Committee on Armed Services

Buck McKeon

National Defense Panel Assessment of the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review

2014/12/02

Full Committee ... Read More

The Role of Maritime and Air Power in DoD’s Third Offset Strategy

2014/12/02

Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces ... Read More

McKeon Statement on Hagel Stepping Down

2014/11/24

Washington, D.C. - House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) made the following statement regarding Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. 

“Chuck Hagel was an excellent Defense Secretary, and a friend. He was given a thankless task of an underfunded Defense Department, growing threats, and intrusive White House micromanagement. 

“Even with the cards stacked against him, he led the Department with efficiency and aplomb. I’m especially grateful for his close coordination with Congress, and his insistence on putting the troops first.

“The Obama Administration is now in the market for their 4th Secretary of Defense. When the President goes through three Secretaries, he should ask ‘is it them, or is it me?'"

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McKeon: GTMO Releases Must Stop

2014/11/20

Washington, D.C. - House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) made the following statement about the Obama administration's release of terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay: 

“As long as detainees are rejoining the battlefield, these transfers must stop.

“I have written to Secretary Hagel expressing my frustration and great concern over a new swell of recidivism. If just one U.S. soldier loses their life over these transfers, we will have failed in our duty to the American people.

“What the Obama Administration is doing is dangerous and, frankly, reckless. They have chosen many times to put politics above national security. It’s time they stop playing with fire and start doing what’s right. Until we can assure the terrorists stay off the battlefield, they must stay behind bars."

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McKeon: GTMO Releases Must Stop

2014/11/20

Washington, D.C. - House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) made the following statement about the Obama administration's release of terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay: 

“As long as detainees are rejoining the battlefield, these transfers must stop.

“I have written to Secretary Hagel expressing my frustration and great concern over a new swell of recidivism. If just one U.S. soldier loses their life over these transfers, we will have failed in our duty to the American people.

“What the Obama Administration is doing is dangerous and, frankly, reckless. They have chosen many times to put politics above national security. It’s time they stop playing with fire and start doing what’s right. Until we can assure the terrorists stay off the battlefield, they must stay behind bars."

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Religious Accommodations in the Armed Services

2014/11/19

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Religious Accommodations in the Armed Services
Subcommittee on Military Personnel
(2:00PM-4:00PM– 2118 Rayburn HOB)

Witnesses

Mr. Michael Berry 
Senior Counsel, Director of Military Affairs, Liberty Institute

  • Witness Statement [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Financial Disclosure [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Witness Biography [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM

Dr. Ron Crews 
Executive Director, Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty

  • Witness Statement [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Financial Disclosure [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Witness Biography [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM

Rabbi Bruce Kahn 
CAPT, CHC, USN (Ret)

Updated 11/21/2014 at 11:03 AM
  • Witness Statement [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Financial Disclosure [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Witness Biography [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM

Mr. Travis Weber 
Director, Center for Religious Liberty Family Research Council

Updated 11/13/2014 at 04:52 PM
  • Witness Statement [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Witness Biography [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM

Mr. Michael Weinstein 
President, Military Religious Freedom Foundation

  • Witness Statement [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Witness Biography [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM

Support Documents

  • Rep. Doug Collins Statement for the Record [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Associated Gospel Churches Statement for the Record [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Statement for the Record of the Sikh Coalition [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PMUpdated 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State Statement for the Record [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Anti-Defamation League Statement for the Record [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • American Civil Liberties Union Statement for the Record [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • THE FORUM ON THE MILITARY CHAPLAINCY [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • American Humanist Association Statement for the Record [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers Statement for the Record [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Religious Action Center [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
  • Freedom from Religion Foundation Statement for the Record [PDF]Added 11/19/2014 at 01:43 PM
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McKeon Congratulates HASC Chairman-Select Thornberry

2014/11/18


WASHINGTON - House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) congratulates Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) on the recommendation from the Steering Committee that he become the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in the 114th Congress

“During my four years as Chairman, I’ve come to rely on Mac as a policy expert, a gifted communicator, a trusted confidant, and a friend. He has skillfully helped  our Committee as Vice-Chairman, and his national security smarts have earned the respect of both Congress and defense experts alike. But most importantly, Mac is a leader with a servant’s heart. His devotion and loyalty is, above all, to the men and women of our military.

“The Armed Services Committee will be in the most capable of hands with Chairman-select Thornberry, and so will our Armed Forces. My heartfelt congratulations to him as he moves into this rewarding --and challenging-- job."

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McKeon Comments On Hagel Nuclear Force Recommendations

2014/11/14

WASHINGTON— Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee made the following comment following the release of Nuclear Force recommendations by the Secretary of Defense:

"Secretary Hagel's review of the Nuclear Enterprise reflects the sobering state of our nuclear force and the urgent investment needed to ensure its future effectiveness.  Deterrence is the cornerstone of our national security strategy - as Chairman Dempsey has testified, it's our number one priority because it guarantees the "survival of the nation".  But, the Nuclear Enterprise has suffered from neglect for too long.  Insufficient resources, indifferent leadership, and poor morale have taken their toll.  I commend the Secretary for his leadership and for prioritizing the resources necessary to make sure our deterrent remains safe, secure and reliable. 

"The Department of Energy must also re-prioritize its nuclear mission, correct for years of underfunding, and restore morale.  

"Most importantly, I hope the President will listen to his senior civilian and military national security leaders, take this as seriously as they do, and cast aside his Global Zero vision that is in reality unilateral disarmament.  We can work together to follow the blueprint established by Secretary Hagel and his review and show the leadership our men and women in uniform deserve."

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Rep. Vicky Hartzler on CNN: U.S. Needs a Decisive Strategy to Defeat ISIL

2014/11/14

HASC Member Discusses Secretary Hagel and General Dempsey's Testimony at Yesterday's Hearing

 

You can watch the whole interview HERE

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The Administration’s Strategy and Military Campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)

2014/11/13

Full Committee ... Read More

The Administration’s Strategy and Military Campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)

2014/11/13

Thursday, November 13, 2014
The Administration’s Strategy and Military Campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
Full Committee 
(10:00AM - 1:00PM -- 2118 Rayburn HOB)

Witnesses:
General Martin E. Dempsey 
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Department of Defense

The Honorable Chuck Hagel 
Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense Read More

The Department of Defense Excess Property Program in Support of U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies: An Overview of DOD Authorities, Roles, Responsibilities, and Implementation of Section 1033 of the 1997 National Defense Authorization Act

2014/11/13

The Department of Defense Excess Property Program in Support of U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies: An Overview of DOD Authorities, Roles, Responsibilities, and Implementation of Section 1033 of the 1997 National Defense Authorization Act
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
(4:00PM-6:00PM -- 2212 Rayburn HOB)

Witnesses:
PANEL 1:
Mr. Alan Estevez 
Principal Deputy Under Secretary, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, U.S. Department of Defense

Vice Admiral Mark D. Harnitchek USN 
Director, Defense Logistics Agency

PANEL 2:
Mr. Jim Bueermann 
President, Police Foundation

Mr. Mark E. Lomax 
Executive Director, National Tactical Officers Association  Read More

The Department of Defense Excess Property Program in Support of U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies: An Overview of DOD Authorities, Roles, Responsibilities, and Implementation of Section 1033 of the 1997 National Defense Authorization Act

2014/11/13

Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations... Read More

General Dempsey tells HASC U.S. May Have to Send Ground Troops to Fight ISIL

2014/11/13

NY Times Headline: Top U.S. General Says He’s Open to Using Ground Troops to Take Mosul... Read More

McKeon Statement on Potential White House Funding Request

2014/11/07

Funding Should Be Tied to Broader Strategy... Read More

Hagel Admits GTMO Detainees Joining Terrorists Fighting in Iraq and Syria

2014/10/31

Fox News Report Highlights McKeon Request for Immediate Suspension of GTMO Detainee Transfers... Read More

Chairman McKeon Letter to Secretary Hagel on Detainee Transfers 10302014

2014/10/30


McKeon Calls on Secretary Hagel to Immediately Suspend All Terror Detainee Transfers

2014/10/30

Washington, D.C. - House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) sent a letter today to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel calling for the immediate suspension of all transfers of terror detainees.

You can view the letter here
Full text provided below:

 

October 30, 2014

Dear Secretary Hagel:

I am writing to express my grave concerns regarding the Administration’s efforts to continue to transfer Guantanamo detainees despite unprecedented threats to our national security.

The committee has received several notifications regarding detainee transfers in recent months.  Many of these notifications contain troubling details.  These details would be alarming in any context, but are particularly troubling given the current threat to the United States from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).  The re-engagement rate of former Guantanamo detainees is ever-increasing and there are public reports that detainees are specifically rejoining the fight alongside ISIL. 

The U.S. Government must not release terrorist detainees at the same time we have committed U.S. service members to fight ISIL.  To continue to do so just as we have had to open a new front in the war on terror is unthinkable.  Thus, I request an immediate suspension of all detainee transfers.

I greatly appreciate your willingness to testify before the full committee on November 13 regarding U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq.  I respectfully request your assistance in addressing these related issues as well.

Sincerely,

/s/ 

Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Chairman
House Armed Services Committee

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McKeon Statement on Secretary Hagel's Controlled Monitoring Decision

2014/10/29

Washington, D.C. - House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) made the following statement about Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's controlled monitoring decision for Ebola:

"By agreeing with the Joint Chiefs, Secretary Hagel made a tough call today.  For now I think it is the right call.  Fighting Ebola at its source is an important mission, but one full of uncertainty. I again commend the brave men and women in uniform who have deployed to help Ebola’s victims. Uncertain missions often require us to take steps out of an abundance of caution. Here the Secretary is acting not only to protect our forces but the larger military family. I hope DoD can find a way to balance the concerns about health and safety while minimizing the burden on  overtaxed troops on what could be a long deployment, but their safety and well being must be paramount.  Reviewing the order as the situation evolves and we understand more about the risks posed to our troops is also just plain common sense." Read More

Full Timeline: How the Obama Administration's Disengagement Has Hampered the Fight Against ISIL

2014/10/27

A pair of recent stories in POLITICO magazine titled "Team of Bumblers" and "General Dempsey to the Rescue" illustrate how President Obama and the White House National Security Team have mishandled the threat posed by the ISIL terrorist organization from the beginning. In addition to calling for repeal of the AUMF-  which they now use as justification for the airstrikes against ISIL - their request for a military training program was never vetted by military leaders at the Department of Defense. 

January 4, 2014:  Fall of Falluja: “Falluja is completely under the control of Al Qaeda.”… The fighting that has been going on for days has proved to be a crucial test for Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s Shiite-led government, which is facing an escalating Sunni-led insurgency that threatens to tear the country apart. The unrest and the seeming inability of the Iraqi government forces, who were trained and equipped by the United States at a cost of billions ofdollars, to quell it underscores the steady deterioration of Iraq’s security since the last American troops left two years ago. New York Times

January- February, 2014: Intel Community Warns of Growing ISIL Threat: In testimony to National Security Committees, DNI Clapper warned, “…the sectarian war in Syria, its attraction as a growing center of radical extremism and the potential threat this poses to the homeland.  Let me briefly expand on this point. The strength of the insurgency in Syria is now estimated at somewhere between 75,000 or 80,000 on the low end and 110,000 to 115,000 on the high end, who are organized into more than 1,500 groups of widely varying political leanings.  Three of the most effective are the Al-Nusrah Front, Ansar Al- Sham, and the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant, or ISIL, as it's known, who total more than 20,000.  Complicating this further are the 7,500- plus foreign fighters from some 50 countries who have gravitated to Syria. Among them are a small group of Af-Pak Al Qaida veterans who have the aspirations for external attack in Europe, if not the homeland itself.  And there are many other crises and threats around the globe, to include…, the deteriorating internal security posture in Iraq, with AQI now in control of Fallujah.”  DNI Clapper’s Testimony: 

March 5, 2014: CENTCOM Commander Warns Of Growing ISIL Threat: "Nearly all partners, both in and out of the region, have expressed growing anxiety with respect to the violent extremists operating from ungoverned space within Syria. The flow of foreign fighters and funding going into Syria is a significant concern. When I took command of USCENTCOM in March of 2013, the intelligence community estimated there were ~800-1,000 jihadists in Syria. Today, that number is upwards of 7,000. This is alarming, particularly when you consider that many of these fighters will eventually return home, and some may head to Europe or even the United States better trained and equipped and even more radicalized. At the same time, extremists are exploiting the sectarian fault line running from Beirut to Damascus to Baghdad to Sanaa.  Left unchecked, the resulting instability could embroil the greater region into conflict." Gen. Austin Testimony

June 10, 2014: ISIL Takes Mosul: Insurgents seized control of most of the northern Iraqi city of Mosula powerful demonstration of the threat posed by a rapidly expanding extremist army to the fragile stability of Iraq and the wider region…ISIS fighters seized large quantities of weaponry from the security forces when they overran their bases, including vehicles, arms andammunition that will help the group to press further offensives.   The Washington Post

July 25, 2014: Rice Requests AUMF Repeal: In a letter to Speaker Boehner, and without consulting the military, National Security Advisor Rice requests the repeal of legal authority the White House will later rely on: ”The Iraq AUMF is no loner used for any U.S. government activities and the Administration fully supports its repeal.  Such a repeal would go much further in giving the American people confidence that ground forces will not be sent into combat in Iraq.”  Letter from Rice to Speaker Bohener

Request Never Vetted Through DoD: The AUMF that Rice wanted withdrawn is now part of the very authority the administration says it is operating under, along with the 2001 AUMF against al Qaeda. The Pentagon was not given a heads-up about that letter either, according to multiple sources. “We didn’t know it was going over there, and there were significant concerns about it,” said the senior defense official. “We had these authorities to go into Iraq under the 2002 AUMF, which is what she wanted repealed. We believed the authorities were still needed.” Politico

August 6, 2014: General Dempsey Urges President Obama to Intervene in Iraq: “We have a crisis in Iraq, Mr. President... ISIS is a real threat,… Dempsey outlined the militants’ rapid military gains in western Iraq and warned that ISIL fighters were threatening Baghdad. “It’s that bad?” Obama asked, according to this person’s account. Dempsey was blunt. “Yes, sir,” he said, “it is.  Politico

A “Rare” Face to Face Between The President and his Chief Military Advisor: —the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—rarely has opportunities to get face time with the president. So when he does, he presses his advantage. One of the few times this happened was during the early evening hours of Aug. 6, when Dempsey joined Obama in his limousine at the State Department, where the president had been attending a session of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. The ride to the White House allowed Dempsey his first one-on-one with Obama in several weeks. Politico

August 19, 2014: James Foley is killed.  "The video concludes with the fighter threatening to kill Steven Sotloff, another American freelance journalist, who was being held alongside Mr. Foley. Mr. Sotloff is seen kneeling in the same position, in the same landscape and wearing the same style of orange-colored jumpsuit. “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” the fighter says." New York Times

August 28, 2014: We don’t have a strategy yet. President Obama

September 10th, 2014: President Obama unveils his ISIL strategy : “At this moment, the greatest threats come from the Middle East and North Africa, where radical groups exploit grievances for their own gain.  And one of those groups is ISIL -- which calls itself the ‘Islamic State….ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple.  And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.”  President Obama

Again the Request is Never Vetted Through DoD: The White House transmits a request for the Military to train and equip Syrian forces that HAS NOT been coordinated with the Department of Defense: “The Pentagon was surprised by the president’s timing, according to a senior defense official. ‘We didn’t know it was going to be in the speech,’ he said, referring to Obama’s Sept. 10 address to the nation. Second, the White House neglected to give Pentagon lawyers a chance to revise and approve the proposed legislative language before it went to the Hill, which is considered standard practice. Staffers working for Rep. Buck McKeon, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said they were appalled by what they saw: language so sloppy that it failed to mention adequate protections against so-called ‘green-on-blue’ attacks by trainees on American troops, and effectively left the Defense Department liable for funding the mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)—even though the president was telling members of Congress he didn’t need money for this new mission, since the Saudis were putting it up. ‘What came over would have not have been a mission the DoD could have executed,’ says a senior Republican committee staffer.” Politico

September 11th, 2014,Chairman McKeon offers an alternate strategy to combat ISIL:  "I want our coalition to go all-in now, so that we do not risk having to use enormously more blood and treasure later. I would much rather fight ISIL in Iraq and Syria today than fight them in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Kurdistan tomorrow.Fortune favors the bold. ISIL is a threat that we all share. They are an enemy of the free world and must be stopped..... History punished us once 13 years ago today. It is the responsibility of us all to ensure it doesn’t happen again."

September 17th, 2014: House Passes updated Syria Train and Equip authority: “The authorization is limited in scope to training up to 5,000 members of the Syrian opposition in Saudi Arabia. It provides no new funding and requires the administration to provide status reports to Congress. The Obama administration said the mission may be funded by international contributions, but the resolution authorizes the Pentagon to shift funds from other accounts if necessary.” USA Today

September 23rd 2014, Coaltion air campaign over Iraq and Syria begins.  President Obama relies on the 2002 Iraq Authorization to Use Military Force that Ambassador Rice asked the House to repeal just 2 months beforeWar Powers Notification

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Contact Information

2340 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4151
Fax 202-225-0858
armedservices.house.gov


Membership

Rob Bishop

UTAH's 1st DISTRICT

Jim Bridenstine

OKLAHOMA's 1st DISTRICT

Mo Brooks

ALABAMA's 5th DISTRICT

Bradley Byrne

ALABAMA's 1st DISTRICT

Mike Coffman

COLORADO's 6th DISTRICT

Michael Conaway

TEXAS' 11th DISTRICT

Paul Cook

CALIFORNIA's 8th DISTRICT

John Fleming

LOUISIANA's 4th DISTRICT

J. Randy Forbes

VIRGINIA's 4th DISTRICT

Trent Franks

ARIZONA's 8th DISTRICT

Chris Gibson

NEW YORK's 19th DISTRICT

Vicky Hartzler

MISSOURI's 4th DISTRICT

Joe Heck

NEVADA's 3rd DISTRICT

Duncan Hunter

CALIFORNIA's 50th DISTRICT

Walter Jones

NORTH CAROLINA's 3rd DISTRICT

John Kline

MINNESOTA's 2nd DISTRICT

Doug Lamborn

COLORADO's 5th DISTRICT

Frank LoBiondo

NEW JERSEY's 2nd DISTRICT

Buck McKeon

CALIFORNIA's 25th DISTRICT

Jeff Miller

FLORIDA's 1st DISTRICT

Kristi Noem

SOUTH DAKOTA

Rich Nugent

FLORIDA's 11th DISTRICT

Steven Palazzo

MISSISSIPPI's 4th DISTRICT

Scott Rigell

VIRGINIA's 2nd DISTRICT

Mike Rogers

ALABAMA's 3rd DISTRICT

Jon Runyan

NEW JERSEY's 3rd DISTRICT

Austin Scott

GEORGIA's 8th DISTRICT

Bill Shuster

PENNSYLVANIA's 9th DISTRICT

Mac Thornberry

TEXAS' 13th DISTRICT

Michael Turner

OHIO's 10th DISTRICT

Jackie Walorski

INDIANA's 2nd DISTRICT

Brad Wenstrup

OHIO's 2nd DISTRICT

Joe Wilson

SOUTH CAROLINA's 2nd DISTRICT

Rob Wittman

VIRGINIA's 1st DISTRICT