Danger posed by an increased Al Qaeda threat in Africa
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) discusses the rising threat of Islamic extremism coming from Africa.
- Duration 9:55
- Date Jan 23, 2013
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) discusses the rising threat of Islamic extremism coming from Africa.
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Women's heads straight -- -- DC bureau to speak to senator -- in half he's a Republican from Oklahoma member of the senate.
Armed services committee most recently was a member of the senate.
Foreign relations committee so he's the guy at the crossroads between all the national security issues thank you so much for joining us senator and -- -- very busy day for you would.
And -- -- -- I just -- -- the bank you now wanna get right to it has spoken out about that confirmation hearings are going to be upcoming.
Next week with -- with senator hagel former colleague of yours the United States -- President Obama has nominated him to be secretary of defense.
What's your take out of -- know you've met with him several times recently.
We -- -- I came right out and told him head and in my office we set them visited I told him I would be opposing him.
Rather than to wait around and act like I might be it would be swayed.
Through some kind of -- -- here it.
I Nolan I like him I served with him but we're just too far apart his attitude just -- I ran for example.
He was wanted.
Few people who didn't want to go after sanctions in Iran.
He's would have only I think three or four senators who didn't sign a letter of solidarity with that with Israel.
-- he's just not been struck it he's a member of the Z zero new -- to I don't you've really gotten into that program.
But it's well and that right now we have a real problem with our group with our nuclear thing which I hope -- had a chance talk about.
And he's just on the other side of that issue so.
I I think I am inclined to think that he would not be confirmed I think.
Probably Republicans will.
I know that there are several -- who has three of us now that have already done it would probably look at that say you know -- we -- have somebody in his face little bit differently.
Well is there anything that senator hagel could say to you either an open hearings or even in private hearings to reassure you that he doesn't have a problem.
With Iran and sanctions it is going to be a strong supporter of Israelis not going to do anything of cutting defense a particular cut in the air and nuclear arsenal -- I think well.
I don't do that who have let us say to you -- -- what I said to him.
You know -- -- for years you've had this particular philosophy.
Where we've we've followed -- we disagreed all these years.
-- I can't imagine someone coming along now in abandoning the things that he is said in the past and I didn't do too many of these I've I've had people.
Stand up and say why didn't really mean that that was out of context.
And as I told.
If that -- just wondered two things that would be different and answer your question is no there's nothing to be said that would change my mind on it that.
Others I'm sure we're not as close to the issues perhaps I.
Do you think and you don't think he'll be -- me and you don't think he'll be confirmed.
I had I think there's a good shot that he will not -- and I'm not sure who would be behind him but I know that Florida ladies and name that's been -- -- -- times.
Frankly I was at Panetta I was very fond of him he and I were close it and -- so there's no reason.
That we can't get someone who is going to be at least somewhat in the middle of the road in terms of our national defense right now.
My big problem is what Obama has done to our our national defense our ability to defend ourselves it wasn't any surprise -- news coming.
Well let's go to a bit more to do tell us that one of the -- -- gonna have on the Senate Armed Services Committee is look at the defense cuts we all know defense cuts are coming but it's a big question of where are they going to come -- they gonna come out.
-- reading as are they kind of come out of the force is what's your take.
Well first of all that I have the position replaced Senator McCain and being the ranking member on armed services.
So it really says some time getting into this I remember KT is suspecting what would happen on his first budget.
I went to Afghanistan so I could actually be over there respond his budget and north of Obama's budget.
Yeah AK is I knew how bad it is going to be and I knew I'd get national attention with the -- school back and forth let.
And sure enough he did away with early fifth generation fighter -- -- -- to get away with our.
Future combat system that only advancement on the ground in sixteen years.
Did away with our lift capacity of the C seventeen in the worst thing it's one that nobody pays any attention to.
Is that by taking away our -- ground base interceptors in Poland.
That was a really serious thing I think we know what he's done with ground based interceptors he's knocked him down from what we would have had.
54 I'm down to thirty -- now but they're all located on the West Coast.
And I'm satisfied even with that reduced numbers that -- safe there.
But if we get a missile that comes in or -- comes in from.
-- it's safe from.
It would come in over the East Coast in that way -- -- that that footprint of our interceptor just barely reach the East Coast.
I'm not at all happy with that now with the ground based interceptor.
We would have been perfectly safe with anything coming from -- read -- -- don't forget.
Our intelligence and this is not classified or unclassified intelligence his head -- -- on reaching.
The capability of having a weapon a delivery system by 2015.
So this isn't anything new and their right on schedule well our broad based -- in Poland would have taken care of that now literally it.
We don't and so -- we're sitting around worried so that was just in one.
Insists that I would say this they always say it would no we have not decreased military spending.
It's actually has increased by one point 8% that you use a defense inflation figure 3.3.
No one disagrees with that and that means it's a reduction this translates into -- reduction of 39.
In in fiscal year thirteen.
-- So it is.
A serious thing.
And I look at this -- We have a president who with his own budget -- -- somehow people don't understand this.
That was the in the house had a budget was killed the senate doesn't have a budget so the president's budget -- budget we have.
In each -- -- -- -- -- he's increase the deficit by over that trillion dollars has been five point three traded.
So this is -- 30% increase in spending.
And everything except -- except defense and he's decreasing the defense system that -- its hands if it's if it's huge hits it really is.
Here I know you have -- no longer on the senator to serve -- have our relations committee and that we have had hearings this morning.
Secretary Clinton testifying before the senate.
Our relations committee I did listen to those I know you've been in meetings and perhaps haven't had a chance but -- the things I was struck quipped.
And this is something you're going to have to deal with is the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
It is now very clear to everybody that al-Qaeda that Islamic extremists are really on the ascendancy in North Africa and even in Central Africa.
A part of the world -- we really haven't paid any attention to.
How do you think we're gonna have to deal with that.
Well I was you're talking to the right person KP because -- them.
I was would -- instigated their first ever come -- and put everything under one wouldn't community but wouldn't wouldn't command.
Well there is going to be difficult because we we have now we've got the military down to the point where we can't.
Adequately defend America I can't tell you their names but I had two of the commands in my office as recently as this morning.
They can't say anything this course they have a commander in cheek name Obama.
That we have been really serious problems.
Not just that cuts in the defense in the systems that we have I mean you stop and think taking.
Downsizing the and the troops in the army 80000 Marines.
The ships down -- did 300.
All of these things are downgrading our ability to respond to these new threats that are there.
Not that this is a new threat that we've known for a long time is to -- takes place in the Middle East.
That the terrorist activity goes down to Djibouti in the Horn of Africa and spreads out.
People -- -- it just North Africa it's not it's gonna go all the way through Central Africa and out.
We have done one thing that was kind of Smart -- right immediately following.
We determined that that activity was gonna go into Africa so we.
Decided that we would help veterans -- five African brigades so that when that happened.
They would be able to take some of that -- in in in their responsibility.
Well they haven't gone as well as I'd like since that time that at least we are training Africans should take care of their own problems down there hopefully that'll -- Help us a little bit up here too but keep in mind the big problem KT is that just did.
Dropping down the the the our defense budget.
But also this is the president is putting all of his a lot of his -- programs we can identify thirteen billion dollars green programs that have come in.
Under the the under the defense budget.
Like using his -- fields paying 59 dollars a gallon for -- -- for the air force that can be bought for three dollars a gallon.
-- step that should be in the Department of Energy.
Of his experimentation.
But they're not that's what he's been doing.
His renewables that are in their solar in the building refineries that's coming out of the the defense budget.
So the best way to answer your question is -- we can't do that in this week's -- paying attention to our national defense.
But that's why senator I would not want to have to testify before your -- you really -- stuff.
This is so much for joining us senator and -- -- ranking member and he's a top Republican on the house at a senate.
Armed services committee thanks so much for making time for -- day today thank -- -- okay.