SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10831]
UNITED STATES GLOBAL DEFENSE POSTURE
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
JUNE 15, 2004
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Eighth Congress
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
TOM COLE, Oklahoma
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROB BISHOP, Utah
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
RICK LARSEN, Washington
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
TIM RYAN, Ohio
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
James M. Lariviere, Professional Staff Member
Justin Bernier, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Tuesday, June 15, 2004, The Strategic Implications of U.S. Troop Withdrawals from Korea
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Tuesday, June 15, 2004
TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2004
THE STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS OF U.S. TROOP WITHDRAWALS FROM KOREA
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hunter, Hon. Duncan, a Representative from California, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Brookes, Peter T.R., Senior Fellow for National Security Affairs and Director, Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation
O'Hanlon, Michael E., Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, The Sydney Stein, Jr., Chair, The Brookings Institution
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[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Brookes, Peter T.R.
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
O'Hanlon, Michael E.,
Skelton, Hon. Ike
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents can be viewed in the hard copy.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
THE STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS OF U.S. TROOP WITHDRAWALS FROM KOREA
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Tuesday, June 15, 2004.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:35 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter (chairman of the committee) presiding.
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OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
The CHAIRMAN. The hearing will come to order.
Our guest this morning is Mr. Peter Brookes, Senior Fellow for National Security Affairs and Director of the Asian Studies Center. He was Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian Pacific Policy until a short time ago.
And we appreciate you being here. And thank you for bringing your son, also Peter Brookes, seated behind you.
And thank you, Peter for coming up here with your dad. Thank you for being with us this morning.
Dr. O'Hanlon isn't with us yet, but hopefully he will drop by while we are conducting the hearing. So thank you for being with us.
We called this hearing today to explore the U.S. military posture on the Korean Peninsula, a very critical element of the Department of Defense's ongoing efforts to better tailor our global footprint to post-Cold War, 21st Century realities.
Over 50 years after a ceasefire interrupted war on that stretch of land, there are approximately 37,000actually about 38,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea. These forces help deter an aggressor unwilling to renounce the use of force against his democratic neighbor to the south.
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In June, 2003, the United States and South Korea agreed to move 15,000 American soldiers 75 miles south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ), beyond the range of some 8,000 North Korean artillery pieces. At the same time, the U.S. decided to put billions of additional dollars toward improving its military forces on the peninsula. Together, these two measures will ensure a greater capability to defend South Korea, which continues to improve its own forces.
Last month, the U.S. officials confirmed that about 3,600 members of the 2nd Infantry Division will deploy to Iraq from South Korea sometime mid-summer. Last week, the Department announced it was negotiating the possible withdrawal of another 12,500 ground troops from Korea. One might be tempted to view this as a reduction in the U.S. commitment to the alliance, but the reality is more complicated.
The Department of Defense noticed that the U.S. commitment to Korean security might be better served with a different mix of capabilities. To that end, the Department is considering improving certain capabilities on the peninsula targeted directly against particular North Korean military strengths. Increased missile defenses help compensate for the north's vast ballistic missile arsenal. Rather than reducing its commitment, the United States is tailoring its forces more toward using our particular strengths to offset North Korean advantages.
With that in mind, we need to reassess the redeployments in terms of the overall strategic situation in Northeast Asia, not just on the basis of sheer numbers. Our witnesses hopefully will help provide this perspective.
So, Mr. Brookesand Dr. O'Hanlon, good to see you, sir. And while we are at it, I am going to introduce you as a Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. Thanks for being here.
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So, gentlemen, we look forward to your testimony. We hope you will shed some light on this very important development, which, incidentally, as I noted over the last several days, has been literally pushed off the front pages. I thought I saw an article on Korea and redeployment somewhere near the classified ads. But obviously, it is of great importance to us and something we should scrutinize very carefully.
Thank you for being with us to talk about this and help us gain perspective in this important area.
And let me turn to my colleague on the committee, the Ranking Democrat, Mr. Skelton, the gentleman from Missouri, for any remarks he might want to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
I ask unanimous consent just to place my statement in the record as is. And I understand the proposals already of removing some 4,000 troops from South Korea and the potential of moving some 12,000 more out and look forward to hearing the witnesses' testimony on the possible impact that might have, and I will put that in the record, please.
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[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
And gentlemen, I also understand we have been looking at the troop numbers for not only the quality, but the quantity, of troops in the South Korean force, which I understand is something like 19 infantry divisions, 3 mechanized divisions, in that range. If you have any information on the posture of the South Korean force, which is a key element in this equation, we would appreciate that information, also.
Having said that, Mr. Brookes, you were here first, so why don't you go ahead, and the floor is yours, sir. And we appreciate you being here today.
STATEMENT OF PETER BROOKES, SENIOR FELLOW FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS AND DIRECTOR, ASIAN STUDIES CENTER, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION
Mr. BROOKES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. It is an honor and privilege to appear before you today to discuss the decision of the United States to drawdown forces from the Korean Peninsula. I want to commend you for holding this timely hearing, as there are many questions being asked on both sides of the Pacific that should be addressed in an open forum. I am testifying here as an individual, and my views do not necessarily reflect those of the Heritage Foundation.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The United States-Republic of Korea defense relationship took a major step into the 21st century this month with the announcement that Washington would withdraw one-third of 37,000 from the Republic of Korea (ROK) by the end of 2005. The news, not completely unexpected in light of the United States' decision in May of this year to withdraw 3,600 combat troops from South Korea to Iraq, still has observers nervous on both sides of the Pacific. It is my view that they need not be.
Even though this is the largest drawdown of American forces from Korea since the end of the Korean War and the most significant since 1992, when 7,000 troops left, the reduction of 12,500 U.S. soldiers from the Korean Peninsula is, in my estimation, a win-win situation for the United States and the Republic of Korea. First, in a general sense, the number of troops does not completely determine the military capability of any force. And the 37,000 American troops currently stationed in the Republic of Korea is only a small portion of the U.S. troops that would actually be needed in the event of a Korean contingency.
In fact, despite the upcoming decrease in American soldiers in the Republic of Korea, according to the Pentagon, U.S. firepower will actually increase due to expected improvements in American force structure over the next several years. Although technology cannot replace soldiers in some missions, today's high-tech equipment can provide significant firepower advantages over the common foot soldier. Therefore, the United States can withdraw some of its Korean-based troops for other soldier-intensive missions, such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terrorism, while actually improving the lethality and deterrence of its forces in the ROK.
Improving a defense capability of U.S. Forces Korea can be accomplished by bringing to bear such systems as Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air missiles for air defense, the Army's new Stryker brigade, the Navy's High-Speed Vessel and the forward deployment of addition air and naval assets to Hawaii and Guam. Washington is planning an $11 billion investment and some additional 150 military capabilities over the next 4 years that will enhance defense against any North Korean attack, according to the Department of Defense.
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Second, it is useful for both Seoul and Washington to reduce the visibility and footprint that is the size and number of bases of U.S. forces because of trends in South Korean public opinion, which has been mixed, at best, about U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) presence. Moving the American Army out of Seoul, drawing down troop levels and consolidating bases will reduce pressures from some sectors of Korean society for all U.S. troops to leave. Returning valuable land to the City of Seoul is an important gesture, and it makes no sense to have U.S. military forces operating in the midst of a metropolitan area which is the home of 12 million South Koreans. Shifting U.S. troops away from the DMZ and south of the Han River will improve the maneuverability and flexibility of our forces, increase their deterrent effect and warfighting capability.
Next, South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun stated his belief early on in his tenure that the Republic of Korea should do more for its own defense. As the world's 11th largest economy, the ROK can spend more on its own defense and should. It is already doing so to a certain degree with the procurement power projection systems, such as the F15K fighters, the Multiple Launch Rocket System, P3 anti-submarine warfare aircraft and the KDX II-III destroyers. And the KDX III will have Aegis. In addition, within the last few days, it has requested a 13 percent increase in its defense spending for next year from the National Assembly.
Despite these positive developments, the ROK still can do more. Moreover, the reduction in U.S. forces will provide the Roh Government an opportunity to do more for the Republic of Korea's national security as promised. This supports both Washington's need for more flexibility in deploying its troops to global hotspots and Seoul's desire for a bigger role in its national defense.
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Last, though unlikely, there is a sliver of a chance, perhaps even less than that, that the reduction of U.S. forces could help reduce North-South Korean tensions. The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea, long has demanded that U.S. troops leave the peninsula. This reduction could be seen as a gesture of goodwill that just might lead to some additional political openings between Seoul and Pyongyang in addressing issues of national reconciliation or North Korea's nuclear program. But because no one is naive regarding North Korea or its intentions or its petulance, the U.S. force reduction will be matched by an increase in USFK's military capabilities.
The bottom line is that, despite these changes, America's commitment to the ROK's defense is as strong as ever. The United States' obligation to the security of South Korea against the North is a moral one in the defense of a fellow democracy, not to mention codified in the 1953 U.S.-ROK Mutual Defense Treaty.
The real tripwire is the Mutual Defense Treaty, not the number of U.S. troops in the Republic of Korea. The tripwire analogy is a false concept and anachronistic. The troop reduction should not be reviewed as a weakening of America's resolve.
A military confrontation between North and South Korea would invariably result in the demise of the regime in Pyongyang. Fortunately, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il understands this.
The U.S.-ROK alliance is a partnership forged in blood and valor. It is strengthened by the shared values of freedom, democracy, open markets and the millions of Koreans who have come to America's shores as immigrants. The alliance has successfully deterred North Korean aggression, provided for peace and stability in Northeast Asia and fostered the growth of freedom and prosperity in South Korea for over 50 years. It should do so for as long as needed because it continues to be in America's interest to do so.
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Adjusting the U.S.-ROK partnership for the 21st century makes ultimate sense. The future alliance will be better for this, making the relationship ready for challenges on the Korean Peninsula and beyond.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Brookes can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HEFLEY [presiding]. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF MICHAEL E. O'HANLON, SENIOR FELLOW, FOREIGN POLICY STUDIES, THE SYDNEY STEIN, JR., CHAIR, THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION
Mr. O'HANLON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It is an honor to appear here today, and I wish I could inject some more debate into this discussion already. I am sure that many of you will, but I agree with most of what Mr. Brookes has said, and let me add a couple of arguments to his thinking.
But let me begin by saying, I think there have been a number of problems of how this Administration has handled the alliance with the Republic of Korea, a lot of fairly major mistakes in diplomacy. And I am not a supporter of this Administration's North Korea policy. I say that only to simply establish that I am not coming to the Administration's defense as a cheerleader on its Korea policy.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When I think through the military and strategic aspects of this particular plan, I find most of them to be compelling, and I support it strongly at this time. Mr. Brookes has already mentioned a number of the issues at stake.
First of all, certainly moving the headquarters out of Seoul is overdue. It is an idea that dates back to the first Bush Administration, if not earlier in its initial conceptualization. We finally are getting around to making it happen together with our allies. It makes good sense.
Second, moving American forces down from the DMZ region below the Han River I also believe makes good sense, not so much because our $11 billion modernization plan can, by itself, compensate. I would not overstate the importance of that particular plan. But because, over the last 20 to 30 years, South Korean forces have become so much better than they were before. And in my judgment, based on the modeling that I have done and the various studies that I have been part of or read, it is actually, at this point at least, as strong as North Korea.
Now, I know that this committee has done very good work over the years to underscore the importance of maintaining deterrence, because, even if I am right that South Korea could fend off an attack largely on its own, we don't want to run the risk of finding out what would happen. We want to make sure there never is a conflict, given the terrible casualties that would ensue. For that reason, I think we have to think in terms of deterrence as well.
And I would not be quite as critical of the tripwire concept, as I believe Mr. Brookes just wasI don't think that concept on the whole is entirely obsolete. But I agree with him, the fact the Mutual Defense Treaty will remain, the fact that 25,000 American forces will remain on the peninsula, the fact that tens of thousands of Americans will remain in Seoul, I think this is enough to be a pretty compelling tripwire. And North Korea would have to know that any attack on the ROK would surely result in a full scale American reinforcement and combined offensive with the ROK to overthrow its government as, again, Mr. Brookes, I believe, has convincingly argued. So I think the tripwire concept is sound.
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If you then look at some of the other aspects to this plan, let us face it, the Army needs help. The Army needs every single brigade it can find to maintain the rotation in Iraq. I believe that Secretary Rumsfeld and General Schoomaker are not going far enough. And I strongly support the idea of many Members of this committee and other Members of Congress to increase the endstrength of the U.S. Army substantially above and beyond what is now happening under emergency powers. Whether you do that or not, I think you need to be creative about how you use forces that have typically not been seen as usable for these sort of contingencies.
So I think it is quite compelling that the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) from Fort Irwin and the opposition force from Fort Polk and many other units that have traditionally not been seen as the rotation base must be brought into this rotation base because the U.S. Army is facing its greatest threat in the history of the all-volunteer force because of the deployment in Iraq. And therefore, we need a larger pool of soldiers even to maintain the current size mission. For that reason, I also support this change.
Now some people would argueleaving aside the issue of the peninsula, leaving aside the military balance on the peninsula, whether or not the ROK could maintain a robust defensive perimeter on its ownwe don't want to send a message to the region more broadly of any kind of weakness or any kind of reduction in our strength. We don't want to take away capability, that Secretary Rumsfeld was discussing in Singapore a short time ago, to increase our ability to deal with possible hotspots in Southeast Asia, in the Taiwan Strait, et cetera.
I would agree with that concern, but I would also say that the brigades in Korea have not been very usable for other regional contingencies. They are essentially anchored to Korea. That has always been the logic of their presence. They are among our least flexible military units in the entire U.S. forward deployment. And therefore, taking one of those out of Korea, putting it in Iraq temporarily and then bringing it back to the United States, I believe, actually increases our long-term regional flexibility. And therefore, I would not oppose this change on those grounds, either.
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It is true the Asia-Pacific remains very important. The Asia-Pacific has a number of possible contingencies we need to think more about, and this committee has been showing the way. I think most of those contingencies are largely naval, Air Force or Marine in nature. But even the ones that may involve the Army would be better served by an Army that is not starting from bases in Korea, because Army forces in Korea are largely, if not exclusively, focused on the Korea contingency. We have been very reluctant ever to redeploy them for any other purpose. Therefore, by keeping them there, you would not be sending a message to the rest of the region of greater capability. You would essentially be tying down some of your long-term capability.
If I had any doubt about this plan still, whether it was militarily and strategically sound, I think I would have gotten more of a sense of worry from U.S. military planners. And some of you have been speaking more to others than I have, and maybe you have gotten more of a sense of worry. The war planners I have spoken of do not seem to worry that much about the reduction of our military capability in Korea. They feel good about trends of the last 20 to 30 years. They feel good about our deterrent posture, and they know a major reinforcement would be necessary if there were ever a war, anyway. Whether we have 37,000 people in Korea day-to-day or 25,000, we are going to have to add 200,000 to 500,000 more in an all-out war. The difference of 12,000 people does not make a major difference in our ability to respond. Any counter-offensive is going to require a huge reinforcement any way. And the defensive operation can be handled, in my judgment and that of many military analysts, largely by the South Korean forces together with American air power in the region. I think it makes sense on military grounds.
I do not think it sends a message of weakness. I think, for all the Bush Administration's flaws, in my opinion, dealing with North Korea, creating an image of weakness is not one of them, and I am not concerned that therefore we will have to worry about a reduction in our deterrent capability just because we happened to drawdown by 12,000.
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And the broader regional dynamics will not be affected because, again, this brigade of forces and the supporting headquarters that we are discussing today was always seen as focused exclusively on the peninsula. It is not really usable or deployable elsewhere in the region. And if we are worried about the Singapore or Malacca Straits or the Taiwan Strait, we are better off having forces that start from the Continental United States (CONUS) or Hawaii, Guam or Japan, where they are more flexible and more easily usable.
So no matter which way I look at this, leaving aside my disputes with the Bush Administration's broader Korean policy, I think this particular force plan makes good strategic and military sense.
[The prepared statement of Mr. O'Hanlon can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much both of you.
Mr. SKELTON. First let me thank my friend, Dr. O'Hanlon, agreeing on what I have been advocating since 1995, that the size of the United States Army is too small. And I have been urgingthis committee has made, I think, giant steps in the bill that we passed this year adding additional endstrength to the United States' Army. And I hope we can continue that, and I appreciate that comment.
Mr. Brookes, I hope I got this correct. I think you said that the amount of troops we have there, even if we reduce them, would be only a small amount of troops necessary to defend the Korean Peninsula. And then, Dr. O'Hanlon used a figure of over 100,000 troops. Should push come to shove, where are we going to get them?
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Mr. BROOKES. I think theI am sure you have been briefed on the operation plans (OP) for Korea. I am not sure what the latest version of them is and what the requirements are. It wouldn't be an appropriate place here to mention.
Mr. SKELTON. Where are you going to get the troops? If there is a need for an additional 100,000, where are you going to get them? We don't have them.
Mr. BROOKES. I wouldn't say I am an expert on the force posture of the U.S. Army. I do agree that the size of the Army should be increased.
Mr. SKELTON. Good. Thank you.
Mr. BROOKES. A few weeks ago, in my New York Post column, I wrote about this, about augmenting the Army. And I agree with that. Being a Navy veteran, I am always reluctant to propose increasing the size of the Army. I think this is something this committee has been looking at, and I suppose it would have to come out of the Reserve Component. And that is where you have to dig deeper in to bringing more people on to Active Duty to support a contingency on the Korean Peninsula.
But the important thing, as Mike has said, is not to get to that point, but continue the deterrent posture that we have so you don't have to fight it. I do believe that the North Koreans understand fundamentally that, if they do take on the United States and the ROK, they will lose. And the regime up there, job number one is regime survival. And I think that is a very positive situation that we have from a deterrent standpoint.
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Mr. SKELTON. I had one question for each of you, and then I will go on. Is the nature of the North Korean threat changing?
Dr. O'Hanlon, tell us first.
Mr. O'HANLON. I think the military threat has changed in the last few years in the sense that there is no longer, in my judgment, a plausible invasion threat from North Korea. It doesn't mean we can let down our guard. As I look at the shift of forces in the last 15 or 20 years, I do not believe that threat is nearly as credible. It has become essentially almost a state terrorist threat. They can't destroy Seoul, as I heard you argue eloquently in this committee before. The artillery capability, even if it is not enough to sustain seizing Seoul, is enough to do a great deal of damage. They have up to eight nuclear weapons.
My hope is, even if it is true, those nuclear weapons are not deliverable by missile. We have no reason to think, at least not in a convincing way in the unclassified literature that I have seen, no reason to think North Korea has nuclear weapons that are small enough to be deliverable by missile. There has been concern they are trying to figure out how to do that.
We have to be much more worried about the nuclear threat at the same time that, I think, we can be a little less worried about the conventional invasion threat, and the artillery threat has stayed largely the same.
Mr. BROOKES. I would make two points in addition to that. Over the last few years, we have see the North Koreans load their forces; 70 percent of their forces now are within 100 kilometers of the DMZ, which means we have essentially almost no warning. So that is a change.
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I do think their military capability is deteriorating because of the very feeble state of their economy. And I think the new thing we have to deal with is the potential for a larger nuclear arsenal, which makes missile defense for the United States criticallyand theater defensecritically important.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. McHugh.
Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I found your comments interesting, gentlemen. I had the chance to visit that theater and tend to agree with you, if I might, and I don't pretend to have your expertise, but from a practical military perspective, these troops aren't probably going to make a difference. And I could make the argument that the fewer troops we have in direct harm's way there inures to our benefit. And there are other ways we can better defend the Korean Peninsula circumstance.
I am concerned, though, about the message this may or may not send throughout the region as to America's commitment, et cetera. Have either of you had any opportunity to hear from or observe, for example, how the Japanese are responding to this? The Chinese? Have they had favorable reactions? Our relation with North Korea is critical. What about the other nations of the region?
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BROOKES. I would say that the responses have been somewhat muted, other than from North Korea, who thinks it is always a trick.
I think it is very important for these hearings. I realize that our negotiator, the person who preceded me at the Pentagon, is over there negotiating with the South Koreans right now, so this is not a fait d'accomplis. I think the Japanese are wondering what effect it is going to have on our troop posture there in the region. The Chinese are probably watching with great interest, but they see we are making these sort of changes.
It will depend on how the South Koreans pick up on things, whether they increase their defense budget beyond three percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Everybody is kind of in a holding pattern, wondering how actually things are going to work out.
There is a possibility, if we don't get the land we need for these two hubs at Camp Humphries and Osan-Pyongtaek in the south, that we might not be able to affect these moves. We are hoping to do this in the next 18 months.
My sense is, from the region, the South Koreans are a little nervous, too. But I think that, right now, the response has been muted and waiting to see how things shake out.
Mr. O'HANLON. I think there is, as Mr. Brookes says, some nervousness, but it is not that strong.
If you look at some of the other things we are doing, that the Bush Administration has been doing after the Clinton Administration to improve our capability in the East Asia regionin the Clinton years, we added a lot of prepositioning, and this committee was instrumental in making that happen. So we have more capability prestationed on Guam or elsewhere that can be rapidly deployed, which, in many ways, is as useful as having 12,000 people on the peninsula and more flexible.
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In addition, we are now adding a lot of capability in Guam, again with the support of this committee, and many of you know more about it than I do. And I have not been to Guam to see what has been going on. We are adding attack submarines, adding more aircraft of various types. So I think our overall Asia-Pacific posture looks strong to most observers.
And the Navy with its surge capacity, that that has been replacing to some extent the traditional forward deployment on a predictable schedule approach, has the ability to respond more quickly. I think that is a good idea, as well.
So certainly people who are prone toward preferring the status quo are going to be a little nervous until they have taken in the whole picture and had it laid out for them. I think, on balance, our flexible capability in the Asia-Pacific has actually increased in the last decade even if now we are in the process of reducing some of our more stationary capability on the peninsula.
Mr. MCHUGH. I hate to send the wrong message, particularly to the communist Chinese.
Mr. BROOKES. If you go back to the days when I was at the Pentagon, the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), we talked about increased stationing time, having additional aircraft carriers on station in the Pacific. And people are looking back at those documents, and we are still talking about it by forward deploying an aircraft carrier to Hawaii. But that should also bring a comfort to people.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And also, our relationship with Singapore is very strong, and our presence is very strong in that part of the world. So that may make people feel a little more comfortable.
Mr. MCHUGH. Dr. O'Hanlon, you alluded several times about your lack of total support of the Administration's Korean policy, if I could put it that way. I think you would put it differently. Rather than engage you in a debate point by point, I would appreciate hearing from you what you think we should be doing, whether it is similar or dissimilar to the current Administration policies. What steps do you think we should be taking?
Mr. O'HANLON. What I think we should try to do, to use an old adage that Secretary Rumsfeld likes, is, when you have a problem you can't solve, enlarge it. If we focus on the nuclear issue alone, I think we are bound to make no progress. President Bush has a principled and understandable position, complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament first. You do that first, North Korea, and then we will talk about other benefits. I understand that position. They are in violation of three treaties that require them not to have nuclear weapons. They are a Stalinist regime that has proven it is dangerous, and the President is right to be tough. If you focus on that issue alone, the North Koreans will not play ball because they know we are not going to really exercise our preemption doctrine toward them.
We don't have the forces to maintain an occupation even if we do have the forces to do a strike. The South Koreans don't want that. We don't want the carnage. We are not going to preempt. The plutonium has been moved from Yongbyon, and therefore, the military threat is not really credible.
And moreover, the North Koreans feel, in my judgment, this is about their only state asset, nuclear weapons. And they are going to have to get something pretty good for them before they give them up unless they are afraid they are going to be overthrown, and fear motivates.
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So we have a problem we can't solve. We have a catch22. Nobody is prepared to make the first move. That is my assessment and my prediction of where we will go from here. So my proposal would be, let's test the North Koreans to see if they want reform in a more fundamental way. The Vietnamese have been doing for the last couple of decades, the way communist China has been doing. None of these countries would top any of our lists of our favorite countries in the world, but they are a lot better than they used to be. They have reformed from within a communist system. I believe we should try to push the North Koreans to cut conventional military forces, expand their economic zones of entrepreneurial activity, eliminate their chemical and missile forces.
And if they do all of that and come clean on the nuclear weapons, we should be very upfront about our willingness to engage them, step by step, with much more trade and lifting of trade sanctions and diplomatic ties. There are ways to do this step by step. I know I have thrown a lot on the table for one big grand bargain proposal. There are ways to do it in a more step-by-step way, but you have to lay out the broad vision and make it clear to the North Koreans that, if you want major benefits from the United States, we are prepared to offer you specific benefits, but only to the extent you verifiably change your system, not just the nuclear weapons; conventional, chemical, missile and even economic matters have to be addressed. And if you are prepared to reform your country, we are prepared to help.
Mr. BROOKES. Mike and I have a different sense of reality about North Korea. And not to take any more of the committee's time, but I justit is too big. It is a bridge too far with North Korea right now. If we look at our own experience since 1994 with North Korea, for 4 years, they may have played within the Agreed Framework, and then starting in 1998, they began cheating on their program. They are one of the world's largest proliferators. They are not interested in reform but maintaining the status quo.
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As long as they have money coming in, it is basically a Mafia state. They are involved in drug running, methamphetamines. They are state sponsors of drug trafficking. They are counterfeiting American currency. Matter of fact, I understand that we had to change our $100 bill because they were so proficient at counterfeiting our bill.
The human rights situation is abysmal. The current regime is not interested in changing, and I think the Administration is trying to leverage other countries, especially China, which was a free rider on the previous agreementChina didn't give one nickel towards the 1994 Agreed Framework. And that is critical because they are really the swing donor, and they are the ones that have the greatest amount of influence in North Korea.
So setting up this framework, where you are including Russia and North and South Korea, Japan, and you perhaps have an opportunity to influence them in the wrong direction, I agree with Mike in the sense that we would like to get all of this. But I think it is a bridge too far with North Korea, that the goodwill on our sideand the skepticism is so incredibly high in the international community regarding that regime that they have to show some sort of honesty and integrity in dealing with these agreements. And actually, they are in violation of four agreements, not three international agreements, on the nuclear program.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank both of the witnesses for being with us, and my question might be a little different in that it has to do with the morale of our troops. And I think one of you alluded to that.
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Normally, the tour of duty for Korea is an unaccompanied tour for a year. Some were being sent to Iraq for another year. That means that there will be two-year periods when they are away from the families. I know, when a single soldier enlisting to the military, you enlist him. But once he gets married, you have to enlist the family, as well. What impact will this movement of troops from Korea have on the troops themselves and their families? Has that been considered?
Mr. O'HANLON. Part of my concern, though, is I think even though we are asking a lot of these people right now, in broader terms, we need to draw on the whole U.S. Army to help in Iraq. And my hope is that, once these people finally do get home, we will let them stay for awhile.
That is why I strongly support Congressman Skelton and this committee's interest in expanding the size of the Army. We need to have a big enough Army so that by 2006, 2007, we don't need to send these same soldiers who first went to Korea and then went to Iraq, send them back to Iraq already, again, maybe after a few months at home. That is the cycle we are on right now. In my mind, it is unconscionable.
And even if we can't prove from the recruiting and retention statistics that it is producing a statistic, we have to worry that it might. And let us take out the insurance now, instead of risking a break in the all-volunteer force. To me, it is a simple matter of insurance. If there is a possibility that we are going to break the force with this current tempo, we should take steps now to reduce the chances. That is the concept of insurance. That is the concept of prudent planning.
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General Schoomaker and Secretary Rumsfeld seem to want to have demonstrable evidence that we are breaking the force before they take any urgent measures to increase its size. I think that logic is entirely wrong with respect to them both, because once you have a crisis, it is too late to fix it using the draft or anything but the draft. It is too late to fix it using the all-volunteer concept because people aren't going to want to join. Once you get to that point, it is too late to fix it. So you want to fix it now. And that is why I strongly support increasing the size of the Army right now even as we also draw upon these other units, like the 11th in Fort Irwin and the OP4 at Fort Polk and the 25th in Hawaii and Washington, which is normally, as you know, reserved for a Korea contingency. I think we are doing the right thing to draw on all these forces for Iraq, but we also need to increase the size of the Active Duty force because we can't afford to send back those soldiers after a potential two-year tour from home. We can't afford to send them back for a third year by 2006 and 2007.
Mr. ORTIZ. If we were toand I think the committee has talked about increasing the end strength to maybe 30,000, 40,000. The other problem that we have is the equipment. The equipment that we have is in need of maintenance. We have a huge backlog of maintenance. How are we going to deal with that. It is a big, big ball of wax, like you say. We need to start preparing for it now. And chairman Hefley and I, of course, look at the maintenance problems and the maintenance equipment. And in many instances, the equipment is left behind in Iraq and is not coming back. And it is justI wish we could have an answer immediately to address this problem, but it will take some time and I agree with you; we better start planning now. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Bartlett.
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Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Thank you gentlemen, both, for your testimony.
How many troops do we have stationed in Taiwan?
Mr. O'HANLON. Zero.
Mr. BROOKES. Zero.
Mr. BARTLETT. Do you think that the Chinese doubt our intentions to come to the defense of Taiwan?
Mr. BROOKES. I believe that the Chinese understand the Taiwan Relations Act. I think administration after administration has made it quite clear about our intentions and the importance of a peaceful resolution to Taiwan's future and that the use of force is not acceptable.
President Bush has gone further on Good Morning America in April of 2001. He saidnot quoting him, but paraphrasing himwe will do whatever is necessary if China were to use force against Taiwan. I think you have had briefings. There is a robust defense relationship between the United States and Taiwan. And I think it is critical that we continue to forward that message.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I wrote about that yesterdayMondayin my New York Post column about the Pentagon's report, the report that comes to you on China's military. But I think it is very important that not only the United States, but others, such as Japan, even India, make their concerns known to the Chinese about their military build-up. I think that is one of the reasons that the Chinese todaywe have the peace and stability that we have in the Taiwan Strait because the United States has been very clear about it.
Mr. BARTLETT. If we can have no troops stationed in Taiwan and the Chinese understand that we would come to the defense of Taiwan, why can't we make that same case for Korea? Why do we have to have 37,000 of our people in Korea to send the message to North Korea that we are going to be there if we need to be there? We have clearly sent that message to Taiwan. Why can't we send that same message to Korea?
Mr. BROOKES. I stated it in my testimony that the real tripwire is the Mutual Defense Treaty. We don't have troops in Australia. We don't have troops in the Philippineswell, we do have some now training. We left in 1992.
So I think that is a possibility. I am not advocating that we pull all of our troops out of South Korea, because we are dealing with a different sort of individual in the north. Kim Jong Il's worldview I am not sure we completely understand. They are still bent onthe Chinese are at least trying to pursue a political resolution to the issue of Taiwan. They have not taken force off the table, but I think we are dealing with a completely different set of circumstances when we are dealing with North Korea, and our presence is symbolic, and I think it is important in South Korea.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BARTLETT. He may be crazy. I am not sure he is an idiot. He has to understand that we had no troops stationed in Iraq. We now have troops in Iraq. I would think that he could get that message, couldn't he? I cannot understand how reducing our troop strength in South Korea is calculated to encourage the North Koreans to mischief. Certainly, they can look at Taiwan and look at Iraq, where we had no troops and now have a major presence there. Don't you think they can understand that?
Mr. BROOKES. I think there is one significant difference. China has not had the capability to take military action against Taiwan until recently. In fact, for many years, Taiwan had a superior military capability, and there is 100-mile piece of ocean in the Taiwan Strait that separates the mainland from China.
North Korea is very different. It is a continental war sort of scenario. And North Korea has the capability to march across the DMZ with a million men. In very short order, they have 700,000 of them within 100 miles of thekilometers of the DMZ.
But in the near future, as you saw from the report from the Pentagon, China will have the capabilitytheir military capability will be superior to that of Taiwan's. So the situation may be different. So they are not completely analogous.
Mr. BARTLETT. Do you think we will then station troops in Taiwan because China may have a superior military capability?
Mr. BROOKES. I don't think that is necessarily necessary.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BARTLETT. Why is it necessary in Korea?
Mr. BROOKES. I think I was trying to explain that. Right now, China does not have the capability to undertake an amphibious invasion of Taiwan, but they would be able to strike them with missiles and other things, but we may decide that.
I mean, at this point, I think what we are doing now, 12,000 troops giving us greater flexibility is right. In the future, if things change next yeartwo years later, if the North Korean military collapses, the regime collapses, perhaps it will not be necessary to have U.S. troops there. But I think, at this point, I can't predict the future. At this point, I think it is necessary to have some. And I think it is different, regarding China and Taiwan.
Mr. O'HANLON. I like the spirit of your question in asking fundamental questions.
I would agree with what Mr. Brookes has said, but I would also add, over the long-term, I would see U.S. forces in Korea as a strategic asset of the United States if they are the right type, not just for the Korean Peninsula but for the region as a whole. And I think we should think about this force relocation and reduction plan partly with an eye toward longer-term regional issues. And part of why I like the spirit of this is it is moving things southward, making them less focused on the DMZ, less focused on the North Koreans, and that sort of presence is what we are going to want even if we can deal successfully with the North Korean threat and somehow it goes away.
Mr. BARTLETT. I am concerned that if we put 37,000 troops everywhere, and one of our friends is threatened, we are going to be bled dry.
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Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. [Presiding.] I thank the gentleman. Gentleman from Texas, Mr. Reyes.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am, too, a little puzzled at how we are going about this, and I say that because, having had the opportunity to travel many times into the region, Korea, Japan, all the Pacific rim area, we have been constantly told how important our presence is there and how much of a deterrent it is, not just against North Korea, but China and, in some cases, even Russia.
It seems to me that we have picked a terrible time to try to sell removing 12,000 troops or whatever the figure may be, because that figure keeps changing. To do this, it is a continuation, in my opinion, of not doing what we say and not strategically thinking of the impact that our actions will create for our allies.
In that vein, I have two questions that I want both of you to comment on. The first one is, what impact or what impacts will this create on our allies in terms of their perceived threats to their national security, you know, talking about Japan, Taiwan and all the different countries that we have been discussing here this morning?
And then the other question I have is, where else should we be looking at pulling out of in terms of the military presence? What other parts of the world? We have, for instance, 400 troops in the Sinai. We have troops in over 100 different countries. What other things should beshould we be considering if, in fact, we are pulling back from these regions of the world because we think that through technology and our capability with weapons and response times is such that we can have the kind of presence instantly wherever we are needed? So if you could comment on those two questions.
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Mr. O'HANLON. Couple of things to say. One, I do think we have made mistakes on how we have handled this. And I think, in particular, Secretary Rumsfeld was knownat least if you listen to a lot of the media and if you listen to a lot of the insiders in this businesswas actually pushing this sort of a force reduction plan a couple of years ago without full coordination with our ally in South Korea or with the rest of the U.S. Government for that matter.
I admit, I don't have hard proof of this, but it has been widely perceived in the region to have been the case. And you combine that with Mr. Rumsfeld's willingness to be tough on certain allies that he didn't agree with on the Iraq issue or other matters, and it did raise some worries in Seoul. And I don't believe that South Koreans are particularly reassured or happy by the way in which this was done.
So there is plenty of room for critique in my judgment. The ultimate plan makes good sense. So I am not defending how we got there, but I think the logic of the plan itself does make good sense.
And to tie this into your other question, if you look around the world where we have forces, the ROK is still going to be number three on the list, not counting Iraqnumber three on the list after Germany and Japan, of our largest troop presence overseas. I prepared a short table late in the day yesterday. The policy was announced quickly, and the hearing was announced quickly, and I don't know if it got to you all.
But if you look at major force capabilities of the United States around the world, there are only eight or ten places where you have truly big numbers, and most of them are in Europe. And in the Asia Pacific region, it is just Japan and Korea. These are the places we need to look if we are concerned about finding more troops to maintain the mission in Iraq or reducing our presence for some other reason, perhaps such as the one that Congressman Bartlett was alluding to earlier.
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I do think that the same logic that makes me want to take that brigade out of Korea, now, actually, should slow us down in any changes in Germany. Mr. Rumsfeld is known to want to make these broad changes in Germany partly so he can rotate more forces into the new NATO members. So he wants to take forces out of well-established bases where people are deployed with their families at a fairly comfortable known location and put them in these bare-bones locations in Eastern Europe where we are going to have even more deployment, even more time away from family, even more of what the Army cannot afford at this moment.
So I think Mr. Rumsfeld may need to slow down his European plan, but I think the Korea part makes good sense. The Europe part, if he were to implement it as it has been described in the press, would make our operational deployment worse. But the Korea part, I believe, can make it better, and that is why, in the end, I support it.
Mr. BROOKES. The problem with moving forces, there is never really a good time. And if you look at Korea as an example, they have elections, and there is never a good time to do that.
I would want, for the record, to dispute about what Mike said about coordination. I served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia-Pacific Affairs in 2001 and 2002 in this Pentagon. And I was the progenitor of the future of the alliance talks that are still being worked on. And Secretary Rumsfeld and Minister of National Defense Kim Tong-sin in December of 2001 agreed to talk about these sort of things. And there was plenty of coordination going on within the agency and Bush Administration. There were lots of talks going on with the Koreans about trying to meet the requirements of the new security environment.
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So this is not a surprise. I think there was some hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing coming out of the coordination problems in South Korea between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Defense. I am not sure that their coordination was asand I can't be sure of that, but I sense from some of the things I saw in the press that they may have not coordinated as well.
But within our own interagency with the National Security Council, the Department of Defense as well as the Department of State, there is no doubt in my mind, since I was there and created this dialogue, that that did take place, and I assume that is still going on.
I think what we are doing here is we are moving pieces around the chess board. We still have to have the same sort of capabilities. By reducing troops, we may have to increase our military capability in some parts of the world. We are doing that. And one of the things you have to do is you have to step back and not look at Korea like through a soda straw. We are talking about forward deploying additional assets to Guam and Hawaii, which will help us overcome with the distance we deal with in the Pacific.
These capabilities will still be there. Additional carrier presence, when you are talking about a carrier battle group, if you are moving that from 1.0 to 1.3, you are talking about another 10,000 troops, sailors and airmen in the region at a time. These sort of things can make up with it, but are moving pieces around the chess board in trying to see where your forces need to be, to be as close as possible to the world's hot spots.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It doesn't necessarily make sense, I think, for our troops to be in Germany, where we have 73,000 troops, where we can't train very well. It may not be necessarily hospitable to our own policies. We may have trouble moving forces in or through these countries. We suffered that with Turkey during the Iraq War. So we have to find places where our troops can be flexible and agile and they are in politically hospitable environments. So I think moving our forcesand I think one of the other large concentrations is in Britainperhaps moving them in the direction of the Mediterranean or the Middle East makes sense. Perhaps moving our forces in Germany to some of these places in Bulgaria, Hungary or Romania makes sense, and then having a number of places where we have agreements where we can get into these places rather quickly.
I don't believe we need a large troop contingent in Central Asia, but we should have the ability to have access to these bases in case Afghanistan goes bad, and we have to deal with those sort of things. I think what the Pentagon is doing is really taking a step back and moving away from our Cold War posture. The likelihood of a war in Europe is about zero. We should look at our commitments to Bosnia. We have 3,000 or so troops there. I think what they are doing is a zero-based review which makes ultimate sense.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The distinguished gentleman from Colorado, Mr. Hefley.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
One of you mentioned earlier that there are some in Korea that would like us out all together, and I don't have a very good feeling about how big that is. Everywhere we are, I am sure there are some people that would like us out. Is this a major movement? Do we hear of demonstrations sometimes? My attitude is, I don't want to be in any country that doesn't want us. But, by in large, does the country want us, and how big is the anti-movement?
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Mr. BROOKES. I think a lot of the younger generation have concerns about the American presence. They call them the 386 generation. They are in their 30's and went to college in the 1980's and were born in the 1960's. They also use the 386 as the old moniker for the chip, for the computer chip, the speed of the computer, because they are completely internet literate. In fact, a lot of the politics and the political campaigning runs around the Internet.
Some of these young people did not suffer the destruction of the Korean War and don't remember it very well and don't understand or didn't feel it the same way as their parents did, the destruction and devastation of the Korean War, so they have different views. They look at North Korea perhaps a little bit differently because they didn't see the Korean war. They see them a little bit more benignly. They see them as kindred brothers and sisters of the north, potential trading partners. So I think that they look at things differently.
I wouldn't say it is a vast majority of the country, but there are a significant number of young people that have concerns about the American presence. And that is why I think what we are doing there while we are consolidating and reducing our troop presence will probably make us better neighbors and perhaps quiet those voices that would like us to leave.
Mr. O'HANLON. I would agree with that.
I would simply add, there is a very good recent report that came out of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), but Derek Mitchell and others did this study in which they showed public opinion trends in South Korea over the years toward the alliance and toward the United States. Things are certainly a bit lower now than they have been, but they are a little better than they were one, two, three years ago. And I think if we continue in the direction we are headed by taking this facility out of Seoul and otherwise reducing most of the aspects of our footprint, it should help.
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We have to keep asking fundamental questions. Is our North Korea policy something that South Korea is comfortable with. With all due respect to Mr. Brookes, I would submit the answer is, no. Similarly with China, not that we are trying to please China in this particular conversation, but if we want China's help with North Korea, we have to show the Chinese that we have a policy of diplomacy that has got a decent chance of success and showing some flexibility.
Right now, with both South Korea and China, we don't have their complete confidence on our North Korea policy, and that is going to affect how much the young South Korean generation wants us around. So I think we have to keep paying attention to this issue, but on balance, I think we can still sustain this alliance.
It is a remarkable alliance. Two democracies separated by almost 10,000 miles and by huge cultural and other differences and yet united in values and in history. I think, on balance, those forces will prevail if we manage the alliance well.
Mr. HEFLEY. Politicians respond to the public. And so when people run for office there, do they run on the platform of, ''We are going to get the Americans out''? Are we forcing ourselves upon their government, or is their government saying to us, ''We have to have you''?
Mr. O'HANLON. Mr. Brookes probably knows the details better than I do. No major party in South Korea wants us out. The ruling party does want to show more South Korean independence, and this is one more area where I would be critical of Bush Administration diplomacy, not Mr. Brookes, but the President, of course, when the Nobel prize-winning South Korean president came here in March 2001 and Mr. Bush almost seemed to go out of his way to disagree with the Sunshine Policy of Kim Dae-Jung in a way that probably could have been handled much more adeptly. Those sorts of things make people awfully nervous.
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And I think we have to worry that there could be a turn against the United States. But right now, it is not in the sense of wanting us out. It is the sense of wanting a little more of their own ability to call the shots in how we deal with North Korea and how we deal with military base issues.
Mr. BROOKES. I would just say, Congressman, that there has been some concerns in the past about South Korean politicians using anti-Americanism for political purposes. I won't go into any specifics, but there have been concerns about that.
But I do think, on balance, the South Koreans understand that the mutual benefit of this relationship. But there have been some spikes. There was a very regrettable incident a few years ago when two young girls were killed during military maneuvers by American GIs. That caused a tremendous spike in anti-Americanism. And those sort of things will happen, unfortunately. And so we will see these sort of spikes. But I think, on balance, that the majority of South Koreans support us being there and see it as a mutually beneficial relationship.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Could you just expound on that a little bit, because one thing that we pay attention to is political trends. And theif you can look five or ten years down the line, if the theme I have taken from your answers to Mr. Hefley is that there is a trend, that the younger folks don't have that strong bind or tie to the United States that their forebearers had that fought side by side with us, where do you think this is going? Do you think the political apparatus can support an American presence in ten years?
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Mr. BROOKES. I think so. Mr. Chairman, it also depends on where North Korea is at. If the regime collapses tomorrow, I mean, everything could be different. So, obviously, we are dealing with hypotheticals. And we are still assuming that North Korea is a threat in a similar situation.
I would say that I think that they can. We probablylike in any place, I mean, we are even looking at adjusting some of our base structure in Japan to deal with the issues of Okinawa. So I mean, we have to be good neighbors, but I think that as long as North Korea is a threat, that the government in Seoul will support the presence of Americans. I am not sure in what sort of numbers and what sort of numbers we will actually need, but I don't think that it isthat we are moving in the direction of a complete U.S. withdrawal.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentlelady from San Diego, Ms. Davis.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you all for being here. Just following up for a second, because you had mentioned in your notes, Mr. Brookes, that that Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea has long demanded that we leave. And I wanted you to expand on that a little bit.
We have talkedthe young peopleI had thought this was probably more recent. And I am wondering, to what extent is that sentiment really tied to the nuclear arms race and whether or not we pull out before that issue is resolved in the minds of South Koreans?
Mr. BROOKES. Well, the North Koreans have many, many demands. Of course, I recommend that anybody who wants to get an idea of what the regime is like go to their web site which is run out of Japan. It is KCNA dotmaybeI forgot exactly, dot CO dot Japan, or something like that. But they have this tremendous rhetoric and they call the South Koreans puppets and we are imperialists and they are running dog lackeys and all this sort of stuff. So the idea that they would ask us to move outbecause they see us as an occupying force. I mean, this is all propaganda on the part of the North Koreans. So this is not something very unusual. But they have made this demand.
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In my testimony there, I threw this out as a possibility that maybe North Korea would see this as a gesture of goodwill. I am not sure that is the case. Although, today they did announce, North and South Korea, that they would stop blaring propaganda messages into each other's countries. They have this sort of ongoing battle at the border there, where they broadcast messages over loud speakers into each other's countries. If you have ever been up to the DMZ, you may have actually heard that. But there is a possibility that our withdrawal willcould mollify the North Koreans, but I doubt it.
In fact, I think shortly after we announced this they actually said we were pulling back from the DMZ because we wanted to have more capability and it was because we wanted to undertake a first strike against them.
So I don't see that the reduction of 12,500 troopsand my understanding is that this 3,600 that is supposed to go to Iraq is part of that 12,500 I heard somebody say that they thought it was in addition. But I think it is a total of 12,500. I don't think it undermines our ability to deal with the North Koreanthe nuclear problem, because I don't think it undermines our military capability or our deterrence capability.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. If we didn't need the troops in Iraq, do you think we would be talking about this issue?
Mr. O'HANLON. My guessmaybe it is easier for me to speculate, although you may want to chime inbut my guess is that yes, we would be talking about it, but we might not have made the decision.
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My own sense of the bureaucratic politics is that the U.S. Army supports this, at least large elements of the U.S. Army, because they need the troops in Iraq. If it had not been for that, there might have been greater nervousness about seeming to reduce our capability in Korea right in the middle of a crisis. Because the first order impression is not very logical. It doesn't seem to make sense. On the other hand, I think we have enough capability remaining, I think we are improving our forces. The South Koreans have improved theirs. All the factors we have been discussing this morning suggest that we can compensate for that. But you still might not actually do it unless you had another overall imperative. I think Iraq is precisely that imperative.
We would still want to be talking about moving the forces south. I think that plan makes very good sense regardless of what is happening in Iraq. But taking out 12,500my own guess is it might not happen if it weren't for the need to have more forces available for the Iraq development.
Mr. BROOKES. My view is that when I went to the Pentagon early on, we talked about the need for more strategic flexibility for our forces in Korea. So Iraq was not an issue at that point back in 2001, but we felt that these forces could not be used anywhere else. And they might need to be used somewhere else at some point. We weren't thinking about Iraq at that point.
So this flexibility issue has been on the table, at least in the mind of Pentagon thinkersor let's just say myself; I don't want to speak for the Administration, that we are talking about the need for strategic flexibility of our forces in Korea in case we needed them some place else. This is before 9/11.
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Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. You mentioned the right type. I am wondering about boots on the ground versus the air power. Is there any concern that we wouldn't have the accessibility of air power or that we needed to strengthen that in the region before moving the troops out?
Mr. BROOKES. I think that there will definitelywe did thisI think we moved some troops out of the regionI think we deployed the aircraft carrier out of Japan to support Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. We shifted assets from the United States. I think we had some AC130 gunships that were forward deployed, I think we had some strike fightersF15 strike fighters out of Alaska Air Command came down. We put some B2s, I think, into Guam. We did a number of things. It is moving the pieces.
So the military capability, because we understand itbecause we had to move one asset out of the region, was backfilled by another military capability. But I am kind of stretching my memory there, because it is going back a few years. But I know we did move assets into the region when we moved the aircraft carrier, forward deployed it to the Afghanistan theater.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Just finally, the issue of Japan, whether they would feel a need to further militarize if we did this.
Mr. O'HANLON. I don't think that Japan would. I think Japan's moves toward re-engaging militarily are very small and incremental, regardless. And we all know the debate that has been going on in Japan over having 600 forces in Iraq. It is a remarkable step for Japan, but you see how much debate there is over that specific issue.
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One more point I might make is, of course, South Korea is willing now to help us a great deal in Iraq, which suggests that there is something strong to the alliance. I hope very much that that deployment continues on the path it is supposed to be. That is one more reason why I think the U.S. ROK alliance, even though it is going through a difficult period is still in pretty good shape.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Miller.
Mr. MILLER OF FLORIDA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I apologize. I may have been out of the room for some of the questions, but I have not heard a whole lot of commentthe comment is about the 12,500 troops that we are taking out, but not the amount of South Korean troops that are going to be left that are there today that are trained. I think the numbers, according to General Myers, is 23let's see. I think it iswell, a significant amount of Active and Reserve divisions that the South Koreans are going to have.
And my question is these folks have been training for a long time for the time when the United States would, in fact, be removing the troops. So my question is, yes, the United States leaves, but there is a backfill of troops that are already there that should be able to handle any type of conflict that may happen on the ground.
Mr. BROOKES. My understandingI don't know the number of divisions, but it is about 680,000 troops in South Korea and the South Korean military. And a significant number, I think it may be as many as three million reservists. It is probably higher than we have here in the United States because of the possibility of war there. But they are facing 1.2 million North Koreans.
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I think the South Koreans, especially with some of these new systems they are buying, they decided to buy the F15, the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), they are buying P3s. They are beefing uptheir air and naval assets is where they have not been so strong. That is where we really bring the strength to the fight is because of our naval and our air assets. But they are looking at these things, as well.
But they are capable of dealing with the North Korean threat because of the tremendouswe are talking about vintage Soviet equipment in the North Korean Army. It is in bad shape. I have been to North Korea. I have seen some of this stuff. It is like one of the world's largest military museums, the North Korean armed forces.
So they are capable of dealing with it. And I think they are trying to do more. I mentioned that they are going to increase their defense budget next year hopefully by 13 percent. They are still less than three percent GDP. So they can do more in that respect. I think the idea is that the President wanted them to do more for their own national security and hopefully they will increase their capabilities to deal with the North Korean threat.
Mr. O'HANLON. I am glad you made the point. I agree very much with what Mr. Brookes has said. You can also add a number of other systems they purchased there, T88 tank, which is a late 80's modification of our M1much of the same technology, very precise, night vision-capable and so forth. Counter artillery capability, still not enough, but a lot more than they used to have.
One of my favorite games is to sit around with other military people and play a ranking system: how would you rank this country's military in the world. I think South Korea is definitely in the Top Ten, and maybe in the top six or eight in the world today in terms of the overall quality of its military. It is a fantastic armed force. A long ways to go and they should be spending more, but they are tremendous. I have great confidence that they could hold off an initial onslaught.
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I think, however, if they had to go on the offensive on their own to overthrow the North Korean regime, which I think most of us would agree would be the appropriate strategic objective should another invasion be attempted by North Korea, at that time we would want to help. Because if we helped, it could go a lot faster. That would reduce casualties drastically. The South Koreans could probably win an all-out slugfest, even on the counteroffensive, but I would rather not take the chance and I would rather not see deterrence fail because the North Koreans disagree with my assessment.
Mr. WELDON. Would the gentleman yield? Just to clarify for our colleagues, the chairman and I have sat through a briefing on our military on what would occur if there was a battle between the north and the south. And to think that somehow this would be a cake walk is clearly a misconception. And we would win it, but it would clearly cause significant casualties both to the U.S. and South Korean people.
And, furthermore, I really question you calling their military a museum. I mean, the No-Dong missile and the Taepo-Dong missile are very capable systems. No-Dong is being sold around the world. That would be their weapon of choice. So to think that somehow there is a confrontation that we are just going to be able to walk over and defeat them is just not, in my opinion, the case. And the No-Dongs, I think, would be the first they would start launching at Seoul and they would inflict terrible casualties.
Mr. BROOKES. The No-Dong's range exceeds the Korean Peninsula so it wouldn't be used againstit wouldn't be used. It would be more useful against American forces in Okinawa or Japan. But its range exceeds
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Mr. WELDON. So you say that they would use no missiles in attacking the south?
Mr. BROOKES. They would use Scud missiles. They have both the
Mr. WELDON. Well, the Scud and the
Mr. BROOKES. Okay. You meant Scud. Okay, that is different. The No-Dong is different. That is a medium-range missile. The Scud is the short-range ballistic missile. So there is a difference there. And we do believeno, you are absolutely right. I think that is one of the important things that they move ahead with PAC3 and air defense capability to deal with that threat specifically. But on your specific point about No-Dong, that wouldn't be
Mr. WELDON. But your point was that this wasyou used the term ''museum.'' I would characterize that the North Koreans have more than museum relics.
Mr. BROOKES. Oh, no, it is a very dangerous army. And I apologize if I have mischaracterized it. But as far as the conventional forces are, they are. They are using vintage Soviet equipment. They can barely make it move around. They do have the world's largest SOF forces, special operations forces, at about 120,000. They do have a very prodigious military capability. They have about 10,000 artillery pieces aimed at Seoul, with which unclassified estimates say they could rain 500,000 rounds of artillery on Seoul in the opening hours of any conflict. They are all rivetted into hardened positions. They have chemical weapons. They may have offensive biological weapons program. And they may have nukes. I didn't mean to understate it, but I was basically talking about their conventional forces. So that was just a characterization that I used. If you don't agree, I apologize.
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The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you just one question on that and then we will go to Mr. Larson. But it is the opinion of both of you, I take it, that without the United States basically the one division-plus which we have got over there, you have got some 22 South Korean divisions which are effective and at least equipped with what I would call mid-modern systems.
It is your opinion that they by themselves, the 22 South Korean divisions, are well capable of defending, if not taking, North Korea, but well capable of defending South Korea without the American Second Division.
Mr. O'HANLON. I would say yes and no. Yes, I believe they could stop North Korea from taking Seoul. But as Mr. Brookes has just mentioned and many of you have mentioned in the course of the hearing, North Korean artillery, even where it is today, can cause unimaginable damage to Seoul. What we want to do in any war, if we have to fight it, is, of course, to take out that artillery as quickly as we can, which places a premium on American air power, other kinds of precision strike weapons, some of our counter artillery capability.
So I would want to have a more modern force. Even if the South Koreans might be able to hold the defensive line, they cannot prevent that artillery over their heads and devastating Seoul at the same time.
The CHAIRMAN. But South Korean tactical air (TACAIR) is fairly substantial, is it not?
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. O'HANLON. It's getting better, but it is not enough and it is still not modern enough. There are going to be several thousand artillery tubes that we are going to want to take out, and we are going to need a lot of TACAIR to do it.
The CHAIRMAN. So you think that really the American TACAIR piece may be the most important piece that we provide in the Korean problem?
Mr. O'HANLON. The first few days I would say yes.
Mr. BROOKES. I think what we bring to the fight, obviously, besides tremendous Army capabilities, but initially would be air and naval assets. Cruise missile assets, things along that line. But the South Koreans are going to buy the F15, so that is a very positive development.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Miller, did you have any further questions? I thank the gentleman from Florida.
Mr. Larsen from Washington.
Mr. LARSEN. Norwegians before Swedes. It is a wise choice, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Brookes, you keep saying that South Korea can do more. They have the proposed 13 percent increase in the defense budget. It might tick up the percentage of GDP going into the defense budget. So it can do more. Can you be specific about what ROK can do in terms of more?
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Mr. BROOKES. Yeah. I would like to see them have a more well-rounded force. They are very heavy ground forces, very capable, the ROKs are very tough, have a tremendous amount of confidence in them. But they could use more naval assets. They are looking at buyingthey have some destroyer programs. They are looking at the KDX3 which will have to be equipped with Aegis, and we also need the greater air assets. They are looking at not only getting the F15s, but they are looking at some air-to-air refueling capability. They need PAC3s, Patriot-3s, counterbattery radar.
So I think what I would like them to do is become a more balanced force with their naval to add to the significant capability of their ground forces by adding better naval and air assets.
Mr. LARSEN. Does South Korea have a strategic interest beyond North Korea that would push them more into navy and air assets? I mean, would these be purchased or developed strictly for the North Korean problem?
Mr. BROOKES. Well, I think these systemsprobably be best to ask the South Koreans of their future intentions. I think they would like to be a regional player. I really do. They have comethink how far they have come in 50 years since the Korean war. The 11th largest economy, a very boisterous open democracy. They have much to be proud of. I think they would like to be more of a regional player. But these systems can also be applied that way. F15s with air-to-air refueling, sea-going destroyersthese sort of things can certainly play a regional role as well beyond North Korea.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. LARSEN. This may have come up in a previous hearing, I am not sure, but the Defense Department has talked about the $11 billion over the next several years in capability investment in South Korea. And maybe we have details on what that would mean; maybe we can't talk about it in this setting, but do you all have an idea of what that $11 billion is going to go to?
Mr. BROOKES. I don't. I heard it was 150 military capabilities. And I would assume perhaps the committee had been briefed on this. But I have not seen anything in unclassified sources that laid that out. I think some of the things we were talking about is probably air defense, PAC3, things along that line that would be needed there on the ground that we can provide that the South Koreans don't currently have.
Mr. LARSEN. Mr. O'Hanlon, going to your book, I was struck by a comment out of your book. You said that it is not that we don't have an approach to North Korea, it is that we don't have an approach to regional partners. That is, trying to give them the incentive to participate. I think we discussed that earlier. One thing you didn't mention, sort of the punch line is that sort of walk through this with North Korea to show whether or not they are going to be good faith partners or not. And when they don't show they are good faith partners, it shows our other regional partners that we have a reason to be tough. It is not just that we are there just to try to negotiate withnegotiate away the nuclear problem on the peninsula, but to show the regional partners that they don't have a partner in North Korea. Is that accurate?
Mr. O'HANLON. Thank you, Congressman. Yes. One of the reasons we proposed this broader agenda is if the North Koreans say no or they consistently show they are not trustworthy in implementing any deal they adopt, we have a much stronger case with the South Koreans and the Chinese and Japanese to put economic pressure at a minimum on the North Koreans.
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Right now, I do not believe we have that capability. And the Chinese also doubt our intelligence on whether North Korea has the uranium enrichment program. So even though, on the one hand, the Bush Administration has done a great job working with China in broad terms, in specific terms, we are not on the same page in dealing with North Korea right now. And the logic of the Six Party Talks, therefore, in my opinion, is not very promising. The idea is right. The concept is right. But right now we are not at a point where it is going to work, in my judgment, because the Chinese and South Koreans both think we are being too inflexible and their loyalties are actually somewhat divided about who they think should make the next step in the negotiations.
Mr. LARSEN. I think, from our perspective, we may look at the U.S. experience with the North Korea over the last ten years and say, what more do we have to show, but that is not the case from our partners in the region.
Mr. O'HANLON. Well, the agreed framework which, of course, was adopted ten years ago, did talk about America lifting trade sanctions and taking North Korea off various list that prevented aid and so forth. This was to the concrete. It was not specific. The North Koreans did a lot of things wrong to give us good reason not to take those steps. But, nonetheless, we did talk about that agenda at that time, but there hasn't been any progress down that path.
So the North Koreans may not want to reform. Mr. Brookes may very well be right. But to the extent that they have an interest in exploring the idea, I think we need to make the incentives a little more clear as long as we demand that they comply with demilitarization accords as a quid pro quo along the way.
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Mr. LARSEN. Quickly, Mr. Chairman, now, taking that and just boiling it down to the 12,000 troops we are talking about, how does that redeployment fit? Does it fit? Should it fit into the broader issues that we are trying to negotiate in that region?
Mr. O'HANLON. It is a tough question. A year ago, I would have opposed this decision. Because a year agothis Bush Administration decision. A year ago I would have wanted the North Koreans to worry that we might actually preempt their plutoniumthere are 8,000 fuel rods at Yongbyon if they didn't negotiate in good faith. Now it is too late. We all know it is too late. There was an American delegation, you know full wellmy colleague, Jack Pritcher, was one of the five this past winter in Yongbyon who saw that the plutonium is gone. We don't have a preemption anymore unless it is all-out war. We have been discussing here, and Congressman Weldon and others in this committee have been focused on this issue, as well, and know full well the implications of an all-out war.
So the preemption option is gone. So to my mind, taking the 12,000 forces out, maybe marginally reduces your capability to preempt, but we are not going to do that any way. And therefore, the negotiation has to be thought of with less of a military card involved than it might have had a year or two ago.
Ironically, the Bush Administration has lost its ability to exercise the military leverage over North Korea that the Clinton Administration actually was able to exercise. It is ironic in many ways. The administration that is thought of as focused on preemption actually has been in some ways softer in its ability to use military leverage against North Korea than the first term of the Clinton Administration right in that period of greatest difficulty for Clinton foreign policy.
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Bill Perry's threats were pretty clear. Now we don't have credible military threats anymore. Therefore, I don't think this 12,000 troop reduction fits into the negotiation strategy very much.
Mr. BROOKES. I just wanted to comment a little bit on Mike's revisionism of history. The preemption thing goes back to Bill Perry and back to the Clinton Administration in 1994, when we were talking about taking strikes there and the idea was to preempt their ability to reprocess these fuel rods, to produce additional fuel rods. But the problem is that it has never really been apreemption on the nuclear program has never been a really good option. Because everybody thinks all you have to do is take out what is going on in Yongbyon, but the fact is that if they have two to three nuclear weapons, or as many as eight now, they are not a Yongbyon.
Okay. They are not putting all their eggs in one basket. They are hidden out somewhere. They have had a uranium program since 1998. At least that is what intelligence believes. I think that is becoming clear under the information we are getting out of Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist, that is not at Yongbyon, either. If you take out Yongbyon, yeah, you may be able to take out some of these 8,000 fuel rods, but there are these other aspects of the program such as two to three potentially weaponized programs or nuclear weapons that are not at Yongbyon and this uranium program.
So I mean, it was always a preemption issue. And the Bush Administration didn't allow that to slip away within the last year. I mean, it depends what you are trying to preempt. If you are trying to preempt the production of additional fissile material or the reprocessing of fuel rods you can go to Yongbyon. But I don't think we have our arms completely around their uranium enrichment program. We are finding that out bit by bit through what Khan has known and other things.
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I would just disagree with Mike's characterization of where we lost the preemption option and if the preemptionif you are just talking about the nuclear issue, was ever a good option for going back to 1994.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, both gentlemen, for being here today. I believe that it is the first time I have ever seen this level of agreement between Brookings and Heritage. Lightning is going to strike. But it really is reassuring, actually, however we got there, that the troop reductions actually are enhancing security in the region instead of diminishing or indicating any lessening of our commitment to security in the region.
I share with Chairman Hunterhe has always had an extraordinary interest in Koreaof an interest in this. And I want to thank, in particular, Curt Weldon. Last year I had the opportunity to go with him on a delegation to the firstone of the first delegations, if not the first real delegation to Pyongyang. He put this together with Congressman Reyes and Congressman Ortiz, Congressman Miller.
It was the view of Congressman Ortiz that our invitation was largely the consequence of the regime in Pyongyang either seeing the light of Iraq or feeling the heat. Whatever the case was, we were there. It was an extraordinary opportunity. While we were there, it also gave us an opportunity to visit South Korea. I visited, again, thanks to Congressman Weldon, the year before.
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I was so impressed at the extraordinarily talented people that we know in Korea, the economy that Peter has pointed out, the 11th largest in the world. What a wealthy, bright, progressive country that is. And I am happy to see that they are largely in support of what is being done.
Additionally, we are very grateful, I saw Korean troops firsthand last month when I visited with the joint U.S. Korean forces at Kabul with the provincial reconstruction team. So Korea has always been with us. Whether it be Iraq or Afghanistan, we appreciate their being strong allies to the United States.
JapanI am happy to learn indeed that they are agreeable to thiswhat I consider a reduction on control, in terms of forces. Additionally, the DPRK, obviously, whatever the case is, will always see ill intent. If you all could touch base, particularly again on China and Russia. With Peter, I am delighted to find out that he speaks Russian. I now understand his professionalism. I didn't learn until today that he is a Naval Academy graduate. If both of you could comment on the neighboring countries of northeast Asia as to China and Russia and their view of the reduction in force.
Mr. BROOKES. I am not quite clear of Russia's views. I have not seen anything on Russia saying anything. I think we were talking about this before. Some of the response has been quite muted because it has not been completed. The negotiations have not been completed. I understand the Department of Defense would like to complete that this month. And Deputy Undersecretary Lawless is out there in the region trying to do that. I guess there are some issues right now about getting enough land around Osan and Pyongtaek and around Camp Humphreys to actually affect the move. So we can decide we can move the troops out, but we still have to find places for the other ones we want to rearrange and people coming out of Yongsan barracks.
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I have not heard a lot out of the Chinese, either, actually. Mostnot much so far. And so it isI don't know if Mike has heard anything about the Chinese. I have not seen much of a reaction. Maybe they are waiting to see how things shake out. I couldn't see the Chinese not liking the idea of less troops in the region or in South Korea. But I have not heard any official reaction from the Chinese government.
Mr. O'HANLON. I agree.
Mr. WILSON. It is a reflection of how far we have come from the Cold War-era where, obviously, the People's Republic of China and the former Soviet Union would be so incredibly interested in every item. But I see it as a level of progress that is being made. Thank you, Mr. Chairman
The CHAIRMAN. Ms. Bordallo.
Ms. BORDALLO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And Dr. O'Hanlon and Mr. Brookes, it is nice to have Guam as the focal point of discussion for once. And I am the representative of Guam. And I listened, Dr. O'Hanlon, to you when I first came in with great interest regarding your comments on building up our military strength in Guam, which I am aware of. And it makes a great deal of sense to me. A U.S. territory, three to four flying hours to the majority of Asian countries, including North Korea, and Taiwan, China. No other United States jurisdiction is as close. And in addition to the nuclear subs and the air wing for Guam, do you think it would make far more sense to have an aircraft carrier placed on Guam because of the distance aspect?
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Mr. O'HANLON. Congresswoman, it is a fascinating idea. I wouldn't want to say yes or no until I saw more analysis offor example, I don't know enough about the ports, the depth of the ports, the amount of space you have got, not just for a carrier, but for escort ships, where an air wing could be stationed. Those kind of questions I have not seen investigated and don't know the answers to myself. But the ideas is intriguing. And it could potentially be quite beneficial if it was logistically feasible.
Ms. BORDALLO. I think wherever you place an aircraft carrier there would have to be a certain amount of infrastructure.
Mr. BROOKES. I actually think we met when I was deputy assistant secretary. You visited me. You were in a different capacity then I think.
Ms. BORDALLO. I was Lieutenant Governor of Guam.
Mr. BROOKES. That is right. Exactly. I was supportive of this. This was part of the Quadrennial Defense Review. I was supportive of putting the submarines and things in there.
I am trying to remember the distances, the steaming time between the West Coast and Asia and Guam. And I do not oppose it. I think it will probably come down to a question of military construction (MILCON), which this committee would probably take up. Because I know there are facilities in Hawaii that can certainly support an aircraft carrier. But I am not sure that there are in Guam at this point. The air facilities are obviously there at Anderson. I am not quite sure. I do not oppose the idea of having more forces, especially a carrier battle group, closer to the region than further.
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Ms. BORDALLO. In my opinion, I think it would certainly make a clear statement to North Korea that we mean business if we are placing an aircraft carrier with that many troops in a close area.
Mr. Brookes, in your written testimony, you suggest that the defense capability of the U.S. forces Korea can be accomplished by the forward deployment of additional air and naval assets to Hawaii and Guam. Can you further expound on the nature of this deployment? Do you think that these assets will likely be permanently stationed or just forward deployed on a rotational basis?
Mr. BROOKES. I am supportive of a permanent deployment. Perhaps I would have chosen different words if I went back to look at it. You obviously looked at it very closely. I do support, as I just mentioned, havingbecause of the distance we deal with in the Pacific and the long steaming times from the West Coast, which is 12 to 14 days to most of the areas we consider to be possibilities of conflict such as the Taiwan Strait or the Korean Peninsula, but putting themGuam is still a distance, too, but it is a heck of a lot closer than San Diego is. So I do support a permanent deployment of our forces.
The CHAIRMAN. But closer to what? That is always the question from San Diego.
Ms. BORDALLO. Dr. O'Hanlon, do you have a comment on that? Well, that was his comment, but do you too feel that they should be permanently deployed?
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. O'HANLON. I think the capabilities we have added in Guam are a great benefit for a number of reasons. I think back to the Congressional Budget Office study that showed that we save money as taxpayers because we can actually have more attack submarine time on station with the attack submarines based in Guam by a long shot, by a factor of at least two per submarine. So if there are somethe submarine issue, if there are some military construction costs associated with it, we will get the savings down the road and they will exceed the cost in the end. Likewise, for many aircraft I think it is worthwhile. You will be a better judge than I of what is politically sustainable on your island and region. I don't know about an aircraft carrier. But what has happened so far, I think, makes very good sense.
Ms. BORDALLO. Well, I have been told that with the attack nuclear subs we expect to have quite a few. We have two now, one coming very soon, I think, before the end of the month, but I have been told from San Diego it would take 12 hours; from Guam 3 hours to North Korea or to any of the Asia areas there. So it makes a great deal of sense to me.
And I travelled with Secretary Rumsfeld when he visited Guam. And I think he was pleasantly surprised at some of the assets that we do have out there. We have a lot of the World War II air fields that are still there, the runways. And so, I want to go on record as saying that the people of Guam are very supportive of increased military strength. And I can't understand for the life of me why we closed bases in 1993 and 1995. I didn't think it was the proper thing to do. Thank you, gentlemen, very much.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Minnesota, Mr. Kline.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, gentlemen, for being here. I associate myself with the remarks of my colleague from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson. It is a delight to have two such distinguished experts from two prestigious think tanks in such happy agreement.
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Very quickly, Dr. O'Hanlon, you were opining that the South Korean armed forces were perhaps sixth or seventh, or eighth or something like that in the world. Would you venture a guess as to the North Korea's position in your game of ranking armed forces?
Mr. O'HANLON. Given the old quote that quality has aquantity has a quality all its own, still probably top 20, certainly top 25 to 30.
Mr. KLINE. So South Koreans are then roughly three or four times better or higher.
Mr. O'HANLON. Well, three or four times higher, but I wouldn't want to say they are that much better. I think if you had to quantify the overall capabilities of each side we know these kind of quantification things are tough, but it is maybe 50 percent better, roughly.
Mr. KLINE. Great. Thank you very much. You have both agreed, as we have just stated, that this is a good idea, moving the forces south from the DMZ and reducing the overall troop strength. For whatever reasons, some emphasis on the possibilities of providing flexibility use in Iraq. Given that, and given, as Mr. Brookes stated, that the trip wire really is sort of a false concept, and reflecting on the comments of my colleague, the subcommittee chairman, Mr. Bartlett, that perhaps zero is a number that one might think about, at least, if you put it in the context of Taiwan, would you, in your think tank capacity, be willing to venture a number that we might be able to go to, givenI understand all the caveats; North Korea is still problematic, still an evil regime and so forth, but what is the number? Could we shrink it another 5,000, another 10,000, just educated guess, over the cost of the next, let's say, 4 years?
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Mr. O'HANLON. Congressman, that is a great question. I wouldn't want to go a whole lot smaller than 20,000. So maybe we can still cut a bit more. But I like the idea of having a full brigade of combat power in South Korea because the South Korean ground forces are one of our great allies. I think not just for the Korean context, but broader regional dynamics, we want to have a large American ground capability there to do mutual training and to otherwise have a very healthy interactive relationship.
For the foreseeable future, I believe our air power does contribute meaningfully to deterrence. I wouldn't want to weaken that. If the Korean problem is ever resolved, perhaps we can keep air power directed more toward the southerly direction and not keep as much air power close to the DMZ. Maybe we can keep Kunsan and not Osan. I do not know what the right decision would be. But I think I want to stay somewhere in the 20's for the foreseeable future.
Mr. SKELTON. Would the gentleman yield? Did you misspeak? You said a full brigade. Don't you mean a full division?
Mr. O'HANLON. Congressman, what I meant was of the two brigades we got there now, we are going to keep one, as you know, as well as the divisional flag. So maybeI said what I mean, but maybe I wasn't clear enough. I would like to see a brigade worth of actual combat troops which is all we are going to have left after we do this change. And then some higher echelon headquarters.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
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Mr. BROOKES. I would say I don't really foresee any desire for a greater reduction, but if you really push meand I am not advocating this
Mr. KLINE. I am pushing.
Mr. BROOKES [continuing]. You would certainly have to have the headquarters element there. And then, I think, you could probably go to something where you had rotational air deployments and ground force deployments to Korea. Because you would want the troops to have the familiarity with operating in that sort of environment, those sort of things. Now, that is all predicated on North KoreaSouth Korea being able to increase its military capability to deal with any sort of greater reductions.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Ryan.
Mr. RYAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That was bells for votes, so I will be very brief. First off, as we are beginning to pursue this, and the relationship really that we have had with China lately, manufacturing and a variety of other issues, human rights violations, which Members of both sides of the aisle have been working on, as we do this, as we are moving the troops out, and I missed the beginning of the hearing, what kind of demands does that put on China to kind of play politics over there on behalf of the United States?
Mr. O'HANLON. Congressman, I am not too worried about the U.S.-China aspect to this change. Again, I am more concerned about the way our broader North Korea policy may be failing to develop a sufficiently unified U.S.-PRC front for dealing with the North Korean nuclear threat. That is where my concerns are.
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But on this force reduction relocation matter, I actually think that if anything, as Mr. Brookes has said, the Chinese are going to exhale ever so slightly, not that we should do them any favors in that regard, not that he meant to imply that I am sure, but it is not going to cause problems for the Chinese, I don't think. I don't believe it is going to weaken our response capability toward the Taiwan Strait either. So it could be a win-win.
Mr. RYAN. I guess my question is that we are going to be in a wayor are we going to be relying on China more now to handle this situation because not only of what we are doing there, but also the situation we are in in Iraq, are we going to be relying on China more?
Mr. BROOKES. I don't think so. Certainly I wouldn't want our bidding be done by the Chinese in that part of the world. I am sure the Chinese wouldn't want us doing their bidding.
Mr. RYAN. Not necessarily doing our bidding, but are we so preoccupied in other areas?
Mr. BROOKES. No, I think we still have the deterrent capability on the Korean Peninsula to prevent a North Korean attack. And should they attack, to ultimately defeat them. So no, I don't think the Chinese will play that role at all.
Mr. RYAN. Diplomatically, when we didn't want to engage North Korea directly there for a while, and we were saying we want multinational negotiations, I guess, isn't that a sign of kind of let China take the lead in that region?
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Mr. BROOKES. I think that China has a tremendous interest in peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula as much as Japan, the United States, South Korea, North Korea or Russia for that matter. I think that they were seen as the appropriate interlocutor because they have more influence with North Korea than anybody, including South Korea. I think they were seen as the appropriate interlocutor to get North Korea to consider other options other than the path that they are taking.
Mr. O'HANLON. My main addition would be I don't have any problem with trying to work very closely with the Chinese on North Korea policy, and most of the Bush Administration Six Party concept I therefore support, but it only works if you have a substantive agenda that the other five countries, us and the South Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians agree upon so we can use the Six Party concept to pressure the North Koreans and make them see the light.
Unfortunately, I don't see that succeeding right now because the Chinese don't think we are being flexible enough, and they are also not necessarily even buying our intelligence estimates about the uranium program.
So therefore, we need to workif we are going to use the Six Party logic, which I think is good logic, we have to develop an agenda that the Chinese fully support. I think they supported the initial idea, but I think that we have slightly parted ways as the concept of complete, verifiable and irreversible disarmament, however noble and principled in one sense, has convinced the Chinese we are not trying hard enough to be flexible and innovative.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. RYAN. I think they have a lot of reason not to trust our intelligence capabilities at this point. So you don't see it as a lack of political capital on our part to be able to deal with the situation? You see it more as strategic opportunity to deal with it among the nations there?
Mr. O'HANLON. Yeah, but I just don't think we have the right agenda, right idea for negotiation. But I don't see that we have somehow taken ourselves out of the equation.
Mr. RYAN. Okay. Thanks. One or two more questions. We are going to be saving billions of dollars down the line as we transfer some of this to the South Koreans? Are we going to be savingnot necessarily saving money, but not spending it in South Koreathey are going to be buying more armamentsand I think I caught the tail end.
Mr. BROOKES. I hope that the South Koreans will continue to buy American whenever feasible because of compatibility between our two systems. If they buy F15s and we have F15s, there could be a tremendous amount of doctrine issues that we can work together, because we will fight with the South Koreans against the North. So I think that is important. They do have some indigenous defense capabilities themselves for manufacturing and they have some fine systems. But it is helpful if they willin some cases they will look at buyingwill look at buying American.
Mr. RYAN. Are there any provisions in law or in the procurement process as far as saying that they shouldafter all this money we have invested and still supplying a decent amount of protection for them, that they should, in some way, look to buy American military.
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Mr. BROOKES. We just hope they will buy the best product, and in most cases, that is an American defense system. But they do have some indigenous capabilities that they do produce for themselves. But they did decide to buy the F15, which was a wise choice on their part.
Mr. RYAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. We have got probably about eight or nine minutes left. I intend to make sure everybody gets a chance to ask questions. So if we have to come back, we will do that. Dr. Gingrey, you are up.
Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will try to keep it brief. I appreciate the fact that we are very limited in time. Again, thank you both of you for being here. I think there has been a very valuable hearing. And I missed some of the questions, so forgive me if this is a repeat. But with the repositioning of the bulk of the Second Division away from the DMZ, will there be any U.S. presence in the DMZ orand should there be, and then the rest of the question is, can you comment a little more on the adequacy of the South Korean military to guard the DMZ? I just wasn't clear.
I realize that, Dr. O'Hanlon, you had mentioned it in your testimony that over 12,000 of our soldiers would be moved south of the Han River and that base relocated out of Seoul into the south of the Han. I really wasn't clear about the number of troops, our troops that would remain in the DMZ. If you could comment on that.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. O'HANLON. I am not sure, Congressman, I am clear, either. I am glad you identified this as a topic for further study, because my understanding is we may have some very small limited capabilities in places like Panmunjom after this. But I think virtually any combat size unit will be moved southward. So we will probably be in the many dozens or low hundreds in the DMZ region and probably not a lot more than that. That is my guess, but I am not really sure.
Mr. BROOKES. I think there has been some recent news that we are turning some of the duties for the joint security area over to the South Koreans and they are going to be taking up some of these duties, some patrolling and things along the DMZ that we previously did that the South Koreans are actually going to pick up.
Dr. GINGREY. You feel comfortable they have increased their capability and we are okay with that?
Mr. BROOKES. They have been working with us side by side for many years and they have the capability to fulfill those functions. Otherwise, I don't believe that we wouldwe do have some other issues they are opening two corridors across the DMZ for traffic to North Korea. That is something that obviously the military folks are looking at very closely, but something that bears watching.
Dr. GINGREY. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to thank the gentleman from Georgia for his questions. Gentlemen, we were thinking about coming back. We thought we would come back. We discovered we are going to have 40 minutes of votes. So it looks like this is a wrap-up here.
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Any final statement you would like to make? I think you have been very, very helpful to the committee. We really appreciate your perspective. And I would like to have, in fact, maybe have a couple more briefings or hearings. If you folks would be available for what we call our morning briefings, kind of an informal thing we have with a few bagels and coffee to let members kick things around, would you be able to come back for those?
Mr. BROOKES. Yes, sir. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. It is a very critical issue for us. It is remarkable that it has been right next to the classified ads in terms of prominence in the media lately. But it has gone by almost unnoticed, the prospective movements of troops. So you have given us a lot of help here. We really appreciate you. Thank you very much. The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:25 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]