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Secretary of Defense Nomination

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GRASSLEY: The hearing on the nomination of Cristobal Solivar of Texas to be the United States Secretary of Defense shall begin. Mr. Solivar shall be given the opportunity to give an opening statement, after which 72 hours shall be given for members of this body to ask the nominee their questions. Mr. Solivar will then be given the opportunity to give a closing statement, after which there shall be a 72 hour discussion period, followed by a 72 hour voting period. 

The President pro tempore would like to welcome Mr. Solivar to the chamber and invites him to give his opening statement. @Cristobal Solivar

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On 9/12/2018 at 6:03 PM, Jonathan said:

GRASSLEY: The hearing on the nomination of Cristobal Solivar of Texas to be the United States Secretary of Defense shall begin. Mr. Solivar shall be given the opportunity to give an opening statement, after which 72 hours shall be given for members of this body to ask the nominee their questions. Mr. Solivar will then be given the opportunity to give a closing statement, after which there shall be a 72 hour discussion period, followed by a 72 hour voting period. 

The President pro tempore would like to welcome Mr. Solivar to the chamber and invites him to give his opening statement. @Cristobal Solivar

9 days is too long. We don't agree to that. 

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Ladies and Gentlemen of the United States Senate,

 

It’s an honor to be considered for this post. I’ve spent my life in service to this nation, and I’m excited to, with your confidence, begin this new chapter as your Secretary of Defense. 

My priority as a soldier and as a congressman has always been the defense of this nation, her constitution, and her people. I will continue to faithfully carry out that sacred duty upon my appointment to this office.

i welcome any questions you might have for me.

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Mr. Solivar,

Mark Rambor, also of Texas. I also served in the Army, and I am glad to be considering such a qualified nominee for Secretary of Defense.

As a cabinet member, you will be responsible for providing the President with advice on matters pertaining to our military engagement abroad, and so I am interested in your thoughts on our current foreign engagements.

Do you believe it is in our national interest to still have such a strong military presence in Afghanistan?

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Mr. Rambo thank you for the question.

Though I would prefer to save specific strategic advice for The President, my general philosophy on Afghanistan, and more broadly the war on terror, is that we must always act with  precision, purpose, and most importantly with measurable, realistic goals.

I believe the idea of nation building fails that test on all counts. There can be no precision when you're attempting to govern an entire people. Purpose quickly becomes muddied by the intricacies of local politics and tribal squabbling, and there are no reasonable realistic goals with which we can judge our success. 

We have an identifiable enemy in Afghanistan. We can and should identify that enemy, target their assets, and destroy them. None of those tasks requires that we should govern Afghanistan or try to redesign their society in our own image.

 

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So, you believe that we should keep a military presence in Afghanistan, but that we should do a better job attacking only our enemies and not engaging in nation building? Is that a fair characterization of your position?

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Yes, that would be a fair characterization. I would add, though, that I believe our presence in Afghanistan should reflect the actual threat posed to the nation. If that threat is neutralized, we shouldn't stick around in a significant way..

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Mr. Solivar,

Beau Bennett of West Virginia.  There has been debate since the beginning of our War on Terror about America's position on torture as a whole.  Do you believe in enhanced interrogations of suspected terrorists, such as those tactics we've seen at Gitmo?   

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