tv This Week in Defense CBS October 3, 2010 11:00am-11:30am EDT
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i really didn't see it coming. i didn't realize i was drifting into the other lane. [ kim ] i was literally falling asleep at the wheel. it got my attention, telling me that i wasn't paying attention. the car hit the brakes faster than i could. i had no idea the guy in front of me had stopped short. but my car did. my car did. thankfully, my mercedes did. [ male announcer ] a world you can't predict... demands a car you can trust. the e-class. the best or nothing. that is what drives us. >> next on this week in defense news, >> welcome to this week in defense news. i'm vago muradian. our round table is back and ready to tackle a discussion
about the cost savings drive for the pentagon and the cost drive for the afghanistan war. joining me to talk about these issues are john donnelly and lauren thompson and john barry and john bennett. welcome to the show. john bennett, let me start with you. the savings drive. they want to save $101 billion over the next five years. ash taylor has put together issues. what is next in the process of saving this much money in the coming years? >> they are in the implementation phase. several task forces are moving along with how they go about instituting what secretary gates wants to do. that goes through mid-december. at the same time, the services are coming up with their own
plans of organizations and commands to cut and scale back generals to fire. i think that is where the fight is really going to be on the hill. that will be rolled out with the 2012 budget in february. >> let me ask you about the joint forces command. secretary gates wants to show he can cut the staff as well as one of the pentagon information agencies he wants to cut. the delegation is furious. what are the chances that gates will win this? >> i think the odds are he will win it. i think it is a healing cry from the virginia delegation. they are trying to get other delegations to see that you could be next. this is not the last closure. i think at the end of the day, it will be hard, especially in the current fiscal environment for lawmakers to argue.
gates is popular and persuasive. i think he may get what he wants. congress may say give us more information on this. they may pass an amendment to require formal justification. >> lauren, what industries have you been in? when you talk to ceos, they say defense spending needs to be reduced. we are being engaged for the first time in years. what are they thinking? >> it is like nuclear strategy. the declaratory position is that this is long overdue. industry supports it and industry will emulate. the operational view is not sure they can trust these guys to do it right. if it gets fouled up, it could hurt the industrial base. >> john, you watched these over
the decades. not to date you at all, but what is different about the savings drive and what means this is more successful? >> it comes against a background of a genuine budget. will it be different? it is better organized this time. gates is trying to bring in more of the stake holders this time than in years past. whether it is likely to be more successful? no, i shouldn't have thought so. >> in the immediate spending levels? >> he is looking at $100 billion over five years. the pool he is looking to take is $200 billion a year. >> it is a great idea. there are a series of problems
up front. they are assuming the spending remains stable. that is not realistic. secondly, we don't know what will happen after gates. this is his idea. thirdly, does the acquisition have the skills? we don't know that. >> john, you were talking about the pentagon with the systems to generate the savings? >> it is a very good point. this week, gao did an audit showing that the computer systems at the pentagon is developing to get a better handle on the financial management. they are behind schedule and overbudget. i'm talking twice as much as they were supposed to cost instead of just under $7 billion. it is $13 million. i'm talking nine systems that are delayed by 2-12 years. these are the systems that are supposed to deal with the
overall management. >> they have a massive training value down to the base level. >> they sure do. as carter is fond of saying he doesn't do culture change, you talk to some people and they say the buying guidelines and efficiency is all about culture change. there is a disconnect with what you are talking about to training and what the senior level officials are interested in actually doing. >> a good part of procurement is not because of culture. it is because of yards and miles of regulations which congress has laid down. everyone does the sensible thing. you don't know what congressional committee is going to be on it. >> everybody is worried about the oversight. nobody wants to fail. you have a train wreck as a result of it. let's start with the question of what congress is going to do with the budget at this point.
when will we have a defense budget? >> by christmas. a nice holiday prevent. they come back on november 15th and they will work for a month. we do not have any 2011 appropriations bills. >> the continuing resolution. >> it will keep us at fiscal 2010 levels. i think we will have a 2011 defense budget. i think we will have an authorization bill. >> why have we seen authorization bills for nasa and cia, but not dod? >> it got ensnared in politics. it was up against the don't ask, don't tell law. it wasn't about that. it was more about minority rights in the senate than gay rights in the military. it got wrapped up in there. it got punted. don't ask, don't tell repeal
>> welcome back. let's shift to afghanistan. the north -- the number of drone strikes have increased the past couple of weeks. last week, killing pakistani security personnel. pakistan is trying to stop nato convoys from pakistan to afghanistan. what does that mean? >> it is going badly as one would expect, but no one will admit that. they are trying to get through enough success without too many of the allies pulling their troops out immediately. the administration is obviously geared to the notion of moderate success and the military is prepared to go along. what it means in terms of the
campaign is that everyone is hoping that karzai can come together. >> i think the increase in drone strikes suggests, at least, a growing u.s. i am impatience -- impatience with the pakistani fight. the fight is more there than afghanistan. the pakistani government has been more helpful than previously in rooting out and attacking the networks, but not as helpful against the network as the u.s. would like. i read the drone strikes and the response to the pakistanis as the growing tension in an already growing tension. >> it is a surge. we have typically done about a dozen drone strikes in the tribal areas a month. during early september, we were doing one every day, roughly. it is interesting that from the
formulation is these are nato troops. we discovered that a plot against europe is being hatched. i wonder if this is what it takes to get the european contingents to act in the country. >> john barry, you were talking and were quite cross with bob woodward's book. why? >> i was not cross, it is gossip. this is the second of two books. where he is saying it wasn't us. it was the military's fault. by the way, you may remember general mcchrystal who was wise up to voice his political views to a journalist. the white house was not admitting to talk to woodward, but prepare the list of documents they wanted to give
him. this is crazy. this is not way to run the government. at some point, the military will say it wasn't like that. you will have a four-star saying a civilian screwed up. >> looking beyond the pettiness, there is not much divergence. we end up with 30. it sounds like a group of people that talks a lot. >> i think mcchrystal's staff assessments were more in the 40,000 range. gates had a role to bring it in to 30,000. >> you are concerned about the civil operations? >> yes. and hamad karzai is going to be told yet again what contempt the white house has for him.
this is not a policy. >> general david petraeus strategy has been less big battles. is that the way to go on this campaign? >> you know, we are nearly a decade into this war now. i'm not sure at this point anybody really knows which way to go. if there has been progress on the ground, it is barely discernible. some would say we lost ground. the taliban is more active. we have a leader on our side in the afghan government who has been diagnosed as a manic depressive. this is not a good picture. i don't know how anybody comes up with the strategy. >> how many troops are needed to carry out petraeus' counter insurgency community based strategy? it doesn't appear like he has anywhere near what he really wants or what would be needed. >> on what congress is giving
by way of the state department the funding to execute the diplomacy programs. >> the strategy is of the historical models. suppose it was a function of government that was fighting and we were going in to fight the government. what went wrong in iraq and afghanistan is the function of government was pointing to iraq. the u.s. is trying to do all of the counter insurgency. we cannot do it. we don't know enough about afghanistan. >> in the 30 or so seconds we have left, there were american soldiers from fort lewis who took drugs and killed innocent afghans and saved body parts. could this be the next great -- the next abu ghraib? >> this doesn't help. >> the thing we have seen here
>> congressional quarterly. we have john bennett of defence news with us. -- defense news with us. secretary gates said he was going to leave. jim jones is expected to leave as well as mike mullen. john, who are names that will replace these guys? >> this is washington's favorite par local game. who will re-- parlor game. who will replace bob gates? they shift every two or three weeks. we hear names like jack reid. hillary clinton's name goes in
and out of the rumor mill. ray mavis is also a top name. his name has started to slowly creep into the debate over the last few months. he is very well respected in the democratic establishment. it would be seen as a gift to the base. >> i hear reid has turned them down. >> i'm convinced that the president has no idea who he would select and replace. this is a game we enjoy playing. it is an interesting one. i think michelle is an interesting possibility. >> she certainly has supporters. ash carter's name has been mentioned. >> in the end, it will be mavis. >> not john hamry? >> what this administration needs is a person to insulate it from partisan attacks on security. that is why they like gates. most of the names are
tecnicrats. mavis has the political skills. he has done a great job as navy secretary. >> everybody in washington d.c. knows him. >> very likable guy. >> who could object to that? the other name is panella. he is politically well connected. he knows how to smooth the hill. that will be important coming into the election. >> jim jones? >> cartwright. >> yes. >> gates is relying upon cartwright very much in all that he does. >> and the president likes him. >> yes. >> which never hurts. let's talk about the relationship between beijing and washington. they are putting pressure on
currency. hillary clinton is taking a line on the aggressive stance from china on territory questions. how does this pan out? >> i think we are headed for a long-term tense deterioration with our relationship with the chinese. part of it is the chinese are becoming more assertive. that is not the core issue. u.s. growth rate was 1.6%. 2/3 of our trade deficit is china. after 10 years, the entire political system of both parties are getting in line with the way china is doing trade. >> will chinabuildd up the defenses or is there cause for concern because china has a further reaching strategy? >> you spent a lot of time
answering that question. >> this baffles china and this is the perception of the american decline. what do we do about this? >> we have a minute left. china takes the world supply. coming up with a report from the pentagon. what will it say? >> it will say the sky is not falling. we anticipate getting the materials for the next decade or so. it will contain an research and development strategy to help the manufacturing. >> this is a perfect example of the way china does trade.
why is the united states no longer in the rail business? they were low balled out. the united states is starting to rebell against it. >> and that is all the time we have for today. thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. coming up in my notebook, why international aid is important to international security.
>> last week, the secretaries of state and defense and treasury came together to make the case for international development. a week earlier, president barack obama made international development a core policy aim. it is an overdue shift. military members have made the link. now a poll shows that four out of five officers believe that food aid and educational programs help achieve security goal. the defense secretary bob gates called the diplomatic aid a force multiplier. he says they need more funding after spending trillions of
dollars on wars in the past decade. congress must fund aid programs to telegraph to allies that america is not a military state whose only international face is in a uniform. thanks for joining us for this week in defense news. i'm vago muradian. you can watch this program online at defensenewstv.com. i'll be back next week at the same time. until then, have a great week.