WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47), Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities (TUTC), today issued the following opening statement during her subcommittee’s mark-up of the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act. In her statement, Rep. Sanchez emphasized the need to address the growing rise of extremism in the United States and abroad, particularly given the Times Square bomb case and other recent terrorist acts involving U.S. citizens.
Because U.S. Special Operations Forces will continue to play a critical role in preventing and responding to these kinds of threats, Rep. Sanchez also reiterated her subcommittee’s commitment to providing these troops with the resources they need to carry out critical counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere:
“Good Morning. Today, the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee meets to consider its portion of the Fiscal Year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). For our portion of the legislation, the subcommittee focused on several of the Defense Department’s most important challenges:
- the fight to interrupt the flow of violent extremists and the ideological underpinnings of radicalization;
- the development and deployment of innovative and critical technologies;
- defending our homeland from catastrophic attacks;
- enhancing strategies and capabilities to counter irregular warfare challenges; and enhancing force protection for Department of Defense personnel.
“The subcommittee recognizes the critical role that our Special Operations Forces play – in fighting the wars of today, and preventing the wars of tomorrow – by, with, and through our international partners. The subcommittee fully funds U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) with more than $9.8 billion dollars to improve the readiness and capabilities of our Special Operations Forces. The subcommittee also seeks an additional $205 million in unfunded requirements, bringing the total authorized amount for SOCOM to more than $10 billion dollars.
“Support for our Special Operations Forces demonstrates the subcommittee’s commitment to SOCOM’s critical mission areas, including counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, unconventional warfare and counter-proliferation activities across the world. Our subcommittee also includes provisions that will require the Secretary of Defense to develop new strategies to counter irregular warfare challenges.
“It is important that we keep in mind the fact that we cannot kill our way out of this struggle against violent extremists. Therefore, the subcommittee provides language and funding to improve the Department’s use of science and technology, and support emerging areas of research that enhance our ability to deal with challenges from radicalization and irregular warfare.
“The subcommittee mark also funds initiations designed to strengthen our cybersecurity activities, and other initiatives that will help us understand how to better counter adversarial and extremists’ use of the internet.
“Finally, as with the previous fiscal year, the committee fully funds the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Chemical Biological Defense and Chemical Demilitarization programs. These important provisions ensure our military remains up-to-date and ready to prevent and respond to major attacks.
“As you can see, this subcommittee’s mark looks outside the normal realm of our traditional threats and force protection. I believe this subcommittee’s mark is not just authorizing programs, but more importantly innovation within the Department of Defense.
“I want to thank Members for their expertise and input as we mark up the relevant provisions of the bill today. I would also like to thank the TUTC Committee Staff, Tim McClees, Alex Kugajevksy, Kevin Gates, Peter Villano, Eryn Robinson, and Andrew Tabler.
“As before, this subcommittee worked in a bipartisan way to craft authorizing language covering each of these critical areas for the Department of Defense. I would especially like to thank Ranking Member Jeff Miller (R-FL) for his contribution, and the committee staff for their work in crafting this important legislation.
“I would also like to thank Chairman Ortiz from the Readiness subcommittee for his help in ensuring that we are able to include valuable personnel and laboratory authorities that will make certain that the Department of Defense is able to recruit and retain the highest caliber science and engineering workforce needed to ensure our technological superiority. This is a critical concern for our subcommittee, and we continue to pay special attention to these issues.
“The TUTC mark also includes language to enhance the research capabilities of defense laboratories, as well as additional funding for science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce initiatives that will ensure the DOD has a competent and diverse pipeline of skilled scientists and engineers.”