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PACOM House Armed Services Committee Testimony

| April 15, 2015

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES HOLDS A HEARING ON MILITARY TECHNOLOGY SUPERIORITY

 

APRIL 15, 2015

 

WITNESSES: CHRISTINE E. WORMUTH, UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR POLICY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

 

ADMIRAL SAMUEL J. LOCKLEAR III (USN), COMMANDER, U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND

 

GENERAL CURTIS SCAPARROTTI (USA), COMMANDER, U.S. FORCES KOREA

 

[*] THORNBERRY: Committee will come to order. Let me thank our members, witnesses and guests for being here today.

 

Before we start on the topic of today's hearing, let me just take a moment to welcome formally the newest Member of the House Armed Services Committee.

 

Steve Russell represents Oklahoma's 5th District, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, Steve is deployed to Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and commanded the first battalion's 22nd Infantry in Tikrit. His unit played a key role in the capture of Saddam Hussein. So he's already in our briefings and so forth, made an important contribution to the Committee and we're very glad to have Steve join our members.

 

THORNBERRY: Today we hold a hearing on the risk of losing military technological superiority and its implications for U.S. Policy, Strategy and Posture in the Asia Pacific.

 

We probably need to get a little better about succinct titles for our hearings. But it does, I think, bring together a lot of what we have been examining over the past couple three months. And I appreciate the senior-level attention within the Department on the Asia-Pacific region, as well as technological superiority.

 

I realize that there are a number of serious security issues around the world all happening at the same time. The reason that we've had some people testify that it is unprecedented in our country's history to have so many serious security issues all happening at the same time. But we cannot, either on this Committee, the Department of Defense, or the country, in general, cannot allow limited band width to have us ignore what's happening in the Asia Pacific.

 

Among the issues that come to the fore, I think, in the region for which you all have responsibility is the technological superiority issue which has been a key focus of this committee. We've had Under Secretary Kendall, for example, testify about our eroding technological superiority, specially in light of some of the key investments that China is making.

 

It also brings together some individual unconventional warfare tactics. We focused a lot on what Russia's been doing with little green men. But it wasn't that long ago I read a paper about the three warfares of China, including psychological media and legal warfare. They have their own unconventional tactics. And of course, we have in the region North Korea and its asymmetric attempts, both to the cyber, its missile and nuclear programs, just to keep everyone off balance. So this region brings together a lot of what we've talked about so far this year. And again, we appreciate everybody being here.

 

Mr. Smith is not able to be with us this week. But I will yield to the distinguished gentlelady from California, Ms. Sanchez, in his place, for any comments she'd like to make.

 

SANCHEZ: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And again, to our panel, thank you for being before us. Obviously, the Indo-Asia Pacific arena is an incredibly important one to our United States and to security in our world. I'm always a little amused with the fact that everybody talks about pivoting towards that direction. I'm a Californian. We've always been on the Pacific. So to a large extent, we've had the opportunity to look across that Pacific and work with the nations and except a lot of people who are originally from those countries to our (ph) California. So I think that we are well positioned, in particular, as Californians, with respect to understanding and having ties to those regions.

 

The collective security of our world is not only one of defense and high-tech solutions to some of that, but it is also about culture and the economy. And so, I believe that we should continue to work in the many myriad of ways to, as we look towards that region, maintaining a significant U.S. Military capability advantage is clearly a top priority for us from a national security perspective. And it's entirely appropriate to take a look at the capabilities, especially with high technology that these countries in that region are doing.

 

Again, we should not pre-suppose. I think that there's malice involved when somebody is beefing up their military or are working towards higher military capabilities. And we shouldn't, I think, presume that the conflict is inevitable, rather, we should be geared toward working together in good faith of preservation of our international order.

 

And I think that the most significant thing that Congress can do to help bolster the U.S. Military's technological edge and to help advance strategic objectives in the Indo-Asia Pacific region is to eliminate sequestration (ph).

 

And I'm talking not just here in the Defense Committee, but across the federal board. As I remember, Secretary Gates once said, if we don't educate our people if our economy is not good -- and I'm paraphrasing, I'm not saying directly -- then we don't have to worry about out our military because it's about our economy and about our people. So I'm looking forward to hearing the testimony today.

 

And Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit Mr. Smith's statement for the record. Thank you.

 

THORNBERRY: Thank you. Without objection, it is so ordered. And without objection the witnesses's complete written statements will be made part of the record. We are pleased to have with us today the Honorable Christine Wormuth, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Admiral Samuel Locklear, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, and General Curtis Scaparrotti, the Commander of U.S. Forces Korea.

 

Again, thank you all for being with us. As I said, your statements will be -- your complete statements will be made part of the record. And your -- I would -- we would appreciate you summarizing in your opening comments before we turn to questions.

 

Ms. Wormuth?

 

WORMUTH: Thank you very much, Chairman Thornberry and distinguished Members of the Committee for having us here today. We're looking forward to the conversation. And I'm sending my best wishes to Ranking Member Smith for a speedy recovery. I know he's not enjoying that process. THORNBERRY: Madam, excuse me. Would you mind getting that microphone right in front of you?

 

WORMUTH: Sure. Is that better?

 

THORNBERRY: That's -- that's better.

 

WORMUTH: OK.

 

WORMUTH: The only way it works is talking right into it. So, thank you.

 

THORNBERRY: OK. It's a pleasure to be here to talk with you about certainly a top priority for Secretary Carter and myself, which is our rebalance to Asia-Pacific. I'm also very pleased to be here alongside Admiral Locklear and General Scaparrotti. We worked closely together on a lot of different issues. They are doing a tremendous job. And the men and women who are out there working Pacific Command and at U.S. Forces Korea are really the day-to-day face of our rebalance for a lot of countries in the region. So we really appreciate the work that they do.

 

Both Secretary Carter and I have recently come back from Asia, different parts of the region. But I think we both heard in a very resounding way a lot of support from the countries out there for the rebalance that we've undertaken and also a lot of desire to have even greater U.S. leadership and engagement with the countries that are there.

 

In the past seven years, it's obviously been a time of tremendous change and opportunity for the Asia-Pacific region. As nations there rise and become more prosperous, it's created a lot of opportunity, at the same time that dynamism in the region has also created a much more complex security environment in which we are now operating.

 

In particular, China's very rapid military modernization, its opaque defense budget, the -- its actions in space and cyberspace and its behavior in places like the East and South China Seas raise a number of serious questions for us.

 

THORNBERRY: Though China's expanding interests are a natural part of its rise, it does continue to pursue activities and to make investments that leave many countries in the region, including the United States, to have some serious questions about its long-term intentions

 

WORMUTH: China's behavior in the maritime domain, I think, in particular, has created significant friction for its neighbors. The Government's efforts to incrementally advance its claims in the East and South China Sea and its extensive land reclamation activities, particularly the prospect of further militarizing those outposts are very concerning to us.

 

We've urged China to show restraint and to refrain from further activities that undermine regional trust. We also have continued to urge China to clarify the meaning of its ambiguous nine-dash line claim as a starting point as a way to start reducing tensions and provide greater transparency to countries in the region.

 

While the United States and China are not allies, we also don't have to be adversaries. I think both of us, both the United States and China recognize that a constructive U.S.-China relationship is essential for global peace and prosperity.

 

We're therefore not only talking to China about actions they undertake that concern us, but we are also talking to them in undertaking activities to build transparency and to improve understanding, particularly through our military-to-military engagement with the PLA.

 

We also face a number of other challenges, obviously, in the region. Particularly, I think, of greatest concern to us in DOD is North Korea's dangerous pursuit of ballistic missiles and its weapons of mass destruction program. North Korea, as you all know, has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to use provocation as a means to achieve its end. And just in the last year, we saw a very significant cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.

 

There are also other challenges in the region that are magnified by a growing range of non-traditional threats, such as the increased flow of foreign fighters, both to and from Asia, the trafficking of illegal goods and people and devastating natural disasters, such as the cyclone we saw last month in Bonowati.

 

So in response to these shifting dynamics, DOD has consistently worked to implement President Obama's whole-of-government strategy towards rebalancing in the Asia Pacific.

 

One of the most important pieces of the administration's work in the area of the rebalance is to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Our military strength ultimately rests on the foundation of our vibrant and growing economy. So we believe strongly that TPP is not just part of our economic agenda, but it also a very important part of our national security agenda. And I would urge Congress to pass Trade Promotion Authority and allow negotiators to conclude this very important agreement.

 

In DOD, we're really focused in terms of the rebalance on a couple of key lines of effort. First is strengthening our security relationships with allies and partners in the region. In Japan, for example, we're very close to completing a historic update of the defense guidance which really wouldn't have been possible a decade ago.

 

We are also working with the Republic of Korea to develop a comprehensive set of alliance capabilities to counter the North Korean threat. And in Australia and the Philippines last year, we signed important groundbreaking posture agreements that will give us enhanced access for our forces and also allow us a lot of new combined training opportunities for our partners in Australia and the Philippines.

 

Our strong friendships in the region also go beyond traditional alliances to some of our new relationships, particularly in south and Southeast Asia. In addition to our very strong partnership with Singapore, where I just visited a couple weeks ago, we also are strengthening our relationships with countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. And finally, we're investing, of course, in our partnership with ASEAN, which is really leading the way in terms of trying to build a more robust security architecture in the region.

 

And lastly, in terms of relationships, the U.S-India relationship is a very important and very exciting partnership. As you all know, just this January, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi signed a Joint Vision Statement. We also completed the first update in 10 years to our defense framework with India. And we concluded four path finder projects for technology development with India under the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative.

 

In tandem with our efforts to modernize relationships in the Pacific, the Department is also updating our forward presence. And this isn't just about putting more assets into the region. It's also about using those assets in new ways. For example, we've developed a more distributed model for our Marine Corps that is reducing our concentrated presence in Okinawa through relocating Marines to Australia, Guam, Hawaii and Mainland Japan.

 

The Navy is also working more on its rotational presence concept to include being on track to have our goal of having four littoral combat ships rotating through Singapore by 2017. We've had two of our LCS ships go to Singapore already. And the Army will be initiating its first rotational deployment of a brigade combat team to the Korean Peninsula later this spring. Finally, and I think going very much to the issue of the technology concerns this Committee is interested in, we're also bringing our best capabilities to the Asia-Pacific region. We're making significant investments to sustain our American technological edge into the future in the air, land, sea and undersea domains. We are investing in precision munitions that will increase our ability to strike adversaries from greater standoff distances and we're working on new capabilities to allow us to continue to operate freely in space and cyberspace.

 

All of these efforts demonstrate the seriousness of our department's commitment to protecting U.S. Military primacy in the Asia-Pacific theater. And our focus on technology is really the impetus for our Defense Innovation Initiative, which is a long-term comprehensive effort to make sure that we enhance our military competitive edge, even as we face budget constraints.

 

The Department's rebalance efforts, as well as those of our interagency colleagues, are part of a long-term project that reflect, I think, the enduring interest the United States has in the Asia- Pacific region. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress on the rebalance and I look forward to questions.

 

Thank you.

 

THORNBERRY: Thank you.

 

Admiral?

 

LOCKLEAR: Mr. Chairman, Congresswoman Sanchez, and distinguished Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today with Secretary Wormuth and General Scaparrotti, who I've worked very closely with both of them.

 

Before we begin, I'd like to ask that my written testimony be submitted for the record?

 

For more than three years, I've had the honor and the privilege of leading the exceptional men and women, military and civilian, of the United States Pacific Command. These volunteers are skilled professionals dedicated to the defense of our nation, are serving as superb ambassadors to represent the values and strengths that make our nation what it is -- great.

 

I want to go on record to formally thank our servicemembers, civilians and their families for their sacrifices. U.S. PACOM continues to strengthen alliances and partnerships, maintain an assured presence in the region and demonstrate U.S. intent and resolve to safeguard our U.S. national interests.

 

When I spoke to you last year, I highlighted my concern for several issues that could challenge the security environment across the Indo-Asia- Pacific. Those challenges included responding to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief events, dealing with an increasingly dangerous an unpredictable North Korea, a challenge that General Scaparrotti and I remain aligned in addressing. A continued escalation of complex territorial disputes, increasing regional transnational threats and the complexity associated with China's continuous rise. In the past years, these challenges have not eased. They will not away soon. But the Asia rebalance strategy is and has taken hold. It is achieving its intended goals.

 

However, the greatest challenge remains the continued physical uncertainty resulting from sequestration. The Budget Control Act remains enforces, the greatest challenge in the Indo-Asia-Pacific will be dealing with the consequences to the security of our national interest as we respond to a rapidly changing world.

 

I echo the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Service Chief's testimony before Congress. Our nation is being forced into a resource-driven national security strategy, instead of one properly resourced and driven by our enduring national interest.

 

In the Indo-Asia-Pacific, we are accepting more risk a lot less. Sequestration will force harmful reductions in force size, structure and readiness that will reduce liability to manage crisis faced (ph) provide options to the President and the Congress and diminishes United States' prestige and credibility in the region and around the globe.

 

In the last year, a great expense to the readiness of the surge force's position in the continental United States, U.S. PACOM has maintained its forward forces focused on protecting the homeland, deterring aggressors such as North Korea, strengthening alliances and partnerships and developing the concepts and capabilities required for us to remain dominant in a world that is growing in complexity with threat that continue to increase against a seemingly unending stream of constraints.

 

Without adequate resources, we'll be forced to make difficult choices today that will have strategic consequences to our future. I'd like to thank the Committee for your continued interest and the support. I look forward to your questions.

 

THORNBERRY: Thank you, sir.

 

General?

 

SCAPARROTTI: Mr. Chairman, Congresswoman Sanchez and distinguished members of the Committee, I'm honored to testify today as the commander of the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and United States Forces Korea and also alongside Admiral Locklear and Under Secretary Wormuth.

 

On behalf of the servicemembers, civilians, contractors, and their families who serve our great nation in the Republic of Korea, one of our most important allies, thank you for your support.

 

I've prepared some brief opening remarks and I thank you for submitting them to the record. Last year, I testified that the combined and joint forces of the United States and the Republic of Korea were capable and ready to deter. And if necessary, respond to North Korean threats and actions. Due our accomplishments in 2014, I report to you that our strong alliance is more capable of addressing the rapidly evolving and increasingly asymmetric North Korean threat.

 

In recent years, North Korea has aggressively developed and utilized asymmetric capabilities such as cyber warfare, nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to advance its interests. To put this in perspective over time, in 2012, my predecessor noted North Korea's advances in cyber and nuclear capabilities during his opening statement to this Committee.

 

A year later, North Korea conducted cyber-attacks on South Korea's banks and broadcasting stations. And in 2014, they boldly projected their cyber capabilities against Sony Pictures in the United States in an effort to inflict economic damage and suppress free speech.

 

This example represents a trend that is persistent across several North Korean asymmetric capabilities. My top concern is that we will have little to no warning of a North Korean asymmetric provocation, which could start a cycle of action and counteraction leading to unintended escalation. This underscores the need for the alliance to maintain a high level of readiness and vigilance.

 

SCAPARROTTI: Last year, the alliance took significant steps in improving its capabilities and capacities to deter aggression and to reduce its operational risk. But our work is not done. In 2015 we will maintain this momentum by focusing on my top priority, sustaining and strengthening the alliance, with an emphasis on our combined readiness. This includes ensuring the rapid flow of ready forces into Korea in the early phases of hostilities and improving ISR capabilities and critical munitions.

 

Based on the national security strategies of both our nations, the United States will continue to be a steadfast strategic partner to South Korea, and South Korea is poised to be a long-lasting and important ally to America. Our enduring military partnership with South Korea is the preeminent example of bilateral security cooperation and a visible element of American leadership and our nation's commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.

 

The men and women serving on freedom's frontier defending the Republic of Korea remain thankful for this committee's unwavering support in prioritizing resources that enable us to defend our national interests in Asia, while advancing universal values and international order. I'm extremely proud of our service members, civilians and their families serving in the Republic of Korea and never lose sight of the fact that they are at freedom's frontier, defending one of our most important allies and vital American interests.

 

Thank you, and I look forward to your questions.

 

THORNBERRY: Thank you.

 

I want to ask, Admiral and General, each of you about this issue of technological superiority. I mentioned Undersecretary Kendall has testified that our technological superiority that we have enjoyed for years is eroding, and we have had many other witnesses support that. There are a variety of factors that have played into it -- what we have done to ourselves with budget cuts, a procurement process that cannot keep up with changes in technology, the fact that some of our competitors have stolen incredible amounts of information from us and benefited from it. All of these things and probably others contribute to it.

 

But each of you are responsible for dealing with the world today as we find it and being prepared with plans and contingencies and using the forces that we have today. So I would be interested, as a combatant commander, as a commander responsible for a key area of the world, are you concerned about these trends in technology and our ability to keep up? Are there some areas that concern you more than others, given your area of responsibility? Are there suggestions you have about how we, the United States, could and should adjust to meet these changes? Kind of a broad picture of what it's like from your end as war fighting commanders.

 

Admiral?

 

LOCKLEAR: Well, thank you, sir. Over my career my observation is that when we were dealing with the Soviet Union in the cold war that we had a concerted effort as a military to have that technological edge that really provided a tremendous amount of benefit and allowed us to prevail, I think, during that time.

 

As we entered the last part of this past century and we started efforts in the Middle East, we predominantly were dealing with wars and events where we had such a large technological superiority that -- we had air dominance, we had undersea dominance, we had dominance in every area. And that was good and we used that dominance.

 

During that time I think that our priorities for watching what the rest of the world was doing as countries came along that had the ability and the desire to want to improve their militaries and improve their technological capabilities that we kind of took a little bit of a break and didn't make the types of investments that we needed to make.

 

During that time our relative superiority I think has declined and continues to decline. Some of the reasons for that, I think, are because countries have more money to spend. There is a greater proliferation of technology. Some of it has been stolen through intellectual property, some of it has been sold around the world in different venues that you all are aware of.

 

The other thing that makes it challenging for us is our general vulnerability. When it comes to the Asia-Pacific, we are a Pacific nation but we are also an island nation, so we rely very heavily on power projection, which means we have to be able to get the forces forward, to sustain them forward, and we rely heavily on systems that several decades ago weren't even known about or thought about too much and that really exist now in the cyber world, in the space world, which if we are not careful will unveil vulnerabilities that we have to pace with technological advancements.

 

To the degree of how we address these, what's important to me is making sure that the forces we have, number one, are dominant. You never want to go into any crisis or even in deterrence to try to manage a situation with a force that's not dominant. It needs to be technologically superior across multiple domains. So if you start at the top and you go from space to cyber to air to integrated air and missile defense, to sea, maritime, to subsurface maritime, there is technological challenges as all the militaries of the world get better in these domains, that we must continue to pace for us to be able to be relevant in the domains that allow us to project U.S. power in defense of U.S. interests. Now in the build-up up to this presidential budget submission, I made it clear through a series of processes in the Pentagon the types of key areas where we need to maintain our focus on technological advancement, and I think most of those were accurately represented in Secretary Kendall's testimony. I think that if the president's budget is supported in those areas that it will continue to get at the types of technological advances that are critical for us to stay forward and to protect U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific.

 

SCAPARROTTI: Mr. Chairman, I would echo what Admiral Locklear had to say, particularly on the peninsula. You discussed earlier the asymmetric capabilities are being developed by North Korea. As they develop those asymmetric capabilities they are specifically orienting on what they consider to be some of our vulnerabilities, and through their development they are trying to close our dominance basically.

 

We have to continue to develop our capabilities, to change our posture, our concepts, our employment in order to ensure that we maintain dominance.

 

The last thing I would say on the peninsula is because we are operating on a peninsula, it's a relatively small theater. Air and naval dominance is very important to the agility that I have on the peninsula itself if we have a crisis. So all of these things are things that I think about quite often.

 

And finally, the specific asymmetric capabilities that I think about the most is the ballistic missile capability North Korea possesses and our continued ability to be able to counter that. And then finally, ISR. Many of our adversaries are becoming more proficient in determining how to work inside of our capabilities, our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and also how to use deception and other means in order to limit that advantage that we have today.

 

THORNBERRY: It seems to me in no area of the world is it more true that a loss of technological superiority means increased risk to American lives than on the Korean Peninsula, so I think that's another way to keep in mind.

 

Ms. Sanchez?

 

SANCHEZ: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you again for your testimonies. I represent the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam in the world, sitting right there in Orange County, California. As I said, we've always had our view to what's going out in the Asian countries and the Pacific region.

 

Last year Vietnam and the United States agreed to ease its lethal weapons embargo on Vietnam in order to improve the maritime security and to address the ongoing conflicts in regards to the islands in the East Sea. But on the other hand, I've worked enough on the Vietnamese issues to understand that Vietnam still has -- is lacking so much with respect to its human rights issues.

 

In particular, in 2000, when I went with President Clinton for the bilateral trade agreement and then later when we took Vietnam off of the countries of particular concern list with respect to religious infractions in order for them to be able to go into the World Trade Organization. So we continue to see that things don't get better with respect to the human rights issues, or marginally at times and then worse.

 

So can you address for me the road map for weapons sales to Vietnam and what types of lethal weapons would be precluded if Vietnam continues on its road of not changing its human rights record, even with respect to, for example, Human Rights Watch and our own State Department? They are consistently marked very, very low with respect to human rights.

 

What do you see or what can we expect from this administration and this Pentagon with respect to weapons sales to Vietnam? Are we going to tie any conditions to lifting that embargo?

 

WORMUTH: Congresswoman Sanchez, thank you very much for that question.

 

We are still in the process now of working with the Department of State, our colleagues there to work through how best to leverage the partial lifting of the lethal weapons ban. But certainly a part of those consultations is looking at the human rights picture in Vietnam, and we are very much, even as we and the Department of Defense are very interested in deepening our relationship with Vietnam, we also are committed to pushing for greater progress on the human rights front. So that is something that we are very much taking into account as we look at how best to work with Vietnam.

 

WORMUTH: I think it's fair to say that broadly speaking the kinds of capabilities that we think would be most useful for Vietnam in terms of its security needs are those that would be helpful to them in terms of maritime security, in terms of maritime domain awareness, in terms of helping them strengthen their ability to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

 

So those are the kinds of areas that we're focused on with them, and looking at what kinds of arms might be relevant to that. But we're still in the process of figuring out how best to approach specific items they might be interested in.

 

SANCHEZ: And, Madam Secretary, we've also seen, obviously, a pretty aggressive stance by China with respect to territorial rights, or claimed territorial rights in the E.C. What types of help could we give to Vietnam to ensure its sovereignty over the islands that it believes are part of their integral country?

 

WORMUTH: Well, I think first, as you know, we don't take a position on the territorial claims. But we are very much committed to wanting to see countries in the region work through diplomacy to try to resolve those territorial disputes. So we're focused on encouraging all of the countries to seek peaceful means for resolution, and to use diplomacy, and use available mechanisms.

 

At the same time, I think helping countries in the region like Vietnam, but other countries as well, strengthen again their own maritime security capabilities, and their own maritime domain awareness capabilities. It's helpful that -- to them in terms of them being able to, again, maintain some visibility over their territorial waters, for example. And I don't know whether Admiral Locklear would want to add on that.

 

SANCHEZ: And might you also explain to me the timeline, or how we could work together to ensure that this partial release of the weapons ban is not detrimental with respect, in particular, to our -- I believe what should be, and it is for me, at least -- requirement that we see better human rights from Vietnam? What is the process in which you're going through to take a look and figure out how we will help militarily?

 

WORMUTH: First and foremost, we're working with the State Department, again, I think to try to make sure that we have agreement on what are the basic policy parameters for how we would approach how best to leverage the partial lifting of the ban. We are then in consultations with Vietnam about what their needs are. So the State Department really has the lead on the -- on talking with them about human rights, and the importance of making progress in that area. We reinforce that message, but we have a process internal to our government to sort of lay out our basic parameters, and then we have an ongoing dialogue with Vietnam about what their needs are.

 

And that's a very active dialogue. My assistant secretary for Asia-Pacific affairs is actually a former ambassador to Vietnam. So we have a very active conversation with them.

 

SANCHEZ: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 

THORNBERRY: Thank you. Mr. Jones?

 

JONES: Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. And I want to -- Madam Secretary, I took down some notes, what you had said in your prepared remarks, and also what you said today. We urge the Chinese, actions that concern us, we bring this to the Chinese attention.

 

I am one of the individuals in the Congress that for years have been speaking out publicly back in my district, the 3rd District of North Carolina, about the growing debt of our nation, because I believe sincerely that that is the biggest threat to our national security, is the growing debt.

 

Admiral, that's why we passed the bill. I did not vote for it, to be honest about it, the sequestration. And then I see we continue to play a shell (ph) game with the budget, and with the American people's money, and find ways to continue to puff up the needs for our military.

 

I believe in honesty in budgeting. I don't believe in dishonesty -- but anyway -- in budgeting. But I'm for honesty in budgeting.

 

This is my question to you: I have long thought -- maybe this because I was raised in Eastern North Carolina -- that if you owe someone money, and you can't pay them back, they just don't have the same respect for you.

 

And I look at the fact that President Bush raised the debt ceiling seven out of eight years that he was the president. Mr. Obama has raised the debt ceiling seven out of six (sic) years that he's been the president. And you know, when we raise the debt ceiling, what we're saying to the world is we can't pay our bills; that we have to sell our financial instruments (ph) and somehow finance our debt.

 

OK. The Chinese buy a lot of our debt. So I really would like to know when our representatives of our government, whether the military or non-military are sitting there facing the Chinese, if it is a respect, because we continue to have to borrow money from the Chinese to pay our bills.

 

And they see all the news articles of how we're spending billions and billions in Afghanistan, that much of it, according to John Sopko, is wasted. And yet, we're taking the billions and billions that we're spending overseas that's wasted, taking away from building our military, which needs to be rebuilt. And I get to a point that I just don't understand an administration. And I would say this if it was a Republican administration.

 

How in the world can we continue to play this game of spending, spending, spending, and borrow, borrow, borrow, and then we think we got equal placement to talk to the Chinese about, "Read (ph) our concern about this, and we urge you to do that," do they really listen to us?

 

WORMUTH: Congressman, I certainly agree that, as I said in my opening remarks, the foundation of our vitality as a country is a strong economy. And that underpins our ability to have a strong military.

 

And again, I think that's one of the reasons why we in the Defense Department have been expressing our support for important agreements, like the Transpacific Partnership, for example. I think China -- again, you know, we have a very independent -- interdependent global economy at this point. And we're very important customers for China, as are many other countries around the world.

 

So I think having a robust and growing economy in the United States is important. And the Chinese see the value of that for them. We have -- and I also think they recognize very much that even as they modernize their military, the United States military remains the premier military force in the world.

 

And then in addition to our very strong technological track record, we also have an operational track record that is unmatched. I mean, our military's combat experience is unmatched by almost any country in the world. And it's been honed over the last more than 10 years, and I think China very much respects that as we -- as we talk to them about our concerns.

 

JONES: Well, I also found it very interesting that you mentioned trade promotion authority in your comments. There are many of us who believe sincerely that any president, Democrat or Republican, if you give them trade promotion authority, then you are damaging our constitutional ability to maintain a fairness in trade.

 

But thank you for your testimony. I yield back.

 

THORNBERRY: Mr. Langevin?

 

LANGEVIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank our witnesses for your testimony today. In particular, Admiral Locklear, I want to thank you for your leadership at PACOM for the last three years. I thank you for your service, and I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors.

 

If I could start with you, Admiral, you mentioned China's aggressive shipbuilding program in addition to their significant advances in (inaudible) warfare capabilities, Admiral. How do our forces in PACOM compare in those aspects? And where do you believe improvements need to be made, besides continued and sustained investment of the U.S. nuclear submarine force, as you mentioned? I'm particularly concerned and interested -- I think the Chinese at this point are confident that they could potentially turn the lights off on our use of cyber capabilities on our fleet, our ability to respond, both figuratively and literally. And so I want to know where you -- what your views are, and how we stand.

 

LOCKLEAR: Well, thank you, sir. It's my assessment that we remain the most dominant military power in the world from all aspects. And I think that there's hardly a country -- there's not a country in the world, would disagree with that today, even though I think they would recognize that the relative parody of our relative gap between how good we are, versus how some of the other forces may be developing, is shrinking.

 

In the case of the maritime forces that you've talked about with the PRC, they are on aggressive strategy and aggressive shipbuilding campaign. They have -- seem to have limited restrictions on how fast they can produce systems, how fast they can produce ships, submarines. And they're producing what I would consider to be pretty good ships and submarines.

 

But I still believe that we remain -- and we have the best ships. We have clearly the best ships, the best submarines, the best aircraft carriers, and the best people running them in the world. So I'm generally pretty good in that case.

 

But when it comes to dealing day to day in the Asia-Pacific, what I require -- first of all, we have a forward-deployed force that operates with our host nations -- Japan, Korea -- operates extensively in that region. And that force needs to be ready, because it's not only ready for, you know, day to day to maintaining the deterrent oversight security of the region, this is also critical to ensure that we're prepared for a quick reaction if we have to do something in North Korea.

 

So those forces need to be ready. They need to be the best that we have. They need to be of the highest technical capability that we have. And to the degree that we can get -- continue to get good host nation support, which I think we have today, we need to pursue that.

 

LANGEVIN: I want to speak specific to electronic warfare capabilities, if you could, Admiral.

 

LOCKLEAR: Electronic warfare arena, you know, I think that we are -- because we've operated in environments, as I said in earlier statements, around the globe where we have limited denied area through electronic means, I think our electronic warfare capability has diminished, has not kept pace with where we need to be in the future. And we're taking some steps to take a harder look at how we get at electronic warfare.

 

Of course, as you talk about electronic warfare, then it starts to get into the whole cyber issues, which are now being -- we're working hard to try to determine how we best defend our cyber assets, how we organize ourselves to do that, how we train our workforce to be able to do that. And that's all part of the president's budget that's come forward that gets at those particular issues.

 

LANGEVIN: Well, I share your concern there, Admiral. With regards to North Korea, both you and General Scaparrotti mentioned in your testimonies that there are cyber actors that continue to conduct cyber actions against South Korean military and civilian networks. How confident are you that this isn't happening to our U.S. forces, Korea infrastructure as well? And additionally, how are we defending ourselves, as you mentioned in your testimony, China generating insights into our U.S. security policies, defense networks, logistics and military capabilities through their cyber program?

 

LOCKLEAR: Thank you. And in regards to Korea and the threat from North Korea, I'm confident of our ability to defend our military networks. We work very closely with the Republic of Korea, our partners and allies, to ensure that, because we have a combined command and control system that we close any vulnerabilities there.

 

And we have -- we've been working in the past year very hard to develop our cyber capabilities as a team. However, you know, that's an ongoing challenge that we have to stay on top of. North Korea is getting better every day.

 

LANGEVIN: Thanks, Mr. Chairman.

 

THORNBERRY: Mr. Forbes?

 

FORBES: Mr. Chairman, thank you. Madam Secretary, General, Admiral, thank you so much for your service to our country. Thank you for being here today. We've had a couple of milestone in the last few weeks. When the Japanese now have exceeded the number of planes they've had to scramble against Chinese and Russian planes since the Cold War, as I understand it.

 

We also had the Office of Naval Intelligence print this report -- first time they've done it since 2009 -- talking about a compelling concern about Chinese activity in the disputed borders off the East and South China Sea.

 

I also concur with your comments about sequestration, as it relates to national defense, although I really question anyone on this Committee or the administration that would suggest that we shouldn't remove defense sequestration, unless we can also give the EPA, the IRS, and the GSA all the money they want, or unless we can quench the thirst of every other agency that drinks from every federal trough. To hold defense sequestration hostage against that would be unconscionable. My concern today, as we talk about it, Admiral Locklear, in this Committee, we talk about the high-end technological superiority. But I'm also concerned about what we're seeing happen at the lower end. You mentioned, I think, correctly, China launched more naval ships than any other country in 2013 and '14. And they expect the same for 2014 and 2015.

 

But I'm also concerned about what they're doing with their Coast Guard. They now have 95 large cutters, 110 small cutters. That's a total of 205. That's 68 ships less than the entire U.S. Navy. And they have more ships in their Coast Guard than Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have combined.

 

We don't always rate those as naval ships. But you've seen this picture, I'm sure. This picture is of a Chinese Coast Guard vessel. They have labeled on here tugboat number 25. It's painted white. This is one of their amphibious naval ships. It's number 908. It's painted gray. Other than being painted gray and the number on there, there's virtually no difference, I don't think, between these two ships. And that's something that's really concerning me, because we don't always measure those.

 

So my question for you today is not the high-end technological superiority. But when we're seeing Iranians in Yemen, we're seeing Russians in the Ukraine, we're seeing Chinese on the Senkakus and the artificial islands are building up, what strategies, concepts, forces and capabilities do you think we need to counter this kind of gray zone aggression we're seeing in Asia?

 

LOCKLEAR: Well, thank you, sir. Your -- the two pictures you showed, I think, were accurate, the way I understand it. The Chinese are engaging in a comprehensive military modernization program that wants to transform not only the PLA into a high-end kind of network- centric military capable of large-scale operations, so we can talk about that.

 

But they're also working on the lower end to ensure that they have a maritime security force, which we would equate to a Coast Guard or a fisheries patrol that, by numbers, you add up all their numbers and everybody else's and Asia's, in that category they exceed everybody else's put together. And I think that they went down that path, after they saw what was happening in the Senkakus. They took some of the gray holes and we observed them ship those over to be what they would call non-combatants or maritime patrol ships by maybe just changing the color of them.

 

They show no slowdown in the pace of their military modernization, particularly in their navy. Even though their economy has dropped a little bit, they're still on a -- about a 10-percent increase in 2014, 2015 will be a little bit more. And it's the fifth straight year we've seen them do double-digit increases.

 

Of course, their military is -- on the high end, prepares for issues around Taiwan and their, what they would call, their near-seas. Their maritime security are put in a position to be able to gain influence, particularly in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, to further their -- what their consider their national interest there.

 

Now they are doing this in combination with what we have seen to be fairly massive land reclamation in the Spratly Islands and in the -- and upgrades to facilities in the Paracel Islands, which are the two regions in the South China Sea.

 

Now the implications of that for us are that it provides an ability for them to deploy more of these lower-end ships down there, provides an ability to base them down there, to resupply them. It allows them to exert, basically, greater influence over a contested -- what's now a contested area. It -- expanded land features down there also could eventually lead to the deployment of things, such as long- range radars, military and advanced missile systems and it might be a platform for them, if they ever wanted to establish an air defense -- an air defense -- an ADIZ zone down there for them to be able to enforce that from.

 

Up to this point in time, the nations around them, the South East Asian claimants have really had little success in formulating an effective response to the PRC actions down there. None of their efforts have slowed the PRC in the South China Sea. And they recognize that stopping the PRC would require a change in the strategic environment down there.

 

So what types of things do we need to do (ph) down there? Well, first, the force will need to stay forward. We need to have the types of Intelligence and Search, ISR assets that allow us to maintain our knowledge of what's going on. These are globally stressed, because of the things that we're doing in Afghanistan and in Iraq and in Yemen. And those -- many of those assets are similar in type to the ones we would use in that arena. So we need to ensure that we can sense and see what's going on, because it allows me to optimally use the forces that we have.

 

FORBES: Admiral, my time has expired. But would you mind submitting that to us for the record? It's important that we have it as a Committee.

 

THORNBERRY: Absolutely.

 

FORBES: And I'm sorry, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.

 

THORNBERRY: Thank you. I appreciate it.

 

Ms. Bordallo?

 

BORDALLO: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Secretary Wormuth and Admiral Locklear and General Scaparrotti. I want to thank you for coming today. And as the Representative from Guam, I appreciate, Mr. Chairman, your calling the Committee together for taking time to further examine our posture in the Asia-Pacific Region.

 

Admiral Locklear, I have a question for you. As the Ranking Member of the Readiness Subcommittee, I would like to focus on training capabilities in the Asia Pacific Region. Our Marines in Okinawa have degraded training capabilities and the Army and the Air Force have significant degradation of training capabilities elsewhere in the region. Can you comment on how the Department is looking at improving these capabilities? We are moving forward with a live-fire training range on Guam. But what about larger training exercises and the need for improving capabilities in the Northern Marianas Islands? I think that the Committee has questions about the cost and I understand PACOM has a handle on many of these matters. So could you answer that for me?

 

LOCKLEAR: Well, thanks for the questions. It's clear that for us to be as far forward as we are, that we need to have adequate facilities to be able to train and keep our forces ready at the high end. So it requires, I think, a multi-pronged strategy. One is -- you mentioned first is your home is in Guam, is ensuring that the Guam plan that we have for the relocation of the Marines there stays on track and we really appreciate the support of this Committee in doing that as we go forward. And it is on track.

 

As we look at the entire Guam complex and bringing those Marines there, we envision, with the support of the Marianas Islands, Northern Marianas Islands, governments up there, to be able to put in place a range up that that allows not only us to keep our Marines that are there ready, but also could bring other nations into play in that strategic part of the world for us to be able to learn together train together and maximize the opportunity for interoperability between our militaries.

 

It's also very important that in Alaska that we get the range systems in Alaska correct, that we maintain those and that -- because that's where we get much of our high-end training in those ranges in Alaska. As you know, we're also working very closely with our allies in Australia and in Northern Australia for having access to those really magnificent broad ranges that are there, so that we could work together with them. So I think we have a good plan, if we can bring it all together.

 

BORDALLO: Thank you. Thank you very much. Admiral, I have another question for you. Can you comment on the progress of the U.S.-Japan defense guidelines and what do you envision occurring to implement these guidelines in the near term?

 

LOCKLEAR: Well, the guidelines process is ongoing. And we anticipate that later this year that the guidelines will be completed and signed. I think I --

 

BORDALLO: I was going to ask...

 

LOCKLEAR: Yes.

 

BORDALLO: ... yes, the Secretary as well.

 

LOCKLEAR: And what we -- the real key to the guidelines is making sure that we -- first of all, that we militarily -- both countries recognize the importance of the alliance. This is one of the most important alliances in the world, for not only Japan, but for the United States, but also for the region. And ensuring that we get this right and that we're able to go forward in military way that provides a peace and security and prosperity for the region for both countries is important. And it starts to get at the -- more specifics of how we're going to do that. And it also forces, I think in this case, or encourages the Japanese to kind of look at how they view the alliance and how they're going to participate as we go forward.

 

BORDALLO: Thank you.

 

Madam Secretary?

 

WORMUTH: Just to add on that, I think we anticipate finishing up the defense guidelines right around the time that Prime Minister Abe comes to Washington later this month.

 

BORDALLO: Oh, very good.

 

WORMUTH: And a couple of things that I think that are really notable and important about the defense guidelines are, first of all, that there will be a whole section that really speaks to the collective self-defense vision that Japan has for the role of its self-defense forces. But it also will have a new alliance coordination mechanism which will, again, further our ability to work with Japan to help with its security needs, but also to look at our security needs.

 

There will be a section on peacetime cooperation in the areas of ISR, maritime domain awareness, missile defense. We will also have a whole section that looks at international activities, as well as additional cooperation in space and cyber. So I think that will be, you know, really important document to bring the alliance to the next level.

 

BORDALLO: Thank you. Thank you very much.

 

Mr. Chairman, I have just one quick question.

 

Admiral Locklear, what will be the impact of our rebalance strategy if sequestration remains in place?

 

LOCKLEAR: It remains in place, in general, in short, you'll have less force that are less ready, that are less technologically capable in an increasingly technological environment.

 

BORDALLO: Thank you very much. And I yield back, Mr. Chairman.

 

THORNBERRY: The gentlelady's time is expired. The chair recognizes the distinguished gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson, for five minutes.

 

WILSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank each of you for being here today. I just really have been impressed, Ms. Wormuth, with your comments. And, Admiral, I'm just grateful that I have a son who's currently serving in the Navy, and I've got three in the Army. So -- and my visits, General, to the DMZ, again, such extraordinary people that you serve with, and making such a difference indeed for the Republic of Korea, and their protection.

 

And that's why, as I'm thinking about the cyber offensive of North Korea, General, how is that being countered with the efforts that they've made to disrupt the banks of South Korea, and other activities? How is this being addressed? SCAPARROTTI: Well, sir, I think first of all, we're working very closely with our allies as a multinational community in this regard. And we have a very good cyber capability in the United States that's growing as well. This is a domain that we don't necessarily have superiority in. I think there's a lot -- there's a lot of simultaneity out there in this domain, so we work it very hard.

 

I think we've stayed away -- stayed ahead of it well, but will take that kind of effort and resourcing in order to -- in order to continue to develop our capability. That's about what I'd say here. It's difficult to get into that much without -- you know, in an open hearing.

 

WILSON: Well, again, we just appreciate your efforts so much. Additionally, Ms. Wormuth, I'm really grateful to be the chairman of the Emergency Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee. The unconventional warfare tactics are a great concern to the entire committee, and to myself. Could you please characterize your assessment of the unconventional strategy and tactics being used by China, and the challenge these pose to the DOD's ability to counter them?

 

WORMUTH: Thank you, Congressman. I think, as Congressman Forbes talked about, in terms of the Coast Guard capability, for example, or the maritime law enforcement's capabilities that China has, China's has been -- China uses those assets to assert -- to try to assert additional control over what it sees as its territorial claims. And I think that's a way where they're sort of using assets in an unconventional way.

 

We're really focused, I think, on the building partner capacity side, in trying to help partners in the region, some of the smaller countries in Southeast Asia, for example, work on their own maritime security capabilities to try to counter that kind of unconventional use of assets.

 

We also, though, are looking at -- on the more technology side, we are looking at certainly our intelligence capabilities, and are trying to strengthen our information operation capabilities, for example. And those capabilities are relevant, obviously, not just in the Asia-Pacific theater, but in many theaters around the world. I think, you know, we've seen a considerable use of unconventional techniques in Europe recently, given Russia's activities in Ukraine, for example.

 

WILSON: And certainly, that's to me such a tragedy, the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. I know that I had just so hoped for a modern European-inclined Russian Federation. And that doesn't seem to be developing.

 

Additionally, I'm very concerned about North Korea's nuclear weapons policy. Ms. Wormuth, what does North Korea, the regime, what is their -- what do you see as their capability of enhancing nuclear weapons delivery capabilities?

 

WORMUTH: Well, Congressman, we're certainly concerned, obviously, about North Korea's weapons-of-mass-destruction capability, and its nuclear program in particular. You know, we -- North Korea has not tested some of its capabilities, and we don't yet fully know what they're able to do in terms of their ability to miniaturize, for example, a nuclear weapon.

 

But it's our assessment that it is prudent to plan for the worst- case scenario, which is why we're so focused on our National Missile Defense program, for example, and why we've made the investments to expand the number of ground-based interceptors from 30 to 44, to try to make sure that we're keeping track with that -- with that threat.

 

I think fundamentally, the North Korean regime believes that having a nuclear capability under -- basically guarantees their regime survival, which is why they see it as so important. I would ask, I think, General Scaparrotti to elaborate.

 

THORNBERRY: The gentleman's time is expired, so would ask the general if he could do that for the record. And the chair recognizes Ms. Gabbard from Hawaii for five minutes.

 

GABBARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I'll continue along the same topic here. And I think it's important for us to recognize that North Korea remains the most immediate military threat, not only to our interests within the region, but really to the U.S. directly. And important for us to focus on, this immediate threat, especially within the context of the greater conversation that's taking place now, in seeing how we can prevent Iran from getting to the point of having this nuclear capability.

 

So General Scaparrotti, I'm wondering if you can speak to Mr. Wilson's question, but also specifically to the status of ballistic missile defense policy within the region, and the level of cooperation that you are getting from our partners there within the Republic of Korea and Japan specifically?

 

SCAPARROTTI: Well, thank you. First of all, to the North Korean nuclear capability, I would state it this way; that they claim to have a capability to deliver a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile.

 

They've paraded it, they've shown it to us, but they haven't tested it, as the undersecretary mentioned. And that's very important in something that's as complex as this. But I as a commander, I have to be prudent, and assume that they can deliver one, and act on that basis.

 

Secondly, in terms of ballistic missile defense, we bring our best systems to the peninsula. We work very closely with the Republic of Korea. This year, just this funding year, they committed in the last couple months to upgrade their PAC-2 systems to PAC-3, and they'll be doing that over the next couple of years. And we're working closely with them over the next year or so to increase our interoperability, and the ability to have a common operating fixture.

 

So I think we're moving in the right direction. Given the threat, we have to keep pace with that. We have to continue to keep our focus on that. GABBARD: Thank you. Admiral Locklear, in your written statement, you stated that currently there are roughly 1,300 ISIS foreign fighters who are coming from the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Can you speak to specifically which countries predominantly they're coming from? What is drawing them to ISIS specifically? And how do you characterize the threat of these foreign fighters coming back and returning to their home countries in the region, and continuing these activities there?

 

LOCKLEAR: Well, thank you, Congresswoman. We are working closely with our fellow COCOM and CENTCOM to actually have a -- try to get a better sense of this phenomenon of foreign fighters that would be moving out of predominantly Asia, Southeast Asia.

 

They come from a broad range of countries. It wouldn't -- you know, if you take a look at the list, it wouldn't surprise you that they -- you know, it wouldn't be what you thought. They come from a number of different places. We're not sure how many of them are dedicated fighters that go forward, or they're just kind want-to-be's that kind of trundle over there and decide they want to sign up for a new cause.

 

And the numbers that are coming back, we don't have good fidelity on that at this point in time. But what it has done, it has opened up our information-sharing with all the countries in the region that are concerned about this problem, which all of them are. And this isn't just a mil-to-mil, this is a whole government agency, FBI, those types of agencies that are working hard on the problem.

 

So the implications for Asia in this, if you take a look at -- if you kind of just add up the number of Islam that is in Asia, it greatly overwhelms the number that are in the Middle East. I mean, so there's probably 400 million-plus, I would just say, if I could just kind of make an estimate off it.

 

Now, the difference is that they're generally moderate, and they're less I think susceptible to violent extremism. And they have good government, most of them do. They have better security environments that can monitor what's going on in the countries.

 

So I think these are advantages that the Asia-Pacific has that might not be available in all countries in the Middle East. So what we have is an opportunity here. We have an opportunity to assist them, to assist each other, to improve our information-sharing networks to see where this type is going, and then to be more predictable rather than reactive, should it occur in the theater. And we're making good end roads in that.

 

GABBARD: Do the governments of some of these countries recognize this threat, and are they reaching out to work with us in partnership to make sure that it doesn't grow?

 

THORNBERRY: Gentlelady's time is expired. So, Admiral, if you could answer that for the record, we'd appreciate it.

 

The gentleman from Alabama, Mr. Rogers, is recognized for five minutes.

 

ROGERS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 

General Scaparrotti, I know that we're in discussions with South Korea's government about the deployment of a THAAD battery on the peninsula. Can you tell us why that would be important for the protection of our deployed forces in South Korea to have put on that peninsula?

 

SCAPARROTTI: Well, the deployment of the THAAD would give us a high-tier defense, and so therefore we would have a layered defense, and those systems would enhance the capability of our present Patriot systems that are on the peninsula today.

 

ROGERS: Admiral, how many Chinese land-based cruise and ballistic missiles are located in your area of responsibility, and can you give me an estimate in the dozens or hundreds, to keep it unclassified. And how many of these are between 500 and 5,500 kilometers in range?

 

LOCKLEAR: If you'd let me take that for the record, I'll provide you a complete answer.

 

ROGERS: Ms. Wormuth, when will the administration make a decision on INF violation responses, and has the principals committee even met on this issue?

 

WORMUTH: Congressman, we are again, I think at this point in time, of the view that it would be beneficial to remain in the INF treaty if possible if Russia comes back into compliance and we continue to have conversations with Russia about that. There will come a point in time where if Russia continues to be noncompliant, I think we will have to take action to deal with the military capabilities that they are potentially putting in place that are not compliant with the treaty.

 

This is something that is discussed at very senior levels. There are any number of principals committee meetings where this type of conversation may come up.

 

ROGERS: They have been noncompliant for years. How much longer is this going to go on?

 

WORMUTH: I think, Congressman, again this is something that we are looking at very carefully. Our view is it would be beneficial to keep them in the treaty if possible. We have not yet made that decision but we recognize that we cannot let the current situation go on for an indeterminate period.

 

ROGERS: In order to keep them in compliance we have got to get them in compliance, and they haven't been for years and they are not going to be. I hope that you all will start talking more seriously about some consequences.

 

Admiral, with China increasing its capability of nuclear attack submarines, ballistic missile submarines and even aircraft carriers, how do these developments and deployments affect U.S. force structure and planning?

 

LOCKLEAR: Well, certainly any increase of military forces by the PRC require us to think through are the force that we have adequate to be able to understand what's going on day to day. In the case of their SSBN force becomes a homeland security, homeland defense issue that will require resources for us to try to understand it and try to ensure our country remains safe under all scenarios.

 

In the case of aircraft carriers, I believe primarily they will use aircraft carriers just like we do, to project power. That's one of the deficiencies I think they're trying to overcome now, is a projection of power. Down the road that could have global implications and it will just put further stress on the ISR assets we have and will change the calculus on how we might deal with any contingencies down the road.

 

ROGERS: Do you believe the U.S. government should be making it a priority to ensure that China is not able to obtain U.S. technology in our defense capabilities?

 

LOCKLEAR: I do.

 

ROGERS: Thank you.

 

That's all I've got, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.

 

THORNBERRY: The gentleman yields back. The gentleman from Hawaii, Mr. Takai, is recognized for five minutes.

 

TAKAI: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you also for focusing today's hearing on the Asia-Pacific. As you know that's very important for people from Hawaii. I wanted to welcome our witnesses. Undersecretary, Admiral and General, thank you very much for coming.

 

Admiral Locklear, it is my understanding that the Pacific fleet and the Atlantic fleet are funded through separate budget offices. Can you speak to what advantages that has and how it supports the geographical combatant commander?

 

LOCKLEAR: Well, I would refer specific questions back to the Navy because it's their internal workings. But my observation is it's of an historical nature. It was put that way because of the way our fleets are laid down globally, and a significant influence that the Pacific Fleet has the power projection of U.S. interest into what's over half the world. I believe that there have been historic benefits to having that divide be there. TAKAI: I appreciate that answer. Are there any efforts underway to expand the use of training areas in the Pacific that support engagements of our regional partners and allies and more broadly connect ranges throughout the AOR? And can you speak specifically to the Pohakuloa training area on the big island and the Pacific missile range on Kauai? Some of the infrastructure needs there, and more importantly, how resources are being allocated to support upgrades and training ranges in the PACOM AOR?

 

LOCKLEAR: Thank you. As I previously laid out, we have a series of ranges that we need to support our forward forces. During that dialogue I did not mention Hawaii and I should have because that's where I live and breathe and where we have tremendous requirements.

 

So the case of the ranges on the big Island, I'm a supporter of moving forward with those ranges. We are in need of those if we intend to maintain a forward footprint of Marines and Army personnel in Hawaii, which I very fully support a robust presence there.

 

The PMRF missile facility, missile range out there is a premier facility in the world as far as I am concerned, and the investments will need to be made to keep it such. It has access to open space and open airways and open sea space that allow us to do from Missile Defense Agency to all the other services to be able to do the right testing and evaluation of those systems that allow us to be relevant in the 21st century.

 

TAKAI: Thank you. This last question is something very important for people, especially on a Oahu and it's in regards to our groundwater supply. It's my understanding that recently meetings were conducted between PACOM and the LA energy regarding the Red Hill underground fuel facility. Though we know that fuel storage is necessary and important to support strategy and posture of your AOR, what is the plan to upgrade the aging infrastructure to ensure that communities that surround Red Hill, in addition the Halawa aquifer that supplies about half the island with their water are safe from contamination -- are safe regarding the water supply?

 

LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir. This is a high priority for me because we very much respect the opportunity to be in Hawaii and to have these facilities there. The need for fuel, I mean the PACOM commander and the forces that are under me I think are the largest user of petroleum products probably in the world on any given day. They have to be distributed throughout a vast area on only a very small number of nodes to be able to get at it. Historically the Red Hill facility has provided a huge strategic reserve in case something happens out here.

 

I anticipate we are going to need that strategic reserve for a number of decades. I can't put an end date on it but it will be a number of decades before we have visibility on how we might address that with different types of fuels or different types of forces.

 

So what we have done, once we discovered that there was a potential leak in a couple of the tanks, we took immediate action to ensure there wasn't any damage to the water systems. We have a comprehensive plan that DLA and my staff have brought back to the legislature in Hawaii. I'll be happy to have somebody come brief you on that if you desire.

 

I think at this point in time we are in agreement, general agreement on the way forward and that it's a good sound plan that does what you indicated. It protects the environment of such a beautiful state.

 

TAKAI: Thank you, and thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.

 

THORNBERRY: The gentleman yields back the balance of his time. The gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Scott, is recognized for five minutes.

 

SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ms. Wormuth, my question is for the admiral and the general but I would like to say I am interested in any language suggestions that would cut this ridiculous appeals process that I think is one of the problems with us fielding the equipment.

 

Some of these games that get played, if you will, from the people who are purchasing the equipment that slow down our ability to field the equipment, I think is one of the reasons that the other countries are able to catch us, if you will. They don't have to deal with that bureaucratic process, and that's a pretty simple thing I think we can put an end to that would help national security.

 

Gentlemen, I represent Robbins Air Force Base and the airmen and women that fly and operate the JSTARS aircraft. Last year we had worked with the Air Force. There was a proposal to retire six of the E-8s. As you know they're old aircraft with old technology, and to begin the recapitalization of a new plane with a more modern radar that would give you more information.

 

There was a proposal for a business-class jet. I understand there's been a new analysis demand from the combatant commanders and the decision was made to keep the entire fleet operational at this point. I'd like for you to speak to the value of the JSTARS, how it benefits each of your missions. And then the Air Force's analysis of the alternatives for the JSTARS and the recapitalization concluded that a manned aircraft was necessary, absolutely essential.

 

Korea Command and Pacific Command both have benefited from this manned platform and onboard management provided by the JSTARS. Can you discuss the extent to what your commands' ISRs and requirements are being met?

 

SCAPARROTTI: Yes, sir, thank you for that question. My top priority in terms of my requirements and request to the Department of Defense has been ISR and specifically that aircraft, the JSTARS is one that I need greater capability in terms of JSTARS, primarily because it provides us the MTI, moving target indicator, and it allows us to queue my other assets. It doesn't work alone. It works in tandem with the other assets that are airborne. I could use more than I have today.

 

I appreciate the fact that the Air Force, because of the budgeting, needs to get a new aircraft, but I appreciate the fact that they are retaining what we have because even the loss of hours of the one that I have today would make a difference in my indicators and warnings on the peninsula.

 

LOCKLEAR: It's a critically important capability in the ISR world, also in the battle management world, particularly when you operate in a potentially contested environments where other parts of your command and control may be under cyber attack or space attack, having an aircraft that's manned that has that ability to have that functionality and thinking work is good.

 

I understand the Air Force's need to recap. So we have to manage the risk on how they bring the new systems forward. Manned versus unmanned, I think are -- my concern right now is that we don't have the technology able to put everything we need to in an unmanned system. I think that's what the Air Force is probably grappling with. So what would not be beneficial to me, or to General Scaparrotti, would be a replacement system that didn't replace it.

 

SCOTT: One of my concerns is you're forced to make, through all the DOD and the agencies, is you're forced to make decisions based on the sequester instead of what national security needs are, is that we end up with Army standing up for Army, and Navy standing up for Navy, and Air Force for Air Force.

 

And we just need to make sure that those platforms -- those ISR platforms that we use that operate across those, what should be imaginary lines, if you will, don't get sacrificed. And I just -- I appreciate all of you and what you do for our country, and look forward to continuing to work with you to provide those JSTARS and that ISR platform. And, ma'am, if you have suggestions on language that will stop that bureaucratic problem, we'd be happy to work for you in the NDAA to put it in there.

 

WORMUTH: Thank you. I'll take that back, and we'll get back to you.

 

THORNBERRY: Gentleman yields back the balance of time.

 

Mr. Ashford, you're recognized for five minutes. No questions?

 

Mr. Nugent from Florida is recognized for five minutes.

 

NUGENT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I want to thank our panel for being here today. And, General, having been to South Korea -- I think I was there in 2005 or '06. I was not in this job, but I was visiting my son who was stationed there.

 

That's a special area, and you certainly are at great risk there, all of our servicemen and women, and civilians there are certainly at great risk, particularly close in Seoul. And so I certainly do appreciate that.

 

I had the opportunity here just recently to go out, did not get back out that far, nor did I get to Guam. But I got out to Hawaii and San Diego in regards to visiting our Naval forces, and some of our Marines that are stationed out there. And I was impressed with I guess the leadership.

 

And, Admiral, I met with you in Hawaii. I was impressed, though, not only with your leadership, but the leadership of those that are in your command, from a destroyer skipper to an LCS-4 skipper, and others in regards to how they take their mission, and how they accomplish it, and also, you know, at the BUDS training facility in Coronado with our SEALs.

 

We have -- and we talk about this all the time, about equipment. But it's the personnel that man that equipment that makes the difference, I think. But what I am concerned about as we move forward -- and you've talked about it -- that we've had to accept more risks, and we're concerned about having adequate resources.

 

Could you explain to us -- and maybe we can do a better job of explaining this to the American people -- first of all, why is the Asia-Pacific area so important to us; and B, what are the additional risks that we're accepting because of the lack of providing the proper resources?

 

LOCKLEAR: Thank you, sir, and thanks for your visit to PACOM. It was good for us.

 

If you take a look at Asia-Pacific today, my AOR's about 52 percent of the world, 36 stations of those nations, there's -- seven of them are -- I mean, five of them are key allies. We only have seven defense treaties, and five of them are there. And we believe that they're historic, and they'll go forward and be important for the future.

 

Today, about six out of 10 people alive live in the Asia-Pacific. My AOR, if you just characterize it as 83 percent water, 17 percent land, and on that 17 percent of the land, six out of every 10 people alive live there. Eventually, if the population goes to 10 billion like we expect it to, roughly, before it caps out, it'll go to about seven out of every 10 people.

 

That's going to be the economic engine of the world. I think Secretary Carter in his speech the other day in Arizona pointed out, I think there's about half a billion middle-class consumers in the Asia- Pacific. And by 2030, he predicted in his speech it would go to 3 billion.

 

So this is where the people who are going to have money are going to be spending it in the global economy. And that global economy is where I want my four grandsons to be able to compete in. And I want American systems over there, systems that are similar to the value systems we have, systems of law and order, systems of economic systems that they understand, and then they can compete in. So what we have to do, I think, is to ensure that, number one, that we, to the degree we can, that we maintain a security environment that's similar to what we've enjoyed for the last 70 years, one that reflects the security of this country, and the values of this country. To do that, you have to be there. You have to be there in many ways. It's not just about the military, but the military's a big component of it.

 

Those military forces have to be there, they have to be part of those nations there. They have to be in there working with them. They have to be shaping the day-to-day environment and the landscape. And so as the world changes, and as the military capabilities in this AOR or other countries change, we have to ensure that we have the right relevance there to ensure that we can compete in Asia-Pacific through the next century.

 

NUGENT: One of the things that we really haven't touched on is Russia's playing in that area also. And I know we talked about China, we talk about all those things. But is Russia not playing in that area, or starting to exert more?

 

LOCKLEAR: Well, Russia, in the last few months, has returned to I would say nearly a Cold War level of activity that goes towards our homeland, with long-range attacks, you know, exercises, and those types of things. We also know that Russia will improve their strategic nuclear deterrent on what's thought as their East Coast, which is in the Northern Pacific.

 

They also are improving their submarine force that operates in that area, and are exerting increased influence not only in the Arctic, which they will tend in that direction from my AOR end, but also in Northeast Asia. And we see a greater presence of them in, just this year, in Southeast Asia as well.

 

So it just adds to the amount of interesting things that a PACOM commander has to think about every day, and the amount of ISR that I need to track them, the sophistication of the systems I have to be able to deal with them. I mean, the key is for us to manage the security environment on our terms, not have to respond to someone else's.

 

THORNBERRY: Gentleman's time has expired.

 

NUGENT: Chairman, I appreciate the indulgence. And the chairman mentioned this about the INF treaty. It think that's an important issue for us as we move forward, particularly as it relates to Russia now playing again in that Cold War atmosphere in the Pacific. Thank you. I yield back.

 

THORNBERRY: Thank you. And the gentleman from Oklahoma, Mr. Bridenstine, is recognized for five minutes.

 

BRIDENSTINE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a question for Admiral Locklear and General Scaparrotti. When you think about the assessment of the technological imbalance between specifically us and China, and us and North Korea, can you share what your assessment is right now as it concerns cyber and space, those two elements for each one of you as it relates to China and North Korea? Admiral Locklear?

 

LOCKLEAR: Well, my observation, and I'm a firm believer that anything we choose to be dominant in, we can be. So we just have to make that decision.

 

BRIDENSTINE: Are we currently dominant?

 

LOCKLEAR: Yes, that's my assessment.

 

BRIDENSTINE: Is the trajectory going to sustain that dominance, the trajectory that is going on right now?

 

LOCKLEAR: No.

 

BRIDENSTINE: OK.

 

LOCKLEAR: Now in the case of cyber, clearly PRC's a big actor, Russia's a big actor. I'd say they're probably at the top tier. You drop down, they'd probably be North Korea and Iran. And then certainly, we are in the top tier of cyber capabilities, and probably lead the way in cyber defense capabilities, cyber understanding.

 

But it's, as General Scaparrotti pointed out earlier, it's an interesting environment. It's an interesting domain that's changing rapidly.

 

In the case of space, I think we're -- what we've seen with the PRC that concerns us most is their willingness to do offensive things in space, counter-space activity, with their ASAT missile they fired a while back, and some of the other programs I think they're developing that would limit our ability to use those space assets in our favor, which we do need to stay forward globally.

 

BRIDENSTINE: General Scaparrotti, would you address cyber as it relates to North Korea?

 

SCAPARROTTI: Yes. In terms of cyber, as I said, I think I agree with Admiral Locklear. I think they're probably the B team right now, but they've since 2009 said they're going to develop that capability. And we've seen even in the past year that capability improve.

 

So as I said, it's a dynamic domain. We're building teams. We're using our intelligence to develop our skills, the types of skills we need every day. And we're going to have to stay on that. And that has to be resourced.

 

As you know, in DOD, we're resourcing CYBERCOM. They train those teams that come out and help in PACOM's headquarters and mine. And, you know, that would be difficult to do under sequestration, I think.

 

BRIDENSTINE: Thank you for that. One of my concerns is that -- and I've heard General Hyten talk about this, that, you know, satellites and networks, they don't have mothers. And so when we think about defending our forces, those satellites and those networks directly affect the people, those of us who serve in our country's uniform, we do have mothers. And so from my perspective, we need to maybe think about space a little differently. Ms. Wormuth, would you like to address this?

 

WORMUTH: Congressman, if I may, I think, A, you're absolutely right. And both the admiral and the general are right that China in particular I think has identified space as a potential vulnerability area. And they see that -- they see being able to hit us in space as an important way to try to come after us if that were ever to come to pass.

 

Given the importance of space to all of our joint force, that is one of the areas in the P.B. '16 budget where we made some very specific and significant target investments to try to make sure that we stay ahead of that curve. And I think it was very much coming from the place of recognizing that that is an important capability that sort of underpins all of our ability to be effective.

 

BRIDENSTINE: So as a Navy pilot, we have rules of engagement, and we have hostile intent, and then hostile act. And depending on where you are in the world and what's happening, you can respond different ways.

 

When it comes to our space communication architecture, when it comes to our GPS architecture, when these come under attack, whether it's jamming or kinetic, this directly impacts those of us who fight war. And to the extent that we're not fighting the war, it directly impacts the safety of those of us who fight war. And to the extent that we are not fighting a war, it directly impacts the safety of those of us who happen to be on the other side of the world where there are hostile countries.

 

From a policy perspective, can you share with us what is the position of the administration on how we treat, say, dazzling of an intelligence satellite, or potentially -- can we do kinetic effects if they jam GPS or if they jam our communication architecture in space? Can you share with us kind of the policy on that?

 

WORMUTH: I think, Congressman, what I would say here is that, again, we very much recognize that one of the key advantages we have is the networked space-enabled force that our military has, and we want to make sure that we protect that capability and that we continue to have the ability to keep our forces able to operate in that networked environment. We know that there are potential adversaries that are trying to break that capability.

 

If it's all right with you, I would be happy to have a team come up and brief you about our space policy in a classified setting. I think that would be able to address your concerns.

 

BRIDENSTINE: Absolutely.

 

THORNBERRY: The gentleman's time has expired. The chair recognizes the other gentleman from Oklahoma, Mr. Russell, for five minutes.

 

RUSSELL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Madame Secretary, Admiral, General. Part of the concerns that I hear, Madame Secretary, about a policy push on the trade Pacific authority, trade partnership authority and a move to the Pacific, is that if you look at history, when Commodore Perry went in and said we are going to open up Tokyo and did, they immediately adopted our ways. We saw within two generations incredible industrial capability, military doctrine, to the point where they even defeated a world power. John Hay at the turn of the century then developed an open-door policy with China as a hedge on Japan, almost using the same terms, hegemony. Now we see this push into the Pacific, and while we have had briefings here in the last couple of years with the same talks of how we're going to expand or change our posture or do different things, now it does not seem that the diplomatic or military advances are keeping pace with the trade advances.

 

Unfortunately, in 15 years we went from ally, making ships, signing naval treaties, to having to melt Japanese out of pillboxes and drop atomic bombs on their cities. I would hope that as we make an advance and a pivot into the Pacific that we do not make the same policy errors.

 

My question would really be to the admiral, to the general. Missile defense seems to be the greatest short-term threat that we could possibly face. You have limited AN/TPY-2 radars. The funding for those and the building of those does not seem to be a priority, yet they may be the very things that stand between us and this incredible threat. How is that being addressed?

 

LOCKLEAR: Well, Congressman, I would refer the specific timelines to the Missile Defense Agency and the services who supply them. But let me just talk about missile defense in general. I am faced with two problems, and General Scaparrotti is part of the second one. One is I have a homeland defense support requirement where not only do I have to defend Guam and Hawaii from potential missile attacks, but also have to support NORTHCOM as NORTHCOM were to transition to where we have to defend the homeland from maybe a rogue attack from North Korea.

 

We have moved rapidly to put things in position in the last decade that I think give us a relative assurance on our homeland defense. We have guided missile destroyers that operate in the North. We put a THAAD radar, we put that in there in about less than a month into Guam when we knew there was a potential for a launch from North Korea, which was really -- it's fabulous that the Army could move that fast and make it happen.

 

We fast tracked the AN/TPY-2 radar that was put in Shariki in Japan, so now we have two of those going, and we are having dialogues about where a third THAAD may go.

 

The second part of our problem is defending forces in the theater and defending forces in an ever increasing environment of ballistic missiles. These can be short-range, they can be directed aircraft carriers, directed at ships, they can be directed at land bases. You can't defend against all of them. There are just too many of them. You can't buy enough interceptors.

 

What you do is you buy enough to give you confidence that you can deter and that when conflict were to start to give you enough time to be able to get the rest of your war plan...

 

RUSSELL: I appreciate that, Admiral. Thank you. In fact, it brings up the larger concerns of power projection and even long logistical lines for reinforcement, even if we can project power. This month in history, over 100,000 Americans had to surrender at Bataan, not for lack of fight and not for lack of leadership, but for lack of capacity to get to them.

 

With a lot of these things, I realize the constraints that each of you live under and the policy has shifted, but we don't necessarily see the resources coming your way. What counsel or what advice would you give to members of Congress of how we correct that as we look at a complete pivot and changing the economies globally, and the friction points that that will create, and yet not have a Bataan-like future or an inability to project power and to also sustain it, either one.

 

SCAPARROTTI: Yes, sir, thank you. I think in terms of projection of power I'm probably the best example of that requirement. I have 28,500 service members on the peninsula, sufficient for today but certainly if we begin to escalate, specifically to BMD, I'll ask for additional ballistic missile defense assets very quickly in order to safeguard not only our military installations but the American civilians we have there along with our ROK allies.

 

So when we look at resourcing, the impact of sequestration in 2013, et cetera, it reduces the readiness of the force. What I will need on the peninsula is forces that arrive ready to fight in a high- intensity conflict. Then also the impact of sequestration or reduction of resources is, as you mentioned, I will need them on a pretty specific timeline because I have a large adversary in close proximity to the capital of South Korea.

 

THORNBERRY: The gentleman's time has expired. Ms. McSally is recognized for five minutes.

 

MCSALLY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you all for your time and your testimony. General Scaparrotti, I want to talk about the potential impact of divesting in the A-10 and the impact that's going to have on our capabilities with your mission, and then also Admiral Locklear, in general in the theater.

 

The depleted uranium on the 30 millimeters, specifically the antitank capability. I know you've shared your testimony about how North Korea is going more toward asymmetric capabilities, but there is still a very real conventional threat, as you know. Should we have to deal with that, having been a part of units that were supposed to be heading your way to be reinforcements to those that are stationed right there, it's a pretty tight timeline to be able to react in a very short geographic area, as you know.

 

So gaining and maintaining air superiority and then making sure that we had the anti-armor capability against North Korean capabilities is really important. So if the president's budget were to be fulfilled and the A-10 would be divested then, you would lose the capability of the depleted uranium in the A-10 squadrons right there at Osan. What capability gap does that provide for you, and what are the plans to fill that gap in order to address this particular threat?

 

SCAPARROTTI: Thank you. As you said, the A-10 was designed for a specific capability and it's very good at that. Being an infantryman, I have high regard for its ability to support ground troops. In the region I am in, particularly in mountainous region, it also can get low and it can turn in tight spots.

 

Having said that, I recognize too the Air Force's difficulty in terms of the funding and the need with an aging aircraft with reduced funds to perhaps move away from that and go to a multi-role ship. I've been assured that if the A-10 were to come out there would be a multi-role aircraft that would replace that squadron on the peninsula. I would need that. I would need additional air.

 

MCSALLY: But F-16 doesn't have the depleted uranium or the -- I want to focus specifically on antitank. We are often talking about close air support in Iraq and Afghanistan and other areas where the A- 10 brings unique capabilities. But if we are talking about piercing armor, an antitank capability that the 30 millimeter with depleted uranium brings, and the F-16s, F-15, they don't have that capability.

 

What gap does that create for you and what do you think is going to be replacing that?

 

SCAPARROTTI: Well, I don't know from the Air Force. Frankly, I would use air in different ways, get a multi-role aircraft and then use the systems that I have on the ground, primarily against their armor threat. It would open a gap in terms of having that aircraft, that specific capability.

 

MCSALLY: Right. And I think the last thing that we want to be doing is relying on having to have a tank battle, right, in a day and age when we have the capabilities and we have the plans to be able to take out those capabilities from the air. We certainly wouldn't want to roll back that capability and have our guys on the ground having to fight that we do actually possess the capability in the air to be doing that with the A-10.

 

So you agree that it would create a gap?

 

SCAPARROTTI: It would, yes.

 

MCSALLY: Admiral Locklear, do you agree just in the larger plans? We've been very much focusing on near-peer, conventional, potential scenarios in the future, so the close air support and the antitank capabilities that you would be lacking without the A-10, is that something that you think is also a gap for the greater mission that you have?

 

LOCKLEAR: Well, it's certainly nice to have everything you can have when you need it. I would say that in general in the Asia- Pacific, other than the Korea peninsula, that the close air support mission is of a lesser concern to me in general. But as the Air Force moves forward with the systems, they have to move forward in the future, I think you're going to go toward a close air support model with airplanes that have improved precision-guided missile, weapons that can go against tanks and can deal with a broader array of them.

 

MCSALLY: Thank you.

 

Again, we talked about the F-35 yesterday in a separate hearing, but the munitions capabilities on the F-35 actually are not an armor- penetrating capability and survivability is in question, especially when you do get into that close fight. I mean, I do agree you've got a high-end challenge that you have to deal with for sure. We've got to be able to meet that both with air and naval forces. But if we do have men and women on the ground in harm's way in any potential scenario, we do want to make sure that obviously we can protect them with the best capability that we have.

 

So I appreciate your responses. Thanks for your service, as always.

 

And I yield back, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.

 

FORBES: The gentleman -- the gentlelady yields back.

 

And Mr. Courtney is recognized for five minutes.

 

COURTNEY: Thank you, Mr. Forbes. And thank you to the witnesses for being here today. Yesterday morning, Under Secretary Kendall was the sort of featured speaker at the Sea, Air and Base gathering over in Virginia. You know, packed room, talked about a lot of the same issues that are being discussed here -- that narrowing gap that, Admiral Locklear, you referred to earlier this morning.

 

But what was interesting is at the end of his remarks, he actually, pretty passionately used a pretty good chunk of his time talking about STEM education in this country as really a critical component of our national security long term and particularly, you know, with the narrowing gap that Admiral Locklear mentioned.

 

The STEM Education Council, which is a pretty extraordinary coalition of Microsoft, National Association of Manufacturers, you know, all the hard science, professional educators, American Farm Bureau, you know, released a report recently where they talked about 23 percent of the graduate degrees in STEM in the world today are China and 10 percent are the U.S. And you know, that kind of -- I think, particularly, when we talk about Asia-Pacific and the challenges and the -- again, at looking beyond just today's budget year, you know, that point that, I think, Under Secretary Kendall was making is pretty powerful.

 

And you know -- and we talk about sequestration and trying to balance, you know, defense and non-defense, I mean, the fact is is that, you know, education is one of those that could, you know, "pay the price," quote, unquote, if we just had a sort of lopsided approach to dealing with sequestration. But long term, in terms of our defense, you know, that is just, you know, adding to that disparity that's pretty disturbing right now.

 

So I -- you know, Ms. Wormuth, and just wondered if you maybe wanted to comment on that or anyone else about what you see out there in terms of where China's investment and education and the, you know, increasing capabilities that we're seeing emerging, you know, domestically from their country?

 

WORMUTH: Thank you, Congressman. I think that Under Secretary Kendall, as he often does, was making a very good point. And we are very much looking at the strides that countries in the Asia-Pacific region are making in terms of science and technology and mathematics.

 

And it is clear that in our country, we don't -- you know, we have a harder time, for any number of reasons, convincing our young people to go into those areas, but it's critical. And making sure that we have the educational policy and funding for those types of skills is what we're going to need very much to be able to remain competitive in those fields in the future.

 

And I think Secretary Carter has talked about this issue as well. And not only do we need to find ways to get more folks into those areas, as they pursue their higher education, but also we are looking at how in the Department of Defense, do we find ways to bring more people with those types of skills into our system, because part of what we need to do to be able to remain competitive and to be innovative and to get after some of these technology challenges is to be able to bring in those, sort of, fresh people with the new, fresh ideas. And that's something that our department probably needs to be a little more agile about.

 

LOCKLEAR: I would agree, I mean, how we recruit the force of the future has to be part of a national dialog. I mean, one percent of the American people day to day defend it. Some of them are the most highly technical people that this country can produce. And if we don't have a system underpinning it that produces enough for us to lead the world, we will not be successful.

 

And I know the service chiefs are all engaged on this thought process. And where does that future force come from?

 

COURTNEY: Thank you. I mean, this is the 60th anniversary of the launching of the Nautilus. And you know, Admiral Rickover, in his final days, actually almost stopped talking about the nuclear Navy and was really focused on U.S. education policy for precisely those reasons. And again, the threat in Asia is where I think this imbalance is really the most acute.

 

And again, as we -- this Committee, you know, I -- sure look at the big picture here in terms of just what is national defense really. What are the building blocks of it? And having an educational system that, you know, is prepared to provide the workforce for both the military and obviously the people who develop our weapons systems and weapons platforms has really got to be part of that discussion. So thank you for your testimony today.

 

I yield back.

 

FORBES: The gentleman yields back and the Chair recognizes the gentleman from Ohio for his -- for five minutes.

 

(UNKNOWN): Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 

We talked a lot about the region today. And I want to focus a little bit on our allies in the region and maybe touch on a little bit, if you would, about their efforts of increasing their capabilities not only in traditional warfare aspects, but say, cyber and space and how we're coordinating with them, if would?

 

SCAPARROTTI: Sir, if you would, I'll go first with the Republic of Korea. They have -- first, overall within their defense budget, over the past four years or so, they've been averaging about four to five percent increase in their defense budget. This past year it was 2.5 percent of their GDP, which is very good, compared to, say, our NATO allies, et cetera.

 

And so they've been focused on meeting the capabilities that they need, given that -- the evolving threat in North Korea, but also in order to meet the commitments that we've made together as an alliance. And an example being that the funding of the PAC-3 upgrade and the missiles for those this year, Global Hawk last year to -- you know, to assist in ISR and an improvement in their C-4 systems -- command, control, communications, computers. To enable them, as we go to Con (ph) transition to ensure that they can lead, you know, a combined force in a high-intensity conflict.

 

So overall, I think they're focused on that. Within their budget, they have the same challenges that -- what we do, in terms of the social demand and the competition with defense and the expense of the systems that they have to put in place in order to increase their military's capability and to deal with the threat that's evolving in the north.

 

(UNKNOWN): And what about Japan?

 

WORMUTH: I'm happy to speak a little bit to Japan. Again, you know, I think we have an incredibly strong relationship and alliance with Japan and that will be renewed and I think brought to the next level with the completion of the defense guidelines that are going to be completed by the end of this month.

 

They, as you know, are buying a large number of F-35s. They've expressed an intent to buy the V-22. They also are working on upgrading their Aegis platforms. They are working with us on Global Hawk, so they are also, i think, doing a tremendous amount to upgrade their capabilities.

 

And then we also have a very significant cooperative production with them for the SM 3.2 missile. That's a $3.2 billion cooperative program with Japan.

 

(UNKNOWN): Admiral?

 

LOCKLEAR: Well, in addition, I would say that the Philippines who's another key ally of theirs, we have -- in negotiation for Enhanced Cooperative Defense Agreement that's currently, you know, being debated inside the Philippines on the political side. But that has an opportunity to help them improve to get them to a better minimum credible defense. It also has the opportunity for us to strengthen that alliance and strengthen our position in Southeast Asia.

 

Our other ally, Australia, making good strides. I mean, it's a great alliance. And they're -- as far as I can tell, they're increasing defense spending. They're having good dialog about how will partner with us. They're extending their -- thinking about extending their capabilities in submarine war and some other areas, amphibious warfare.

 

So in general, I'd say the trend of our allies across the board is that they're investing more in their defense -- and in their security, rather than less, and they're investing more in directions that are complimentary to our capabilities. So that if we -- so that we all enjoy the same mutual benefits of that security architecture.

 

(UNKNOWN): Thank you all very much. I yield back.

 

FORBES: Gentleman yields back.

 

And with that, Madam Secretary, General, Admiral, thank you so much for being with us today. We're getting you out right on time. And we appreciate, as you heard all of our members express their appreciation to you, for your service to our country. But thank you for being willing today to educate, advise and consult with us, as we try to be a component part of the national defense of this country.

 

And with that, we're adjourned.

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