Defense Secretary Mattis Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Dunford News... CSPAN August 28, 2018 9:58am-11:05am EDT
horn is expected to win and take on the incumbent steve russell. he does not have any controversies or scandal. there is no strong movement to oust him, but this is the president's first midterms, it is the opposing party's best opportunity to make a good showing but there is a lot of attention being paid to that race. host: appreciate your time this morning at the start of a busy day for you. guest: thanks for having me. host: we have a couple of minutes left, before we take you to a media briefing featuring secretary of defense james mattis. that is expected to get underway at 10:00. time for a few more of your phone calls. charles in arizona, democrat. caller: -- host: we are going to end it did
there because secretary mattis has come out early. i apologize to you. theake you now live to media briefing with the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. it was the first of its kind and a decade and in it, we outlined the department's strategic priorities and guidance that we wanted to give the departments below us for the budget request. tying the budget to the strategy itself. today, thanks to strong bipartisan support in congress and resulted in $717 billion budget authorization for 2019. to growtary continues stronger, more lethal, more agile, and certainly more deployable than a year ago. congress without expressing my respect to senator mccain for his steadfast courage
and the service and my deepest condolences to his family for the loss of a man who represented all of the ideals that america stands for. senator mccain was a defiant brothers in arms until all returned home together, and is a leader in congress, including the senator of the arms. senator mccain never lost sight of our shared determination for freedom. in his words, and i quote "shared purpose does not claim our identity, it enlarges on the self."y, your sense of we lost a great patriot and the military has lost an ardent supporter. the authorization act is named for senator mccain, and it meets all of dod's critical needs. in thely passage
legislative calendar mark the first time since 1977 we had this act signed. we had 87% of the house representative in the senate voting in favor of it. this demonstrates that the defense of our republic enjoys overwhelming partisan support, now that congress has done its part, and we are grateful to the american taxpayers, it is now dod's duty to spend the fund responsibly as we rebuild readiness and invest in critical capabilities for future defense. we will be rigorously examining our spending plans and our audit, dod's first is in full swing. as we have stated before, we are witnessing a world that is awash in change and maintaining readiness in the face of looming threat is a responsibility that we'll the next generation.
today, i want to show how dod is working to meet those challenges. going to put our activity the strategic framework have provided in the national defense strategy, and we have three lines of effort. increasing ours alliances and building partnership internationally, and reforming the way the department does business to get the best use of the dollars. first, and building a more lethal force, we have no room for complacency. we recognize cyberspace and outer space as war fighting demands on air, land, and the sea. these two domains, cyberspace and outer space or contested domain by the actions of others, as a result, we have elevated cyber command to full combatant command status, and we worked
with congress and the white house to define the evolving space probably confront. we are implementing the authorization act, and its provision for unified space command, and line with the president's vision for a needed space force, while revising our vision for defending our assets in space and revising antiquated space acquisition processes. we are working with congress with regard to needed legislation for a separate department. in other adaptations, we have been artificial intelligence center to look at new concepts and drying synergies from separate programs from potentially game changing capability. we have created the close lethal test force to field advanced equipment and train our war fighters to the speed of relevance for the battlefield they confront.
we have released our nuclear posture review i'm outlining the necessary steps we are taking to strengthen america's nuclear deterrent, so these weapons are never used, nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. , we are working with the department of state to determine how to advance arms control. we have implemented new standards to improve playability of our forces so they are ready to fight at any time across any domain during current and future readiness will be enhanced by this focus we have on enhancing advanced lethality. my travel schedule indicates just how seriously i take our second line of effort, strengthening alliances and partnerships. i have visited 57 countries as secretary of defense. our goal is to improve
consultation, cooperation, and burden sharing so we can best deter the threats and competition i mentioned earlier because we are stronger alongside like-minded nations. i recently returned from south america, where i let with chile, in so, argentina, problemste the fear -- we face, we're fortunate to see increasingly an island of democratic stability and growing prosperity in an unstable world from ottawa to santiago to buenos aires. there are exceptions, venezuela, cuba, nicaragua, even castro knows the cuban model does not work even for cuba anymore or for anyone else, as venezuela's president darrell is finding -- duro is finding out.
cooperation is critical for realizing the shared vision of democracy, prosperity, and security. we are working with the lumia, ecuador and others to schedule -- columbia, ecuador, and others ship toule a hospital help the venezuelans fleeing their country as we see the increasingly isolated regime, and we will stand with those people and our friends area our neighbors clearly want closer relations with us, and we will work with them to realize the shared vision for the region. we are bolstering relationships across the atlantic. as we look to the past and look back at the national security policy paper from 19 to e3, itre it said -- 1953, where said the direct contribution to
the maintenance of our own freedom and security and it went on to say loving up strength, cohesion and comment determination of the free world benefits all. last month at the nato summit, we reinforced that message him and it yielded tangible results and discussions were candid and went to the heart of burden sharing issues. several of my counterpart said it was the most productive meeting they had attended. members now are spending more on defense in nato. no longer is the question one of reducing defense budget as it was since the fall of the berlin wall and into the 2000s. no longer is the question of whether to spend more. the only questions now are how much to increase and by when. recommitted to spending 2% of gdp on defense 2024, we also gain unity on the needed command structure that we had to reform.
there are two new headquarters come one hosted by germany, and one hosted by norfork. we also gain full commitment to ,he four 30's, 30 air squadrons 30 naval ships, 30 combat battalions, all available to fight within 30 days. that is a well-established and quantifiable goal now. we also received commitment of over 1000 non-us coalition allied forces to the nato-led afghanistan mission. --king to the end of pacific indo pacific, we are looking to like-minded nations. 25 participated in the rim pack exercise. it was the largest naval exercise in the world. it was emblematic of the refreshed military relationships and that the chilean navy
commanded and it was the first time in latin america in country has done so in this exercise. and thed also allies diplomats leave the effort to denuclearize the korean peninsula. we keep it clear right view of the challenges come working together in support of the unanimous un security council resolutions to economically sanction the dprk. the patrols today are international patrols. we continue to build stronger friendships across the region, and all of our actions reinforce the vision of a free, open, inclusive, and prosperous indopacific where we are free from coercion. in south asia, we continue to work with allies and partners in pursuit of peace and two additional countries have now joined the campaign in
afghanistan as partner nations, united arab emirate and qatar. and 32 of the 39 nations that have committed forces to the mission agreed to increase or sustain the current force levels through 2019. we are fully supporting afghan led an afghan owned reconciliation efforts and a hard fighting is going on to convince the taliban they must negotiate. a recent statement by taliban leader made specific mention of negotiations as a way to bring, and i quote here "an end to the war." it is the most forward leaning statement made by taliban leader, even though they conduct a tax and cost lives and are stripped of any religious guys for an inhumane campaign against the afghan people. roups in saudi arabia,
kabul, and jakarta are showing a way to end the war through this afghan led reconciliation process. in the mideast, the defeat isis coalition continued to make strides. they diminished physical caliphate in syria. isis is down now to less than 2% of the land they want control, even as we recognize the fight is not over. ourwe strengthened partnerships abroad, we are looking inward to reform how we do business. that is the third line of business. we understand we cannot have lasting security for our country without solvency. we are conducting the first audit in the department's history, and a want that audit to find problems. it is the only way we will be able to craft effective solutions. this ensures we uphold the trust that congress and the american people have placed in us to spend their tax dollars wisely.
in other reform efforts, dod has realized $4 billion in savings so we can apply it to more lethality. we initiated the repeal of several hundred unnecessary regulations across the department, enhancing efficiency and making it easier for industry to work with us and without compromising performance or accountability. we embraced and finalize the congressionally directed split between our acquisition and sustainment and our research and engineering offices to ensure war fighters of the technology and equipment they need, both on the battlefield of today as well as tomorrow. the bottom line, dod is making significant progress along our three strategic lines of effort. our strategic remark is applicable around our far-flung department operations, and we will continue to drive results in the months and years ahead.
,n a couple of other issues there is a program designed to enlist immigrants with needed skills. the issues with the program are not about immigration, they are about national security. we need and want every qualified patriot willing to serve and able to serve. two years ago, in 2016, an independent investigation raised security concerns with applicants. it resulted in the suspension of new applicants that year. dod has been working diligently to complete the screenings directed by the ig investigation for those already in the pipeline. for the 6000 who have served and are currently serving, we recently cleared the security process under the program thus far. the military welcomes them as critical and valued members of our armed forces.
partner, we support our , saudi arabia sovereign right to self-defense and we recognize the end of the conflict requires a political solution. both state department and department of defense are working closely with the un's special envoy in that regard. we are also working closely with the coalition that is fighting to support the u.n. recognized government and are determined -- determining what went wrong with bombings, attacks, and prevent their recurrence. let me pass this to general dunford for an overview of what our men and women are doing around the world, and how dod is turning budget dollars into joint readiness and capability. gen. dunford: good morning. i would like to begin by reinforcing the comments on senator mccain. our thoughts and prayers are with his family and as a naval officer and a member of congress he was an advocate for the men
and women of the u.s. military. passing and wes will need -- i will highlight exercises across our commands. cificriority in the indopa will continue to focus on the denuclearization. military personnel are stationed on the peninsula demonstrating our commitment to the alliance and deterring north korean hostility. will disrupt ship ship transfers of fuel in violation of u.n. sanctions against the dprk. we are doing this in conjunction with allies and partners. in the pacific command, military forces work with allies and partners to preserve the rules-based international order, consistent with our interests. we also have exercise programs and 31 nations to train, advise,
and is system horses in internal forces and counterterrorism operations. central command remains focused on our mission in afghanistan to defeat isis in iraq and syria and countering iran's destabilizing influence across the region. 1400 troopsy have been deployed. our mission remains countering terrorist threats to the united states during our forces with forces from nato and partner nations are also training, advising and assisting over 300,000 afghan forces are responsible for security in afghanistan. in a wreck in syria, we operate syria, we and secur operate with coalition forces 50,000work to enable
syrian forces to clear the remainder of isis in the frady's river valley -- in the euphrates river valley. we are supporting iraqi forces to ensure the success they have had against isis is enduring. and the european command, we are enhancing our alliances and deterring russian aggression through a presence and posture initiatives. we have a rope bust exercise -- robust exercising and training them. have conducted 13 joint exercises in europe and a wide range of civic training and engagement. forces are supporting thousands more african military partners in providing for their own security and conducting counterterrorism operations against isis and al qaeda affiliates. our efforts include developing security forces in somalia, countering crisis in libya, and supporting partners in other regions.
in the southern command, we are working to deepen our security relationships in addressing challenges and threats. we will soon deploy and decrease population flows from venezuela. at home, the u.s. northern command has exceeded hundred dod personnel and 33 aircraft working to suppress wildfires in the western states, while more than 2000 as men are supporting homeland security on the border. the northern command provides around-the-clock ballistic missile defense for americans and canadians from the north american defense defend our air space. for meeting the requirements for today, we are adapting. we have globally integrated exercises and experiments to help shape the force will need to fight and win tomorrow. enclosing, i believe you can see your men and women in uniform are busy, and we are proud of
them. as the secretary said, we are grateful for congress'support in the acts. will work alongside our allies and partners for a source of strength. thank you. >> thank you. secretary, you mentioned yemen. there was a report from the one that said the coalition and the yemen government may be responsible for war crimes. my question is, how do you justify continued american investments and credibility in the coalition that produced such problematic results which has been characterized by some as a humanitarian disaster? the reality is the battlefield is a humanitarian battlefield, and we recognize the tragedy there and that is why we emphasize we are working with the un's special envoy to try to end this and drive it to
a u.n. brokered negotiation. we did review the support for the arab coalition when we came into office. it was started before we arrived here. we reviewed it and determined it was the right thing to do to support them in the defense of their own countries but also to restore the rightful government. our conduct their is to try to keep-- there is to try to innocents being killed to the axle minimum. -- absolute minimum. in yemen, as a general statement, we stay out of the war ourselves, and we are focused on defeating isis and al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. that is where we conduct operations. again, our goal is to reduce this tragedy and to get it to
the u.n. brokered table as quickly as possible. >> are you considering or reconsidering reviewing again the american sport? sec. mattis: we are constantly reviewing what's up we are giving. we had an army lieutenant general in riyadh almost immediately following the early august tragedy to convey our concerns and ask for a swift and complete investigation. we will continue to do everything we can to limit this kind of tragedy. the most effective way is to get this to a u.n.-brokered negotiation. >> for general dunford, bring us up-to-date on the training with turkey and joint trial. gen. dunford: two months ago, we worked with the turks more broadly in northern syria. there are two phases. one is independent patrols with coordination and communication
between turkey, u.s., and coalition forces. the second is combined patrols. we are conducting independent controls and we are still planning with the turks with combined patrols. in order for combined patrols, we need a command and control construct set up. we need joint training to be done in turkey and we need an agreement on rules of engagement. satisfied, the turks and u.s.. we are talking about making refinements to the security in the future. >> mr. secretary, and general dunford, i wanted to ask you about syria and russia. are you concerned that the russians may stand aside and let the syrians move nuclear capability?
can you tell us what the u.s. maybe doing to pressure the russians to keep the syrians from doing that. for general dunford, according to a news agency in iran, the guard corps said iran had full control and the u.s. may not be a long in the persian gulf. wonder if you have a response for the iranian revolutionary guard. sec. mattis: on the chemical --ons, you haven't seen yourave seen that in question goes to that. our state has been in active communication with russia to enlist them in preventing this. i will leave it at that for now. the communication is going on. gen. dunford: for decades, forces have been postured in the
gulf to ensure freedom of navigation and we will continue .o do that eerie >> than install forcesto in afghanistan. at what point is it right to call this what it might look like, a permanent u.s. resident in afghanistan? and given the hundreds of thousands in very small footprints of troops in advantage tois any privatizing of force if there are going to be boots on the ground for the foreseeable future? sec. mattis: when the americans put the nation's credibility on the line, privatizing it is not a wise idea. as far as a permanent u.s. presence, there are 39 nations supporting the u.n. record highs government. it is not a u.s. presence alone,
and it should not be applied -- implied that way. we are there to ensure america's security -- think back to 9/11 and this building, that america's purity is not -- america's security is not threatened by that. we want the afghan to be in control of their own future. that is why we talk about afghan led and own coalition. be best way to do that is to sure the taliban recognizes they cannot win on the battlefield and they must negotiate. could we get the general's thoughts on this as well? gen. dunford: what i would say is that we are permanent interest in south asia, diplomatic and security. we will maintain a presence in that region's. the diplomatic and security, and the form will change over time. a few years ago, we had 100,000
u.s. or cyst in afghanistan, and say we have 14,000. there will be a permanent diplomatic mission in afghanistan and permanent lannett present across south asia. -- permanent security presence across south asia. she asked my question. >> it was so there's no longer nuclear threat from north korea. does the pentagon share that assessment? sec. mattis: you are asking for a straightforward answer on a complex subject. the bottom line is, there was progress made in the whole world saw that progress when the two leaders sat down. we also knew very clearly this was going to be a long and
challenging effort to negotiate this away. as you know, the war began in 1950 and has never ended. we are engaged in a process and we stay with a diplomatically led process. d.c. any attempts from north korea to denuclearize? see mattis: i've -- do you any attempts from north korea to denuclearize? sec. mattis: i prefer to leave the state department to answer those questions. we stay in a supporting role. >> i want to pin you down on the yemen, is it fair to us to think the u.s. is willing to curtail support should things not change? , i want todunford ask you, the russians confirmed
they had asked about refugee reconstruction or do think that is an appropriate use of military communications? gen. dunford: for the last several years, we have been working with the saudi's doing what we can to reduce any chance of innocent people being injured or killed. we recognize that we are watching a war in which the involved launching weapons out of residential areas into saudi arabia we recognize the complexity of it. we have not felt rebuffed or ignored when we bring concerns to them. the training we have given them we know has paid off. we have had pilots in the air who recognize the danger of a specific region and are declined
to drop when they get the authority. with seen staff sutures that put no fire areas around areas where there are hospitals and schools. we recognize every mistake like this is tragic in every way. we have not seen any callous disregard by the people we are working with. we will continue to work with them to reduce this tragedy. gen. dunford: i maintain the communications link with our russian counterpart for the entire time i have been in this assignment. ando it to manage crises for operations inside of syria area the one thing we committed to is that we would not talk ugly about the substance of our conversation -- publicly about the substance of our conversations. maintaining the communications link is very important. >> there was a shocking report this month about 40,000 army
ad paintmes having le and affecting the children. it said it was going to cost several hundred million dollars to investigate your it i would like to get your reaction when you heard about the rape work and what you can say to assure it a mother's and parent of the children who are in home with possible lead paint. if i could follow up on north korea, is it time to restart exercises given the recent news that the north koreans are not denuclearize and? ing? mattis sec. mattis: i have seen the report. we need to ensure troops are not worried about their families back at home. this is a moral obligation we have to the families to provide safe lodging for them, it is something we take very
seriously. we have at other environmental impacts on some of our basis. -- bases. i spoke with the secretary of the army this morning on this very issue. they are moving on it. let me talk about the policy of exercises onn of the korean peninsula. as you know, we took a step to suspend several of the largest exercises as a good-faith measure coming out of the singapore summit. we have no plans at this time to suspend any more exercises. we will work very closely with the secretary of state and what he needs done. we will certainly do that to reinforce his effort. at this time, there is no discussion about further suspensions. >> when is the next exercise?
sec. mattis: remember, what we did when we suspend the exercise , we suspended several of the largest exercises, we did not suspend the rest. there are ongoing exercises all the time on the peninsula. the reason you have not heard much about them is north korea could not in any way misinterpret those as somehow breaking faith with negotiation. the exercises continue. what it means in practical terms is we are making no changes in the exercise program at this time. , i wanted toary return to afghanistan. , you the recent attacks and others have said the taliban and failed to reach their objectives, but the bottom line and theafghan soldiers swept in and it took
them four days to get out. we have seen numerous times in the past afghan commandos and american special forces, nine of whom were wounded and airstrikes were necessary to get the taliban out. after all this time, training and millions of dollars spent on the afghan army, what does this say about their competence? sec. mattis: i would not say they fell apart because there were six military objectives in ghazni. they did not leave -- achieve a single one. were they out numbered and outgunned? this is not an easy fight, we never said it was. i do not believe you can use this example as emblematic. when you look at where the taliban and were what they were claiming they were going to do
two years ago and one year ago, they have not succeeded in taking down these towns and holding these towns. it is a lot easier, enormously easier to be the criminal in a town that is to be the policeman. that is true whether you are in ghazni, afghanistan, or anywhere else. the criminal has a certain initiative when they initiate criminal activity. i would not jump to a larger conclusion about this being emblematic. the fact is, innocent people are vulnerable to terrorism, whether they be in brussels or new york city or ghazni. >> we saw the taliban overrun smaller afghan bases. sec. mattis: it is a tough fight. >> tough enough to fight the taliban? sec. mattis: they have taken serious casualties over the last year and are still in the field. the taliban is talking about
cease-fires because they cannot avoid it. they found the own troops were stepping forward for a cease-fire, so they had to get out in front of the one a couple of months ago. there is more to this than traditional military who shot today. the fact is that we have seen tom jakarta and riyadh kabul, and they are saying you cannot have a jihad in afghanistan. they are stripping away this false religious garb. that has to be accounted for. it may be not quantifiable, is not like 1500 troops that are being hit, but it is real. you have to look at it in the totality. ow. >> about syria, what do you want
to happen next? the war was about regaining territory. we have heard there's small quirmishes-- square me going on. what you need for the nonmilitary side of that? there is one majorford: area in the euphrates river valley that has a significant isis presents. in the near term, working with the syrian democratic forces, we work to clear that. is trainingrtant the security forces necessary to stabilize those areas that have already been cleared of ice us. that will take time to do -- isis. that will take time to do. secretary pompeo has been engaging with regional actors to
contribute to the stabilization funds to get the basic services, water, electricity, jobs established in those towns. from reconstruction, that is a longer-term endeavor and will not talk about reconstruction until there is a political solution. on yemen, what is it that the u.s. military is doing differently now in terms of advising to help the coalition get to the goal of curtailing civilian harm in yemen? it does not seem to have worked over the last three years. on iran, the administration has continue to elevate policy focus of confronting iran's regional influence. has that focus resulted in a diminishment in its reach so far and what new actions is the u.s. military taking?
sec. mattis: on iran -- excuse me, i'm yemen, what are we doing different -- in yemen, what we are doing different is when we have been successful there was no news. we have seen a much more rigorous targeting process for the deliberate targeting, one that takes into account the areas where you are most likely to have collateral damage. that's is why they imposed no fire areas and restricted fire areas. with seen pilots with a much more attuned approach to their own missions and how they carry out those missions. we have seen pilots who declined to drop. i would tell you that to say that it has not worked, we recognize we are not going to achieve perfection. that is why we are waiting to get the investigation to find out what's pacific league did not work. -- what specifically did not
work. that was a dynamic target. we are waiting on the investigation. as a result, the pilot in the air when the threat is identified and right after it, we have to look at whether or not our deliberate targeting mechanism is sufficient if the enemy is getting better at fast-moving threats. you have a different target set. on iran, iran has been put on notice that the continued mischief that have caused around the area, the murder have caused, the support from syria and what they are doing with a sad, the missiles that are arabia,red into saudi or the iranian supplied uavs that are flown into international airports that this is not tolerated by us.
they are going to be held to account for it. are we seeing a change? i know in some cases we have seen less willingness to be confrontational, but fundamentally, they continue to be the single visit -- biggest destabilizing element in the middle east. >> go ahead, please. >> how much do think russia has the capability and leverage for russia or iran to have the syria?ts inside how is it to have the irradiance out of syria -- ukrainians out iranians out of syria?
sec. mattis: our problem is not iraniran, it is with the leadership and not the iranian people. tractionussia has the or persuasiveness to get iran syria, you have to look at that question, what are they doing in syria in the first place other than propping up someone who has committed mayhem and murder on his own people? they have no business there, and our goal is to move the serious civil war in the geneva process so the syrian people can establish a new government that ad and give by ass them a chance for the future that he has denied them with overt russian and iranian support. we are asking for russia to do what is the right thing in this
case, but i recognize the challenge and i would not take issue with the skepticism in your voice. let me move on and give everyone a chance. >> the contact between israel and russia to create a security zone along the northern border , to have this stone -- of do you think this will happen? sec. mattis: you'll have to ask israel and russia. >> i have one question for both of you. when you said the exercise with south korea will be continued, are you saying that next year's guardian and all the exercises will coincide with the end of north korea's winter training cycle will proceed? sec. mattis: we have not made decisions on that at this time
and we would do that in consultation with state. >> how do you see the situation regarding turkey's purchases of the s 400? are they continue with that? regarding the f-35, are you continuing with that? sec. mattis: turkey has a choice to make, a sovereign decision to make, but clearly turkey bringing a russian antiaircraft, antimissile system into a nato country, we cannot integrate that into nato. yes, it does concern us, and we do not recommend that. we were told in december that in syria there are less than 3000 isis fighters, that now it says there are 15,000 to 20,000 in iran and syria.
my question is, can you sort that out for us and tell us what the threat is. and for mr. secretary, you mentioned what we're traveling that you receive support from africa in changes in inflammation -- ample mentation -- implementation, can you tell me what the progress is? gen. dunford: here is what i am confident of. over the last 2.5 years, isis has lost 98% of the ground they have held. for fighters have significantly been reduced. there want a viable and we know it. -- they are quantifiable, and we know it. i don't have high confidence in the numbers that there is close to 3000 -- 30,000.
we know there are remaining pockets of isis inside iraq and that is why we are working with iraqi forces. i would not say that isis has the same strength that it had at its peak back in 2015. the statistics i outlined clearly argue against that. ger. mattis: on the ni changes, we are making changes on the policy. we uncovered that some troops did not train together what we thought was long enough and we changed the training requirements as well. as far as our continued operations there, we continue in support of the french led effort down there and building our partner nations'capacity to fight the enemy. >> that i go back to afghanistan?
time to running out of the extent there is pressure on australia to show results. to what extent that they can under the momentum? sec. mattis: we knew when we reviewed this and came up with the strategy it would take time. we believe we can make progress right now. even the idea a year ago if we said there would be a cease-fire at some point in the next year, i think we would've had a hard time convincing you of that. we now can point to it in a rearview mirror. there is another one being proffered. the taliban is finding themselves in the position of having to negotiate with their old subordinate who took it -- and their own subordinates who took the initiative. we continue to work on it and there are reasons to continue the strategy. we will drive this to a negotiated settlement is our goal and it remains the same.
-- argue find yourself were defend the strategy of administration? sec. mattis: i would point what happened when we went into the last brussels summit there, where we had over 1000 troops committed by other nations. i think that sends the message when the other nations are willing to add us to the effort. i think that sends the right answer to that question. go ahead. harp with national defense magazine. in your opening remarks, you noted ongoing efforts to bolster space capabilities. can you provide an estimate to see how much it will cost to set up a space force and the broader bureaucratic we are is a required? sec. mattis: i cannot. setting up the combatant command will not be that expensive because we will build out on what we have right now. i will let the chairman comment
on this in a moment. we have not done the cost estimates. that is underway. we have already commenced the effort, but i do not want to give you an off-the-cuff number. gen. dunford: the president's direction as well as a provision in the national defense at that requires us to stand a sub unified command. we are in the process and we met with key leaders to work for the details. we are still a few months from standing up that command. these specific details of doing it, we don't have a full cost right now. we will share it with you when it is available. >> i wanted to go to syria. the president in april said he wanted to get u.s. troops out of syria very soon. what are some of the steps that have to happen before very soon becomes a reality? sec. mattis: let me give three
points. one, we have to destroy isis and it is been clear that isis has to be taken out. we also have to have trained local troops who can take over. we are doing training as we speak. chairman has people assigned there specifically to train the locals. third, we need the geneva process, the yuan-recognized process -- u.n.-recognized process. if the locals are able to keep security during this time, we might be reducing our troops commensurate with their ability to deny isis a return. it comes down to finding a way to solve this problem assad is making. just to clarify your response to jennifer, are there no plans to send any more major military exercises korea?
is that a change from four or were there previous plans? sec. mattis: we suspended several exercise at the direction of the president or the good-faith effort was made. we have done -- resident. the good for -- president. the good-faith effort was made. right now, there are no plans to go further. say the initial decision was a good-faith gesture and now you're not planning to suspend more, are you suggesting that north korea is taken that in bad faith? sec. mattis: no, not at all. what we did at the time for that purpose. that is why we did it. 10 or 11 weeks ago, the u.s. administration talked about the exercises as wargames and provocative. if the u.s. does turn them back on, have a now become
provocative? sec. mattis: we are not turning them back on, they have never been turned off. we turned off several to make a good-faith effort. we are going to see how the negotiations go, and then we will calculate the future and how we go forward. this is about as straightforward as i can put it. are they going to do it again as they have annually and are they provocative? sec. mattis: i do not have a crystal ball. let's see how the negotiations go. even answering the question in that manner could influence the negotiations. let's let the diplomats go forward and we all know the gravity of the issue they are dealing with. we would deal with supporting the diplomats as i have said repeatedly. >> the 1953 document that you referred to in her opening remarks, that was written to
inuage americans and those congress that u.s. troops remained in west germany for a long period of time. , is that it,s now we should look towards for afghanistan, the type of likence long-term security in germany? sec. mattis: each situation is different. what the chairman said that we were going to have diplomats there and foreign policy is led by diplomats and the military moves in support of that. would we still have troops in afghanistan five-year some now? i cannot give you the answer to that. if they are able to handle their own security and the international community determines that and the nato-led effort is no longer needed, i can't imagine it coming out.
i do not think -- that would be no more well-founded answer to you than idle speculation from anyone. we have to wait to see what the situation is because it will be situationally dependent. i have to go back over to the side. they have been quiet. >> i want to go back to yemen. at what point does it become unacceptable for the children and innocent civilians to be killed with american weapons? sec. mattis: that is a strange way to characterize the question, being that we did not start the war, and i think what we have to look at here is probably can we get this to the u.n. brokered peace table that the u.n. special envoy is trying to get it to?
that is the goal. that does not change no matter what tragedy happens on the battlefield. if what we have done in the past had reduced loss of innocent life, then i would not want to stop doing that and think that we took care that problem and watch the number go up. >> does the u.s. support saudi arabia and yemen and is a conditional? sec. mattis: it is not unconditional. >> what is conditional? sec. mattis: they do everything humanly possible to avoid innocent loss of life and they support the u.n. brokered peace process. >> cut i ask you to give us an update on the status -- could i ask you to give us an update on the status of the housing of the immigration kids? has that happen yet? is that a good use of the military resources?
gen. dunford: we have been tasked to do some planning. we have not been requested to actually house any of the personnel. request not a specific right now. sec. mattis: that was preparatory planning in the event shoulder was needed for them. we have not housed any. thank you very much. my question is a north korea. -- i wasa report wondering if you could explain your view on this issue. sec. mattis: you will have to
talk about the negotiation with the department of state. they are the ones responsible for the negotiation to include that specific issue, so i leave that to them. >> you will be heading to india for a summit that has been moved to new delhi. ?hat are you expecting -- europe and afghanistan or the military. the questionwhat refers to is secretary pompeo
are going to new delhi and our meeting with counterparts in new delhi. our goal is to continue the partnership that is growing stronger between the two largest market sees in the world. s in the world. we see it as a stabilizing element in the world. certain thatke where we have common interests we are working together and are going to finalize a number of agreements that enable that partnership. as far as pakistan goes, the secretary of state and chairman going to fly in to islamabad to meet with the new government that is in place there now and to make very clear what we have to do in all of our nations in meeting our common foe, the terrorists, and make that
primary part of the discussion. my boss, go ahead. >> thank you so much. , 11 talking about how -- you have is yes been talking about how important it is to have allies. you are talking about autonomy. -- from the u.s. point of view? sec. mattis: we have been together through good times and bad. for those of you who studied history, you know what the suez crisis did during nato's early years. we have been to tougher times than this. i would point out that when i
was in brussels last time, a very high-ranking person at the meeting related that after brexit, if it goes forward, over 80% of europe's defense will come from non-eu countries. you stop and think about that percentage. i am not certain the number is right. i have asked by people to look at it, but you look at which non-he countries and how much of the defense comes from then, and i think we are going to find there is plenty of reason and common ground. we do not have to develop common ground, there is plenty that exists for us to find a way through disagreements. i think the last summit, where there was an open discussion on burden sharing and on how we all have to commit to keep these experiment alive and strong.
we aim out stronger in this regard. every nation has its own opinion on things, and there are a lot of issues in play. i respect that. i am not concerned at the democracy will suddenly lose the common ground of many years of working together and certainly the values we all share. those stand. those stand. we will be together at the end of the day. one more. i want to take someone else here very thank you. thank you, secretary. i have a question for both of you. first of all, you delivered a vote to congress in 1980 regarding relations in turkey. what is the importance over the what is thegram?
importance of turkey with renewed delegates to congress and for you, mr. general, [indiscernible] >> as far as turkey goes, we are working on a number of issues. consultations. i was on the phone with the minister of defense of yesterday i think it was. before ---- the day yesterday, i think it was. we have had candid discussions and are working our way or word, for ample, as the chairman mentioned earlier, on the message situation, the training equipment has arrived and we are getting close to actually getting this process to a point where it is enabling the combined patrols. we are already waving each other across the line and soon we will be patrolling together. very confident of that. to work on these kinds of
issues, but i cannot review and update on them all right now because we are working on them is. ask about the ypg, the vast majority near the euphrates river, there are very few left, if any. heart of the planning that we are doing with the turks right now is to start those independent patrols the wiest -- that we talked about. then there will be an independent vetting process to make sure that the governance is provided by the people who are from there, regardless of their ethnicity. >> thanks very much, ladies and gentlemen. appreciate your time this morning areas >> very quickly, senator mccain russian if you please. >> we explained our high regards for him clearly. right you will be at the funeral -- >> you will be at the funeral at the
academy? [inaudible] >> later today on c-span, scientist and environmental advocates testify on the damage caused by the overgrowth of algae and waterways. the senate commerce science transportation subcommittee on oceans and fisheries will begin at 2 p.m. eastern live here on c-span. tomorrow morning, the head of the fda will testify on his agent eplus priorities before the senate health education and pensions committee. that starts at 10 a.m. eastern, live wednesday on c-span. >> c-span, where history and daily. 1979, c-span was gated as a public service by america's cable public television companies. to bring we continue you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the , and public policy
events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> senator john mccain died on saturday at his home in the donut, arizona. on wednesday the senator will lie in date at the arizona state capitol, follow the next day by a funeral in phoenix. friday, senator mccain will lie in fate of the u.s. capitol, where he served since 1983. saturday, another funeral will be held at washington national cathedral. and on sunday senator mccain will be buried at the u.s. naval academy cemetery in annapolis, maryland. a senate subcommittee recently held a hearing on allowing them least to take time off work for the birth of a child or to take care of a sick family member.