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TRANSCRIPT: Key Leaders Discuss AFRICOM's Lessons-Learned at Hearing on National Security and Interagency Collaboration
Key leaders from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. Agency of International Development discussed lessons-learned and ways forward for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), during a
Key leaders from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. Agency of International Development discussed lessons-learned and ways forward for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), during a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on July 28, 2010.

The hearing, focusing on national security and interagency collaboration at U.S. AFRICOM and U.S. SOUTHCOM, addressed the results of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports at the two commands.

Thomas Countryman, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, said that while there are still some issues between the State Department and DOD concerning AFRICOM's missions and activities, the command is "still young and rapidly gaining experience."

"After General Ward took command, AFRICOM welcomed our input and developed a mission statement that aligns its military operations in unambiguous support of U.S. Foreign Policy," Countryman added.

Countryman also talked about the role of U.S. Africa Command's deputy to the command for civil-military activities, which is filled by a U.S. Ambassador, ensuring high-level participation in AFRICOM's plans and activities. An additional 11 foreign service officers are expected to serve as foreign policy advisors or in command directorates this year.

Responding to comments stating that the U.S. Department of State is ceding responsibilities to the DOD, Countryman stressed that the Department of State is protective of its authorities and responsibilities.

"Country-by-country, we have well-integrated and well-understood plans that the ambassador leads on behalf of the U.S. government," stated Countryman, who said that he engages in weekly conversations on the division of responsibility between State and the DOD with Dr. James Schear, DOD's deputy assistant secretary of defense for partnership strategy and stability operations.

"The difference is that a few years ago, it was not as robust. It was a nasty, mean-spirited conversation. Today it is a respectful and robust conversation. And we don't cede anything," said Countryman.

The complete transcript of the hearing is included below:

REP. TIERNEY: (Sounds gavel.) Good afternoon. I want to thank all of our witnesses for being here today and everyone else as well. Mr. Flake is going to be here in a little bit. He's on the floor with a point of order on that, but he has asked us to go ahead and proceed in his absence. Ordinarily, we would not, except that he has expressed that clearly rather than hold all of you up, and because we don't know quite what the voting schedule is going to be. And I suspect we may find ourselves being interrupted at some point, again, with our regrets on that.

So the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs hearing entitled "National Security Interagency Collaboration and Lessons from SOUTHCOM and AFRICOM" is now in order.

I ask unanimous consent that only the chairman and ranking member of the subcommittee be allowed to make opening statements. And Mr. Flake may certainly make his when he does get here if he wishes. And without objection, so ordered. I ask unanimous consent that the hearing record be kept open for five business days so that all members of the subcommittee will be allowed to submit a written statement for the record. And, again, without objection, that is so ordered.

I want to again thank everybody for being here. This is a continuation of the oversight of the agencies that are charged with protecting the national security interests and their ability to communicate and collaborate with each other.

In 1945, following the end of World War II, President Truman sent a message to Congress recommending the establishment of a Department of Defense to combine and coordinate the different military branches in order to better face the challenges of the future. He wrote -- and I quote -- "If there is ever going to be another global conflict, our combat forces must work together in one team as they have never been required to work together in the past," close quote.

He urged Congress to, again, I quote, "take stock and discard obsolete organizational forums and to provide for the future, the soundness, the most effective and the most economical kind of structure for our armed forces in which this most powerful nation is capable." Congress agreed and, in 1947, the president signed the National Security Act.

Similar words could be spoken today. The threats and challenges current facing our country are increasingly complex. Terrorism, drug violence, piracy, human trafficking and the potential for nuclear proliferation, just to name a few, cut across the traditional lines between diplomacy, development and defense.

As the problems become more multi-faceted so, too, must our solutions. Terrorists and criminal organizations grow and flourish and weaken untenable countries. And effectively countering these organizations requires more than military might. Justice sector reform, police training, anti-corruption efforts, public health campaigns and economic development programs are all necessary to routing out and neutralizing those who would do us harm.

The whole-of-government approach requires the skills and expertise of the full range of federal agencies. Over the last two Congresses, this subcommittee has held numerous hearings that demonstrate how interconnected our government must be to effectively promote and safeguard United States security interests.

In hearings covering topics ranging from transnational drug enterprises to U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan to emerging technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles, we have heard from witnesses representing the Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, Commerce and Justice as well as the United States Agency for International Development.

Not one of these hearings would have been -- would have presented a complete oversight picture without witnesses from multiple agencies. Today, we turn our attention to the Department of Defense's regional combatant commands. Specifically, we will hear about the results of two Government Accountability Office studies, one on the United States Southern Command, or SOUTHCOM, and the other on United States Africa Command, or AFRICOM.

In 2008, the Department of Defense directed these two commands to include interagency partners in their theater campaign and contingency plans, and both commands have worked to include interagency personnel within the commands themselves. These experiences should prove instructive to continued interagency efforts within the federal government.

There are two different levels at which we must examine this issue. The first is mechanical. Are the correct systems and processes in place to facilitate interagency collaboration? We must ask how the State Department's bilateral structure can effectively coordinate with the Defense Department and USAID's regional setups. We need to examine whether technological systems at different agencies can communicate with each other and whether each agency is making its best effort to share information.

We should evaluate whether personnel in each agency understand the cultures and functions of the agencies with which they must work and whether the right incentives exist to encourage collaboration.

These basic issues have profound on-the-ground effects that if not fully addressed significantly undermine the United States' missions abroad.
But we must also ask broader policy questions as threats that change the concept of national security has broadened. As a result, the Department of Defense has taken on an expanding role in areas that have traditionally been allocated to the State Department and USAID as well as others. We must work to find the right balance between the agencies to make sure that funding streams and personnel numbers reflect that balance. Failure to strike the right balance has consequences.

For example, AFRICOM's 2008 rollout sent the message that the military would take the lead on all U.S. activities in Africa which upset governments throughout the continent. We must ensure that the right agency takes the lead on each effort, that diplomacy is led by diplomats, that development projects are designed and implemented by development experts, and that military operations are planned and coordinated by the military.

Over 60 years ago, President Truman foresaw the challenges that confront us today. He argued that -- and I quote -- "we should adopt the organizational structure best suited to foster in coordination between the military and the remainder of the government," close quote. I believe it's time that we follow his advice.

Now before we move on to our witnesses, I want to note for the record that the process for receiving written statements for this hearing was, to be frank, unacceptable. Two of the agencies here today submitted testimony only after hours yesterday. The others submitted testimony to us less than four hours ago, and we still haven't received testimony from a fourth agency. I know that preparing testimonies is a burden on the agencies, I understand that coordinating with the Office of Management and Budget is challenging, but we don't call these hearings lightly. And we call them because there are important issues to be discussed, our members need time to review those statements in advance and prepare for the hearings, and our staff does as well. We can't have situations as we did last night where the subcommittee staff had to wait around for testimony that never came. It's a matter of congressional prerogatives and also a basic question of courtesy to our staff.

So if the problem is with OMB, I would appreciate that discreetly after the meeting that somebody come up and tell me that with respect to your agency OMB was the problem, and we'll take care of it there. If the problem rests with you or your agency, I expect that you'll correct that and that we won't have a repeat of this situation in the future.

Thank you.

Now we're going to receive testimony from the witnesses. What I'll do is introduce all of you at the outset as some of you are familiar with and then we'll proceed to go from my left to right in statements.

Mr. John Pendleton is the director of Force Structure and Defense Planning Issues in the Government Accountability's Office Defense Capabilities and Management Team. His current portfolio includes ballistic missile defense, nuclear requirements, global military posture, interagency collaborations, stability operations, as well as reviews of Army and Navy conventional force structure plans.

In one of his recent projects for this subcommittee, he oversaw a review of the efforts to establish the Africa Command. Mr. Pendleton also serves as GAO's strategic planner for defense issues. He holds a business degree from the University of Kentucky. He has attended national security courses at Syracuse National Defense University, Naval Postgraduate School, and Army Command and General Staff College.

Dr. James Schear is the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Partnership Strategy and Stability Operations at the Department of Defense where he advises the department's leadership on matters pertaining to stabilization and reconstruction operations, foreign disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, international peacekeeping efforts, and non-combatant evacuations.

Prior to assuming his current duties, Dr. Schear served as the director of research at the National Defense University's Institute for National Strategic Studies, and as the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs. He assisted the United Nations with planning for the implementation of the Gulf War ceasefire resolutions, and served as an advisor to the leadership of the U.N. missions in Cambodia and former Yugoslavia.

For his efforts during the Kosovo crisis, Dr. Schear received a secretary of Defense medal for outstanding public service. During 2007 he also served as a principle member of the Afghanistan study group. He holds a B.A. from American University, a M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Mr. Thomas Countryman is the principal deputy assistant secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. He's a career member of the senior foreign policy service and began his career as a consular and political officer in Belgrade. He later served as the political- military officer at the American embassy in Cairo during the first Gulf War, and was a liaison with the U.N. special commission investigating Iraq's weapons program. Afterward, he served as director of the State Department's Office of Southcentral European Affairs and the minister counselor for olitical affairs at the American embassy in Rome. He's also served as deputy chief of mission at the United States embassy in Athens, Greece, and is the foreign policy advisor to General James Conway, the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. Mr. Countryman received the presidential meritorious service citation in 2007 and the superior honor award for each of his assignments in Rome and Athens. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Ms. Susan Reichle is the senior deputy assistant administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance at the United States Agency for International Development. Ms. Reichle is a senior foreign service officer -- a career senior foreign service officer who has served in Haiti, Nicaragua and Russia as a democracy officer specializing in conflict and transition issues. She recently served as the mission director at the United States embassy in Colombia where she was part of one of the largest country teams in the world. For her service, Ms. Reichle received several awards from the Colombian government recognizing USAID's contribution under her leadership. She holds an M.A. from the National War College at the National Defense University, two additional master's degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and she received her B.A. from James Madison University.

So again thank all of you for being witnesses here today, for sharing your substantial expertise. In addition to the witnesses on the panel before us, the subcommittee has invited a written statement for the record from Ms. Mariko Silver, the acting assistant secretary for International Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. She is unable to attend today's hearing but we're grateful for her written testimony, which will be put into the hearing record by unanimous consent.

It's the policy of the committee to have all of the members testifying before to be sworn in so I ask you to please stand and raise your right -- (audio break) --

SEN. TIERNEY: All of the panelists have answered in the affirmative. Your written statements in full will be put on the record so I ask if you can to try to keep your opening remarks to about five minutes. You're all familiar with the light system here. It's green when it's a go, it's yellow when you got about a minute to go, it's red when the floor opens and you all drop through. All right.

(Laughter.)

SEN. TIERNEY: So we appreciate your testimony today.

And Mr. Pendlenton if you would please. Mr. PENDLETON: Mr. Chairman, thank you for inviting me to testify about emerging lessons from our work at AFRICOM and SOUTHCOM. I will briefly summarize the reports we issued today in the context of interagency collaboration, as well as provide some preliminary information from our ongoing work on counter-piracy efforts, work you also requested.

While both AFRICOM and SOUTHCOM have to be prepared for traditional military operations, these are not their focus. Day-to- day, both conduct a variety of activities from fighting drugs to civil affairs projects like building schools and drilling water wells. They also have to be prepared to respond to disasters, like the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti. Because such activities are not strictly military operations, they ust closely with other organizations like State and AID.

You'll recall that the last time I testified before you, I discussed some of the issues DOD faced in creating AFRICOM, including concerns that -- inside the U.S. government that getting DOD more involved in Africa would blur the lines between defense, diplomacy and development. You asked us to look beyond the macro perceptions and fears to focus on the actual activities being conducted and the challenges being encountered on the ground..

In sum, we found a command that is maturing, one that has made progress but still has issues to overcome leveraging relationships with other organizations. For instance, some AFRICOM activities could have unintended consequences, or waste scarce resources such as a planned musical caravan in Senegal. AFRICOM's task force in Djibouti built a school that was later found dilapidated, among other cultural missteps.

But AFRICOM has also had notable success stories, as described in our report. My team observed a large pandemic response exercise in Uganda that was held up -- that was actually headed up by an aid official who was assigned to AFRICOM headquarters. This and other activities like the African Partnership Station that promotes maritime security through activities coordinated with State, AID and DHS are examples of positive interagency collaboration.

Our ongoing work on counter-piracy efforts in the Horn of Africa region also underscores the importance of interagency collaboration. Consensus exists that the piracy problem emanates from the ungoverned spaces of Somalia, which is in AFRICOM's area of responsibility. But it's far from clear how the U.S. government plans to address that. Prevention and interdiction efforts have shifted pirate attacks, but the problem is becoming more diffuse as the attacks are happening further and further from shore.

The National Security Council developed an action plan in 2008 to provide an overarching strategy for countering piracy; however, the plan doesn't assign specific responsibilities, so it's unclear who's in charge of things like strategic communications, cutting off pirate revenue, and making sure captured pirates get prosecuted. Our full report on counter piracy efforts will be published later this year, and it will detail these and other findings.

While AFRICOM is a relatively new command, SOUTHCOM has been in the interagency business for a long time and is widely regarded as good at it. The collaboration necessary to fight drug trafficking has given SOUTHCOM more than 20 years of experience in working with diplomatic, development and law enforcement agencies. During our review, we heard many positive comments about how well the command involves other agencies in its planning and works with them during operations.

In 2008, SOUTHCOM developed a nontraditional organizational structure with non-DOD civilians in prominent roles. Other commands, including AFRICOM, have followed suit. However, after the earthquake struck Haiti earlier this year, SOUTHCOM struggled to make its structure work for the large-scale operation that followed. SOUTHCOM'S headquarter structure lacked depth in its logistics staff, among other issues. The headquarters needed to quickly add hundreds of personnel, and the unusual structure complicated matters.

As a result, SOUTHCOM went back to a traditional military structure virtually overnight and has kept this structure since while it studies how to balance day-to-day operations with the potential for a large-scale contingency.

In our report issued today, we have made multiple recommendations to address the challenges I have described at both AFRICOM and SOUTHCOM. Encouragingly, Mr. Chairman, DOD agree with our findings and recommendations and pledged to take steps to address them.

Thank you. That concludes my remarks and I look forward to taking any questions you have.

REP. TIERNEY: Thank you, Mr. Pendleton. Dr. Schear.

MR. SCHEAR: Chairman Tierney, members of the committee, I'm very grateful for this opportunity to join colleagues from the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development in offering our perspectives on interagency collaboration within the U.S. combatant commands. And I'd also like to take this occasion to commend the Government Accountability Office for its two very cogent, well-argued reports that serve as the focus for today's hearings.

To briefly summarize my prepared remarks, Mr. Chairman, I think everyone here would agree that interagency collaboration is hugely important, in particular for my department, the Department of Defense. My boss, Secretary Gates, has observed that the lines separating war, peace, diplomacy and development have become more blurred -- sir, I believe you underscored that same theme -- and no longer fit the neat organizational charts of the 20th century.

All the various stakeholders working in the international arena -- military and civilian, government and private -- have to learn to stretch outside their comfort zones to work together and achieve results. I think Secretary Gates' point underscores an absolute reality, which is we have enormous incentives to collaborate, but we also face management challenges that remain very complex both in terms of marshaling the necessary human and budgetary resources and aligning our capacities, our differing capacities in a complementary way.

Given these challenges, I would like to offer a few guidelines that I think could be part of a more comprehensive roadmap to building a better future in this important area. First of all, interagency coordination at the combatant command, COCOM, level needs to be tailored to the distinctive needs of the region. There is no one- size-fits-all formula for scripting a whole of government coordination effort.

Different missions, ranging from disaster relief and humanitarian assistance and foreign consequence management, all the way to counterterrorism and security-force assistance, require different mixes of interagency participation. And different roles missions, different leading and supporting elements need to be included in that mix.

Secondly, planning can be a vital instrument for forging greater interagency coordination. Our regional commands develop campaign and contingency plans pursuant to DOD guidance, and they place strong emphasis on incorporating interagency perspectives. We on the DOD side through the commands also benefit from greater access and influence over the development of USAID regional development plans and the State Department's country-level mission, strategic and resource plans. The planning instruments are very useful; they need to be worked in tandem.

Third guideline: Effective interagency coordination is human capital-intensive. The integration of non-DOD perspectives at the combatant command level through embedded or liaison personnel can both inform and influence the perspectives of our own service personnel at all levels, especially when it comes to understanding the sociocultural landscape of the countries within the command's area of responsibility. But, again, the job aligning the supply of and demand for such talent is not to be taken lightly. It's a very difficult challenge.

Guideline number four: Interagency coordination should always be supportive and harmonized with long-standing civil and military authorities. As Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, former AFRICOM deputy, just recently emphasized, AFRICOM is a test platform for helping the military, as an institution, to better understand its role in supporting diplomacy and development.

Fifth, there is the issue of unintended consequences, and we must be careful to avoid those, and I concur with my colleague from GAO on that point. Interagency coordination at the command level is not a substitute for coordination at the Washington or country team levels, but rather a complement to the overall process.

Finally, sixth guideline: We should not discourage innovative approaches to engagement. We have a strong stake in encouraging our commands to experiment with new organizational models that better integrate efforts with our civilian partners. Even though we may be accepting a certain amount of friction as the commands learn how to do this better.

Those are the six points I would like to emphasize. I am certainly prepared to give specific reactions on the analysis of SOUTHCOM and Operation Unified Response, as well as AFRICOM and its diverse challenges, but I see, sir, I am running out of time, so I will curtail my remarks. Thank you very much.

REP. TIERNEY: Thank you very much.

Mr. Countryman.

MR. COUNTRYMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee for inviting the Bureau of Political Military Affairs to share States' perspectives on AFRICOM and SOUTHCOM. Very happy to be with these two colleagues who are constant partners of Assistant Secretary Shapiro and the rest of our team in working on security assistance policy and reform.

In my 20 years of working with DOD in various capacities, I must say I've never seen a better level of communication and cooperation between Defense and State than I see today. This is not just led from the top by Secretaries Clinton and Gates, but it extends through all levels of both organizations and has been nurtured by our common experience on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As the State Department lead on strategic policy issues with DOD, my bureau has been intimately involved in the standup of AFRICOM and the transformation of SOUTHCOM into an interagency-oriented organization. We co-chaired working groups with the Africa and Western Hemisphere bureaus to help guide OSD on the impact of these changes to our institutional relationships and as well as to our regional policies.

State still needs to work out some complex issues with DOD concerning AFRICOM's missions and activities, but the combatant command is still young and is rapidly gaining experience and strength. After General Ward took command, AFRICOM welcomed our input and developed a mission statement that aligns its military operations in unambiguous support of U.S. foreign policy. One of our active ambassadors serves as the deputy to the commander for civil military activities, an unprecedented role that ensures high-level participation in AFRICOM's plan and partnering activities. And we have placed an additional -- by the end of this year -- an additional 11 Foreign Service officers to serve as POLADS, foreign policy advisors, or in the directorates of the commands.

We already see great success at the operational level. Within the State, I lead the diplomatic efforts to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia, which AFRICOM has strongly supported. We work together with AFRICOM on the African Partnership Station and also their Africa Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership, which are developing our partners' maritime and legal enforcement capabilities.

While AFRICOM was forming, SOUTHCOM was reforming. Arguably, SOUTHCOM's interagency focus has been more forward-leaning as the typical geographic command as they look to support State and AID-led activities in rule of law, counter-narcotics, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

SOUTHCOM also turned the State POLAD into a civilian deputy to the commander, given him responsibility over strategic planning, security cooperation, public affairs, strategic communications and the outreach to NGOs and business.

Again, we have 11 Foreign Service officers by this fall assigned to SOUTHCOM. Their interagency outreach and cooperation was critical to SOUTHCOM's ability to respond to Haiti's devastating earthquake.

We continue to work with all the combatant commands to align their vast resources and capabilities behind policies and activities led by the State Department and other civilian agencies including rule-of-law development, military assistance and others. In the vast majority of cases, it is not a problem but, of course, as you see in the GAO study, there are times when foreign and defense policies and approaches do not rapidly and cleanly mesh.

This doesn't alarm me. I'm rather used it. I might be more worried if our cultures were so identical that we agreed on everything instantly.

What we try to ensure is that misinformation is not the cause of any misalignment in our policy approaches. We're doing all we can to encourage full and free exchange of information between the department and combatant commands at all levels.

I key aspect is exchange tours, providing opportunities for State and DOD officers to field positions in the other organizations. We've expanded the POLAD program from 20 officers five years ago to more than 80 today. And we look forward to signing a new MOU with the Defense Department that will set a new goal of exchanging 110 officers in each direction each year.

As Dr. Schear said, this is not a substitute, but it is a facilitator of interagency cooperation.

I'll stop here, Mr. Chairman, and again thank you for the opportunity.

REP. TIERNEY: Thank you very much.

Ms. Reichle?

MS. REICHLE: Chairman Tierney, distinguished members of this committee, I appreciate the opportunity to be here this afternoon for this hearing with members who I collaborate on a daily basis within the Department of State and Department of Defense and, also, to really commend the work that the GAO has done. It's really outstanding to see the amount of work that went into a very intense review. The purpose of my remarks is twofold. First to explain why we, in the development community, believe that an integrated U.S. government approach to crisis prevention, humanitarian response and instability is critical and, second, to outline the steps that we have taken in the United States Agency for International Development to make such collaboration possible.

Within the three Ds of national security construct of diplomacy, development and defense, USAID's collaboration with the Department of State and Defense is essential to promoting and protecting national security. While the civ-mil relationship actually stretches back to the 1960s, it took on new urgency following major disasters.

USAID posted, actually, its first office of foreign disaster assistance adviser to PACOM back in 1994 at the request of the PACOM commander because of a cyclone that struck Bangladesh and the response.

An OFDA adviser in a similar situation was assigned to SOUTHCOM following Hurricane Mitch, the response in 1998. And by 2008, USAID OFDA had advisers in each the combatant commands. And I think that really represents, obviously, the ramp up and the importance that we saw in coordinating with the combatant commands.

Soon after September 11, the agency also made a decision to significantly enhance its ability to influence the COCOMs. Although USAID's senior Foreign Service crew was shrinking, actually, at the time, USAID's leadership recognized the importance of creating new senior development adviser positions, SDAs, in each the COCOMs.

These were envisioned as officers who could address the nexus between defense and development required in addressing a range of issues.

Around this same time, the agency recognized the importance of establishing an office of military affairs. As this military affairs office began to staff up in 2006, one of its primary responsibilities was strengthening coordination between the COCOMs, USAID regional bureaus and our missions around the world.

As a result of these advances in recent years to strengthen civ- mil coordination, we are better placed to share lessons learned and leverage interagency expertise to further national security and improve development outcomes. DOD's SOUTHCOM and Africa Command are two excellent examples of this partnership.

I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the important role of SOUTHCOM in promoting interagency coordination while serving as the USAID mission director in Colombia. The embassy's integrated approach was fully supported by SOUTHCOM as we collectively worked across the interagency to tackle Colombia's illicit narcotics production and trafficking. The interagency coordination was supplemented by a close working relationship within the entire interagency but, most important, with our Colombian counterparts on a clear-hold-build strategy to regain territory by the revolutionary armed forces of Colombia, often known as the FARC.

The statistics are impressive, and it really demonstrates the impact of an integrated approach supported at all levels. Since 2002, kidnappings, homicides and terrorist attacks decreased by 90, 45 and 71 percent respectively nationwide, and development indicators significantly increased.

The earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12 is another example of critical importance of interagency collaboration. The response effort represents the most broadly and deeply integrated humanitarian operation abroad in U.S. history. The Haiti earthquake response was built upon years of investing in developing existing processes for USAID-DOD collaboration.

As the USAID administrator's coordinator of the Haiti disaster response effort, I can personally attest to the intense coordination that took place between SOUTHCOM and USAID in response to this earthquake, and I am happy to describe that in much more detail.

AFRICOM provides another example where a strong interagency partnership, from its inception, has advanced U.S. national security interests. We support and emphasize this crucial core function of AFRICOM in the interagency. At the same time, there are many other areas where USAID and AFRICOM work closely and effectively together.

Perhaps, the best example of USAID's effect upon the command -- and I can talk extensively about how we were involved in the AFRICOM development -- but there is one example I'd like to share with you today that I think really does capture the essence of our relationship.

We had a representative in AFRICOM's humanitarian assistance office who helped reshape the provision of AFRICOM assistance to be more effective and sustainable. Most recently, her efforts were actually recognized when she won a Dissent Award from the American Foreign Service Association for her contributions to dialogue about the Defense Department programs in the area of women's health.

Therefore, she was able to help them strategically use their expertise in AFRICOM in a way that better served our overall national security interests.

While USAID has had to adopt new approaches to deal with stabilization activities, DOD has also begun to adopt many key approaches used by USAID. For example, the concepts of sustainability and capacity building are becoming central themes of DOD's efforts worldwide. We still have a lot of work to do in this area, but, in short, we all need to work together as no one agency has the tools, resources or approaches to deal alone with the emerging threats.

In conclusion, we have made tremendous progress, and we have learned valuable lessons over these recent years where I think each of our institutions have built up these capabilities. And this only reaffirms our commitment to continue the interagency collaboration.

Thank you.

REP. TIERNEY: Thank you.

Thank you all for your testimony.

It seems that everybody's pretty much in agreement that an integrated approach is a good thing. And we've talked about that in the past, but I keep going back to what troubles me -- and maybe I'm the only one it troubles. I really would appreciate your efforts to help me work through it.

If we're going to have an integrated approach, why is the United States leading with the Department of Defense in charge as opposed to leading with diplomacy? Having the Department of State or somebody else leading this integrated effort so that it then could bring in whatever agency might be appropriate -- USAID, the military, Customs, whatever would be -- and then put together their particular team.

I mean, it seems you've got to establish priorities. You've got to have leadership that clearly defines the mission, and they will change, as Mr. Pendleton says, depending on what country you're in, what area you're in. Which agencies from the United States or the international community might you want to involve? What indigenous groups or NGOs?

Including them all in the planning seems to be a good idea. Having constant transparency, a sharing of information and communication, that all seems to be fine. A willingness to share responsibility, sometimes more difficult than others on that, but important. And enough personnel that has training and is up to the task and has the numbers to get the job done and then align all the capacities in complimentary ways.

That's all great. But why is the Department of Defense the lead on this in non-contingency operation areas? I mean, I understand if we're in Afghanistan. I understand if we're in Iraq. But when we're going into a region like Africa or South America or someplace like that where the United States -- why are we leading with our fists as opposed to with the diplomatic area in putting a different group in charge to do the same type of interagency planning?

I'll give everybody a shot at that and start with Mr. Pendleton and work right across the board. MR. PENDLETON: I'm not sure DOD's in charge, literally. I think the fact that the Department of Defense swaps other agencies sometimes gives that perception. AFRICOM's two years old and they already have 4400 people assigned. And many of those are back in Italy and Germany doing planning.

But even after that, we found that a lot of the supporting plans, things that would be at the country level, for example, are not done. And that's where a lot of the coordination needs to occur because all of the different organizations have different approaches to planning. DOD tends to take a very broad look. There's a theater campaign plan in place, but the underlying plans are not there, and that's where a lot of that coordination has to happen.

Now, I don't want to compare SOUTHCOM and AFRICOM too much directly because they're different. SOUTHCOM's been around a lot longer, for one thing. But they have 30 objectives in their theater campaign plan, 22 of which are led by agencies other than DOD. So you see I think a different level maturity.

REP. TIERNEY: I guess my problem is, what is this military theater campaign for? We're not attacking Africa. We're not going in military bases to be an empire, or at least that's the general perception. But when you put the Department of Defense in charge of putting together this interagency or whole government team, certainly the appearance is you see this as some sort of a military campaign and everybody else just fits in somewhere along the line.

So, Dr. Schear, what is your perspective on that?

MR. SCHEAR: Sir, I take your point that certainly in terms of both public perceptions and the centrality of a service delivery platform, if you will, that -- the fact that it is a DOD-led organization raises genuine questions. And that does cause us to be very careful, especially in what I would say are economy-of-force theaters, to ensure that everything we say and do supports the notion that we are a supporting, not a leading, organization in here.

Sir, quite frankly, the problem we face is an overwhelming desire to be prepared for all contingencies. And I'll give you exactly the example that confronts us today in Haiti. Up to January 11th, SOUTHCOM, which is about 800 headquarters staff, had very few boots on the ground anywhere -- operational boots on the ground anywhere in its area of responsibility. Three to four weeks later, it's up to 26,000-- 26,000 deployed in Haiti. That was a major stress test, to put it mildly, for the command. And the command, as GAO has reported, really had to make some major adjustments to cover shortfalls.

Now, the policy prescription I draw from that is that we should not have the 600-pound gorilla, if you will, manpowered up for all contingencies on the high end. The problem we face, though, is the balance between the steady-state daily engagement in an economy-of- force theater versus these big plus-ups. And it is organizationally and in terms of mission performance, and people expect us to succeed at our mission -- it is a big challenge to balance that. But that's not to --

REP. TIERNEY: I think it begs the question -- I understand what you're saying. It begs the basic question, sure. But if somebody else were in charge, they could still call on the military to scale itself up and address that issue, and just part of an overall plan and a contingency plan for a larger operation and for going into a particular situation. But, you know, I hear what you're saying; I just think that it begs the question of why are we leading with our fist, why are we putting that in? Whatever you say about wanting to make it look like you're supporting and not leading, you can't sell that to most people who see the way that we've structured this, the way this is set up and the way that we're operating it. So it just gets there.

I'm going to come back to Mr. Countryman and Ms. Reichle, just in fairness to my colleagues who were here. And I give them their five minutes. We'll do another cycle on them if I could.

Mr. Quigley, you're recognized for five minutes.

REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D-IL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I'm reading the analysis of the GAO report released today. Struck with this: "AFRICOM's Army component stated that the greatest challenge to creating positive conditions in Africa is ensuring that U.S. defense efforts remain synchronized; if plans are not coordinated, their efforts could have unintended consequences such as the potential for Africans to perceive the U.S. military is trying to influence public opinion in a region sensitive to military's presence."

I'm curious if you see evidence of this so far. And, without taking it to an extreme, I'm hoping this isn't the weaker distant cousin of what one professor calls the accidental gorilla syndrome, that our presence creates problems -- overwhelming -- create greater problems than we try to solve.

MR. PENDLETON: I think that points to two things. One is the lack of the supporting plans for the components. If you get below the Africa Command, each of the services, the Special Operations Command, have their own headquarters, and there's also a joint task force in Djibouti. So the first thing DOD needs to do is make sure they know what each other's doing.

And then there's the question of -- in some of these very complicated, controversial, potentially, activities -- like, there's a website in Maghreb that tries to provide objective information -- news information. That's -- people are sensitive to that, and that requires very, very careful coordination than outside the department. So it's a multilayered problem. Our report talks about the need to fill in that planning. But, I mean, there's a couple of places where it can, I think, go wrong.

MR. SCHEAR: Sir, I think I would just add to the point that the service that is provided does carry with it an obligation to make sure that we are appropriately postured in a supporting role. Now, the perceptions may vary considerably from country to country.

And if we, DOD, do something that has an unintended consequence, that is not sustainable -- if we build a school which has no teachers in it six months or a year from now, or a road that leads to nowhere, or, you know, we drill a well that costs five times what it would cost a civilian relief provider, we're not doing our job. And we would take, I think absolute guidance from the experts who know when and how we should perform these activities.

Now, in capital X or capital Y, my guess is the U.S. Embassy country team is somewhat more visible in terms of U.S. presence than a combatant commander, say, in Miami or in Honolulu or Stuttgart. But I grant that in terms of the operational level between the strategic Washington level and the tactical country level, there is this operational level which DOD inhabits. And we try very much to inhabit it with other partners. And it's driven by operational concerns -- you know, the phone that rings in the morning and we've got to go do a must-do mission. Sorry for rambling, sir.

MR. COUNTRYMAN: Yes, sir. A couple of comments. In talking to State Department colleagues who are going out as an ambassador or deputy chief of mission, and perhaps having the first time to work intensively with the military, I'd like to tell them that there are two fantastic aspects that working with the military can bring to an American embassy: first, that our military is creative and action- oriented, and secondly, that it can, depending upon the purpose, bring forward far greater resources of money and personnel than other civilian agencies are capable of doing.

Neither of those is an unmixed blessing. The energy and the creativeness is usually welcome. It has to be tempered with a realistic assessment of whether, to take the example of AFRICOM, whether this particular creative idea that has some people and some resources behind it is appropriate in this particular country environment. And there the challenge is always to make sure that communication is flowing adequately between the ambassador and his or her country team and the people in AFRICOM and Stuttgart, or in a component command of AFRICOM who are working on that creative idea. In the vast majority of cases, it works well. That communication is flowing. You can find a couple of cases and I believe they're mentioned in the GAO report where that coordination was not sufficient in advance. And I think we're getting to resolve those issues.

And if I could, I'll follow that thought with a response to the chairman's question, that I don't believe all of the action is in the regional combatant commands.

Again, having led a large embassy overseas, we like to say -- and we truly believed -- that an embassy country team is the place where the interagency process really works. Because we're smaller, we know each other, we trust each other, we can integrate the roles of the different agencies represented in an embassy into an effective interagency process.

And country by country, we have well integrated and well understood plans that the ambassador leads on behalf of the U.S. government.

Now, that's a different level of planning than you see at CENTCOM. It's a different level of -- or AFRICOM. It's a different level of planning than you see in State. But, in fact, if we're doing our job well, the CENTCOM regional plan should represent well the summation and the insights of the planning that are done country team by country team across the continent.

And the same should be true of the bureau-by-bureau regional plans produced in State as a summation of the country planning process that is done in each embassy.

So if you focus on a continent at a time, it's very easy to see or to say that AFRICOM has the lead rather than civilian agencies. If you look a country at a time, I think you might not have the same perception.

REP. QUIGLEY: Thank you for your comments. I'm going to move on to -- (inaudible). But I'm telling you, that was -- and I don't mean this in a disrespectful way -- a lot of bureaucrat talk on that. But I mean, it is what it is. It can't be several different things. I mean, everybody can't be doing the same thing, but you're telling us it happens differently.

But I'll get back when it's my turn to get back.

MR. : Well, Mr. Chairman, I agree. I just want to say -- and I thank you for your indulgence. It is what the public there perceives it to be.

REP. TIERNEY: Okay. Ms. Chu, you're recognized for five minutes.

REP. JUDY CHU (D-CA): Thank you, Mr. Chair. Mr. Pendleton, you say in your report that the Haiti response revealed weaknesses in SOUTHCOM's organizational structure and you give a couple of examples. But could you talk in more detail about that and, especially, in how it affected the victims of Haiti?

MR. PENDLETON: You know, we didn't find any evidence that it actually affected the victims. We thought it was instructive though because, in 2008, the transformation of SOUTHCOM's headquarters, away from the military's J structure where they have J-1 personnel, J-2 intelligence and the like, was one of DOD's top transformation priorities. It was viewed as this was the way of future.

We were going to put interagency personnel in critical jobs and kind of change the way these COCOMs operated.

When the earthquake happened and the relatively small headquarters in Miami there had to go to 24-hour a day, 7-day a week operations, not only did they not have the people to man watch, they didn't have enough specialists in things like logistics and other things.

And so they had to, literally overnight, revert back to a J structure because they brought 500 people in to help, and they managed to make it work. But we thought it important.

Now, I also appreciate one of the comments made earlier. That doesn't necessarily mean they need to come back with a 1500-person staff just in case something like that happens. What they need to do is to look at the kind of things they do day-to-day and then have a plan to augment the staff in case an emergency happens.

But I mean, we found no evidence that it had an impact on the ground, ma'am.

REP. CHU: Yes, Ms. Reichle?

MS. REICHLE: Thank you very much.

I just wanted to make a couple of comments because I was the USAID administrator's point person on the Haiti relief effort, and it was very interesting and really useful to see that the GAO found it had no implication. Because, for our people who were the lead agency with the supporting agency being DOD or other interagency players, whether they were in an interagency sort of function within SOUTHCOM or they switched to a J code, as we actually ramped up in SOUTHCOM, it had absolutely no impact.

And I think, getting to your question about what was the impact most importantly on the ground and the people we served, and I think we can be very confident that that did not have an impact on the people who were clearly in desperate need. I just wanted to take an opportunity to address a couple of the questions that were mentioned earlier by the chairman as well as Congressman Quigley.

REP. TIERNEY: I don't want to interrupt you, but I will. I'm going to give you an opportunity to do that. So if Ms. Chu has a different direction --

MS. REICHLE: Okay.

REP. TIERNEY: -- she wants to go in, I want to give her the opportunity to utilize her five minutes and then have you answer my question on a different time.

REP. CHU: Yes. Well, I wanted to follow up on that because you're saying that there was somewhat of a delay though because the personnel wasn't there to perform this particular function. So was there an issue in that that could have affected the victims?

MR. PENDLETON: Yeah. I mean, I was involved when we did the work with the military response after Katrina so I had some experience in hearing about this. And I actually went down myself to Miami to hear about this.

They acted fairly decisively. They were only a few days in when they realized that they just didn't have the people. And it was a fairly, I think, bold stroke to go back to the -- even though they knew people like folks from the GAO might bring it up in a report or something because it had been changed to great fanfare.

But I think there was a realization that there was a mission to do, and they needed to shift. And, also, it's important to note they brought 500 people in, people from NORTHCOM and other places.

Unlike Katrina where there was some delay while things were sorted out, we did not find that in this case, ma'am.

REP. CHU: That's comforting to know then.

MR. PENDLETON: Yeah.

REP. CHU: Also, in your testimony, you outlined three key practices for successful interagency collaboration -- developing, implementing, overarching strategies for addressing national security issues, creating mechanisms to facilitate coordination among agencies, and training personnel with interagency expertise. But the list doesn't include sharing information.

Do you believe information sharing is important?

MR. PENDLETON: Absolutely. We have -- back in September, we did a broader report which I'd be happy to provide to you that looked across the government, dozens of our reports. And we bring up information sharing in that. That was mainly for brevity. Absolutely, information sharing is important. We were just picking the areas that we thought were most critical here.

Information sharing in terms of planning, I think, is very, very important so that the organizations know what each other is planning. You don't want to get in a situation where you're just deconflicting or people are showing up and you're not quite sure why or having to train people in the local culture or whatever. That comes back to planning, not only sharing information, but planning as well.

REP. CHU: Thank you. I yield back.

REP. TIERNEY: Thank you, Ms. Chu.

Mr. Welch, you're recognized for five minutes.

REP. PETER WELCH (D-VT): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

What's the budget for SOUTHCOM?

MR. SCHEAR: We'll have to take that and get back to you, sir.

REP. WELCH: Any idea? Round numbers?

MR. SHEAR: Not immediately, no.

REP. WELCH: What's the budget for AFRICOM?

MR. SCHEAR: About 300 million (dollars).

REP. WELCH: 300 million (dollars)?

MR. SCHEAR: About 300 million (dollars)?

REP. WELCH: What about --

MR. SCHEAR: That does not include the JTF HOA.

REP. WELCH: Pardon me?

MR. SCHEAR: That does not include the Joint Task Force in Djibouti.

REP. WELCH: And how much is it for AFRICOM?

MR. SCHEAR: About 300 million --

REP. WELCH: SOUTHCOM and AFRICOM are about the same?

MR. SCHEAR: SOUTHCOM is a little smaller.

REP. WELCH: So for 300 million (dollars), we have about 800 personnel deployed in AFRICOM?

MR. SCHEAR: They're at the headquarters in Stuttgart with some back in an intel center in the U.K.

REP. WELCH: And what discussion and consideration do you have about the presence of military-related force that is doing, in some cases, humanitarian work and how that effects the host country where the work is being done in terms of their perception of what our agenda is?

Mr. Pendleton, sure. Start with you.

MR. PENDLETON: You know, we did a report for the subcommittee back in April talking about the efforts of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa down in Djibouti, and that did provide some examples of missteps, if that's --

REP. WELCH: Like what?

MR. PENDLETON: For example, there were plans to have a medical event, but the local people were nomadic and there wasn't enough notice given. There were veterinary events that would have required driving cattle and other livestock a long distance.

I mean, there are successes, too. I don't want that to drive everything.

REP. WELCH: What would you say is our mission in Djibouti? The AFRICOM mission, what is it that we will seek to get done there?

MR. PENDLETON: Countering violent extremism. It started as a counterterrorism task force.

REP. WELCH: And what are the concrete things we do --

MR. PENDLETON: Well, about 60 percent civil affairs activities now -- building schools, drilling wells, that kind of thing. And in our report in April, we recommended to the department that there be some serious consideration given to the mission of the task force in Djibouti.

REP. WELCH: And your recommendation would be that if there is consideration given to the mission, what should be the conclusion, based on your experience?

MR. PENDLETON: Well I'd leave it to department to decide how they want to use their joint task force. But there's a non-doctrinal type of organization -- sorry to fall into jargon there. But you don't typically have a joint task force that lasts for a long time. I think there's -- and I'd like to allow folks -- other folks to talk about this as well if you don't mind, but when you're doing 60 percent civil affairs and that is being led by the military, that doesn't -- that is, I think, fraught with peril, honestly.

And it's not inexpensive. It's ($)230 million or so to keep the base open there and about $80 million a year for the task force itself. So we just press the department to think about, along with State and others, you know, what's the best role for that time.

REP. WELCH: Okay. Dr. Schear. Thank you.

MR. SCHEAR: Thank you, sir. JTF-HOA, as you know, is quite closely connected in terms of both its presence, its mission, its ability to promote access to this region. It's very closely connected to our campaign against violent extremism in that part of Africa. And I, for a definitive read, I think -- and I would defer to colleagues at both of the embassies within the -- within the countries that are covered under JTF-HOA's area of responsibility as well as to our counterterrorism colleagues. I think we would have to bring their perspectives to bear into this -- into this very complex discussion.

It is -- you know, humanitarian and civic assistance projects are a means to an end, and I will plead guilty that we're very instrumental in our approach. We have to meet sustainability and effectiveness criteria. If we're throwing money at that project, it's not good.

REP. WELCH: Let me -- let me -- you know, with all -- with all due respect, I actually don't understand what you just said. If what we're talking about is like humanitarian assistance that's going to be, let's say, a school --

MR. SCHEAR: Yes.

REP. WELCH: If you're living in that village where the school is to be built, do you have some questions when the people who are building the school show up in military uniforms, armed verses Peace Corps-style volunteers who show up unarmed and with a few -- with some equipment?

MR. SCHEAR: There may be questions, I think that would depend --

REP. WELCH: There may be?

MR. SCHEAR: It will depend on the civil-military socio culture within the country affected whether a local person views that as abnormal or not, sir. I'm not an official --

REP. WELCH: You don't have a conclusion about that?

MR. SCHEAR: I don't have a definitive conclusion. I think it would depend very much on civil-military relations within the affected country.

REP. WELCH: Okay.

Ms. Reichle, how about you?

MS. REICHLE: Thank you. I think in these environments it's really critical that we work together to make sure that our presence is actually much more in the background because it's about developing local capacity.

REP. WELCH: Well, that would suggest a light footprint.

MS. REICHLE: Exactly. And I think that's one of the things that we've tried to do in our integrated approach. In my testimony I tried to highlight, after my four years in Colombia, very much as we were working across the board of DOD, Department of State, USAID and other interagency players, that we were in the background. And the most important thing is that the host country as well as sort of the change agents within a local society were out in front. And so you're absolutely correct, it does make a difference whether or not we show up and whether we're in uniforms or whether we show up at all.

REP. WELCH: Yeah, I mean, it -- I think --

MS. REICHLE: And those are the things that --

REP. WELCH: I'm sorry. Yield back. Thank you.

REP. TIERNEY: Thank you. Mr. Welch --

REP. WELCH: Thank you.

REP. TIERNEY: -- is colorblind; he has a tendency not to see the red. (Laughter.)

But what I -- (laughter, laughs) -- what I want to do is I'm going to go around again. REP. WELCH (?): (Off mike.)

REP. TIERNEY: Stick around, I'm going to go around again. We're going to get as far into another round as we can and then we'll break, unless somebody doesn't, so you don't have to come back afterwards on that.

Look, I'm sort of stunned at the willingness of the Department of State and USAID and all those people to just DOD take away what always used to be civilian capacity on here. It looks like we've hollowed out State, we've hollowed out USAID and we've built up the Department of Defense so you know, if you go into a country and you tell them that you want to help them with the development and you want to help them with the rule of law, the capacity of the governors to civil society, all these things that we think we want, that used to be our way of diplomatically telling a country that we want to get in there and help them. Now we've gone on to say we're like here to help, here's our military. These guys with guns that are coming in there because really it's a counter terrorism operation. We see this whole thing as you know we're in there for our own self interest to protect us against the fact that maybe terror will establish a root here or something. It's a whole different message. And who shows up wearing what uniforms should matter to us. You know, one thing is the culture of the places where you're going but it should matter to us, our culture. Our culture is not to be a military organization that goes out there and starts jumping into all these continents and countries and saying all right, we're going to do this, it's a military operation because it's us we're worried about.

There's a place for that. But I don't think it's in the lead of going in there and that's the fundamental question I keep trying to get back to. You know, I know Dr. Schear you said you could make it work, of course we can make it work, the question is should we make that work or should we make the proper model work on this so that if your goal is to have a whole of government thing, put the right people in charge of it and whatever the role for the military is, it is. You probably wouldn't need a base the size of the one you have in Germany and a base the size of the one you have in Djibouti. How many Department of Defense military and civilian employees in AFRICOM? And what's their ratio to compared to all of the employees?

MR. SCHEAR: I believe, sir, there are about 1,500 in the AFRICOM command. I don't know how the sizing was done, perhaps related to over 50 countries in the area of responsibility as distinct from SOUTHCOM which is about 30. But I can't give you a definitive --

REP. TIERNEY: We have had at a previous hearing overwhelming number of Department of Defense personnel versus personnel from any place else, overwhelming. And that's why they're out there jumping around into everything and why they show up to do all the civil society stuff and the building, the development, the rule of law. Wrong team, wrong place, wrong approach. You know, we've got to decide what we should be talking about here and we'll probably have other hearings about it, why aren't we building up the capacity for the people to go in there and do all those things non-militarily so that you have the military really playing the supporting role that the Dr. here was saying you know you want to appear that you're doing that, but in fact you're not doing that. Because by attrition, the Department of Defense has had to stand up and do all of this because we, Congress, the White House, other policy markers and things like that have hallowed out every other competing interest that could be doing it. And there's just a self-fulfilling prophecy out there to keep building up the one that's taking the action and narrowing down the ones that aren't.

So that's I guess the fundamental point that I was trying to make at the beginning. Not that you're doing something nefarious or that you're a bad person for doing it or the Department of Defense is bad, they're filling a gap and they just keep reinforcing that filling instead of somebody saying wait a minute, is that what we want to do?

Because I'll tell you from my travels, my involvement with other government people in different countries, they think we're trying to just go over there with a military and put a foothold in there and it's all about us and that we could give a Fig Newton for any of their concerns or any of their needs and that's why we get involved in so many of these conflicts in such a bad way that just falls things apart on that.

So that's all I really want to say about that. Your testimony both written and here today has been helpful forming to either coalesced those ideas but I do want your ideas if you would at some point, I'm perfectly willing to take them afterwards in writing, how are we going to build up that capacity? You know, non-military capacity to get the things done that we need to do to reach out to these countries to address the needs that they have because we want to help them, not because we want to set up yet another counter terrorism foundation.

And then based on that, how do we restructure AFRICOM or SOUTHCOM, not that we're going to do away with AFRICOM or SOUTHCOM, we want to leave them to their supporting role, so what would replace them in the lead role on this? If you would all do that, I'd be extremely appreciative of that.

And Ms. Reichle, you want to comment now on that?

MS. REICHLE: If I may start, thank you Mr. Chairman because I think you're raising a really critical issue that we've dealt with at the field level, lots of different levels. And it's something that our agency has been intensely focused on. Given that the USAID is smaller than the Marine Corps band, I think a lot of what you're illustrating here is that it's perception, even though USAID was the lead agency on the disaster relief effort for Haiti, obviously we had many more boots on the ground with our colleagues in DOD which we very much appreciated in the supporting function. But whether it was the media or the press, you would have thought that DOD --

REP. TIERNEY: But you were the lead agency by designation of SOUTHCOM?

MS. REICHLE: No, we were the lead agency because under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, that authorization is delegated to the president, the president since 1961 has always made USAID --

REP. TIERNEY: Then we have a real perception issue.

MS. REICHLE: I'm sorry?

REP. TIERNEY: Then we have a real serious --

MS. REICHLE: Absolutely.

REP. TIERNEY: -- perception issue here?

MS. REICHLE: Absolutely. We have a perception issue as well as we have a resource issue. And while USAID and with the support of Congress has been able to staff up additional 500 foreign service officers through our development leadership initiative over the last several years, it's frankly not enough.

REP. TIERNEY: Not even close.

MS. REICHLE : And in order for us to really play a lead role as you're defining, as we're defining, as the president is defining, that USAID is the premier development agency in the world, that requires resources. That requires --

REP. TIERNEY: Used to be. Used to be, needs to get there again.

I'll leave you with this thought on that, too. I would like to know, subsequently, how many contractors are involved in AFRICOM and SOUTHCOM, and what are they doing, and what are their pay schedules relative to that of the people that are on our team. Please.

Mr. Welch, do you have further questions?

REP. WELCH: (Off mike.)

REP. TIERNEY: You don't? I cut you off and you have no more questions. Well, thank you for your indulgence on that.

Are we leaving anything unasked, that you really believe we ought to have for information? I'll give each of you an opportunity to do that.

Mr. Countryman.

MR. COUNTRYMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to make just a couple comments on the last few excellent questions.

First, in terms of ceding to DOD State responsibilities, it's not in my nature, and it's, believe me, not in the nature of the Department of State to so do. Dr. Schear's office and I are engaged weekly in a robust dialogue about the proper division of security assistance authorities and processes between State and Defense. The difference is that a few years ago it was not a "robust," it was a nasty, mean-spirited conversation. Today, it is a respectful and robust conversation, and we don't cede anything.

The second point I would like to make is that we've attempted to outline how we believe interagency process needs to work at three levels:

At the policy level, in Washington -- and the characterization of that that Dr. Schear made in his written statement, I subscribe to fully;

At the regional level, which involves not only the very high- visibility AFRICOM, but the very low-visibility regional bureaus of both State and AID, and there is more consonance among the regional strategies of those three than readily meets the eye, because one of them is more visible, in terms of resources and in terms of a public affairs mission that the other two agencies can't match; And finally, at the country level, where you can find examples of coordination among the interagency at the country level, led by the ambassador, to be less than perfect. But you'll find many more where it's working well and it's fully consonant with the policy direction at the national level and at the regional level.

Finally, if GAO did not go into the question of adequacy of resources for various agencies, I'm reluctant to do so as well. We are, however, in a situation where we need to do whole-of-government planning on national security strategy. And security, as we all agree, is much broader than military. We have to have a national security strategy combined among many different departments, not only the three represented here.

We don't have a national security budget. We have separate agency budgets. And rather than fight that particular windmill of changing the entire way that budgets are done by the administration and the Congress, which are deeply rooted history, I'm a little more realistic. And I think all of us have to be more realistic. We will do our work within the parameters that are given us.

And I appreciate the opportunity only to touch on this issue. Another day, another time, and a better expert than me, we would look very much forward to the opportunity to talk about the adequacy of resources and the integration across agencies of our national security goals in a budget framework. Thank you so much.

REP. TIERNEY: Thank you. Well, we do have to have that discussion about the adequacy of resources, and we've had several discussions on hearings here moving in that direction.

I'll just tell you, I feel a lot more comfortable and believe it more firmly when AFRICOM, you know, isn't the one that's doing all this work, with the military persons at the top and your State people as sort of the subordinate officers. If you flip that around, then I'll feel more comfortable and think we're going about it the right way.

And I -- because what I hear all the time, you may disagree, but -- security is one aspect of interest of ours, but there's a lot of security that comes from having countries be firm and stable, and developed and on their own. It isn't always about, you know, like, we've got to get an outpost someplace to worry about counterterrorism, or something on that basis. That's the message we're sending: that it's all driven by our national security interests as opposed to the health, and welfare, and strength and stability of other countries, who then maybe we wouldn't have to worry about something happening on that.

And if that's the case, then a little more focus on what you're doing for them, as opposed to the military aspect of it, would help. And I know that you're all somewhat comfortable, I guess, with running around under the military leadership on that over there, but I'm just not sure that it's -- that it's healthy for us on that.

Anybody else want to comment? Dr. Schear.

MR. SCHEAR: Sir, I would just emphasize that in the situations you're talking about, our embassy chief of mission has an absolute say on what goes on. So, again, in terms of lead and supporting roles, I grant there's a visibility issue, sir. And in terms of what I'd draw from your remarks as a prescription, which is more resources for State and AID, I fully concur with that.

REP. TIERNEY: I suspect you would.

MR. SCHEAR: I would also ask that thought be given to the difference between and among combatant commands in places like the EUCOM AOR, PACOM and CENTCOM. We face different environments. And the need, in particular, for access. And, in fact, I would point to Djibouti, as a case -- it's within AFRICOM, but that is a critical important access hub for us for Central Command. And so we have actually --

REP. TIERNEY: For your military bases.

MR. SCHEAR: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

REP: TIERNEY: I think we're not making the distinction. The military has nothing to do with what you have to do for your military purposes on that. That may not necessarily be true that that's as significant for the whole-of-government approach on that. It may or may not be. But nobody is saying here that there's not a military perspective to this. It's a question that you kept raising. You want to be in a supportive role, be in a supportive role.

You want the ambassador -- you know, you say that the ambassador can participate. Great. But isn't it that that, you know, it should be the military that's participating in the overall planning, as opposed to somebody else is participating? But I think we've beat that horse pretty much to death by now.

So thank you. I appreciate all of your testimony and all the information that you provided for us as you've said willing to do.

With unanimous consent, there being no objection, Mr. Flake's opening statement will be entered onto the record in its entirety.

Again, thank you all very, very much. I appreciate your being here. This meeting is adjourned. (Sounds gavel.)

END.
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