move -- continue to make progress. do we have -- do you have an accountability system in place that gives us confidence that we should be considering a more permanent longer term commitment to iraq? >> yes, sir, on all of those accounts, senator. first of all, this is an important priority for us and it is an important priority for this administration and the last administration. in fact, a unique institution, the special inspector general has been set up and they have a very active program. they have dozens of people either stationed or tdy with us out in the field in iraq. we also have the state department and other igs, but seger in particular has been very active looking into assistance programs and how effective and how efficient they are and to what extent there is corruption. i meet with the head of it,
stou stuart bowen with his deputy and others frequently. in addition, since the time of ryan crocker, we have organized the embassy in a unique way where normally we have the ambassador and deputy chief of mission. for the commission and assistance elements of it we have created essentially a second deputy chief of mission, ambassador peter bode who looks into that and focuses directly on the issues of are wie gettin our bang for the buck, are we looking into corruption? and these kind of issues. a good deal of our assistance goes to -- a good deal of our political relationships with the iraqis and our engagement with them goes to issues such as gender equality, minorities, the refugee issue. we have a very, very broad dialogue with them. we played a role behind the scenes on some of the decisions
taken in the iraqi constitution on gender equality, for example. 25% of the parliament has to be female. now, there are problems with this at times, for example, iraqis both men and women were unhappy with the makeup of the cabinet. the prime minister then decided that he would have to hold off the completion of the cabinet until he could find more female candidates and that process is ongoing. so iraqis are sensitive to this themselves. they have a reputation in the middle east of being a very -- a country that understands gender equality, a country that respects the role of women. it is a quite so sfift caphisti country and something we give to priority to as well. >> thank you for that. i urge you to be as more transparent as you possibly can in the review of how u.s. involvement in iraq is being -- how the funds are being used to get value for the american taxpayer and that we are
promoting our values. i think the more that you can get that information made public, the easier it will be for legislation such as our chairman is suggesting to be favorably considered here. >> thank you, senator cardin. senator lee, you weren't here when i had a chance to welcome everybody, but i want to welcome you personally to the committee. we look forward to working with you and hopefully we can be as productive as we were the last two years. good effort. so welcome aboard. i recognize you now for a question period. >> great, thank you. first of all, i want to thank both ambassador jeffrey and general austin for being with us this morning and for your informative and generous and candid responses. it has been very helpful. as a new member of the committee, i'm very grateful for you being here. i also want to echo the expression of gratitude and support that has already been articulated by my colleagues this morning. so grateful to you and those with whom you have labored in
iraq for all that you do to make this world a better place in which to live, from the bottom of my heart, i thank you. i also want to thank in this forum all freedom-loving iraqis. i suspect you'll agree that ultimately this the stability that we're trying to achieve in iraq rests with them, those who love freedom in iraq and i look forward to seeing that come to fruition as they stand up and handle this. general austin, i wanted to ask you, having trained extensively as i understand it with the iraqi military forces, what are your biggest areas of concern with regard to their readiness to take the reins following the troop withdrawal later this year? >> thanks, senator. as i stated earlier, they are in the lead for security as we speak and they're doing a pretty good job of standing up to some
pretty significant challenges. so i think at about the time that we draw our forces down, they'll have a pretty good capability to address the internal security. the -- again, i mentioned earlier there is a requirement to continue to develop the logistics and sustainment and the intelligence capability. from the standpoint of providing for defense against an external threat, there is still work to be done. i think they need better equipment and they have purchased some of that equipment. they need to train on that equipment. and then at some point they need to progress to a point where they're doing combined arms training. tanks and howitzers, used in training and the maneuvers.
and also integrating the capabilities of their aircraft. and so there is still some work to be done to develop that foundational external capability -- capability. as you know, they don't get their aircraft until 2013 or so. and so they don't have the ability to provide for the protection for their skies for some time. that's also a concern. and i think -- i think if you add those things up, you know, that's -- they recognize that there is some things that need to be continued and i think they will continue to focus on that. >> under what circumstances, if any, do you anticipate that it might become necessary to extend the u.s. troop presence beyond december 2011? >> well, sir, as you know, in accordance with the current agreement between the united states and iraq, you know, the
plan is to go to zero and our forces will exit completely by the end of this year. and so that's what we're focused on and at that point we'll transition responsibilities to the embassy and it will be a civilian-led effort. and i think the ambassador has done great work in preparing for this. there is work to be done yet for sure. but i would say that in order for that to be successful, we certainly have to ensure that he is adequately resourced to provide for the security in the future. >> and some of the resource deficiencies that you identified including some of the equipment, aircraft and so forth, you think that -- from a military standpoint, is still feasible for us to withdraw without creating a power vacuum problem? you're comfortable with that from a military standpoint? >> clearly iraqis will have to continue to acquire that equipment and train on that
equipment. and as you know we have a number of fms cases that -- where we'll be continuing to provide equipment and training to them in the future. and that effort will be under the supervision of the ambassador through our office of security corpsoration. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. senator menendez. >> thank you for your service and your testimony. i want to ask the ambassador, the vice president and the deputy assistant secretary of state michael corbin described and characterized our civilian mission in iraq as the largest since the marshall plan. like the marshall plan, the implications of its success or failure could alter the balance of power in a crucial region. and while we expect the military to civilian transition to be
difficult, our efforts will still hinge on the political stability of the iraqi government. so -- we certainly need a stable and cooperative partner to implement a civilian mission. so i want to ask you, ambassador, how do you see the precarious political arrangement in iraq after the december cabinet appointments? are there things in the near term that could jeopardize the support for the maliki government? and most importantly, i read your testimony, and i am very concerned about the role that iran plays here in using its political influence in iraq and what that means for us in terms of policy implications. so could you give me a sense of those three things for starters? >> with almost everything i do, senator, i start with where i was when i was in iraq last
time. and the government is far more stable and far more capable now than it was then. iraqis had to make a decision after the march elections when four major blocs essentially split the vote four ways with all four of them getting roughly 25% of the vote. how they would then form a government. they took the decision, it is a decision we agreed with but wasn't our decision to take, that they would try to be as inclusive as possible to have as many of the different groups participating in the government. this required a great deal of work because you had to put a coalition together that wasn't just 51% of the members of parliament winning votes, but rather as it is now about 300 of the 325 members of parliament. and they did succeed after much back and forth beginning in november and then culminating on the 21st of december. the government is inclusive.
it is focused on power sharing. we have already seen a number of examples of that with the decision that i mentioned a bit earlier about allowing oil to be exported from the kurdish areas of the north through turkey, positions taken on the central bank and its role. and the willingness of the various groups to cooperate on a rolling basis to move legislation forward and to basically tackle problems such as the independence of some of the institutions that are separate commissions, such as the oil issue, and some of the security questions that are still out there. also, reconciliation, de-baathification, the iraqis took a number of important steps in that regard, basically lifting the de-baathification on several people who are critical now to the government formation. they have come a long way, but, of course, there is still a
great deal of -- not a great deal, but there is still some violence in the country. there is still active terrorist groups and groups i'll get to that in a second supported by iranian elements that are active. and this poses problems for the government, it poses problems for the stability of the country. we're quite confident that this is a partner that we can work with. we are -- we believe that in the near term this is a coalition that will hold together. the sadrists in particular are a group that does not like us, but they have committed to staying within the political process. we'll have to see if that, in fact, is correct. in the past they have tried to do both, be in the political process and also run militias and attack us and attack the iraqi government. so that's a question that remains unresolved. but the rest of the political process is deeply committed to a peaceful working out of the problems between them. in terms of the iranians, all of iraq's neighbors obviously have