Full transcript of the fourth panel entitled “The Broader Arms Control Agenda” at the 2009 missile defense conference “Missile Defense in Europe: Next Steps.”
- Greg Schulte, Former U.S. Permanent Representative to the IAEA & Senior Visiting Fellow, National Defense University
- Camille Grand, Director, Foundation pour la Recherche Strategique
- Michael Nacht, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs
- Stephen Rademaker, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Nonproliferation and International Security & Senior Counsel, BGR
October 7, 2009
DAMON WILSON: I know we’ve had a long day today, beginning from 8:30 this morning, so we want to get underway with our last discussion. I want to hand this over to Greg Schulte to moderate our discussion on the broader arms control nonproliferation agenda that flows out a lot of the conversation we’ve had today. Greg Schulte is a good friend of the council, good friend of mine personally, having returned from Vienna as ambassador to the IAEA, a former colleague at the National Security Council as executive secretary with a long career at the Department of Defense, now at NDU. Greg?
GREG SCHULTE: As Damon said, I recently returned from Vienna and I mentioned that to someone recently and they asked me if I took I-66 or the orange line, and I had to explain to them, Vienna, Austria. You know Mozart and so forth. And then the person went ahead to thank me for having served in Vienna as though it was Kabul or Baghdad. And I had to explain to them it was actually a rather nice place to serve and some rather fascinating issues to work on, including Iran. And I have to say at the outset that I think I agree with what everyone said that it is shortsighted – it would be shortsighted of us and of NATO to link this architecture solely to Iran.
On the other hand, I think it’s a little bit farfetched – I’m sorry, Harlan, to sort of suggest there’s a future out there where there is an Iran without nuclear weapons because I’ve just spent four years working hard and worrying a lot about Iran’s nuclear pursuits and what we have seen – what I saw them over the last four years was steadily building up the capability of nuclear weapons. Despite multiple Security Council resolutions, they moved ahead enriching uranium at one site. We recently revealed to the world a second secret site, where they have been conducting research, a site that is not consistent with civilian purposes, where they’re preparing to install centrifuges to do more enrichment there.
Also worrisome that we saw that Iran had engaged in weaponization type work, and this was not just studies. This was engineering work. This was testing that looked at how you actually take highly enriched uranium and put it into an implosion device and how do you then take that implosion device and put it in a chamber that can be fitted on the top of a Shahab-3.
Now, the IAEA is investigating that information. You perhaps read recently about a secret assessment that IAEA inspectors have done. Looking at that, I can tell you the IAEA inspectors find this information that they’ve gotten, not just from us, but from a lot of other sources, to be very credible and very worrisome and indicate at a minimum that there was a weaponization program, but also suggest that it could be continuing. And in any event, you might not catch it if it were to restart.
So I think there are real reasons to be concerned about an Iranian nuclear weapon and there’s a real reason to be concerned that that weapon could be placed on top of a ballistic missile, whether it’s a Shahab-3 or another missile, which makes ballistic missile defense very, very relevant.
Now, I have to commend the administration for some rather adroit diplomacy recently. When the P5 plus 1 met with Iran, the very first time that Bill Burns got to go and participate in the negotiations, back on October 1st in Geneva, I like many other cynical analysts just sort of assumed that the Iranian negotiator would show up and would do his best to sort of just delay negotiations and buy time so they could continue with their nuclear program and stave off sanctions. But actually, what the administration was able to extract was an agreement to take a large portion of the low enriched uranium that they had produced and stockpiled at the first enrichment site, send it off to Russia and then send it to France to have it fabricated into fuel rods for a research reactor. This was a bit of a coup. My congratulations to the administration for it. But we’ve already seen backsliding by the Iranians, suggesting that perhaps they didn’t agree to that and we’ve also seen the Iranians saying that this was a great victory. Okay, that’s fine for them to say it, but they said, “The U.S. has now recognized our enrichment capabilities.”
So this is a little diplomatic breakthrough, but we still have a long ways to convince Iran to give up these enrichment capabilities.
It’s hard to know what the domestic situation in Tehran and the implications will be for their willingness to negotiate for their decisions on a nuclear weapons program. It is conceivable and one would hope that perhaps the leadership would be desperate for some international legitimacy to try to reinforce their domestic legitimacy, and that might give them an incentive to conduct serious negotiations and try to avoid further sanctions.
But it’s equally likely that a leadership that feels under peril, a leadership that feels a little bit isolated domestically, a leadership who believes their own rhetoric that we are the ones who were stirring up all those problems in Iran may be very much focused on regime survival and may – a little bit like the North Korean leadership – see nuclear weapons as a way to protect that regime’s survival.
So it’s possible that the domestic situation could push them over the hump and have them conclude they actually want a nuclear weapon.
So I think from the defense planning standpoint, whether it’s the United States or NATO, we have to assume that Iran is going to have nuclear armed ballistic missiles. We have to factor that into our planning. Now, I know, Damon’s saying you weren’t supposed to talk about defense planning. You were supposed to talk about arms control.
President Obama asked me to stay on in Vienna and one of my easier jobs was to go around after he gave his speech in Prague and to sell it to all my colleagues. They all loved it. They were all, with a few exceptions – anyone from the French Embassy here? Well, with a few exceptions – you’re not from the embassy anymore – but with a few exceptions, my colleagues were delighted at the speech in Prague. They were delighted that we’re getting back into the arms control game. They were delighted that we had set zero as a goal. And frankly, as a diplomat, that helped me do my job because suddenly I could talk about what we wanted to do on nonproliferation as being not just a nonproliferation measure, but also a disarmament measure, something to help create the conditions for zero nuclear weapons.
But the real challenge, I think, for the administration now is to go beyond this sort of good feeling and use it to convince not only allies, but other countries, that we need stronger nonproliferation measures and stronger measures to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons or to at least contain the results of their having nuclear weapons.
Now, the questions that we’ve been asked to address, I think we’ve already started talking about in the previous panels, but the first is how will the missile defense decision influence the administration’s arms control agenda. And we are fortunate to have a senior official from the administration who perhaps will give us some insights, Michael Nacht.
Secondly, how will it influence our arms control negotiations with Russia? I think we started to answer that. Maybe we’ve answered definitively in the last panel, but it’d be interesting to hear views here as well.
And then third, how do our European allies see the opportunities and risks associated with this.
I’m pleased to have with me first at the far end of the table Dr. Michael Nacht, who is the assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs. This is his third tour in the U.S. government, having worked at NASA and having worked at ACDA in the past.
MICHAEL NACHT: Gen. Scowcroft said to me in Giant one day, “Once is understandable; twice is unclear; three times is unforgivable.” (Laughter.)
MR. SCHULTE: I did three tours in the NSC staff and I told the human resources person, never let me come back again, so I understand that.
But anyway, Dr. Nacht, before this, was dean of the UC Berkeley School of Public Policy, and as a Berkeley graduate I have great respect for that. He also taught at the University of Maryland and at Harvard’s Kennedy School. As a graduate of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, I’ll forgive you for having taught at the Kennedy School. We’re pleased to have you here today.
We also have Camille Grand, who is the director of the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris. He just recently published a book with CSIS, an essay on U.S.-European nonproliferation perspectives. He has done nonproliferation issues at the Quai d’Orsay, where we had the opportunity to collaborate together on the India civil nuclear deal and at the ministry of defense.
And then to my right, we have Steve Rademaker, who I’ve also worked very closely with. He’s a senior counselor now at Barbour Griffith & Rogers. He was the national security advisor to the Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. He has been an assistant secretary for arms control, for international security and nonproliferation and he was a counselor on the Hill and also with the Peace Corps, which I didn’t know about that.
So anyway, if I could first turn to Dr. Nacht, and then Camille.
MR. NACHT: Great, thank you. Well, as I understand, the topic of this last panel is the impact of missile defense on the broader arms control agenda, so I’m going to offer a perspective on this and the perspective is from the Department of Defense, so it’s not an all inclusive perspective of the Obama administration and it’s not intended to cover all the bases like Iran and a lot of other things.
The missile defense decision that was just recently made with respect to the European site, what you’ve heard a lot already from general O’Reilly and Undersecretary Tauscher and perhaps other, is actually part of a ballistic missile defense review that we’re conducting for what we should do and what are the objectives of U.S. missile defense worldwide. And the missile defense review is one of four reviews that are being conducted out of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy, my immediate superior.
The overarching study is the Quadrennial Defense Review, which is once every four years, major review of all U.S. force needs, the budgetary requirements for those forces, their missions. It’s an extraordinarily elaborate, detailed, highly interactive study. And that’s sort of the overarching chapeau for three other studies, all of which come out of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Global Strategic Affairs. They are the Nuclear Posture Review, the Ballistic Missile Defense Review, and the Space Posture Review.
I begin my comments from this perspective because the Defense Department is not per se the lead on arms control, but we are the lead on trying to have the weapons systems that we need to protect the nation and defend it properly.
The statements made by President Obama in April in Prague really set the highest level architecture for what we’re going to do. And I think if you had to boil down what the president said, as we’ve done, there were two pillars to the president’s strategy which we are now seeking to further through policies and guidance. One is to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy, reduce their numbers, reduce maybe where they’re deployed, possibly alter what we say about their use, the declaratory policy changes, and so forth.
Separately, but just as important, is the recognition that nuclear weapons are going to be with us for a long time. The president said probably will be with us beyond his lifetime and he’s a young man. Therefore for the foreseeable future the nuclear weapons that we have, have to be safe, secure, and effective. They have to be a safe, secure, and effective deterrent against aggression and of course against nuclear use.
So in all the studies that I mentioned, especially the NPR, the BMDR, and to some degree the Space Posture Review, we’re seeking to balance those two goals – reduce the reliance, but keep a safe, secure, and effective deterrent.
Now, just let me begin with what actually happened first, which was the three studies began really right around the time or really just after the president’s statement. They all began around April of 2009. And in July, we knew that there was going to be a summit meeting between President Obama and President Medvedev on the pathway toward the START follow-on agreement. So here now you have some intersection between defense policy and arms control.
So an initial phase of the NPR was directed to determine the force levels that we thought we could live with, which could then be used as a basis for negotiating the START follow-on treaty that Rose Gottemoeller from the State Department, the heads for the U.S. delegation.
So a first phase of the NPR was intended to guide the negotiations for the START follow-on treaty and this led to an announcement by the two presidents in July in Moscow on two ranges of systems that we’re considering limiting in the START follow-on. One is operationally deployed strategic nuclear weapons and ranges 15-116, 175. And the other was strategic nuclear delivery vehicles. And that was five to 1,100.
The way we determined that was a very elaborate, interactive, and iterative process, involving all the main constituencies in the Pentagon, involving other agencies of government, including the State Department, Department of Energy, and the National Security Council. And ultimately it went right to the top leadership and to the White House and to the president.
Somewhat – and now we have this ongoing negotiation and hopefully we’ll have a treaty that will be completed before the START treaty expires in December 5, 2009. So it’s just a couple of months away.
In a somewhat similar fashion, we were conducting the Missile Defense Review, and then it became clear that it was better to make a decision sooner rather than later on the European site. We had inherited a decision from the Bush administration that called for ground based interceptors in Poland, just 10 of them, and a fairly extensive radar, mid-course radar in the Czech Republic, none of which, of course, had been deployed yet, but the commitment to do it had been made, although in neither case do the Poles or the Czechs have their parliaments ratify the agreement. The government’s approved, but the parliament did not ratify it.
And we sat back and we looked at that commitment and then determined is that the best way to go for an additional site for missile defense because we already have two sites for continental U.S. defense in Fort Greely, Alaska, and in Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. And we determined that a lot had changed since the decision had been made by the president, President Bush, and approved by Secretary Gates, the same secretary who we work for today. That the technologies have become far more advanced – the sensors and the interceptors – that they have been proven effective in quite a number of tests under realistic testing conditions, which had not been true before. And also that there was this emphasis, at least in the short term, the current term by the Iranians on the short and medium range missiles and not the ICBMs, which we thought might be coming sooner rather than later.
Although we’re very much aware that the intelligence assessments can change, they could be incorrect; we can’t just have a deployment decision based upon current intelligence assessments. But the initial thought was to move forward with the European missile defense decision that would meet the immediate threat, which comes to the conclusion then to deploy systems more likely located in Southeastern Europe, possibly as well in Poland and the Czech Republic, but systems that can get into the field sooner rather than later.
One of the issues – I think you have Congressman Turner here previously – I was on a panel with Congressman Turner in Boston a couple of weeks ago and – I don’t know if he said this at this meeting, but at that meeting he said, well, you know, actually the GBIs could have gone in sooner than the SM-3s.
The issue there is how long it takes to negotiate an agreement with the host government. Now, this gets into the weeds, but I caught the last past of the statement at the panel just preceding this and someone said something which is not quite accurate. We had an agreement with the Polish government to put the GBIs in a particular spot. If we want to put the SM-3s in the same spot, then it’s the same contract. It’s the same deal. But if we want to put the SM-3s in a different part of Poland, which we might want to do to tailor it more to the Iranians, it requires a modification to the agreement, which is a whole new negotiation, the duration of which could be measured in years.
So it’s a tricky business to, at one point, make a national decision about missile defense and another thing to actually have these systems in the ground.
That’s probably more than you want to know about this part, but I’m just mentioning how the missile defense decision was made with an eye really toward an Iranian threat.
Now, let me finish because I don’t want to take more time.
There is a whole arms control agenda that the president has laid out and the sequence appears to be first the START follow-on treaty, followed possibly, possibly by submission of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty for Senate ratification, which will be a tough fight. It will also include a moving further along, a four-year lockdown that the president wants to achieve on all nuclear materials, which really gets to the heart of what the president is trying to do with arms control, which is really to close down the nuclear terrorist approach. That’s identified as the top priority. It’s the top threat to the United States, terrorist use of nuclear weapons against our allies, against our forces, and against ourselves and the U.S.
There will be a nuclear summit in the spring at which progress will be discussed. It’s another benchmark. There will be the NPT review conference and we want to go into that review conference in April and into May with a head of steam about things that we’re doing to generate more support, not only for these international agreements, but more support if necessary for sanctions against Iran, more support to deal with the North Koreans. So there’s a whole list of objectives on the arms control side.
The defense – missile defense aspect is to say we’re there to provide defenses for our allies, for ourselves, for our forwardly placed forces. We have to do that for defense. We have to do that to deter. We’re deploying to reassure our allies that the commitments are real. We’re really there. We’re not abandoning Eastern Europe or any other of our allies. NATO security is indivisible. All 28 countries are going to be protected under NATO treaty obligations. We’re going to do that with the Japanese. We’re going to do that with the South Koreans.
So missile defense, as a non-nuclear system – I remember that first part, reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. – a non-nuclear system should have a greater role to play in the future because they’re more effective. They are non-nuclear and they serve this panoply of objectives and may, may facilitate arms control as well. But the direct linkage to arms control I think is not that explicit. So I think that is the Defense Department’s perspective on these matters. There’s more to discuss, but in the interest of time, I’ll stop there.
MR. SCHULTE: Thank you, Michael. Camille?
CAMILLE GRAND: Thank you for your invitation. It’s great to be back at the Atlantic Council. And when preparing this presentation, I somehow wondered why you picked a French for this roundtable, except my plane schedule because the French are particularly doubtful with regard to arms control and with regard to missile defense. So I wonder if it’s a right pick.
My – (chuckles) – but first of all I think it’s not true on both accounts. So maybe I’ll come back in the questions. But when looking at this decision and how the missile defense policy evolves, I think the first thing is clearly that’s been perceived in Europe as a sort of defining moment. It’s the first clear decision in the international security that did sort of rolled back Bush administration policy and was perceived as such – the cancellation of a decision previously taken.
It has multiple implications for NATO allies in Western and Eastern Europe, for Russia and also for would-be proliferators. Of course the Iranians are reading this decision and (with ?) lesser emphasis on the missile programs somehow.
From an arms control and disarmament perspective, it’s clear that the decision had had a very, very positive short-term benefits. I think it is honest to say that it has significantly relaxed the U.S.-Russian relationship and in the run up of the completion of the START follow-on and maybe it somehow made the treaty possible in that context by relaxing the Russians.
It has also pleased many in Europe, mostly on the Western part, to be honest. And it is clear that for many countries that had serious doubts about the issue in the first place, specifically the Germans, but to a certain extent the French, and that had sort of reluctantly accepted the Bush administration’s view on this and had some doubts about the value of the U.S. plans and were somehow insisting that those plans were part of the U.S. missile defense and not so much of the NATO planning, although at the latest Bucharest summit some connection was made. But those Europeans also tended to focus on the negative effects of the decisions from the U.S.-Russia, Europe-Russia perspective were quite pleased with the decision and this was part of, let’s say, the global positive trends that you mentioned following Prague as well.
The decision made also I think it’s a very, very useful thing. I can’t be more pleased to see the Russians moving on Iran and compared to the previous panel, I’m a little more optimistic on the fact that they have really moved somehow and that something has happened. And this might be part of the picture for them to be more ready to accept sanctions. And that played a role in moving things in Geneva.
So all these things, I think, they are very obvious short term benefits and one might even consider that they surpass the drawbacks of getting a couple of Eastern European allies upset in many ways. So I take that. But I think it’s interesting to look in the longer term and make the connection between these decisions and President Obama’s vision for a world free of nuclear weapons and look at that through a couple of standpoints.
First of all, I think one key, an interesting element, and we ought to be raising questions as well, is the issue how does this administration address the issue of so-called strategic stability and future bilateral arms control. The decision has, at least implicitly, recognized that there is again a connection between offensive and defensive capabilities. By making this connection, at least in the eyes of the Russians, again, I don’t know whether it’s that explicit from this side of the Atlantic, but on the other side it’s pretty – that’s how it is perceived.
Maybe I stand to be corrected, but there is this perception and perceptions do matter in arms control very much, as everyone knows. And this is a big shift because it is a move from a position of the Bush administration that had cut that link by withdrawing from the ABM Treaty. So I’m not sure we’re going to go back to anything that is ABM like. I’m not sure it would be desirable, but it is a recognition that there isn’t such a link. And of course that link must increase as we go and we discuss deeper cuts, of course. So I think we have to think about that.
Second standpoint would be the missile proliferation standpoint. On this, honestly, I think there was somehow – and has been slightly corrected since – but there was a kind of a wrong signal with regard to Iran. I think the threat is there. They are testing missiles. The threat is growing.
And from a European perspective, there was, I think, the argument about the fact that the new system will be more – will be better designed with regard to the Iranian threat, sort of came a bit second in the debate which started with the fact that since the threat was not that immediate, that there’s no longer the need for that. And of course, as Michael just did, I think things have been finessed a bit since, but at first there was this sort of strange signal to allies, including those who are already within the firing range of Iranian missiles because again, from American perspective, the difference between an Iranian ICBM and an Iranian IRBM is quite significant. It’s not the case from the Bulgarian, Romanian, Greek, Turkish perspective.
Then from a European security and disarmament standpoint, I think there are very clear benefits with Russia, but as they move, those appear to be somehow unilateral. That was debated on the previous roundtable. I think there’s an issue about how the interpretation in Moscow do interpret this as a form of weakness and how do they see also this without their issues. And from a European standpoint, I think there are many other issues on the table with Russia, including in the smallest strategic realm and arms control realm.
And I’ll just name two. The Russian tactical nukes is something that we pay a lot of attention to and that doesn’t seem to be that clearly on the agenda. And secondly, the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty is still part of the picture and frozen by Russia in a situation that is, in my view, and having managed this for a little while in government, something that is a real threat in the long term for European security, not that everyone would start to build up conventional capabilities in secrecy, but the fact that you basically lose the transparency and confidence that went with the CFE. So those issues should deserve attention as well.
Finally, where does this leave us with the more global abolition debate? And here I see some unaddressed issue that sort of derived from the missile defense decision. One and that will be probably resolved early as possibly with the NPR, one is the NATO nuclear policy.
It is clear that this decision, although one might really question that assumption was perceived as one more delinking from – trans-Atlantic delinking. From a personal standpoint, the Poles or the Czechs have no special interest in missile defense. What they loved is U.S. troops on their ground. So if you withdraw these troops, creating the commitment, and as Churchill said, always said, “I just need one U.S. soldier in Europe, preferably dead.” But basically I think that’s something that those countries are extremely interested in. So – and since we’re not quite ready to replace those missile defense sites by armor division, they are nervous about that.
And you combine that with Georgia, you get something that is going to be tricky to manage in the strategic concept debates and that is somehow connected also to arms control because that will also make any move on the NATO nuclear weapons more difficult. And I think it will part of the equation in the upcoming debate on that. Again, one can question and challenge the use for those weapons in Europe and the stationing of X number of U.S. nuclear weapons in European bases, but in this context it would be one more sign that would be maybe misinterpreted. That’s complicated.
All of this comes into a time when NATO is thinking about itself with the strategic concept debate that you’re all familiar with and part of that is the NATO future policy with regard to the balance between missile defense, nuclear weapons and other priorities, and the NATO-Russia relationship. So it’s a tricky thing that’s going to need that.
Then, there is the, let’s say, interlocking debate between the abolishing debate, the deterrence debate, and the missile defense debate. And I don’t think this has been completely addressed at this stage. And those debates, such as what’s the right path to disarmament, variable numbers or zero, the new deployments about missile defense, the role of deterrence, of course the Nuclear Posture Review is critical for that.
So in the longer term – and I’ll wrap up with this – I think there needs to be more time and energy devoted to thinking through where do missile defense fit into a lower nuclear weapon with low numbers because there are two ways of looking at that. One is to say in such a world, which was, let’s say, classical French perspective from the Cold War days, missile defenses are destabilizing because they might be making small deterrence forces vulnerable.
Another way of looking at it would be to say that the precisely provide reassurances at the point where you go down by covering some of the contingencies that would be typically covered by nuclear deterrence. But I think this has not been articulated fully in the NATO context, but that’s true for the Gulf, for East Asia as well. I think we have to think that through very clearly.
There is an issue which is where does China fit into the picture from an arms control perspective. We want to engage them into arms control, but with missile defense that is getting them much more nervous and I think for good reasons than the Russians even pretend to be. So I think we have to look at that.
I think we also need to, as part of the picture, start addressing seriously missile proliferation. We see those tests taking place in North Korea, in Iran all the time and I think at the moment we have fairly weak regimes in place. And I think the HCOC is one of them, but it’s not the only one. I think we’d better think through what we propose in terms of missile proliferation because we pretty well know that’s the tip of the iceberg of proliferation programs in many cases. So we have to think about that, especially when those technologies do spread and spread fast.
Then, lastly, I think there is a need – if you want to make that connection between the arms control debate and the missile defense debate, there is maybe a need to think further about what forms of cooperative missile defense exist. One issue is Russia that was debated in the previous panel. I think we have to go probably beyond that and see how that works.
And finally I think the critical test for the Obama administration from – as seen from the other side of the Atlantic is really pretty much whether this administration will manage to engage the countries, the people it wants to engage. One of them is Russia. It seems on the way. Another one might be Iran and that’s extremely complicated. Ambassador Schulte referred to the past and we’re not sure about the way it goes. And maybe to implement this agenda basically my argument would be it takes two to tango, so that’s the difficult part. Thank you very much.
MR. SCHULTE: Thank you, Camille. Could I just say, from a personal basis, I’m glad that France is going to fully participate in these important discussions with the NATO? I think that’s important for us. Steve?
STEPHEN RADEMAKER: Thanks, Greg. First of all, let me say at the outset. I am in the private sector. I work at a consulting firm here in town. We have clients. Everything I’m going to say this afternoon represents my own views. I’m not expressing views on behalf of any of my firm’s clients.
I don’t think any of the other panelists have really spoken that directly to the issue of the Obama administration’s arms control agenda. And so with your indulgence, that’s what I will devote my remarks to over the next few minutes. And to state my conclusion at the outset, my conclusion is that I believe the Obama administration’s arms control agenda was in trouble before the decision on missile defense in Europe was announced several weeks ago and I think it remains in trouble after the announcement a few weeks ago.
The – to review what that agenda is, the starting point, of course, is that President Obama wants to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons, obviously the most ambitious arms control agenda that any American president has ever had. And the specific elements of this agenda all relate back to trying to realize that fairly dramatic vision of the future.
The first element of the agenda is a follow-on agreement to the START treaty that expires on December 5th this year. They’ve taken to calling this the new START agreement, which I guess is a clever name, so I will use it in my remarks. The reason December 5th is an important date is because the existing START treaty, which is the only arms control agreement that provides for arms control verification between United States and Russia expires on December 5th of this year. And of course we’ve seen this coming for a while and I think there’s unanimity in Washington that would be a good idea and I think in Moscow too that would be a good idea to have some sort of verification regime in place on December 5th so that there’s no lapse in arms control verification when the existing START treaty expires.
One option that the Obama administration had upon taking office was to focus just on this verification issue and try and nail that down in this negotiation before December 5th. They chose not to do that. They chose instead to make a down payment on their vision of a world free of nuclear weapons by adding to a negotiation about extending verification an additional negotiation on reductions in nuclear weapons levels. And we saw some progress on that in July when there was the joint understanding and some ranges of numbers were agreed with respect to both deployed nuclear weapons and – deployed strategic nuclear weapons and strategic weapons delivery systems, but particularly on the strategic delivery systems there’s a fairly wide gap in the positions of the two governments.
Assuming success in this negotiation, the next item on the administration’s agenda is Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Ideally, I think they wanted to do it this year. Basically we got crowded out by the START negotiation and the need to obtain Senate approval of START, so CTBT comes in behind START. I think at this point the fallback position is to try and ratify CTBT before the NPT review conference next May. At this point, that’s looking pretty unrealistic too, but that’s the second item on the agenda.
Third item on the agenda is a follow-on arms control treaty with Russia to the new START agreement, so a second round of negotiating nuclear reductions with Russia following the first round. And there the numbers that have been thrown around are 1,000 deployed warheads or less, so fairly substantial reductions from current levels and from the levels that I assume would be achieved under the new START agreement.
And then somewhere in the middle of all this, there is a desire to negotiate a fissile material cutoff treaty at the conference on disarmament in Geneva.
So that’s the agenda. My fear about this agenda is that the Obama administration has been so ambitious and so enthusiastic about its agenda that it’s actually complicated its ability to achieve its objectives.
I think sometimes we forget that arms control negotiations are negotiations. And then I think all of us have had experience in life negotiating. And to take an example that most of you should be able to relate to, if you’re going to buy a car, you don’t walk into the showroom and say, I absolutely positively have to have that car and I need it today. How much is it? We all know that’s the wrong way to negotiate. It helps to be a little bit skeptical. Too much enthusiasm can actually and paradoxically make it impossible to reach agreement because you encourage your negotiating partner to overreach because they think, god, this guy is desperate. I can get a lot of things over this negotiation and why don’t I demand them and see what happens.
So I worry that the Obama administration has approached this in a way that none of us would approach a car dealer if we were trying to buy a car in a negotiation over the price of a car.
Let’s look at each of these elements of the Obama agenda and assess where we are today. First of all, on new START, I noted in my remarks that they had the choice of negotiating just on verification and trying to nail that down and setting aside the issue of further nuclear reductions for a later negotiation. They chose not to. They chose to do both at once. In doing that, they ignore the advice they received from Sen. Dick Lugar, who is a man who has considerable experience in this area, and I think everyone will concede that he favors arms control between the United States and Russia. He wants the Obama administration to succeed with this agenda. He urged and I’m just going to quote here, “the administration to resist calls to load the negotiations agenda with objectives that while desirable would slow down the talks and threaten the tight timetable for avoiding a lapse in verification.” That advice was not taken.
So from the outset the Obama administration had an additional agenda of additional reductions in the nuclear area. They then made a series of tactical decisions along the way that I think have further complicated the negotiations.
In May, they agreed that further nuclear reductions would consist not just of deployed weapons, but also of the number of delivery systems. And that introduces a second major issue into the negotiation. And there’s also then a related issue of how you count the delivery systems, which gets very, very complicated, but that’s all part of the negotiation now.
Then, in July, as part of the joint understanding, they announced a number of ranges that the two sides were looking at. But there was also agreement to introduce two additional issues into the negotiation. One was – call it missile defense. The way they phrase it was the interrelationship of strategic offensive and strategic defense of arms. But the point was there will be something in this treaty about missile defense and its effect on arms control.
And then also, a similar agreement to have something in the agreement about what you might call strategic conventional weapons, that is conventionally armed submarine launched cruise missiles, submarine launched ballistic missiles, and those kinds of weapons.
Both of these are the things that I can’t believe the United States really wanted to introduce into this negotiation, but it’s something that in both cases these are high priorities to the Russians, so the Obama administration said yes to what the Russians were asking for.
I think the upshot of what is becoming very complicated negotiations with lots of moving parts and – where are we now, October 7th? We’re less than two months away from expiration of the START agreement. I personally would not predict that there will be a treaty signed by December 5th. I think there are a lot of unsettled issues here. And my personal read of the Russians is that they have looked at the situation and they have decided – their assessment is that the Obama administration, as a political matter, needs this agreement more than they do. And so they’ve introduced all these additional issues and I think they’re going to take it down to the wire to extract every last concession they can extract from the Obama administration in the belief that Obama would be of a mind to make concessions in order to get the agreement because he really, really needs the agreement to achieve success on his agenda.
And I think any negotiator will tell you that’s not where you want to be in a negotiation when the other side things you need to reach agreement more than they do. That’s a prescription for being forced to make concessions that you don’t want to have to make. So that’s where we are on new START.
Second item on the agenda, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, no one seems to pay much attention because in my opinion the Strategic Posture Commission, in May, did what may have been a fatal blow to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. This was the bipartisan congressionally appointed commission chaired by William Perry and James Schlesinger, very respected panel of experts on strategic nuclear issues. They agreed on everything, except one thing, and that was the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
They just couldn’t reach an agreement on a recommendation. But they reach agreement on one aspect of CTBT and that was they said that the unanimous recommendation of this bipartisan commission, the Obama administration should not ask the Senate to take up the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty again until the United States and the other P5 members of the Security Council have reached agreement among themselves on a definition of what the CTBT prohibits.
That’s actually a fairly astonishing thing to have to recommend that you’ve got a treaty prohibiting nuclear tests and the distinguished bipartisan commission says, actually we need to – it’s nice that we have this treaty, but actually we need a separate agreement on what it prohibits. You would have thought that would be in the treaty to begin with, but obviously in their judgment it was not.
And when you read the report in its entirety, it’s pretty clear that their premise in making this recommendation is their conviction that the parties to the CTBT have divergent interpretation s of what the treaty prohibits, and further, it appears that at least some of the parties may be conducting nuclear weapons tests that would be illegal under the interpretation that the United States has of this treaty. And that was the basis for their unanimous recommendation to come up with an agreed definition of what’s prohibited.
I’ve seen no indication that the Obama administration is willing or able to satisfy this unanimous recommendation of the Strategic Posture Commission. Until they do, I think he’d be full-hearted to ask the Senate to approve this treaty because critics in the Senate would say, you’re ignoring this unanimous recommendation and moreover you seem to be confirming that there is no agreement because you haven’t produced one reflecting what the agreement of the parties is on what this treaty prohibits. So CTBT I think is on hold until this issue gets sorted out.
The follow-on treaty to the new START agreement – I think the big obstacle there is what Camille referred to and that is tactical nuclear weapons. The press kind of suggests that there’s something like a 10 to one imbalance in the number of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. In the old days of strategic arms control, the philosophy was that doesn’t really matter because the number of tactical nuclear weapons pales by comparison to the number of strategic nuclear weapons, so we can just ignore the tactical nuclear weapons.
As you reduce strategic nuclear weapons to lower and lower levels, at some point that flips around and in fact the number of strategic nuclear weapons begins to pale by comparison to the number of tactical nuclear weapons. And so I think all sober analysts recognize that at some point if you want to go to deep strategic nuclear reductions, you have to do something about this tactical imbalance in Europe.
Camille charitably said that the issue of tactical nuclear weapons is not on the agenda. I think that’s a little bit of an understatement. I think the situation is much worse than that. It’s not going to get on the agenda and the reason it’s not going to get on the agenda is because Russia is not going to agree to it. And in my old job at the State Department, I used to talk to the Russians about tactical nuclear weapons and they were quite explicit on this point.
Tactical nuclear weapons are more important to our security today than ever before and we’re not even going to talk to you about them. We have no interest in reducing them, talking about reducing them, talking about transparency. We’re not going to talk about it. That was their position when I was in the position of the State Department of talking them about these kinds of issues.
I don’t think that’s changed very much and as evidence of that, I would point to the joint understanding that issued in July. The Russians extracted two pounds of flash from the United States. They extracted a pound of flash on missile defense. They extracted a pound of flash on conventional strategic weapons.
I assume, if our negotiators were not asleep, as they were being forced to make concessions on these two issues that the United States is really not interested in discussing in an arms control context, they must have thought, well let’s ask the Russians to agree to talk about this one thing that’s actually critically important to the future of arms control, and that is tactical nuclear weapons. That’s similar language in the joint understanding about types of the nuclear weapons.
I wrote up a sentence modeled on the language in that statement about missile defense. They could have agreed that the new START treaty would include a provision on the interrelationship of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons. It would have been that simple. That language is not in the July joint understanding. I think that to me that confirms that Russia is still unwilling to talk about this and I think that bodes ill for any ability to address tactical nuclear weapons as part of a follow-on negotiation to the new START treaty.
Finally, on the fissile material cutoff treaty, those of you following this know this treaty has been – as a concept, has been around for many, many years now. The Obama administration really it’s almost one of its first acts in the area of arms control, made a concession, a tactical concession on the issue of verification of that treaty they took away or backed away from the position that the Bush administration had taken. They thought this would facilitate the commencement of negotiations. It did not.
The conference on disarmament has adjourned for 2009, without commencing negotiations on fissile material cutoff treaty. Pakistan and China remain the outliers on this issue in Geneva, but they’re blocking the commencement of these negotiations. If negotiations ever commence on an FMCT, I think the Obama administration will discover the truth on one of the points that we in the Bush administration made in support of our position that a fissile material cutoff treaty shouldn’t address the issue of verification. And that is a fissile material cutoff treaty that is just a fissile material cutoff treaty is about four pages long. A fissile material cutoff treaty that includes a verification annex is probably 500 pages long and will take years and years and years to negotiate.
And so I’m not sure they’ll ever get started in Geneva, but if they do, I’ll be surprised if the negotiation wraps up before the end of the Obama administration, be it a four-year administration or an eight-year administration. So that is my survey of the arms control landscape.
MR. SCHULTE: Thank you, Steve. The decision on missile defense by President Obama was made – was announced, to my knowledge, without any reference to arms control on the president’s disarmament agenda. I can be corrected on that.
MR. RADEMAKER: That’s correct.
MR. SCHULTE: But in a funny way, if you think, if you look backwards in history, that’s rather remarkable that there was a period of time when you wouldn’t talk about missile defense without talking about strategic stability or without talking about the ABM treaty. And think this does show, as Peter Flory said earlier, how this is becoming sort of – missile defense is becoming mainstream issue, not only in the United States, but I think we’re also seeing that in NATO.
Now, the question is, if despite all the problems that you postulate, which are very real, Steve, if the administration is able to move forward with what is a very ambitious disarmament agenda and if as part of that our French allies are even willing to think about making their force de frappe even part of that agenda as we head towards a – (laughter) – global zero. Now, this is real hypothetical. This is right up there perhaps with Iran giving up its nuclear pursuits. But at some point in this process missile defense either becomes an obstacle to reductions if you think about it in the classic way that you’ve mentioned, Camille, or it becomes perhaps a source of reassurance, as you suggested, if you look at it differently.
And Assistant Secretary Nacht, I turn to you on this because you’re the one who’s working on missile defense and working on the Nuclear Posture Review and I’m wondering what you see or how are you going to deal with the tradeoffs between missile defense and nuclear weapons reductions. Do you see it as a tradeoff? Do you see them complementing each other? Or is the analysis in today’s world on two separate tracks?
MR. NACHT: It’s on two separate tracks. I think there seems to be some confusion about what this decision was about. Secretary Gates made a fundamental shift in policy with the approval of the president back in the spring to say that U.S. missile defense activities will henceforth be intended to meet the threats that really exist. They are in different regions and every region has a different architecture, different set of missile proliferators, different set of regional politics.
They’re not related to the strategic arms negotiating discussions with the Russians. The U.S. has refused in the most general terms that there may be some linkage in the abstract between missile defenses and offensive nuclear arms. There will be nothing in the START follow-on treaty on missile defense. That’s the U.S. position and I don’t think it’s going to change.
The European side has intended to deal with regional threats, principally the Iranian threat. We may have other deployments in the Eastern med. We may have deployments in Northeast Asia. This has nothing, whatever, to do with Russian nuclear weapons and strategic stability. So that’s the whole thrust of the U.S. missile defense program. It’s a regionalization of missile defense to meet regional threats and to provide reassurance to allies and friends of our commitment to defend them.
While I have the floor, I just want to mention two things that Camille said which I just would like to offer a different perspective of. I happen in my current position to chair the Nuclear High Level Group for NATO. So I know something about what the discussions are about with 27 countries of the NATO Alliance and some informal discussions with the 28th country.
And there’s a whole effort underway that we’ll really ramp up next year about a new strategic concept in NATO. There’s some other work going on that’s going to feed into that new strategic concept and that will determine the role of nuclear weapons in the future of the alliance. We have forward deployed systems there. And right now, there’s no thought currently in the U.S. to modifying that position.
A different point that was raised is about the troops on the ground in Poland and Czech Republic. Two points there – first, the negotiation’s going on right now with the Poles about the Patriot systems going into place in Poland. There’re discussions that have already started with the Poles that Ellen Tauscher participated in. I don’t know if she mentioned it when she was here. And Gen. O’Reilly participated in about which elements of the announced system, the SM-3, will go into Poland.
So again, this notion that U.S. has abandoned Poland, abandoned Eastern Europe, doesn’t care about, it’s a nice slogan. It just doesn’t bear any resemblance to what’s actually happening on the ground. There are ongoing discussions with the Poles and with the Czechs about what elements of the new system will placed in Poland and the Czech Republic. And they basically have a right of first refusal. If they want it, it’s going to be there. If they don’t want it, then that’s a different matter.
So – and again, it’s all aimed at the regional threat. So I hope that’s of some clarity. And I do think it is time to think a bit differently about missile defense and strategic stability. We don’t have an ABM treaty anymore. The U.S. is not developing and seeking to deploy ballistic missile defense systems intended to intercept a Russian massive nuclear attack on the United States. We’re not doing that. We’re intending to deploy missile defense so that the regional missile proliferators who could threaten ourselves, our allies, our forward deployed forces are going to be met with many things, including regional missile defenses. It’s a different way of thinking about missile defenses.
MR. SCHULTE: Thank you. I’d like to invite questions from Dr. Ullman and the other participants. (Laughter.)
Q: We’ll have a later discussion about Iran and my real views, Greg, but you just quote me. Listen, thank you for your comments. I’d like to ask up two questions. First, supposing that none of these arms treaties are indeed either extended, ratified, don’t work, could you just for a moment think about the strategic opportunities and liabilities that may be created by those, failures to pursue this or at least to get them – they don’t happen.
And second, one of the things that has been really missing from much of the discussion today may be the ultimate driver of arms control limitation. It’s called money. And everywhere we look, we’re going to be facing with huge, huge, huge budget cuts. Britain is now in the vanguard. They’re going to debate whether they’re going to continue Trident or now. And we are going to be hit by those very difficult decisions over the next coming years.
So how does money drive arms controls because we may be in a situation where we’re not only not going to be able to afford the conventional systems that are going to be needed, but also the nuclear ones?
MR. NACHT: Well, I don’t want to address a sort of global negative hypothetical in which none of the president’s agenda, which was just articulated six month ago was fulfilled in the next three-and-a-half years. To reiterate the point, the primary objective of the national security policy concerns stopping or thwarting as much as possible the nuclear terrorist threat.
The second concerns stopping or thwarting rogue state threats. The third concerns maintaining strategic stability with our classical potential adversaries from the past – Russia or possibly China. And we’re hopeful that the agenda that the president has set out will be implemented, including for the reasons that you suggest that we don’t have a lot of additional funds to spend on these systems and it would be very beneficial. But that’s not the driver. The driver’s not an economic driver. The driver is a strategic and defense driver.
MR. GRAND: Just a couple of words on the issue of money. Obviously it has played a role and if you look at the – including the Europeans, the downsizing of the French arsenal by 50 percent was not purely motivated by a strong belief in disarmament. It was also part of other things. But I think on that, especially if you go for low numbers, the issue will be to improve security. And I hope that the money driver will not be weighing too heavily on the thinking because I think we need to think in terms of how do we improve security through a process of disarmament because obviously going to zero is not going to 1914 or 1939, but going to a better world hopefully.
So for that – and this starts with the low numbers. So – but you’re right in pointing at – the British case is a good example of that. And there might be there also an issue about how do you manage your true levels of discourse because being at the forefront of the world free of nuclear weapons, while at the same time trying to convince your parliament that you need 20 billion pounds to stay in business for the next 40 years, might be complicated and the Labor backbenchers to not support that.
So I think it’s really an issue, but I think we need to think in terms of improved security. And that brings back into missile defense as part of the equation, confidence building measures, and so on so forth.
MR. RADEMAKER: I think it’s an interesting question. First of all, let me clarify. I was not predicting ultimate failure of the new START negotiation. I’m skeptical that they will achieve success by December 5th. I think eventually some agreement will be reached. I don’t want to predict what the terms of it will be and I will predict that the Russians will certainly take this negotiation down to the wire because I’m confident they judge that with enough pressure the Obama administration would give them what they want on a whole range of issues.
And the Obama administration, I think, is smart enough to understand if it gave Russia everything it’s asking for, they would come back with a treaty that the Senate wouldn’t approve. And so that’s a natural restraint, but it may take a while for the Russians to accept that they’re not going to get anything that they’re hoping to get.
Your question about money and budgets driving this, as I said, it’s sort of interesting. I guess I would suggest that this is already happening on the Russian side. Russia’s pushing for much lower levels to basically correspond to the levels they already have. And the reason they already have those levels isn’t for a lack of will. It’s for a lack of money. And so I think budgets are already an important dynamic in the arms control process, but before the arms community gives us all a standing ovation, I think they need to think this thing through. If you need to economize in the strategic area, the easiest way to do it is to put more warheads on fewer delivery systems. And that’s what the Russians have been doing. And if you look at the positions, the numbers that they are advocating in the new START negotiation, that’s what – they’re pushing us to do that too.
If we were to agree to the number of delivery systems that they’re asking for and to retain the number of deployed nuclear warheads that we plan to have and that would be permitted under the treaty, I think – I haven’t done the math – but I think outshout would be to force us to increase the number of weapons we place on individual delivery systems, to basically undo the de-MIRVing that we went through as a consequence of the Moscow treaty. And I think most experts in this area think MIRVing is a bad idea and then the more you can get away from it, the better. And budgetary considerations in this area, I think, could have very harmful consequences.
MR. SCHULTE: Damon was hoping I could stretch this out till six or seven tonight, but I actually propose to only take one more question and then with Damon’s permission we can all head off. Oh, oh, this is – I’ll do two if you promise to be fast, okay? I already blew it. Bob Bell and the lady. It’s tough.
Q: Thank you. A question for you, Michael, if I can, on collective decision making as it relates to the sort of operational side of the missile defense approach. You well appreciate, of course, from the high-level group the sensitivity of having accepted rules of engagement and release authority on the one hand and the very short time lines on the other. That’s going to be magnified in spades when it comes to missile defense. Indeed one reason the allies have been slow to embrace the policy decision to join the third site before was they were still wrestling with the command and control arrangement issue.
What strikes me that’s really new about the Obama proposal was that starting in 2011, not 2015 or 2018, but 15 months from now, there’re going to be two or three cruisers out there, when they’d be captains in charge providing territorial defense for Europe, while NATO could still be debating whether or not they want to be part of the architecture, even though as Sandy Vershbow said when he was here, we think their command and control system should be the backbone of the whole architecture.
So my question is do you think this prospect now that’s looming of American ships unilaterally providing territorial defense for Europe, starting in 2011, is going to motivate the allies to move much faster now to go ahead and take the key policy decision to link into the architecture and more importantly to provide the resources to put those NATO backbone systems as they have to be upgraded in place so they’re ready to do that by 2011 or 2012?
MR. SCHULTE: Could you hold your answer and let’s get the other question and then we can deal with them together here?
Q: Hi. Thank you. Also a question for Secretary Nacht. I’m wondering in the absence of a ratified START follow-on or a new START agreement, what kind of extension or what kind of mode are you looking for – a vehicle are you looking for to extend the START verification protocols beyond December 5th. What are you looking for and what you think you might be able to get with the Russians?
MR. NACHT: Okay, first, it’s great to see Bob Bell again. He was my guiding spirit in the Clinton administration on many issues. So I think you raise a key operational question on command and control and the relationship between the allies and the NATO countries and our own ships at sea. And you’re right. It’s short term. It’s less than two years away.
These are issues being worked already. They’re not resolved, as you know. We’re hopeful that it will stimulate more rapid cooperation, more commitment to old BMD by NATO as a lower tier system, more resources being devoted to this. But it’s a work in progress. So I think the early indications are we’re on the right track because frankly there’s a shared sense of threat. And we know and they know that we can get something into the field quite soon. And I think that’s a major mode of reassurance to the allies. And as we’re in the midst of a whole sort of diplomatic effort to work with them, both individually and as an alliance, to try to hammer out these details.
When the president was at the NATO meeting back around the time he spoke in Prague, he said, “I’m here to listen, learn, and then lead.” And we’ve done a lot of listening. We’ve done learning. Now, we’re leading. And now we’re going to go back and listen. And we’re going to learn. And we’re going to lead. But it’s real. In the meetings I’ve chaired, plus I’ve had given briefings on missile defense at NATO, we spent a lot of time listening. And we try to make this an interactive, collective process.
So I’m hopeful that will work, but it’s not a done deal yet.
We really haven’t developed contingency plans to my knowledge for what do we do if we don’t get a START follow-on by December 5th. We’re right in the midst of the negotiations right now. There’ve been new sessions held in Geneva. There’ll be more coming forward very soon. And maybe for the duration from about another week or two on right through till December, the Russians tend to have a negotiating style where they leave a lot of things for the last minute. We’re used to this. I spent three years dealing with them in the Clinton years. Nothing is easy. The quality of the peanuts to the table can be a whole problem. But it’s our judgment that they want to deal for lots of reasons. And if the deal is right, we would like a deal. And that’s pretty good set of ingredients.
So as we get closer, we’ll see if those expectations are realistic. If they are, we don’t have to worry about your decision. If we do, we’re going to try to work something out to extend the life of the treaty and extend the verification procedures obviously. It’s very important for confidence building of both sides because they have things they want to verify too and they can’t do it without – they can’t do everything they want without cooperative measures.
MR. SCHULTE: Camille, you have a brief observation too?
MR. GRAND: Yes, just a brief observation on how the Europeans would react. My perception is a bit more pessimistic than Michael’s. Basically the Europeans have little money for defense in general. They have little money for big programs. The intent is still going – I agree there is a growing threat perception that is clearly there and an interest in something NATO, but it’s clear that if they get a sense they’ve been provided more or less the umbrella through Aegis cruisers, many Europeans will just relax on that and continue the studies, which is great as far as I see, but not needing to contract in real terms. (Laughter.)
So I think it’s a bit of a Catch 22 of how do you get them more involved in Europe. And one way is to get the European industry more involved in the projects than it is currently. Another way is to get the Europeans more concerned about what they can do about it. But my sense is a bit of – for precisely the money reasons that we were discussing, if you get it for free, why pay for it?
MR. RADEMAKER: I should say the administration is engaged in this at the highest levels. It’s waves of folks. We have Undersecretary Tauscher, Gen. O’Reilly, Secretary Gates, Secretary Clinton, the vice president, and the president. We’re playing all our cards at different levels. And of course it’s tradeoffs. There’re things they want from us and so no one’s going in naively into what will take to do this.
MR. SCHULTE: Well, thank you to the panelists. And Damon, over to you.
MR. WILSON: Bear with us for 30 seconds. Thank you. Thank you very much. It’s hard being the last panel today. I really appreciate the conversation we’ve just had, but what a day it’s been. I want to thank all of those who have been with us today, particularly those who have been with us since eight this morning, beginning with Gen. O’Reilly, Gen. Scowcroft, Undersecretary Tauscher, Rep. Turner, the discussion on the architecture with Jacques Gansler on the Alliance with Wess Mitchell on the Russians led by Arnie Kanter, and the broader arms control agenda. Thank you, Greg.
I also want to thank in particular Raytheon for its generous support for today and for its representatives who have been with us throughout the course of the day.
I want to thank our speakers, particularly those from the administration, such as Assistant Secretary Nacht. We know how busy your schedules are. There’s four more officials that have joined us today such as Steve Rademaker, thank you for joining us on your flight just back from the Caribbean, as well as those – for business, for business – and particularly those who have joined us crossing the pond today, coming across the Atlantic like Camille Grand, thank you, Bob Bell, Peter Flory, Boyko Noev. We appreciate your travelling here. And a special thanks to Jeff Lightfoot, who’s out there in the hall, Jeff, who has been the mastermind of the entire day and just has done a remarkable job. Thank you very much Jeff, helped by our team Ryan, Jason, Etan, and Pete.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
We began this morning by noting that two years ago, we had a conference on missile defense with Ellen Tauscher in a different job, with Mike Turner in a different job, with Bob Bell was here in a different job, Gen. O’Reilly. So we’ll see you in two years to see how far we’ve gone on this agenda.
Transcript by Federal News Service, Washington, D.C.