SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10745]
HOW THE SERVICES ARE TRANSFORMING THEMSELVES TO BETTER CONDUCT ANTI- AND COUNTER-TERRORISM OPERATIONS
SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
JULY 11, 2002
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SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey, Chairman
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JIM TURNER, Texas
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
Mark Esper, Professional Staff Member
Alexis Lasselle, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Thursday, July 11, 2002, How the Army and Air Force are Transforming Themselves to Better Conduct Anti- and Counter-Terrorism Operations
Thursday, July 11, 2002
THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2002
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HOW THE ARMY AND AIR FORCE ARE TRANSFORMING THEMSELVES TO BETTER CONDUCT ANTI- AND COUNTER-TERRORISM OPERATIONS
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Saxton, Hon. Jim, a Representative from New Jersey, Chairman, Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism
Turner, Hon. Jim, a Representative from Texas, Ranking Member, Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism
McKiernan, Lt. Gen. David D., Director of Army Operations, United States Army
Schmidt, Maj. Gen. Randall, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, United States Air Force
McKiernan, Lt. Gen. David D.
Saxton, Hon. Jim
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSchmidt, Maj. Gen. Randall
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted for the Record.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Questions and Answers submitted for the Record.]
HOW THE ARMY AND AIR FORCE ARE TRANSFORMING THEMSELVES TO BETTER CONDUCT ANTI- AND COUNTER-TERRORISM OPERATIONS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism,
Washington, DC, Thursday, July 11, 2002
The panel met, pursuant to call, at 8:30 a.m., in room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Jim Saxton [chairman of the panel] presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JIM SAXTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM NEW JERSEY, CHAIRMAN, SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
Mr. SAXTON. Good morning.
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This morning the Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism convenes in open session to hear from the Army and Air Force as to how each service is transforming itself to better conduct anti-and counterterrorism operations abroad in the post-9/11 combat environment.
Two weeks ago the panel heard from the Navy and Marine Corps in the same question. The hearing was quite successful, having given panel members a better understanding and appreciation for what the Navy-Marine Corps team is doing. We plan to hold a similar hearing on July 25th with the Special Operations Command and Joint Forces Command.
As with each of these hearings, the panel is interested in hearing about the doctrinal, operational, logistical, force structure, and other institutional changes being implemented or studied by the Army and Air Force. We also want to hear about any new weapons or equipment that are being researched, developed, or procured to enhance your war-fighting effectiveness, and the panel is particularly interested in intelligence matters, namely collection, analysis and dissemination within the services.
Finally, we are interested in any lessons learned to date from combat operations in Afghanistan, including those that might have inter-service implications. For example, the committee has heard of alleged problems between the Army and Air Force regarding close air support in the Afghan battlefield.
Our witnesses today have led distinguished careers in their respective branches of the military. They are Major General Randall Schmidt, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff of the Air and Space Operations, United States Air Force; and Lieutenant General David D. McKiernan, Director of Operations, United States Army.
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Gentlemen, thank you both for being with us this morning, especially given your hectic schedules over at the Pentagon. We are eager to hear how the Army and Air Force are making improvements, adjustments and changes to enhance your force protection, war-fighting, and interoperability in the new global war on terrorism.
While many members of the committee and Congress are now focused on the establishment of the new Department of Homeland Security, the Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism has remained fixed on the problem of terrorism, the ongoing fighting in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and the accomplishments and needs of our armed services and military personnel. This, after all, is one of the core oversight responsibilities of the House Armed Services Committee.
Before turning the forum over to our witnesses, Mr. Rodriguez, do you have an opening statement?
[The prepared statement of Mr. Saxton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. No, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. We will be joined by a number of other members. We started a little early in this oversight panel, primarily because it gives us an extra half-hour where we are not interrupted.
So again, thank you both for agreeing to appear before the panel this morning. And Mr. Turner is just in time for any opening statement he may have.
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STATEMENT OF HON. JIM TURNER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM TEXAS, RANKING MEMBER, SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
Mr. TURNER. Mr. Chairman, thank you. I am sorry I am a little late, and I would defer an opening statement to you. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
General McKiernan, the floor is yours, sir.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. DAVID D. MCKIERNAN, DIRECTOR OF ARMY OPERATIONS, UNITED STATES ARMY
General MCKIERNAN. Thank you, sir.
Mr. Chairman, Congressman Turner, distinguished members of the panel, I am delighted to be here today and to engage you in a discussion about the Army's role in the global war on terrorism, a campaign that we are truly focused on.
There is no doubt that we, as a nation and as an army, are at war today. We have over 185,000 soldiers that are either forward-based or deployed around the world today in places like Afghanistan, the Philippines, Yemen, Georgia, Djibouti, Sinai, the Balkans, as well as here at home defending freedom and American interests.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, we believe America and our partners are winning a conflict that few foresaw or predicted a year ago, but the future is marked by uncertainty and it will be difficult to predict where and when the Army will be needed next. We do know, however, that the Army will be needed, that land wars demand land forces and that those forces must be ready today while simultaneously preparing for tomorrow.
To that end, as part of the joint and interagency team, the Army has two priorities: number one, to win today's war on terrorism; and number two, to prepare for future wars by transforming our force and remaining good stewards of the resources that you provide.
I am here today to answer your questions concerning any emerging lessons learned and changes the Army has made in response to the requirements on the war on terrorism. The Army remains a capabilities-based, flexible, and very adaptable professional institution that is constantly managing today's needs while preparing for those of tomorrow.
What I have witnessed in my nine months as the Army's G3 is that while certain trends and resulting requirements have emerged from the global war on terrorism, most of the changes the Army has made involve modifications to current plans and programs, such as fielding a prototype system early, adapting an organization structure or modifying tactical or operational procedures. I believe your Army is the most respected ground force in the world today, and with your insight and support, we plan to remain so in the future.
Again, thank you for having me here today, and I look forward to your questions.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The prepared statement of General McKiernan can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SAXTON. General Schmidt.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. RANDALL SCHMIDT, ASSISTANT DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR AIR AND SPACE OPERATIONS, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
General SCHMIDT. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity and the privilege to discuss with you the recent efforts undertaken by the United States Air Force in response to the war on terrorism. We appreciate this panel's continued vigilance and are well aware that you were focused on the terrorism threat well before the savage events of 11 September.
My written statement has been included in the record, but I would like to make a few remarks concerning a few of the main points.
First, most of the capabilities in use today were brought about by the vision of our past aerospace leaders, as well as from congressional members such as yourself.
The Air Force continues to evolve its capabilities and requirements based on the expected global environment. Transformation is an inherent aspect of our Air Force culture. It is an ever-evolving process involving our organizational structure, the concept of operation and gains in technologies. It is an attitude that transcends all organizations within the U.S. Air Force.
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Second, even though change was ongoing, the Air Force has accelerated a number of significant and far-reaching organizational, operational, and technological changes over the past several months. These changes will facilitate our ability to defeat the enemy in the global war on terrorism. Many of them began long before 9/11, but recent requirements have forced innovative solutions by creative airmen.
Third, Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom have required tremendous coordinated effort. Airmen, working closely with our sister services, other agencies and other countries, has successfully conducted humanitarian, combat, homeland security and support operations. We must continue to integrate all global participants in the war on terrorism.
Last, innovative uses of old and new technologies have enabled our successes, and we will ensure we continue to defeat terrorism around the world. Our nation and our Air Force's accomplishments are the result of the creative minds of our young men and women. This ingenuity will enable flexibility in dealing with the challenges that will inevitably face us in the future.
Many early successes of Operation Enduring Freedom have demonstrated that the Air Force is organized, trained, and equipped well to meet the challenges of current operations. However, we must continue to improve our organization, training and equipment in order to remain the most capable and respected air force and aerospace force in the world.
I appreciate all the committee has done in supporting the Air Force, and we look forward to working with you in the future. I would be happy to take any questions you may have.
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[The prepared statement of General Schmidt can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SAXTON. I thank you both very much for being here again.
Let me begin with, kind of, a general question.
The notion of transformation has inherent in it the concept that things will be different tomorrow in terms of the threat we face than they are today. And, as a matter of fact, the last year serves as a perfect example of how different things can be than what we expect. So, let me just begin by asking how things have changed operationally and how we do things different today than we did, say, a year ago, particularly with a focus on this situation we face with Al Qaida and other groups.
General MCKIERNAN. Sir, let me take that first, and I would answer that in two ways.
Number one, there are some things that we did foresee before 9/11 as an army, in a transformational sense, to look at the world differently.
An example of that: Some years ago we changed the way we trained against an opposing force at our combat training centers and our battle command training program that was much less predictable than we had trained against in the past. We have traditionally trained against a fairly doctrinal enemy, one that could be templated, that was somewhat predictable, that there was an unambiguous warning time that led up to that war-fighting scenario.
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But even before 9/11, we changed our operating environment for training and called it a contemporary operational environment. And we started to train against an enemy that was much less predictable, very ambiguous, uncertain conditions, a very nonlinear, noncontiguous type of operating environment. That has helped us after 9/11 in the fight specifically in Afghanistan, because we have some experience now training against that sort of opponent.
What we have learned since 9/11 reaffirms some of the training principles that we have been using. Our marksmanship has been outstanding in Afghanistan, our physical conditioning, our ability to operate at the altitudes, for instance, at the Anaconda Operationaltitudes of 8,000 to 12,000 feetwithout virtually any high-altitude sickness. Our Apache helicopter has been a great component of our fight over there. We have come a long way in joint war-fighting with our sister services.
But what we have learned is that this is going to be a long campaign, and this is an enemy that is very hard to get after intelligence-wise and then to find him, locate him, fix him, and destroy him. But we will continue to evolve our training techniques and have an in-place system where we take observations, convert them into lessons learned, and apply them back into our training programs here in the United States and in our development leaders.
Mr. SAXTON. General.
General SCHMIDT. What is different in the Air Force after 9/11 and before 9/11 is almost another evolution of transformation. I don't want to use that word as the boilerplate, but it is something we think about. It is something we have been thinking about since the Gulf War.
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When we went into Operation Allied Force (OAF), the Air Force had already gone from converting from forward bases, Cold War model, to an expeditionary force. We had totally redesigned how we presented forces to our combatant commanders. We did this in a rotational way to better integrate the guard and reserve, to make a more predictable schedule, somewhat similar along the lines of the Navy with their fleet rotations with their carrier battle groups. We, sort of, fell into a little bit of a rut because the schedule became very, very important.
With the advent of 9/11 and the explosion of expeditionary requirements, we did not envision that we would be on the other side of the world opening up 12 or 13 new bases or required infrastructure and flight operations in a land-locked country to fight that war, at the same time, putting about 20 or 30 airmen to work in the continental United States in homeland defense, that was just not envisioned. So we really stressed our concept of what being expeditionary was all about.
I think what we did was, we rose to the challenge in the areas of intelligence, command and control, and also in the ability to use assets or legacy systems that we hadn't brought on modernization or new systems to better use. The B52 is a classic example of that, putting new weapons on an old airframe and then putting it to work doing a new mission that it was never designed for: a strategic bomber doing close air support, that sort of thing.
So across the spectrum, I think we were, sort of, given the green light to accelerate our efforts, to be smarter on how we did our process.
At the same time, again I will mention it, heavy reliance on our Guard and Reserve, which is precisely why they were there and why we worked with them so closely over the years. They also rose to the challenge and integrated very quickly with us.
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Again, the lessons and what has changed is our ability to close the nets. During Allied Force, one of our more pressing problems for the Air Force was how to deal with moving targets, for instance. That became a very big problem that we had to solve very quickly in Operation Enduring Freedom. We needed to close the kill net, get down to single-digit minutes on how to respond to those targets in response to ground force requests.
So I think if you were to take a snapshot of what our capabilities were prior to OAF and after OAFinitial engagements in AfghanistanI think it has been an incredible acceleration of capability.
Mr. SAXTON. Let me ask a question in a little different way.
As we began to deal with the issues involved in the Afghanistan experience, what is the single biggest problem that you experienced that perhaps you didn't anticipate when the operation started?
General MCKIERNAN. I think in the case of the Army, probably two things, sir. First, we are still dependent on strategic lift to get to the fight, and we will be that way even when we achieve the objective force. So the ability to get into a very sparse infrastructure conditions like Afghanistan is going to require strategic lift and our commitment to resourcing strategic lift.
Mr. SAXTON. Let's just focus on that for a minute then.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have two programs, General, one involving rebuilding the C5, and the second bringing on an additional number of C17s. Can you talk about that for just a minute for us?
General MCKIERNAN. Well, I would tell you first that I think the C17 is a fantastic airplane. Nothing but praise for the C17. And I am hopeful that we will procure more of those in the future years.
We also, though, in other settings, are going to be depended upon fast sealift and I think that is an important strategic lift program to continue to put resources into.
Mr. SAXTON. General Schmidt, would you address the airlift question for us, as well as sealift if you want to?
General SCHMIDT. I would say, number one, that the airliftbuilding the air bridge at the land-locked countrythere are a lot of overflight requirements to get there. There was no easy way to put forces in there other than through an air bridge. I think that is a good success story; Transportation Command and Air Mobility Command did a great job.
But that is one area where we constantly prioritize assets to make the mission happen. And we have to flow our forces very carefully to make sure we don't get caught with the wrong things on the ground first and that sort of thing.
Mr. SAXTON. General, my question was, what were the one or two issues that you found as problems before the operation started that maybe we didn't anticipate? And General McKiernan jumped right off and saidI think he was saying we couldn't get their fast enough, or we couldn't get our people there and our equipment there fast enough, or somedidn't use those words, but he said airlift was a problem.
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So what are we doing to fix the airlift? I know that we have a plan for modernizing the C5 fleet or part of it, and I know that we have a plan to bring on more C17s. We all agree that we need them. And I believe a case can be made that maybe we are tanker-lean as well in building air bridges.
I know the Air Force did a great job, because McGuire Air Force Base is my next door neighbor, and I am proud as punch of the job that the folks at McGuire and Charleston and Dover and all of the other lift-bases' personnel did.
Our question is now we have jumped off by saying, ''This was a problem.'' I am interested in knowing what it is we are going to do to fix it.
General SCHMIDT. Obviously, the C5 is an aircraft that consumes a lot of resources, and what we are doing is trying to get down to the number, and we have some C5Bs that are going to be re-engined and that sort of thing. But the C17; extremely reliable, has proved itself. We are buying more. I think the number is 222 that we are finally going to from the 140the 180.
Mr. SAXTON. Is that official?
General SCHMIDT. I don't think it is. I think that is where we are, sort of, programming ourselves to go; that is a desired level. I am, kind of, getting out of my element here on what the procurement requirements are and that sort of thing.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Understand.
General SCHMIDT. But this is important that we do have the capability to lift our sister services and lift our own folks to the fight quickly. And I think we did that very well.
You don't lift folks to a fight that they are not ready to be in at that time. There was an air campaign that had to go on and that required munitions, required basing being established to launch strikes and that sort of thing. Once we achieved air dominance and the phases begin to shift toward a more ground-centric sort of operation, then we heavily were involved in and prioritized the ground lift. That was the Marines and the Army special operations (ops) folks.
We also became involved very quickly in the humanitarian relief operation. When the first bomb hit the ground, we were doing humanitarian relief missions out of Germany with C17s as well. There were a lot of demands on the aircraft.
I think we met the demands in the right kind of fashion. I wouldn't say we had a problem with the strategic lift. Could have been better if we had had more.
And crews are also an issue too. When you stage crews for 247 around the clock to that theater, the rest of the world doesn't stand still on their demands for strategic lift when this happened, although that was the priority.
But the Air Force is keenly intent on addressing any shortfalls that we identify within our resources to fix that.
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Mr. SAXTON. In your opinion, on the C17 issue, are we going to need to go above 222?
General SCHMIDT. I couldn't talk to that, but I think that is the Air Force's target out there. If we had our wish, that looks like a number we would like to go to.
Mr. SAXTON. We can't build air bridges without a sufficient number of refueling tankers, right?
General SCHMIDT. That is correct. We can hop around the world. It takes time. It is not as responsive as we would like it to be. Tankers build that bridge for us.
Mr. SAXTON. And the new Boeing-involved lease program, is that moving forward?
General SCHMIDT. It is. The concept of leasing the 767 derivativeI think right now the proposals were not quite in the price ranges that are good for us and the contractor, but those are working toward our goal.
Mr. SAXTON. Okay. First of all, let me apologize. I didn't mean to pit you guys against each other. That wasn't my opinion, and I don't want you to be reluctant in answering these questions because that was not a plan. But, that is an important issue and I just wanted to make sure that we explored it some.
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General McKeirnan, go ahead. You were explaining your first problem there when I jumped in.
General MCKIERNAN. Sir, I am sensitive to the fact that we are in a joint team here. We won't get pitted against each other.
Mr. SAXTON. Yes, sir.
General SCHMIDT. Yes, sir.
General MCKIERNAN. My point is simply that more is better on strategic lift to get to the places that we think we are going to have to operate in the future, and I think the strategic lift procedurally in the system works fine. But as we both agree, there is a lot of competition for all of the requirements to move around the world. And my only point is I think our investment in strategic lift, both air and sea, would be important to us in the future.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Do you want to talk about your number one problem in the operations, General? And then we are going to go to Mr. Turner. I have been occupying too much time here.
General SCHMIDT. Well, it looks like my number one problem was lift. [Laughter.]
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I think the coordination of all of the other assets that we had availablethe intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance netto close that on the other side of the world, to be responsive to the action on intelligence, was one of our most difficult things. To set that up initially so that we could put a persistent kill chain on top of the combat area required a lot of ingenuity, a lot of cooperation of the services. And that did come together eventually, and then it was our responsibility now to speed that up.
And again, when you action on intelligence, you pick up a lot of liability on making sure you positively identify targets. Where did the intelligence come from? How quickly can you react? Because, the liability comes eventually to the person who is releasing that weapon. So, we had to make sure we tightened that up, get a proof of concept on what our kill net looked like, and that was very difficult initially.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. TURNER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Maybe I would start with General McKiernan.
We talk a lot about transformation of the Army. Obviously, General Shinseki has been very aggressive with regard to transformation. I think it would help us a little bit to talk a little bit about what that actually means. I know in your statement you said the first step is to transform the culture of the Army, and perhaps it would be good to expand on that a little bit. What about the culture of the Army do we need to change?
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General MCKIERNAN. Sir, I would come at that first of all from the idea that for years our Army and really our services our approach to war-fighting was always based on a conventional, fairly predictable, fairly unambiguous warning scenario: Cold War. And what we have seen since in the last decade is a far more unpredictable, uncertain world that we live in, where our military has got to be capable of operating anywhere along the spectrum of conflict, from high-intensity conventional combat operations to a much smaller scale, low-intensity.
So if we start with a transformation in the way we approach war-fighting, what we at the Army have said is that we need to get to where we can develop a situation and then immediately be decisive in our combat operations, anywhere along that spectrum of operations; where we have to be able to be trained, alerted and then immediately go into operations anywhere around the world very quickly, very responsibly, very flexible, very adaptable. And so it is a different approach to how we train leaders and how we train units; slightly different approach on approaching war-fighting.
The systems part of that, the technology part of that, is not the focus, it is not the principle part of transformation. The future combat system is an enabler for how we want to fight in the future. It is smaller. It will be smaller. It will be more deployable. But it is going to be equally as lethal as today's tank so that we can operate anywhere along that spectrum of operations.
So to answer your question, sir, we have to change a little bit of the way we approach war-fighting, how we develop our leaders to operate anywhere along that continuum of conflict, and then make sure that we have the right systems, whether they are training systems, whether they are platforms, to enable us to be able to do that.
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Mr. TURNER. We have talked about transformation for a number of years, and prior to September 11th, you know, I think we viewed it in terms ofas you expressed itdealing with smaller conflicts. We have seen the deployment of forces in peacekeeping missions. And, of course, now in Afghanistan, we are mopping up a regime and forces that are, as you say, unconventional.
And yet, I think what I am more concerned about is the reality that the immediate threats that we face from terrorism are from small cells operating in different parts of the world that, in many ways, traditionally, we have, sort of, I think, looked at that as that is something that the local law enforcement people in that country have to deal with, or that is something we have to use the CIA to deal with. So it is almost like the most immediate threat that we face as a nation our conventional military forces are not in a position to address, whether it is because of our policy, not using them in that fashion or because we are not prepared or trained.
And I would be interested in your analysis of the role of special forces. I have been to Fort Bragg, and we have some outstanding young men and women there that are highly trained and very capable. But I am interested in your assessment of our capability to deal with this new threat and how we are going to approach that. Because that threat is the threat that is most on our minds, and it is a lot different than what we have been preparing for, because some of the engagements that we talk about that we need to be prepared for in transformation in many ways haven't been as immediate a threat to our own national interests as the one we now face.
General MCKIERNAN. Let me begin, sir, by telling you that I believe we still have some potential opponents, enemies of our nation, out there with some fairly large conventional armies, and our core competency as an Army must remain focused on being able to fight our nation's wars against that sort of opponent and winning those wars.
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Our experience, thus far, specifically in Afghanistan, with our special operating forces, has been a tremendous success. I think we all agree with that. They have operated in every mission set that we have traditionally trained our special operating forces in and have been very successful.
But I would also tell you that our conventional Army forces in Afghanistan, specifically the 10th Mountain Division forces and the 101st, those are the fighters that fought the close-in battle at Anaconda and very well. And so, I think the skill sets that our conventional forces have are definitely applicable to this fight.
What I think we are seeing right now, we have always trained our special operating forces and our conventional forces together in certain opportunities, but we need to probably do more of that in the future. Because what we have right now in the case of Afghanistan, we have both special operations forces and conventional forces that are really operating simultaneously in the same battle space, and we probably can make some improvements on how we increase the frequency of training like that in peace time.
Mr. TURNER. What is the current mix of conventional forces and special operations forces as a percentage of the force?
General MCKIERNAN. Well, in Afghanistan, for example, in that area of responsibility (AOR), there are roughly 19,000 Army soldiers in the AOR; about 2,000 of them are special operations forces.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TURNER. And Army wide, what is that percentage?
General MCKIERNAN. Sir, I don't know the exact percentage off the top of my head, but it is probably somewhat similar to that percentage. I want to say we have about 10,000 or so special operations forces out of 480,000.
Mr. TURNER. Is that a stable number or does that tends to be growing, a growing number?
General MCKIERNAN. Yes, sir. One of the things, the observations, the lessons learned from 9/11 is that we think we will need more additional special operations forces in the future. So we have already approached that within the Army as we look at our force structure, and we are programming to increase our special operations forces over the program objective memorandum (POM) years.
Specifically, the one greatest shortfall that we have seen so far is we need additional special operating forces aviation support, and we are taking steps now to resource that.
Mr. TURNER. Tell me about your view of the new command that has been established in the continental United States and what its role and responsibility and operational function would be?
General MCKIERNAN. Yes, sir. The creation of a new combatant commander, northern command (NORTHCOM), which will be stood up this October, as the other combatant commanders, he will have an area of responsibility which will include the continental United States, and have the military lead for the defense of the homeland.
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Now, the particulars, the implementation plan, and how that headquarters will work are being refined right now by a transition team, by the joint staff with service input. So I can't tell you exactly the mechanics of how NORTHCOM will operate in October, but that combatant commander, that commander in chief (CINC) NORTHCOM will have the homeland security responsibility for the Department of Defense.
Mr. TURNER. What kind of operations would be contemplated by that new command?
General MCKIERNAN. Basically in two areas: homeland defense, most likely providing the Department of Defense (DOD) assets, in support of lead federal agencies; and in consequence management. Two missions that we perform today but not organized like we will be organized under NORTHCOM.
Mr. TURNER. Let me turn to another issue that you and I discussed in my office, and I know that I referred to a book that had been written by a professor nearby that suggested that we may need a change in the way we use the promotional system so that perhaps someone could be rewarded to a greater degree by staying in a position longer, rather than pursuing the usual track in the Army of advancement by promotion to a new assignment, so that we could develop greater expertise in certain areas, particularly in overseas theaters where perhaps the experience of an individual within a country would be very valuable if he was able to be maintained there for a longer period.
Do you have any thoughts on whether that is currently being done within the Army? Do we have the tools and the bonus systems in place that allow us to do that or should there be more changes in that direction?
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General MCKIERNAN. First of all, sir, and I apologize: I haven't read that book since we talked, but I still have that remit to you to get that book and read it, but I can tell you that the major that authored the book, has personally had a conversation with our Army G1 personnel officer and our vice chief of staff. And so, a lot of the ideas that he has put in that book we have already been looking at in the Army and will continue to look at.
Some years ago we transitioned our personnel management system of developing our leaders, called OPMS21, where we have taken certain skill sets that are not what we call the operational command track and we are doing just that; we are making sure that we have opportunities for those officers to remain contributing in a much more specified skill set over time.
So, for example, in the way we do our foreign area officers, we can have a foreign area officer that is able to contribute for a long time at their current rank and become truly an expert in that particular region of the world and to do just what you allude to in keeping a skill set on active duty contributing over a long period of time. And we are doing that with many other functional areas, too.
Mr. TURNER. It seems to me that when we talk about dealing with terrorist cells all over the world, that if we have individuals assigned to regions that can be there over an extended period of time, that they begin to develop a knowledge base about that area and the individuals operating in that area that could be very helpful to us.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General MCKIERNAN. That is right. I couldn't agree with you more.
Another example is in the function of information operations. We are developing a leader development pattern where an officer can serve as a specialist in information operations and stay in that field, that particular area, and perhaps in that same geographic concentration over an extended period of time to give it that same effect.
Mr. TURNER. Thank you, General.
Mr. SAXTON. General, we are going to go to Mr. Gibbons next, but I just wanted to emphasize that I am also very interested in the subject that was last addressed by you and my colleague relative to the subject of finding policy changes, if you will, that might be necessary in order to enhance various human capabilities in various parts of the world. I think that is extremely important and very different today than perhaps it was in the past.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Generals, to you and the gentlemen you brought with you, I want to thank you from a grateful nation for your services to this country. I think it is very important the work you have done for us, and we wanted to thank you for it.
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I have just three areas that I want to go into briefly in the few minutes that I have. Hopefully, we can get some shorter answers to our questions and give everybody an opportunity to ask questions.
From the lessons we have learned to date in our war against terrorism, what are your most significant intelligence needs today, General?
General MCKIERNAN. Sir, I would give you one specific area that we need to accelerate on, and that is the development and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the operational and tactical level. Tremendous value-added from the Air Force's and others' uses of Predator in Afghanistan. And our ability to provide that asset to operational and tactical level commanders, I think, is just absolutely critical now and in the future.
I would offer that unmanned aerial vehicles is something we have to put resources into, accelerate development of and put out in the hands of the war-fighter.
Mr. GIBBONS. General Schmidt.
General SCHMIDT. Sir, I would just concur with General McKiernan.
Our secretary of the Air Force has said that the three lessons learned that he would put forward would be the importance of unmanned aerial vehicles, the value of sensor fusion, and the need for a multimission aircraft. And all those lessons would point to the intelligence importance of detection of an intelligence article or whatever to where it be actioned; it has to be shortened. The need to take intelligence, analyze it, distribute it, operationalize it and get it to someone who can do something about it needs to be shortened, and that is where we are putting our focus.
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Mr. GIBBONS. Well, modernization is what we are talking about here, and those are important issues and areas that we want to go forward with. Modernization also includes personnel.
Let me ask you a basic question: Is our personnel strength today adequate to fight our war on terrorism wherever we are going to go with that?
General MCKIERNAN. Sir, it is adequate, with some degree of risk. As you know, our service chief has been on record with our need for an increased manning. We have the ability and we have had the success over the past few years of recruiting and retention to be able to do that. So we are analyzing this right now. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and perhaps all don't see the world exactly the same way end-strength, but there are some specific skill sets that we think our analysis shows that we could use additional manning.
Mr. GIBBONS. General Schmidt.
General SCHMIDT. I concur with that as well. There is operational risk in doing things on a smaller scale than you would say I like to cover my debts completely. We had to mobilize, and the answer I would give you now in July might be different than the answer I would give you in November facing an unknown adventure on the other side of the world. We have mobilized to date 31,000 Guard and Reserve and we are in a demobilization process right now and we fully anticipate to demobilize and draw stop-loss actions down.
Mr. GIBBONS. Let me ask a follow-up question, because I read yesterday's Early Bird before I came here today, and I have read today's Early Bird as well. The Army is on the verge of being recommended for a cut of up to 20,000 to 25,000 personnel; the Air Force would cut probably 40,000 personnel as recommended by Mr. Chu in his study to the DOD. What is your opinion as to those cuts, General?
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General MCKIERNAN. Sir, I think we are going to be engaged with OSD and some careful analysis on those cuts
Mr. GIBBONS. That is a careful answer, I would have to admit.
General MCKIERNAN [CONTINUING]. And what the risk associated with them would be, but in my personal opinion, I am not really comfortable with that number.
Mr. GIBBONS. General McKiernan, I appreciate that answer because I am very concerned at the time that as we are going into an extended operation against terrorism, we are talking also about end-strength cuts when, in fact, we have just gone through a period when we have decided that we have had shortfalls in personnel.
General Schmidt, what is your answer?
General SCHMIDT. Sir, I would say that to answer Dr. Chu's proposal, the Air Force would have to come back in a transformational way and say, you know, bodies aren't just bodies. What is a way we can do the job and maybe not necessarily as manpower intensive? And we are working our way through that analysis right now.
Mr. GIBBONS. Let me ask one final question about our operation in Afghanistan. This is something that has troubled me for some time since I have learned some of the reports that have come back.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And during Operation Anaconda, it was reported that our soldiers who were under fire on the ground had to wait up to 40 minutes for close air support. In some cases this support was denied by persons at higher headquarters in the rear, sort of, second-guessing, if you will, their request. General McKiernan, what can you tell us about that?
General MCKIERNAN. The specific denial I really can't comment on. I don't know the specifics of that.
I will tell you, sir, that CAS, close air support, is a hard skill, and can we do better at it jointly
Mr. GIBBONS. Well, let me ask this question: Did you ever hear or learn at any time during Operation Anaconda that any of your troops on the ground had their close air support request denied?
General MCKIERNAN. I did hear that, yes, sir.
Mr. GIBBONS. What did you hear?
General MCKIERNAN. That it was denied at a higher level than the ground tactical command.
Mr. GIBBONS. But what were the specifics that you heard that you could talk to us about?
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General MCKIERNAN. I cannot address the specifics of why it was denied.
Mr. GIBBONS. So you just can confirm that some of these requests were denied?
General MCKIERNAN. Yes, sir. Whether it was for target reason or needed somewhere else, I can't comment on that.
Mr. GIBBONS. General Schmidt, do you have any knowledge or understanding of these denials?
General SCHMIDT. If close air support is requested, it is that: It is a request. The air component commander and the commander in chief that is operating in that theater is the one who is forwarding those forces and approving those forces.
I had not heard of any denials. I have not heard of a request that was approved that wasn't followed through and fairly quickly, given the constraints of positive target identification. The rush to put a bomb somewhere where you don't know what the target environment is about can sometimes be catastrophic.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Before we go to my friend, Mr. Rodriguez, I would feel negligent if I didn't just wonder out loud what the logical position of Mr. Chu is. And I am sure he is a great guy and everything, but just based on my observations of what our military folks and the guard and reserve folks that have been involved in this Afghan war, the operating tempo (OPTEMPO) has been talked about, particularly in the Air Force, from my vantage point, people away from home too much, not enough people to carry out the mission in a comfortable way, away from home too much, away from family too much, not enough folks to carry out the mission and still have good quality of life. With regard to the guard and reserve, the question has been asked over and over again about how much more pressure we can put on the guard and reserve and the guard and reserve employers.
And so, I was handed a paper yesterday with these recommendations or thoughts in it about reducing end-strength and it just didn't make any sense to me. So I hope somebody is listening and they can convey that to whoever had the idea.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Chairman, I agree with you.
I think because we have been hearing testimony at least since I have been here for the last few years about the need for, you knowin fact, the figure of 40,000 for the Army was thrown out some time ago, even prior to 9/11, and 30,000 for the Air Force and another 8,500 for, you know, another number. And for us, you know, I think it is almost irresponsible at this point in time, where we are in war, for us to be looking at cutting back when at least, as we have been told, we have close to 79,000 either reservists or guards people that have been out there on full-time, and that can be pretty taxing on some of those individuals.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So it just doesn't make sense to me for us to be even considering any major cuts such as this. In fact, we ought to be just the opposite, trying to beef up.
I am glad to see the general at least the word of concern and risk because I would rather go on the thing that we might have too many engaged than not have enough, you know, and then find ourselvesbecause if I am on the other side and I know you only have 100 men or 10, you know, I might take you on, but if you got 1,000, I am going to think twice. And so, are you going to respond quickly with another force? But, if you don't have that backup to respond, then we might find ourselves in deeper problems. So, I am glad of, at least, the comments or the words that you used, you know, because some of us feel those same concerns.
I wanted to talk about that because you mentioned we have 185,000 troops that are deployed already. And I hope this is not, but if we do happen to go and look at IraqI know the last time we had a half a million people out there. What is a foreseeable numbers that are needed if that is the case that we have to take on Iraq?
General MCKIERNAN. Sir, first is, the 185,000 that I mentioned are either forward-based or forward-deployed. We have about 55,000 soldiers that are forward-deployed in over 60 countries right now.
In this environment, I really could not get into a number associated with the plan for that part of the world.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. I am just looking at the numbers we had the last time, and we didn't even go into Iraq and we had half a million, roughly.
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General MCKIERNAN. We had a sizable ground force, yes, sir.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. I know Congressman Turner mentioned the importance of special forces, and I am feeling a lot more comfortable in terms of the dialogue that I am hearing from you, and I would go back to the dialogue I had some years ago in Colombia regarding the forces there. And I was convinced that if we went in there that we would do a good job. But I also raised the issue then that if we went into Colombia, if I am a drug pusher, you know, I am going to go elsewhere, and that it was just going to expand into Peru, in Ecuador, and all the others, and that is exactly what is happened.
And so, you look at drug pushers just like, you know, Al Qaida and the terrorists, they are not going to remain stagnant. They are going to be moving around. It is going to be little cells. And do we have the capability in the military to be able to handle that, to be able to, you know, almost, kind of, be able to get intelligence?
And I would, kind of, disagree if somebody is stable in one country because these are not people that remain stable, they are going to be moving around. And so, are we looking at that at all in terms of how we can follow these groups?
If they are going to Lebanon and the guys there tells us, ''Look, I need your help. What can you do?'' I mean, it is not like going in and, you know, bombing Lebanon. You know, here we have the Taliban that we can go after, but if you just have a group within the society, you know, how do we deal with that?
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General MCKIERNAN. Sir, we certainly are looking at that. And, of course, there are two primary requirements: one is the right intelligence, actionable intelligence, and then the capability to do some intelligence. And we are looking at both of those in terms of our special operating forces.
The other great skill set that our special forces bring that is different than our conventional infantry is one of their primary core competencies is to be able to train an indigenous force. So we have our special forces today in Afghanistan that are training up the first parts of an Afghan national military. Not an easy process and it will take an extensive period of time, but that is something that they provide that helps to get out the problem that you talked about because if the target is not there any longer we can't stay there forever.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. If I am the target, I am not going to be staying around either for you to get me. I am going to be moving around. And, it just reminds me of a gang in a community or the drug pushers in a community, they move around. If the pressure gets tooyou know, they will go elsewhere and do their damage elsewhere.
And so, General Schmidt, I noticed that you also mentioned in terms of researchand I was glad to see you also talked about Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio and some of the research there. From a terrorist perspective, one of the things I think that we haven't moved on is the transition of maybe some of that research that has already taken place to the civilian, you know, in terms of protecting our infrastructure or, you know, maybe our bases. And I know a lot of that is going on. I don't now if you want to make some comments in that area in terms of how we can make the transition to homeland defense.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I know that yesterday we talked in the Armed Services Committee regarding research and that type of research on those types of activities and what would go under homeland defense and what would stay under the Department of Defense or Air Force, and I know we struggled with that yesterday in the committee.
And that bill is kind of specific; it says it is going to be right here at this location. And I don't know what is going to be thereyou know, what is going to stay with the Air Force, what is going to stay with the Department of Defense, and I was wondering if you might have some thoughts in that area.
General SCHMIDT. Sir, if you are referring to the data lab initiatives, I don't think there has ever been a more collaborative environment since post-9/11. That is not an Research and Development (R&D) operation necessarily, and it is funded out of operations and maintenance (O&M) as operational line funds.
Their mission is to get things quickly and normally they go to the civilian sector or other agency sectors and they say, ''We have a problem with air base defense. We need some stand-off, we need a denial system or a weapon, non-lethal.'' And particularly, if you start looking in the continental United States. Then they go out and they find something off the shelf and they bring that and they try to operationalize it for our uses.
When they are doing that, and whatever results they have in their research and development at the local leveland these are just line folks that come in, these are our security forces, our engineers, our mobility people, when they have a requirement, they try to work this so it makes sense. And when they get a result, they are still in league with our other agencies and they work with the Department of Energy and the Department of State, because they have installations that are around the world and also in the United States that would be attractive terrorist targets.
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So those things that any agency pops up with on the net today is shared pretty rapidly with everyone else. So we watch the other services, we watch what the Department of Energy is using for their sensitive sites and it is very collaborative.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Because I know that there is a lot of research there that can be extremely helpful even for the private sector.
We have been trying also, and I don't know how much emphasis there is on cyber-terrorism because I know the number of hits have been increasing and the real seriousness of maybe even our computers and that kind of thing even on the private and public sector and the need to, kind of, focus in that direction also because we have, kind of, a tendency to look at chemical and biological but in not in terms of the cyber-stuff.
And I was wondering if we have experience, you know, maybe some stuff in Afghanistan. I know here some of the things we experienced is we couldn't use our phones at all so now we have little Blackberries, you know. And so, I was wondering how we were doing in that area.
General MCKIERNAN. Sir, we were very involved with computer network operations before 9/11, but since 9/11, I would say it is taken off to a new level of focus, both in terms of computer network exploitation, of trying to exploit the bad guys' ability to communicate and use cyber-technology, and in our ability to defend our own networks.
And I would just tell you in this setting, we have a lot of energy and a lot of focus on that in a very collaborative way with other agencies, other services and we will continue to do that because I agree with you, that is a potential strength, and it is also a potential vulnerability for all of us.
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Mr. RODRIGUEZ. A large number of our H1B visas, of people that we brought in from abroad190,000 prior to 9/11were in the area of computer and technology, because we were not preparing our own in terms of the bachelors and masters and Doctors of Philosophy (Ph.D.s) in computers, and especially computer security and that kind of thing, and there is a real need for us to focus on educating and some resources in that area.
I thought I would, you know, throw that out, and I know there are some efforts that are being made in that area. So hopefully we will beef that up.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Hayes and then Mr. Simmons.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, gentlemen, for being here.
I want to follow up on a couple of things that Mr. Gibbons was talking about.
First, for the record and for your own protection, let me tell you that I have penned a letter to the secretary of defense asking the questions about why we apparently need more forces, and he is talking about cutting our forces. That letter was sent before you all appeared today in answer to any of our questions.
On close air support, having been in Afghanistan during Operation Anaconda, how do you provide close air support from a B52 when you are fighting in the vertical from 8,000 to 12,000 feet? This seemed to be a significant problem. And how are we addressing that?
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General SCHMIDT. Sir, I will take that one from the air side and start.
First of all, on the ground we have our combat controllers who are, I think, pretty well trained, and they work closely with other government agencies as well as our special operations forces. Now hopefully, we have the right kind of equipment with them. Now, we know we have some issues to work with the ground-lasingyou know, the spot tracker; you get a diffused spot. It is not quite as accurate as if you have an elevated, higher-angle spot. So we watch very carefully where the requests come from for close air support.
A B52 carrying a smart munition is strictly a launch platform. If he is in the window to launch that weapon, and depending on the size of the bomband most of our joint direct-attack munitions are in the 2,000 pound classdepending on what he wants to hit, personnel or a bunker or whatever, that is communicated electronically from him up to the B52. The weapon is programmed and the weapon is delivered if it meets the criteria.
Close air support is putting munitions close to friendly troops. It used to be done by fighter aircraft of slower moving aircraft. And if we had our way, it would be done by visually with slower moving aircraft in an environment that we could sanitize. That is not always possible. So we have really leveraged technology to make close air support viable.
Again, this is a legacy system. This is transformational. A strategic nuclear bomber that is now dropping munitions in close proximity to friendly forces because troops are almost in contact is pretty revolutionary.
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But I think we have shown that that works fairly well. And we have been able to bring some of our troops back that have been involved in that, and they have amazed themselves.
But again, we have to be careful how we do that knowing some of the limitations of current technology and taking those limitations, putting them into our research and development efforts to try to make those better, because that will be the way to the future.
We will try to use stand-offs as much as possible to keep those platforms alive but when we need to, they need to get lower to the fight to drop current day weapons, and that is where the B52, from that higher altitude, has been fairly safe because we have achieved air dominance.
Mr. HAYES. Well, the coordination is very good, and this is not couched in terms of a complaint, but I have heard, and I think it is legitimate, from the Army's point of view, that a B52 cannot do what an A10 can do, cannot do what a helicopter looking straight atwhen I say fighting in the vertical on Roberts Ridge was like this. Iraq was in the horizontal.
General SCHMIDT. Yes. You require very detailed information, particularly in the vertical axis. Coordinates X, Y are pretty easy to do. To get the exact vertical part of that equation is the hardest part.
And that is where a man on the ground, who is at that elevation with a global positioning system (GPS) instrument that is fairly reliable, can give you that. And that is why we have been successful at the higher elevations with the steep slopes and all that sort of thing to do what we have done. And we have dropped a tremendous amount of precision-guided munitions that have been just sent off satellite-guided and hit precisely on the target.
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And if you listen to the accounts from the troops that are calling in strikes, as they make their way through those elevated target areas, they call a strike on a target, the target goes away.
Those have been very good and very few re-attacks required.
Mr. HAYES. Well, both Pope and Bragg are in my district, so I am very appreciative of the coordination between the air and Airborne and all of that.
Very keenly aware. Just keep working to make sure the guys on the ground have what they want.
Is the Hunter unmanned vehicle headed for Bragg? I seem to be hearing something about that.
General SCHMIDT. Yes, sir, well, it is headed in support of 18th Airborne Corps. It will actually be stationed at Fort Polk where we have some Hunter assets there now that we use in support of the Joint Readiness Training Center.
But when I talked before about our need for increasing, accelerating our unmanned aerial vehicle capability, getting it in the hands of the fighter, we are in the process of resourcing additional Hunter capability, one company of which will go in support of 18th Airborne Corps.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HAYES. You all are doing a great job, and we want to make sure and this committee is certainly committed to giving you all the assets you need. We are most appreciative, as are our constituents, to the commitment and also the sacrifice that your men and women are making.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Rob, you are up.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Much of the focus this morning has been on what I would call external or objective approaches to counterterrorism: operations in the field, efforts to deliver ordnance on somewhat small and specific targets, things of that nature.
I would like to shift the focus a little bit, and I realize this is an open session and perhaps that we can't say too much. But during the Cold War, the Russians, the Chinese, other countries were very effective at placing their people within our structures and within our organizations, putting folks into key points within the U.S. military so that they could effectively manipulated certain actions.
We are in a somewhat different mode today, but we are dealing with a group of folks who have proven themselves successful in getting into our country and moving around our country and disrupting some of the activities in our country.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC To what extent have the military services, the Air Force and the Army, addressed that internal threat, especially in looking at how you screen personnel, assign personnel, clear personnel, polygraph, if you will, personnel and otherwise vet yourselves against or protect yourselves against the terrorist threat from within?
General MCKIERNAN. Sir, there is certainly an increased sensitivity to doing just that. Probably, in our mind, our greatest threat is what Congressman Rodriguez talked about as the cyber-threat. That is how a modern opponent or future opponent can get into our information and decision making, through the cyber-domain. So we have a lot of effort ongoing to protect our systems.
But in this open setting, I can tell you that we share your concerns, and we are very sensitive to making sure that we have the right defense mechanisms and screening mechanisms so that that doesn't happen.
General SCHMIDT. Sir, I would say the Air Force is working the same venue as the Army on that, and it is extremely important.
I just returned from three years overseasone year in Southwest Asia and then two years in Europewith access to programs, as an operational commander in combat. And I came back to the Pentagon, and one of the first things I had to do was go get a national security polygraph to make sure I had access to the policy parts of what we are doing.
Mr. SIMMONS. How did you do?
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHMIDT. I passed. [Laughter.]
Or they actually haven't worked the results through the system. I don't know.
But that shows that nothing is taken for granted really. And I watch the handling of classified materials, the way we discuss things, particularly with any operational plans, and we are very careful that we are not getting it in front of our combatant commanders and that sort of thing with our discussions.
So I think there is an entirely new awareness on how we handle, how we discuss, how we relate to things that are sensitive to national security and ongoing operations. There is just a whole new sense ofI don't know how to say it, but it is very, very serious.
Mr. SIMMONS. I thank you for your responses.
And I thank the chair. I realize that, at some future date, this panel will probably look a little more closely at some of these issues, but I certainly appreciate those responses.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Maloney.
Mr. MALONEY. None at this time.
Mr. SAXTON. Can you, in a generic way, because this is a sensitive question, I suspect, and probablyin fact, Mr. Simmons just alluded to the fact that, after we get back here, after August, we are going to try to have a closed hearing on military intelligence.
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It is a big concern, as I indicated to both of you before the hearing started. It seems to me that our military capabilities is quite good. Not so sure that where we have been with intelligence in the past, I am not sure that we have transitioned to meet the new needs of those that we need to know more about.
Could you just give me a general sense of your feelings on this subject?
General MCKIERNAN. Yes, sir. I think across the services, when we look back in perspective of where we were at 10 years ago, in terms of capabilities to gather, analyze intelligence, I think we have made great leaps in our capabilities.
From a personal standpoint, in this global war on terrorism there comes a point where technology only can take you so far. In other words, imagery or signal intelligence will take you to a certain point, but then you have to also have a very robust ability to gather human intelligence. And that is a point that I know that we have to look at how we are resourcing that.
As the Army downsized over the last decade, some of that HUMINT or human intelligence capability downsized, and I think we are going to need to relook our capability to do that in places that we weren't used to working in. We don't have a lot of Pashtun speakers or Pashtun human intelligence experts in the United States Army, and there we are in southern Afghanistan in that environment.
So I think one perspective I would offer is there is a balance between technology and human intelligence, and we have to make sure we have the right resourcing to achieve that balance.
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Mr. SAXTON. General Schmidt, any thoughts?
General SCHMIDT. The value of the intelligence we have as we get now is only as good as how we can action it. We are spiraling our air operation centers so that what intelligence we do have now can get to someone who can action that intelligence and do it responsibly.
We know that how to get intelligence isn't always available to us. Current situation taken the capability intent. It is very difficult. We know what the intent is, where the enemy would like to destroy us, but what is their capability? And the way we get that is through technology right now, and it is an over-reliance on technology. So I echo that the human part of this would help us quite a bit in filling out that part of the equation.
If the center of gravity for the terrorist threat is their ability to organize, their ability to put plans into action using money or connections, then we need to find out how to get into that loop and continue to fractionalize them. We know if they mass, whether it is the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), or whether it is Al Qaida in Afghanistan or Pakistan, we know that they will continue to get broken into smaller and smaller pieces. And our ability to glean intelligence on where the next terrorist act is going to come from gets harder and harder to get with technology.
Mr. SAXTON. I have a lot of questions and I am not sure which ones I should ask and which ones I shouldn't ask, so I am just not going to ask any more on this subject right now.
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But we look forward to examining over a several-hour period, maybe in September, the capabilities of the services, the capabilities provided by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency and the whole gamut, and also the relationship with other, I guess you would call them civilian agencies, CIA and FBI and some of those folks. Because I think this is just a very apropos subject for us to learn more about so that we can in some way be helpful in meeting this need.
Anybody have any further questions?
Well, let me just thank you for being here with us and being so generous with your time. We appreciate it very much.
There are lots of other issues that we, I am sure, could have gone into on modernization, but for the purposes of this hearing I think we will just call it a day.
And again, thank you. We appreciate what you do and we appreciate the great service that you and all those who are with you, that you have provided to our country throughout your career, but particularly in the last year.
Thank you, and the hearing is adjourned.
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[Whereupon, at 10:20 a.m., the panel was adjourned.]