Ranking Member Turner opening statement at committee hearing on Worldwide threats
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Ranking Member Mike Turner (OH-10) delivered the following opening statement at the committee's annual worldwide threats hearing.
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-Remarks as Delivered-
"Good morning, thank you all for being here and for your leadership on a very incredibly important issues for our national security including leading in our intelligence community.
"Usually when we have our worldwide threat hearing, most of what we discuss is theoretical, how we can be prepared for threats that are emerging, how can we ascertain threats that may be imminent.
"Today, this hearing is much different because war has once again begun in Europe. President Zelensky has called on our country to provide MIG weapons so he can defend his nation and his people. The Administration was late to provide those weapons and is just now trying to get weapons in. President Zelensky openly stating had those weapons had been there earlier, they could have made a difference. They are now calling for MIGs so he can compete in the skies. And the Administration is slow to respond for that request. Vladimir Putin casts a long shadow over this hearing. This is an unprovoked war against a validly-elected country. President Zelensky has called for a no-fly zone over Ukraine to stop the killing of innocent people, men and women who are fleeing.
"Unfortunately, we are unable to assist the mission, the Administration and NATO stand aside because Vladimir Putin represents a nuclear threat. My questions to you today are going to be about the nuclear threat that we face as a nation, not just the war that’s occurring in Ukraine, but how it affects us as we have had open threats from Vladimir Putin, both to our NATO allies and to the United States, with respect to their nuclear capabilities. President Obama, in June of 2013, in his speech in Germany called for a road to zero.
"Unfortunately, as we now know, there are more nuclear weapons today in the world than when President Obama called for a road to zero. The US capabilities, however, have not continued to grow. It’s been neglected and this Administration has not sought to change our policies in a way that would strengthen our deterrent. There’s a national review ongoing and I’m going to be asking you some questions about your involvement in that, your advice to those undertaking the review because the world is changing.
"We know that Russia and the development of the Sky Fall, which is a nuclear orbiting weapon, Poseidon, an undersea unmanned nuclear weapon that’s supposed to pop up on the shores of a nation like the United States and attack our cities and vanguard with their hypersonic missiles, which are already deployed. China has just demonstrated an orbital hypersonic capability and China has been expanding their missile fields. They are all issues that need to be taken into consideration over the threats facing the United States.
"Now the headlines have piled up:
"China threatens Australia with missile attack. North Korea threatens nuclear attack on Washington DC.
"North Korea threatens Japan with real ballistic missiles. North Korea threatens to sink Japan with real ballistic missiles. North Korea threatens to sink Japan, reduce US to ashes and darkness.
"Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth.
"Now we have Putin, who threats the West and his statement was that he would unleash such consequences have never been seen in history. We saw in Hawaii as there was a false alarm of a possible nuclear attack in the panic that ensued. What’s in common with all of these countries besides the fact they are nuclear powers. They are authoritarian regimes. They are also countries that have terrible human rights records. They threaten our populous, they threaten their neighbors, and their nuclear capabilities are destabilizing and a threat to the United States."