U.S. Department of Defense
|Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon||October 27, 2015|
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ASH CARTER: Well, good day, everyone. Thank you, General Padilla for those kind words. Thanks everyone for being here. It's great to be back at NDU and to introduce my good friend (inaudible) Ya'alon, the Israeli minister of defense, introduce him to all of you.
Minister Ya'alon, these are some of America's brightest strategic minds. Each has succeeded in the military, foreign service or government before pursuing their studies here at NDU.
And, students, this is one of the finest defense officials in the world. Minister Ya'alon is a friend and a strategic thinker, one who takes the security of his nation personally.
Like some of you, Minister Ya'alon started as a soldier, and many years later he served as the Israeli defense forces chief of staff. Now he is Israel's minister of defense. It's played an important rule in Israel's security for generations, and I'm glad all of you are going to have the opportunity to learn from him.
There are few nations that face such a dynamic and daunting strategic environment as our ally, Israel. I saw some of that firsthand when Minister Ya'alon hosted me here in July -- there -- excuse me -- in July. He took me to the border with Lebanon, where we saw the threat Hezbollah poses to Israel. That visited reminded me once again how real and how close the threat is to Israelis.
The Middle East is going though dramatic changes and experiencing generational crises that threaten Israel from every direction. For students of strategy, that's what we call challenging situational assessments. But for Israel the current situation in the region presents daily threats to the state, its economy and its democracy.
As we have since it's founding the United States stands with Israel, and we always will. Israel is a cornerstone of our strategy in the Middle East, and its security is a top priority for America, for our military and for President Obama and me personally.
That's why Minister Ya'alon is here with me this week and one of the reasons why Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming to Washington D.C. next month.
When I was in Israel with Minister Ya'alon in July he called the scope and depth of our defense relationship unprecedented.
That's the same word President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have used; they're all correct. After years of unprecedented efforts to help Israel strengthen its security, the U.S.-Israeli defense relationship has never been stronger.
I'm sure some of you in your careers have already worked with the Israeli Defense Forces, the IDF. And I'm sure many of you will do so in the future.
This week, Minister Ya'alon and I will continue our work together to make this relationship stronger, still. We will meet our iron-clad commitment to Israel Qualitative Military Edge, or QME.
QME has long-standing DOD policy -- its United States law. And it's something I've worked on personally with my Israeli friends during and before my tenure as secretary of Defense.
We will continue to make advance capabilities available to Israel.
Next year, Israel will be our first and only friend in the Middle East with the F-35 stealth fighter.
In fact, Minister Ya'alon and I are scheduled to travel out Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, to review the F-35, which are the future fighter aircraft for the United States Air Force and the Israeli air force.
While the Iran deal will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, Israel still faces very real missile threats from a number of actors in the region, including Iran and Hezbollah.
That's why we will maintain our support for Israeli's missile defense. We will continue to support Iron Dome. We have saved countless Israeli lives during the conflict. And we will maintain our contributions to David's Sling and Arrow systems that can shoot down water range rockets and ballistic missiles.
But we're also working together new domains, including cyber cooperation and collaboration. Tomorrow, Minister Ya'alon and I will also visit U.S. Cyber Command, for briefing and review of our work together on cyber issues.
Since I want you to hear from Minister Ya'alon directly, I only have time to discuss a small part of what the United States is doing for Israeli's security.
But as Minister Ya'alon and I will discuss today and tomorrow, we will continue to find new ways to work together to confront Israel's complicated security challenges, and to show the world that the defense relationship between the United States and Israel is stronger than ever.
Thank you, and now, let's give a warm NDU welcome to Minister Ya'alon.
MINISTER OF DEFENSE MOSHE YA'ALON: Thank you, Ash. Thank you. Thank you.
My good friends, Secretary of Defense, Ashton -- Ash Carter, thank you for your warm words reflecting the relationship between the great United States of America and tiny state of Israel.
Major General Padilla thank you for the hospitality and for the opportunity and for the opportunity to speak here with the next generation of American and foreign generals.
You know, in the Israeli general staff, they -- four generals out of 21 have been graduated here.
And of course, the NDU staff, and last but not least, dear students.
I would like to use this opportunity to share with you the Israeli observations regarding the challenges ahead of us, ahead of us.
Ahead of us, ahead of Israel -- Israel is -- we believe -- ahead of the Western civilization led by the United States. No doubt that the Middle East now is going through a critical geopolitical earthquake.
We don't name it -- neither the earthquake nor the Islamic winter -- although certain territories in the Middle East of today are governed by Islamic jihadist. Yes, it is an Islamic winter.
But there are also opportunities. But when it comes to Israel, the only democracy -- the only real democracy in the Middle East, it's like living in an island surrounded with jihadist; Shia, like Hezbollah in Lebanon; Daesh; Jabhat al-Nusra.
In Syria of today, of course, the Sinai county. In Egypt, Daesh entity. Hamas, (inaudible) entity, (inaudible) in the Gaza Strip, and other jihadist elements surrounding our country.
But the challenge didn't start just in the last four years. In Israel, as the only Jewish state all over the globe -- not talking about being the only Jewish state in the Middle East -- surrounded by Islamic countries, face a unique challenge.
A unique one in which there are too many parties, not that just in our region, but especially in our regions, who are reluctant to recognize Israel's right to exist as a nation-state of the Jewish people.
In the past, it was Arab nationalism calling to have Middle East be only Arab. There is no room for a Jewish state. Today, it's Islamic motives, more than national motives, calling to eliminate the state of Israel as a Jewish state, as this piece of land is considered by them as (inaudible), sacred land for Islam, and there is no room for Jewish state because of these reasons.
We have an historic conflict with Iran. Why? We had very good relationship in the past, in the time of the Shah, between Iran and Israel. But today, the (inaudible) and (inaudible) call to wipe Israel off the map of the Earth.
We don't have any border with Iran whatsoever. We don't have any territorial dispute, occupation, or whatever. But they call to wipe Israel from the map of the Earth because of Islamic ideology not allowing any non-Islamic entity to be on this piece of land of Israel.
It's quite a unique challenge, when it comes to security. It's quite a unique challenge when it comes to politics. As our neighbors, not talking about our rivals or enemies, those who are reluctant to recognize our right to exist as a nation-state of the Jewish people.
Manipulating this element by certain manipulations, like the problem of occupations in '67, or the settlements issue in the West Bank, in Judea and Samaria. And today, the false claims for violating the status quo in Al-Aqsa, in the mosque on the Temple Mount. Lies.
But unfortunately, they are able to manipulate not just their constituencies, they are able to manipulate even Western like-minded people by those false propaganda.
Since the dawn of Zionism, going back to the end of the 19th century, the Zionist movement, which brought about the idea of having a Jewish homeland in this piece of land in which the Jews used to live before going to exile, brought about violence against Jews coming to live in the land of Israel.
From my family experience, from my wife's side, Jews came to Israel, they came at the beginning of the 16th century to live in the Galilee. For my father's side, coming from Ukraine at the beginning of the 20th century to live in the land of Israel, not in order to fight Arabs whatsoever.
Just to live, not incidentally in this piece of land, as a (inaudible) and built Jerusalem, Zion. That's Zionism. Zion, Jerusalem.
They didn't think about fighting Arabs. Not many of them live over there. But many Arabs were attracted by the new Zionist movement to come to live in this piece of land, because of the economic prosperity which was brought to the region by the Jews.
And immediately they reject Zionism you know, because (inaudible). To reject the idea of Jews living in this piece of land, of course, using violence. Today, it is called terror, intifada. At the time it was called (inaudible) massacre, Jerusalem massacre, incidents, the great Arab rebellion, and so forth, and so forth.
But violence against the Jews, it's not a new phenomenon. The first Jew who was killed because of being Jew in the land of Israel -- in the new era, not going to the Biblical time -- was 1873. And it happens every day, even now, trying to stop Jews in our country. It is kind of terror.
The nature of the threat has been changed dramatically, and from collision -- clashes between Arabs and Jews before the creation of the state -- 1948, our independence -- brought about conventional-type warfare as a main sight.
Five Arab armed forces infiltrated -- penetrated to the land of Israel, in order not to allow the creation of the Jewish state. They failed. They were defeated.
This type of conventional-type warfare characterized those parties in the region, to include Egypt, Syria, Jordan, in the Six-Day War, and other parties until 1973.
Actually, 1973, Yom Kippur War was the last war in which we were threatened by Arab initiatives using conventional-type warfare.
The war between armed forces. Since then, they didn't initiate such a threat, such a military activity. But since then, they moved, part of them, to have peace accord with use. Like Jordan, with strategic relations since 1970, under the table.
Egypt, 1979, Prime Minister (inaudible), that was the good news.
The bad news is still the elements will try to find other tools to eliminate the state of Israel. And the threat has been changed dramatically from conventional type warfare, to what might be called super conventional nations of -- weapons of mass destruction. Or sub-conventional, like terror, rockets and missiles.
And this is the main characteristic of the threat that we have to deal today in our country. Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein, tried to acquire military nuclear capability.
Then Bashar al-Assad of Syria. And of course, the Iranian regime. Now, with the deal, not giving up the vision of having a military nuclear capability, but yes, for the time being, for about a decade or so, it might be postponed as a threat against us.
Having said that, in the recent years -- actually, since 1973, we went through rockets attacks, missiles attacks, and terror attacks perpetrated by Saddam Hussein in 1991. Missiles attack against Israel.
Rockets attacks from Lebanon for a couple of years, until 2006, the second Lebanon war. And rockets attacks in the Gaza strip, even yesterday evening.
In this case, launched by a rogue element challenging Hamas, which is committed now to the ceasefire reached after our military operation last summer. The rockets launched to our civilian community around the Gaza Strip.
It is interesting. Why did they move from the conventional type warfare to these two options? Super conventional and sub-conventional.
First of all, because they were defeated in the conventional battlefield -- 1948, 1956 the Sinai campaign, 1967 the Six Day War. Yom Kippur wasn't the most significant one, although it began when we suffered inferiority because of many mistakes in our case, we have supply in our holiday of Yom Kippur.
At the end of the year, war, we were just 30 kilometers from Damascus, 101 kilometers from Cairo, with our troops -- between our troops and the two capitols of Egypt and Syria.
After a while, they realize there is no option to eliminate the state of Israel by conventional power, and they moved to terror, guerrilla, or non-conventional capabilities.
Another reason was, they seem to believe they are not able to eliminate the state of Israel by military force, they should go through attrition type warfare, and directing their tools against our society.
That's why they always send bombing attacks, they're not against soldiers, against civilians. That's why the rockets and the missiles are not aimed to reach soldiers or military facilities, hitting communities, cities, civilians.
They seem to believe that we are lacking the resilience, the endurance, the ability to stand as a society. That's why Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah, named as a spider web in 2000, when we withdrew from Lebanon, I believe that it doesn't seem so today.
The last two decades or so, we believe, first of all, we're have found a response to these kinds of tools. On top of it, we have proven the ability of the Israeli society to stand.
Not to surrender. Not to give up. And this is a main element which is rooted in this kind of war, the ability of the society to stand.
Just last summer, 51 days of military campaign in the Gaza Strip started by Hamas provocations of launch of rockets to our side, targeting deliberately civilians; 4,500 rockets, shells -- motar shells, targeting our civilians.
But the society stood, didn't surrender. Of course, we got help of the Iron Dome system, due to the cooperation with the U.S., with United States, the international support of the United States -- very effective system to defend our country.
And Israel is on the way to have four layers of what we call active defense system to intercept rockets as well as the missiles. Iron Dome is the first layer, the lowest one.
Then David's Sling, which will be operational next year, 2016; (inaudible) which is operational already, dealing with missiles, medium-range missiles; and (inaudible), another project, is Israeli-U.S. cooperation to be operational in a couple of years, four ways to protect our country from rockets and missiles.
When it comes to terror, as usual, we realize that the best defense is a good offense. That's why we moved, in 2002, after absorbing hundreds of casualties as a result of a missile -- a missile bombing attacks, launched from Palestinian areas, which were delivered to the Palestinians as a result of Oslo.
They used this directorate, which were under their responsibility, to launch homicide bombing attacks in a very high scale.
Again, after Oslo, we absorbed almost 1,500 casualties, most of them as a result of homicide bombing attacks.
And in 2002, when we moved from the defense to the offense, actually deploying our troops into the Palestinian cities, into Area A, going after the terrorists, arresting them, killing them, it took us about three years to eliminate the terror infrastructure in the West Bank in a way that we enjoyed until now the fact that organized terror is not able to go back to this kind of site, which we absorbed since 2000 to 2004.
As long as we enjoy the freedom of operation in Areas A, and this is the case until now, we are able to arrest in advance those who intend to perpetrate terror attacks. And now, they move to another type of site: stabbings. Stabbing Jews wherever they are.
Even today, yesterday, before coming here, another report about two terrorists trying to stab Israeli soldier. He was injured. The two of them are killed. It has become a daily phenomenon.
And you ask yourself, why? What is the problem? Going back to their reluctance to recognize our right to exist as a nation-state of the Jewish people, this is the main reason. All the other, manipulation.
As they are going to lose, to be defeated, in this type of site, they might change it. But they are going to be defeated, I'm sure about it.
They try, and again and again, to use another tool, especially in the international arena: delegitimizing the state of Israel and its right to exist.
Yesterday, we heard about academic institutes in -- in United Kingdom talking about boycotting Israel. BDS, we call it. Boycott divestment sanctions. It's a western move, which, of course, we strongly condemn. We feel like it is not fair.
But this is a result of ongoing propaganda against our country. False propaganda. And, you know, Israel is smiling for peace. We don't want to experience wars. I'm anxious to have peace.
Actually, I can tell you personally that I supported Oslo. I thought '92 or '93, serving as a division commander of Judea and Samaria, responsible to Judea and Samaria. I thought that our compromise might be a good idea to reach peace and tranquility.
Unfortunately, neither Arafat at the time nor Abu Mazen today, while considered moderates relatively to Hamas or Islamic jihad, not talking about Palestinian Daesh elements, which exist now in -- in the Gaza Strip -- I realize that even those who consider relatively moderate in the West are not ready to recognize our right to exist as a nation-state of the Jewish people.
So what are we talking about? And those who claim that the problem is occupation since '67, they murdered Jews before '67. Those who claim that the problem is settlement, they murdered Jews before the construction of the settlements in the West Bank. And we can discuss it.
It is quite frustrating, I would say, that Western like-minded people are ready to be deceived, manipulated in this kind of propaganda, forgetting the most important distinction between good and evil, going to relativism and other distinctions of victims and victimhood.
Yes, the Palestinians are victims -- of their leadership. For years, they rejected the Partition Plan proposal of '47, even before, the Peel Commission proposal in the '30s. They rejected Barak proposal in Camp David, Clinton proposal, December 2000. Prime Minister Olmert proposal in Annapolis, our proposal to sit at the table, to negotiate.
No. They have preconditions, unbelievable preconditions. In reality, to sit even now, to negotiate, to discuss, whatever. And I can tell you that those who claim there should be separation -- no way to have a viable Palestinian state really separated from Israel.
The best example is in the Gaza Strip. We are not there any more. We took a lateral step, disengagement from Gaza, uprooting 8,000 Israeli settlers in the Gaza Strip, destroying their houses and (inaudible) and selling them underemployment of the soldiers from the Gaza Strip.
Can the Gaza Strip survive without us, talking about infrastructure, water, electricity, the economy? We are the only party who generates an economy. Nine (inaudible) uploaded in what you call (inaudible). Not talking about the West Bank.
Yes, there is a political separation, fair enough. We have enjoyed political independence. It's fine. Let's even generate it. Encourage them to be more accountable.
We try very hard, but the denial of accountability has become a precious strategic asset. Abu Mazen is not accountable to the Gaza Strip. He's not accountable for what's going on with the terrorists who try to stab Jews. He's not accountable for anything.
He's too weak to be accountable. Accountability is the first value which is so missed in the Middle East.
When I educated my officers, young officers about the value of accountability, I use the end, especially whenever you fail, you have only one finger to point out an external excuse for your failure -- whether it was in the battle, whether it was in an exercise.
One finger towards God, three fingers toward yourself. First of all, ask yourself what you did wrong. This is the best way to be better in the next battle, in the next exercise, in the next research, in the next whatever.
Soul-searching. In the Middle East, the other fingers to blame the great Satan America, the minor Satan -- we are lucky -- Israel, the state of Israel.
That's why they suffer from the way they suffer. Poor economy, disorder; they are not accountable.
If I have to point out one value which is so missed around us in the Middle East, it's accountability.
On the other hand, what we face regarding the Western minded people is mea culpa blaming ourself. Blaming ourself, and even maybe blaming Israel. You know, to win again and again, the instability in the Middle East is because of the Israel-Palestine conflict, to (inaudible) might be, I hope, ridiculous.
What is the connection between the civil war in Syria, 300,000 casualties, 10 to 11 million refugees, part of them in your country, part of them out of the country, fleeing now to Europe.
What is the connection between that, and the Israel-Palestine conflict?
Or the internal war in Iraq, Sunni, Shia, Kurd, and the Israel-Palestine -- or linkage between the revolution in (inaudible) the revolution in Egypt, (inaudible) in Tunisia, internal war in Yemen?
There is an Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But to manipulate it, to say that the core for instability in the Middle East is Israel-Palestine conflict. This is a wrong analysis; with a wrong analysis, you can't have the right prognosis.
These kind of challenges, not just military challenges, conceptual challenges, as well political challenges, are the challenges of the state of Israel of today, and the Western civilization, needs to deal now with shared vision, radicalism, Islamism dominating the Middle East, affecting not just the internal situation in the country, also the situation regarding our security, the security in Europe, the security in other countries, to include the United States.
And of course, what is needed is clear strategy to deal with it, based on moral clarity.
If there is one country that can be the leader of the world in the 21st century, it is the United States.
That's why we so appreciate the relationship between our country and the United States, based on common values as well as common interests. And for all the relationship between Israel and United States is a cornerstone in our national security concept, and we are so luck to have such ally -- friend which might -- we have disputes among friends on certain issues, well known issues.
Basically, a bond in which I hope the United States is enjoying what we do in our vision in the state of Israel, but no doubt, the United States is a stronger ally in this relationship. And I am here this week in Washington to discuss the future of the relationship. How can we meet future challenges for both of us, United States and Israel, bearing in mind the developing situation which is going to be characterized in the Middle East as chronic instability for a very, very long period of time?
MODERATOR: The secretary and minister have agreed to take a few questions and in order to facilitate that, the questions have been collected and I will read them to you.
The first one comes -- is to both the secretary and minister. It comes from the Eisenhower School, and the question is, the United States and Israel have recently collaborated in areas such as border security and tunnel detection. What other areas of collaboration should the priority of -- priority for our two defense departments be?
SEC. CARTER: I'll -- I'll -- I'll go first. You know, it's a hard question to answer because our defense relationship spans the entire spectrum from tunnels and terrorists, right up through high-end and -- and superconventionals, your language, from subconventional to superconventional. So we work across that entire spectrum.
Let me give you a few examples. For the future and high-end, that's one of the reasons why we'll be with the F-35 tomorrow. We work on all of the techniques, tactics and procedures regarding high-end warfare, in this case warfare from the air, right down to tunnels, which were mentioned. And you might say, 'Why tunnels?' And tunnels is as Minister Ya'alon knows, one of the things that became painfully evident during the operations with respect to Ghaza a year and a half, two years ago, that tunnels were being dug.
We have had some experience with that in a totally different part of the world, namely between North Korea and South Korea over time, and so we were -- we had developed some techniques, they had developed some techniques, we thought is was good and this is the note on which I'll end. This is one of the most trusted relationships we have in the world and so when we discover something that is critical to both of us, we share it and we do that from electronic warfare, to cyber, to all kinds of -- tremendous intelligence sharing.
So it is -- it's a big -- big country and a small country, and that's true, but the alliance is a two-way street and we appreciate what we get as well as what we give, and it's an alliance that makes us stronger too.
MODERATOR: Thank you, Ash.
MIN. YA'ALON: I was honored twice by U.S. president with a Legion of Merit. Once as head of the intelligence, the second time was as the chief of general staff forces. It was immediately after Operation Iraqi Freedom. Just demonstrating the deep relationship (inaudible).
A good example of cooperation, bringing me back to the time after Operation Iraqi Freedom, I came here as the chief of general staff, taken to Marine Corps training area to watch an exercise of military technique, how to clear (house ?) before (inaudible). And the tem -- the Marine team came through, (inaudible) the building, taking a very nice tour in a rowboat with a camera, then (inaudible) to remote control driven to the house, three stories building, screening the first floor, climbing the stairs, screening the second floor, the third floor. It took about 30 minutes.
And I asked, why don't you use dogs? We send dogs with camera, but the dogs, they smell immediately if there's a terrorist. They go directly to the terrorist and they bite them as well.
The question was immediately, 'Can we have?' I said, 'Why not?' In a couple of weeks, Israeli spoken dogs with Marine Corps told to give their orders in Hebrew were deployed in )Fallujah.
This is just one example. So yes, we share technologies, experience, intelligence, all kinds of knowledge that we can share both of us for the benefit of our two countries.
MODERATOR: Thank you.
The second question is for the minister. It's from the Israeli Regional Study Team of the National War College. The question is, what would it take from Israel's perspective to quell the current violence and restart the peace process?
MIN. YA'ALON: As I said, we wish to acquire peace, but we are (inaudible). We tried very hard, (inaudible) the last 20 years or so seem (inaudible) 1993. We tried very hard and we failed again and again and again. As I mentioned, the core of the problem is not Occupation 67, it's not going to be concluded along 67 line works. Just had yesterday, a ceremony late prime minister and Defense Minister Rabin. Unfortunately was assassinated, but Mr. Rabin as a prime minister brought the (inaudible) to the Knesset.
It was October '95, (inaudible) the assassination, and he talked about the Palestinian entity, which is less than a state.
The borders between ours and the Palestinian entity can't be back the return to 4th of June, 1967 lines. Why? Because it is indefensible borders.
We talked about unified Jerusalem, sovereignty in the Jordan Valley and so forth and so forth and so forth. Now, we have very bad experience with our Palestinian counterparts. Any piece of territory which was delivered to Arafat in '94 or '95 as a result of Oslo has become a launcher for missile bombers until, as I said, we moved on the defense to the offense. And (inaudible) Gaza Strip unilaterally (inaudible) which has become to be a rockets launcher. We can't ignore it.
But on the other hand, we don't want to govern there. And actually, we don't govern them. They enjoy political independence (inaudible) successful separation is political separation. They don't have to vote to the Knesset. They have their own parliament. They have their own government. They have their own municipalities. That's fine. We would like to see them more competent in governing themselves (inaudible), enjoy a prosperous economy. Why not? According to our values as well as our interests, (inaudible) in Nablus to live in dignity and (inaudible). Why not?
Naturally, when it comes to infrastructure and economy, I can't see separation -- 200,000 families living in the West Bank, Palestinian families, enjoys our economy. Part of them are employed in Israel; part of them are employed in the settlements or in the industrial zone in the West Bank. Part of them works as subcontractors for Israeli enterprises. That's fine.
What is the alternative? Is it going to be a viable economy in any kind of real separation? No chance. So the way that we try to manage in order to stabilize the situation, to have peace, is to create a kind of modus vivendi in which they are more accountable, they are more competent to govern themselves -- imposing law and order, of course, security, better economy for the benefit of the two of us.
If this is the case, they might get even more territory, which is part of the negotiation between them and us.
MODERATOR: Thank you.
I think we have time for one last question. And this could be directed at both, but we'll start off with the secretary, if you would, sir. This comes from the Information Resources and Management College, and the topic deals with cyber-strategies.
There's a growing opinion that the COCOM construct may not effectively facilitate the whole-of-government approach for global issues. Is the COCOM construct effective in addressing trans-regional threats in cybersecurity and global extremist groups?
SEC. CARTER: It's a good question. And I'm glad to hear there's work going on here. This isn't the only place where people are questioning the structure we have. I think we always ought to question the structure that we have. There was a time when COCOMs were invented, regional COCOMs. They were invented for a reason. They've been effective within their own space, but as the questioner suggests, cyber is an example of an area that is, to put it mildly and obviously, not regional by its nature.
And therefore, we have also combatant commanders who are functional as well as regional. But then the question is, is the relationship between the two of them always optimal.
And cyber is one area where we're thinking that through, and counterterrorism is another, which involves the relationship between our special operations commander and regional COCOMs, and that relationship and how it operates is something we need to keep looking at, and so I commend whoever here is looking (inaudible). I'd be interested in the ideas that you have. Whole of government is a related but a somewhat different question. Also a good one. And that is how we work with the other agencies of government. And I've been at this for quite a while, and I think the United States, at least we've done better since 09/11. It used to be -- and I remember a time when it was really in the counter-terrorism area the whole much less than sum of the parts. Now I would say it is somewhat greater than the sum of the parts, but not as much as it should be.
This morning I was up on the Hill talking on the counter-ISIL fight, which is quintessentially a multiagency effort, because it's not enough just to have a military approach. You have to -- that doesn't do you any good in Iraq unless there's an accompanying diplomatic strategy to keep the Iraqi government together. When it comes to foreign fighters, the use of the Internet to radicalize people, all of these things involve law enforcement, diplomacy, homeland security, intelligence, all operating in concert, and we can't win that campaign unless all of the so-called lines of effort are attended to. And I'll just remind you, only two of those are military, and we're doing our best, and I was describing how we're strengthening our efforts on those two lines.
We have a military line of effort. That's important to do. General Dunford and I described how we were doing that and can do that, and that's necessary, but it's not sufficient. The other lines of effort have to be strengthened as well. So it's -- people here are thinking along both of those lines, COCOMs and whole of government good on you, and consider me an attentive audience.
And you can bring your ideas to General Padilla and I'd be interested in them. We're open to -- we've got to keep adapting, changing. We have a wonderful institution that's more than 200 years old and it brings all the glories of tradition with it, but at the same time, if we're going to stay the best -- we're the best now -- if we're going to stay the best we need to be open to change and keep challenging ourselves on all fronts.
(MODERATOR): Thank you very much, gentlemen.
SEC. CARTER: Okay, good.
MIN. YA'ALON: Thank you.
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