And I think we would be a little better—we’d be much better off if we were a little more supportive—and those countries have capability and we need to be a less dismissive of them and figure out how to use them in a more effective, better way. And so it is a changing dynamic. December 30, 2020. (Applause.). That’s what they do. So in my interactions with China, the China Coast Guard, they used to call themselves the Five Dragons. You add it all together and you connect those dots, that’s a fundamentally different external behavior of a nation state. And that’s quite a bit different than what I saw in the fall. They deserve the sacraments. The Real Problem with America's Military. RICHARDSON: Well, I think, you know, the point to be made is that—and, you know, we talk about this in the tank quite a bit—is that every one of these conflicts now is sort of transregional, right? So what are we doing about that? And I’m not going to speak to those authorities that are available to the president of the United States and the national leadership under authorities that they use to protect the nation. And so as you’ve seen the dynamic really change there, you’re seeing partnerships emerging with nations in that region that have, you know, really grown, particularly recently. Do we still need NATO or not? If you could set aside sequestration for a moment, what is, you know, the top thing you want? We’ve got abilities. A number of allegations in recent months regarding questionable ethical behavior-- as well as that which is decidedly unethical -- have afflicted nearly every segment of the armed forces including the Navy, Air Force, National Guard, and the Marines. And I think each of our services, our national leadership has asked us to do certain things with capabilities and we’re doing that. MILLEY: I don’t want to take it because I gave a speech up at Norwich a week ago and I used the word “hybrid” and “little green men” and everybody’s saying I’m talking about aliens coming into America, so I’m staying away from it this time. Now, it doesn’t appear to be a very stable and safe place because there are people doing nefarious things out there, but I would just suggest, if we weren’t there, what else would they be doing if we weren’t out there to monitor their activities and kind of keep an eye on things? We were—we keep repeating it’s not drone, it’s not an unmanned aircraft, it’s a remotely piloted aircraft, which we’re even getting tired of saying and everybody’s really tired of hearing it. by Kristen A. Cordell And from an Air Force perspective, you can attack all those different pieces simultaneously. He is probably well-known to many of you who watched TV during the Deepwater Horizon spill, which was something that he was the on-scene coordinator for the federal government, directing the 47,000 responders to that. And if that’s where they’re going, then I think that changes kind of the calculus in this whole thing. It goes back to how big the forces are. The other services are experiencing problems in specific functional areas: pilots, cyber warriors and special ops, as examples. Each year, the military must recruit about 150,000 enlistees. So you get into this tit-for-tat thing, and I think the real issue is how do you, OK, let’s stop; we need to step back on this. SANGER: I remember in 2010 being in Beijing—early 2011, with Secretary Gates, your old boss, General Milley. In the near term, that’s not in deciding how to deliver nuclear weapons, for example. WELSH: —because quantity does have a quality all its own in our business. (Laughter.). I’d missed several recent issues of the Marine Corps … You know, they’re not—whatever faith they are, they’re there. Is Russia a long-term challenge, General Welsh? And particularly, talk a little bit about Syria and Iraq in this current struggle. SANGER: These guys are going to have to take sides, yeah. by Matthias Matthijs Answer. Early in the year, that was reduced to 76,500. Could you move them back across the border? So they’re looking at, rather than go peer-to-peer, it’s almost an asymmetrical approach to what the strengths of our military is to build that up. (Laughter.) And Military Times look at where your MRE's come from, on Defense News Weekly for Jan. 9, 2021. And, General Milley, let’s start with you. It’s less than 10 percent—significantly less than 10 percent. Everything stems, you know, beyond—transregionally if not globally, cyber being a big part of this. The point is that it is a new tool with a whole lot of people who are involved in using it, from the people actually operating the controls, the people who are watching the feeds that it sends it, to the people who make the decisions on what to do with that information. Thank you. They are much more than that now. And that will be—that could be a challenge, especially on the Syrian side of the border. Yeah. You know, when you think about the five big areas—, MILLEY: General Neller, is that what you—. SANGER: Well, let’s turn to our members here. Yeah, we just don’t know. MILLEY: They Army has been involved in Iraq and Afghanistan and we’ve suffered a lot of casualties. Civil war, ethnic war, cold war, identity wars have been the cause of ruining human civilizations. And I should also say that all five have been read their Miranda rights. We can use them to observe quality and pattern of life. Today's Army is the most well-equipped and most responsive in its well-storied history. And how do you think we’re doing on it today? (Laughter.). (Laughter.). I think we need to make sure that we engage not only the military element of power, but also the diplomatic and economic, which are extremely important in that world. And then we have the compendium for it. Indeed, it sets an example that the rest of us would be wise to follow. Thank you. So you want to make—you know, you want to build public trust, one, that you’ll produce outcomes but, two, you’ll be a good steward of the resources you invested in. So that force is now being rebuilt. SANGER: OK, do we still need NATO, a question I think I’ve heard in the campaign here or there. By the way, the biggest change in Iraq and Syria, and ISIS, and from an air perspective is, in August of ’14, when this began, we looked at them as a terrorist group and we targeted them as a terrorist group, and we tried to collect intelligence on them as a terrorist group. Dennis Laich retired from the U.S. Army as a major general in 2006. So the secretary of defense has talked about the five big areas of effort for the military these days: China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and, of course, the counterterrorism mission. NELLER: Could I just—on this question I agree with Mark about the Iraqi security forces. SANGER: General Welsh, one of the notable elements of this war against ISIS, but before that against al-Qaida, and before that generally in Afghanistan and Iraq, has been the astounding use by the Air Force and also by the CIA, but mostly by the Air Force, of unmanned vehicles. But there is some discussion that, no, we should not do that. And it’s correct that there’s going to have to be some Sunni ground force. It’s an integrated system. Who wants to take that? I also want to warn them that for the first time this event is on the record. Could you say a little more on that? And it’s the concerns about a rising China, but particularly about the South China Sea. Is it more Marines? And it doesn’t even address mine warfare. The issue with the Iraqi security forces is not so much one of loyalty and religious confession sort of thing. He’s had that job now for about two years. The Air Force is 40 percent smaller than it was in 1991 and the appetite to use the military as an instrument of national power has not diminished at the same rate. December 28, 2020. And then add onto it all these aggressive incident-type behaviors, and barrel rolls over aircraft, and challenging ships, and submarine activity, and cyber activity. That’s for sure. They may be connected to manned platforms. In addition to the measures noted above, numerous pundits, consultants, think tankers and military personnel professionals have recommended measures to enhance recruiting. Is it another carrier strike group? Soldiers routinely complain that they are living in damp houses without proper heating or insulation. Today I’ve got probably in the neighborhood of 15 tons of pure, uncut cocaine on ships deploying in this area today—whole of government, intel-driving operations—but two years ago we had four ships down there. General Milley of the Army, who I think you heard before is now the 39th chief of staff of the Army. And this is the first time I’ve ever seen the U.S. government acknowledge the use of offensive cyber capability, and make the point that it is just another weapon in the arsenal. And these are very different kinds of missions, because counterterrorism requires you to be focused in on small forces, very precision in applying a large amount of force in a small amount of area where you can, big intelligence issues. But I’ll tell you, you know, we are, I would have to say—there’s an issue of magazine depth there in terms of interceptors, and there is—you know, we’re on the wrong side of the cost curve as well. December 22, 2020, To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that Are you normalizing cyberwarfare, even while we’re using it against an enemy like ISIS? Their moral has gone down. He’s been in many different groupings, including special forces over the last 35 years. These are the 10th graders in your local high school. And previous to that he was commander of the Coast Guard Pacific area. And that’s why we can’t fix this. About 70 percent of casualties have been Army. And so if you look at—if you want to study the United States, really it’s like going back to Mahan. This is an issue that impacts not only national security, but also the social fabric of our democracy. May 12, 2020, Virtual Event It is a little less threatening when you put Coast Guard ships in. Russian behavior changed. The problem belongs to the American people and Congress. Is NATO obsolete? They’re doing incredible work day in and day out counseling soldiers in the midst of a fight but also after the fight when the trauma is sometimes very, very serious. And as you said, you know, some of the technology that’s resident on those platforms is really exquisite. So I think the only thing like it is Her Majesty’s Ship Victory that Lord Nelson served on. SANGER: And we’ve seen one other change in the past six to eight months. Build quiet subs and put them in the straits. Russia has aggressively crossed sovereign international boundaries that have been sovereign countries since the fall of the Berlin Wall in ’89 and ’90. And yet you also have a discussion going on in the country about whether or not we even want to be engaged around the world as fully as we have been. It’s not moving your families around. As Admiral Richardson said, you know, every day our networks are under attack and our ability to identify those people that are attacking us—I mean, you know, we can pour boiling oil over the wall and scrape them off the wall of the castle, but if I can see them over there in the woods forming up to make their attack, do I have the authority to—, SANGER: And right now you do not, except—. I know that everyone here joins me in thanking the chiefs for taking the time out of their schedules to be with us tonight, but more importantly I know everyone here joins me in thanking them for what they do for all of us, the other 364 days a year. The propensity (willingness) to serve is approximately 15 percent, leaving 1,020,000 able but unwilling to serve, and 180,000 able and willing to serve. We think it is. So in terms of land, for example, the territory of the caliphate has been reduced significantly. Q: I’m Padma Desai, economics professor at Columbia University. We just quit paying attention. NELLER: As a former NATO staff officer at SHAPE, it’s a political alliance. These are Inuit tribesmen who have lived up there for more than the last millennium and they say: The ocean around us has changed. They’re being hugely successful in Anbar right now. Why not? “As the Navy … I’m Richard Haass. We had a phone conversation yesterday. SANGER: —than we’ve ever seen before as well. And it’s been tested and I’m very confident that—it depends on volume but I’m very confident it will be successful. If conscription were implemented, many would still volunteer but it is reasonable to assume that a higher quality force could be generated from a pool of 1,020,000 than from a pool of 180,000. And so we’re actually—you know, the secretary has been very successful in putting together a ship-building program that has us on a growth in terms of those numbers. Unless you don't pay any attention to the news and, we guess, skipped the previous entries, you probably already know that the military has a problem with sexual assault. SANGER: China is a long-term challenge, for the reasons we’ve discussed. They’ve got to be competitive in those environments, and that’s becoming more challenging as technology is becoming more sophisticated around the world. They’re just not all sitting on or riding an airplane. (Laughter.). WELSH: The largest period of sustained lack of conflict in Western Europe in history, I think. And I’m very confident of the outcome. So we have a capability to do that. But the military is facing a number of challenges, from continued efforts to restore readiness after years of Washington’s budget dysfunction … NELLER: Well, let me jump on that one. We’re working with the Japanese coast guard, that is doing capacity building to shore up, build up those navies, those coast guards to assert their sovereign rights, and trying to get ASEAN to work collectively. We’ve been that since World War II, and that’s been part of what we’ve done in this country, not for gain but for economic advantage for everybody, for the opportunity for people to establish their own way of life. And one of the things we’re all facing is that the military services have all shrunk. And so it’s something we have to be concerned about in the future. But I think what we’ve done is, first of all, identified the problem, seen that it has certain traits or characteristics that are identifiable, and then helped our partner nations develop counter-capabilities, to include intelligence in messaging and information so that they—when they see something like this they can confront it and call it out and they don’t sit there and wait and somebody’s like, hey, who are these guys walking around dressed like this and what did they say and how did this story get planted, and then there’s a political aspect to it. Assessing President Trump’s Legacy of Cyber Confusion, Blog Post SANGER: And even without simultaneity, you have the pivot. At the end of the day, we have got to work by, with, and through indigenous forces in order to destroy ISIS. The real hard question is what happens if one of these other contingencies were to go off that—and Bob Neller was talking about Korea and John Richardson was talking about China, and we haven’t even talked about Russia yet or some of these others. Three Issues Facing Veterans In Your Community. On October 29, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence welcomed Blue Star Families to Brookings to discuss their 2015 Annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, an … And so, you know, I’m confident that if one or two missiles were fired by an adversary that we would have a—we have the capability to defeat that missile. And they’re huge combat multipliers because, as General Milley says, even though if you went—whatever chapel you would go based on your perspective faith, there may not be a lot of people at church, but when people start shooting at you, everybody gets religion. They came on the scene in the spring of ’14. In late 2017, the Army’s Center for Initial Military Training began a study to look into improving the quality of recruits, both in discipline and physical fitness. I mean, I think the only people that are questioning NATO are Americans. NELLER: There’s no Marine Corps unit—just like an Army unit or a Navy ship that sails or an Air Force squadron or Coast Guard ship—that doesn’t go where they go forward—. Is it possible? Their finances are under intense pressure. Backgrounder ), So, yeah, we do need to modernize, but the good news is when you say, what do you need, you need to be able to modernize but you need to maintain your force structure at the same time. MILLEY: It’s been very effective—very effective, as pointed out, for seven decades. And then when ISIL or ISIS attacked in the spring of ’14 they were pushing essentially against an open door and the Iraqi security forces collapsed coming down the Euphrates and Tigris River valleys. NELLER: I read the MIT program. They’ve been active in there. And that is yet to come. SANGER: Meaning if you had—defend if you had—, SANGER: —an attack of just one or two or a handful of—. Let’s develop a fully developed air campaign to get at all of those and then, you know, extend it ever beyond that so that we’re looking at every tool that we’ve got to really, you know, as the president wants us to do, is to crush this enemy. And I think we will be successful and I think there is sufficient forces. And if you think—you know, there a lot of analogies that are made between nuclear and cyber, for example. NELLER: Well, I think the first thing we have to do is be able to protect ourselves and protect our citizens and protect our allies. SANGER: And how does that change the calculus? The challenges facing the British Army. The problem is not the military’s. MILLEY: He’s a little green man. And so our biggest concern is about a miscalculation, but their coast guard has not been transparent in terms of what their intent is. NELLER: Well, since I’ve been in service, Korea was always the big fight, or potentially the big fight, because of the politics involved and the aggressive nature of the North Koreans, regardless of who the leader was. It improves our training and our readiness, but it’s expensive because, you know, we put hours on planes and miles on vehicles and—. Many in the Army strongly believe that much of the accommodation is poor. ZUKUNFT: And so we talked a lot about the Mideast, talked a lot about ISIL, South China Sea. And so this is an area where the fight is on. We’ve got the total Army, so we’re about a million strong in the United States Army. And this taskforce will release its report in June, co-chaired by Sam Nunn, the former senator, and a gentleman known very well to these men, Admiral Mike Mullen, who was the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs. 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