Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA-09) made the following statement at today’s SOUTHCOM, and NORTHCOM posture hearing:
“I would like to join Chairman McKeon in welcoming General Kelly, and General Jacoby. We appreciate your time and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
“Moving forward, sequestration will continue to complicate how the Department of Defense plans and appropriates resources. That will certainly have an impact on your day to day operations as well as your ability to achieve your requirements. In light of this challenge, and the other challenges you face, I look forward to hearing from you.
“General Kelly, after your first few months at SOUTHCOM, I am interested in your thoughts on the important issues in your new portfolio. These issues continue to be the non-traditional threats in the region, the rising violence and instability in Central America, our military to military cooperation in the area, and your counter narcotics duties. I would also like to hear about our continuing work with Colombia and finally your impressions about the detainee mission at Guantanamo Bay. While SOUTHCOM continues to lack traditional military threats to the United States, these issues are important to the United States and often require an interagency approach to address them.”
“General Jacoby, you and the dedicated men and women of NORTHCOM and NORAD have been very busy lately, carrying out various missions to defend our homeland. Your support to civil authorities have been indispensable as our nation responded to massive fires and devastating hurricanes over the last year. Internal threats such as these are increasing annually and appear to be growing in intensity.”
“External threats such as those posed by North Korea and Iran are also growing as they seek to improve their capabilities to launch long-range missiles. I was pleased last week to see that the Administration continues to respond appropriately and firmly by bolstering our capabilities and capacity to defend ourselves. The Administration’s decision to deploy 14 additional ground-based interceptors is a wise and prudent step in implementing a sound strategy for missile defense. General Jacoby, I trust we will learn more about this decision during your testimony as well as better understand the Administration’s long-term efforts to make smart investments to improve the effectiveness and reliability of our missile defense capability.”
I would also ask that you comment on the defense and security partnerships with our northern and southern neighbors as we pursue mutual security interests.
“Again, thank you all for your time.”