tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 13, 2015 3:00pm-5:01pm EST
the discoveries that are going to be unleashed in the decades to come. but we know how we'll get there. reflecting on his work in the 1960's, on the precursors of the internet, the late paul barren said this the process of technological developments is like building a cathedral. over the course of several hundred years, new people come along and each lays down a block on to have the of the old foundations. each -- on top of the old foundations. each saying, i built the cathedral. and then comes along a story -- a historian who asks, who built the cathedral? and barren -- barson said, if you're not careful you can con yourself into believing you did the most important part. but the reality is that each contribution has to follow on to previous work. everything's tied to everything else. everything's tied to everything else. the innovations that first
appeared on this campus all those decades ago that first mouse, that first message helped lay a foundation. and in the decades since, on campus uses like this, in companies -- campuses like this, in companies that are represented here, new people have come along, each laying down a block, one on top of the other. when future historians ask, who built this age, the answer will be, we all did. as americans. and i'm absolutely confident that if we keep at this, if we keep working together, in the spirit of collaboration, like all those innovators before us, our work will endure. like the great cathedral. for centuries to come. and that cathedral will not just be about technology. it will be about the values that we've embedded in the
architecture of the system. it will be about privacy and it will be about community. and it will be about connection. what a magnificent cathedral that all of you have helped to build. we want to be a part of that. and we look forward to workinging with you in the future. thank you for your partnership. [laughter] with that i'm going to sign this executive order. thank you. i don't really need to sit down because it's right here. [laughter] feels a little formal. i have to do this so that everybody gets a pen. [laughter]
president obama wrapping up remarks at the cybersecurity summit in stanford. also signing an executive order establishing information centers on cybersecurity and just a reminder, if you missed any of the president's remarks, we'll show them to you later on our program schedule and also at cspan.org. we've been asking the question, while the president's been speaking, about whether you feel safe online. we have a poll there. we're looking for your comments too. and nam of comments, you can go to c-span on twitter. susan writes -- more at facebook.com/cspan. we have more road to the white
house coverage coming up beginning tonight at 8:00 eastern. remarks from former hewlett-packard c.e.o., followed by a speech from kentucky republican senator rand paul and both of them considered potential presidential candidates in 2016. that coverage gets under way at 8:00 eastern. here are some of our featured programs for this president's day weekend on the c-span networks. on c-span2's book tv, saturday morning at 9:00, live coverage of the savannah book festival with nonfiction authors and books on topics like the disappearance of michael rockefeller, a british company of elephants during world war ii, and four women spies during the civil war. and sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern on "afterwords," former senior advisor for president obama on his 40 years in politics. and on american history tv on c-span3, saturday morning beginning at 8:30, the 100th anverse of the release of the film "the birth of a nation."
the showing of the entire 1915 film followed by a live call-in program with a historian and author. and sunday at 8:00 on the presidency, george washington portraits, focusing on how artists captured the spirit of the first president and what we can learn about him through their paint lings. find our complete television schedule at cspan.org and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at 202-606-3 00. -- 202-626-3400. >> late news this afternoon. front page of oregonlive.com. governor jim kitzha rambings ber will soon announce his resignation. he plans to resign amid allegations his fiance used her relationship with the governor to enrich herself. more details on the likely
resignation as we get them and are able to pass those along. next up on c-span iranian president hasan rouhani. on wednesday he addressed the nation on the 36th anniversary of the islamic revolution, highlighting the economic and agricultural achievements thed a strace his administration, made in the past year. adding that iran favors a win-win nuclear deal with the p-5-plus-1 state. mr. rouhani reiterated that iran wants a deal, quote, to guarantee the dignity of the iranian nation. he spoke for about 40 minutes. >> the victory of the glorious islamic revolution of iran i would like to offer congratulations to the great nation of iran.
we're happy that this year the ceremony has been held more gloriously and magnificently across the nation. people have participated in the great rally on february 11. i would like to thank all the iranian people for this glorious participation, my appreciation for that. 36 years have passed since our people raised their demand for independence, freedom and the islamic republic of iran. the aspiration of our people is
still independence, freedom and the islamic republic system. the islamic republic has two aspirations and values. the one is democracy and the other one, a religious establishment. so the islamic republic of iran is a crifflettlization of the shari'a -- crystalization of the shari'a within the context of a great nation. the islamic republic is a manifestation of god's rule and governance embodied in a great nation. the islamic republic of iran is
the translation of god's will through a vigilant mr. ayotte: wakened nation -- and awakened nation. that's what it has, the roots of the revolution are actually the aspirations, our goals and principles which will remain unchangeable and in implementation if there is something to be considered, then that still will be within the framework of the islamic republic of iran, that will be conducted through the ballot boxes and through the elections where the people vote. so in the same way that the great imam said the islamic republic is islamic republic
absolutely. the islamic nation just translates into the republic system, the islamic republic, and vice versa. for us to see the demand of the people fulfilled the best way to do that is the implementation of the islamic precepts and teachings and for the republican establishment, the best way is the rule of the people, the will of the people, who within islamic rules the late imam gave legitimacy to the vote of the people and issued a fatwa odge reasons decree and the islamic revolution leader too said that the vote is the right of the
people. so the islamic republic of iran is an election-based system based on economical and religious injures prudential principles all of us have respected this establishment and will continue to respect that. a second demand of our nation, in addition to the islamic establishment, was gaining its independence. so our people, in the course of decades and even maybe beyond that, throughout centuries are people who fought for independence. since they -- since the issuance of the tobacco fatwa, up until the time of fighting against foreigners and cutting
off hair thats regarding the oil monopoly -- their hards regarding the oil monopoly and the fight against capitulation. all through independence has been a lofties a separation of our people and we managed -- aspiration of our people and we managed to gain independence. we have not gained independence easily, so we cannot let go of it easily. independence means fighting -- it does not mean xenophobia or fighting strangers. independence means that we stand on our own feet and that's the will of the people. that will not allow any superpower when it comes to
national interests of the iranian nation, will not allow that to affect its will. so at the battle front we went in defense of independence. at the negotiating table too, we protected and defended our independence and will continue to do so. during the days when our -- when we used to fight at the battle front, behind the battle front the entire people supported our fighters in the battle fronts. no treason goes beyond the treason committed behind the battle front. so those who are fighting in the arena of diplomacy, the
entire iranian nation, as well as the great islamic revolution they all support that front too. the front of negotiation that is. so today it's only the enemies of the nation who are opposed of the negotiating table, that is the zionists the zionists are tryinging their utmost they have done whatever they could, but the world today has realized the treason on the part of the zionist, especially after the crimes committed in the past month in gaza. so the criminals -- they have acted as criminals in that region. so the third demand of the iranian nation has been freedom
. our republican system without freedom is meaningless. islam goes together with freedom. so our national unity we see the whole array of different opinions, still we're standing united. so we have a variety of opinions, that's no problem. but when it comes to national interests and expediency, all of these are standing united. so today too, like 36 years ago, we still raise the cry of independence, freedom and in the islamic republic.
the islamic revolution belongs to the entire iranian nation. it does not belong to a certain ethnic group, nor does it wlong to -- belong to any certain walk of life or any faction. people stood up altogether and rose altogether and saw the victory of this revolution and said today too all of us need to stand united and support interests of the people and those of the islamic republic of iran. we need to support in the best possible way. so the revolution did not mean
a change of names and labels that came to change up some norms, the ones that ignored the religious and humanitarian values. so today our people demand, especially demand of our youth, is the very same demand that they have have had in the past 36 years ago. but last year our people, through casting their votes on the basis of the guidelines that the islamic revolution leader, people attended the polling stations and also voted to pick the government of hope
and prudence. these people relied on the vote of the people and is faithful to the promises it's made to the very end. so the paths will be continued and the promises will be fulfilled one after another, in all fronts, on the economic front, cultural social welfare the message of strength, the message of prudence and wisdom and hope, with the support of the people through the cooperation of the people. this has been heard by the world people. through the government on behalf of the people. so last year, in the same venue , i made a promise that this government will by next year go
through stagnation and leave it behind and today i have the honor to announce the iranian nation that the first six months of the year you have a growth of 4%. so all the world should know that van powerful and is efficient -- that iran is powerful and is efficient and is moving on the path of progress. so the roman calendar 1391 and 1392, we just left it with a negative growth, but in the year 1393, with the blessing of god, we will end the year with a positive growth. in our industry we had 6.5% growth.
we had 10.5% in the commerce sector. we had a 5.4% growth in the first six months of the iranian calendar year. when it comes to oil and other economic issues, we have had substantial growth, so we did some things that have bloomed wealth in this country. the first thing to do is facilitating transactions and doing business and remove the obstacles for economic flourish. you know that in the course of past year we want to rank 22 in terms of business there were 22 rings that we ascended in our ranking that today for exports and imports, in the iranian calendar year, we had
clearance of goods and commodities export from seven days. it just went down to one day for all the basic goods for the imports, that took 26 days. it just takes it three days now. so credit mines also for businesses industry and commerce. this year we have seen a 40% growth when it comes to offering a credit line compared to the last year. the government of prudence and hope we have had seven thousands of half-finished projects that were completed. now they're working on it and this is indicative of the fact that our people have been on
the path of a resistance economy, you're aware in the first 10 months of the year, our exports, compared to the same period last year, has seen more than 24% increase. nonoil exports. last year in the first 10 months of the year we had 34.3 billion, but the first 10 months we have 42.6 has been the figure for exports of our commodities, in the oil and gas sector despite all the sanctions and the pressure we have made substantial progress. our oil production in the past
year, from 2.7 million a day went up to 2.9 million barrels a day. the production of gas, as you're also aware there are five phases that have come to fruition in the south. today compared to the past year we have daily 100 million cubic meters of gas more than what we produced last year. hopefully by next year we'll have another 100 million cubic meters of increased production next year. so in the field of agriculture, despite the water shortage and all the problems when it dumbs to wheat we've had two -- when it comes to wheat we've had two
million tons in production of wheat and in the past year, we had 6. million tons of wheat that -- 6.8 million tons of wheat that we purchased. when it comes to mecknyization of agriculture, we've also managed to pull off some great success in that sector. the number of today compared to last year has seen an increase of 250%. the number of agricultural machinery has seen 350% increase. 550 acres of land we have started working. also greenhouse agriculture has
been increased. last year in the same place i just promised you, that the inflation of 35% that we just talked about last year, i said that next year that is now this year, we'll take it down to 25%. with the blessing of god and his assistance our inflation rate today is below 17%. so the government has been able with the support of the people, our youths, our entrepreneurs, the government has been able to take strides in line with the growth and progress of the country. when it comes to science and technology, as well as culture today you are witness to a very eye-catching substantial increase in all the universe. today's research centers and
scientific centers. our universities today are much calmer and they're of higher quality and standards they're pursuing activities up. know that this government, after -- activities. you know that this government, after a few years, has a law supporting the science-based corporations and companies this government is trying to implement that law. during the period that the law has been implemented, these science-based companies and corporations, the number has come to 1,300 companies. that means in the course of one year and a to you fonts -- and a faw month, the growth in the science-based companies has been more than 22 times as many . we have established the
innovation fund and the capital for next year will be 2,000 billion. we've increased that amount. in terms of scientific rank, our country compared to last year we have gone up for two tiers, we are now standing, we are now ranking 14 in the world. so in nanotechnology we have acquired the seventh ranking we have gone one step further up compared to last year. in biotechnology we are standing 14, that is two steps higher. the leader of the islamic revolution has always laid great stress on the growth of science and technology.
today we can have -- i can probably say that our respective views, boys and girls, in universities academic centers and research centers, they have in pursuing their scientific operations activities more actively and the government has been supporting or will continue to do that. so it comes to social welfare. for judicial security, the government has 14 million as members of the lower income families that are being covered by the government. since the beginninging of the year the commodities basket has been distributed among the 14 million low-income people. also the health insurance, as
broomsed during the electoral campaign, that insurance coverage was also spread out to the entire nation and this year more than eight million people who have had no insurance, they're now all covered by health insurance this year. in terms of health and development they're in, the government has done as just started a great thing, and that is the people, the money people are being charged at mental centers, it was 27% last year. it's now gone down to 6% is what the people are payinging to hospitals this year. all the entire equipment and paraphernalia and tools that are being used, consumed, they
have been provided to the people. the foreign equipment, foreign equipment has had a 42% decrease in price on the market. people's access to medicine from 3,320 items, it's now increased to 750 medicines. that means there has been a 134% consumebles from 1,800 has reached more than 2,100. that means an increase of 44%. so the government this year was determined to have 1,945 health centers in villages across the nation that we'll try to establish. we have managed to open 1,100
of such centers and the rest will be launched in the spring that's around the corner. regarding the war handicaps, who we highly respect, our respect goes to their families too. for the first time this government has comprehensive law for war veterans and the handicaps. and to all the -- what the government had as its debt paid to them, so a big issue of ours today is the issue of the environment, the ecosystem, both in megacities and smaller towns we have the problem of, you know, air pollution and
particles. we have taken major steps in the past year. we have distributed gasoline and also gas power, which is higher in standards, so we have tried to reduce the air pollution in cities this year. the liquid fuel in the power plants from 46% this year was reduced to 30% and this is actually -- this contributes to the reduction of air pollution in large cities. 200,000 old cars have been put out of service. with these polluting particles, we need to do something special in our western provipses, but -- provinces, but this is a great task and it's time consuming. they usually find their way into iran from our neighboring
countries, through the seasonal winds. they start coming our way and they find their ways in our cities. the government has done whatever it can and that -- in a connection, but we still need the help of our western neighboring countries, to be able to have this long-term project in order to do something about bringing it under control, these polluting air particles. also regarding the utilization of new dams, there are seven new dams that this government has launched and also more than 53,000 acres of water drainage and distribution system has been put into operation. when it comes to foreign
policy, the government has acted upon and is sticking to its slogan and that is constructive interaction with the world, while at the same time maintaining our interests, principles and revolutionary goals and aspirations. the government managed to get out of the deadlock and break the deadlock on the nuclear talks and through a new approach, the government managed to continue with negotiations. so what we were seeking to gain in the course of the negotiations is coming up with a win-win agreement. that would mean that transparency in peaceful nuclear activities within international law is what iran has been doing. and the other side should also
do something about the anti-human and illegal sanctions that need to come to and he. this would be an interest of two sides. with the sanctions -- when the sanctions are lifted, it would benefit iran and the other side . because they too are need when they say that, for the sake of sanctions that iran has -- that's because of sanctions that iran has come to the negotiating table. they're lying. it's not been because of the pressure of the sanctions. iran has been going to the negotiating table because of wisdom. in order to create peace and stability in the region and in the world, that's why iran has come to the negotiating table. if the way you claim is in the
sanctions that have forced iranian people to surrender, so why didn't you keep imposing more sanctions? why have you come to the negotiating table so that the sanctions are lifted? you better do away with lying. stop lying. and talk to your people honestly tell them that in the face of the great nation of iran there is no way for the world, except interaction. so you should let -- so with a loud voice for the whole world to hear, you should say that in the middle east region, if there is going to be any peace and stability restored, if there's going to be any uprooting of terrorism there is no way, other than the
presence of the islamic republic of iran. so you have seen in iraq and syria, in lebron -- lebanon and yemen, a power that managed to stand against terrorist groups and to help the people of iraq, syria and lebanon. it was the islamic republic of iran who went to their help, so today you are witness to the fact that with the continuation of these sanctions, your consensus has been now shattered, you're divided. so you should come to terms with the facts, a lot of people know that these negotiations would benefit the entire world on the condition that a path that the islamic republic of iran has been offering to you and has shown you, will be treated in the right way. you better make best chance of this opportunity. you should not think that the
people of iran are scared of pressure. you should not imagine that a great nation of iran are scared of sanctions. the islamic republic of iran is seeking to create progress, development and global stability and has the great leaders of the islamic revolution has announced we want to have a deal that would compromise -- that would comprise dignity and progress of the great iranian nation. in the course of the past year we have managed to see parts of the sanctions go away. some of the brutal and erroneous sanctions have been lifted, almost $12 billion of
iranian assets have been frozen. but they have been unblocked. and you know that circumventing the sanctions, this is what we have facilitated in one year. and you're also aware that we have stopped the continued oil sanctions that america was brutally following it with. to stop that. and you're aware that when it comes to central banking affairs, that we have taken some steps, facilitated things, our better chemical exports, the airplane equipment and parts, shipping insurance, car manufacturing, the sanctions have been removed on those sectors. import of basic commodities food, medicine gold and metals, so their business has been facilitated.
so the islamic republic of iran has been filled -- has fulfilled its commitment and obligations regarding the iran an people, in the direction of progress and also adhering to the aspirations of the revolution. as this government, since the very beginning, has announced both our centrifuges will continue spinning and the -- so will the wheels of our economy. and the government will continue to stick to its promise of commitments. the government in the past year, through the steps taken with the support and the will of the people, so iran phobia and islamaphobia has kind of mitigated and it has collarified to the world that iran's laggeress regarding how
the west has the logic the leader's message and the revolution leaders' message. we will follow on the same path with the same logic and reasoning as we're on the pass of progress. we are on the path of direction of the country, as you have witnessed, when it comes to regional stability. we have taken effective steps the islamic republican republic of iran has successfully conducted -- republic of iran has successfully conducted the meeting of foreign ministers, aligning movement in order to support palestine. the meeting was convened in tehran. the islamic republic of iran
strongly wanted the support -- went to the support of the people of palestine and gaza in the face of the brutal aggression of israel, who has stood against it. the islamic republic of iran will continue on the same path. of course whatever we have done including the revolution, the success of the imposed war, and today what we have done against the plots and schemes they have all been on the basis of reliance on almighty god and the support of our nation. our capital is actually righteousness, god members of the province household -- prophet's household, and also the imam. so with their support, we'll continue our path toward final
victory. and today that's the day of the victory and triumph of february 11. once again, we raise our hands toward god and ask him to help our people, to support our people on the path to success and make them victorious and also let us have the shower of his blessings of our nation, his blessings and affection. we also ask the almighty god to maintain and preserve the independence and freedom and dignity of our great nation. peace and blessings.
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> long time democratic oregon governor announced his resignation today amid allegations his fiance used her relationship with him to enrich herself. a statement released just a short while ago said, he broke no laws and his resignation would be effective next wednesday. he said, quote nonetheless, i understand that i have become a liability to the very institutions and policies to which i have dedicated my career and indeed my entire adult life. john kitzhaber was re-elected in november of 2014. in presidential politics, our road to the white house coverage continues tonight, former hewlett-packard c.e.o. at 8:00 eastern. followed by rand paul, senator from kentucky, both considered potential 2016 nominees or at least candidates. our road to the white house coverage tonight on c-span. and on news makers this
weekend, it is transportation secretary anthony fox who talks about transportation funding in the state of the nation's infrastructure. that's coming up sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern. and of course monday is president's day and here on c-span we'll have a special presentation of archival presidential campaign announcements. ronald reagan in 1979 to barack obama, the illinois, the old state capitol building in 2007, all of that gets under way at 10:00 a.m. eastern on president's day. we'll show it again monday night at 9:00. here's some of our featured programs for this president's day weekend on the c-span networks. on c-span2's book tv saturday morning at 9:00, live coverage of the savannah book festival with nonfiction authors and books on topics like the disappearance of michael rockefeller, a british company of elephants during world war ii, and four women spies during the civil war. and sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern on afterwords, former senior advisor for president obama on his 40 years in politics.
and on american history tv on c-span3, saturday morning beginning at 8:30, the 100th anniversary of the release of the film "the birth of a nation" starting with an interview of the author, the showing of the entire 1915 film followed by a live call -in freshman with civil war historian harry jones and author dick lair. and sunday, george washington portraits. focusing on how artists captured the spirit of the first president and what we can learn about him through their paintings. find our complete television schedule at cspan.org and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. >> join the c-span conversation, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> afghan operations commander general john campbell testified to the senate armed services committee thursday. he said he's provided the white
>> good morning. the committee meets today to receive testimony on afghanistan and i want to thank general campbell, the commander of the resolute support mission and u.s. forces afghanistan, for appearing before us today, about security conditions on the ground, the development of the afghan national security forces and the way forward. general, we've been blessed by a series of great military leaders of our forces and allied forces in afghanistan. and you are a worthy successor to those outstanding leaders, in my view. according to a recent media report, the troop drawdown in afghanistan is now, quote, under white house review. but as the white house deliberates, the current plan is set to reduce the number of u.s. troops in afghanistan to about 5,500, beginning in the middle of this year's fighting season. the plan was first announced by president obama in may of 2014 before it was known that the afghan presidential transition would require almost six months to conclude, before the appearance of isis on the afghan battlefield and before pakistan military operations sent 200,000 refugees into afghanistan.
these unforeseen circumstances illustrate the major liabilities of a calendar-based approach and highlight had the need for a conditions-based approach. like our national military strategy written in 2012, president obama's calendar-based troop drawdown plan for afghanistan no longer accurately reflects the facts and conditions on the ground. like the president's policy against isil, the president's afghanistan policy lacks of strategic disconnect, providing a list of goals or preferences but precluding the means necessary to achieve them. perhaps it is time for the president to exercise strategic patience, as our witnesses yesterday unanimously agreed. former u.s. ambassador to afghanistan, james cunningham, having just served in kabul and left in december, said, quote, i think that under the
circumstances, the timeline is probably too short and the rate of withdrawal is too steep. former ambassador to both iraq and afghanistan, ryan crocker, said, i hope we will take the right decisions on force levels going forward based on conditions, not on calendars. former commander of special operations command and the first navy s.e.a.l. to achieve the rank of four stars said, actual war is too dynamic to accommodate fixed models. so i would urge strategic and operational flexibility as we move forward in afghanistan. at a force size of 5,500, our force in afghanistan will be reduced to kabul. presently in only one location, one that retreats from the north, east and south of afghanistan, we'll relinquish the area to the drug runners yield to iranian influence and
abandon kandahar to the taliban. the lack of presence creates a vacuum and we've seen what fills that vacuum in syria and iraq. the ungoverned spaces will allow terrorists to foment the same disaster in afghanistan as we have seen in iraq, growing instability, terrorist safe havens and direct threats to the united states. i think our former national counterterrorism director put it into perspective, how we should look at afghanistan. i quote, should the american people think this is hopeless? the last 13 years have shown us that the counterterrorism fight and protecting the homeland in this region is not hopeless. we've been very successful at stopping attacks from the region. and i would flip it around. from a homeland security perspective, i think it is close to hopeless to think we can have that same success without some ongoing presence in the region.
reducing to a, quote, normal embassy presence at the end of 2016, and announcing it to the enemy, gives terrorists breathing room to plot against the west. as ambassador crocker put it quote, by fixing a date to draw down to a certain number, and then to draw down to basically an office and an embassy simply tells our adversaries how long they have to hold out before they have the field to themselves. by the way, i know of no man more respected than ambassador ryan crocker. if we've learned anything from iraq, it should be that wars do not end just because politicians say so. we cannot let the taliban, al qaeda and isis conquer afghanistan. failure in this manner would destabilize the region, especially by undermining the security of a nuclear-armed pakistan. i want to thank general campbell for testifying today. i thank him for his leadership.
i look forward to hearing his assessment of conditions on the ground, development of afghan forces and the plan for the way forward. senator reed. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. let me join you in welcoming general campbell. thank you, general, for your service to the nation. beginning in the 504 and continuing today. since you took command of the u.s. forces in afghanistan last august, afghanistan has entered what ambassador cunningham yesterday called a pivotal period. the emergence of a national unity government under the leaders has had an immediate impact on security in afghanistan, with the signing of the bilateral security agreement and the nato status of forces agreement. 2/3 of the afghans polled want u.s. and coalition troops to stay to train the afghan security forces. your challenge is to successfully lead the u.s. and coalition effort to train, advise and assist afghan security forces and conduct
counterterrorism operations. even as u.s. and coalition forces have gone down to postcombat levels in afghanistan. we would be interested in your assessment, whether you currently have the forces you feel you need to carry out these two missions. we're also seeking your best military judgment this morning on what further reductions, if any, you would recommend for u.s. forces in afghanistan and under what condition. at yesterday's hearing referring again to ambassador crocker, he warned that the consequences of disengagement can be as great or greater than the consequences of engagement. or intervention in the first place. i share the concern of many on this committee that any future reductions in u.s. force levels in afghanistan should be based on the security conditions at the time of the proposed reductions, taking into account the capabilities of the afghan security forces and the status of the counterterrorism fight. we would also be interested in your views on the full range of challenges you face, including the progress that the afghan
security forces in building key enablers, such as logistics, special operations forces, intelligence and airlift, the afghan-pakistan security relationship, including border coordination and counterterrorism effort, and the reports of a growing isis presence in afghanistan. again, thank you, sir, for your service to the nation. >> general campbell. >> chairman mccain, ranking member reed and distinguished members of the committee, thank you very much for the opportunity to appear before you today. i'm honored to lead and represent the service men and women of the united states forces afghanistan. i'd like to begin by thanking the committee for your steadfast support of our soldiers, our sailors, our airmen, our marines, and our civilians. due to your leadership and your commitment, they're the best trained and best equipped force our nation has ever deployed. their outstanding performance bears testimony to your backing and the backing of the american people. i'd like to pay tribute to our military families, they're the unsung heroes of the last
13-plus years of conflict. in many ways, our frequent absences from home are harder on them than on us. without their love, strength and support, we couldn't succeed. i'd also like to recognize the over 2,200 service men and women who have been killed in action in afghanistan and the over 20,000-plus who have been wounded. each day we strive to bring meaning to their sacrifices. we honor their memories and their loved ones by continuing to build a secure and stable afghanistan. and by protecting our own homeland. over 13 years have passed since the 9/11 attacks and we haven't forgotten why we came to afghanistan and why we remain. since 2001 the extraordinary efforts and courage of our forces have ensured that another terrorist attack originating from afghanistan and directed against the u.s. homeland has not occurred. it's been seven months since i appeared before this committee and much has changed since then.
afghanistan, the region, the enemy, and our coalition have undergone tremendous transitions. and most of these have been extraordinarily positive for us. i'd like to emphasize a few of these today in order to place our current campaign in context. and to reaffirm that the conditions exist for us to achieve our strategic objectives. in september, afghanistan completed the first peaceful democratic transition in history. although prolonged, this transition was still a monumental achievement. it represented the afghans' commitment to a democratic open society. the difference between a new national unity government and its predecessor is night and day. the president has embraced the international community. our coalition and the afghan security forces. our partnership is strong. we now have a ratified bilateral security agreement and a nato status of forces agreement. which grant us the necessary
authorities to continue our mission. dynamics within the region continue to evolve as well. the president has made regional engagement a top priority in order to address the shared security and economic interests for afghanistan. nowhere is this more evident than in the pakistan-afghan relationship. the pakistan taliban's murderous attack on 16 december may prove to be their 9/11 and a game changer for our future. senior pakistani officials recognize they can no longer make the distinction between good and bad terrorists. in the wake of this tragedy, the blame game between both countries has stopped. i've witnessed firsthand substantive changes in the interactions between the afghan and pakistan military leadership in just the last couple of months. they're now talking. positive exchanges between core commanders recently occurred in kandahar, in jalalabad. last week six afghan army
cadets are now attending the pakistan military academy and this wasn't happening before. we're doing everything we can to promote their closer cooperation. particularly to address extremist sanctuaries on both sides of the border. we must temper our expectations, i remain optimistic that both countries are working towards a more productive relationship. the enemy remains in a state of flux too. the taliban failed to achieve any of their stated objectives in 2014. constantly pressured by the ansf, suffering from dissention within their own ranks, and lacking popular support, they turned to high profile terrorist attacks, particularly against soft targets inside of kabul. the desperate attempt to remain relevant are failing to win over the afghan population. they're killing innocent civilians and fellow afghans. it's time for them to lay down their arms and rebuild the afghan nation. the possible rise of isil is also a new development.
thus far we believe that the nation's presence in afghanistan represents more of a rebranding of a few marginalized taliban, but we're still taking this potential threat with its dangerous rhetoric and ideology very, very seriously. we're working closely with the ansf to evaluate and understand the dynamic nature of this fledgling network. the potential emergence of isil represents an additional opportunity to bring the afghans and the pakistanis together to confront this common threat. and we will continue to engage with leaders from both countries on ways we can collaborate to meet this challenge. we're all driven to prevent them from establishing a meaningful foothold in central asia. u.s. forces afghanistan and our coalition have undergone tremendous changes as well since i assumed command. on 1 january, u.s. forces afghanistan formally ended its combat mission operation enduring freedom, and commenced
our new mission, operation freedom sentinel. we've also ended all detainee operations. simultaneously, troops from over 40 nations, which comprised the new nato mission, resolute support, began executing their train, advise, and assist mission in order to build the capabilities and long-term sustainability of the ansf. they also assumed full security responsibilities, they're ready and it's time. the ansf were challenged and tested but held their own against a determined enemy. on a battlefield the ansf fought and demonstrated their increasing capabilities. today the government of islamic republic of afghanistan remains firmly in control of 34 capitals and all of its major cities. the ansf successfully promoted or protected eight million afghans who courageously defied insurgent intimidation and voted in two rounds of elections. the ansf's professionalism and
their nonpartisanship enabled them to remain cohesive in the face of an extended political impasse after the elections. all portions of the afghan security forces continue to respect and obey afghan authority. the ansf special forces in particular have proven to be the most proficient in the entire region. they're consistently executing unilateral direct action missions against insurgent leaders and facilitators. they're leveraging their own intelligence, using their own special wing helicopters to carry out long-range insertions in low illumination. this is a remarkable capability for any military. afghan continues to be a dangerous place. casualty rates for all the ansf increased in 2014. roughly 5% to 7% higher. however this must be viewed in light of the fact that their operational tempo was four times greater in 2014 than it was in
2013. and that over 100,000 coalition forces were no longer on the battlefield. even considering these higher casualties, the ansf attrition rates, which account for all loss to the force, have not impacted combat readiness too severely. the army and the police recruiting has not been a problem. afghan youths continue to join the ranks and the ansf. security forces are widely respected and viewed as an honorable, patriotic profession. the afghan national army remains the most trusted institution in the country. and the afghan shield and sword of an exceptionally proud people and a fledgling nation. after watching the ansf respond to a variety of challenges, i don't believe the insurgents represent an existential threat to the government of afghan. however, the ansf still need a great deal of help in developing
the systems and processes necessary to run a modern, professional army and police force. they also need sustained support in addressing their capability gaps in aviation, intelligence and special operations. to address these gaps, our trained advise and assist mission and mentorship will be vital. our advisors at the security ministries, army corps and police zones are now our main effort. although clear challenges exist, i believe that the ansf capabilities or capacity and the morale will be sufficient. backstop by our advisory efforts and enable our support. this will allow afghanistan long-term security at the end of the resolute support mission. the afghan president recently remarked, and i quote, compelled by tragedy and cemented by mutual sacrifice, the partnership between afghanistan, nato and the u.s. has entered a new phase, end quote.
i believe we're at a critical inflexion point in our campaign. many challenges remain before us, as the new afghan government forms. it's still finding its footing. and it must do so while contending with the security threat, corruption and economic challenges. yet the myriad of challenges and transitions over the last seven months offer us a tremendous opening. the administration offers us an extraordinary opportunity to develop a meaningful strategic partnership that will stabilize afghanistan and in turn offer greater security for the region and the u.s. homeland. there's a new spirit of cooperation in kabul. something we didn't have before. i firmly believe that our concurrent c.t. and t.a. efforts will reinforce and deepen our strategic partnership and shape conditions for a favorable outcome to this conflict. we could offer no greater tribute to the american people our fallen and their loved ones,
than by finishing this mission well. if i could, i think the members have charts at your tables there. i'd like to show you a couple statistics. i'm asked, what does progress mean? have we had success? has it been worth it? i just offer you these two slides. a layout in 2001 and 2014. in every measurable statistic, from roadways, cell phone uses, schools, teachers, females in schools, literacy rate, on and on and on, continues to go up. the one that's quite striking is the life expectancy on the bottom right there. in 2001 it was 43 years. today it stands at 64 years. if you times that around 35 million, that's 741 million life years of hope that the coalition, the american people, have provided to the afghan people. the bottom two charts show kabul then and now, 2001 and 2014. on the right is present-day kabul.
the fifth fastest growing city in the world. that's progress. that's success. and that can only happen with a coalition of the security that is provided. finally, let me conclude by stating that u.s. forces afghanistan is currently involved with a winter review of the afghanistan campaign. this review is looking at all of our lines of effort in afghanistan, not just the military. as i stated, the afghan president is a credible and effective partner. he's asked for nato and the united states to provide some flexibility in our planning to account for the fact that his government remains in transition. i have provided options on adjusting our force sponsor through my chain of command. the issue is how long we stay engaged at the regional level in 2015. once again, i express my profound gratitude to all the committee members for your unfailing support of our mission and our troops in afghanistan. i'm humble and privileged to lead men and women of their
caliber and courage. every day, they make us all proud. i look forward to your questions. thank you. >> thank you very much general. in an address to the nation on 27 may, 2014, president obama said about afghanistan, quote, we will bring america's longest war to a responsible end and then announce calendar dates for our withdrawal. the beginning of 2015, we'll have approximately 9,800. by the end of 2015 we'll have reduced that presence by roughly half and we will have consolidated our troops in kabul and on bagram. we will have consolidated our troops in kabul and in bagram. one year later, by the end of 2016, our military will draw down to a normal embassy presence in kabul with a security assistance component, and i'm not making this part of his statement up, just as we've done in iraq. general, we're worried about it being just as we've done in iraq. so, i guess the fundamental
question i have for you, in light of the fact that there was a six-month transition, the government of afghanistan, isis is now locating there, other things have happened since the president made this statement. do you believe that our troop presence in afghanistan should be adjusted, the schedule should be adjusted, in light of ensuing events since the president made his statement on 27 may, 2014? >> sir, thank you for the question. as i mentioned in the oral statement, i have provided options to my chain of command to take a look at, as we do this update, for additional options. >> you provided those options. do you favor those options? >> absolutely. >> thank you. are you worried about a lack of u.s. military presence in kandahar, the spiritual home of
the taliban, including i.s.r., air power capability and advisors there? >> sir, currently with the forces that we have in kandahar, i'm comfortable where we are through 2015. they provide us the opportunity to continue to do our mission of train, advise and assist. down in kandahar, that's what the 205th corps, the police with the special operating forces and the air force, and we have the requisite i.s.r. to be able to continue that mission through 2015. >> those options that you've provided to the president, does that mean that the options that you support would not draw down to a normal embassy presence in kabul? >> the option i presented to my chain of command were several options laid out to make sure that we continue with our mission of t.a.a. i'm particularly concerned about the summer of 2015.
the afghans this is the very first fighting season completely on their own. they've had the lead for two years and done quite well but this is the first one at the current force levels that we're at. as you mentioned up front, the current plan brings it down to kabul centered by 2015. as we look at that, again, we're -- the president of afghan has asked for flexibility and i provided some flexibility for -- some options for him and my seenor staff to look at that would continue to -- continue the t.a.a. mission. >> a group of us met with president ghani over the weekend, he was strong and adamant that this couldn't plan will put the nation in danger and i hope that our leadership will pay attention to him when he comes for a visit here, i believe in march.
senator reid. >> thank you very much. you have two distinct missions, one is train advice, and support afghan national security forces. the other is the counterterrorism mission. and those two missions might have -- require different footprints of where you are in the country. is that being considered by you in your recommendations to the president? that dichotomy between the two missions? and does that shape your recommendation in terms of what sort of locations that you must hold? some you might hold simply for counterterrorism others you might be -- might be integral to training, is that accurate? >> absolutely. they are complementary missions, complement each other, lead toward force protection.
i'd take a look at both of those. we have been shown great flexibility in the past, in the october time frame came forward for some flexibility on authorities, enablers, and people and the president granted some great flexibility that enabled us to continue with the resolution support mission after 1 january. >> there was another aspect of counterterrorism alluded to by our panel yesterday that is regional threats not just solely located within afghanistan itself. is that something you're considering too in terms of recommendations to the president? >> i would tell you that both u.s. forces afghanistan central command, my headquarters, president ghani as he's reached out to the region, take a look at this regional approach all the time. what's different in the last six months is the reach out president ghani sent especially to afghanistan intel to intel,
those areas ewe continue to look at very hard. i've seen chidge in the attitude, i've seen military to mel tear talking together. this hadn't happened since about 2011, 2012. that's quite good. i think if they continue to work that very hard and understand they have a common enemy to face, they have to get rid of the sanction ware on both sides that will lead to a positive outcome. we have do look at regional process. >> let me go to an area that is sometimes not highlighted, that's the afghan national police. because the responsibility to train and also to create a justice system not only for yourself but many other u.s. agencies and international partners you've talked i think, in general terms about the status of the afghan national army, particularly special operations forces, but what about the police? ultimately long run it will be the police an fores that will make sure the country is stable. >> the police, about 157,000
strong, plus another 30,000 afghan local police, a little different trained than the army, a little different equipped however they continue to do some of the same type missions the army has to go through. when they work together, the army pe the police, the a.l.p., they're quite good. this will be called cross-pill lohr coordination. as i tell people with changes in leadership, having confidence, holding people accountable working together, the taliban cannot defeat them and the taliban don't have the howitzers, the humvees the intel fusion, none of that. but the police continue to work that very hard. they are working through a holistic review on force optmyization piece, president ghani and the senior leadership have looked at changes to the police and how they're organized, how they look more toward community policing, that's where they want to get to. we do advice at the min sterile
level, m.o.i. -- ministerial level and other levels. >> finally there are obligations the afghan government has asked us to fulfill. are there any requests we have for them that they must fulfill to ensure our mission is successful? >> are you talking in terms of troops, equipment? >> troops, equipment -- troop equipment, reform of their system, it is a partnership. and we're focusing on what they are asking of us. i know on the -- under the previous presidency there was a long list of things we asked and we're not particularly -- and were not particularly successful in getting. you seem to imply, quite accurately with president ghani, there's a new sense of cooperation but are there significant issues out there that they must deal with and we must be aware of?
>> i think president ghani has continued to work hard, they've worked on the corruption, we asked them to look at that. they've embraced the international community. every where i go, the first thing i see president ghani and ambassador bill do is thank the people. they're working very, very hard. president ghani is commander in chief, he's embraced the afghan security forces, both army and police, haven't seen that before. the afghan security force was probably handcuffed the last few years. i think to everything that we talk about with m.o.i., m.o.d., ask president ghani to take a hard look at, he gets on that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you general. thank you also for the time that you spend with us personally on these issues. senator reed brought up a thing
about the police vs. the -- versus the army, give us a general idea of the size of each. the army is much larger than the police is it 10 to one or what? >> the army is 35 ,000, 195,000 for the army, 150,000 for the afghan police, another 30,000 are -- 130,000 that are local police. >> i understand that. thank you very much. i took a very personal interest as far back as 2003 in the training of the afghans. in part was of the oklahoma 305th played a big part in that. i was there when they opened the kabul military training center and i commented it reminded me when i looked at it as fort sill. it's state of the art. you talked about kabul.
it's grown, the fastest growing city and all of that how is the training center? has it remained as effective as it initially was? is it growing with the capacity there? >> the kmcc continues to be a bright spot, a training place that embraces the last several years what we have put into that. each of the corpses have their own regional training centers as well. the special operating forces have the equivalent of a center of excellence like we have at fort bragg it's very, very good. i was out west in harat about a week and a half ago, i said i want to go look at his his training unannounced he, took me out there, walked through medical training marksmanship training, walked through how they cleared buildings. all of those again, unannounced, all afghan led, was remarkable. i came away refreshed that all of that training that goes on for the most part is afghan led had been with our help several years ago but i feel confident
they continue to do that. >> i have to tell you i was really impressed in the early years, i was there because we were participating in that in a very personal way. and then expressions on the face of the afghans, i thought they really wanted to train they're very proud of the accomplishments, particularly at the training center. i never dreamed at that time we'd be back here 10 or 12 years later talking about it. this has been asked before but for a different reason, let me reflect on what's happening right now. we had the administration talking about 5,500. then we had the -- president ghani wanting to re-examine that. then we agreed the administration doing it with them. if we're at 10,000 now and we had general mattus tell this committee just a few -- a short while ago, that we should be looking at approximately a
recommendation of 20,000 and you're readjusting from 10,000, is that implying that somehow we're going to make an adjustment from the 5,500? that it's not going to be up anywhere close to what general mattus said we needed. >> none of the options recommend an increase like that. most of the options i'm discussing with my senior leadership includes allowing more flexibility on glide slope and on locations. >> does it bother you that we're talking publicly about all the -- what we're going to be doing when we're going to withdraw when we're going to be downsizing and all that? because obviously they know everything we know. is that concern -- does that concern you? >> i think the general put it best when he testified last july he, said he hoped there would be more ambiguity here. it's out in the open. we are where we are. >> i know we are where we are. but do we have to continue to be
where we are? when do we go and start making our own plans, exclusively us, hopefully that time will come, i won't ask for an answer. the last thing i would mention when you talk about strog do something on the size of the force, right now we have afghanistan, we have iraq, sir ark africa problems there, jordan of course, we talked about that last week. just yesterday introduced legislation to try to get more of our help to our very great ally por sean coe and o-- poroshenko and those in the ukraine. do you talk to the rest of them as to what our capacity is with all these things going on? is that factored into any recommendation you're going to have in terms of changing our structure in after began stan? >> when i look at the options i present to my senior leadership, i'm cognizant of what else is going on in the world, the
requirements the joint staff has to deal with. i particularly focus on afghanistan and the impact it has. i'm not looking at other places. i provide options and the joint staff work through that. >> but i know that you'll be making recommendations in terms of overall force strength and all of that. i'm sure that will factor into it. >> senator gillibrand. >> thank you for hosting this hearing, i appreciate it very much. general, what should the role of afghanistan's neighbors morely pakistan be in the reconciliation process? do you have concerns about the role that afghanistan neighbors are currently playing? and what do you see our greatest challenge as bling? >> thank you -- as being. >> thank you, senator. president ghani said this several times, he wants to take charge of this. this is very, very important for him. he knows it's going to take some
time. he's reached out to pakistan to the chief of the army and said i need some help here, we have to work this together. i think that dialogue continues to go between them. i was in pakistan last week, had these conversations with the general, talked about president ghani, they continue the dialogue. neither one of them wants to let the other one down. i think pakistan for years and years, has been an issue. we've always said you can't talk about afghanistan unless pakistan was in that equation. the general is moving in a different direction than we've seen in the house. i've been there four our five times in the several months i've been on the ground there. i've met with him and the president together and i think that there's very, very good dialogue to move forward. i think the general understands that he has a big piece to play in this. and his leadership will make a difference as we works with some of the internal issue he is has in pakistan. if you're in afghanistan, you
think everything bad comes out of pakistan, if you're in pakistan, you think everything bad comes out of afghanistan. they've got to work together to get past this. we have an opportunity now if we work very, very hard to make this reconciliation piece a potential reality where it hadn't been before. >> are there particular challenges with regard to the border? >> as far as cross border? there always is ma'am. up in the hindu kush, along kunar, nangahar, there's nothing that says this is the border. so people have families that live on side of the afghanistan side, have families just across the border. there is more cooperation now between the afghan border police and the frontier corps on the pakistan side. again, about two weeks ago, the 201st corps and the 204 corps met in jalal bad. they talked -- in jalalabad.
the afghan border police, senior border policeman for afghanistan went to pakistan and toured different spots on the pakistan side. they on the to talk. we're building back the coordination center, that should open up soon. used to have u.s., afghan and pakistan. i was up there probably four weeks ago with the chief of the army. this will put after beganis and pakistanis together and a coordination center at a key point on the border. we'll put another one south of kandahar and continue to work this. >> i'm very grateful for all the work you've done to protect women's rights and to educate girls. what are we doing now to ensure that progress on women's rights will be protected as we transition into a more advisory capacity and is the afghanistan government capable of sustaining the progress you've made? >> they worked this very hard. thank you for the question. they worked this very, very
hard. i have a gender advisor that works with the senior people in the afghan government. we continue to see change in the number of women that join the police that join the army. they get some very tough goals to try to get to over time but they're working very hard toward that. i think the police and m.o.r. are doing better than the army. but they understand how important it is, president ghani has made this one of his priority. he spoke about this to all the senior leadership in meetings that i have been in. he's also trying to incorporate more civilian and women into the ministries of both m.o.i. and m.o.d. m.o.i. is a little better than m.o.d. their goals they have of about 10% over the next several years is going to be very, very tough just based on the culture but i think all of them i talked to want to get after this. i do believe they're very genuine about this. >> what's the status of terrorism attacks specifically against schools with girls?
>> i don't have those statistics -- >> is it rising or falling or the same, i don't have a sense of it today. >> ma'am, i would tell you it's probably about the same. i think wherever there's soft target the taliban and other insurgents can go after, they'll do that. if they go to a school, if they go inside kabul, it gives them more impact because the media will pick up on it. just like they did in pesh war in december, when they hit a military style school. but i haven't seen a spike in the numbers. >> senator sessions. >> general campbell, thank you for your testimony and your service. just on that question to follow up if the taliban are victorious, this would be devastating, would it not, for the rights of women in afghanistan that made a great
deal of progress in recent years? >> sir absolutely. >> general campbell, ambassador cunningham told us yesterday as did all the panelists, that the rate of withdrawal is too high. too steep. in afghanistan. i tend to agree with that. i think that's very difficult for anybody to dispute if you analyze it. i believe our congress in a bipartisan way is open to having a more robust assistance to the afghan forces. i feel that in talking to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, i think the american people are willing to stay the course and help in -- not an out front way but in a supportive way, more than a lot of people think. if -- if we articulate that. i believe it's important for the president to articulate that. he's commander in chief. i think it's important for you
to be clear to him and the defense department to be clear to help alter the present course we are on. secondly, i'm really pleased that you have gone even further than our panelists yesterday in saying that this is not a hopeless case. a lot of progress has been made. we just don't want to let it slip away. and i do not see this in any way that we're starting a new war. we have been -- we're partners with afghanistan for 13-plus years. we stood shoulder to shoulder with them. we've lost, as you said, over 2,000 soldiers, 20,000 wounded. it needs to end successfully. so i just hope that somehow we don't make the mistake that senator mccain has so wisely warned us of in afghanistan, to rush out when just a little more presence and a little more support would be there and i encourage you to speak out on
that. i assume your report, from what i hear you say, advice calls for a stronger presence there. so i appreciate the optimism that you have. and you said there's a new spirit there it does appear that president ghani is much more attuned with the challenges and president -- than president karzai was and a lot of progress is made but i have to tell you, we've heard that before. we've been hearing this for a long time. there's a new spirit there. and i think there's truth to it. but isn't it true that in a combat situation involving say iraqi or afghani soldiers, that if a few u.s. forces with quhune cases ability, the ability -- with communications ability, the ability to call in air strikes, can embolden them to a remarkable degree and help them be a successful in a way that they're out under attack and don't have that kind of support
and confidence, they're not as effective fighters. i've heard lower ranking officers and higher ranking officers say that's true. >> sir, as you know, our men and women of our armed forces are incredibly gifted, they're bright, they're intelligent. when other forces around them, they learn through osmosis. it's encredible. any time we're around iraq or afghan forces, in my experience they continue to get better. >> i was talking to an experienced officer in iraq last week. been there a number of times he said the iraqis will fight and they fight so much better and so much more confidently if just a few americans are embeded with them. it creates a confidence that goes beyond, way beyond the numbers. do you agree with that general? >> i spent about 19 months in iraq, three different tours in afghanistan. the afghanistan -- they're fighters. they've been fighting for
35-plus years. there's no doubt with proper leadership they will continue -- they stood firm in the political instability, didn't break on ethnic lines with the right leadership they can carry the day here, sir. >> well, we're moving through no troops outside of the capital, it appears doing ministerial advisory soon. less than two years. i just think that's taking a risk. and i hope that you will make clear your views from the military point of view and i think the american people will support it. i think president obama will listen and i think we can have
bipartisan support here for more realistic approach to the drawdown in afghanistan. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator mccaskill. >> thank you, general campbell, i appreciated the time we spent together yesterday going -- going over a challenging problem, and that is how we do the requisite oversight of what we're doing in afghanistan and how at the same time as we pull into the back and pull allow the afghan forces to take the lead how you protect data that could make them more vulnerable once they are in the lead and once we are in just a supportive role. i completely understand the tension there. and i just wanted to put on the record that i think you have worked very hard to reverse some of the confusion that existed around the special inspector general's report as to what should and shouldn't be classified. i know you've taken steps to declassify a wide swath of that
information an i think the commitment you had the to me that we'll continue to work on what you feel strongly about in terms of unit data and some of the other data that could in fact put people at risk if it were continued to be unclassified. i want to thank you for your attention to that. i think you understand that the oversight is important and i think you also are cognizant of the risks associated with some of that data getting into the wrong hands. i appreciate your help on that. i want to express my sympathy for the death not just of kayla mueller but the other contractors that have occurred. and this has been a theme of mine for years, and that is how do we manage the contracting force in theater, how do we oversee the contracting force in theater, and how do we protect the contracting force in theater? i am worried about that.
we put into the -- last year's national defense authorization a prohibition against funding any projects that we can't inspect because of security reasons. and i want to get your take on where we are in terms of protection of the contracting force. we've got contractors that are going to have to maintain some of these systems because afghanistan is not ready to -- they don't have the technical capability of maintaining some of what we have equipped them with. contractors are going to be a reality in that space for a long time. and i think we need to discuss that protection, not just force protection but obviously contractor protection. >> senator, thank you rr much -- very much for the question. i agree that force protection for the men and women in the --
the contractors their safety soft primary concern. we provide them with protection. this is utmost on my mind, we will continue to watch that very closely. i do agree as we downsize we can't crust say we're taking the military out we've got to add another contractor in there. we've got to look at the -- take a holistic look at what the requirement is. there may be some times we say, we're not going to put military or a contractor there as well, we have to mitigate that a different way. it was an unfortunate incident about two weeks ago where we did have three of our contractors killed by an afghan soldier. we have learned lessons from that. the afghans continue to learn lessons from that as well. our green on blue instances have gone way down, we want to keep it that way but a lot of that is
because of the procedures we have put in place and the afghans is have put in place as well. but we'll continue to look at that very hard. >> if you could speak briefly to president bush was the first one who spoke out about the propaganda tool that gitmo represented. it continues to be, we're aware, a recruiting tool. could you speak to the issue of gitmo as it relates to what maybe the biggest threat we face, that is the recruitment worldwide of terrorists to join the fight particularly the fight that isis is conducting in a barbaric fashion that has nothing do with conventional warfare. >> thank you, ma'am. i think there's a lot of things out there that -- a lot of thicks out there that would incite people to attack americans already who are already preconceived to attack
americans. i can't tell you how much gitmo does or doesn't do that or impact on the recruiting piece of it. but my experience tells me there are people who want to do harm to people in afghanistan and in the united states. any number of things can make them do that. but many of them are preconceived to do that. we -- what i have to do is continue to work that hard on my force protection outside of afghanistan and worry about that piece of it. i don't go out and look at different pieces and how they recruit. i look more at the force protection piece outside of afghanistan. >> senator ayacht. >> i want to thank you general for your tremendous service to the country and for your family and for all of those underneath you. i think we're fortunate to have your leadership. i wanted to follow up, to understand just in terms of where we are in the current plan
and in the consequences of it, just so we understand if we keep the current timeline that was proposed by the administration and they don't adopt some of the options that you've proposed to them, what does that mean in terms of when the withdrawal would have to start in terms of the fighting season? so logistically, what would that mean for you? >> ma'am, military guy would never use the term withdrawal. we're in a transition as we continue to work that piece of it. the current state of play is we have 9,800 u.s., about 12.9 with the u.s. force, we're centered in kabul and bagram. we have tactical and advise and assist commands in the north and south. and we have several special operating camps special operating forces inside kabul and other places in the country. to get to the numbers -- down to
the numbers we're out, we'd have to go to kabul centric by the end of the year. >> would that also require you to move out of place during the fighting season? >> part of that is physics. >> meaning lo yistcally. >> yes, ma'am. >> so that would have to be done while you're in the middle of the fighting season? >> ma'am part of that we would descope and try to mitigate as much as we could so we didn't impact on the fighting system. but just based on physics -- >> just based on physics, that's something we hope the president will take into consideration because it's an important matter of physics. we wouldn't normally pick to have to do this in the middle of a fighting season is that true? >> we would like to have every opportunity to make sure we provide the training to afghans. it's important for fighting season 15, we're doing everything to get them ready to do that. we're advising at the ministerial level, m.o.i. and m.o.d. we're advising at the
corpses. we're not on combat operations every day with thebury gadse. we do advice the isis with special operating forces. it would have an impact, we would continue to work through that. >> appreciate it, general. last march you testified before the readiness subcommittee and you had called the a-10 a game changer and you had said what i think the soldiers on the ground both the special operators and conventional force would tell you is a game changer, it's ugly and loud but when it comes in and you hear the -- it still would be a game changer, do you still believe that? and how has the a-10 performed in afghanistan? >> i do not currently have any a-10's in afghanistan but in my experience it's been a superb close air support.
the comments i made back in march, including sound effects i stand by. >> excellent. general odeer noah says a-10 is the best air support? >> the air force provides a great air support, they're not using a-10's, but they continue to provide me the best air support i could have. i --that's the air force to decide that. >> let me ask you about no contracting with the enemy. senator broun, when he was here we pushed before the committee, now it's been expanded to authorities beyond the department of defense but also to usaid state department, and how is that -- hozz that -- how has that worked in afghanistan? i know senator mccaskill asked
about contractors and we had money going to our enemies, money going to people who were misusing our funds to work against our interests. so how is that -- the task force to implement that working? >> it's been a game-changer as well. probably about 7 -- 700 or 800 contractors, only about 100 plus have been able to are the through. it's denied insurgents probably $8 billion in money where we haven't put toward those contracts where the enemy would have access. we continue to work that. most of that for me is what we call over the horizon, so i don't have them on the ground but we reach back very quickly with that. based on that success nato has also adopted that methodology to work the contracting piece. >> thank you, general. >> senator donnelly. >> thank you mr. chairman.
general, thank you for meeting with me yesterday, i appreciated your time. i agree with that there is a need for more flexibility to do what's needed, that we should look at the situation on the ground and determine from that the decisions that we make. and when we do, you had mentioned before kabul-centric that we might at some point if we found ourselves in a kabul-centric situation. what would that do in areas like kandahar and other areas if we wound up in that situation? >> the plan is that in -- when we go kabul-centric we would have sufficiently worked the cores at the core level that they have the capacity to sustain the fight there. and continue the t.a.a. inside kabul at the ministry level. >> when you look at the numbers that we'll need and there's
obviously there's no exact number that you know as you go month to month and take a look, you determine what you need. what are your best ballpark, if you were being given flexibility where we need to be approximately in 2015, 2016, 2017 u.s. forces? >> i provided those options to my senior leadership. i'd rather discuss that in classified sessions if i can do that. >> that would be fine. >> as you look at -- that would be fine. as you look at helmut and other places what is your definition of success in those areas, say at the beginning of 2017? >> the definition of success at helmut would be that the afghan security forces have sufficiently contained the insurgents there, that the governors, district governors
provincial governors are providing necessary help to the people of the province. i see great work happening in helmut today, i was there thursday. i discuss -- i can discuss more in a classified hearing what we intend to do there but i think the cooperation between the police and army i saw thursday bodes well for hellmund. >> when you look at the taliban and their goals and aims, what are the things that give them hope and how do we eliminate those things? >> even president ghani said 70% of the taliban want to come back in and get in the peace process and are tired of the fighting. a lot of their leadership is disenfranchised, they're away in sang ware, not in afghanistan. i think now with a new national unity government that almost 85% of the people want in the country there's no reason the taliban can't come to the table
and talk and be part of the political process and the president has reached out for them to do that. there will always be a small portion that will not want to come back in and talk like that but i think president ghani and others continue to talk about this. they're engaging with tribal elders and elements in different parts of the country. they're showing that the government can provide to the people. that's what the taliban want, to have a government that will provide what they want to have, whether it's jobs, medical. i think president ghani and the national unity government son the way to doing that. >> i want to thank you and your whole team because when i was there last year, there was no question from the military as to whether the afghans were going to hold. but there was concern. and from everything we have seen, the way it was laid out, we've hit our metrics and more.
would you afree with where we are and the metrics we laid out? >> i would. not these metrics but the metrics we work with, our afghan partners and place in the army, from the number and level of training taken over all the training i see that, again, i've been there three times. this time there's a stark difference in the motivation,ed in lead -- in the leadership, them understanding that they don't have as many u.s. and coalition forces they have to do, they want to take this on, so i think they cant to get better and better. i talked before about their special operating capability that's quite good. four mi487 going from kandahar to hellmund, guys getting out the back, they have an ipad type device, talking to pc-2, afghan flan, that has full motion video and they tell them there's an
insurgent 200 meters and they go. that's a remarkable capability they have that the taliban ought to know about because they don't stand a chance with that capability. >> and thanks for your hard work on the pakistan piece. i think it's absolutely critical. i know how hard you're working on it. as you continue to get that in a better and better place, i think the whole area becomes better and better. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you, general, for being here. i appreciate your service and the frank conversation you had with me yesterday in my office. to follow up on senator donnelly's comments on the taliban, do you think that they will make significant movements to reassert control over certain territories and how important would be our c.t. mission there to counter that? >> ma'am i think again, the
taliban are a resilient force. they have issues but they continue to hang on in certain air -- areas. they have changed their approach as i talked in the opening statement inside kabul, some of the remote areas outside the city where it's hard to have the afghan security force, they go after soft targets whether it's afghan local police check point with only two or three people on it away from the village, without the proper training and equipment. they see that and attack that. there's reports they'll take over a district center. when i was there before they'd take over district center and the afghan forces would not be able to take that back. today, as i said, all the district centers are owned by the government of afghanistan. if the insurgents were able to attack one and take it over, the police and army would get that back in six or seven hours, soobs they were eable to get the forces there. there's no doubt they continue to work that very hard. our c.t. capability, without going into classified hearing,
as you know, ma'am is the best in the world. we continue to have men and women that provide us the capability that's the number one in the world and we continue to have that as one of our missions and i can give you more information when we go into classified. >> what does that mean for al qaeda, do you believe they'll see increased pressure? >> ma'am, i think that -- i think that you have to continue to keep the pressure on a.q. i think that over the last several years and the last four or five months in particular, the pressure we've had on a.q. has been quite good. part of that is based on what pakistan has done on the big operation they've had going on since june in north waziristan, has forced people into after dwan stan. i think our c.t. capability is quite good. >> yesterday, we spoke a little bit about the capability gaps of the afghan forces.
do you feel that that's going to have an adverse operational impact on them? >> ma'am, i think we're going to continue to try to work that and close that gap. the places they have gaps are hard for any armies. logistics, it's hard for the u.s. army, the afghan army. we've built in programs over the last several years as we step back and take a look at it. in some places we provided them too much, or provided them a program that they're not going to get to. now we're going to come back a little bit and say how do we adjust this, how do we modify this to work for afghanistan? that's what i'm starting to see now. a lot of it happens in the logistics rem. very hard for us to do that for any army, for the afghan army, the way they distribute equipment, very, very tough. they understand how important that is, we'll continue to work that intelligence, continue to work in the intelligence rem very well. stovepipes n.d.s. or intel
agency. today they have many fusion cells that brick them together like we've done in the past. i think that will give them a greater capability as they move forward. their close air support continues to grow. the train, advise and assist mission will continue to build that capability to allow us to continue to transeducation out. what president ghani has told me our most important legacy will be the systems and processes we provide afghanistan. that's our legacy from the last 1346 plus years. >> are there some missions they won't be able to do? >> ma'am, i think there's -- i think there's some areas we have to continue to work with the afghans to make sure they have the confidence. i have no doubt in my mind they have the capability to do all the missions required in afghanistan. sometimes it's the leadership, the confidence that leadership brings to be able to do that. they have many people that have been around for years and years. president ghani just retired 48
generals. you haven't had retirements of generals in years in afghan sta. that opens it up for young bright, enjer -- energetic officers they have noncommission officers that have been trained in the u.s. and germany to assume leadership positions now. with this infusion of new leadership and they hold them accountable, i think you know, leadership makes a difference. that's going to be a game changer as well. >> am i correct in saying it's an all volunteer army? and with the retirement of these generals that should encourage more enthusiasm within the ranks as well, wouldn't you say? >> ma'am, i think they'll see that there is hope to continue to move up. they've been stymied a little bit the last several years, now they see there's room to maneuver that will energize the young lieutenant curns and colonels. it's an all-volunteer army, like our army.
as i said in the opening statement, they do not have issues with recruiting. the issues they have is, they've only been recruiting in the winter instead of all year. that's what we're trying to get them to do, recruit throughout the year on a sustainable basis not just the winter. >> thank you very much. >> senator shea heeble -- sheheen. >> i'm struck by the tables provided in your testimony about both the changes in afghan society as a result of the last 13 years and how afghans feel about what's happening in the country right now. ic most of us as politicians -- i think most of us as politicians would love to have some of these numbers. 77% of afghans express confidence in their new government. 64% believe it's unlikely that the taliban will return to power.
5 -- 55% believe their country is headed in the right direction. what -- do you have a sense of what would happen to the way afghans feel about the progress in their country if the united states withdrew all of our troops and supports? >> the afghans that i talk to continue to express appreciation for the sacrifices of our men and women, express their appreciation for what the coalition, especially the united states, has provided to them over the last 13-plus years. again, the difference between iraq and afghanistan here is that afghanistan people and the government now do not want the coalition to leave. i think to the average afghan, if they see us continue to go with that -- go at that pace it would lower their morale, give them a feeling that they were being abandoned. but again, i think the afghan
senior leadership continues to tell the afghan people there are ways to mitigate, we're going to continue to get better, we appreciate the support, but this is going to be an afghan fight. we've got to take this on. there's a balance there, i think. but they absolutely do understand the sacrifices we provided. there's a difference night and day, again between this leadership we have today and the senior leadership in afghanistan a couple of months ago. >> you talked about the efforts of president ghani and others to reach out to the taliban and try to begin some sort of negotiations. can you give us any insights into how far along that is? >> i'd rather discuss that in a class fied session. >> ok, and to what extent are the taliban, do we see signs they're being influenced by what's happening with isil in
other parts of the middle east and the new reports that isil has begun to infiltrate taliban? >> the taliban and isil are like this. they have different ideologies. they want to fight oach other. you do have some taliban that feel disenfranchised from the taliban potentially. they see this isis as another way to gain resources, as another way to gain media attention. so you do have some of the taliban breaking off and claiming allegiance toward isis. part of that is happening in different parts of afghanistan. a lot of we get is through our afghan partners as they see that probably before we do. we have seen some of the recruiting we have seen some talk of it at some of the universities. it is a concern to the afghan president. therefore a concern to me. but we continue to work that with our afghan partners to make sure that we understand wher