tv Foreign Policy and National Security Conference Presidential History Panel CSPAN December 22, 2016 11:01am-11:46am EST
i'm jack donahue from alexander hamilton society. it seems russia has drawn a pretty clear line in the sand in syria. putin has invested in blood and treasure saying he will not let the regime fall. he directly attacking rebel groups the united states is backing. so at that point, what can we attempt to accomplish without lead to go a leading to a larger scale conflict with russia? on a broader scale, do you see russia's momentum gaining in this region after crimea, ukraine, and now their success in syria and given trump's kind of statements that he is going to be drawn back. do you see russia expanding in this area or other areas? >> let me just go off on your comment about the new administration. i don't think it's appropriate for me to comment on that. but let me just say this. yeah, i think we are concerned
about what russia is doing. it's always been a little bit of a mystery to me exactly what they are trying to accomplish here. i take your note on the fact that they inadvertently struck one of our groups here in ones that we control. we certainly have address thad with them. so i think this will be something we'll have to pay attention to. and, again, this is very complicated in terms of how we address this. the activities that russia has supported on behalf of the regime are horrendous. the atrocities should concern all us. it is certainly something that has to be taken into consideration as we look to address that relationship. and, again, as we talk about earlier, i'm very hopeful we will be able to maintain a relationship with some of the
opposition groups we have been able to support. >> one more? >> yeah. >> please. is and then we'll finish with that. >> miami university, also with hamilton society, drake long i would like to ask you turkey entered the war. what do we know about the mull tear's goals, the turkish military's goals and their capabilities especially since this is so unprecedented and how are we incorporating actions into overall strategy. for solving the syrian conflict? thank you. >> thanks for bringing that up. let me start by saying turkey of course is a nato ally to us. they are an extraordinarily important partner in the coalition. we could simply not do the things we are doing without the support we get from turkey on a day-to-day basis, with the basing, access, overflight, with support that they provide to us. now, like others in the region,
turkey has interests. turkey has concerns. and it's important i think for us to recognize this. they're certainly very concerned about the islamic state. it is very well established they are concerned about organizations like the pkk and what that might portend for long-term security and stability for them. and i think you see some of that taking place in the operations. the operations they did along their border i think were very helpful to us. they took care of an islamic state enclave. they did it with coalition support and working with opposition elements. so this is a nato country. capabilities are well developed. it is a country we have had a long military relationship with. we hope to continue to have that in the future. i think it is is important to what their other concerns or
interests are. it just highlights the complexity of what we are dealing with right here. as we enter more some more into the heart of the caliphate, raqqa, mosul. we expect we have to do this. it is a combination of diplomatic discussions and military discussions back and forth to make sure that we are trying to operate in collaboration and coordination with each other towards common goals. at this point, towards defeating the islamic state but with a recognition there are other things that will have to be addressed here in the long run. that's a long way of saying this is an extraordinary complex environment. turkey has interests there. they are great partners. we couldn't do what we do without them. and, by the way, they are a nato ally. and that means a lot to us. and we can never forget that. >> thank you, general. please join me in thanking him.
[ applause ] tonight on american history tv, programs from the emerging civil war blogs conference on also a tour of the andy warhol museum and the lives and works of jormg russell and georgia o'keefe. american history tv xwinz at 8:00 eastern on c-span3. next week "washington journal" will devote the entire program each day to the key issues facing the new trump administration in congress. begin monday december 26th we'll look at national security and defense issues, including challenges facing president-elect trump's national security team in the year ahead and james madison.
on tuesday, december 27th it's trade and job issues examining how congress and the trump administration could change current trade laws in an effort to create or save jobs. on wednesday, december 28th, environmental policy, how energy and climate issues might be impacted by the new congress and incoming trump administration. thursday, december 29th we'll talk about immigration and how president-elect trump and the new congress might change immigration policy. and on friday, december 30th, we'll take a look at the future of the affordable care act, now the republican congress and the trump administration will repeal and replace the aca, and the key players to watch in the months ahead. be sure to watch "washington journal" beginning monday, december 26th, at 7:00 a.m. eastern. we have more now from this recent conference on foreign policy and events, with national security experts talking about innovation and cyber security challenges.
welcome back. my name, again, is chris griffin, executive director at the foreign policy initiative. i ask that you kindly make your way back to your seats. once again, as a courtesy i ask that please make sure you put your cellphones in silent mode for the courtesy of those around you and of course for our speakers. the next panel discussion will be on opportunities and challenges for defense innovation and reform. this really will continue on some of the threads that came up in our first discussion between chairman thornberry and senator talent, which should be no
surprise. the major topics they discussed were immediate challenges to defense readiness today and the points that chairman thornberry raised, as he described it, the eroding technological advantage enjoyed by united states forces going forward. we have an excellent group that will discuss this topic today and it will be moderated by dr. thomas mahnken, the chairman and ceo for the chairman of senior and budgetary perspectives. in the discussion today will be ben fitzgerald is with the center for a new american security, if i can get that correct. rebeccah heinrichs with the hudson institute. and last on the panel is mr. rob weiss who leads the skunk works team at lockheed martin. i greatly look forward to your comments. thanks for joining us. i ask you to join me in thanking them for joining us today. [ applause ] >> thanks, chris. the panel's topic or charge is a very apropos one, not just as was brought up by chairman thornberry and senator talent this morning. at least since world war ii, the
united states has sought to maintain a qualitative advantage over prospective competitors and adversaries. that was the focus of a lot of effort during the cold war. over the last quarter century, the u.s. has enjoyed unquestioned dominance, at least from a qualitative standpoint. in the 1990s, as charles krauthammer famously dubbed the unipolar moment. and then over the last 15 years, the focus of defense has been quite, quite rightly, counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. but now, you know, we face the
reemergence of competition and increasing possibility or probability of great power conflict, whether because of russia's aggression in eastern europe, china's assertiveness in maritime asia. and so i think it's quite appropriate, as we close out the obama administration and look to the trump administration, we kind of take stock of where we are and where we need to be. so certainly in recent years, the obama defense department has placed emphasis on the so-called third offset strategy, the defense innovation initiative. and as we approach the end of the obama administration, i wanted to ask our panel, you know, how they would take stock of those efforts from their -- you know, from their standpoint, whether it's running a science and technology program at a think tank, focusing on missile defense and other areas, or from defense industry. where do we stand with the third offset strategy and whatever it
will become in future months and years? >> so there's a lot to unpack in there. and i think sort of my bottom line up front would be, i think that leadership in the pentagon and also frankly on the hill have created a window of opportunity for some fairly significant change. we're going to see i think at noon today more details of the ndaa for 2017. but we already have seen some fairly significant structural changes. and also under the leadership of secretary carter and deputy secretary work, we've seen a focus on the need to improve our military technical advantage. that's great. it's unclear to me if that's actually going to move forward or what it's going to look like. while it's great that we all have a common understanding that we need to improve, how we get there is not clear. the third offset strategy i think is important, and helps us address one very particular problem, which is our ability to continue to project power, conventional military power.
that's one thing that's separate from in some ways all this other innovation conversation. a lot of those actions have been very good. the daox is actually great. we're hosting an event with them later this afternoon, not to compete with this. those have been innovations sort of outside the bureaucracy, around the bureaucracy, we're going to create a new office. what we haven't seen is a fundamentally different approach to how we generate technical military advantage and how we pair that military, that technology, with new concepts of operation. and i think that that's what we need. i'm happy to unpack that in detail but i don't want to monopolize the whole conversation. >> rebeccah?
how about you? >> happy to be here. if i could go back a little bit to 2014, when then secretary of defense hegel introduced the third offset strategy, he talked about what the threats were and why we needed this third offset strategy. some of the things he talked about were that sort of less sophisticated actors like al qaeda and hezbollah were beginning to challenge the united states in ways we haven't seen before. then of course on the higher end, near peer competitors china and russia were advancing in military modernization programs in ways the united states hadn't seen in decades. and then he listed some specific technologies that they were spending a lot of time and resources and energy in. they were in areas in which they saw a vulnerability that the united states had so they were taking advantage of that vulnerability and exploiting it. and so they were developing new missile technologies. advanced aircraft, submarines, longer range, more accurate missiles. he mentioned missiles multiple times. the undersecretary i think has
been one of the most helpful administration officials in laying out specifically where we are getting behind. and i like specificity. and i think in the age of trump we're going to have more specificity and less vagueness, which i'm excited about. that will i think do a lot to help us move forward so we know what we're talking about here, so we're not just talking about things in vague terms. undersecretary kendall mentioned in a memo he sent over to congress that the united states was getting behind in missile technology, that he specifically mentioned china, but then made clear he wasn't only talking about china, but china and russia were challenging the united states in space. and that posed a unique problem, because everything else we do in the pentagon depends on what we do in space. space is unprotected or does have vulnerabilities or getting behind or others are challenging us in this particular domain, that portends very, very bad things for the united states
across the rest of the pentagon. and so i think that is going to be, if i had my way, i think that we're going to be focusing more on space, what we do in space, national security space, surveillance in space. i think that, you know, president-elect trump is a new kind of president-elect, will be a new kind of president. sorts of things -- we sort of have gotten used inside the beltway and inside the pentagon, we sort of know what each other means when we say very vague terms and phraseology where the new president is going to want to be convinced and persuaded. everybody is going to have to start doing their homework when we talk about what we want the administration to do, and that's a very good thing. it will have to make sense, it will have to be the most cost effective way to do it. things like oh, we just don't put kinetic kill capabilities in space because it might be provocative, i think you're going to have to make your case if that's what you think.
i take another perspective and say, we can't just have passive space capabilities, we're going to have to have more active defense capabilities in space. and so i think that's going to be the next phase in our ballistic missile defense capabilities in addition to directed energy technologies. the mokv we're putting on the gmd system to protect the united states homeland. i think we're going to see more investments in that. and so all of this means that we've just -- we've taken too long to come to this place where it's no longer a matter of should we do it some day. it's that we have to do that, there are adversaries that are challenging us in those ways and we have to do that. my last point on this, when we began to talk about the think tank world and inside the pentagon, how we're going to pay for this new offset strategy, a lot of people talk about legacy systems, we'll build legacy systems. but now we see, oh, no, we're still fighting wars in which we need these legacy systems, the f-35 isn't quite ready so we're
keeping the a-10 now, which i'm very excited about because i love that airplane and so does john mccain. so it's going to be around longer, we need it, we're using it. so now where are we going to get this money? that means of course we'll have to increase the top line. i'm optimistic that with the new administration we will be increasing the top line and we won't just be bill paying with legacy systems for advanced technologies, we'll have to do both. that means getting rid of the bca, which i think is the direction that we're headed. >> thanks, rebeccah. rob, where do you think we stand with defense innovation more broadly? >> thanks, tom, great to be here this morning representing the defense industry in the conversation. i would like to begin by talking about where we are in the nation
from my point of view. one of the great things in my job, i get to go out and interface with many of our young women and men who are defending the nation. and i would contend that we remain to have the best fighting force across the globe, bar none. we have the best people. they're well-trained. and they frankly have the best equipment compared to any other nation in the world. that said, there's real challenges, many of which we talked about earlier this morning by chairman thornberry. we're spread too thin. we have a readiness decline, and we have an acquisition system that needs to be more agile. specifically regarding the third offset, we are investing in virtually every technology that's highlighted in the third offset. hypersonics, big data analytics, open system architectures,
autonomy, big energy, on and on. and we're demonstrating a lot of those technologies right now, not only lockheed martin who i work for but our competitors and teammates across the defense industry. i believe we have a qualitative advantage in the technology today. the question is how do we field it more quickly, i believe. and when we look at the adversaries we face around the globe, a lot of this is presence. we're talking about western pacific, eastern europe. in order to enable that presence we do need substantial force structure that has been on the decline for many years now. and i think that's one of the big challenges, is transitioning this technology to a larger force structure as we move forward. that will in my view enable us to maintain the qualitative
advantage across the globe. >> a response to that. i think while we're sitting here, we have a fundamentally like strategic problem. while i'm very sympathetic about the need for acquisition reform, i believe the need for that, we've seen some positive steps in the last couple of years, we've had an acquisition system that hasn't been great since arguably like the 1970s, yet we were able to maintain qualitative advantages. what's changed? we've seen in the latter part of the 20th century we still had a neat strategic alignment between our strategic needs, which was really until the fall -- until the end of the cold war, containment. we had a fairly finite set of technologies we needed to invest in. we had very clear business models in terms of requirements defining threats out of the defense industry and lock that in with export controls. none of those things pertain today. we have a range of threats from
terrorism to cyber threats to great power competition. we have shown no appetite to pick which ones of those we're going to try to address, we want to do everything. we have a much wider range of technology as we've heard. to your point, we still need to maintain legacy systems, we can't walk away from that. we want all of those things as well. yet we're still trying to use the same business models. it doesn't add up. that's what we need to look at, not just acquisition reform or the top line. what's our approach, how are we going to make those choices? we have not yet had the conversation. >> that's a topic i want us to address in a minute. but before we get there, i want to pick up on something a couple of you mentioned, which is, yeah, we can't do it all. so what are the areas -- and rebeccah addressed this a little bit, but what are the areas that are particularly promising in your view as we think about innovation and we think about maintaining an advantage going forward? again, i'll be kind of straightforward about this and
i'll go back down this way. >> i'll answer quickly, given that i just started monologuing spontaneously. i'm increasingly skeptical of trying to pick technology winners. i don't think we can do that. things change too rapidly. we need to maintain a broader portfolio of investments in a range of technologies and figure out internal methods where we can be more agile in deciding, based on the threat environment we're going to put these things forward or leave these things back. we need to take things from prototyping and move them forward quickly. i'm more interested in that type of innovation. rather than saying, like, lasers. i know they've been five years away since 1972 but they're really five years away. i don't know. and i don't know if we'll be facing an enemy that addresses that. the one gap that i see in what we do is the ability to incorporate commercial technology and adapt it for military purposes. that's where we have the most opportunity to move forward. it's great to see that there's
commercial technology and they're moving ahead. we can acquire it. we have no process for actually adapting that for truly military purposes and to generate unique military advantage from broadly available commercial technology. that's where i would be focusing. >> rebeccah, you mentioned space and missile defense. would you add to that? >> sure. again, i'm encouraged and optimistic by the new opportunities that this administration means for the pentagon, because we get to sort of take a fresh look at where these vulnerabilities are, where is the united states being targeted. again, i talked about this is the new missile age. i talk about missiles a lot, not because i randomly selected them of all the different threats, but because that is becoming how, all the way from north korea on the low end to china on the high end, that is how they are investing in these technologies in order to coerce and deter and dissuade the united states from doing things in the region. several months ago i had the privilege of authoring a report that had a senior review board
including the former director of the missile defense agency, former administrator of nasa, so a whole slew of people who were very familiar with the high end threats, the missile threats, the acquisition process and what would need to be done in order to close these gaps. they all agreed with the findings and recommendations in the study. what we found was that the united states, it's not a matter of can the united states -- are our engineers smart enough to come up with technologies that can close these gaps. of course they are. of course they are. it really is, if you go back to what is the problem, what is the hindrance in order to move forward with some of these more advanced technologies. and it's been policy. the united states has been intentionally holding back in particular areas of advanced technologies for fear of becoming provocative or of trailblazing in a particular area or of weaponizing space, some of these buzz phrases we've heard for many decades because they simply don't make sense anymore, which is where the
chinese are going, the iranians, et cetera. some of these challenges get to the resources, there are problems with resources, but i think that's a shorter hurdle that i think we can clear. i think some of the bigger problems have been a matter of policy. and so i'm excited about the opportunity that we can have in terms of changing those policies and actually we talk about america's technological edge or technological advantage. i like to just say american primacy. we're going to get back in the business of american primacy unapologetically. once you sort of say that go get that out of the way, that's what we're doing. we're moving forward in that way. we're not going to maintain peer status with china and russia. we're moving forward, we're plowing ahead. and then i really do think the sky is the limit. it comes down to where are we going to get some of the money. the budget control act has always been confusing to me because nobody wants it, the congress doesn't want it, the
president doesn't want it, yet here we are, we have it, the president threatens to veto bills that go above the budget control act even though he says he doesn't want it. the conference report that was just settled, i don't know if these figures are official but this is what the media is reporting now, it's $3.2 billion above the pb. so congress is excited about spending more money on the pentagon, which it should, if we're going to spend money anywhere, it's on american security. so i think we'll see what happens with president obama in his last few weeks here and what he decides to do with this bill and if we can pass it. i do think it means we're sort of headed in a different direction. >> rob, how about you? >> well, i think rebeccah made several good points there about maintaining an american primacy. going back to your point, ben, about the spanse of tasks that
we're asking our military to do today, i don't see it changing. i think we're going to have to maintain a capability against near peer threats, major regional actors, and counterterrorism. and so we've got to be able to address all of them. and i think the priorities and what we invest in as a nation to address those priorities are very important. so clarity in the national military strategy i think is something that is going to be key. then we're going to have to budget accordingly, to rebeccah's point. that will enable us to do what we need to do around the globe. i think the other points have been made, we are invest in these technologies, as i mentioned earlier. we are prototyping and proving out these technologies. we're seeing mature capabilities that now need to transition to programs of record so that we can in fact bring about the force we need. i can tell a lot of stories of skunk works, one that just pops into my head, i think the into my head, i think the f-117, when
it was fielded as the first stealth fighter, it came out in desert storm in the early '90s, and a tremendous capability that demonstrated something the united states had that no adversary had at the time. but it began with a program that many of you may not know called have blue, that was the prototype. and it proved that we could actually fly this hopeless diamond, as it was called. we proved that out. and then it transitioned to a program of record. and i think that's what's going to be key going forward, is we prove out these technologies, that they actually transition and move forward quickly. >> and there is a challenge there, right? so the challenge of being in an era of budgetary constraints on the one hand, there's a lot of reluctance to transition to programs of record. on the other hand, there's a different set of challenges
coming with opening up the budgetary spigot, right? the tendency is, well, if you have a lot of money, just keep doing more of the same, perhaps less urgency for doing things differently. so -- and maybe we'll start with rob and come back this way. talk a little more about the budgetary dimension of all this. you know, how big a constraint is the budget right now? and, you know, what's the best way to move forward sensibly? >> well, i think i might start by answering your question, we talked about a little bit about f-35 earlier today, and if we think about just in the air dominance spectrum, for example, so we have a program that the nation has invested considerably in over the last decade, the f-35.
it is now, we recognize it's had some challenges along the way. it's now a mature, capable system. but the rate that we're buying airplane is insufficient. all the services are ready for new equipment. and so we should start by buying the leading edge technologies that are already available to us today, because that will not only provide us more capability, but it's going to get us out of these older airplanes that are costing a substantial amount of money to maintain and are insufficient against future threats. so i could begin there. and again, speaking in the air dominance arena, the next step is to modernize these airplanes. over the life cycle of all aircraft, all successful aircraft programs have had robust modernization, continue
to add capability over its life cycle. we need to be doing that with our more advanced systems as well, not just airplanes but everything we've invested in. the third step is to invest in technology that's 25 or 30 years away. again, coming back to air dominance, we're investing in those technologies today. someday we will field another fighter. but right now we should buy the one that's available to us and get on an aggressive modernization path. so the budget is not there to do that today. and frankly, coming back to the f-35, it becomes the bill payer for everything else we want to do. that's not the best way to go about an acquisition. >> rebeccah, you pointed out quite right that dca makes no sense other than the fact that it's the law of the land. assuming, and i think it is an assumption, but assuming that that changes, how do we go about spending money the most effective way, the most responsible way, but also the way that gives us the greatest advantage? >> sure. every time i talk about wanting to get rid of the dca and talk
about how we need to increase the defense budget, people immediately think i don't care about waste, i don't care about defense waste, i don't care about acquisition costs. that's not true, we can do both. we have been planning and spending money in ways that don't make sense at all in the pentagon. i think everybody in the room would agree with that. some of the things we can do differently is buy more of a particular item at once. this sort of buying a couple of items, procuring a couple of them and then buying a couple of more when we need them and letting production lines go cold, having to restart them and finding the people to build them and the expertise to build them, that is incredibly expensive. it is a -- it's incredibly shortsighted. it's not thinking through in the long run how the country can spend money more efficiently. if this is how families ran their own personal budgets, we would, you know, see a lot of bankrupt people. so we need to start thinking
about how do we spend, how do we plan, how do we prioritize. we talked about the f-35 a little bit. but i also heard, as we put together the new budget, as the air force was considering major big-ticket items, i heard that -- and these were just people thinking out loud, but maybe we should kick the new icbm down the road, the gbsd down the road, because we need to pay for the f-35 now. why in the world is the f-35 competing with our nuclear triad? that makes no sense. we need to have the nuclear triad. we need to have the f-35 fighter jet. in no reality does it make sense to punt on what i would argue is quite possibly the backbone of our nuclear triad, something that we absolutely need and we can't afford to kick it down to the right. we need to prioritize programs,
figure out what the united states is going to prioritize, what we need, what we can no longer afford to punt on. then we need to figure out how many of these items we can buy at once so we're not having this trickle effect and just creating a lot of extra cost on that end as well. i'll leave it at that. i've got more ideas but -- >> okay. >> so i'm not sure about that. yes, we want efficiency in the programs that we do, but we've seen certainly since the end of the cold war this push towards efficiency, a sort of putative efficiency, we'll have a single role aircraft, and that's less expensive. i'm not sure that turns out to be the case. not criticizing the good work done by lockheed martin, but from a dod perspective, was that the right approach. when we talk about the costs associated with that, if you have an aircraft that has a cost per hour flight of $40,000, and we're going to potentially be rolling that out against people in $10,000 trucks, that's not a cost-imposing strategy on the part of our enemy.
that's a cost-imposing strategy. other people might question it. i agree bca is irresponsible. i don't think it's purely an issue of top line. we need to think about what is an actual portfolio investment strategy across this range of things and what are the ways to buy down risk depending how you count it. since the early 1990s, we spent taxpayer funds with zero capability, look at future come bast systems, cost overruns. i don't think we're starving for dollars but i don't think we have the right approach. how do we have a more diverse mix so we don't get into mono cultures where we're putting in platforms that assume efficiencies over 50, 60 year life cycles.
we don't know what's going to happen next year. we are continually surprised in the strategic environment, and we need to have a portfolio that allows you to respond to that. it's going to be expensive and less efficient as we go but less likelihood of massive, multi-billion dollar failures or strategic failures in the future. >> okay. we have about 15 minutes left for this session. if previous sessions are a clue, you probably have lots of questions to ask our panelists. so we've got microphones out here. sir, in the front row center. >> my name is dick kaufman, former cia officer, u.s. marine. i've been in the private sector. you all are very smart, but i haven't heard one word about the ground forces who do 80% of the fighting, 80% of the dying and get 1% of the budget.
1%. our guys out there are still using the same family of infantry weapons that i used in vietnam. i'm hearing about icbms, f-35s. we have to put more attention i think and energy and resources into the people that are doing the fighting. thank you. >> responses? >> i don't think you'll find anybody here who disagrees with you. i think your point is well taken. i think, you know, it's exactly right. one of the best ways to increase morale of troops is give them newer stuff, better stuff. make sure they are protected and well cared for. i certainly don't disagree with you at all, and i think your point is incredibly well taken. >> we've actually been investing a lot in the army and a lot in the marine corps but for a
particular type of war, the wars we've been fighting, right? i've done this a couple of times in a couple of contexts. take a picture of a soldier in 2001 and compare that with a soldier in 2016 and you'll actually see a lot of change. i know the army likes to -- and marine corps also -- i say that as proud son of a marine, but technology does matter in ground combat we've invested in some areas of technology. the body armor that soldier, marines, airmen, sailors too, wear today is much better than it was 15 years ago. tactical awareness, commanding control, all that is much better
than it was 15 years ago. but other areas that could be crucial or decisive in a high-intensity conflict against a capable adversary, things like electronic warfare. things like active protection systems for armored vehicles. because we've been investing in particular areas of technology, those other areas have been deferred. right? we retrained whole artillery units away from artillery because of the exigencies of iraq and afghanistan. now we're entering a period where artillery and artillery threats are more important. i don't know it's lack of investment. we've invested for a set of wars we've been fighting. i think the challenge for the army and marine corps, requirements in the future are
likely to look much different. >> i will say this, though, if you look at percentages of budget where we're spending it among the service, the army does have less, in terms of percentage, what things cost. that's not necessarily indicative that they're getting everything that they need, but, again, the point is well taken. the army tends not to. i will say some of the things i mentioned specifically, our dependency on space. who is dependent on space? the army is dependent on space. you want to take care of our guys, they need to see. they need to see where the enemy is moving and what they are doing. that's why i talk about and try to emphasize a little bit on surveillance as well. you have to make sure the army has access to great technologies that might end up in the budget of the air force, for instance. >> guys on the ground needs situational awareness -- that the space program can provide. >> that's exactly right. >> they're not surprised by an
ambush by 17 taliban. >> there are going to be structural differences, structural changes, i think, that we are going to have to figure out over the next couple of years as we advance in these technologies in order to make sure that the people who need them most actually have access to them. >> two very short points here. our conversation has been self-deterministic if the united states does these things then we'll win. we're also engaged in a multi-party conflict here where other people get a vote. we're seeing advance of commercial technology has really enabled non-state actors in the ground domain. it's not that hard for our adversaries to have encrypted coms, their own satellite imaging. that's available now. they have moved ahead relative to us more than we've seen in some of the other domains. the other thing i would say, we'll hear with general
mcmaster, he'll disagree with what i'm about to say. the army is its own worse energy right now. the army doesn't have a clear vision of what it needs to do in the future. it hasn't started vehicle modernization program. it's not that there's not money for it, they don't know what's there to do, that's fundamentally problematic. the army today is where the marine corps was in 2010. the marine corps has done great work between 2010 to 2014 figuring out here is what the marine corps needs to do and the army is less clear. the frustrating bit there is there's lots that the army needs to do, a lot of the stuff we're seeing in eastern europe is classic army stuff and i think they're starting to get to a place where they can articulate that vision and hopefully there will come modernization efforts. >> first of all, thank you for your service and thank you for recognizing the women and men who are out there defending our country and the army and the marine corps on the ground.
i would just add that, yes, we talked a lot about airplanes, but the technologies i mentioned earlier have application across airplanes, surface units, subsurface, army, the data analytics, over the system architect tours, the communications. we have done a number of activities, demonstrations where it's all about communicating to your point what we're seeing in space, what we're seeing in the air, in putting that information in the hands of the men and women on the ground. and that's key. and we're going to continue to do that, those types of -- advance those types of technologies. so i think we are addressing -- addressing this. the other thing i would say is many of the things we're doing are related to the special
forces, not everything we can talk about in this particular form, but there's a lot going on behind the scenes, if you will. >> thank you. i'd like to move on to our next question. the gentleman in the back on the far right. hold on. you have a mic coming. >> nicholas romero. my question is about protection against compromise of technologies. something that's probably not seen so much, but is incredibly important to prevent bandwagoning from near peers. i'm wondering if you get that we're spending enough on that to prevent reverse engineering, compromise, we're seeing a lot of news about infiltrators, there was news yesterday about a german intelligence officer who was exposed in the domestic intelligence agency over there and we've had very recent revelations of information breaches at the national security agency. so i'm wondering if you see -- if you see that the prevention of compromis