October 7, 2009
Full transcript of Ellen Tauscher's remarks and discussion at the 2009 missile defense conference "Missile Defense in Europe: Next Steps."

Speakers:


  • Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council
  • The Honorable Ellen Tauscher, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security

October 7, 2009

FREDERICK KEMPE:  Ellen Tauscher, undersecretary of state for arms controls and international security, said at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on European missile defense, “Much has been written about the president’s decisions, so I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight.  The Obama administration is fully committed to deploying timely, cost-effective, and responsive missile defenses to protect the United States, our deployed forces overseas, as well as our friends and allies from ballistic missile attack, and most importantly for today, our friends in Poland and the Czech Republic.”  I won’t quote you further because you are going to be quoting yourself, and you’re going to be adding to that and expanding upon that.

So to begin our discussion today, Gen. O’Reilly provided an excellent briefing on the technical details and the capabilities of the administration’s new missile defense system.  As I said, we’ll put that up on our Web site so that everyone can have access to it, also people outside the room.

It’s now time to turn to policy and then turn the floor over to Undersecretary Ellen Tauscher to provide our keynote address on the Obama administration’s perspective on missile defense in Europe.

To introduce Undersecretary Tauscher, I am pleased to welcome Gen. Brent Scowcroft, former national security, and more importantly, chairman of the Atlantic Council’s International Advisory Board, and founder of the – and president of the Scowcroft Group.

He has not been silent on the question of missile defense in Europe.  Gen. Scowcroft has helped provide an important measure of bipartisan support by endorsing the administration’s policy in a statement released through the Atlantic Council the day after the administration’s announcement.  In his statement, Gen. Scowcroft said, “I believe it advances U.S. national security interests, supports our allies, and better meets the threats we face.”  It’s my pleasure to turn the floor over to Gen. Scowcroft to introduce Undersecretary Tauscher.  (Applause.)

BRENT SCOWCROFT:  Thank you very much, Fred.  This is not a chore for me; this is a delight.  Despite what Harry Truman says about if you want a friend in Washington, Ellen Tauscher is one of my best friends.  To start with, I find it difficult to think of anyone more suited for the job that she has as the current undersecretary.

I first met her around the turn of the century – that’s a good phrase, isn’t it – (laughter) – at the Verkunde conference, which is now ostentatiously called the Munich Security Conference.  But it was – it started, and for a long time was really a NATO conference to discuss strategic issues involving NATO.  And Ellen was a participant because she was on the House Armed Services Committee.  And it was a wonderful education for someone because you got to mingle, formerly and informally with the NATO partners, with people with a different perspective than the United States on what this is all about, what we ought to do, what we’re doing right, what we’re doing wrong.  And she not only sat and listened, but was an active participant.  And that’s where I got to know her and got so impressed with her.

In Congress, she was a – what – about a 14-year member of the Armed Services, and since 2007, chaired the Subcommittee on Strategy Forces.  There she has been instrumental, for example, in guiding our national thinking on the issues surrounding our nuclear arsenal, its modernization.

And not incidentally, she has two national labs in her district in California: Lawrence Livermore and Sandia, California.  Just incidentally – and this I didn’t know about her – before coming to Washington, to run Congress on matters of defense, she was a Wall Street banker, when it was good to be one.  (Laughter.)  And she was one of the first women to have a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.

I could go on at length – and I have on other occasions – but you want to hear from her, not me.  It’s a real delight to introduce the Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher.  (Applause.)

ELLEN TAUSCHER:  Thank you so much.  Good morning.  Thank you very much, Brent.  This is a very crowded room.  I didn’t know so many people cared about missile defense.  Only kidding.  (Laughter.)  Thank you very much, Brent.  Fred, thank you for your leadership.  I want to thank all of my friends at the Atlantic Council, especially people like Sen. Hagel and others that are here that – your leadership is fundamental to our being sure that we constantly keep refreshed the very, very strong relationship we have, not only with our NATO partners, but across the Atlantic with our friends that are not only trading partners, but certainly are national security partners.I believe NATO is the premier defense alliance in the world, and it’s been my pleasure, Brent, to spend so much time with you.  Anyone that has benefited – I certainly have – from your knowledge and your friendship, you are the fabulous patriot, and I thank you for all that you do for this country and for the people that care about this country.

Gen. O’Reilly, it’s another day, and here we are again.  (Laughter.)  It’s been my pleasure to spend a lot of time with Gen. O’Reilly.  Previously as chairman of strategic forces for the last year, before I came into the administration, we spent a lot of time together, and now that I’m undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, we really spend a lot of time together.  And it’s my pleasure because you are such an asset for us.

Fred, you did talk a little bit about my testimony before my former colleagues the other day.  There’s nothing like going back to the House Armed Services Committee after having left, and having so presciently missed the summer of health-care town halls to go into the administration – (laughter) – to see my colleagues who didn’t have much time this summer to get very much rest, certainly out there working hard.

But it is really important to be here today because there have been so many misconceptions about where we are in missile defense and what we have proposed that I want to be here to discuss President Obama’s missile defense policy.  I want to spend most of my time to focus on the foreign policy aspects.  Hello, Julie.  Ambassador Finley is one of my best friends, and she’s sitting here.  I want to thank you for being here, Julie.

AMBASSADOR JULIE FINLEY:  I wouldn’t miss it.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Oh, thank you.  So I want to spend most of my time on the foreign policy aspects of our approach to missile defense.  However, I do want to take a moment to set the record straight about what the president’s decision is and what it’s not.

Let me begin by stating unequivocally that the Obama administration is committed to deploying timely, cost-effective and responsive missile defenses to protect the United States, our forward-deployed troops, as well as our friends and allies from ballistic missile attack.  Statements by some that President Obama has decided to forego, cancel or shelf plans for the U.S. and European-based ballistic missile defense deployments are simply not true.  The implication that we have abandoned our NATO allies in Europe, that we do not intend to abide by our Article V obligations with NATO, or that we have devalued our treaty obligations to our allies or other security commitments to our friends is also not true.

Moreover, nothing we have done reduces our ability to defend the United States from a potential Iranian or North Korean long-range ballistic missile attack.  We already have a defensive capability against that threat using the existing ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California.  And in fact the radar we are deploying in 2011 will improve our ability to defend against a potential Iranian ICBM.

Finally, there was no attempt to curry favor with the Russian government, or to secure some kind of tradeoff in negotiations for a START follow-on treaty.  There is absolutely no truth to that one either.  This was a decision about the nature of the threat and the optimal system to defend against it, period.  President Obama’s phased adaptive approach to a European-based BMD architecture calls for fielding capabilities in phases that keep pace with the evolving threat to Europe and to the United States.  The flexibility inherent in this approach will provide our allies and the United States the opportunity to ensure that sufficient defense are available when and where they are needed, and ensure we make prudent and cost-effective investments.

The administration’s decision will result in deployment in Europe of a missile-defense system against current threats now.  We will deploy a proven, timely, cost-effective and responsive system to guard against Iran’s short- and medium-range missiles, to make sure that we can defend all of our European allies, not just some of them.

This decision was based on the latest intelligence and what we understand the trends and the threat to be today.  We asked the intelligence community to conduct a very thorough review of the threat and the conclusions they reached today are different from the conclusions that they reached a few years ago.  The intelligence community now assesses that the threat from Iran’s short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, such as the Shahab-3 is developing more quickly than previously projected.  This poses a higher and more immediate threat to our forces on the European continent as well as to our allies.

Iran’s most recently great profit exercise just last week demonstrated Iran’s plan to use these missiles in a conflict and the need for a reliable defense against these threats.  At the same time, the intelligence review also found that the threat of potential Iranian ICBM development has been slower than had been estimated.

Now, all of us understand that there would be a time – that there could be a time when the Iranians surprise us by making better progress than expected on longer-range missiles.  Our intelligence community will obviously closely watch Iranian developments as we move forward.  Even more important is the flexibility that this new architecture provides to protect against the sudden emergence of an unexpected threat.  This is why the president decided to deploy a flexible missile defense architecture in Europe that will evolve to protect all of our European allies using proven technologies, and providing additional protection to the United States.

I know Gen. O’Reilly has already run through many of the dates and numbers associated with our new approach, but they are compelling so I want to briefly reiterate them.  In 2011, we will deploy a missile defense – we will deploy missile defense interceptors in Europe, including SM-3 Block 1A interceptor and a AN/TPY-2 radar to protect Southern Europe from the existing Iranian threat.

I want to particularly note the importance of the AN/TYP-2.  This radar can also provide queuing data that will enhance the capabilities of the ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California against an Iranian long-range ICBM should they suddenly emerge as a threat.  The previous administration’s plan would have provided zero defense against ballistic missile attack until 2017 at the earliest, and even then, not against the shorter-range threats to NATO.

By 2015, we will improve our capabilities by deploying SM-3 Block 1B interceptors on both AEGIS ships and in land-based configurations.  As the threat evolves, we will deploy the more capable SM-3 Block 2A and 2B interceptors to provide greater defense to our NATO allies and the United States.

Under the previous plan, if you fire two interceptors at each Iranian IRBM or ICBM, Iran would have needed only six missiles to overwhelm the system.  Instead, the new approach will deploy a larger, flexible inventory of scores of interceptors to Europe.  I also believe that placing an emphasis on proven capabilities such as SM-3 interceptors will increase the credibility of the United States commitments in the eyes of our allies, and I might add, our adversaries.

In short, our new approach will put more ballistic missile interceptors in Europe sooner and provide more protection to our deployed forces, our allies and friends than the previous plan would have.

Let me now turn to the foreign policy benefits of this architecture.  First, we will put this plan squarely in a NATO context, and as the threat evolves, the system will evolve to protect all of our European NATO allies.  The previous plan failed to provide any protection to our allies who currently face a threat from Iran’s existing force of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.  The NATO alliance, the Atlantic community, now 60 years old, has thrived precisely because it is based on the principle of indivisibility of security:  An attack on one is an attack on all.  We will not protect some of our allies and leave others vulnerable to potential hostile threats.

By pacing the threat and deploying BMD systems to protect allies before they become threatened, we avoid a key problem with the previous plan, which created the impression that there might be two tiers of security among NATO allies.

It is also important in an alliance context because the new architecture shifts the United States in a direction that is more consistent with the position approved by NATO in the summit joint declaration from April of this year, which stated that, and I quote, “Missile threats should be addressed in a prioritized manner that includes consideration of the level of imminence of the threat, and the level of acceptable risk.”

We believe that NATO allies should work together to develop a capability that protects all NATO territory, starting with the most imminent threat while being flexible and adaptive to incorporate expanded or upgraded capabilities to responsibly adjust in a timely fashion as the threat evolves.  We fully intend to work through NATO and hope that NATO will be able to move quickly in building support for our proposed way ahead.

In addition, this new architecture also provides improved opportunities for other allies to participate in the system.  This point perhaps is most important.  Some allies already have assets such as AEGIS ships that could be integrated into this system should they decide to participate.  Now, some of my former colleagues in the House and Senate have alleged that this decision has betrayed our allies.  This is also not true.  The Czech Republic and Poland have been courageous in agreeing to host a defense against these missiles, and we will continue working with them in many areas to broaden and deepen our bilateral relationships.

Now, I will be the first to admit, since I had to jump on a plane at the last minute to fly to Warsaw, Prague, and Brussels in one day that the rollout could have been handled better.  Despite that, the administration’s commitment to Poland and the Czech Republic remains strong.  We have already discussed ways that Poland and the Czech Republic can actively participate in the new BMD architecture.  We offer Poland the opportunity to host a land-based SM-3 interceptor site in one of the future phases of the new approach.  The ballistic missile defense agreement signed by the Bush administration could still be used with only a few modifications to allow for basing of this new system in Poland.  We will further demonstrate our commitment to Poland by continuing with plans to rotate U.S. Army Patriot units to Poland once a bilateral supplemental SOFA agreement is agreed to, ratified, and implemented.

We are also examining ways for the Czech government, should it agree to participate actively in the new missile defense architecture.  In addition, we remain committed to implementing the range of security and defense dialogues that were agreed upon in the 2008 declarations on strategic cooperation.  We will hold bilateral strategy consultations with the Czech Republic and Poland in the very near future.

Since President Obama announced the decision in September, we have – you have probably read a lot of the opinions and press reporting regarding European reactions.  I think the public reaction of foreign governments has been overwhelmingly positive to the president’s decision.  Chancellor Merkel, President Sarkozy, Prime Minister Brown, each have made very complimentary remarks about the president’s speech.

Anders Forgh Rasmussen, NATO secretary general welcomed the decision.  In his remarks here at the Atlantic Council last week, he stated that the new Obama administration’s plan was important for two reasons.  He said, first, because it laid out a roadmap for deploying missile defenses in a realistic timeframe with proven technology against a visible threat; but, second, because this plan puts missile defense solidly in a NATO context with participation open to all allies, with protection with all allies.

Now, let’s move on to Russia.  At the Moscow summit in July, President Obama and President Medvedev agreed to analyze the ballistic missile threat as well as explore possible areas of cooperation on monitoring and assessing missile threats.  The United States is also interested in seeking genuine cooperation with Russia on missile defense.  The United States, NATO, and Russia, have a common and urgent interest in BMD cooperation to counter emerging threats.

We seek to expand our cooperation with Russia across the board, including in the field of BMD.  For example, the United States is interested in exploring the mutual benefits associated with Russia’s proposal initially offered in 2000 and 2008 to share data from the Russia-leased Azerbaijani-owned early-warning radar at Gabala and the early-warning radar at Armavir in Southern Russia.

In addition to this, in effect, joint monitoring of threats from the Middle East, we also want to work with Russia on other types of early-warning cooperation.  I look forward to discussing these and many other issues next week when in Moscow with Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov as he and I will co-chair the U.S.-Russia bilateral presidential commission’s working group on arms control and international security.

While we are hopeful for progress and improved cooperation, we will not make compromises to the security of the United States or our allies.  Now, if, as a consequence of the change in our direction of our European-based BMD plans, Moscow understands that our future BMD deployments will not pose a threat to Russia’s strategic deterrent, and thus is open to cooperation including BMD.  Then that is an added benefit to our initiative and we should embrace it.

But we have never linked BMD with progress in any other area.  We are now almost three weeks out from the president’s decision and there’s a lot more work to be done on this issue.  We live in a very dynamic security environment, one where new threats can materialize more rapidly.  This requires that we review our previous assumptions to ensure that our plans still provide the security to the American people, to our forward-deployed troops, to our friends and our allies.

Our new approach is a good one.  It will provide missile defenses to Europe that strengthens the alliance, its ability to deter and if necessary defeat ballistic missile attacks from Iran.  I really appreciate the opportunity to come and talk to you today.  This is a cumbersome issue in the fact that it’s been so overanalyzed by the press and they’ve gotten so much of it wrong.  But this is a good chance for us to put our story out to make sure that the details are out with people that have such a care and such an important set of influences in the Atlantic community.  I’m happy to answer any questions if I can, and I appreciate the time.  Thank you, Fred.  (Applause.)

MR. KEMPE:  I think we’ll do this the way we did with Gen. O’Reilly –

MS. TAUSCHER:  Sure.

MR. KEMPE:  – and I’ll sit down here and stand down here and you can take the questions from there.

You did say that it wasn’t the optimal rollout.  I have a question –

MS. TAUSCHER:  I was rolled – I was getting rolled; I wasn’t rolling out myself.  (Laughter.)

MR. KEMPE:  Well, I wonder if you could talk about that a little bit more, and also what impact – where you’ve come with the Czech Republic and Poland since then.  And in a way, you know, the – how willing do you think they’ll be to take these land-based systems? Have they said anything to that – to you about this, and might the negotiations – might they ask for a little bit more?

MS. TAUSCHER:  Well, once the decision was made and the president made the decision in the timeframe of when we got – the same day that we got on the airplane to go, if you remember as late as two or three weeks before that, there had started – been lots of speculation both in the domestic press and the European press as to exactly what the president’s BMD decision would be.

With all due respect to my former colleagues in the House, I used to say when I was chairman that I spent too much of my time protecting and saving missile defense from its advocates.  (Laughter.)  There are lots of people that want to spend a lot of money on ballistic missile defense, but frankly without taking too much credit for this, until the Democrats took the majority, there weren’t a lot of people that wanted to make sure that we had systems that were actually tested and proven, had credibility, and that we were actually orienting the system to defend against all of the threats and not other threats.

So for the three years that I was chairman, we spent a lot of time making sure that we were working with BMD to get what we thought was a better program, and considering that the Bush administration had their own ideas, and some of my colleagues had their own ideas, it wasn’t always – it wasn’t always pretty, but in the end we got to consensus.  We were spending nearly nine to $10 billion a year on missile defense, at the same that I was being accused of killing missile defense.

So that’s how – that’s that the tenor of the debate.  When you’re spending nine or $10 billion on missile defense every year, and when I had to spend my time defeating Democratic – Democrat’s amendments on the floor to cut it in half, and I was beating Democrats to cut missile defense in half, at the same time I had to beat Republicans that wanted to make it as much as possible when we’re fighting two wars – that missile defense was actually more important than spending money on troops and doing other things – you can imagine that I was a little schizophrenic.  But I did both.  I defeated Democrats that wanted to cut it in half, and I defeated Republicans that wanted to spend too much.

So I think that when the rollout was coming, what we found ourselves in was a pinch.  We had lots of people out there that really believed and wanted people to believe that the Obama administration was going to kill the third site, and that’s the terminology they used.  And for us, we didn’t believe we were killing the third site; we believed that we were actually going to put proven technologies against current threats sooner, and that was our message.

But that message about killing the third site was already out there.  It was in the press here and it was in the press in Europe.  And so when we finally got to Poland, they believed that were coming to kill the third site, and we had to torque the whole conversation at 9:00 in the morning after flying all night – and Pat’s laughing, but it was one of those complete-talking-past-each other conversation for the first 15 minutes.  But I think in the end, our very strong allies, the Poles, understand that we offered the opportunity in later phases to site the SM-3 blocks.  And when we went to the Czech Republic, we made it clear that that radar was not going to be necessary, but that we had other opportunities for them to participate.

But the key here is very simple:  We’re going to deploy now against current threats with proven technologies, we’re going to protect the indivisibility of NATO, and we’re going to deal with the current threat first.  That’s a very reasonable plan.  That’s why we’re getting so much support for it.  And even though we have a lot of people that don’t want to believe us – and I can’t help them – those are the facts and that’s what we’re doing.

Now, as far as the Poles are concerned in our negotiations, we talk to them every day.  We’re talking to them about a number of different things.  I had Deputy Defense Minister Komarovsky in my office last week.  We’re working on the supplemental SOFA.  There’s a number of different attitudes of engagement.  We’re having high-level meetings next week with the Assistant Secretary Vershbow.  We’re having higher-level meetings with Minister Sikorski in November.  We’re talking with the Czech government, so – and we’re talking to our NATO allies.  So I think that we’re doing as best we can to role this out in a responsible way.

But keep in mind, that this is a NATO-wide European ballistic missile defense system as opposed to a bilateral missile defense system.  And it’s meant to protect Europe, our forward-deployed troops, and our allies now against current threats.

MR. KEMPE:  For any of you who are interested, two years ago when you were here as chair of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, you are someone who’s shown some remarkable consistency – (chuckles) – on this issue.  If you look at the transcript from then, you were talking about a NATO-wide system and making very much the same points.

One other question before I turn to the audience, and then I’ll try to get as many of you in as possible, and just catch my eye.  Russia, you’re going off to Russia.  I wonder if you could talk a little bit more about that trip.  You talked interestingly about the existing infrastructure in Azerbaijan and also –

MS. TAUSCHER:  Armavir.

MR. KEMPE:  Right.  What specifically would you see as specific – what specifically would you see as points of cooperation, and to what extent have you had that conversation already with the Russians? Are they open to this, or is this really opening the door with this trip next week?

MS. TAUSCHER:  We have had continuing conversations with the Russia.  Gen.ly O’Reilly has been over there.  When I was chairman I was over there.  When I was there in December, we offered again missile cooperation.  President Obama and President Medvedev have had extensive conversations about joint threat assessment, about JDEC and a number of different things that had already been on the table from the previous administration.

Clearly in the reset that was done with President Obama and Medvedev in their visit, and then with Secretary Clinton and Minister Lavrov, this is a very key strategic relationship between the United States and Russia, and the opportunity to reset it is a very important one.  I believe we have moved in that direction very smartly.  But at the same time, we did not consider anything about Russia, not anything about negotiations on the START Treaty, which are going fine, or any other considerations when we were talking about the ballistic missile defense review.

It’s difficult to have all of this stuff operating in the same channel.  We were clearly aware of Russian saber-rattling about the third site and about the Czech radar.  We believe that there might be ancillary benefits down the line if we changed, but it was not why we changed.  We change because the threat environment had change.  It’s very clear.  The Iranian tests just last week have proven what our intelligence assessment is – is that the Iranian long-range threat didn’t move – is maturing but it didn’t move as rapidly as we had suspected in the 2015, ’16 range, and the short-, medium-range threat is full throttle, and we now are exposed.  We have NATO allies now exposed to the Iranian short- and medium-range threat.

That is a hostage situation that we don’t want to develop further.  And we wanted to be able to put proven assets against current threats now, and that’s why this plan moves out in 2011.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you, Undersecretary Tauscher.  Please.

Q:  I’m Harlan Ullman with the Atlantic Council.  Thank you for your comments.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Thank you.

Q:  My question falls under the category of “no good deed going unpunished,” and is not, I say again, not an advertisement for F-22s.

This country has always had a profound preference for missile defense as opposed to air-breathing defense.  One of the great flaws in President Reagan’s SDI was the fact that it didn’t do anything about air breathers or cruise missiles.  I wonder if you could take a second, and just tell us what the Obama policy is towards what might be the more realistic threat of cruise missiles and advance jet aircraft, which continue to proliferate, and are indeed sometimes very difficult to shoot down.

MS. TAUSCHER:  You know, I don’t really have a very strong opinion on that for lots of reasons, including the fact that I believe we have robust defense against air-breathers.  Our current concern is not only state actors but others, and the portability of these short- and medium-range missiles.  And what we really worry about is that we’ve got NATO allies, forward-deployed troops now currently under threat that could not be addressed in the plan that the Bush administration put forward, even when it was deployed.  And we didn’t like the idea that you had a plan that actually picked winners and losers inside of NATO because even when it was fully deployed, parts of NATO were not protected.

So we can have a conversation about air-breathers another time, but the truth of the matter is, I believe we have robust defenses, but the ballistic missile defense review, like a lot of reviews that are done in the first months of a new administration, made clear two things.  The first was that the threat – the threat had changed on the short- and medium-range side, that the threat on the long-range side is maturing, but not as quickly as we expected, and we do have a strong defense, which is – a lot of people want to forget about Fort Riley, and they want to forget about Vandenberg.  We are currently protected against the North Korean and the Iranian long-range threat by Fort Riley and Vandenberg.

What we are not protected is against the short-medium range threat that has developed more rapidly, and we have two concerns: forward-deployed American troops and our NATO allies in Article V, and that’s what we moved smartly to defend.  And so it’s current threat, proven technologies now.  And that’s where we are.  But another time we’ll talk about air-breathers.

MR. KEMPE:  And please identify yourself as you ask your question.

Q:  My name is Mehmet Toroglu.  I’m from the Anatolia News Agency from Turkey.

I would like to learn whether Turkey would be included in this new missile shield plan?  What is the possibility of deploying some instruments of this new plan in Turkey?  And a small follow-up:  I would like to remind you that the United States is planning to buy – to sell Patriot Missiles to Turkey, and some claim that this move may be a part of U.S. missile defense plans against Iran.  You know that Turkey is a neighbor of Iran.  So do you really see a connection between them?  Thank you.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Okay.  Well, all of our NATO allies, as we said when we visited the NAC on that very long day of September 17th, all of our NATO allies are invited to participate in this network architecture, this phased adaptive network architecture.  So Turkey certainly is invited to talk about us.  The change here is that Turkey is protected in this new architecture as opposed to the previous architecture.  So that’s good news for Turkey, good news for us too because Turkey is a very prized ally of ours.  We have a lot of troops deployed in Turkey.  Turkey is very strategic.

When it comes to the Patriots, part of my job is to approve all of these sales, and we’re happy to see that Turkey is going to be buying Patriots.  As Gen. O’Reilly I think talked about, this is a nice plug-and-play system with the Central Command and Control.  So there’s a lot of pieces to this that we’ve talked about but perhaps not talked about directly.  In the previous plan, there was almost no burden-sharing.  This has got a big opportunity for burden-sharing.  So for example, Turkey’s own PAC-3 can be part of the system plugged in.  You’ve got indigenous systems in the Netherlands; you’ve got Aegis ships owned by Norway and Spain that could have AEGIS.  You’ve got lots of opportunities for radars and sensors to be deployed in other NATO places.  Plus, you’ve got the opportunity through the NATO-Russia Council to talk to Russia bout both Gabala and Armavir.

So this is a very big opportunity with this architecture because it’s phased and adaptive and networked.  There’s lots of opportunities to plug and play, both indigenous and American-developed technologies.  So we look forward to all of our allies talking to us about being part of this architecture.  It is a NATO architecture so that is the four that we’ll be using.  We’ll be going through NATO but also talking bilaterally.  Clearly we want to keep, not surprisingly, the decision on the architecture and our choices to ourselves.  We’ll be making those decisions here, but we’ll be doing it cooperatively through NATO.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  Who better to follow that answer than one of our allies, former defense minister Boyko Noev from Bulgaria.

MS. TAUSCHER:  My friend from Bulgaria, how are you?

Q:  Thank you, Secretary.  I have no question.  I just wanted to reiterate the importance of the indivisibility that the new approach is going to achieve.  And as a country which is also hosting U.S. forces jointly we find this extremely important.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Thank you.

Q:  I want to make a point – the technical side – the technological issues are very important.  But I believe that we still – we need more emphasis on the political – on the political importance of this decision.  And I think that at least for some of the European publics, it looks like, as if the U.S. is on the defense of explaining the decision.  I believe that it has to be explained more offensively, and you have to approach a wide European public, and especially countries of the south as you have mentioned.  And of course, I would wish that you explain to our allies in the Czech Republic that this is not something which is – so, it’s a good decision.  We’re going to push with it and support it as far as we can.

MR. KEMPE:  Bulgaria will want some of the land-based capabilities as well.

Q:  Well, if I were a decision-maker, definitely yes, and tomorrow.  And we have a number of agreements along for hosting U.S. forces.  So I think that the SOFA is very likely.  Thank you.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Thank you.  I appreciated those comments.  The public diplomacy piece is very important.  Both in Poland and the Czech Republic, the GBIs and the radars were not very popular domestically.  It’s very, very important that we talk about what the system is meant to do, what it’s meant to protect, how it’s meant to protect them, what the investment strategy is, who’s going to pay for what, what burden-sharing there is, how it connects together.  But from our point of view, the most important thing for us to say is that this is a system that deploys against the current threat with current technologies now and protects the thing that we value the most, NATO indivisibility.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  Behind Ambassador Finley, please.

MS. TAUSCHER:  How are you?

Q:  As you know, your colleague Bob Einhorn has talked about the issue of tactical nuclear weapons and the possibility that the U.S. might consider perhaps withdrawing those weapons in a bid to get more Russian transparency on their own arsenal.  I’m wondering how you think this decision will affect the possibility of working with the allies on that issue, given that there are divisions within the alliance on it?

MS. TAUSCHER:  Well, we understand that we’re a new administration.  A lot of the lesson learned perhaps from the rollout of BMD is that there’s a lot of, not suspicion in a negative sense, but just because people haven’t dealt with us, they don’t know what to expect.  And it’s easy for others to project their message or their particular point of view ahead of ours.

What we believe in in the Obama administration is consultation, engagement, and making sure that we’re talking to people in a way that is respectful of their point of view, that we’re not really interested in letting people know what we think without asking what we think.  So there’s a lot of opportunity both – you know, there’s CFE, there’s tactical noose, there’s a lot of issues out there that we need to have engagement with our allies on.  We have a very good ambassador in NATO, Ivo Daalder, who’s going to begin to have conversations.  Secretary Clinton is going to be in Europe again next month.  I will be there, others will be there.

So it’s important that we have conversations.  It’s important that we know inside the administration what our position is.  It’s also important that we consult with our allies and our friends, and that’s the opportunity that we have on many of these issues going forward, is to have consultations.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  Please.

Q:  Michal Baranowski of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Yes.

Q:  Thank you very much for your presentation.  I wanted to ask you also a little bit about Poland and Czech Republic, Central and Eastern Europe.  Missile defense for Central and Eastern Europe was really never about Iran; it was always about Russia and strategic reassurance.  And perhaps it was not the best tool to achieve that.  I wanted to ask you whether the administration is considering other tools of achieving this strategic reassurance, whether it’s the strategic concept, military planning, or presence of U.S. troops.

And if I can just sneak in the other question, there are some rumors about President Biden’s trip to Prague and Poland, and if that trip would happen, what would be the goals, what would you like to achieve?

MS. TAUSCHER:  Yeah, I don’t know whether President – Vice President Biden’s trip has been announced formally, but there’s expectation that he will be going to Central Europe in the next few months.

We understand that engagement with our European allies, especially our Central European allies, former Warsaw Pact Countries is vital to our posture, and the strategic dialogues are going to take many different forms.  Secretary Clinton is going to be engaged in the region, Vice President Biden.  We have a number of different bilateral strategic dialogues that we have.  But we also put a very important American in as NATO ambassador, Ivo Daalder.  And we’ve had great American ambassadors there for many years, but in this administration we really want to strengthen our relationship inside of NATO.  We want to make sure that NATO is a fora where we take first the biggest opportunities we have to work for the mutual defense, for cooperation, for engagement, and we want to have the NATO-Russia Council strengthened.

So those are the opportunities that we have in the very short term.  There are times when events overtake you.  Things happen and you have to adjust.  But our plans are to continue to work inside of NATO on these issues.  That’s why we felt it very important not only to go to Warsaw and Prague, but to report to the NAC on the day that we went to Europe to talk about missile defense, and to make this rollout very, very key to our engagement inside of NATO.  And that’s the way I think we’re going to go in the short term, and certainly that’s our plan for the long term.

MR. KEMPE:  You know, a lot of – well, let me save this for just a second.  Ambassador Finley.

AMB. FINLEY:  I’m sure what you have to say is much more interesting.

MR. KEMPE:  (Chuckles.)  Knowing you well enough, I know that’s not the case.

AMB. FINLEY:  You may be more reverent than I.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Hi, Julie.

AMB. FINLEY:  Hi.  Good friend.  Nice to see you.

Now, I’m just sitting here thinking about all of the tools that one can use in the toolbox, and naturally, having just come recently from Vienna –

MS. TAUSCHER:  That’s right.

AMB. FINLEY:  I’m suggesting that you utilize some form of – some part of the OSCE, certainly the first dimension area to educate and spread this process, this decision.  But I’m also wondering, how do you see this fitting into a response to Medvedev’s request for a wider discussion on European security?

MS. TAUSCHER:  Well, I think the key issue that our European allies want to engage on is CFE.  There are a number of issues, but CFE has been dormant for way too long.  And the administration is deciding right now whether we will put someone on that full time.  Our Russian friends have indicated that they would be interested in talking about CFE.  That’s something they haven’t seen in quite a long time.  So we don’t want to overload what is a new fragile recent relationship with the Russians, but at the same time, we want to take advantage of the fact that they have brought it up and said that they’re interested.

So I think CFE – but you’re right; Vienna is a very big hub for us; there’s a lot going on there; we have a lot of engagement in and out of there; we miss you being there.  But there’s a lot of – there are many fora for us to use of influence.  But this administration wanted to make sure that we made the commitment to NATO very soon, and we will be in Vienna very soon too.

MR. KEMPE:  Can you comment on the Russian ideas of a need for a new European security architecture of some sort in the context of OSCE and others?

MS. TAUSCHER:  We want them to talk about this both in OSCE and at the NATO-Russia Council.  As you know, the NATO-Russia Council was suspended for almost a year because of the Georgia situation.  It has been restarted.  So we want the NATO-Russia Council to become what I think our NATO European allies want it to become, which is a place where real business is done and there are real conversations at a level high enough that things can be affected.  And that’s why we want to have our BMD conversations with Russia go through the NATO-Russia Council.  We don’t want to get boxed back into the bilateral conversations that caused so much friction during the Bush administration, especially on missile defense.

So we want to use NATO once again as the open fora to influence as much as we can.  But OSCE is an important fora too.

AMB. FINLEY:  I actually wasn’t thinking about OSCE with regard to my second question.  It was a more – it had nothing to do with Vienna.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Right.

AMB. FINLEY:  And I’m still not clear on how you see that what you are doing fitting into the response to that request on –

MS. TAUSCHER:  From Medvedev.

MR. KEMPE:  Right.  Are we responding to it, and if so –

MS. TAUSCHER:  No, we are.  The president and Medvedev talked again when they were in New York.  Obviously we were working with the Russians on Iran.  Secretary and I are going Sunday to Moscow for almost a week.  We will have our start negotiators there at the same time.  You know, we’re just – the engagement with Russia I think is much more vibrant and much more of a day-to-day thing than it has been for a very, very long time.  So we are answering their request.  We are working on the more immediate issues, which include Iran and other things, and certainly the START Treaty.  But part of the big engagement to is to use the Russia-NATO Council to begin to have this conversation about how we engage on Europe with Russia.

MR. KEMPE:  In that context, obviously you’re responsible for much more – as big as missile defense, what’s under your office is much more.  You may want to talk about that a bit.  But how do the administration’s plans on missile defense fit into the context of your overall arms control policy, but also the overall policy toward Iran?  Clearly when you go to Russia, you’re going to be talking not just about missile defense; you’re also going to be talking about Iran, and whether or not Russia was related – in our mind what we did – for Russia, does this make it easier – are you seeing them moving more toward our position on Iran?

MS. TAUSCHER:  Well, President Medvedev said in New York at the Security Council two weeks ago that he was more open to sanctions, but also at the same time, other members of the Russian leadership said that they didn’t think sanctions worked.  This is not going to be – while we hit the reset button, we didn’t flip a switch.  So this is more transactional than it is across the board.  And so what’s important to see is that we have – in the many, many, many dimensions of this relationship, we have activity in some and we have not much activity in others, and we’re still trying to assess exactly what somebody means when they say this, and when – if that person actually is the person that actually can influence that thing.

So this is a growing relationship and opportunity; that is why we are going this weekend and we’ll spend quite a few days there because we’ve got START, which we are – our negotiators have been in Geneva for quite a while.  They are now out.  We have a milestone at the end of next week as to whether we can actually get the agreement that we need before the current agreement expires on midnight of the 4th of December.  President Obama and President Medvedev both indicated they want a legally binding agreement.  We don’t believe even if we have a legally binding agreement that we can go for ratification this year because of the Senate calendar.  So can we have a legally binding agreement that allows for verification protocols to go forward, but effectively none of the reductions that are negotiated in the agreement won’t happen until after we get it ratified, probably, so lawyers are involved.

So that’s a big piece of what we’re doing.  It’s a test bed for the opportunity.  Iran is another test bed for the opportunity.  Talking about ballistic missile defense is another test bed for the opportunity.  Restarting the NATO-Russia Council – another test bed for the opportunity.  So we’ve got lots of stuff going on, lots of pots boiling on the stove, and we’re going to see.  We’re hoping – we think this is a significant strategic relationship, and we think a lot happens if things go well here, but we don’t expect it to be – (snaps fingers) – like a switch being turned on.  You hit the reset button, all you get is a chance.  You don’t get a light switch turned on; you have to work this thing day in and day out, and that’s what we’re trying to do.

MR. KEMPE:  I like it.  While we hit the reset button, we didn’t flip a switch, and this is a woman who knows something about computers, and the workings of them.

MS. TAUSCHER:  (Chuckles.)

MR. KEMPE:  I saw a question there to the side.  I think you’re scribbling right now, but do you have a question?  Yes.

Q:  Thank you.  My name is Andrei Surzhanskiy.  I’m with ITAR-TASS news agency of Russia.  You already talked about your upcoming trip to Moscow.  What specifically are you hoping to achieve during this visit?  And you already mentioned Iran.  How do you read the recent statements of the Russian leadership on Iran?  Thank you.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Well, you know, we read the statements every day with interest.  When we like them, we like them.  (Laughter.)  This is a very good trip because it’s basically – I’m coming in on Sunday to meet with my colleague, Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov, and we will be doing our bilateral – we have a working group under the bilateral commission – Russia-United States bilateral commission.  And we have a number of issues under that including missile defense.  Gen. O’Reilly has been shanghaied to come along with me on that trip to give the real brief on missile defense.

And we have a number of different issues.  Our START negotiators will be in town in Moscow.  We want to be able to have Secretary Clinton and Minister Lavrov who we’ll be meeting on Tuesday and part of Wednesday.  If we have issues that need to be resolved at their level, we want them there so that we can get this done.  We have 57 days to get START renegotiated and signed, so we have a plan to go forward.  We have a milestone at the end of next week to make decisions about how we go forward, and our recommendation to the president on how we’re going to go forward.

So we have a number of issues, but I have seen Minister Ryabkov – I’ve been in my job now for 94 days, so I have been – I have seen him five times – six times actually, one informally.  So we’ve seen each other a lot, and I think that what you see in our relationship is that we’re both working it, and that is what is impressing us, that we were concerned about the START negotiations and getting things done in a very compressed time period.  We made sure that our Russian friends knew that we needed to have a certain number of people and certain people available in Geneva for the negotiations to go in a timely fashion.  They were there.

So we see a lot of energy on our friends’ side.  We see them engaged.  We’re happy about that.  And I think they see the same thing from us.  But at the same time, we hit a reset button; we didn’t flip a switch.  There is a lot of work to be done, not only in finding and identifying common interests, but then articulating common interests, and then coming up with a plan on how to move forward together, and whether that engagement is going to bear fruit for both of our countries and for everyone else that wants it to happen.  So I’m excited about the trip.  It should be good.

MR. KEMPE:  I think there was someone there who was out of – in my blind spot, so please.

Q:  Thank you.  Bill Varettoni, Department of State, INR.  I was wondering, if Iran ceases to be a nuclear threat, how would that affect or how might that affect missile defense plans and timelines.  Thank you.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Well, clearly having Iran as a nuclear threat is the ballgame in many ways.  We are working diligently in all levels of government to convince Iran to change their mind and to not become a nuclear weapon state.  But let me say that we currently have a threat from Iran from short- and medium-range missiles, and having them nuclearized is way beyond I think anybody’s imagination.  But the current threat is real, and it is one that is unsustainable.  So we are doing everything we can right now to protect against the current threat, and that is why this new phased adaptive approach we think is the right way to go.

MR. KEMPE:  Please.

Q:  My name is Daniel Anyz.   I am with the Czech daily paper Hospodarske Noviny.  If I’m not wrong, the only joint missile defense project the United States have so far is with Japan.  This is the –

MS. TAUSCHER:  No, that’s not true; we have one with Israel.

Q:  I see, sorry.  But if Japan on Aegis is covered from the financial point of view 50/50 from both sides from USA and Japan.  So how it would be if there is, for example, an SM-3 land base in Poland from the financial point of view?  Do you think that Congress would be willing to cover it?

MS. TAUSCHER:  Well, this new phased adaptive approach does bring the issue of burden-sharing into a whole new light.  Under the previous plan, this was – these were United States assets being deployed in Europe.  To the extent that there was any burden-sharing, it may have been site preparation but that was basically it.

During this phased adaptive approach, a lot of these assets will be United States assets.  But there’s also as we said, the opportunity in the C2 to have plug-and-play.  There are a number of indigenous – the French, the Netherlands have indigenous short- and medium-range ballistic missiles defense.  As I said, Spain and Norway have Aegis ships.  There’s MEADs, which has been out there for a while.  There’s ALTBMD, which is the NATO-designed system.

So this is a very different sense of architecture.  A number of our allies, including Turkey, are purchasing PAC-3.  So there are assets that are both indigenously developed and acquired, and indigenously networked.  And that’s just one piece of it.  The censor side – there’s also radars and censors, and other platforms that become part of this.  There’s command and control.  You know, once again, this is a new opportunity for us.  We’re working closely with the NATO planners on ALTBMD to look at the command-and-control situation.

So there’s a lot of opportunity for countries with either indigenously developed or acquired assets to plug-and-play into the system.  Some of them will be things that they have paid for and developed themselves, some that they have acquired and paid for themselves, and others that are going to be American assets.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  Please.

Q:  Thank you very much for your comments.

MS. TAUSCHER:  You’re welcome.

Q:  I was interested – one of the fundamental criticisms of the missile defense program, or of a missile defense program in general is that rather than reducing arms proliferation, it actually spurs more because people are trying to get around this new comprehensive missile defense system.  What would you have to say to criticisms such as that?

MS. TAUSCHER:  I would say that if you have a credible system that people believe actually will deter and defeat you, that you had better not spend any money trying to figure out how to get around us.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  Damon.

Q:  Thank you, Madame Secretary.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Hey.

Q:  I just wanted to ask a question.  You talked about your record, certainly when you were in Congress, of being a good steward of the taxpayer’s money in fending off efforts on some sides – to cut some sides to increase.  And certainly one of the clear criteria going forward with a plan was a cost-effective program, something that I think you’ve had a long record of emphasizing that criteria.  Yet, some of the administration’s plans point to – make other arguments about the cost effectiveness.  And they point to a study done in 2008 pointing to the GBI system as being cost effective.  Can you speak to that argument a little bit and how –

MS. TAUSCHER:  Sure.

Q:  – this plan – the technology and the architecture, as you’ve spelled out, fits the cost-effective criteria.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Sure.  As I think Pat O’Reilly probably told you, SM-3 Block 1A and B, there are about 1.2 tons and they cost about $10 million.  The GBIs are about 25 tons, and they cost $70 million.  Under the configuration the Bush administration had put out, the 10 GBIs in Poland could be overwhelmed by six long-range Iranian missiles.  The 10 GBIs in Poland were a redundant system.  They were called the third site because they were the third site.  They were the third site for the national defense against Iran and North Korea.  And ancillary benefit was that they could protect some of Europe.

So it was an expensive system, it was a two-stage variant that still needs testing, it was not going to be deployed until 2018, and it only protected some of Europe against an emerging threat not against the current threat.

What we decided to do was to take proven systems.  Now the Navy is pretty damn good at making these missiles, and there’s a lot of speculation by some that we’re perfectly willing to say that the two-stage variant of a GBI was tested when it wasn’t, and that it was just fine to go put it in Poland when it could be overwhelmed very easily, and it was a fixed site, which also had its own security problems.

But now they’re questioning – because they’re infinitely questioning – they’re questioning when the SM-3 Block 2A, they’re calling that an unproven system.  You know, I don’t think that that really holds any water.  It is – that would be about two tons, and it will cost about 10 to $15 million, but it also has much better capability because it’s going to be faster, its booster is faster, and it’s going to have some capability against long-range system.  So in the future, we would deploy SM-3 Block 2A and B against the emerging Iranian long-range threat in Europe, and it protects everybody – the United States – it’s a third system for the United States against the long-range emerging threat from Iran.  It gets it sooner, and it protects Europe.

So I think that in the end, it is a – we are cost-effective.  We have a proven system that we’re going to deploy faster against current threats.  But in the end, the cost-effective argument only works if you’re doing apples and apples and you’re not.  For the same people that want to talk about being cost-effective, we’re still trying to prove the models and the simulations for the long-range system that’s been deployed because that was rushed to be deployed.  And nobody talked about cost-effectiveness then.

So I think that the critics of the system are fewer in number today.  They will be in fewer number tomorrow, and they will be fewer number next week because in the end, we not only have the right system for the right time for the right threat, and it’s cost-effective, but in the end, you can’t defend the other system.  And the people that want to spend their time defending that old system can knock themselves out.

MR. KEMPE:  Does our budget situations, does our financial situation force us to look at all sorts of these questions in a much different way?

MS. TAUSCHER:  One of our metrics was cost-effectiveness.  It wasn’t just if you had all of the money in the world what could you build; it was could this be cost-effective, and the answer is yes.

MR. KEMPE:  Please.

Q:  Madam Secretary, great comments, and we agree with you.

MS. TAUSCHER:  I appreciate it.

Q:  I’m Nigel Sutton from Raytheon.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Oh, well of course you do.  (Laughter.)

Q:  Very good plan indeed.  As an old acquisition guy from the Navy – and Gen. O’Reilly left, and I was going to ask that question earlier, Jim.  But what do you perceive the challenges will be?  It’s a phased approach.  What things on a technical side, and maybe more so on the – in your case, the policy side, what challenges do you perceive?  And you mentioned TYP-2, the phasing timeline.  I may be too technical asking that, but where you do you see the challenges in the future on this?

MS. TAUSCHER:  Well, I think Gen. O’Reilly speaks – you know, he’s very sanguine about this.  We have a – in SM-3, we have a very, very good proven system that we are going to be maturing in the Block 2A and B range, and that what we’re going to do is what we should have been doing with this system from the very beginning, testing the heck out of it.  There’s nothing better, to go to your question, young lady, there’s nothing better to convince people that they shouldn’t be doing what they’re trying to do to hold us hostage with these missile systems, these offensive missile systems, than to show that your deterrent works.

That is the ultimate test, not only that you’re willing to deploy it, but that it works.  And we needed more testing in this system across the board for the last 10 years, and we were investing in a spiral development, which I’ve never – I was an investment banker for 15 years as a small child, and I never heard the concept of spiral development.  And if I ever hear it again, I’ll never invest in that country.  But we were spiral developing.  And all that meant was that what was called R&D was now called deployed.  It was called research and deploy as opposed to research and develop.  And that’s great if you have all of the money in the world, but it’s not great if part of your mission is to also convince people that you can deter them.

And that’s why Block 2A and 2B are going to be fully tested before they’re deployed.  I think we have a very robust testing regimen.  For the first time, MDA in the last two years is now – has to use the office of testing and evaluation as their – to do their test modules.  Before, under the Bush administration, MDA didn’t have to have anybody from the administration do their testing modules.  My daughter just went to college.  If she could take the class, write the test, take the test and then write the test, and then grade the test, then I shouldn’t be paying for her to go to college, but that’s a little bit what MDA was doing and got away with for a long time.  And now that doesn’t happen.  They have to have these things tested before they’re deployed.  That aids in the deterrence, and people are now more convinced than ever that these things actually work.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  Undersecretary Tauscher, in this last couple of minutes, I’m just going to ask you two questions.  They’re a little bit beyond missile defense.  One of them is there are very few people who have been in the House in the position you’ve been in and now been in a policy situation that you’ve been in now.  How has the world looked differently from those two spots? I mean, how are you looking at things differently than, say, you looked at them from the Hill, and how does this affect your – (German language).

The second thing is part of the reason I’ve enjoyed our conversations in the past is you are one of the smartest conceptual thinkers, far beyond just missile system.  We are struggling with the question with this strategic concept – and I realize it’s late in the day, so I don’t expect you to give another speech on this – of what NATO is for.  And as you’re talking about this missile defense and all of these other things without a Soviet enemy, what’s the most important thing that you can tell us NATO is for going forward.

MS. TAUSCHER:  Well, I can tell you shortly the difference between being a member of Congress and being in the administration is when I was a member of Congress, I had 700,000 constituents who all thought I worked for them, but I was pretty autonomous, and now I think I work for four or five people, but it seems like thousands – (laughter) – hundreds of thousands.

But, no, it’s a very humbling and honor – it’s a great honor to be part of this administration.  I think that for many reasons, we have an extraordinary set of opportunities, especially on the arms control and disarmament.  And we’ve got NPT coming up, the nuclear – the nonproliferation treaty, we’ve got the Nuclear Posture Review coming out.  There’s a lot that we’re going to be doing.  We’ve got START, we’ve got CTBT, we have FMCT.  When I was on Wall Street, I had less initials to worry about than I do as an arms control person.

But when it comes to NATO, I will tell you that I do have my concerns – I do have my worries about the sense that there are NATO allies – now I am speaking now individually, not as secretary of – undersecretary of state – but I do have concerns that people have made decisions to create two classes.  I think that too many of our allies have decided that going from 2 to 1 percent GDP of defense investment is just fine, and that the NATO club is one that protects them, but they don’t perceive the threat.

For a long time, when I was a member of Congress, when I would go to Europe, I would try to get my colleagues to understand that there is a threat from short- and medium-range Iranian missiles, and I would just get blank looks, even from countries in the southern tier that were visibly close.  And I think that there’s a dissonance between the threat, the responsibility, and the responsibility to each other.

And I think that we could be in danger of having the finest, the premier, the gold standard defense alliance in the world of becoming one where it is less of a proactive environment, where investment is part of the obligation, to one where the safety and comfort of everybody else’s investment causes you to think that – you know, it’s like if you move into a gated community, you think that because the common investment is in the gate, that you’re protected.  But for every – you know, and all of these fences are going to work for you.  But for every 10-foot fence, there’s an 11-foot ladder.  And it’s not the gate that protects you; it’s the activeness of you that’s everybody making sure that they’re individually doing the things that they’re meant to do so that the gate actually means something, that the fence actually means something.

And that’s my concern.  My concern is that we have got to make sure that everybody is investing to make sure that the gate and the fence really mean something, and that everybody – everybody knows that every day is game day, and that you come knowing that you’re going to get called on.

And, you know, as an American – for those of you that are NATO allies, I will never forget, nor will any American that knows about it – that the first time Article V was ever invoked was on the evening of September 11th, 2001, in our defense.  Most people don’t even know that NATO CAPs were being flown over the East and West Coast for months.  Most people don’t know.  That is shocking.  That really says that we have not done a good job – we in the United States have not said thank you enough.

But, frankly, NATO has not done enough to say – when the argument about NATO – when the United States came home in the ’40s and early ’50s and wanted to stay home, and the discussion about creating NATO was vibrant.  And the thought here in the United States was we don’t want to go back over there and fix those problems.  It was always about we’re going to have to go help them.  But when it came down to it, when we were on our knees, NATO came to us, but not with enough credit.

So we have a better story to tell, and I think we have one where we need to be saying thank you a lot more.  So let me say thank you, and let me get back to work.  Thank you.

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)

Transcript by Federal News Service, Washington, D.C.

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