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tv   Discussion on U.S. Special Operations  CSPAN  October 30, 2021 2:50am-3:52am EDT

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it is my honor to introduce the 12 commander of u.s. special operations command, major general richard clarke will be out in a few minutes. general clark comes to us from the joint staff -- and broke a string of several commanders. he is a 1984 graduate of the u.s. military academy at west
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point and was born in germany. without further ado, general clarke. gen. clarke: good to see you again. thank you for the intro. it is great to be here. i wouldn't say it is initially great to be in d.c., coming from tampa, but having come from the pentagon, it is somewhat like coming back home. i'm honored to be here. i'm appreciate of of this association and what you do. and for what you all do. because all of you could have chosen to take a different path in your careers and interests. but i think by being here, you are telling some of the military story that needs to be told.
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i know there are some students and interns that are here. i think your interest in this now, whether it is boating or fully baked in, is also important that you are considering this. i encourage you to come along on this ride with us. it has been a good one. but most of all, when you embed, and you come with our men and women, and you tell stories about what they are doing in combat, in the cold, in the wet, in the heat, the lack of sleep, the conditions. none of those stories would be told in the way they could be without your being there. so that commitment, particularly embedding, and particularly overseas, and telling those stories. and you tell the truth. it is a key component of our
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nation. so from me to you, thanks for what you all do. today, i'm going to discuss the critical role of u.s. special operations command. but most importantly, special operations forces, our people, and what role they play today. what role i hope they will play in the years to come. even amid a very dynamic strategic environment. i will talk a little bit about our force today. after 20 years of sustained operations since 9/11, i believe our nation's special operations forces are more integrated, more capable, and more credible than at any point in our nations history. without a doubt, that is a testament to our extraordinary people, innovative problem solvers, and how they have continuously honed our force by
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solving tough challenges over those past two decades. the nation's return on its investment in our soft enterprise has been tremendous. think about it. soft represent only 2% of our nation's military manpower, and only 3% of our budget. but for that, our nation may change an important hedge against uncertainty and against strategic risk. this afternoon, i will address those areas where i think we are today, where we are headed, and i will end on where we will modernize it. so for each one, if you overlook stories which merit future attention, and i look forward to your questions. today, 2021 is a milestone year. two decades. soft, integrated, credible, and
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capable more than ever before after the two decades since 9/11. we are most of all battle tested. they have been trusted teams throughout our force, with our allies, partners, and our joint force, and they continue to hone those capabilities. the two key aspects i want to focus on, one is with our deep integration with interagency partners. second, our integration with allies and partners. our interagency integration. i still remember vividly reading the 9/11 commissioner report and some of the telling findings of that. i will tell you, the lack of integration and the lack of coordination amongst u.s. government agencies, particularly in the area of counterterrorism, we have continued to put a focus on that
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so we can tell the difference story today. we maintain extensive network of ways with our interagency partners. at the capital region, also in embassies in places worldwide. but it is dedicated people both in our force, and the interagency force that is critical. and it is focused on countering violent extremism. it provides us as a nation and as a joint force a broader set of activities and options we would not have otherwise. think about it, not just with the intel community, but also with law enforcement, diplomats, and with any agency that can have a role or nexus in a counterterrorism fight. but also with our allies and partners across the globe. in so calm, we have almost 30
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allies that are in our headquarters that are fully integrated into and working with our staff. these partners are from across the globe. that interoperability we have developed with our allies and partners by working with them in places like iraq and afghanistan, syria. but in some other places, has made that interoperability through communications, language, and just through continuous sharing of tactics, techniques, and procedures has been unmatched. it is that persistent engagement, not episodic, persistent engagement that will make a difference. i believe it is an asymmetric advantage. what does persistent engagement look like? let me try and describe it a little bit. small teams of green berets that have embedded year-round, with
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partners, that understand language, their culture, and in some cases, i can point on the way back to places like columbia, for over 70 years that we have been there working with the colombians and helping them develop capabilities. it is our special operations liaisons officers working day in and day out across the globe. many times as i debated around the world, they are actually working in the soft partner or chief of defense headquarters. and had that direct contact. in other cases, our navy seals that are returning continuously to the same country, working with the same forces, and building maritime capacities for others. most of all, building those lasting relationships. i can keep going.
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and i can take some questions. but this across the globe offers even broader options to act if called upon. whether it is to counter violent extremism, or it is to unite in common purpose to defeat some nefarious aggression. with those aspects in mind, of interagency and partner engagement, i want to correct a common misconception that we are more than just the direct action grade force. hollywood has perpetuated that. what does everybody think? you see in the movies. it is easily understood, easy to grasp. it is the thing legends are made of. but we have honed it to an exquisite degree.
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and we need to have that capability, and we do. and truthfully, i think our forces are the best at it. there are other core activities that we also have that are sometimes overlooked. it is our security force assistance, foreign internal defense, civil affairs professions, our military information support operations, our regular warfare, unconventional warfare. those are all skill sets that are important. and sometimes, those can be more important than just the direct action. they can be the enduring and give us that asymmetric advantage. but also working in new environments like the arctic. our special forces group has been adapting their skills, using them as an example, freefall parachuting from above the arctic circle at -40 degrees
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at 20,000 feet. think about that. that is just the jump. then you have to operate in that environment. but then some of our divers from that same special forces team that are cutting through five feet of ice and having to dive underneath that i sped and have -- ice bed, and having to rehearse it. anybody been out with their car when it is -20? how does your battery die on your phone? think about what it does with military equipment, and having to work in different environments. but they are problem solvers. they have to practice their skills for tomorrow. i will transition to where we are headed.
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competition international politics is important. it is perpetual, and it is infinite. competition doesn't have an end state, it is something we have to work within. for nonstate actors, terrorism is going to endure. it is going to remain a threat to our homeland. and all of you have studied history, it began way before 2001. that was just a seminal moment in the u.s. overlooked is the network of partners more capable today. that network of partners in terms of the global condition to beat isis. that effort revolved around our approach to disrupting violent extremists. yes, our military power played a role, but our diplomats mobilized international coalition. our law enforcement interdicted foreign fighters. we disrupted their finances. and we eliminated and countered
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their propaganda in the information space. and all of it relied upon a network of committed interagency and international partners. and we are going to continue to adapt that approach. our force, for decades, has been focused on bias for action. i will tell you our professionals now, since 9/11, are focused on a bias for understanding. don't make any mistakes, sof will be committed to acting decisively. i would submit to all of you that we have many more options to act, whether it is via law enforcement, or it is counter threat finance efforts, or in the information space. we also have options to understand, with deep interagency and our future approach. and from the law enforcement perspective, it has to be sustainable. in the nationstates had, i am
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often asked what sof is going to do to compete for the future. when i talk about competing, we need to focus less on what we are competing against. i believe what we had to focus on, what we are competing for, we are competing for influence, we are competing for the trust and confidence for our allies and partners. we will be focused on campaigning. especially in the gray zone. and below the special point. here is what sometimes has been overlooked. we have already started competing. we have been competing for decades. one example is europe. i visited the baltics earlier this summer. i will visit additional nato allies next month. we had partnered with european allies since before 2014,
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focused on resistance and building resistance networks. we are also on resilience and the ability, my definition, is to take a punch and get back up. that is not just in the baltics. it is through the rest of europe. that started before russia's invasion in the ukraine and other parts of europe. but we have remained earnest and we will continue to engage. i will also give another example of the philippines. we have been network with our closest allies and partners since 2001. it is important, it is the only named operation in all of the indo pacific with operation pacific people, with an ally. and a trusted partner.
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as i visited the philippines, when i first came into command, it was obvious our forces were there as a partner of choice. not just the philippines, but i would argue the entire indo pacific region. in both examples i gave, we have been there at the behest of the host nation, utilizing cultural and language expertise, but most importantly, leading with our values. the third and final area i will discuss is how we are modernizing for the future. one of those important access is -- aspects is technologies along with machine learning. i would argue we have been a pathfinder inside the department of defense, leading the effort to incorporate ai into everything we do. from our counterterrorism operations, just in the counterterrorism area, we have
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petabytes of data. when you think about intelligence footage taken from uavs, think about captured material that came off of the battlefield. think about detainee reports we had for 20 years, and many other sources. we have turned to technologies like ai to pull this all together and unlock the full data to help us make decisions earlier. we are also investing in talent. for the past two years, we partnered with academic and nonprofit organizations in ai to bring in civilian interns into our workforce. i brought them in every single summer. i did pre-interviews and exit interviews. the preinterview, the common question i ask all of these
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interns, who wants to serve in dod? who can see themselves as a career in dod? the answer was none. but after working a summer in socal, most of all, getting to work with our operators, getting to solve their problems and seeing real world applications in what they got to do and work with, at the end i do the exit and they briefed me on what they did with their summer projects. then i ask for the show of hands. it was significant increase. not 100%, but significant increase in these young men and women who had the ai talents, and a couple of weeks ago, i was getting an update from our staff on where we sit with artificial intelligence. there was one of the interns, who is a full-time employee of
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our headquarters who was solving our problems in national language processing that she was working to help us with our captured material, and some of our day in, day out processes. bringing those interns income about bringing in others, is important to the future work of what we do. we are also working with institutions like carnegie mellon and m.i.t. to train our current workforce. we did a virtual session that m.i.t. ran for us for 400 midgrade to senior grade software professionals to educate them in artificial intelligence so they can ask the tough questions. so they weren't just talking about it without any knowledge. and we will continue to work
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with others. last weekend, i went to boston. during that trip, i went to m.i.t., i went to harvard, i went to other academic institutions. i also went to multiple labs with lincoln, draper, languor, to look for what is the best out there that we can harness, but also met with venture capitalists. it is also in the business world we have to tie in the best inside our country to help us. i will close with a final thought, and i will then open up to questions. i have spoken about where we are today, where we are headed, and where we are modernizing. the last 20 years to give me some confidence and optimism as i look forward. we have seen dedicated professionals answer the call for two decades. they have experimented with new
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technologies, have honed processes, and have answered the call alongside our interagency partners and with our allies and partners worldwide. we remain the integrated, capable and credible force, and ready for the challenges of tomorrow. i appreciate you being here today, i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. a two-part question. talk about the first casualty to be killed in the 20 year conflict in afghanistan, how the u.s. had taken the violent extremist threat to get after some of the larger challenges, like china and russia specifically. just recently, the president of
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taiwan confirmed the recording about troops assisting. how does sof get after the larger challenge -- and the efforts of taiwan having elsewhere in more challenge areas? gen. clarke: a few things. the violent extremism is not going to go away. the counterterrorism mission is still a requirement. there are still groups and individuals who like to come in to our nation, and honestly, attack some of our allies and partners.
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i don't think that threat diminished. i don't think that threat has diminished. what we are doing within socom is prioritizing the threat and making sure we have a sustainable approach. we can in fact do that with the forces we have. as i talked about a rebalance that we can actually provide additional forces in strategic competition across the globe. while i will not comment specifically on activities or forces and where they are located, as you mentioned taiwan, working with others and building resistance and resilience is absolutely critical to allow them to build their own defenses against those
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strategic competitors. >> opening the floor to some people. go ahead. >> i'm wondering if you can talk about what the future holds for marine raiders and naval warfare special units. it seems clear with the green beret mission is going forward in strategic competition. less obvious to me is where naval special warfare and raiders pieced in, whether they take a more specialized direction more closely with inherent services, or what exactly? gen. clarke: good to see you, and your book is great. thank you for writing about that. great question. our marine raiders are never naval special warfare. it is easy to talk about the seals and what they have been
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doing. heavily involved in ground combat actions, as many of you know, in iraq and afghanistan. we now have additional capacity back. i'm seeing our navy seals specifically working with partners, able to train. also able to conduct another key mission, core activity for sof, strategic reconnaissance. so they can get in places no one else can get. they will be subsea and subsurface. that is really important to our nation and honing those skills in the subsurface are critical. but to the marine raiders, they build lasting partnerships, and they remain engaged across the globe. we have put a specific emphasis on them in the indo pacific. a lot of places on the fringes where they can work.
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they are developing those. but they remain engaged. >> we are only a few weeks past what was the end of the afghanistan war, which was a humiliating defeat for the u.s. in the end. given you are the key supported element throughout that war, what specific efforts does so, intend to undertake to examine and assess the performance in the afghanistan war and any role it might have played in that defeat? gen. clarke: let me start with the premise of the question.
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the men and women part of so calm, i would say the larger joint force in afghanistan, they did the missions they were supposed to do. the sacrifices, both from their efforts, being away from home, the human toll, so for the men and women who have served their inside of our community, i want them to know that for that 20 years they were in afghanistan, they kept our nation safe and did the mission they were asked to do. and it came with sacrifice. i think there is a reckoning. i have my own personal reckoning after serving in afghanistan for several years. looking back to the things i should have done differently. and we are taking on a full on lessons learned what we could
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have done better as a joint force. because it is important. we have to take those lessons learned. and we are applicable to conditions somewhere else. we have to be a little pliable. our men and women did what they did, and they kept our nation safe, and they largely attributed and al qaeda that was using afghanistan as a base. at the end of 20 years, it was not a base. >> will we be able to see that report? gen. clarke: i will not commit to that. it has not been written, and parts of it will be classified. >> thank you for being here. to follow on sean's question, during the evacuation in kabul,
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former sof veterans, americans, and ad hoc groups worked very hard to shepherd afghans, special operations forces, intelligence, and others out of the country and away from the harm, the threat of the taliban. they considered them their comrades and brothers and made countless phone calls to seals, rangers, and others. help, we will be hunted down, those retirees answering the call. but most asked a very blunt question, which was where were the generals? where was socom? and their perception, it appears the command sat this one out.
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that individuals within your own command retired in many cases, to help one of their friends, an afghan, a private request, and people answered those calls and did their best to help shepherd those folks. they came from the pentagon, the white house, so i guess my question is why did they perceive -- what did your command do, if anything, and if not, why not? gen. clarke: i can tell you i personally answered hundreds of calls, hundreds of emails, and spoke to countless sof leaders retired during that several weeks before.
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i'm not aware of any, nor has anyone expressed any disgruntled group i will not name the sof generals that i spoke to, but we made every effort to connect those we worked with, the american citizens, to the evacuation efforts going on during that time. even to today, i'm still getting cards, letters, emails referring me to individuals who are still there, and we will continue to work with the department of state and lead this effort. particularly, american citizens being the priority. if there are opportunities to get others out we work with, we will continue to work those issues. >> have you read also?
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gen. clarke: no. >> why not? gen. clarke: i have hundreds of books on my -- >> without the details in that book, do any of the details that came out in that trial concerning you, in terms of the larger effort you have underway to reform culture threats -- socom, but the seals and green berets particularly, is there any lesson learned from this debacle that can help you guys with the efforts you have underway to rebalance the way that special operators are conducting themselves and the way they are seen? gen. clarke: as you know, this has been a priority for socom for several years now. i've directed a comprehensive review of sof culture, sof
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actions, that i think has uncovered a few things for us that we looked specifically to ensuring we have dedicated and present leaders for the formation. but we also are ensuring those leaders are training with the right skill sets. examples of midgrade training for all of our forces and junior officer leader training courses we set up. navy seals, specifically, picked up with naval leadership program. they are bringing in their future commanders. they are mirroring the army's commander assessment program as a joint force. so this is really important for us, because we have to act in accordance with the u.s. values,
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and report ourselves with discipline and accountability by understanding the standards and meaning. while i haven't read the book, the activities and actions of our operators, we will always scrutinize and make sure they are doing the right thing. >> are there any accomplishments that have come out of that review, any changes you want to talk about or any deadline goals? gen. clarke: that review, i gave you some specific things we are doing in leader development. we also made sure we are looking at the force employment. about 15% less of our force deployed last year, and may be up to 30% deployed this year, which gives the time to reset, the opportunity to make sure we have readiness, but to make sure we are mentally ready to go and
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do the things we need to do. that review is continuous. we have to make sure most importantly, we have engaged leaders inside the formation to be with the people. >> -- >> good afternoon. mic is not working. three to four years ago, rand corporation ranked special operations command as the worst unit in the military when it comes to sexual assault. i'm curious if you can give us an update on whether you can definitively say you have had any reduction in sexual assault in the unit. like 10% progress, 20% reduction? any programs you have that will be launched in the next year or so? gen. clarke: thank you for the question.
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one, take it seriously. i'm not aware of the rand sexual assault survey. i don't know what that said. and i'm not aware that it actually pointed out special operations command as being the worst. i trust you. and i will go back and read that report. i would tell you i take sexual assault seriously. i just had the commanders together from u.s. so calm. we specifically talked about ensuring that our sexual assault programs are in line with the new department of defense guidance as this comes out and the programs come in. i would tell you to stand by until we see where the department is going, and i can come back to you later. >> you talked a lot about green
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berets specifically are -- green berets specifically are out in eastern europe, the pacific and training. for two decades, they were doing that in afghanistan. the commando, some other piecemeal special operations units. many afghan partner forces that were chained -- trained did not pull very fast. what are you doing in order to take the lesson learned from that, and not just apply it to partner forces you are training , but also in africa, but other parts of the middle east? gen. clarke: a couple of things in your question. first, i highlighted the green berets, it is also important those green beret teams are often filled with civil affairs teams, psychological affairs teams, and our seals, marsh
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operators, even our warriors are also part of this broader effort. as far as lessons learned from afghanistan, i think we have to look at what are the needs of that specific country, or that specific element, to be able to meet the requirements of their country. this goes back to a previous question. we don't necessarily need to train with partner forces for what we want them to do, we need to train for partner forces for what they need to do in their environment. that is the biggest lesson we have to take from this at. and that we train them to their specific capability, not try and make them in our own image. >> are you able to give an example of that?
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gen. clarke: i don't want to talk about a specific country or place -- this is one of the challenges. in most cases, we are there at the behest of that host country. doing the things they ask us to do to them, is really how much they want to discuss what is going on in their country. but what i would tell you broadly is in particular with our european allies, what we hosted in the indo pacific, where looking at resistance that they can counter aggression that i spoke about earlier. and whether within resistance, do they actually need to train on direct action, or do we actually need to work on foreign
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and internal defense? that is where it is important to go what specifically they need. i can point to a place like africa at large and go some of the countries in africa have a direct counterterrorism problem today. in that case, often times, it is a direct action raid that is used to take some of their enemies off of the battlefield. i hope that helps for a little clarification. >> i have a reporter question for you. as a reporter in this room has talked to someone who claims they have been a green beret, seal, even if they are 300 pounds, what direction are you
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giving your pas at the various commands whenever reporter calls saying i want to vet this claim, can you get me the dd 14, can you vet whether robert o'neill actually shot bin laden. what assistance can they give to reporters? gen. clarke: that is a great question. i have never been posed that question. i fundamentally believe most people are truthful and they will come forward. i am an optimist. i think you have to be in this business. but i will take that one back. but it is important. as my 20-year-old would say, it is important but there will be procedural things but we will make sure we are doing the right things. i think it is fair.
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[indiscernible] -- in my opinion, it kind of echoed what h.r. mcmaster was saying about turning away from the terrorists and getting the ability to operate to go head-on. i'm wondering if you would expand on the terror threat, but we have heard about how the terror threats have been degraded, or gone, so can you first clarify on that? gen. clarke: hr is a good friend, i know him well, and i trust him. the threat -- i think a good description is metastasized. it has gone into areas of africa, where they can seek sanctuary, and whether maybe some areas of sanctuary we have to look at.
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when i say it is not diminished -- what we have to be focused on, and what is important, what are those specific threats to our interests in our homeland? i think we degraded the threats out of afghanistan. they have been spreading to other areas of the globe, where they can seek sanctuary. what we have to prevent is that sanctuary allowing for a future afghanistan. and when i say it is not diminished, i think it has expanded. i don't see a direct threat to the homeland today. >> thank you. with the future of ct work, where is it going? -- said weak and ungoverned basis, and i tried pressing more. he did say africa, somalia.
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from your perspective, are there weak and ungoverned places in africa that pose a greater threat than the isis-k threat we heard this week where isis-k might pose a threat to the u.s. homeland in six months? are there places we need to look at we are not looking at in africa? gen. clarke: we are keeping a look in africa. particularly in somalia. our partners in west africa are doing a tremendous job. what i try to look at this is looking at where the biggest threats are. i do look at your question specifically where al-shabaab where it is probably the best resourced, most capable group
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inside of africa, but i do believe if left unchecked and allowed to build resources, they have already proven they can attack outside of somalia and kenya, where they have killed foreign forces and killed americans. and that was a well-trained outfit and very concerted effort. with unique capabilities outside of somalia. we will continue to expand. >> -- > i'm with the san antonio express news. . i have been kind of struck by the stories this week that have come out about the number of people in the air force
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specifically who have not outlined the order to take their vaccine shots. it is astonishing that this is something you learn from the first day of boot camp that you follow orders. i wonder what your attitude is about that. should people who refuse to follow that order be allowed to remain in the military? should they be discharged with a dishonorable discharge? it strikes me as being so counterintuitive to what soldiering is about. do they belong, given the fact they can follow in order? gen. clarke: the way i approach this, we have talked about this within our own command with socom's commanders. it is a readiness issue.
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and for socom, looking at the lens of our forces that need to deploy to do their jobs to defend forward. in order to do that, they need to be vaccinated. they did go back to the discussion of marks of trust. if you can walk to a country with an air operations team that is fully vaccinated and up to their health, they will be a more capable, credible force. that is the way i'm approaching it. specific to your question, every single individual who refuses to take the shot will be looked at individually. we are a joint force within socom with air force, navy,
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spain force, marines members. we will look at specifics to that individual. >> following up on sids question. i know you oversee a joint force, but i would also respectfully be surprised if you are not tracking this number. what percentage of your force is vaccinated? are there certain branches showing a higher percentage of vaccination than others? gen. clarke: i am tracking it. it is a day by day counting. but i will tell you we are in the high 90's for right now of our entire force. i don't see i fort -- i don't
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see it right now as a socom readiness issue whatsoever. but it is a commander's dialogue, because we want to make sure we understand who in our forces are not vaccinated and why, and why we encourage to tell them why it is important for them to be vaccinated. >> following up on how big the force is, in the high 90's? >> we are well over 95%. >> any comparisons about how many troops under your charge for that? gen. clarke: baseline, over 70,000. that number is still increasing every day. jeff is getting his physical exercise today. >> you need a vacation. >> thank you, general.
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patricia chi with military.com. there's been a lot of talk about oath keepers and extremist groups actively recruiting people from, you know, your organization on the military in general, but especially you all because you have the high training. and there was a guy who was a former green beret arrested on january 6. what are you doing to combat the internal threat, and do you have an active effort to either entertain these folks about recruitment, or are you seeking to see if any of your members are actually members of these groups? >> patricia, there's no place -- i've got to start there is no place for extremism in our groups. i'm aware of some of the folks
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you mentioned and others. i personally -- when i visit our forces around the globe, particularly within the united states, every single place i go, we have a conversation about extremism and what it can do to our force because i think you are exactly right. there are groups that would like to recruit our members, and i think we have to be vigilant. we continuously talk with all of our commanders -- as i just talked about, we had a commanders conference last week and addressed this with all of our commanders to make sure that they are looking for and that most importantly, that it gets down to all levels of the command, but more importantly, talk about why it is not conducive with who we are and what we do.
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>> are you actively training these folks? >> we all took part in -- the secretary of defense mandated extremism standdown, but we are going to continue to ensure that training is updated at least on a yearly basis. >> they have been involved in aircraft carrier pre-deployment training and other things to breathe -- bring them into how they want to do the future, but for any of the services, what does that look like if they are being mostly integrated in with their services, and is there room to have a foot in the door
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or does it take anything away from you if the services are working to do that? >> no, again, i do believe that all of our components, we are better if they are close with their service. you get to work exercises, you get to work experimentation. you get to leverage the capabilities of that force. when the army is doing it's a project conversions exercise, we are sending marine raiders to that. we will look for every opportunity to leverage high-end training, but as you point out, the seals are a maritime force. their words of sea, air, land to make up the seal -- that sea is very important in this, but it
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does not mean it is exclusive to just that, so we will look for these opportunities when it makes sense, but at the end of the day, the navy seals are still employed from so, out, and it comes to prioritization. i would say that as a cause for all of our force. i hope that answers your question. >> the wars are not over. i know you've still got guys engaged all over the world, but it is not 2005 anymore. i know you have a high off temporal, but there's got to still be, like, fewer combat missions, so are you taking advantage of that time for recovery, letting the operators stay home a little more, or are you still dealing -- still filling that up with training and keeping that off tempo the same, or are you going to take advantage at all for a little less war going on?
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>> bottom line, yes. i could go back to 2010 when the average operator was deployed more than he was at home. deployment ratio less than one to one. all of our forces today are at 221 or better. our goal is to get to three to one across the board, which allows for improved readiness. it allows for improved experimentation, a little bit to the previous question, and i believe in the long term, to improved health of our operator, but we are always focused on that because i think it gives us credible teams that have the right values when they go out. thanks. >> i would like to ask one last question.
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>> it is microphone prerogative. >> this is a question i have asked the greatest thinkers in the military. what do you listen to when you work out? [laughter] >> no, i think it is the same as what books do i read. i listen to podcasts. the podcasts i listen to, and i would make a plug for it if you have not listened to it, is our special operations forces podcast, which we do in-house. it was a result after we did our in-house comprehensive review to make sure we are having conversations about we are and what we do. i think it is unbiased, but i think it is a pretty good podcast and one of the 10 most often listened to the luke perry podcasts that are out there.
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-- one of the 10 most often listened to military podcasts that are out there. for further development and thinking outside the military, i also listen to what it takes, which is a podcast that looks at , really, biographies of famous individuals that have made an impact. primarily americans, but it can also be foreign nationals, and it is a tremendous podcast from the academy achievement that is being run today. they do a great one on cal ripken if anybody is a baseball fan. >> general, thank you very much. do you have any final thoughts? >> again, thanks to you all. i have the best job in the army in the joint force. i get to command, but we more
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importantly get to support the men and women of the special forces. they defend the nation each and every day by giving their all. through their sacrifice. today, while we are sitting here, thousands of them are deployed across the globe to keep our nation safe, and i appreciate you all telling their stories and continuing to be involved, so thank. -- thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021]
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: we are joined by guests that take a look at the topic of economic hardships in the united states. ray suarez is the host of the [booing] -- host of the "going for broke" podcast and alissa quart. thank you both for giving us your time this warning. guest: good to be with you. host: we have a lot of podcasts these days. i want to you to express in your own words what the purpose of this process is. guest: we as a group with the economic hardship reporting project took a look at a lot

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