tv Confirmation Hearing for Top NATO Commander Nominee CSPAN May 26, 2022 9:31am-11:20am EDT
position. we welcome your wife christina, your parents. your brother stephen, we thank him for his service in the united states army. we thank you and them for the continued service. your current role as the commanding general of the u.s. army no doubt provides you with critical experience insights which will serve you well in this new role. the distinguish across multiple theaters. further, you have studied the challenges in europe, including your current leadership and
reassuring nato allies. you have studied these issues -- east european studies and served as the marginal for -- the alliance has shown remarkable unity in the face of russia's unprovoked and illegal attack on ukraine. our allies joined together -- to mobilize to resolve critical combat. putin's actions have drastically returned -- drastically altered
-- others like germany are taking much greater proportions and institutional energies to improve those capabilities. ensuring the alliance is able to generate and maintain collect enforce an investment will be a primary responsibility. nato said 2 -- in madrid in june. i hope you'll share your thoughts on how the united states and our allies should begin to reassess the security environment altered by russia's invasion of ukraine.
coupled with this growing military relationship, they have -- in 2019 -- in 2018 in declaration stating china is growing influence international policies and opportunities and challenges that we need to address together as an alliance. the next commander has to work with the agency and the alliance. and what steps can be taken to mitigate this growing threat. the committee and what lessons you bring to repair our forces to any future conflict. we can also benefit from --
with our european allies and partners. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. general, a lot of. thank you for this opportunity to appear before you today. and thank you for the service you provide to our men and women, and to our families. i am honored to be able to serve as the supreme commander. i am president -- i am thankful to president biden and dance.
she has selflessly supported our soldiers and their families, even by raising -- even while raising our own two sons. i am so proud we can share this moment today. also, i would like to thank my sons. alex graduated from princeton and works in clean energy plant in california prior these to follow me all over the world. they attended three high schools each and i could not be more proud of the young americans they have turned out to be. as i talk about my family, i reflect on my own life. my dad -- came to america and became an army officer. over the years, we lived in europe again and again. we were blessed with multiple science -- multiple assignments there.
fast forward to our u.s. command army forces in europe, i have had the opportunity to work with -- work closely with the agency to advance our, national security objectives. for the last three years, i have done so under the leadership of general walters. i would like to publicly thank him for his mentor ship and his leadership during that time. i would also like to thank you, the united states congress and especially this committee. my first tour as a general officer in 2014, the congress has worked tirelessly to support -- to serve our men and women. the military -- to respond to russia. in response to this crisis, the illegal and unprovoked russian
invasion of ukraine, the u.s. military has deployed significant combat power in short time. the 18 dear board headquarters with a brigade at the headquarters division. fifth-generation fighters, additional destroyers, all of this has been enabled by the european terms commission heart -- the hard work dbi has engaged over the years. to ensure that -- is ready to respond to any threat to our national security. the core security challenges russia. russia's unprovoked invasion of ukraine ushers in a new error -- a new era in security.
our allies and partners have rushed with us to make sure ukraine is independent and free. on the far side, it will be up to us to all -- it is a huge concern as our telecommunication, -- and hybrid change. we are able to respond to any and all threats. we are in time when union alliance is of the greatest importance. our allies will be our strength as we go forward. if i work closely with this committee, i will provide my best advice and defending the principles that we have all fought so hard for over these years. it has been honored to serve you for the past 35 years.
thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve along these great men and women. i think this for again for your time once again today and to speak to you. i very much look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. there are a series of questions which nominees must respond to. please respond appropriately. have you adhere to applicable wars -- laws? >> yes. >> have you assumed any duties that compromise the confirmation process? >> no >>, sir. >> it is important that this committee and subcommittees receive testimonies, briefings, reports and other explanations on a timely basis. do you agree if confirmed to appear to testify before this per grade -- this brigade? >> i agree. >> do you agree to give your
personal views even if they differ? >> yes, i do. >> do you believe in providing communication in a timely manner and to consult -- regarding the bases. ? >> you. >> will you ensure its respond -- within time -- within a timely manner? thank you very much general. it is significant that we first met in ukraine. in about 2014 when you were leading the efforts to start
organize training efforts and war efforts for the ukrainian forces. i think your work then has shown itself to be useful today. thank you, for that. it raises two questions. how are you going to coordinate the investment of nato countries so that everyone doesn't -- and we don't have any --? and what should the united states do as a panelist but also a leading member? >> if i can start with the second question first, i think the u.s.'s special role insight nato is to demonstrate with our action how to go in that
direction. by deploring -- deploying fours, we have led nato as an example. as we armed our own military, we create another model. i have spent a lot of time speaking with the chiefs of other european armies. how we all ourselves organized -- and how they used these lessons as blesses themselves. this is always a devilish thing to do. it can be very difficult. there is an issue insight mato right now to make plans. to make plans to require
structure to national commitment. general walters redone that advanced step. and that work will guide the capabilities and capacities that we need for various nations. in support of nato's planning efforts. >> thank you very much, general. today, nato and communities around the world are able to move logistics -- are you preparing for the situation to
get your logistics? >> we are, senator. in the u.s. army, this is a source of significant concern as we look at our plans to reinforce. when we look at it, we divide it from the u.s. from port to port. in then from port to port across the atlantic and then from port to the need in europe. each one of those carries -- and has different people responding to those problems. we work in partnership of u.s. trans, and u.s. army to get army forces from port to port. we work with u.s. trans, as well as the second fleet. and j fc stood up command.
i am largely responsible with our nato allies and related organizations such as the jordan -- to get from port to point of need. we work very hard on that. >> you mentioned the issue of cyber. many people are waiting for the shoe to drop. the russians in this present situation. are there any comments you would like to make about them? >> we are correct to be waiting for the other shoe to drop. there is capability that could be used. we are being very vigilant about that. to go far beyond that, we would have to go into a classifieds setting, mr. chairman.
>> thank you very much. i think your service not only justifies this confirmation, but demands it. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i officiate that and your comments about the background i have witnessed today. we had a number of things to discuss over the years. we discussed the subject -- in my office, there are three questions that come from that. it should be a part of the record we will go to today.
what will be the longer security terms of these and what more should we do with our european and african allies and partners to address these partner -- address these problems now? >> senator, thank you. in my role as the commanding general of u.s. army forces in africa, this is weighed pretty heavily on our minds. the great shortages we are experiencing from russia and ukraine being a unable to come out of ukraine -- being sanctioned and not being sold are being -- i was recently in kenya and there was significant impact there.
there is food insecurity in africa by a shortage of grain. in many cases, these are countries that don't need any additional challenges. those additional challenges, we will have to help them with it some point. this will largely be a european concern because of the close effort between africa and european security. there are many proposals out right now, some of them are very positive. think there are about 22 million tons of ukraine back up and waiting to be pulled out. some of the pores we are attempting to use, made -- available, only about 9000 tons a day.
the german national railroad agency has recently stepped up. they are doing what is called a berlin train live. an analogy to the berlin air -- to pool wheat -- pool wheat right out of ukraine. some efforts are taking place. much more of it needs to be done, senator. >> general walters testified before this committee. it is possible that our troops ability to deploy from the united states and be up and running in less than a week to deter further russian aggression was made possible by the funding through -- this initiative is --
in 2014. do you agree with general walters assessment? in what ways have you seen the edi enable a robust response? >> senator, with edi over the past few years, the european command has placed large -- we have also used the funding to practice flying over -- in the beginning of this crisis when we got the order to activate, -- in
less than a week. by the end of the week, every screwdriver in the brigade had been issue. >> that could not have been done. it would not have been possible, a lot of people thought it was not possible, you had the foresight to rep yourself. >> one, sir. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general -- congratulations on your nomination. thank you for being here this morning and for your service and welcome to your family as well. you were kind enough to me recently with senator tillman and i to talk about tomato issues.
topped with the military leadership and nato, about some of the challenges that are facing bosnia, i am concerned about windsor you guys will be bald -- whether you guys will be involved when it comes up again. can you talk about what the impact would be if the u form mission is not renewed? >> senator, first of all, russian influence in the balkans israel. it is not a positive force in my experience. it is something we must think about constantly. the president of multinational forces such as k for and you
force to monitor the situation there. i believe there must be some everett that takes its place i will look at it immediately and discuss faith in the immediate options and i look forward to discussing it more with you, senator. >> thank you very much for that. you spoke earlier about the challenges about getting the grain out of ukraine.
predominance in the black sea and the what would we do to bolster negative defenses in the black sea. >> yes, ma'am. for some time before this crisis, we in the u.s. yukon have been working on strengthening the presence and the role of the u.s. in nato and the black sea area. in the naval forces europe, for example, has been working with the walgreens that has been
working with -- high-end new equipment. so we have been looking at things like that in the past and we will continue to do those in the future if i'm confirmed. >> do you think we have an adequate strategy within nato and the u.s. for the black sea region? >> i think inside the u.s. we have strategy, adequate, all strategies have to be assessed, reviewed and updated all of the time. clearly the current events in the black sea region will require us to go back and make sure we adjust everything for the result of this conflict.
i think i can say the same thing for the nato approach, but i will have to wait and if i'm confirmed look into what nato is planning in that regard and come back to you. >> thank you, i look forward to that. the administration recently appointed retired general wolf as the ukraine security assistance coordinator, which i think was a positive move. can you talk about how the relationship with the general as the coordinator will work as you think about your role in coordinating security with ukrainians? >> only briefly because that is still working its way out. we encouraged the efforts to coordinate. that is one of the difficult things in this overall collective effort. i saw terry wolf a few weeks ago and we had words about it but if i am confirmed i look forward to working with him to make sure
these systems work together sleep. closely. >> thank you. >> general, congratulations, thanks for your career of service and your wife and family for your service, the defense of this nation is a family affair. i want to discuss the request by finland and sweden to join nato. that is a political decision that will be made by the president in the senate as well as 29 other nato members, but it is a alliance and i would like to get your professional military judgments on the implications of adding sweden and finland to nato. what do you think it will do to bolster our common defense to have sweden and finland as members of nato? >> i look forward to the
accession of finland and sweden to the alliance for the military perspective. each of those militaries bring capability and capacity to the alliance from day one. for example, finland has a large army, well-equipped, very well trained and quickly extensible, exercised frequently and absolutely expert in defending the borderline it has with russia for these past decades. the expertise they demonstrated in 1939 and they have built on it since. finland in addition to its army has fighter jets and has decided to buy 64 f-35's. they will arrive bringing capacity and capability to the alliance. sweden is the same, a smaller army but a capable army and one
that is growing. my colleague has a 200% increase in his acquisition budget over a five-year period. they recently bought patriots and are contemplating other equipment. we work with them closely. they bring a navy in the baltic sea, which will be of enormous military significance to the alliance. if we look geographically with the accession of those companies, the entire black sea with the exception of a few kilometers will be coastline of nato nations which will create a different geometry in the area. >> i think you mean the entire baltic sea. >> i am sorry, of course. >> can you speak about what it means for russia's baltic fleet to have the northern shores of the gulf of finland apart from nato since the southern shore already is and what it means to have a large swedish island in
the middle of the baltic fleet? what does that mean to russia's bolton -- baltic fleet? >> it provides geometric dilemmas russia does not have right now if eight so forth from st. petersburg and leningrad. it will be advantageous. >> you mentioned another key feature, the 800 mile border finland has with russia. some might say this exposes nato to more risk because you have this border. it sounds like your perspective is rather than exposing nato to risk, and exposes russia to greater risk and complement -- complicates defense spending. >> i do think that for a couple of reasons. russia has not historically put too many ground forces on the border. it has been an economy of forced theater because they thought they had a relationship with finland that allowed them to do that. this allowed russia to concentrate ground forces in other places.
that possibility will now go away for russia. in addition to that defense as i mentioned, they are expert in defending that border. i have gone on a snowmobile with the chief of the border guards and the finish army down half the length of that border and i was impressed at their ability to defendant. >> do you think the russian general staff is fairly well-versed in the history of the winter war which you alluded to in 1930 and 40? >> i know they are. that is studied not just by western armies as a model of how to beat a larger force but studied by the russians as an important lesson to learn from their past. >> sounds like you think that even 80 years on the russian general staff might not want to put their hand on their hot stove again. >> i would hate to put myself in their head but i would not do it if i were them. >> there was a report in the
wall street journal that the ministration is considering sending forces to guard the embassy in kyiv. >> i can't comment publicly on that but we currently do not have any marine security detachment with the embassy in kyiv and with regard to special forces, we would have to talk about it. >> you answered my next question, which would be do we have marines at that embassy, which we have in pretty much every other embassy around the world. i just checked. we you have marines in moscow. yet we don't have them guarding our embassy in kyiv. it is their job around the world and i think that is because the president came out last year and publicly stated he would never put troops in the ukraine. now the minister should is running like a cat chasing its tail trying to figure out how to let these marines do their job at that embassy just like in moscow and at five diplomatic
facilities in china. i think we should let the marines do their job at the embassy. this is another instance in which i am afraid the president is self deterring in a public fashion which is sending the wrong signal to putin. you don't have to respond but you can take under advisement think the marines should be standing guard at the embassy when you get confirmed. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, senator cotton. senator, please. >> thank you, we are grateful for your service. in visiting allies, we talked about article five and when that gets triggered after a cyber attack. do you have views about what level of cyberattack on a nato ally would critical -- would trigger an article five requirement? >> this is an active debate inside the alliance.
it is an active debate for most countries in fact two. that debate has been joined but not come to a conclusion inside nato yet. believe there are various levels of cyberattack. as you point out. at some point, they become more akin to a kinetic attack than others. one comp getting thing i think we have seen in the recent past is the activity of nonstate cyber actors in the same timeframe as the states are competent -- contemplating cyber defense. i believe attribution will continue to be one of the most important parts of any cyber policy. >> with regard to russia's cyber threat specifically to forces in europe and allies in nato, what steps are you taking it will take if confirmed to ensure that our i.t. network, mitigation
channels, weapons and platforms are able to perform if intended in the event of a broader conflict? >> in my current role under of the u.s. army in europe and africa, i'm responsible to provide the basic secure backbone for communications. i work with this and with the already -- army cyber and network command to do so. we have a regional center. it does maintain overview of one of our networks and i work closely with our network command to maintain this in defense of the others. this is something i get briefed on every week and i am satisfied with the level we have now. we have to work on it constantly and we do work on it constantly. in a broader sense, if i'm confirmed into the next job, the alliance is working in this direction also. there is a nato cyber center of
excellence. we are initiating conversations necessary to have collective policy and strategy on network defense. but i believe more needs to be done. i look forward to looking into it and getting back to you. >> thank you. last week, finland's parliament overwhelmingly voted to join nato following applications by finland and sweden to join. given the border finland shares with russia and its advanced military capabilities, can you describe how it can integrate into the nano umbrella -- nato umbrella? >> first, we practice that in the ground domain all the time and i can speak for bob burke and another at u.s. air forces europe and they do this all the time. we exercise with finland, i have soldiers there i believe now, i brought a couple of stryker
companies back. we have a parachute battalion going up there later this summer. we exercise frequently with sweden to include on high and air and missile defense. i think it will be quite easy for us to integrate them quickly . we have been integrating them in our large-scale exercises as well as operations abroad for some years now. >> turkey has expressed hesitations about admitting finland and sweden. how are you approaching engaging defense officials in turkey to discuss how the addition of finland and sweden will strengthen the nato alliance? >> the core of the matter will be a diplomatic and policy decision on all nations part. i would like to stay away from that for a moment. but at a military level, we retain a military to military relations with our turkish allies and we have done so for the past years i have been associated with working in europe.
we conduct exercises with them, consultations, and the like. >> but not with regard to the rejection that turkey articulated. >> specifically with regard to that, that has not been a subject inside the military to military dialogue. at least my dialogue with the chief of their army. >> thank you. my time has expired. i will submit an additional question to the record about alignment and work with space comp. >> i look forward to it. >> thank you, senator gillibrand. >> good morning, thank you for your continued service to our nation and to your family for their support. i would also like to thank you for taking the time to meet with me earlier this week. you are incredibly qualified for this assignment and i intend to support your nomination. general, the fy 23 budget
request increases funding for the european deterrence initiative by about $400 million. this initiative has been pivotal in our ability to respond as quickly as we did in ukraine. from your experience, can you speak to the importance of this initiative, and if confirmed, what changes would you make? >> thank you, senator. so the european deterrence initiative has not just been important. it has been like oxygen to us for several years. it allows us to do all of the exercising to build the infrastructure, to pre-position all of the equipment we have been using and that you have seen as use in response to this crisis. since my first tour as a general officer in europe when the original eri was authorized and
appropriated, we have been benefiting from it. we have used it to put infrastructure into place where we are pre-position in equipment, and now we exercise that equipment at a large scale with the funding this committee authorizes. it is vital to what we have been doing and i think we see the benefits in our rapid ability to react in the past couple of months. >> thank you. your answers to the advanced policy questions, you mentioned the joint force must be repaired to counter threats posed by rapid technological advancements such as advanced chemical, oil logical, and nuclear or cbr and threats. quantum computing, robotics, hypersonic's, quite a list. based on your experience, what developments are you seeing regarding those threats, particularly those pertaining to
quantum computing and artificial intelligence? >> thank you. the ability to process the vast amounts of information that are available now really drives our ability to discern intentions as well as to find ways to strike it. there are a few efforts of the u.s. side has been working on with regard to artificial intelligence. we are using a couple of those in europe during this crisis. they are proving very useful. they help us keep track of where everybody is and what they're doing. if i could take it into a classified setting sometime, i would be delighted to go into more detail. but it is paying big dividends already. we are aware our adversaries are working on the same things so it is more imperative for us to
continue to develop this technology. >> you're saying they are a threat with regard to those new capabilities. >> i think the nds has it right, especially china is a pacing threat with regard to those capabilities. >> what lessons in response how been learned that should be applied to the overall joint force? >> that cbr and dust cbr and -- cbrn force we are using -- at the service level and in conjunction with the combat and commands. i have had my chance to review the army part and we are updating it with regard to what we understand, the emergence of the threat but secondly with regard to our own posture and technologies to deal with the threat. as you know, for many years in afghanistan and iraq, that was
not the primary concern. as we move back into contemplating large-scale operations, we find it necessary to revisit that. >> this has worldwide responsibilities with respect to the planning and operation of nato military operations. >> if confirmed, how would you view your role with regard to china? >> china is present in europe and is going to present increasing security challenges inside europe. my job will be to make sure that our policymakers have military options insofar as they need them or choose to employ them. >> thank you, my time has expired. >> thank you, senator. senator warren, please. >> thank you mr. chairman and general, it is good to see you again, congratulations on your nomination.
your deep expertise in european affairs makes you particularly qualified to serve in this role at this critical time. it is clear that vladimir putin never anticipated that his illegal invasion of ukraine would unite so many countries around the world. this committee primarily focuses on our military power, but the crisis has made clear how important it is to invest in all of our tools of influence to advance u.s. interest, prioritizing diplomacy in coordination with our allies has obviously paid huge dividends. diplomatic success however does not happen overnight. this is the result of long time -- long, time-consuming investments. let me start by asking, general, you think it is important for the united states to provide robust funding for the state
department and usaid? would you like to say an extra word? >> absolutely. the united states like many nations attempts to lead with diplomacy. for diplomacy to be effective, it can't happen at the moment is needed. it has to be developed over years of relationship building and that requires resources. i benefits as an officer when our diplomacy is robust. i benefit as an officer and i think we benefit as a nation when our diplomats are harmed within need to be to conduct the business of the nation. >> i appreciate effective climate change is another major security challenge. we need to work harder on it. the most recent annual threat assessment found, and i want to quote, climate change will increasingly exacerbate risk to u.s. national security interests.
the world is dependent on fossil fuels and authoritarian petroleum and petro states. it undermines our interests and safety. your response to the policy questions so that climate change will be a critical consideration in all we do. can you elaborate on that? >> sure. first, our national defense strategy with that out. it is something we have to consider in everything we do. but right now i am responsible for army activities in africa. africa suffers from the certification -- desertification. lack of resources, new your
location, you can find it. the grain shortage is exacerbated by drought in india. all this is having an impact inside my ao are -- or -- aor in africa and i take it seriously. if you look at europe, the arctic is changing and the military geography of the high north, which nato and others are dealing with now. >> i appreciate your thoughtful response. this is a crisis that often gets overlooked in national security and is betting to all of us. over the past two months, congress has provided tens of billions of dollars of emergency
spending to support the response to the russian invasion, i am in support about spending but i'm concerned about the risk of waste. this committee is owed a backlog of several years of reports on the defense plan for the european deterrence initiative. i have spoken to your predecessor and dod on the importance of writing is reports. a letter i received from the controller last week claimed another component of dod will provide the report. i am sick of the runaround. dod has not complied with the law. not having these reports hurts oversight and planning for your command. general, i understand this is not your primary response ability. but you will be the senior military leader overseeing the spending. will you make sure this
committee receives the reports required by law this year? >> i will submit all the data i am required to. >> i appreciate that and will hold you to that. it's likely you and the president will come again with additional requests. if you want congress to approve tens of billions of dollars, you need to show us how you are making sure that money is spent responsibly. >> if i could make a comment, and is not lost on me how much money we're talking about here. i and we owe it to the american taxpayer to have a thoughtful application of those funds and a full accounting above. >> i appreciate it and look forward to the reporting. thank you. >> senator tillis from ablaze.
>> thank you, with regard to the time you spent with a senator a week or so ago, congratulations on your nomination, i look forward to supporting it and thanks to your family. you cover the landscape by linda very well and discussed sweden. -- finland very well and discussed sweden. he mentioned the investment sweden intends to make in their military and we want them to get to the 2% threshold. can you give insight into the specific actions taken that would give us confidence they will be there by 2028? >> they have express the intention to do so, and i conversations with major general roxanne, best the major general, -- the major general, the chief of the smidge army, he says they will get there. >> what would that look like? i
have met with swedish officials almost every week or past month and one, they made is that they fully intend to do it, but they also have to be able to absorb the investment. with respect to the avid investment, while likely to look like in terms of brown, naval and air force? >> he adopted 3, 2, 1, the key part going up to key brigades, adding an additional one. that is a big chunk. the scond -- second is to add capabalities. they bought their first battalion, it has been delivered in the past year and those are purchased quickly but help us lift defense spending. i think the combination of
expanding the size of the army and raising the technology of the couple of the things like the air and missile defense will help. i can't speak quite as in detail about how they will use or absorb additional funding and maritime domains. >> you can talk about the advantage sweden brings in terms of naval presence in the black sea. >> sure. sweden has ports on the baltic sea and naval forces that fail on the baltic sea. they have something referred to as the unsinkable aircraft carrier. they will bring an enormous amount of surface capability to us in the baltic sea. they also have underwater capabilities that will help us as well.
>> excuse me. the funding we approved and that i voted for, the supplemental funding for ukraine, do think it was wise to send that to ukraine? >> i think we will put that to good use. we will put out to good use. >> can you speak about how the food assistance and broader scope of the bill focusing on the threat to food sources in north africa and what would happen if we don't pay attention to that in terms of stability and area isis, boko haram will look to see destabilized? >> absolutely. those groups feed on the and food insecurity, corruption and poverty.
just like groups elsewhere in the world. they've been doing fairly well, they have made gains in the southwest that we need to keep an eye on and that our allies in europe nead to h -- need to help with. a food shortage would exacerbate the situation down there. >> thank you. the last thing the senator and i talked about in serbia, kosovo, i got the sense of speaking with those leaders that they felt they have been on the back burner in terms of our focus. what more do you think we need to do, if any, to increase our presence which demonstrate we are concerned with that part of the world? >> i think the first thing we can do is exercise and
increasing basis. the u.s. army, europe defender exercise series focused on the baltics last year. it has an effect immediately, i could see that. we were warmly welcomed every place we were. i think at the beginning, as a first step we need to continue. >> i look forward to supporting your nomination. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator king, please. >> welcome to the committee and congratulations on your point that. i believe one of the most support and folks written in the 20th century was the guns of august, the thesis was that we stumbled into world war i muskogee elation, mistake, misunderstanding and a complicated web of treaties in europe that led to a world war no one wanted. how do we communicate to the
russians the defensive nature of nato? my concern is what we view as deterrence and reassurance they could view as provocation, particularly in light of dealing with a country that is paranoid. putin clearly think there is a danger of an invasion by nato. talk about how we diminish this substantial risk of a miscalculation . putin made huge miss cap galatians in ukraine. what if you make similar ones about poland, finland and sweden -- miscalculations in ukraine. what if he thinks we will make a similar one in poland, finland, sweden? >> the danger of a mistake or muskogee elation looms very high in our consciousness every day u.s. you, -- ucom.
we have a process by which we review every investment we are conducting in order to gauge how it will be viewed by our adversaries and russia in particular. whether we should proceed, given our various goals at that point. it is a delicate balance. and it is delicate because one must not shy away from activity we need to do to stay strong and to make sure we outline our priorities of what we will defend, but it is also necessary not to overdo that and create a problem where a problem was not. we worked very hard on that and clearly we have not hit that point yet. >> i want to be clear, i support the opinion reassurance
initiative, i support what we have done in ukraine and what we are doing in poland and eastern europe, bringing new countries into nato. i think the important thing here, and we talked about diplomacy earlier, is to communicate this is defensive. i think that is an important point and my follow-up question is do you have, as supreme commander of nato, you have a communication link with your counterpart in russia in order to de-escalate not a conflict but a potential conflict? >> to continue with the last point, if i may, transparency, that communication is vital. in my position now, when we conduct our large-scale exercise, we go to the osce. they outline the objectives,
major movements. i should transparency -- add transparency to my previous answer. >> to the russians? >> to everybody. >> do you have a red phone? >> the supreme allied commander has not. -- that. >> that is reassuring. we are supportive of the arms and support we have been giving to the ukrainians, humanitarian and military. looking beyond the current conflict, there will be a huge amount of arms in this relatively small country. we spent 30 or 40 years chasing things we gave to the group in afghanistan.
is there accountability over where these weapons are in where they might be? it worries me, not the ukranians but they could fall into malfactors in the region. >> accountability for that equipment is is vital. it is challenging because we are not in the country, but as the conflict winds down or concludes, that will be one thing i have to get out, especially if confirmed. i share your concern. >> thank you. >> thank you. sullivan, please. >> thank you mr. chairman and general, thank you and your family. i appreciated our discussion yesterday. i believe you are exceptionally qualified for this position. i would like you to brag if you don't mind, can you let the committee and the american
people know some of your background and experiences and education as it relates to russia? >> asking me to brag is the hardest question you could ask. [laughter] >> we want you to brag. i want you to. very impressive, russia focus, education. >> i graduated in princeton 19 and seven where do not look in russia, i graduated with a degree in biology. i entered the army and stationed in italy with the battalion. in that role we study russia because that was our main opponent during the end of the cold war. as i cannot accompany command, beginning -- i became a russian foreign dutch officer. -->> officer.
>> you speak russian. >> i do. i have posters for the georgia virtual center in germany. i was on the russia two for the joint staff. >> so that is every day, getting up and focusing on russia, challenges. >> absolute. >> i would say you are vladimir putin's worst nightmare and could not be more qualified than any other member of the military. again, i want to thank you for your service. could you define our strategic goals in ukraine? >> we want ukraine to be free,
we want nato as strong as ever and we want to do these things without engaging in a war with russia. >> thank you. there is discussion about nato being energized, unified. i'm a supporter of nato, i was at nato headquarters after the invasion in february and it was a big supporter of edi. finland, sweden sessions, support a robust military, is appointed the president put forward a budget that cuts defense spending in real dollars. supported u.s. economic and military aid since february, 50 $4 billion. but i want to say, and hopefully -- there is grumbling. my constituents in alaska are probably the most promilitary constituents, americans in the country. but grumbling late to this
question. why is the u.s. is spending more to defend europe then europe is spending? and by that i mean, dating back to president george w. bush, president obama, president trump, president biden, all have put forward this goal of 2% of defense spending as a percentage of gdp which was agreed upon in the whale summit in 2014 by all members. right now, eight members out of 30, down from last year, have met that goal. very wealthy countries, sweden, canada, germany, france. many of them are not even close to meeting that goal. what can we do? isn't it now or never that the nato countries should meet this goal?
i don' believe this is sustainable. we are doing all we can, but the american people are saying where's everyone else, how can these countries can't meet this goal? i'm working on legislation but say of nato countries do not meet these goals in five years that congress will not put out dollars for training and deployment of those countries. what do you think of something like that, and if confirmed will you be focused on assuring these countries understand we are a democracy, too? at a certain point market people are going to say enough. europe has to defend europe. as
mrs. america does. >> i'm a -- believer that says nations should spend at least 20% on modernization. -- it is a great moment, if confirmed part of rado will be to help diplomats and the agency of the united states to convert those good intentions into facts. >> what about legislation i'm working on? >> i would rather not comment on legislation if you don't mind. >> thank you. >> thank you, senators sylvan. --- sullivan. >> thank you.
i ask the following questions. since you became an illegal -- a legal dult have you had any sexual requests or -- ? >> no. >> -- what countries are taking in the millions of refugees from ukraine? >> that is an amazing story and heartwarming. as you know, early on, my command was directed to prepare for assistance for americans coming out. but we anticipated needing to help with the refugees. we correctly anticipated about 6 million refugees in europe. it was unnecessary.
the people of poland, romania, hungary and slovakia have opened their doors and hearts to ukrainian refugees. i have local national employees in poland, three have ukrainian families in their homes. has been remarkable. >> it is amazing and heartwarming. even as we talk about the monetary commitment to nato come up there are many ways our european allies are stepping up regarding ukraine. i"m glad senator sullivan asked you to talk by your background. it is impressive and i think your highly qualified for this position. if you like asking you to answer some questions in russian, but that is ok.
it is a difficult language to learn and i commend you for that focus. a delegation is set to travel for talks with allies, quoting from the state department, regarding the atrocities in ukraine and in an effort to bring them to joseph. how will you assess the international criminal court for the alleged war crimes in ukraine, holding russia credible? >> i will talk about that anytime. this has been an issue considered in our policy making circles for some time and i would have to follow u.s. policy. >> it is important for russia to
be held accountable for the atrocities they are committing and of course this unprovoked war on an independent country. last saturday, president biden signed a package of assistance to ukraine. this includes systems ukrainians need to protect themselves. how will you ensure a continuing coordination of the rapid transfer of u.s. resources and weapons of ukraine and consider the country's future to consider the defense needs against russia? >> -- currently at a policy level coronation consults with other nations on what it might
contribute. we handle the command and the logistics and although u.s. deletions come to the hands of my forces in southeastern poland and they move it into the right location. we will continue to do it that way. i think the accounting of all of this will be of great importance. understanding where everything is and being able to account for the money that has been provided with an important part if i'm confirmed. >> yes, as a senator, warren also mentioned there will be so much money that will be needed to help ukraine and the aftermath. yes, we need to make sure this money is going where it is supposed to go for the purposes for which we are appropriating funds. thank you. i have other questions i will
submit for the record. >> thank you. senator? >> thank you. good to see you, i enjoyed our conversation the other day and congratulations on your nomination. we start with nato, which is the top of the conversation. we may be considered to vote on nato expansion, you talked about this with me when we met. you are familiar with the whales pledge. -- wales pledge. julie sent me a letter saying it was her opinion nato allies should spend more than 2% of gdp on defense, going beyond the pledge. vice chairman said the same, assistant secretary of defense also said the same that allies should go beyond the pledge. let me ask in your personal opinion now, is it time for nato allies to move beyond the pledge and increased defense spending
about 2%? -- above 2%? >> i liked the ambassadors formulation. she has been saying 2% is a floor, not a ceiling and i agree with that. i know all of the land forces chiefs in nato. each of them has a list of requirements. it would all take more than 2% of gdp. so i am an advocate of spending more than 2%, at least 2%. >> good. thank you. when we talked last week, you said you did not expect the admission to nato to require forces. i've seen that sweden is requesting a greater u.s. naval presence in the baltic sea and reports to keep 100,000 plus troops in europe for the future.
i want to revisit the topic you have discussed in light of those reports. how confident are you that finland and sweden's assessment to nato would not result in u.s. forces doing more in europe than we are currently obligated to under our current nato commitments? >> 100,000 forces in europe that are being extended are part of the search we have performed over the last few weeks and was not related to the question of finland and sweden joining nato. i remain of the opinion, as i told you in our office call, that at least in the ground domain, this is not going to be a requirement for large additional forces. i think exercises and occasional presence like with any ally will increase. >> different requirements, do
you think? will this necessitate a shift in posture by our forces or nato forces? >> i don't know right now and i would point out that the word basing carries with it an enormous number of implications i would have to consider deeply before i came back to you with the response. >> since you mentioned coming back, if confirmed would you commit to providing the committee with the full account of the implications for u.s. forces in europe should they join nato so we can consider that as part of any debate we might have in this chamber over nato expansion? >> i would be happy to do that if confirmed. >> thank you. burden sharing, you and i have talked about this with our nato allies and these are the what we
need to do in the pacific with china, will have to do more sharing with our allies is my view in europe if we are going to focus as we need to on pay,. do you think our military allies should rely on this in europe, with us providing nuclear assurance, but europe focusing on everything else as we shift resources to china? >> i think it is imperative as we look at the emergence of the threat of china for us to find ways to be able to handle the acute threat of russia in a collective fashion with the alliance that allows us to do that. there are a number of different ways that could play out. almost all of those ways include increased burden sharing on the
part of the alliance and other members of the alliance i should say. but they also depend on what the security situation in europe is like at the end of this conflict. really, this conflict and the way it comes out is going to drive and lots of my answer to your question. it is premature for me to talk about it. >> my time is expired so i will ask my last question and let you answer and yield. what are some capabilities we provide in europe that you think european allies could feasibly contribute going forward? >> some things we provide our heavy equipment and armor, our allies could provide some of that. in many cases it should be modernized first or in larger quantities. we provide long-range fires and logistics. we would encourage -- probably
increased air and missile defense would be welcome in terms of capability. >> thank you. >> thank you. i want to follow-up on the senator's line of questioning. great to see you again and thank you for your willingness to continue to serve our nation. this presents unique and difficult challenges and it is clear the conflict in ukraine will have a lasting impact on the future of european security. i think it is important to continue to look ahead and i appreciate the discussion we had in my office last week. we talked about the ukrainian military needs looking forward, from equipment to training to structural reforms, it is clear these things are going to take some time.
i feel if we want to deter further aggression the onto this conflict from putin or somebody like him in the future, we need to start thinking about this right now. as we think about the future of the ukrainian air force, i think centerpiece is not going to be the mick 29. it needs to be something like the f-16, that might be a good option. over the last two years we have sold some of these to our partners in the middle east, and in the state of arizona, the 162nd air national guard ring that swing has been training foreign pilots -- wing has been training foreign pilots. they do that, the transition in slovakia from obsolete and ineffective aircraft to the f-16.
can you provide thoughts on how the u.s. and our allies can help modernize ukraine's military to deter future aggression, specifically with looking for the air force? >> yes. as with a previous question, i think ukraine's military requirements at the end of this conflict are going to depend on what the shape of the security landscape is at the conclusion of the conflicts. and what threat they face and how much threat they face. the first thing i would say -- the second thing i would say is the aide we are giving is important to what they are doing but it will require rationalization on the far side. there will probably need to be a modernization of fleets.
-- homogenousization of the fleet. -- homogenization of the fleet. with regard to the air domain, i think ukraine is going to have to sit down with us, examined the security situation and sketch out a strategy for a way ahead. i can't say what it would look like now but i do look, if i'm confirmed, to coming back and talking about in the future. >> i appreciate that. they're going to be a lot of tough decisions, certainly the agreement, whatever the final -- depending on how this concludes, it is going to play a big role in with the security cooperation looks like. and what the reforming of the military looks like in future years.
another issue we discussed was the possibility of permanently basing more euros -- u.s. troops in eastern europe, an issue many of us have advocated for and there are multiple factors to consider in making this decision. what are your thoughts on the possibility of permanently stationed u.s. forces in eastern europe, and where would you right now -- where are you starting to think about where they could go, and the reason is to deter future russian aggression. >> as we flowed additional forces in over the last few months and nato has reupholstered nato forces, multinational forces over the past couple of months, what has been happening is the center of gravity of the nato force has been shifting eastward. depending on the outcome of the
conflict, we may need to continue that for some time. with regard to how those guys are source, how are those soldiers sourced, permanently, -- a lot of questions and policy matters are there. i will have a voice if i'm confirmed but there will probably be about going into that. >> in poland and germany, especially with the polls it will be an important conversation to have. they are very interested in a stronger alliance and a possibility of a commitment to u.s. forces in poland. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> general, welcome, thank you for your service.
i have had a number of questions related to ukraine but they have been asked and i don't want you to keep repeating -- there was announced in a special operations quarter in albania. in conjunction with those efforts, how do you see nato and you come -- and others cooperating in this challenging part of europe? clicks last year we conducted a large portion of the defender large-scale exercise in albania. it was u.s. army europe ask, it was critically augmented by the u.s. navy and naval forces europe and air force europe as well. it had a huge effect, a huge
positive effect. on the back of that we have increased activities with our albanian allies significantly. the addition of it based on there is an example. if confirmed, i will pay attention to that. with our allies in the balkans, that is important. >> rates. to stay with the theme of partnerships, i am proud to represent the michigan national guard state ships in latvia as well as liberia, two programs i expect you know well given her position as commander of the u.s. army in europe and africa. every commander i have talked to gooding general walters has praised partnership program and my question for you is, if confirmed as the commander of the most powerful alliance of the world, how will you leverage the national guard bureau's
programs to achieve the objective? >> in my current role, we use these partnership programs every day and if i am confirmed he will be able to add me to the list of commanders who love the state partnership program. i have a two star deputy from the national guard who liaise as -- as a liaison with those who have partnerships in our area and it is invaluable, the depth of the relationships they have, the continuity has been very important to us. in crises as well as peacetime. it is a valuable program if i am as the commander. i look forward to adding the air guard portion to my portfolio. >> great to hear. on sunday, the leaders of armenia and archer by sean
announced a border commission -- osher by sean announced a border commission -- armenia and another nation announced a border commission. they cannot be trusted as a result of the horrific actions we are seeing in ukraine right now -- but russia did play a role in the discussions in the region. my question for you is if confirmed, how do you see nato influencing conditions to enable peace in the region given russia's involvement in the area? >> that is a prickly question. in the caucuses in general, i have spent quite a bit of time down there and studied it, and still with our partners down there. almost every issue has several different angles on it. the russian angle is always one
that needs to be considered. in any given proposal or situation, if i am confirmed i would sit down and examine it closely from all angles i could for coming up from my best recommendation. i recognize how delicate that area is and how many external interests are at play. >> absolutely. while nato enlargement increases the capacity of our defensive alliance, and also increases complexities behind maintaining a unified front as i'm sure you are aware. a significant example can be seen by turkey's concerns that regarding finland and sweden secession into the alliance. i question is if confirmed, you will serve as the supreme allied commander. how do you see you fostering an environment that continues to promote unity and cohesion among unique and sometimes different
member nations? >> i think in terms of fostering the right climate, the first step is to remember the military arm of nato is only one part. it is under a collective control. second is to remember that each of those service chiefs represents a sovereign nation's army or military and to treat them with thefinally, consult ty and build consensus as i can. >> senator scott? >> thank you. we went to europe and visited with troops in germany,
lithuania. with the conversations i had, i was impressed with the allies. they clearly see the threat. there is no military like ours. we have to stop these tyrants from trying to control the world. doesn't appear that the biden administration did everything they could because vladimir putin, he clearly invaded. obama did the same thing in 2013. it has put us in a tough position.
china continues threats against taiwan. none of us want to send men and women to fight, but we're going to end up that way if we don't stop them. given your years of service, can you believe the u.s. can deter russia, china, iran? >> i believe that all instruments of national power are necessary parts of deterrence. that includes the military, diplomatic, economic. i believe that political will is a necessary thing to demonstrate in order to achieve deterrence. >> what does the european command need more to try to
deter vladimir putin to make sure he does not win in ukraine and sure he does not invade a nato ally? >> the most important thing that the european command needs to continue to deter is continued unity of the alliance. continued political will of the alliance which we are seeing in abundance right now. we need to keep that going. the second step is we need to continued support of -- to provide us with the capabilities we need. those the two things. >> does it make sense to reposition some of our troops further to the east rather than have so much concentrated in germany? >> in response to this crisis, we have done exactly that. the alliance has repositioned four battle groups into
southeastern europe and many nations have bilaterally reinforced their forces. for example, we have reinforced latvia. the u.k. is reinforced their battle groups in estonia. the u.s. has added additional forces into eastern europe as well. i think that is exactly what we have done in response to this crisis. >> even with sweden and finland not being part of nato, do we have a good working relationship with their military? >> yes. we worked very closely with the swedish military on specific technical things but also in general and exercises with the finnish army, a parachute battalion is on its way to finland later this summer, they will be easy to integrate. >> what do you see that they
should be doing in europe that they are not doing? >> we should keep doing what we're doing today. as we talk more with our ukrainian colleagues, we understand better and better what they need and how they plan to use it. i think we are moving in the right direction. the question of what happens on the far end to ukraine after the conflict concludes is going to be a very important question for europe as well as our country. >> thank you for your service. >> thank you, senator scott. senator rosen will have the floor.
>> good morning it was nice to have a conversation with you last week. let's get right into it. i worry about cyber. russian cyber threats. we were talking about that last week, the importance of maintaining our collective vigilance in the face of russian cyber threats. cyber come commander said a team traveled to ukraine in december to help them build resilience. unfortunately, russia has launched destructive cyber attacks against ukraine. if confirmed, how will you work with cyber come to help enhance the cybersecurity of ukraine including through how to forward
operations? >> i will continue to work with the general and air force under tim hawk runs cyber operations. general nakasone command has set up some great models throughout europe in terms of defending forward, hunting forward. and doing it in collaboration with our partners and allies. i look forward to pursuing all of those. it is going to be of critical importance. >> you led me to my next question. what do you assess nato's capabilities and our alliances, our readiness together to respond to attacks? >> the alliance has collectively begun. we have established a cyber center in estonia and we are working toward cyber strategies.
clearly, just like for all of our countries individually, there is much work to be done for the entire alliance collectively on this. if i'm confirmed, it will be one of the things i will turn my attention to first. >> i'm going to move down to the black sea because russia is maintaining a blockade of the ukrainian coast. it has now controlled a number of strategic ports in the black sea and ukraine exports 70% of its cargo through their printed last month, russia said it is in the second phase of the invasion that will include targeting the ukrainian southern regions potentially neighboring moldova. if confirmed, what actions would you take to mitigate this threats on the black sea and what more can nato be doing? what can you be doing together? >> first, i would point out that
there are three nato nations that border the black sea. each has a navy. i would also agree that the problem of exporting or not exporting grain from ukraine right now is an important problem not just for ukraine, but for the world. because of that, for us as well. what i would do if confirmed is provide the military options required by our civilian leaders. the way we approach that would have to be whole of government approach which may or may not include a military important -- component. >> can you speak on anything more specifically about how we should be preparing in the black sea for this potential incursion? >> the first thing that we have been doing is probably the most important and it is not in the
black sea, it is establishing alternative ways to get the grain out. german national train company has been conducting massive lifts of grain out of ukraine right now coming out for poland and up to the northern germany ports for export. romania has opened a port for outflow which goes through the black sea, but not through a blockaded portion. i pick it's going to be a combination of modes of transportation we will have to use and i look forward to contributing. >> i only have 20 seconds left, but i want to ask a little bit about if sweden and finland join nato, what kind of security guarantees do you think we should provide for nato -- for sweden and finland if they join
nato and article five protections kick in? >> the security guarantees and the nature of them that we or anybody would provide would be a policy matter. i can state that as a military matter, we are in a position to back up any guarantees across the european landmass. >> thank you. >> thank you for your testimony in-service. i think have demonstrated clearly why you should be confirmed and continued the leadership that the general has shown in facing this crisis in ukraine. with that, i will adjourn the hearing.
on c-span also our free video app or anytime online or c-span.org. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. full funding provided by these television companies and more. including cox. supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers giving you a front row seat to democracy. today, the white house press secretary will be holding a briefing at 3:00 p.m. eastern. she is expected to give an update on the deadly mass shooting