SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10637]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2001H.R. 4205
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
FULL COMMITTEE HEARINGS
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AUTHORIZATION AND OVERSIGHT
MARCH 15, 2000
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Sixth Congress
FLOYD D. SPENCE, South Carolina, Chairman
BOB STUMP, Arizona
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
JOHN R. KASICH, Ohio
HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
STEVE BUYER, Indiana
TILLIE K. FOWLER, Florida
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
JAMES TALENT, Missouri
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
BOB RILEY, Alabama
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
MARY BONO, California
JOSEPH PITTS, Pennsylvania
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
STEVEN KUYKENDALL, California
DONALD SHERWOOD, Pennsylvania
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
NORMAN SISISKY, Virginia
JOHN M. SPRATT, Jr., South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
OWEN PICKETT, Virginia
LANE EVANS, Illinois
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCGENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
TOM ALLEN, Maine
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT BRADY, Pennsylvania
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
MIKE THOMPSON, California
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
David Trachtenberg, Professional Staff Member
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCAshley Godwin, Staff Assistant
Lisa Wetzel, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Wednesday, March 15, 2000, Fiscal Year 2001 National Defense Authorization ActRegional Commanders in Chief (CINCs): U.S. Central Command, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Forces Korea
Wednesday, March 15, 2000
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 2000
FISCAL YEAR 2001 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTREGIONAL COMMANDERS IN CHIEF (CINCs): U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND, U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND, U.S. FORCES KOREA
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Spence, Hon. Floyd D., a Representative from South Carolina, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Blair, Adm. Dennis C., USN, Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command
Schwartz, Gen. Thomas A., USA, Commander in Chief, U.S. Forces Korea
Zinni, Gen. Anthony C., USMC, Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command
[The Prepared Statements submitted for the Record can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Blair, Adm. Dennis C.
Schwartz, Gen. Thomas A.
Skelton, Hon. Ike
Spence, Hon. Floyd D.
Zinni, Gen. Anthony C.
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DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted for the Record.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers submitted for the Record can be viewed in the hard copy.]
FISCAL YEAR 2001 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTREGIONAL COMMANDERS IN CHIEF (CINCs): U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND, U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND, U.S. FORCES KOREA
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, March 15, 2000.
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:10 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Floyd Spence (Chairman of the Committee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. FLOYD D. SPENCE, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM SOUTH CAROLINA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
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The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will please be in order. I want to apologize for our lax attendance. We have people in other meetings, and they will be here shortly. We thought we might go ahead and get started.
Today the Committee continues its examination of the fiscal year 2001 defense budget request and the impact it will have on our policy, strategy, and military operations in the Middle East and in the Asia-Pacific region. Joining us are three senior officers whose collective areas of responsibility literally circle the globe, stretching from the West Coast of our Country, across the Pacific Ocean, to the North African shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
Most of the global population and most of the world's trouble spots are within our witnesses' areas of responsibility. These areas include China, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, and 62 other nations. Developments in these theaters significantly affect vital United States national security interests today and in the future.
Our witnesses today are General Anthony C. Zinni, Commander in Chief of the United States Central Command; Admiral Dennis C. Blair, Commander in Chief of the United States Pacific Command; and General Thomas A. Schwartz, Commander in Chief, United States Forces Korea. Gentlemen, we welcome you, and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to testify before the committee today.
Today, at the dawn of the 21st century, the United States faces significant challenges to its national security, many of which emanate from countries which fall within our witnesses' areas of responsibility. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to suggest that we are more secure now from threats originating from these areas than we were last year. In fact, in a number of significant cases, I believe the security situation we face today is even greater.
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Iraq continues to defy the international community and to develop weapons of mass destruction. Nearly a decade after the end of the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein is still in power and our United States forces are still engaged in almost daily military confrontations in Iraqi skies. Our daily enforcement of the no-fly zone over Iraq continues to drain the readiness of our armed forces, without contributing to any change in Iraqi policy.
Further east, North Korea continues to invest resources in developing ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction, despite a combination of economic hardship and American diplomacy. North Korea's launch in August of 1998 of a three-stage ballistic missile is an ominous indication of that nation's ability to pose a serious threat not only to our regional allies, but also to the United States itself.
However, my most serious and far-reaching concern remains China. China has announced a significant increase in its military budget, opposed the deployment of any United States national missile defense system, engaged in dangerous proliferation activity involving weapons of mass destruction, purchased advanced military hardware from Russia, and threatened war over Taiwan. In short, China continues to act anything but like a strategic partner of the United States. In the end, China is arguably the most difficult, and perhaps the most important strategic challenge the United States faces in the coming century.
At the dawn of the 21st century, America is at a crossroads. Will we face our responsibilities as a world leader from a position of strength? Will we pay the price to ensure that our vital national interests are protected? I firmly believe that peace and freedom are not free, and that a strong America is the essential prerequisite for protecting our national security interests.
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With this in mind, I hope our witnesses today will comment frankly on whether they believe they have the resources necessary to carry out the missions they have been given and to protect America's friends, allies, and other interests.
Gentlemen, before you begin, I would like to first recognize the Committee's ranking Democrat, Mr. Skelton, for any remarks he would like to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Spence can be found in the Appendix.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. And I join you in welcoming our witnesses today, General Anthony C. Zinni, Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command; Admiral Dennis C. Blair, Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Command; and General Thomas A. Schwartz, the Commander in Chief of U.S. Forces in Korea. We thank you, all three of you, for being with us.
General Zinni, a personal note to you, sir. We want to thank you, both individually and collectively, for your dedicated service to our great Nation, as you complete your assignment down at the Central Command this summerin July, as I understand it. You served our Country with great distinction under some very trying circumstances. And I know I speak for all my colleagues in saying thanks, and wishing you well. We are just downright proud to know you. So thank you for your dedicated service to our Country, sir.
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The areas of the world encompassed by these three regional commands, Mr. Chairman, are rapidly changing, and they are volatile and often politically and militarily tense. Obviously, there are many threats in these regions against which our country needs to be prepared to defend. It is therefore important for us to understand our witnesses' views about the changing geopolitical and military dynamics in these regions, so we may make sound policy and programmatic decisions in the upcoming defense authorization bill.
General Zinni, Iran's recent parliamentary elections gave a majority of seats to reform candidates. It would be instructive if you could provide an assessment of the difference these elections have made in the military posture in the Middle East, as well as whether you see any likely change in Iran's historical sponsorship of terrorist activities. It would also be helpful to know whether, in your view, Iraq still harbors ambitions of regional dominance and for the development of robust programs for weapons of mass destruction. We would also welcome any assessment you could give us about the rather sober saber rattling between Pakistan and India.
Admiral Blair, ChinaChinaseems to be embarked on a path towards substantial enhancement and modernization of its conventional weapons and force projection capabilities. And recently we have seen heightened levels of rhetoric from the Chinese concerning Taiwan. There is also increased evidence of a closer working relationship between the Russians and the Chinese, and you thoughts about these developments would be appreciated. And I know that you testified recently in the Senate, and we would appreciate your expanding on your thoughts regarding that and recent legislation, if you could see your way clearly to do that for usrecent House legislation, if you could see your way clearly to do that for us.
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Korea, General Schwartz, is a hot spot on which we need also historically to be concerned. And although North Korea's economy continues to decline, and despite the recent debilitating famine, their ability to conduct military exercises and to posture for offensive operations seems to continue. The agreed nuclear framework that we hoped would reduce tensions and enhance regional stability does not seem to have that effect. General Schwartz, any insight you could provide to us on what is really going on in North Korea would certainly be very beneficial to us.
Finally, it would be instructive if each of you could address your level of satisfaction with the readiness of the forces made available to you. If there are particular weapons systems or other programs that from your point of view as a regional Commander in Chief are particularly important to address in this year's defense bill, I would certainly like to hear your thoughts on that.
And Mr. Chairman, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the outstanding efforts of our military personnel who serve in these three commands, represented by the Commanders in Chief here. Many of the service members in these commands serve in remote, hostile places where the comforts of home are hard to come by. In my various visits to the field, I continue to be awed by their professional performance.
They are dedicated, great young Americans, and they are talented and willing to accept challenges. And they should know, Mr. Chairman, that we here in Congress and on this Committee understand and appreciate the personal sacrifices they are making. And to their various leaders here, we welcome them. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Skelton. Without objection, any of your testimony, written testimony or other accompanying material, will be submitted for the record.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be found in the Appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. And you can proceed as you would like, General Zinni.
STATEMENT OF GEN. ANTHONY C. ZINNI, USMC, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
General ZINNI. Mr. Chairman, I have submitted a statement for the record, so I will not go into any detail. I would briefly address some of the issues that the Ranking Member brought up. First on Iran, we were very pleased with the election. I think it is a good sign. However, I think we must be cautious, because the hardliners still control weapons of mass destruction programs, the ballistic missile programs, and the intelligence services which still support terrorism. But we are hopeful that the moderates can make inroads in the future and change this equation. But at this point, I think a cautious approach to Iran is called for.
On Iraq, we continue to see, as you have mentioned, a defiant Saddam Hussein. Just yesterday, we had to strike twice against his air defense systems that fired at our planes. Since Desert Fox, he has lost about 30 percent of his air defense capability because of these engagements. It is a losing strategy, and one I doubt that he can figure a way out of.
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He continues to oppress his own people, especially in the south with the Shia. He continues to deny distribution of food and medicine and causes the plight of his own Iraqi people to suffer, and I do not see any change in his attitude or his approach. And I feel our containment effectively has limited his ability to remodernize his conventional forces. We still, however, do not know what he is doing with regard to weapons of mass destruction programs. Without an inspection regime in there, it is difficult to say, and we have not the intelligence we would like to have on that kind of capability.
On Pakistan and India, I was very encouraged to see the President is going to visit Pakistan. I am in favor of that. Pakistan is my area; India in Admiral Blair's obviously. But I feel that this is an important part of the world: a high degree of tension; obviously, both possessing the kinds of weapons of mass destruction that could be devastating for the region and even the world.
A stable Pakistan on the road to democracy is critically important to us. General Musharraf is a personal friend of mine. I believe that he is well intentioned, and I believe he would like to see democratization. I think our engagement with that country will help this along. Certainly Pakistan has problems, but I think engagement is the way to help them through that and help alleviate the potential tensions that could explode in this region.
Finally, on the readiness issue, I am the beneficiary of the ''best dressed, first to fight.'' I own no assigned forces, as Admiral Blair does and some of the other CINCs, so I see the forward deployed forces, the forward presence forces that come out, fully ready and operational. I know this is at a high cost back home, and a growing cost. And my component commanders from each of the services have voiced concern about their Operation and Maintenance (O&M) budgets and their ability to sustain these forces.
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I have not seen a degradation in the quality of these tip of the spear forces, but I am aware this is coming at a growing cost for those back home. I do worry about some of our high demand-low density items: our intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance aircraft; our strategic lift; and many other things that could be strained, especially if we had a two Major Theater War (MTW) situation. And I know that the service chiefs and the other functional CINCs have addressed this and will in the future.
I would just like to say that I am concluding my tenure as CINC at Central Command (CENTCOM). I could not have asked for finer men and women to serve in the 39 years I have worn this uniform. And they are the best ever, and I am proud of those people that wear the desert camouflage of U.S. Central Command. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of General Zinni can be found in the Appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, General.
STATEMENT OF ADM. DENNIS C. BLAIR, USN, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND
Admiral BLAIR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to just highlight a few points from my written statement, and start with readiness. And readiness begins with people. And I would like to thank the members of this Committee and others who have made the pay and compensation increases this year. And I can tell you that those are beginning to have an effect, in terms of retention of our people and in terms of their feeling that they are recognized and rewarded. To recruit and retain the top people like this, though, we need to continue to take care of them and continue this momentum of looking after their needs.
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Readiness I know has been a big concern of this Committee, and I can report that the decline in the systems readiness that we have seen in recent years has been arrested. We are deploying ready forces forward. Our communciations teams that we sent into East Timor here last year were up in the air within hours of arrival. The Constellation battle group and the Palau amphibious ready group and embarked Marine expeditionary unit, which deployed through about half of this year, maintained mission-capable rates that were above the standards that we expect for deployed forces.
When the Kosovo crisis was going on and we had to deploy some forces out of the western Pacific, we sent in an Air Force unit from Alaska to maintain deterrence in Korea, and those airplanes were ready to fly on arrival. So the forward deployed forces are at the readiness that they need to be.
However, our forces in the rear are not improving, after the declines of recent years. Carrier airwing readiness, for example, between deployments is about the same as it was two or three years ago. It dropped off sharply, and then it has regained steeply before deploying. Marine Corps equipment costs, the cost of maintaining their gear continues to go up; more manhours expended on the gear back in home stations. We had to cancel a major exercise two weeks ago to save about $3-1/2 million out of the exercise budget because our previously planned schedule was not supportable within the budget that we had.
So as my written statement details, the readiness back home has leveled out, but is not improving. And the reason is simply money available to our component commanders has simply not gone up in recent years. It is relatively flat, and so there is no way that they can improve on that diet.
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And I also need to point out the shortfalls in the maintenance of real property in our camp posts and stations. We are still patching; we are not repairing the way we should in order to keep up our base infrastructure.
Let me turn to regional issues briefly. The Australian-led international task force for East Timor established what I think is a new model in terms of United States participation in an international force. The Australians were in charge. They did a fine job. They provided most of the forces. We supported their success with capabilities which we uniquely could provide in the United States. They did a great job, and it has been a success so far.
We are making progress on strengthening our alliance with Japan, our most important ally in the region. The Japanese Diet passed the defense guidelines. The Japanese are cooperating with us on theater missile defense research; they are cooperating on satellite reconnaissance systems; and they are continuing to work with us on the individual issues that result from our having forces stationed therethe Shinkampo incinerator outside of Atsugi, the relocation of the Marine Corps air station.
You referred to China, Mr. Chairman. Our relations with China last year after NATO's accidental bombing of their embassy and their mob damage against our embassy hit a low in terms of military-to-military relations. We are now resuming that military-to-military relationship in a measured way within the guidelines of the National Defense Authorization Act, which require what we think are very reasonable and responsible reporting requirements in terms of what we are doing with the Chinese.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC As far as the military balance is concernedand you and Congressman Skelton both expressed concerns about itour forces are ready. Our forces are ready and capable of carrying out their current responsibilities under the Taiwan Relations Act. And let me read those words carefully to you, because each one is important:
They are capable and ready to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security or the social or economic system of the people of Taiwan. That is the charge that I have as the Commander, and the forces are ready and capable to do that.
I took a trip to China about two weeks ago, and I had the chance to talk with the Chinese military leaders and some of the civilian leaders about the key importance of a peaceful solution to this issue between them and Taiwan, and how it was in the American interest and we had a commitment to make that solution peaceful.
I would like to talk about two issues which go across all the CINCs, but they particularly affect the regional engagement strategy in the Pacific. The first concerns are military relations with other countries. Our military relations with key countries in the regions went up and down in the past year: China, Indonesia, India. But there are two forms of engagement which I think are important to keep going, no matter what our day-to-day relations are. These are, number one, the education of foreign military officers in our institutes of higher military education; and number two, the attendance at international military conferences, some of which are sponsored by the Pacific Command, in which they can be exposed to the opinions of other military leaders from outside their own countries and can have a look at the wider world, which I think is important to most of these countries, which tend to focus very narrowly.
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The second concept that I would like to emphasize is security communities, which I use for the long-term vision of where we need to go with our military and security relations in the Pacific theater. I inherited, we all inherited, a set of excellent bilateral relations with many countries in the region. Our challenge is to work to bring these together into networks which can support common interests throughout the region.
And from the military point of view, this means to be able to operate together, to have them buy the gear that enables them to work with us. It is important for us to communicate with them in new ways; such as the Internet, to make our foreign military sales recommendations so that they support regional coalition readiness, not just individual bilateral readiness. And we have had some successes in the past year, but it is a long road, and it is the right direction to work in.
Finally, let me talk about the future, the revolution in military affairs. While the present and these issues that we are talking about preoccupy us, we have to continue to look to the future. We need to continue to fund the future platforms in all of the services which my successors will be deploying in future years.
We especially need to fund the information technology, particularly joint information technology, which enables us as CINCs to knit these forces together so that they can get the war-fighting effectiveness that they should have. And we need to continue with joint experimentation as a way to find out what is going to work in the future.
The Joint Forces Command has a responsibility for overall joint experimentation for the United States. But we in the Pacific have some individual experiments that are important to figure out what the right forces are, the right concepts, for Commanders in Chief, Pacific Command (CINCPACs) 2 and 3 and 4 now to be able to do their job along with the other CINCs.
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So let me conclude by just saying that this past year has confirmed my belief that Asia is dynamic, and that the way that it develops is absolutely critical to America's security. And let me say that the key to making that future come out right, one of the keys, is trained, ready, forward-deployed forces that can do their job and are properly supported.
Mr. Chairman, thank you, and I look forward to your questions.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Blair can be found in the Appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Admiral.
STATEMENT OF GEN. THOMAS A. SCHWARTZ, USA, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, U.S. FORCES KOREA
General SCHWARTZ. Yes, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for the opportunity to be here today. I am excited to tell a little bit about the Korea story. This is my third tour in Korea. In fact, this is my first 89 days as CINC in Korea. I follow a great general, General Tilelli, a soldier's general, and I am proud to follow in his footsteps.
We continue to deter aggression every day, and we are ready to fight tonight and win; but failure to deter aggression, in our opinion, is unacceptable. We are under an armistice right now. North Korea remains, in my opinion, the major threat to stability and security in Northeast Asia. North Korea is the countryin my opinion, againmost likely to involve the United States in a large-scale war.
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The north has the fifth-largest military, army, in the world; 70 percent of its active force, 700,000 soldiers. About 8,000 artillery systems and 2,000 tanks are all within 100 miles of the demilitarized zone. They have had a deep economic decline; there is no doubt about it. But year to year, day to day, they continue to improve militarily. We need to keep our eye on that.
When you confirmed meand I was confirmed five months agoyou asked me to come back, give you a little assessment, and tell you what my requirements are. And that is exactly what I plan to do today. The bottom line: Armed Forces Command, Combined Forces Command, is prepared to fight and win. I am totally confident we can accomplish that mission. However, I remain concerned about North Korea. I am concerned about the numerical advantage of the artillery they have, and I am concerned about the forward-deployed soldiers that they have, 700,000.
We support the Republic of Korea in its efforts to maintain extensive force modernization programs to offset the capability of the North Koreans. It is important in the Korean theater of war for me to point out that simultaneous operations in other theaters of war may limit the availability of scarce resources; there is no doubt about it. And it is critical that our augmentation forces that we get, and the equipment that we get, will arrive on time. And I am concerned about the strategic lift, especially if Korea is the second of two major theaters of war.
In light of these facts, I would tell you, Mr. Chairman, I fully support General Shinsekis' vision of Army transformation. The short warning times that we deal with in Korea, the need for rapid deployment of agile and lethal combat power, are absolutely necessary. Early arrival translates into shorter conflict and reduced casualties. Rapid response enhances the deterrence value and our flexible deterrent options.
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But there is more to readiness than just improved organizations. We need a large amount of additional funding to fix some of the staggering infrastructure and quality of life deficiencies. My first observation is this: We have been in Korea 50 years, one year at a time. It is kind of looked at as an economy of force theater providing temporary living and working conditions for our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. We must change this mindset. We must fix this situation.
When you visit our soldiers, and you havea lot of the members of this Committee havethey will tell you what is going on. You just need to talk to the soldiers. They will tell you the good; they will tell you the bad. And I think that is the key to fixing most things: Talk to soldiers. When we talk to them, they tell us the good and bad.
The good part is, they tell us they like the challenge; they like the adventure; they like the training in Korea. In fact, it is kind of backed up by a 122-percent reenlistment rate in Korea, one of the highest in the Army. So the soldiers like what they do over there every day. They like what they do, and they are trained to do it, and they come over and they do exactly that in Korea. And they like the pay raise you gave them; there is no doubt about it. They like the change in the retirement system that you gave them; no doubt about it.
But the bad things are, they do not like the substandard housing. They do not like the substandard housing conditions, and they do not like the substandard quality of life. They do not like the long family separations. I guess they just want to be appreciated a little bit. Believe me, I know their plight. I have been with them a lot of years. I track their plight. I listen to their frustrations, their uncertainties, and their concerns.
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And every time I visit them, they tell me the good and the bad. And I think that is really the right story. Because sometimes I look at those soldiers, and they are hurting, and you can see it in their eyes. And sometimes I look at those soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines over there, and I look at them, and they say, ''General Schwartz, this is the greatest thing I ever did in my whole life.'' You can see that in their eyes, too.
The thing is, that is the right picture. They love what they do, but they need our help. And I think the help they need, in my opinion, is called ''balanced readiness.'' It is called ''good training,'' it is called ''good infrastructure,'' and it is called ''good quality of life.''
I think in Korea we got one of those right: good training. We got good infrastructure and good quality of life wrong. We need to balance these three. And that is what I do just about every day: I try to balance them out. I try to look at the budget I have got, and I try to spread it across the three of those challenges to make it right for the theater.
It is a real challenge, and I know you have helped us with this in terms of dollars. Every dollar you give us, in my opinion, is right. Every dollar will go to the right place and we will make it work for all the military service people present on that peninsula.
You, personally, this Committee and others, have reversed a long trend of declining budgets. However, we know that a one-year reversal cannot solve all of our challenges. You preserve readiness and you recognize the hard work and the sacrifices of our soldiers. We see that. It is deeply appreciated. But the infrastructure and the quality of life have been the bill-payers for training readiness far too long.
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Thank you for helping us reverse this trend. We are on the right track. We need to keep it going. I am prepared to answer your questions.
[The prepared statement of General Schwartz can be found in the Appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General, and thank all of you. The one question I have, really overriding question, is from the standpoint of readiness. And you have all indicated that you are ready to carry out your responsibilities, and from what you say you are ready to fight and win. I am concerned about theater missile defenses against weapons of mass destruction. And do you feel that you have a sufficient defense against these weapons of mass destruction all of our potential adversaries will be employing?
General SCHWARTZ. No, sir, I do not. If you look to the north, and you look at the SCUDs, ''B's,'' ''C's,'' and ''D's,'' 500 SCUDs aimed at the Republic of Korea; if you look north and you look at the No Dong missiles, about a hundred of them; if you look at the development of the Taepo-Dong ''1'' and ''2'' and the continued proliferation of that capability, you have to be concerned.
If you look inside at the defense posture that we have at the current time, you see a capability in the Patriot missile system, but we need more. We need the PAC3. And that currently will be fielded by the end of year 2000, so we are looking pretty good there. And it will provide us not only some better coverage, but better command and communications through that system.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But we need other tiers to help us out with that kind of threat. We need the AEGIS system, we need the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, we need the Medium Extended Air Defense (MEAD) system. I am an advocate of the tiered system and the coverage that it can provide. So the short answer is, no, we do not have what we need. The long answer is, I think we are heading in the right direction.
General ZINNI. I would echo what General Schwartz said, Mr. Chairman. We are in a region that is going in the opposite direction of the rest of the world, in terms of proliferation, stretching from India, which is in our area of interest, across through Pakistan, Iran, Iraq if it could and probably is, and on. Our capabilities and our needs place this as one of our highest priorities, along with strategic lift and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) defense and protection.
Some encouraging news is, some of our allies in the Gulf are procuring, as best they can, the state-of-the-art systems like Patriot, the PAC3, and are able to augment our systems and work interoperably. But I am afraid that missile technology is outpacing missile defense. And we need the tiered system that was mentioned by General Schwartz, and we need the ability to get it there in time and protect our vast defended asset list in our region of the world.
Admiral BLAIR. Mr. Chairman, let me just add a couple of things in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Korea where I fully share what General Schwartz said. Number one, Japan, which is in range of Korean missiles now. The U.S. forces that are stationed in Japan which would be in support of anything that we do in the Korean Peninsula, are important to have protection for. And the Japanese themselves feel that their citizens and facilities in Japan, which are under range also, should be defended, so they are cooperating with us on some aspects of the sea-based deterrent. And I think that is absolutely right.
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As you go further down, in Taiwan, the Chinese are building up the same sorts of missiles. Two were fired on either side of Taiwan back in the 1996 crisis, and they are continuing to build more of those missiles. And as I told the Chinese leadership when I was in Beijing, we are pledged to maintain a balance there, and as they continue to build up these large numbers of weapons that threaten Taiwan, they are throwing the balance out of whack; and that we will have to think about the theater missile defense for Taiwan in order to maintain the balance; and that there was a connection between those two; and that we are stepping up to that decision right now. So I would add that to the other concerns in the Asia-Pacific region.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, my questions were answered in the testimony in chief by each of the gentlemen. So at this time, I will pass.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Hefley.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, a couple of questions. First, for Admiral Blair. You mentioned the military-to-military relationships with the Chinese. And I would be interested in your amplifying on that just a little bit.
You know, the Chinese are not our ally; they are our enemy. They threaten our west coast with missiles. They threaten to invade Taiwan, which we have interest in. They test missiles. They steal our secrets. And so I would be interested in what we are doing military-to-military with that.
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And TomWell, I used to call you ''Tom'' when you were just a home-town boy in Colorado Springs. Now that you have got all that hardware on your shoulders, I have to call you ''General Schwartz'' and show you a little respect, I suppose. You know how hard that is for me, Tom, to do that, with our background together.
General SCHWARTZ. Yes, I do.
Mr. HEFLEY. But you mentioned the infrastructure. And we know this is a problem out in Korea. And we have got a problem with it, because I think we have a mindset that we are there temporarily. You said 50 years, one year at a time, and that is probably right. But ''We are there temporarily; do we want to spend a lot of money there when we are going to be coming out?'' Well, you and I know, we are not going to be coming out any time soon. But I would like for you to speak to that.
Also, there is no congressional district in Korea, and so it is very difficult to prioritize Military Construction (MILCON) out there many times. And then, there is always the question of burden sharing. And if we are going to put our troops and our equipment and all of that into Korea, there is the feeling I think sometimes in Congress that they could at least provide for us. But on the other hand, many of our facilities for the troops that are out there are deplorable.
Now, we put a good bit of money in a couple of years ago, but would you speak to that? You have given me a list of your priorities there, but I would like to give you the opportunity to talk about the need infrastructure-wise. So Admiral Blair, and General Schwartz?
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Admiral BLAIR. Yes, sir. Congressman, let me start out by saying that the military-to-military program is a part of our overall relationship with China. It is a complex relationship, and what we do on the military side is a piece of that.
Within that overall relationship with China, the key issue of Taiwan dominates things when we are talking with them on the government-to-government and military-to-military level. And the military part of Taiwan is, as I discussed in my statement, ensuring that there is a balance there, and ensuring that the United States can do the job to make sure that resolution is peaceful.
Having said that, the one way that Taiwan can come out well for all the countries concerned is the peaceful resolution path: not to get into conflict and the intimidation and coercion which would precede that. And that was a point I made repeatedly while I was over in China. And that was the reason I told them that the white paper that China had published recently was not helpful, because it raised the role of force and coercion and did not emphasize the diplomatic and peaceful resolution role, which is the only way that we are going to solve this thing in a way that will not hurt large numbers of Chinese in the future.
Our military-to-military program enables us to have those discussions in a very real way, with real live human beings, and I had many meetings in that sense. It also, though, enables us to talk about other issues. And I talked about other issues with the generals and civilian leaders over in China.
If you look around the world, you can see a number of areas in which the United States and China have interests in common. Now, I am not going to split hairs over ''partner,'' but if you look at the access to oil coming out of the Persian Gulf, that is in the interests both of the United States and its allies and, increasingly in the future, in China's interests. China will be up to 70 percent dependent on Persian Gulf oil in the near future if it develops anywhere close to what it is going to.
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If you look at Southeast Asia and a country like Indonesia, it is in the interests of both China and the United States to help Indonesia get back on its feet and resume a responsible role in that part of the world.
If you look at General Schwartz's area of Korea, it is important from China's point of view, as well as from the U.S. and Korean and Japanese points of view, that the Korea issue be handled in a peaceful way, that weapons not proliferate from Korea, and that the military force not be employed there.
So there are a number of areas in which the United States can cooperate. And they can cooperate militarily. China has 15 police observers and about half-a-dozen military observers in East Timor. We have a couple of dozen troops there. It is an area where we are actually working in the same group militarily. So I think that the point of the military cooperation and support of our overall cooperation is to, yes, ensure that deterrence is there and that the balance is clearly understood; but to try to work towards the peaceful solution which is the best way for us both.
If you look at the conversation that businessmen and financiers have when they go to China, it is entirely different from the conversations that I have. They are talking about how they can do joint ventures, how business can take place there, how financial systems can be set up, how joint ventures can be accomplished. That is the way that is going to make this thing come out right, while we keep the military deterrence strong there; rather than emphasizing the military solution to this, which is a loss from China's point of view, a loss from Taiwan's point of view, and which does not help the United States either.
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Mr. HEFLEY. Will the gentleman yield to me for a moment? Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I was going to make that observation. But go ahead, General Schwartz.
General SCHWARTZ. Sir, let me comment briefly on these two things: infrastructure and burden sharing. I think the best way to comment on the quality of life infrastructure situation in Korea is to talk about MILCON. If I look at MILCON, it averaged in Korea over all the years we have been there about $60 million. In the period of time 1991 to 1995, there was zero MILCON for Korea. And I think all of this contributed to kind of a downslide on the MILCON situation there.
When I got there, I said, ''Guys, let us evaluate it. I see the condition here. I do not like the way our soldiers live in the barracks. I do not like the quality of life. What can we do about it? Huddle around me, guys. Let us talk about it. What can we do?'' They said, ''The Department of the Army wanted to fix the dorms and the barracks by 2008.'' I said, ''What would it cost us to fix all of this in Korea by 2008?'' They said, ''Sir, it would cost you $469 million a year MILCON.''
Could I come to Congress for $469 million MILCON? Absolutely not. So what am I going to do? I said, ''Let us kick the can to 2020. If I do not fix it by 2010, 2008, like the Army wants, let us fix Korea by 2020. Is that reasonable?'' I think it is a reasonable approach. What will it cost? $234 million, MILCON, per year to fix Korea; $234 million, reasonable. The Koreans kick in about $132 million a year. Yes. So we have got to kick it up from about $60 million to $200 million. That is a heck of an increase. But that is where I am right now.
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If we want to fix it, we have got to spend about $234 million a year MILCON. And so I am working ways to come to you and articulate this position, to try to improve the situation there.
As far as burden sharing goes, there are four areasreal quicklythat we measure them in. They meet three out of the four. They are short in terms of the cost sharing. They only contributed 38 percent, versus the 62 percent that we expect them to contribute. But I have got to tell you, it equates to about $333 million. If you put that in the backdrop of the economy and the difficulties they have been suffering, if you look at what they are doing in East Timor, if you look at the progressive modernization programs they have, which is about $1 billion70 percent of all the things they buy for modernization, they buy from the United Statesyou have a pretty good situation. So I think we ought to be proud of the Koreans and the way they stand in those areas. And I appreciate the opportunity to comment on that.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Sisisky.
Mr. SISISKY. That almost opens up a debate, General Schwartz, but I will not debate. Thank you, gentlemen, for being here, and particularly you, General Zinni. This is your last time. I do congratulate you and thank you.
General ZINNI. Thank you, sir.
Mr. SISISKY. Admiral Blair, for the last couple of weeks, we have been put through an exercise. It has been very interesting in here. And a lot of emphasis on the Navy. We had two operation Admirals in here, Third Fleet and Fifth Fleet, who basically said, ''We do not have enough ships to take care of the oceans that we have. The waters have not shrunk.'' And they came out very forcefully, as a matter of fact, saying that, ''We need 15 carrier battle groups, at least.''
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And I thought it was interesting, even the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) now is saying that; but I think they are saying it for another reason. In reading your testimonyif you think I was worried then, I am really worried now. I just flipped some pages: Mobility infrastructure, a particular concern is the transportation infrastructure required to deploy forces. You lack in that. The real property maintenance, which you have already talked about. Army pre-positioned stocks, which is a critical item. The housing, which you have already talked about. Medical support, which we are deficient in; and preferred munitions, which we are really deficient in.
I could go through these other ones. I have got the pages turned down. War fighting deficiency is the inability to quickly plan and execute, which is command and control. But the other on there, and which really scares me, is intelligence.
I happen to wear another hat in the Congress, and sit on the Intelligence Committee. And there are things that we cannot talk about in here, but I can talk about the fact that we were extremely deficient during Kosovo in fighting two fronts. We just took all of our assets and sent them over there. And I am really concerned about the readiness ability of our intelligence community.
Intelligence does not seem to have a place. They do not have a congressman doing that. And I questioned even yesterday. We had the J2s in there, we have had the Secretary. And maybe it is the thing that the military, particularly on the military intelligence, has to put as a priority. Somewhere along the line, we have missed that priority for intelligence.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I would tell the members of this Committee, the things that are available for us are just mind boggling. It is just a matter of money to buy them. And this shows the real problem that we have.
And I would like to ask one other little question, and it has to do with the incinerator in Japan that you mentioned. Are we really going to do away with it, or just promise to do away with it? I seem to have picked on you, but I did not have time to pick on everybody.
Admiral BLAIR. Yes, sir. I am happy to serve my fellow CINCs here.
Admiral BLAIR. We have this supporting relationship.
But on the intelligence, Congressman Sisisky, you have put your key on something. One of the main lessons we had from the Kosovo period last year was when we were stretched off to Kosovo keeping deterrence, and General Zinni's theater was looking very hard at Korea and looking at what it did to our knowledge there. And as you recall, we had a little dust-up in the Yellow Sea between the South Korean and the North Korean navies, the dispute over the northern limit line, which ended in actually a battle at sea there.
Our concern was whether this was a local North Korean aggression, or whether this was part of something more general that actually could lead to a wider conflict. And in order to make that judgment, we had to cover North Korean intelligence of all kinds, which you know well.
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What we found was we were short on were the airborne intelligence surveillance reconnaissance platforms: the U2s, the RC135 rivet joint signal intelligence aircraft, the EP3E Navy signals intelligence aircraft. And in some cases, it was numbers of airframes. In some cases, it was the number of pilots. In some cases, it was the upgraded equipment onboard to be able to copy some of the latest signals. That was our primary lesson learned in the Pacific out of the Kosovo area.
That emphasis has been carried forward in that budget that is now before you, the 2001 budget. There is more money for those three platforms. It is not as fast as we would like, but it is moving in the right direction. So I think your emphasis is absolutely correct, and I wish you could watch that part of the budget.
In addition, we have a particular problem involving knowledge of languages in the theaterKorean and Chinese primarily, but also some of the smaller ones which are in these areas that pop up from time to time. It turns out, the people in East Timor do not speak Bahasan Indonesian; they speak another dialect for which we need access to linguists there. So those two are the areas that I would point out, sir.
On the Shinkampo incinerator, we had a two-part agreement: that bag filters would be put in place to basically catch the dioxides, which are the most dangerous part of the emissions; and that there would then be a 100-meter stack within the coming year put on, to carry whatever came out of there up into the atmosphere and be dispersed. The bags are just about finished. The money for the smoke stack is in the Japanese defense facilities administration budget. And we will have a joint monitoring scheme so we know what is actually coming out of the stacks. So I would say we are two-thirds of the way there, but we absolutely have to finish that last third before we can rest and have confidence that our people are as well taken care of as they deserve to be.
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Mr. SISISKY. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, if I may, I only raised these other issues because we were talking really about the procurement budget to add money to. But of these things are needed, and the vast amount of money that we need, I just amplified it a little bit.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Buyer.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, thank you for being here. And General Zinni, thanks for your service to our Country.
In 1998, the Clinton Administration has stated that U.S. policy is to work toward establishing a new regime in Iraq. Last year, the Administration named a career diplomat as its coordinator for the opposition, and also designated seven opposition groups as eligible to receive U.S. assistance under the Iraq Liberation Act (ILA).
Also last year, in connection with visits by the new presidency, council members, and other Iraqi opposition leaders of the Iraqi National Congress, the Administration announced that it would begin providing non-lethal assistance authorized by the Act. In addition, Secretary of State Albright met with Iraqi opposition leaders in New York, and the opposition began a membership meeting shortly thereafter. General Zinni, would you please share with us your thoughts on U.S. efforts to support a new regime in Iraq through the ILA.
To Admiral Blair: In an internal document from the Chinese Central Military Commission to all of its regional commanders, titled ''China Prepares for War,'' Beijing states that it hopes to absorb Taiwan through non-violent means, but warns of an increased possibility of a military solution. It further states that taking into account a possible U.S. military intervention by the United States, it is better to fight now than in the futurethe earlier, the better. The document further states that, ''If worst comes to worst, we will gain control of Taiwan before the deployment of U.S. forces.''
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This CommitteeI will not speak for the entire Committee, but I note that you were not pleased with the House's passage of the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act, by your prior testimony. We appreciate the candor of all admirals and generals that come here to testify. I will note that the bipartisan vote was 341 to 70. We speak on behalf of many of the constituencies we represent in our obligations over the years to liberty, and so we will side with Taiwan. But we welcome your insight and your candor, and value your opinion. So I am not going to be critical, but I do want an explanation, one which my constituents can understand.
To General Schwartz: Right now, President Clinton has our armed forces engaged throughout the world in peace enforcement, peacekeeping, nation-building, refugee relief, nation-to-nation military contacts, other humanitarian missions that are of a non-traditional nature. In fact, the number that is thrown around here in Washington is that there are over 265,000 military personnel engaged in over 135 nations around the world.
U.S. forces are stretched very thin. In September of 1999, the Pentagon finally released its April-June readiness report that indicated that ''risk factors'' for fighting a first major theater of war were moderate, and the risk for fighting a second major theater of war were high. In November of 1999, the Army announced two of its ten combat divisions were rated ''C4,'' a rating that means these units need additional manpower, equipment, and training, before being able to fight in a major regional war.
General Schwartz, how would you classify the risk factor on the Korean Peninsula, given our involvement in twopotentially, even threedifferent possible major theaters of war? And what are you doing to minimize that risk? And if the testimony is that the first theater is moderate and the second theater is high, are you the first theater, or are you the second theater? And if you are the second theater, would you please define what a high risk means? Thank you, gentlemen.
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General ZINNI. Congressman, regarding the ILA, first of all, I think that the opposition to Saddam Hussein is varied. We can identify 92 groups. As you stated, we have vetted seven that we have begun to work with. I think the efforts of the State Department, and Mr. Rigardoni in particular, are excellent in their attempt to bring these groups together. And I think that these groups have a long way to go in several areas.
One is internal coherence and cooperation. There have been attempts, and we have tried to help support their finding common ground and coming together, but it is a long way. These are multi-faceted. They represent religious and ethnic groups and political groups that are, as I said, very varied. I think the groups also have a problem in the region. I do not know of any country in the region, or any leader in the region, that feels they are credible. And I think to be a viable alternative to Saddam, which we would all like to see, they have to gain regional credibility. And they have a long way to go with that. I think in those two areas they should concentrate: internal coherence and cooperation, and regional credibility.
I have been opposed to lethal aid, because I do not believe that is a viable option or will work. And I am deeply concerned about our responsibility in arming and inserting any group into Iraq; not only our responsibility for their actions, but our obligation, in terms of military support. And in all the various plans and ideas and schemes that I have heard, no one has consulted the Commander in Chief, and some of those have involved support with air or other limited support, development of enclaves, so-called ''coup camps'' with our allies that we work with. And I think some of these are ill thought out.
I am in favor of working with the opposition groups. I am in favor of helping them develop a political base, a cooperative approach, and credibility in the region. But they need to take those first steps before they start thinking about arming and providing armed resistence to Saddam at this point. Thank you.
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Admiral BLAIR. Mr. Congressman, the part of the statement that you read from the Chinese leadership that I agree with are their hopes for a non-violent solution. And I think our job is to make their hopes come true. The fact of the matter is that right now a quick, early seizure of Taiwan is not within the military capability of the People's Republic of China. And that is the military reality, and that is the underlying foundation of our quest for a peaceful resolution in this case.
The Taiwan Security Enhancement Act I analyzed from the point of view of: Does it give me anything, from the military point of view, to do my job under the Taiwan Relations Act that I do not have now? And the answer to that is ''No.'' Then I look at it, whether it helps to move us towards a peaceful resolution, which as I mentioned is, I think, the only long-term solution for Taiwan, for the United States, and for China. And I think the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act, by emphasizing the military side of it, does not move us towards a peaceful resolution. It does not help me do what I need to do militarily, which I have all of the authority and all of the direction for under current policy. And therefore, I do not support it.
Mr. BUYER. Mr. Chairman, I know the light is red, and we have one more.
Congress has to face a very difficult vote on extending this permanent trade status and being brought into the World Trade Organization. Have you in your relationships with China made any comments to China that, if in fact a military response or actions were taken towards Taiwan, the United States would respond militarily?
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral BLAIR. My conversations came at it from a different angle, Mr. Buyer, from that way. We talked about the importance of a peaceful resolution. Then we talked about the use of force. And then I explained that the use of force is against American policy, and that we are committed to enforcing American policy, and that any use of force in the short term would result in losses over there by China. So that was how I worked my way into that conversation with the Chinese leaders.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you, Admiral.
General SCHWARTZ. Yes. Let me get at your, basically, three questions like this. If I am first or second, how do I know which one I am? I do not. And that is the challenge that we face here every day is, are we first or second as we war-game this whole thing? So nobody knows. But if I am first, I rate it moderate. If I am second, I rate it high.
And you said, what does ''high'' mean? ''High'' means a high number of casualties. When I say ''casualties,'' I mean missing in action, killed in action, wounded in action, at a high number. Now, I submitted the number because I would like to do it in closed session, as I did for Senator Warnera very extensive study that was done in Korea about casualties. And I submitted it in a closed session. I would be glad to provide those numbers to you in closed session.
And I think the last thing: What am I doing to minimize the risk? I would tell you, I am identifying what I consider to be our needs for the war fight; needs in terms of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR); needs in terms of air lift, sea lift; needs in terms of sustainment; and needs in terms of force protection, particularly theater missile defense. And the specifics of those I can provide to you.
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Mr. BUYER. Thank you, gentlemen, for your service.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to thank all of you gentlemen for being here. I want to start with General Schwartz. I realize I have only been to the Korean Peninsula once, but I was struck by the lack of available training space and the encroachment on that space. I listened very intently to your desire to improve the quality of life there, and that makes perfect sense, but I want to ask two questions.
Based on our experience in Panama, based on our experience in Germany, where we have made substantial investments in barracks, only to have the host country say, ''It is time for you to move on or to relocate,'' what kind of long-term commitments can we get from the Koreans as far as those places that we identify to improve a barracks and the quality of life for our troops, that we can actually hang onto that facility for a while and not get put into the shelf the way we have experienced it, say, in Germany?
The second question is, how receptive to the need for training spaces have our Korean hosts been? And again, I would think they would understand our sense of urgency and the need to do these things, and I would hope that we could hear something from them.
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In the case of General Zinni, General, I am going to be the skunk at the garden partynot the first time. We have a large number of young Americans in the Middle East protecting the Saudis, protecting the Kuwaitis. It was obviously not to bring democracy to the region. I have got to believe that at some point, when the American public is paying close to $2 a gallon for gasoline, somebody in America is going to start saying ''Why?'' They do not appear to be very good friends, if they are turning around and limiting the resource just to jack up the price to the typical American as he commutes to and from work.
I was wondering if, in your conversations with your hosts there, that subject has been broached? Because I think it is very safe to say that that subject will be broached by the American public in very short order, if these prices remain.
General SCHWARTZ. Sir, let me answer this in this regard, with respect to land. You know, I have initiated, and I put it in my statement, what I call a land campaign, because this is a very serious challenge for us. It is serious in terms of quality of life and infrastructure, obviously; but it is even more serious in terms of our readiness.
In terms of readiness, we need land in Korea to train on. We have given back from what we initially occupied, 85 percent of the land that we initially occupied. We only have then 15 percent left. Of that 15 percent, there is only about 10 percent of it we can train on. That is a challenge.
And so what I have done is I have initiated this campaign to enter into serious negotiations with the South Koreans about our needs, about our ability to compromise on some, because we can consolidate. We are in the process of proposing some consolidation, of giving back even some more land. But we need to get more valuable training land in return. But this is a sensitive, serious discussion that has serious impact on our ability to train and the future of that peninsula.
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Mr. TAYLOR. General, I am curious. Do you feel comfortable with saying, ''These are the terms that we are willing to stay under; and if you do not agree with these terms, we are also willing to leave under them''? Again, I think that, in my estimation, is the most dangerous place for a young American to be serving. And I think it is a very fair thing to say, since you are responsible for the lives of the 38,000 young Americans, that ''These are the very minimal things I have to have before I am going to risk their lives.''
General SCHWARTZ. Congressman, I would say this. The time has come to take a stand, a serious one, and find a proper solution.
Mr. TAYLOR. Well, do you get any sense of a time frame from our Korean hosts there?
General SCHWARTZ. I do not have a sense of time frame yet, but I have a sense of engagement and seriousness to understand what our challenges are, to cooperate and see if we cannot figure this out. Now, I have talked to the minister himself, and I have talked to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). So we are engaged, and I think we can come up with a reasonable solution.
Mr. TAYLOR. How about some sort of a long-term commitment as far as those bases we can be expected to occupy in Korea, before we start spending a lot of money on barracks? You know, part of the problem in Germany right now is that we did commit and improve a number of barracks, only to relocate and leave them behind for someone else.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHWARTZ. I have kind of defined long-term in the sense of 2020. I have looked at our theater master plan
Mr. TAYLOR. That is long-term.
General SCHWARTZ. and I said we need to look out to 2020. What are our needs? What is our ability to consolidate? Brief this plan to me. I will approve it. I will brief it to the Koreans. And then let us enter into negotiations. So long-term, I think we are entering into the process right now. I am getting some help commitments and helping them understand what our needs are. So it looks pretty good in that regard.
Mr. TAYLOR. General Zinni, my time is up, but I hope you would respond to my question.
General ZINNI. Sir, in the course of the last year, the price per barrel of oil has been a major issue in our area. Not that long ago, the concern was the low cost and the inability of our friends in the region to meet their budgets and their requirements and their bills. We are now at the opposite end. I think each country in the region would like to find that median that could be predictable, and would like to find a fair price, and one they can plan on. I believe that not too long ago, we were down to almost single digits for price per barrel of oil, which put them in dire straits.
Let me just say this about their support for us. Last year, it cost our Gulf Allies well over $300 million in direct support for our forces there; the year before, well over $500 million. The Saudis have just completed a $200 million housing complex for our forces at Prince Sultan, and it is state-of-the-art. The Kuwaitis are building a complex for our pre-position which is going to be about the same cost.
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We recently closed a $6.4 billion deal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to buy F16 fighters. There were a lot of other competitors from a lot of other nations. If you look back on the last two decades, well over $100 billion has been spent in the U.S. defense industry. We have security assistance programs directly related to us, that they have to meet those bills.
They have bought American. They have supported our presence. They have sent their own forces to places like Somalia to be by our side and fight by our side. This is a situation where the price is too high. In my view, it does need to come down. But they have been dealing with a fluctuating, unpredictable price of oil. I think we need to work together globally to find the right and fair price, and I know our Secretary of Energy and others are working in this area. And I am convinced our allies would like to see it that way. They certainly do not want this impression that the American people might get from the price of oil; yet they know they have to meet their responsibilities and their obligations financially, too. And they are a single-resource economy, in most cases.
So there is difficulty on both sides, I would just say. And that does not make it any better. And I hope we can bring and find that right medium, and maintain it.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bartlett.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you. Admiral Blair, imagine with us for a moment, sir, that in a confrontation over Taiwan the Chinese launch one of their 20 or so Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) with their 4.4 megaton weapon; that they detonate that at, say, 300 miles high over Nebraska. Now, at that altitude, it will not hurt a single person, it will not do any damage to a single building. But what it will do is to disrupt or destroy all of our microelectronics, producing at the margins of our countrythat is, the State of Washington and the Florida peninsula10,000 to 20,000 volts per meter. This would shut down our entire power grid nationwide. It would shut down our entire communications grid nationwide.
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What would your advice be to the President?
Admiral BLAIR. I think you have to take it back a step further, Congressman Bartlett, and look at what would be the advice that the Chinese leader who would be contemplating such an act would seek from his military advisors. And I think that the advice of any military advisor under that situation would be, ''You are running an awfully big risk with popping an ICBM at the United States.''
Mr. BARTLETT. Not a single person is injured, not a single building is damaged. How would you differentiate this from cyber warfare, where they simply came in with worms or viruses and shut down your power grid and shut down your communications grid? How would this be different than that, since no blood has been spilled and no building has been damaged? What advice would you give to the President?
Admiral BLAIR. I think that the advice, the things that a Chinese leader would have to think about before he made a decision like that would be the mode of delivery and the use of a nuclear weapon over American territory. Now, it is all very well to say, ''Well, Mr. President of China, this thing will blow up at altitude, and the Americans will recognize that this is just directed at their power grid, and not directed at their people. And all of the systems will work perfectly, even though we have never done this before and we are not sure if it is going to work or not, and what you are getting is a lot of theoretical calculations by a bunch of physicists and people who tell you that that is the right thing.'' It is just a foolhardy, foolhardy move to go after a country that has 6,000 nuclear warheads itself and has a deterrent posture.
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So I just think it is a foolhardy act by a leader of any country with nuclear weapons, be you Russia, China, Iraq, North Korea, or any other country. So I think it is something that is at the core of our deterrence policy, to keep some scenario like that, or shooting a weapon that explodes on the ground or anywhere else in U.S. territory, well down the system, the area of probability.
So I think you have to go back a step further in order to deter that sort of a scenario, which is what all of our nuclear strategic posture is designed to deter. And then, if an actual attack takes place of the kind that you have described, or any other kind, the military commanders, led by the chairman, assess the damage, look at the options, and give the President a recommendation on what he ought to do. But the range there, again, is so destructive in terms of the retaliation that it would still be able to be visited on China that I think it would make it very unattractive for the Chinese point of view, or anybody else who might be thinking in those terms against the United States.
Mr. BARTLETT. When we sent our carriers in in protest to their war games near Taiwan, they suggested that they hoped that we valued Los Angeles more than Taiwan. Two weeks ago yesterday, the main headline in the Washington Times was that if we interfered with their move on Taiwan, that they would nuke us. Do you remember that headline?
Admiral BLAIR. I know the single remark after the 1996 incident. I know who made it, and I know in what context it was made. I do not recall the headline two weeks ago and what that was regarding.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BARTLETT. We will provide that for you. It was in the Washington Times. I think it was two weeks ago, yesterday. And it was the upper right-hand corner of the paper. And they said that if we interfered with their bringing Taiwan into their fold, that they would nuke us. That was the gist of the headline.
One last question, sir. Would your war-fighting capability be degraded at all if this happened?
Admiral BLAIR. War-fighting capability would certainly be degraded if there were a nuclear weapon fired and exploded in the atmosphere. But let me go back, Mr. Congressman, to that statement about use of nuclear weapons in a Taiwan conflict. Because I do not want you to have the impression that that is a steady theme of Chinese thinking about Taiwan.
Mr. BARTLETT. They said it then, and they repeatedIt was in the headlines two weeks ago.
Admiral BLAIR. Well, you have to be careful about who ''they'' is, sir. The Chinese, when I was at their National Defense University a couple of weeks ago in Beijing, I talked with their leadership. The National Defense University in Beijing puts out a bunch of articles, a bunch of books, and some of them have titles like ''Fighting Unlimited Wars With Superpowers,'' ''How To Sink Nuclear Aircraft Carriers,'' ''How To Blockade Small Islands Off Your Coast''I mean, a bunch of articles written by, generally, colonels, that are about topics that are clearly concerned with a conflict in Taiwan.
So I asked their leadership, ''What about all these articles? It looks to me like you are writing some pretty authoritative stuff, talking about fighting the United States when our official policy is to work this thing out peacefully.'' And what the Chinese leadership said to me was that, ''Those articles represent the professional views of our lower-level officers. They are writing personal opinion articles. And of course, they are thinking about contingency plans, just as you are. But these are not the official policy.''
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And I think that that is mostly true. The official policy of China is to work towards a peaceful resolution. The official war policy of China is called ''Local War Under High Conditions.'' It is not an automatic escalation policy of the sort that we have had in the Cold War in the past. So I do not think that there is an officialI know that there is not an official Chinese doctrine which contemplates the use of nuclear weapons automatically in a conflict with the United States.
So I think we need to look pretty carefully at who is saying what in these things, sir, before we attribute it to the entire policy of the government.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In a totalitarian government like China, I am amazed that they have that much free speech liberty. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Abercrombie.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Admiral Blair, aloha, nice to see you today.
Admiral BLAIR. Aloha.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Just a couple of quick things. As part of your remarks, you made a statement with respect to China and various companies. I was not quite sure what the relationship to the strategic interests of our Country were. Were you just making an observation, that there are people interested in joint ventures in China? Because as best I am able to determine, those joint ventures mean that they want access to wage slavery in China. And as far as I can see, the only market that exists for China right now is in the United States, so that we can supply them with hard dollars to finance the People's Liberation Army and other military aspects.
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Admiral BLAIR. No, Congressman Abercrombie, what I was referring to is that economic interaction between countries can result in comparative advantage for both countries, lead to both having a stake in continuation of peaceful dialogue between them. And I thought that that was on net a factor towards leading to a peaceful future between our countries.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, I agree with that kind of approach. So your testimony was not meant in any way to indicate that something like discussions that are ongoing now about what our trade relations with China should be, should obviate in any way the necessity of us pursuing our strategic interests with respect to military activity and preparedness?
Admiral BLAIR. That is correct. And all of the safeguards that we have to look at, things like financing for individual enterprises which may be owned by the People's Liberation Army, which are then going directly into Chinese military coffers, factories which are violating internationally recognized norms of labor conditions, are absolutely correct. I was referring to legitimate economic and financial efforts.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I did not think you were doing anything less than that. But inasmuch as all this is recorded somewhere and becomes grist for somebody's mill, I think it is important to make sure that we are absolutely on the same page and in the same way.
And in that context, then, with regard to Taiwan, with all due respect to the Washington Times and its headlines, I do not think we should necessarily base our policy on headline writers, or what headline writers say is being done or is at point.
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That said, would you agree that with regard to Taiwan and its defense, to the degree that that is in the interests of the United States to pursue, with regard to the capital assets of the United States military, it is on the whole not only more useful and beneficial, but from a doctrine point of view required, that we control those assets, as to how they are used or not used; as opposed to selling some of those assets, like AEGIS destroyers or missile defense systems and so on, to somebody who can then use them for what they conceive to be their strategic interests?
Admiral BLAIR. I think you are getting at really the heart of what ought to be the standard that we set for our policy in this area, Mr. Abercrombie. And that is an American policy, rather than allowing us to be pigeon-holed into a Chinese policy or a pro-Taiwanese policy, which I see.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Or may I interject, Admiral, corporate policy in the United States, where someone sees it in their immediate corporate profit interests or something to sell hardware or anything else, whether it is to Taiwan or anybody elseSaudi Arabia, I do not care, you can take anybody.
My point being, I am not trying to lead you down any path on this. I am really trying to get down on the record, Mr. Chairman, the idea that whatever we do, whether it is in Taiwan or elsewhere, it should be something that we have concluded is in the strategic interests of the United States; and not something where someone else gets to make decisions that have implications for us then, militarily speaking.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I do not want to see you, as the CINCPAC, dragged into something as a result of somebody else's actions utilizing military equipment on up to and including military platforms of a significant nature because somebody thought that they could make some money selling it to them and they disguised it as an aspect of American military posture.
Admiral BLAIR. I think you are absolutely correct, Congressman Abercrombie. And I draw a distinction between the relationship of a treaty ally; for example, the Republic of Korea, in which we exercise together, we have a combined command, which General Schwartz heads, and we are automatically committed in the case of an attack on this ally to fight in its defense, by treaty. In the case of Taiwan, we do not have that treaty relationship. What we have is a commitment for a peaceful resolution. And as you parse that down, we have the commitment to provide them capability for a sufficient defense on their part. And then we have an undertaking that, should conflict break out, that we have the capability to ensure that the right outcome comes out of that.
And it is a more differentiated policy which we have to think through in a little bit different way from the way that we think through our policy with a country that we have a mutual defense treaty with, like Japan or Korea. And I think that is the heart of how we have to approach this.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. And would you agree that, to the degree and extent then that we retain all of those assets ourselves, that has a good effect in terms of assisting the Chinese, or anybody else for that matter, in understanding that they have to deal with us; as opposed to us being dragged into something by somebody else's actions?
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral BLAIR. That is a key point. But I think there is another key point, which is expressed in the Taiwan Relations Act, which is that we are obligated to provide Taiwan the independent wherewithal for a sufficient defense. And that is independent of the gear that is owned by the United States that we would bring in should we decide to enter it. So I think we have to think of both sides of it, and I think we should keep them separate but related.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Perhaps the best defense is not necessarily providing them with hardware.
Admiral BLAIR. Not necessarily, but it may be providingIt is providing them with some hardware. But you have to look at each
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes.
Admiral BLAIR. You have to look at each mission area and each capability. And when I make my recommendations within the government on this question, that is how I think it through, from the military point of view in terms of scenarios, capabilities on both sides, the U.S. role, and the Taiwanese defense. So it is very difficult.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much, Admiral.
Mr. Chairman, I have other questions I would like to be able to submit, if that is okay with you.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kuykendall.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have got three or four probably short questions that different ones of you might want to tackle. Let me just lay them all out, and then each one of you can kind of start; rather than trying to take each one of you, because I will run out of time.
The first one, for General Zinni, my impression is just about every carrier battle group that we deploy out of the East Coast of the United States enters your theater of operations and starts conducting combat operations, either no-fly zone missions, bombing of air defense systems, or defense of the fleet, as required with that kind of a theater they are in. Could you please comment on your thoughts about the lack of our ability to use Vieques to its fullest and its ability to train those forces before they deploy, especially when they basically deploy and will fight when they get there in the current environment, whether it was Kosovo or now the Persian Gulf?
Two particular types of equipment that we have a lot of talk about latelyand this would be probably more for the CINCPAC, but it affects all of you. During Kosovo, we left Western Pacific (WESTPAC) uncovered by an aircraft carrier battle group. We moved it to the Persian Gulf to keep General Zinni supported, and pulled one from the WESTPAC to do it. My concern is, what are your thoughts on: Do we need another carrier battle group? Because I am very concerned when to me the biggest challenge we face sure as hell is not Kosovo. It is probably something happening in Korea. And if it happened there with no carrier, what would we do?
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The third one is on utilization of submarine force, and I am not sureMy impression is that each of you has growing demands on that force. Could you just maybe comment if you have had to give up significant intelligence gathering operations or special operations capabilities because of a lack of force in that area or a lack of equipment? And if you could be any more specific on it, it would be terrific, because we may be looking at that shortly.
Those are the three main things, and I will let you kind of start from left to right and comment back. Thank you.
General ZINNI. Sir, on the issue of Vieques, as you correctly pointed out, the carrier battle groups from the East Coast do come, sometimes directly to our Area of Responsibility (AOR), sometimes the Mediterranean (MED) first and then to our AOR. Without Vieques, we cannot be assured they will get high-altitude precision bombing experience in training.
Obviously, if they come directly to us not being able to do that anywhere en routeand there are few places, if any, they could do itthen the first time they are doing it for real is over Iraq with the anti-aircraft and surface-to-air missile threat that is posed there. Not an ideal situation. And I have gone on line saying that Vieques training and that requirement are critical for us, and one that we take a risk when we deploy carrier battle groups and the attendant air wing without that training.
I will comment on the submarines. We do, obviously, have submarines along with carrier battle groups. That is a critical part, not only from the point that you made about intelligence collection, but also part of our strategy to keep the Strait of Hormuz open, should there be any attempt or any threat to that obvious choke point and waterway. So it is vital to our theater strategy. Thank you.
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Admiral BLAIR. Congressman, let me talk about the situation last year when we sent the Kitty Hawk battle group, which normally operates in the Western Pacific, over to the Central Command. The two actions we took to compensate for thatwhat that basically does, is stretch out your time lines. So we were looking to ways that we could bring those time lines back so that, if General Schwartz needed something, he would have combat power, air power in particular, available quickly.
We moved down an F15 squadron from Alaska to Korea to be on station at Kwong Ju, flying on a daily basis. We also looked at the next carrier that was due to deploy, which is the Constellation in that case, and we speeded up a part of her air wing, in particular the EA6B Prowler aircraft, electronic warfare aircraft that are particularly important in that scenario in General Schwartz's requirements and in others, and got them ahead of the carrier into the theater; so that we were able by those two combinations to keep the risks within the acceptable level.
The action we did not take was getting the entire Connie battle groupthe ships, the air wingunderway immediately, although we thought about it hard, in order to get her out there to backfill for the Kitty Hawk. So we could have done that by breaking the first tempo standards which the CNO has established and we all follow. We did have that reserve capability but, as you know, you just cannot do that over time and maintain the readiness and your people.
So you identified the point where we were at maximum stretch in terms of our carrier resources. General Zinni and I talk quite a bit about every carrier that comes out of the Pacific and goes to the Central Command, in terms of the balance of time that it spends in the Western Pacific versus in the Gulf region. And we are pushed, and do have to rub there. So it is an area of continuing concern.
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On submarines, we have 26 of them in the Pacific. And I find that I have to make some tough allocation decisions among those, in terms of choosing what they do and leaving some other things that I would like to have them do uncovered. So there is also a rub there. And we basically look forward to feeding this real-world experience into the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) review that is coming up, so that when it is taken with the views of the other CINCs and we look at the long-term view, we can make the sort of balanced decisions that we need to in terms of these major forces.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Underwood.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I thank you for your testimonies. Basically, I just have two questions: One for you, Admiral Blair; one for you, General Schwartz. And I just want to make a quick comment about one element of your testimony, Admiral.
One of the things in trying to grapple with the issue of how we are relating to Taiwanand I appreciate the complexity of the bilateral and multilateral relationships that you have to engage in, Admiral, that are far more complex, I think, than any other AOR. And you have outlined some of that in terms of how you have to deal with Taiwan, as opposed to dealing with a defense Pacific (PAC) partner like Japan or the Republic of Korea (ROK). The supporters of the Taiwan Enhancement Security Act wanted, and I am sure some of them would like to see, something like that for Taiwan. But I think most, and certainly I am more interested in just finding outin the military-to-military contacts that you engage in, even though we have a kind of a policy of ambiguity about what our relationship is with Taiwan, are you making it abundantly clear that we retain the right of independent action in case the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) decides to forcibly annex or do something to Taiwan?
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I mean, that is really the bottom line. I think people want to be assured that that is somehow or some way being communicated in the process of your military-to-military contacts, or other contacts we have.
Admiral BLAIR. Yes, sir. We are making that clear.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Well, that is a very important feature of it. Because I think a lot of times, despite all the headlines and all the kinds of things that go on, I think at the end of the day, if we are making that abundantly clear, then I think, you know, we are taking care of business in a way that will contribute to the security of the region.
Just a quick question on the complexities of the multilateral and bilateral relationships that we have. Can you characterize some of those relationships, and perhaps outline two or three of your concerns about them that the committee could be helpful in in that regard?
And General Schwartz, I remember early on in General Tilelli's tour of duty there when I was treated to a long briefing. You know, they were outlining the soft landing, the hard landing scenario of what is going to happen in Korea. And now apparently we are having no landing, and now we are talking about 2020. Could you just kind of characterize where that discussion is right now, in terms of hard landing versus soft landing, in terms of the relationship between North and South Korea?
And before you answer that, I just want to make a comment. Admiral, you made reference to the pet quarantine problem in Guam and Hawaii. And this does not require an answer, and I do not want to sound too sensitive about it, but it really is bothersome to me that somewhere or other this found its way into your testimony in what I think is a very serious matter; when at the same time, at least for Guam, we are experiencing a tremendous downsizing in our civil service in Guam. And we have had 1,200 jobs now that have been put on the line; probably 500 Reductions in Force (RIFs) are going to occur. And it seems to me that their quality of life and the morale problems that are being generated by that conscious action on the part of the Navy would deserve a little bit more attention than, you know, greeting ''Fido'' at the end of the day in your home.
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And as much as I appreciate the fact that having ''Fido'' will enhance our morale, I just think that in the constellation of issues that would be identified in the testimony which I take as very seriousof all the testimonies that this Committee gets normally, these are the ones that I find most interesting, because they get down into the nuts and bolts of our strategic posture around the globe. So if you could answer the question on the multilateral-bilateral relations and the hard landing-soft landing?
Admiral BLAIR. Yes, sir, Congressman Underwood. The bilateral basis is pretty well established of our military relations in the Asia Pacific region. We conduct, for example, over 300 exercises, and the great majority of those are all bilateral with one country or another. I think, for the future, bringing these together in regional approaches is the right thing to do for the United States and our common interests there.
The sorts of things that I think will lead to that are, number one, bringing some of our exercises themselves together. And we are working with our allies and partners in Southeast Asia to bring some of the traditional bilateral exercises, like Cobra Gold, Balikatan, Commando Sling, together into a multilateral regional exercise called Team Challenge. And we put some resources behind that.
I think also in Northeast Asia and other areas of the world the multilateral approach is best. This would emphasize the missions that are at the lower end of the combat scale, from search and rescue; through non-combatant evacuations; through peacekeeping Chapter 6, which is permissive peacekeeping; peacekeeping Chapter 7, which is peace enforcement. And these are the sorts of military operations that are in the interests of all countries which I think build that multilateral framework.
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We need to actually work out tactics, techniques, and procedures. Right now there is no manual we can go to in the Asia Pacific region that says, ''If we do an international operation, here is how we do the logistics, here is how we do the Communications (COM).'' When we went to East Timor, we basically made it up as we went along.
The Australians have offered to host a conference in which we actually put those procedures together, and I think we need to support that. I think, as I mentioned, we need to include the Chinese in that, as well as other countries. This is an area that we can work together in.
I also believe that communication is a key to this. And we have started an initiative in which we would build an enclave within the Internet using commercially available encryption for sensitive but unclassified material, in which we would include an internationally commercially available product like Microsoft Office or Lotus Notes, so that we could do routine staff work with other countries in the regionnot only allies, which we have secure communications with, but also countries that we do not have those secure communications with at the sensitive but unclassified level. And we could do planning for operations, and actually we could do operational coordination for logistics, air coordination and so on. So that is a sort of initiative, I think, to bring countries together in a multilateral regional way that is important.
I see what you are saying on the pet quarantine shot in the community, sir. My point is that, gosh, it should not be a trade-off between the quality of life of the citizens of the communities in which we live, like Guam and Hawaii, and whether our sailors, soldiers, airmen, and Marines have to make a choice between, you know, leaving pets back in the mainland. We should not set up that kind of an opposition, where it is one or the other. We should be working on both of those. And I was talking of it from one point of view, but I do not mean to make a trade-off.
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General SCHWARTZ. Congressman Underwood, let me answer it this way. Nobody knows. I mean, hard landing, soft landing, I do not know. But I think that is all the more reason we need to be trained and ready. And that is the sense of urgency that I have every day as CINC in Korea.
North Korea is a serious threat. And if we take that for granted we are making a huge mistake. We are risking the lives of a lot of people. We are not going to do that. But I would say that the risk of war is low. And I would say the risk of war is low because we are trained and ready, because we have an incredible alliance, a role model for the rest of the world. This ROK-U.S. alliance is strong. It can fight; it can win; and the North Koreans know it. That is the best way to posture ourselves.
That deterrence factor right there has kept peace in that peninsula for 50 years, and it will keep it for 50 more, whatever it takes, as long as they know we are strong, trained, and ready. And we are.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Allen.
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, gentlemen, for being here today.
Admiral Blair, I want to thank you for a couple of things. First, for your comments about the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act. I cannot help but think that if we had gone through a process of having hearings before this Committee before that Act was rushed to the floor, it would have been useful.
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Second, as one of the 370 who voted for the Act, I certainly did not think that I was on the side of those who favor liberty, and that those who were opposed were on the other side. It was just a difference in judgment.
I also want to thank you for recognizing how important it is to put military and the role of the military in our policy of deterrence in the context of a wider relationship with other countries. I certainly do not think that China is our enemy. And I do think sometimes we forget. I know the Cold War ended 11 years ago, but I sometimes feel that we forget what it was like. You know, we lived through an era where there were 6,000 nuclear weapons on the other side. To worry dramatically about attack on the United States at this point from China, a significant trading partner of ours, seems to be mistaken, to say the least.
I want to focus on a couple of things. First of all, there is an article. I mean the headline in the Washington Post the other day was ''Chinese Are Split Over WTO Entry.'' I do not ask you to react to the headline, but I do recommend to my colleagues the story. Because the story really describes the division within China, within the leadership, with all these different groups in China, over the appropriate relationship with the United States. Should it be a policy of engagement? Should it be a policy of isolation? And it all comes to a head with the debate over China's entry into the WTO. It is, not surprisingly, very much like the debate that is being held in this country over the same topic.
And so my first question is, I wondered if you could comment on your perception of the kinds of divisions, the kinds of tensions that there are within the Chinese leadership, either within the military itself, or between some in the military and some in the political leadership; if you could comment on that. And then go back to your earlier comment, which I found significant, which was that a quick, early seizure of Taiwan is not within the capability of the Chinese at this moment in time. I will worry about California at some point after they prove to have the ability to invade Taiwan.
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But I think that an elaboration of those two points would be very helpful: First, the kinds of differences you see within China; and second, their military capability to mount an operation against Taiwan.
Admiral BLAIR. Yes, sir. I will tell you that within the PLA leadership I do not see great divisions of opinion. They are a fairly aggressive group. They do not think much of Americans and the United States, except a grudging respect. And my conversations with them arealthough we drink toasts and so on, they are not very friendly. So I think within the People's Liberation Army you have a group of folks who are fairly well dedicated to doing what they see as their military job.
I try to tell them that making conflict with the United States the single planning case for their military force is not a smart idea. And I would be fooling you if I think I have made a heck of a lot of headway with that. So I think within the PLA you are dealing with a fairly hard group. Nonetheless, I think we ought to talk to them and understand each other better. That does not change my feeling about that. But I do not do it with a lot of illusions.
Within the Chinese leadership, I think you have people who are balancing the different things that they want to do. They both want to reunite China on those terms, and they want to join the WTO and build their country and transform their economy.
If you look at what their official policy has been, they have the Four Modernizations. It is modernization of their economy, modernization of their agriculture, modernization of their science and technology, and modernization of their armed forces. And they put them in that order. And as I look at their actions, their actions pretty well correspond with those four priorities. That does not mean that modernization of their armed forces is something they forget about. It does mean that they give priority to these other areas.
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And so I see them doing both of these things. And when there is a conflict between them, they have to make choices just the way everybody else does. So I think they are pursuing all of them. I think that the recent white paper in which for the first timeand this is official Chinese policy; this is not military, this is not some spokesmanthis is the leadership of the country describing the Taiwan situation. That is significant, and I think adding a third condition for the use of forcethat is, in case of indefinite postponement of reunification, their termsis a step in the wrong direction, and does show a long-term impatience, which is going to make it harder to solve this thing the right way, and may get us in the soup. And so that is an unhelpful sign, in terms of the way their overall leadership is going.
And so when you look at how to assure Taiwan's security over the long term, for Taiwan to be reunified with China under unfriendly terms is clearly not the right thing: It is bad for the Taiwanese in the short term, and it is bad for China in the long term because you have an angry, revengeful group that you have joined. So that is one extreme. The other one is, if Taiwan turns into a long-term armed camp independent of China, that is not a long-term solution that is in Taiwan's security interests either: They are going to have to stay as an armed outpost for the indefinite future.
The only way that we can solve this in the long term is a political arrangement based on a military balance that both sides find satisfactory. So we have got to drive towards that eventually. And time is better; the short-term solutions are all bad. So that is, I think, what we have to pound away with the Taiwanese leadership on, while we keep our military capability right.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And in that sense, that statement I made that a quick seizure is not within their capability takes into account the things that China has done over the last year: building more missiles, taking delivery of so many destroyers, upgrading some of their armed forces. I look at what Taiwan has done over the past year, I look at the capability of my own forces over the past year. And my judgment is that the same balance that we had last year stands, and that we need to maintain both the assistance of Taiwan and our own capability in order for it to stand in the future and allow the peaceful resolution to occur.
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Snyder.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate you gentlemen being here.
A couple of my thoughts are in line with Mr. Allen's. Admiral Blair, you have kind of had a hearing today on the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act. As one of the 70 people who voted against it, it would have been very helpful, I think, to have had this hearing prior to the vote on the House side. And I really encourage our Ranking Member and Chairman of the Committee, when these kinds of bills come before the House which clearly are in the province of this Committee, to have hearings on these things so we can hear these opinions and so that the Committee members and the American public can hear these opinions before the bill is sent over to the Senate side.
The statement was made earlier today, Admiral Blair, very emphatically, that China is our enemy. In your opinion, as the person charged with defending us against all enemies, foreign and domestic, is China our enemy?
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Admiral BLAIR. I think China can become our enemy if things develop that way; mostly depending on what China does, partly depending on what we do. I think China can also becomeas long as their form of government is so antithetical to ours, I cannot think of them as being an ally or something along that category, but I can think of a more balanced relationship if things develop in a different way. So I think the answer to that question very much depends on what we do and what China does in the future.
Mr. SNYDER. I agree with that analysis for looking ahead to the future. The question is today.
Admiral BLAIR. Today?
Mr. SNYDER. March 15th, 2000, do we consider China an enemy?
Admiral BLAIR. I consider China a potential adversary.
Mr. SNYDER. Down the line? That is reassuring to me, since I met with a couple of members from the Chinese embassy yesterday, and it never occurred to me to shoot them.
Admiral BLAIR. Did they think the same?
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SNYDER. The best that I could tell, they were unarmed.
Admiral BLAIR. Right.
Mr. SNYDER. There has been a lot of discussion, as there should be, about the Chinese defense build-up. From your perspective as a military man, Admiral Blair, are we seeing anything? If you were a Chinese military person or a member of their leadership, are they doing anything out of line for a nation that sees itself, and rightfully so, as a great power in the future, in terms of their defense build-up?
Admiral BLAIR. If I put myself in the Chinese seat and I were given the job they were doing, I think what they are doing is understandable in terms of trying to get more technology where they can get it. And the Russians are making it pretty freely available to them, and they are buying some pretty advanced systems.
I think their maintenance of discipline within their country is one of their main missions, and they spend a lot of time doing that. And I think they are working against the disadvantages that they have, of a not terribly innovative or well-educated force to draw from and a lot of remedial work that they have to do in order to get the basics done.
So the military actions that I see them taking are understandable, given where they are. And I think thatsort of the logical implication of your questionwe have to look at that with a very clear-eyed view. We should be protecting our secrets. We should be ensuring that our computer networks are not open to attack. We should not be giving away things that add to Chinese capability, and we should be discouraging other countries, whether they be Russia or Israel, from selling them gear that enables them to increase their capabilities. So I have a pretty clear-eyed point of view on that one, sir.
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Mr. SNYDER. Right. One of the arguments that came up in the discussions a few weeks ago of the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act is that there needs to be a line in the sand. And I think you read a statement earlier today of what you see are charges and your mission. As a person who carries out our strategy with regard to China, in your mind, is your mission clear?
Admiral BLAIR. Yes, sir. My mission is very clear.
Mr. SNYDER. We sometimes hear discussionswell, any time we talk about China, we talk about this discussion of the ambiguous nature of our policy, and how that has served us well. And some people say it has served us not so well. When you hear those discussions of ambiguity, does that interfere at all with the clarity with which you see your military mission with regard to China and Taiwan?
Admiral BLAIR. No, sir. It does not. I think the ambiguity lies in the decision to commit my forces, not in the capability or the mission that I would have should that decision be made. So for myself and my commanders, we can understand that, if ordered, we will carry out our responsibilities to ensure that the use of force against Taiwan is not successful. That is a pretty clear mission from our point of view.
The ambiguity lies in how that decision would be made, under what conditions of aggression, or the political backdrop in which that would be invoked. So once the word is given, our job is clear. And we can live with the fact that whether that decision is made or not depends on a lot of decisions or a lot of factors that our political masters have to take into account.
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Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, gentlemen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bateman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First, General Zinni, let me join the others in commending you on your very distinguished career, both in terms of its duration and its quality. We are pleased to have you with us today in the Committee, along with Admiral Blair and General Schwartz.
Reference was just made to the acquisition of significant military weaponry by the Chinese from Russia, and I am aware you also mentioned Israel. Am I correct that Israel is also a supplier of significant military hardware to the Chinese?
Admiral BLAIR. Israel is now considering the sale of an airborne radar battle control platform to China. That is what I was referring to.
Mr. BATEMAN. Does the Government of these United States have a position with respect to that? Are they simply standing by and saying, ''Go ahead,'' or are they using any leverage we might possibly have with our Israeli friends to say, ''This is not in keeping with the best interests of international stability and our security interests''?
Admiral BLAIR. I am not aware of all of what we are doing, sir. But the position that I have within this Administration, as I told you, is that I do not think it is a very good idea.
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Mr. BATEMAN. And you have communicated that, through your chain of command
Admiral BLAIR. Through my chain of command.
Mr. BATEMAN. to the chiefs of staff?
Admiral BLAIR. Sure.
Mr. BATEMAN. I would certainly hope they are communicating it to the people on the National Security Council and the President's advisors.
Likewise, am I correct that the Egyptians have been suppliers of rockets and missiles to the Koreans? Does that make any sense, General Schwartz?
General SCHWARTZ. I am not familiar with the Egyptians providing, to be perfectly honest with you. I would have to take a look at that. Maybe Admiral Blair knows the specifics of that. But you know, on the peninsula itself, the ROK has a very specified capability in terms of rockets and missiles, and we complement that capability very well. So under the missile control technology regime constraints, I think we are right where we want to be right now.
Admiral BLAIR. Back to you, sir, on Egyptian support to North Korea, it just
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Mr. BATEMAN. I am dealing with recollection, and it goes back several months. But my understanding is that they have provided rockets to the Republic of Korea armed forces. And if we are talking about interoperability and if we are talking about being a united ally against a potential common enemy, it makes no sense for them to have types of rockets which are inconsistent with that which we could provide them and which we use. So if you would, get back to me.
General SCHWARTZ. It is a good question, and I tell you, I will have to get back to you, because I am not aware of them providing those rockets.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BATEMAN. General Schwartz, at the end of your prepared statement you have an appendix entitled ''Funding Shortfalls Annex.'' On the bottom line of that, ''Total Operations and Maintenance'' shortfalls in the 2001 budget for your command are $204.4 million, and you have a shortfall in military construction in the 2001 budget of $158.8 million; a total of $363.2 million.
Are all of these items on the unfunded priority list of the Joint Chiefs?
General SCHWARTZ. Yes, sir
Mr. BATEMAN. They are?
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SCHWARTZ. we are satisfied that that annex articulates our shortfalls quite clearly. And of course, not all of our needs are there, but the fact of the matter is, I tried to prioritize them. And I looked at the critical needs, and that kind of sums it up for FY 2001.
Mr. BATEMAN. Well, could you have someone analyze this list against what is included in the list that was furnished to the Committee by the Chief of Staff of the Army?
Admiral Blair, I would be interested in whether or not you have developed, or would furnish us with the shortfall for your command. General Zinni, you the same. And whether or not your shortfall list is reflective of what has been presented to us by the Chief of Naval Operations and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Admiral BLAIR. Yes, sir.
General SCHWARTZ. Can do, sir. Will do.
General ZINNI. Will do, sir.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Fowler.
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Mrs. FOWLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I want to add my thanks to those of my colleagues to General Zinni for the tremendous service to our Country that you have provided through the years. We regret this is probably going to be your last time before this Committee.
I have just a couple of questions for you, and a couple for Admiral Blair. One, because one of my constituents was killed in the bombing in Dhahran, I have had an ongoing interest in that. And I wondered if youeven though I know the FBI has the lead rolebut I wondered if you could, as a regional CINC, update us on the status of the Saudi investigation; the status of their prosecution, their level of cooperation with the U.S. Have your intelligence people been receiving suitable cooperation from the Saudis on threats and warnings in that area?
And then, the other deals with Iraq. Our No-Fly Zone operations over Iraq have been conducted continuously since the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Since Operation Desert Fox in 1998, many analysts have described this No-Fly Zone mission as turning into some sort of protracted quasi-war with Iraq. Could you describe the number of combat sorties and the current fighting associated with enforcing this southern No-Fly Zone? And what has this mission, which is called ''Operation Southern Watch,'' cost the United States in terms of military resources expended and degradation of equipment and readiness? While at the same time, what has it really accomplished, since Saddam Hussein seems to be going about unimpeded in his development of weapons of mass destruction, and refusing any inspections regime?
And then, for Admiral Blair, I had some other questions, but last night I was doing some reading and I came upon an interesting statistic. I grew up in a little town, Milledgeville, Georgia. And one of our most distinguished people from that was Mr. Carl Vinson, whose portrait hangs on this wall, whom this room is named for, a distinguished chairman of this Committee for over 16 years, and really the founder of our Navy and of making it strong.
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And I read in this article on him that it said, and I quote, ''Vinson's crowning achievement came in 1940, when his Two Ocean Navy Bill passed through Congress authorizing a fleet of more than 600 ships to cover both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.'' Now, in 1940 there was a recognition by both Houses and the President that we needed 600 ships to adequately have a two-ocean navy. People say this was Ronald Reagan's idea, which is what I thought until I read this article and realized Mr. Carl Vinson, who was, you know, one of the greatest members of this Housethat it was really his.
Could you tell us how many ships we have in the Navy today, how many we will have five years from now? And is this number going to be sufficient to really be a two-ocean navy? And as you stated earlier, the most important thing is to have our ready-deployed assets available, strategically prepared, trained. And are they going to be there when a carrier is pulled out of the Pacific, when we have a little thing going on in Kosovo, leaving you without that support?
I am critically concerned, and here it has been obviously a long-term policy of this government that we should have more ships. So if you could both answer those questions.
General ZINNI. Thank you, Congresswoman. First, on Khobar Towers, my understanding, although I am not directly involved, is that the FBI and the Saudi intelligence services have been cooperating. I believe the FBI is satisfied with the degree of cooperation it is receiving now. I think there are still issues out there regarding the ultimate source of support or maybe planning in the bombing, which I can discuss in closed session or provide for the record in a classified way, based on what we know.
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I would tell you that our cooperation with all of the Gulf States, where our forces are located, has been superb, in terms of force protection, intelligence sharing. We have very formal programs. And I am satisfied that they are providing us with all the support and the intelligence that they possibly can. And that is a two-way street, because obviously we have access and means and collection capabilities that they do not, so it is a reciprocal agreement.
And I think the physical protection, also, the cooperation has been there. Joint patrols, provision of the capability and the assets that we need to meet our standards for force protection. Nothing is 100-percent sure out there. To do our mission there is always some risk. But I am satisfied that the cooperation could not be better at this point.
The No-Fly Zones, as you correctly pointed out, Congresswoman, have been ongoing since 1991 and 1992, north and south. We have flown in the south over 200,000 sorties over Iraq. We have never lost an airplane or a pilot. Now, I think that is a credit to our pilots, the skill they have; our maintenance personnel, sometimes performing that maintenance at 140-degree temperatures in the desert. The reason we are doing this, it is part of our sanctions enforcement, along with our maritime intercept operations to prevent gas oil smuggling.
Specifically, Southern Watch, there are two reasons that we do it. One is to prevent aircraft from coming down and doing what Saddam did immediately after the war; and that is brutalizing the Shia population in the south, where he used attack helicopters, fixed-wing jets, to bomb and strafe and really cause devastation with Marash Arabs and the Shia.
Second, part of that is the enforcement of the No-Drive Zone. We require that he does not reinforce his military forces in the south. Again, part of the problem: Republican Guards, other reinforcements, that came down for the same reason; and then after the Gulf War during Vigilant Warrior and Vigilant Sentinel, he actually threatened Kuwait again and brought forces to the border. So these sanctions prevent that from happening.
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It costs us in terms of aircraft about 160 to 170 aircraft at any given time. But these are aircraft that are also carrier-based on the carriers out there with other missions, like the Maritime Intercept Operation, keeping the straits clear. We also have aircraft in there that provide for support of our ground forces, and at the same time fly this mission.
I think if we did not enforce these sanctions, clearly, Saddam would rebuild and rethreaten his forces in the south. We have the British that fly with us in this mission; French forces that are located with us but now do not fly into Iraq but are part of the organization, but as of the last year and a half have not flown into Iraq. I think if we lift this, we will see him reinforce this area, which would cause us problems in terms of the defense of Kuwait and the region in the straits.
I would like to see more coalition membership and participation, to help with the burden sharing. The British do a superb job and commit a lot, but beyond that we do not get much help. We do, as I mentioned before on a previous question, get direct support from our Gulf Allies in terms of assistance in kind: food, fuel, water, facilities that they build and construct for us, provision of defensive counter-air to protect our bases, and other direct support for us. But beyond that, we bear the burden pretty much on our own for the enforcements of both sanctions.
Mrs. FOWLER. Thank you. Admiral Blair.
Admiral BLAIR. Yes, Congresswoman Fowler. We have been thanking people for their service who are moving on to other things, and I think we on this side ought to be thanking you also for your service on this Committee over the years. And I have seen it from various jobs that I have served in, and we all appreciate it, and wish you the very best.
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Mrs. FOWLER. Thank you.
Admiral BLAIR. From my current position, I am not really the right guy to talk about all 600 ships.
Mrs. FOWLER. I know. I know.
Admiral BLAIR. But I do not want to just leave it at that. I need to say a couple of things from the Pacific point of view, which I look at every day. And I can tell you that the number that we have out there now, which is about half the Navy's slightly over 300 ships, are not sitting around playing cribbage, and do not have a lot of free time. We are using them all on a day-to-day basis, as well as counting on them for reactions.
And when crises begin to flare up, as I mentioned, General Zinni and I have long conversations about moving carriers to the right place at the right time. And surface ships with Tomahawks on them are also part of that, as are submarines.
I do look at it from a little more than the Navy point of view, as I said in one of my earlier questions, as looking across the other services. If we move a carrier out of Korea, can we move Air Force aircraft in, while not breaking our tempo regulations in order to keep the deterrence up? So I think we can take a broader look at it. But within that, I think in this upcoming QDR we have some serious looking to do to determine if the Navy component of that is sufficient to carry out the strategy we have.
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mrs. FOWLER. Thank you. I knew you were not the one, but I just discovered this last night and I wanted to get it on the record that it has been since 1940. And I am going to send this on to the CNO, too, so he will have it for his backup. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, ma'am.
Mr. RILEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Patience does have its virtue.
Gentlemen, I appreciate your being here. One of the things I always am amazed by in this testimony, when I come here, I feel good, after your opening statements I feel very good, but as we get into the discussion I become more and more paranoid.
As we kind of walk through what you have said today, I have some questions for each one of you. And let me just go through them. Admiral Blair, you said that you are in constant contact with the Chinese and you are talking to them, and that some of these comments that have been made have been taken out of context. There was a comment that my staffer brought to me a few weeks ago where the defense minister had said that war with the United States is inevitable. I hope that was taken out of context. I hope he did not mean it. But you get the feeling that they are a trading partner, but I guess when I look at it and people are making the types of statements that have been made in the last few weeks, it gives me real cause for concern.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When I read that China has just purchased an AEGIS-class destroyer with this Sunburn missile on it that basically flies eight or ten feet off of the water, that is more designed for our flights than it would be for Taiwan. And when I hear all of this, and then when you are asked the direct question about whether or not a Chinese attack would be successful on the mainland in a short period of time, there seemed to be some equivocation in your answer when you said they could not sustain it if we became involved, but there is no assurance that we would be involved; that you had to maintain your capabilities; that you did not have a commitment. I guess my question is, under this scenario, would they be successful if we did not intervene. Two, was this ''War is inevitable'' comment taken out of context?
General Schwartz, God bless you. I cannot imagine what you are going through over there. When you tell me that there are 750,000 people 100 miles away from South Korea with the level of SCUD missiles and their missile capabilities, it seems almost inconceivable to me that we could stop a rapid deployment into South Korea without a massiveliterally massiveloss of life.
You referred to a study that was made that had some specific numbers on that, that you would like to do in closed session. I would really love to look at that report and look at those. And I guess my question to you is, at what point do we say that our threat level becomes unacceptable? And we can do it in closed session, but I would like to know from you what that number is. Is it a thousand, is it ten thousand, is it twenty thousand troops? And who is going to make that determination? Is that something that we as a Congress should be looking at? Or is it something that will be done in DOD?
General Zinni, this is probably out of your expertise, but I walked in this morning and this is more or less a recap of last night's stories that were carried on television. And the caption begins, ''Pentagon Prepares for War With Albanian Kosovars.'' And then it goes down through all of the people that carried that last night. I thought the Albanians were our allies. I thought that we were there to protect them.
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And I guess my question to you is, what is the state of those developments in Kosovo today? And more generally, how much more can we ask you guys to do? How can we ask you to be in Kosovo, and Bosnia, and Korea for 50 years, and every hot spot in the world? How can we expect the American people to pay for it? How can we expect you to do it, with the force level that you have today?
General ZINNI. Congressman, I will take the first part. Kosovo is not in my area of responsibility, so I do not want to answer for General Clark. I will regret it.
Mr. RILEY. You are the one that is here today. Well, General Clark is not here.
General ZINNI. Yes, sir. I will say that on the second part of your question, I, like I think my counterparts, am very concerned about how stretched we are. I think the post-Cold War environment has not yielded a peace dividend. I think the world is troubled. Just in my area there are things that we have not even touched here, like Afghanistan and the extremist threat, which is growing and may be my biggest immediate concern.
And I think our services, our service chiefs, are having a very difficult time supporting our needs and requirements. I would tell you, none of the CINCs that I can see are putting requirements on our services that are not needed or important. So it is not a question of ''nice to have things'' at this point. We are stretched very thin.
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral BLAIR. Congressman Riley, I talked with Chinese defense minister Chair Ho-Shien about two and a half weeks ago, and my evaluation after talking with him personally and after reading a lot about him, is that he thinks that conflict with the United States is a possibility, but not that it is inevitable.
Mr. RILEY. Well, I guess my question is, why did he make the statement that it was inevitable?
Admiral BLAIR. I do not think that reflected what I have seen personally and what I have read in other places about his views. I think he was taken out of context in that case. I think he believes, like most senior military leaders, that it may come to fighting. And as I indicated earlier, they are working on what they see as their military obligation to do that. But I do not believe that he was quoted correctly as saying that it is inevitable. I think he believes it is a possibility. So I believe that is the case for the senior leadership.
As far as the military situation, I hope I made it clear the ambiguity is the political decision; not the military capability. The PRC cannot take and hold Taiwan. We can defend Taiwan, if ordered. And that is what will happen.
Mr. RILEY. Can Taiwan defend themselves without our intervention?
Admiral BLAIR. For a considerable period of time. And the reason I put a time scale on that is, you can imagine scenarios that would go on into months, in which the sheer physical size and resources of China could ultimately wear down a small island nation, however well initially euqipped. That is the only caveat on that.
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But I do not think we can just leave that sitting there with just the military piece of it, because when you cast your mind around that situation there are two other aspects that are important. Number one, neither the armed forces of Taiwan nor of the United States nor of China can assure that that kind of conflict would result in a quick victory with no casualties. There would be a lot of Taiwanese deaths, as well as destruction both to their physical infrastructure and their economy. There would be a lot on the Chinese side. And there would be some on the American side if we were involved in it. So that is one.
Second, the economic consequences that would be paid by China would be huge, at a time when, as I said, their first three priorities all have to do with modernizing their economy, and they see cooperation with other countries as part of that. Taiwan would also lose a lot economically, as we discussed. So that part of it is also there. And that part of it is why I think that all countries realize that that scenario that you sketch out is a distant last place after a lot of other peaceful ways to get towards what their political goals are in both regions.
Mr. RILEY. And I think that would still be the case today, if it was not for this inflammatory rhetoric that we have heard for the last two to three months coming from, it seems like, every Chinese leader there. And again, I am glad we are holding conversations with them.
But I guess ultimately we have to decide if we are going to arm Taiwan to the point that they feel militarily secure. And I cannot see how they can as long as there is that ambiguity on whether or not we will intervene.
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Admiral BLAIR. I think you have put your finger on the heart of the policy that our country is now pursuing. Taiwan is not a treaty ally. We did end the mutual-defense treaty with them. But we did say quite specifically, and the Chinese agreed, that, okay, they are not a treaty ally, which we have an automatic commitment to defend the way we do with our other four treaty allies in the region, but make it peaceful.
Mr. RILEY. So would you be in favor of a continued military build-up of defensive weapons in Taiwan?
Admiral BLAIR. The answer to that question is, in a specific form, yes, I believe we have to maintainI believe I am obliged to recommend improvements to Taiwan's defense, to maintain their sufficient defense, which the Taiwan Relations Act places at the heart of our policy.
Mr. RILEY. General?
General SCHWARTZ. Congressman Riley, I think that the answer to your question is this: Yes, North Korea is a serious threat. And as I said before, we ought never take it for granted. How much risk do we accept? My answer would be, as little as possible. And that is my job, to articulate my needs well to you, so that they can be met and we can drop that risk and lower that risk.
But I tell you, most of it goes back to my mission. What is my mission? Maintain the armistice; deter war. I deter war by presence, trained and ready soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. And if that fails, we fight and win. And I think if I keep my focus on the mission in that regard, we will not have to risk lives, because we will deter war.
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Mr. RILEY. Okay. I thank you, then. And I appreciate that. But I would like to know, who is going to make the decision on what an acceptable risk level is; whether it is, you know, a hundred soldiers, a thousand soldiers, twenty thousand soldiers. And I think that is something that each one of us on this Committee should be vitally interested in. And if you could share those numbers with us, I would certainly appreciate it.
General SCHWARTZ. I certainly will.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. RILEY. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Riley.
Mr. RILEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hill.
Mr. HILL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to first of all thank you, Admiral Blair, for your comment about Taiwan. I was one of those 70 with Congressman Snyder that did vote against that House resolution.
I was not going to ask any questions, because by the time you get down here on the front row all of the questions have been asked. But General Zinni, I was reading through this report, and I noticed on page 29 that the USCENTCOM combined exercise program has undergone a 36-percent reduction in the number of exercises since 1996. And you go on to say that, ''These reductions will cause exercise cancellations, create confusion among our regional partners, and cause us to forfeit engagement opportunities.''
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I want to ask, first of all, how severe of a problem this is. Should it be corrected immediately? And how much will it cost?
General ZINNI. Congressman, it is a serious problem, because we are at rock bottom, in my view, on the minimum exercise level we can achieve and still say that we are ready to meet our war plan requirements, our requirements for coalition building, and in some cases our requirements to assist some of our allies in their capabilities so they could be by our side.
We plan out about five to seven years on exercises, because we are required to by our engagement policy. Each year, though, the exercise budget undergoes some sort of cut or adjustment. This year there was a mandated cut that came from this body. It was adjusted. The Chairman was able to recoup some of the funding. In some cases, even though we got the funding, it was too late to run the exercise, so we lost the exercise anyway.
I think there are times when there is a belief that joint exercises are nice to have and stress units and cause part of the problems of Operations (OP) tempo and Personnel (PERS) tempo. I have actually heard that from members of this body. In fact, the vast majority of joint exercises really practice war plans; get our forces exposed to the environment in the area that they may have to fight inin our case, the Gulf and the region that we are assigned; and also, help our allies come up to meet part of the requirement and be a viable force on the battlefield with us.
We have recouped the money for this year that we need. I would say that for next year and the years on out, we are at the minimum. We could not take more than that 36-percent loss. I can live with the program as it is, but I cannot take any more cuts without serious degradation. We have recouped this year's funding, thanks to the Chairman and the Secretary.
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Mr. HILL. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you. Admiral Blair, I have two last question for you, if I may. You mentioned having to cancel the joint training exercise because of the shortfall in money. Does the 2001 budget that is recommended by the Administration provide you with enough money to conduct the joint training that you have planned?
Admiral BLAIR. The 2001 budget, as submitted by the Administration, enables me to do the joint training that I planned. The problem was that the 2000 budget did also. But the sorts of cuts that General Zinni talked aboutand none of us can put it any more eloquently.
Mr. SKELTON. So the Damocles sword still hangs over your head?
Admiral BLAIR. It still hangs over our head. Sure.
Mr. SKELTON. Admiral Blair, there is discussion, there will be debate later, in the House on whether to have normal trade relations with the country of China. And of course, China wants into the World Trade Organization. Should that come to pass and there be a positive vote in both the House and the Senate and the President sign, would that help ease tensionsbesides help the farmers in America and the manufacturers in America; which would be beside the pointwould that be a help? Because you referred to China as a potential adversary. That, of course, causes a great deal of concern. Would that be of help, besides the economic benefit to certain segments of our society?
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Admiral BLAIR. Yes, sir. Congressman Skelton, as you say, there are a lot of aspects of the WTO, in terms of things that are important to workers in America of various kinds, and I cannot comment on those. But I believe that entry of China into the WTO would give that country more of a stake in the peaceful relationship with the United States and other countries around the region, which is in the long-term interests of the United States.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you so much.
Mr. Chairman, thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. It looks like that time has arrived. Gentlemen, we appreciate your being here today. You have been a tremendous help to us in our work. And we wish you well in the future, and we hope we are going to be able to do more to help you. Thank you very much.
General ZINNI. Thank you, sir.
General SCHWARTZ. Thank you, sir.
Admiral BLAIR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[Whereupon, at 12:35 p.m. the committee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
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March 15, 2000
[This information is pending.]