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tv   Experts Discuss U.S. Military Power  CSPAN  October 19, 2021 1:03pm-2:04pm EDT

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facing the military. the atlantic council is the hostof this discussion . >> good afternoon everyone and welcome. i'm president and ceo of the atlantic council. thank you for joining us today for our event on maximizing military power and minimizing bureaucratic barriers. i hope you'll forgive me, a personal comments before we get started. today marks the passing of general colin powell, one of america's great soldiers and statesmen. i helped guide the us military to victory in the 1991 persian gulf war as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. he is the holder of the highest honor of the atlantic council fleadership award which you received in 2005
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and is an honorary director of theatlantic council and an advisor and a friend . born to new york to jamaican immigrants he really was an american success story. first black chairman of the joint chiefs. selected by president george w. bush in late 2000 seto be secretary of state. making him the first black person to leave the state department and making him soldier statesmen. when i asked him during one of our conversations rewhether he preferred i call him general or i call him secretary, i refused to call him colin. i told him that would harm the intimacy of our relationship. he said i'd prefer you call me general rather than secretary and he said why is that?
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he said because i earned that one . i always love that statement and that's a good segue to our event today. we're joined by two generals with impressive and extensive ns backgrounds in us securityand defense. general james l jones , also executive chair emeritus, two times chairman of the board of the atlantic council and major general arnold nro. thank you for joining us but i'm sure you and everyone else joining me and my salute to general powell. here at the atlantic council we are committed to shaping the global future together with our allies and partners. with a dedicated focus to producing actionable recommendations with real-world impact . the two individuals joining us today have job done just that throughout their careers significantly impacting the us department of defense plans and priorities so again i'll this in the conversation
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they probably have an impact the plans and priorities as much as they would like to have and i'll heget into that in ourdiscussion . the council's work to develop sustainable nonpartisan strategies to address most important security challenges facing the united states and itsallies and partners . the center seeks to honor another general, general scope dropped who passed away last year in august. it seeks to honor his legacy, his legacy of service and embodies his ethos of nonpartisan commitments to the cost of security and support for us leadership and cooperation with allies and partners and dedication to the mentorship of the next generation of leaders. consistent with that mission the scope profit centers forward defense practice is designed to shape the debate around the greatest military challenges facing the united states and its allies. it creates forward looking assessments of the trends and technologies and concepts
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that we believe will define the future war. looking forward, i years competitors will only continue to develop more advanced technologies and employ innovative operational concepts that will alter the character of warfare. as china and russia leverage the from the acquisition of emerging capabilities all the way to their deployment, the united states maintains a pace of the past with organizational and cultural barriers expanding in the way of necessary innovation. however, what worked yesterday will not be sufficient for the worse we fight today and tomorrow . as the global security landscape changes, the us department of transportation must adapt to a new set of priorities and constraints and that brings us to today's event. general, we will your from shortly recently released a book titled the ever shrinking fighting force which recognizes that fight
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for defense spending. the usdepartment of defense is getting less return on investments than it did in the past. the pentagon must transform processes bog down by bureaucrats bureaucracy or trendline especially asked for trail behind especially with near your competitors like china translate economic successes into military power and we just saw a test of hypersonic missile from china yesterday that was surprised a lot of people. this change is especially important as the pentagon decision-makers map out the next national defense strategy and determine how to reform the department greater performance and greater affordability. the us seeks to maintain its competitive edge, in the decades to come are defenses
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on seizing the advantage next national defense strategy continues to release key analysis to help chart the way forward for the department and that the context for today. i am delighted to introduce our two distinguished speakers and our moderator at our two distinguished speakers to bepart of our atlantic council family . general james jones is the executive chairman emeritus as i said and founder of the jones brook international. he is known as a leading authority on energy security and foreign affairs and the national security . under the obama administration, he served as national security advisor to the president overseeing the expansion of the national security council to include cyber security and strategic foresight. he's also served as commander of us european command and supreme allied commander of europe and is the 32nd commandant of the marine
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corps, most senior position in the core. no person ever has held all ofthe positions that i just named . major general pannaro is the chief executive officer of the pannaro group and chair of the industrial association . the country's largest defensive association. he's a retired marine corps major general and defense news previously named him one of 100 mostinfluential individuals in the us defense . his new book the ever shrinking fighting elforce serves as a catalyst for this conversation and offers relevant insights into the future of defense. so sirs, generals, it's great to see you both and i'm looking forward to hearing your perspective. monitoring this conversation is miss ryan whoserves as a staff writer and print pentagon correspondent for the washington post . for several years missy has reported on national security
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topics from over 10 countries spanning latin america to the middle east. it really is an impressive list of places that she has visited in her career including reporting from iraq, egypt, libya, yemen, afghanistan, mexico, peru, argentina and chile though nothing so careless as washington dc. with that let me pass it to you and i'm going to encourage ouraudience to direct any questions to the panelists using the q and a tab which you'll find at the bottom of your screen . identify yourself and your affiliation in your questions and we will collect them e throughout the event and missy will post some towards our guests. we engage our online audience to join the conversation on twitter by following at ac scope cropped and using the hashtag fordefense . with that missylet me pass it to you .
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>> thanks fred. we're goingto be watching the trailer and we will get back to you .>> i'm just arnold pannaro i retired marine corps majorgeneral. i'm the author of the book entitled the ever shrinking writing force . we face in this country the most existential threat to seen in our lifetime particularly from china. this book is written really for the citizens of the united states of america to understand that if we're going to preserve our way of life and preserveour freedoms we've got to have a strong military . we've got to get more bang for the buck for the dollars were spending so we can compete with the chinese who now purchasing power is greater than the united states of america. there military has grown very powerful . we are spending more thanwe ever spent and yet the capability we're getting for those dollars has decreased .
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>> all right. i again. i'm the ryan and i think if everyone can hear me now i'm going to start the event. i'm honored to be here today with general jones and general pannaro. it is a real privilege to be lesitting with these two professionals of military affairs and what we're going to do is have a moderated q and a with the three of us about 40 minutes, 35 or 40 minutes and open it up to the audience for the last 15 minutes so as you can see in the q and a function on zoom it's you can submit your questions there as we're talking and then we will get to them at the end of the conversation. and so i just want to start by talking about the book the evershrinking fighting force . and general pannaro you lay out a really striking case
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regarding the problems affecting the regarding the efficiency ofmilitary spending and or the lack thereof . and before we -to some of the specifics, can you just tell us you talk about the fact that americans are getting are getting the same bang for their buck in their defense spending they used to . o.can you talk about why you think this is an important topic for americans to be thinkingabout right now . given everything that's going on in the world, economic problems here at home, political divisions and all that why is this something that is an urgent topic . >> thank you missy for moderating the panel with your expertise and it's as fred said fred and the atlantic council. thanks for raking in afghanistan, missy and her colleagues at the washington post really after the insights and information.
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pleased to join my colleagues , general jones and i would say i want to associate myself with that remark about: how. we all agree with that and i first met him as a young brigadier general in the late 70s when i was in the armed services committee and i handled his confirmation to be chairman twice what i was staff director. one of the things i'd like to point out is his respect for congress's role in national security and the book focuses on congress and the fact that congress is not letting the pentagon to get the bang for the buck they would like to get so it's not only an internal problem in the pentagon withtheir bureaucratic processes . it's that congress is not willing to bite the bullet in some of these areas but white is it and like you mentioned there's a lot going on in the world. the world is more dangerous and unstable in my judgment then the peak of the cold war and our number one pure competitor is on the march
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militarily. we've been on the market economically. it's still may have more diplomatic posts around the world. you cover the state department as well. but what's really scary to me is they got a huge og technological leap on us in some key areas and frankly when you look at the role of our industry and military and you look at how our military has been successful and when it hasn't been successful, look at what colin powell did at the beginning of desert storm and american technical technology that one that were in the first three or four days. if the technology we give our war fighters. we don't want another country like china to have better technology nothan our military has and we're not on the right path right now so we're at an inflection point.
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we're moving our resources to the middle east. an inflection point and even though we've got all these problems at home if we want to keep our democratic freedoms and not have authoritarian states like china and russia basically start to dominate even more than a are having successes right now and we've got to make sure that we have powerful deterrence of our military and we've got to be able to fight and win the nation's futurewars. that's going to take a lot of changes in the pentagon . just when we think of strategies that are not working, we're spending more in the forces 50 percent smaller and all those statistics so that's why it's important and we've got to work on the achallenges at home but if we ignore what china is doing, if we ignore what rush is doing, if we ignore around and north korea have been doing are going to wake up and in five or six years and one last thing and i know i've gone along with this answer. there was a book written about the japanese surprise
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attack at pearl harbor . the title of the book was at dawn we slept and he talked about all the warning signs that we should have seen. we don't need that book now. china is very outspoken. we know exactly what they're up to. not only telling us, they do it so we need to basically wake up and basically deal with this threat. realistically and get more bang for the buck four dollars per spending in the department. >> general, one of the you lay out a number of as i say a number of striking a lot or alarming facts in your work on this one of them that i found to be really compelling was the fact that you say that with combining the cost of active duty military guard and reserve dod spends over 70 percent of its base budget on personnel spent over 70 percent of its base budget on personnel in fy 16 and i think that does dovetail with a lot of the problems that i
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hope we can get into a little bit later gthat dod has had in particularly turning out technology and making sure that the development of new technologies take years and years and huge amounts of money. and my question for you just ... excuse me. having served in the leadership of the white house and that the pentagon why you think this phenomenon is better understood. there is strong bipartisan support for a big defense budget. i think that people talk about maybe coming around the margins. but why do you think it isn't better understood that there are these huge efficiency problems or at least that there need to be prompt action to address them. >> thank you missy and let me join in our condolences to
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the family of general powell is really a statesman and a soldier r of very very few eagles in our history we will miss himgreatly . so i think one of the bigger problems with our countries facing today is being asked in capitals around the world. that is whether the united states let's forget the department of defense for a minute but the united states is in a tranny of decline. in our history the world history empires have risen and fallen for two reasons. one, they rise because they have a good system. they have their economy is balanced. and they are able to pay for what they want to achieve.
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economically. but they fall for two reasons. one is external conquest and the other is internal collapse. that's one of the things that people who are watching the united states closely fear might be happening in our own country. so the fact that general penn or his book the ever shrinking fighting force is out there is a reminder that within the construct of our entire fabric of our society the defense department plays an important role but in this day and age it's not the only role so one of the things that concerns me is our inability to not only make our case of sounding the alarm as you will to our public and our members of congress and our leadership but to actually formulate a strategic vision for where we want to be in the future. it is not again in the united
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states is the world leader forever. that status comes with as the result of hardwork, sacrifice and realizations that we live in a very competitive world . so we have been work for some time now since goldwater nichols was passed to sound the alarm that within the department ofdefense . the amount of money that we're spending is not providing the basic needs of the nation in terms of being able to meet the competition. and i think we have to be very clear about this was needed and what's needed is not only our reform of the defense department but in several other agencies as well . including the statedepartment for example . so until we realize that jen what general pannaro pointed out that the chinese and russians are clearly engaged
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with us in asymmetric ways, we might not have a kinetic contest with them although it's possible that we might but we are in a contest in all other aspects of our culture and our society. and we are showing ourselves slow to be making decisions and slow in understanding that the national debt is part of our difficulties. the last budget, the last balanced budget we had occurred during the clinton administration and ever since then we have been going in the wrong direction in terms of how we spend our dollars and what we get for. i think the book is very timely and a very useful reference to understanding the magnitude of the problem.
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the 1997 film pannaro pointed out, we did write a plan for the pentagon to reform its entire acquisition system and organization. we have had no secretary really that has been able to take this on as the primary, one of the primary missions. maybe because there's so much else going on that captures their attention but the problem has only gotten worse and it's very incumbent upon our public and our god think tanks and members of congress to understand exactly what the direction is so they can start applying wsome of the remedies we need. >> i want to build on one, a few things you said and put this question to bothof you . we talked about the need for more tefficient defense
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spending and it strikes me that while there has been an ongoing conversation for many years and we were talking in the cgreen room before the event about decades long efforts to really perform in defense acquisition and the way that our funds are managed. even though to you go to your members of congress talk about this, you hear pentagon leaders talk about this. the need to increase efficiency and all that it hasn't happened in the way anybody would have liked . and i'm wondering if you all either of you think is there a way to force greater efficiency of our bring about greater efficiency in the way that we curate and spend these dollars while continuing to give the pentagon a pretty big budget, certainly larger than any other country in the world.
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there seems to me potentially a lack of incentives there and while we can argue about whether it should be 700 or 730 or 750 billion dollars is a lot of money. i'm wondering how you square that circle between the carrot for the defense department and the stick of a lower budget . >> i'm going to let arnold answer that first and then i'll come in with a comment. >> missy, as we say in the marine corps you just hit the thing right in the bull's-eye and i would say former senator russell one who was chair of the finance committee and general jones and i working in the senate together had a thing. he said don't solve problems for people before e they know they have one and one of the problems we have right now is people do not and congress in the pentagon and american
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public and even the media don't realize the huge ticking time bombs that are getting ready to explode pentagon and we need to educate and inform people. that's what my book is all about b. let me give you a couple examples. i think if we were able to get this point through, let's take the point you mentioned about the cost of the volunteer force and personnel. if you add in 1.3 billion and 880,000 drilling members of the guard reserve the 750,000 defense civilians, 750,000 defense contractors, not the ones building the weapons but the ones that build functions in the pentagon and you look at the fact we have to .4 million military retirees, 1 million more retirees than we have serving on active duty. look at the healthcare budget which is has gone from seven billion to 52 billion a year and that's 10 million
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beneficiaries of which 5.6 million are retirees and their dependents so 60 percent of the dod's healthcare budget is supporting people no longer serving and the lifecycle cost we now face for 60 years to serve for 20 years. i'm not making a gcriticism. that's just realistic. we have an unfunded liability in the militaryretirement system . we're spending $400 billion a year in acquisition on business services and about the only charitable thing you can say is they take longer and get less. china basically we used to be able to build fighter aircraft from contract to first article in about five years but it now takes three years. china is doing it in five years. we have 14 companies that can build fighter aircraft and when ronald reagan was president but now we barely have to. the overhead when you look at the amount of money that goes to defense costs spending is gone fromseven percent , they
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say 20 percent but if you add in the what's buried in the air force but it's more like 30 percent. it's grown more rapidly than the actual budget of the military departments so we have this massive overhead. we have these huge costs for the major weapons. norm augustine was correct four years ago and he said look, the cost of these weapons are going to be such we can only afford one of each and that's kind of where we are now when we look at some of the cost of these major weapons . same thing with sustainability . just then he got on the front page of the "time magazine" complaining about the runaway cost of these major weapons and now we're paying to fight . all these problems people need to understand that congress needs to understand them and people are going to have to bite the bullet because these trends are so adverse if we don't have a lot of time to turn around. i think it's educating and informing and frankly the people that come to work in the pentagon every day the
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civilians, the military, the reserve and contractors come to work every day right to do the best job they can for our taxpayers and were fighters but as former secretary of defense bill perry once said process beats good people every day and we have this proliferation of bad bureaucratic processes in the pentagon and the same thing in the congress. norm augustine called the congress now the broken branch. they don't get their work done on time. they don't do detailed oversight anymore. there were ncr for the past 25 years we've got to fundamentally change processes in agovernment in both the congress and the pentagon if we're going to remain competitive with china and russia. that's the problem. >> this is another way to add on to that which is very helpful. thank you. is to say that i've been around long enough to i think general nro has as well to have gone through these
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goldwater nichols days of legislation. so another wayof saying that is i've been in the constructed force and i've been in the allvolunteer force . the all volunteer force was a great creation . but i think it's time for us to think about a new goldwater nichols to correct the unintended consequences of that general nro has just identified o. we are on a ticking time bomb. we have seen nuclear modernization costs which are going to double to about seven and eight percentof the budget in the next few years . our conventional forces will buy force contract on the current course and you know, whether you go from the reagan goldwater force to the obama global war on terrorism. today we're spending more than the reagan build its
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peak for a much smaller military. i do believe that the contest with our primary competitors is much more multifaceted. it's not only use going to win it a kinetic fight. we may be smallerskirmishes. we may have tests in the south china sea and the like . but the real fight here is i think primarily with china and primarily expands much more than just ucthe pentagon. we have to be able to make decisions more quickly. we have to be able to understand holistic way the threats it faces and we have to understand the this is a real contest. against an enemy that is well organized. a potential enemy that is well organized, well-funded. they have the advantage i
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guess they have the advantage if you're correct of strategic planning and strategic thinking. that crosses over decades whereas potentially we can change governments every four that's, those are realities that we have to deal with and i think the pentagon is a great place to start as general nro pointed out. the truth to tail ratio is out of whack and most of the services. our national debt and deficits don't contain any offsets. we've added $22 trillion between 2020 2025 to our national debt. so until people start talking about that and really understanding what it means for the future, we are liable to be on a slippery slope towards decline rather than the opposite which is what i
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think most america wants. >> that's a great point but the problem i wasóone e thing. a lot of times i hear from people that say you're always exaggerating the threat, caspar weinberger said the soviets were after us and really works but let me say general jones and i just infantry with tune commanders in vietnam and i was there in my area and my little marine for two.our mission was to interdict the ho chi minh trail and that was in the mountains and that is where the chinese brought supplies into the vietcong and the south vietnam and our mission was for the people who were doing that. i've actually had personal experience with fighting against chinese military. these were tough fighters, not people that were put over so those questions that some people have say they've never been in a real fight, the marinesthat fought the chinese , we should not
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underestimate the problem i have is there just the march on technology has always been our militaries tremendous advantage. they have gone ahead of us in some areas. there catching up inother areas . these technologies are not just the importance of the pentagon. their fundamental to our economy being competitive in the world in the future for our strong economy if you can name the we really need to and take these colleges very very seriously. >> i think that's absolutely right and just to add to one of the advantages that you all were citing that china has. another one is that it has these espionage to acquire many of the technologies that the united states developed great cost. actually i'm going to circle back to you general john with another china question but before ido role, another related question . i'm going back toits : you made earlier about congress. i'd love to hear from you
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having served in the military and extensively on capitol hill. it seems like a lot of the reforms that both of you are talking about are going to require significant congressionalaction . how do we do that? how do we make that happen given the dysfunction of congress and the advantages that are divvied up in the different districts that have made it and contributed to the difficulty of making records? >> let me say again i was concerned what senator dan and others in the armed services committee. but the defense committee, house and senate armed services committee, the house and senate defense appropriations committees are still a bipartisan of wanting to do the right thing for the country. those commissions work together, they were on a bipartisan basis. a past their legislation and the appropriations bill
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because of the larger national dysfunction they don't get in on time it's not in their control and if you look at the leadership of these committees, they want to do the right thing and want to do these reforms so i think we've got an opportunity at this inflection point. we've got a lot of new people on the senate and armed services committee that serves in the modern wars in iraq and afghanistan up through the system. general jones is correct. we need all goldwater nixon with a management change. fix the operational change in 86 in goldwater nichols but i think if we basically get the committee to agree with the description of the problem and agree with the pressing nature and to get the pentagon. the problem you have is the pentagon is not very cooperative on some of these things because these are a lot of a lot alike and a lot
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of jobs that are cut into them in the pentagon so you got to get gothe pentagon like we talked in the green room, don rumsfeld was willing to take this on. so the pentagon if they basically signal to the congress which i think it's already inclined in that ar direction on the bipartisan defense committee. they want to get more bang for the buck . then you can work those things in a cooperative way but it took us three or four years to pass goldwater nichols over the objection of everybody in the pentagon . that was because you had some h really leaders in barry goldwater, sam non-, joe nichols. people like that. and you've got to have the cooperation of the pentagon on these projects because they're exceedingly complex. these agencies do more business with the department of defense that are for-profit companies . you can't imagine how hard these organizations are so
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the will is there. it's just going to take the pentagonand congress but it's going to take us from the outside and is going to take the news media , both putting people on the nature of the problem and getting people willing to show alittle courage and backbone but these bullets . >> go ahead. >> thank you. >> i think one of the things that we should be careful about is not to overstate china's capabilities and russia's capabilities. russia has a gdp the size of new york state's. vladimir putin is more of a nuisance than he is a threat. they have nuclear weapons but that makes him a bigger threat. it boggles my mind as to why we the world supports him the respect that usually is reserved for statesmen when he really is just a two bit dictator who whose goal is to mess up everything we do. as much as possible and in
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europe. you're going to see this this winter with regard to his use of energy. in europe as well when it gets cold. the other thingin china , i wouldn't, i think we have to be careful not to overstate what otchina is. china has a lot of internal threats when it comes to roost here. there one child policy established years ago is making china the oldest country in the world and that's going to impact their workforce and a lot of other things so there's a lot of things that will preclude china from achieving their goals but one that i want to emphasize is and this is one where the pentagon can play a big role is in the cyber security arena. recently the washington post and other papers highlighted the resignation of a defense official who said that
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goldwater, the war on cyber security with china is already lost. and i spent a fair amount of my time on cyber security issues. i can tell you mowith certainty that it is not lost. i know a lot about the technologies that we're working on and i believe that if we apply ourselves and organize ourselves to a better way in which to take on this point, the united states can be a global leader in either security issues and render ourselves relatively impenetrable and completely secure in a relatively short time and also provide that kind of capability to our friends and allies like the nato. this is a near-term fight, this is the wall at the door. the defense department can play a huge role in harnessing these
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technologies. that we know are out there but until we organize ourselves for example, i'll use the term of a manhattan like project like we did in the 20th century but a manhattan like project for cyber security and harness that technology that are out there in a way that catapults the united states into the position of unquestioned leadership on cyber security issues. we're going to be chasing china rather than leading and since we have the capacity to lead i think most americans would rather have that situation. >> thanks general. you actually answered one of the questions i was going to ask about china about the potential over hyping the problem so i'm going to build on what you were talking about at the end of your most recentcomment about cyber security . and i'm curious i'm interested that you think that it's something that we could overcome and the idea of a cyber marshal project is
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a manhattan project is interesting. but what makes you think that the united states can overcome the problems that it had today. we've seen problems of vulnerabilities with us government networks and i'd also like to address possible if possible the cyber vulnerabilities in the defense industry and defense supply chain which seems to be as big a problem because of the technology githat they have on the systems and the fact that they been a major target of the past. >> for more years than i care toadmit , we have been vulnerable to penetration by our competitors. china in particular. it's no accident that the latest chinese fighter looks an awful lot like the f35 . and it's no accident that china has made tremendous strides.
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but china to me is not a country that innovates. it's a country that captures the capabilities and technologies that countries like ours develop. land so it is incumbent upon us to organize ourselves in my view both in the public and private sector. to prevent these kinds of things from happening and in my work at the cyber security world i know that there is technology out there that properly harnesses this and brought together in a way that is as the into uses the interagency together so that you don't have the defense department working on one thing and the state department working on another . and other agencies kind of doing their own things. we have got to stop penetration and the pilfering of our technology. we've got to make companies like lockheed martin and
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northrop grumman and arctic defense companies more secure. and those technologies i believe are out there and i know they're out there. but we have not any administration this administration or the last administration come together to form a central manhattan like project that brings the best and brightest of the public sector together to protect ourselves. and until we do that and organize ourselves, we're going to be chasing the contest here. we want to lead in the contest and once we get our house in order, we want to make sure our friends and allies have that same capability . >> i think we have time for one more question before we open it up to q&a and general, i wanted to ask you. you lay out in the book and
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we thought here today y about a lot of the challenges that the pentagon and the overall system around defense spending and technology development and procurement have. what would you want people to know about what is going right, what thepentagon is doing right . maybe that people don't know about . >> i would say reiterate the point that as someone who along with general jones and others has been privileged to be in uniform for 35 to 40 years. they're working on it, work in our defense industry to serve side-by-side the people in the pentagon again come to .ork every day the career civil servants, active-duty military. the contractors, the think tanks, the federally funded. they're trying to do the best job they can for our taxpayers and our war fighters. if you look at acquisitions, and i've necomplained about that and frankly one of the challenges right now is we we
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don't have an undersecretary. we don't have a deputy and we don't have the assistant secretaries and it's the area where were spending $400 billion a year and where not any administration. that said under frank kendall and ellen ward in the last administration they made a lot of good progress in terms of improving acquisitions but it's not howfar we've come, is how far we still have to go . if you look at for example the new undersecretary for research and engineering, she's up and going to basically move irout and a lot of these high technology areas. cyber. there's a lot going on there. they're not organized for combat like joseph suggested we need to be. too much is just putting out press releases that say how much money we're spending and the question is are we really kind of thing still on target there again in our military if you lookat our military , what they do each and every day. today we have 30,000 members of the guard reserve, one
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active-duty helping in hurricanes and fires. from 9/11 to now 1 million members of the guard reserve has been mobilized to serve overseas and here at home and they're a bargain for the taxpayer. we didn't have to build schools or hospitals or equipment shops family housing because their part-time but they serve on active duty when they're needed . there is absolutely a lot good and again, i think we do have to find them during the work for two reasons. we recruit and retain the best people and that's going to be challenging. the cohort of 15 to 17-year-olds have to be targeted . we also have training, that's always a challenge but the big thing is we give them the very best technology. the government does not innovate anymore as general jones indicated. innovation comes from the
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private sector. we've got to get more of our industry in this pentagon and the bpentagon before it has triedto do that . i would say in terms of cyber , speaking in my hat for the national defense industrial association are 1600 members including large crimes general jones mentioned alwe're dramatic about meeting the government requirements, meeting the cmc. we agree 1000 percent we've got to protect our networks . we got to protect the technology and classified information and the department needs to basically be in the regulatory framework for providing things that will work rather than just disseminating what i call moses in the 10 commandments and were working with them on the so there's progress being made there as well you're can't do enough. i talked to most every head of the cyber command going all the way back to 2000 and they basically say the offense and always overwhelm the defense so we can never rest on ourlaurels .
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when it comes to protecting our networks and to our industry protecting the technology that's going to be so essential or return and if we have to go to war in the future. >> let me quickly follow up before we move the questions on something you just said. people will debate about consolidation in the defense industry and the dominance of smaller number of large companies. it is the need for greater more effective cyber security and argument for a consolidated defense industry where there's a small number of larger players versus larger ecosystem of all companies and the resources that are required in order to defend technology from attack? >> i'm one that believes that there's a lot of innovation in our small businesses and are large businesses team with a small businesses. they don't need to buy them up and consolidate. we don't have enough competitive pressure right now on our major weapons so
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more consolidation in my judgment particularly if you were going to consolidate and of basically reducing innovation that would not bea good thing . so what i think though is our crimes, some of the ceos that have had recent things in the think tanks are really about how to change the format goingforward so that everybody is gvery forward leaning . we got innovate. we need to innovate not just in the defense industrial base, we need the innovation of 5g, microelectronics. biotechnology. we need to basically secure our supply chain or 40 percent of our pharmaceuticals from china. china doesn't have all the rare earth minerals that we need in our high technology so there's a lot that has to happen here but greater consolidation and things that would reduce competitive pressure in the department will reduce the innovation in our small businesses wouldnot be a good outcome . >> i'm going to read out some
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of the questions from the audience and i'm going to take the liberty of combining to really related questions that we only have 11 minutes left. this is from myles stacy of brown university and scott porter of sales us. sorry if i'm mpronouncing it wrong. he myles asks you to believe that a chinese taiwanese war is imminent in the united states prepared in terms of planning and technology for that situation and that the second part would be do you have suggestions for how to communicate the urgency of this issue meeting the problems that you're describing in your book to parts of congress not involved in defense arbefore there is a wake-up call situation so it's sort of a current events question combined with a question more central to the book. >> are combatant commanders should go first on. >> so that's a hard one but
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the taiwan issue is hard to answer. i would say that what's going on right now with on the global playing field with our principal competitors is a testing game. they're trying to size up the will of our leadership. they're trying to figure out what we would, where our vulnerabilities and weaknesses are and whether we have the resolve to stand behind our values and what we're we stood for for a long time. and i think that as i said earlier there is an iopen question around whether the us is in decline as they would like us to be. i don'tbelieve that has to be the case . i do think there's things we have to fix and quite a few things. it would be great if members of congress would unite on
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the subject of national security from both parties so that if one party says one thing the other party doesn't say another just because they're republicans or democrats. i think that back in the 20th century just before the end of the cold war, the congressional national security caucuses were really bipartisan. and we need to return to that era of bipartisan concern for thegood of the nation . and the leadership that we want to provide for the rest of the world so i don't think my personal view is that i don't think there's an invasion of taiwan that's imminent but i do think there's a lot of testing going on and that fumigation based on what the chinese are doing in the aerospace and so on and so forth and i think we have to be clear and
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unambiguous when we say something we mean it. and we have the capabilities to make it happen or two on and force it if we have to i support what general jones said there. basically we need to send a signal to that part of the world and particularly to the chinese that we honor our commitments to taiwan and the taiwan relations act. i was in the senate when asked. president jimmy carter and my boss senator don met with them and we also went to taiwan and with the head of their lens who fought with chang kai-shek during the war. this taiwan relations act basically we should honor our commitments. it's important for people to see that when we have a treaty or we say going to basically defend the korean peninsula from north korea or we're going to help sudan which is now talking about increasing its defense budget beyond its traditional one percent that were going to make good on our commitments
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and taiwan it's official that people in that part of the world particularly the chinese understand we mean it when we say that's one of the worries that a lot of us have coming out of afghanistan av when we left a lot of the people that supported us behind. general jones and i grew up in the military and you never leave your wounded on the battlefield and our credibility has been strained. we need to basically reassure that part of the world as we assure the taiwanese that we're imgoing to be there if they need us and the chinese need to understand. >> to build on it quickly how do you get going back to scott's question how do you get greater buy-in from the scope of congress that isn't on that has greater focus on china or to make these deficiencies when there is a lot of pushback in some of these recent decisions that i think really for the first time in my analysis are
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showing that the rubber is starting to meet the road in terms of the us shift towards china especially for example the withdrawal from afghanistan for this reason arena deal with australia. these are disruptive decisions but they could be part of this larger shift and there is a lot of criticism in both parties to itelements of those decisions so i'm wondering how do youdo that ? >> i think the good news is right now when it comes to china there's strong bipartisan support in the house and senate. we need to basically deal with the issues associated with china. you've got a lotof legislation then it work . you've got the military bill specific defense initiative.t they're building on that. g the pentagon gets it. so i actually think that's one of the real questions in our congress is people are not fighting the problem in terms of understanding the nature of what we've got to deal with when it comes to china . if you get into specifics
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because of course there's a lot of business. our farmers know a lot of goods in china. our defense space companies have over there so when you get into the ages that's when it gets tough but on the other hand, i think there is a genuine awareness that this is something we've got to pay a lot of attention to and it's on a bipartisan basis so i'm encouraged there. what we got to have in the administration and pentagon not specifically pointing the finger at this one when it comes to congress with specifics as general jones said there's things we need to do. there's things the administrative support, this legislation we need in this area . again it's not just the pentagon. we are too dependent on the chinese supply chain for a lot of these issues. it was troubling for somebody like me when covid hit and the head of the patriots decided he want wanted to come out and get masks and 95 masks and ventilators he had to fly to china because
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that's where the supply was. we can't have that. we've got to shore up our supply chain in a lot of areas of congress can be effective but the defensive branch has to lead in this area and come up with specific proposals and congress needs to deal with. >> we have three minutes and time for one last question and i want to get to you general jones and there is an interesting question from colonel tim kuhn. i'm either pronouncing the wrong from the u.s. air force. could you further describe what a goldwater nichols 2.0 would entail as we are organized in regional combatant command and see a rise of functional combatant command with the second steps being the only global integrator so i think it's a really interesting one. >> you can't do it in two minutes but i would say that one of the shortfalls or
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unintended consequences of goldwater nichols was to for example remove the service chiefs from the acquisition process. so service chiefs were relegated to deciding what it is that services need but once that need was communicated they were forbidden really to act in any way in the acquisition process. >> .. i alsoo think we can make some improvements in the relationship
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between the joint chiefs of staff and combatant commanders the sense that combat commanders in this day and age can go around and third joint chiefs directly to the secretary of defense because that's the chain of command. i believe there's reason to think about putting the chairman of the joint chiefs in the chain of command because i think that would be complementary to his overall duties because of what was all recently when something goes wrong the chairman get calls from the appropriate committees has to answer for that but technically he's not in the chain of command. those are things that need to be discussed. acquisition command-and-control, the role of the joint chiefs and previous administrations have
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been emasculated and bypassed into thousand three and hours one of the service at the time. there's a lot that can be done to improve our decision-making and accountability processes. >> i want to be respectful of everyone's time. i think we're going to have to leave it here, we could continue this discussion for a long time. i want to thank general jones, his focus ever shrinking fighting force and i would like to think the atlantic council for having us today. >> terrific moderator. >> the u.s. senate is not in recess until 2:15 p.m. eastern. we are expecting a confirmation vote for the u.s. district court in new jersey. this week we are expecting the senate to pick up whether to begin debate on the voting rights bill.
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the senate returns, live coverage here on c-span2. ♪♪ >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government funded by these television companies and more including charter communications. >> broglie is a force for empowerment. trotter invested billions building structure, upgrading technology, empowering opportunity communities big and small. >> charter communications support c-span as a public service along with these other television providers giving up front row seat to democracy. >> patrick at syracuse university, he's here to talk about what you heardut about ovr the last few weeks the supply chain. special thanks for giving us your time this morning.n. what's the bes w


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