Full transcript of the first panel discussion assessing the future of missile defense at the 2010 Atlantic Council Transatlantic Missile Defense Conference.







Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.

DAMON WILSON:  My name is Damon Wilson.  I am the vice president and director of the international security program here at the Atlantic Council.  Welcome back for this session.  This session is assessing the future of trans-Atlantic missile defense.  It is essentially our American panel, if you will, to assess the strategy for establishing a trans-Atlantic missile defense capability, the progress to date on implementation of a phased adaptive approach and, to parse a little bit more, the diplomatic, budgetary and operational challenges that face NATO leaders as they prepare to gather in Lisbon and then beyond.

We began this morning with Gen. O’Reilly with a terrific operational and technical update on where we are.  We followed that with Frank Rose, a policy conversation with Frank Rose.  I want to use this discussion, this panel to begin to parse those issues a little bit.  We have got three terrific panelists that bring three different perspectives to this discussion, which I think will be extremely insightful for us. 

I first want to introduce Peter Flory, who is a member of the Atlantic Council, but more relevant for this discussion, he was the most recent former NATO assistant secretary general for defense investment, where he helped lead within the alliance on issues of missile defense and air defense.  In that capacity, he served as chairman of the NATO Conference of National Armaments Directors, the chairman of the NATO Cyber Defense Management Board. 

But he has also served within the Pentagon as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs as well, and has a long track record working on the Hill and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as well as the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.  So he combines all of these perspectives.  And I think coming fresh back from Brussels will help to ground us in how much of the discussion we heard this morning relates to where we are within the alliance debate in Brussels.

Next we have Kari Bingen joining us.  I am delighted to welcome her to the stage.  She is a professional staff member with the House Armed Services Committee.  She is the most worked with – one of the most active members in the House on missile defense, Rep. Turner, but supports all of the members on the Strategic Forces Subcommittee.  She specializes in missile defense, military space, nuclear weapons and military intelligence. 

Prior to joining the Hill, she was a senior space policy analyst at Aerospace Corp.  And much to the intimidation of all of us up on the panel, she has a bachelor’s in science, in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT, taking on us political science majors here, but she also minored in political science to make us feel a little bit more comfortable.

And then welcoming back to the Atlantic Council is our good friend, Jim Townsend, who is deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO policy in the office of the secretary of defense.  Many of you know Jim as having held my position here as vice president and director of the International Security Program at the council.

JIM TOWNSEND:  You are doing a better job, too.

MR. WILSON:  Hardly, hardly.  Big shoes to fill.  He has had a long career at the office of the secretary of defense and in the Pentagon, working for much of his career on European policy, NATO policy, including some time out at our U.S. mission to NATO as well. 

To get us started, we wanted to build off this morning’s discussion, where we had the operational update, the policy conversation from the Obama administration perspective.  I want to get us kicked off in this discussion by turning to Peter Flory to take us back to his perspective coming out of NATO about how this discussion in Washington resonates with what is happening within the alliance in Brussels.  Peter, please get us started.

PETER FLORY:  David, thank you very much.  Just taking as a yardstick, as several have, last year’s event or going even further back, January of 2007, where I happen to arrive in Brussels and the same weekend that the first leaked reports of the third site appeared in the Herald Tribune. 

As Frank said today, an awful lot has changed.  And it has changed – and I will go through some of these in a little more detail – but in some important sort of macro levels, it has changed in the sense that things that were will and hope a year ago are have and are now.  In other words, within the alliance, sometimes clanking machinery, we have actually, I think, grappled fairly successfully with taking what appeared to be an interminable and perpetual analytical process and tee up some real decisions, which is important.

Part of what allowed us to do that, I think – and this goes back to something that Gen. O’Reilly said with respect to the way U.S. forces now treat missile defense.  Missile defense is no longer unique.  It is no longer exotic.  It is a bit more exotic in Europe than it is in the U.S.  But compared to three years ago when this discussion evoked, as Fred said earlier, Star Wars and Ronald Reagan fight masks, the discussion has evolved enormously and it is critical to get us in the position we are in now. 

And the important result of this is that I believe that NATO is about to take at Lisbon a very important strategic decision to defend its territory and population.  Now, in one sense, this is an entirely logical step given the Washington treaty and the subsequent elaborations in the direction of collective defense.  On the other hand, just because it was logical, just because it was common sense didn’t necessarily mean that it was inevitable or that it was going to be easy.

Now, how did we get here?  We got here because of that process of civilizing or routinizing the debate dealing with questions like the threat.  I think if you look through the last four or five NATO summit communiqués, you see growing agreement on the growing threat and increasing threat from ballistic missiles.  What you also see – Fred raised this earlier – is, and this is less explicit, but I think you see a growing sense of, yes, Iran is the country that people are focused on now. 

But more broadly, there is a threat of ballistic missiles out there.  A lot of these ballistic missiles live in countries or in areas that are unstable or maybe that are stable but brittle, that have strong extremist political currents.  All of these things mean that ballistic missiles, one way or the other, are going to be even more of a threat for the alliance.

One of the hurdles that had to be gotten over was debate on the impact of missile defense on some of the traditional pillars of European security, arms control and non-proliferation and particularly for a couple of countries for deterrence, particularly nuclear deterrence.  And I think what you have seen there is that there is agreement, including in the countries that were most sensitive on these, that missile defense will not replace arms control.  We will not replace non-proliferation regimes.  It will not replace nuclear deterrence.

However, it will complement them.  And I think you saw an interesting thing today.  You heard – or if you looked at the press, you will see the NATO secretary general and even more augustly, Frank Rose from the State Department, in effect, quoting President Chirac’s formulation of this in his Île Longue speech in 2005, which said, missile defense will not replace traditional deterrence, but it will complement it by reducing our vulnerabilities.  And I think the fact that that perception, which I think is a sound perception, has become sort of the shared perception within NATO has been an important element in getting us over some of the rocks that might have made it harder to make the progress we have made.

Another important step was the decision at Strasbourg-Kehl to prioritize the approach to the threat.  Why was this important?  For a number of reasons, some of which were what Frank alluded to.  But it also helped bound the challenge.  And by bounding the challenge, it bounded the technology requirements and it bounded the costs.  And I can’t go into full details on that because the full threat analyses were and are classified, but by focusing on the most imminent threats, it made it clear that this was something that was doable.

Lastly, the attitude of Russia, which has been mentioned a number of times, has always been important.  We at NATO have been very clear with NATO that we are anxious to work with Russia on this topic.  I happened to be presiding over the NATO-Russia TMD group at the time it went into the deep freeze – I don’t think because of anything I did, but essentially the third side issue triggered a political switch and basically nothing happened for several years. 

But what has happened as a result of a broader trend in relations with Russia, both within NATO and also with respect to the U.S. and Russia, that issue, it is not resolved, but it is clearly front and center on the table.  The U.S., I know, has made a number of offers.  I have not seen the details of them, but I understand that they are generous and I understand that the Russians are reacting to them.

Now, what are some of the remaining issues?  Those are things that are sort of pretty much in the resolved box, although they will continue to be discussed going up to the summit.  I think the cost issue, which has been raised a number of times, is a critical one.  I don’t think that is nearly as hard as it is sometimes made out to be.  Nations do have sincere concerns, particularly in an era of financial crisis, in an era of tremendous pressure on defense budgets.  Also, a number of nations were particularly concerned that if they, in effect, clicked on the missile defense hyperlink that they weren’t somehow going to be sucked into some unforeseen hidden costs.  And I think that issue has been laid to rest.     

Yes, it will cost money to take the existing approved NATO system to the next level to provide or to support territorial defense.  It is a modest amount.  I mean, it is an amount that the secretary general has explained.  What exactly it refers to, it is the delta between what NATO has already committed to spend on ALTBMD and what it would take to upgrade ALTBMD to become a cornerstone of a territorial threat, territorial defense.

Obviously, there are other costs.  That point has been raised today.  But I think people are aware of those now, at least people who follow the issue carefully.  And there is an understanding that building on existing programs and decisions that have already been made, this can be done.  I think to put it in perspective, the amount of additional funds that NATO would be asked to spend to upgrade ALTBMD is a fraction of what the EU spends on cheese in a given year.  And I say that as somebody who likes cheese.  But we are not talking outrageous sums of money for serious organizations to decide to spend for things that are important.

Some of the other issues that continue to be worked – and I think some of the NATO reports on missile defense that were – the hope was to get them done for the ministerial.  I think some of them have been sort of punted into the ministerial.  The ministers will actually discuss some of these.  The new secretary general is very good about saying okay, you don’t like what we are doing; tell me what you want me to do differently.  And so I think it will be a bit of a discussion of that for nations that have concerns, whether on the cost issue, whether they want to know more about the C2 issue, the consequence of intercept, which is the NATO jargon for debris.

But I think these all, for various reasons and in various ways, fall into the – eminently into the doable category, particularly C2, which early on was often put up as something that was incredibly complex and impossible.  In fact, NATO has done C2 before in a circumstance where, arguably, the impact and the regret factor of a wrong decision was much greater than firing off an interceptor in error; i.e., launching nuclear weapons against enemy targets.  So I think that is eminently doable, but it will continue to be discussed.

The overall nuclear issue, which has come up a couple of times today, will be part of the debate.  I don’t think it is necessarily seen as inextricably linked to the missile defense debate.  However, it is part of the – it is one of the cards that is on the table right now.  And frankly, some of these issues will be linked to missile defense simply as part of the inevitable bargaining and hostage taking going into a summit.  I mean, a missile-defense agreement at some point may well end on an agreement on comprehensive approach or agency reform or command-structure review.  But that is part of the inevitable negotiations going in.

But the result at the end of the day, I am quite confident, is going to be a historic positive decision for NATO to defend itself from ballistic missiles.  Two important things, I think, that need to be part of that decision:  One is it has to be a decision to do and not to just keep thinking.  Jim, over to you on this.  I know you guys get this.  But we have a number of decisions that require us to do more and more study, and there will be no doubt more study required.  This is a complex topic.

On the other hand, the shift has to be into the action mode here.  And it will also be important for nations to display continued high-level leadership over the NATO processes that are supposed to deliver the NATO deliverables in this; i.e., keeping a close eye on the agencies as they do their work on ALTBMD and upgrading ALTBMD and keeping an eye at the resource decisions that are made, because it would not be unheard of for a relatively low-ranking civil servant in one of the resource committees to make decisions that have the effect of undoing or delaying things that his president or prime minister actually thought were quite important at the time of the summit. 

So it will be important to have strategic leadership to keep that from happening.  Thank you, Damon.

MR. WILSON:  Peter, thank you.  That was terrific.  I think you reminded us in many respects how far the debate on missile defense has come within NATO and that it is not the controversy that it was.  But the entire time I was at NATO, missile defense was stuck in study.  So I think you have put a good reminder out there of watching the NATO process, so we don’t get stuck in study after study and follow through on political-level decisions when there is bureaucratic resistance.

I will leave it to our European panel, which will follow, to assess whether the amount that the European Union spends on cheese is a substantial amount of money or not.  We will let them get into the cost a little bit. 

Next, I want to turn to Kari, who can provide a little bit of context in a congressional perspective on this entire discussion and this debate.  Representing the minority, hoping to be the majority, Kari, and your bosses come to this debate with a strong record of support on missile defense, yet a record of some critical points on some of the aspects related to phased adaptive approach.  So what is the mood on the Hill?  What is your perspective joining us in this discussion coming from Capitol Hill?

KARI BINGEN:  First, I am not placing any bets on November.  But thank you, Damon.  And I want to thank the Atlantic Council for hosting this important event.  My boss is Congressman Buck McKeon from California.  He is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.  And Congressman Michael Turner of Ohio, ranking member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, send their regards.  And Congressman Turner had an opportunity last fall to address and participate in this conference.  I know he enjoyed it quite a bit.

So first of all, I have to start with a caveat.  My remarks are solely my own.  There are 535 members of Congress and I wouldn’t dare prescribe any sort of single congressional view.  And with an election three weeks away, I don’t even want to try.  So all I can do today is to endeavor to provide one congressional staffer’s perspective on missile defense.

First, however, I think it is important, especially in this kind of international forum, to emphasize that missile defense does have quite a bit of bipartisan support in Congress.  And we have come a long ways from the Reagan SDI days and from a lot of the ideological debates in Congress.  I think you will also see the House Armed Services Committee, in particular, has approached its oversight responsibilities in a largely bipartisan manner.  Based on previous legislation, you will see we have required greater testing, particularly under operationally realistic conditions.  We continue to press the Pentagon to increase the reliability and sustainability of existing systems, to grow their inventories and to expand capabilities to address current and emerging threats.

We have been active in promoting greater international cooperation in missile defense, whether Europe, the Middle East or the Asia Pacific region.  We continue to seek ways to foster greater international cooperation.  For example, just in this year’s House-passed defense bill, you would see a provision that would allow the Department of Defense to enter into contracts directly with foreign governments or foreign firms to conduct missile defense research development and testing.  This would allow MDA to collaborate more closely with our friends and allies to defend against shared missile threats.

We have even worked together – surprisingly or not surprisingly – to increase missile defense funding as reflected in this year’s $362 million increase above the president’s budget request for missile defense.  I think you will see that members on both sides of the aisle recognize that in order to implement the administration’s myriad missile defense commitments that a top-line increase to the budget was necessary.  And hopefully, we will see that sustained in conference this year.

So PAA, the new phased adaptive approach, has captured much of the attention in Congress this year.  Since the administration announced PAA as its new approach to missile defense and the model for other regional missile defense architectures, our committee has sought greater detail to understand exactly what PAA is.  We want to hold the administration accountable to implementing its own policy.  I think you will see that many Republican members that I work with see the benefits of PAA and the flexibility and the mobility of the approach, particularly with its dependence on Aegis ships.

However, I think you will also see that many of these members are still trying to understand exactly how this new approach is more cost effective, how it provides more comprehensive coverage of Europe and the United States sooner than the previous approach and how it is more proven technologically.

Remember, at the end of the day, these members are accountable to their constituents and to American taxpayers.  If they are not convinced that this is the right approach and the right investment, how do they then turn around to their constituents and to the taxpayers and tell them this is worth our investment and taxpayer dollars?

I think there is an opportunity here for them to be convinced, but it will take greater engagement by the administration than we have seen to date.  As Congressman Michael Turner said at a hearing last spring, and I quote, “There is an opportunity to gain bipartisan support on this approach, but the committee must have confidence that the plans are credible, that policy decisions are supported by sound analysis, that cost performance and risk is well-understood and that the necessary force structure and resources are backed by an adequate budget.  Without such information, the committee is limited in its ability to conduct effective oversight,” end quote.

And you will see that much of the PAA-related legislation in this year’s House-passed defense bill is intended to help Congress in these oversight responsibilities.  Let me also quote a passage from the House report accompanying the fiscal year 2008 defense bill.  This was with respect to the previous administration’s approach.  Quote, the committee strongly supports the need to work closely with our NATO allies to defend against ballistic missile threats.  However, the committee has concerns with the administration’s current approach to proceed with the deployment on a bilateral basis without NATO’s full support, end quote.

So this language was focused on the previous administration’s approach.  It is absolutely relevant today.  And to date, I think primarily from a congressional perspective, we have seen PAA for Europe as a U.S.-only policy with U.S.-only systems.  Members of Congress will be keenly looking to the Lisbon Summit next month to see whether European missile defense and territorial missile defense, in particular, is endorsed.  They also want to understand what contributions our allies and partners will make. 

Budgetary challenges in the United States and European capitals are real and significant.  And I think European missile defense is more palatable when the costs and when the contributions are shared.  Also, I don’t think we have seen the end of Russian objections to European missile defense.  It would seem to me that 10 long-range interceptors and fixed silos in Poland that the Russians can inspect and monitor would seem to be relatively stabilizing.  We are now shifting to an approach where you have mobile assets of unknown quantities that move around.  And I think there will be some significant onus on the administration to further explain the PAA and also to figure out ways to build further transparency around this.

While I believe members on both sides of the aisle want to see constructive engagement with Russia on missile defense, anything that looks like an agreement or a deal, secret deal, whatnot that appears to limit U.S. missile defenses or leads to delays in the deployment of long-range missile defenses, I think, will be met with strong objection on Capitol Hill.

It is clear that the PAA for Europe and for other geographic regions has significant force structure and inventory implications.  Each region is different and the threats are different.  What works for Europe may not work for Asia.  We need to understand our unique requirements and ensure that the budget provides sufficient resources to meet them.  We need to understand what force structures require to get to the level of coverage discussed in PAA, which we have not seen yet. 
We also need to understand how we manage these low-density, high-demand assets like Aegis ships and Patriot batteries across different regions that are already stretched thin.  I am concerned that an increase in missile defense for Europe may result in less for commanders in the Pacific and in the Middle East, or vice versa.    

Let me just touch on two other items briefly here.  Homeland defense – I think perhaps one of the areas of difference I have observed between Republican and Democrat policy is their view on the long-range missile threat in homeland defense.  House Republicans have expressed concern about the timing of the latter phases of the PAA, phases three and four, which are designed to protect the U.S. homeland and all of Europe in 2018 and 2020.  So the PAA has not planned to cover all of Europe until 2018 or the United States until 2020, yet the IRBM threat to Europe we are starting to see materialize today and the ICBM threat from Iran could materialize as early as 2015, according to the latest intelligence assessments.

The PAA timeline for addressing long-range missile threats, coupled with last year’s $1.2 billion cut to missile defense and cut to GMD interceptors, risks a potential gap.  And I think members that I support believe this could leave us less capable over the long run. 

The Ballistic Missile Defense Review that came out last spring states that the U.S., quote, “will continue development and assessment of a two-stage ground-based interceptor as a hedge in case the threat comes earlier or in case any technical challenges arise with the later models of the SM-3 interceptor.”  I suspect you will continue to see Republicans press for ensuring these words are translated into concrete actions, investments and decision points.

I think maybe lastly, I will touch on START.  Obviously, the advice and consent responsibilities fall with the Senate.  And I am not in any sort of position to say whether or not Senate Republicans will ultimately ratify the treaty.  I can say, however, that I think House Republicans share many of the concerns of the senators with respect to missile defense and nuclear modernization. 

And I think you will continue to see House Republicans press for greater investments in nuclear modernization, particularly as the size of our arsenal shrinks.  And I think you will continue to see them press the administration to ensure that there are no delays to deploying long-range missile defenses or any sort of potential constraints on our ability to deploy missile defenses in Europe or continue to increase the robustness of homeland missile defense.  I will leave it there.

MR. WILSON:  Thanks, Kari.  Thank you very much.  I think that very helpfully sets out the terrain of concerns certainly among the – from a Republican perspective on the Hill.  I do know we have got some members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff in the audience, so we can circle back if we need to on some of the START issues as well.

But Jim, let me now turn to you.  It’s interesting, Kari actually began with the same theme that Under Secretary Tauscher began with last year, just to remind the audience of how far we have actually come in generating bipartisan support for missile defense in this country and that this is now a missile defense project which a Democratic administration is pursuing. 

But it is interesting, just maybe picking up on a few things that Kari said, clearly a caucus that wants to hold the administration accountable to its own policy to ensure that the commitments made are actually implemented.  And in that sense, still issues to address on cost effectiveness, the timing of some of this capability, the coverage that it will provide both in terms of in Europe and from a homeland defense perspective and the question around proven technology.

Also, part of what you have been working on – and this was a bit of a discussion the last round.  Up to now, the emphasis has really been a U.S. policy and U.S. systems.  What does it mean as we go towards the Lisbon Summit when we seek to get this decision out of the alliance?  How does this translate and take us beyond a discussion that is really dominated by U.S. policy and U.S. systems to a more NATO-ized approach to missile defense?  So please pick up on some of these issues, Jim.

MR. TOWNSEND:  Thank you, Damon.  As always, you have handed me a hot potato.  I appreciate that.  First, let me say it is great to be home back at the Atlantic Council.  I see a lot of friends in the audience.  It is great to be with Fred.  And I want to thank Ian Brzezinski and Jeff Lightfoot who have worked so hard to put this together with Raytheon as a sponsor.  And I just want to say that this is a great crew and great things are being done here.  It is wonderful to be back.

MR. WILSON:  And they did all the work.  That is right.

MR. TOWNSEND:  And Damon also for honchoing all of this, all of the work that has been done here.  It continues actually a tradition of the involvement of the Atlantic Council in the issues of today.  And speaking of today, I am going to get on a plane in just a few hours and head to the ministerial meeting on Thursday, which I will talk a little bit about.  And so as usual, the Atlantic Council is on the leading edge.  And so I will give you my remarks and then I am going to get on a plane and try to implement them.  So we will see where we go.

MR. WILSON:  Terrific.  Straight from the horse’s mouth.

MR. TOWNSEND:  First, as far as – I think a lot of the remarks that Kari made, I think are very important remarks in terms of questions that you hear from Republicans and not just from Republicans, but obviously, just the due diligence on implementing something like missile defense.  We have talked about how long this has been going on.  I think the questions she raises are excellent ones and they are ones that I know the administration is going to be working hard with the Congress and with allies and with others, too, to try to answer, because a number of the questions that she has laid out that you hear on Capitol Hill, you also hear in the halls of NATO as well. 

It is all part of us grappling with putting together and implementing a very complex system that I think Peter laid out so well.  And you know, Peter, I couldn’t help but think that you and I are also veterans of the third site.  When Peter was the assistant secretary of defense, I was in, I guess, the principal director in the European NATO office.  And together with Frank Rose who was here and Damon, I think you were probably part of this, too, we all were looking at missile defense when it was the U.S. approach through third site.  And that was complex in and of itself. 

And Ian, I will say, when you and I were working together, too, in terms of looking at the history of this in NATO, when you and I were doing it, we couldn’t even talk about missile defense at NATO.  Van Galbraith became the defense advisor there and his chief job was to try to begin the discussions in the European context and the NATO context about missile defense.  And so this has come a long way.  A number of us in this audience have played this role.

And as I think about third site, when I came back this time as a political appointee to the Pentagon, one of the first things that happened was, Gen. O’Reilly came and briefed me on this thinking that was going on that was going to – that they were thinking that given the intel and given technological changes, it seemed that we needed to make a shift.  And of course, having grown up with third site, I looked at that with great interest.  And the case looked pretty compelling.  And obviously, to Frank and to – and I will let Peter speak for himself, but there was a pretty compelling case that we needed to do that.

But the questions that Kari laid out, I think, still have got to be addressed as we go into the technology.  Peter and Kari both pointed out that this is going to go on through at least 2020 as we go through the phases of this, starting off in this first phase with the technology at hand, the Aegis cruisers and the SM-3s there, the radars, the SPY-1A and dealing with the threat at hand to a part of the alliance that comes within the range circles, if you will, of where we see the threat today. 

So we are going to be taking a long journey here.  And I think something Kari said that really stuck in my mind and that is the American taxpayers have got to have a case presented to them by their legislators that, in fact, this is worthy of the tax money that is going into it.  I believe it is.  I know that there are questions that need to be answered.  We want to very much play a role with the Congress, both on the Senate and the House, as we walk through this and we ensure that we are getting value for money here to meet what we have all agreed is a threat out there. 

And there is a great bipartisan measure.  In fact, Walt Slocombe, an Atlantic Council board member and so active with the Atlantic Council, last year we were up here talking about missile defense.  He made that point that it was so interesting that Democrats and Republicans were together talking about the threat, talking about the need to address that threat and trying to find the most cost-effective way.  So I think Kari’s points are well-taken.

But quickly, let’s think about the alliance, though.  I thought Ian asked a very good question to Frank about what is in it for the alliance and allies.  And there were some other points made along those lines.  It sounded almost too good to be true.  You know, what is interesting to me is – and Peter, it would be interesting to hear what you have picked up over the past few years working at NATO every day on this – the degree of concern that allies have about this threat.  You know, it depends on who you talk to in which capitals.  A lot of it does, as Frank pointed out, depend on your geographic position there in Europe.

But there is a growing concern about the unknown when it comes to missile threats.  You know, people point the finger at Iran.  They might point to Syria.  I say well, look, let’s look 15 to 20 years out.  We don’t know where that threat is coming from, but we need an insurance policy here.  We can’t wait until the unknown threat becomes known and is upon us before we try to build something that takes care of our security.  And I think that idea has gained credence in capitals, unlike when we were doing third site.

I remember going to Prague and giving a speech there.  In fact, I was in the Atlantic Council at the time and talking about the importance for the Czech people to host that radar.  And I had to deal with some skepticism.  I think a lot of that skepticism has gone away and I think it has gone away because they see missiles – they see missile test launches where the missile technology and the ranges are getting longer and the technology is getting more sophisticated coming out of Iran, certainly.

But I think there is a growing understanding that in this age and in the one to come, you can’t just be a bystander and expect the threat is going to be against someone else.  Oh, it is a U.S. problem or it is another nation’s problem.  It is one that the alliance has to take on because as I said, things become so complicated when you are dealing with particularly extremists who it is unpredictable who they will point the finger at as being the object of their wrath.  The U.S. is always on the short list for that kind of thing.  But other nations find themselves that way, too.

And it is not just something where a nation needs to be afraid that they may be in the crosshairs, but it is being held hostage, whether it is, you know, something that comes out of the European Union or something comes out of an allied nation that has upset extremists somewhere and a capability that is five or 10 years out is used to threaten or hold hostage a region or a group.  You just don’t know.  This is a matter of an insurance policy.  And I think what is particularly attractive now to allies is, this isn’t Star Wars.  This isn’t something that is a U.S. thing or even a Buck Rogers type of thing.  I think we have gotten used in NATO now and in Europe in talking about missile defense and particularly the phased adaptive approach and the affordability of it.

I think a lot of the questions that Peter pointed out were being asked early on in terms of, how much will nations have to pay in terms of the alliance?  What will they have to buy?  Is this a “buy American” plan for the United States?  A lot of those questions have been answered.  And I think this affordability – when you couple this idea of territorial defense with what NATO is already doing in terms of protecting deployed forces – that there is an affordability there, particularly over time.  And it is split among all the nations. 

So I think – I will say one more point, too, as Frank was wrestling with this question.  I have picked up in talking to allies that there is a desire to want to play in this as well.  You know, Frank talked about the Aegis capability that the Spanish have.  Well, it is not just the Spanish, but it is the Dutch, it is the Norwegians.  There is Patriots, as you know, in Germany.  There is the MEADS program that has been going now between Italy and Germany and the U.S. for a long time.  There are systems that are there, but more importantly, it is the political will.  I am picking up among nations that if this is going to happen, they want to play, they want to take part.

They will take part in terms of common funds when we have to get the ATLBMD to a point where it will be able to take on this territorial mission.  So that is paid for with common funds.  As I said, I think it is very affordable.  Peter outlined that.  But there will come a time, too, I think, in terms of systems and in terms of political will, where nations are going to want to be seen as part of this very important defense of their nation and of their alliance in the years to come.  And that has changed, Ian, between where you and I were.

I think nations come and they are very anxious to play.  You talk about the funding crisis today.  You are not going to have a nation today come up and say, you know, I want to buy something.  But we are talking years out and we are talking about a threat that will develop in the years to come.  And I think there is increasingly a political will in capitals where they say, we realize that, we understand that and we want to sit at the table and we want to develop this as a territorial approach where we can also work on command and control and be part of a lot of the decision making as if the alliance takes this on as an alliance capability that the alliance is going to want to be able to shape how this will be implemented and go into effect.

MR. WILSON:  Thanks, Jim.  I think you have teed up pretty well our next panel as well, where we have got a terrific lineup of Europeans that have come across the Atlantic to talk about the perspective, the demand coming from the European side.  And I am sure we will hear from many of you in the Q&A discussion here. 

But I wanted to – you are about to go get on a plane, head to Brussels.  This is why we are holding this meeting right now.  We wanted to hold this conference on the eve of the ministerial.  This is a special ministerial, a joint ministerial of NATO defense and foreign ministers.  And many weeks ago as we – several months ago as we were planning sort of the timeline of this particular event, it was obvious that the U.S. was targeting the end of this week as major progress in moving the alliance onboard with adopting the missile defense mission.

You, yourself talked about the change in dynamic of the Europeans having a desire to want to play.  What specifically do you see the administration walking away from on Friday, getting out of the alliance, getting out of the ministerial communiqué, what do you expect to happen this week?  And how does this tee up what you want to have happen at Lisbon?  What are your specific goals for both this ministerial and the Lisbon Summit?

MR. TOWNSEND:  Spoken like a true former NSC staffer.  Exactly.  What is the deliverable here?  And it is an important point and a good focus.  There is a couple of things happening.  Peter, you were part of this, too, before you left.  There is a committee at NATO that is working on a report, which I hope is going to be finished.  In fact, I was on my cell phone as Magnus (sp) came to pull me upstairs for this.  I was getting the latest from Joe Stein in Brussels. 

There is a committee.  It used to be the EWG.  Now it is the DPC committee.  We have been reorganizing the NATO committees, which is another panel that we should talk about these things – that is, putting out a report that goes a long way towards adding substance to answering the issues that Peter and Kari have both raised in terms of how is this going to work.  They are close to agreement on this. 

This will be something that will go to ministers, that will inform the discussions.  It is not a report that is going to have a recommendation necessarily to it or something.  But it is going to – it was tasked to this committee to do to inform the discussions of ministers in how will this work, the affordability, the technology, the kind of questions and concerns that nations have talked about.

This report will go to ministers.  We expect at the table – you know, this ministerial is going to start in the morning with a defense ministers meeting by themselves.  There will be the joint ministerial after lunch, foreign and defense ministers sitting together talking about issues such as the strategic concept.  There is a lot of things on the agenda.  And then in the afternoon, it will just be the foreign ministers.

And the point of this ministerial is to tee up issues and to put forward reports and work that we want the heads of state and government to bless in Lisbon.  So obviously, missile defense is one of the big – one of the big achievements we want the alliance to be able to have at Lisbon.  We want heads of state and government to bless this and to implement the work along the lines Peter was saying.  We have got to be aggressive afterwards, which I hope and expect that we will get this agreement, but we need to be aggressive afterwards to implement it.

But we are expecting around the table on Thursday, probably, among defense ministers strong expressions of support by ministers that they feel this work needs to go forward.  They will have the benefit of this report.  They will want the – what I hope they will express, what they plan to brief their head of state and government about in terms of missile defense, and what their recommendation is going to be in their capital as they prepare the delegations to go off to Lisbon. 

And so Friday, as we are boarding our planes to return back, I am hoping what we will see is not a communiqué.  There is not going to be anything in writing there.  But I think coming out of this ministerial, both from defense and foreign ministers, are strong expressions of moving forward, the answers to a lot of the questions that nations have had that will be in this report and a teeing up for decisions and holy water being thrown on this at the Lisbon Summit.

MR. WILSON:  Thanks, Jim.  Kari, as you sort of listen to this with a congressional ear, how much would a member of Congress hear what the alliance is doing and think okay, this actually is a very positive thing?  It helps us make the case, because now the alliance is endorsing or likely to endorse missile defense as a real mission, as a real operation. 

On the other hand, how much would a member be concerned by the fact that at the end of the day, the delta, the change among allies, maybe – I think someone referred to a $200 million figure this morning.  You made the case of justifying this to constituents and taxpayers and right now seeing the predominance of a U.S.-only system and a U.S.-only policy.  Does the NATO endorsement of missile defense provide what you need, and will that resonate well on the Hill?  Or will members tend to focus and be concerned about what the Europeans are really bringing to the table to NATO-ize this system?

MS. BINGEN:  Can I say all of the above?  I would go back to the previous approach, and not that I want to create any sort of dark (ph) comparison, but there is a certain standard or certain expectation that that set.  And I go back to April, I think it was 2008, the Bucharest Summit and the language in that communiqué that was very explicit in endorsement of the need for missile defense and starting to look further at some of the options for territorial missile defense.

So I think members will look to not only this week – and we have seen some very positive statements out of secretary general, including his op-ed that came out this morning, but that members will be looking to the Lisbon Summit to see some very similar language or, you know, it obviously can be different, it is a different approach, but that endorses this new approach and takes or shows commitment to taking further steps to get out of just the steady phase and to show commitment, to show investment, to actually take action to making this real rather than just a steadier concept.

MR. WILSON:  So the several billion dollar increase in the top-line budget that you advocated on the U.S. side, you are not going to have members that react when they peel back the surface and see the political endorsement that it really is maybe only a 200 million euro more investment on the European side.  Is that manageable up on the Hill?

MS. BINGEN:  I think the rhetoric has to be matched by action.  And I was talking to Ian actually earlier about this.  I think that you will see some different opinions, particularly within the House.  There are some that will say, this is an important capability for the alliance to protect our forward-deployed troops, to protect our allies.  We are committed to funding it, even if protection of the U.S. doesn’t come until the very end in phase four. 

There are others that say, you know, this is U.S. taxpayer dollars here.  We would like to see our allies step up and also directly contribute to this, particularly in the near-to-midterm when the protection that is being provided is directly to their benefit.  You know, you may see some in the Congress take more of an approach that – or question, why should U.S. taxpayers’ dollars be spent on something that we don’t derive direct benefit from?  So I think that there are several camps up on Congress and I don’t think that there is one particular view.

MR. WILSON:  Okay.  I want to turn to Peter.  I am going to ask you a question.  You might want to pick up on some of that as well.  Then I want to turn to the audience.  I see some hands already, bring you into this conversation.  But Peter, your remarks were, I thought, fairly positive on the idea of NATO-Russia cooperation.  You have had to deal with the trials and tribulations of heading up some of the NATO-Russia working groups on theater missile defense and issues like that.

The secretary general has been very clear that he sees missile defense as a potential major source of cooperation for NATO-Russia, major project for the new NATO-Russia Council.  There is even talk of President Medvedev coming to the Lisbon Summit where missile defense could be one of the headline accomplishments in the NATO-Russia Council.  Yet you are no longer at NATO.  You are no longer in government.  You are no longer constrained.

Over the years – I want to ask both – is there much technical value added?  What is the reality of how valuable this is in terms of NATO-Russia cooperation, in terms of what it adds to the capability and the debate?  And second, we have seen a sense of Russian ambivalence, ambiguity, sometimes outright hesitancy, reluctance to respond to specific proposals that the alliance will put forward.  Is this politically viable?  Is missile defense still too toxic of an issue for the Russians to jump on board as the major source of NATO-Russia cooperation?  Or does it actually offer the game-changing project to get NATO and Russia thinking about new threats, looking south towards their concerns rather than at each other?

MR. FLORY:  Okay.  Feeling unconstrained, then. 

MR.    :  Peter Flory unplugged.

MR. WILSON:  I know for a fact you have had to sit through painful, painful meetings on this.

MR. FLORY:  Unplugged.  I have always wanted to sing “Feelings” to a large audience.  Do you mind if I do that?  I won’t do that.

MR. WILSON:  We object.  (Laughter.)

MR. FLORY:  I wouldn’t characterize myself, I don’t think, as unduly optimistic.  I try not to be unduly anything.  But I think that this is in the realm of the manageable.  Now, it is not entirely manageable by ourselves because – and NATO has for several years, and the U.S. has, been quite forward-leaning in offering to cooperate and to share threat assessment and things like that.  And Russia has not wanted to dance.

MR. WILSON:  Right.

MR. FLORY:  And when you talk to people on the Russian side, you get a sense of why that is.  I mean, I was surprised meeting with a number of young Russians – I would say mid-30s, very smart young people, Ph.D.s from Western universities – I mean, these were not ‘50s era KGB thugs at all – who said in the context of the third site, you know, how do we know that the Americans aren’t using this to sneak in a surprise capability that would allow them to launch a sneak attack against Russia?

And when I explained to them that before coming to NATO, I had for a year and a bit been responsible for the Defense Department’s Russia policy, nuclear policy and missile defense policy and it had never occurred to me to do such a thing, I think they were offended and found it hard to believe that.  And that is going to be a difficult attitude to overcome because, again, these were not old thinkers.  These were smart new people, globalized people plugged into the new environment.

So I think there is going to be some explanation that has to be done there.  I think – but on the other hand, I think that is capable of being done because I think the arguments are good ones.  And I think from Russia’s side, there are very good and valid arguments as to why Russia should want to do this with us.  But there are some hurdles to get over.  On the threat assessment, for example, we have had Russian and U.S. threat briefers come to brief the North Atlantic Council.  And, you know, you wouldn’t have gotten the impression they were talking about remotely the same thing in terms of the potential threat from Iran or other countries.

I don’t know how that work is going now.  I think it will still not produce anything like a shared threat assessment.  But I think there is certainly a potential, at least for a greater convergence there and something that would allow Russia to do something that could be helpful, because for reasons that have been explained before, as a function of geography and technology, Russia can do useful things.  And Russia, in my view, has a strong interest in doing them.  So I didn’t want to give the impression that I thought this was going to be easy.  But I do think it is doable and within the realm of possibility.

Just in terms of a couple of Jim’s points.  I think, Jim, you are absolutely right.  In terms of the debate, I didn’t – I promised six minutes and I was worried I was getting out of them, so I didn’t go through all the things that I had written down.

MR. WILSON:  You all went over.

MR. FLORY:  We did?  Okay. 

MR. TOWNSEND:  Well, you have got to understand.  At NATO, six minutes, you are still working through your acronyms after six minutes.  You haven’t even actually said any words yet.

MR. FLORY:  But I think the sense, the flip side of the willingness to take a broader approach to deterrence is a recognition that deterrence maybe is not the absolute that we traditionally thought it was, and that there are cases, there are enemies who may not be deterrable (sic).  I think Jim’s point about an insurance policy is sort of the catch-all phrase that captures that.  And again, when you look out from Europe, you know, where people are prosperous and generally happy and you look around the world and see places where people are less happy and in some cases, where people are actually quite unhappy and quite angry.

And you see in cases like the Khartoum crisis or you see the plotting against European targets that, hey, they are not just angry at the Americans, that this is a broader threat.  So I think all of these things have come together and I think have been critical elements, again, in getting us to where we are going into the ministerial and going into the summit.

MR. WILSON:  That is a good reminder, Peter.  I don’t want to monopolize this conversation, so I want to turn to the audience.  Please catch me eye if you have a question.  Why don’t we start in the front row with Steve Larrabee right here?  Please introduce yourself for the record.

Q:  Steve Larrabee, RAND.  This is for Jim, but also Peter.  It relates to Turkey because there has been a lot of – I won’t say a lot – but there is considerable discussion about, in the later phases, perhaps some deployment on Turkish territory.  On the other hand, the impression I get both from being in Turkey and reading the press is that Turkey is rather ambivalent, if not reluctant to possibly allow the deployment on their territory.

I was wondering if the two of you could say a word about that whether it is true and what you think the concerns are.

MR. TOWNSEND:  Thank you, Steve.  It is great to see you this morning.  I would say there is probably not ambivalence in Ankara.  I think there is – I think this is something that probably takes up a lot of time of the Turkish decision-makers as they wrestle with this issue.  Obviously, Turkey is in a very special place in a lot of different ways right now in terms of the political context within which they have to make their decisions in keeping with where they are located and who their neighbors are and the vast history that Turkey has with its neighbors in terms of trade and all the various relations.  Things that are – things that deal with their neighborhood are things that have to be fought through very thoroughly in Ankara.

So I don’t envy the Turkish decision makers who are getting their ministers ready for Thursday’s ministerial meetings, as well as the Lisbon Summit, where they are going to have to – where they are going to have to consider two things at least.  One is their vote when it comes to NATO taking on missile defense as a capability, as an alliance capability.  And number two, what kind of role Turkey wants to play.

Obviously, because of their geography, Turkey is a good location to host a part of this system.  And so Turkey’s decision there sends signals to its regional neighbors and impacts a lot of Turkish national agenda items, too, and a lot of relations.  So they are thinking very hard about this.

I will say, also, as we have talked with Turkey so much about this, I think there is a realization in Ankara of the important of missile defense, anyway, as a concept.  This isn’t something that the Turks think are, you know, beyond the grasp of the alliance or beyond their grasp or something that is a bit of pie-in-the-sky thinking, if you will.  I think with the Turks, I think they realize there is a security threat here to the alliance.  I think they realize that, you know, the threat of ballistic missiles over time is something that the alliance has got to grapple with.

The Turks have been part of the studies and part of the debate.  In fact, it was a Turkish – it was – the Turkish representative on the EWG and I are the ones that put the language in the communiqué – I guess it was in 2001 – that started this whole studies process.  And I thought the point about the Bucharest language that Kari made was very important because that Bucharest communiqué was very strong on missile defense.  I was at the Atlantic Council at the time.  But I remember Fred during our staff meetings saying, this is something that we ought to pay attention to, because this is a big sea change.

And, of course, Turkey was part of that, too.  So I think right now what we are seeing is not ambivalence and not reluctance as much as we are seeing Turkey trying to balance what they know is important for European security, trans-Atlantic security, the alliance security, their security and trying to see how this meshes with their own political calculations living in the region where they live.

MR. WILSON:  Peter, did you want to add a word on Turkey?

MR. FLORY:  No, I think Jim hit all the right bases.  I mean, I don’t know if I would call it ambivalence.  I would say this is a difficult issue.  You know, Turkey is thinking through its equities there.  But I think at the end of the day, I think Turkey is going to be – I hope and expect Turkey will be part of a positive alliance decision.

MR. WILSON:  We have seen out of Tbilisi the Georgians responding vigorously that if there is ambivalence in Turkey, they would more than be willing to welcome it in Georgia.  So Edgar, let me turn to you for our second question.

Q:  I wanted to come back on Kari’s remarks effectively about burden sharing.  And these are obviously points which will be taken up in the House discussions and elsewhere.

MR. WILSON:  I am going to interrupt to let Kari – Edgar (sp) used to be the assistant secretary general for defense for NATO as well working on many of these issues, now at Thales.

MR. TOWNSEND:  And Kari, let me warn you that he was my chairman at NATO.  And whenever he gets a microphone in his hand, you have got to watch out.  So being a Democrat, I will, however, give you an assist there to listen carefully.

Q:  All very unfair.  I was just going to say that obviously, first of all, the burden-sharing question in general is a very valued one.  And I support more equal distribution of burdens.  But secondly, in NATO, not every military capability is shared equally among all the allies.  As a matter of fact, the United States has always contributed more than half of all the air capability that the alliances had, about 70 percent of it, in fact, in terms of strike aircraft.  And that is accepted.  If you look at other parts of the alliance, it is not like that.  If you look at the number of troops available for Article 5 defense, there are more troops in Europe than the Americans would bring to the defense of Europe.  So you have to keep that in mind. 

Secondly, coming to this 200 million (dollar) figure for missile defense to bring it from ALTBMD to missile defense, that is the common-funded bill, which, of course, the United States would pay about 20 percent of, which all the allies will pay.  The individual allies’ contributions are separate from that.  And then you have to look at the existing facilities that they already bring.  So a lot of these radars which turn out to have a good missile defense capability have already been funded by the allies and paid for.

If you look at the command-and-control system, that has already been funded in part by my company that has lost 150 million euros developing the damn thing.  There are contributions which have to be put into the balance.  It is not a straightforward question of looking at the gazillions that the United States has spent and comparing it to the 200 million (dollars) common-funded cost of bringing up the backbone to missile defense capabilities.  I just wanted to point that out.

MR. WILSON:  And to be fair to Kari, I am the one that prejudiced the question by pointing to the $200 million common-funded element, not the national element. 

MS. BINGEN:  And just to be able to respond to that, I think we would all agree that there was a significant amount of investment left to go for us to fully realize phases one through phases four of the phased adaptive approach for Europe and for other regions in the globe that the administration would like to see this applied to.  I think unfortunately, we are seeing very tight budget constraints now within the U.S. and focused domestically.  And we are also seeing that in European capitals. 

I had an opportunity to go to England a couple weeks ago and talk with their defense minister.  They have some very significant budget challenges ahead of them.  It is not just unique to their capital.  I think it is widespread across Europe.  So you come down to that very simplistic question of, if you have a dollar of taxpayer money to spend on missile defense, where do you put that dollar?  Do you spend it to protect Americans, which many Americans would argue for that, or do you spend it to not protect Americans, to protect allies?

Now, you also protect forward-deployed troops.  I don’t think it is a very simple either/or.  This is not a black and white question.  I think many members of Congress would argue we need to do both.  It needs to be a balanced approach.  But I think there may be some that recoil in this tight environment and say, why shouldn’t we take that dollar and spend it on protecting the American homeland first?  So I think you may see some of that debate.  And I am not going to argue which one is right.  I just think that that may be a debate to come. 

The other point that you make with respect to sensors that a lot of the allies have contributed or have invested quite a bit to mature sensors, to mature interceptor capabilities and whatnot, I think that is true.  What we in Congress have not yet seen is how all of that comes together.  We have seen an announcement of a new policy.  We haven’t seen the architectural details that implement that policy.  So I think until we see that engagement and that PowerPoint briefing or whatever it is, until we see how that architecture comes together and what are all of those assets that are going to be put on the table, we look right now and see well, this PAA that was announced last fall, it is a U.S. approach with U.S. systems.

So I do hope the ALTBMD – it sounds like there has been a lot of work on that, a lot of investment, a lot of capabilities.  We just need to see all that come together and we need to see it integrated. 

MR. WILSON:  That is a good point.  I want to turn to Ian for a question here as well.

Q:  One question to Jim and Peter and one question to Kari.  Jim and Peter, what do we look for as decision points or indicators that the phased adaptive approach is actually evolving into a NATO missile defense approach?  I like the phrase NATO studies, stuck in NATO studies.  NATO has done these big studies.  You know, we should think about territorial defense.  What is it you look for if you are sitting on the outside that really indicates the alliance is stepping up and really taking on this mission?  Is it the development of a CONOPS?  Is it force allocations by allies through the force process? 

And then for Kari, you gave a great presentation last year in which you really raised some issues about the administration’s commitment to the PAA.  And I remember distinctly you were saying, where is the money?  You were looking at the budget process and the budget submissions and you were not seeing the right amount of dollars for Aegis ships and such.  Based on this year’s budget request, is the administration really standing up budgetarily (sic) to its vision for phased adaptive approach?

MR. WILSON:  Good questions.  Peter, do you want to start and then Jim, conclude with Kari?

MR. FLORY:  Yeah, I mean, in terms of decision points, I mean, I think some of them are going to be some of the numbers and dates you have already seen up there.  I am confident there will be decisions at Lisbon.  The next important decision points will be when we decide to do what we have actually decided to do.  As I said earlier, go from thinking to action and also by implementing them and getting them through the NATO processes, making sure, for example, that the discrete parts of ALTBMD are handled by the agencies, handled by the resource committees in such a way that they actually deliver it.  So the assembly line is actually working and things are coming out the other end.

I would say, though, that actually a lot of things are already happening.  I went – I guess it was last year – to JPOW, Joint Project Optic Windmill, which is an air command-and-control-focused event, but also with a significant missile defense component.  And you saw there are soldiers and airmen and sailors from a number of NATO missions sitting there and doing missile defense.  Now, they didn’t have a strategic order from the alliance to do it.  But what they were doing was working on the day-to-day tasks that are involved in it.  They didn’t have a formal approved by the military committee CONOPS.  But they were doing it.  They were doing the things that are necessary.

It reminded me of going to Fort Greely four or five years ago when the U.S. decision had just been – system had just been deployed operational launching.  Again, soldiers sitting in front of screens figuring out how do you do this and evolving their tactics, their TTP and CONOPS and ways of doing business.  That is already happening.  It is not – there is nothing invidious about this.  It is not out ahead of any proposal.  It is not trying to jump the gun.  It is simply, people are already working through the problems and how to solve them.  So I think a lot of that work is actually going on.


MR. TOWNSEND:  I would like to – (audio break) – myself.  Money talks, as you know.  And so –

MR.    :  It never sleeps.  (Laughter.)

MR. TOWNSEND:  It depends on who is doing your investing, right?  Mine sleep a bit, I am afraid.  But you know, there is a couple of things.  And, you know, actually Ian, your point about from the outside, what do you look for?  And that is the problem with NATO generally, as we know.  A lot of this goes on, on the inside.  And also, it goes on in such a way that is so nuanced, it is hard to tell.  So it is an important point for all of us in terms of NATO outreach.

But there are a couple of things right now that I would point to.  One is that – I am going to point to two things.  We just agreed to a report that will be going to ministers and then to heads of state and government that makes smaller and actually makes quite efficient the NATO command structure. 

If NATO agrees to take on territorial missile defense at Lisbon, we have already in our thinking, we already have thought of where you would put the command and control and the operational portion for missile defense.  That is something that, as we did the work around the table, we all realized that – noticed a political decision had been made, but because we were talking about command structure, we had to take this into account just in case.  So we have already got in our minds now where in the structure this would go.     

Secondly, I talked about this report that is coming out.  And I think what is important is that – you know, when we talk about stuck and doing stuck in studies, it is really – it is not quite what it sounds like.  These studies go towards answering a lot of the questions that Kari pointed out that the Congress is interested in.  Well, the allies are, too.  And these studies get at that.  And they get at it and they inform decisions that have to be made.  And this study that is going to be going to ministers and then probably to heads of state and government, but certainly to ministers, is a very robust, if you will, compilation of data that will go into make implementation possible.

It answers questions.  It looks at the money, looks at feasibility.  But it also provides a bit of a roadmap on what we are going to have to do after Lisbon.  So that is there.  But the third, and I think the most important, point is this.  Part of the package that is going to go to Lisbon and it is going to go to ministers – and I can’t remember if it is past silence or not, so forgive me on this.  I know there is a set of brackets in there.

And this is called the LCCC – part of the acronyms – the Lisbon Capability Commitment.  I can’t remember what the other C is.  Do you remember what it is, Peter?  The LCCC.

MR. FLORY:  I don’t.

MR. TOWNSEND:  Anyway, what we have done – and this gets to the money side of it, understanding that all of us, including the United States, we are having now to wrestle with the economic problems that all of us have to have and the deficits in a lot of nations as they go into looking at how governments are spending money.  We said, well, look, let’s pluck from those projects that are right now in the pipeline for common funds, and let’s pick 10 of them and let’s go to Lisbon with these 10 and say to heads of state and government, we need your commitment that we will continue to use common funds to take forward these 10 projects.

One of them has to do with counter-IED in Afghanistan.  One deals with cyber.  There is one dealing with missile defense.  Right now that is in brackets because we haven’t decided yet if we are going to take on this territorial mission.  But right now there is getting ready for Lisbon these 10 projects that heads of state and government will commit to, to spending money on despite the economic downturns, despite the impact on common funds.  But in the next year, we are going to put money towards those.  And that includes missile defense.

So these are just some discrete indicators that you will see.  But I take the point, though.  And Peter made this point, too.  Post-Lisbon, there will still be some studies needed.  But there is going to have to be a lot of the implementation taking place, monies being transferring and IOCs being met because remember, ALTBMD and a lot of the work being done on missile defense has already been decided and funded.  There are things going on right now, the JPOWs that Peter talked about.  But what we want to see, though, as we go forward with a territorial capability is those elements from that part of ALTBMD going forward.

And as you see, we have got things perched and ready.  We get the go signal at Lisbon; things are going to happen post-Lisbon.

MR. WILSON:  Very useful, Jim, I think, to put it in that context.  Final word, are you more comfortable now with the budget numbers that you see coming to alleviate these concerns?

MS. BINGEN:  It is better than last year.  If we go back to last year, you will recall there was a $1.2 billion cut to the top line of missile defense.  And many of the members that I work for argued vociferously that this forced a false trade because all of those cuts went against protecting the U.S. homeland in missile defense capabilities and a lot of them targeted future capabilities or R&D investments. 

So my members argued that it forced a false trade between theater missile defense or regional missile defense and homeland missile defense.  And such a trade should not have been forced.  Both could have been funded without that $1.2 billion cut.  So fast forward a year, of that 1.2 billion, roughly 600 million (dollars) was restored, so that is positive.  I would just – from my committee’s action alone, which added 362 million to the top line this year, I think that is an indicator that the current funding is not sufficient.

And if you go back and you just look at all of the commitments that the administration is making and saying in missile defense, you have a new policy, you have this new phased adaptive approach.  There is a commitment to buy more ships, more interceptors, more other assets to do more testing, to continue to sustain a ground-based midcourse defense system in Alaska and California and evolve those capabilities, to invest in a two-stage hedge in case developments with the latter phase of the SM-3 interceptor don’t pan out.  You also see a greater international commitment.

So there is a whole host of commitments there.  All of that requires money.  So I think you will continue to see folks in Congress recognize that the resources need to match – you know, if these commitments are to be executed, the resources need to match that.  Also, we still have yet to get a good handle on exactly what the force structure of this new policy will be.  Just to give you an example, if you were to look at our Aegis ships, we have got 21 missile defense Aegis ships today.  If you have one shooter out at sea, you probably want to have a second one for a redundant or a backup capability.  And you may want a third or fourth ship for force protection.

There are three to four ships right there for one ship station.  You have got 21 ships in the arsenal today.  That has got to protect you in the Asia Pacific region, in the CENTCOM region and in Europe.  You start doing the math and you start to run out of ships pretty quickly.  You could make the same argument for interceptors that we have today and overall assets, whether you are talking Patriot batteries, that in the pipeline, et cetera.

So I think we need to get some clear analysis out of the administration in terms of what exactly are those force structure requirements going to be in the future, understanding that there is a lot of uncertainty with how the threat evolves.  But we need to know what those force structures are, so that we know whether or not the budget is sufficient.

MR. WILSON:  Thank you, Kari.  I know we could keep going on and on.  I know we have got some more questions in the audience.  I am going to have to close because I am keeping the audience from lunch.  We have promised to help Jim get out to catch a flight.  So we can continue this conversation over sandwiches and pick it back up in our final panel with our European panelists this afternoon.

So let me thank Peter, Kari, Jim.  Thank you so much for your insights and joining us today.  I really appreciate that.  (Applause.)

MR. FLORY:  Can I make a 30-second point?  I promise it will be 30 seconds.  But the burden-sharing issue is important.  It is important to show the 200 million (dollars).  It is also important to show the 800 million (dollars) sitting on.  It is important for Edgar and his colleagues and his nations to develop capabilities.  But at the end of the day, this is not a new question.  This is not a new debate.  I mean, defending Europe at one level has never been cost effective for the United States.  It has simply been something that has been in the United States strategic interest, whether protecting against Soviet tanks or protecting from blackmail by Iran or whoever.

I mean, I think the questions are all legitimate ones.  But I think we are still in the same strategic situation we were before and I think the answer is the same.

MR. WILSON:  You got the final word.

MR. TOWNSEND:  And I would say, too, it is more cost effective to go about protecting Europe than to withdraw into ourselves and find that we were sorry that we did that.  We did that before.

MR. WILSON:  We will let our administration official have the final word.  Thank you.  (Applause.)


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