tv Newsmakers CSPAN April 14, 2013 10:00am-10:30am EDT
this. >> we what to welcome back the republican in california and the house armed services committee. frank has the first question. >> i want to talk to you about north korea. one of your members mentioned a dia classified report on the web ionizing of missiles. it implied that north korea had the capability of putting a nuclear weapon on a missile that could reach the united states. i want to get your take. thoughts been a lot of on this. do you put a lot of stock in the report? are you concerned about this?
>> i am very concerned about it. it was not classified. he stressed that was not classified. the information to us. they said they felt moderately sick here redo model the moderately is secure. i think it is a game changer if it is real. sometimes you do not always get it right with the intelligence. now what is happening right in korea, that makes it much more difficult. the >> the white house just came out and issued a statement that the intelligence agencies do not all agree. the white house is not believe they have been able to militarize. that is a huge step.
the intelligence committee does not agree with this. the 2005 story we found today was claiming that north korea had the ability. it has been out there. eventually, and they may be right. i am wondering if you are concerned as to how this was released and the timing. playing games, i do not think so. >> or an individual winner in dia. >> that is always a problem here and washington. i am sure you have a there had anyone leaked information to you. he tried to get information. that is what we do. this is something we should be paying attention to. it is serious. even without that information, we are in serious confrontation
there. secretary john kerry did what he did. is going to china and japan. i think he has been a very proactive secretary since he was sworn in, in afghanistan working . i think that is crucial. i'm really happy with what he is doing. youngf us knows what this leader in korea would do. think we have to remember is south korea has a new young member. when they said that ship, south korea said that is the last time. next time we're going to respond. general thurman has his hands full. >> if i could follow up. most generals and admirals at the pentagon expect north korea
to do another ballistic missile test of some time. how should the u.s. responds? if years ago he wrote an op-ed same the north koreans put a ballistic missile on the launch pad and we should take it out before they fire. we need a harder line to discourage this behavior. how should the u.s. respond? i do not want to second- guess. the commander in chief will make the decision. did the military will give him options. i am not the president. i do not have that ability. i do not want to get out in front of any decisions that he might make. i do think, and i have said this
before, our whole posture and around the world. the we have to be very careful about setting red line and moving them and moving them. past.as happened in the when you do that, you encourage people to move forward. i compared nations to individuals. i wish is meeting with some of our top military leaders. have rear any of them children. they all had. ever push children do. they all do. that is human nature. e pushed until you get stopped. -- you pushed until you get stopped. that may be a reaction that should be taken. remember when we did not go take out iran and the israelis did.
takeimes it is best to action. >> do you think the obama administration has been too accommodating with the north koreans that the bush administration got the same criticism. inevitably it comes back. that.e can see look at the concessions to hitler. he felt like he could just keep going and going. finally you have to take action. i think it is better to take action earlier rather than later. the >> you said earlier that this new assessment that was brought out, that it is a game changer. what about the current game?
>> it is reality. we really do not know. >> what about the current game? what do you think needs to be changed if at all? >> do you mean the whole defense? >> when it comes to north korea. i think you have to be very careful that when you say something you do not back away from it. i think we have shown a propensity to do that, and not just this administration but other administrations. worldappens around the watches us. they see as pulling back our defense spending. ony see as pulling back commitments, i will not as a commitment. we have not done that yet.
we have pulled back. we had a big fight now could 2009 over missile defense. we lost that to the administration. they cut missile defense. now with korea's latest action, they released that. i was happy to see that. i thought we should have been moving forward back them could 2009. one of the things that bothers me is that the president has more knowledge than any of us. knows what a crucial stage we are in, not just korea. that is the one on the front page, but iran has not stopped. and they keep moving. the whole middle east. china is increasing their defense spending. syria.
these are things that are happening all around the world. the president sent us up a $150t yesterday that cuts billion more out of defense over the next nine years. wehink that at some point need to be very careful. what's is the breaking point/ when are we taking too much risk? up until a year ago we have had a strategy since world war ii to be able to fight two major complexes at the same time. these cuts, and they have grown to $487 billion that we have cut out on defense on top of the $78 billion cut under secretary gates.
those are pretty big cuts. secretary panetta, the president, it changed our strategy. we went through the hearing process the chairman of the joint chiefs said we cannot cut any more out of defense without changing our strategy. a week ago, secretary hazel said we're going to have to revise our strategy again. we have a strategy from world war ii to a year ago and we changed it and now we're going to change it again. it is in response to money instead of the threat. theill take a dive on budget in a second. you mentioned syria. iran foroncerns about a long time. now i have democrats and republicans indicating for much action in syria. 70,000 people killed. i have not heard you speak much
on syria. i like to your take and what you think we ought to be doing. where is the red line in syria for the united states? willing to consider military strikes? few think we moved it a times. robusttill had a military legal willy-nilly wherever there is a problem, we would be in a better position to take action. i would like to commit our military anywhere crennel given what we're doing in these budget cuts. you cut $70 billion. the third sequestration on top, the chiefs of the services
evolved their less than two or three years. in a them have ever had a budget. this year has been totally upside-down. the 487 billion cut. everything is coming together at one time. what has happened, we have troops fighting in afghanistan right now that are in danger every single day. we have troops that are training to go over there in next appointment and the next appointment. they are not getting adequate training right now. they are not getting the training that the troops over there had. now you're talking live is. >> we will talk more about the budget in a second. afghanistan of this week, about how long the u.s. is going to keep the troops here in
terms of an agreement with the afghan government. are we seeing the same kind of thing that happened in iraq where we are unable to come to an agreement on troop community that might require us to pull all our forces out by the end of next year? >> it is a very big concern i have a. i just came back. i was over there a few weeks ago. onwere having our briefings saturday. is your only their two days. you really have to make use of your time. -- you are only there to days. you really have to make use of your time. he came in early. he gave us a briefing. he pretty well laid things out where the war effort is going pretty good. by the turned over 80% operations to the afghans. i was able to visit a couple of
the areas. we have afghan in charge in those areas. to americans are moving back advisory positions. he said that is all moving very well. maybe we should be able to turn over just about all of the operations to the afghans. his number one priority is this bilateral action. >> why is it so hard? if the plans are going as we have drawn them up, what is it so hard to meet -- reach an agreement with president karzai? >> there is more that goes into that agreement and the number of troops. i would push to come out with the number now. one of the things that happened the defensewas
minister. probably in august of 2011. this is all we talked about. using was 20,000. we both thought that was a good number. 20,000, will you say yes. i said yes. it is in our bill. he need to make a commitment now. you cannot come up to december 15 and then say you're leaving town tomorrow. ?> $20,000 u.s. >> we were talking 20,000 but i was thinking u.s. we are not iraq. >> what to do you think the hours are that by the food 2014 there will be no agreement and we'll have to pull everybody out? >> i do not want to see what i odds are because i
have no idea. after that briefing, it to me that was the most important thing to come out with. i heard secretary chuck hagel was there and i said i would like to visit with him. this is schedules are all plans. he came the next day and we had a good discussion. i do not know how we change the scheduled to make it work out. he did. we were in total agreement on that. he is going to be with karzai the next day. i think general done for it is that still have that right now. i think they are a good team. all of the chips are in place to make it happen. how are we proceeding on this agreement?
the president had talked to karzai the day before and told him we need to get this done now. i am saying get it done this spring. did not wait. i saw what happened and how it fell apart in iraq. the downside, what we would lose, it would be tragic. real positive things. we have made really good gains there. we hear of the tragedies of a suicide bomber. the blue one up as we arrived at headquarters. positives as a
agreement. they can provide enough security. the tal bang cannot beat -- taliban cannot be the afghans. they do not have the numbers or ability. we still need to be there to advise and to help them. >> you do not be taliban, we have not been able to defeat them. taliban. defeating the that is not mean they would be able to set up a suicide bomber. i do not think it will be totally as peaceful as a washington, d.c. >> when you were there bombs went off. secretary chuck hagel was targeted. >> they killed seven people.
>> in the middle of the capital. that will probably continue. they are not going to be able to come in and control the government. that is what i am talking about. they will not be able to gain control like they did so the terrorists could train and prepare for attack on us. >> you are confident in that. >> yes. have all the tools they need. if we do not stay there to back what it taliban is saying. this is so important to get rather than later. he come down to people, individual people.
there are certain important things that need to be done and the to be in that agreement. in thatneed to be agreement. we could end up like iraq and that would be a disaster. >> it is interesting. i want to get to the budget. i would like to talk more about redlines. >> we could spend a few more hours here. >> let's talk about the budget. you have heard the budget. we are in a post-sequester time. there is tremendous stress on the force. training is not happening. ships are not being put in place and hot spots. we're feeling was sequester is like. >> tip of the iceberg. it is not a sequester. we have that 487 that just kicked in this year. that this $50 billion cut out a defense.
>> i understand. you're facing tough questions. you are basing benefits that would be cut. if you look at what a military person pays for their health care versus what you pay, it is a pretty radical difference. >> white what we say what that don't you say what that is? we pay a lot more. we pay about four injured $50 a month. they pay about three and a $50 a year. >> you have pay issues, you have benefits. the comptroller's is you haveday was problems with readiness. you're going to have to consider things that seem to be third
rail. considered. being these are third world issues. where do you go? i want to be your take on whether you're willing to accept these closures and retiree benefits, the enrollment increase. where do you stand on these things? >> we are going to have to look at everything. i am not in favor of a base closures. what they will tell us is in the long run they save money. we have not realized savings yet to my knowledge from the last closure in 2005 a. we have a short-term problem right now. retinas, youalking are talking short-term dollars.
at thatto look carefully. it is a third rail. get it passed would be very tough. >> for those that do not know, we are talking about closing bases. >> it gets very complicated. they should bring troops home. they should reduce the size of the military. this is something we need to look at. sharesad taken 100,000 out of the force. it is pretty hard to justify. >> our estimate is about 180,000. >> how you justify not shipping facilities down? >> it depends. are you bringing troops home from germany and other places?
when are you taking them out of? then you are free them home from afghanistan. where are you going to put them. we do not needg to argue about this. we need to look at it. we are in agreement that when people says everything they have to be on the table, a defense and then they cut half of the cuts would only accounts for 18 % of savings, i think a lot has come out of defense. i think all of these things need to be looked at. >> i want to ask a question. are you whistling past the graveyard in your budget proposals that we like to go further above the cap. >> you have to deal with the
senate. we read your last in the same .lace you it's set limits for how much debt and could spend. congress and the president agreed to this. these limits on spending are going to cause problems. budget are being proposed in and out that exceed those caps which could trigger across-the-board cuts that we just went through. >> it is not exceed the overall in the right and budget, i support it strongly. i think irresponsibility we have -- and the responsibility we have is to provide for the constitution. that should be funded at a greater degree than we are. by and but the numbers
that we are taking out for sequestration. this not make up for the difference of the money we are to cut. that is gone. run into will real problems come at the military leaders, everybody is feeling good. we passed the budget. all of them had the same number for defense. the president has a top line and increase taxes. we are so far away from a deal that right now people are talking about gun control and immigration, things that we have handled. we're going to have a debt ceiling we have to worry about. when we take these numbers out of our budget, they have to pass bills given the numbers that are given.
a few months ago i see another looming. the same kind of like we had just been through. president's did make a move on some of the mandatory spending efforts that i have been calling for. he talks about a balanced approach. if you eliminate all discretionary spending, we still have a half trillion dollar deficit. >> i would like to hear your opinion of chuck hagel. he has been on the job for a couple of months. .ou are pretty critical of him how would you read the job he has been doing? >> i would probably get him and
a. >> why? prissy good about it. -- i feel pretty good about it. i did not have a boat. but he asked me what my concerns were. i have not fountain to be saying one thing and doing a different thing. did oppose some of watched the hearings. not alleviated. i opposed him. he called me. i was going to call him and he called me first. i am the secretary. i want to reach out.
i went to his swearing in. i like his demeanor. i like what he says. but the way he is acting. and now he change the schedule to meet with me in afghanistan. i think we had a half hour schedule. about heg i asked him was knowledgeable. i get the feeling is very customer with himself. i have been very impressed. i feel good about that.
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