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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 18, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EDT

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last 10-15 years in the middle east that is a advertisement for the massive deployment of combat troops. our soldiers are capable and brave, they kill a lot of bad guys, but they also become recruitmentthis would allow the president to do all the things he is doing today, training the iraqis providing air support, going after high-value targets. my amendment allows them to do things they cannot do today like putting spotters in the field. i was hopeful to get a vote on that this week on the floor of the senate but time is running short so i'm not sure if i'm
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going to get that debate but we need to have a debate about congressional authorization. it is not the responsibility of the senate and house, and we simply haven't lived up to that responsibility. host: if getting serious about isis means troops on the ground, when you support that? guest: there is no winning strategy in my mind to defeat isis that involves major u.s. combat troops on the ground. i think it is incumbent upon the united states congress to set a strategy that works. we see no strategy -- edit president obama agrees -- he has already said that he will not deploy combat troops to this
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fight, and we are asking him to live up to his word. host: we had a republican of alabama on the show yesterday and he said that what the president is doing is a middle-of-the-road strategy and it is not succeeding. you either have to completely engage in the win or not engage at all, but the middle-of-the-road strategy of trickling in 400 more troops or military advisers is not advisable. guest: well, i just think the fax on the ground, as we speak don't necessarily backup that argument. we have taken some losses in places like from a-day -- in places like ramadi, but we have also made gains. yesterday, supply lines of isis were effectively cut off. i don't think we have today the right strategy that will ultimately defeat isil, in part because i don't see the
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commitments in baghdad on the -- on behalf of the government to amend the fissures that have been created. so right now, i don't think we have a partner in baghdad that can ultimately cut off support for isis. that has nothing to do is in ideological affiliation with isis, it has everything to do with some tribal leaders. so the best hope is that this death cult, this terrorist group -- right now, i would certainly admit we have a lot of work to do, but that work we have to do is not tens of thousands of american troops. that work we have to do is with the government in baghdad giving a real answer to its people as to why they should affiliate themselves with the central government and not isis. and we can help in that. there certainly economic support that we can offer and there is history in terms of what we can
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do during the search to tell of us that works. ground troops is not the answer. host: during the debate over the authorization bill, there was an amendment offered that would directly fund the kurds, directly arm the kurds, rather than going through the shiite led central government of baghdad. how did you vote on it? guest: i voted against it. i appreciate her work and concern on this issue, but if we are making a decision to create a whole and united iraq, then we have to conduct policy that actually affects rates that and -- nend. whether we like it or not, this is a country that is run by central government out of baghdad and it is in our interest to support a whole and united iraq by making sure that the aid that we supply flows through that government.
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the kurds fight 12. there's no doubt that the peshmerga is the best fighting force in the country. if we want to step back and make a decision that we are going to break iraq up into kurdish country, a shiite country and assume the country, then let's have that debate and let's put forth a policy that backs up that this is -- it also has some regional implications as well. many of our partners in the region -- turkey at the top of the list, albeit a fickle partner -- gets very nurses -- nervous when you talk about direct we funding the kurdish government because there is an element of kurdish nationalism that spans beyond the borders of iraq that comes into play you
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are sending weapons directly to a nonstate. host: what do you make of the situation in syria and the fighting that is going on there? the kurds have made some progress into syria earlier this week. where does this state of play stand right now? guest: so, i think for the time being, our focus has to be primarily on iraq. if we get isis on the run in iraq and isolate their military leadership and the bulk of their forces in syria, then it frankly, makes syria in some ways easier to deal with. because then there israel pressure in the way that there isn't today on the assad government from isis, who now has only one place to look to gain territorial control. once that pressure mounts on a
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side, then you have the -- on assad, then you have the ability to bring the iranians to the table on a solution. but so long as they are spread out and can be an irritant to assad, then the political solution is not in hand as it would be if we push isis out of iraq. i don't claim there is a perfect solution here. we have screwed things up badly in this region, largely through our invasion and occupation of iraq. so i think anybody who sits at this table and tells you that they know exactly how to degrade and defeat isis in the short term is probably lying to you. there are no easy answers. i think our focus needs to be on supporting our partners right now, focusing on iraq first, pushing isis back into syria and then using that concentration of isis force to effectuate a
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political solution there. host: our viewers are waiting on the line to get involved. marie in minnesota, a democrat. caller: hello, how are you? there is one thing i want to say. this war is not being fought through the president of the united states. we have the generals and we have the kernels. they are the ones that advise the president. everybody is always saying, oh it's the president that is doing this. no, this is not true. this is not a political war. this is a military war. as far as i'm concerned, what he just said was totally wrong when he said that the president is not taking on the right power in this area. and i just feel that it is not necessary to put everything on the president. it is just ridiculous. host: senator. guest: there is always tension between the commander in chief
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and his military leadership. but i have absolute confidence that the decisions about how we engage with isis, how we engage militarily throughout the world, are made by president obama. and we know through open source reporting there has been a number of times during his presidency when he has been at odds with his generals and he has made a different decision than their recommendations. it i think he takes their counsel. i think they're intimately involved in the planning. the president selects from the options. my critique here is that as the constitution imagine's foreign policy, it is supposed to be the congress and the president involved in setting foreign policy. the congress is lodged solely with the power to declare war. and right now, we haven't lived up to that responsibility. in part because it is hard. we don't declare wars like we used to.
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it is not that two armies march against each other. it is hard to know when wars begin. but that doesn't caps off congress from our ability to be involved. yes, the president still has the ultimate decision, but congress has kind of gotten sidelined here. host: janice is next in plymouth, michigan. a republican. caller: good morning. host: morning. caller: first of all, as to the vote to not find the kurds, the -- the senator mentioned that he voted against senator ernst's amendment to fund the kurds and he said, well, we want to -- a united ally over there. well, we don't have one. we have to face facts.
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first of all, this government in baghdad, they hate the kurds. and also his comment to a caller named marie about the president -- the generals don't run the war, the president runs the war. no, here is the deal. the president is not listening to his generals. the president is ignoring his generals. generals are giving him recommendations and he doesn't like them because the school is never -- his goal is never, ever to escalate. i don't want to see that either. he sure is reaching that goal. host: all right, janice. guest: so, i don't think there is any evidence that the generals in the field have recommended the massive deployment of new american ground troops to the middle east.
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i frankly think the generals who were around for the iraq war understand that -- -- well, for the time that our troops are sitting on top of an insurgency, they can increased ability. that that is not a long-term solution. and so you have secretary gates, who presided over the surge and a good part of the iraq war, saying on his way out that any president who ever against recommend putting large numbers of american combat troops in the middle east should have their head examined. you have plenty of generals who have come out and talked about the mistakes that we made. and as to this question of the amendment, i think it is important to remember that this wasn't an amendment to fund the kurds or not find the kurds. the kurds get military funding from the united states and all of our allies, it is just that
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that money goes through baghdad. i don't think i have heard from anybody who feels that the kurds aren't getting the military supports that we are sending through baghdad. the kurds may tell you that, but they have another agenda, which is to get a direct line of support from the united states. but this is not a debate about whether the kurds should be the recipients of american military funding. it is just wasted that money flow through and, there again, there is no evidence that the kurds aren't getting the money that we are sending. it is part of the reason the department of defense oppose the ernst amendment because they actually don't see a problem that needs to be fixed right now. there are a lot of problems that need to be fixed so we should probably be in the business of finding those rather than fixing problems that don't exist. host: a headline in the washington post, kerry hints at
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possible compromise in iran nuclear talks. the secretary said on tuesday the united states is more concerned about preventing iran from developing nuclear weapons than it is with getting toronto publicly acknowledge past work to develop a bomb. as they work through this deadline, a member of congress gets to say -- what do you make of this compromise? guest: well, i think it is still important to know about the past dimensions of iran's military program because that is a way for us to understand what to their intentions are going to be going forward. so if we know the full of what they have done in the past, then it educates us about how to do oversight over a potentially peaceful military program in the future. so i don't necessarily buy that we should back off our insistence that they tell us
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about what they have done in the past. now, is it more important to make sure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon in the future then it is to get a full historical rendering of the past? sure. i can concede it is more important to make sure that they don't get one in the future. all we are saying is that knowing what they did is actually part of what makes an effective deterrent strategy inspection strategy, enforcement strategy moving toward. so i think all of us are nervous that the iranians are moving the ball. now they seem to be stepping back from that framework and say, well, we really didn't mean that we're going to tell you everything that we did in the past. now they seem to be stepping back from that framework and say, well, we really didn't mean that we're going to tell you everything that we did in the past. we didn't really say that you could have a inspection rights to all of our facilities. and so some of this is probably
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internal politics within iran playing out, but i am very happy that the president and secretary kerry i saying that if iran goes backwards as part of this framework, framework many of us thought was positive, then no deal is better than a bad deal. host: iran has so far not quite braided with efforts by the international atomic energy agency to document suspected military aspects of its nuclear research in a program that many experts believe was abandoned in 2003. let me go on to kevin in bloomington, indiana. an independent. caller: good morning. i would like to thank the senator for representing a pretty well thought out point of view about the middle east. i am just against all the destabilization in the area. and idle think that sending a lot of guns into an area does very much good. i think maybe we ought to
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practice turning the other cheek every now and then and we would probably get more respect and more allies in the world for our causes. and maybe we could do it without the military. one thing i wish you would indulge me just a second on this, i thought trump's choice of music for his introduction was a bizarre choice. and i would just like to hear if anybody else thinks that -- a kind of interesting to them for him to be introduced to. host: senator, do you have any thoughts on that jackal -- that? guest: i think if we started analyzing the bizarreness of the trump candidacy, it would probably be a long show. so i will leave that question for another day. i think the caller raises a really good point about the middle east, which is that for those of us who spend a lot of times with our troops -- and i
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visited our troops in the theater of combat in iraq and afghanistan -- you come away with a sense of deserve it exceptionalism about the american military. you think, boy, there's nothing they can't do. and congress is infected with that. so we look at instability in the middle east and we say, of course american troops should be able to figure it out. i think we have got to have a reckoning in this country with what is possible and what is not possible. and the american military can do a lot of things, but they can't solve underlying political instability with military force. and that is what is happening in the middle east today. it is not a military vacuum that allows for a group like isis to exist, it is a political vacuum. enormous grievances that different populations have. and unless there is a political
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solution to those political grievances, there is no military solution to the overall problem. which speaks to the toolkit we have available to us. we talk about how we intervene purely through a military lands and we forget that there are other ways that america can throw around its power. let's talk about what happened during the surge. the surge was important and it did temperately lend some stability to the region, but it just wasn't 100,000 american troops. it was billions of american dollars that was being sent to travel leaders to effectively buy their loyalty away from al qaeda in iraq and by them to the government in baghdad. i would -- i would recommend people to think about the fact that it was ultimately addressing economic instability and economic grievances plied those tribes away from this radical group. we have to think about the fact
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that our military budget is 10 times are state department budget. in 1950, we spent 3% of gdp on international economic development aid. today, we spent .1% of gdp on those same projects. we have more lawyers at the department of defense that we have diplomats at the department of state. we have a toolkit that has not changed as the world has changed. i want the strongest military in the world. i don't advocate for spending a lot less on the department of defense. i just think we have to plus up some of the other things that we spend money on and tools we have at our disposal. yougreta wodele brawner: why vote against fast-track authorities for this president when many people see this as a way to strengthen our national security and make inroads into countries where there is economic instability? the 12 nations in the transpacific partnership?
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sen. chris murphy: the transpacific partnership is part of a broader international relations strategy to combat the growing influence of china. the problem is there is a choice that is presented to many of us, which is to give the president and this country some new tools when it comes to combating the rise of china at the expense of american jobs. the president will make a case that this isn't going to cost american jobs, i disagree. i have seen in my state of connecticut manufacturing jobs. because of trade agreements that were not written the right way. while i accept that there is a diplomatic benefit or foreign relations benefit to an agreement like the tpp, it does
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not justify the economic damage that would be done to my state. coming back to the debate we actually had, some people thought we just voted on it. we did not. we just voted on fast-track. i don't understand why trade agreements get a greased process and nothing else does. the president and his allies are right that it is really hard to pass a trade agreement if you go through the regular to legislative process. it is easier to pass one if you require only 50 votes in the senate rather than 60, if you don't allow amendments. but it would be easier to pass energy reform and immigration reform and tax reform if you changed the process as well. why change it for trade agreements and not for other really important priorities? i have never bought the idea that you should set up a different process for trade and elevate that debate in a way you don't elevate a lot of important debates. greta wodele brawner: house
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republicans considering putting -- sending just that, fast-track, over to the senate to have the senate vote on that as standalone and then later deal with job assistant as a way to get around the block of democrats that took down the presidents trade agenda on friday. nathan in connecticut, democrat. you are on the air. caller: thank you. thank you for being the most splendid of all the hosts of washington journal. i'm one of the very happy constituents of the center. he is a brilliant young congressman. -- senator. he said a few minutes ago that we have screwed things up in this region. no truer words have been said about this conflict. i have two points. number one, the vacuum by isis was created by george w bush along with the coalition.
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it should have been up to the iraqis. he dismantled the iraqi infrastructure that created this vacuum. number two, in a hundred years there will be a kurd republic and a sunni republic and a shia republic. all of our loss of life will have been for nothing just like vietnam. i have written to the president several times about withdrawing our involvement from this conflict. we brought down the soviet union. we did not learn from history. this is this generation's vietnam. i have no doubt about it. greta wodele brawner: can you answer to that? sen. chris murphy: good to hear from someone from connecticut. i think that there are some useful comparisons between vietnam, but these are two very different conflicts. we went into vietnam because of a domino theory. the idea was if vietnam fell, a
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series of steps with that occur that would eventually lead to attack on the united states. there is no domino. involved in fighting isis. if you do not defeat isis, isis will launch an attack against the united states. i actually believe that we have a strategy to take on ice is because they are a direct threat on the united states. that was not the case in vietnam. the enemy we were fighting there was not going to attack the united states. there are parallels in that the congress was awol when it came to that debate after the gulf of tonkin resolution. they have largely been able here as well. the caller is right that this vacuum was created by the american invasion and occupation and it is not just what happened -- the process the created al qaeda in iraq and then isis. it is also what happened such that iran became empowered.
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iran took advantage of instability in iraq to become a regional power in a way they weren't before that invasion. i think there are lessons from vietnam that congress should learn, but i think the threat is important that we face it. in a way that i would not have thought about vietnam. greta wodele brawner: let's go to texas. caller: good morning. i have a question for the senator. have you ever been in the military? i'm a disabled vet. i have been in combat zones. you democrats have no clue of what you are doing. we need to stop ices over there, not over here. i have seen too many people get their heads cut off. i respect senator mccain and graham. they have a plan to stop ices.
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the democrats have no clue what they're doing. i'm sorry. greta wodele brawner: you say democrats don't have a plan. republicans mccain and lindsey graham are offering up a military plan. sen. chris murphy: the most solemn responsibility to have in the united states is to decide when we send our troops into battle. there is not a day that goes by where i don't sit in the air-conditioned chamber of the u.s. senate and think how lucky i am that i get to do my public service in pretty safe manner because others have chosen to put their lives on the line. frankly, my reverence for our soldiers is the reason why i refuse to send them into a fight that won't make this country safer, that won't achieve our objectives. thousands of american soldiers were killed in iraq. we spent over $1 trillion. i don't think that were advanced american security interests.
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i'm not saying those soldiers died in vain, because anytime the united states is showing the power and the potential force of our military, we deter others from coming after us. but we have to be much more careful than we have in about sending our soldiers to fight overseas. whether or not you have served in the military, every single u.s. senator and congressman owes a duty to those soldiers to be careful about when we send them into combat. greta wodele brawner: virginia, an independent. caller: i just wanted to mention that this issue in regards to terrorism. the term terrorism is actually political thing. the one thing that is in common with what is happening to a lot of americans on a daily basis is violence. shootings are incredibly high. murders are incredibly high. for some odd reason, this issue continues on a daily basis.
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if we are protecting americans let alone humanity, i think it would be refreshing if someone would address this issue. it is alarming the amount of americans that are killed near yearly. i would really appreciate it if someone brought this issue to the level of reporting that it should be. sen. chris murphy: i represent newtown, connecticut. i was the congressman from sandy hook. i was on the ground at the firehouse where all the families were after the shooting. i live every day with this epidemic of gun violence in the united states. there are over 80 people in this country every single day who are killed by guns. if we had a terrorist attack in this country that killed 10 people in one day, it would be news for months. and yes there are 80 people killed by guns every day in this country. very rarely does any of that make the national news.
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i put out along with two other senators a set of eight sensible's -- principles that should guide us in foreign policy, and one of them was that strength at home is strength abroad. we are robbed of moral authority to lead the world when we are so casual about violence here at home, when we allow our own citizens to be armed with military style assault weapons with magazines that holds 30 or 100 rounds. i live every day with the consequences of a failure to take on gun violence here in the united states. as concerned as we are with preventing terrorist attacks, we should absolutely be just as concerned with trying to prevent our own citizens from being killed by gun violence. greta wodele brawner: california, mary, a democrat. you are on the air. caller: good morning.
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i am a vietnam era veteran. i worked at the pentagon. i was in the marine corps. when i was old enough to register to vote, i registered as a democrat because one of the things i like about democrats is their reluctance to use force. you mentioned earlier that you had learned lessons from vietnam and i think you are forgetting the lessons that you might have learned from world war ii. when germany today and japan today are vibrant democracies however at the end of the war we had won the war and we left troops there in order to make sure that they did not revert to the kinds of governments they had had during the war -- i don't think the instability now is because -- with isis -- is because we went into iraq. it is because we had won the war and then president obama just left. democrats didn't want to use force to make sure that they retained a democratic government in baghdad. greta wodele brawner: what do
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you say to people who say that president obama threw down troops on a timeline that was negotiated by president bush? caller: i think if they had negotiated with the people in germany and japan at the end of world war ii, they would have thrown is out, too. but the judicious use of force when we have won the war i think trumps diplomacy. greta wodele brawner: ok. sen. chris murphy: i really think that is a strange parallel. -- strained parallel. we had defeated the enemy. there was peace. that is not iraq. the war in iraq never ended. we were fighting an active insurgency the entire time and making no progress. the insurgency was getting worse, not better over the long swath of time. it is important to remember that
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president obama was carrying out an agreement made by president bush that he actually wanted the troops to stay longer. it was the domestic government there that would not give us the protection that allowed us to do it. i think that, had we kept 100,000 troops there for another couple years, then yes we could have gained some stability during that time. but we were going to leave at some point. if the baghdad government was not committed, and they weren't, to political reform, and we were just postponing the inevitable, which was the era of instability following america's troop withdrawal. i think the situation in iraq and islamic insurgency is so fundamentally different than what came in the wake of protracted wars in europe and asia. a nuclear bomb and in the war
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i'm not sure it's a terribly useful parallel. i think mary for her service but that lesson is maybe one that is hard to learn from. greta wodele brawner: terrance is a republican in germantown, maryland. caller: good morning. i had a question and a partial comment. i was wondering how in fact isis was able to take over the city of ramadi and they do not have an air force. they are doing this and light armored vehicles and pickup trucks. my sister was in the military 26 years, and we know that your first line of defense would be your air force. you can see them trucking into town for miles away. i guess blast the convoy. i don't understand why don't has done that. sen. chris murphy: i think there are a couple answers here.
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that is a great question. ramadi fell in large part because the government in baghdad had not made the decision to effectively stand up a sunni element of the iraqi military. that is why at the outset i said, i don't think we right now have a partner in baghdad that is going to allow us to come in the short-term, effectively defeat isis. there is still a reluctance. they still don't have a lot of interest in putting weapons into the hands of sunni fighters. so in ramadi, which is largely a sunni city, you did not have an effective fighting force because of decisions made out of baghdad. as to the question of air support, this is an ongoing debate. without american spotters on the ground, there is an argument that our air campaign is not as effective as it can be. there are also critiques that we have been to judicious in the use of our airstrikes for fear
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of killing civilians. i do not claim to have an answer for this, because i understand where the obama administration is coming from. i think they fear that by putting spotters on the ground it is a slow bleed into ground troops. and they worry that if they are less careful about the strikes they are calling in and they do ultimately kill civilians, that that just becomes more bulletin board material for isis recruiters. they are going to make the situation worse, not better, if they engage in airstrikes the kill civilians. these are tricky answers. ultimately the real solution i think to protecting places like ramadi in the future is making sure there is a sunni element to the military that is capable of fighting to protect their own territory. greta wodele brawner: let's hear from a republican out of california. good morning. caller: good morning. i have a few comments on what the senator -- anyway.
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biden has touted the success. your guest says he pays attention to the -- in my heart he did not listen to the chief of staff about leaving residual forces. he did not listen to the commanders on the ground. he jumped over to weapon violence in the united states. the united states is number three or four in the world for gun violence. if you take away the cities that are anti-gun, detroit, chicago, we are right at the bottom of the list. we have more protections. from citizens with guns than without guns. greta wodele brawner: a couple points there for the congressman, because he has to go. sen. chris murphy: i don't know where this is coming from that we are the number one country in the world when it comes to gun violence. we're certainly not 300 or 400.
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our cities are amongst the most violent places in the world. researchers have found that ptsd in our inner cities are actually higher than neighborhoods in iraq because of the trauma of gun violence. we certainly have problems to deal with here. as to this question of following military advice i don't think there is any credible evidence that our military is advising that we put 100,000 troops back into the middle east. president obama himself actually wanted to violate the agreement that president bush signed and keep more troops inside iraq but it was maliki who wouldn't give us the legal cover that we needed to do that. he basically said, if you keep troops here, they are going to be subject to iraqi law.
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which is something we would never accept. we did not accept it in afghanistan. ultimately i think that our military leaders themselves understand that a winning strategy against isis involves our partners taking the lead, using american tools and resources other than combat troops, and this is not as i understand it a division between the president and his military leadership as the proper way forward. we just have to learn from history. history tells us that american combat troops on the ground are not ultimately the solution to be isis. if that was the case, we would not be in the situation that we are today. you don't need to learn from vietnam. you don't need to learn from world war ii. you just need to read the newspapers for the last 10 years to tell you that the way to beat an extremist forced in the middle east is not america being the face of military operation on the ground.
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>> on the next "washington journal," to members of congress discussion issues before the house of representatives including u.s. military strategy against isis, the withdrawal of troops from iraq, and the affordable care act. we will talk to vicky hartzler, a member of the armed services and agriculture committees, and joe courtney, also on the armed services committee. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> this weekend, the c-span city tour partnered with comcast to learn the history and literary life of key west, florida. ernest hemingway wrote several of his novels at this home. >> they bought it for $8,000 in
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1931, and pauline converted this hayloft into his first formal writing studio. here, he fell in love with fishing, the clarity of his writing, how fast he was producing, how fast he knocked out the first draft of "a farewell to arms." he once had a line that said if you want to write, start with one true sentence. >> each book should be a new beginning, for something beyond attainment. you should always strive for something that has never been done, or that others have tried and failed. >> key west is also where president harry truman sought refuge from washington. >> president truman regarded the white house as the white to jail . he thought he was constantly under everyone's i, and by coming to key west, he could let down his hair, and sometimes the
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staff would let their beards grow. they certainly used off-color stories, and could certainly have a glass of bourbon and visit back and forth without any scrutiny from the press, a sportswear company said a case of hawaiian shirts went to the president with the thought that it he wears our shirts we will sell a lot of them. president truman wore those shirts that first year and then organized the "loud shirt contest." that was the official uniform of key west. >> watch at 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2's book tv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv. >> this summer, book tv will
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cover book festivals from around the country. this weekend watch the annual rose about festival from the franklin d roosevelt presidential library. we are live at the harlem book fair, the flagship african-american literary event. at the beginning of september, we are live from the nation's capital for the national book festival. at a few -- that is just a few of the events this summer on c-span's book tv. c-span gives you the best access to congress. live coverage of the u.s. house, congressional hearings and news conferences, bringing new events that shape public policy. every morning, "washington journal" is live, and your comments. c-span -- created by america's cable companies and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider.
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>> ashton carter joined martin dempsey on capitol hill today to talk about u.s. military strategy in the middle east. they gave an update on efforts to train iraqi security forces in the fight against isis. last week, the president ordered 450 more troops into iraq to assist in combating islamic militants. mac thornberry chairs this hearing of the house armed services committee. it is just under three hours. >> meeting will come to order. before we proceed, i'll want to make clear up front that the committee will not tolerate disturbances in these proceedings, including verbal disruptions, photography standing, or holding signs. i want to thank all our guests at the outset for your cooperation. this committee meets today to hear from the secretary of defense and the chairman of the
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joint chiefs of staff on u.s. policy and strategy in the middle east. i think we should acknowledge at the outset that this region is not subject to easy or simple solutions and has bedeviled statesmen of many countries for generations. yet, there is also a sense we're at a particularly perilous time and the u.s. strategy is inadequate. dr. kissinger testified earlier this year before the senate that in the middle east, multiple upheavals are unfolding simultaneously. multiple of peoples are unfolding in the middle east simultaneously. there is a struggle for power within states, a contest between states, a conflict between ethnic and sectarian groups, and an assault on international state system. he further argued that especially in a time of global upheaval, the consequences of american disengagement is greater turmoil. it seems to me that that is what we are witnessing. president obama admitted recently that there is not a complete strategy for dealing with isis, others argue that there may will be a strategy at work. one of retrenchment and
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accommodation, so that the u.s. wave a lesser role in the middle east. u.s. military personnel are the most capable in the world, but i know of no one who thinks that 450 more in iraq will turn the tide against isis area very concerning -- isis. very concerning to me by recent press reports that iran is continuing to pay and equipment the taliban and afghanistan as part of its regional efforts to harm u.s. interests. when one factors in the chaos in yemen and syria, the uncertain -- uncertainty about the future of turkey, the doubts about u.s. and egypt, the threats to our ally israel, the plane artifacts show that situation in the middle east hasn't deteriorated
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substantially in the last six years. what is worse, there seems to be nothing coming from the white house to change that trajectory. we cannot expect our distinguished witnesses today to answer for all the failures of the administration's approach to the middle east over the last six years. we should expect to hear the military component of a strategy to reverse this deteriorating trend. my view is that there is no substitute for american leadership in the middle east or anywhere else area that does not mean it is up to us to solve age-old disputes, but it does mean that we cannot afford for our own sake to simply stand back. we must be strong, especially militarily. the yield to the ranking member. adam smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the secretary of defense. the joint chiefs for joining us today.
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and for the great work for our country. there are different battles going on. it is an overwhelming problem that is creating a huge humanitarian crisis, is that not just to the region, but to the globe. i disagree with the notion that a u.s. presence will stall the problem. i hope we would have learned that having a substantial u.s. presence in iraq and afghanistan, that -- showing up and saying we are here to solve your problems is not going to get it done. as far as the strategy is concerned, i think we have a strategy. i think what people are frustrated by if that that strategy, the u.s. strategy, does not simply solve the problem. i have had a number of people complain to me about a lack of strategy. and i asked them, what should we do >>?
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i have not gotten an answer. so as we approach this, i hope that we are cautious. i think that would make it worse and i great cost to us. but we have to do is tactically use of the u.s. military to help the right people and move things in the right direction, not think that the more u.s. military we use, somehow the better the situation get. i think that would be very, very dangerous. as far as the broader strategy it is really simple on its face. we need to find cindy's who are willing -- sunnis who are willing and able to fight isis. not just isis but if isis went away tomorrow, there would be another violent group, like there was al qaeda. it seems now isis has eclipsed
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al qaeda. it is not just a matter of defeating a group, it is an ideology. i want to hear from our two witnesses about our strategy, and getting those sunnis that would be willing to fight isis and present a more reasonable alternative in iraq and syria certainly but elsewhere, as well for the people over there we are still relying on the baghdad government. it is built our hope that there will be an iraqi government that is sufficiently inclusive so that the sunnis will be willing to fight for it. i just don't see that happening. starting with out my lackey -- a l maliki, they set up a very sectarian separatist government that did everything to shove the sunnis into the arms of isis.
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i've heard he had a desire to change that. the problem is, the people below him do not have the desire to change that. he does not have the power to make them. the minister of interior, to change their minds. as we continue to try and do that, i fear that strategy won't work. now, i know why we do it because what's the alternative? how do we offer the sunnis a reasonable place to be if they don't have support from back that. but i think we need to start thinking about it. i think we need to put a lot of pressure on a golf allies like saudi arabia like you a you to say, look at these are your people. the baghdad government has abandoned them. you don't want isis to be the alternative. what can you do to encourage the tribes in syria and in iraq to turn on isis? it's not easy. hope that we do not go deeper and deeper into that and making
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the problem worse, the bottom line is, for all of their fault and failings, the one dependable argument for groups like al qaeda and isis is to stand up and say we are defending the muslim world against western aggression. that is a message that has widespread support, far more support certainly van the violent psychopathic groups that espouse it. we cannot contribute to that. it we needed to build partnerships. it has to be locally driven, locally driven by sunnis in iraq and syria and elsewhere to eject isis, to eject that ideology and build a better future. it is no easy task. i do look forward to testimony and questions and hopefully we can learn more about how to go about that solution. i yield back. >> without objection, your
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statements will be part of the record. your floor. secretary carter: all members of the committee, thank you for inviting me here. thank you also for keeping a wide perspective on the challenges and opportunities for america and its leadership around the world. just a couple of weeks ago i was in singapore, vietnam, and india and next week i will be in germany, estonia, and belgium for a nato meeting. i understand that your focus in this hearing is current development and the middle east. i will be happy to answer questions about anything else. the middle east, it is going through a social and political turmoil with a number of crosscutting geopolitical developments.
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our strategy in the region is grounded in america's core national interests. that is the foundation. tailored to address specific circumstances in specific places. iraq, syria, iran, and so forth. it leverages american leadership with the efforts of a coalition of allies and partners. our core interests, for example, they drive our actions to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. similarly, they dictate that we not let up until we have destroyed isil and terrorists throughout the region that pose a danger. [disruption] >> this meeting will be in order.
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sorry for the interruption please proceed. secretary carter: similarly, we should not let up until we destroy isil and terrorists throughout the region that pose danger to allies and friends. the past few weeks serve as a reminder of those terrorists, whether they are in libya, yemen , or syria, that we have "he to reach out and strike them. meanwhile, the security of israel will always be one of my top priorities. and the chairman just returned from israel this past weekend. we will continue to hone important security relationships with our partners in the gulf bolster their security and ensure freedom of navigation. the pursuit of our nation's core interests in the region is a strategy based on tireless
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diplomacy, backed by formidable military power and dedicated capacity building to buttress and leverage the contributions of others and especially as noted those in the region themselves. that's why we have 35,000 forces plastered throughout the region, enabling us to strike terrorists and check iranian influence. that is why we ensure israel's continued edge and why we are working with golf partners to make them more capable of defending themselves against aggression. that isn't why we support saudi arabia and protecting their territory and people from attacks. and supporting international efforts to prevent uranian shipments from reaching forces in yemen. that is why the united states is supporting efforts to pursue political sentiments throughout the region and to libya and
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syria. while i am prepared for questions related to the dod, i will like to focus on the immediate issue that i understand the committee is interested in, the u.s. led coalition's strategy to defeat isil. isil poses a threat to the u.s. and the middle east, also in europe and asia. this is because of its intentions to strike and attack this country. they must be and will be dealt a lasting defeat. the strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat i sold -- isil draws upon the u.s. intelligence, law enforcement, diplomacy and others. the strategy and its associated
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military campaign also involves a global coalition, reflecting both the worldwide consensus on the need to counter this threat and practical requirement for others to do their part. the counter i sold strategy has nine so-called lines of effort reflecting the breath of this challenge and the tools needed to combat it. the first is the political one, led by the state department. in iraq, this involves voting more effective, inclusive, and multi-sectarian government. each of the other lines of effort requires success in this line, because it is the only way to create support among local forces and people. that support being necessary to make progress against extremism. next to lines of effort are interconnected, to deny them safe haven and -- in iraq and
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syria. this alongside partners, it is the bombing campaign from the air, assisting forces on the ground, and training and equipping trusted local forces. i will address our militaries current execution of these two lines in a moment. i want to underscore a crucial point about our campaign in iraq and syria. it requires capable, motivated, legitimate local ground forces to hold to rain -- terrain, that is the only way to make a truly lasting defeat of this movement. the fourth line of effort is enhancing the collection on michael of intelligence. -- of isil. this is code led i -- code led
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-- co-led by the state and counterterrorism center. this is to disrupt the flow of foreign fighters to and from isil, both which are critical in this networked world. and the eighth line of effort, is the humanitarian support. the department of homeland security and fbi are working together to support and protect the homeland. the ninth line of effort disrupting terrorist threats here. the effective execution of all nine of the lines of effort by the united states and the coalition partners is plainly necessary to ensure overall success. let me turn to the execution of dod, beginning with the u.s. led campaign of airstrikes against isil. this effort has produced clear
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results. it has limited isil's freedom of movement and impeded it control. it has enabled key achievements for forces including the recent success of anti-isil forces that took the town -- took a local town. they are also buying time and space to carry out the second line of effort and enforcing a ground campaign. it is a work in progress. the iraqi security forces were severely degraded after an attack last june. the combination of this unity deserters, and ghost soldiers, who are paid on the books but do not show up, have greatly
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diminished their capacity. however, understanding challenges does not change reality. isil's lasting defeat requires local forces prevail on the ground. we can and will continue to develop and enable local forces, because we know from experience that putting u.s. troops on the ground as a substitute for local forces will not produce enduring results. that is why dod 62 bolster forces to be capable of winning back and holding the isil controlled portions of the iraqi state. what we saw in ramadi last month was disappointing. it illustrated the importance of capable and motivated ground forces. in the days that followed, all of us on the national security
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team, took a another hard look at the campaign crossed all nine line of effort. at dod, i convened my team before, during, and after my trip to the asia region. -- to prepare options are the president for enhancements to identify. in our meetings at the white house and undergone we determined that while we have the right framework, execution of the campaign should be strengthened, especially on the ground. we determined that our training efforts could be enhanced and thus are focusing on increasing participation of our training efforts, working with the iraqi government and stressing the focus on drawing in sunni forces , which are underrepresented today. we also determined that are equally being of the security
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forces had proceeded to slowly. this process was an earlier, sometimes delayed by bureaucracy in baghdad and also in washington. that is why we are now expediting delivery of essential equipment and material, like anti-take -- and i think capabilities -- including travel forces. we also determined that we can enable the security divorces -- security forces with critical outreach to sunni committees -- sunni communities. my recommendation, last week the president sent 450 personnel to establish an additional site where we can advise and assist iraqi forces. situated between ramadi and
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another city, this is a key location for engaging sunni tribes. sunni leaders have committed to using terra-cotta -- takata to bring in forces. we are also encouraging planning support with an operations center. we expect this move will open a new dimension in the efforts to recruit sunnis into the fight and helped the iraqis coordinate and plan a critical effort to roll back isil. secretary kerry and i have agreed to begin a process to continually look at the campaign, starting with improving coronation across our expect the lines of effort. execution however is a two-way street and our training efforts
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in iraq have been slowed by a lack of trainees. we have not received enough recruits. of the 24,000 iraqi security forces that we envisioned training by this fall, we have only received enough recruits to train about 7000. that is in addition to 2000 service personnel. as i told iraqi leaders we must see a greater commitment from all parts of the iraqi government. there are positive sides. i met with the prime minister and just last week i spoke with a member of the parliament, and they all fully under and the need to empower localized iraqi security forces and address organization and leadership failures. because of sovereign multi-sectarian iraq, it is more
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likely to ensure a lasting defeat of isil. the u.s. must continue to work with and through the iraqi government and all our actions. including our support of tribal forces. we need to reinforce multi-sectarianism not fuel a reversal that would make a lasting defeat of isil harder. the situation in syria is more complex, because of the lack of a legitimate government partner and competing forces there. regardless, we will continue to strike isil in syria. we will continue to work with their neighbors to impede the flow of foreign fighters into and out of syria. the mission in syria has been challenging, but the requirement
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for a capable and motivated counter i sold -- counter-isil force and there isn't necessary. in conclusion, this can and must be assured. it will require assistance on everyone's part, the entire u.s. government, the entire national coalition, and most importantly the iraqi and. peoples. with your support, including your support for american troops and their families, for which i and they are ever grateful, we will achieve isil's lasting defeat. >> general dempsey, you have had a number of interactions with this committee in the first six months of this year. that is the reason, i will not say goodbye to you, even though the date of your retirement approaches.
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so thank you for being here. the floor is your's. general martin dempsey: it is good to be back to talk about a subject of importance. ranking member smith, good to see you. and other members, i really do appreciate the opportunity to be here this warning to his test -- to discuss this. the middle east is unpredictable and extremely complex, but our goals are straightforward. we -- i characterized the current environment in the middle east in terms of three converging steps of complexity. first, several governments are struggling for a political legitimacy, because they are not sufficiently pluralistic or they are not sufficiently accountable
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to their citizens. iraq for example is still working toward a national government. second the centuries old rivalry with sunnis has come to the forefront. it is a tug-of-war between howard's. and third, internal to islam, we see rise in competition between modern elements and radical elements and into that space isil. these will test the results of the security forces there. stability must be cultivated from the inside out. importantly owned by regional stakeholders. positive transformation of the region will be achieved over time by, with, and through our regional partners. within this context, the role of the u.s. military is taking against a trans regional threat
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of isil represents an appropriate level of effort. i underscore what was emphasized, that the military is a component of a much broader strategy. military power alone will not solve this. we have two lines of effort of nine. of our two lines of effort, one is kinetic, the combination of airstrikes to enable iraqi security forces. and the other, which is actually the centerpiece of our military strategy, is to train and equip. this is focused on building partners who are taking responsibility for their own security. as i said before, this is in iraq first strategy. this is not a military only one. again, we continue to pressure
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isil. we are at the beginning of a complex, non-linear campaign that will require sustained effort over an extended. of time to promote durable regional stability over the long term. we are constantly evaluating our approach and making sure that we are resourcing it appropriately. balanced with our many other global commitments. let me think this committee for what you do every day to support our men and women in uniform and their families. thank you very much. >> thank you. mr. secretary, let me follow up on what general dempsey said. primary line of effort is the training and equip mission. is it your judgment that 450 more people, are they going to
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tip the balance to make the mission successful? secretary carter: the numbers are not as important as the location. it is in the heart of sunni territory and i think it will make a big difference in it the performance of the train and equip program as regards to recruiting sunni fighters. we are actually seeing that in the days since we established that presence there. also, the and bar -- anbar operations center, another function of those people being mayor, is to be in a operations center said that we can help them with their command and control, planning, and discipline. so those are the purposes, the benefits of the move.
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it is necessary, if not sufficient -- it is not sufficient, but it is necessary to get sunni forces into the fisa that they are motivated and trained and equipped. mac thornberry: what is the reasonable time. to check back on this and see if it is working? secretary carter: weeks, we are already getting an inflow of sunni fighters, we will put them through the program. as i mentioned in my testimony we have unused capacity in parts of iraq. the iraqi government has not furnished us with paid recruits, but now that is turning around and it has to stay turned around for us to have success. >> let me ask another question.
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many will have questions about this isis site. i want to ask about the strategy to deal with iranian influence outside of the nuclear talks. press reports about the iranians quit being and pain -- equipping and paying the taliban, we know that they are giving support to those in the civil war in yemen. they are the primary force propping up a sod -- saassad in syria, so what is the administration's strategy for dealing with iranian influence other than the nuclear talks? secretary carter: iranian influence in the region is the other major challenge.
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that is besides isil. those to stand above others. i would go back to the foundation there, which is checking that influence and defending our ally, israel, and keeping security commitments to our golf partners who were here in town a few weeks ago. there is a reason why there are 35,000 u.s. forces there, to provide security for our friends and allies and to check iranian influence, which as you indicated, one sees them thinking -- one sees them seeking this. it is another big challenge for us and it really is the reason why we are postured the way we
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are in the middle east. the chair man just got back from israel and he has been working with runners on those kinds of checks. i -- >> i appreciate the fact that we are folks over there, but i have not heard about and approach. i'm not sure that we are dealing with it. i will yield to mr. smith. mr. smith: the chairman and i met last week with a sunni leader, and one thing he said that surprised me was the difficulty of getting broader support from the baghdad government and shifting focus to where could the sunnis, in that path into syria where isil is most dominant, and he expressed disappointment that the other
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gulf states, saudi arabia, uae or even turkey, did not seem to be willing to give much support even jordan as well, for the sunnis in that area. number one, do you agree with that assessment? i tend to take this guy at his word. and number two, why? it would seem to me that the feeding -- defeating isil would be important to them. why are they not doing more to help those groups to resist isil in that part of iraq and syria? secretary carter: that is a critical question. it goes that to other forces countering isil. and i too met with the same man last week you said the same
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thing and i think he was speaking on behalf of of a number of sunni forces political forces, in western iraq who would like to see more support and recognize, as i think you noted in opening statements that americans and westerners are -- can lead and enable, but if they get a high profile, that becomes a problem in its own right. therefore, all the more reason to get others, sunnis involved now in the fight. the heads, one thing i will know, the heads of -- were in washington and we went to camp david three weeks ago. this was one of the major themes of our conversations. the other one being checking iranian influence, which they are also concerned about. their concern about isil is
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genuine and i think their actions can be strengthened. getting them in the program -- >> i got all that, but why? what in your opinion having worked with these people, why is it not happening? secretary carter: one reason is they simply lack the capacity and so we talked about building special operation forces as opposed to air forces. we are looking for ground forces. capable ground forces is one that is skilled in counterterrorism counterinsurgency and so forth. >> that is a key question. sorry to interrupt. that is where we need to go and that is where we have this fight in the senate and house, over whether or not to directly arm
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the kurds skip the baghdad government and hit it to the people who are fighting. in some cases fighting successfully. you know, shouldn't we be shifting a lot of the focus to that and basically saying to baghdad, time is up. you have a relationship with iran, with the shia militias, doesn't seem to be much we can do about that, we need to shift resources to be bold -- you mentioned it, 24,000 iraqis, you have evan thousand. at what -- you have 7000. at what point do we shift? the concern is about the fraction -- the fracture of iraq, that cow has left the barn, they are fractured. when do we shift the strategy
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and start to build the capabilities of other partners who will fight? secretary carter: sectarianism and iraq is the principal factor that brought us to where we are with isil. it was prime minister maliki and his partisan manner of governance. now we have met with the prime minister someone who i believe is genuinely committed to behaving in a decentralized federalized, but multi-sectarian single state. personally, he is predicated. i think the chairman asked the question does this run throughout iraq, and that is
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where we are waiting to see. and in the meantime, we are arming the kurds, the sunnis, we do it in a way that does not delay, that assistance, but we are still doing it through the government of iraq, because we're still trying to support the prime minister in maintaining a decentralized i'm a bit single unitary -- decentralized, but single unitary state. >> if we just had these extremist sunni groups to fight, that would be enough, but when you throw in iranian influence and how it stirs up the region, it deftly creates a high-level problem. i want to make the observation that as awful as iran is number one, this is not really
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necessarily helping them to fight multiple wars outside their own borders. to have to fight in syria, yemen, that can be draining as we well know. so it is a negative influence on them. whatever one might say about iran, the difference between them and isil, isil wants to kill as many americans as possible. as we are balancing this, it is a difficult balance to make defeating isil should be at the top of the list of concerns. as bad as iran is and trying to figure out a way to get them to stop having their influence, i think we really need to have our number one focus on the brighter ideology that motivates people to attack us. final question, there have been reports that the assad
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government is weakening. how do you assess the chances that they will fall? is it possible that assad leads because of how bad things are going, and then what? secretary carter: two observations on that and then the chairman might want to comment. we would like to see a transition in which he disappears from the scene, so that he and his regime as a another source of fuel for extremism is eliminated. that is, it is possible because his forces are weekend and they have taken great losses. they are having trouble, their forces and reserves are
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depleted. they are increasingly isolated in the damascus area and in the isle of wight -- other areas of syria. i think the last thing i would say, congressman smith, that the most -- the best way for the syrian people for this to go would be for him to remove himself from the scene and there could be created, difficult as that will be, a new government of area based on the moderate opposition -- government of syria based on the moderate opposition that we have been trying to build and helping them strengthen themselves. that would be a desirable path if he did remove himself, or was removed.
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punishment smith -- mr. smith: thank you. general martin dempsey: that was the purpose of my trip to the region. to discuss with regional partners a scenario in which the regime would either collapse or assad would the part. that would leave syria ungoverned, or left in ways that wouldn't be positive for the region so we are working with partners on the near term. mr. smith: thank you. mr. forbes: thank you for all you have done for us.
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mr. secretary, thank you for being here today. we are talking about strategy in the middle east and one thing i find disconcerting, we have found individuals in the past that have held your job that indicate that the president's heart may not be in some of our military operations. it is also disconcerting when we hear the president suggest that we have no winning strategy in the middle east. we are not always in the strategy business, but we are in the resourcing business here and we look at the gas that we have -- gaps that we have. we will have certain regions of the world that will not have carrier presence for your -- for weeks, during the year. in 2007, the navy was able to
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meet 90% of our validated requirements, but this year we only meet 44%. we have had testimony from the air force that they currently have the oldest and smallest air force since the history of the air force and that is less man -- less man 50% of their combat squadrons. we have uploaded on a bill, this committee voted out 60-to. we have passed a defense appropriations bill. by all likelihood, it looks like a conference report will come out and those bills will be before the president in september of this year. you probably know we have 12 appropriations ills, the first one up before the president, that will probably be defense tells that's a bills and the
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president will have 11 days to sign them. now you are kind enough last time you were here to suggest to us what year recommendation would be to the president about vetoing bills. now that you actually have a real bill to look at and to analyze, which helps fill some of those tax -- gaps? can you tell us whether or not you would recommend that the president veto that bill if it is substantially the same bill that has passed on a bipartisan basis? general martin dempsey: thank you. secretary carter: you are absolutely right about the sources. we cannot continue to be the world's finest fighting force if we don't get a budget, a budget
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picture, a horizon in front of us. i have not changed my view from last time. i really fervently hope that everybody can come together both parties -- mr. forbes: here is my point, we don't always take the bills we hope we can have. if a bill comes substantially the same as the -- bill, would you recommend to the president that he sign it or veto it? secretary carter: the president has always -- has already said he will feel it. he has already determined he will do that. mr. forbes: have you done an
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analysis of the risk because the result of that would be you get at least billions less. i'm just asking -- secretary carter: i know what you are asking but it is a herky-jerky approach to the budget. it is managerial harmful. mr. forbes: you will have $25 billion short if it fails, but that risk would put us in a place where we would be below the minimum edge of what we need for international security. let me in by saying, i think it is unimaginable that we would send 450 troops into harm's way and still look their families in the eye and tell them that we vetoed a bill that would give them the resources they need. i healed. miss davis: --
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secretary carter: i have not changed my view, we need a multiyear strategy, we have people, the very people that have careers, they want to know what their future is going to be and this business where we have a budget one year at a time, i'm not blaming anyone for it, it is a collective saying, but our country needs to rise up and get it together, i'm just telling you that it is damaging to the institution that i am responsible for. i travel around the world and this is, this looks terrible. it gives the appearance that we are diminishing ourselves because we cannot come together on a budget year in and year out. so, i continue to hope and believe that we can come together behind an agreement
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and agreed a budget, that has a multiyear horizon and allows us to plan and execute programs and recruit and retain people in the way that i think we need to do. >> mr. secretary, i do not disagree with anything you said. the veto is a yes or no. that is the thing that is concerning. miss davis. miss davis: thank you both for being here. i appreciate your service and all you have contributed. i think there is obviously controversy and concern, i appreciate the fact that it is a direct response and we would like everyone to get the yes on this one. we need to work harder on it. thank you. i wanted to first just asked about what you talked about as the first critical line of effort really, which is you say
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a political one. my concern is that with limited security that we have, i am not sure the state department, even if they had the resources and that is obviously a great concern, if they are really able to do their job in iraq. would like you to respond to that and along with that, really does know the fourth lie which is how we communicate and whether we are doing that effectively? those are two important things and finally i want to ask you about, briefly, you know the issue about resources. you mentioned the fact that we need to expedite delivery of equipment, that we're not doing a good job with that, and i want to know why did that takes a long? there are issues around baghdad, but our own issues as well, what
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are we learning from nasa that that's -- what are we learning from that? secretary carter: on the political front, which means trying to support the prime minister and government of iraq to govern in a way that they can collect and support from sunnis and collect and support from kurds and shiites, and create a security force so they can defeat isil and turn iraq into a place where people can live any decent way. that is an essential task. we need to a line that -- a line that very closely with the military line, which is why
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secretary kerry has come back to town and i are meeting, our teams are meeting specifically to make sure that those lines of effort are synchronized. messaging, i would only make one note about messaging, an area where i think we are unnecessarily -- ourselves. we, for example, had a website that described the facts of our campaign and what was going on. it was tuned for an audience in the region so they could come to the website and learn about what we were doing. so we were telling the truth but we were denied the authority to operate that and we were told that was not an appropriate thing for the department of defense to be doing. >> denied the authority from? secretary carter: my congress. with respect to training and
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equipping, this is one of the situations where there is monti of responsibility to pass around, but i would not put it all on the pentagon, but let me tell you what happened. you past the money for 2015 in december, the money came out in january, it went through the process, and then there was in your bill the requirement that we only spend 25% of it until we report the last 75%. we met that requirement. that really, i can't say was the limiting step, the limiting step for us to expand that money and building the training sites. what we did do in the meantime while waiting for the money, was reach into other parts -- pots we had. so we tried to fill the gap.
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the gap is closed now and in the money is flowing but it was not all on the iraqis died, although they were in impediment. they did not want us to do that. but anyway we are back on our feet now. i will not try to use something that tried -- excuse something that took longer than it should have. >> on the resources that the security that secretary kerry and the state department are going to have and the backup security, i want to make sure that we get a full answer on that. thank you. >> who denied the website and on what basis did they deny it? we have worked for years to update restrictions on these
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issues and we are interested in fixing this problem if it is a problem with this branch of government. mac thornberry: chairman klein. john kline: i was looking at the preparation sheet here for today's hearing and it says this is a united states policy and strategy and in the middle east and i think we have concluded we don't have a strategy. i am a little bit mystified about exactly what we are doing here since we don't have a strategy. i am looking at the situation in iraq, i was over there in baghdad a couple months ago around easter, talking to some troops there. we have over 3000 troops boots -- troops on the ground, they are frustrated because they don't know what the strategy is
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and how could they if we have not clearly articulated that. and now we are going to send 450 more people over there to execute a strategy that we do not know yet, so as i look at iraq and as you know chairman dempsey, i, like a lot of members have watched the situation changed, and it was at one point where we looked like we were doing well after the surge, and then isil came across the border and baghdad was threatened, i guess my question is where are we in iraq today? are we winning, losing is it a quagmire, what is it today question? general, you are up. general martin dempsey: i have
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been in the army a long time and we do not volunteer for things. >> we will fight to the last soldier. general martin dempsey: where are we? >> are we winning, what is going on? general martin dempsey: let's talk about the personal pronoun we. if you're asking if the u.s. is winning, that is the wrong question? >> we've got soldiers there we are flying strikes there, are we, the united states the free world, western allies, are we winning or losing? general martin dempsey: the u.s. military campaign and the iraqi government, we are on task to deliver that which we have committed to delivering, which is security forces, not just the
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--, but the sunni tribes. this is the ability to confront isil in their territory. this is a far different approach than ever we were to decide ourselves that it was our responsibility to defeat isil inside of iraq. it is my military judgment that an enduring victory over isil can only be accomplished over those -- comp list by those stakeholders there in the region. >> so, i guess gen. dempsey: you famously heard stan mcchrystal talking about confronting al qaeda. to defeat a network, we have to be a network. stand built a network of allies
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to confront al qaeda. i used a lily pad example. most of you probably know on the surface, it looks like lily pads are free-floating, that they are tethered to a network of education. we are trying to build a network that will enable regional stakeholders to confront the threat. committee member: when i was over there, arab states are
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increasingly engaged. we also have reports that strikes are going without success. we have some work to do. i think we have to start with that strategy. i yield back. mr. langevin: thank you for your testimony. and for your service. mr. chairman, especially with you. with all the expertise and experience you will leave a very big shoes to fill. thank you for your service. mr. secretary, can you convince me and the american people that our strategy in iraq is the right one? given the fact it does not seem like the iraqi people are willing to fight for their own
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country, evidenced by the soldiers that we helped to train , when i sold came in -- isil came in, they took the uniforms off and ran. you mentioned sectarian violence. are we trying to artificially hold together and iraq that does not want to be held together? are we asking men and women in uniform to go into a situation and put themselves in harm's way for an artificial effort to hold the country together? would we be better off focusing on another strategy that had a more realistic look at what the local people want and pursue a strategy that will focus on defeating isil?
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beyond that, with the president's decision to send 450 additional advisors, i would like to know how this reactive move is coupled to a strategy. and how it addresses the result we would like to see. the ranking member mentioned how the leader of the iraq parliament was disappointed we do not have more buy-in from nations in the region. i want to make sure we are not asking our men and women in your risk their lives for actions disconnected from a larger strategic effort. gen. dempsey: thank you congressman. some of your comments echo the questions mr. kline was putting.
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we very much appreciate it when you visit our people. it is important they have an explanation of what our strategy is. that the oversight committee have an explanation of what strategy is. with respect to iraq, the critical ingredient is strengthening local forces. we believe that is possible. it will take some time. the american role in that to train, equip enable, and assist those forces once they are built. that is the american role in a coalition. so that is the approach to defeating isil on the ground in iraq recognizing only there defeat can be a lasting defeat, a sustained defeat. that is the approach we are
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taking. on the ground in iraq and syria. as we discussed earlier, there are other parts of the counter-isis strategy. on the intelligence side, which is challenging, on the counter messaging side, foreign fighter flows. guys who potentially come in and out, including to this country. there are different dimensions to combating. but the strategy on the ground is as i described. mr. langevin: are we trying to artificially hold together iraq? sec. carter: i believe there are indications there can be a decentralized but multi-sectarian but unitarian
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iraq, the path the prime minister says he is on. the fact others say he is on. i think we should give them a chance. sectarianism is not a good outcome. mr. langevin: thank you. committee member: thank you for your service and what you are doing to protect our country. i have a question building on previous questions about why we are not targeting known isis assets. for instance, everyone knows where the headquarters of isis is, in syria, i believe. a large multi-story building. there are convoys of crude oil being taken to turkey, sold to raise money for isis. that is kind of a lifeline for money, as far as i look at it.
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i cannot imagine it is a military decision to not take out known military assets. there must be a political reason. mr. carter, what is the political reason? why are we not targeting known isis assets if the intention is to degrade and destroy isis? sec. carter: congressman, the targets you describe are authorized. leadership targets indeed. fuel, partly used to finance the movement. we do strike those targets. i think the only limitation, and i will let the chairman elaborate, that the people managing the coalition air campaign have, and this is a coalition judgment, is to try to avoid civilian casualties.
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and that is for obvious humanitarian reasons and also because it is not going to help what we are ultimately trying to do get isil expelled. committee member: you are saying no target is hands off? sec. carter: the categories you named our hands on. we need to strike targets like that. that is part of the air campaign. gen. dempsey: the commander who holds the authority for airstrikes, he has the authority. nothing in washington is limiting him from the use of aircraft and pilots flying these missions every day. it is really a matter of ensuring the targets we hit are the targets we intend. to do otherwise would further complicate this and make it all
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almost impossible to sort out. committee member: if i can switch gears to iran, i know it is the middle east we are talking about, but iran is part of this. recently, the iaea spoke to some congressman. they said you have to have two things for a deal to work or iran will get a nuclear weapon. there have to be on announced inspections, and those have to be able to go any place including military installations. without those, a deal would not work. would you agree with the assessment or not? sec. carter: i certainly think a good deal, to go back to what the president said, which is no
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deal is better than a bad deal a good deal has to be verifiable. i want to add, with respect to iran iran and isil are big challenges to stability in the middle east and u.s. interests associated with the middle east. our role in nuclear negotiations , we are not a part per se, i have the responsibility to make sure the military option israel. believe me -- is real. the me, we work on that. we need the ability to have the posture in the region to check iranian influence. last, we are committed to that the -- the defense of israel. we have a big role in defense as part of the negotiation.
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we take it very seriously. gen. dempsey: the only thing i would add is, as i have had discussions with reasonable partners -- regional partners, if there is a deal, i have work to do. we are committed to that work. committee member: thank you both. committee member: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for being here today. i think it is particularly important for us on this committee to hear from both of you as the house will consider a resolution concerning ongoing operations in iraq and syria. it has been nearly a year since the president outlined a plan to counter isil. the war he is waging is based on authorities that have not been debated by congress in 13 years. since the president announced his plan, the u.s. has spent
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nearly $9 million a day or $3 billion overall. at this rate, it will continue. regional partners are pursuing efforts in iraq and syria that may not be in concert with the united states. all of this happened without a robust debate in congress over u.s. strategy, though we are starting to have that today. the cost, we have not yet addressed. and the end state in iraq. i appreciate that you are here today. general dempsey, we will miss you. i have always appreciated how forthright and thoughtful you have been in our discussions about the middle east and more broadly across the globe. i have a question for you. 10 years ago this fall, you assumed responsibility for
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training and sustaining iraqi security forces. after a decade of training, most of the iraqi army remains a hobbled force. with 450 american advisers being sent to iraq, and with your unique perspective, how is today's strategy of adapting to make sure we are not standing up a force that will fold in the face of resistance? is it enough to seek to recruit sunnis? what are the lessons learned that give you confidence that these efforts will prove successful as you leave your unique place in the military efforts? gen. dempsey: thank you congresswoman. a couple thoughts. in terms of the strategy in general, i think our strategy matches the complexity we are dealing with.
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if you do not remember anything else i have said today, remember that the strategy matches the complexity. this is not a simple environment in any sense of the word. to the point earlier about it would seem inconceivable that the sunni would coalesce in the fight against isil, the reality is that some of our sunni partners are worried about iranian hegemony than a heisel --isil. i mentioned we are trying to build a network. that network, which will include all the stakeholders i described, will be somewhat spongeable if necessary. reaching out to the sunni tribes is a very prudent -- and by the way, we are doing it at the request of prime minister abadi.
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there was discussion that this was knee-jerk reaction to the fall of ramadi, but we have been planning this for months. we are looking at other locations for the network which will be in support of plan "a" and accessible if plan "b" becomes necessary. committee member: you have said you do not see this being resolved quickly. any words of advice as to how we adapt over time to the changing environments? gen. dempsey: that is the thought. i think increasingly, as i mentioned when we talked about risk for the first time in my 41 years, we have states whose capabilities -- i do not know about their intent, but i know they have capabilities -- but we have to deal with a. we have to deal with actors
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whose capability is less clear. some of that includes budget certainty so we can build a military to deal with those threats and be a adaptive when we get it wrong. the key to that is leader development. no one does that better than we do. committee member: i wish you the best of luck. mr. franks: thank you. i want to add my personal gratitude on behalf of my children for your noble and lifelong commitment to the cause of human freedom and its future. secretary carter, it has been highlighted in several mediums recently that the kurdish strategy seems to be the one that is working. it seems to be very effective. yesterday, i had the privilege of hosting the president