Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the U.S. Pacific
Command and U.S. Forces Korea in review of the Defense Authorization Request
for FY2016 and the Future Years Defense Program
April 16, 2015 04:57PM ET
Subject: Pacific Command/U.S. Forces Korea Authorization
Participants: Senator John McCain (R-AZ) Witnesses: Navy Adm. Samuel Locklear
III, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command; and Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti,
commander of the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces
MCCAIN: Committee meets today to receive testimony on U.S.
Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Korea. I'd like to thank both of our witnesses,
Admiral Locklear and General Scaparrotti, for appearing before us today and for
their many years of distinguished service.
In the past three months, this Committee has received
testimony from many of America's most respected statesmen, thinkers, and former
military commanders. These leaders have all told us that we are experiencing a
more diverse and complex array of crises than at any time since the end of
World War II.
As we confront immediate challenges in Europe and the Middle
East, the United States cannot afford to neglect the Asia-Pacific region, which
Secretary Carter has called, quote, "the defining region for our nation's
Put simply, if the 21st century is to be another American
century, the United States must remain an Asia-Pacific power. Our national
interests in the Asia-Pacific are deep and enduring. We seek to extend free
trade, free markets, free navigation, and free commons, air, sea, space, and
now cyber. We seek to maintain a balance of power that fosters the peaceful
expansion of human rights, democracy, rule of law, and many other values that
we share with increasing numbers of Asian citizens. And we seek to defend
ourselves and our allies by maintaining the capability to prevent, deter, and
if necessary, prevail in a conflict.
Achieving these objectives will require sustained American
leadership. We must use all elements of our national power. In particular, I am
hopeful that Congress will pass trade promotion authority for the Trans-Pacific
Partnership. This vital trade agreement will open new opportunities for trade
and level the playing field for American businesses and workers, while sending
a powerful strategic signal about America's commitment to the Asia-Pacific.
Yet we must remember that our soft power is the shadow cast
by our hard power. That's why the United States must continue to sustain a
favorable military balance in the region. The Department of Defense will need
to update concepts of operations with emerging military technology to enable
our military to operate in contested environments.
From projecting power over long distances and exploiting the
undersea domain, to developing new precision-guided munitions and to investing
in innovative ways to build the resiliency of our forward- deployed forces, we
have a great deal of work to do if we aim to sustain our traditional military
advantages in the Asia-Pacific region. None of these will be possible if we
continue to live with mindless sequestration and a broken acquisition system.
As we build in posture forces to secure America's interests
in the Asia-Pacific, we must remain clear-eyed about the implications of
China's rise and its evolving foreign defense policy.
As Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, told
this Committee back in February, China has engaged in a rapid military
modernization deliberately designed to counteract or thwart American military
I believe China can and should play a constructive role in
the Pacific -- Asia-Pacific region. Unfortunately, in recent years, China has
behaved less like a responsible stakeholder and more like a bully.
In the South China Sea, we have seen the latest example of a
trend toward more assertive behavior. China's land reclamation and construction
activities on multiple islands across the Spratly chain and the potential
command and control surveillance and military capabilities it could bring to
bear from these new land features are a challenge to the interests of the
United States and the nations of the Asia-Pacific region.
Such unilateral efforts to change the status quo through
force, intimidation, or coercion threaten the peace and stability that have
extended prosperity across the Asia-Pacific for seven decades.
As I wrote in a letter together with my colleagues Senator
Reed, Corker, and Menendez, the United States must work together with like-
minded partners and allies to develop and employ a comprehensive strategy that
aims to shape China's coercive peacetime behavior. This will not be easy and
will likely have impacts on other areas of our bilateral relationship.
But if China continues to pursue a coercive and escalatory
approach to the resolution of maritime disputes, the cost to regional security
and prosperity as well as to American interests will only grow.
I'm also concerned by the recent assessment from Admiral
Bill Gortney, the head of NORAD and Northern Command, that North Korea has an
operational, road-mobile missile that could carry nuclear weapons to the United
General Scaparrotti, I look forward to hearing your
assessment of this potential breakthrough and the implications of our -- to our
national security, if the erratic and unpredictable regime of Kim Jong Un
achieves the ability to carry out a nuclear strike against our homeland.
I thank the witnesses and look forward to their testimony.
REED: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me join
you in welcoming Admiral Locklear and General Scaparrotti.
Thank you, gentlemen, for your service and sacrifice and
that of your family. And particularly convey to your men and women under your
commands our deep -- deepest appreciation for what they do every day.
On Tuesday we had an extremely insightful hearing on some of
the challenges we face in the Asia-Pacific region. The consensus from the panel
is that we face some very serious challenges, especially in light of China's
increasing military budget and destabilizing activities in the region.REED: And
one of the biggest challenges will be to continue to provide, as we have for 70
years, security, stability and free transit in the Pacific, particularly, as
Senator McCain emphasized, with pending sequestration in the face of declining
resources that we have. And I echo his call for the end of sequestration.
Admiral Locklear, we'd be very interested in your views
about the land reclamation activities of China in the Spratlys and elsewhere.
That is something, as the chairman has noted, that we both, along with Senator
Menendez and Corker, objected to, or at least criticized.
What more, also, must we do to build a capacity of our
partners in the region to help them with their maritime-domain awareness and to
encourage all the regional actors to seek legal redress to problems, not to
invoke lethal threats with respect to sovereignty and respect to stability in
As the chairman indicated, Admiral Gortney's comments this
weekend -- and I will quote him, as he said, "North Korea," quote,
"has the ability to put a nuclear weapon on a KN-08 and shoot it at the
homeland." Quite disturbing.
And General Scaparrotti, would you, in your comments or
questions, please let us know about the dimensions of this threat as it exists
today and if it might evolve in the future?
Again, we thank you, because the North Koreans appear to be
not only, unfortunately, well-armed but very difficult to predict their
behaviors, and your views and insights would be extremely important.
Also, if you could comment on the possible deployment of a
THAAD missile defense system and its contribution in defense of our allies, the
Republic of South Korea.
We are considering all of these challenges, once again,
under the constraint of serious budget limitations. And Admiral Locklear and
General Scaparrotti, please indicate to us the impact of the sequestration on
your operations. It would be very helpful, I think.
Thank you very much for joining us. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MCCAIN: I thank the witnesses.
LOCKLEAR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Reed and
distinguished members of the committee. Thank you for this opportunity to
appear before you today with General Scaparrotti.
Before we begin, I'd like to ask my written statement be
submitted for the record.
MCCAIN: Without objection.
LOCKLEAR: For more than three years, I've had the honor and
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. They're serving as superb ambassadors to represent the
values, the strengths that make our nation great.
I want to go on record to formally thank them for -- for
their service and their families for their sacrifices.
In U.S. PACOM, we continue to strengthen alliances, our
partnerships, maintain an assured presence in the region and demonstrate an
intent and resolve to safeguard U.S. national interest.
When I spoke to you last year, I highlighted my concern for
several issues that could challenge the security environment across the
Those challenges included responding to humanitarian
assistance and disaster relief, dealing with an increasingly dangerous and
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 continued rise.
In the past year, these challenges have not eased. They will
not go away soon. But the Asia rebalance strategy has taken hold, and it's
achieving intended goals.
However, the greatest challenge remains the continual
physical uncertainty resulting from sequestration. If the Budget Control Act
remains enforced, 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 of Staff and the service chiefs' 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 interest.
In the Indo-Asia Pacific, we're accepting more risk, not
less. Sequestration will force harmful reductions in force size, structure and
readiness that will reduce my ability to manage crisis space, provide options
to the president and diminishes United States prestige and credibility in the
region and around the globe.
In the last year, the great -- at great expense to the
readiness of the surge force's position in the continental United States, PACOM
has been able to maintain 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 remain
dominant in a world that is growing in complexity with threats that continue to
increase against a seemingly unending stream of constraints.
Without adequate resources, we will 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 support. I look forward to your questions.
SCAPARROTTI: Chairman McCain, Ranking Member Reed 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.
On behalf of the service members, 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 prepared brief opening remarks, but I would like to ask
that my written posture statement be entered into the record.
Last year, I testified that the combined and joint forces of
the United States and Republic of Korea were capable and ready to deter and, if
necessary, respond to North Korean threats and actions.
Due to our accomplishments in 2014, I report to you that our
strong alliance is more capable of addressing the rapidly evolving and
increasing asymmetric North Korean threat.
In recent years, North Korea's aggressively developed and
utilized asymmetric capabilities, such as cyber warfare, nuclear weapons and
ballistic missiles to advance its interest.
To put this in perspective over time, in 2012, my
predecessor noted North Korea's advancements 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 pressure and suppressed 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 can start a cycle of action and
counteraction leading to unintended escalation. This underscores the need for
an alliance -- for the alliance to maintain a high level of readiness and
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
This includes ensuring a rapid flow of ready forces into
Korea and the early phases of hostilities and improving ISR capabilities and
Chairman, the return of sequestration would negatively
impact these priorities, reduce readiness and delay deployment of the forces
required to defend the Republic of Korea and U.S. interest. In crisis on the
peninsula, this will result more military and civilian casualties for the
Republic of Korea and the United States and potentially place the mission at
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 interest 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, who never lose site of the
fact that we 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.
MCCAIN: Thank you very much.
General, I mentioned in my remarks Admiral Gortney said that
North Korea has an operational road-mobile missile that could carry nuclear
weapons to the United States. Do you agree with that assessment?
SCAPARROTTI: Senator, I -- I believe that they've had the
time and the capability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead. They've stated that
they have an intercontinental ballistic missile as a nuclear capability.
They've paraded it. And I think as a commander, we must assume that they have
LOCKLEAR: I would agree with that assessment. I mean, we
haven't seen them effectively test it, but we -- you know, as commanders, all
the indications are that we have to be prepared to defend the homeland from it,
and we're taking actions to do that.
MCCAIN: Those actions are?
LOCKLEAR: Well, first, we work -- in PACOM, we work very
closely with NORTHCOM to ensure that the defensive capabilities of our
ballistic missile systems are optimized. Forces forward in the theater that I
and General Scaparrotti have command of are integral to that. Our ability in
the region to partner with our Japanese allies and our South Korean allies to
-- to bring the BMD capabilities to bear has been productive. And in addition,
we've been in discussions about the potential deployment of additional THAAD
battery, beyond the one that's in Guam but on the Korean Peninsula.
MCCAIN: General, this is rather disturbing, particularly
given the unpredictability of this overweight young man in North Korea. Is
SCAPARROTTI: Yes, sir. That's...
MCCAIN: Is that -- is that a disturbing factor?
SCAPARROTTI: That's a disturbing factor, sir.
And I think -- you know, I believe that Kim Jong Un is
unpredictable. He has a mind that he can intimidate. He does that with
provocations. He's -- he's committed provocations this year.
So I think it's a great concern given the leadership there,
MCCAIN: Let's talk about China and the reclamation.
Admiral, we, from time to time, put a picture up of the
areas that are reclaimed by China out in the East China Sea -- or South China
Sea, and the problem is our pictures don't keep up with their activities.
It's my information that they have now, in the last year,
filled in some 600 acres of land and are constructing runways and possibly
artillery and missile defense systems.MCCAIN: The Congressional Research
Service -- Congressional Research Service on April 6 asked you to report on
this issue. And I quote their report, saying, quote, "the publicly visible
current U.S. strategy for dissuading China from continuing its land reclamation
activities appears to focus primarily on having U.S. officials make statements
expressing the U.S. view that China should stop these activities on the grounds
that they are destabilizing and inconsistent with commitments China has made
under the non-binding 2002 DOC."
Do you know anything else about our strategy concerning
China's continued expanding and filling in these areas, which are international
waters? And how great a threat do you -- do you -- does that appear to you,
Admiral, as far as long-term threat to our commitment to freedom of the seas?
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir. Well, the -- the overall U.S. strategy I
think is -- goes way beyond the military component of what I deal with each
day, and so I only make recommendations on the military side. So I'd refer the
policy decisions about how we deal...
MCCAIN: And your recommendations are?
LOCKLEAR: Well, in general, where you find that the U.S. has
a clear policy on how it feels about something, military solutions or
diplomatic solutions become easier for that.
The policy we have in the South China Sea, as I understand
it today, is as we take globally on territorial disputes, we don't take sides
on those territorial disputes, that there's -- but that we do want them worked
out in peaceful, non-coercive ways in legal matters.
MCCAIN: ... over time impede our ability to navigate through
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir. Well, I think that -- given the fact
that my view of all the claimants in the South China Sea, and some of them --
they all own some of these land features and -- and -- and have different
MCCAIN: We don't fill in areas of some 600 acres, either.
LOCKLEAR: No, sir. No, they don't. And so my assessment is
that all the claimants, except for China, are just kind of doing what they
agreed to in 2002, is they're just maintaining them while the legal process is
-- would work out.
The Chinese, however, are doing much different than that.
They're -- obviously, as you stated, it's been aggressive. I think it's been
how fast they've been able to do it has been actually astonishing. They're
building a network of outposts to enforce control over most of the South China
The Southeast Asian nations are increasingly worried that
the PRC's new capabilities will allow China to take de facto control of the
surrounding waters, places like Fiery Cross Reef, where they're putting in a
runway. I mean, just in the last 10 months, it went from a barely noticeable
feature to now having a -- a deep-water port on it and a -- and a potential
This will allow the PRC to, number one, to improve their
ability to put their maritime security force down there, which is the
equivalent to a coast guard or a fisheries patrol, which is going to be the
magnitude of -- of the size of the PRC's capabilities is if you take all the --
the -- the Southeast Asian countries' coast guards and put them together, it's
still a smaller number than what China has been able to produce.
I have also observed that they've taken what would have been
considered a couple of years ago gray-hulled warships and painted them white
and turned them into maritime security craft.
So it has been astonishing. And to get -- we -- we portray
this, I think, try to to the PRC, to China, and their response is generally,
well, this is our sovereign territory and stay out of our business, which is
for them to enforce their nine-dashed (ph) line claim.
So the implications are if this activity continues at pace,
is that it -- those would give them de facto control, I think, in peacetime, of
the -- much of the world's most important waterways where much of the world's
economic energy is created. It would -- if they desired, it would in the future
give them an opportunity to have outposts to put long-range detection radars in
there, to place -- to put more warships. They could put warplanes to enforce
potential down the road air defense zones.
So those are the kinds of areas where we have to think
about. And it certainly complicates the security environment. So far, the ASEAN
nations who have tried to work with China on this to develop a code of conduct,
in my view has been not produced very much at all. In fact, you know, the ASEAN
is an effective diplomatic organization, but it's not designed to handle these
security issues that pop up.
So I think we've got to watch this situation very carefully.
REED: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
And General Scaparrotti, we have very complicated relations
with the Chinese and particularly in the context of North Korea. To what degree
do you have sort of a contingency plan to communicate with them if there's a
provocation, a serious provocation by the North Koreans that would introduce
the idea of -- of using force?
SCAPARROTTI: Yes, sir. Well, you know, as we, even in our
exercises, one of the first priorities is communications with China if there's
conflict on the peninsula. And so we exercise that in communications even in
our exercises, and of course, it's very important for us to understand that and
ensure that they understand our intent.
REED: Now that's one side of the equation. The other side of
the equation is to the extent that they're facilitating some of these
activities by the North Koreans, particularly cyber, do you have any sort of
sense of that degree of facilitation?
And the general question is, you know, they have to
appreciate the instability of this regime, the irrationality of the regime.
They like the -- the buffer between South Korea. They like the -- because
they're affecting our behavior and disturbing us. But they have to, I hope,
realize is the danger of, you know, looking the other way. Is that...?
SCAPARROTTI: Yes, sir. And I think they do. My sense is, and
those who have had conversations with them, I haven't talked to their military
directly, but that they also are concerned and have some frustrations with the
I -- in terms of cyber, you specifically asked that
question. You know, we know that -- that North Korea has some of their cyber
activities take place in China. But I don't know and I haven't seen
intelligence that'll lead me to believe that they've had a direct relationship
with North Korea in their cyber development.
REED: And just finally, and then this spans not just the
military capacity but diplomatic capacity, are there efforts to try to move the
-- the -- the Chinese government to be more proactive in terms of -- with
financial pressures, with diplomatic pressures, to -- to at least demonstrate
to the North Korean regime that, you know, they can't do these things?
SCAPARROTTI: Yes, sir, there has been.
REED: Admiral Locklear, you described the situation in the
south Pacific and the southeast Pacific as one where China is exerting itself
(ph). The witnesses in the last panel suggested that in terms of the north
Pacific, Korea and Japan, et cetera, we're fairly well positioned against
potential operational threats. But that's not the case in the -- in the -- in
the southern Pacific and the southeast Pacific, is that fair?
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir. It's a -- it's a large region. You know,
as we talked about the beginning of the whole rebalance discussion was trying
to move ourselves from what had been a post-Cold War to a kind of location in
northeast Asia and to bring that to be more relevant to the security challenges
throughout the region.
So a number of initiatives. One is that we, with our
Filipino allies, have reinvigorated that alliance and are looking at -- at the
capabilities to improve -- help them improve their minimum defense, but also to
improve access to the region to ensure better security.
We've opened partnerships with nations in -- in Southeast
Asia that we probably wouldn't have considered possible in the last couple
decades -- Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, countries that have become
increasingly important to the security of the region and to the global security
REED: As the -- the Chinese are creating these artificial
islands in the Pacific, there are a lot of real geographic islands that our
allies control. Are we thinking about, in conjunction with our allies,
positioning forces forward in effect using the islands as sort of a -- a way to
deny, you know, oceans to the Chinese as they appear are trying to do to us?
LOCKLEAR: Well, I wouldn't go into the specifics of where we
would -- where our planning would take us in this forum, sir. But I would say
that, first what we're doing is we're ensuring that the -- the five alliances
that we have there are set right for the security that -- the security
environment we're going to see ourselves in in this century.
And we're encouraging -- and to their credit, most of them
are spending money and spending money on defense assets. And are -- and they
want the things that allow them to be able to be complementary to us. So we're
-- we are working hard in that area.
REED: Final question, Admiral Locklear. Admiral Roughead was
here on Tuesday and indicated that one of the clear advantages we have is our
submarine fleet in the Pacific. In fact, he recommended doubling the number of
deployed submarines. Is that your view also in terms of -- particularly with their
aerial denial, their surface capabilities, is that your view also?
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir. Well, as I've said in this forum before,
we have the best submarines in the world. We continue, I think, to -- to
outpace the rest of the world in that capability. I -- in my AOR, they are
essential to any operations that I have, both in peacetime and in crisis and
I have concern about the size of the submarine force as we
go into this -- the middle of this century. And our -- and its ability to
remain relevant globally. Plus we're going to have to -- to figure out this
replacement of our strategic nuclear submarine force, which is the most
survivable leg of our triad. And the importance of that as we -- as we see the
-- the modernization of strategic nuclear capabilities in both countries like
China and Russia.
REED: Just finally, the submarine appears to be the only
weapon system that still can approach virtually to the shores of China and
deliver, if necessary, weapons. Is that -- is that true?
LOCKLEAR: Well, sir, I wouldn't say it's the only system.
REED: OK. That -- that's even more encouraging. Thank you so
much.MCCAIN: Senator Inhofe?
INHOFE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Look, first of all, Admiral Locklear, let me thank you,
again, for the hospitality you afforded us and our whole group when we were in
Hawaii and we laid the wreath on the Memorial of the USS Oklahoma. That was --
you went out of your -- beyond your call of duty.
On that same trip, we went to South Korea. And at that time,
I recall in some of our meetings there, they were talking about the use of a,
what now, the -- banning the use of the cluster munition switch had been very
effective. In fact, that's probably the place where they were -- because of the
proximity between North Korea and South Korea, where they were most effectively
used at that time.
Now we have a policy which is a self-imposed policy. I'm not
criticizing it. I know the reasons for it. But we're being forced to
discontinue that. And I'd like to ask you, what are we doing in the place to
perform those functions, those missions that we were depending on upon the
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir. As you know, the cluster munitions, as
you indicated, very important to our plans and particularly on the Peninsula,
if there were crisis. There's presently work under way to replace our present
munitions with those that will provide the same effects, but with less -- you
know, with meeting their requirements -- meeting the requirements of the treaty
and -- in essence, less than 1 percent dead rate.
INHOFE: Mm-hmm. You're talking about -- you've both talked
about the increase in the casualties, as a result of some of the lack in the
abilities to use some of the equipment we've used in the past. Is this
something that could expose more risk and more casualties by not having this
capability and not replacing it for something as effective?
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir. Absolutely. It's a critical component of
our planning on the Peninsula.
INHOFE: OK. Let me -- I know the both of you agree with this
statement that was made by James Clapper, so we don't need to rehash all that,
when we said looking back over, by now, more than half a century of
intelligence would not experience a time when we've been beset by more crises
and threats around the globe. I think both of you agree with that. You've
stated that in the past. I'd like to get in -- in kind of the remainder of the
time, Admiral Locklear, talking about the submarines thing. Senator Rounds and
I were on the USS Carl Vinson last week, without having any details in this
setting, they were very busy. We're now down to 10 submarines. Admiral Roughead
said on Friday that we're going to have to be moving one or we should move one
of those into the Pacific.
Now my question would be -- and Admiral Locklear, I think it
was a year ago before HASC, you were quite outspoken in the fact that we should
have 11 areas to carry out the mission. We still -- do you still feel that way?
LOCKLEAR: I do. Yes, sir. I do.
INHOFE: You'd like to get back to that, wouldn't you?
LOCKLEAR: I'd like to get back to it. I mean, we've -- I
think the Navy is undergoing a bathtub -- I call a "bathtub of
readiness" now because we delayed through the war years, we've delayed
readiness -- maintenance on these nuclear aircraft carriers. So on one hand,
they are magnificent machines. On the other hand, you have to take care of them
correctly to make sure they're safe.
LOCKLEAR: And so, we'll be enduring that, I think, for the
next five to six years before we get back to where we're at the level we need
to be, I think, for kind of day-to-day operations in my AOR.
INHOFE: Mm-hmm. Well, of course maintenance and
modernization are the first two things to go when you're faced with what we've
been faced with. And I -- in the event that you do move one into -- into the
Asia-Pacific area, where would it come from? What kind of a vacuum would be
left behind in other AORs?
LOCKLEAR: Well, I think that decision would have to be made
at the Secretary of Defense level. But we have -- you know, generally, we have
11 aircraft carriers. And out of that 11, we -- they generate a global presence
of some number, kind of for day-to-day operations and another level that would
be able to surge in times of crisis or in times of conflict.
I think that aircraft carriers are probably best suited for
the types of missions that we do in the Asia-Pacific today. And where it would
come from, I can't say. But my guess is it would probably come out of the
Middle East, given that that's been the primary demand signal for a carrier
presence in the last decade and a half.
INHOFE: Now in Senator Reid's -- in your final response to
his last question, it came to my mind that -- the carrier capability. Well,
that's very helpful. And I -- but I'd like to have, for the record, something
in a little bit more detail, because some of us are not as familiar as we
should be with that capability. In fact, I'm going down to Norfolk this weekend
to try to become a little bit more informed on this. So if you could, for the
record, try to come out with where we might have the capacity where we could
afford to move something into the Pacific and then how busy everybody is at the
present time? It'd be helpful.
LOCKLEAR: All right, sir.
MCCAIN: Senator Hirono.
HIRONO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank both of you
gentlemen for your service and, of course, the service of the men and women who
serve under your commands. And Admiral Locklear, my very best to you in your
future endeavors. Thank you very much for being PACOM commander.
Admiral Locklear, I know that Secretary of Defense Ash
Carter spent, as I understand it, a day with you. And so, are -- were the
discussion that you had with -- reflective of the priorities you've laid out in
your testimony today?
LOCKLEAR: Yes, ma'am.
HIRONO: You did mention that with everything that is going
on in South and East China Seas and the provocation of North Korea, that we do
need to strengthen our alliances with our partners and also establish new
And in this regard, despite historical differences, last
December, the U.S., South Korea and Japan signed an information- sharing
arrangement in what appears to have been a first step in what Deputy Secretary
of State Tony Blinken calls, and I quote, "a profoundly positive
trajectory," end quote.
Admiral, please discuss the relationships between South
Korea and Japan and the challenges we faced in furthering a trilateral, U.S.-
Japan-South Korea alliance?
LOCKLEAR: The challenges we face, from my perspective, are
primarily political and social challenges. On the military side, the
militaries, if allowed, are able to work together for -- I think, for the
common good of the security in Northeast Asia, in particular.
The impediments what's happened, thus far, is because of the
political pressure to not have true information-sharing agreements between
Japan and Korea limit our ability to allow this to bring together in a
trilateral way that optimizes the forces that they've invested in and we've
invested in and particularly in critical areas such as ballistic missile
defense, et cetera.
So I highly encourage both Korea and Japan to move forward
at the highest level of governments with the types of agreements that allow us
to optimize the military capability that this trilateral arrangement can bring.
HIRONO: So the information-sharing arrangement that was
agreed to, you're saying that that is not enough? It's not what you would
consider a true information-sharing arrangement?
LOCKLEAR: Well, it is a good start. HIRONO: Again to you,
Admiral. Many countries within the Indo- Asia Pacific region are increasing
their defense capabilities. China is procuring submarines quickly, and we've
heard all of this, Japan, India, South Korea, Singapore and Australia have been
shoring up their military capabilities. Malaysia and Indonesia have a couple of
more submarines. And Vietnam recently announced the purchase of Russian- made
submarines. How would the continued growth of the region's submarine fleet
impact the balance of power within the South China Sea region? Does this cause
us to adjust our strategies or our basing decisions, if growth continues on its
LOCKLEAR: Well, the Indo-Asia Pacific Region or the PACOM
region is the most militarized part of the world. And it's increasing in its
militarization because most of the countries there have the resources now and
the will and the desire to grow their militaries.
Those that have military capability to actually operate a
submarine force are pursuing that because they understand the asymmetric
advantages that it brings. They understand the ability for access in area
denial capabilities that submarines bring. And they also recognize the
significant deterrent value that submarines bring. So my numbers are -- roughly
are, there's about 300 submarines in the world that aren't U.S. submarines, 200
of them are in the Indo-Asia Pacific.
Now some of those are owned by our partners and allies, but
many of them are not. And so the increasing number of submarines that have
increasing lethality, increasing quieting technology certainly does change the
dynamic of how we have to operate in that -- in the area the type of tactics
and procedures and operational concepts that we have to develop to ensure we
But I look at it as like a fact of life. It's going happen.
LOCKLEAR: And we have to deal with it.
HIRONO: So in our dealing with it, though, especially with
our partner, with our allies, does this require us to be very much more collaborative
and to share information so that we're on the same page, so to speak, in that
part of the world?
LOCKLEAR: It does. It not only requires us to share
bilaterally more in a particularly difficult environment undersea and maritime
domain, but it also requires them to be able to share with their other
neighbors that have that capacity as well. And as you know, in the Indo-Asia
Pacific, those multilateral organizations don't exist to facilitate that. So
we're seeing the growth of that, but it's a work in progress.
HIRONO: Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.(UNKNOWN): Thank you. Thank you,
gentlemen, for your service.
We have a memo here, talking about noteworthy challenges in
the Pacific Area. And they list, of course, North Korea as the most dangerous
and predictable challenge and I'm sure both of you agree with that. But also
territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas, natural disasters,
including weather and disease, violent extremism, transnational crime, Russian
intent and Chinese intent. Are there any of these gentlemen that would not
involve a need to deliver our Marines quickly and effectively through
amphibious ships, Admiral?
LOCKLEAR: Well, I think it's -- historically the Marine
Corps is a cornerstone of the force structure that we have in the Asia-Pacific.
I mean, its uniquely suited for large archipelagos, large sea spaces. It uses
the sea as a -- as a -- highways to move around on. And it's -- I can't -- of
all the ones you listed there, I can't think of one that the Marine Corps does
not play as a part of the joint force in a significant way.
So, yes, they do play in all of those.
The question not whether or not they have enough lift, the
answer to that's no. We don't have enough lift. And I've said this before,
we've got to -- not only is it our -- the number of amphibious ships that we
can build in our own shipyards, but we've got to look at connectors. We've got
to look at the types of alternative platforms that'll allow us to operate in
more unique security environments.
(UNKNOWN): Connectors. Connectors and alternatives.
LOCKLEAR: Connectors and alternatives. I mean, connectors
are like joint high-speed vessels that move Marines and troops around faster.
There's -- so it also gets into the whole issue of how do you -- in huge
crisis, in large crisis, what is your military sea lift command? What is the
condition of that?
(UNKNOWN): Well, I want the General to get a crack at this
question, too. But -- but let's talk about that. We understand that we have a
requirement for 50 amphibious ships. Is that correct?
LOCKLEAR: Well, I don't know that I would -- I heard the
number 50. I think you'd have to go back to the Department of the Navy for them
to calculate globally how many they need.
But when we've had a greater pressure on our amphibious
force, particularly in - - when we have operations in the Middle East that now
require us to -- to put Marine units in -- in position to be able to monitor
things like embassy safety and for embassy extraction in various hotspots.
So all that's put a demand of signal that's pulled the
(UNKNOWN): Very real contingency that happens.
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir.
(UNKNOWN): Well, OK, the information I have is that we have
a requirement for 50 and we only have 30 amphibs in our inventory. And of those
ships, approximately 15 to 20 are operationally available. Would you say that
that is pretty close to being correct information, Admiral? 30 in the inventory
and 15 to 20 operational?
LOCKLEAR: 30 is about my understanding of it.
LOCKLEAR: In operation availability, depending on how they
define it, I mean, my AOR I have an amphibious readiness group that's -- that's
in west of the dateline all the time that's available on a much greater basis
than that. But globally I would say that's probably about right.
(UNKNOWN): General, let's let you weigh in on this and how
would the effectiveness of our Marines be diminished if there are insufficient
amphibious ships to get them delivered effectively?
SCAPARROTTI: Senator, I would just say this, that they're
very important to me in the peninsula for rapid response. And they're a
critical part of all of our plans. Operating on the peninsula, it's the Marine
Corps and their ability to -- to be lifted quickly to different places. They
provide me agility. It's the quickest, kind of the most succinct way to put it.
I am very concerned about the -- the amount of lift
available in order to support our plans and the maintenance of that lift, as
(UNKNOWN): Now so if we -- if we don't have enough amphibs,
the connectors alone are not a solution, are they?
SCAPARROTTI: Well, sir, you know, we've looked at
alternative methods of -- and -- and the use of alternate ships in order to
help us with the delivery of Marines. I can be more specific, you know, in a --
in a response for the record as to how we look at our planning.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you very much and thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MCCAIN: Senator Heinrich?
HEINRICH: Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Admiral Locklear, I want to start with a little bit on
missile defense. And obviously the Asia-Pacific is of critical importance to
the U.S., both economically and strategically. Yet the current security
environment in your combatant command is increasingly complex. Countries in the
region continue to invest in greater quantities of ballistic missiles with
extended range and new capabilities.
While I think we should continue to invest in missile
defense programs that have proven effective, I also think we should be
investing in left of launch and other non-kinetic means of defense.
Given the vast number of incoming missiles that an adversary
could use to potentially overwhelm U.S. missile defense systems, I want to get
your thoughts on what steps are being taken in the realm of left of launch
technologies like electronic warfare, cyber, that could blind, deceive, or
destroy enemy sensors before they actually launch.
LOCKLEAR: Well, Senator, I agree very much with your
assessment that -- that the ballistic missile defense threat grows because of
the ability for them to -- for people to produce ballistic missiles at greater
distances, that have greater distances and have greater accuracies and have
multiple reentry vehicles and those types of things that complicate the
And that you can't build enough interceptors to take them
all out. You just can't -- you're in tail chase (ph) that you can't do.
That said, I think there is a good place for a good solid
amount of ballistic missile defense. It's a deterrent. It buys decision space.
it makes the decision for whoever's going to fire at you a lot harder for them
to make. And when they do, it gives your troops that are in the way of them
some confidence that at least they'll be able to get through the first few
minutes of this thing before we have to take other action.
So we are working left of launch and -- and thinking
differently about how we would -- how we would attack this particular problem.
One of the things that is not just about EW and cyber. Those events are being
worked. And I won't go into them in this particular forum, but they are being
But it's also more about thinking differently about how you
employ your forces and at what trigger points would you do things like a
dispersal of your force in a different way throughout the region? How would you
do selective hardening of places that would -- and put in place things like
rapid runway repair kits in the places where you have to have them?
Through this body, ya'll have allowed us to go forward with
some of those initiatives in some of the places that we have in the Asia-
Pacific. The hardening of some fuel heads and those types of things make -- can
make a big difference. So left of launch is a priority for us.
HEINRICH: Let me ask a question that sort of overlays on that
in terms of emerging technologies. What's your assessment at this point on the
value of directed energy systems to support defeating missile threats?
And do you think that directed energy should be a priority
for -- for the research and development community, given the advancements in
the last couple of years?
LOCKLEAR: Well, we've seen some progress. I think the Navy
has some directed energy systems that are employed (ph) in operations routinely
that have proven effective, at least in the tactical area.
I'm in favor of directed energy weapons if they get the job
done, if the technology is there. I kind of live in the -- the here and now
problem. And I project -- and hopefully project in the future what we -- we
might need. Directed energy, if it solves -- if it's a good solid solution set
for the types of threat we're facing, then we should pursue it.
HEINRICH: Speaking of -- of the here and now, are you -- are
you familiar with CHAMP, the Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced
LOCKLEAR: I am familiar with it.
HEINRICH: What -- what kind of value do you think that could
bring to the theater?
LOCKLEAR: I think if it was properly tested and then
fielded, that it would be something that would be of a -- of a -- of interest
HEINRICH: Thank you very much. I'll yield back, Mr. Chair.
MCCAIN: Senator Fischer?
FISCHER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, gentlemen, for being here today.
General, in your prepared remarks, you talk about North
Korea's emphasis on asymmetric capabilities, especially its missiles and its
Can you elaborate on North Korea's ballistic missile and
cyber programs and discuss what the command is doing to counter them? And then
can you let us know how do you see their investment in these areas impacting
your needs in the future?
SCAPARROTTI: Thank you, Senator.
Well, first of all, North Korea has focused its resources
within its military on their asymmetric capabilities, which are -- are several.
And probably the most important are the ballistic missile nuclear. We discussed
the nuclear here. You know, we've seen a number of indicators of how they're
advancing their nuclear capabilities. And then within their missile force, they
have more than several hundred ballistic missiles. The predominance of those
are close-range and short-range ballistic missiles that affect or influence the
peninsula. But they've also deployed both mediate and intermediate range that
influence the region. And of course the development of the intercontinental
ballistic missile has an impact here on homeland security in the United States.
They have not slowed down at this. We've seen, as you've
seen, this past year, they demonstrated their capabilities and conducted tests.
They had more missile events or launches in '14 than they've had in the
previous five years together, each of these being a -- you know, a violation of
the -- of the U.N. SCRs.
We -- we have been taking steps both in, you know, material
capability in terms of our ballistic missile defense to counter that, as well
as work with the Republic of Korea and their ballistic missile defense. They
just recently funded an upgrade to their Patriot-2 to PAC-3s, which is very
We're working with them closely in terms of interoperability.
And we're also working with them on their material solutions, particularly, you
know, their -- their air missile defense center and system that they've
recently established. We're working closely on that.
And then, finally, as the Admiral just noted, you know, we
look at the posture of our force, the preparation of our force and our plans,
and all of those things. In the last couple of years it's been rather dynamic
in order to change as our threat in North Korea changes.FISCHER: And as we talk
about missile defense, how do you interpret China and their vocal opposition to
placing a THAAD battery on that peninsula?
SCAPARROTTI: Well, personally (ph), I think -- you know, I
think this is a -- a decision for South Korea, having to do with the defense of
their country and from my perspective as a commander there, defense of our
FISCHER: But do you think that they are narrowly focused on
missile defense or do you think they're trying to maybe exert some greater
influence over the Republic of Korea's defensive strategy as a whole?
SCAPARROTTI: I think it's a greater influence that the THAAD
system, if employed, is focused on the defense of the Peninsula. That's what it
is specialized to do. It doesn't have any influence beyond that.
FISCHER: So that would improve their defenses then again
North Korea, correct?
SCAPARROTTI: Yes, ma'am, it would.
FISCHER: And do you think that South Korea and the United
States would push against the Chinese reaction to that?
SCAPARROTTI: Well, ma'am, you know, this is -- the decision
process is under way right now. And it is -- I can discuss from a military
perspective. But you know, from a political and strategic perspective, I think
both countries are taking that into consideration right now, in terms of the
other impacts that have to do with the employment of Fed on the Peninsula?
FISCHER: And as we look at the North Koreans and their
missiles, are they moving away from their more traditional conventional forces
which they have, what is it, the fourth-largest in the world now? Are they
moving away from that?
SCAPARROTTI: Ma'am, I wouldn't say they're moving away from
it. I think they've changed their strategy that it is the fourth-largest
military in the world. It's a very large conventional force that's postured
forward along the DMZ. So it is -- it's still a very present and dangerous
threat. But they're not resourcing it in the same way that they had in the
past. So we've seen a reduction in their capability conventionally. FISCHER:
Thank you, General.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Admiral, we had some fascinating testimony two days ago on
this subject. I commend the record to you. One of the pieces of testimony was
the historical record of the confrontation between a rising power and an
Graham Allison from Harvard called it the Thucydides's trap,
where in 12 of 16 instances in world history where you had a rapidly rising
power confronting and established power ended in war, and there -- obviously,
that's a daunting observation. There has never been a power that has risen as
far and as fast as China in the last 25 years. Do you see military conflict
with China in any way inevitable? But given the Thucydides's trap, how can we
LOCKLEAR: Well, I don't think that conflict is inevitable. I
think that the world we're in today is probably a different world than the ones
we've been in before when a great power rose. The effects of globalization and
economic globalization and the movement of people, the interconnectedness of
banks, of industry of all these things that you know very well about, I think
have made it imperative that we understand the rise of China and that we, to
some degree, accommodate the rise of China to where we can to attempt to shape
the rise of China.
I've said on many occasions that a China that would -- and a
China with a military that would come forward as a net provider of security,
rather than a net user of security would be beneficial to not only the region,
but would be beneficial to us, as well. And I think that's an achievable goal.
I think that it has to be looked at at how do we deal with China globally in
global institutions from their role in the United Nations to how they're
behaving and conducting themselves in other regions of the world and how we
interact with them there.
I also think it will require us to have a pinpoint focused
on how we see their influence in this region that we've been talking about
today, which is primarily East -- Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia. And to
understand -- we have to try to understand what their side of the equation is.
And to be honest with you, some of the things they've done are quite -- aren't
really clear today.
So you know, we always get into a debate about whether we
should continue mil-to-mil, if we're unhappy with the things they're doing --
mil-to-mil engagement. I am a proponent of continuing to take some risks there.
Because there is benefit in us continuing to have dialog, to try to establish
those types of frameworks that allow us to communicate with each other in
We've had some good work with the PRC lately of building
some confidence-building measures that allow us to understand how to operate
with each other in these constrained waterways so that we don't have a bunch of
lieutenants and captains and commanders of ships out there making, you know,
bad decisions that might escalate us to something that we didn't -- that
escalate us into a Thucydides' trap. So we need to, I think, continue to keep
engaging them. I think we need to be forthright about how we feel about these
things and what the U.S. position is on behavior and when it doesn't match what
our allies and our partners and our value systems support.
(UNKNOWN): Well, clearly, in recent years, the thrust of the
Chinese has been economic. But in even more recent years, it's been military,
as you have testified today. It's tremendous growth in subsurface, everything
else. What do you make of these actions which, can only be characterized as
aggressive, building islands off the shore and increased patrols in the South
China Sea? What do you read into that, in terms of China's military or
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir. Well, I think it -- the Chinese
communicate to us pretty clear what they're doing. They see themselves as a
renewing power. They have the assets to build a military. They are building,
particularly in the Army -- I mean, the Navy and the Air Force, because they
understand the importance of protection of the global areas that -- and you're
starting to see them operate global in different places, which they didn't
operate years ago.
They've told us, over and over again, that they believe that
the nine-dash line in the South China sea is their historic territorial waters.
They have, as far as I understand, they've refused to participate in
international legal venues. You know, the Filipinos have a case that they U.N.
Law of the Sea Convention Tribunal now to challenging the nine-dash line. And
as far as I know, the Chinese have refused to participate in that. And so, what
they are doing is they're -- through what they articulate as peaceful means,
they are building these land reclamations. They're establishing their position
in the South China Sea, which opens their options for down the road, as this
situation continues to unfold.
(UNKNOWN): I'm out of time. A one-word answer. Do you
believe it would be beneficial to the United States to accede to the Law of the
(UNKNOWN): Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And gentlemen, thanks for your testimony and your service.
Admiral Locklear, thank you for hosting me a couple weeks ago. Appreciate the
time. Please send my regards to your staff. Three hours on a Saturday is well
above and beyond the call of duty for anybody. So let them know how much I
You know, I've been critical of many aspects of the
President's national security strategy, in part, because I think we've lacked
credibility. When we say something that we're going to do as a country, we need
to do it. And I think in certain areas of the world, we haven't done that. And
I think it undermines our national security when we do that.
One area of the President's strategy that I have been
supportive, both militarily and economically is the Chairman stated about TPP
is the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. And I'm -- you know, I believe we need to
make sure this rebalance and optimization of our military forces in the region
is credible. We're saying that we're going to rebalance. We need to actually do
it. Do you agree with that?
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir. I do. And I think that the rebalance
goes far beyond just military, though.
LOCKLEAR: I think we have to also get our economic house in
order, as well. Otherwise all the military rebalancing we do will not have the
effect that we want it to have.
(UNKNOWN): I agree with that. I appreciate the map, the AOR
map. Wanted to talk briefly -- you know, Alaska is no longer in your AOR. But
as we discussed, the troops and -- which are significant both in terms of Army
BCTs and a very robust Air Force presence, those troops are still OPCON (ph) to
you in the event of contingencies, aren't they?
LOCKLEAR: That's correct, sir.
(UNKNOWN): And how critical do you see these troops -- and
General Scaparrotti, please comment -- in the region in terms of not only
shaping, but also contingency forces, with regard to your op plans?
LOCKLEAR: Well, Senator, the forces in our Alaska -- you
know, if you take a look at the globe, they're as far west as -- or maybe even
farther west, in some cases, than Hawaii is. So the response time that those
forces would have into any significant contingency in Northeast Asia or
Southeast Asia would -- is quite good and important.
That's why the (ph) force, I think, have been OPCON (ph),
COCOM, to me for -- to -- PACOM for a long time. There's a variety of forces up
there that are important to us. The fighter squadrons that are there, the BCTs
that are there, including the ranges. The range complexes that we have in
Alaska are very important, because that's where we get our high-end training
for some of our hardest types of environments that our aviators may have to fly
(UNKNOWN): General Scaparrotti, how about you in terms of
just the Korean contingency issues?
SCAPARROTTI: You know, I agree with Admiral Locklear. We
rely on those forces as a part of our quick response, which we'll need in
crisis. We also train with them regularly and we also send forces to train
there, too. (UNKNOWN): Do you think if we remove one or two BCTs from Alaska,
do you think that would show that we're committed to a rebalance or undermine
our rebalance commitment? Again, this goes to credibility?
SCAPARROTTI: Well, I think that from a perspective of, you
know, what the other outcomes were, that from a regional perspective, there
would be questions about the loss of troops...
(UNKNOWN): And the credibility of our rebalance strategy?
SCAPARROTTI: I think you'd have to look at it holistically.
I prefer not to take it from just one perspective here. But I think I'd have to
understand the remainder of the changes that were taking place if, in fact,
that were to happen.
(UNKNOWN): Admiral Locklear, do you think that would undermine
our rebalance credibility -- two BCTs in the region leaving?LOCKLEAR: Well,
yeah -- I would answer it in general terms. I think that any significant force
structure moves out of my AOR in the middle of a rebalance would have to be
understood and have to be explained because it would be counterintuitive to
rebalance to move significant forces in other directions.
(UNKNOWN): I agree with that. And I think it's a really
important issue as we look at the rebalance as a successful rebalance that's
Can I turn to -- I want to also commend you for what you
stated and Senator Wicker on the strategic lift issue. I think that that was
certainly something I saw on my recent trip that was a concern.
We're moving forces to different parts of the region. But
the strategic lift seems to be lacking, both Air Force and our capacity. But to
get there we need to have a successful lay down.
Are you confident that the realignment of forces from
Okinawa to Guam and Australia and other places is going to be on schedule in
terms of cost and timelines that the department has laid out? I know that's
something that this committee, as you know, has been very focused on.
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir. Well you know in the last three years
I've had a lot of time to take a look at this and to work through it. And my
overall assessment is that we're on plan at this point in time.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MCCASKILL (?): Admiral, in March the GAO published a report
on operational contract support. And I'm nerdy enough about operational
contracts that I pay close attention to this stuff.
As you know, we wasted billions of dollars in Iraq and
Afghanistan because we had not embraced training on contracting as a core
capacity of our commands engaged in the contingency. And in that report it
indicated that your command is the furthest behind in incorporating operational
contract support in its joint training exercises and operation plans.
Now, I know that GAO noted that you have taken some recent
positive steps to address this. But I'd like you to lay out, if you would,
briefly the steps you're taking to include operational contract support in your
command's joint training exercises.
LOCKLEAR: Well, thank you. Not to make excuses, but I think
the reason that we're probably behind is because we haven't had the demand
signal that was put on the commanders in the Middle East in the last several
wars. And we haven't had that type of a massive rapid build up to support a war
That said, we did recognize that after that report as a
deficiency. And we're looking hard at where are those contracted decisions
made. How does the commander have visibility to those contracting decisions
during the execution of a crisis or an execution of a campaign? Because when a
crisis occurs, stuff just starts coming. And that's good. That's what makes us
But when it starts coming, at some point in time you have to
decide what's enough and what's not enough. And then who's going to be the steward
of it down the road, so we're trying to understand the command and control of
those contractors and how much the leadership knows, and what they need to know
MCCASKILL (?): Well, I think it's so critical that we never
lose sight of this contracting oversight and planning and training as a core
capacity because we're never going to go back to the day my father peeled
potatoes in World War II.
We're not going to have our trained war fighters peeling
potatoes ever again. And all we have to do is look at the long, ugly saga of
all the LOGCAP contracts to realize what happens when contracting is not
considered a huge priority. So I appreciate your attention to that.
On another note, I know that you are the primary Jammer
provider in the Navy for DOD. Could you speak about the role of airborne
electronic attacks, and how critical they are? And how critical is the asset of
our really only electronic warfare capability that is provided by the Growler?
LOCKLEAR: I've been a huge supporter of Growler for my
entire Navy career. The transition of the Prowler Squadron, which were so
significant in many of our conflicts and provide us with what I thought was an
asymmetric advantage in our airspace because of their capabilities. I was glad
to see those capabilities and Jammer types of capabilities transition to a --
you know basically a fourth generation plus aircraft that can operate
effectively in denied airspaces.
So in any campaign that I would envision that would be of a
higher end warfare in my AOR, electronic warfare attack provides me battle
space that I may have to go fight for. And those Growlers, and to some degree
other higher end capabilities that we have are critical to allowing us to have
MCCASKILL (?): Finally I want to touch on the stresses that
we're feeling on remote piloted aircraft. As you know, Whiteman is the home to
the 20th Reconnaissance Squadron. And those pilots and those sensor operators
and those intelligence personnel, along with the airmen who are operating the
Predator and the Reaper are very important.
We are putting incredibly high demands on these folks. I
mean they're not getting normal rest. They are not getting time for training.
We can't even rotate some of them into a training capacity because the demand
is so high.
Could you briefly talk about what steps can be taken to
alleviate what I think is a critical problem? I mean these guys are -- they are
working round the clock and getting very little break. I don't know that we
would do this to a traditional war fighter. But we're doing it to these RPAs.
LOCKLEAR: Well, the advent of the systems and in the past
couple of decades, and the obvious benefit that they've brought to the battle
space has put pressure, I think, on the Air Force to be able to produce the
types of people and to be able to man them. But unfortunately the demand signal
just goes up and up and up.
One of the asymmetric strengths of the United States is our
ability to sense and understand what's going on. We have the best ISR in the world.
But it's way overtaxed for the number of demands we have globally. And that's
where it's showing is in the faces and the out working hours of these young
So we need to rationalize, number one, what are the
platforms that we're going to invest in the future. And then build a structure
of man, train and equip underneath it that's sustainable.
MCCASKILL (?): Yes. I particularly worry because I think we
have a tendency to think of these as machines and don't realize the human
component of this, and the stresses they have.
I mean these guys are manning these things for 10-12 hours
and then going home to their families for supper and homework, and then getting
up pretty quickly and going back at it. And it's a unique kind of role, and
certainly nontraditional as we look at the history of our military.
And I just want you to share with your colleagues that
talking to some of these folks you know it's clear to me that we need to be
thinking about their wellbeing and whether or not we are over utilizing them,
and what kind of stresses we're going to see in that personnel. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Admiral Locklear and General Scaparroti for being
here today, and for your men and women that serve as well. I appreciate it very
much. As you know, the DOD is planning to transfer operational controller,
OPCON, of South Korea forces to the South Korean government in the event of
another conflict on the peninsula.
And this OPCON transfer has been discussed for many, many
years. It was originally supposed to take place in 2007. It's been delayed
many, many times in the past number of years. And it does appear to be
currently indefinitely postponed.
So can you describe some of those challenges that we're
being faced with, and that the South Koreans are facing in their efforts to
create conditions which would allow us to successfully do the OPCON transfer...
SCAPARROTI: Yes, ma'am...
(UNKNOWN): ... general?
SCAPARROTI: Thank you.
As you know, this past October the secretary of Defense and
the MINDEF agreed upon a conditional approach to OPCON transition or OPCON
transition. In the past it had been focused on a date with capabilities. So in
short, I agreed with the change that we made to focus on capabilities and
conditions as opposed to shooting for a date.
Three general conditions: The first is that South Korea
develops the command and control capacity to be able to lead a combined and
multinational force in high-intensity conflict. The second is that they have
the capabilities to respond to the growing nuclear and missile threat in North
Korea. And the third general condition is that this transition takes time --
take place at a time that is conducive to a transition.
Now, there's specific capabilities I mentioned that are
listed in detail as a part of this -- a part of the agreement. I'll cover
generally the main areas.
The first was C4, the command and control computers, in
terms of their capability there, which I mentioned earlier; ballistic missile
defense, generally in their capability there; the munitions that they have to
have on hand for us to conduct a high intensity conflict.
And then finally, the intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance assets necessary in an environment that is very challenging for
ISR. And particularly with the assets and the asymmetric assets that North
So in a nutshell, those are the things that are the
challenges that we have as an alliance. And Republic of Korea's focused on
(UNKNOWN): Thank you.
Admiral, do you have any thoughts? LOCKLEAR: No. I think the
dynamic that's most changing in this -- the dialogue about OPCON transfer is
the behavior of Kim Jong Un. And so that has to be brought in the calculation
(UNKNOWN): Thank you. And, general, I do agree. Absolutely,
it's capabilities versus calendar. We have to look at those capabilities.
So realistically, do you think moving forward with OPCON
transfers that in the foreseeable future? And if it is, what are the benefits
to us then of doing the OPCON transfer?
SCAPARROTI: Well, I think it is foreseeable. I don't think
it's in the short term. And I think it's of benefit in terms of, you know, our
presence in the alliance that we have with Republic of Korea I think is very
important for regional security. It plays into global security as well because
they've been a very good partner of ours for a number of years.SCAPARROTI: And
they're developing a capability. And they've actually employed forces around
the world. And they've deployed in support of us as well, in some of the
conflicts that we've been involved in.
So I think in the long term, the alliance and its
development in this regard is good for both countries.
(UNKNOWN): Very good. I do know the South Koreans were
engaged at Tallil Air Force Base when my trucks were rolling through that area.
And we do appreciate their support of those types of efforts.
I have very little time left. But I do want to thank you
gentlemen for being here today, as well as the service of your men and women.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and to the witnesses for
your testimony today.
Mr. Chair, I appreciate the way you're doing these hearings.
I now see the method in the madness to have the strategic hearing a couple of
We had a wonderful hearing with some strategic experts on
this topic before we get to ask you questions actually makes this discussion
work very well. And I appreciate the chair setting it up that way.
Three quick questions, Admiral Locklear: As our military
lead in PACOM, describe why U.S. support for the Law of the Sea treaty is
something you support. You gave the one-word answer to Senator King. And I'm
asking the why question.
LOCKLEAR: Well, I'll speak about it from the military side,
or the sea side...
(UNKNOWN): Is there additional elements as well?
LOCKLEAR: There are additional elements in it I won't
comment on because it's not my area to do. But first of all, it's widely
accepted after a lot of years of deliberation by many, many countries, most
countries in my AOR. It provides a framework that we -- that most countries
will look at it, believe is useful for us determining who, particularly in
these sea spaces and these EZs (ph) and things that aren't quite clear provides
a proper framework for how to go about dealing with those disputes. So it's a
rule of law, a rule of process that's a good thing.
By not being as -- to be honest with you, on the military
side we've been directed by numerous presidents to comply with the Law of the
Sea, at least as it reflects the way we interact with our -- with other
countries and our partners. That said, when we're not a signatory, it reduces
our overall credibility when we bring it up as a choice of how you might solve
a dispute of any kind.
(UNKNOWN): Second question to the Thucydides Trap. You
indicated that the U.S. should do what we can recently that is within our
interest to accommodate the rise of China within the network of global
I think you laid out a pretty good rationale. The more they
are engaged in the global institutions that can have a pro-stability effect.
One current matter that is pending before Congress is
reforms to the IMF that would enable China to have more of a role, more voting
power, but also more of a financial obligation in terms of the work of the IMF.
I don't want you to comment on you know IMF reform if that's
not your lane and you don't have an opinion. But that is the kind of thing,
wouldn't you agree, that we ought to be taking a look at.
If we're going to try to accommodate China's growing
influence, having them more engaged and play more of a leadership role in
global institutions. You mentioned the U.N. as one, but global institutions
like the IMF is one way to accomplish that integration that can be ultimately a
pro-stability move. Would you not agree?
LOCKLEAR: Yes, I absolutely agree. I mean you know if
China's inevitable rise to be a world power in the many different venues, they
inevitably have to participate in the part of those institutions. And they have
to take some responsibility for these things.
(UNKNOWN): Kind of the common sense that you know the law
firms that get founded by strong partners, they often run aground when the next
generation of young, excited partners want leadership roles.
And you know law firms that don't make room for the young
leaders as they come up find that they split away. And then they end up being
harsh competitors. If they find a way to accommodate them in, it often holds it
together. You know it just seems like that's kind of a basic analogy that we
see a lot in human situations.
Well, I would hope that on both the Law of the Sea and IMF
reform that we would take it seriously here. Because while they have
nonmilitary dimensions, I think they do bear directly upon some of the military
issues that we might have.
Last thing I'd like to just commend you on and ask you one
final question. I like the fact that you in your written testimony, and I like
the fact that some of our witnesses the other day talk about Indo-Asia-Pacific.
You know, India has had an interesting history militarily
with the United States, and more generally with the Congress party kind of have
a long nonaligned tradition that actually made them slant a little bit toward
Russia in terms of purchasing material.
But now they are significantly engaged with the U.S. and
U.S. companies. They do more military exercises with the United States than
they do with any other nation. I think there is an opportunity under Prime
Minister Modi. I know the chair has spent time with him, and others have too,
to deepen that relationship.
Just as I conclude, could you share your thought on the
U.S.- India military partnership at this moment?
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir. Part of the rebalance was to develop a
strategy for a longer term security relationship with India. We're doing that.
We have I think a tremendous opportunity here as the
leadership changes in India and the world changes for them to be a growing
partner with the United States. Not necessarily an aligned partner, but a
I believe that some of the defense trade initiatives that we
have with them will help bring us together in a more productive way for many
years to come.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you very much. And thank both of you for
And we -- General Scaparroti, I do believe that the work in
South Korea is important. And we've been able to draw down on numbers. And I
know that the South Korean military is more effective in many ways than they
But I think it is an important relationship. They've been
good allies, as have the Japanese and others in the Pacific. And that long-term
umbrella, relationship, partnership that we've had remains important I think to
the world and to United States' interests.
So I appreciate the work that you're doing. I appreciate the
importance of the Pacific. That's just undeniable, it seems to me.
Our strategic subcommittee has dealt a good bit with nuclear
weapons, our relationship with Russia, the drawdown of our treaty -- under the
treaty, our nuclear weapons system, Admiral Locklear.
But we don't talk enough about China's position. They built
a nuclear weapons capability. And I assume they have the ability to surge that
at any point they choose to. They have the finances and the technology and the
capability of doing that. Is that correct?
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir. We've observed them pursuing a deliberate
modernization of their nuclear forces, both those that are land-based and the
ones that are subsurface based.
They now have I believe three operational submarines in the
Pacific, ballistic missile submarines. That could grow I think to four or five
in the future. And we know that they're pursuing missile systems to be --
missiles to be able to put on there that will extend their ability for a
nuclear -- second strike nuclear attack is what they've explained -- how they
But it is growing. And I think that it will be a continued
consideration for us as war planners.
(UNKNOWN): We in Congress and policymakers in Washington
need to understand the reality of the -- a nuclear armed submarine. How many
missiles would that -- those submarines, Chinese submarines be able to handle
and launch? And how many warheads could they launch?
LOCKLEAR: To give you an accurate answer, let me respond to
that for the record, if you don't mind, but multiple.
(UNKNOWN): Would it compete with our capabilities, or if
you're able to say? If not, that's all right.
LOCKLEAR: I wouldn't say, sir.
(UNKNOWN): All right.
One of the strategies that China has used has been to create
a zone outside the nation to make it difficult for our ships to inhabit and put
them at risk. Is that continue -- is that part of the DF-21 missile plan? And
do they have other plans that designed to make it more difficult for our ships
to be within hundreds of miles of the shore?
LOCKLEAR: Well, across the board the Chinese have improved
their -- greatly improved their ability to build missiles of all kinds, cruise
missiles, ballistic missile defense, air defense missiles. So they do have, I
think, quite credible technology.
The DF-21 missiles you're talking about is missiles that they're
fielding and testing and producing that could potentially, if employed properly
and worked right, it would put U.S. forces at sea at risk at greater and
greater distances. But it's one of those things that we are dealing with and
trying to answer.
(UNKNOWN): I think you're correct. And I think the Navy's
thinking clearly about that and in a wise way. What about the capabilities that
we have? Army has some potential land-based missiles that could create also a
zone around our interests, our country, our territories that could protect us.
Has any thought been given as I believe Secretary Hagel mentioned of using some
of those capabilities to -- from a land to provide a better safe zone around
our bases and territories?
LOCKLEAR: I wouldn't know, senator, exactly what Secretary
Hagel was talking about that time. But I'd be glad to get specifics and to
(UNKNOWN): All right. Well, thank you both for your service.
And I believe we have a fabulously capable military, well led by talented
leaders. And we thank you for that.
MCCAIN: Senator Donnelly?
DONNELLY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you both for
Admiral Locklear, what would you say is -- and I apologize I
haven't been here the entire time. When you look, the two biggest challenges
you look at in your command.LOCKLEAR: Well, the biggest challenge off the bat
is making sure that we can respond effectively to what I think is the most
dangerous situation is North Korea peninsula. So I have a huge responsibility
for helping NORTHCOM with the defense of homeland, defense of Hawaii, defense
of Guam, and then follow-on forces and things that flow in to support general.
And then follow-on forces things that flow in to support General Scaparroti on
what could be a very short-line problem in Korea, North Korea. So that's kind
of number one problem.
LOCKLEAR: The second, I think, is just ensuring that the
rebalance does what it needs to, to ensure that U.S. is properly positioned in
the Asia-Pacific for the rest of this century. And under that fall a lot of
things, ensuring that the alliances are as strong as they can be, building new
partnerships and in some cases ensuring that the rise of China doesn't turn
into a Thucydides Trap.
DONNELLY: General Scaparroti, as you look at Kim Jong Un,
when you look at the decision-making process that he uses, and I don't know
that the appropriate word is random. But would you say is there like a chain of
command or a general structured way the decisions are made? Or is it pretty much
you're not usually certain as to which way something's going to go with him?
SCAPARROTI: Yes, sir. Thank you.
We don't know a lot about the decision-making process inside
of that regime. If you look at just the three years he's been the leader, he's
changed his senior leadership more than his father and his grandfather put
And so from one perspective, the use of curtain stick, the
use of brutality in many cases in order to ensure absolute loyalty to him I
think undercuts and leaves concern with me that one, he's got a group around
him that will be frank with him, that won't only tell him what he wants to
hear. So I think that's a dynamic within that decision- making process that
gives me concern.
DONNELLY: And as you look at the way the decision making is
going on right now, it appears there is somewhat of a move toward Russia,
toward creating an additional strengthening and bonds between them. Do you
think that provides any more stability for them? Or do you think it just makes
them more dangerous?
SCAPARROTI: Well, I think you can see not only the outreach
to Russia but others in the last year as an attempt by them to get around the
sanctions which are having an effect, and to develop others that would provide
trade and funds to them. Which you know their economy, they're very tight,
particularly given the percentage of it that he puts into his military.
So I think that's his attempt there. We don't see a lot of
return on those efforts at this point.
DONNELLY: When the North Koreans start to saber rattle and
start to make a lot of noise, oft times your command brings a presence into the
area there and helps to change the discussion. Do you have fears or concerns
about any plans they might have to come after your fleet in particular?
LOCKLEAR: Well certainly we're talking in the context of the
North Koreans you can't rule out any unpredictable types of activity. So we
know that they also pursue a pretty significant missile program.
Whether how good it is sometimes we're not sure. But that's not
just a ballistic missile capability, but a cruise missile capability. That
would have to be considered when forces were put in the area.
But and they also have a submarine force that's, if it's
operational could be quite unpredictable with mini subs and things like that.
But they're generally locally contained, not far-reaching. So at this point in
time I'm not really concerned about our ability to project power should we have
to support a contingency in North Korea.
DONNELLY: General, what is the one thing in your command
that you're most concerned about?
SCAPARROTI: Sir, I'm most concerned about a provocation,
which North Korea commits two or three every year, and one of those
provocations escalating into conflict.
DONNELLY: Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(UNKNOWN): Admiral Locklear, General Scaparroti, thank you
both for your time and for your service, and more importantly for the service
of all of the men and women in uniform that you represent in your commands.
Admiral Locklear, do you believe that China's increasing
aggression in the South China Sea reflects their calculations that the U.S.
lacks the willpower and capability to challenge them in the South China Sea?
LOCKLEAR: Well, you'd have to ask the Chinese if that's the
way they feel about it. My guess is as they always do, I believe, they listen
carefully to how the U.S. feels about things globally as well as in that
region. And where they have a clear understanding of U.S. position they have a
more -- a tendency to understand it and respect it.
(UNKNOWN): Do you think the balance of power is shifting to
the point where they believe that they now have a military advantage over us in
their regional waters inside the first island chain?
LOCKLEAR: I don't think they think they have a military
advantage over us because they also recognize that we're a global power and
that they're not a global power. I think that they believe that their ability
to build and produce the military they have has provided additional decision
space for them in their local region.
(UNKNOWN): One point you mentioned is the importance of
clarity. Deterrence works best whenever the lines we draw are clear and
I've read press reports recently that during Prime Minister
Abe's visit to Washington later this month, the United States may make an
explicit pledge to protect the Senkaku Islands, which are currently under
administrative control of Japan, but China also claims them. Do you think that
would be a wise step to take for the purpose of stability in the East Asian
LOCKLEAR: Well, my understanding is we have pretty much made
it clear our position in the East China Sea as it relates to the Senkaku
Islands. We still maintain we don't take a side on territorial disputes. So in
the long run the issue of the sovereignty of Senkakus is for them to figure
But what we have said, and it's been said at numerous
levels, is that the Senkakus Islands do fall within the administrative control
of Japan, and do fall within the mutual defense treaty with Japan. And I
believe that that alone has provided a level of stability to the issues in the
East China Sea, Northeast Asia.
(UNKNOWN): The press reports -- I appreciate and understand
and agree with the points you've made. The press reports I've seen have
suggested that we would be reducing that to writing though. And writing in
these matters I think can provide some more clarity than words.
Could you comment briefly on your military-to-military
relations with Thailand at the time?
LOCKLEAR: Well, we maintain military-to-military contact
with Thailand. We do it at a lower level, post coup, or post -- post coup. We
run a very good glide slope, a very positive glide slope. I think the -- prior
to the coup the opportunities that we were pursuing together were quite good
for the region.
Thailand is our oldest ally. In the end it's my expectation
that we want to keep Thailand. We love the Thai people that were close to the
American people. And we have similar value systems. And so it's important for
But post coup, we have truncated a number of
military-to-military activities, reduced them in scope. And we're managing
those through an interagency process where we go through and decide is this one
that we want to continue or not.
What we're hopeful for is that the leadership, current
leadership in Thailand will move actively and aggressively to restore you know
rule of law, constitutional processes and civilian control of government.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you.
And General Scaparroti, Korea is in many ways a unique area
of operations in the world calling for some unique capabilities. I want to
speak briefly about cluster munitions. Our stated policy is as of Jan. 1, 2019
we will no longer use such munitions, and have a greater than 1 percent
Can you describe the effect this policy will have on current
operations and contingency planning? And also maybe the challenges it will face
achieving that rate?
SCAPARROTI: Yes, sir. The cluster munitions are an important
part of the munitions inventory that I have because of the fact that they
create for me.
There are plans right now, work being done for a replacement
munitions that would meet the requirements of less than 1 percent dud rate. But
I -- that's a requirement that we must meet, as you said, before 2019.
We would use other munitions, but the munitions that we have
available just simply don't provide the effect of those today that I have in my
(UNKNOWN): OK. Gentlemen, thank you both again for your service
and the service of all those you represent, and your families and theirs.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Admiral Locklear,
General Scaparroti, thank you both for being here this morning.
Admiral Locklear, in your testimony you point out the significance
of China's military modernization efforts. And earlier this week we heard from
Admiral Roughead, some other experts on East Asia about China's modernization
and how swiftly that has happened.
What do we need to do to respond to what's happening in
China? And can you also talk about how, if we go back to level of funding
that's required by sequestration, what that does to our efforts to make sure
that we are technologically ahead of where the Chinese are?
LOCKLEAR: Well, I think first of all we need to continue to
encourage the Chinese to be more transparent and to be more forward- leaning in
how they respond to their neighbors, how they respond to the international
community, to be a responsible leader in the region.
I mean, if they're going to have a military and they want to
use it for security then they should be part of the global security
environment. Participating with (inaudible) being at odds with them, and that's
the choice they have to make.
We also have to make a choice to accept them into that
environment. So that's something that we have to always consider.
And there may be some risks as we do it because we -- as
they rise as a power, it will be collaborative on one hand and competitive on
another. And though that kind of relationship resorts in friction, and it will
always be friction. And in that friction, some of it may end up happening in
the South China Sea or the East China Sea.
So, managing that friction and understanding how to manage
it so it doesn't escalate into a large contingency is very, very important for
all of us, particularly between the United States and China. So we're working
that part of it.
(UNKNOWN): And before you answer the sequester question, how
important is the effort to rebalance, I use that term in parenthesis, to Asia,
that has been set out in doing those kinds of things with respect to
China?LOCKLEAR: Right. Well, the rebalance is not about China. China is just
one of many issues around why U.S. should be in Asia-Pacific, why we should
have a security posture there.
But they are a big concern in that. And so the rebalance is
-- and on the military side, ensuring that we have the right assets to be able
to manage the situations, to be able to understand the environment and to be
able to respond effectively are extremely critical. The readiness of those
assets, the readiness of the men and women that man them are critical.
So in sequestration what happens is that in general you have
less force structure that's less ready that's less technologically capable. So
we get under fiscal pressure like we're in now, the first -- one of the first
thing to go is technological advances because we got to keep what we got,
right, because nobody wants to change.
So the things that we need to stay relative, not only in
that part of the world, but globally in the technological arena in war fighting
starts to get pushed off the table and get pushed to the right. And it gets
pushed into timelines that make us start to lose our technological advantages
in war fighting.
(UNKNOWN): One of the things we heard from former Adm.
Roughead earlier this week was the importance of continuing the carrier
launched UAVs, and that that program would become even more important as we
look at what we need to do in the Asia-Pacific. Do you share that view? And how
do you see that affecting what we need to do in that part of the world?
LOCKLEAR: Well, I think in general the -- whether they're
launched off carriers or launched off anything else, in my particular area that
unmanned vehicles, both air and surface and subsurface, are a significant part
of the future. So, because any time you can take man out of the loop, you
operate in denied environments so much easier. There's a lot of benefits to it.
So to the degree that the -- a UAV would be from a carrier,
a carrier for me is just a very flexible airfield that can operate widely
through the theater. So I would see huge benefits in being able to operate
long-range ISR, long-range strike, if necessary, from those platforms.
(UNKNOWN): And Gen. Scaparroti, is this something that would
be beneficial to you in the Korean theater?
SCAPARROTI: Yes, ma'am. Absolutely.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you, both of you, for what you're doing for
the country. I wanted to ask about a follow-up, Adm. Locklear, on your written
testimony where you said Iran has built its robust nuclear infrastructure and
advanced its ballistic systems with materials that have passed through U.S.
Can you help us understand how are they getting these
materials? And also could you describe for us what you understand is the
cooperation between Iran and North Korea in particular on their missile
LOCKLEAR: Well, I think it's pretty well known that there's
been a movement of proliferation of activity from North Korea into Iran, in
this case, of the types of technologies Iran was looking for. And I think
that's been known through the interagency for some time.
(UNKNOWN): And do you think that's how they're advancing their
ICBM program, with advice from North Korea?
LOCKLEAR: I would say I wouldn't discount that as a
(UNKNOWN): So in addition to that, you've also noted that
North Korea continues to procure for its nuclear and ballistics missiles
program, and from the region in a network of individuals and entities in the
And as you know, that violates U.N. Security Council
Resolution 1718 in terms of the ability of member states to directly or
indirectly supply to North Korea these kinds of materials. And obviously there
are many U.N. resolutions that apply to Iran as well.
But so as I look at that testimony, what more can we do to
isolate North Korea in terms of those that are supplying the country of things
that we don't want them to have, that are against United -- U.N. resolutions?
And who do we need to be tougher on in the region in that regard?
SCAPARROTI: Well, I think that primarily in terms of
proliferation security we have a proliferation security initiative that's
global in nature and multinational. I think that's also an important key.
Because we have to bring in, we have to deal with other
nations to help provide intelligence and also forces that may help us in
interdiction, et cetera. We can continue our training in that regard, which we
In terms of the nations that I think we have to be concerned
about, I'd prefer to answer that actually for the record in a classified
document as opposed to here in the open forum if I could.
(UNKNOWN): Of course. Thank you, general. I appreciate that.
I also wanted to follow-up, Adm. Locklear. I note in your
written testimony you mention Taiwan I believe once in passing.
In light of China's major military buildup, what's your
assessment of the current balance of military capabilities in the Taiwan Strait
between the PLA and Taiwan? And where does Taiwan have an advantage? And where
does the PLA's advantage?
So what concerns are you hearing from the Taiwanese? And
what platforms, weapons assistance and training has Taiwan requested from the
United States that we haven't yet provided?
LOCKLEAR: Well, we have a robust interaction from the PACOM
headquarters with Taiwan. In fact, we have ongoing right now over there, their
major annual exercise where we participate with them.
We send advisers, overseers and we go. And in fact we sent
Gen. Thurman, who used to be Scaparroti's predecessor, who will be over there
with them at my request, advising them and assisting them. And so that's
I think that in general over time the capabilities of the
PLA -- the PRC will vastly eclipse what the Taiwanese could produce on their
own. It's just a matter of magnitude of force size. If China -- the PRC stays
on the course that it's on now.
We -- my task is to support the Taiwan Relations Act, and
then to provide my advice up to the OSD and up to the president for him to
decide on what we -- what kind of things we provide. I know that they have
requested our assistance in submarine programs, and we're contemplating that at
this point in time, but have not committed them one way or the other.
They are particularly interested in us helping them in
cybersecurity areas that allow them to pursue asymmetric capabilities that will
improve their defense. It'll improve their confidence that they can make
decisions on their own and not be coerced.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you.
MCCAIN: Col. Graham?
GRAHAM: Thank you, captain.
Admiral, would you describe China's behavior toward their
neighbors as provocative?
LOCKLEAR: I would call it aggressive. And I guess
provocative would be in the eyes of the beholder. But from my view it's
GRAHAM: From the eyes of the Japanese would you say it's
LOCKLEAR: I think they would say yes. GRAHAM: OK.
North Korea, general, would you say the regime on a good day
SCAPARROTI: No, sir. I'd say -- I'd say that K.J.U.'s in
control. We see no indicators of instability at this time.
GRAHAM: So you think we don't have to worry much about North
SCAPARROTI: Oh, no, sir. That's not...
GRAHAM: When I say unstable I mean unpredictable,
SCAPARROTI: Unpredictable, provocative, danger.
GRAHAM: Yes, that's what I meant.
SCAPARROTI: Willing to -- I think willing to be provocative
GRAHAM: So, in your backyard you've got dangerous, provocative,
unstable with nukes in North Korea, right?
SCAPARROTI: Yes, sir, within short distance from the
GRAHAM: The leader of North Korea seems to be like nuts. I
don't know how else you describe the guy. But he seems nutty to me.
So, under sequestration, at the end of the day how are your
ability to defend the Korean peninsula and our interests in that region be
affected from an Army point of view?
SCAPARROTI: Well, from a holistic point of view,
sequestration would, as Adm. Locklear just said, end up with a smaller force, a
less ready force...
GRAHAM: Well, if the Army goes down to 420,000, let's say
that's the number they one day hit if we don't fix sequestration.
SCAPARROTI: Yes, sir.
GRAHAM: How does your theater of operations fare in terms of
SCAPARROTI: Sir, in high-intensity conflict that you have on
the Korean peninsula, I'd be very concerned about having a force that had
enough depth, particularly for sustained operation.
GRAHAM: So, it would be seen as weakening our position in
SCAPARROTI: Yes, sir. GRAHAM: Admiral, under sequestration
the Navy would have approximately how many ships if it was fully implemented?
LOCKLEAR: Well, I'd have to refer that back to the Navy. I
don't have the exact numbers.
GRAHAM: How many do you have in your...
LOCKLEAR: I have about 150 ships in my AOR that are sent
(ph) from all the way from San Diego to the theater. Probably about 50 or so of
those are west of the dateline at any given time.
So what would be impacted by the size of the Navy is their
ability to rotate forces forward to augment the ones that are west of the
dateline all the time, which is the problem we're having now with sustaining
our numbers because the readiness bathtub (ph) we're in, even with the size we
have today. So sequestration would just drive that further into the ground.
GRAHAM: It would be hard to pivot to Asia under
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir.
GRAHAM: All right. So, the likelihood of an armed conflict
between South Korea and North Korea how would you evaluate that on 1 to 10
scale, 1 being very unlikely, 10 being highly likely. Say in the next 10 years,
general? SCAPARROTI: Well, sir, I think that -- I caveat by saying I think that
if K.J.U. knows that if he were to conduct a conventional attack on South Korea
it'd be the end. So I don't think that's his purpose. I think it's to maintain
But I think over a 10-year period it's above a 5. It's a 6
GRAHAM: And the more we reduce our forces, the less
deterrent -- it may go up to 7.
SCAPARROTI: Sir, I think with less deterrence it becomes
more likely that we have a conflict.
Admiral, from your point of view, if we reduce our forces in
your theater of operations to sequestration level, do you think that encourages
China to be more provocative?
LOCKLEAR: Look. I think any signal that we send that we're
less interested in the Asia-Pacific on the security side than we currently are
would be an invitation for change in the region, and that China would be
interested in pursuing.
GRAHAM: Do our allies in the region, are they beginning to
hedge their bets? What's their view toward our footprint and where we're
headed? LOCKLEAR: Yes. I don't think they're necessarily unsatisfied with our military
footprint. I think what they're concerned about most is the growing divide
between what they see as the economics in our gravity, which is predominantly
Asia or more and more around China, and the securities in our gravity, which is
So that creates a conundrum for them as they have to deal
with strategic decision making. You know they want us as a security granter
because they believe where we're -- I mean, they see us as a benevolent power.
And they like how we operate. But they also see us as a diminished economic
power in the region that they have to deal with that.
MCCAIN (?): Admiral and general, I would appreciate it if
for the record you would give a written estimate to this committee as to the
effects of sequestration on your ability to carry out your responsibilities.
And please make it as detailed as you wish.
We're going to have this fight again on sequestration
ongoing. And members of this committee are dedicated to the proposition that we
have to repeal sequestration. And your testimony as to the effects of
sequestration can affect that argument probably more effectively than anything
that members on this side of the dais could accomplish.
So I would very much appreciate it if you would give us as
detailed as possible short-term and long-term effects of sequestration on your
ability to carry out your responsibilities.
Admiral, is this your last appearance before this committee?
LOCKLEAR: Yes, sir, it is.
MCCAIN (?): Well, I want to take the opportunity on behalf o
fall of us on this committee and in the United States Senate thanking you for
your outstanding service. I think you can be very proud of the many
contributions that you've made to this nation's security. And you're one of the
reasons why the leaders in uniform are so highly respected and regarded by the
people of this nation. So I thank you, admiral.
This hearing is adjourned.
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