tv Newsmakers CSPAN January 27, 2013 6:00pm-6:30pm EST
louisiana governor bobby jindal, followed by paul ryan. >> "newsmakers" with centered -- >> cq roll call's national security reporter. >> the pentagon recently made a historic announcement that they would open up all occupational specialties, including the infantry and artillery to women. do you plan to block all or some of that plan? >> no.
we have a process. i met with undersecretary yesterday. i met with the undersecretary yesterday morning. the senate armed services committee can look incrementally as they make these changes. we can either talk them out of it or introduce legislation. if something that we do not know yet what they will come out with and they hear from the service chiefs, we will see what is reasonable. we will use our own judgment. i caution people who are hysterical about this. let's wait and see what they do. we will stop the bad stuff. >> the defense cemetery has said any exceptions will have to get approved by him. the implication is there are going to move fairly dramatically in this direction. do you have any concerns right now about what they have said so far about basically opening up all of these specialities to women?
>> if they do that, they're going to have a fight on their hands. we do have that responsibility and it if means introducing legislation that is one thing. we know is service chiefs and we can be reasonable with them. let's wait and see. keep in mind, they organizationly talked about 2016 when they are going to get the recommendations so we've depot some time. >> you said in a statement that there would probably be a need for some sort of legislation because it implied in your statement that you did have specific issues that there were parts of this that you do object to and what we'd like to know is are there specific parts of women in combat, specific roles you think they should not be serving. >> when they talk about the infantry officers activity, i think you know there are two
women who tried to go through that program and they were unable to do so. i think it's unreasonable to use their experience of the past to know what women can or can't do. i haven't seen all the specifics because they haven't come from the chiefs. in fact i left washington just yesterday and they had not shown up yet at the. so i think we have an opportunity to look at it and if necessary stop it in one of two ways. >> do you think it's fair to use the example of one of two instances to say because these two had not been able to get through the course that all women should be banned from taking the course? >> of course not. i was told by the marine that is there has been a problem getting women through the course. they have not been able to do it so far and i'm going to leave that up to the chiefs and
make sure we don't do anything to impair our redness for combat. >> you nentioned that they may have a fight on their hands if they go beyond a srn point. where is the red line for you? because again, what they've said is the pruppings is going to be all these special tiss are open to women. and they are going to take a look at the implication being they may change some of them. where is the red line for you? >> there is no red line. i agree with senator mccain when he said we want to make sure they are not put in a position a woman can't do something or we don't want to lower the standards in order to accommodate women. and i believe strongly that's the case. i was in the army. i know what a military occupational specialty and there are several hundred of
them they are looking at. can i be specific right now when i haven't seen them? the answer is no. >> i'd like to switch topics and talk about the nomination of chuck hagel. when the nomination came out you said you wanted to give an opportunity for your former colleague to speak to the public about what you would view to be controversial positions he's taken in the past. but within days of that statement you issued another statement saying you found him unacceptable although you highlighted the fact you two remain friends. what changed so quickly for you as ranking member of the armed service committee that you rejected it before he had a nomination hearing? >> first of all, the nomination hearing i had a personal conversation with him. when i first found out about it i called him. i was in korea at the time anded the been quite a while
since i served with him. i had to get my mind refreshed what he's done in the past i found obblettable. i have the list here and i'll go over it with you. because i was there in 2w0,000 one when he voted against extending sanctions against iran. i was there when he voted against the measure that would cause the iran guard to be a terrorist group. the same of one of four senators that didn't sign the letter of solidarity. i was participating in that letter. he did not sign it. so i have those concerns. but let me tell you what else i have personally is his activity on this global zero movement. this concerns me a lot because one of the things that bothers me and one of the many things i
disagree with president obama is that he wants to reduce our nuke arsenal. he refuses to modernize it. we're going through this thing right now and most people watching us right now are not aware that iran, our intelligence has told us since 2007 and is still telling us today that they are going to have nuke capability and delivery system by 2015. with that, we know that it's not happening in a vacuum. so we have a nuclear situation. it's not just rureb i can't and the united states as people like to think. niffs korea a week ago and we know what they are doing with their capability. when you say we want zero nukes and he's said that and obama has said that. it's hard to explain this to people.
he is a friend of mine. i'm talking about senator hagel is a personal friend. but this is too important. when you have 20 pped kids and grandkids you want a system that is not light on the progress in nuclear capability. >> i'd like to know what you think his chances are of getting confirmation and whether you coming out against him could poison the relationship with him if he becomes secretary of defense? >> no, because i told him in my office i was going to oppose him and we had a nice cordle conversation. he said that regardless of what happens if he ends up doing it over my objection that we're still going to be friends. he's got a big job to do, he's going to need me and me him. so i think we'll have a good relationship. and i don't think i'm going to influence that many people. i've looked at it and feel he's
not the right one for that job. >> if i could shift to africa for a moment, the french are on the ground in molly, the united states has supplied some limited transport aircraft to support them. is there more the united states could and should be doings there? >> well, i think first of all, africa, there are a lot of things going on right now. we know what's been happening in al jeer yarks in molly, we know about so moll yadellis and all these problem areas. my concern with f aftercome and i was instrumentle in getting that as a unified one command instead of divided among three chands that used to be. they don't have the resources necessary to be able to cover the problems. as they get tight in the middle east in the terrorism goes down
through the horn of africa, it is a serious problem because they are now spreading out. you are probably aware of it but most people thrant we made a decision after 9/11 to go down there and help the africans build five african bring gadse so when this happens they will be able to take care of their own problems. so the answer to your question i don't think we str resources i wish we had in africa and i've felt that way for a long time. >> is there something the united states can do now about the submission there to support the french or unilaterally work against the islamist there that have gotten a foothold? >> i think we're doing it now with the resources we have and will continue to do it. i hope during thises conversation we get into what is happening in the army or military because that relates to everything you're talking
about so far. >> i'll transition to that in a moment. it ties in with resources in aftercome you are facing a budget. i know you are against the contracting and would like to see increases in spending rather than decreases. but the relate reality is you will be look at cuts. so how do you deal with the resources question when you are trying to pivot to the pacific, what you're winding the war in afghanistan down. you're trying to build up missile defense and saying we need more resources in africa, how do you achieve this? >> you've made my case. we need more resources and our president to me it's unconsciousable that he in his own budget comes out with an increase. this is not the democrats or house or -- we are increasing the cost of government. the only areas where we are decreasing is in our defense
system and that's what needs to change. and we need to make our case to the american people because they don't know that. they don't know that the only major area of government where he is making reductions is in our defense system. so we have all these problems. i didn't agree with him when he wanted to change the emphasis from the middle east to the far east. that's why i went and looked at the situation. we have serious problems. we have all these situations that are coming up and it's no time for the president to be i did minute shg the budget to defend america. >> >> i knew this was coming, you know -- i remember his first budget four years ago and i knew what he was going to do. he was going to start his disarming of america. that may sound unfair but
that's what i said at the time and i still mean it. i went to afghanistan so i could watch what was going on and hear him make his statement on the defense budget. let's remember what happened. he defunded our only fifth generation fighter, the f 22. did away with our future combat system. and by the way that's the first time there is been a major change proposesed in about 40 years in the ground capability in america. but the worst thing was do away with the ground based interceptor. i was part of that program. when we discovered way back in 2007 that iran would have the capability of send egg over a wenten in a delivery system, we saw all of our ground base interceptors were on the west coast. well the president has cut that number down to 30 from 54 where
it would have been with pole land. now with that problem and knowing he's going to have that capability by 2015 that's probably the most serious thing that he has done to our security in this country. that was all in the first budget. now we're looking at the $487 billion just projecting out what he's put in place right now. then if we end up with sequestration it's going to double that. i agree with secretary of defense and with all the service chiefs when they look at what is happening to obama's defense sequestration, it's devastating to our military. we've got those problems that are out there and we have to face it. i think you art lated very well the problems that are not addressed. >> shouldn't we be addressing this in whornt we're doing things in a more intelligent
fashion for example? are there ways that we could move our resources, youse our resources more efficiently if the reality is you're not going to get increases, how do we more efficiently use the resources to achieve the goals you've spoken about? >> the problem i have is you don't learn anything from the hearings you have in washington ba because they are all prepared and all of that. i go over there. i talk to the commanders in the field. i talk to the service chiefs and they will confide in me things they can't say publicly. anytime you are talking about the mail tear the commander in chief is president obama. and they salute the commander in chief. but with the problems that are over there and they will tell me about the problems, yes, we are going to do everything we can. they claim to me that all the low hanging fruit is gone. they have done all that they can the easy way in trying to
streamline things and all of that. and they've done a lot and we've helped them do a lot. and i can tell you our committee has done a lot. but nonls, you can't wring anymore out of it. so anymore that we do right now in terms of not having the capability military of meeting these challenges, that increases risk. risk means lives and that's what i'm concerned about. i'd like to tell you i have all these ideas on how to cut more money out of the military but it's already been done. we're still trying. it's a bipartisan thing but that's what we're doing in the committee as we speak. >> you mentioned afghanistan earlier. i know you are concerned about the size of the residdle force when the united states winds down the combat mission at the end of 2014 and afghanistan takes the lead. realt click what do you predict
the white house will set at the residual force after 2014. >> hopefully the white house will listen to the chiefs in the field and all of those who have the background to make that decision. i've disagreed with some of our republicans. i've said recently when they talk bd about ten and 12, that number is not adequate in terms of what we need to have over there. my adequate number are going to be left in somewhat unprotected situation. i think it should be something more than that. as i talk in confidence to the chiefs and commanders in the field, they think it should be more too. they have to state your own position and subsequently they are influenced in their public positions by what the white
house tells them. he is the combhander in chief. they salute and they do what they are supposed to do. >> the reporting suggest that the reporting won't be any higher than 10,000. is that enough to provide the protection you're talking about, provide a counterterrorism force, provide able blers for the afghanistan forces and 3r0 vide aid and assist? >> i say no. and i can't tell you just where trned be but it's somewhere between 15 and 18, something like. that because the number >> i am concerned about that. we are going to have people there. we still have people in boss any i can't and every place else. but there is not the hoss tilt
the other places that there is here. i think we need to have an adequate force to be able to protect whoever is left blind. i don't think that number is going to work in my opinion. >> >> there in washington too. they will talk in terms with the cuts that are taking place right now and what we can project in the future, it's a pretty scary thought. i was hoping to have the opportunity to get into that in detail. there won't be time now. there are three ways the president is degrading our military. one in his cuts, one in his delays and then putting other things into the military
budget. anytime he comes along for his experiments with some of his 1r50eur789ist like the fuels to stop -- when people find out that the navy has had to pay $26 a gol for fuel that you can get for $3 a gallon. the air force is paying $59 a gallon. these are things that are put into the military budget that distort it and cause us to do things that don't help the military but we find them in the budgets. so i put together all of this and it comes out to be really in pretty bad shape when you take the cuts and the delays. look at the delays. i think this president has made massive can you please tell us. but when you look at one of them he made it was $4.4 billion. and that was in the nuclear modernizing program.
remember you guys when they had the new start treaty and they didn't have quite enough votes and so he went to the republicans and said if we would do a modernizing program on our arsenal, would you then do it. and so he actually put that in writing. he not only did that but he cut it by $4.4 billion. so these are things that really both me because -- and he seems to get by with it. he has the media on his side and everyone knows that. >> i want to press you on this. you mentioned the president is doing these things. congress was responsible for passing the budget control act. it was a bipartisan bill. you didn't yourself vote for it but it was a bipartisan bill. within 30 days we are looking at a sequester. we are looking at across the board cuts which march 31 they
will kick in. are you aware of any talk blind the scenes that leads you to believe this would be averted. >> if this president had not increased the $5.3 trillion deficit that did not go to defense, it would be tose take what he has done and take the sequester exclude defense from the sequester and still come up with a sequester. there are several people trying to promote that right now. i certainly would do that. so while you say it's a result of the budget control act. well the budget control act was a result of the overspending the president did during the first four years of his administration. >> again, i'll come back to that because it's obviously the administration walked in and we were in the middle of a collapse of our economy. so a lot of this was sort of walking into. obviously democrats and republicans dispute ho is responsible for the debt today.
but the fact is -- >> i can't let you by with that because that's not true. i don't know how much longer you are going to say you inherited this. that might have worked for the first you're but we're in the fifth year. the money that i'm talking about was in the president's budget. i'm talking about the first budget. i was in afghanistan when that came through and every since then all the cuts to the military. but the incredible spending increases. the amount of deficit that he has given us in his own budget is more than all presidents in the history of this country going back to george washington come bind. nobody seems to care. he is the charmer. but we have a job to do. i often say they will declare me as the most conservative member. i'm a big spend ner two areas, one is defense and the other is
infrastructure. i think that's what we're supposed to be doing but that's not what the president is doing here. let's talk about the delays too because the delays are even as serious as the cuts. when you talk about the next generation bomber, the ohio clals submarine. the war head, the w-78 and 76. that would come off of submarines and off the air. we haven't talked about that yet. but these are -- when i see a delay, i have to tell you this. i look at the delays. look at the f-35. that has taken place we have 179 that are being delayed and i think if this president continues to delay until he's out of office, that's not a delay, that's a cut. it's hard to distinguish
between the two. >> i wanted to come back to the women in combat roles for really briefly. i know the details aren't out there yet but the general announcement has been made and it's been signed and you talk about the senate reviewing these as they come off. do you see some disagreement fights ahead as they try to impment this and if i could follow up with that do you see any pressure they are going to face to relax some of the standards that they cushtly have for some of these occupational special tiss? >> some of the are going to be i think >> they are going to be looking
and it was when i first came out we want to make cuts in places -- not cuts, we want to be able to afford women places in the military where they can't be right now but those are places where the chiefs have evaluated where they can do it and perform the duties and we don't have to lower the standards. everyone agrees we should not have to lower the standards. getting back to the infantry problem we had in their experiments, it hadn't worked in that particular case. so i would say if that comes up as one of the areas where women have been precluded from serving, i might be trying to lead the fight in the senate armed services committee to keep that from happening. we don't know what it's going to be. we're going to find out. we're going to get the opinion of people a lot smarter than you and i are. that's going to be the chiefs and the people responsible for the training and the service of
the men and women in service. >> that's it for our time. thank you so much for joining us today. >> i'll do it. >> thanks so much for your time. >> let's turn to get your perspective on the issues we talked about. there is a very strong undercurrent in the republican party believes you give the president an opportunity to have the person he wants. it is unusual for a person like senator inhofe to take such a stand. that is why i was pressing him
on it. he has made statements that the president has a right to be the nominee. he dispensed it agreed to dismiss it before even a hearing. he has strong feelings about it. we will see a play about next thursday. >> you are interested in women in the military announcement. do you get the sense this will be a fight? >> it is interesting. until this time summit of the discussion has been unanimous. this is seen as the next step. they have been pushing this issue for years. but it is still historic to go all the way toward infantry, artillery, and these traditionally classy combat arms. the center suggested that he
was not comfortable with moving entirely in that direction. i think the signing of the regulation was the easy part. we got a taste of this today. >> it is interesting. this is a democratically controlled senate. while the senator may object to propose legislation, harry reid controls the floor. carl levin to support the president also is the chairman of the senate armed services committee. what impact senator inhofe my have, you have john mccain saying this is a good idea. do not lower the standards. >> you did not get an answer to your specific quti